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Posts posted by Hayley

  1. 14 hours ago, Raven said:

    Did it? I've missed that on two reads of the book!


    I've always felt that Gandalf, knowing what he was dealing with, was reluctant to go near the thing least he be seduced by The Ring's power.  I've never got the notion that the ring itself was trying to manipulate events - where are you getting that impression from? 

    Just before Gandalf puts it into the fire (after they've been talking about the way the ring chose to betray Isildur and Gollum), as Frodo passes it to him 'it felt suddenly heavy, as if either it or Frodo himself was in some way reluctant to give it to Gandalf'. To be honest it could actually be that it's already getting some grip over Frodo, and so Frodo doesn't want to give it away the same way Bilbo didn't, but since we'd just been reading about the way the ring sort of chooses who to go to, that's the way I read it. 


    On 20/01/2022 at 9:50 AM, timebug said:

    I always interpreted the ring wanting to stay with Frodo, as the fact that we are shown that he is a good natured and sweet soul, and that the evil inherent in the ring felt that he would be more malleable,and easier to bend to it's will. Like Smeagol/Gollum a more pliable sunject to work on!

    Yes, that's a good point. Although the ring actually gets it badly wrong in that case doesn't it? Since Gandalf thinks hobbits are actually particularly resistant to the rings power!


    14 hours ago, Raven said:

    Are people happy with doing four chapters a week, or would you rather do three? 


    I've realised that some of the chapters in The Two Towers appear to be longer than the ones in Fellowship, how fast do people want to go?

    We could always switch to three when we get to The Two Towers?

  2. Something I’ve been thinking about from the first three chapters:

    why do you think the ring doesn’t want to go to Gandalf? Gandalf himself obviously thinks he’d be vulnerable to the ring, since he doesn’t want to touch it, and if the ring did go to Gandalf it would have a far more powerful host - so why does it want to stay with Frodo instead? 

  3. The days are short, 
    The sun a spark, 
    Hung thin between 
    The dark and dark. 

    Fat snowy footsteps 
    Track the floor. 
    Milk bottles burst 
    Outside the door. 

    The river is 
    A frozen place 
    Held still beneath 
    The trees of lace. 

    The sky is low. 
    The wind is gray. 
    The radiator 
    Purrs all day. 


    January by John Updike

  4. On 15/01/2022 at 3:33 PM, Raven said:

    I didn't realise I'd missed the prologue off the list last week, so I will hold A Short Cut to Mushrooms over to next week.

    I assumed you were suggesting we skip the prologue :lol:.


    2 hours ago, Raven said:

    Concerning Hobbits (and the other sections in the prologue) are in the wrong place; I personally think they would fit better in the appendix at the end of The Return of the King.

    I actually do like Concerning Hobbits but I didn't read it before the book and I definitely think it would have seemed odd if I had, so agree on this point!


    On 15/01/2022 at 3:33 PM, Raven said:

    The lack of urgency when it comes to Frodo leaving the shire feels... wrong - especially when you know what is after him!  Gandalf knows Sauron has risen in the east; he knows Sauron knows the ring still exists; he knows Sauron knows someone called Baggins has the ring and where he lives. 

    We haven't gotten to the right part yet, but I think the delay is kind of explained later?


    On 15/01/2022 at 3:33 PM, Raven said:

    I hadn't remembered that Pippin is with Sam and Frodo when they leave Bag End, and that Merry doesn't come into it until later. 

    Do you think Merry and Pippin actually seem more like individuals in the book, where they blend together a bit in the films? 


    On 16/01/2022 at 11:51 AM, Brian. said:

    I wasn't a big fan of the first chapter because for some reason I couldn't get on with it. It felt too slow and plodding but to be completely fair that might just be me needing to settle into Tolkien's way of writing again as I didn't have the same issue with the other chapters.

    I know what you mean with the pacing at the start but I actually love the first chapter! Tolkien's narrative voice feels so calm and reassuring. I also love the whole concept of the Shire and Hobbits (probably why I like the prologue too). 

  5. On 04/01/2022 at 10:32 PM, Lau_Lou said:

    my main aim is to thoroughly enjoy what I read. So I will be choosing as carefully as I can.

