Category Archives: Mental Health

The Literary Slap List

An Abby Wright illustration of a women reading a book outside in the snow

Hello again, fellow Bookworms!

Message for Goodreads:

No, I haven’t “just started” Finding Audrey, by Sophie Kinsella. I’m on for page 44 now, as I type! I actually started reading the damn book while I was still stood in W H Smith’s at Wythenshawe Hospital, after I’d been visiting my dad! Hence I am using my Metrolink tram ticket as a bookmark! Off-peak adult return between Cornbrook and Roundthorn. (I have a bus and tram pass, but only certain tram lines are covered, for others I need a ticket.)

My dad had a heart attack last week, but could feel it coming on, so thankfully he was able to get himself home and call for an ambulance, and he was taken to hospital. Wythenshawe is a heart specialist hospital, if you get my drift. Dad lives in Macclesfield, but having had this heart trouble, it’s brought him back in the Manchester area for now. He’s due to have a double bypass on Thursday.

Anyway, enough about my dad’s dodgy ticker for now, and back to the books. Actually, he had a pretty huge history book when I went to visit him – my sister’s partner had lent it to him. History, whether it’s fact or fiction, seems to result in some pretty huge books! I’ve mentioned chunky works of historical fiction on many occasions, as regular readers will know, lol!

Finding Audrey, which I found myself reading at W H Smith’s at the hospital, is a YA novel, set here in the UK, although I’m not currently sure if it’s set in any specific part of these shores. Audrey is the middle child of Chris and Anne Turner in this particular story, with both an elder and a younger brother by the sound of it. She has two brothers, anyway. Whilst I will try not to spoil things, Audrey has mental health issues, and personally, I can see why she and her brothers are like they are when you consider that their mum reads the Daily Fail! Enough said, methinks! Perhaps Ms Kinsella wrote this book to poke fun at the sorry excuse for a “news” paper?! I might only be 44 pages in, but I sense that the author is having a significant dig at Daily Fail readers!

This means that Anne Turner has the dubious distinction of being added to my notorious Literary Slap List! This is my list of characters from various books who could all do with a damn good slapping because they are all seriously annoying in one way or another! As we add our latest candidate to the list, I shall now run through the list of characters who are already on there, and we shall start with Jane Austen‘s classic novel, Pride and Prejudice

I had to study Pride and Prejudice when I was at high school, it was one of my set books for GCSE English Literature. Whilst it did grow on me eventually, and gives us some good characters, I’m afraid to say there are actually FIVE characters in this novel who feature on my Slap List, and Mr Darcy is NOT one of them! Mr Darcy is just a bit misunderstood. I think he’s probably an introvert, and doesn’t really enjoy all those balls he is compelled to attend. He’d rather just be in the company of one or two other people instead of the whole damn town!

However, Mrs Bennet and her two youngest daughters, Kitty and Lydia, are most definitely on the Slap List! Kitty and Lydia are just a pair of airhead bimbos, and their mother is an overgrown airhead bimbo who encourages her two youngest in this tarty behaviour! She’s more than old enough to know better! Mr Collins joins them on the list – can we say “obsequious little toad”? Yes, I thought we could! Elizabeth was right to turn him down! The fifth member of the Pride and Prejudice cast list to be added, but by no means least, is Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Two-faced, hypocritical old bag with serious double standards! Wants every other young lady to have a list of accomplishments as long as her arm, but makes every excuse under the sun as to why her own flesh and blood hasn’t got any strings to her bow!

After that, there were no more additions for years, although there were times when I was doing A Level French at Eccles College when I would have liked to have slapped Jean-Paul Sartre because trying to get my teenage head around the concept of existentialism was NOT an easy thing to do! I’d also like a word with whoever it was who came up with the Past Historic tense in the French language! Seriously! How many versions of the past tense does any bloody language need?! Do you really need a version of the past tense which you only actually use in works of literature?! No, I don’t bloody think so! So, grrrr at French for inflicting this upon us! Grrr at whoever invented A Levels as well, come to think of it!

We have to go to The Catcher In The Rye, by J. D. Salinger, next, as our next entrant on the Slap List is none other than Holden Caulfield. This caused much debate on my book group on Facebook, I’d Spend All Day In Waterstone’s If I Could Get Away With It, when we discussed this way back in around 2008, but plenty of people were in agreement that he was a very whiny, moaning teenager who really ought to stop sulking and realise how lucky he actually was! Just to amuse you, though, I recall reading that book, due to the kerfuffle it had caused on our Facebook group, and I kept misreading Pencey Prep as Poncey Prep! I guess Holden might have seen it as poncey, lol!

Dolores Umbridge absolutely HAS to be on this list! Ghastly woman! We first meet her in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and she is just such a vile two-faced character that I actually prefer Lord Voldemort! At least you know where you stand with Voldemort! He doesn’t disguise it. He’s a nasty piece of work, but he makes no pretence at being nice, which is fair enough, whereas Umbridge comes over all simpering and pretending to be nice, when she’s actually a right nasty bitch! The other thing about two-faced people is that you don’t know which face to slap first!

This next one is actually non-fiction as it is autobiographical, but I really want to slap the author, Elizabeth Smart, for what basically amounts to a pity party in writing! Two years ago, as one of our book club choices in 2015, I had the misfortune of encountering By Grand Central Station I Sat Down And Wept. This may have been a short book, but it really wasn’t short enough! She loved this poet guy, and actually paid for him and his wife to move over to the States. Thing is she did it in the hope that he’d leave his missus for her. She just wanted to get in his pants and basically sulked because he was spoken for and carried on like some whingeing teenage girl. As I think I said at the time, save yourself the time and money… just listen to “Love’s Unkind” by Donna Summer, and you’ll get the general idea!

And now, that brings us back to Anne Turner, Audrey’s mum in Finding Audrey, by Sophie Kinsella. The fact that this character is a Daily Fail reader, and a pretty typical, annoying one, is absolute proof that she needs to be on my Slap List! Probably needs to be at the top of it, actually, even above the irritants I’ve just been mentioning!

The novel may well be coming to Wembley with me, though, along with I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Round Ireland With a Fridge, as chances are I may still be reading both of those come Sunday. I’ll certainly still be reading Zlatan‘s autobiography. and probably the Tony Hawks book as well. Not finalised the list yet, will have to see what still needs reading come Saturday, but as the EFL Cup Final approaches, things become clearer on the book front.

