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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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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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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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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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Filed under general, Memes, Sunday Surfing

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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Filed under Classics, Fiction review, Sci-Fi

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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Filed under general, Memes, Sunday Surfing

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


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 couldn’t think what to write about for this week’s Children’s Hour. No new books, and there doesn’t seem to be a particular interest in old books which I haven’t already written about. I had been talking about how ‘my’ children continued to get on with Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Can You Hear? at home so Mum suggested that I revisit it. So that’s what I’ve decided to do. This almost feels like an early years blog. (You should read my Mum’s Blog by the way. It’s very good, and I don’t just say that because she’s my Mum).

First off here is my original Polar Bear post.

One of the more negative things I had said is that the kids don’t really know what the animals are. However they are learning this, some children better than others. They can name flamingo, walrus and leopard now (even as separate from lion, which is a frequent confusion when it comes to big cats). Whether they could do this out of context I’m not so sure. They do still call the boa constrictor a snake, which is right but is a similar thing to knowing the difference between a leopard and a lion. They have some problems with peacock too, but they are getting there. Initially they could get it from me saying “pea” but now they get it from the ‘p’ sound, and that’s good for other types of learning too. The zoo keeper only one child calls a zoo keeper rather than just a man, and Polar Bear is his favourite book, he always asks for it.

We’ve looked at the sounds of the animals too. We looked for them on youtube, and the kids liked trying to copy some of the sounds. They didn’t remember much, and it was something which required a little too much concentration to keep repeating. It has made it more popular for them to make the sounds of the animals, however.

The child who adores Brown Bear has been introduced to Polar Bear too now. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a while. He was so confused, bless him. He would look at the page I was reading, look a bit puzzled, then go and look at the cover, then the page again. He wasn’t very impressed. Maybe it just wasn’t as good as Brown Bear. Or maybe he feels about it the same way as I feel about the Harry Potter films.

Buy it:

I’m not doing buying links this week, you can look at the original post, or the picture links to amazon.

 

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

Blogiversary Giveaway Results


Thank you to everyone who entered my blogiversary giveaways, it is time to announce the results…..

The winner of the book from list 1 is….

Botezatu and she wins a copy of Everything is Illuminated, or £6.29 for a charity of her choice

 

The winner of a book from list 2 is….

Karina and she wins a copy of The Secret Keeper or £4.52 for a charity of her choice

 

And the winner of a book from list 3 is…

Anjanette and she wins a copy of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (I will let her pick The Philosopher’s Stone if she hasn’t already started the series) or £6.40 for a charity of her choice

 

Well done to all the winners, I will be in touch with you shortly. And thank you to everyone for celebrating with me :)

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The Cuckoo’s Calling- Robert Galbraith


Synopsis (from amazon)

When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case.

Strike is a war veteran – wounded both physically and psychologically – and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s complex world, the darker things get – and the closer he gets to terrible danger . . .

Review

Ok, everyone know it, but we can’t not mention it can we? Robert Galbraith is J.K Rowling. She always said she wanted to have a pen name and write crime after Harry Potter.

Would I have read it if I didn’t know it was J.K. Rowling? Probably not. For one thing until it was leaked that The Cuckoo’s Calling was written by J.K it wasn’t an especially well known book, for another I don’t read that much crime.

The person who ‘discovered’ the truth said that it was because they could recognise J.K’s style of writing. I certainly could see her style, especially in the opening to The Cuckoo’s Calling. I don’t know if I would have noticed if I didn’t already know Galbraith and Rowling were one and the same, however. Unless I approached every crime novel released post-Harry as having the potential to be written by J.K

One more thing, before I get to the actual review. I kept hearing an Audible advert for The Cuckoo’s Calling on Spotify before I read this. Anyone else find that really off putting? It almost made me not want to read it.

