Reading shelf – Fantastic beasts and where to find them.

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Fantastic Beasts & where to find them.

Newt Scamander aka JK Rowling

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This book was just a book I borrowed from the library as it was to do with Harry Potter and I hadn’t seen it and of course I knew what to expect after reading the novels I knew this to be a title of a work book they used at Hogwarts in their care of magical creatures classes. So I thought it might be fun to flick through and pass the time on the bus ride home.

I didn’t really expect to read it all the way through like I did in the end but it was more interesting than I first thought. Or I am still a desperate fan who just wants to know as much as I can about the wizarding world, I have grown with and come to love so immensely. It was] also a little insight into Harry, Ron and Hermione as they all wrote little comments in the margins as we all did in our school books to laugh at later or  remind ourselves of something we learn about said subject. So that was the really good part about this book really. So if you haven’t had a look and a laugh at this one already, I think you should as it was very amusing and informative about all the fantastic beasts as well as the trio’s amusing comments.

xXx

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Reading shelf – Anne of Windy Willows.

 

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Anne of Windy Willows. By L.M.Montgomery

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 Another book in the series all about Anne Shirley and I still adore her, although she is growing up and calming down. She still has her wonderfully imaginative view of life that makes you look a little closer at the simplest things in your own and that is always a good thing.

This book is somewhat different to the others as it is not just the story about Anne but also in the form as letters to her beloved Gilbert. It is lovely to read her hand or her take on certain events as she describes them to him.  It does sometimes feel a little bit like da-jar-view. It also gives me something I can find fault with and that is amazing as this is now the forth book in the series I have read and the only one I can make. It’s not even a fault really merely a missed opportunity and one I wouldn’t have misted as it would have given us the readers more of a rounded view. Can you see what I am getting at? of course you can. She should have included Gilberts reply’s to Anne. So while reading this book I felt a little let down and then every time there was a letter to Gilbert I wanted to know what he would have said to Anne in reply as much as I wanted to know what he was doing and how he was getting . So it all felt rather odd and very one sided. It would have been nice to get to know the man he had become and why Anne fell in loves him. As there seemed to be a lot that we didn’t see/read about when it comes to their relationship.

It was weird reading about Anne away from Green Gables for so long but that was the whole point and it was good to get to know her true grit and she has it in abundance. This book is about her teaching while Gilbert is studying to become a Doctor and thus putting off their Wedding until such a time that he can look after her like he should. So Anne moves to Summerside and lodges with The widows,  Aunt Chatty and Aunt Kate who needed a lodger to help pay for their working woman Rebecca Dew who milks their cow and cooks for them. Anne and Rebecca form quite a close bond during this three year period that she lodges with them. She has the dearest little loft or tower room that Anne fell in love as soon as she sore it and the window looked out onto an old graveyard.

Anne soon takes her post as the Principle of the school in Summerside and meets some very negative parents and teachers as they would have rather one of their own a Pringle and a man would have got her job. It wasn’t her fault but that didn’t seem to stop the Pringle family giving her such a hard time. The Pringles were a large and influential family and Anne has difficulty gaining respect from their children as well as the parents. Anne continues to be herself and tried to make everyone like her and although at some points I as a reader even doubted that Anne’s charm could win them over she managed it and life got increasingly better.

One of my favourite and I think the funniest moments of the whole book. So as to not ruin if for you for those of you that might read this I won’t give too much away but I can not write a review without mentioning it. Anne was invited to supper by one of the younger members of the Taylor family to help ease the tension at a very important family meal and of course Anne couldn’t say no. Needless to say Anne broke the tension and something that had never happened before happened and the whole family were thankful to Anne for the result of her actions. It was so tense but even when it was funny because you just didn’t know how it was going to turn out but you know Anne’s luck and it really helped her in this situation. I laughed so hard and thinking of it now while I write makes me want to read it again.

Three years soon past and Anne learnt a lot about herself and made some more dear friends. As it neared the  end of the book I was sad as it means I am that much closer to finishing them all and will soon have to say goodbye to Anne just like Aunt Kate, Aunt Chatty and Rebecca Dew.

xXx

 

 

Reading Shelf – Interesting Times.