I’m clearer on my need to get some kip right now, as we’re in the wee small hours as I type this, so until the next time, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry…

  • Finding Audrey – Sophie Kinsella
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • The Catcher In the Rye – J. D. Salinger
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J. K. Rowling
  • By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept – Elizabeth Smart
  • I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Zlatan Ibrahimovic
  • Round Ireland With a Fridge – Tony Hawks

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Filed under Books, Facebook & Other Social Media, Goodreads, Handbag Books, Literary Slap List, Mental Health, My Bookworm History, Non-Fiction, School, College & Uni Reading, YA Books

Missing Years and Laughing Gear

feb-2017-for-a-laugh

Good evening, fellow Bookworms!

I hope I’m not overdoing it on the blog front. Trust me, though, regular readers will know that sometimes I blog every day, and then other times I don’t blog for bloody months! In fact, there was a time I didn’t blog for the best part of THREE YEARS!

If you look at the archives, you’ll notice I was blogging in 2012, mentioning the fact I was about to be a Book Giver for World Book Night that year, and then the next time you hear from me on Joanne’s Bookshelf, we’re in 2015 and I’m wanting to slap Elizabeth (Not Very) Smart for having written one of the most whiney-arsed books I’d ever had the misfortune to read! A pity party in writing if ever there was one! The book in question wasn’t even very long, but it was still too long to be moaning on and on as she did about the fact the bloke she loved was spoken for and that everyone else (understandably) disapproved of the fact that she was trying to get in his pants anyway.

Maybe we should have a look at the missing years, trying to see if I can remember anything worth blogging about in that time. Pretty sure I was blogging on the football front, I certainly was during 2012-13 as my lads won their 20th league title that season. Maybe that was part of the reason why I didn’t blog about books… I was too distracted by United as Robin van Persie’s goals led us to the Premier League title and a winning margin of 11 points over City by the end of that season! If I was reading anything at that time, it was probably Robin van Persie: The Biography, by Andy Lloyd-Williams, which I downloaded on my Kindle some time during 2012-13, to get some background on the Dutch striker we’d signed from Arsenal that summer. The book only goes up to his time with the Gunners, but it was a great read and I think it only set me back 99p! Bargain! 🙂

It was also during 2013 that a lady named Hannah Kent came to our book club meeting, as she had just become a newly-published author. Her debut novel, Burial Rites, was out in hardback, and as she was in the area and promoting the book around bookshops, she and a lady from the publishing house, joined us for our book group meeting that summer. Hannah’s an Aussie, from Queensland if I’m not mistaken, but she’d spent a year in Iceland on an exchange programme, and that had inspired her novel, a work of historical fiction based on the true story of the last woman to be executed in Iceland. We bought copies of her book, and she signed them for us, so we decided we’d have that as our book club choice for that month. This is a rarity for our book club, but we all loved it!

It might not have been a book we’d even considered, but she’d come to our meeting, and she was lovely. Also, I have been to Iceland, as I mentioned the other day, and although I only went to Reykjavik, the capital city, I know much of the rest of the country is still very rural and I could picture it as I read the novel. If I was doing some “around the world in books” project, Burial Rites would definitely be on the list as a book set in Iceland.

Another book which I read and loved during the non-blogging days was Where’d You Go, Bernadette? This book was published in August 2012, and I had blogged that month, but did not mention this novel. I probably had book club after I’d blogged! Perhaps we met up in the September and chose Maria Semple‘s novel, in which case it was after what would turn out to be my final blog entry of 2012, which was mostly wittering on about the Olympics, lol! In fact, I only mentioned two books in that blog, and neither of them were by Maria Semple! But I loved Where’d You Go, Bernadette? Very funny book!

This leads me on to the photo at the top of this blog, and a couple of items of reading matter which I am adding to my current concerns. I have decided that, in the current climate, I need stuff which is going to make me laugh, or at least attempts to achieve this!

For some reason, it seems sales of dystopian fiction are on the rise since the Mangled Apricot Hellbeast became President of the USA, but I won’t be purchasing anything of that nature! Read some Orwell donkey’s years ago, and enjoyed it enough at the time, but there’s no way I’m re-reading it now! I don’t see the attraction. I don’t want to read about fictional arsehole politicians treating their country’s people like shit when there’s far too much of that happening in real life! I need to ESCAPE from that shite! I need something that’s going to help me forget about it and save me from a bout of depression!

So, added to the current ongoing concerns on the book front, are Mort, by Sir Terry Pratchett, and Round Ireland With a Fridge, by Tony Hawks. One fiction, one non-fiction, but both promising to be extremely funny, which is exactly what I need! It was about time I read another Discworld book, so I’m now on for my fourth of those, and I’ve had the Hawks book for ages, and it really was time I actually read it, lol! I bought it absolutely donkey’s years ago, or so it seems, and bought it because the very idea of it seemed ridiculous, therefore just my kind of book!

Let’s not forget that one of my favourite reads, and one which I found free of charge on holiday in Mexico, was Attention All Shipping, by Charlie Connelly, in which Mr Connelly journeys around all the places mentioned on the Shipping Forecast on BBC Radio 4! Incidentally, that’d be another reason why I wouldn’t have blogged in 2013 – was busy celebrating my Big 40! I turned forty the day after Robin van Persie’s hat-trick against Aston Villa had meant Manchester United were league champions for the 20th time in their history, so those two days of celebration rather merged into one, lol! And then there was my holiday, six months later, when Mum and I headed off to the total and utter luxury of the El Dorado Seaside Suites on the Riviera Maya in Mexico, and it was while we were on this holiday that I found that book on one of the bookshelves dotted around our resort, and loved it so much that I brought it home with me as I hadn’t quite finished it when our fortnight of luxury and cocktails came to an end and we had to fly home to Manchester.

Mum and I also read I Am The Secret Footballer while we were in Mexico. Still can’t work out who the guy is! Thus, it’s not that I didn’t read any books between 2012 and 2015, I certainly did, but maybe not loads compared to other years, and other events in my life must have distracted me from blogging about my reading! Sometimes I have spells of blogging about football, which I do on one of my other blogs, In Off My Chest! Certainly during 2012-13 there was a lot to blog about for good reasons. The less said about the following season, though, the better!

