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Sunday Surfing 21/12/14


bird surf

Sunday Surfing is my weekly feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging. Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week.

Let’s get started.

Around the web this week

Amazon Removed a Book for Containing Too Many Hyphens It has since been put back on sale

The Most Recommended Book is To Kill a Mockingbird

Guardian Readers Think These Were the Best Books of 2014

Famous Writer’s Favourite Snacks

The Problems With Kindle

J.K Rowling’s Favourite Harry Potter Quote. I’m quite fond of this one too

A Report Says Libraries Should be More Like Coffee Shops. Hmm maybe if they had quiet corners

Which Children’s Book Character Are You? I got Bilbo Baggins

 

And on the blog this week…

The kids read weather books.

I’m at my partner’s parents next weekend so there may be no Sunday Surfing (or I may release it on Monday). I will certainly still be tweeting links though.

 

 

 

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Children’s Hour: Weather Books


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
The toddlers have been really interested in weather books recently. They’ve been asking to read Weather (Little Princess) and Weather (Learn With Thomas). In fact almost all the toddlers came and listened to one of my colleagues reading the Thomas weather book yesterday- completely independently.

Both books are pretty simple. The Little Princess book shows different weathers and shows how they feel (e.g. “the rain is wet”) and how the Little Princess copes with it (e.g. “but we are dry” showing the Princess with an umbrella, and rain clothes). You can ask questions about the pictures, and about what the weather is like, and sometimes the kids make comments on the pictures. It’s more storylike than the Thomas book.


The Thomas book shows different engines in different weathers and small pictures of things associated with that weather which they can find in the main picture. It’s more interactive than the Princess book, but it’s sort of forced interactiveness, and I find the kids are often more interested in the trains than the rest of the pictures.

Buy The Princess Book from amazon:

Hardback- new (from £104.96)

Hardback- used (from £0.01)

Buy The Thomas Book from amazon:

Hardback- new (from £2.99)

Hardback- used (from £0.01)

 

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Sunday Surfing 14/12/14


bird surf

Sunday Surfing is my weekly feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging. Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week.

Let’s get started.

Around the web this week

Watching the Final Harry Potter Film for the First Time. There is a whole series of these, I recommend reading them all- and I’m not even a fan of the films

When Adaptations Go Good

Fewer Than Half of Bestsellers are Actually Completed by Readers

As Cuts Are Being Made to Libraries Library Usage is Falling

Famous Authors on Readers

The Australian Prime Minister Has Overruled His Panel To Award a Book Award To Richard Flanagan

Writer and Journalist Malcolm Gladwell has Been Accused of Plagiarism

Vote For the Book of the Year in The National Book Awards

And on the blog this week…

I didn’t finish ‘The Teacher Wars’

The kids read ‘The Jungle Run’

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Children’s Hour: The Jungle Run


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

The Jungle Run is similar in a lot of ways to Giraffes Can’t Dance (it’s even illustrated by the same person). This time it’s a run instead of a dance and a lion cub rather than a giraffe, but you get the idea. The cub is jeered at because he’s too small to race, he could never win.  I had expected a sort of hare and tortoise story (i.e. the other animals get cocky so the cub wins). I wasn’t quite right, it was more that what the other animals had seen as barriers for cub to win the race ended up helping him.

It’s a good book. It has a nice rhythm, some load noises to make, and a nice message. However it doesn’t quite meet up to Giraffes Can’t Dance, and the kids didn’t stay quite as interested, although once the noises came their attention was drawn back.

Buy from amazon:

Paperback (£5.99)

Hardback (£3.28)

 

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DNF: The Teacher Wars



Disclaimer: I was given this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis (from amazon)

Teaching is a wildly contentious profession in America, one attacked and admired in equal measure. In The Teacher Wars, a rich, lively, and unprecedented history of public school teaching, Dana Goldstein reveals that teachers have been similarly embattled for nearly two centuries. From the genteel founding of the common schools movement in the nineteenth century to the violent inner-city teacher strikes of the 1960s and ’70s, from the dispatching of Northeastern women to frontier schoolhouses to the founding of Teach for America on the Princeton University campus in 1989, Goldstein shows that the same issues have continued to bedevil us: Who should teach? What should be taught? Who should be held accountable for how our children learn?
She uncovers the surprising roots of hot button issues, from teacher tenure to charter schools, and finds that recent popular ideas to improve schools—instituting merit pay, evaluating teachers by student test scores, ranking and firing veteran teachers, and recruiting “elite” graduates to teach—are all approaches that have been tried in the past without producing widespread change. And she also discovers an emerging effort that stands a real chance of transforming our schools for the better: drawing on the best practices of the three million public school teachers we already have in order to improve learning throughout our nation’s classrooms.
  

Thoughts

I wanted to like this book, I really did. In a way I was enjoying it, I did find it interesting. However I also found it difficult to connect with because I have no experience of the American education system. I began to find things a little repetitive, and I found myself reading it less and less (although to be honest I’ve been finding that a lot recently with my kindle reads). I’ve read about three other kindle books since I last looked at The Teacher Wars, I had intended to finish, but I don’t think that’s really going to happen.

I do think if you have an interest or knowledge of the American education system you will find it interesting, and it is a fairly easy read for a none-fiction book

DNF

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Sunday Surfing 7/12/14


bird surf

Sunday Surfing is my weekly feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging. Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week.

Let’s get started.

Around the web this week

Kent Haruf has Passed Away

The World Book Night Books Have Been Revealed. There are some good ones on the list this year but I still wish they let readers choose.

‘Hawt’ and ‘Obamacare’ are Amongst the New Words Added to the Online Oxford English Dictionary.

Ben Okri has Won the Bad Sex in Fiction Award

Authors Who Wrote Themselves into Their Work

 

And on the blog this week…

The Kids Read The Very Hungry Caterpillar

I Posted my Annual Bookish Gifts Post

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Bookish Gifts 2014


It’s that time of year again, time for the bookish gifts post. I’ve got lots of gifts for you this year. Merry Christmas! (Or Happy Holidays f you prefer). Prices are correct at time of publication.

Some of the items from my old bookish gift posts are also still for sale.

Alice in Wonderland ‘pouch‘. From Out of Print. Other styles are available. $12

Espresso Patronum t-shirt. From Bookriot. For lovers of coffee and books. $22

Great Writers Magnetic Finger Puppets. From The Literary Gift Company. Includes Shakespeare, Virginia Wolfe,  Dickens and Tolstoy. £19.95

Emily Dickinson Poetry Tights. From Coline Designs @ Etsy. No a fan of Emily Dickinson? You can also choose your own print. £16.39

Little Women Sweatshirt. From Out of Print. Other designs are available. $40

Book Necklace. From Bookriot. $18.00

Bathtub Tray. From The Literary Gift Company. Space for a book and two glasses. £49.95

Owl Bookend and Glasses Holder. From Uligo @ Etsy This would be helpful to me, I take me glasses off when reading sometimes and the forgot where I put them. Also available in other colours. £41.48

East and West Egg joining necklaces. From Bookriot. Also available in silver. $30.00

Literary Map of the UK. From The Literary Gift Company. £12.00

Banned Books Socks. From Uncommon Goods. £8.11

Personal Library Embosser. From Horchow. $26.00

Team Edward Rochester t-shirt. From Cafepress. Other colours are available. £18.00

Storybook recorder. From Hammacher Schlemmer. $69.95

Marauder’s Map Dress. From Blackmilk. Other Harry Potter clothing is available. $95.00 AUD

Finger Pointing Bookmark. From amazon. Point to the line you stopped reading at. $7.14

Bookish Smell Candles. From Frostbeard @ Etsy. £9.22

Toilet Roll Holder Book Rest. From The Literary Gift Company. £25.00

 

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Children’s Hour: The Very Hungry Caterpillar.


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is very popular book, so you can forgive me for presuming that the toddlers would like it. I wouldn’t go as far as to say they disliked it, just that they didn’t have any particularly strong feelings about it. They like it more as it becomes predictable, and now they know what the slightly unusual foods are. They still wouldn’t pick it though, and they find it hard to concentrate for the whole thing

 

Buy from amazon:

Paperback (£3.85)

Boardbook (£3.49)

 

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Sunday Surfing 30/11/14


bird surf

Sunday Surfing is my weekly feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging. Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week.

Let’s get started.