 

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Interesting times – Terry Pratchett

 

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Interesting times is very right but then they always are when you have a story with Rincewind at the heart of it. He is such a beloved character and the worst wizard there is but somehow he always manages to save the day while running away.

Not forgetting his faithful luggage always managing to turn up at the precise time when Rincewind needs his help the most.

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This story is of no exception and we find Rincewind on a little Island living out his days or so he thinks being as happy as Rincewind can be but that wouldn’t make for a very interesting story at all now would it. Soon there is a message from an old source to the Wizards at the Unseen University and would you believe it they want “The Great Wizzard” only the other wizards know that they must mean Rincewind because of the spelling but he is definitely no great wizard. Anyway the story unfolds with Rincewind being sent to the oldest empire on the discworld as a savour although the other wizards think they are sending him to his doom.

Rincewind ends up in another adventure he doesn’t want to be in and bumps into a few old friends along the way. Including Cohen the barbarian who has gathered a Horde of his own. This part of the story is a very amusing one as they are all in their eighties or older and still acting like barbarians. Just the conversations they have are so funny. Rincewind also bumps into Twoflower as it is his part of the disc that Rincewind has been sent and unbelievably it is Twoflower’s fault Rincewind and himself are in the mess they find themselves in when they do meet in the most unlikeliest place.

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As always Sir Terry dose not let us down and neither do our beloved characters. This was an action packed and funny adventure and it had everything you would expect and a load more that you wouldn’t from our favourite duo. If you like big battles and unexpected twists this is the discworld novel for you. I loved it and know I will read it again. There was so much going on at points that I think that I will have to read it at least a couple more times to fully absorb the story but that is what makes Terry Pratchett so good because each time you read it you understand and take in more or the story or find a different bit funny to the last time you read it.

xXx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading shelf – Northern Lights or The Golden Compass.

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Northern Lights aka The Golden Compass.

By Philip Pullman

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Well ever since I sore the film and realised that the next one was not going to be made and that I would have to read the books to find out what will happen next but I have to admit I have taken too long to get round to it, but finally I have well I have started with this the first of the Trilogy “His Dark Materials”

Of course I loved the film and they did a great job but as always when they make a film they always change the story to suit their own agenda and simply say it’s because it wouldn’t work on the film but really it’s because they want to change it. So they did change it quite a lot so it was more acceptable for a young audience. As there are some bits that would have been quite upsetting. I was enthralled the whole way through the book. It was a pleasure to read and it flowed from chapter to chapter.

I love the whole concept of people with living souls. What an amazingly creative idea that was and how well it works, it is almost your soul, your conscience and you best friend all rolled into one and I so want one. Just think…how wonderful that would be?  I wish I could have one. Our story follows a child called Lyra who is only 11 years old and who lives in a collage of scholars instead with her parents but she has an Uncle and he checks in on her from time to time. He is Lord Asrieal and he is an explorer/scientist. To put it in very brief terms, Lyra becomes our heroine although she doesn’t really comprehend just how important she is to the story that is unfolding and the destiny that wraps round this world and the others that are about to be discovered by her Uncle and the Church body called The Magasterum. She is a very clever and brave young girl who is out to save her friend and ends up saving so many other children in the process as well as making friends with an armoured bear and a aeronaught. That is one lucky girl.

This is such an amazing story and it is only the beginning of young Lrya’s story. Philip has such a gift of imagination and a way with expressing his vision that we can all join in and I can’t wait for the next instalment.

xXx

 

 

Book shelf – Anne of the Island

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Anne of the Island.

By L. M. Montgomery

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Well it doesn’t feel like long ago I had finished the last Anne book but I just can’t seem to her down and stop reading. I want to know how it ends and this book was exactly the same as the first two.

Except of course the story, the writing is still as descriptive as ever and it all flows as easily. So I am still in love with the way L.M. Montgomery writes and describes her story. Anne and her friends are in their last year of collage and so much has happened to them already and so much more happens in this one it seems hard to believe.