I can’t even remember a lot of things I read in either 2014 or 2015! I clearly only partially-read stuff and never got into anything until the end of that year, really! There must have been a few books for book club which didn’t float my boat and I ended up giving them away some time last year when I was having a bit of a clear out and giving books to charity shops to make room for other books, lol!

I had blogged in August of 2012, then not until May and June 2015, and then there was another gap until February 2016! Been quite prolific in the past year, as far as book blogs are concerned, but I am trying to piece together what the hell happened in the missing times! We can account for 2013, really. I was 40 and United won the league, so I was too busy celebrating to blog about books! So, some of the other times I wasn’t blogging must have been bouts of Reader’s Block, or simply times when the book club books weren’t really my cup of tea.

During my non-blogging time, I did manage to find some reading matter to enjoy, including The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green, and The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin, and, thanks to a book swapping opportunity offered up at that time by a pub in Worsley, I managed to offload one of the book club reads I’d not got into, and exchanged it for the brilliant Girl With a Pearl Earring, by Tracy Chevalier. Ironically, the book I exchanged, which was The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton, is a book I once again own, as I picked up a copy at a charity shop last year thinking perhaps I should give it another go some time and that the reason I’d not got into it was because I was having Reader’s Block, so it might not have been the book’s fault! Maybe I’ll try again and I’ll love it, or maybe I will realise why I didn’t get far with it first time round. Who knows?!

Anyway, I’d better get my progress with the Tony Hawks book charted on Goodreads, so that’s about all for now! Until next time, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry…

  • Robin van Persie: The Biography – Andy Lloyd-Williams
  • Burial Rites – Hannah Kent
  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette? – Maria Semple
  • Mort – Sir Terry Pratchett
  • Round Ireland With a Fridge – Tony Hawks
  • Attention All Shipping – Charlie Connelly
  • I Am The Secret Footballer – The Secret Footballer
  • The Fault In Our Stars – John Green
  • The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin
  • Girl With a Pearl Earring – Tracy Chevalier
  • The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton

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Filed under Arsehole Politicians, Books, Fantasy Fiction, Handbag Books, Humour, Mental Health, Travel

If I Could Tell You A Few Things…

books-bought-2nd-feb-2017

Good evening, fellow Bookworms!

Me again! Home from town, and book club, and the book on the right in the photo is the one we’ll be reading for our next meeting on 15th March – If I Could Tell You Just One Thing, by Richard Reed. Well, edited by him, as it’s a collection of pieces of advice from various famous people – politicians, actors, singers, music moguls, business leaders, etc, etc… They were all interviewed and asked for that one bit of advice that they would give anyone.

It’s a hardback, and a tad bulky, so it is actually unlikely to be a Handbag Book, and therefore rather unlikely to go to Wembley with me if my mum and I are successful in getting tickets for the League Cup Final later this month. I’d take my Kindle and a few paperbacks. I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic may well still be one of them. My sister has put in a request to read it next once I have finished reading it. We should hear on Monday whether we’ve been successful or not with regard to the cup final tickets.

Making good strides with Jamrach’s Menagerie now that I have resumed reading that one, and am now 75% of the way through it. Not much more to read, and I’ll have another one off the list. I have let Sarah know I am enjoying the Gary Kemp autobiography, I Know This Much, and she has said she’ll lend me Phil Collins‘ autobiography next, which I’m already looking forward to as I have seen it once or twice in Waterstone’s and quite fancied it. I do think he took a bit of a risk calling it Not Dead Yet, though, given how over-eager the Grim Reaper was last year in bumping off celebrities, including some serious talents of the music world such as David Bowie, Prince, and George Michael! Guess Phil decided to risk it for a biscuit on the title front, lol!

I did try to get my fellow book club members to consider a couple of books of which I’ve already got copies, but it never works, I never manage to save a bob or two! I’d tried to encourage them to go for The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, or Conspiracy, but I guess we have just read some historical fiction, so they wanted something different. I did manage to steer them away from the dystopian suggestion from Emma, though, so my mental health has been considered, which I truly appreciate!

I am not prepared to risk either current affairs or dystopian fiction. If I could tell you just one thing, it would be that I read to escape! I want books to take my mind off the shiteness of the real world, even if it’s just for an hour or so. The last thing I want is a reminder, even if it’s a fictional one, that there are a lot of arseholes out there. If it’s the sort of plot that would give those arseholes in power more bad ideas, then I would rather not read it, ta very much!

fa-cup-winners-2016-me-and-inflatable-cup

With my inflatable FA Cup after I got home from Wembley in May…

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street may well end up as a Handbag Book, though. Might even come to Wembley if I’m off to see United v Southampton on 26th February. Obviously, last year, I was going down there in May, as it was the FA Cup Final, but let’s have a look at what I was reading back then. As I recall, I finished off The Reader On The 6.27, by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent, and I also got a large chunk of A Little Life read, as I had it on my Kindle to save me taking the paperback with me – did you seriously think I’d lug a 720 page epic novel like that down to Wembley with me?! Give over!

The above photo was a former profile photo of mine on Facebook. I got the inflatable FA Cup in 2007 when we went to Villa Park for the semi-final against Watford, which we won 4-1. Sadly, we lost that year’s final to Chelsea in extra time, so I waited years for us to win the cup so I could inflate it! Obviously, we won plenty of other trophies – Premier League titles, the European Cup and the League Cup since 2007, but we hadn’t won the FA Cup since 2004 until last season under Louis van Gaal, when we beat Crystal Palace 2-1 in extra time, despite Chris “Mike” Smalling getting himself sent-off for a second yellow card by stupidly rugby-tackling a Palace player. Numpty! Ah well, it meant we did things the traditional United way, by making it hard for ourselves! We rarely do things in a straightforward manner, as most other long-standing Reds will tell you, lol!

The other book in the photo at the top of my blog is A Boy Made of Blocks, by Keith Stuart. It’s fiction, but it’s supposed to be about a boy with autism. It’s been mentioned a lot on the book groups I’m in on Facebook, and has got good reviews, so I thought I might give it a go.