I did like The Cuckoo’s Calling, you know. It was rather compulsive reading. There were lots of twists, and the end was unpredictable, I might even go as far as to says it seemed impossible…except it wasn’t! It’s rather memorable too, I was trying to think of what I wanted to write in this review (I’m about 10 books behind…I think I need a bloggiesta…), and little bits kept resurfacing in my memory- although nothing specific that I want to mention.

There was one little thing that annoyed me. There were moments when strange specifics were put in, like the names of pubs, or even the beer that Cormoran was drinking, they weren’t important to the story, maybe they were meant to make things more authentic, but I began to think that the series had been sponsored by Doom Bar (and I can tell you it doesn’t stop in The Silkworm either)

4/5

Buy it from an Indie Store (via Hive):

Paperback (£7.11)

Hardback (£12.75)

 Buy it from amazon:

Kindle (£2.79)

Paperback (£3.85)

Hardback (£14.95)

Other reviews:

Recovering Potterholic

The Eye of Loni’s Storm

Quirky Bookworm

Alison McCarthy

Books By Rotten

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Filed under Contempory, Crime, Fiction review

Sunday Surfing 7/9/14


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 new 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

The Worst Jobs in Literature

Why Reading is Important for Teenagers

Books and Films About Being New in School

Unusual Public Libraries

Margaret Atwood is the First Author to Participate in The Future Library Project. This sounds really cool, it’s a shame that I’m very unlickly to be around in 100 years to read the entries

And on the blog this week…

I reviewed Fangirl

The kids read Messy Baby

I launched my blogiversary giveaway

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Filed under general, Memes, Sunday Surfing

Children’s Hour: Messy Baby


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.

One of the new children in toddler room (she has just moved up from babies) loves books, and her favourite seems to be Messy Baby. There is nothing I can see that’s great about the book, it’s one of those books which names items, but it is trying to be a story too. It pretty much fails at that but I think that may be what the kids like about it, they can basically read it themselves, they just have to say what they can see most of the time.

For adults it’s a boring book to read, but at least it isn’t annoying (like some books I could mention)

Buy it:

 Boardbook- new (from £3.99)

Boardbook- used (from £0.01)

 

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

Fangirl- Rainbow Rowell


Synopsis (from amazon)

Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they’re off to university and Wren’s decided she doesn’t want to be one half of a pair any more – she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It’s not so easy for Cath. She’s horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she’s experienced in real life.

Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She’s got a surly room-mate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

Now Cath has to decide whether she’s ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she’s realizing that there’s more to learn about love than she ever thought possible.

Review

When I reviewed Landline I mentioned how much I had loved Fangirl (which I had just finished reading).

I really identified with Cath, more than I identified with Eleanor (of Eleanor & Park), I think that’s a skill of Rainbow Rowell’s- making characters which are easy to identify with.

To me Cath was a Harry Potter fangirl, I’m not quite her (only the occasional dip into the world of fanfiction) but I certainly ‘knew’ people like her, and saw a lot of elements of myself in her. Harry Potter was a big part of my world for a while (which I have spoken about before), so I think I understood Cath, although maybe I was more of a balance between her and Wren when it came to uni.

Thinking about it, actually, Fangirl is quite a lot like 4 to 16 characters, although I did prefer it.

It’s cute, and it’s romantic, and it’s real, that’s what’s awesome about it.

5/5

Buy it from an indie store (via hive):

Paperback (£6.23)

Buy it from amazon:

Kindle (£2.99)

Paperback (£4.19)

Hardcover (£9.09)

Other reviews:

The Perpetual Page Turner

Curiosity Killed the Bookworm

Bookjourney

The Leading Librarian

Recovering Potter Addict

So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

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Filed under Fiction review, Romantic, YA

Blogiversary Competition Time


 photo 20110129_104350_BalloonsTopImag-1.gif

The weekend just gone was Lucybird’s Book Blog’s fifth blogiversary, can you believe it’s been five years?

So to celebrate it’s competition time.

You know how I like to do things differently here, so this time I’m giving away three books, but there’s a catch!

