Janet

Janet's Log - Stardate 2017

146 posts in this topic

Hope you have a lovely year of books ahead of you, Janet!  :friends3: Can't wait to discuss more English Counties challenge books with you :D

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To be honest, I'm a little daunted by this book! :hide:

 

It`s a big read but a brilliant read. :) 

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Just popped in to see if you were open...and hello you are. As organised with your lists as ever....I pinched a cookie out the jar and a glass of wine.. . :giggle2:  Good luck with all your reading Janet..xx

Cheers!  :Dcheers_zpse75ff92b.gif  And thanks. :)

 

Hope you have a lovely year of books ahead of you, Janet!  :friends3: Can't wait to discuss more English Counties challenge books with you :D

Thanks - and likewise.  :friends3:

 

It`s a big read but a brilliant read. :)

I will probably do it via Whispersync with my Kindle and phone when I do tackle it, which might make it a quicker read?   :)

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I really enjoyed these two from your TBR pile.
 
Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

 

Hope you have a great reading year, Janet! :smile:

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Happy reading in 2017, Janet. I also have Ella and Otto and Russell and James on my TBR. I hope you enjoy My Brilliant Friend more than I did, I found it very odd and disjointed, maybe it was the translation.

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I really enjoyed these two from your TBR pile.

 

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

 

Hope you have a great reading year, Janet! :smile:

Thanks, Bobs. :)  I've read one Kate Morton book but that was a long time ago.  I seem to remember enjoying it though.  The other one was a World Book Night book and I ended up with two copies.  I'm not sure about it really so it's encouraging to know you liked it.  :)

 

Happy reading in 2017, Janet. I also have Ella and Otto and Russell and James on my TBR. I hope you enjoy My Brilliant Friend more than I did, I found it very odd and disjointed, maybe it was the translation.

My Mum has loaned me Ella and Otto... - we usually enjoy the same type of books. 

 

I'm also not sure about My Brilliant Friend, but a friend bought it for my 50th birthday last year so I sort of feel obliged to give it a go...  :hide:

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My Mum has loaned me Ella and Otto... - we usually enjoy the same type of books.

 

I'm also not sure about My Brilliant Friend, but a friend bought it for my 50th birthday last year so I sort of feel obliged to give it a go... :hide:

The reviews say otherwise so hopefully I am in the minority! :)

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Book #2

 

 002-2017-Jan-02-The%20Girl%20Who%20Saved

 

The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig

 

The ‘blurb’

If magic has a beginning, can it also have an end?

 

When Amelia wants a wish to come true she knows just the man to ask - Father Christmas.

 

But the magic she wants to believe in is starting to fade, and Father Christmas has more than impossible wishes to worry about. Upset elves, reindeer dropping out of the sky, angry trolls and the chance that Christmas might be cancelled.

 

But Amelia isn't just any ordinary girl. And - as Father Christmas is going to find out - if Christmas is going to be saved, he might not be able to do it alone...

 

There was a time when children didn’t receive gifts from Father Christmas on Christmas day.  Oh, Father Christmas was there alright - he was there in the North Pole, waiting.  Waiting for hope, which is what would give him the magic to travel round the world delivering his presents.  And last year, Amelia was the girl who had the hope to make the magic happen. 

 

By the following year, Amelia is not a happy girl.  She writes to Father Christmas with her one true desire but it quickly becomes apparent that her wish is not going to be granted.  Life is hard for her anyway with a sick mother and her job as a chimney sweep and when life goes even more awry, Amelia loses hope.  In the meantime, Elfland has been the subject of an attack by Trolls.  Christmas is ruined.

 

To ensure that the next Christmas is not a disaster, FC must head to London to track Amelia down, but making her hope again is going to be no easy task…

 

This was a Christmas present from Kay and Alan.  It’s not exactly a sequel to A Boy Called Christmas (which they bought me last year) but it was nice to have read that first to understand the characters in the North Pole.    The book is set in Victorian times which is a period of history which really interests me as it’s a time of so many inventions and social change.  The action alternates between London (Charles Dickens, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert make cameo appearances!) and Elfland.   I enjoyed both settings, but preferred the action that took place down here.   The characters are well-written and funny and the illustrations by Chris Mould are fantastic and help to bring the story to life.   Good fun.  :)

 

The hardback edition is 327 pages long and is published by Cannongate. It was first published in 2016. The ISBN is 9781782118572.  

 

4/5 (I enjoyed it)

 

(Finished 2 January 2017)

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This was a Christmas present from Kay and Alan.  It’s not exactly a sequel to A Boy Called Christmas (which they bought me last year)

Snap! I think I've left it too late to read it this year, so I'm going to save it for later in the year to get me in the mood for next Christmas :D Glad to hear you enjoyed it, though ... gives me something to look forward to. :yes:

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Snap! I think I've left it too late to read it this year, so I'm going to save it for later in the year to get me in the mood for next Christmas :D Glad to hear you enjoyed it, though ... gives me something to look forward to. :yes:

I have three unread Christmas books (two from 2015  :blush:  ) but like you, I think the moment has passed!  I'm going to start my Christmas reading earlier this year.