Well, I’d better give some thought to getting a bit of reading done now, so I’ll finish this blog off and get it published, make a brew, and get stuck in a good book! Until the next time, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry…

  • If I Could Tell You Just One Thing – Richard Reed
  • I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Zlatan Ibrahimovic
  • Jamrach’s Menagerie – Carol Birch
  • I Know This Much: From Soho To Spandau – Gary Kemp
  • Not Dead Yet – Phil Collins
  • The Watchmaker of Filigree Street – Natasha Pulley
  • Conspiracy – S. J. Parris
  • The Reader On The 6.27 – Jean-Paul Didierlaurent
  • A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
  • A Boy Made of Blocks – Keith Stuart

 

 

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Filed under Arsehole Politicians, Autobiography/Biography, Books, E-Books & Audiobooks, Football, Handbag Books, Mental Health, Music

More Waffle About Books!

Mystery book 1

What’s that in the middle? All will be revealed!

Good evening, fellow Bookworms, and welcome to another blog entry and another mystery book! It’s not quite a blind date with a book, as I actually knew which book it was, but it’s a mystery to the rest of you, so I shall be revealing it shortly. It’s our book club’s choice for our next meeting on 6th June, anyway… For the moment, it is resting between Prince, by Matt Thorne, and Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All, by Jonas Jonasson, which were my other two purchases at Waterstone’s earlier this evening.

Before we start to open the Mystery Book, let’s get you updated on a few matters. I have finished the very moving When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi, and the short but sweet Marly’s Ghost, by David Levithan, and I have got a few on the go, including Mind Your Head, by Juno Dawson, Cheer Up Love: Adventures in Depression with the Crab of Hate, by Susan Calman, The Reader On the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent, and I am continuing with How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the FA Cup, by J. L. Carr.

Mystery book 2

So… what’s in this package? Let’s open it and find out…

Let’s just get back to Marly’s Ghost a moment – this is a good read, especially for anyone who loves A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. It’s basically a modern reworking of the Dickens novella, but set in the States and just before Valentine’s Day. Don’t be put off by it being classed as Young Adult. It’s a good read whatever your age! I read quite a few YA books, as regular readers of this blog will already know, and I’m 43!

I had to get the Susan Calman book when I saw it the other day. I don’t even know of this lady at all, I don’t really watch all that much telly, but from a mental health point of view, I started reading a bit when I was in Waterstone’s on Tuesday, and knew I had to buy it, I was agreeing with so much of it already! Many people see depression as being a black dog, Winston Churchill saw it that way, but Susan Calman sees it as being a crab of hate! She’s a 1974 baby, so she’s also of a similar age to me, just a bit younger.

Mystery book 3

The ribbon is off… Time to unwrap…

The Reader on The 6.27 is a novel which originally came out in the author’s native France two years ago. It tells of a guy who works at a recycling plant on a rather aggressive book pulping machine, which he hates using, and not just because it actually caused one of his workmates to end up disabled in a nasty accident… he hates the fact that he’s responsible for pulping books. He loves books, and tries to save pages, random pages from random books, and he reads these to passengers every morning on the train to work! Guylain, the main character, reminds me a lot of Hanta in Too Loud a Solitude, by Bohumil Hrabal, which I read quite some time ago now. Probably around 2008. I have to thank David Hunt for introducing me to a fair chunk of Central European literature, including Czech novelists and Polish poets… He also recommended Under The Frog, by Tibor Fischer, to me, one of the funniest books I’ve ever read! Fischer is a British author, but of Hungarian parentage, and the novel is set in Hungary in the Cold War days. Don’t let that put you off – it’s hilarious!

Mystery book 4

The end flaps are open…

I have also started reading A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara. Despite the title, it’s a chunky book to say the least! 720 pages! There is actually an event at Waterstone’s Deansgate on 17th June, the “A Little Life Therapy Group” at 6:30pm that evening, so let’s see how much of it I have managed to read by then, and then I can determine if I should go along.

Mystery book 5

Ooh! A sneak peek!

I have a right pile of hardbacks, or mostly hardbacks, which has mounted up on top of my bass amp! OK, the primary purpose of that black cuboid is to provide amplification for my bass guitar, but it has taken on the secondary role of being another surface on which I can rest a pile of books! There is one paperback on there, World Without End, by Ken Follett, but the others are all hardbacks. A few autobiographies and a couple of novels.

Mystery book 6

And there we have it!

Ta dah! The mystery book is revealed! The Girl of Ink & Stars, by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. It is our latest book club book for our next meeting. Such a lovely cover, isn’t it?! The publishers are Chicken House, I have a few other YA books from that house, including Cornelia Funke’s trilogy, which I really need around to get reading… Inkheart, Inkspell, and Inkdeath. Perhaps I should finish this blog and get on with some reading?! Actually, that’s a pretty good idea, so, until next time, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry:

  • Prince – Matt Thorne
  • Hitman Anders and the Meaning of it All – Jonas Jonasson
  • When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi
  • Marly’s Ghost – David Levithan
  • Mind Your Head – Juno Dawson
  • Cheer Up Love: Adventures in Depression With the Crab of Hate – Susan Calman
  • The Reader On the 6.27 – Jean-Paul Didierlaurent
  • How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the FA Cup – J. L. Carr
  • A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
  • Too Loud a Solitude – Bohumil Hrabal
  • Under the Frog – Tibor Fischer
  • A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
  • World Without End – Ken Follett
  • The Girl of Ink & Stars – Kiran Millwood Hargrave

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Filed under Autobiography/Biography, Blind Date With A Book, Books, European Literature, Humour, Mental Health, YA Books

New Books For Old!

Oxfam shop buys 1st April 2016

Good afternoon, fellow Bookworms!

Welcome to another blog, and I know it’s been a few days since the last, but Chief Bookworm has been dealing with the results of the recent sort-out she’s been having… Obviously, you will recall the sort-out as it resulted in me adding more books to the Duplicate Books List and ending up with 17 of them on there, but what you might not know is that I was having a clear-out as well, sussing out a few of my books which I have either read and finished with or am not likely to get round to reading, and I am in the process of giving those out to various charity shops in the local area. I’ve still got a few more to take, although I have already shifted a hell of a lot of books! This does make way for new books, of course. Well, they might be old, they might be second hand, but they are new to me and to my own personal library of reading matter!