There are three lists, each with five five star books, you pick which list you would like to enter, but the book you win from that list will be picked at random. If you don’t want the book which was picked then you can choose to give the money to a charity of your choice.

You can enter for each list, however you can only win a book from one list.

To participate you must live in a country where The Book Depository delivers for free. You do not need to be a follower, but if would be nice if you were.

Entries are open for one week

So on to the lists…

List 1

Room- Emma Donoghue

Everything is Illuminated- Jonathon Safron Foer

Handle with Care- Jodi Picoult

The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts- Louis de Bernieres

Kafka on the Shore- Haruki Murkami

Enter to win a book from list 1

List 2

The Help- Kathryn Stockett

The Secret Keeper- Kate Morton

The Almond Tree- Michelle Cohen Corasanti

Life After Life- Kate Atkinson

The Last Hundred Days- Patrick McGuinness
Enter to win a book from list 2
List 3

Charlotte Street- Danny Wallace

The Rosie Project- Graeme Simsion

Fangirl- Rainbow Rowell (review is up tomorrow…hopefully…)

The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets- J.K. Rowling

Enter to win a book from list 3

 

 

 

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Sunday Surfing 31/8/14


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 new 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.

 

It’s Lucybird’s Book Blog’s Blogiversary today, and I only just realised!

 

Around the web this week

Kobo is launching a waterproof e-reader.

Dan Brown’s Inferno is being made into a film

Malorie Blackman received racist abuse on twitter

Things which happen when you can’t put a book down

The week that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory turned 50 Aldi banned another of Roald Dahl’s books from its Australian stores

Speaking of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory you can read an unpublished early draft chapter here

 

And on the blog this week…

I talked about the Top 10 Books on my Wishlist

I reviewed The Forgotten Sister

And the kids read Sam the Chef

 

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Children’s Hour: Sam the Chef


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.

 

We have a few ‘career books’ like Sam the Chef in the nursery. Formerly Fred the Firefighter has been our favourite, but now it’s Sam’s turn. Believe it or not Sam the Chef is about a chef, called Sam. Sam is opening a new restaurant and has some VIPs visiting. Everyone is eager to do well but there are a few hiccups on the way.

We learn all about the things which Sam and his team do. Cooking, serving, buying food, and Sam is in charge of it all.

What is it about it? I’m not sure. It’s less dry than other books with a factual basis. Plus there is a little drama. The pictures are interesting, they are a bit like those puppet TV shows, like Fireman Sam, or Thomas the Tank.

Buy it:

Paperback- new (from £3,878.89)

Paperback- used (from £0.01)

Hardcover- new (from £10.99)

Hardcover- used (from £2.00)

 

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

The Forgotten Sister- Jennifer Paynter


Synopsis (from amazon)

As a middle child flanked by two pairs of closely bonded sisters, marginalized by her mother, and ridiculed by her father, Mary Bennet feels isolated within her own family. She retreats to her room to read and play the pianoforte and, when obliged to mix in society, finds it safer to quote platitudes from books rather than express her real opinions. She also finds it safer to befriend those who are socially “beneath” her. When wealthy Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley glide into her sisters’ lives, Mary becomes infatuated with an impoverished young musician, the son of her old wet-nurse, who plays the fiddle at the Meryton assemblies.

It is only after her sisters tease her about her “beau with the bow” that Mary is forced to examine her real feelings and confront her own brand of pride and prejudice.

Review

I liked the idea of The Forgotten Sister. Mary Bennet is a pretty marginalised character in Pride and Prejudice (so is Kitty, she is basically Lydia’s shadow), but I wonder what makes her so much different from her sisters.

Paynter tries to address this problem, and she does, to a point. However she makes the other sisters (especially Elizabeth) seem pretty horrible in turn, and that just doesn’t seem canon to me. Surely if Elizabeth really disliked Mary that would come up in Pride and Prejudice itself?

