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Murder by Matchlight by E. C. R. Lorac

Murder by Matchlight


London. 1945. The capital is shrouded in the darkness of the blackout, and mystery abounds in the parks after dusk.

During a stroll through Regents Park, Bruce Mallaig witnesses two men acting suspiciously around a footbridge. In a matter of moments, one of them has been murdered; Mallaig's view of the assailant but a brief glimpse of a ghastly face in the glow of a struck match.

The murderer's noiseless approach and escape seems to defy all logic, and even the victim's identity is quickly thrown into uncertainty. Lorac's shrewd yet personable C.I.D. man MacDonald must set to work once again to unravel this near-impossible mystery.


This is the second E. C. R. Lorac I have read and I'm delighted I still have two more of her books on my Kindle and I see BLCC are publishing another one in July. This makes me very happy as she is an excellent writer.

As with the previous book of hers I read, she is able to transport you to the time and place of the book, she makes you feel you are there and experiencing the sights, sounds and emotions of the time and place.

It was fascinating seeing war time London and how different people dealt with and came to terms with the bombings, air raids, bomb shelters, the deaths, rationing, etc. How they went on living their lives and accepting the hand fate had dealt them and being so positive.

MacDonald was an excellent character; I really liked him. And the mystery was definitely near-impossible and fascinating to unravel and discover who, what, how and why. All the characters were excellent in fact and all were very well written and very real and a very good mixture. It was also interesting to look back into some of the characters' pasts. It certainly kept me guessing as to who and why.

It was an extremely good book as as with the previous book I reviewed, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

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Blood Brothers

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Textual Poachers

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PC gone mad

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Murder Jigsaw by E. & M. A. Radford

Murder Jigsaw


“Jiminy! He’s going to fish for him.”

A small Cornish fishing hotel, The Tremarden Arms, is renowned for its adjacent waters where guests fish for salmon and trout. The unpleasant Colonel Donoughmore is found drowned in a salmon pool in the hotel grounds. He was dressed for fishing and his rod was on the bank nearby. The local Police concluded it was an unfortunate accident but Doctor Manson finds two peculiar circumstances which convinced him that this was a skilfully contrived murder. There were fellow fishermen out on the river banks near to where the Colonel was found dead, two of whom had publicly uttered threats against him. Furthermore, several other hotel guests had strong financial motives for removing him.


This book was originally published in 1994 and unlike many books older books, I felt it really did show its age in terms of writing.

It's a good story, an enticing puzzle and it has an intriguing lead detective, who also happens to be excellent at forensics too. The other characters are well written and whilst some are very much of 'a type' that isn't an issue.

For me, the problem was that the book was very 'hit and miss' in terms of the way the story flowed. In parts it was really interesting and clipped along as an excellent pace and I was really caught up in the story. Sadly other parts were so laboriously dragged out with everything Mason was doing explained step-by-step-by-step-by-step-by-step-by-step that I became almost glassy eyed. Detail is good, but this went way too far.

Also parts of the book were completely unintelligible due to the practice back then of writing in dialect. At one point a Cornish chap and a Scottish chap were having a conversation and I honestly couldn't follow it. I got odd bits, but most of it was just gibberish - thankfully the salient points of the conversation did get relayed shortly afterwards in non-dialect English.

I'm not a fisherman nor have I any interest in the subject, but I didn't feel completely out of my depth - no more so than I do with any other hobby/lifestyle, etc. for which I have no real interest or knowledge. That said, maybe I would have enjoyed the book more had I understand the details about fishing.

It wasn't an awful book (I read on to the end) it did keep me guessing and I guessed wrongly as to whodunnit, I did like Manson and his side-kick. But I wouldn't recommend it and I won't be seeking out the other couple of books by the same authors which have been reprinted, although I have just discovered J has bought them on Kindle. It's probably my most disappointing read so far this year.

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HB Flowers 2 (365 x 500)

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1. Has your house been renovated?

Not a full renovation, no. But we had quite a bit done.

2. Have you ever painted a room?

Yes, in the past I have. I used to help with decorating when I was growing up & J and I did some painting in our first home together.