We shall go back to last Friday, 1st April, although this is no April Fool’s joke, this stuff is true. I had an appointment in town, so while I was in Manchester, I visited the Oxfam shop on Oldham Street. It is not specifically an Oxfam Bookshop, unlike the one in Chorlton near where I used to work, but the shop does have a large selection of books, and the above photo shows what I acquired there, including Eric and Hogfather, two Discworld books by Sir Terry Pratchett, which I didn’t already have, a lovely copy of The Lady and the Unicorn, by Tracy Chevalier, which I had been after since my blog entry A Book For Belgium the other week, and I also found the non-fiction one, Musical Instruments Through the Ages, by Anthony Baines, for good measure.

Saturday, I was finally able to get to that Rotary Club bookshop in Eccles, on one of the rare occasions that it is open – only about twice a month, sadly – so I got three books for a quid there, as well as taking a load of books to them. I actually saw a copy of The Lady and the Unicorn there, and, yes, it would’ve been cheaper than the Oxfam shop, but I think I got a nicer edition the day before, so I’m not too sad. Plus, I wasn’t terribly sure if that Rotary Club shop was even going to be open or not, so the fact that it was is something of a bonus.

Eccles charity shop buys 2nd April 2016

These are the ones I got from Eccles, although The Hundred-Foot Journey, by Richard C. Morais, was from the British Heart Foundation shop, not the Rotary Club bookshop. That’s where the other three were from. Three for a quid there, so I picked up Maple Leaf Rag, by Stephen Brook, Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson, and Half Blood Blues, by Esi Edugyan.

Monton charity shop buys 5th April 2016

A further shufty, at charity shops close to home, brought these four the other day. I’d been in Eccles, then been to my dentist, and I was on Monton Road, so that was my excuse. Two from the Age UK shop, and two from the St Ann’s Hospice shop… From Age UK, I picked up Tulip Fever, by Deborah Moggach, and A Season in Red, by Kirsty Needham, a non-fiction account about her life in China. From the St Ann’s Hospice shop, I picked  up White Truffles in Winter, by N. M. Kelby, and Orfeo, by Richard Powers.

On the audiobook front, I took back Ghostwritten, by David Mitchell, as that one is on my laptop and I am part-way through listening to it and following it in the paperback, but I did renew The Snowman, by Jo Nesbo, as I need to get that put on my laptop, as I do with Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, by Lisa See, but that book is due back at Eccles Library next week, so I still have a bit more time to get that on my computer. The Snowman needs 14 CDs putting on, Snow Flower only needs 9. Mind you, the biggest one which needs putting on is Citadel, by Kate Mosse. However, that is my own audiobook, I have bought that one, so I will take my time over the 21 CDs I need. Plus, I haven’t actually got that book in paperback or hardback, so there’s plenty of time yet! I quite like to have the book as well, if only for Goodreads purposes. I don’t know what page an audiobook would actually be up to if I didn’t have a physical copy, and I do like to keep track of it. I do have a copy of Snow Flower in paperback. I don’t have Citadel, but I do have a couple of others by Kate Mosse. Big chunky works of historical fiction, that author certainly doesn’t do Handbag Books, does she?! The slimmest of her works is The Winter Ghosts.

Obviously, even with offloading old books of mine, I’ve brought new ones in and I am always in need of bookmarks! Yeah, I use anything, and it’s not uncommon for me to shove used bus or tram passes into my reading matter, but I really enjoy making my own bookmarks, particularly as it gives me the excuse to do some more cross-stitch! These are a couple I finished off the other day! Two floral ones stitched onto coloured aida. Both the patterns were for filet crochet, but I convert such things to cross stitch! I often have a few ongoing, and started one yesterday which will have dogs on it. I don’t have a particular book in mind for it, though, nor do I have a particular book in mind for either of those two in the photos.

Book club tomorrow night. Not that I’ve read much of High Rise, but I will be attending. Maybe some time soon, we’ll choose one which will really grab me again, and not cause me to be distracted by other books instead. It’s not that they’re bad books, but some of the choices have not been my cup of tea, or, even if they did interest me a little, they didn’t hold my interest enough to stick with them. Also, in recent years, I’ve struggled with bouts of reader’s block. I’d say, in the past four years, I’ve had some real issues with reading. In the more distant past, even if I’d had a bout of depression, I would still read a fair bit. It was one of the only things I could actually be arsed to do when I was depressed.

However, since 2012, there have been times when I didn’t even feel like reading. I have read quite a bit since the end of last year, but those bouts of reader’s block may have accounted for a lot of hardly-read books amongst my Book Club books. A lot of those of which I only read a tiny bit were amongst those I have given to the charity shops in my recent sort-outs. A couple of books helped get me reading again towards the end of last year, neither of them were Book Club choices, mind! I enjoyed both The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein, and Why the Dutch Are Different, by Ben Coates.

I need a good read to get me over my recent stress, caused by a former friend of mine, whose whole attitude towards me had been driving me nuts for some time, and it reached the last straw on Friday when she commented LOL to a serious post I had shared on Facebook. I felt that summed up her whole lack of respect for my feelings, and I unfriended her. In one way, I am relieved, but I do feel very disappointed that it came to this. I had tried dropping hints, and had done so on FB, in private messages, and via this blog a few entries ago when I went off on a bit of a rant, so I have given her lots of clues, lots of chances, but she has failed to take the hint with any one of them. I will still see her at band, but I can’t see how we can be friends unless she can somehow learn to accept me as I am. It’s either that, or just leave me alone. I am NOT Eliza Dolittle, this is NOT Pygmalion! I am NOT here on earth as a part of some stupid bet or game, for someone to try to change me into something I’m not! Anyone who thinks I am can take a long walk off a short cliff!

So, I shall now return to my books, or my bookmarks, and leave you to enjoy the blog! Take care, and, until next time, Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry:

  • Eric – Sir Terry Pratchett
  • Hogfather – Sir Terry Pratchett
  • The Lady and the Unicorn – Tracy Chevalier
  • Musical Instruments Through the Ages – Anthony Baines
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey – Richard C. Morais
  • Maple Leaf Rag – Stephen Brook
  • Life After Life – Kate Atkinson
  • Half Blood Blues – Esi Edugyan
  • Tulip Fever – Deborah Moggach
  • A Season in Red – Kirsty Needham
  • White Truffles in Winter – N. M. Kelby
  • Orfeo – Richard Powers
  • Ghostwritten – David Mitchell
  • The Snowman – Jo Nesbo
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan – Lisa See
  • Citadel  – Kate Mosse
  • The Winter Ghosts – Kate Mosse
  • High Rise – J. G. Ballard
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain – Garth Stein
  • Why the Dutch are Different – Ben Coates
  • Pygmalion – George Bernard Shaw

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Filed under Books, Charity Shop Bargains, Cross-Stitch, E-Books & Audiobooks, Historical Fiction, Humour, Mental Health, Music, My Bookworm History, Non-Fiction, Rants, Reader's Block

NeverEnding Story

neverending story

Good evening, fellow bookworms!

