Saturday, January 28, 2012

Quote It Saturday - Courage


Hosted by Freda at Freda's Voice


"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.


Winston Churchill 1874 – 1965
British Politician and Statesman





"It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare."  

Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens 1835 –1910
 American author and humorist.





"Courage is knowing what not to fear."  

Plato 424/423 BC – 348/347 BC
Greek Philosopher

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Friday 56


The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda over at Freda's Voice. The rules are simple:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you. (I cheat sometimes and put a little more than a sentence!)
*Post it.
*Add your post URL to the Link.


This week The Friday 56 is taken from The Perks of Being a Wallflower By Stephen Chbosky.

"My dad had glory days once. I've seen pictures of him when he was young. He was a very handsome man. I don't know any other way to put it. He looked like all old pictures look. Old pictures look very rugged and young, and the people in the photographs always seem a lot happier than you are."

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie By Alan Bradley


Title: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Author: Alan Bradley
Published: Orion Books, Great Britain
No. Pages: 358
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Rating: 4.5 stars

Review The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is the first book of the Flavia de Luce Mystery Series by Alan Bradley. The novel is centred around the incredibly intelligent and witty heroine Flavia de Luce, who is determined to solve the mystery of a stranger’s death in the cucumber patch of her home, Buckshaw, in 1950’s England.
This was such an enjoyable, easy read and I instantly loved the character of Flavia which means that I know I am going to enjoy the remainder of the series! Despite Flavia’s obvious intelligence, Alan Bradley also captures the innocence, curiosity and cheek of her 11 year old mind so beautifully that although you are reading a mystery, you find yourself grinning and even laughing as she grapples with the evidence that she uncovers in her own roundabout way. I am really glad I finally got around to reading this book and am looking forward to the next in the series – The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag.
Further reading suggestions: The Flavia de Luce Mystery Series books following The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie are listed below in order;

·   The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag
·   A Red Herring Without Mustard
·   I Am Half-Sick of Shadows
·   Seeds of Antiquity
·   The Nasty Light of Day

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cat Thursday

Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! This fun meme is hosted by The True Book Addict. Go over to her site to join in the fun.


Here are my two beautiful girls Melanie on the left and Burma on the right in two photos that I love. As I post this Mel is asleep on my feet and she is snoring her head off!! Yes, cats snore...well at least my melanie does!! lol :)


          


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share 2 “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Well, here is my teaser for this week....taken from The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie By Alan Bradley which is part of the Flavia De Luce Mystery Series.

"And then I remembered Gladys! I had left her at the Thirteen Drakes, where she could be spotted by anyone. If the police hadn't been there already, they soon would be." (p.101)

Monday, January 23, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading?


Hosted By Sheila @ Book Journey
Well, firstly I cannot believe it is Monday again already!! I think that is because I have to go back to work on Friday and that means less reading time...oh well :(

Okay....here is where I am at with my reading:


* The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul By Deborah Rodriguez...finished this one and really enjoyed it! Click here to read my review.

* The Happiness Project By Gretchen Rubin.....am sorry to say that this one has gone back to the TBR pile. I don't hate it, but I really don't love it and there are too many other great books to spend my time reading! It was a great concept and it is interesting, but it feels a bit forced and laborious when a motivational book should be grabbing me with its every word. Plus, I saw a couple of YouTube interviews with Rubin about the 'inspiring' moment that gave her the idea for the book and she gave two slightly different versions of it which gave me the impression that it was  made-up or altered to be more 'inspiring'!....all about selling the book and not really her story...so that put me off.

* Uncle Tom's Cabin By Harriet Beecher Stowe.....nearly finished and LOVING it!! It is a really confronting topic, but Harriet Beecher Stowe's writing is so honest. Her determination to expose slavery as inhumane and disgusting is conveyed through her every word. I never realised how important the story of Uncle Tom's Cabin was to American history.

* The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie By Alan Bradley....Have just begun this one, and am really enjoying it too! I love Flavia!!! :)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks By Rebecca Skloot...cannot tell you how interesting the story of Henrietta's life and HeLa cells is! The writing is so good that at times I forget I am reading a non-fiction book!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Quote It Saturday

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hosted by Freda at Freda's Voice


"I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be very miserable if I have not an excellent library.

Jane Austen 1775 –1817
English Novelist

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul By Deborah Rodriguez


Title: The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul
Author: Deborah Rodriguez
Published: A Bantam Book, Random House Australia
No. Pages: 286
Themes: Friendship/love, women’s rights, Afghanistan culture
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 4 stars
Review 
The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul is a heartwarming tale of five women whose lives cross paths in Afghanistan as the Taliban regime strengthens. It is a heartwarming tale of friendship, love and courage as they struggle to comprehend and fight against the political and cultural repression of Afghani women.
It was a great story and a good read, one that reminded me of the importance of friends, family, love and compassion. It was also a stark reminder of the plight of women in Afghanistan who continue to suffer horrific abuse and repression. From the very first page I was introduced to the main storyline and the characters were so vividly developed that I felt as if I knew them. The way their lives were interwoven throughout the story was beautifully done. I think that most people would enjoy this book. Despite some heavy themes, the book was easy to read and one that I wouldn’t ever have considered putting down once I started reading it.
Further reading suggestions:
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns By Khaled Hosseni
  • Raising My Voice By Malalai Joya

The Friday 56

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda over at Freda's Voice. The rules are simple:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you. (I cheat sometimes and put a little more than a sentence!)
*Post it.
*Add your post URL to the Link.



