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About poppyshake

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  • Birthday February 25

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  • Reading now?
    The North Water by Ian McGuire
  • Location:
    Cirencester, UK.
  • Interests
    Reading, Music, Cross Stitch, Teashops, Renovating a Victorian Property

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  1. Claire's Wainwright Prize challenge

    Yes .. it was me! I enjoyed it, some parts more than others but, on the whole, great read! Edit: If either of you want to borrow it you're welcome .. I'll bring it with me next time we meet
  2. Poppyshake's Reading Year 2017

    I'm also confused now I should have read about Nancy before as I've often got one leg in Bloomsbury so to speak but nope .. can't recall her at all or Lawrence (the first ) From Gerald's recollections .. I didn't much care for brothers Lawrence and Leslie.
  3. Poppyshake's Reading Year 2017

    Thanks Hayley The film is well worth seeing, it's beautifully acted. The two leads are amazing. Hi Gaia! You will have to get around to it soon, I'm sure you'll like it. Hope so anyway It all went wrong poppy Thank you lovely
  4. Poppyshake's Reading Year 2017

    ^^ That went a little wrong somehow
  5. Poppyshake's 'Conquering Mount Virginia' Challenge

    Goodness!! It's been far too long since I've been here .. mostly because I haven't got a lot further with conquering Mount Virginia though I have read volume one of her letters and have bought a copy of The Waves .. so that's progress! I thought about listening to it .. and will still keep that as an option should the reading not go well (confidence ) .. as a sort of aid. Sometimes a book read well can make a lot more sense than it does when it's just tumbling about in your head. I am a little bit daunted but also intrigued and determined although I notice that I'm not that determined as I haven't yet picked it up Anyway, I'll attempt a review of volume one of her letters. The Flight of the Mind: The Letters of Virginia Woolf, Volume 1, 1888-1912 Very insightful. By the end of this volume of letters Virginia is beginning to get her first novel (The Voyage Out) into shape .. and is a sought after literary reviewer and essayist too, writing pieces for The Guardian and The Times Literary Supplement amongst others. She goes through some extremely affecting changes during this time period. Her mother died in 1895 and her half sister, Stella, in 1897 .. and it's around this time that she experiences her first nervous breakdown (little is mentioned in the letters about any of her breakdowns .. or nothing in detail anyway as, of course, she never wrote any letters during these times so they were experiences that were only talked about with fear on their approach or loathing afterwards.) In 1904 she loses her father and his illness is much detailed here, she sends out daily bulletins to family and friends and is very instrumental in his daily care. Losing him was perhaps the biggest blow to her and it contributed to her most serious mental collapse (or thus far anyway.) Partly I think because, although extremely ill, he lingered for quite a while and Virginia was so aware of every little symptom and temperature change etc .. and then it was mostly left to her to communicate all of this to those waiting for news. Her nerves were shredded and life was practically on hold at Hyde Park Gate. Also there were financial considerations, who will provide for the family once her father has gone and where will they live? Perhaps the most sad loss of all though was the death of her beloved brother Thoby, from typhoid which he contracted in Greece. Virginia and Vanessa had also travelled to Greece but returned when Vanessa became unwell to find Thoby already at home .. extremely ill. Vanessa recovered but Thoby did not. One of the saddest things I read in this volume were Virginia's letters to her great friend Violet Dickinson during Thoby's illness. Violet herself was also extremely ill with typhoid and when Thoby died, Virginia felt strongly that she should keep writing to Violet as if he were still alive so as not to alarm her or bring about a crisis. So she wrote about his increasing appetite and how he might get up tomorrow etc and how the doctors were pleased with him etc .. and this went on for a good three weeks!!! Bearing in mind that Thoby .. next to Vanessa .. was the person that Virginia loved most .. it's almost inconceivable that she put herself through it. Perhaps she shouldn't have .. all these things were such a strain on her already fractured peace of mind. The majority of the letters printed here are to Violet, probably because she was most assiduous in keeping them, but there's a definite difference between the letters written to Violet during the first two thirds of this collection and those written after. To begin with Virginia's letters are very warm, in fact they're positively gushing .. they have pet names for each other and when apart Virginia hardly knows how she will cope before they're together again and she's always impatient for letters and news. Violet is much older (seventeen years I think or thereabouts .. and married) and Virginia is smitten with her, she relies on her for advice and comfort and there are hints that the relationship may have been a sexual one but later on, as Virginia develops and becomes more confident in her writing etc, there is a definite cooling off or a sea change anyway and it feels as if Virginia, although the younger, is leaving Violet behind .. and moving on and developing. Anyhow this is a fascinating collection of letters. Virginia has a sharp eye and a sharp tongue, is gossipy, witty and confiding and of course, highly intelligent and observant. Probably best of all is the insight into her writing and in particular her first novel. How she is shaping it and arguing with herself about it and fretting over it and deliberating over the names of her characters etc. Riveting!
  6. Your Book Activity - May 2017