Around the web this week

Author P.D James has Died

Charts that ‘Hunger Games’ Fans will Understand

Harry Potter Fan Theories Which Might Be True (I’m sorry but the Sirius/Lupin pairing is not ‘crazy’)

T-shirts for the Bookish

Libraries and Museums are Showing Empty Displays to Protest Against New Copyright Laws

Which Gothic Literary Character Are You?

 

And on the blog this week…

I think I’ve made up for the quiet week last week

I reviewed Clovenhoof

I talked about the Mockingjay Film

The kids read ‘I Don’t Want to Go to Bed’

I reviewed Circ

And talked about the process of writing a collaborative novel as part of a competition (which Circ was)

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Circ: Separated by a Common Language.


On Friday when I posted my review of Circ I mentioned that I was planning on attending an event about it today.

Separated by a Common Language was all about the process of writing a collaborative piece and the sorts of barriers that you would have to overcome to do so, including cultural barriers (and the writers  were international). It was designed to be accessible to someone who hadn’t read Circ, so having read Circ is not really a requirement to understand this post either.

It was an interesting session to attend. It was interesting to see how the writers had experienced the process, and got me thinking about sides which I hadn’t considered. Plus it reminded me of parts of the novel that maybe I should have mentioned in my review (just goes to show that maybe I should start writing notes when I finish a book). I am going to add these bits splattered about

I’m going to give a little information about Circ and the process so things can be understood, no spoilers!

Circ was written by ten different authors, each author wrote a different character and characters were gradually voted off ‘X-Factor style’.as such it was a competition, although the contestants did have to work together at least to an extent, because the story had to work and the characters had to interact with each other.

One author in particular spoke about how sometimes these interactions meant that a character getting voted out could be as much of a bother to an author who was still in the process as for the author who had actually been voted out. He gave the example of his own character (which makes sense). His character was a teenager who worked in a shop and didn’t attend school, pretending to be older than school age. Another of the characters was a social worker so the author could see lots of interactions happening between his character and the social worker, which of course couldn’t be fulfilled once the social worker was out of the picture. He still had ways he could take the story, but this was a big chunk of what he could have done.

Another author (the author who won, as it happens) talked about what he had done to guard against this problem. He said that he had tried to make it so that his character had  connections with lots of other characters, so when one character ‘gets lost’ he had plenty of other characters to follow. Plus his character had his own loner related storyline. Not a surprise he won really, he had his finger in lots of pies, plenty of storylines for readers to want to discover the end of.  One of the characters he had an early interaction with was actually a character I wished we could see more of, she seemed to have lots of back story which I really would have liked to find out about. Let’s say she was my type of character, the type I like to read about.

The author who wrote the gangster character had a different approach to staying in the game. He decided to make all his character’s scenes as exciting as he could, in his first scene he killed someone by poking a pencil in their eye. That worked pretty well too. The gangster was one of the last characters to go.

The author who wrote the gangster was also the only person on the panel who didn’t live in the UK (he wasn’t the only author who  didn’t live in the UK but not all the authors were there) so he gave the best varied cultural insight. It seemed that his only real ‘problem’ was that he would use words and phases that British people wouldn’t use, and his character was meant to be British. He had to change other aspects of his character too, to make him more British. He wanted him to have gone to Sandhurst, but he was black, so him having gone to Sandhurst was very unlikely. Him  living in Skegness (where the book is set) was also somewhat unlikely, but that was too major to change. I actually really liked the gangster character, especially his interactions with the clown (the winning character). He was funny. He somehow seemed more funny when the author read an extract.

I feel this post is getting too long, but I wanted to comment on one more thing. I asked about how the writers managed to make things so cohesive, seeing as they all had their own backgrounds and styles. I found it interesting that they could tell the differences in styles, where I couldn’t. Maybe that was just to do with the familiarity with each other’s work. It’s a bit like how I  could tell that The Cuckoo’s Calling was written by J.K Rowling, because I am so familiar with and expected her style. They said they did occasionally need a push in the right direction when writing each other’s characters, because a writer will know more about their characters than what you can read, or what a description can really show. It’s part of the reason that they really needed to work together.

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Circ- Various Authors


Disclaimer: I was given this book free of charge (by the publisher) in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis (from amazon)

Razvan Popescu lives in a flat overlooking the seaside town of Skegness. He keeps himself to himself and few know the man at all. Even fewer know his past, which he has tried to leave behind in the Romanian woods.

But when a tattooed man is found murdered on the beach, it is clear that some of that past has followed him to this tacky seaside town. As battle erupts within the criminal fraternity, dark forces gather around the town and Popescu’s acquaintances find themselves dragged into a world of violence, fire and fairy tales.

One thing is certain: the circus has come to town.

Ten To One is a novel writing project in which ten authors write a novel together, seeking the approval of a judging panel and a public vote to keep their character in the story.

Circ, the first Ten To One novel, is written by Simon Fairbanks, Maria Mankin, Yasmin Ali, Jason Holloway, Livia Akstein Vioto, Luke Beddow, Danielle Rose Bentley, William Thirsk-Gaskill, Sue Barsby and Giselle Thompson.

Review

The main reason I agreed to review this book is because of the concept. I was interested to see how a story could be pulled off with so many different authors, when the author changed not just from chapter to chapter but within chapters. And where nobody really knew where the story was going t go, because they didn’t know when they would loose different stories. Of course it would mean working together, and knowing each others plans for the characters.

I had had the concern that the story wouldn’t be very cohesive, that the writing styles of the different authors would be too different. It gelled much better than I had dared hope though. The first chapter, admittedly, took me about the same amount of time to read as the rest of the book as a whole. I think that was just because so many characters needed to be introduced, it was a lot to be crammed into one chapter. From the second chapter on however things continued to get better, until I was enthralled by the end.

As you would expect from a novel where characters were voted out some stories remained somewhat unfinished, and I would have liked to see what would have happened to some of the characters later. I think that shows good writing though, that I became interested in the characters.

The story itself was sometimes a little strange, which may be due to the nature of the peculiar writing process. However it was exciting, and had a lot of twists (not shocking really as even the authors could be sure what they would get). It kept me reading, and at times on the edge of my seat.

I am interested to find out more about the writing process, so to that end I’m hoping to get to the Separated By a Common Language event to see what I can find.

4/5

Buy it:

Kindle (£3.09)

Paperback (£7.99)

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Children’s Hour: I Don’t Want To Go To Bed


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.


I Don’t Want to Go to Bed is all about Little Tiger. Little Tiger never wants to go to bed and one day his Mum has had enough, she decides to let him stay up. Little Tiger is thrilled and goes off to find his friends to play with, but of course they are all going to bed.

It was one of the books we got at the library, and it has had a bit of a mixed reception. The kids pick it a lot because, well, tiger, anything with a tiger on will get picked (or a lion for that matter), and these are particularly bright and engaging pictures.

The story is quite simple and easy for the kids to follow, and they liked seeing the different animals, however it was a little too long and I found that the kids would often lose concentration before the end. I’m not sure if it would be better for pre-schoolers either, because whilst they would be more likely to maintain concentration I don’t think that they would be interested enough in the story itself, I think it would be too simple and repetitive. I think it is suitable for toddlers, but maybe not when reading in a group. It’s easier to talk about things when you’re reading a book between one or two because you can focus the attention on that child without loosing others who might not be interested in the same aspects of the story, so you can go into more depth with questions, it’s easier to bring back the attention of one or two children as well, rather than twelve!

 

Buy from an indie store (via Hive):

Paperback with jigsaw (£7.25)
Paperback with CD (£6.75)

Buy from amazon:

Paperback (£5.99)

Hardback with jigsaw (£6.39)

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Film of the Book: Mockingjay (Part 1)


Mockingjay is the third film based on The Hunger Games Books you can see my posts on books and previous films using The Hunger Games tag.

Please note this post may contain spoilers for The Hunger Games books and films, including Mockingjay

It feels like I have been waiting for this film for ages. As far as films of books go I think The Hunger Games films are really good. Fairly faithful to the books, and good as films in their own right too. Maybe it’s because Suzanne Collins works on the screenplays herself, or maybe it’s because she’s worked in television writing so her writing transfers well to screen.

The one concern I really had about Mockingjay was that it had been split into two films. I was concerned that it would be like the last Harry Potter films (part 1, part 2) or The Hobbit films (I couldn’t even bear to see the second) and be over stretched in a way that makes it seem very much like a way to make money out of a popular franchise. So far however it’s worked out good. There was still plenty of action and plot though and the film actually seemed to be over quickly, I’m still holding my reservations as to whether or not it ultimately works, because I may find that the last film is too stretched.