This week The Friday 56 is taken from The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot which is absolutely amazing so far!

"The normal cells which make up our bodies are tiny objects, five thousand of which would fit on the head of a pin," he said, his voice a bit too loud and stilted. "How the normal cells become cancerous is still a mystery."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cat Thursday

Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! This fun meme is hosted by The True Book Addict. Go over to her site to join in the fun.


Here are my two beautiful girls in photos that I like to call 'Long Legs Melanie' and 'Pot Plant Burma'.

Theme Thursday

Theme Thursday
Rules:
* A theme will be posted each Thursday
* Select a conversation/snippet/sentence from your current book
* Mention the author and the title
* It is important that the theme is conveyed in the sentence (you don’t necessarily need to have the word) 

So this weeks theme is: COME

The except I have selected is taken from the book Uncle Tom's Cabin By Harriet Beecher Stowe.


"She wondered within herself at the strength that seemed to be come  upon her; for she felt the weight of her boy as if it had been a feather" (p.58)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Teaser Tuesday


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share 2 “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Well, here are my teasers for this week....
"He breathed in deeply, his chest filling with the rich scents of the room, and felt two things: proud that maybe this brave woman warrior would come to his coffeehouse, and angry that her visit would put his mother, Sunny, and especially Yazmina in danger. Yazmina, he thought, look at her tonight. She is like the sun in that dazzling dress, with her hair showing under her scarf." (p.126)

Uncle Tom's Cabin By Harriet Beecher Stowe
"This is God's curse on slavery! - a bitter, bitter, most accursed thing! - a curse to the master and a curse to the slave! I was a fool to think I could make anything good out of such a deadly evil. It is a sin to hold a slave under laws like ours; I always felt it was - I always thought so when I was a girl - I thought so still more after I joined the church; but I thought I could gild it over - I thought by kindness, and care, and instruction, I could make the condition of mine better than freedom - fool that I was!" (Mrs Shelby: p.43)

"Gratitude is important to happiness. Studies show that consistently grateful people are happier and more satisfied with their lives; they even feel more physically healthy and spend more time exercising. Gratitude brings freedom from envy, because when you're grateful for what you have, you're not consumed with wanting something different or something more." (p.202)


Monday, January 16, 2012

It's Monday! What are you Reading?

Hosted By Sheila @ Book Journey
It is so incredibly wonderful being on holidays and having time to read and read and read and read!!! 

Last week I finished 100 Things by Sebastian Terry and The Language of Flowers By Vanessa Diffenbaugh and I LOVED both of them!! Click on the titles to read my reviews!

This week I am reading 3 great books! The Happiness Project By Gretchen Rubin, The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul By Deborah Rodriguez and Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.

First up.....The Happiness Project By Gretchen Rubin. I have begun reading this and am enjoying it so far. The book is divided into twelve chapters which correlate with each month of the year covering; Vitality, Marriage, Work, Parenthood, Leisure, Friendship, Money, Eternity, Books, Mindfulness, Attitude and Happiness. Here is a video from YouTube to give you an idea of the book.


Secondly....The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul By Deborah Rodriguez. I noticed this book everywhere at the shops and avoided it for a long while, although I am not sure why, but it is  better than I had expected so far. Will give a review when I am done. 




And thirdly.....Uncle Tom's Cabin By Harriet Beecher Stowe. This was a Christmas gift from my beautiful friend Lesa - a gorgeous old embossed hardcover edition! Well, I have never read this book before and knew nothing of Harriet Beecher Stowe, so I did a little looking around and found this clip from YouTube about her life and the writing of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Click here to view the video, I couldn't embed this one, but it is really worth watching. Now I know how important this book is to American History!



Saturday, January 14, 2012

Quote It Saturday


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hosted by Freda at Freda's Voice



"Imagination is more important than knowledge


Albert Einsteen 1879 - 1955
German born American Physicist

The Language of Flowers - By Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh was a fantastic read! I enjoyed the storyline immensely and found the reference to flower meanings really intriguing and was surprised to find a copy of Victoria's flower dictionary at the back of the book! Initially I thought it was a bit lacking in depth, but as the story about Victoria's childhood and her relationship with her long term carer Elizabeth emerged I found myself completely invested in it and connected to the characters as though they were real people. The concept of a novel about love, family and redemption is not uncommon, but Diffenbaugh's unique approach to this theme in the Language of Flowers was beautiful. When a book moves me to tears, as this one did, I know that it was a great book! I think most people would enjoy this novel.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Friday 56 - One Day By David Nicholls

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda over at Freda's Voice. The rules are simple:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you. (I cheat sometimes and put a little more than a sentence!)
*Post it.
*Add your post URL to the Link.

Ok...so my first Friday 56 was taken from the novel One Day, By David Nicholls which I read over the Christmas break!

"These days she drank white wine, wore neat little suits from Jigsaw and handed out Kettle Chips at dinner parties." (p.56)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Theme Thursday - KNOW

Rules:
* A theme will be posted each Thursday
* Select a conversation/snippet/sentence from your current book
* Mention the author and the title
* It is important that the theme is conveyed in the sentence (you don’t necessarily need to have the word) 

So this weeks theme is: KNOW

The except I have selected is about 'knowing yourself' and is taken from the book by Gretchen Rubin titled:
The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean my Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun.


"So once again, one of my resolutions led me right back to my First Commandment: 'Be Gretchen.' I had  to know and pursue what was truly fun for me. That was the road that led to happiness. But what else, besides the children's literature reading group, could I do for fun? I was stumped. Was I so cheerless and dull that I couldn't think of a single other thing?"(p.120)