Category Archives: Mental Health

Mystic Mince Pies, Hot Milk, and Traffic Jams…

Hot Milk and Mr Dickens

Hello again, fellow Bookworms!

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the books are so delightful! Yep, we’ve had some snow today at Bookworm Central, lol! Some actual snow, as opposed to the usual attempt to snow in the UK. We have a kind of weather which I would describe as “Trying To Snow” which is when there’s a very minor flurry but nowt else, lol! However, at several times during the course of the day so far, it has been snowing. There has been some rain in between times so that has washed it away, but we have had snow. Not enough to build a snowman, not round here, unless you make a mini snowman on a garden wall or something.

Been a busy old week, and not over yet considering it is scheduled to be the Manchester Derby tomorrow at Old Trafford – snow permitting, of course! Anyway, I was at the match on Tuesday as United played CSKA Moscow in our final group game. Prior to the game, Dad came round for tea as we were going in his car, as has happened frequently this season. After our chilli con carne, we had some mince pies and squirty cream, and when Dad squirted cream on his pies, it looked like a 2 on one pie, and a 1 on the other, so he said that would be the score that night…

Not best pleased at half-time when we were trailing to a blatantly offside “goal” which should never have stood. Thankfully, in the second half, we turned things around in the space of three minutes midway through the half, with Romelu Lukaku equalising before Marcus Rashford put us ahead… and that reminded me of the pies and squirty cream, lol! 2-1 it remained, so when I got back in the car with Mum & Dad, the talk was of the Mystic Mince Pies, lol! Never mind your “Paul the Octopus” predicting winning sides in the World Cup, we had Mystic Mince Pies predicting the scoreline in United’s Champions League match!

So, we have won our group and we are through to the knockout stages, which start in mid-February. European football has a winter break, although we will find out on Monday who we have got in the first knockout round. As we have won our group, we will be away in the first leg, and at home in the second. It’s better that way, because if you don’t get a particularly good result in the first leg, you know you’ve got home advantage which can really help to turn things around in the second leg! Having said that, when we did the Treble in 1999, our quarter final and semi final ties against Inter Milan and Juventus saw United have the home leg first, and away leg second, and we still ended up winning the trophy!

Right, that’s the footy done, on to the books, lol!

Didn’t get any more of my book read in time for book club the next night, but I did get 70% read, so was mostly able to participate in the discussions, and I will finish it off – after all, I have just under a third left to read of The Good People. After our discussion, for which there were five of us, with Stephanie rejoining the fold as well as the four of us from last month – myself, Michelle, Nick and Diane, we discussed the next book and whether we should read something Christmassy, or deliberately un-Christmassy, and I said perhaps we should make it something reasonably short as we might not get a lot of time to get some reading in over the festive season! So, with a couple of us already owning a copy, we went for something fairly short and set in the summer, Hot Milk, by Deborah Levy. Our next meeting is on 10th January to give us a bit more time to read after Christmas and New Year!

Prior to the start of the book club, I met up with three of my colleagues from my days at Manchester DBC – June Padley, Anne Emmott, and Martin Biddles! It was great to be able to have a chat with them again and catch up a bit, also to be able to let them know I am working again at the moment. It was Martin’s birthday, so I guess that’s why they had met up. I said I’d seen one colleague fairly recently, Janice, as she volunteers at one of the charity shops here in Monton, and I am still in touch with quite a few people from my decade at Albert Bridge House on Facebook, and one or two on Instagram.

Right, anyway, I already had Hot Milk, as I said above, but I did buy myself something rather festive on the book front while I was at Waterstone’s, that being Mr Dickens and His Carol, by Samantha Silva. Something suitably seasonal, especially if our stupid weather insists on giving us the white stuff this year!

Chocs and books 2017

Thursday night, after work, Mum and I went off to the Lowry Centre on Salford Quays, as we had a voucher for Pizza Express, so we went in the shops first before we dined, and I stocked up on chocolate from the Cadbury’s shop, as you can see, lol, and a couple of cheap books from The Works, picking up The Snow Globe, by Sheila Roberts, and Hygge and Kisses, by Clara Christensen. Maybe not quite Christmassy as such, but certainly a plot which suggests cosiness, and that’s what many of us want at this time of year!

