Tag: Books

Christmas 2020

I have to say, I really enjoyed Christmas Day. Not only was I spoiled completely by M, but it was a nice easy day, with no stress at all. Even making Christmas dinner went off without any problems, and everything was ready when I aimed for it to be, and needless to say, it was rather delicious.

As mentioned, I was spoiled by M with a Yamaha Electronic Baby Grand. Not only is it a Baby Grand, but it has hundreds of different “voices” (instruments), and it can teach you how to play. I learned by ear when I was a kid, but due to my father being an ass hole I was never able to take it further. My uncle taught me stuff and let me play on his piano. Two of my uncles are pipe organ tuners and restorers. Both of them told my father (their brother) that he should encourage me as I had a talent and that one of them would get a piano for me, but the ass hole said not and that was that. M to the rescue all these years later and I am giving it my best shot. I admit, when I opened it I was shocked and rather intimidated as I knew that I had not played since I was about 14/15, and being 51, that’s a long time, almost biblical. My wrists are aching a little along with my fingers from all the stretching, but at least I am giving it my all. I feel 2021 is going to be a full packed year of piano, crochet and reading.

M bought me lots of books too including The Colour Purple, Malcolm X autobiography, James Baldwins Notes of a Native Son to name a few. I also got a beautiful William Morris tea set, William Morris notebook, oh, also a Vogue Knitting Colour Work Paper book that will enable me to design and plan some Fair Isle projects. I received so much more and will keep the details for another post as and when I get to them. There were so many gifts for each other we all, including the dogs had stockings full of gifts that we kept until Boxing Day, which we have decided will be a tradition from now on.

Shetland Knitting

Fair Isle jumper from Shetland Museum Knitwear Collection. Shetland label at neck. Tex 1990 – 541.

Over the past week, I have been looking at Shetland knitting after seeing some of the incredible items in one of my knitting magazines. I have done Fair Isle knitting in the past and do stranded knitting quite a lot, but I have never really gone the distance and made any Shetland garments. The blanket I am currently making is getting close to the end and I am doing the lace pattern edging now, so I thought I would look for something to make over the next few months, and a Shetland Kep seems in order. One that I have found that I really like is Uradale Fisherman’s Kep kit which I found at uradale.com site. It isn’t all that cheap, £42.40 including postage, in the kit you get a copy of the pattern and 6 balls of 25g each and 1 ball of 50g, a total of 200g of organic Shetland breeds wool. Not a massive amount for the money, but worth it as it is top quality wool which should knit up something special. If I get it, I will first try with other yarn to get used to the patterning again as I have not done Fair Isle for quite a bit and do not want to waste any of the good stuff.

Another project I quite fancy is home dying yarn. I have found a kit from UK Alpaca for £40.75 including postage. The kit contains 2 x 50g skeins of DK and 2 x 50g skeins of 4ply and of course, the dyes and full instructions. It looks like a lot of fun, and all I will need to do is find something that I can make with the skeins, I was thinking about socks, as that is the go-to for the 4ply, but the DK I am not too sure about at the moment.

Whilst on my Shetland journey I have also found a book that looks quite interesting and may give me an insight into the joys of Shetland knitting. It is suitably entitled “Shetland Wood Adventure Journal Volume 1”. Quite fitting I think for my latest adventures in knitting, and it has 6 patterns, recipes, walks and much more. £23.95 including postage. I am a sucker for a beautiful book on knitting and this one covers other topics that I love. Okay, so I have now ordered the book. I was writing this and thought, stuff it, I want the book. As I said, I cannot resist beautiful books. More on it when it arrives in the next week.

I look forward to showing some of the projects I will be embarking on, and if any of you have done any traditional Shetland knitting, please let me know, and as always, any handy tips and advice will always be welcome.

Book 1 – Frankenstein

First book of the year read.

