Sunday, April 29, 2007


Wow didn't realise how long it had been, basically this week has been horrendous and good. Hmm you may be thinking... Well horrendous because some colleagues have really upset me and made me decide to def leave my school and I have spent the week feeling like rubbish and havent been able to be positive at all ( and I knew if I came on here I would moan and didn't want to put you all through that!) but the good thing is somehow I have regained my love for teaching. How did that happen!? Well to be honest I don't know but i am so enthused right now, making great plans for teaching etc and applying for new jobs so basically my reading has been limited to teaching books and I am sure none of you would be interested at all.

I have a Meme still to do and blogs to catch up on but never fear tomorrow shall be the day!

Now housepoints to anyone who can be bothered to go through my post and count the number of exclamation marks I have used! And theres another one! D'oh! Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhh...

p.s apologies for this mad post, I am just so happy to be back in love with my job.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Slow this week

Well I have been a slower reader these past few days, am failing miserably with the Trollope but have to have it read by monday for my new book group. I am really enjoying Shadow of the Wind but trying to catch up on work in the evenings so not getting much reading done. However still finding time to catch up with the world in blog land:)

I have hopefully got one of my old friends interested in bookcrossing, I am really enjoying the whole vibe of BC at the moment, released another book yesterday and will try and release one on the bus in the morning.

But that is enough about BC, hmm other things. Shakespeare's birthday! My favourite Shakespeare is Measure for Measure, I seem to be the only one that finds that my favourite. I must read more of Shakespeare though, it is something I have not read enough of.

I am currently trying to decide whether to stay in teaching or not, I just don't know what to do instead. I do love the kids, its just all the paperwork and jumping through hoops I can't stand. So feel free to suggest alternative careers for me!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Box of free books woohoo- oh and some other ramblings

I got a box of FREE books from freecycle today, I am so happy. The plan was to BookCross them but to be honest the pile on TBR is getting bigger and bigger. I am so happy, and obviously a very sad person for being so happy!

But something else weird today, not related to books I am afraid, went to get a joint account with OH for bills etc and it turned out the lady's niece is in my class at school. Lets hope she doesn't tell her that her teacher is a disorganised person with her finances who seems to move house every year! Argh!

Dystopian Challenge choices

OK I have made my choices!
The Road by Cormac McCarthy- have heard about this a lot recently
Animal Farm by George Orwell- have never got round to reading so thought this would be an ideal excuse
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley- read this years ago but can't remember a thing
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - sounds good!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Not much to add

except it is friday! Might go to bed soon and curl up with my book. Lovely jubbly.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Added Blog Links

I am adding some links to blogs in my links section (funnily enough!) If anyone has any objections please let me know! These are blogs I have been reading and enjoy!

Review- The Brief History of the Dead and random thoughts

Go out and buy this book if you have not got it.

Go home and read this book if it is on your TBR pile.

Personally I thought this was a fantastic read, I know others have had some reservations but i loved the way the stories fitted together, the writing was lovely and ooh it was just great! The story details a place between the living and dead where a population has gathered, caught there while others on Earth are alive to remember them. There existence is at risk when a plague hits the world and the book details the aftermath and how it is dealt with.

I thought the author had considered characterisation carefully, I enjoyed spotting the links between Laura and people from the city. It is a tale that unwinds, no thats not the right word, unravels? so more and more is revealed and explained, but then throws up more questions. I found myself engrossed by this book, torn again by the wish to finish it to see what happens and savour it slowly and enjoy it while I could. In the end I arrived at work this morning having some things to prepare for my class today but sat myself at my desk and finished it hungrily feeling so disappointed when it ended. I was also slightly disappointed (but not in a bad way if that makes sense?) by the ending as there was much left unsaid. However this in no way detracted from the book.

OK falling asleep now so am going to stop although I may add some thoughts tomorrow after a sound nights kip.