Then we come to yesterday, and the reason I ended up having to get a bus into Eccles today after my hairdo – I had to get my bus and tram pass, which was what I intended to do after work yesterday, and I got on a bus in decent enough time in Swinton, and headed on into town… except that when the bus actually got into Manchester, it was just bloody crawling along Bridge Street and taking an eternity! I knew I wasn’t going to be able to make it across town to the travel shop in Piccadilly Gardens before it closed at 6pm, so I was a bit pissed off to say the least! But, I was in town, so I thought I might as well do the other stuff, in other words get myself something to eat from the Christmas markets, and as I was on that side of town, and the shop was open for a while yet, I went in Waterstone’s.

Traffic jam compensation books December 2017

Yes, I know. But I was so damn annoyed at the traffic jam that I felt I needed some retail therapy, so off I went into my natural habitat, lol, and came out with three books – Furiously Happy, by Jenny Lawson, The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k, by Sarah Knight, and Warcross, by Marie Lu. I have mentioned the “not giving a f**k” book before, I think. I already like to think that I give fewer “flying ones” than I used to, but I felt this book would be good anyway! It would be a vindication of my general reduction of f**k-giving, so to speak!

Most of the stuff on telly these days is hardly worth giving a f**k about, especially reality TV shows! Unless they’re about food. I like Masterchef, although I probably shouldn’t watch stuff like that. Cookery programmes make me hungry, lol! I remember watching Ken Hom’s Chinese Cookery late at night on BBC2 when I was a teenager in the late 80s, and that used to make me ridiculously hungry! I absolutely LOVE Chinese food! Always have done since I was very little!

I have half a mind to read Warcross and Ready Player One back-to-back as I feel the premise of both books is pretty similar, and Furiously Happy is a book I have seen on a lot of lists on List Challenges, and people have said, in reviews, that it’s very funny.

I was going to add that, if you want “very funny”, you should definitely read This is Going to Hurt, by Adam Kay, but I’ve been saying that already for a few blogs now, lol! Been saying it since about September or October! Another book I would recommend if you want a good laugh is Cheer Up Love: Adventures in Depression with the Crab of Hate, by Susan Calman. I came upon that one by chance – I just happened to notice it a year or so ago when it was out in hardback and was being promoted in the Arndale Centre branch of Waterstone’s…

One of those times when you start reading a book in a bookshop, and you just know you’re going to have to take it to the counter and buy it because it’s too good not to buy! I didn’t even know who the author was at the time, turns out she’s a Scottish comedienne, but the fact that it was at least a bit about depression interested me – I’ve had a few bouts of that over the years, so I have experience of how shite it is when you’re going through it, and the “Crab of Hate” part of the title amused me, so I picked a copy off the shelf and started reading… and started laughing! It is on my list of books which have made me laugh my arse off, so if you want a good giggle, give it a try!

(Shite is a technical term, by the way!)

I think that’s about it, although I did pick up a couple of cheap books at the Rotary Club shop in Eccles this afternoon as I was waiting for the travel shop to re-open after their lunch break, lol! I picked up Unholy Night, by Seth Grahame-Smith, and The Spy Who Came For Christmas, by David Morrell. Both sounded suitably seasonal. Seth Grahame-Smith is the same guy who did the Austen-reworking, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, lol! Anyway, until the next time, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry…

  • The Good People – Hannah Kent
  • Hot Milk – Deborah Levy
  • Mr Dickens and His Carol – Samantha Silva
  • The Snow Globe – Sheila Roberts
  • Hygge and Kisses – Clara Christensen
  • Furiously Happy – Jenny Lawson
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k – Sarah Knight
  • Warcross – Marie Lu
  • Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
  • This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay
  • Cheer Up Love: Adventures in Depression With the Crab of Hate – Susan Calman
  • Unholy Night – Seth Grahame-Smith
  • The Spy Who Came For Christmas – David Morrell
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Filed under Books, British Weather, Facebook & Other Social Media, Food & Drink, Football, Humour, List Challenges, Manc Stuff!, Mental Health, Non-Fiction, Ongoing Concerns, Television, The TBR Pile, Travel, Weather

Bad Medicine

this is going to hurt book

Warning: Reading this book may cause your sides to split.

Hello again, fellow Bookworms!

Open wide and say aah, lol! Bit of a medical theme tonight, really, on the book front. Hence the Bon Jovi song as blog title, although I could just as easily have opted for Doctor Doctor, a hit for the Thompson Twins back in the 80s. But, Bad Medicine it is! So, I’m prescribing this mad, waffly blog for you!

