Sunday Post – 2nd June, 2019 #Brainfluffbookblog #SundayPost


This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.

It’s been half term. I had the children to stay for the first three days, which was a treat as I haven’t had them for a while. It’s always enjoyable to be able to touch base with them and catch up on their doings. Sadly Himself was working throughout, but my sister and I took them out for a meal at our favourite Chinese restaurant. Other than that, they weren’t keen to go out and about, but seemed to enjoy relaxing in their rooms and reading.

I’ve also been catching up on a backlog of reviews and some paperwork. I also submitted my short story ‘How Vine Leaves Stuffed Nemesis’ to an anthology called Fight Like a Girl about battling women, after getting valuable feedback from my Writing Group on Thursday evening. Yesterday, Sally and I spent the day editing her book – we are now nearing the end of the first volume, which is exciting. Today, Himself and I will be tackling the garden…

Last week I read:
The Janus Stone – Book 2 of the Ruth Galloway mysteries by Elly Griffiths
It’s been only a few months since archaeologist Ruth Galloway found herself entangled in a missing persons case, barely escaping with her life. But when construction workers demolishing a large old house in Norwich uncover the bones of a child beneath a doorway—minus its skull—Ruth is once again called upon to investigate. Is it a Roman-era ritual sacrifice, or is the killer closer at hand?
This is one of those series that I’ve always promised myself that I’d tuck into – I thoroughly enjoyed the adventure and am looking forward to the next one.


The Switch by Justina Robson
In Harmony, only model citizens are welcome. A perfect society must be maintained. The defective must be eradicated. For orphans like Nico and Twostar, this means a life that’s brutal, regulated and short. But Nico and Twostar are survivors, and when they’re offered a way out of the slums, they take it. Unfortunately, no one told Nico the deal included being sentenced to death for the murder of one of Harmony’s most notorious gang leaders. Or that to gain his freedom, first he must lose his mind.
This was a delightful surprise that I found nestling amongst the library shelves, so scooped it up. I’m so glad I did!


The Whispering Skull AUDIOBOOK – Book 2 of the Lockwood & Co series by Jonathan Stroud
In the six months since Anthony, Lucy, and George survived a night in the most haunted house in England, Lockwood & Co. hasn’t made much progress. Quill Kipps and his team of Fittes agents keep swooping in on Lockwood’s investigations. Finally, in a fit of anger, Anthony challenges his rival to a contest: the next time the two agencies compete on a job, the losing side will have to admit defeat in the Times newspaper. Things look up when a new client, Mr. Saunders, hires Lockwood & Co. to be present at the excavation of Edmund Bickerstaff, a Victorian doctor who reportedly tried to communicate with the dead. Saunders needs the coffin sealed with silver to prevent any supernatural trouble. All goes well-until George’s curiosity attracts a horrible phantom.
The wonderful, creepy world invented by Stroud is just a joy – and though this is supposedly written for children, I am absolutely loving the quality of the writing and the layered characterisation.

The Art of Noticing: Rediscover What Really Matters To You by Rob Walker
Distracted? Overwhelmed? Feel like your attention is constantly being pulled in different directions? Learn how to steal it back. Accessible and inspiring, this book features 131 surprising and innovative exercises to help you tune out white noise, get unstuck from your screen and manage daily distractions. Make small yet impactful changes and bring focus to the things and people that are most important to you.
I look forward to having a go at some of these exercises during the summer holidays, when Life eases up a little…



Rough Magic: Riding the world’s wildest horse race by Lara Prior-Palmer
The Mongol Derby is the world’s toughest horse race. An outrageous feat of endurance across the vast Mongolian plains once traversed by the army of Genghis Khan, the Derby sees competitors ride 25 horses across 1000km, and it’s rare that more than half of the riders make it to the finish line. In 2013 Lara Prior-Palmer – nineteen, wildly underprepared and in search of the great unknown – decided to enter the race. Finding on the wild Mongolian steppe strength and self-knowledge she didn’t know she possessed, even whilst caught in biblical storms and lost in the mountains, Lara tore through the field with her motley crew of horses. She didn’t just complete the race: in one of the Derby’s most unexpected results, she won, becoming the youngest-ever competitor to conquer the course.
This gripping account of a young woman struggling to discover who she is while in the middle of a major test of endurance and courage kept me up and turning the pages far later than I should have.

Fields’ Guide to Abduction – Book 1 of the Poppy Fields’ adventures by Julie Mulhern
Poppy Fields, Hollywood IT girl extraordinaire, agreed to a week at the newest, most luxurious resort in Cabo. After all, what’s better than the beach when a girl is feeling blue? When Poppy is abducted, she’ll need all her smarts, all her charm, and a killer Chihuahua, to save herself in this new series from the USA TODAY bestselling author of The Country Club Murders.
Dead body #1 found in bed, with me. That was a shock.
Dead body #2 found in bed, not with me. That was a relief.
Dead body #3 died telling me I’m a lousy actress. I already knew that.
Dead body #4 died trying to kill me.
Dead body #5 died kidnapping me.
Dead body #6 died guarding me.
Dead body #7 was a really bad man.
Dead body #8 was an even worse man.
That’s a lot of dead bodies for a girl looking for a week’s relaxation in Cabo. And, I’m probably leaving a few out—math isn’t my thing. Unless I can escape the cartel, I might be the next dead body.
Poppy is a wonderful protagonist. Sparky and funny, with some battle scars of her own that make her sympathetic – and unexpectedly good in a crisis. I really enjoyed blowing through this one in one sitting…

My posts last week:

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Art of Noticing: Rediscover What Really Matters To You by Rob Walker