Some brief other thoughts-

I am finding it difficult to think of books for the Something about Me reading challenge. I want to include something about teaching, something about living in the UK, something bout my love of History (perhaps The Historian for that one!). Then I have to choose for my dystopian challenge, I have a HUGE long list for that one and I am trying to narrow it down but then I get another suggestion and the list lengthens again!

My class were noisy again tonight but one great moment was when we went down to the library and I could see the transformation in them from the beginning of the year where they were not interested in choosing books, now they bound up to me and ask me if I have read this or that book, show enthusiasm and even say 'Miss' you MUST read this. Ah its lovely. And one of my SEN children is showing so much improvement in his reading, writing and maths I just want to give him ten million housepoints and stickers to show him how proud I am.

Anyway, toodle-pip hope everyone is ok!

The Brief History of the Dead

Just finished this on the bus and loved it! More details to follow:) Trouble is don't have a book for the journey home now!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Challenges, books being read and addicted to blogs?

Last night I joined two challenges, anything to get me reading different books! First up I joined Lisa's Dystopian Challenge and then I joined the Something about Me Challenge . I already am formulating lists of what I want to read!

I am currently reading A Brief History of the Dead and am loving it! I was so absorbed this evening on the bus I nearly missed my stop.

I am also finding looking at peoples lit blogs quite addictive. I have built up a list of favourites I frequent and check back regularly to look for updates. Is it just me, am I sad? It's just so nice to talk about books without someone smiling sweetly and going 'OK...' and changing the subject.

Anyway the sunshine is / was bright, I have a lovely evening ahead of marking tests, reading and ahem...just checking if so and so's blog has been updated.

Monday, April 16, 2007

So tired

Real Life seeping in for a moment. So tired. Children horrid. No energy to pick up books. Um actually just a little energy but only after I mark assessment papers. And check everyone elses blogs:)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Finished- English Correspondence by Janet Davey

I really don't know what to say about this book, mixture of really disliking it and then kind of ending up liking it slightly. I need to work it out before writing a review so watch this space.

I have really enjoyed browsing through other peoples blogs and signing up for book related sites. Throughout the week I will add links and post some of what I have been looking at. I am loving Library Thing still and have been releasing some more bookcrossing books. The next thing on my list is to join some kind of challenge, there are lots in progress at the moment I can see from peoples blogs so I will look for one that comes up that I can join!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Bits and Bobs part 2

While out posting a book for Read It Swap It I just bought a copy of Cider with Rosie for 50p. Bargain.

Book Review- The Girls

Warning- If you haven’t read this book it may contain some spoilers for you!
Well last night I finished The Girls by Lori Lansens and was saddened when it did end. It describes the lives of Ruby and Rose, conjoined twins and how they deal with what their lives throw at them. I have so much to say about this book but am finding it difficult to find the words if that makes sense?
The book gives the reader lots of food for thought, I found myself often looking up into space trying to imagine never having been on my own, never having full control of my life and I couldn’t. The story goes back and forth in their lives, secrets are revealed that alter your interpretation of the characters. I read on one review that the story is quite morbid, almost depressing instead of tearjerking and that is a viewpoint that interested me. It was quite a depressing tale and Uncle Stash’s betrayal at one point gutted me but I think the book lifts itself out of the depressive state by the girls optimism and ….well does anybody know what I mean? There were certainly a few moments where I had tears in my eyes but I got swept up in the narrative and they didn’t fall. I think the suddenness of Aunt Lovey’s death was what clinched it, knew she was going to die at some point but the contrast with their strawberry picking etc really made an impact, which I guess was the authors intention.
All in all I would really recommend this book. It was certainly thought provoking and moving, please let me know what you thought of it!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Bits and Bobs

"Wear the old coat and buy the new book." - Austin Phelps
"There is no mistaking a real book when one finds it. It is like falling in love." - Christopher Morley
I found these two quotes on Book Chase today, thanks Sam I hope you don't mind me reproducing these. I think it sums up what I strongly feel about books and reading.