    That’a a good resolution :) 


    On 04/01/2022 at 10:32 PM, Lau_Lou said:

    I am hoping to move into a new home this year which will take priority. 

    And that’s exciting! 


    On 04/01/2022 at 10:32 PM, Lau_Lou said:

    I am currently making my way through GooseBumps series for nostalgia purposes so maybe finishing that :D

    I used to love Goosebumps!! Are they as good as you remember?? 

  6. On 09/01/2022 at 9:38 PM, Raven said:

    Mcvities Victoria; got given a box in a Christmas hamper from work.  Ordinary biscuits, poor chocolate. 


    Plain chocolate Hob Nobs are so much better!


    Okay, that's fair. I trust your biscuit judgement again :lol:.



    I had beef stew for dinner and it was delicious. I had a second bowl. Comforting and used up all the leftover vegetables. 

  7. 16 hours ago, Raven said:

    Hope you've all started!




    So who is taking part? Sound off below!


    I am but I’m waiting for my book to come! (I was going to borrow the series from my sister but decided I’d like to have one of my own). It should be here by tomorrow :)

    4 hours ago, Madeleine said:

    the publisher made him split it into smaller parts! 

    It was a good decision :lol:

  8. First book of the year (although started in 2021):


    Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children 3)

    by Ransom Riggs

    (4.5/5) - I loved it


    As with the previous two books, this was wonderfully imaginative and addictively readable. The more sinister themes of the series come to the fore in this third novel. There are overt references to torture and it very clearly indicates a connection between the 'bad guys' of the series and the Nazis. As a result, the stakes feel much higher and moments of danger more tense. 

    Now, on to why I didn't give this one a full five stars. I really did still love it, I could happily have sat reading it for hours, but I just didn't quite love it as much as the previous two. I realise this is purely personal preference, not a fault in the book, but I loved the exploration and fantastical discoveries of the first two. For much of this one we are only following two characters and I missed seeing all the uses of various 'peculiar' abilities in the same way that I missed discovering the secrets of new 'loops' (essentially alternate worlds). Those things aren't entirely absent, but they aren't used anywhere near as much. I did get the impression that this book, especially at the end, was setting up for a new part of the story. It ties some things up and loosens the rules about other things which would have restricted the characters. With the ending in mind, I have a feeling that the next book might return to the stronger theme of exploration and discovery, and I can't wait to read it!



    I'm now reading A Very Murderous Christmas and still dipping in to Silence in the Age of Noise by Erling Kagge :)  

  9. Has anybody been participating in this one? I started out with big plans and on Thursday and chose a book I thought I might be able to finish (A Very Murderous Christmas - I know it's a bit late but I did want to read it this year and decided there's no harm extending the festive spirit!), but I had a lot of changes to my work schedule on Friday and Saturday (which meant I ended up starting extra early and finishing late) so it didn't quite work out! I did still manage to read 4 of the stories (which is nearly half of the book) so I'm pretty happy with that. I think I can probably get one more in before the end of the day too :)

  10. On 07/01/2022 at 5:35 PM, Raven said:

    Milk chocolate biscuits are so insipid.


    :o. This should be in the debating section :giggle2:. Which ones?? I love milk chocolate digestive biscuits. Especially if you take two, place them together with the chocolate side facing in, then dip them in tea so you end up with a melted chocolate middle. Yum. Now I want biscuits...

  11. On 07/01/2022 at 2:37 PM, Hux said:

    The problem I have with Goodreads is that it makes recommendations based on the most flimsy of criteria. Hey, you read a book by an Italian author so here's some more Italian authors, etc.

    Seconded. I don’t even bother reading the recommendations any more! 

    I’ve never used Storygraph but I just had a look and it seems good in theory!


    On 07/01/2022 at 6:15 PM, France said:

    I had a quick look though it and was rather put off by glancing through the Reading the World challenge and seeing books listed as being of that country which weren't, Where the Crawdads Sing listed for Brazil and Murder on the Orient Express for Turkey for instance.