To be honest I didn’t actually remember a great deal of detail about the book of Mockingjay. I had thought to re-read it, just hadn’t gotten around to it. Consequently I sort of missed the major plot point which wasn’t in the film. (I’m going to put this as a spoiler because it’s major, highlight to read) that Katniss asked to be the one to execute Snow. This leads to the big ending where Katniss shoots Coin instead. It’s not exactly that I forgot that it happened, so much as I forgot when it happened (spoiler) the deal, not the execution. I thought it might be still to come, and possibly it still can be worked in at a later date. Of course they may change the controversial ending (like they did with My Sister’s Keeper- bleugh), or they may just have re-worked how it happens. I certainly hope it’s closer to the second possibilty.

 

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Clovenhoof- Heide Goody and Iain Grant


Synopsis (from amazon)

Charged with gross incompetence, Satan is fired from his job as Prince of Hell and exiled to that most terrible of places: English suburbia. Forced to live as a human under the name of Jeremy Clovenhoof, the dark lord not only has to contend with the fact that no one recognises him or gives him the credit he deserves but also has to put up with the bookish wargamer next door and the voracious man-eater upstairs.

Heaven, Hell and the city of Birmingham collide in a story that features murder, heavy metal, cannibalism, armed robbers, devious old ladies, Satanists who live with their mums, gentlemen of limited stature, dead vicars, petty archangels, flamethrowers, sex dolls, a blood-soaked school assembly and way too much alcohol.

Review

Clovenhoof was one of the books I got at the Birmingham Independent Book Fair (I also got the sequel, Pigeonwings, which I haven’t yet read). My boyfriend read it before me and compared it to Good Omens (which I haven’t read), a book he had enjoyed. He was excited to see where I was whilst reading it too.

It was a funny, and quite light read. It was interesting how the reader was made sympathetic to Satan, to even like him, and to dislike the angel Michael. It should really be the other way round, shouldn’t it?

I suppose in a way it shows how bureaucracy has good intentions, but sometimes you have to break the rules so that things will work, and some rules are more important than others. Or even that sometimes old rules loose their importance as things change. I guess what I’m trying to say is that there’s a bit of a serious message which you can read into Clovenhoof.

There’s also a bit of a message about there really being no absolute good or evil, because something meant for good can have bad consequences, and things meant for bad can have good consequences.

You don’t have to make it serious though, you can just read it as a funny story about the devil having to live on earth.

Plus it’s sent in Birmingham, it’s always nice when a story is

There’s a great twist at the end too.

4/5

Buy it:

Kindle (£2.00)

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Filed under Contempory, Fantasy, Fiction review, Humour

Sunday Surfing 23/11/14


bird surf

Sunday Surfing is my weekly feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging. Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week.

Let’s get started.

Around the web this week

 Some Cinemas in Thailand Have Cancelled Showings of Mockingjay After Students Were Arrested for Giving the Three Fingered Salute to the Prime Minister. It has been banned there after being used as a symbol against the military coup.

A Library on a Train Has Opened in Ontario

Transition Books from Child to Adulthood

Bookish Gifts

Words Invented By Writers

Sign-ups for the Holiday Card Exchange are Open

And on the blog this week…

It’s been quiet this week, hopefully I will make up for it next week…

The kids read ‘Mr Cool’

 

 

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Children’s Hour: Mr Cool


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
Spotty and Spike and Growly Mike are best friends, they do everything together, but one day Spike finds a scooter and he isn’t Spike anymore he’s Mr Cool.  Mr Cool is too cool to do the things he used to do with his friends they’re “boring”. Poor Spotty and Growly Mike feel rather rejected, but when problems come Mr Cool realises that he does need his friends, and that things are more fun with his friends.

It is a lovely story about friendship, th kids aren’t especially engaged with it most of the time however. They like it when  Spike has his ‘problem’ because you can be quite dramatic, but the things which they get up to as friends aren’t as interesting for them as the differences that Panda Big and Panda Small have.

The pictures were probably the best bit of this book, eye catching and fun, and that meant the book was of an initial interest to the kids.

Buy from amazon:

Paperback (£4.99)

Hardback (£10.99)

 

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Sunday Surfing 16/11/14


bird surf

Sunday Surfing is my weekly feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging. Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week.

Let’s get started.

Around the web this week

Places Book Lovers Should Visit

200 Years of Jan Austen Cover Designs

Caitlin Moran’s ‘How to Build a Girl’ is Being Made into a Film. I’m yet to read the book but this will bring it up my wishlist.

Amazon Revealed Their 100 Best Books of 2014

The Amazon-Hachette War is Over

Julia Donaldson has Sold £10m Worth of Books Every Year For the Past Five Years

Books Which Have Changed People’s Lives

Liverpool’s Library Closure Plans Have Been Dropped

Waterstone’s Released Their ‘Book of the Year’ Shortlist. The only one I’ve read is Everyday Sexism, which I really didn’t think is worth the hype (and I can’t find my review of….)

And watch the video of the ‘book’ which makes water safe to drink

 

 

And on the blog this week…

I reviewed Dexter is Delicious

The kids read Panda Big and Panda Small

 

 

 

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Children’s Hour: Panda Big and Panda Small


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.


Panda Big and Panda Small are very different, but they love each other very much. This book (which is one we got on our visit to the library) talks about all the things which each of the pandas like to do. It talks a lot about concepts like size and distance, and talks about opposites so it’s good for developing language. Plus the kids love telling you which things they like to do (which is pretty much all the things). It’s simple language, but with good reading it can still be exciting.

The pictures are my personal favourite part. Beautiful, bold, bright.

Buy from amazon:

Hardback- used (from £0.05)

Paperback- new (from £127.76)

Paperback- used (from £0.01)

 

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Filed under Children's Hour, Fiction review, Picture books

Dexter is Delicious- Jeff Lindsey


Dexter is Delicious is the fifth book in the Dexter series. You can read my reviews of the previous books using the Jeff Lindsey tag

Synopsis (from amazon)

Everything’s changing for our friendly neighbourhood serial killer. As if getting married wasn’t enough to complete his nice-guy persona, Dexter is now the proud father of a baby girl. And disconcertingly, he actually seems to care. But even if fatherhood is distracting Dexter from his midnight excursions to rid Miami of a few more lowlifes, there’s no let-up at work. Two young girls are missing – and it’s not long before one of the bodies turns up, partially eaten. But as Dexter and Miami PD’s finest investigate, Dexter can’t shake the feeling that somebody’s watching him…

Review

Dexter is Delicious is probably the most disturbing book so far of the Dexter series. It’s kind of sick, and even the title makes me remember and shudder a bit. It’s strange because it’s not like there aren’t other gruesome crimes in Dexter books, chopping up and freezing body parts is probably the least gruesome, cuttings off parts of someone’s body whilst they are concious is a particularly cruel way to go, and the idea of body parts and death as art is not without its gruesome factor either.

Maybe it’s the nature of the death. It wasn’t exactly intended as something violent or something to kill someone, it was more like survival in some weird twisted way. Plus there was a sexual element (something between necrophilia and some sort of sexual fascination with death) which is just uggh.

It wasn’t violet as in violent for the sake of violence is what I suppose I am trying to say, but in a way that made things worse.

It’s also however part of what made Dexter is Delicious more interesting to me. It was sort of intriguing. I also liked seeing a bit more of a human Dexter, and how he was squaring his ‘human’ side with his ‘monster’ side.

4/5

Buy from an indie store (via Hive):

Paperback (£7.99)

e-book (£5.49)

Buy from amazon:

Paperback (£5.99)

Kindle (£5.49)

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Sunday Surfing 9/11/14


bird surf

Sunday Surfing is my weekly feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging. Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week.

Let’s get started.

Around the web this week

The Hunger Games is Coming to the Stage

Paddington Bear Statues are Popping up all Over London

Books You Should Read Based On Your Favourite Films

A Virtual Library is Opening on the Moscow Metro. This is pretty cool. You can download free e-books to your e-reader/smartphone/tablet whilst on the subway.

An Author has Allegedly Attacked a Book Reviewer. And we thought stalking was bad

Gifts for Book Lovers

 

And on the blog this week…

I Talked About Current Great Deals on Kindle

The Kids Read ‘Bridget Fidget’

 

 

 

 

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Deals of the Moment


Every month amazon has a set of kindle monthly deals. Usually I tweet about the interesting deals and leave it at that, but this month I would like to do something different and share them more widely. If the idea seems to appeal I may make it a monthly feature.

