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Janet

Janet's Log - Stardate 2018

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55 minutes ago, willoyd said:

 

Well, only Claire and I have finished it so far (as far as I know).  I don't know who else is doing it (Alex for one), but that list is there for anybody to have a go at - so I can't see how, with 3/4 of the books read, you can be last; some future participants may not have even started yet! It's not a race anyway.

I think Alex has finished too.  :)   I know it's not a race, but it's always nice to compete a challenge.  :)

 

55 minutes ago, willoyd said:

 

Waterstones Bradford is lovely, isn't it.  That building is a cracker, true Victorian resplendence. It's one of my locals, and comfortably my favourite shop in the city.  Nice coffee shop upstairs too!

 

Bradford was a bit of a surprise, actually.  We stayed in the Premier Inn for a few nights (fantastic reviews on TripAdvisor and only £30 a night) specifically to visit Haworth and Saltaire - it was a great base.  I agree that the Waterstones is the best building, and yes, the café is great.  I thought Bradford Cathedral was lovely too, and particularly liked their inclusiveness (which I think all churches should have).  :)

 

 

1.jpg

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57 minutes ago, Janet said:

I think Alex has finished too.  :)   I know it's not a race, but it's always nice to compete a challenge.  :)

Last time I looked she had one or two to go, but I see she has finished in the past couple of days.

 

Quote

Bradford was a bit of a surprise, actually.  We stayed in the Premier Inn for a few nights (fantastic reviews on TripAdvisor and only £30 a night) specifically to visit Haworth and Saltaire - it was a great base.  I agree that the Waterstones is the best building, and yes, the café is great.  I thought Bradford Cathedral was lovely too, and particularly liked their inclusiveness (which I think all churches should have).  :)

 

I've been to Bradford Cathedral a few times to see performances of Shakespeare in the grounds (or, once, in the cathedral itself for Winter's Tale).  I agree, lovely atmosphere. It's in a nice position too.  Bradford centre has improved but remains very much in the shadow of Leeds.  However, around it there are some fantastic things to see.  We used to use Saltaire a lot at school for all sorts of work  (Victorians, waterways, Hockney etc etc), and I love it not just for the buildings, but for the Hockney work, for the cafe, and for the bookshop (one of my favourite) - it's only 3-4 miles from where I live, and easy by train too.  It was on my daily cycle route to school too!

Edited by willoyd

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18 minutes ago, willoyd said:

I've been to Bradford Cathedral a few times to see performances of Shakespeare in the grounds (or, once, in the cathedral itself for Winter's Tale).  I agree, lovely atmosphere. It's in a nice position too.  Bradford centre has improved but remains very much in the shadow of Leeds.  However, around it there are some fantastic things to see.  We used to use Saltaire a lot at school for all sorts of work  (Victorians, waterways, Hockney etc etc), and I love it not just for the buildings, but for the Hockney work, for the cafe, and for the bookshop (one of my favourite) - it's only 3-4 miles from where I live, and easy by train too.  It was on my daily cycle route to school too!

Saltaire was wonderful.  We went on the train from Bradford and spent ages there.  The Hockney exhibition is great and we spent ages in the lovely book shop - my husband bought me an edition of A Christmas Carol there (I have several).

 

We also poked our heads in the Victoria Hall and were invited in to have a look round.  It's a beautiful building.  

 

I love Yorkshire - we were back up again in December where we had a few days in Harrogate.  It's such a fab county - you're lucky to live in such a pretty part of the country.  :)

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6 minutes ago, Janet said:

I love Yorkshire - we were back up again in December where we had a few days in Harrogate.  It's such a fab county - you're lucky to live in such a pretty part of the country.  :)

 

I'm a southerner (brought up in London and Surrey) who came to university in Leeds, met my wife (a local) and stayed put.  Perhaps the best moves I ever made.  I do feel incredibly lucky!