3. Have you ever put in a new floor in a house?

Not personally, no.

4. Have you ever worked with wallpaper?

Yes - once. Again it was back when I was growing up. My mum decided she wanted wallpaper in the sitting room at one point and in a fit of trying something new, she, my grandma and I decided we would have a go at putting it up one evening when my dad was out. To our surprise it actually went very well indeed and we made a good job of it - even if I do say so myself. Mind you it was the one and only time we did it :-) I must say I'm not actually a fan of wallpaper.

5. Have you ever chosen new colours for your flat or house?

Yes. Both as a child, I was allowed to choice the colour for my bedroom, and a grown-up. The latter was shared with J, of course, with the exception of my bedroom in our current home, which was my choice.

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Day 11: Sky



Sky (500 x 281)



This was another very difficult choice, as once again I have an awful lot of pictures of the sky as it's something else nature related that I really love. In the end I went with this one as it was one of the more simple pictures I have, where the sky is the main subject and the sea and/or land doesn't detract, but is there to enhance.

The sky is so versatile and so ever changing; it can change not just from minute to minute, but from second to second. Mother nature is so very beautiful.

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Enigma Variations

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HB Cake

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BM Trilogy

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Without them

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Valencia and Valentine by Suzy Krause

V&V


Valencia, a timid debt collector with crippling OCD, is afraid of many things, but the two that scare her most are flying and turning thirty-five. To confront those fears, Valencia’s therapist suggests that she fly somewhere—anywhere—before her upcoming birthday. And as Valencia begins a telephone romance with a man from New York, she suddenly has a destination in mind. There’s only one problem—he might not actually exist.

Mrs. Valentine is an eccentric old woman desperate for company, be it from neighbours, telemarketers, or even the funeral director (when you’re her age, you go to a lot of funerals). So she’s thrilled when the new cleaning girl provides a listening ear for her life’s story—a tale of storybook love and incredible adventures around the world with her husband before his mysterious and sudden disappearance.

The stories of Valencia and Mrs. Valentine may at first appear to have nothing in common . . . But then again, nothing in life is as straightforward as it seems.


I choose this book from this months' Amazon Prime's 'First Reads' because it looked somewhat intriguing (and quite frankly looked the best of the books on offer). Also, I am aware I have OCD to a small degree, so I thought it would be interesting to read the book.

For a first book I thought it was very well written, flowed really well, clipped along a good pace that was neither too quick nor too slow and kept me intrigued throughout. The characters were good and believable, the setting was fine, the switching back and forth between Valencia and Mrs. Valentine was done extremely well and given it's not something I'm a huge fan of, I doff my cap to SK for how well she did it. Never once did I get lost or confused as to which character I was with. The OCD element of the book again I thought was really well done, it was always there, but it wasn't overplayed or overdone, again SK did an excellent job.

In short everything worked; it was very readable - in fact it delivered pretty much everything one can ask for in a book. However, whilst I liked the book, I didn't love it and I don't think it will be a re-read book (although were it a 'real' book as opposed to an ebook, I wouldn't be parting with it as I would if I knew the book was definitely a non-re-read). I shall definitely be keeping an eye out for anything else Suzy Krause might write.

There's a 'twist' a surprise, whatever you want to call it at the end, which I guessed at some point whilst reading the book. I actually don't know when I guessed it, it may have been from the beginning, it may have been halfway through, it may have been towards the end. It was that kind of 'twist', you realise you know what it is, but can't necessarily say when you realised it or what gave it away - if anything did. That fact adds, in my mind, to the skill of the writer.

It was a satisfying, enjoyable read. It wasn't a really light book, nor was it a heavy book, it was well balanced. I wasn't disappointed by it; I wasn't wowed by it - but then it would be awfully tiring if one was wowed by every book one read, wouldn't it?

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Head in the Sand, Kickback and Swansong by Damien Boyd

Head in the Sand Kickback Swansong


Head in the Sand
The discovery of a severed head in a golf course bunker triggers a frantic race to find a serial killer that brings the town of Burnham-on-Sea to a standstill.