    Although this doesn’t give me high hopes for their algorithms… 

  12. On 03/01/2022 at 5:16 PM, Madeleine said:

    My dad used to leave his jeans on the bed, and our beagle would go and shove her nose in the pockets, pull out banknotes and chew them up!  She also loved to chew up glasses (the ones you wear, not drink out of), so don't leave anything lying around, hairbrushes, pens, the list is endless!

    Luckily she hasn't gotten hold of any money but my hairbrush has a few teeth marks in it now!


    On 03/01/2022 at 5:55 PM, France said:

    These are Ingie and Dino, both rescues.

    Oh they are so lovely! Their stories are heart-breaking though. I will never understand how some humans can be so cruel :(. I'm glad they both got good loving homes in the end. 

  13. On 02/01/2022 at 10:57 AM, France said:

    We had a Dalmatian (almost as accomplished thieves as Labradors) who worked out how to open the bread bin by getting his nose under the handle and rolling it up.

    Was that Desi? I love dalmatians, they always seem so full of character (and the picture you posted of Desi in the other thread was especially full of character!). Luckily Lilly is not tall enough to reach the bread bin!


    On 02/01/2022 at 1:11 PM, Madeleine said:

    We had a beagle when I was a child and there aren't many places you can keep them out of!

    I was not warned about that trait - she also puts her nose in all my pockets :giggle2:.


    On 02/01/2022 at 1:11 PM, Marie H said:

    Lily is beautiful! *trying to imagine feeling Lily's soft ears* :D

    They are so soft!!!


    23 hours ago, lunababymoonchild said:

    Lilly is, indeed, gorgeous.  I wish you many years of happiness together.  How old is she, is she still a puppy?

    Thank you :) she is still a puppy, nearly 14 weeks now!


    23 hours ago, France said:

    Sybil, now aged two but still just as opinionated, disapproving of my reading material.

    She is beautiful!! I would read whatever Sybil wanted :wub:


    20 hours ago, Brian. said:

    Ideally I would get a dog as we always had dogs when I was a kid. I chose a Labrador when I was about 5 and he lived for about 15 years so I’ve always wanted another. Unfortunately, even when we do move I can’t see us getting a dog. I work long hours and it would be left alone for between 12-16 hours at a time which isn’t fair and I wouldn’t want to do that to a dog.


    My wife really wants a rabbit and I wouldn’t mind a cat so I imagine we would get one if not both. One thing is for certain though, I want a rescue animal when the time comes. 

    Ah, that's a shame. Maybe further ahead in the future though! A cat or rabbit would be lovely additions to the family anyway (and there were, sadly, so many cats waiting for new homes when we were looking - I just wanted to adopt everything :( ). The story behind getting Lilly was a funny one actually (well, not exactly ha-ha funny) - we had been applying to various rescue centres for quite a while and then someone got in touch who was desperate to rehome a young beagle (due to change in family circumstances) and thought we would be perfect. We were so happy, he seemed like such a lovely dog and we went out to buy him all the things he would need after setting a date and time to collect him. Then, two days before we were meant to pick him up, his original owner changed their mind. They didn't want to let him go and said they would find a way to keep him... so that was a pretty awful feeling (although I am happy for them if they genuinely found a way around their problems). Then, by chance, the very next day my boyfriend saw a post from someone who wasn't a breeder, but had wanted their family dog (a beagle!) to have a single litter of puppies. Obviously they couldn't keep all of them, so they were looking for good homes for the rest. I liked the way they were checking on the homes the puppies were going to, like the rescue centres do, but I still felt a little bit suspicious since they weren't an organisation and we didn't know them personally. But, anyway, my boyfriend really wanted to give them a chance so I got in touch and talked to them a bit, went to their house and met their family dog (who was lovely) and, while we were there, Lilly kept running up to me and licking my hands... and my heart just melted at that point so we had to ask them if we could take her home :lol:.


    6 hours ago, Athena said:

    I always enjoyed our Pets threads.

    Me too! I don't know why we stopped doing them! (and I told Lilly you said hi :lol:)


    4 hours ago, Hux said:

    Dash in full flow here...