Edited by willoyd

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On 1/5/2018 at 9:22 PM, Janet said:

Thanks, Noll.  You too.  :)

 

We've already visited a few places we'd otherwise probably have never been to (Abergavenny in Wales and Loughborough, to name but two.  We need to do a trip to Ireland and Northern Ireland at some stage! :)

 

If you come to the republic telllll meeeeee! (We have a very nice Waterstones in Cork :P )

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7 hours ago, Nollaig said:

 

If you come to the republic telllll meeeeee! (We have a very nice Waterstones in Cork :P )

Definitely!  It would be awesome to meet up with you.   :wub:  :friends3:

 

2 hours ago, chesilbeach said:

Hope you have a lovely year of reading and Waterstones-ing, Janet! :D 

Thanks, Claire.  :)  Looking forward to lots of coffee and cake with you this year!  :D

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Peter helped me sort out my 'to read' books last night.  That involved him sitting in the hall shouting out titles to me and me making a list and then cross-referencing it with my spreadsheet, because I didn't keep up with my list of books acquired last year, and I also got rid of a couple of books that I decided I'm unlikely ever to get round to reading.  So a big thank you to him (he won't see it, but I did, of course, thank him in person!  :giggle: ) to him.  I've now updated my post above - my current 'to read' pile stands at 108.  I'm hoping to reduce it this year, but of course I'm likely to add to it...

 

Which brings me on to the second thing I meant to post last week, which is the books/vouchers I got for Christmas.

 

I got Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lingdren (illustrated by Lauren Child) from my Mum.  (Edit - bother - I forgot to add it to my 'to read' list!)

 

Kay and Alan bought me Father Christmas and Me by Matt Haig, as well as some delicious cheddar biscuits, a beer for Peter and some tree decorations that are really cute hanging Brussels sprouts!  :giggle2: Thanks  @poppyshake   @chesilbeach gave me a Waterstones voucher (always welcome - the anticipation of spending them is as exciting to me as the actual spending :D  ), so yummy chocolates and the most gorgeous glass snowflake that had prime position on the tree in the dining room.  Thanks, Claire.  :)

 

I also had a further £75 of Waterstones vouchers.  :o  I'm a lucky girl!

 

Christmas seems a long time ago now, but it was a wonderful one this year - I feel blessed. :) 

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On 1/6/2018 at 5:26 PM, chaliepud said:

Hi Janet, the Amsterdam one is ok but not amazing and please don’t get excited about the Woking one! If you come to the Camberley one let me know and I’ll take you for coffee! Likewise the Windsor or Guildford ones, neither are too far from me. Woking is pretty close too but I don’t go there out of choice! :D

Oh, and I think Bracknell may have one in their new shopping centre too! :) 

@chaliepud - I'm so sorry - I don't know how, but I missed this post.  :(

 

We have been to the Amsterdam one before, but long before this challenge (thanks again for the inspiration  :)  ) - and the Woking one (it was nicer than I thought (the town) but not somewhere I would have rushed back to if it wasn't for this challenge!).  I will definitely let you know when we come to one of those locations - it would be lovely to meet you.  :)

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001-2018-Jan-01-Father%20Christmas%20and

 

The ‘blurb’

LET THE BATTLE FOR CHRISTMAS BEGIN It isn't always easy, growing up as a human in Elfhelm, even if your adoptive parents are the newly married Father Christmas and Mary Christmas. For one thing, Elf School can be annoying when you have to sing Christmas songs every day - even in July - and when you fail all your toy-making tests. Also it can get very, very cold. But when the jealous Easter Bunny and his rabbit army launch an attack to stop Christmas, it's up to Amelia, her new family and the elves to keep Christmas alive. Before it's too late . . .

 

Amelia Wishart is back in another Christmas adventure. Now fairly happily living in Elflhelm she goes off to join the town's school – it's difficult for her, but after her last adventure she is looking forward to flying the sleigh – a class she knows she'll excel in. Unfortunately for her, this class is continually denied to her. When she eventually does get to fly it, things do not go to plan, leading her into conflict with a tribe of rabbits – can Amelia save Christmas again…?

 

Amelia is a fantastic character so it was lovely to 'meet' her again in this jolly tale of Elfhelm in what is (I think) the final part of Matt Haig's Father Christmas trilogy. I enjoyed revisiting Elhelm, and the story was fun, if not as exciting as the first two. Number two, The Girl Who Saved Christmas, is definitely my favourite but I loved revisiting the recurring characters in this story. If it is the last one then I shall be sorry to see Amelia go!