I doubt there’ll be any new books mentioned I’ve not already mentioned this year, though.

Not only am I still reading about the Nazi druggies in Blitzed, just over half way read now, book club a week away, but I am loving the book in the above photo This is Going to Hurt. Adam Kay is a former doctor, and these are incidents from his time in the medical profession before he became a comedian, and if you read it, you can see why he became a comedian! You may end up as a patient whose rectum has become detached from the rest of your body. In less than medical terms, you might laugh your arse off!

A look through my List Challenges list of all the books I’ve mentioned thus far this year throws up quite a few dealing with matters of life, death, health, illness and disability, some fiction, some non fiction, so instead of the one usual list at the end, there will be two for this one. One factual, one fictional, with lists of books and their medically-related themes. Some might just be vaguely on the subject, others might focus very much on the matters of life and death and all which comes in between. One or two books will be mentioned in the coming paragraphs, then there will be the two lists at the end of this blog.

APOLOGIES IN ADVANCE, BUT THERE’S PROBABLY GOING TO BE A FAIR FEW SPOILERS COMING UP HERE FOR SEVERAL BOOKS! SCROLL DOWN QUICKLY IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW!

Reasons to Stay Alive – Matt Haig. Author of The Radleys and The Humans, amongst other books, but this is his own personal tale of battling against severe mental health issues and the suicidal thoughts he was having at one point.

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak. Set in Nazi Germany just before and during World War II, so Death, the narrator, is exceptionally busy! One of my favourite books, I gave out copies for World Book Night in 2012.

Blitzed – Norman Ohler. My current book club book. Drug addiction on a grand scale, especially drug addiction dressed up as being respectable and in the national interest during the war effort!

The Novel Cure – Ella Berthoud. This book deals with Bibliotherapy, the concept of prescribing certain novels to help patients with a range of illnesses and other issues. This is the book which said Shantaram was a cure for constipation! I don’t know if it’s true or not, lol, as I’ve yet to attempt that epic novel, although I do own a copy and it’s hanging out right here by Computer Corner!

When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi. My favourite non-fiction book from last year! Paul was a surgeon who, himself, got cancer. He was helping other patients with cancer while having to deal with the fact he also had the disease.

A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara. My epic novel from last year, the one which caused a major Book Hangover, lol! 720 pages long, but well worth it. It’s a big pull emotionally, though, and issues of illness, disability, abuse and death run through it, hence it has to be mentioned on the Bad Medicine book blog!

A Quiet Kind of Thunder – Sara Barnard. Young adult novel, in which one of the main protagonists suffers from selective mutism, and the other main protagonist is deaf. British Sign Language plays a big part in this novel.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews. More YA fiction, this time with a couple of nerdy amateur film makers and a classmate with cancer…

The Fault In Our Stars – John Green. I know, this one’s pretty obvious to those who are well-up on their YA. Two teens meet and fall in love at a cancer support group, get to go over to Amsterdam due to a charity which grants terminally-ill youngsters a wish.

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old – Hendrik Groen. At the other end of the age scale, life in an old people’s care home in Amsterdam. Elderly care, dementia and death are the issues raised here. Fiction, I think, although probably based on a real Dutch OAP in an old folk’s home…

The Angry Chef – Anthony Warner. A recent read, obviously, but with all his advice on food and on diets, I think it should be included in our medically-themed blog!

One Italian Summer – Keris Stainton. YA novel, in which the main characters are sisters suffering bereavement after their dad had died suddenly, so this novel looks at themes of grief and coping with loss, especially when faced with a lot of reminders of the person you’ve lost.

Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom. Mitch returns to one of his former favourite teachers, finds him in seriously ill-health but still able to impart valuable lessons. Again, terminal illness, deterioration and death are prominent.

If I Stay – Gayle Forman. YA novel in which a promising cellist suffers multiple serious injuries and multiple loss. I really should stop giving out spoilers, though. As there’s a sequel, though, you already know she lives, albeit a very different kind of life from the one she’d had before the family car was ploughed into.

Pear Shaped – Adam Blain. Not sure if this is available in hard copy, but I read it a while ago on my Kindle and finished it earlier this year. The true tale of Adam’s brain cancer.

