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Everything posted by Hayley

  1. Pets - 2016

    Ubbe is so cute!! I've never heard of schapendoes but now I want one We've had really warm weather here for the last couple of days and Oscar isn't impressed. We've had his fur cut short for the summer but he's spending most of his time sprawled out across the kitchen tiles where its cool. My sister went on holiday with her dog recently and found a sea-side ice cream shop that sold dog ice cream, I think he needs some of that!
  2. Hayley's 2016 Reading

    Fool Moon by Jim Butcher - Gritty and Gripping And when I say gripping, I literally read it until past 2am yesterday, even though it was absolutely my intention to put it down and go to sleep at about 11.30. I liked this better than the first book, for a start. With the first book I felt like I knew exactly what was going to happen at the end very early on and there were no real surprises, but there were a lot of things that kept me guessing in this case. I also felt like it did a really good job of integrating the magical world into the normal criminal world this time. It had the feeling, as a whole, of building up to something more, which is exciting because I know other people have said this series really gets good after the third book. It wasn't perfect. I think there were a couple of things that didn't make absolute sense. They didn't harm the plot, I'm just still not sure why they were there even now that I've finished it. (These really are big spoilers to the plot so don't read it if you haven't read the book!) Overall though I enjoyed reading it, it had great suspense and it made me look forward to getting the next one
  3. Where Are You?

    I'm in London - I think - things got complicated - (Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman) (is it just me or does this make you want to read everybody else's books? )
  4. It does sound good! Also off to look at it
  5. Well, mystery sort of solved, it seems there is no official release date. Ben Aaronovitch tweeted a Hanging Tree announcement saying 'release date currently in flux - it's totally my fault and I will give a definite date as soon as I have one.'
  6. Hayley's 2016 Reading

    I definitely want to read the sequel. I don't think it really needed a sequel but if it's as good as the first book I'm not complaining! Thank you I'm a bit behind now, I finished reading The Woman in White a few days ago but just haven't had time to post yet! I sent a big chunk of my work off this morning though so I can actually do some none-work related writing at last. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins - Multi-layered Mystery It was actually really hard to think of a short description to do this book justice. I went with the thing I liked most about the book and that was the depth of the mystery. There are so many secrets to be revealed throughout the book but it remains so intense and focused. It's so well crafted that everything just intertwines in a really intriguing way. This is helped by the fact that, like The Moonstone by Collins (which I also loved), the story is partly told through the diaries and accounts of different people who all experience the story in a different way. If I had one small criticism it would be that there was a fairly small section near the beginning where it felt a bit slow but it more than makes up for that when it picks up again. It was literally one of those books I couldn't put down, I sat up until 2 in the morning reading it because I just had to find out what happened next. There's also so much more to this book than just the mystery. It actually deals quite a lot with gender inequality at the time and I really think one of the characters, Marian Halcombe, is the best example of female strength and independence I've ever read in a Victorian novel. As well as this though, and without giving anything away, there are also themes of mental illness, questions of social class ... I want to say more but some of the things don't appear until later and I don't want to give anyone a clue to the mystery. I would definitely recommend it, particularly if you like a good mystery! I think I'm going to start reading Fool Moon now, the second 'Dresden Files' book. I enjoyed the first one but there were a few things that I did have reservations about so I'm interested to see whether I'll like this one more
  7. Windows10 hijack

    I chose to update mine early to Windows 10, I didn't realise it would just do it automatically anyway, that does seem wrong! I didn't have any problems with mine opening multiple folders or dragging and dropping though - I'm fairly sure all that stayed the same for me. The only thing I did work out is that the new default internet browser, microsoft edge, doesn't work properly with quite a few things (including this website!) but I just installed google chrome and used that instead. Maybe you could contact windows support and see if something is making yours act weird?
  8. I love finding interesting old books! This definitely was an intriguing find and so nice that it belonged to your Grandmother! I don't know anything about the book or author but I think the writing on the left of the date you said you can't read says 'Ex Libris' (meaning the person the book belonged to) and the name looks like 'Hoslop' to me. I don't know if you already know this as well but the 3/6 in pencil on the front cover suggests it was sold, at some point, for 'three and six' - which I think was three and a half shillings. Which I know because, funnily enough, I have a book with exactly the same number in (much more recent than yours though, from 1836) and my mom (who remembers the old currency) told me that's what it was! Good luck finding more information
  9. Does anyone know if the release date for The Hanging Tree has changed? I'm sure amazon used to have a date in June but it now says August for the hardback, so does WHSmith's website and Waterstones' website just says 'coming soon.'
  10. Litsy

    I haven't really had time to play with this yet but the concept looks really good I'm on there as HhayleyFly I just worked out how to add you Kylie
  11. Your Book Activity - April 2016

    Will be interested to see what you think of The Bloody Chamber, I've definitely never read anything else quite like it! (Also you were right about Fly By Night, it's a beautiful book ) I've started The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, which is really good so far, but I'm starting to wish I picked something a bit shorter since I'm so behind on the reading I wanted to do this month! There should be an extra hour in the day just for reading
  12. I've seen Body Work a few times recently but I don't think I've ever read a graphic novel either, I don't particularly like reading in that format so I don't know whether to try it. I do really want more story though, I can't wait for The Hanging Tree!
  13. Hayley's 2016 Reading