I decided to go for another classic as my first book of the year. I love classic literature and have read many, but I had never bothered with “Frankenstein; or, the Modern Day Prometheus”, to give it the full title. I think it was due to the constant stream of films that were based, however loosely on Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s novel, don’t you just love her name?

As it was written in 1817 the language is quite different to ours 203 years later, with words changing meaning over the centuries, but the darkness in the tale is very apparent. Not that that was a problem, as mentioned, I have read many classics and gothic novels. One thing that did strike me was how different the novel is to the films. I felt like I was reading a different book to that of the depictions of cinema. Frankenstein was horrified by his creation but lacked the ability to kill it, so ran from it. The monster fled and learned to speak whilst hiding and spying on a family, helping them out without them ever knowing, When he came face to face with Frankenstein later, he told him of his journey after rejection and promised to destroy everything Frankenstein ever loved. As a result, Frankenstein lost his family and loved ones at the hand of his monster, who followed him about the world including the UK. But the most surprising thing was this was all told to someone on a ship whilst they looked for the monster and relayed via letter. Again, never depicted.

I have always ran by the fact, to me at least, that a book is much better than the film or TV show of it, and this book proved again to me that it was.

Reading Challenge – Complete

At the beginning of the year, I decided my Goodreads challenge would be 30 books. Now for those who really know me, know that I usually have about 10 to 15 books on the go at one time, and flit between them. I need constant stimulation when reading and if I find that the book is lulling a bit, then that goes down and I get another one and read till that gets to that point, or more often than not, I decide that I need a different story, feel, drama, whatever, it just needs to be changed. I can sit in bed at night and start to read, then after say 30 minutes swap books and continue to read.

So, after 8 full months and a few days, I hit my 30 book challenge. I have mixed it up quite a bit and changed genres throughout. One of the best reads so far was The Salt Path by Raynor Winn which is about her and her husband Moth losing their home, business and everything due to a bastard so-called friend. Their journey of being homeless, dealing with Moth’s diagnosis of a terminal illness, wild camping and surviving on very little money and dried noodles really was a testament to their determination. This really is a book I loved and would recommend it to everyone. Oh, yes, his name really is Moth!

Other books read which completed the challenge since my last book post was Bundy: Portrait of a Serial Killer by Robert Keller and Neverland by Jeff Dosser. Both books proving I really do swap from genre to genre.

6 weeks later…

I keep meaning to do a post, and then something comes up, and later I realise that I didn’t do my post, and think I will do it now, but manage somehow to get myself sidetracked and BOOM! Forgot to post again. I do not know what is going on with me. So, forgive me for my tardiness!

Fish…

Since last we “spoke” as it were, I finally got rid of my large tank in the lounge. Part of me was glad to get rid of it, and part of me was sad to see it go. The fish love their new smaller home and my Cameroon shrimp seems happy too. Although it was a great tank it took up quite a lot of room, being so massive. We have a unit that we moved into one of the halls when we got the tank, so that is now back in the lounge. My thoughts for getting rid of the tank was to move the smaller tank onto the said unit and get another small tank and finally do a nano reef tank. However, the cost of doing a reef tank is high. I have found a nano tank I like which is £150, but then I need a skimmer and a heater so that’s another £90. Add sand, live rock and all the other bits I need to get it started and I am close to £500 without even adding fish or coral. So, before I take the plunge I have downloaded and printed a book on the subject and intend to read it in full before I decided on what to do. Having spoken to a few people the jury really is out. Some say it is easier than tropical, some say get a large tank as a nano can have problems being small, and others rave on about nano tanks, so there is no real help chatting to others LOL.

I bought an external 12-litre canister filter for my other large tank which works like a treat, but today I added on an extra 2-litre filter canister to that. In essence, water is drawn out of the tank to the small sub canister then passed into the large canister and finally put back into the other end of the tank. I did manage to make a bit of a watery mess as I had not fastened one of the inlet pipes properly oops! I had lost a few fish over the last few weeks, so thought the canister filter would help sort the water quality out. It has UV inside so sterilises the water as it filters. The lighting I have on the tank also decided to die, only 6 weeks after it being exchanged after the first one died after 4 months. Thankfully the aquatic centre where I get most of my equipment and livestock were very understanding and spoke to Fluval who admitted there was a problem that they have now sorted out and to exchange it for me.