The Ten (Food) Commandments – Jay Rayner. One of them is about not mistaking food for pharmaceuticals, so it touches on some similar ground to Anthony Warner’s book. Indeed, there’s praise from Jay Rayner on the cover of Warner’s book.

Mind Your Head – Juno Dawson. Non-fiction young adult guide to mental health issues and where to get support.

I think that’s enough to be getting on with. They’ll be listed soon enough, along with a few others, plus the odd one or two non-medical mentions right at the end. Anyway, talking of medical, and of mental health, I really do think the men in white coats should hurry along to the White House! As if we didn’t already know that the Mango Mussolini was several sandwiches short of a full picnic basket, he really has gone and done it this time with perhaps the barmiest and most pointless decision ever…

You remember that travel ban of his? Where people from certain countries couldn’t go to the US of A? Well, look which country the dozy Dotard has added now…

North Korea.

Yep. North Koreans cannot visit the United States of America.

Hello! Earth calling Donald! Got some news for you, sunshine, and it sure as hell ain’t fake! Get this little fact into your stupid orange head, dipshit…

NORTH KOREANS AREN’T EVEN ALLOWED OUT OF NORTH KOREA!!!

I think this therefore constitutes The Most Pointless Ban Ever! It has to! In the long history of things being banned in various countries at various times for various dubious reasons, this has got to be the most ridiculous ban ever! Fancy banning people from something they already couldn’t do anyway?! I was trying to think of a more pointless ban, but I don’t think I am able to! The nearest I could get would be to ban someone from doing something they wouldn’t want to do anyway, for instance banning die-hard Stretford Enders, like myself, from ever swapping clubs and supporting Liverpool! That would be a pointless ban ’cause die-hard United fans wouldn’t dream of supporting that lot!

But if citizens can’t even leave their own country, no other country needs to worry about admitting them, therefore Donald’s ban is even more pointless than a pointless answer on the TV quiz show Pointless!

I would have said that Dodgy Donald had lost the plot, but that would imply that the Tango-tinted Twat had a plot to lose in the bloody first place! For the good of the whole planet, PLEASE get Donald under psychiatric care PDQ!!!

Well, that’s about enough about President Fart’s mental health, so I think we should get this finished off and those lists made! Until next time, which will probably be the September Review, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Some non-fiction books on a medical/health theme…

  • Blitzed – Norman Ohler (drug addiction)
  • This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay (life as a doctor)
  • Reasons to Stay Alive – Matt Haig (mental health)
  • The Novel Cure – Ella Berthoud (bibliotherapy)
  • When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi (surgery, cancer)
  • The Angry Chef – Anthony Warner (diets, food fads, health scares)
  • Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom (terminal illness, death)
  • Pear Shaped – Adam Blain (brain cancer)
  • The Ten (Food) Commandments – Jay Rayner (food is not medicine)
  • Mind Your Head – Juno Dawson (mental health, esp for teens)
  • This Is Your Brain On Music – Daniel Levitin (music and health, psychology)
  • Fragile Lives – Stephen Westaby (heart surgery)

Some fiction books with medical/health themes in them…

  • The Book Thief – Markus Zusak (death)
  • A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara (disability, mental health, drugs, abuse, death)
  • A Quiet Kind of Thunder – Sara Barnard (mutism, deafness)
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews (cancer)
  • The Fault In Our Stars – John Green (cancer, cancer support)
  • The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old – Hendrik Groen (old age, mobility, dementia, death)
  • One Italian Summer – Keris Stainton (bereavement, grief)
  • If I Stay – Gayle Forman (serious injury, loss, disability)
  • Me Before You – Jojo Moyes (severe disability, mental health)
  • The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje (injury, deformity, disability)
  • Wonder – R. J. Palacio (facial disfigurement)
  • All The Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr (blindness)
  • Veronika Decides to Die – Paulo Coelho (mental health)

And a few which were mentioned even though they’re not on a medical theme…

  • The Radleys – Matt Haig
  • The Humans – Matt Haig
  • Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts

 

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Filed under Arsehole Politicians, Autobiography/Biography, Books, Computer Corner, E-Books & Audiobooks, Food & Drink, Football, Handbag Books, Humour, List Challenges, Manc Stuff!, Mental Health, Music, Non-Fiction, Uncategorized, World Book Night

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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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