Monthly Archives: December 2012

Don’t Quit

My Mum recently gave me two things. One a candle with my name on the holder.

Helen- An Intelligent and determined person

and a card with this poem on it:

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong,

as they sometimes will.

When the road you’re trudging

seems all uphill

When the funds are low

and the debts are high.

And you want to smile,

but you have to sigh.

When care is pressing you down a bit.

Rest if you must, but don’t quit.

Success is failure turned inside out.

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.

And you never can tell

how close you are.

It may be near when it seems so far.

So, stick to the fight 

when you’re hardest hit.

It’s when things go wrong

that you mustn’t quit.

After re-reading this after a tough few months I’m glad I have my Mum, Sister,family and friends to fall back on. Not everyone is that lucky

Thank you for reading



69 books for 2013

In 2013 I hope to read 69 books. 33 of which are my choice for my vast collection.

Below is the list I intend to read, not in any particular order, it’ll depend on timing. I’ll also list the books for bookclubs and will mark all books off once read with a star rating. 1 being poor/not liked – 5 being bloody brilliant! Also I’ll add and change books if they clash with bookclub. So here goes!

My 33 to read.

A mix of fiction and non-fitction

1.Awakenings – Oliver Sacks

2. The secret life of Houdini – William Kalush and Larry Solmen

3. Inside the whale and other stories – George Orwell

4. Black Beauty – Anne Sewell

5. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

6. Charles Dickens – Tale of Two Cities

7. An Essay on the art of ingeniously tormenting – Jane Collier

8. Ghost Stories of Henry James – Henry James

9. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists-Robert Tressell

10. Watership Down Richard Adams

11 -The Fault in our stars-John Green

12. The 100 year old man who climbed out the  window -Jonas

13. The Unquiet John Connolly

14. The Perks of being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbowsky *****

15. Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White

16. The Kings Speech – mark Logue and Peter Conradi

17. The five people you meet in heaven – Mitch Albom

18. The Quantum Universe – Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw

19. A medal for Leroy – Michael Morpurgo *****

20.Nocturnes- John Connolly

21. Mr Toppitt – Charles Elton

22. Breakfast at Tiffanys-Truman Capote

23. The Art of Fielding – chad Harbach

24. The End of Mr Y- Scarlett Thomas

25. Operation Mincemeat -Ben Mcintyre

26 A Game of Thrones-

27. Interview with a vampire-Anne Rice

28. When God was a rabbit- Sarah Winman

29.  A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines

30. Collected Stories – Richard Yates

31. The Silence of the lambs – Thomas Harris

32. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

33. Carter beats the devil – Glen David Gold

Enid Blyton Challenge for Leeds Book Club

January- The Book of Brownies *****

February – Five on a treasure Island*****

February– the Adventures of Scamp (brought forward to include Mallory Towers) *****

March– The Secret Seven ***




Book club choices

White Swan Bookclub (run by Leeds Bookclub

January – Revolutionary Road – Richard Yates  (re-read for me so *****)
February – Weight – Jeanette Winterson ***  Find my first review for LBC at

March- The Book Thief – Markus Zusak ***** 

May– The Eyre Affair – Jasper Fforde *****

June – The Fire Gospel – Michel Faber **
July– The Fictional Man – Al Ewing (to read if i can get a copy)

Leeds Central Library

January – The Forgotten Waltz – Anne Enright- Finished 6/1/12 *** Review here,spoilers.

LBC Puffins


February 20th – Matilda -Roald Dahl ****

June- The Sheep Pig – Dick King-Smith *****

July-Mrs Frisby and The Rats of Nimh*****

August – Coraline – Neil Gaimen****

September – The Secret Garden (to read)

LBC Outlaws

May – The Hound of the Baskervilles (check my review by clicking the link)
 Jun – The Glass Key ***
Jul – The Moving Toyshop  (to read)

South Leeds Community Radio


info here and here

April – To Kill A Mocking Bird (re-read love it) *****
June- Stardust Neil Gaimen *****
July The White Queen – Phillippa Gregory **

Unexpected reads-Non bookclub or list choice


The Witches -Roald Dahl

The Little Brown Bear – Enid Blyton

Hit and Run – R.L.Stine (Point Horror)

Ethel and Ernest – Raymond Briggs


At the dying of the year by Chris Nickson review.pdf – review to follow

1/2/13 So, so far I haven’t been able to complete any of my reads off my own list but have added four unexpected reads. My challenge isn’t going as well as expected as I haven’t been able to read the one for Giraffe bookclub. I never realsied what a graphic novel was and it’s quite detailed. so for now will have to give it a miss.

6/1/12 update. Since I last wrote this another bookclub has been formed and I am so excited about this one. A few years back after reading loads of adult fiction and feeling bogged down by it all I started reading kids books. I had already started with Harry Potter but wanted something different. And now there is a bookclub dedicated to it. So I’ll be reading more than 69 books! Lets see if I can do it.

Oh and here’s the link to the newbookclub


The Silver Sword – Ian Serraillier Finished 17/3/13 *****

The Wizard of Oz Frank L. Baum


The Incredible Journey – Sheila Burnford


Practical Magic -Alice Hoffman

By my little sister. love this

Lofty is as Lofty does!

williMore specifically – nicknames?! Many of us have them and we give them to others. We also name inanimate objects for example my sister’s first car was called Boswell, then the hire car she named Bernard. Mum and I had a trolley we used for shopping called Trevor (may he rest in pieces!) A guy up the road is called Spuggy but I have no idea what his real name is. In fact some people are so well known by their nicknames it’s the only name most folk think they have no matter how odd it may be.

