Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 reads...

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
Paperback. Passed on to me by Daughter. Started 1st January - finished 23rd January
This is set in Mississippi 1962, "Where black maids raise white children, but aren't trusted not to steal the silver". A brilliant read, the characters so well described both in looks and personality. It made me laugh out loud and feel very sad too.

Grammar-Land by M L Nesbitt
An on-going dip-into reference book on the correct use of English grammar.
Published 1878. Started 10th January
Downloaded free to my Kobo reader. Recommended by a HomeEd blogger.

Crossing the Paradise Line by Annabel Giles
Paperback. Bought for me by Hubby for my birthday 2011 but only getting round to reading it now.
Started 2/2/2013 - finished 19/2/2013 (delayed by knitting then got a cold so curled up and read the book quickly)
Really enjoyed this light read with a very amusingly exaggerated story line. Annabel is brilliant at describing her characters. Very predictable happy ending.

The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
Paperback. Bought for me by HelenM for my birthday 2012 but only getting round to reading it now. Winner of the Man Booker prize 2010.
Started 20/2/2013 - finished 13/05/2013
Yes it took me so long to reach the end because basically I didn't enjoy it. Why oh why can I not give up on a book as soon as I realise it's not my thing? Guess I'm always hopeful that it's going to get better!
Though there are various characters with different agendas, to me the whole thing was just a crazy, twisted analysis of Zionists, anti-Semitics and what it means to be a Jew (guess that's why my friend thought it would appeal). It is written in the most convoluted and confusing way and the Jewish references made me both angry and sad. It has gone straight into the charity collection bag!

Pedigree Mum by Fiona Gibson
Paperback. Bought for me by FayeL as a thank you for collecting her cat from the vet.
Started 14/5/2013 - finished 5/6/2013
Lovely light read, enough humour and character descriptions to keep me smiling at events happening to people I felt I understood well.

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappesred  by Jonas Jonasson
Paperback. Borrowed from Alf
Started 5/6/2013 - finished 5/7/2013
An excellent read, very funny and a very different type of story line to anything I've read before which includes totally outrageous events wrapped around true historical events. Would recommend it to everyone.

The Defrosting of Charlotte Small by Annabel Giles
Paperback. Bought for me by Hubby for my birthday 2011 but only getting round to reading it now.
Started 6/7/2013 - finished 9/7/2013
A well written story with larger than life characters. Good descriptions of the depths of despair to a happy ending.

Trouble in Mudbug by Jana DeLeon
eBook. Free download to Kobo on the Playbook
Started 13/7/2013 - finished 31/07/2013
A fun but very light-weight story line with only a few main characters, one of which is a ghost!

Infant Barbarian by Jenny Worstall
eBook. Free download to Kindle reader on the Playbook
Started 3/8/2013 - finished 10/8/2013
This is actually two short stories. The first one "Old School" and the second one "Infant Barbarian" are very light reads with a moral tale.

Two Brothers by Ben Elton
Hardback. Loaned to me by Ann and David
Started 14/9/2013 - finished 24/913
Set in Berlin 1920. Description on the front cover reads "As Germany marches towards its Nazi Armageddon, the ties of family, friendship and love are tested to the very limits of endurance. And the brothers are faced with an unimaginable choice..."
An excellent read, seeing a very well known part of history from the perspective of just a few people. It was tragic and amusing and horrific and felt so so real. At the end of the book Ben Elton explains how the characters and events, although fiction, closely relates to the people and history if his very own family. How hard it must have been for his relatives to relive the events to give him details and how hard for Ben to hear what had happened to his own family.

Bermondsey Boy by Tommy Steele
Paperback. Loaned to me by DaveJ
Started 26/9/2013 - finished 02/11/2013
Really enjoyed this and it only took me so long because of my kidney operation when I didn't feel like reading anything! Even though it was an East End era before mine I enjoyed all the references to East London life. I clearly remember Tommy Steele and found it interesting to read all he'd done before being a celebrity. Very well written too.

Witch Weigh by Caroline Mickelson
eBook. Free download to Kindle reader on the Playbook.
Started 8/11/2013 (coach trip to Luxembourg) - finished 10/11/13
Very very light read, romance between a rebel witch and a drop dead gorgeous male fairy......perfect rubbish for sitting on a coach.

No It's Us Too by Miranda Hart + General Public
eBook. Free download to Kindle reader on the Playbook.
Started sometime this year and dipped into occasionally - finished 18/11/13
Very amusing collection of tweets about embarrassing situations. 

Dear Fatty by Dawn French
Hardback. A lend from TrishaH
Started 5/12/2013 - finished 31/12/2013
A lovely biog written as letters to people important to her. Sometimes trying too hard to be funny but mostly a good read. I was though a little sad to read all the lovely things she'd written about her life with Lenny and what a great man he is, now I know that they have since ended their marriage if more than 25 years!

And as you've probably guessed I've sat here for the last two hours in my dressing gown just so I could finish this book and consequently this post this year!

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

A magical eve.....

A Visit from St. Nicholas

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blixen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Ho ho ho.....

It's that time of year when we are being bombarded by advertising and even lots of my favourite bloggers are earning by posting trial reviews, sponsored articles, paying guests etc

Me, I'm posting this...

Disclosure: No-one asked me to and I haven't been paid to or compensated in any way.
The opinion is my own, that it is mildly funny like the groan of a cracker joke, so worth sharing. 


Saturday, 14 December 2013

Don't bother reading.....

So much done and so much still to do,
shopping and struggling with what to get for the last few,
wrapping what I've already got,
printing lists and ticking them off,
menu planning and adding to the online supermarket basket,
swearing that the online supermarket keeps timing out for no apparent reason,
the 'alternative' panto,
the granddaughter's drama group performance,
buying and altering clothing for Christmas dinners,
organising and enjoying a Christmas dinner with x-work mates,
looking forward to another Christmas dinner with a crowd of friends, and
babysitting so Daughter could go to M's Christmas dinner.

However as EVERYONE is doing the same just now I won't bother blogging about it.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Theatre, So not a pantomime......

This is one of my fun Christmas time traditions and this year's definitely was fun!

The Brontes of Dunwich Heath (& Cliff)

About "The Brontes of Dunwich Heath (& Cliff)"

Eastern Angles proudly present their alternative festive extravaganza, The Brontes of Dunwich Heath (and Cliff).
Join Mad Cath, Plain Jane and a panoply of off-the-wall characters, as literature and laughs combine in this musical Christmas caper.
Prepare for a whole lot of wacky Wuthering!