 

I think you'll love it!  :D

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Book #3

003-2017-Jan-07-The%20Go-Between_zps0wil

The Go-Between by L P Hartley

The ‘blurb’
'The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there'

When one long, hot summer, young Leo is staying with a school-friend at Brandham Hall, he begins to act as a messenger between Ted, the farmer, and Marian, the beautiful young woman up at the hall. He becomes drawn deeper and deeper into their dangerous game of deceit and desire, until his role brings him to a shocking and premature revelation. The haunting story of a young boy's awakening into the secrets of the adult world, The Go-Between is also an unforgettable evocation of the boundaries of Edwardian society.


Now in his sixties, Leo Colston comes across an old diary from the year 1900 in a box of personal belongings that has been unopened for years. Leo opens the diary and begins to read, and as he does so, he starts to recall long-forgotten events from that long, hot summer. Events which he has repressed for over fifty years…

The young Leo finds himself isolated at the boarding school he attends after two boys mercilessly tease him over the use of the word 'vanquished' in his diary. Impulsively, Leo writes a curse in his diary and when something happens to the boys he finds himself an unlikely hero!

Later that summer, Leo is invited to spend the latter half of July at Brandham Hall in Norfolk – the residence of a school friend called Marcus. There he becomes a go-between, delivering messages between Marcus's sister Marion and the man her parents want her to marry, Lord Hugh Trimingham. He also conveys correspondence between Marion and a local farmer called Ted.

At first Leo, who has a big crush on Marion, is happy to make these deliveries. However, when he notices one of the letters between Marion and Ted, explained away as business correspondence, is unsealed, Leo reads the opening lines of the missive he becomes less willing, although he still continues to take the messages to and fro, not really understanding what is going on.
 
As the temperature rises, matters come to a head in a way that Leo could not have dreamt of, and his world comes crashing down as he suffers a sense of betrayal that will stay with him and affect his future life.

Apart from the famous opening line – "The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there" I knew nothing about this novel.  I had bought the paperback, but the print is so tiny in it that I downloaded the Kindle version. I'm glad I did as there are very many footnotes, and it would have irritated me having to flick to the back of the book so often. As it was, the footnotes I needed to read (especially the chapter where Marcus and Leo speak a lot of French) were useful when I was able to just click on them and make them appear on screen – I think the book would have taken me much longer to read if I stuck to the paperback.

I really enjoyed the story – it drew me in straight away and kept me gripped until the dénouement with a justified sense of foreboding. I will definitely have to look at what else L P Hartley has written.
 
This book was for Norfolk in the English Counties Challenge and I have put a slightly longer version of this review in the relevant thread in that section.

The paperback edition is 293 pages long and is published by Penguin. It was first published in 1953. The ISBN is 9780140188523.

4/5 (I really enjoyed it)

(Finished 7 January 2017)

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Book #4

004-2017-Jan-08-Grief%20is%20the%20Thing

Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter

The ‘blurb’
In a London flat, two young boys face the unbearable sadness of their mother's sudden death. Their father, a Ted Hughes scholar and scruffy romantic, imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness.

In this moment of despair they are visited by Crow - antagonist, trickster, healer, babysitter. This sentimental bird is drawn to the grieving family and threatens to stay until they no longer need him.

This extraordinary debut, full of unexpected humour and emotional truth, marks the arrival of a thrilling and significant new talent.


“I won’t leave you until you don’t need me any more”.

With those words, Crow arrives in the house of a man and his sons. The bottom has fallen out of their world – their beloved wife and mother has died, and the man in particular doesn’t know how he’s going to cope with the loss. Crow becomes confidant, nanny and friend to the shattered family.

Told alternatively in the voices of the father, the crow and the boys (always ‘the boys’, although sometimes the words come from one brother, sometimes the other and sometimes both), Grief is the Thing with Feathers is without a doubt one of the most unusual books I have ever read. Crow is a figment of the family’s imagination – a sort of symbol of grief. Or is he…? It’s never really spelled out so is open to interpretation. Necessarily due to the theme of the book, the writing is very emotional and beautifully written in what feels like prose poetry and I really enjoyed it. It’s a stunning, unique (to me, anyway), debut.
 
Again I quote “I won’t leave you until you don’t need me any more”.

If those words made you think of Nanny McPhee then you’re not alone! And funnily enough, it came on the TV the same afternoon of the day I finished the book! In the second film, Nanny McPhee has a pet crow! I’m rambling now but I do wonder if Max Porter likes Nanny McPhee. :D

Although I’ve heard of Ted Hughes, I’m not really familiar with his poetry and I certainly hadn’t come across the collection Crow: From the Life and Songs of the Crow - they have a copy in Bristol Central Library so I might take a look.

The paperback edition is 128 pages long and is published by Faber & Faber. It was first published in 2015. The ISBN is 9780571327232.