Another blog entry for  your reading pleasure, lol! The title refers to my infamous To Be Read list, of which I will never reach the end, rather than the book, film or the record by Limahl in the 80s! For the record, The Neverending Story is the English translation of a German fantasy novel by Michael Ende, published in 1979, originally Die unendliche Geschichte, the film of which was released in 1984. Limahl’s single was the title song from the said film and released in the charts in early 1984, reaching number 4 here in the UK singles charts. Perhaps I ought to read the book. Then again, perhaps I should just read Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, another fantasy novel originally in German. I do have a copy of Inkheart handy, whereas I’d have to acquire the other book.

Anyway, the Never Ending Story is incorrect as a title as the story clearly DOES end! Which is more than can be said for my TBR list, especially as recommendations are never far away and they come from all sorts of sources. Friends, family, Facebook, List Challenges… Don’t start me on that last one! I see so many other books which sound interesting when I am going through any chosen list and clicking on the books I have at least partially-read!

I have been giving out some surplus books, the ones I mentioned the other day as being ex book club books. I have gift-aided them to a few charity shops in Monton and Eccles. I was going to take a couple to the Barton Arms in Worsley, but, sadly, to my enormous disappointment, they had a refurbishment in January and no longer have the bookshelves to do the book swap service they used to offer. You could either buy a book for 50p in aid of St Ann’s Hospice if you didn’t have one of your own with you, or you could swap your book(s) for theirs if you did. This was how I got hold of Girl With A Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier a year or two ago. I think I parted company with The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, a book club book I didn’t really get started with. Booker Prize winner, though, so that says it all, really!

I might have mentioned this issue before, but what is it about prize-winning books? Sure, it’s not true of ALL of them, and I enjoyed Life of Pi by Yann Martell when I read that some years ago now. That was a Booker Prize winner, but it was readable! It is possible! However, it could be the case that some authors just set out to write a book with book prize judging panels in mind, rather than having a wide readership in mind. Yes, all right, the prize might help shift a few more extra copies at Waterstone’s, but I would be very interested to find out just how much time elapses between the initial victory and increase in sales at the book’s original RRP (recommended retail price, which would probably be something like £7.99 or more), before it fetches up on the shelf of a charity shop for 99p!

I mean, have you seen the most recent Booker Prize winner? A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James. Except, it’s hardly brief, is it, Mr James?! Page count of 704 pages! If that is brief, I dread to think what a longer history of seven killings would’ve been like! Probably about the same as a certain epic novel by Leo Tolstoy…

If a book won a prize, the Booker Prize in particular, maybe the best strategy would be to wait until you see a copy in a charity shop for 99p, or a church fair for 50p, or whatever, and risk it for a biscuit then! If it turns out to be readable and you enjoy it, you got yourself a bargain, and if you couldn’t get into it, you’ve not made too much of a loss on it when you give it to another charity shop or church fair!

Books SHOULDN’T be hard-going! On the whole, books really should be enjoyable and readable by many! We need to encourage people to read, not put them off! Literary prizes are a form of book snobbishness, and I can’t stand all that! On a similar note, I am about to post a link to an interesting idea from Book Riot…

10 Best Books I’ve Never Read

In no particular order, here are a few of mine… Many are genres rather than any particular novel, but one or two might be authors or a particular book.

  1. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy. OK, it’s true that I have read almost 300 pages of it thus far, but it’s over 1000 pages long, and it is hyper-descriptive. You want to slap Tolstoy and tell him to get to the point! Does he really have to be that descriptive? I’m sure there’s a lot he could’ve left out and it would still have made sense…
  2. Booker Prize winners. As mentioned above, with the honourable exception of Life of Pi, many BP winners in recent years have been unreadable, hard to get into. They are writing for a select shortlist of people, a few select book critics who seem to want something specific in the literature they plough through, and what they’re looking for is probably what the rest of us don’t give a toss about!
  3. Anything by Ayn Rand. I don’t know what it is, but when I go on List Challenges, I see her books on so many lists. I think I am put off because I either heard or read that her books leaned towards a right-wing perspective, so I am avoiding her works on the grounds that they would probably annoy me and do my blood pressure and/or mental health no good whatsoever! I am, and always have been, very much left-wing. I cannot abide the right-wing, and the further right they lean, the more they disgust me! As I’ve said before on these blogs, I think such people are heartless, greedy, selfish, uncaring bastards and a disgrace to humanity! So, Ayn Rand can do one!
  4. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Nothing against any of her other novels, indeed I have read Surfacing (back in my uni days, a long time ago), and The Year of the Flood, and I quite enjoyed the latter, but the setting of The Handmaid’s Tale would just anger me too much, I’d want to kill every single character who represented and enforced the sexist establishment in that novel! In the best interests of my blood pressure and anger management, I am deliberately avoiding that book forever!
  5. Horror novels. For the same reason I avoid horror films. I am a wuss and I do NOT enjoy having the living shit scared out of me! I was NOT one of those teens who read Stephen King novels. My sister read a fair few at that age, but not me! I know not all of his are horror, I might be able to find a few of his readable without causing nightmares, but I would have to be advised very carefully on that front!
  6. Chick Lit. With the honourable exception of the Bridget Jones books by Helen Fielding, which I read and enjoyed, I find very little to relate to in this genre. As I said in previous blogs, I’m just not a womany woman! I am far more blokey and would much prefer to read stuff like Fight Club than read about some shoe-obsessed or diet-obsessed woman! I especially love reading about football or music. Or both!
  7. Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers. If you’ve seen the film that many times because it’s on telly every Christmas, do you really need to read the book? I’ve never read the actual book, and will admit I didn’t even know, for years, that it was originally a book. I’ve grown up knowing this story as a musical film which was always on television at holiday times, particularly Christmas, but I’m pretty sure it’s been shown at Easter as well. So, is the book actually necessary? Same goes for a few other stories, particularly folk tales and suchlike, which have become so well known in their animated form (Disney films, usually) that you know the story without ever having read the book. Pinocchio (by Carlo Collodi) also springs to mind here.
  8. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I actually own a copy of this book, which is lurking somewhere in my room, but I ask a similar question about this novel as I do with Mary Poppins – If you’ve seen the musical, and you own a copy of the cast recording, do you really need to read the novel given that you already know the plot?! Can I not just listen to “Do You Hear The People Sing?” or “Master of the House” – I’d probably be listening to the cast recording, anyway, if I did attempt to plod through the novel! Anyway, while we’re mentioning Victor Hugo, it reminds me of when I was at high school, learning French. When you get to that section in your textbook about learning to ask for directions, and there is a town plan on the page for some fictitious French town, there is ALWAYS a Rue Victor Hugo, isn’t there?! There is also always an Avenue Charles de Gaulle! It must be the rules! I did French to A-Level. I know these things! I know this much is true, as Spandau Ballet would put it!
  9. Literary Theory/Criticism books. This is one of those categories of books which I have had to read in the past, during my uni days, and which I have neither the need nor inclination to pursue further. I enjoyed my degree, don’t get me wrong, but some modules on the literature side of my degree were a tad dull and dry, and I’m pretty sure you can guess which ones those were! Yep, the “lit-crit” modules. The ones which press you to over-analyse nearly every damn thing in any given novel from a certain perspective! I am through with hyper-analysis! Since graduating in 1994, I have been free to enjoy books as they are, and, if I do want to read anything into them, that is my own decision!
  10. Self-help books. Yep, to end with, let’s look at another genre of books I HAVE previously read from, but which I now wish to decline in terms of further reading. I am not sure that they are as helpful as they like to make out. I believe they make rather too many wrongful ASSumptions. (Never assume – it makes an ass out of u and me!) I think these books over-simplify as much as the previous genre over-analyse! They seem to treat the reader as though there is a “one size fits all” solution to whatever their problem might be, and there certainly isn’t!