So I’m going to briefly talk about the books I’ve read which are on offer, and those that I have bought myself. Why I liked them/bought them, and what they are about. End links are to the amazon page, any other links are to my reviews.

Please note prices are correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change.


 

The Diplomat’s Wife- Pam Jenoff

This is one I bought. It follows Marta who survived a Nazi prison camp. She looses one love and gains another, but something from her past threatens her happiness.

I bought this one because I’ve really enjoyed the other Pam Jenoff books I’ve read. I reviewed The Officer’s Lover some time ago, and loved The Kommandant’s Girl which I read a couple of weeks ago. I couldn’t resist another, especially on offer! You can buy it…here (only £0.99)



Keeping Faith- Jodi Picoult

This is one I read in my pre-blogging days. It is the story of a girl who says she can hear God. There is lots of fuss from the media, from religious people, and from doctors but nobody knows the truth, and in the middle of it is a little girl.

Although not my favourite Picoult book it still holds some of the best features which I would expect from a Picoult book. It really gets you thinking and it’s very emotion, and even at the end it keeps you guessing, I always like a story which lingers with you. You can buy it…here (only £2.49)


 

QI books

Ok this is two books not one but they are safe to clump together. I’ve read both and they are both very interesting (or should I say Quite Interesting) books with lesser know facts. The QI Book of the Dead focuses on people whereas the QI Book of General Ignorance is more general knowledge. They are both equally as entertaining as the other although The QI Book of the Dead is probably easier to read cover to cover whereas you could easily flick through the book of general ignorance. Buy the QI Book of the Dead…here (only £2.29) and The QI Book of General Ignorance…here. (also only £2.29)

 



Fahrenheit 451- Ray Bradbury

Another one I bought. This has been on my wishlist for years, and it’s on the Rory List. It’s one of those sort of ‘required reading’ books for bookworms.

Fahrenheit 451 is set in a world where books are burnt as routine, and TV is the entertainment of choice. You can buy it…here (only £1.49)


Still Alice- Lisa Genova

Over the last year I’ve read two books which have a protagonist called Alice who looses her memory. Still Alice was the best of the two (The other is What Alice Forgot, if you were wondering). In Still Alice, Alice is a professor who has early onset Alzheimer’s. It’s a very emotional story, but beautiful too. You can buy it…here (only £2.49)



The Crimson Petal and the White- Michel Faber

This is one of those books I just love to recommend. It’s difficult to put into words what makes The Crimson Petal and the White so good, just read it! I bought it for my sister after I read it, and I recommended it to my Mum’s book group (although tentatively because the main character is a prostitute, and they didn’t like the sex in The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts). It follows Sugar as she goes from ‘admired’ prostitute to kept woman, to secret live in mistress. It’s about the underside of 19th century London, basically. You can buy it…here (only £1.29)


 

Under the Skin- Michel Faber

This is neither one I have bought nor one I have read. I am tempted by it simply because it’s by Michel Faber. It sounds sort of interesting, but I’m unsure. It’s about a woman who likes picking up handsome hitch-hikers. Has anyone read it? What did you think? You can buy it…here (only £1.29)


Tampa- Alison Nutting

I bought this one because I’ve heard really good things about it. It’s been describes as a modern day Lolita with a woman. I think it could be disturbing, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be good. You can buy it…here (only £1.99)

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Children’s Hour: Bridget Fidget


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

Bridget Fidget is one of the books we got from the library. It’s about a girl called Bridget who is convinced that a parcel which is delivered to her house will contain a pet for her.

It’s a book that does get requested a lot, but also gets a mixed reception. The older toddlers love guessing at what might be in the box and are eager to see what it contains, but the toddlers who have only recently become two loose interest fairly quickly. There’s a fair bit of waiting to see what it is where I think the younger kids would benefit more from a less delayed discovery.

It is a good book to get the kids thinking about what might happen next, which is something the older children can do.

The tone is easy to understand and has lots of mini climaxes which keep things fairly exciting.

Buy from amazon:

Hardback or paperback (from £0.01)

 

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Sunday Surfing 2/11/14


bird surf

Sunday Surfing is my weekly feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging. Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week.

Let’s get started.

Around the web this week

The Literary Giveaway Blog Hop Is On

J.K. Rowling posted some new Harry Potter Stuff. Here’s What We Learned….

…and Here’s Her Story About Umbridge

How To Take Advantage of NaNoWriMo Without Taking Part in NaNoWriMo. Personally I am going to actually finish my Nano from last year

10 Things You Might Not Know About J.R.R Tolkien

The French Minister for Culture Admitted She Hasn’t Read a Book in 2 Years

Pictures Which Will Make Harry Potter Fans Laugh. Some are a bit cheesy but some are funny

Why Digital Books and Publishers Shouldn’t Be Excluded From Book Prizes

Matt Haig Said That There Are Too Many Positive Reviews…and Some People Got Offended

 

And on the blog this week…

I reviewed The Forgotten Daughter

And the kids read You’re Not So Scary Sid

 

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Children’s Hour: You’re Not So Scary Sid


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

You’re Not So Scary Sid is one of the books we read on our visit to the library a couple of weeks ago, and it was the runaway favourite. It features Sid who loves to eat fingers, and thinks he’s scary, but is he so brave after all?

You’re Not So Scary Sid is one of those ‘puppet books’ so execution is really important. Luckily the librarian was very good at this. He got all the kids involved, and excited. It’s really great for child-adult interaction, and the kids find Sid really funny.

The story itself is pretty simple, and I can see that being a negative point, but even the simplest stories can be entertaining if read well. After all our kids still love Brown Bear, and that’s very simple.

 

Buy from an indie store (via Hive):

Hardback (£8.19)

Buy from amazon:

Hardback (£7.99)

 

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The Forgotten Daughter- Renita D’Silva


Synopsis (from amazon)

‘You were adopted’. Three simple words, in a letter accompanying her parent’s will, tear Nisha’s carefully ordered world apart. Raised in England, by her caring but emotionally reserved parents, Nisha has never been one to take risks. Now, with the scrawled address of an Indian convent begins a search for the mother and family she never knew and the awakening of childhood memories long forgotten. The secrets, culture and people that Nisha discover will change her life forever. And, as her eyes are opened to a side of herself she didn’t know existed, Nisha realizes that she must also seek answers to the hardest question of all – why?

Review

The Forgotten Daughter is one of those books which is written in different voices. Obviously the voice of Nisha, but also a girl called Devi and a woman called Shilpa. The three woman are (as you would expect) linked, but initially the reader does not know why.

I’m not sure I liked the three narrator part of this. Whilst I enjoyed reading each character, and there were times when one character’s story would take over another’s in my mind it did mean that the reader knew more, and I think that made the emotions pack less of a punch at times. However it did more of a context which made the story more interesting, and meant you could have up to three cliffhangers at a time.

It was a fairly easy read, and exciting enough for me to wan to read it. However it was fairly predictable and at times a little far fetched

3.5/5

Buy from amazon:

Kindle (£1.59)

Paperback (£9.99)

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Sunday Surfing 26/10/14


bird surf

Sunday Surfing is my weekly feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging. Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week.

Let’s get started.

Around the web this week

The Problems With ‘Netflix for Books’

Great Stories By Poets

The Website Creating a Dictionary with Limericks

Chamber’s Dictionary Has Named ‘Overshare’ the Word of the Year, Collin’s Has Gone For ‘Photobomb’

The Bookish Bouquet I like it but not sure I could sacrifice a book.

The UK Publishes More Books Per Capita Than Any Other Country

This Author Tracked Down a Book Blogger Who Gave Her Book a Bad Review. I talked about the is in this post

Umbridge Back Story to Be Released on Pottermore for Halloween

Waterstone’s Held a ‘Lock-in’

 

And on the blog this week…

I Reviewed Clash of Kings

The Kids Visited the Library

I Talked About Goodreads, Negative Reviews, Authors and Reviewers

 

 

 

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Goodreads, negative reviews, authors, and reviewers.


Okay, so I don’t get much into the politics in the book blogging world. I’ve heard of people having trouble from authors for negative reviews but have little personal experience of it. However the discussion around Kathleen Hale’s article has interested me.

The article talks about Hale’s reaction to this review. The reviewer posted a negative review which Hale thought was unfair and untruthful, and got more than a little obsessed with it. Her article caused uproar in different parts of the book blogging world, and even division between authors.

So what do I have to add which hasn’t been said, I hope some balance.

I haven’t read the book, I cannot say if the reviewer was truthful about the book, however I can see how wires may have been crossed.