 

The hardback edition is 304 pages long and is published by Canongate. It was first published in 2016. The ISBN is 9781786890689. 3/5 (I enjoyed it) (Finished 1 January 2018)

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58 minutes ago, Janet said:

@chaliepud - I'm so sorry - I don't know how, but I missed this post.  :(

 

We have been to the Amsterdam one before, but long before this challenge (thanks again for the inspiration  :)  ) - and the Woking one (it was nicer than I thought (the town) but not somewhere I would have rushed back to if it wasn't for this challenge!).  I will definitely let you know when we come to one of those locations - it would be lovely to meet you.  :)

You’ll need to create your own Waterstones thread with all the piccies and reviews in it!! 

Have you been to the Kingston one in the Bentalls Centre? It’s not a nice building but the shop itself is large and well stocked. :)

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6 minutes ago, chaliepud said:

You’ll need to create your own Waterstones thread with all the piccies and reviews in it!! 

Have you been to the Kingston one in the Bentalls Centre? It’s not a nice building but the shop itself is large and well stocked. :)

Hmm.  I might start a thread.  My blog is linked in my signature.  :)   I haven't been to Kingston.  We've only done a few in the South East so far. Dorking and Redhill are the only ones we've done in Surrey so far.

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16 minutes ago, Janet said:

Hmm.  I might start a thread.  My blog is linked in my signature.  :)   I haven't been to Kingston.  We've only done a few in the South East so far. Dorking and Redhill are the only ones we've done in Surrey so far.

Did you not do Guildford? I thought I remembered you saying you had been there? 

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15 hours ago, chaliepud said:

Did you not do Guildford? I thought I remembered you saying you had been there? 

 

Ah, I think I caused confusion with my response to this post of yours:

 

Quote

Glad to hear you had a good trip, you were just down the road from me, Janet, though Woking isn't normally my town of choice to visit often. Their Waterstones isn't great either.:) Much prefer Guildford and is just another 10 mins down the road. :) 

 

I replied:

 

Quote

We were pleasantly surprised with Woking (not sure what we were expecting!) but it's not somewhere I'd rush back to.  My Dad's cousin lives in nearby St John's, but despite this I've never visited! I did think of you when I was there as I thought you lived quite close, @chaliepud. :)

 

I don't think I've been to the centre of Guildford before.   We did briefly pop into Waterstones (of course! :D ) but you're right that it's not one of the best we've been to!  I really love War of the Worlds and have wanted to see the tripod and cylinder for a long time! 

In my second paragraph I meant that we popped briefly to the Waterstones in Woking but I phrased it really badly!  I have just walked round Guildford on Street View on Google and it looks much prettier than Woking!

 

Guildford is around 2 hours from us, so easily doable.  :)

 

This made me laugh as I was doing the Street View thing!  :giggle2:

 

guildford.jpg

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002-2018-Jan-02-The%20Keeper%20of%20Lost

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

The ‘blurb'

Once a celebrated author of short stories now in his twilight years, Anthony Peardew has spent half his life collecting lost objects, trying to atone for a promise broken many years before. Realising he is running out of time, he leaves his house and all its lost treasures to his assistant Laura, the one person he can trust to fulfil his legacy and reunite the thousands of objects with their rightful owners. But the final wishes of the 'Keeper of Lost Things' have unforeseen repercussions which trigger a most serendipitous series of encounters...

This novel is bought to you by the phrase "the lovely cup of tea…"

When Laura, a lonely divorcee, applies for a job working for the author Anthony Peardew as his assistant she little knows that it will change her life.  Years ago, Anthony was given a medallion by his fiancée, but in a cruel twist of fate, she dies on their wedding day, and Anthony loses the precious gift.  From that day onwards, he starts collecting items that he finds – a teacup and saucer, a piece of jigsaw, a child's hair bobble…  He catalogues each item carefully and hopes that one day they will be reunited with their owners. 

A Second narrative runs through the book. On her way to a job interview, Eunice finds something and picks it up for good luck.  It seems to work as she gets the job working for a book-publisher called Bomber.  Over time she and Bomber develop a deep and lasting friendship.  The two stories overlap quite cleverly.

Anthony leaves his house and contents to Laura in the hope that she will carry on his work for him after he's gone.  Laura, together with Anthony's gardener and a young neighbour called Sunshine set about fulfilling his wishes, together with help from an unexpected quarter…

Looking at the reviews on Goodreads I seem to be in a minority as most of people who have reviewed it have raved about it, but I only liked it. I just found it too… I think the best word to describe this book is Saccharine. It had its good points – I liked the idea of the cataloguing and the way we got an explanation of how each item found had been lost in the first place, but overall it was rather cutesy for my taste. I think it was good for a debut, but I'm not convinced I shall be trying anything else by this author.