For a long time I didn’t really like Mary, although by the end I did. Actually it sort of reminded me of Little Women, but with just one main character. The end didn’t seem quite to fit with the rest of the story either. Mary didn’t seem so much like Mary from it, or at least the Mary of the rest of the story. However I did get more into the story by the end, so I was enjoying it, despite inconsistency.

I think a problem with writing sequels to books by other authors is that it’s hard to get the tone right, and (especially with well known books like Pride and Prejudice) everybody already has their own ideas, and their own like and dislikes about the original book- which are hard not to hit on when another person writes about a book.

3/5

Buy it:

Kindle (£3.49)

Paperback (£6.57)

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Filed under Contempory, Fiction review, Historical

Top 10 Books I Really Want To Read But Don’t Own Yet


Top 10 Sites I Visit that AREN'T About Books

It’s Tuesday again so The Broke and the Bookish are hosting Top Ten Tuesday.

This week it’s Top 10 Books I Really want To Read But Don’t Own Yet. I’m really bad at impulse buying when it comes to books, so my wishlist is 122 books long (on amazon alone), that made it quite hard to choose just 10 books. The list is in no specific order, title links are to amazon, and synopses come from amazon too.

Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord- Louis de Bernières

Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord is the sequel to The War of Don Emmanual’s Nether Parts which is one of my favourite books.

“Dionisio Vivo, a South American lecturer in philosophy, is puzzled by the hideously mutilated corpses that keep turning up outside his front door. To his friend, Ramon, one of the few honest policemen in town, the message is all too clear: Dionisio’s letters to the press, exposing the drug barons, must stop; and although Dionisio manages to escape the hit-men sent to get him, he soon realises that others are more vulnerable, and his love for them leads him to take a colossal revenge.”

Moranthology-Caitlin Moran

I basically fell in love with Caitlin Moran when I read How To Be A Woman, so of course I want to read Moranology

“In MORANTHOLOGY Caitlin ‘gets quite chatty’ about many subjects, including cultural, social and political issues which are usually left to hot-shot wonks and not a woman who sometimes keeps a falafel in her handbag. These other subjects include…

Caffeine | Ghostbusters | Being Poor | Twitter | Caravans | Obama | Wales | Paul McCartney | The Welfare State | Sherlock | David Cameron Looking Like Ham | Amy Winehouse | ‘The Big Society’ | Big Hair | Nutter-letters | Michael Jackson’s funeral | Failed Nicknames | Wolverhampton | Squirrels’ Testicles | Sexy Tax | Binge-drinking | Chivalry | Rihanna’s Cardigan | Party Bags | Hot People| Transsexuals | The Gay Moon Landings”


A Recipe for Bees- Gail Anderson-Dargatz

I want to read this one after rather enjoying The Cure For Death By Lightening, although it doesn’t appear to be in print in the UK

“Augusta Olsen is a woman with passions and desires who has inherited three things from her mother: a wayward heart, a talent for beekeeping and the very dubious gift of second sight. These are legacies just too big for a young wife who finds life on a remote farm with shy, awkward Karl and his detestable father almost unbearable. But farming husbands and wives are married to their land as much as to each other. From that kind of necessity, a different sort of love is made – and remade…”


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close- Jonathan Safran Foer

Again this is one where I have enjoyed a different book by the same author, in this case Everything is Illuminated

 “Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is an inventor, amateur entomologist, computer consultant, Francophile, letter writer, pacifist, amateur astronomer, natural historian, percussionist, romantic, Great Explorer, jeweller, origamist, detective, vegan and collector of butterflies.

When his father is killed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center, Oskar sets out to solve the mystery of a key he discovers in his father’s closet. It is a search which leads him into the lives of strangers, through the five boroughs of New York, into history, to the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima, and on an inward journey which brings him ever closer to some kind of peace…”

Ape House- Sara Gruen

I will probably actually like Ape House more than I enjoyed Water for Elephants, because monkeys are my favourite animals.

