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About chesilbeach

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    Conqueror of Mount TBR

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    Cogheart by Peter Bunzl
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  1. Does anyone have a NutriBullet? A chef I follow on Instagram has been recommending it recently, and I've started drinking a lot more fresh juices when I'm out and wouldn't mind being able to make some more fresh juices and smoothies when I'm at home and wondering if anyone has one and thinks they're worth the money? And if so, which model would you recommend, or are there other makes you'd recommend instead?
  2. My turn to cook today, so I've defrosted some quorn bolognese sauce to go with spaghetti, as it's too hot to slave away in the kitchen today!
  3. It was over 30ÂșC in the sun while I was out walking, so that's a scorcher for me
  4. Current reading status Kindle: The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley (16%) Kindle: Reader, I Married Him by Tracy Chevalier (19%) Paperback: The Persephone Book of Short Stories (page 175/477) Paperback: Mystery and Mayhem by Various (page 50/300) Paperback: The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan (page 35/293) Paperback: Love of Country by Madeleine Bunting (finished) Paperback: Moonlocket by Peter Bunzl (185/376) Hardback: Storm in a Teacup by Helen Czerski (page 154/291) Audiobook: Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller (7 hours 12 minutes remaining) Read the whole of LoC yesterday, it was a great read. Another break from Wainwright books next, and I've started Moonlocket which is the follow up to Cogheart which was one of my favourite MG books of last year, and thankfully, it's just as good as its predecessor!
  5. Read Love of Country yesterday, my tenth book off the Wainwright Prize list, so just two more to go. Taking a break from it today with Moonlocket by Peter Bunzl, which is more than living up to the first book, Cogheart.
  6. Went to see Dunkirk this morning. Magnificent.
  7. I've read one more since last time I posted here, so my next book will be the tenth book, The Ape Who Guards The Balance. I like to save books from my favourite series as treats for holiday or when I need to spoil myself, so perhaps if I get my TBR down to a certain number, I might use that as an excuse for the next one!
  8. It's a scorcher today. Bright and sunny and very hot.
  9. Hi, welcome to the forum. I've removed the link to your blog, as we do not allow members to join to promote their own websites and blogs - please see the Forum Rules for posting. The forum is a medium to discuss books, so you should post reviews here to start a discussion with the members on this site. Thank you.
  10. GET IN!!!! Fantastic cricket match, made even better by an England win.
  11. We've had a rumble of thunder but it hasn't started raining again... yet!
  12. ICC Womens World Cup final ... COME ON ENGLAND!!!!!
  13. Yes, I wouldn't buy book three without having read the first two in case I didn't like them.
  14. Where Poppies Blow by John Lewis-Stempel Synopsis: Where Poppies Blow is the unique story of the British soldiers of the Great War and their relationship with the animals and plants around them. This connection was of profound importance, because it goes a long way to explaining why they fought, and how they found the will to go on. At the most basic level, animals and birds provided interest to fill the blank hours in the trenches and billets - bird-watching, for instance, was probably the single most popular hobby among officers. But perhaps more importantly, the ability of nature to endure, despite the bullets and blood, gave men a psychological, spiritual, even religious uplift. Animals and plants were also reminders of home. Aside from bird-watching, soldiers went fishing in village ponds and in flooded shell holes (for eels), they went bird nesting, they hunted foxes with hounds, they shot pheasants for the pot, and they planted flower gardens in the trenches and vegetable gardens in their billets. It is in this elemental relationship between man and nature that some of the highest, noblest aspirations of humanity in times of war can be found. Review: I really, really wanted to love this book, as John Lewis-Stempel's other book on the shortlist, The Running Hare, is still my favourite of the books on this years prize list. Unfortunately, and this is definitely the fault of the reader, not the writer, I just couldn't get on with it. I don't like biographies where there are lots of names and dates referenced, and this book is packed full of similar facts. I can completely understand that it is crucial to give the proper credit to all the men who are referenced and quoted, and giving their full name, rank and regiment or squadron is essential, but as a reader, every single time I came across one of these, it stopped me in my tracks. There's another problem, again it's my fault, not the authors, but there's quite a lot of poetry and verse quoted, and again, I just don't get on with poetry. I don't know why, but I just don't get it - I find it hard to find the rhythms and the meter or the words, and I find it hard to read. I feel terrible for being so negative, as I'm convinced it's down to me, not the author and his writing. The role of the land in the psyche of the British armed forces was fascinating to read about, and I loved the chapter on the birds. I struggled a lot through the chapter on horses, and found the chapter on lice, vermin and parasites unreadable. Another issue for me, which I found strange as I'm usually a statics person, is the constant reporting of the numbers and statics of various facts, as again, it just took me out of the reading, as I can't just read 4,038,913 as an approximate number, I have to read the whole number and think about how many that is ... now that is probably the intention, to make the reader really think about the impact of the facts they're being presented with, but again, I found it just took me out of the text all the time. I have to admit, skim reading some pages and skipping over poetry and names by about half way through. I'm so sorry I had such a strong reaction to this book, and I'm sure other readers will appreciate it for the quality writing that is present, but I'm afraid for me, it wasn't an enjoyable experience. My rating is based on my enjoyment and I did enjoy some of the writing, particularly about the birds, but without that chapter, it would have been an even lower score. My rating: 6/10
  15. The Nature of Autumn by Jim Crumbly Synopsis: In autumn nature stages some of its most enchantingly beautiful displays; yet it's also a period for reflection, melancholy even, as the days shorten and winter's chill approaches. Taking in September to November, Jim Crumley tells the story of how unfolding autumn affects the wildlife and landscapes of his beloved countryside. Along the way, Jim experiences the deer rut, finds phenomenal redwood trees in the most unexpected of places, and contemplates climate change, the death of his father, and his own love of nature; thus painting an intimate - and deeply personal - portrait of a moody and majestic British autumn. Review: Aargh, what a frustrating book this was to read! I love autumn, so I was eagerly looking forward to reading this book. It started very promisingly, with the author looking at the natural world of autumn in his local surrounding in Scotland. And then the author starts referencing his previous books, which I found a bit annoying at first, and then it got more annoying as it went on. I kept reading and that seemed to stop until I get to the second half of the book and he starts referencing and paraphrasing things from earlier chapters of this book!!! It felt like it was an ongoing conversation with himself, rather than a book for an outsider to read, and I found it stopped me in my tracks every single time. What was so frustrating was that there were moments of outstanding writing, and beautiful observations. There's one incident he witnesses two ravens working together to steal a piece of fish from a juvenile herring gull which was so perfect in its observation and description that it put a huge smile on my face, and made me realise it was worthwhile read, even if I couldn't get on with the self referencing throughout. Glad I read it, but would be towards the bottom of the list for me out of the books I've read so far. My rating: 7/10