    Currently reading H.G.Wells' 'The Time Machine' and 'H is for Hawk' by Helen Macdonald Need to download an audiobook to keep me company on walks but not sure which one to get!?!
  7. Poppyshake's Reading Year 2017

    The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman Synopsis: Shattered by his experiences in the World War 1 trenches, veteran Tom Sherbourne returns to his home in Australia to his wife Isabel. Looking for restoration and peace the couple move to an isolated lighthouse where they try to rebuild their lives and long for a child that never comes. Then, one day, a boat washes ashore with a baby inside - a gift that offers the hope of a future they've longed for but the consequences of their actions may be more far-reaching than they could ever have imagined. Review: Though I've copied the synopsis from Waterstone's .. it's garbage Like misheard lyrics, especially the first part. Tom has returned from the trenches and he does get a job as a lighthouse keeper, on the remote (and fictional) island of Janus (in Australia.) There's nobody else on the island and it's balm to Tom, a place where he can heal. On one of his trips to the mainland (and in fact this may have happened before he went to the island for the first time .. I can't quite recall .. but they certainly didn't marry at that point) he meets Isabel. Tom doesn't have marriage in mind at all, the island is not really suitable for a young wife. It's a wild place, sometimes serene but often savage as it's situated between two oceans and completely isolating. It hasn't ended happily for some of the previous occupants. He's broken down too by his experiences in the war, not suitable company or so he thinks. Isabel though has her own reasons for wishing to escape. Her two brothers died during the war and her parents are almost suffocating her with their love (and loss) plus few eligible men have come her way .. certainly none as appealing to her as Tom. She more or less proposes to him or plants the seed anyway and after spending some more time alone on Janus .. Tom asks her to be his wife. To begin with they're blissfully happy. Isabel is as enchanted by the island as Tom and they fall head over heels in love but then follows a series of pregnancies and miscarriages .. each more painful than the last and Isabel begins to despair. She can't see a way forward, doesn't want to see a way forward .. until that is the day a boat washes up .. with a dead man inside and a live baby girl. Surely, it's a miracle. I can't say any more than this because it would be too spoilery (and you know I never spoil :lol:) but suffice it to say that I spent the rest of the book in tears and all my heartstrings were stretched to breaking point. It's such an emotional read. I watched the film adaptation of it shortly afterwards and, though they didn't strictly stick to the plotline (do they ever??,) they did an admirable job and once again I cried buckets. I really like Michael Fassbender anyway and also Alicia Vikander (saw her recently in Testament of Youth and thought she was brilliant) and they were perfect as Tom and Isabel. A really enjoyable read. Yes I spent most of it sniffing but that's good for you .. I'm all in favour of having a good cry. It didn't end as I wanted it to .. which gave me the extra sniffs. I'm not sure what I wanted actually but it wasn't what I was given but in a way it was good .. my way (whatever it was) would have been too convenient. I felt heart sore after reading it because the characters had got under my skin but it's such a page turner and completely engrossing that it was worth the pain. Keep your tissue box handy unless you are made of stone 5/5
  8. Poppyshake's Reading Year 2017