4/5 (challenging, but I really enjoyed it)

(Finished 8 January 2017)
 
A big thanks to Kay for loaning this to me.  :friends3:  I haven't actually read your review of it (assuming you wrote one) so I shall have to see if we agree.  I think I remember you saying it was a challenging read (although that might have been my friend Lisa, who has also read it).  :)
 
Edit: Ah, Kay - your review is so much better than mine!  :D

Edited by Janet

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^ This sounds like an interesting read. I also like the cover!

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^ This sounds like an interesting read. I also like the cover!

It was very different to anything I've read before.  Quirky.  I did enjoy it.  :)

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Wishing you a very Merry Reading Year Janet!  :D  :hug: You've read a lot of books already and have written reviews and everything!! I'm super impressed :yes: 

Glad you enjoyed The Girl Who Saved Christmas  :) I'm like Claire, I've left it too late to read it and so will make a note to remember it in December (unless I come over all Christmassy before then :lol:) Glad you liked Grief is the Thing with Feathers too, I wasn't sure if you would ..  I've read a mix of reviews for it. Loving all of your reviews  :smile: 

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Thanks, Kay.  :)  :friends3:

 

You've read a lot of books already and have written reviews and everything!! I'm super impressed :yes:

The pace of my reading, and the (nearly) up-to-date-ness of my reviews will never last!  :giggle2:  It's good while it does though! :D

 

Definitely don't forget to read The Girl Who Saved Christmas - it's lovely!  :wub:

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I meant to post this yesterday but I got tied up with personal stuff.
 
I met up with Kay and Alan and Claire yesterday.  It was great!  :wub:  We met in Waterstones (where else?!) and spent over three hours in their café !  As ever, the time whizzed by. 
 
Claire gave my my Christmas present - a book called The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange.  A new author to me - and what a gorgeous cover.   I also had an even gorgeouser™ Christmassy Kindle case.  I love it - it's so pretty.  :wub:  Claire is so, so clever.  :yes:
 
IMG_20170111_175046_099_zps9xc6chpg.jpg
 
I also bought two books with some of the vouchers I had for Christmas. The Snow Spider by Jenny Nimmo (although I've known of this book for years, I didn't realise this was part of a trilogy) - the cover of this is very pretty and sparkly!   Fiver Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain by Barney Norris.  I've picked this up a few times, and yesterday I picked it up again and one of the Waterstones staff members was telling me how much he'd enjoyed it.  It's set in or near Salisbury in Wiltshire, which is an area I love. 
 
IMG_20170111_175046_100_zpsa83yacxx.jpg

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Here are a few more pictures of the Kindle case (because I'm so chuffed with it).

 

Front

 

DSC_0104_zpsunitpirs.jpg

 

Back

 

DSC_0105_zps2xtvdlvu.jpg

 

I'm not sure my photo does justice to the Christmassy writing there.

 

Open view

 

DSC_0106_zpsg4i6cex8.jpg

 

:wub:  :kiss:

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Oh what a gorgeous Kindle case! :wub: And it's so you! :D   (I took a closer look at it, and there's Merry Christmas in Finnish on it, too! :smile2: 'Hyvää joulua') 

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It's like a little Christmassy sleeping bag for my Kindle!

 

Oh what a gorgeous Kindle case! :wub: And it's so you! :D   (I took a closer look at it, and there's Merry Christmas in Finnish on it, too! :smile2: 'Hyvää joulua') 

Oooh, I can see it! 

 

I've no idea how to pronounce it though.  :cry:

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It's like a little Christmassy sleeping bag for my Kindle!

I bet your Kindle doesn't get much sleep :D

 

Oooh, I can see it! 

 

I've no idea how to pronounce it though.  :cry:

Fixed that for you :D  (click the blue arrow in front of 'ääntäminen' and there you go!)

Edited by frankie

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Ooh, thanks - I'll have a go!  :D

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What an absolutely gorgeous Kindle case !  :D  Does Claire sell them as well ? :)

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What an absolutely gorgeous Kindle case !  :D  Does Claire sell them as well ? :)

It is, isn't it!  She doesn't, but she easily could.  :) I know I sound like a walking advert, but they're so professional looking.

 

Frankie - what do Ääntäminen käyttäjältä JoyJoy (nainen maasta Suomi) and Ääntäminen käyttäjältä lupinesse (nainen maasta Suomi) mean from the site you linked?  The words say hyvää joulua when I click play, but the other text appears next to the play button.

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What, chesil made that herself? :o Wow!! I didn't realize that from the post, you used TM so I somehow thought that it from a store :blush: Chesil could totally make money as an entrepreneur! 

 

 
Frankie - what do Ääntäminen käyttäjältä JoyJoy (nainen maasta Suomi) and Ääntäminen käyttäjältä lupinesse (nainen maasta Suomi) mean from the site you linked?  The words say hyvää joulua when I click play, but the other text appears next to the play button.

 

Sorry, I should've explained! Ääntäminen käyttäjältä JoyJoy (nainen maasta Suomi) = pronunciation from user JoyJoy (woman from country Finland)

 

So basically you have two different women by usernames JoyJoy and lupinesse pronouncing Hyvää joulua :smile2: (And to make this a more detailed lesson, holidays, such as Christmas, are spelled with a lower case first letter -> joulu)

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