Dogs…

Harper with her Birthday monkey

It was Harpers 5th Birthday on Sunday. As always we took them to McDonald’s for hamburgers, then to the pet store so Harper could pick a toy, which this year was a rather large monkey, and two packs of balls. Needless to say, they both had a great time.

Knitting…

Thought about it, even mentally made a pattern for a hat for winter, but that was it, but it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it?

Books…

I was reading The Massacre of Mankind which is a sequel to War of the Worlds and in the end, I gave up as it was so slow and the author was trying to write in the style of H. G. Wells but failed page after page. As most of my readers will know I love classical literature, so have no problem with ancient writing and old English, but this bad, if he had written it in current English it would have been a good read.

Outings…

I went to a joint Christening and Communion party a few weeks ago, got very drunk and had a ball.

Last week we went to Delamere Forest again, which for some reason driving there we managed to take all the wrong turns. I came off the motorway/highway onto the expressway in order to go over the Mersey Gateway Bridge, which when you get to the end of the expressway is straight over the roundabout, however, when you follow this, you end up in an industrial estate and nowhere near the bridge. It would seem the directions for the bridge do not exist, and when you get to the end of said expressway you turn left and ignore the signs. But as I managed to turn the wrong was we ended up back on the motorway heading in the direction of home. Time though was on our hands. My satnav said we would get there at 11:15 when we left home and although I managed to go on a long diversion of 20 minutes we got there at 11:22 thus proving that time travel can be achieved.

Education…

The degree is now on hold. I was so undecided about doing it that I thought it best to put the thought to one side until I was 100% committed to doing it.

General…

After returning from Ireland I had tests and a cardiac assessment done. My blood results came back reporting a lack of vitamin D, which is about right living so far north and the general lack of sun. But I also did not have enough of the good cholesterol either, but this could be due to coeliacs disease. The doctors’ office suggestion was to take vitamin D tablets and eat more oily fish etc. Luckily I found a company that sells vitamins on Amazon and they do a vitamin D that is 4000iu, and when you buy a product they thank you by letting you pick another one for free. I decided on Hemp oil tablets as they are for omega 3 and 6, so that’s the bloods sorted.

The scarecrow festival came and went, and I managed to take exactly zero photos of it. I mean, what is the point of having a great camera, living in the country, and having festivals if I do not record it? Answers on a postcard, please!

We bought new garden furniture, namely a table, chairs and a parasol, just in time for the monsoon season to hit us. Yes, my luck/timing really is in at the moment.

I have managed to have a few barbeques lately, between showers that is.

I finally took the leap into meditation after dipping my toes off and on into it over the last few weeks. I have joined Headspace for a year, and am finding it quite good and just have to add it into my daily routine.

In other news, I had a puncture in one of the rear tyres on the car.

So, how are you all?

The Tim Gunn Effect

A few years ago I was listening to a podcast called SoulFeed with Shannon Algeo, I think it was the Easter holidays and I was helping a friend moving roofing felt, 30 tonnes of it to be exact. Whilst waiting for him as I was driving us to the yard I was listening to the latest episode entitled “Tim Gunn: How to make it work”. Tim was a guest on the show and talked about his life and how he made it work. Shannon mentioned that he had a few books duly signed by Tim to give away. I thought I would try to win one, and although I am always positive about entering competitions I had resigned to the fact that I was in England and the show was in America, so the likelihood would be rather small. My positivity paid off, and Shannon sent me a signed book. I have a personal rule regarding competitions, and that is only to enter the ones I really want to win. I confess I have been very very lucky in the past due to this method and positive thinking, but that is a post for another day.