    This is a moment of pure, adorable joy (Dash seems like a very appropriate name too!)


    21 minutes ago, Hux said:

    Here's my rubbish pictures.

    They're not rubbish! That level of relaxation is a bit of a contrast to the other picture though :giggle2:. (I imagine those ears are also very soft).

  14. 15 hours ago, Brian. said:

    Once we finally manage to move house we will definitely be getting a pet or two. 

    What pets would you like to have??


    11 minutes ago, France said:

    Lily looks like quite a character. There's attitude there! Is she a beagle?


    Yes she’s a beagle and definitely quite a character! She loves to sleep curled up on me, which is very cute, but she’s also very clever in ways that are sometimes unfortunate (like working out that she can just about reach to tap the top of the bin and open it :roll:).

  15. Welcome to my 2022 book blog! 


    I'll be keeping things simple and up to date, using the same method of rating that I have for a while (out of five, where 5 is absolutely amazing, 4 is very good, 3 is good, 2 it was okay and 1 something I didn't really like).


    Last year, as I've mentioned elsewhere, I read far less than I usually do, with a total (I think) of 16 books. As always I'll be setting a goal of 50 and we'll see how close I can get! 


    Thread now open!

    Let the reading begin :) 

  16. I've been thinking about our old pet threads recently and how much I used to enjoy seeing other peoples pets! Although I still got to see lots of lovely pictures of pets on the forum this year, there wasn't a specific place for them any more. So I've been saving some news until today, when I could start a new 2022 Pets thread...


    Everyone, meet Lilly: 



    She is a little ball of joy and chaos and I love her. 


    Please use this thread to tell everyone about your current pets and your pet memories :) 

  17. Well this thread was very neglected in 2021 - but so was my reading, actually.  I’m not sure this is 100% accurate but I’m fairly sure I read 16 books this year, which is nowhere near as many books as I usually read! On the plus side, I’m sure I can beat that in 2022… 

    Before we get to the 2022 book blog though, I wanted to finish up this one with some very brief thoughts on the books I have read…


    The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

    The thing that really sticks in my head about this one is just how beautifully it was written. Not a great deal actually happens. It’s definitely not action packed. But it was a genuine pleasure to pick up every time and become immediately immersed in the atmosphere of the Essex marsh. For that reason it was also incredibly easy to dip in and out of. It also makes some interesting observations on different kinds of love. Would definitely recommend this one. 

    Botanical Folk Tales by Lisa Schneidau

    I loved this book. It contains a series of short folk tales from Britain, organised by season (and related in some way, of course, to a flower, plant or tree). Another one that was very easy to dip in and out of but, at the same time, I found myself desperately wanting to read just one more story whenever I picked it up. The selection of stories is excellent and most were totally new to me. I love folk and fairy tales anyway but this collection is like going on a journey through the seasons as well. 

    Queste by Angie Sage 

    The fourth book in the Septimus Heap series and I’m still really enjoying it. I thought the concept behind the plot of this one was very clever and there were some developments with a couple of characters which I really didn’t expect. Looking forward to the next one! 

    The Dance of the Serpents by Oscar de Muriel 

    I think everyone knows by now that I just love the Fray and McGray series. This one had me just as gripped as they always do and ended with a hint that makes the next book seem all the more exciting. 

    Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon

    I loved this book too! It totally surpassed my expectations. It was absolutely gripping, I had no idea what was going to happen and it had a whole cast of memorable and interesting characters. Victorian sensation fiction at its finest. I would definitely highly recommend this one.

    Writing this actually made me realise that, although I didn’t read that much this year, I really enjoyed what I did read! Let’s hope next year is full of books just as good but in higher volume :lol:.


    Happy New Year everyone! I’m going to start as I mean to go on now - by putting my pyjamas on and curling up with a book :)



  18. 23 hours ago, Virginia said:

    Just saw this. is it still on? Is it too late? I'd love to do the group read!

    Not too late at all, it hasn’t started yet :lol:.


    On 29/11/2021 at 10:36 PM, Raven said:

    So how do we do this? Not done one of these before!


    Did you have a start date in mind?