“These bonobos are no ordinary apes. Like others of their species, they are capable of reason and carrying on deep relationships – but, unlike most bonobos, they also know American Sign Language.

Isabel Duncan, a scientist at the Great Ape Language Lab, doesn’t understand people, but animals she gets, especially the bonobos. Isabel feels more comfortable in their world than she’s ever felt among humans . . . until she meets John Thigpen, a very married reporter who braves the ever-present animal rights protesters outside the lab to see what’s really going on inside.

When an explosion tears apart the lab, severely injuring Isabel and ‘liberating’ the apes to an unknown destination, John’s human interest piece turns into the story of a lifetime.”


Record Collecting for Girls: Unleashing Your Inner Music Nerd, One Album at a Time- Courtney E. Smith

I read about this one on another blog (don’t ask me where, it was several years ago). I always like to find new music.

“Mariner Books Record Collecting for Girls is an invitation for all of you stereophiles (who happen to be female) to make your own top-five lists. and then. witharmed and ready with the book’s fun facts. to argue their merits to the ever-present boys’ club of music snobs in your life.”

Night- Elie Wiesel

“Born into a Jewish ghetto in Hungary, as a child, Elie Wiesel was sent to the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald. This is his account of that atrocity: the ever-increasing horrors he endured, the loss of his family and his struggle to survive in a world that stripped him of humanity, dignity and faith. Describing in simple terms the tragic murder of a people from a survivor’s perspective, Night is among the most personal, intimate and poignant of all accounts of the Holocaust.”

Graduates in Wonderland: The International Misadventures of Two (Almost) Adults- Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale

I read an article by one of the writers of this book which made me add it to my wishlist, although I’m not sure which author it was

“Two best friends document their post-college life in a hilarious and relatable epistolary memoir. Friends since they met at Brown University freshman year, Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale vowed to keep in touch after senior year through in-depth and brutally honest weekly e-mails. After graduation, Jess moves to Beijing while Rachel heads to New York. Each spends the next few years tumbling through adulthood and reinventing themselves in various countries, including France, China, and Australia. Through their messages, they swap tales of teaching classes of military men, running a magazine, and flirting in foreign languages, along with the hard stuff: from near-death run-ins, breakups, and breakdowns.”


Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage- Haruki Murakami

Yay, Murakami!

“Tsukuru Tazaki had four best friends at school. By chance all of their names contained a colour. The two boys were called Akamatsu, meaning ‘red pine’, and Oumi, ‘blue sea’, while the girls’ names were Shirane, ‘white root’, and Kurono, ‘black field’. Tazaki was the only last name with no colour in it.

One day Tsukuru Tazaki’s friends announced that they didn’t want to see him, or talk to him, ever again.

Since that day Tsukuru has been floating through life, unable to form intimate connections with anyone. But then he meets Sara, who tells him that the time has come to find out what happened all those years ago.”

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Filed under Memes, Top 10 Tuesday

Sunday Surfing 24/8/14


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 new 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

I can’t see why Readers Absorb Less When Reading on E-readers, but apparently they do. I can see why in the ‘real’ world but not in laboratory settings.

Ways to Find Great Indie Books

Signed Copy of Tale Of Two Cities, Made Out to George Eliot, For Sale

Kate Atkinson’s Next Novel Will Be a Companion to Life After Life. So excited, I loved Life After Life

Things That Are Actually Scary About The Harry Potter Universe

Which Type of Murakami Character Are You?

 

And on the blog this week…

I reviewed Me Talk Pretty One Day

The Kids Read Let’s Go to Nursery

 

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Children’s Hour: Let’s Go to Nursery


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.


Let’s Go To Nursery is what you would expect it to be. A story about going to nursery. It has all the stereotypical things, like eating snack, painting, the sand box. The kids don’t pick it up frequently, but more frequently than a lot of books. They don’t really have that much of a response to it either, but I think they like seeing things they recognise in it.

