Defeated Again!

Oh dear, this is not good! For the second time this year I have given up without finishing a book. This is not like me at all but I gave up with Gone With the Wind and I have just popped The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall-Smith back on the shelf after getting about half way through. I know it's silly but I feel incredibly guilty when I don't finish a book but these two just didn't grab me. I do have a lot on my mind at the moment so I am sure this isn't helping but I have really missed looking forward to reading my current book when I get chance. I have trawled through my book shelves and decided to give She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb a go, hopefully it will be third time lucky!


Booking Through Thursday: Best Bad Book?

The opposite of last week’s question: “What’s the best ‘worst’ book you’ve ever read — the one you like despite some negative reviews or features?”

Hmmmm this is quite tough as it is very much down to personal opinion isn't it? Personally I think that Twilight is the best 'worst' book that I have read recently. The whole saga has sold millions of copies yet it still receives many an awful review. When I reviewed it myself here not so long ago, I agreed that it is not in anyway a literary masterpiece but in my personal opinion this does not make it a bad book. I loved the story and I think that Meyer created absolutely wonderful characters; they are the driving force of the book and I was completely taken with them. (Sorry about the italics, my computer will not change them back for some reason!)


Take5 Tuesday!

Needed something to kick start my brain this morning so decided to do this little thing:

1. 5 things you've read recently
  • Wedding magazines
  • A Friend of the Family by Lisa Jewell
  • Lovely cards off my beautiful sister and best friend
  • Trashy Heat magazine
  • Guide to where to seat people at weddings so as not to offend anyone (was not helpful).
2. 5 sites you've signed up for
  • Glad that I have discovered Simon Savidge's blog- very good!
  • Signed up for the newsletter from Marian Keye's website- very excited to hear that she is working on a new book!
  • Have become addicted to this- fuels my trashy celebrity gossip reading addiction.
  • Loved this- some of these photos are very scary whilst others have clearly been photo-shopped
  • Also loving Nicole's blog over at Linus' Blanket- great new look too!
3. 5 TV shows you've watched lately
  • Watched The Great Sperm Race last night and I have a whole new respect for the little blighters- that is one HUGE journey they have to make. Jokes aside, it was a really well made programme; Mr S concurred in his medical student opinion!
  • Am heavily addicted to Gossip Girl, think that I am actually bit old to be watching this but it is so good, Chuck Bass is a true hero!
  • I watched the new Horne and Corden sketch show but was a little disappointed as I really like these two but there are only so many fat man jokes to be made.
  • Enjoyed The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency on Sunday night, still not a patch on the books but still good, cosy, Sunday night viewing.
  • Old episodes of Black Books- always cheers me up!
4. 5 things that you want right now

  • More sleep
  • More time to write
  • Winning lottery numbers
  • A cleaner
  • A newly decorated bathroom
5. 5 things on your grocery list
  • Kitchen roll- Alfie seems to have forgotten that he should go to the toilet in the garden and not the kitchen
  • Fruit- I am very good at putting it on the list every week and buying it- just need to work on the actually eating it bit.
  • Custard Creams- they are a regular on the list and also on my hips.
  • Fresh Beetroot- these are for Mr S, he eats them as a snack, he is trying to eat 5 fruit and veg a day and put me to shame.
  • Air Freshener- again for Alfie, think he is probably due a bath and a blow-dry!


A Friend of the Family by Lisa Jewell

I am a BIG Lisa Jewell fan but somehow managed to miss this one so borrowed it from my local library. As with all her other books, I absolutely loved it; it's like sitting down with an old friend for a chat and a cup of tea.
The three central characters, Tony, Sean and Ned are brothers and are all at very different stages in their lives. They have fantastic parents, so they do not question their mother when she installs Gervase, the new lodger, into their family home. Gervase is a brilliant character; Lisa Jewell describes his unsavoury appearance and mannerisms so well that you are not surprised that the brothers do not warm to him instantly. However, this man has a huge impact on all of their lives and the reader is left wondering who he is and where he came from. I thought he was a bit of a fairy-tale character but he has enough substance to still remain believable.
I think that Lisa Jewell writes incredibly well considering that she is writing from not just one, but three male perspectives. It is a very witty book but with just the right amount of poignant moments. I think that she is such a good author, I hope she has a new book out soon!


The sun is shining!

