Monthly Archives: October 2012

Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh

I gave this five stars on Goodreads.

This is one of the books I read at school and has always stayed with me.  I think we did projects on it I in English class but I can’t remember what. When I last visited my Mum’s I picked this up and it still didn’t disappoint. A lot of it I had forgotten. I remember it was a fight for survival and that was it. The story is about a field mouse who has to overcome all sorts of obstacles to protect her family when it comes to ploughing day because her youngest son is ill and cannot move. I had forgotten about the rats and how they had become so intelligent and the the the conflict with the cat. Part of me thinks it’s about self discovery and what we do to protect ourselves and others in what we tell them and do. At one point I did feel myself going ‘No Mrs Frisby don’t do that!’ and because I couldn’t remember the ending. I was hoping the ending was not going to be sad. I think as a child you miss quite a lot of what is written in there, you’re just reading a story and not looking for things  and to reread it as an adult gives it a new perspective and also brings back fond memories. I would recommend this to anyone who just wants a light read.

Oh and if anyone is wondering about the state of the book I think my dog ate it. 🙂

read for LBCPuffins on Tuesday. good discussion :D
read for LBCPuffins on Tuesday. good discussion 😀
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We all should read kids books once in a while

Recently I’ve lost my reading moo again. I don’t know if it’s because work has been to busy or the distraction of Facebook or Twitter or feeling the pressure of having to read so many books at the moment that I’m just avoiding reading them. I recently finished Lighthouse keeping by Jeannette Winters for bookclub and I really enjoyed. I did find it jumped about a bit and didn’t seem to have much plot but I really enjoyed the bits about the old lighthouse keeper and his dark stories.

I then tried reading another book for a different bookclub and because it had no speech marks in it and had larger print than normal and spaced out more on the page, and I found it really difficult to get into so I’ve abandoned it.

I decided to do what I did a few years back and read a kids book. This is how I found the books Warhorse and The boy in the stripe pyjamas. They are two of my favourite books. The reason I did this was because I think adult fiction can get to heavy sometimes and I needed a lighter book to read. If you have read these two books you would know they are brilliantly written and very poignant.

I’m not ashamed to admit I am a massive Harry Potter Fan. I fell into it by accident. I was staying at my Aunt’s about 10-12 years ago and one night I got the chance to read a bedtime story to my young cousins. It was the Philosopher’s stone. I think I started reading partly because I did actually like it and because it was a fond memory of spending time with my family. I absolutely love these books. I got so excited about one I went down to Morrisons petrol station on the day of release for one of them and got it for £5. I even love the films!

There’s quite a few books that I am fond of from my childhood. the two that really stick out are ‘Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh’ & ‘The Silver Sword’. I’m currently rereading the first one but I’m in search of the second with the cover that has the guy sitting on a box. I recently wrote a blog about all this. It’s funny what we forget and what we remember.

The other books that popped into my head were ‘choose an adventure’ where you read a chapter and you had to go to a certain page and you either carried on with your journey or met an untimely death! There were the books with the tapes. I think we had a lot of Disney ones. Then there was a magazine that came out fortnightly. I remember one had the story about the Labyrinth and the Minotaur and the story scared the hell out of me.

I’ve been searching on the internet to try remember what we used to read and there’s a selection below that are a blast from the past and I remember loving reading them. Especially puddle lane and ‘Mr Gotobed’!

So if anyone remembers any books from the 80s or 90s that they read please let me know as I would like to have a nostalgia trip and go back and read them! I don;t think there’s anything wrong with reading kids books once in a while. Our brains get so overloaded with stuff that we need something to give it a break. Try and see!

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My favourite book as a kid given to me by my Grandma

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Books and they’re magic and getting lost in their world oh and bookclubs

I only remember a few books that I read when I was younger and has stuck with me. We read them in school, one is The Silver Sword another is Mrs Frisby and the rats of Nimh. I remember in junior school reading all the time, and loving taking out books from the library. One of my fondest memories is my Grandma bringing books over for us to read. My favourite was  Enid’s Blyton’s book of brownies about three naughty elves. I think it’s still at Mum’s.

I’ve been trying to rack my brain about what those books were called that were adventures and at the end of each chapter you had to make a choice to continue the story and if you made a bad one the story ended. I enjoyed them to.

When we were kids we would use the library or go to charity shops to get books, I remember spending ages in both just going through the books.  I can’t remember reading much in comprehensive school other then the set texts but I do remember in the first year I was introduced to Point Horror series.  My sister and I were spending the day with our older cousin and we were given £2.50 each to spend. I bought the book  lifeguard. My sister didn’t want a book and went to Woolworths where she picked a toy that was twice the price. So my cousin relented & bought it for her, in which I got another £2.50 and bought the book Funhouse. I think we ended up with 12 books and they’re stashed away in my Sister’s bedroom.