A connection is made with a series of unsolved murders harking back to the 1970s, and Detective Inspector Nick Dixon finds himself caught in a race against time that takes him the length and breadth of the country.

The brutal killing of an elderly man raises the stakes and, as he closes in, Dixon begins to question whether he is chasing one serial killer or two.


Kickback
A trainee jockey has been kicked to death by an aggressive stallion at the local stables. Deemed an accidental death, the case is closed. But when the jockey’s brother returns from active service, he sparks an armed siege, demanding the investigation be re-opened and the truth uncovered.

Still recovering from the physical and mental scars of his last case, Detective Inspector Nick Dixon is dragged deep into a murky world of betting scams and murder, where people will do anything to keep their secrets. Even if that means silencing a DI who keeps asking the wrong questions about the wrong dead jockey...


Swansong
Isobel Swan, a sixth form student, has been murdered. First, her ring finger is severed, then her throat is cut.

With the investigation going nowhere fast, Detective Inspector Nick Dixon is sent undercover as a trainee teacher into Isobel’s boarding school.

But to find the killer, he must first confront his inner demons and lay to rest the ghosts lurking in his own past. If he can…

As Dixon digs deeper, the stakes have never been higher and a murder has never felt so personal.


I am so glad I came across this series because I am completely hooked now - I had to stop myself from going straight onto the next book (which I may already have on my Kindle *g*).

Nick Dixon is a great character, very human, very real, very believable  - I would feel very secure if he was investigating a case for me. He cares deeply about people and the cases he investigates, but the writer doesn't feel he has to tell us this fact every second paragraph or so. In fact one of the reasons I am enjoying this series so much is that it's written in what I guess you would call 'old school' style, i.e. no wasted words, no overly long descriptions, no OTT internal angst, no waffle, no padding. I like the author's style very much indeed and you can tell he knows his stuff, not just from reading books and using his imagination, but from his years as a criminal solicitor.

And it isn't just Nick who is such a good, well drawn character, it's all the characters. Boyd writes them all very well, from the other detectives and other people involved in crime solving, to those involved in the case as witnesses, or suspects, or potential suspects, etc. Boyd clearly knows people and writes them well - albeit in a sparse(ish) way.

Because of the non-padding and waffle style, we don't know every single fact about Nick's life, in fact it would be easy to assume we know barely anything about him. That's mainly because what we do learn about him, is done in a simple way; the odd line here, a comment, by his actions, by the way he talks about things and at times you're not necessarily aware you have learnt something about his character. Actually, I feel I know an awful lot about him and have learnt most of it from small things and throw-away lines or references.

It's not just with the characters that Boyd does a grand job, he does it as well with the setting. The reader gets a real feel for the part of Somerset in which Nick works, but again without pages and pages of description. We do get description, but it's woven into the story in an excellent way.

The second book in the series Head in the Sand is very good and already a step up from the first book and upon finishing it I immediately bought the third book. And it was with the third book, Kickback that I was completely hooked and where the author really honed his writing skills and got into his stride.

I admit when I read the blurb for Swansong, I was somewhat concerned that the author was going the way of so many modern writers and he would move totally away from the character he had built and have Nick wailing and going through page upon page upon page of introspection and emotional angst due to 'his pasts'. I was relieved when that didn't happen. Yes, the past was there, yes, it was mentioned a reasonable amount, yes, Nick remembered, yes, it had an impact, but not in the way where it changed his character and completely overtook the story.

I really, really like this series and I do hope the books continue to be as good, as non-padded and as fast-paced and enjoyable and with such good, well written, well designed, completely believable characters, a lovely setting and really interesting crimes that keep you guessing and are well balanced.

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The Tennis Party by Madeline Wickham

The Tennis Party


It was Patrick's idea that they should have the tennis party. After all, he has the perfect setting - the White House, bought out of his bonuses as an investment banker. He hasn't actually told Caroline, his brash and beautiful wife, what the real reason for the party is. She is glad to welcome Stephen and Annie, their impoverished former neighbours, less glad to see newly wealthy Charles and his aristocratic wife Cressida, and barely able to tolerate the deadly competitive Don and Valerie.