This book is mainly about finishing collage and growing up and beginning to go their separate ways. Two of Anne’s best friends are so grown up that they get married and leave poor Anne behind and despite her having her own handsome beu she still feels a pain about her old chum Gilbert and his finance whenever mentioned. As we all grow just like Anne and her friends we change from what we thought we would be when we were young thinking and dreaming of our grown up selves into what our lives has shaped us to be. Anne is no different and is slowly coming to terms with the fact that her imagination of things are just that and life never turns out  the way we imagine them too. She is growing up and it is still thrilling to be along for the ride.

xXx

Book shelf – Anne of Avonlea

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Anne of Avonlea

By L. M. Montgomery

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Well I read Anne of Green Gables last year and it was the book that kicked me off starting to read again because I had wanted to read it since I was young and never did so when I say it I had to borrow it and read it and since then I haven’t stopped reading. So thanks L. M. Montgomery and of course Anne because you reawakened my love of reading and imagination and I am so very grateful.

However this is not Anne of Green Gables it is the follow up to it Anne of Avonlea and I had to wait three month’s to read this due to not knowing you could reserve books from a library and then having to wait for it to come into my local library but guess what my fantastic liberian’s did for me? They only went and reserved the rest of the books about Anne for me. How thrilled I was with them and when I got a letter to tell me they had all arrived for me.

So I began to read and it was just like it was when I read Anne of Green Gables –  it was like reading about a friend or as Anne would call it/me a kindred spirit. I just love the way it is beautifully written and described and yet there is still scope for you to use your own imagination and it is just so easy to read and follow. It quite simply is a wonderful read.

Of course Anne and her friends are growing up and as much as Anne has she is still very Anne like and very funny and still capable of getting into scraps. Although this book was not completely focused on Anne but more her life as she has to spread into the world more. She takes on her first job and sets up a society to improve Avonlea and meets new people and another couple of kindred spirits. So there is much to keep you appetite and keep you from putting the book down just like last time.

In my opinion it all ended much to quickly and Anne is growing up faster than my own babies seem to and it is too harsh to explain how I miss that little girl I first met and fell in love with reading about but alas we all grow up and I was just relieved when I finished it those my lovely librian reserved the other books for me and I had the foresight to bring home the next two because I just can’t wait to find out what will happen to Anne in the next instalment/book.

So am off to start the next one. If you haven’t ever read this classic collection of books then I really think that you should because it is such a joy to read it’s about family, friendships and enjoying the world for what it is and what it offers us all each and every day. I truly feel blessed that I am reading this wonderfully written collection of books about this rather different and spirited girl/young woman who makes you look at life in the best way possible.

I am now off to read the next one…Anne of the Island.

xXx

Children’s books reviews!

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I read ALOT of books to my son who is three as we read at least three every night and sometimes during the day too. I know to some this may seem like too many but he loves books and hearing a story and it’s our quiet time together before he goes to bed. It has also rubbed off onto his father who doesn’t read himself but now under dress from his son he reads to him now and again. So I think to myself that not only have I encouraged my son to loved stories/reading but in turn he is encouraging his father. So I’m a very proud Mummy. Now our daughter is one and coping what her brother is doing she in turn now loves pretending to read. If my son has left a book about the house she finds it and flicks through the pages but she especially likes my books as they are thicker and she likes the breeze the flicked pages make. So she is surrounded and interested in books already. My son always tries to pick out a noisy or bright book out for his sister at the library and at times like those I know I’m doing a good job.

That’s not why I’m writing though but I thought a little bit of background might explain why I am now choosing to review these children’s books. It is the simply fact that I read so many that when a good one or in this case two come along they make an impact on me as an adult not just on my son. So I thought I would write about the ones that stand out in the many and share with all you parents out there that want more than just your average book for bedtime.

So here are my first two reviews:

 

Seven for a secret

By Laurence Anholt & Jim Coplestone

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This was truly enchanting and based on the song about magpies “One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy” and so on. If you haven’t heard that song then this is a brilliant way to read it and learn it and experience it and if you have it’s a very lovely way to re-experience it in a new way. I will warn you though Mums and Dads that this one did make me cry. It is such a sweet story and it isn’t really even a story in the original sense either. It is told to you via letters written and then received from a young girl and her grandpa. Such a clever and inventive way of telling you this story of love, hope, kindness, family, loss and everything else in-between.