The next time I actually remember reading fiction again was when I was staying at my Aunt’s in Norwich in 2001 and there my love of Harry Potter books began. I was reading it as a bedtime story to my cosuins and fell in love with the story. And then the films began and they filmed in Durham Cathedral (A beautiful place). After that I left uni and ended up living in a caravan for a bit because we couldn’t find a place to rent. Because it was in Panal and we had a 30 min commute to Leeds, plus I was getting bored on my days off I went into a charity shop where I found Pride and Prejudice for 30p!!! and there I fell in love with Mr Darcy and then Colin Firth!!

In the last two years I lost the ability to read. Kept trying and ended up just not taking it in. I can’t remember when  my friend Darren introduced me to the John Connolly books, but I’m glad he did.  John Connolly’s work is just amazing and it’s one of the few Author’s who’s work I can get lost in.  I think it was Darren who suggested to find out about bookclubs and it just so happened that I went to a world book night at The White Swan Leeds that it all began, and I haven’t looked back!. I don’t read all of them, because they either don;t interest me or once I forgot to. But it gets me reading and the best bit is getting the chance to discuss it with other people. The group at the White Swan are an amazing bunch so I highly recommend to anyone to find a bookclub and get discussing!!

Lastly the reason why I wanted to write this is because books are an amazing piece of technology, the printed word is such a gift and beautiful to look at. and the fact we can get lost in another world within seconds is just amazing! so we must cherish this gift of reading and the printed word and the fantastic work that these author’s do, otherwise we might just get stuck with soapland. ick!

My piece for Twificoo

http://twificoo.com/the-art-of-reading-the-paperback-rather-than-the-ebook/

An interesting article

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444868204578064483923017090.html?fb_action_ids=10152184314795313&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

Meeting a famous person

Meeting a famous person

(from July & September 2012)

20 July 2012 at 17:56
Today I went to The Old Swan in Harrrogate to hear John Connolly give a talk about his latest book and other things. and wow, just wow. I was 4 rows back and just sat in awe. I think I’m in love. I thank Darren for introducing me to Mr Connolly’s books because they are amazing. I’m a bit behind on the Parker novels, but I’ve read some of his other books to. The Gates and Hellsbells. Hellsbells been one of the funniest ones with the elves in the icecream truck.

Today’s talk was amazing. I was in the fourth row from the front!!! I love the fact he referred to author’s as vampires. that his best death in his books is in Bad Men to do with the annoyance of a mobile phone. how he, after writing so many books does not take his success for granted and thinks its still going to all fall apart. we forget successful people I just one of us.

I took along two books to see if I could get them signed. I took Darren’s and my copy of The Black Angel. I wasn’t sure whether to take this or The Book of Lost things as firstly I didn’t no what he would think as it’s not a Charlie parker novel and secondly I thought three was to greedy. But it turns out I should have taken because not only did a guy take along at least 6 books to sign, Mark Billingham highly praised the book, and I found out the book is loosely based on John him self and how he loved books as a kid and used to find a spot in his house amongst all the books in an escape from all the adults in the house (I think that’s right, don’t quote me too much excitement and caffiene today 🙂 )

Then after the talk John was book-signing. there is a Waterstones in a hotel, how amazing is that!!!!! I only had to wait 15mins and then as I stepped up I just babbled something and then asked for a photo taken and the funniest thing is it went wrong when the professional photographer couldn’t work my camera as the dial seemed to have got knocked, I went bright pink and John was so sweet about it.

I can’t wait to see where his tour of his next book is as I might go to that and get the other book signed as well. o

And I did. On 13th September John Connolly was doing a book tour signing along with Declan Burke the book he co-wrote about crime books and obviously the latest Charlie Parker novel. I was so gutted I didn’t take ‘The Book of Lost Things’ along to The Harrogate one but it didn’t feel right as I hadn’t read it. Then I found out this was happening in Leeds, so I ordered the new book off Amazon and took both along. When it was my turn to step up I told him how amaizng the book was and again babbled something else.  It wouldn’t have mattered as I doubt he remembered me (which was good). But because I told him how much I loved this book he seemed very touched and pulled out postcards to do with the book as a freebie and they’re amazing! So my mission this year is to complete my collection and before the end of the year read another Charlie Parker novel!!!

I would like to think I’m a bit of a bookworm.