But as the first ball is served over the net it signals the start of two days of tempers, shocks, revelations, the arrival of an uninvited guest, and the realization that the weekend is about anything but tennis.


As with all Madeline Wickham books, this book clips along at a good pace, doesn't get bogged down in superfluous description or words and looks at reality in a way that can be eye-opening and uncomfortable, whilst confirming 'no one knows what goes on behind closed doors'.

As with most of the books the author writes under Madeline Wickham, it isn't easy to like most of the characters - or at least you like elements of them, whilst disliking other elements. I didn't love any of the characters here but nor did I hate any of them. Some were more likeable than others, one in particular was very unlikeable and even nasty. On one hand you could understand on an intellectual level from where she was coming, on the other hand, I felt like saying 'just grow up and put the past behind you'.

All of MW's characters seem very real, after all we all have good points and we all have bad points and that applies to all of the characters in the book. I'm not sure I would want to be friends with any of them, to be honest, but I could pass the time of day with most of them without any problem. It's the realness and the balance that makes her books work so well, in my opinion. You can understand, either emotionally or intellectually or even both, from where all the characters are coming and that adds to the realness of them.

There are twists and turns and as the blurb says, the book is anything but about tennis - that goes on in the background and in a way mirrors the people, their actions and their characters. It doesn't detract from the story, it enhances it, but equally you don't need to really know anything about tennis to follow the story or enjoy the book.

There are indeed shocks and the biggest of all leaves you realising that even the family that on the face of it 'has it all' a) doesn't have it all and b) can lose it all in a blink of an eye - and not from any active fault of their own.

As with the previous MW book I read for ljbookbingo, the ending doesn't tie everything up with a neat bow. In fact this book fully ties up very little. And yet it didn't leave me unsatisfied - something that is a rare achievement. She is a very good writer.

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Day 10: Mountains



Mountain



I don't have such a large collection of pictures of mountains, so this wasn't quite such a hard choice.

Unfortunately, I don't know the name of the artist who painted this, but I do think it's a lovely composition with the trees and water as well as the mountain and the colours are wonderful.

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Abba

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Alan Mills

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Too Many Books

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HB Book

I hope you have a lovely day, Caffy

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Day 09: Sunrise/Sunset



Sunset



I love sunrises and sunsets, they can be so spectacular and so very beautiful. Be it in winter, spring, summer, autumn, over sea, trees, fields, buildings, towns or cities, they enhance every setting. How can I possibly chose just one picture? Methinks I may have to do this meme at least once more *g*

I have chosen to go with the above, party because it was the first one I decided to go with (I may have selected several more after that *g*), but also because it's another reflection photo, which as I've mentioned before I really,  really love. Plus, it's over water, which makes it extra stunning.

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Day 08: The Sea


Sea 4


The sea. So beautiful; so deadly. She really is a harsh mistress.

Again, I was spoilt for choice for this picture as I love the sea and have always been fascinated by it. In the end, I decided to opt for simplicity.

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The Skull Beneath the Skin by P. D. James

TSBTS


Clarissa Lisle hopes to make a spectacular comeback in a production of The Duchess of Malfi, to be played in Ambrose Gorringe's sinister castle at Courcy Island. Cordelia is engaged by Sir George Ralston, a baronet, World War II hero and husband of Clarissa, to accompany his wife to Courcy Island in the guise as a secretary-companion. Clarissa has been receiving thinly veiled death threats in form of quotations from plays where she played the main role.

But it soon becomes clear that everyone on the island is in danger. Trapped within the walls of the Gothic castle, the treacherous past of the island re-emerges, and everyone seems to have a motive for sending Clarissa 'down, down to hell'.

Shortly before the performance of The Duchess of Malfi, Clarissa is brutally murdered, leaving Cordelia and the Dorset CID to deal with solving the crime.


I had already decided I would read the second Cordelia Gray novel once I had finished the Book Bingo challenge. It's been quite a few years since I last read it and in truth I had forgotten a) what a superb writer P. D. James is and b) what a good book this is. It was first published in 1982, ten years after the first Cordelia Gray book (An Unsuitable Job for a Woman). However, it takes place only a short time after the previous case.