As a story for those starting nursery I don’t really rate it. It doesn’t have any of the things in it which are scary about starting nursery, or not nice about nursery. No Mums leaving, not arguments, no new people. It shows a good, positive nursery attitude but I’m not sure it would be much of a comfort or good preparation

Buy it:

Boardbook- new (from £2,499.50)

Boardbook- used (from £0.01)

 

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Me Talk Pretty One Day- David Sedaris


This book was read as part of The Rory List

Synopsis (from amazon)

Anyone that has read NAKED and BARREL FEVER, or heard David Sedaris speaking live or on the radio will tell you that a new collection from him is cause for jubilation. His recent move to Paris from New York inspired these hilarious new pieces, including ‘Me Talk Pretty One Day’, about his attempts to learn French from a sadistic teacher who declares that ‘every day spent with you is like having a caesarean section’. His family is another inspiration. ‘You Can’t Kill the Rooster’ is a portrait of his brother, who talks incessant hip-hop slang to his bewildered father. And no one hones a finer fury in response to such modern annoyances as restaurant meals presented in ludicrous towers of food and cashiers with six-inch fingernails.
Review
I don’t know what it is but there is some link in my mind between David Sedaris and Alan Carr, it probably unfairly biases me because Alan Carr really annoys me (seriously, I don’t get why he’s so popular).
I must admit I didn’t take to David Sedaris himself. I felt he was rather self-satisfied, and that he thought he had to be better than everyone. At times his stories were funny, but not usually the ones focused on him. I liked Paul ‘The Rooster’ best, I could have happily read more about him, but he was a brief character.
3/5
 
Buy it from an indie store:
Paperback(£7.67)
Buy it from amazon:
Kindle (£4.49)
Paperback (£8.18)
Hardback (£11.19)

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Sunday Surfing 17/8/14


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 new 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

20 Book Reviewer Clichés. I must admit to occasionally using a couple of these…but I’m not so bad.

3D Books For The Blind

After last week’s reveal of the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Cover Buzzfeed Have Imagined New Covers For Other Children’s Books

New Words, Including YOLO, have Been Added to the Online Version of the OED

Would You Survive the Battle Of Hogwarts? Apparently I wouldn’t :(

And on the blog this week…

I reviewed the film of The Book Thief

And the kids read Fred and Ted’s Treasure Hunt

 

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Children’s Hour: Fred and Ted’s Treasure Hunt


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.

Fred and Ted’s Treasure Hunt is  another story we’ve had for quite a while but which has only recently become popular. In fact one of the children seemed to be following me around with it all day the other day. It is (believe it or not) a book about a treasure hunt.

Fred and Ted follow the directions on the map, and the kids can too. With counting and actions it’s a great book to join in with, although it doesn’t really have that much of a plot as such. You can make it exciting though, with careful reading. The kids enjoy being able to join in with the directions and the counting, but some bits are a bit difficult for two year olds to count, especially when you have to count different things on the same page.

Buy it:

Paperback- used (from £0.01)

Hardback- new (from £4,538.50)

Hardback- used (from £0.01)

 

 

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Film of the Book: The Book Thief


Read my review of the book

Please note this post contains spoilers for the film and the book The Book Thief

I watched The Book Thief with my boyfriend this weekend. It was good to watch with someone who hadn’t read the book because where I thought everything was quite clear, even with what had been left out he thought otherwise on that (although him not know who Jesse Owens was didn’t help either).

Generally the film was fairly faithful to the book. There were a few bits cut, mainly things with Rudy and things with the Hitler Youth, but it is a big book and I think most of the cuts made sense. The only thing really which bugged me was that Rudy was recruited for the elite group of children, but at the time his father had already gone to war. In the book the father is conscripted as a punishment for refusing to send Rudy to this camp. As it was though Rudy was recruited but didn’t go making it seem strange that it was in there at all.

Because so much of Rudy was cut it was less upsetting when he died, it was still sad, but not as sad as Liesel’s ‘parents’. There was less of her Papa too, but the still made him loveble, and his death was probably the saddest.