In his book “The Natty Professor” Tim talks about the fashion industry, some of the devious ways the production company tries to exploit designers, and of course, his incredible way of teaching and mentoring. Although only 272 pages, it is full of wisdom from the wise old sage.

I was chatting to AJ of A Petite Slice of Life about health tracking watches and mentioned that I do what Tim Gunn does when he is shopping online for non-essential items. He (and I ever since) put things in the basket that I would like, but rather than hitting the pay now button close the browser and return to it 24 or 48 hours later and see if you still want it. Most of the time I will click delete and quietly thank Tim for stopping me from wasting money on something I didn’t really need.

If you fancy listening to the podcast then here is the link.

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/tim-gunn-how-to-make-it-work/id977979288?i=1000364771733

The Natty Professor
Sage advice, make it work!

Reading Challenge – April Update

19 books read so far, and now 10 books ahead of schedule in 17 weeks. Happy about the result so far. April’s books were…

This book is not for the faint hearted at all. I found the whole thing quite disturbing that human beings can be so cruel. Do not get me wrong, it was a good book, just disturbing.

In July 1965, teenagers Sylvia and Jenny Likens were left in the temporary care of Gertrude Baniszewski, a middle-aged single mother and her seven children. 

The Baniszewski household was overrun with children. There were few rules and ample freedom. Sadly, the environment created a dangerous hierarchy of social Darwinism where the strong preyed on the weak. 

What transpired in the following three months was both riveting and chilling. 

In October 1965, the body of Sylvia Likens was found in the basement of the Baniszewski home, where she had been imprisoned. She was starved, beaten, burned and had the words “I am a prostitute and proud of it” carved into her stomach. 

Gertrude Baniszewski oversaw and facilitated the torture and eventual murder of Sylvia Likens. While she played an active role in Sylvia’s death, the majority of the abuse was carried out by her children and other neighbourhood youths. 

The case shocked the entire nation and would later be described as “The single worst crime perpetuated against an individual in Indiana’s history”


For my overseas readers, Leon and June are two people featured on Channel 4’s Gogglebox. It is an insane idea, but on Friday evenings at 9pm, we sit in front of the TV and watch ordinary people watch TV, listen to their reactions and general conversations. A little Orwellian, but very entertaining. Leon was a beloved member of the Gogglebox people who died at Christmas 2017. He and June were in our lounges each week, entertaining us with their madcap moment, Leon’s love of food and general opinion of everything that was going on in the world. Oh, he was also from Liverpool, so he endeared our hearts greatly with his scouse wit and his unfaltering love of June. When Leon passed away June decided to write about their lives as it was one of the things Leon said he would do.

As founding cast members of hit television show Gogglebox, Leon and June won the hearts of a nation with their warm humour and unending love for each other. When Leon sadly died at Christmas 2017, Gogglebox viewers were bereft, calling for a state funeral for our national treasure. In this touching memoir, she looks back at all of the laughter and love they have shared together; letting us in on the secrets to a truly happy marriage in this wonderful celebration of two lives well lived.

Together for 63 years, coming to terms with life without Leon has been a difficult process for June. But the many treasured memories of their marriage will never leave her. From when, aged 18, she first laid eyes on Leon at teacher training college in 1955; their journey to marry when their parents disapproved; happy recollections of 1960s Liverpool; to building a loving home and family together before finding fame as pensioners. Firm favourites of Gogglebox, they were loved for their gentle teasing, Leon’s cheeky gags and humorous rants, and June’s unerring patience and caring touch. 

Leon and June have experienced their fair share of highs and lows, but they always got through everything together. As Leon always said,

‘As long as June’s here, I’m all right.’


I had read the inside cover details of this book and just had to read it. The UK Government decides that all cars need to be autonomous and with that people no longer have full control. Chilling, especially since the current government had decided to outlaw diesel and petrol cars by 2030, so this is now only one step away from this book being fact rather than fiction.