    Thank you, I really enjoyed all of them so I hope you do too when you get to them! I actually finished Fly by Night a few days ago but just haven't had time to review it yet (or to start a new book, which is terrible!) Fly By Night by Francis Hardinge - An Orwellian Fairy Tale The first thing I thought when I started reading this book is it's just so pretty! The writing often gives the scenes a very fairy tale feel. For example, this was a bit I liked: 'There was no escaping the sound of water. It had many voices. The clearest sounded like someone shaking glass beads in a sieve. The waterfall spray beat the leaves with a noise like paper children applauding. From the ravines rose a sound like the chuckle of granite throated goblins.' There are other parts, and characters, just as nicely written in a fairy tale style but I really don't want to give anything away because this book also has a very gripping mystery at its heart. I thought when I started this book that it was about a world in which books were banned but it's actually a lot more complicated than that. What it's really about is censorship and freedom, as well as government control and the impact of fear and lack of education, which is why I decided to give this book the summary title of an Orwellian fairy tale. These subjects aren't brushed over either, they're dealt with in quite a complex way, but never a way that's complicated to read. That might come from the fact that, although written in the third person, Hardinge constantly points to the main character's view of the action around her and this character (Mosca) is only twelve years old. If I had one criticism (and this is something I now know a few people picked up on) it's that there are some parts near the end when things are explained in a very obvious way. And those parts sort of jolt you away from the subtlety of the message in the rest of the book. I do understand that, as a young adult novel, the author has to be aware that a younger audience might feel the need for an overarching explanation when so many themes have been dealt with and it doesn't spoil the book by any means, it's just a picky thing. Every other thing about the book would have worked perfectly as an adult novel in my opinion (but then, I often don't really get how they're categorised anyway!). I would absolutely recommend other people to try this book. I don't think I've ever read anything quite like it and the mystery had me (literally) accidentally losing about two hours of time I was meant to be working because I couldn't put it down. I'm thinking of either reading The Woman in White or Fool Moon (the second Dresden Files book, which I found in a charity shop a few days ago... not doing very well at not buying books ) next.
  14. Discworld series by Terry Pratchett

    Exciting news about new books and adaptations - and a nice article too http://www.thebookseller.com/news/pratchett-memorial-327142
  15. Athena's Reading List 2016

    What a great book haul! I wish my local library was as good as yours! On the rare occasions mine has books for sale there's probably about 30 books and they're mostly unpopular ones with bad reviews! I really want to read something by China Mieville, I've heard good things about him so I'll be interested to see what you think!
  16. Hayley's 2016 Reading

    I hate it when you order a book and get a different cover from the picture. Unless the cover you get is prettier... then it's fine I'm going to start reading Fly By Night now actually, I'm really looking forward to it! But first a quick review of... The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie - Gruesome, gripping and full of personality The main thing I really liked about The First Law trilogy was the detail of characters. You're not just following one 'good guy' hero, you see all sides of the story, from the various views of very unique and detailed characters. This, if possible, was done even better in this book. Although the book is pretty long the whole thing is actually only set over about three days of war, but so much happens in those three days and you end up caring about the fate of so many characters you just can't stop reading. One difference between this and the original trilogy is that this is definitely the more gruesome book. It's used to good purpose, we're supposed to be seeing the horrific reality of war, but it did actually make me feel slightly sick at times. I would point out to anyone thinking of reading this that, although it is advertised as a standalone book set within the First Law world, it would be very hard to follow what was going on if you hadn't read the original trilogy first. It does directly follow events from those books, with mostly the same characters. Overall I really enjoyed reading this book and I'm definitely going to be looking out for the others set in the First Law world! and now on to Fly By Night
  17. Athena's Reading List 2016

    I don't think it's free here either, sadly! I'm definitely adding it to my wishlist still though
  18. Americans Can Handle The Truth about UFO'S

    It does seem like a ploy to get votes from people's curiosity, but if it's genuine then surely the less secret files the government keeps from the public the better, even if they don't prove anything at all.
  19. Athena's Reading List 2016

    Your new books look great! It is odd that the The Long Utopia is such a different size! I really want to read something by Philip K. Dick. I'm glad you enjoyed the last book of his you read, even though it didn't quite match the first two
  20. Ever cheated?

    I did used to skim read texts I didn't like in my first couple of years at uni. Like when I couldn't deal with reading another chapter about the technical aspects of whaling (Moby Dick) or when we started modernist poetry and I decided I'd had enough after the line 'sugar is not a vegetable' (Tender Buttons). But that was for the sake of my sanity so I think it should be allowed
  21. ​The Philosopher's Apprentice ​by James Morrow might be a good one. It's definitely very different and thought provoking. It has strong psychological themes as well as philosophical. I really liked it ​
  22. Your Book Activity - April 2016

    I'm just over a quarter of the way through The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie and hoping to get a lot more reading done this month!
  23. Noll's 2016 Books and Cross-Stitch

    Thanks for the cookie . I would never have picked up Radiant based on the synopsis but your review makes it sound brilliant so I'm now adding it to my list!
  24. Hayley's 2016 Reading

    Oooooh, the hardback is pretty! The 'banned' cover is really difficult to get hold of isn't it? I don't think my edition is anything unusual, it's the first one that comes up on the bookdepository ( http://www.bookdepository.com/Fly-by-Night/9780330418263). Although that picture does make it look a bit like the border is yellow, it is actually gold.
  25. Vodkafan's 2016 Reading Adventure

    If it's not a word, it should be Linley Sambourne's house looks really interesting! I haven't been to the back to backs, which I know is terrible because I live really close to them, but it's just one of those things I never got round to doing! Have you been to the black country museum? I think it goes up to about the 1940's but a lot of it is Victorian. I haven't been for years but I used to love it. Since you're interested in everything about Victorians, I can recommend another book I got last year - Victorian Entertainment by Alan Delgado. It's actually a really fun, easy read and some of the pictures are great (there's a mixture of illustrations and early photographs). Capturing Jack the Ripper sounds good. To be honest I would have assumed from the title that it did try to make sensational claims about the identity of the murderer and for that reason probably wouldn't have picked it up. I can't believe Scotland Yard disconnected their phone because people kept calling them