Bookworm – someone who spends a great deal of time reading 

Just been to bookclub. The best thing I ever did was join bookclubs. I’ve found three amazing ones in Leeds.

The three books I have had to read this month are

plays by Susan Townsend. (didn’t really get into it) @Leeds Central Library

Winters Bone by Daniel Woodrill (read) @White Swan Bookclub in Leeds

The Iron Heel -Jack London (reading) @Giraffebar leeds

This is my ‘what I’ve read list’ for last few years

2012

January
The Particular sadness of Lemon Cake. By Aimee Bender.
I capture the castle. Dodie Smith

Killing God – Kevin Brooks

March
The Case of the Cottingley Fairies – Joe Cooper
The diary of a nobody- George and weedon grossmith

April
One For The Money (Stephanie Plum #1) by Janet Evanovich
The Spare Room Helen Garner
Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires #1) by Rachel Caine

May
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

June
The travelling hornplayer – Barbara Trapido
American Gods by Neil Gaiman

July
The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler, Gloria Steinem
The Black Angel (Charlie Parker #5) by John Connolly
Run Fat Bitch Run by Ruth Field
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ(Canongate Myths #16) by Philip Pullman

August
The Book Of Lost Things – John Connolly
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? Winterson, Jeanette
The Running Man by Stephen King, Richard Bachman (Pseudonym)

October
Winter’s Bone Daniel Woodrill
The Demon Headmaster- Gillian Cross
Stardust Neil-Gaimen

2011
January
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: A Hercule Poirot Mystery – Agatha Christie

March
The Art of Racing in the rain: Garth Stein

April

The Uncommon Reader: Alan Bennett
Howards End is on the landing : Susan Hill

May 
The Common Reader: Virginia Woolfe

June
My Sister’s Keeper: Jodi Picoult
(1st July) When did you last see your father? Blake Morrison.

July
Hellsbells : John Connolly
Boy: tales of childhood: Roald Dahl

August
Along Came a Spider: James Patterson
Woman in black: Susan Hill

November
One hand clapping: Anothony Burgess

2010
January
The Lost Symbol  – Dan Brown
Dark Hollow – John Connolly

February
Let the right one in – John Ajvide Lindqvist
Queen Victoria -Demon Hunter – A.E.Moorat
Three cups of Tea – Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin

March
The elegance of the hedgehog  –  Muriel Barbery
The adventures of Pinocchio  – Carlo Collodi
A special providence – Richard Yates
Shutter Island – Dennis Lehane
Fahenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

April
The boy who loved books – John Sutherland
The Gates – John Connolly
The Killing Kind – John Connolly

May
To kill a mocking bird – Harper Lee

June
Girl with a Dragon Tattoo – Steig Larsson
Eclipse – Stephanie Meyer
The short life of Bree Tanner – Stephanie Meyer

July
White Road – John Connolly

2009

January
The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje
The suspicions of Mr Whicher – Kate Summerscale

February

The luminous life of Lily Aphrodite – Beatrice Collins
The story of Anne Frank – Mirjam Pressier
A Room with a view – E.M.Forester
A Diary of a nobody – George Grossmith
One flew over the cuckoo’s nest – Ken Kessey
The Divine Comedy – Dante Alighieri

March
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Voluptuous Delights of Peanut butter and Jam – Laura Lienberg
Down & Out in Paris– George Orwell

April
1974 David Peace
New Moon – Stephanie Meyer

 May
Around the world in 80 Days – Jules Verne
The psychic adventures of Derek Akorah
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – Ian Fleming

June
The Illustrated Man – Ray Bradbury
Firmin – Sam Savage

July
Invisible man – Ralph Ellison
The Invisible Man – H.G.Wells
Nocturne – John Connolly

August

Every Dead Thing – John Connolly
The Poet Michael Connelly

September
The life of Charlotte Bronte – Elizabeth Gaskell
The chemistry of death – Simon Beckett
The alchemist – Paul Coalo
The turn of the screw – Henry James
October
Emily Bronte – Robert Barnard – The British Library writers lives

November
The princess Bride – William Goldman
The Diving bell and the butterfly –  Jean-Dominique Bauby
Oranges are not the only fruit – Jeanette Winterson
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
Things the grandchildren should know -Mark Oliver Everett,