I don’t think this final category of books takes introverts into account, nor do they account for a huge range of disabilities their potential readership may have. This is the real world! Shit happens. A lot of shit! Thus, there are a lot of problems which CAN’T be overcome, and implying that the reader is making excuses is just going to make them feel WORSE than they were before they started reading! We are human beings, not robots! Plenty of us have LEGITIMATE limitations which we can’t overcome. We’ve tried and failed countless times! For someone, or some book, to then come along and try to suggest that the reader hasn’t tried hard enough, or that they’re making it up, is crass, thoughtless and hurtful in the extreme, and does them far more harm than good!

I am not negative. I am neutral. I respond according to how I’m treated. The problem is that I’ve had to put up with too much negative treatment, including pushiness and bossiness. They say that a definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. People have tried the pushy approach again and again, and every time it pushes me back into my shell. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to them to think up a fresh approach. An approach which showed affection and gentle encouragement might be a good idea… In fact, it might be a VERY good idea…

I have never responded well to pushiness and bossiness. That approach does not work for me. It makes me want to head off in the opposite direction as fast as my slow little body will allow! It makes me retreat into my shell. I have always been like this, certainly for donkey’s years since I started school, and I finished my compulsory education over a quarter of a century ago!  Some people have a decision to make – either change their approach towards me, or leave me the hell alone and go and find someone of a similar nature to themselves!

Apologies, but that last category set me off on a bit of a rant, something which needed saying. I doubt certain people will take any of it on board, though. They’ll just do the usual… When I post the blog on my Facebook timeline, they’ll give it a “like” without really having read this and understood what I was trying to get over! Those wanting a positive response need to treat me positively. They could start by believing me, taking my word for it.

I have something wrong with me. Always have had, always will. I tried my damnedest to overcome a lot of physical difficulties, but many of them remained impossible to overcome by the time I left high school in 1989. 12 years of significant effort every damn PE lesson went completely unrewarded. I got to 16. I was still shit, and I was still the object of ridicule. I wonder, sometimes, if people think I actually LIKE being shit at physical activities! I am NOT doing it on purpose! I genuinely CAN’T do things others take for granted, and I HATE the fact that I can’t do these things! I also HATE the fact that some people don’t seem to believe that and insinuate that I ought to go through all that hell again just for their benefit! NO! Believe me or bugger off!

Further apologies for this blog entry going into extra time, and I haven’t even listed the books mentioned in tonight’s entry yet! Feels like ages ago since I mentioned books, and I probably need to go and read something pleasant. That last point on my list was too much of a reminder for me about matters which piss me off enormously! I’d be fine if people just let me be me, but, unfortunately, some people don’t seem to want to let me be myself…

I shall try to keep it at least a little shorter next time! Thanks to anyone who has seen this through to the very end tonight! Until next time, when I hope to return to the joy of books throughout the entire entry, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned somewhat earlier in this blog entry before my rant…

  • The Neverending Story – Michael Ende
  • Inkheart – Cornelia Funke
  • Girl With A Pearl Earring – Tracy Chevalier
  • The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton
  • Life of Pi – Yann Martell
  • A Brief History of Seven Killings – Marlon James
  • War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  • The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  • Surfacing – Margaret Atwood
  • The Year of the Flood – Margaret Atwood
  • Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk
  • Mary Poppins – P.L. Travers
  • Pinocchio – Carlo Collodi
  • Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

 

 

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Filed under Arsehole Politicians, Books About Books, Charity Shop Bargains, Childrens' Books, Fantasy Fiction, Foreign Languages, Free Books, Literary Issues, Mental Health, My Bookworm History, Rants, School, College & Uni Reading, Sports, Uncategorized

Blind Date With A Book (Or Two!)

Books 2

Good afternoon, fellow Bookworms!

Long time no blog, I know, but I am back again! As this is my first blog of 2016, even though we’re now well into February, let me wish you all a Happy New Year. We have just had Chinese New Year, of course, so I also wish all fellow Bookworms a Happy and Prosperous Year of the Monkey! Kung Hei Fat Choi! 🙂

Anyway, enough monkey business, lol, let’s get down to the nitty gritty and start mentioning our best friends… books! Anyone else on List Challenges?! If so, aren’t they addictive? I’d done a few on and off via Facebook, both in the book category and the travel category, and I think it must have been some time towards the end of 2015 when I found myself signing up to List Challenges and doing them on a nightly basis, practically! I’ve created a fair few lists of my own now, some travel ones and some book ones, and that brings me neatly onto this blog, as I have recently published a list of all the books I have ever mentioned on these very blogs! I decided that I would list every book I’d mentioned from when I started in August 2010 right up to last summer, June 2015, when I previously blogged on reading matter.