Buy it:

DVD (£9.99)

Blu-ray (£14.99)

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Sunday Surfing 10/08/14


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 new 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

There’s an awful new cover for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory here is is along with some more awful covers

When Casting Directors Get it Wrong

Great Novels by Women Under 50 The End of Mr Y is great, but Pop Co. is better

British People are Still Reading and apparently the average British person owns 86 books….which doesn’t seem that many to me

And on the blog this week…

The kids read Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?

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


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 bought Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? to use as part of our project on sound. As Brown Bear is still a favourite I thought they would appreciate something similar. It did go down quite well, especially with pre-school who tried to join in straight away. It took my toddlers a little longer, and a week later (having read it everyday) they do still struggle with some of the animals. They do enjoy the similar rhythm though, and like making the sounds of the animals that they do know.

To be honest the animals were the main problem. The kids couldn’t name quite a few of them, and sometimes the right answer wasn’t quite right (where the kids said snake it was a Boa Constrictor), and could make the sounds for even less. I didn’t even know the sounds for some.

It’s not quite Brown Bear, but it is good.

Buy From an Independent Shop via Hive:
Paperback (£5.23)

Boardbook (£5.41)

Buy from Amazon:

Paperback (£5.99)

Boardbook (£5.99)

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

Sunday Surfing 3/8/14


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 new 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

Unique Ways of Retelling Stories

Studies Suggest Reading Harry Potter Makes Children Less Prejudiced

David Cameron Has Backed Plans To Restrict Books Sent to Prisons

The Rights to The Goldfinch Have Been Sold

Vote For The Shortlist of ‘Not the Booker Prize’

Harry Potter Jewellery

And on the blog this week…

The Kids Read Friska the Sheep That Was Too Small

I’m away next week. Hoping to schedule Children’s Hour before I go but things may be a bit quiet.

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Children’s Hour: Friska the sheep that was too small


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.

We’ve had Friska on our shelf for a long time, but it has only recently become popular, until now the kids haven’t been that bothered about it. It may not be Brown Bear, or Peace at Last, or Don’t Wake the Bear, Hare! (which are still firm favourites). Firska is the story of the smallest sheep in the herd. All the other sheep laugh at Friska because she is so small, so Friska decides to try lots of things to make herself look bigger.

The kids love to look at the different ways that Friska uses to make herself bigger. The favourite is probably stealing a fleece from a sheep who had been sheered. They love the annoyed look on the farmer when he finds out. and how silly Friska looks.

The expressions of the characters are one of the best things about this book. They make me chuckle- and you wouldn’t think a sheep could have so many expressions!

 

Buy Friska the sheep that was too small:

Paperback- new (from £660.62)

Paperback- used (from £0.01)

Hardback- new (from £50.99)

Hardback- used (from £2.99)

 

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Sunday Surfing 27/7/14


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 new 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

How Libraries Create Readers

Apparently Successful Writers Get Up Early. I’m screwed then

Art on Old Books

The Company Who Wants to Create the Whole of Alice in Wonderland in Temporary Tattoos

Ways of Organising Your Bookshelf.  Am I the only person who thinks it would be difficult to find something in a colour sorted bookcase?

The Longlist for the Booker Prize was Revealed

Can You Identify These Fantasy Books From Their Covers?

And on the blog this week…

I Reviewed Just Destiny

And The Pre-Raphaelite Seamstress

The Kids Read Fidgit and Quilly Make a Noise

 

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Children’s Hour: Fidgit and Quilly Make a Noise


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.

Fidget and Quilly Make a Noise  is  all about the noises (believe it for not!). Fidget and Quilly are in a battle to see who can be nosier, CLANG! BANG! CRASH! It’s the noises which make the story (if you can really call it a story) enjoyable for the kids. They like to join in with shouting out the sounds, especially towards the end as it gets louder and louder. I can’t say that they’re bothered about the bits which make it more of a story.