2008
The secret life of bees – Sue Monk Kidd
Narrow dog to carcassonne – Terry Darlington
Dead Famous – Ben Elton
Atonement – Ian McEwan
Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
The interpretation of Murder – Jed Rubenfeld
How to talk to a widower – Jonathan Tropper
High Fidelty – Nick Hornby
Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
From Baghdad with Love – Jay Kopelman and Melinda Roth
Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
Russian Concubine – Kate Furnivall
The Outcast – Sadie Jones
Empress Orchid – Anchee Min
The Farm: The Story of One Family and the English Countryside – Richard Benson
The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
Geisha of Gion: The Memoir of Mineko Iwasaki by Mineko Iwasaki and Rande Brown
Broken Biscuit – Liz Kettle
Poppy Shakespeare – Clare Allan
The Last Empress – Anchee Min
Notes from an exhibition – Patrick Gale
Mrs.P’s Journey: The Remarkable Story of the Woman Who Created the A-Z Map
by Sarah Hartley
The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield
Random Acts of Heroic love – danny scheiman
The 39 Steps – John Buchan
The boy in the striped pyjamas – John Boyne
Diary of Anne Frank – Anne Frank
Carrie’s War – Nina Bawdon
The Silver Sword – Ian Serrailler
I am David – Ann Holm
The Notebook – Nicolas Sparks
Journey to nowhere – Eva Figes
Warhorse – Michael Morpurgo
Butterfly Lion – Michale Morpurgo
Alone on a wide, wide sea – Michael Morpurgo
The amazing story of Adolphus tips – Michael Morpurgo
The Reader – Bernard Schlink
Goodnight Mr Tom – Michelle Magorian
Private Peaceful – Michael Morpurgo
Revolutionary Road – Richard Yates
A Christmas Carol –  Charles Dickens
Twilight  -Stephanie Meyer

2007
Moll Flanders –  Daniel Defoe
Animal Farm  – George Orwell
1984 – George Orwell
Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
Catcher in the Rye  –  J.D. Salinger
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Chronicles of Narnia  – C.S. Lewis
Vanity Fair – William Thackery
Man & Boy  – Tony Parsons
Man  & Wife  – Tony Parsons
Savage Garden – Mark Mills
Memory Keeper’s Daughter – Kim Edwards
Treasure Island – Robert Stevenson
Harry Potter and the Dealthy Hallows – J.K. Rowling

20 things for 2013. :D

As I was writing my post this morning this one popped up http://hemingwayrun.wordpress.com/2012/10/13/2013-in-2013/

So I decided to sort out what I wanted to do next year.  Some I’ve pinched from other sites but it’s things I’ve never done and would be interested in doing.

1.No more injuries and knee to fully heel

2. Successfully win a place in the Great North Run and do it in under 2hours and 30mins

3.Enter the York 10k for the third time and beat PB without injury

4. Become debt free. (may require a small miracle)

5. Read at least 4 books a month, and at least one of them has to be a classic. Then write a review.

6. Be able to own a car again & just go visiting people and places at a drop of a hat 🙂

7. Embrace single life

8. Make someone smile at least once a day

9. Have a holiday in UK on my own without visiting friends and family

10. Get a passport and go travelling. See the sights. See Ireland, Paris & Italy & possibly Austrailia. Maybe needing a kindle by then (cringes)

11. Get a psychic reading done

12. Send a message in a bottle

13. Go on a Ghost walk/tour

14. Oh this is linked to no.10 Go to Disney world and get a kiss off Mickey Mouse

15. Go to the birthplace of Ikea – again linked to 10

16. Let my family & friends know how much they mean to me

17. Go to the Harry Potter Theme park

18. Eat a deep fried mars bar

19. Say ‘No’ and don’t feel bad about it

20. Be as happy as I can be

It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces. -Bridget Jones

 ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.’

-Bridget Jones

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

-Pride and Prejudice

The two sentences above are from my favourite film and book. My Sister told me the other day to stop reading books as I was moaning that I wished for a tall dark handsome stranger to whisk me off my feet. This is partly due to the obsession, yes I’ve said it with Colin Firth. Phwoar!!! I absolutely love him in BBC’s Pride and Prejudice,  The King’s Speech and of course Bridget Jones.  My sister then cheeked me and told me I only wanted somebody taller than me so he could reach the top self in the supermarket.  Maybe so but I also think there’s something of feeling protected of a much taller man, and it looks cute. It then went on that I should look for someone younger! isn’t that a bit crazy?  I don’t know.