    Think I've found a way to still write in good old trebuchet .. until the alarms go off anyway Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood Synopsis: Felix is at the top of his game as Artistic Director of the Makeshiweg Theatre festival. His productions have amazed and confounded. Now he's staging a Tempest like no other: not only will it boost his reputation, it will heal emotional wounds. Or that was the plan. Instead, after an act of unforeseen treachery, Felix is living in exile in a backwoods hovel, haunted by memories of his beloved lost daughter, Miranda. And also brewing revenge. After twelve years, revenge finally arrives in the shape of a theatre course at a nearby prison. Here, Felix and his inmate actors will put on his Tempest and snare the traitors who destroyed him. Review: I enjoyed this re-telling of Shakespeare's The Tempest. I hadn't read the original play which in hindsight would have been desirable, I had an understanding of it (and there is an outline at the back of this book) but doubt I got the full picture. Possibly, even if I hadn't known a thing about it, I'd still have enjoyed this, although part of the pleasure in reading any re-telling is to look for all the parallels etc and to see how cleverly the author incorporates the old story into the new. At times it did feel a bit forced but on the whole it was smooth, easy and intriguing. It's very visual, quite dark and often funny. Intelligent too, I felt I needed to be firing on all cylinders to keep pace with it. I particularly liked the incorporation of Felix's dead daughter Miranda - she's very much alive to him and as such has huge influence on his actions. I'm not so sure about the rapping!! It was less painful to read than Tolkien's poems (shorter for a start) but I felt vaguely uneasy about it as if I could see Margaret at her desk, dressed as, and channelling the spirit of, Kanye I recently listened to (on the radio though so I haven't counted it as a book read) an adaptation of Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler which is a re-telling of The Taming of the Shrew and wasn't that impressed. Rightly or wrongly it put me off of reading the book though it had been on my wishlist before. Jeanette Winterson's The Gap of Time (re-telling of The Winter's Tale) is on my radar though .. I like her writing anyway and it's had good reviews. This one was definitely worth reading, it takes flight and invites your imagination along. 4/5
  9. Poppyshake's Reading Year 2017

    Oh! .. I'm having to type in the default font .. bear with! I'm sure I shall get used to it but at the moment .. it's like a scone without butter/winter without Christmas/Kate without Bush etc. I'm going to have to man up! Something very odd happened to one of my earlier posts during the update but I think I have it sorted now. I still have colours .. that's a comfort isn't it? Actually one of the reasons I didn't use my iPad for writing posts here was that I couldn't change the font so perhaps I will use it now .. suddenly the world is opening up to me
  10. Poppyshake's Reading Year 2017

    Thanks bobbs Sorry for the huge delay in replying ... life swallowed me up for a bit. Hope you do enjoy A Kestrel For A Knave if you get around to it.
  11. What are you listening to?

    Another one-off! and ... Ooh .. abrupt ending! There's not many songs where you'd get lines like these ones .. 9.15 Monday morning at the printing works the boss notices someone's not clocked in. And the water department of the council offices have a message that Mrs Park's daughter is missing. Meanwhile the Carlisle turn-off of the M6 Motorway, drinking cold black coffee, eating hot cup-cakes. She stares at him with his beard unshaved. Wonders at his power of staying awake. He whispers slowly 'you did just fine', they shared the driving all through the night. She laughs 'my mother will have lost her mind, we're only ten miles to Gretna they're three hundred behind.' Fabulous .. and I love it even more that he works at the printing works
  12. What are you listening to?

    This can still move me to tears .. along with Alone Again (Naturally.) I loved Gilbert in his 'schoolboy' phase in particular .. such thought provoking lyrics. He was a one-off.
  13. Your Book Activity - March 2017

    Awww .. so glad you enjoyed it It always gets such good reviews so I thought I'd be pretty safe with it but you never know. Most Persephone books meander along though don't they? .. the ones I've read have anyway, but I love them for that. They're not hectic at all .. it's always so relaxing to read them
  14. Claire's Book List 2017

    Of course he has