Many nicknames originate in childhood. Now let me be clear, I’m talking about actual nicknames not the name calling and taunting many of us have gone through in our younger years – that’s just bullying! At Junior School I briefly got a nickname of Janey Cheung from a tv programme we had…

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Crossing over to the Darkside

Yes, I’ve decided it’s time to (can’t belive I’m about to say this)  cross over to the Darkside and buy a Kindle, sorry I mean an E-reader. The reason being I’ve just been ‘up North’ for Christmas and had to decide what I wanted to take to read. Only problem was I took two books and came back with six. If you know me or have read the blog you know I love the paper forms of books. I think my stash has grown to at least 5 large storage boxes and I think I’ve only read probably one box worth. The problem I have is I love books! I’ll borrow from the library when I have loads at home (I feel the need to do this so they won’t shut it. I manage to read 80% of what I borrow)  and I love bookshops and especially charity shops. Do you know you can get a book for as little as 20p in a charity shop and it can still be in good nick???  Several years back in transition from Uni to ‘Adult’ life I was living in a caravan. And on the days on my own I used to go for a walk and then watch tv, but I used to get bored with that. Also the journey to work was at least 30mins on the train. So I decided i needed to start reading again. I got a 30p copy of Pride and Prejudice (which set me off with my love of Colin Firth) and from there I looked for different things to read. When I took up a photography job a couple of years later I ended up  not reading at all. When I lost my job due to the company going bust I had 3 months of doing nothing. This wasn’t intended, just a lot of things happened. I decided with my spare time to read some classics and see what other people were reading. I found this list and attempted to work my way through it. This is my read from 2007-2012 I still have quite a few classics to read, I just need to stop wasting my time and useless things i.e. Facebook.

So these are my thoughts on e-readers: But after trailing all my stuff up North and then coming back with more than I could really carry I think it’s time to cross over to the darkside and by an e-reader. I am thinking of buying it in three weeks time around my birthday and that gives me time to look for a bargain. I’m thinking the simple original Kindle, because it’s around £60-£70 and I won’t feel so bad if I don’t like it I won’t have wasted too much and with the remaining money I can get some accessories (if I don’t get a deal) and treat myself to new clothes or something with the rest of the money. Good plan!

So if you have the Kindle or have used one let me know your thoughts.

The Simple original Kindle?

The Kindle Original from Amazon
The Kindle Original from

Or the Paperwhite version?

The Kindle Paper from
The Kindle Paper from

Thank you for reading


Books read 2007-2012



  • The Particular sadness of Lemon Cake. By Aimee Bender.

*** very weird book. Could have done with more explanation in parts.  Struggled due to no speech marks.

  • I capture the castle. Dodie Smith

*** Easy read. Wondered if the brothers would get together with each sister but didn’t see the swapping. Ending was alittle disappointed seemed a bit rushed.

  • Killing God – Kevin Brooks

***** really loved this book. Easy to read loved the narrative.


  • The Case of the Cottingley Fairies – Joe Cooper
  • The diary of a nobody=- George and weedon grossmith
  • This book is very funny. and amazing considering how old it is, is still relevant today. can’t believe it inspired other diaries.


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


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


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


  • 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


  • 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)


  • Winter’s Bone – Daniel Woodrill
  • The Demon- Headmaster- Gillian Cross
  • Stardust -Neil  Gaimen
  • Write –(non fiction) Sarah Quigley
  • Lighthousekeeping Jeannette Winterson
  • Mrs Frisby and The Rats of Nimh – Robert C. O’Brien 


  • George’s marvellous medicine – Roald Dahl
  • Michael Morpurgo – War child to War Horse – Michael Morpurgo
  •  Brave New World Aldous Huxley
  •  The History Boys Alan Bennett


  • 12/12/12 The Hobbit – Tolkein


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


  • The Art of Racing in the rain: Garth Stein


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


  • The Common Reader: Virginia Woolfe


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


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


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


  • One hand clapping: Anothony Burgess


  • The Lost Symbol  – Dan Brown
  • Dark Hollow – John Connolly


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


  • 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


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


  • To kill a mocking bird – Harper Lee


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


  • White Road – John Connolly 



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


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


  • 1974 David Peace
  • New Moon – Stephanie Meyer


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


  • The Illustrated Man – Ray Bradbury
  • Firmin – Sam Savage


  • Invisible man – Ralph Ellison
  • The Invisible Man – H.G.Wells


  • Every Dead Thing – John Connolly
  • The Poet Michael Connelly


  • The life of Charlotte Bronte – Elizabeth Gaskell
  • The chemistry of death – Simon Beckett
  • The alchemist – Paul Coalo
  • The turn of the screw – Henry James


  • Emily Bronte – Robert Barnard – The British Library writers lives


  • 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,


  • 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


  • 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 HallowsJ.K. Rowling

On Reading Children’s Stories as an Adult

I’m glad someone else shares my love for children’s books

Multo (Ghost)


Adults do read children’s stories. I’m probably the only reader in the English-speaking world, of any age, who hasn’t yet read a Harry Potter book (I know, I know, me of all people…). And I have friends who admit to having read at least one Twilight novel. They usually say in the same breath that it wasn’t very good — but I notice they keep on reading them. The Hobbit is a children’s book. I read it over and over again when I was a child, and a few times in adulthood, too. Yet I couldn’t make it through a single chapter of whichever book is the first volume of The Lord of the Rings.

Well-written children’s fantasy, or a least the kind that appeals to adults (well, to me, anyway) has a kind of dancing, twinkle-toed language that one doesn’t usually find in books for adults, fantasy…

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