Anyway it’s Thursday and my day off. I’m sat on the couch/sofa with my legs on the Ikea chair as my knee is hurting. Don’t know if it’s aggravated  by how cold it is today and especially cold in my house. Have had the heating on and now it’s gone cool again. Bah!  The last few weeks have been stressful, whether I’ve made it that way by not dealing with issues I can’t solve, With my knee playing up that I’m not getting enough sleep or thinking about the fact it’s nearly two years that I moved into this lovely little house. Yes, two years on my own and I’ve survived. I know lots of people live on their own, (if I’ve mentioned this before I’m sorry) But I can’t remember a time I haven’t shared a house full of people. I only got my own room once I left home to live in Middlesbrough to study graphic design.  Recently I’ve hated living here. Hated coming back and it’s dark and gloomy. Washing up piling up in the sink. The house is cold as it’s on the wrong side of the street and gets hardly any sun. But the other morning I woke up and wondered what would I prefer? living with people I barely know like I did as a student. The other option is would I prefer to rent a place already furnished, so that I wouldn’t worry about replacing anything. I always said I wanted my own house with a garden and sofa and put my own touch on. I currently live in a rented unfurnished house so I’m half way there but I’m beginning to wonder if I made the right choice. I absolutely adore my sofa. it’s  from  Ikea and was on sale. It’s the most comfiest thing in the world when it’s not filled with cushions. But after all it’s just a material object. Strange how we get so attached to animate objects. It’s so frustrating.

Part of me keeps wishing fora win on the lotto, that would save all the problems. Well money wise anyway. It would attract lots of other problems to. They do say be careful what you wish for. Wish for lots of money to bring you happiness. It won’t be a true happiness as that I think can only come you and what you make of the situation. At the moment I’m feeling trapped. I feel like I’m going backwards rather than forwards. I want to hide under the duvet and tell the world to sod off at the moment. Everything is getting to expensive. Time is going to quickly and I keep procrastinating on Facebook and OCD over how my blog looks rather than typing and publishing it. Mental!!!! I need to go back to using my brain and get stuff written in my notebook, read more books and take up drawing or photography again.  I need to stop waiting for the things to happen that I expect I should have from life and just enjoy it for what it is. and hopefully my knee will get better, I have a months worth of painkillers that i can’t pronounce the name of for my knee and if they don’t work it’s possibly a scan and physio. darn it! However the good news is I have low blood pressure (apparently I won’t have a heart attack anytime soon, that’s good to know I suppose. Eeks!) and I lost a pound in weight since last visit and so I bought a double chocolate cake from Patisserie Valerie. Anyway, I so wanted to do the York 10k (For the third time) and  the Great North (for the first time) next year (it may still happen) 😦 oh and did you know you can buy worming tablets from the chemist????  So I just need to get through Christmas, which I’m dreading, as it’s the busiest time of year for us and I maybe in Leeds on my own eating pizza or whatever I have in by that point. 😦

I’ve been looking at charities for the Great North Run. One is for Cystic Fibrosis, I lost a friend to it over 12 years ago. Carly was my best friend and it was her who I started going out drinking with. We had some amazing times and I feel I let her down at the end. I just hope she forgives me.The other charity  is Guide Dogs for the blind. A family friend called David Paterson had two sons. Ian and Kevin. We were all very close Kevin has Cerebal Palsy and Epilepsy and is blind, and David used to do a lot of fundraising for the guide dogs, I might be wrong but it think he did the Great North run to raise money to. I would like to do it in honour of them.

Kevin Paterson

So to end. Today has been quite good. I got some things from HMV that I wasn’t expecting to get, a Barack Obama book for 50p. ‘How to make friends and alienate people’ for £2 (I think there is a friend theme running through this week and it’s spooky!. ‘The perks of being a wallflower’ book and ‘The Best of Motorhead’ Cd in the 2 for £10 offer. I enjoyed my double chocolate cake from the posh cake shop and felt very special unwrapping the pretty tied box. Felt very sick from eating it and there’s a third of it left in the fridge. I’ve had my hair cut and it feels rather trendy, I keep swishing my head around to make it flick out. so silly. I’ve looked at all the books piling up that I have to read. and I’ve gone through a silly phase again where in a space of a week I’ve been buying books from charity shops, the market and HMV & I really shouldn’t as it won’t help my to read list or my decluttering. I need to read quicker!!!

 

So in the words of Chesney Hawkes (God bless him) ‘I am the one and only, Nobody I’d rather be ,I am the one and only,You can’t take that away from me.’ as no matter how I try to change it doesn;t work. I’ll stick with improving myself and being content with who I am, what I can do. And for the few friends I have in my life, in Pudsey,Leeds & Norwich, you are like family to me and mean the world to me and thank you so much for the help you’ve given me in the last few weeks. I promise one day I’ll pay you back. xxx  P.S. to my little sister that includes you to. 😀 xxx