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About chesilbeach

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    Conqueror of Mount TBR

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  1. What's the weather like?

    After a VERY foggy and a bit cool start to the day, it actually ended up being sunny and warm. Looks like more of the same tomorrow, then summer will be over and it'll back to autumnal weather again.
  2. Your Book Activity - April 2018

    Read two fantastic books this week. First was The One Who Wrote Destiny by Nikesh Shukla, which was just lovely, although it does deal with death and grief too, and can't deny made me well up a bit. Also read a science book called A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived by Adam Rutherford which is all about genes and genetics and was absolutely fascinating while being very entertaining too. A bit out of my usual comfort zone for non-fiction reading, but I listen to a science podcast with the author and it's always a good fun programme to listen to, so thought I'd give his writing a go too.
  3. The Last Film You Saw - 2018

    Went to see The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society today. As charming and heartwarming as the book, and it looked beautiful. It's not a gritty warm film by any means, and rather sentimental, but I like that in a film at times. Lily James is fast becoming one of my favourite actors (especially after my favourite film of last year, Baby Driver). Also saw Thoroughbreds earlier in the week with my friend. A small indie film, which I saw described as a cross between American Psycho and Heathers. That's a pretty good description - not graphic violence, but quirky in a good way and we both enjoyed it a lot. Last night I caught The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie on television which I haven't seen for a while. I loved this film enormously as a teenager, and while I did still enjoy it, I did feel much more uncomfortable by the art teacher and his sexual conduct now that I'm older.
  4. What's Up In April? - 2018

    Taking a long weekend, and decided to start off with brunch at the café, then a trip to the cinema, followed by lunch in the park to make the most of the sunshine. Shared a table with a stranger, and as she was reading a book, decided to overcome my perennial shyness and asked her if the book was good. We ended up having a half hour chat about books, and she's going to try Ali Smith and I'm on the lookout for Annie Proulx!
  5. Claire's Book List 2018

    Well done! I hope they've been good books for you
  6. Claire's Book List 2018

    Exactly! Glad you're enjoying your books this year so far. I'm looking forward to the Wainwright Prize long list being announced which I think it usually early June which is not that far away now, but I've been reading some more nature books in preparation hoping to get a headstart, but we'll wait and see.
  7. Claire's Book List 2018

    Don't worry about the numbers - you do all sorts of other interesting things with your time! I can't quite believe how many I've read, to be honest, I think it's because I've been stuck without access to any sort of workspace in the house and can't do any crafts, plus I have extra free time since last year so I'm just losing myself in books at the moment.
  8. What's Up In April? - 2018

    Day out down in Bridport today, and came home with a fantastic haul of old Ladybird books for my OH's nephew, some second-hand Michael Morpurgo books in excellent condition for my book buddy school, and a couple of book gifts for friends. Stopped for a read and a coffee and had a delicious slice of rhubarb crumble cake, and then later had a sneaky gelato - while mint choc chip and it was divine! Back home now, and just catching up on the forum.
  9. Your Book Activity - April 2018

    This week I've finished four great books - The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin is a chilling mystery set in Victorian London, Dear Mrs Bird by A. J. Pearce is a charming World War Two story, A Sweet, Wild Note by Richard Smyth is a nature book about birdsong and An Argumentation of Historians by Jodi Taylor is the ninth in the St Mary's Chronicles series (and probably my favourite since the very first one in the series).
  10. Your Book Activity - April 2018

    I've finished a few books over the last few days, The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young on Kindle was a brilliant book from a farmer explaining the ethos behind their farming methods and recounting the observations she's made while farming cows. I really enjoyed it. Also finished listening to The Secrets of Happiness by Lucy Diamond and then today, I finally got a copy of Beyond The Odyssey by Maz Evans and I've devoured it already! I also bought myself Swell: A Waterbiography by Jenny Ladreth and Storm Wake by Lucy Christopher.
  11. Your Book Activity - April 2018

    I think there’s a few factors for me. She’s only a couple of years younger than me, so all the cultural references match with my childhood, I’d read a lot of the books she talks about at around the age as her, and I could identify with life as a bookish child in the same way she describes it, which made it feel very personal to me
  12. Your Book Activity - April 2018

    Finished Bookworm by Lucy Mangan last night - it was brilliant. Unusually for me, it was a straight 5 star read. Today I finished listening to The Year of Taking Chances by Lucy Diamond and I've started The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin, and although I'm only fifty pages in, I think it's going to be a very good read.
  13. Claire's Book List 2018

    I can't deny, the tile and the cover of Brightstorm by Vashti Hardy we what drew me to buy this middle grade book. It's a science-fiction steampunk story in a world and period which closely mirrors our Victorian/Edwardian period, and where explorers are revered and rewarded as the cream of society. Their sky ships (steam powered hot air balloons) take them across continents to the ends of the earth, and the two main characters, brother and sister Arthur and Maudie, are orphaned when their fathers expedition ends in tragedy. But, something about the story of his demise doesn't ring true with the children, and after being thrown into poverty, the decide to go in search of the truth themselves. The story is entertaining, but I felt the villains and heroes of the story were signposted very early on, but I think that's because I'm an adult who has read plenty of stories in my time, and can see patterns that younger readers may not, so for me, it did go exactly where I was expecting it to. That said, what it does do, is set up a very interesting world, and I would definitely read a follow up to see where the author takes it next time.
  14. Claire's Book List 2018

    I've had A Long Way From Verona by Jane Gardam on my wish list since I heard it being discussed on Backlisted and finally decided it was time to read it. It starts with a declaration from the narrator, Jessica Vye, that "I ought to tell you at the beginning that I am not quite normal having had a violent experience at the age of nine". As a now considerably older thirteen years old, she records her world and her school life, with a truthful dedication as she knows she is a "born writer". A classic unreliable narrator gives this book such life, it's an absolute joy to read. The brazen arrogance of a child who believes she is right, and struggling to conform to the rigid strictures enforced on young girls of the period, produces a witty, charming and forthright narrative that encapsulates the baffling life of a young teenager and the transition from childhood. I laughed a few times, and as with the best of books, had to read some aloud to my boyfriend as it just had to be shared. As I mentioned earlier, this was a featured book on Backlisted where I found out this is semi-autobiographical, and if you do read this book, I would definitely recommend searching out that episode of the podcast, as it will enhance the reading experience and provide lots of additional background information, including a brief excerpt of an interview with Gardam where she talks about this book. This was initially published as a children's book in 1971, I suspect because it features a thirteen-year-old narrator, but I think in retrospect, it's now found in the general fiction section of bookshops, and I suspect you will get more out of it as an adult, looking back on your childhood. Having said that, if you read it as a child, I'm sure it's one of those books that will get into your psyche and you'll end up re-reading again as an adult time and again. I've read a couple of Gardam's other novels, and will definitely be going back to read more now.
  15. The Last Film You Saw - 2018

    Finally got to watch A Monster Calls at home, now that other half has finished reading the book. Loved it just as much as when I saw it in the cinema, but I blubbed A LOT again. However, it's been quite a while since I read the book and OH informs me that it's very different, and has lost all the subtlety as well as one of the main characters, so he preferred the book, but did still enjoy the film as a completely different entity.