Cordelia is still running the private detection agency and even has a couple of semi-regular members of staff: a lady in her 60s who does the typing and assists with finding lots pets - which make up a fairly large part of Cordelia's 'detecting' and a long out-of-work actor. Amazingly and bemusingly (especially to Cordelia) these two diverse characters get on really well. Cordelia is very fond of both of them and knows that really if it wasn't for her, neither of them would be in any kind of regular work. Just as she is again wondering how long she can keep the agency open for, Clarissa Lisle's husband turns up and offers a job; she accepts and off she goes to Courcy Island where things go from bad to worse and she nearly loses her life.

In many ways the story is akin to the 'cut-off country house mysteries' because it is set on an island where there is only a limited number of people/suspects. However, it is rather darker than the 'cut-off country house mysteries' as the past rears its head for more than one of the characters and becomes entwined with the present and the endgame is death. At one point even Cordelia is under suspicion, but somewhat to the annoyance of the DI in charge of the case she is completely exonerated thanks to a character reference courtesy of Adam Dalgliesh. Unlike the previous book, Dalgliesh isn't mentioned regularly; his name only pops up a couple of times.

All of the characters are very well written and very real, no matter if they have a large part or a small, Ms. James brings them all to life. None of them are out and out likeable, all of them have a past and all of them have something to gain. The setting is excellent and you really do feel you are on the island and as the book goes on and things get darker, you do feel you are cut off from the mainland.

It's a longer book than the first book, but it isn't a padded book, everything that is in it, is there for a reason. It's an excellent read and as the story enfolds and the book moves on, it becomes harder to put down. I think it maybe raises a few questions as far as how orthodox, how believable, how likely, how 'real', it is, but then one has to say that about an awful lot of crime books - even police procedural ones. Nonetheless that doesn't, for me, detract in the slightest from the fact it is an absorbing story, very well paced and extremely well written.

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A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

A Dog's Purpose


This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog's search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, A Dog's Purpose touches on the universal quest for an answer to life's most basic question: Why are we here?

Surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden-haired puppy after a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey's search for his new life's meaning leads him into the loving arms of eight-year-old Ethan. During their countless adventures, Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog.

But this life as a family pet is not the end of Bailey's journey. Reborn as a puppy yet again, Bailey wonders – will he ever find his purpose?

Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh-out-loud funny, W. Bruce Cameron's A Dog's Purpose is not only the emotional and hilarious story of a dog's many lives, but also a dog's-eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man's best friend. This moving and beautifully crafted story teaches us that love never dies, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.


I came across this book on gilda_elise's journal and liked the sound of it so thought I'd give it a go. I've read a couple of this kind of book about dogs, albeit not told from the dog's POV, and whilst I've enjoyed them I can't say I've been captivated by them. I was hoping this book would be different.

And for the most part it was. It drew me in, it captured my imagination and my emotions. It made me smile, it made me cry, it moved me, it touched me, it certainly was heart-warming and it was very real, believable (for the duration of the book) and tangible. It would be wonderful to think this kind of thing happened, that our beloved pets went on to become someone else's beloved pet - yet also that part is heartbreaking as the book showed.

It was feel-good book and it really was lovely and so very different to see us humans and our relationships from a dog's perspective. Despite how much I enjoyed it, I'm not certain I will read the sequel, I fear it might be a bit of a let-down as I feel this book is a one-off. However, we'll see how I feel later on in the year - and maybe after I've seen what Gilda has to say about it *g*

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Beethoven Pastoral

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Haunted Guesthouse

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Brain won't stop

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HB Flowers 1

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d72b993a-609f-4c3e-b818-ec42cde3f910

Best wishes for a lovely day, Flora

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Day 07: Christmas


Tree & Snow


Yet another very difficult choice as I do love Christmas and have oodles of pictures relating to the time of year. I went for this picture as it reminds me very much of a cosy mystery book cover. Plus, I love the snow and the beautiful tree and the feeling of peace and goodwill and your old fashioned Christmas.