Bearing in mind that I firmly believe in listing any series as individual books, i.e. all 7 Harry Potter books, 7 Chronicles of Narnia, 3 Lord of the Rings, etc, the full list of books mentioned from 2010 to 2015 ran to 207 different books! Of those books, I have personally read 95 of them in full, and half-read another 30 of them, meaning I have read at least a bit of 125 different books, 60% of my list. My percentage of fully-read books is 46%. Mentioning them on this blog means I shall have to start off my next blog book challenge with all those books again, but I don’t care! I will list things as I go in future, then any previously unmentioned books can be added to the list, and I will publish the list either every year or every 2 years, depending on how many times I have blogged and how long the list is getting. We’re well under way as it is – with those three series of books, that’s 17 books in total already!

Anyway, I was in Waterstone’s yesterday. No surprises there, I hear you say, as I’m frequently in Waterstone’s, hence my TBR pile grows ever longer! Went a bit mad on the book-buying front, including a few which have intrigued me when I saw them on List Challenges book lists, such as Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, the latter of which was mentioned in a list of David Bowie’s favourite reads, as well as featuring on quite a few other lists, so it seems quite popular. The late great Starman loved a good read, and in all the tributes to him since he passed away last month, mention was made of the fact that he would take around 400 or so books on tour with him! Bookshops have not been slow to get their tributes on the shelves with books about Bowie highlighted in the Music section, and I recently bought Paul Trynka’s Starman, which claims to be the definitive biography.

Back to yesterday’s purchases, though, and the photo at the top of this blog… Amongst the books I bought in my mad spree were these two wrapped in brown paper and string. With Valentine’s Day coming up this Sunday, the idea is to have a Blind Date With A Book, so I have taken a chance on a couple of them. Therefore, I don’t know what these two books are yet. They will be listed once I have unwrapped them. For now, they remain mysterious books! This is what it says on the tags…

“A chilling look at the havoc a teenage girl can create. Stylish, sultry and amoral.”

“This is the novel I have given as a gift the most. It is sad and uplifting and about all the ways in which humans try to communicate and love.”

I can see a little through the brown paper of the book with the first clue, so I feel I know what that one is, I think it might be Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan, but I can’t make out the second one, so that really is a blind date with a book!

“He never went out without a book under his arm, and he often came back with two.”

– Victor Hugo.

Sounds like my kind of man, the fella being described there by Victor Hugo! Very wise not to go anywhere without at least one book. You might need it if you get stuck in a traffic jam. I have often found this to be an issue when on a bus home, particularly of late as there are some road closures in parts of Eccles having a knock-on effect around the area. I also find that as soon as the bus is nearing Monton, traffic seems to grind to a halt, or at least the very slow crawl of a particularly arthritic tortoise! Therefore it’s a good job I have a few books in my handbag! I have found that if they are slim books, I can get two or three in there as well as my wallet and other essentials. Currently in my handbag, you will find The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide, Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk (oops, I’ve already broken the first rule, lol), and An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, which is causing me much amusement! I had already read The Fault In Our Stars by the same author, and decided on this one as my next read of his, a wise choice really, as I’d finished My Heart And Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga. I enjoyed that one very much, but needed a lighter subject matter after reading it, so Colin’s tale of being dumped by 19 girls all named Katherine was the ideal solution!

It means that even if I don’t take my big bag with me, and only have my handbag, I have at least some choice of reading matter should I need it! I guess I could also take my Kindle with me, providing me with hundreds of books on the go! I tend to take that when I’m on my travels a bit further afield than going in to Manchester or Salford, though! Holidays overseas, where I need a suitcase and there are weight limits to consider when packing for one’s jollies!

http://www.listchallenges.com/books-mentioned-in-the-joannes-bookshelf-book-blog

That is the link for the book list challenge relating to my previous five years of blogging on here! I hope it works when I publish this. If you are new to my blogs, welcome to Joanne’s Bookshelf, glad you have found this site and feel free to read through my old blogs to give yourself an idea of what I’m like and what I read! It’s pretty varied, I’d say. All sorts of books take my fancy, although you won’t find much chick-lit on here, and not really that many books in the way of crime writing or thrillers, either, unless I’ve had to read them for the book club I belong to. I read fiction and non-fiction, I like books which make me laugh, also books about music or football usually go down well with me. I don’t really care for having the living shit scared out of me, so you won’t find much horror on here, and I’m a very blokey kind of woman, hence the lack of “chick lit” with the possible exception of Bridget Jones’s Diary, lol! I read a fair bit of YA, and quite enjoy it. I find it to have quite a lot of substance to it in many cases.

I always end each blog entry with a list of books I’ve mentioned during the course of that entry. From now on, any book not previously mentioned will also be added to the list on List Challenges, and the full list will be published when I determine that there have been plenty of books mentioned and we need to put it out there and see who’s read these books I’ve been waffling on about! I have finished my waffle for now, so, until next time, Happy Reading! Feel free to leave any (constructive) comments and book recommendations. If you are a spammer, though, you can do one!

Books mentioned in this blog entry:

  • The Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling
  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy – J.R.R. Tolkein
  • The Chronicles of Narnia series – C.S. Lewis
  • Stargirl – Jerry Spinelli
  • Flowers For Algernon – Daniel Keyes
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Diaz
  • David Bowie:Starman: The Definitive Biography – Paul Trynka
  • Bonjour Tristesse – Francoise Sagan (Mysterious Book 1, I think)
  • Mysterious Book 2 (not opened it yet)*
  • The Guest Cat – Takashi Hiraide
  • Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk
  • An Abundance of Katherines – John Green
  • The Fault In Our Stars – John Green
  • My Heart And Other Black Holes – Jasmine Warga
  • Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

* Mysterious Book 2 will be listed on List Challenges once I know what the hell it is, lol!

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Filed under Blind Date With A Book, Books, Fantasy Fiction, Handbag Books, List Challenges, Mental Health, Music, The TBR Pile, YA Books