Eight self-drive cars set on a collision course. Who lives, who dies? You decide.

The new gripping page-turning thriller from the bestselling author of THE ONE – soon to be a major Netflix series.

When someone hacks into the systems of eight self-drive cars, their passengers are set on a fatal collision course.

The passengers are: a TV star, a pregnant young woman, a disabled war hero, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife – and parents of two – who are travelling in separate vehicles and a suicidal man. Now the public have to judge who should survive but are the passengers all that they first seem?


I have always loved this book, so decided to read it again. I just find it a shame that all movies made from it are set in the USA, when it was originally set in Surry southwest of London.

They came from outer space — Mars, to be exact.

With deadly heat-rays and giant fighting machine they want to conquer Earth and keep humans as their slaves.

Nothing seems to stop them as they spread terror and death across the planet. It is the start of the most important war in Earth’s history.

And Earth will never be the same.


Being a country boy, having worked on farms, and love all things animal I decided to read about Julian’s life as a Vet. He is a partner at the original practice of James Herriot (real name James Alf Wight)

Star of Channel 5’s television series The Yorkshire Vet, Julian Norton has written a warm and evocative memoir of his life and the animals and people he has met along the way.

Just as happy calving a cow, treating a dog with cancer or tending to the overgrown teeth of a rabbit, Julian’s passion for his work shines through on every page.

From his first thoughts of becoming a vet through his training and the pressures and challenges faced by vets on call, through the terrible times of the BSE crisis in the 1990s and Foot and Mouth in 2001, dealing with unexpected exotic pets, and handling excitable humans, too, Julian has seen all sides of the veterinary world.

Sometimes sad, often funny and always warm and compassionate, his tales bring to life the world of the working vet and the highs and lows he faces daily.

Reading Challenge – March Update

Well, I have managed 14 books in 13 weeks, 7 ahead of schedule and only 16 to go to complete the challenge. At this rate, I should have read about 55 by the end of the year.

This month’s books were:

What do you do when the doctor says you could die at any moment? Well…after you’ve made a cup of tea, of course.

Nathan James is young, successful and has the world at his feet. Unfortunately, he’s also about to die—which ruins things somewhat. And now he’s staring imminent death in the face, Nathan is having to rethink some of his life choices very hard.

This means embarking on a hectic journey of self-discovery that includes, amongst other things, losing his dignity to an inescapable bean bag, suffering screaming nightmares about a monstrous potato, and getting up close and very personal with a bipolar donkey.

All of which is fine, but then Nathan falls in love with a charming girl called Alison, which is a really stupid thing to do. Because how can you give your heart to someone when it might be about to stop?

From Nick Spalding, the bestselling author of Fat ChanceBricking It and Mad Love, comes a comedy about dying—which is easy—and living, which is most certainly not.


‘Thinking Betty was in the bath Graham was watching a late-night programme on Channel 4 called Footballers with Their Shirts Off when she unexpectedly came in on the trail of the hairdryer.

“I didn’t know you were interested in football,” said Betty.’

No one must ever find out that Graham is ‘not the marrying sort’. Certainly not his wife, or his mother. As sex, blackmail and fanatical tidiness take over the West Yorkshire parish of Alwoodley, an unlikely caper unfolds.


A skewering of the American underbelly by the New York Times bestselling author of Seven Deadly Sins and You’re Making Me Hate You

The always-outspoken hard rock vocalist Corey Taylor begins America 51 with a reflection on what his itinerant youth and frequent worldwide travels with his multiplatinum bands Slipknot and Stone Sour have taught him about what it means to be an American in an increasingly unstable world. He examines the way America sees itself, specifically with regard to the propaganda surrounding America’s origins (like a heavy-metal Howard Zinn), while also celebrating the quirks and behaviour that make a true-blue American.