 

The paperback edition is 320 pages long and is published by Two Roads. It was first published in 2017. The ISBN is 9781473635487. I read it on Kindle.

 

3/5 (I quite liked it)

 

(Finished 2 January 2018)

 

Edit - I don't know what's going on with my formatting.  I had a gap missing after the title under the picture, and when I inserted it, it changed half the text to a different font!  #confused

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This keeps getting recommended to me on Amazon - think I might drop it down the priority list a tad after your review! 

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I think big fans of chick-lit would enjoy it very much.  It was just too twee for my taste, I think.  :)

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003-2018-Jan-07-Village%20Christmas%20an

Village Christmas and Other Notes on the English Year by Laurie Lee

 

The ‘blurb’

From the author of Cider With Rosie, Village Christmas is a moving, lyrical portrait of England through the changing years and seasons.

Laurie Lee left his childhood home in the Cotswolds when he was nineteen, but it remained with him throughout his life until, many years later, he returned for good. This collection brings to life the sights, sounds, landscapes and traditions of his home - from centuries-old May Day rituals to his own patch of garden, from carol singing in crunching snow to pub conversations and songs. Here too he writes about the mysteries of love, living in wartime Chelsea, Winston Churchill's wintry funeral and his battle, in old age, to save his beloved Slad Valley from developers.

Told with a warm sense of humour and a powerful sense of history, Village Christmas brings us a picture of a vanished world.

I know a lot of people find Laurie Lee too whimsical, but I really love his writing.  Although prose, it obviously has a poetic quality to it – and that for me is what makes it so enjoyable (I actually prefer his prose to his poetry).  This short collection starts with his recollections of Christmases in his beloved village of Slad in Gloucestershire and works its way through the seasons.  Some of his recollections take place in London in a time where he rubbed shoulders with other poets, authors and artists.  Sure, it's dated, but for me that just adds to the charm.  

There are a few new essays in this edition that were discovered after his death.  They are - A Cold Christmas Walk, The English Spring, As-You-Were-Only-Better, Chelsea Toward the End of the Last War, Notes on Marriage, Harvest Festival and The Shining Severn – and it was for these that I bought the book as I have read the others in other works.   So yes, dated, maybe but I very much enjoyed it.  

The paperback edition is 160 pages long and is published by Penguin. It was first published in 2015. The ISBN is 9780241243671.   

4/5 (I liked it)

(Finished 13 January 2018)

 

 

 

 

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I forgot to log this beautiful book that Peter bought me - The Faber Book of Christmas.   It has the most stunning Liberty Print cover!  I haven't read it yet as I only got it the week before Christmas.  :)  I have updated my 'to read' post above.  

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It was in the window of Waterstones in Harrogate and I was waxing lyrical over the cover!  He said would I like it, so of course, I said yes please!  :D

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7 minutes ago, Alexi said:

He’s a bloody brilliant man, is Peter! 

He's not bad - I think I'll keep him!  :giggle2:

 

I have acquired two new books so far this year.  High Rising by Angela Thirkell, which my Mum has given me, and a Folio Society edition (no slipcase or cover) of Dickens' London, which I have had on my wish list for a long time.  This is a 1966 edition, which by coincidence is the year I was born!  :D

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14 hours ago, Janet said:

I forgot to log this beautiful book that Peter bought me - The Faber Book of Christmas.   It has the most stunning Liberty Print cover!  I haven't read it yet as I only got it the week before Christmas.  :)  I have updated my 'to read' post above.  

 

That is one great looking cover :o!

I hope you enjoy all of your new books :)!

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Thanks, Gaia.  :)

 

I went into Bath today to meet @chesilbeach, @poppyshake and Alan for coffee Coffee 2.gif (and cake might have been involved... cake.jpg )

 

We met in Waterstones, so I spent some of my Christmas money on Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (which has just come out in paperback) and Caravel by Stephanie Garber (which is for my book club).  I was going to try to find one with blue coloured page edges (this one has red - apparently yellow is available too) but wanted to get a stamp on my £10 card and couldn't find anything else I fancied.

 

We had a lovely time - I'm looking forward to seeing them next time.   :wub:

 

 

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