I adored it and my son quite liked it although I am quite relived he didn’t quite understand all of it as he’s a sensitive soul and I think it would of upset him if he really understood it. So I would advise you to read this one first on the base that it might upset your child but it is also a good way to deal with loss and it is done in such a lovely way.

With each letter/page you read you really felt that you were getting to know the whole family and not just the young girl and her grandpa. I found it sad because as an adultt you kinda knew what was coming but it still ending in such a way to surprise you and make up for the tears you may have shed. So please don’t be put off by the little sad bit because it is such a lovely story about friendship and family and of course sharing a song and a love of magpies and of a very special secret.

I think I am a better person for having read it and thank the writers and publishers for this little gem of a book. I know it will stay with me for quite some time to come.

“I found this picture while looking for one for our next book and just had to include it.”

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Library Lion

By Michelle Knudsen

Illustrated By Kevin Hawkes

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Well this book is about the obvious but it is such a wonderful tail, pardon the pun that we re-read it again and again. You disregard that it is silly that a lion would just walk into a library and that it behaves on the most part very well. Infact you even start to believe that it is quite possible. The pictures really do help you on that side as the lion looks so friendly and calm you can’t help hoping you could have one just like him in your library.

It is a very charming story about this lion who loves stories and just wants to be able to come and listen and then decides to be an honorary librarian. Most people seem to warm to him and the children and head librarian love him but he has words or Roar’s with one fellow but in the end they seem to work it out. The underlining story is about rules and following them. So it has a good little moral as well.

We both really liked it and I am sure you all will too.

xXx

Reading Shelf – I had to admitt defeat on this one, as it was more of a chore than a joy!

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Reading in bed. By Sue Gee.

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This was one of the first books on my reading shelf list I think because I know I started reading it in January this year. I hate not reading a book that I have started in fact I hate not finishing anything that I have started and believe me I have tried. I thought I started out slow on this book because it had been a while since I had read but then other books got read and this one I could only read a few pages of at the most 10-12.

I knew I might find it quite difficult to relate to the main characters as they were both retires but still they loved reading in bed as do I and thought that would be enough to keep me interested. I guess it would have done if it wasn’t diluted by a very varied cast of characters that were the family of the originals and it got very confusing very fast. I was interested in them all but by the time you got back to them you had forgotten who they were related to as the bit about each were not big enough and because there were so many it made it difficult to keep up.

So alas after nearly three months of trying to read this book on and off and only 131 pages into it I decided…why force myself to struggle on and read it just to say that I had read it when I was finding it more of a chore than a joy.

So sadly this book wasn’t for me.

xXx

Reading self – another library book jumps the cue.

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Get the life you really want by James Caan

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Well this was an impulse borrow as I was in the library and am doing all this self help thanks to the doctors, the well being team and another blogger so I thought why not a book. I love dragon’s den and when I sore this “quick read” book by one of the dragon’s I couldn’t resist giving it a go.

It was a quick read I started and finished it in one go and only took me a few hours because I actually made notes.

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As you can see I made quite a few notes but I won’t bore you with typing them all out.  Although I will make a couple of quotes.

“It’s your mindset, not your ability that shapes how high you will go. In other words, it is your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude.”

I really liked this one because it means you just need to have a positive “can do attitude” to get what and where you want. (I am getting there.) The other quote really hit home with me because I hate procrastinating or wasted time.

“Value your TIME, and it will become your most VALUEABLE ASSET.”

Admitting most of what he wrote I actually knew but it was the way he wrote it and made references to his own life and the people in his life that made it an interesting read. It was short and sweet but he put it into manageable pieces so you could just read one chapter at a time and most of the notes I made where from the revision of each chapter that he had put into bullet points. So it was a very well thought and laid out book. A dream hand book or reference book really. And yes I did find it helpful even though I knew most of the key points he was writing about because we all forget these obvious things but to have it their in that simple easy to see bullet point layout really helped.

So it is a big thumbs up and a thank you from me.

xXx

Eric – From my bookshelf reading list and a keeper in my personal collection!

Eric By Terry Pratchett This was the first ever Terry Pratchett book I ever read and as I had some money I treated myself to this the smallest of the discworld series. I know technically I have already read this … Continue reading