For an author their books can be a little like their children, it’s easy to be upset by negative reviews. Goodreads is probably right to say not to talk back to them. It’s something that people will like or won’t, and they should be free to express either of those feelings. Most bloggers will state that their reviews are truthful regardless of whether they were given free copies of the book or not, and authors shouldn’t expect a good review just because someone has taken something off them for free.

Having said that bloggers should be sensitive about how they approach reviewing a book. I hate writing negative reviews, although I have done it. Usually I try to make them balanced, even if the only good thing I can say about it is that the premise was good, if not the execution. I’m the same with positive reviews, if there is something I didn’t like I say. I’m not one for rave reviews.

So was this review unfair? Maybe, maybe not. It wasn’t a particularly strong review. It’s barely a review at all, more thoughts as they come up. Maybe a fuller review by the reviewer would be more balanced, and have more evidence (quotes, description of events) to back up her feelings.

Hale claims that the main reason she was upset was that she didn’t think there was rape in the book. The reviewer says there is, and that it’s ‘justified’ by the characters, and a whole handful of other things, slut-shaming for example, are used in a throwaway manner. But isn’t that realistic? When people do things like that they aren’t thinking of political correctness. Yes, I think Hale should have found a way to show that wasn’t right. I don’t know if she did. To be honest I don’t know if the reviewer herself knows. She claims in comments that:

“What I’m doing with this book is basically just reading until I find something offensive, but since that’s normally every other page or so, I try to make it through a chapter. But I’ve been busy reading better books lately, so this is not one of my top priorities, ha.”

And later

“Ha, read the above comments and status updates. I finally gave up. I’m going to ask my co-blogger who killed whom and promptly rid this book from my mind.”

 

Which suggests she could have missed things which make the things she didn’t like be better. She might not have too. (It is worth reading at least a few of the comments by the way, they go into more of a discussion and some people who liked the book show how they read it.)

Hale wanting right of reply isn’t wrong. If she thought the reviewer had read something in her book which she didn’t think was covered then I think Hale did have the right to ask for clarification. I think it’s decent for the reviewer to enter into a discussion, but I don’t think they should have to.

The real problem was the extremes of Hale’s reaction. Wanting to know on one thing. Asking on twitter, okay, asking on goodreads, okay. Trying to pressure a reviewer to interact, especially when acting like they want to talk about something different, not okay. Finding a reviewer’s address and turning up there, not okay. Finding their number and calling them, not okay. Pretending to be someone else not okay. Goading someone online, not okay. (Hale claims the reviewer did this too, which is not right on the reviewer’s side either).

I am ashamed too that The Guardian published the reviewer’s real name (presuming it is the real name). That is not right. Part of writing on the internet is being anonymous. That does mean you can say nasty things without fear of retribution, but it also means you can be truthful without worrying about the consequences, or at least you can supposedly be. It is okay that the reviewer pretended to be someone else, didn’t give her real name or picture. It’s a fairly vital thing for internet safety.

If she however did do the things which Hale accuses her of doing then she does seem to be looking for conflict, and you could even go as far as to call it cyber-bullying, and that is not okay. Whatever you say online you still have to be mindful that real people are reading it, and real feelings are involved.

Others have written negative reviews, or critical comments based solely on Hale’s article. I don’t feel this is right either. Hale’s reaction was wrong, but reading should be based on the book, not the author. At least that’s how I feel.

Hale blew everything far out of proportion, and if I have to pick a side I will go with the reviewer, however I do feel some sympathy for Hale, and I do think both sides did things which aren’t right.

As far as Hale’s article goes. It’s what really caused the trouble. Does that mean she shouldn’t have written it? Maybe, but it seems to have done more damage to her than anything else.Maybe it was a form of confession for her, or maybe she hoped more people would read the book and make up their own minds. Part of me does want to read it to see if I agree with the reviewer, but at the same time I wouldn’t want to ‘reward’ Hale for her behaviour.

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Children’s Hour: Toddlers’ Trip to the Library


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

DSCN0837Last week we took the toddlers to a local library (I was going to say which one but have decided not to for reasons of child protection). We went on the bus, which was very exciting (about as exciting as the library itself actually). The plan had been to go to the main Library of Birmingham (pictured) but they weren’t very helpful when we were trying to arrange a visit and the one we went to actually organised a little even for us.

They read us a few stories, Little Red Riding Hood, I’m Not Cute, and You’re Not So Scary Sid. And we sung some songs. The male librarian in particular was very entertaining and enthusiastic. The way things were split up was good too, with two stories, then some songs, then some stories.

After that the kids had a little time to look at books, although maybe there was too much choice! They had some trouble sitting for a whole story without being distracted by another! However we picked some to take back to the nursery, and plan on reading them over the next few weeks. It will certainly be nice to have something new to read.

The library was a lovely library, with a seperate children’s room which was bright and full of chairs, tables and bean bags.

 

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Clash of Kings- George R.R Martin


Clash of Kings is the second book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series which started with A Game of Thrones

Synopsis (from amazon)

Throughout Westeros, the cold winds are rising.

From the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding lands of Winterfell, chaos reigns as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms stake their claims through tempest, turmoil and war.

As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky – a comet the colour of blood and flame – five factions struggle for control of a divided land. Brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night.

Against a backdrop of incest, fratricide, alchemy and murder, the price of glory is measured in blood.

Review

You know what? I don’t think I really get on that well with epic fantasy novels. I’ve never been able to get further than the forming of the fellowship in Lord of the Rings. I did like Clash of Kings but it took me a long time to read, and I didn’t come out of it eager to read the next one (unlike I had for A Game of Thrones).

As with Game of Thrones there were parts I really liked, and parts I didn’t like so much. I actually liked Sansa’s chapters more than I had previously, but found Jon’s chapters held my attention less.

In general it felt less actiony, which is strange as war is definitely taking hold now. Maybe I just don’t find battles that engaging to read?

Tyrion’s chapters were undoubtedly my favourites. I still can’t quite work him out, I think maybe that he is just out for himself and sort of waiting to see what will happen, although he was more on a Lannister in this book.

There has been a lot set up for the future however, and it interested me enough to want to keep reading, I’m just in no hurry.

3.5/5

Buy it from an indie store (via Hive):

Paperback (£8.49)

E-book (£6.71)

Buy it from amazon:

Paperback (£3.85)

Kindle (£3.66)

Other Reviews:

Nylon Admiral

Reading is the Ultimate Aphrodisiac

Under a Gray Sky

Nishita’s Rants and Ravings

 

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Sunday Surfing 19/10/14


bird surf

Sunday Surfing is my weekly feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging. Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week.

Let’s get started.

Around the web this week

 John Grisham Suggested that Sentences for Those Who Viewed Child Porn Images Were Too Severe then He Realised That Was a Stupid Thing To Say To The Media

Why Targets Are Destroying Reading in School

Dating Advice From Classic Literature

The Five Best Writer’s Sheds, by the way J.K Rowling’s Hagrid Hut doesn’t sound like it is intended as a shed for writing in

Pride and Prejudice on Screen, The Good, and Not so Good

Richard Flanagan Won The Booker Prize

And Simon Sylvester Won Not The Booker Prize

And on the blog this week…

I Reviewed Larger Than Life

The Kids Read Knick Knack Paddy Whack

 

 

 

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Children’s Hour: Knick Knack Paddy Whack


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

Knick Knack Paddy Whack s a bit of a cheat when it comes to a book the children enjoy because it’s actually the CD with the song which the kids enjoy the most- more than the book itself. They love dancing to the introduction music, as much as dancing to the song itself, and they don’t really pay a great deal of attention to the actual book. I think if we sung it ourselves it may actually be better for engaging them with the book, however they always ask for the CD to be put on.

Knick Knack Paddy Whack is a Barefoot Book, which are always popular (I’ve featured Walking Through the Jungle, Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, and The Animal Boogie before), with their bright pictures, their interaction, and the fact that they are written in a way that captures the children’s attention.

Buy from and indie store (via Hive):

Paperback with CD (£6.23)

Buy from amazon:

Paperback with CD (£6.99)

 

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Larger Than Life- Jodi Picoult


Synopsis (from amazon)

Alice is a researcher studying memory in elephants, and is fascinated by the bonds between mother and calf – the mother’s powerful protective instincts and her newborn’s unwavering loyalty. Living on a game reserve in Botswana, Alice is able to view the animals in their natural habitat, as long as she obeys one important rule: she must only observe and never interfere.