Morning everyone! I am in a pretty good mood today, mainly becuase the sun is shining and there is not a grey cloud in sight; it's amazing how much difference the weather makes to your mood isn't it? I have had a really good weekend, Mr S and I went back to Birmingham to organise some wedding stuff! Had the first fitting for my dress which was exciting, I was just relieved that I still liked it when I put it on again as I am not the most decisive of people! Also got my engagement ring back which I am pleased about. The jewellers had had it for nearly a month so they could make me a wedding ring to fit and there have been several occasions where I have forgotten and panicked that it has fallen off and been lost forever! Went to visit one of my bridesmaids who has broken her knee, she is nearly mobile enough to try dresses on so that is good; we tested her mobility by getting her in the car and going for cake- there didn't seem to be too many problems!
I gave up with the Beatrix Potter biography, it was really good but I think I need something a bit more relaxed to read at the moment so I have started Lisa Jewell's book A Friend of the Family. I love Lisa Jewell and every time I read one of her books it spurs me on with my own writing which is exactly what I need at the moment. She has a lovely website with loads of tips and ideas for budding writers plus the story of her long journey to becoming a published author, she seems like a very lovely lady!


Very strange!

I was really looking forward to a good old Booking Through Thursday but sadly there doesn't seem to be one! Book wise at the moment, I am reading Linda Lear's biography of Beatrix Potter and really enjoying it! I am doing lots of research at the moment for my own writing so this book has been brilliant for just dipping in and out of; she was a truly fascinating woman!


The Young Victoria

Mr S and I went to see The Young Victoria at the cinema yesterday and I loved it! I am a bit of a sucker for period dramas and this did not disappoint. Emily Blunt plays the young Queen and Rupert Friend is the dashing Prince Albert. I have never really had an interest in Queen Victoria as books and school history lessons seemed to focus on the older queen especially the kind of life she lead after the death of Albert. This film however focuses on Victoria as a young girl and the strained relationship she had with her overbearing mother; the story follows her as she ascends the throne and falls in love with and marries Albert. I had never really thought of Queen Victoria being a young woman, yet she was only 18 when she became the Queen of England. Many people expected her to fail and she had to quickly learn who she could trust; Albert was one of the few who truly loved her and did not have ulterior motives.
The film was really well made; the costumes and scenery were beautiful and the music was excellent too, I really would recommend it!


Booking Through Thursday: The Best Book You've Never Read

We’ve all seen the lists, we’ve all thought, “I should really read that someday,” but for all of us, there are still books on “The List” that we haven’t actually gotten around to reading. Even though we know they’re fabulous. Even though we know that we’ll like them. Or that we’ll learn from them. Or just that they’re supposed to be worthy. We just … haven’t gotten around to them yet.

What’s the best book that YOU haven’t read yet?

I think that I have probably said this before but I would have to say anything by Charles Dickens. Somehow I managed to do a whole degree in English Literature without reading one of his novels. I recently bought a copy of Great Expectations but it is still sitting on my book shelf. I think I worry too much about Dickens due to the many mixed opinions out there; some say he is amazing; others say his descriptions are hard going; some describe his writing as depressing where as others think that it is truly inspirational. I am reading an extremely light book at the moment as I am so tired but I think maybe it is time to give Dickens a go and then I will have my own opinion on him instead of worrying about others!


Life is a little testing at the moment!

Oh dear, I was beginning to feel as though I had picked myself up a bit and I was just starting to brush myself down but then someone came and pulled the rug from under my feet AGAIN! Some people really do not think about their actions and how they affect all those around them and it makes me so angry at the moment. Arrrrggghhhhh, anyway just a little rant, feel a wee bit better now!
Mr S had his first day in hospital yesterday; for the next two years he will be getting experience of how to be a real doctor by spending time in all the different areas. I cannot explain how proud I am of him; god knows what I will be like when we have kids as I was like an anxious mother yesterday when he left in the morning. I think a lot of people think that Mr S finds it all really easy as they do not see the sheer amount of hard work he has to put in. He knows that he is capable but he gets nervous as we all do but he does not show that to everyone so some people do not realise what a big deal yesterday was for him! Yet he survived and I think he secretly quite enjoyed it! The next two years are going to really test him but I know that he will be a fantastic doctor and it will all have been worth it!

BOOK REVIEW: Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier

On a windswept English beach in the early 19 th Century, two women make discoveries that change the world. And in so doing find friendshi...