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Day 05: Easter

85063-Easter-Bunny-Chick-And-Bunny


I'm not religious, so have gone with a non-religious picture. Again there are so many pretty and cute ones, it was very hard to choose just one. I thought this one covered all bases.

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REO Speedwagon

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The Diamond Throne

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East

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SGE0011

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Day 04: Winter

1383939_630283810357063_26945751_n


Winter being my favourite season (bet you didn't know that *g*) finding a picture to fit was terribly difficult because I have so many beautiful pictures from which to choose.

After much thought I decided to opt for the really simple, but stunning picture of trees and a road duly blanketed in snow. It gives such a feeling of peace.

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ratho-park-carvery-easter-egg-hunt (500 x 333)

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Day 03: Autumn

Autumn Reflected


Given autumn is my second favourite season, and actually as far colours go it's my favourite, choosing a single picture was always going to be jolly hard as I have so many beautiful ones.

In the end I decide to go with this one as I do love reflection pictures and this is one of the best I have seen.

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Pet-Cap-Cute-Dog-Birthday-Hat-with-Cake-Candle-Hats-Outdoor-Caps-Christmas-Gift-for-Cat.jpg_640x640

All good wishes for a lovely day

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Einaudi

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Rafa

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Today is LJ's 20th birthday.

20th


I am in my 15th year of LJ'ing. Where does time go? It's not as active as it once was but it's lovely that there are still people from the very beginning of my time here who are still around and it's still a lovely and fun place to be.

You can find various milestones and some fun facts concerning your LJ here.



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I have now completed my ljbookbingo challenge. I had in my mind set myself the 'challenge within a challenge' of completing this by the end of April, so I am very happy and I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the challenge.

Book Bingo Master Post.

On the plus side it helped me discover new authors and generally widen my reading genres somewhat. When I first signed up for it, I imagined I would be able to fit a considerably number of crime books into the challenge, and I could have done so. However, I felt that was a bit too 'easy' and thus didn't do that, but went for new authors and genres that I rarely read. I'm glad I did it that way, because I did discover authors I knew, but had never read and had kind of 'dismissed' as not being my kind of writer or storyline as well as new authors who I wouldn't have come across had it not been for this challenge.

However on the somewhat negative side, it reinforced the reason I tend not to do book challenges. It brought my mild obsessive compulsive side to the forefront, thus the first twenty-five books I read of the year had to be for this challenge. Thus, even though I would have liked to have read the second Cordelia Grey after rereading the first one, I couldn't because I had decided I wouldn't use an author more than once for this challenge. Also, as with anything I start I have this 'need' to finish it and finish it as quickly as I can, which can sometimes detract from the enjoyment of the challenge as it's about completion not the getting there.

That said, overall the positives definitely out-weighed the negatives as although I did at times I did feel 'I must finish this book', it wasn't really in a pressured way. It was more in the 'I want to know what happens' rather than 'I must finish this book so that I can tick another one off'. Plus, discovering new authors was definitely a positive (well apart from  the monetary aspect of finding new authors *g*).

Would I do it again? Maybe. I'm not definitely ruling it out, which again shows the positives outweighed the negatives. Nor am I saying I defiantly will do it again, because that would be putting myself under the kind of pressure I don't want nor need. We'll see how I feel at the beginning of next year. I did consider doing the table again, just for 'fun', just for me, just to add a gentle challenge to my reading. However, I have ruled that out as even if I tell myself 'it's just for fun' I'll still be feeling 'the next twenty-five books I read will have to be for the non-challenge challenge'.

The other decision I need to make is whether to go on posting book reviews for the rest of the year or not.

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And just because I do love stats and I haven't had a chance to use them for quite some time, here are a few stats in relation to the challenge.

STATISTICS

First review posted: 29th January 2018
Last review posted: 14th April 2018

Rereads: Five.
New authors: Fifteen
New authors I'll read more of: Six
New authors I might read more of: Six
'Rediscovered' authors I'll return to reading: Three
Crime books: Eleven
Category Substitutions: Two

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nakeisha
Free Space

I had originally planned to read a crime book for this square. However, I decided instead to 'broaden my horizons' a bit and choose a book outside of my usual 'comfort zone'.