Balancing humour, outrage, and disbelief, Taylor examines the rotting core of America, evaluating everything from politics and race relations to family and “man buns.” By continuing the wave of moral outrage begun in You’re Making Me Hate You, Taylor skewers contemporary America in his own signature style.


Arthur C. Clarke, the creator of one of the world’s best-loved science fiction tales, revisits the most famous future ever imagined in this NEW YORK TIMES bestseller, as two expeditions into space become inextricably tangled. Heywood Floyd, a survivor of two previous encounters with the mysterious monoliths, must again confront Dave Bowman, HAL, and an alien race that has decided that Mankind is to play a part in the evolution of the galaxy whether it wishes to or not. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


When Kendra first visits her ailing grandmother, Ella has only one request: that Kendra writes her story down, before she forgets…

In 1937, seventeen-year-old Ella’s life changes forever when she is sent to spend the summer on the beautiful Île de Ré and meets the charismatic, creative Christophe. They spend the summer together, exploring the island’s sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, and, for the first time in her life, Ella feels truly free.

But the outbreak of war casts everything in a new light. Ella is forced to return to Scotland, where she volunteers for the war effort alongside the dashing Angus. In this new world, Ella feels herself drifting further and further from who she was on the Île de Ré. Can she ever find her way back? And does she want to?

From the windswept Île de Ré to the rugged hills of Scotland, Sea of Memories is a spellbinding journey about the power of memory, love and second chances.

Reading Challenge – Feb Update…

Since my last post of the books I had read so far, I have managed to finish another three in February, now a total of 9 read from my 30 challenge and am 4 ahead of schedule. It will be interesting to see what I finally finish with. This is the last three in February. Warlight so far has been the biggest disappointment, it felt as though the author, who I respect greatly, had lost his way. The story seemed disjointed and unremarkable. It is a shame really as I enjoyed The English Patient immensely.


Two years have passed since Danny Lynch saw the beast that would alter his life forever…

and now, a string of mysterious drownings has brought him to a new town by the ocean.

But there is more to the creature than Danny could ever have imagined.

And the secret to destroying it may rest in discovering the secrets of a colony that disappeared without a trace four-hundred years earlier.


The story of fourteen-year-old Nathaniel, and his older sister, Rachel. In 1945, just after World War II, they stay behind in London when their parents move to Singapore, leaving them in the care of a mysterious figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and they grow both more convinced and less concerned as they come to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women joined by a shared history of unspecified service during the war, all of whom seem, in some way, determined now to protect, and educate (in rather unusual ways) Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be? And what does it mean when the siblings’ mother returns after months of silence without their father, explaining nothing, excusing nothing? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all that he didn’t know and understand in that time, and it is this journey—through facts, recollection, and imagination.


To the spaceship Discovery, floating in the silent depths of space since David Bowman passed through the alien ‘Star Gate’, comes Heywood Floyd on a mission of recovery. What he finds near Jupiter is beyond the imaginings of any mere human.

Reading Challenge – Feb

As you will know, and if you don’t, take yourself off to a darkened room and a laptop and read my blog, god-damn-it. Only kidding! I set myself a challenge of 30 books to read this year, so far I have managed 6 and I am part way through far too many to mention, but here are the ones I have managed to read up to now.

Sequel to SCOUSE GOTHIC. Gothic/fantasy thriller set in present-day Liverpool. 
The same characters from Scouse Gothic return and find that their pasts and present continue to become further intertwined. Vampires and mortal co-exist and discover that the boundaries between friends and family, good and evil becomes even more blurred. 
Included are maps of Liverpool marked with references to the text, illustrations and recipes based on characters and events in the story.


Based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—a love story in the midst of atrocity.

In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.

Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.

One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.


Life can be difficult – even when you’re dead. 