Then she finds an orphaned young elephant in the bush and cannot bear to leave the helpless baby behind. Alice will risk her career to care for the calf. Yet what she comes to understand is the depth of a parent’s love.

Review

Larger Than Life is another one of Jodi Picoult’s Kindle Singles. This time it is based around a character her up and coming novel Leaving Time.

It’s probably the best of her kindle singles which I have read (I have also read The Color War, and Where There’s Smoke). I think it stands quite well as it’s own story, and fits ok as a short story. I still wanted more (as I tend to with short stories) but it was good whilst it lasted, and I didn’t really feel like there needed to be more.

It was a cute little story. The main focus was the baby elephant, and that was really all it needed, it was sweet to imagine and I enjoyed Alice’s interactions and thoughts around the elephant.

There was also a romance element, which I had anticipated early on, and which was nice, but maybe unneeded.

4/5

Buy it:

Kindle (£1.49)

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Filed under Contempory, Fiction review, Short story

Sanday Surfing 12/10/14


bird surf

Sunday Surfing is my weekly feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging. Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week.

Let’s get started.

Around the web this week

I think I am making up for the lack of links last week…

Celebrity Books Which are Worth Reading

Votes are Open for the Not The Booker Prize

Things Only Adults Would say on a Tour of the World Of Harry Potter (note not child friendly)

Songs Which Reference Books

Works of Literature Recreated in Lego

The Longest English Words on Literature. Some of these words really make my head hurt

Writers Working to Save Libraries in Liverpool

Novels Based on Shakespeare Plays

Jodi Picoult Releasing a Follow up to Between the Lines with her Daughter

Haruki Murakami and Ngugi Wa Thiong’o were Favourites to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, but this is who did win….

 

And on the blog this week…

I reviewed The Silkwork

The kids read Fergus Goes Quackers

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Children’s Hour: Fergus Goes Quackers


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
Fergus is a dog. In Fergus Goes Quackers Fergus gets followed by a brood of ducklings. He tries to get the ducklings to go away by barking at them, but it doesn’t quite work- the ducks start barking too! The other animals think it’s a great game, and start copying each others’ noises.

It’s a fairly simple book, simpler than the similar Cock-a-moo-moo (which apparently I haven’t featured…), and maybe not quite as good. The kids still found it funny however, and they like copying the noises.

There’s not a great deal to say about it really. It’s entertaining enough, I’m not too enamoured with the pictures…yeah, that’s it really.

 

Buy from amazon:

Hardback (£4.83)

Paperback (£6.99)

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The Silkworm- Robert Galbraith


The Silkworm is the second book in the Cormoran Strike series

Synopsis (from amazon)

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days – as he has done before – and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realises. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives – so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him.

Review

After really enjoying the first Cormoran Strike book I was rather excited for the second. In terms of excitement it was probably a bit higher than The Cuckoo’s Calling, although it took a little longer to set off. However it missed a certain something which The Cuckoo’s Calling had, something which I struggle to put my finger on, but which made the book less easily readable.

Maybe it was that in The Cuckoo’s Calling Cormoran was working completely on his own theories. As far as the police were concerned it was s done deal- as it were, whereas in this one Cormoran was still trying very much to work on his own and use the same theories but he was investigating something a the same time as the police. It felt more like he was snubbing the police, and that he didn’t think they were good enough. He could have worked with them but he kept information from them. I get that he was being paid a fee, and I get that they didn’t agree on certain elements, but maybe if a bit of information sharing went on there would have been able to work together.

He was certainly still clever, and Robin was still very much his right-hand woman. There were still lots of twists and turns. It still kept me on the edge of my seat. I still really enjoyed it. There was a certain sense of ‘this is an adult novel’ about it. There was a particularly graphic scene, which did add something to the story, but was also rather brutal. There was lots of sex, which didn’t always add something.

4/5

Buy it from an Indie store (via Hive):

Hardback (£15.60)

On CD (£25.18)

Buy it from amazon:

Kindle (£6.99)

Hardback (£9.99)

Other Reviews:

Alison McCarthy

Recovering Potter Addict

Mama Kucing Books and Ravings

The Eye of Loni’s Storm

 

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Filed under Contempory, Crime, Fiction review

Sunday Surfing 5/10/14


bird surf

Sunday Surfing is my weekly feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging. Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week.

Let’s get started.

Around the web this week

 New release paperbacks and hardbacks are outselling new release e-books

A draft of the last Sherlock Holmes story is going on display

Authors on bank notes

And The Owl and the Pussycat has been voted Britain’s favourite children’s poem. Twinkle, twinkle little star, the most boring nursery rhyme ever, is second.

And on the blog this week…

I reviewed The Humans

The kids read The Snails’ Tales

 

 

 

 

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Children’s Hour: The Snails’ Tales


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.


I was sent Snails’ Tales for review (by the publishers). It’s a book with two tales, both about snails (believe it or not!). The first story talks about the snails in the narrator’s garden and what they spend the day doing. The second story is all about the snails going on holiday.

As an ‘educator’ I really liked the book. There is lots of prompts for the children to use their imagination and plenty of places where I could ask questions, I could see it being a really good book to do a whole project on- about snails mainly, but also about holidays, and travel, and about the environment around us. The style of writing was very conversational which almost makes it feel like you’re not so much reading as having a discussion. Plus the pictures are really nice and bright, just in themselves the pictures could lead to some great discussion, and the toddlers did show a lot of interest in the pictures.

In terms of the toddlers, it didn’t have the greatest reaction. The kids liked the pictures, and got quite engaged when I talked about them. The story itself however they did loose interest in, I think they were a bit too long for them. The first story- the one just about the snails being n the garden they were more engaged with. They did join in with some discussion, although in a fairly basic way. I think it was just easier for them to connect with than the holiday story. It contained the sorts of things they would see and do on a daily basis so it was easier for them to imagine, whereas some of them have never been on holiday, and those that have often remember little. Trying to prompt them to think where the snails was particularly problematic as 99% of the time their answers to where is he/she/it going? or where are you going? is “the shop” (really, that’s where they are going on the bikes, that’s where the helicopter or plane is going to), not really a holiday location!

I’ve given the book to pre-school now, who I think it will be better suited too, although I haven’t had the opportunity to see their reactions to it yet.

 

Buy from amazon:

Hardback (£6.29)

 

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Filed under Children's Hour, Fiction review, Picture books

The Humans- Matt Haig


Synopsis (from amazon)

After an ‘incident’ one wet Friday night where Professor Andrew Martin is found walking naked through the streets of Cambridge, he is not feeling quite himself. Food sickens him. Clothes confound him. Even his loving wife and teenage son are repulsive to him. He feels lost amongst a crazy alien species and hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except Newton, and he’s a dog.

What could possibly make someone change their mind about the human race. . . ?

Review

The trailer for The Humans is the only book trailer I have ever seen which has convinced me that I want to read a book. (As a general rule I don’t like book trailers, I don’t see why people would want pictures to promote something which is about words).

Haig was already on my radar. The Radleys has been on my wishlist for years (yes again my problem with not buying from my wishlist strikes) and I’ve read a few of his (rather entertaining) blog posts, so I expected entertaining novels too.

Haig’s style of writing is quite similar to Nick Hornby, or Danny Wallace. It’s easy to read, and conversational. However it’s not without its emotion, as easy to read things can tend to be as they strive to be entertaining.

In it’s own way The Humans was actually quite deep. A sort of ode to what it is to be human. How it is great. How it isn’t.

There are lots of things wrong with humanity, but does that mean that there are lots of things wrong with humans?

It’s a funny, sweet, and charming book, and an easy read.

4/5

Buy it:

From an indie store (via Hive):

Paperback (£6.97)

E-book (£7.18)

From amazon:

Paperback (£3.50)

Kindle (£2.69)

Hardback (£19.05)

Other reviews:

Blog A Book Etc

Curiosity Killed the Bookworm

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Filed under Contempory, Fiction review, Sci-Fi

Sunday Surfing 28/9/14


bird surf

Sunday Surfing is my weekly feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging. Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week.

Let’s get started.

Around the web this week

It was banned books week last week, so lots of banned books related weeks in this edition of Sunday Surfing.

21st Century Banned Books and Why They Were Banned

Film Adaptations From Banned Books

Which Banned Book Are You?

Who Said it? Umbridge or Gove?

Author of ‘Go the F*** to Sleep’ Releasing a New Book About Eating

The Tories Are in Uproar About Hilary Mantel’s New Story

‘A Room of One’s Own’ Rearranged to Create a Story

How Long Would it Take You to Read the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ Series?