The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham

The Midwich Cuckoos


In the sleepy English village of Midwich, a mysterious silver object appears and all the inhabitants fall unconscious. A day later the object is gone and everyone awakens unharmed – except that all the women in the village are discovered to be pregnant.

The resultant children of Midwich do not belong to their parents: all are blonde, all are golden eyed. They grow up too fast and their minds exhibit frightening abilities that give them control over others and brings them into conflict with the villagers just as a chilling realisation dawns on the world outside . . .

The Midwich Cuckoos is the classic tale of aliens in our midst, exploring how we respond when confronted by those who are innately superior to us in every conceivable way.


John Wyndham is another author who I had never, until this challenge, read. I knew the story as I have seen the film Village of the Damned several times and thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact because I had enjoyed the film so much I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy the book. Ironically enough a few days ago, I said to gilda_elise if I love a film which had been based on a book I hadn't read, I tended not to read the book as I had often ended up disappointed in the book. Nonetheless after trying and really enjoying the sample of The Midwich Cuckoos I decided to buy it.

I am very glad I did as I really enjoyed the story and for what I think is the first time ever I can say I really like both the book and the film. I also hadn't appreciated what an excellent writer and storyteller Wyndham is and how readable he is. I have now added another author to my reading list, as I shall certainly be reading more of his books. It's a no-nonsense, non-flowery, crisp style of writing that draws you in and holds your attention from the first page to the last.

It's a fascinating story and one that really does make you think and wonder 'what would I do in the same situation'? And the answer you come up with may or may not be a comfortable one.

The characters are an excellent mix and well drawn and all seem very real. The sleepy, somewhat old-fashioned village setting is a lovely one and makes the whole incident so much more intense. Of course it wouldn't work today as you can't really cut off an entire village even from its nearest neighbour, yet the book didn't feel out of date and unrealistic. It has aged very well.

It was an excellent book; one I thoroughly enjoyed. I am very glad I changed my mind about using a crime novel for this category as I would have missed out on this superb book.

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nakeisha
Children

To be honest I hadn't consciously realised this series was considered 'Young Adult'. Thus, I was rather pleased when I discovered it fitted this category as I hadn't read the last book in the series.

The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett

The Shepherd's Crown


A shivering of worlds.

Deep in the Chalk, something is stirring. The owls and the foxes can sense it, and Tiffany Aching feels it in her boots. An old enemy is gathering strength.

This is a time of endings and beginnings, old friends and new, a blurring of edges and a shifting of power. Now Tiffany stands between the light and the dark, the good and the bad.

As the fairy horde prepares for invasion, Tiffany must summon all the witches to stand with her. To protect the land. Her land.

There will be a reckoning . . .


The last ever book by the late, great Sir Terry Pratchett, which makes it more than a little poignant and definitely bitter sweet.

The Tiffany Aching series is an excellent and very enjoyable series and this book was no exception. Tiffany is a lovely, fun, very real character and her world is both simple and complex and believable. The other characters, both recurring and new, are all well written, some are good, some are bad, some are somewhere in-between; all play their part well in this conclusion to the series.

As the blurb says 'this is a time of endings and beginnings' and the book was indeed that. We lose a long and much loved character which in effect is the end of an era - which is somewhat spooky given it was Sir Terry's last book it is indeed the end of an era and a world in effect.

It was an excellent, enjoyable read; a book that flowed well and was interesting from beginning to end, well balanced in pace and as always extremely well written. If you like the Tiffany series, I'm sure you'll enjoy this book; if you've never given the series a go, but like Sir Terry's other books, then I think you'd enjoy this series.

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nakeisha


Reba

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Daisy


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Aunty Acid


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nakeisha
Post a picture that represents each of the following.

Thirty-Day Picture ChallengeCollapse )

Day 02: Summer

Summer


I am sure you will all be shocked, stunned and not a little amazed to learn that summer is my least favourite season *g*

That said, I do have some rather lovely summer pictures that I do enjoy looking at. The above is one of my favourites and really does scream 'summer' at me. It is by an artist called Barbara Appleyard.

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