Updated= Book Meme
Found this on so many sites thought I would have to give it a go!
Instructions: In the list of books below, bold the ones you’ve read, italicize the ones you want to read, cross out the ones you won’t touch with a ten-foot pole, put a cross (+) in front of the ones on your book shelf, and asterisk (*) the ones you’ve never heard of. In the comments, let me know if you’re up for it. I left some books in just regular old font, these are the ones I am not sure I want to read or not.
1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. +Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. +To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. +The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. +The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. +The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. *A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. +Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. +Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. +Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. +Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. +Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)

17. *Fall on Your Knees(Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. +The Stand (Stephen King) LOVE, LOVE, LOVE
19. +Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. +Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. +The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. +The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)- well read a bit of it
23. +Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. +The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. +Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie(Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)- OH really wants me to read this
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)34. +1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True(Wally Lamb)
39. +The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. +Bible- read parts!
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. +Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. +The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. +The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
54. +Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. *The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. +Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. +The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65.* Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. +One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller) -
69. +Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. +Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. *The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. +Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. *Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. +Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. *Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. +Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. *The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. *Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. *Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. *In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)- partly read
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. +White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. *A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. *The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Umm how do I underline in blogger!

New book purchases!

I have just been very bad. I went to an opticians appointment and had the wrong time so missed it. As a result I decided to hit the charity shops and bought myself some books.
On Beauty by Zadie Smith
2001 A Space Odyssey by Arthur C Clarke
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
Had to stop myself from buying The Book Thief in Smiths, I may weaken tomorrow though. Now for an afternoon of adding my books to LibraryThing. I wish I had all my books here but the flat is so tiny I have to store some in my mums loft. I have lost track of all I own. Argh I want a house so I can have all my books!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

What to choose

I am supposed to be reading the Anthony Trollope but last night I went out and because it didnt fit in my bag I took The Girls with me which was brilliant. Now should I go back to the Trollope or carry on with The Girls? Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Other lit blogs

There are hundreds, thousands of them out there! Full of like minded people who buy and read and then buy some more! I am in heaven.

Half of a Yellow Sun

Over the weekend I finished ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and wow what a read. I picked it up in the library after seeing it advertised and discussed in various places. I actually had trouble starting it because I was in the mood for something light and fluffy and knew I wouldn’t be getting light and fluffy with this book. Anyway I must be the worst daughter in the world because while visiting my dear mother for the weekend I became so engrossed I could barely mumble ‘Hello’ at times during my visit. OK not quite as bad as that but you get the idea.
The novel details the Nigerian Civil War of the 1960s and follows the lives of three central figures, Olanna, Richard and Ugwu. It details how their lives are affected by the turmoil, going back and forward in time to contrast their experiences. I didn’t know much about the war before reading this and although this book does little in giving you dates, facts and figures etc, what you do get is a wonderful but haunting account of peoples lives during the events.The story is beautifully crafted and as you come to know and love the characters your breath stops when trouble arise, I raced through the end of the book because I just had to know what happened to one of the main characters. I also felt a certain amount of turmoil during reading this with reference to the character of Ugwu. He is a houseboy for the Odenigbo family acting as a different perspective on events. One incident in the book led my feelings towards him to change completely, I couldn’t work out how to deal with the hate, sorrow and sadness I felt for him. I don’t want to say more and spoil it for others but I would be interested to see what other people think! I cannot recommend this book enough. While studying history at university I wrote a dissertation on the Rwandan Genocide and studied colonial literature and this is just another book that brings to my attention the struggles that have, and are, going on in the world. A history of Nigeria can be found here


I have created two blogs- here and on another because I want to see which is the easiest to use! This will be a place to record my thoughts and feelings about books and reading. Hopefully it will be a place to coordinate all my book related activities as I am…well a bit disorganised in that respect! I forget books I have read, books I want to read and websites and blogs I have discovered.