Books · Uncategorized

When are you reading – The Pillars of the Earth



Ahhh summer holidays, while the kids may drive me crazy at least I can indulge in my books. My family (finally) had holidays this week including 3 nights away with some friends in a caravan park. As always my priority on holidays (other than ensuring my kids are having a fun time) is to read, read, read – my poor friends, hope they weren’t expecting me to socialise! Thus I managed this week to finish Ken Follett’s masterpiece The Pillars of the Earth and make progress with the When are you reading? challenge by Sam.

I’ve found it hard to rate this book because although I really liked the characters, their flaws, triumphs and adventures, overall I just didn’t love it. I did love getting an insight into English history particularly the roles of churches, earls, kings and the impact on peasants. I also really appreciated how Prior Phillips faith was portrayed. In fact there was nothing really I disliked about it but nonetheless my rating is only 3.5 out of 5. I devoured this authors Century trilogy a few years ago but think my craving for more of his writing is now satisfied….would still be interested in seeing the movie though!

Progress Tracker

Pre 1500 – The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett



1700-1799 –Outlander by Diana Gabaldon



1920-1939 – The Small Woman by Alan Burgess


1960-1979 – In progress … Exposure



The Future 

Books · Uncategorized

Bookish mood swings – reviews of 2016

Since I finished up study for the year I have been reading like a crazy woman, kinda. I finished a book tonight that I felt was starting to put me in a funk, but fortunately I really liked the ending so I’m hopeful it’s a good vibe for tomorrow, a much needed home day.

The book was Claiming Noah by Amanda Ortlepp. Although it had a rather predictable plot line around embryo adoption and abduction, I enjoyed the story for it’s characters and the endless relate able question of mothers – am I good enough? Although I fear it got me asking the question too much the last few days when I’ve been sore and tired and not up to scratch. After a bad work day today I felt very much on the verge of a slump and was a bit wary of continuing the book, especially as part of my negative thoughts are around all the work I’m not doing at home while reading…  but as already shared it had a positive ending so instead of going to bed too-tired to do anything else, I’ve found some energy to write a blog and connect, hooray! Do you find books get you into a mood? It’s all positive when it’s a feel good book but not so healthy on depressive topics.

Some other books I’ve read recently (i.e. last year or so :p)

I had to wait to finish the Divergent series by Veronica Roth but loved the third book Allegiant – particularly the epilogue and Fours chosen career path (really appreciate authors who write epilogiues!). Two quotes I also loved/appreciated

I fell in love with him. But I don’t just stay with him by default as if there’s no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.” -> so very very true of marriage.

There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself…But sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life.


One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, I found it both very interesting and very boring! I would find myself getting caught up in the story only to find myself lost again and utterly confused (particularly by character names). It was a bookclub read and most didn’t finish it, but one girl loved it, describing the writing style as beautiful.I would have liked to have made it to the end but it was not an easy book to come back to.

And you know you should be glad by Bob Greene. A lot of it I couldn’t relate to – personal anecdotes, perhaps from an older era and of male friendships. I loved it though as it celebrated the amazing gift of friendship and gave me a wonderful excuse to think about a dear friend.

It took me awhile to finish The Walk Home by Rachel Seiffert but I think it was worth it. Set in Glasgow about a community deeply affected by the Troubles in Ireland it was interesting for it’s historical insights (although initially difficult to comprehend) and complex characters. In the end it was a story of family and hope which I enjoyed.

The Power of Bones by Keelen Mailman – a very honest story about a modern aboriginal woman and all she’s achieved despite adversity. An inspiring and sobering read.

We are all completely beside ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler – really enjoyed it by the end – her mother wanted her life to be extraordinary – but I think this is better -A Mediocre Life –

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert I wanted to like it but it just kept going and going!!

Two I couldn’t finish were The Dressmaker (Rosalie Ham) and The Heart Goes Last (Margaret Atwood).

Next I’ve been given a very thick Judy Nunn book….or perhaps it’s time to get to those guilt evoking jobs…




Books · Future · Uncategorized

Chapter One

‘You have the power to change stuff’ Daniel Flynn founder and managing director of Thankyou, previously Thankyou Water.

I am passionate about helping people and making a difference, I have a few ideas I’d like to look into further and maybe one day take somewhere. But that day is not here yet.

Daniel Flynn gives some great tips and shares many inspiring stories in this book and I feel a pressure to act now. But I’m already juggling a few plates at the moment – most importantly being a Mum, which leaves little energy for anything else.

Some people may be able to dream big and take action, devoting themselves heart and soul but I don’t think that’s me.

I will support you though, read your book, buy your products. My ideas may be sitting on the shelf for now but I will continue to dust them and stand firm in the knowledge that everything I do now will enrich me for when the time is right.



Book review (comments really!) The Signature of All Things

I’m an avid book reader (another few letters to add to the list BR), and have a growing collections on (I started on living social anyone else remember that one?) but I never write reviews because I could never write something as comprehensive to be considered a review I’d prefer to just write a few comments, which now I have my own Blog, I can!!

And so begins my first (hopefully of many) – Book Comment (please add your own)

I’ve just finished reading (12th Feb) The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert (yes a ‘slight’ delay in publishing this post!)

I received this as a Christmas present in 2013 but reading the blurb didn’t really enthuse me (the topic botany in particular), so although I appreciated the thought of the gift from a special friend the book was very much near the bottom of to-read pile

Until I commented on a The Book Club facebook post about current reads…

(short interlude – I’ve had a lovely reading summer starting with Ken Follet’s Fall of Giants and also including the Hunger Games series & unfortunately my second Peter Carey book a bookclub requirement)

…I had finished my previous read and was awaiting my next inspiration and many commenters were writing highly of this book, so I picked it off the bedroom floor.

I still wasn’t expecting much though as I havn’t really heard the best reviews of Eat, Love, Pray (probably moreso the movie with one of my favourite actresses Julia Roberts, which I still have not seen) BUT I was pleasantly surprised.

And now I come to the crux of a book review and I’ve nothing more to add LOL. I really did enjoy the read and loved that the heroine for the greater majority of the book was an older woman, refreshing to read a book from the point of view of a spinster type character – she was rather marvelous. For any more details you will have to read the book yourself and then get back to me so we can discuss it some more!