Lathom lies awake. His nights are plagued by nightmares and his days by hallucinations and cravings for blood. Worse still he’s stone cold sober all the time – immortality has its drawbacks. 
Melville has decided to put his past behind him and live for the future – unfortunately, his past has other ideas. 
Peter is worried that his research might create human vampires – and also that he may already know one. 
Frank ponders how to make an omelette without breaking your favourite egg. 
And Sheryl wonders if it’s unnatural for vampires to live together. Perhaps, love isn’t all you need – perhaps all you need is blood.


A new edition of one of the best-selling and best-loved books of recent years, with a new introduction by the author. The publication of Wild Swans in 1991 was a worldwide phenomenon. Not only did it become the best-selling non-fiction book in British publishing history, with sales of well over two million, but it was also received with unanimous critical acclaim, and was named the winner of the 1992 NCR Book Award and the 1993 British Book of the Year Award. Few books have ever had such an impact on their readers. Through the story of three generations of women — grandmother, mother and daughter — Wild Swans tells nothing less than the whole tumultuous history of China’s tragic twentieth century, from sword-bearing warlords to Chairman Mao, from the Manchu Empire to the Cultural Revolution. At times terrifying, at times astonishing, always deeply moving, Wild Swans is a book in a million, a true story with all the passion and grandeur of a great novel. For this new edition, Jung Chang has written a new introduction, bringing her own story up to date, and describing the effect Wild Swans’ success has had on her life.


The Pope is dead.

Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, one hundred and eighteen cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world’s most secretive election.

They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals.

Over the next seventy-two hours, one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth.


From the ocean, it rose.

Every fourteen months it appears on a secluded beach in a small town just before dawn.

One morning during his daily run to the beach, Danny Lynch witnesses the strangest and most incredible thing he’s ever seen.

A dark, man-like figure emerges from the ocean, stands for just a few moments on the beach, and then retreats back to the surf.

Danny’s perspective on the world changes in an instant, and as the only eyewitness to this event, his mission now is to convince anyone who will listen that what he saw was real.

But with only a vague photo and a dubious story, that task is proving almost impossible, and his only hope may be in finding a mysterious woman who was at the beach earlier that morning, and who may hold the terrifying secret that could cost Danny his life.

What did Danny see? And why is he in danger?


So far so good with my challenge, and I am three books ahead of schedule. One of the current books I am halfway through is Warlight by Michael Ondaatje, set in the decade after WWII. It is a little odd, but enjoyable. I read some reviews and it really does divide the readers, some find it a ramble of thoughts, but I cannot see what they are moaning about, it is written like a memoir, so it will ramble, but there are correlations throughout. I loved The English Patient, both book and film, and when I saw this was was drawn to it. It was in my shopping cart for weeks on end, as I thought it would drop in price, and in the end, I yielded to its allure. Then again, any book in a book shop has a big allure.

I love the feel and smell of a book, especially brand new ones, and very old ones that have a heady lived-in smell. I am sure that if you like your books like me you will understand my ramblings. If heaven exists, then for me it would have to be an enormous library with comfy sofas, good coffee and deafening silence. Void of screaming children, people, mobile phones, or any distraction from the words in the books. Oh! and an automatic food bar, so I could eat too. Maybe a knitting section with an abundance of yarn and patterns, after all, I would need some form of exercise LOL. But this is heaven so I would not have to worry about exercise really or getting fat etc., as that is all sorted out on arrival. So there it is my heaven, a place to read, knit, drink coffee and eat without getting fat. Fingers crossed I am right!

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Flavor Smasher

The ultimate place for smashing flavors

Rain Coast Review

Thoughts on life... by Donald B. Wilson

bookerworm

So many books, so little time

rachelmankowitz

The Cricket Pages

knitsbywhit

Exploring the world one fiber at a time

Kidb.co.uk

Inspiring you with fresh original music and amazing mash ups. Mental health/psychology guides and the occasional funny video.

RTW Roxy

A girl travelling around the world on a motorcycle.

The Happy Book Blog

Books,fun,humour,music,happiness and my thoughts.

USA Writes

Simple Blogs