 

And on the blog this week…

I reviewed The Color War

And Dexter By Design

The Kids Looked at Video Readings of Books

 

 

 

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Children’s Hour: Books on Screen


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

The kids were acting crazy the other night so we decided to calm things down by watching a few stories on the big screen. We started off with the ever popular We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

One of the parents actually recommended this one to us because her son (who is 2) and her nieces (both under 2) really love it. It seems to be popular with the other kids too. They love joining in with the actions and the noises. Michael Rosen is a great storyteller, and even without doing anything fancy with the pictures it’s probably the most entertaining one we watched.

Next we moved onto Handa’s Surprise

The animals were the most popular bit of this one (as in the book actually), the kids loved shouting out what the animals were, and found it hilarious when the animals swept down to take the fruit. It’s one which works well as a video as a lot of the story from the book is from the pictures rather than the words, it’s almost like a storyboard in fact. I also like that Handa has an African accent.

After Handa we visited Mr Bear with Peace at Last

Peace at Last is still a favourite in toddler room, so I had expected it to be popular, but it didn’t go down so well. Maybe it was because it wasn’t read the way they are used to reading it (Mr Bear is usually more shouty when we read it, and the kids join in), or maybe it was because it was the last one we watched but they didn’t join in as much as they  (had in the past. In fact it took the alarm at the end to bring the kid’s attention back to the screen. I must admit I wasn’t that impressed with the reading or the video. There wasn’t really anything added which wouldn’t be possible to do when you were just reading it yourself. In fact if anything there was less because we couldn’t see the reader’s facial expressions. The only real advantage is when they zoom into whatever is being spoken of in the story at the time.

 

Buy the books from an indie store:

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (from £5.31)

Handa’s Surprise (from £4.91)

Peace at Last (from £4.81)

Buy the books from amazon:

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (from £3.86)

Handa’s Surprise (from £4.11)

Peace at Last (from £4.79)

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Filed under Children's Hour, Fiction review, Picture books

Dexter By Design- Jeff Lindsey


Dexter By Design is the fourth book in the Dexter series. You can find my reviews for the previous books here.

Synopsis (from amazon)

Being a blood spatter analyst who hates the sight of blood has always made Dexter’s work for the Miami PD tough. But it means he’s very neat when it comes to his out-of-hours hobby: murder. Of course, the fact Dexter only kills bad people helps too.

Now Dex is facing a disturbing situation. He’s used to blood at work, and blood when he’s out with the dark passenger (the voice that guides him on his deadly outings). But he’s not sure what to make of the man who says blood is art. Using bodies as his canvas, someone is out there expressing themselves in the most lethal and painful of ways.

Review

I’ve started watching the TV show of Dexter recently. I was under the impression that each series followed one book (I couldn’t have been more wrong as it turned out…but that’s a post for another time), so I had decided to let myself watch up to series 4, but no further until I had read the next book. So as I was drawing to the end of series three I bought book four- Dexter By Design.

The previous book, Dexter in the Dark had been disappointing for me. I’m used to Dexter books having certain qualities and Dexter in the Dark was low on those qualities.

With Dexter by Design it certainly picked up again. Back to the strange and rather gruesome murders- this time with murders as ‘art’. All I can say is be prepared to get grossed out! In particular one of the first scenes seems really…oh I’m just shuddering thinking about it.

As it so often seems Dexter had attracted some attention from the killer (doesn’t it seem strange that other killers seem to recognise Dexter but ‘normal’ people don’t?). So, with a new family, should Dexter be more cautious?

It’s the usual fast pace that I expect from Dexter, but there is also a more emotional element which we didn’t get in the past. I suppose you could say we can see Dexter growing.

Actually possibly the best Dexter I’ve read so far.

4/5

 Buy it (from amazon):

Paperback (£5.59)

Kindle (£5.49)

Other reviews:

Book Sanctuary

Did I miss your review? Leave a link in comments and I will add it

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The Color War- Jodi Picoult


Synopsis (from amazon)

All Raymond wants to do is hang out with his best friend, Monroe, but life has other plans. This summer, his mother has decided to send him to Bible camp for inner-city kids. On the bus there, he dreams of the best night of his life, when he and Monroe slipped away from home and jumped the turnstiles to ride the subway to downtown Boston on New Year’s Eve. The elaborate ice sculptures on display thrilled them, especially an angel with outstretched wings that glowed ghostly in the night. Raymond wakes on the bus to what he takes for another angel: Melody, a camp counselor and lifeguard. Like all the staff, she’s white. Pretty, blond, and friendly, she’s the person Raymond most wants to impress during the Color War, the camp’s sports competition, and to whom he confesses his most painful secret, a loss that has made him grow up far too fast and left him wise beyond his mere nine years.

Review

I’ve read a few of Picoult’s kindle singles now. Apparently I didn’t bother reviewing Where There’s Smoke, and I have Larger Than Life on the list waiting for review.

I can’t remember why I decided not to review Where There’s Smoke, maybe I was waiting for the book it was based on to come out?

Either way The Color War  is probably the one I liked the least of the three. It had good areas, or I suppose interesting areas. It didn’t really work for me in terms of a short story however. Too many big issues which needed a ‘proper’ book. Maybe not a long one, but more than the few pages you get with a kindle single (according to goodreads The Color War has 34 pages). If it had to be a shorter story then there should have been less in it. Have the major event, or something to do with Raymond’s emotions after. As it was it was too sketchy.

Plus unlike both of Picoult’s other kindle singles which I’ve read The Color War is stand alone, so you can’t hope to get more from reading the book which it is connected to.

2/5

Buy it:

Kindle (£1.81)

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Filed under Contempory, Fiction review, Short story

Bloggiesta Wrap-up


Bloggiesta Starting Line

I think that’s going to be it for Bloggiesta this time around. I feel like I got a lot done…lot’s have a look back at my list…

The List (in no specific order)

  • Review:- The Shock of the Fall, Dexter by Design, Dexter is Delicious, Slaughter-House Five, The Color War, The Humans, The Silkworm, Clash of Kings, The Forgotten Daughter, Larger Than Life.
  • Update review masterlists author and title, and Children’s Hour masterlist
  • Update reviews on goodreads and amazon
  • Re-write intros for Children’s Hour and Sunday Surfing
  • Update review policy
  • Update blog roll and feedly subscriptions
  • Take part in a/some mini challenges -Anchor Links for masterlists
  • Update twitter profile
  • Unfollow spammy twitter people
  • Sort out twitter lists
  • Do something about the pages links
  • Musings post about concept of literary (?)
  • Sort out e-mails
  • Sort new stuff for facebook page
  • Write Sunday Surfing
  • Schedule ‘what’s been popular’ twitter and facebook updates

Didn’t quite have the material for that musings post, but that’s ok, maybe another time.

I’m going to do the intro for Children’s Hour when I write my next one, as I did with Sunday Surfing.

Still a few reviews to write but I think I made a decent dent in the pile, and I have one scheduled for this week so shouldn’t have to worry about getting another out until next week.

I’m most happy with my new review masterlists, I’ve wanted to put anchor links in for years, but I didn’t know how.

Participated in the twitter chats too which were really good fun, and I met some great other bloggers. :) Going to have a look around and see how everyone else has been doing now.

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Sunday Surfing 21/9/14


bird surf

Sunday Surfing is my weekly feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging. Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week.

Let’s get started.

Around the web this week

The most highlighted passages in classic kindle books

Is YA fiction popular because adult fiction is too narrow?

Quotes from banned books

Brave fictional characters

Apparently my life can be described by Lord of the Rings (which obviously means it’s epic!) Which classic novel describes your life?

 

And on the blog this week…

It’s Bloggiesta weekend so I’ve been busy

The kids read Fred the Firefighter

I reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five

And The Shock of the Fall

 

 

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Slaughterhouse-Five- Kurt Vonnegut


This book was read as part of The Rory List

Synopsis (adapted from amazon)

Slaughterhouse-Five (1969) is the now famous parable of Billy Pilgrim, a World War II veteran and POW, who has in the later stage of his life become “unstuck in time” and who experiences at will (or unwillingly) all known events of his chronology out of order and sometimes simultaneously.

Review

I’ve been rewatching a lot of Lost recently (yay netflix!), I’m pretty sure a whole load of series 4 is based (ok…loosely) on slaughterhouse-five. Basically what happens is Two guys get off the island, and one of the guys gets unstuck in time- like Billy Pilgram. He keeps flicking from present day back to when he was in the army. What’s it caused by? Well I have theories but I haven’t actually seen the end yet.