 

Buy Fidget and Quilly Make a Noise new or used:

Boardbook- new (from £5.99)

Boardbook- used (from £0.01)

 

 

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The Pre-Raphaelite Seamstress- Amita Murray


Disclaimer: I was given this book free of charge, by the author, in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis (from amazon)

It is the 1860s, and Rachel Faraday is trying to follow in the footsteps of the Pre-Raphaelite artists. Struggling to make a living, in a world that looks down on female traders, she paints her fabrics in the colours and styles of the artists and sells them to wealthy women who daydream about clasping the men of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood between their thighs. One night, she meets a man, who, after the coldness of her cottage and the loneliness of her existence, shows her the possibility of a different life. The next day, he is arrested on suspicion of cold-blooded murder. As Rachel sets out to prove his innocence, she realizes that she must come to terms not only with the evidence in front of her, the vagaries of her trade, the hot-blooded attentions of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, but her own erotic longings and the secrets of her past.

Review

I’m trying to remember anything of note about The Pre-Raphaelite Seamstress. There isn’t a hell of a lot to be honest. In fact the main thing of note I can think of is that as a historical novel it seemed loose. I wouldn’t really say historically inaccurate, but it had little real history except for the setting.

As a crime novel it was better, but a little sketchy. Not as much detail as I would have liked, but enough to keep me wondering and reading.

The sections with Rossetti were…strange. It seemed almost as if Murray wanted to write the story about  Rossetti but couldn’t find a whole story there so decided to find a place in another story for it. It fit in with the rest of the story, but only slightly, it seemed an unnecessary plot line.

There was a romantic element too. Which was a driving force but a minor element to the story, according to amazon this book is the first in a series which is yet to be finished, I can see the romantic element being a larger plot line than in this first book.

3.5/5

Buy it:
Kindle (£0.77)
Paperback (£5.43)

 

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Filed under Crime, Fiction review, Historical, Mystery, Romantic

Just Destiny- Theresa Rizzo


Disclaimer: I was sent this books free of charge, by the author, in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis (from amazon)

What would you do if your whole world fell apart?
Jenny Harrison made some poor choices in the past, but marrying Gabe was the best thing she’d ever done. They had the perfect marriage, until a tragic accident leaves Gabe brain dead and her world in ruins.
Devastated by grief, she decides to preserve the best of their love by conceiving his child, but Gabe’s family is adamantly opposed, even willing to chance exposing long-held family secrets to stop her. Caught in a web of twisted motives and contentious legal issues, Jenny turns to best friend and attorney, Steve Grant. Steve wants to help Jenny, but he has reservations and secrets of his own.
When something so private and simple turns public and complicated, will Jenny relent? What is Steve willing to sacrifice to help Jenny?
Review
Just Destiny reminded me a lot of of Jodi Picoult books. A sort of debate. Is it right to take sperm from a dead guy? Even if he is your husband? There was the emotional element, and the personal element. There was a higher romantic element than in Picoult books, and that was, ultimately, what made it fall behind Picoult’s books.
The romance element was interesting, and I did like it. However it drowned out the moral elements, which were what interested me the most.
It was well written, and I quite liked the characters, especially Steve. It was an easy read too, and fairly compelling. I wouldn’t call it an amazing novel, but enjoyable enough
3.5/5
Buy it:
Kindle (£2.39)
Paperback (£12.73)

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Filed under Contempory, Fiction review, Romantic

Sunday Surfing 20/7/14


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 new 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.

Sunday Surfing is on Monday this week, I was away yesterday

Around the web this week

The Library of Birmingham is up  for an architecture award

What margin notes reveal

Why it’s ok to love your e-reader

Amazon is Launching an E-book Subscription Service

How To Draw Kipper

And on the blog this week…

The kids read Goose on the Loose

I Reviewed Landline

 

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Filed under general, Memes, Sunday Surfing