In Slaughterhouse-Five we know why Billy is unstuck in time. Or at least we know why Billy thinks he’s unstuck in time. It could just be post-dramatic stress disorder induced fantasies. He may well be in the hospital bed, or even living a ‘normal’ life the whole time.

It’s weird, and different, and it doesn’t make sense. So what? Does fiction have to make sense?

3/5

Buy it (from amazon):

Kindle (£2.99)

Paperback (£6.29)

Other reviews:

Giraffe Days

 

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The Shock of the Fall- Nathan Filer


Note: This book is sold as ‘Where the Moon Isn’t’ in the US

Synopsis (from amazon)

‘I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.’

 

Review

Two things before I start:

1) I wrote a copy of this post I was really happy with, then it got eaten by wordpress :(

2) After writing my first version of this review I read Ellie’s review. Ellie suggested that to reveal what Matt’s illness was would be a bit of a spoiler, because it would give you pre-conceived ideas of what Matt was like. When I thought about it I could see where she was coming from, but my review was too much based on his condition to avoid mentioning what it was. Therefore I have blanked out everytime I have written the name of Matt’s condition, and put brackets around it. If you want to know what the illness is just highlight between the brackets. The review should still make sense missing this word out.

Okay, on to the review.

You can tell that The Shock of The Fall is written by someone with experience of mental health, the voice of Matt sounds very authentic. His mental health condition seems realistic too, it is not unknown for a serious emotional event (such as the death of a brother) to trigger (schizophrenia), and it is often part of what will make up the (schizophrenic) episodes too. What makes it even more authentic is that it is narrated by Matt himself. It’s not like seeing a (schizophrenic) episode, where it can be quite obvious that the person is unwell. You can rarely be 100% sure if what Matt is experiencing is ‘real’ or part of his illness.

Matt’s family are obviously important to him. They are like his rock. The way he talks about his Nan, and , most notably, Simon shows how much he loves them. They are both easily the most likeable characters. Matt himself? Maybe not likeable, but that works. If he was more likeable it would make the story less realistic, because of the ways he sees himself.

I do wonder a bit if Filer is having a bit of a bash at the government for it’s cuts to the NHS. An important thing which happens in the book is caused by budget cuts, and is one of the things which gets cut in reality too. On the day I originally wrote this review there had been a piece on radio 4 about how the waiting times for talking therapies are effecting patients. According to a study by We Need to Talk 1 in 6 patients awaiting treatment attempt suicide. To have to wait at all is pretty bad, but it really shouldn’t get to this state. For someone with mental health difficulties to ask for help is often the first step towards getting better. It’s like taking one step on a stair and finding a wall in the way, isn’t the easiest option to step back?

Sorry this has turned into somewhat of a political rant.

The Shock of the Fall was the winner of the Costa Prize. It’s what prompted me to look at it, but it still is the sort of thing that I would have wanted to read. Was it worth the prize? Maybe. I’m not sure I would say it has literary greatness (whatever that is…). It’s too…conversational, but actually in terms of readability and reader connection that makes a good book, for me at least.

In the US The Shock of the Fall is renamed to Where the Moon isn’t. Why? I don’t know (maybe I could find out). I’m not sure I like it though. The Shock of the Fall seems like a strange name to start off with. However when you finish it seems like a pretty perfect name. I won’t say why, spoilers. Where the Moon Isn’t sort of fits though. You know what they say about the moon and mental illness.

4/5

Buy it:

From an indie store (via Hive):

Paperback (£6.97)

E-book (£3.99)

Buy from amazon:

Kindle (£2.99)

Paperback (£3.85)- Part of the 3 for £10 promotion

Hardback (£14.94)- As ‘Where The Moon Isn’t’

Other reviews:

Curiosity Killed the Bookworm

Thought Scratchings

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Filed under Contempory, Fiction review, Psychology (fiction)

Bloggiesta Start Line


It’s Thursday. It’s the first day of Bloggiesta. I’m not long back from work and have a cup of tea, all ready to start.

You can see my to-do list here (which I may well add to as I go along, and which I will strike as I go along).

I’m starting off with my review of The Shock of the Fall, which I actually had already written, but wordpress ate it (I was really happy with it as well, and wordpress almost never eats things). Hopefully that should be posted tomorrow (with this and Children’s Hour posted today I don’t think I need a standard review too).

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Children’s Hour: Fred the Firefighter


Children’s Hour is a feature posted every Thursday here at Lucybird’s Book Blog. Children’s Hour is my time for reviewing children’s picture books. In my job in a nursery I encounter lots of children’s books, and these are the books I use for Children’s Hour.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

I was convinced I had already done a Children’s Hour on Fred the Firefighter, but apparently not. We used to have a kid who was obsessed with firefighters, and I was sure I had done it then (this must have been at least 3 years ago actually…so pre-children’s hour, the first one was  May 2012…really that long ago?!). It’s a book from the same series as Sam the Chef, and has a similar formula. We see Fred and his colleagues, we see the place where he works, and some of the things he has to do at the fire station, and of course he goes to fight a fire. There is some explanation of what caused the fire, and Fred has to save a dog who was caught in the fire. This always seems to be the way with fire books for kids, it’s an animal that needs saving rather than a person.

The kids are obsessed with firefighters at the moment. Everytime we go outside they have to fight a fire, they get out the firefighter dressing up, the ask for the role play fire engines, one of the kids sings the Fireman Sam theme tune everytime he’s on the toilet(!), and when they are looking independently at books they ask for this one.

They do like to look at it independently, which suggests that it’s actually the pictures that they like more than the words, although they will ask questions about things they don’t recognise- so they still get some of the learning which they would get from the words too.

As far as more factual books go I do like this series. It has a bit of a plot which makes it easier for the kids to be attentive, and the pictures are colourful and interesting.

Buy it:

Paperback- new (from £20.00)

Paperback- used (from £0.01)

Book and toy- new (from £51.50)

Book and toy- used (from £49.27)

 

 

 

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Filed under Children's Hour, Fiction review, Picture books

Bloggiesta To-Do List


It’s Bloggiesta next week folks. There is so much I need to get done (I think I even commented somewhere last week that I needed a Bloggiesta to make me do stuff) so it’s about time I participated.

Bloggiesta is a blogging event about doing those things which you’ve been meaning to do on your blog but have been procrastinating over or not found time for. It’s a time where you say ‘right, I’m getting this done’. There are always lots of other bloggers on hand to help out, especially on twitter and there are mini challenges so you can find out how to do new things on your blog (I joined twitter thanks to one of these in the past).

Sign-up to take part here.

The List (in no specific order)

  • Review:- The Shock of the Fall, Dexter by Design, Dexter is Delicious, Slaughter-House Five, The Color War, The Humans, The Silkworm, Clash of Kings, The Forgotten Daughter, Larger Than Life.
  • Update review masterlists author and title, and Children’s Hour masterlist
  • Update reviews on goodreads and amazon
  • Re-write intros for Children’s Hour and Sunday Surfing
  • Update review policy
  • Update blog roll and feedly subscriptions
  • Take part in a/some mini challenges -Anchor Links for masterlists
  • Update twitter profile
  • Unfollow spammy twitter people
  • Sort out twitter lists
  • Do something about the pages links
  • Musings post about concept of literary (?)
  • Sort  out e-mails
  • Sort new stuff for facebook page
  • Write Sunday Surfing
  • Schedule ‘what’s been popular’ twitter and facebook updates

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Sunday Surfing 14/9/14


bird surf

Those of you who follow me on twitter might have noticed I’m been posting a lot of links recently. Sunday Surfing is my  feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging.

Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week. Lets get started.

 

Around the web this week

Artists reflections on the changing face of reading

The Booker Shortlist has Arrived

Experimental fiction worth reading

This college Professor will pay for the text books of one student who beats him at a computer game. Seems strange to give them a reason to procrastinate from working.

Our favourite books- according to facebook

Rainbow Rowell’s journey from newspaper reporter to famous author

What to read now based on your high school favourites. I don’t get why Frankenstein and The Historian go together rather than Dracula and The Historian

Which Roald Dahl character are you? I got Charlie Bucket

Bloggers as Publicists and Bookbridgr. I was pleasantly surprised to see Ellie mentioned in this article.

And on the blog this week…

I reviewed The Cuckoo’s Calling

Children’s Hour revisited Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?

And my giveaway results were revealed

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