Friday Faceoff featuring The Green Rider series by Kristen Britain

Review of Children of Blood and Bone – Book 1 of Legacy of Orïsha series by Tomi Adeyemi

Review of Within the Sanctuary of Wings – Book 5 of the Lady Trent series by Marie Brennan

Tuesday Teaser featuring The Switch by Justina Robson

Review of In Evil Times – Book 2 of the Imperials series by Melinda Snodgrass

Sunday Post – 26th May 2019

Interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last few weeks, in no particular order:

BRIGHTON FRINGE: An Adult Dr Seuss – The Warren: The Nest
Circumstances conspired so that I was unable to watch this enjoyable show by Geoff, who is a member of my critique writing group – but I did have the pleasure of watching the dress rehearsal and loved it…

10 of the Best Poems about Women This is an interesting and eclectic mix…

When Your Story Hits Too Close to Home Interestingly, I was grappling with some of these issues when editing my friend’s memoir yesterday…

OTT: All the ways I will kill you if you dare to interrupt my reading This is hilarious – I’d like to say that I wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing – but when I’ve got to a good bit in the book and you decide to crash in…

#Creative #Children #Writing #Friends, and a New #Publishing #Adventure Such are the obstacles and roadblocks in the life of a writer – I am awed at the resilience and strength of writing colleague Jean Lee…

Thank you for visiting, reading, liking and/or commenting on my blog – I hope you have a wondering week!

35 responses »

  1. Rough Magic sounds exciting, but I always worry about horses involved in such things. (I really dislike horse racing). But what an accomplishment at 19!

    • I liked the fact that the horses’ heartbeats had to return to normal within 20 minutes after the leg – and they only rode a single leg. And if they didn’t, then the riders had a time penalty of 2 minutes for every minute after that it took for the horses to recover. I’m not daft enough to say that there weren’t injuries or horses who were driven harder than they should – but the horses ridden were the local mongolian ponies who lived on the Steppes.

    • Thank you, Laura:). As it happens, it’s been allll about work today. We spent time weeding in the garden this morning and this afternoon I’ve been working on the Poetry Course I’ll shortly be running at Northbrook. But I’m very lucky in that the work is enjoyable:). I hope you’ve had a great weekend – it sounds like you’ve earnt a break!

    • Urg… I’m boggling at you having to wait until the temp goes DOWN to 79F!!! We tend to come over all faint and unnecessary at anything over 70F in this country… but then we are only really set up for drizzle in the UK.

  2. Good luck with the garden! It’s a beautiful day here today and I should be puttering around as well. 🙂 Hope yours is nice. And Chinese food- mmm that sounds delicious. I haven’t had it nearly enough lately!

    The Janus Stone sounds like an excellent read.

    • Thank you, Greg – we need to get on top of it, as it had reverted to being a bit of a jungle. But I am rediscovering the joys of puttering:)). And yes – the Chinese food was yummy. I hope you are having a great week!

  3. WOW! You have done some reading this week, Ladybug. I listened to a Stephen King audiobook–all 12 discs, and read 3/4 of our book club book for June. Our other book club, which meets first in June was finished some time ago. It was an easy read. Hope you have a good week ahead.

  4. Okay seriously, how has me pony loving self never ever heard of the Mongol Derby? And girl power! I have absolutely got to read this book. I am so excited. I used to be a huge horse racing fan as a child and so still have a soft spot for all horse racing, jumping, diving, etc. books. I still also want a magic talking flying pony. Even if there is no room for one on me ship. Sounds like ye had a lovely week matey. Hope this one upcoming is even better. Arrr!
    x The Captain

    • I have to say – once I got over the shock of realising I’d requested a non-fiction read about a horse race, I thoroughly enjoyed this one and I’m sure the memory of it will stay with me:)

  5. I’m fascinated with The Switch and The Art of Noticing. Both of those look well worth reading.

    I think I shall take a look at All the Ways I’ll Kill You If You Interrupt My Reading. Why is it that people think you can just stop?!

    Have a lovely week!

    • Thank you, Deb:). I know what you mean about just being able to stop reading! It’s not quite so bad now I’m an adult – but as a child, I was constantly being interrupted to go and do chores…

  6. Fight Like a Girl sounds like a wonderful anthology. I hope the gardening went well! I love the idea of having a large garden and watching it grow, but I have trouble keeping my potted succulents alive so I don’t know if I would trust myself to tend to a small field of plants. 😀

    • Oh yes – I’m really looking forward to seeing how Fight Like a Girl turns out – it’s such a cool idea. As for succulents – I’d just say that they benefit from a certain amount of neglect. They are most often killed by being overwatered… Mine grow very happily outside growing in slate.

      • I think my medium-sized ones are faring okay! But I have about a dozen baby ones that I’ve been growing from seeds (from my mom–she’s a big succulent enthusiast :D) and those ones just refuse to get bigger! I guess an apartment probably isn’t the best living environment for these guys.

      • Ooo – much respect! I’ve only ever grown them on by dividing up the plants – growing them from seed takes a whole new layer of expertise and might be why they are taking a while to get going:)

  7. I’ll knock on wood and turn thrice widdershins for your story, my friend! And thanks for including me in this week’s cut–I find myself eternally catching up too, especially with kids now home for summer break and finals coming in from my own students…

    • Ah well… join the club. I haven’t yet broken up for the summer – I’ve another course starting up this coming week and we’re in the middle of redecorating the bleeping bathroom. Best of luck with the child-wrangling and marking!

    • Yes… I recall from my days when teaching children – how much the character of each class varies, depending on the ability and, more importantly, willingness to learn. My grandfather always used to say – you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

      • Precisely so. They have sooooooo many resources, and I’m just an email away, but they have to want to succeed. And I think there’s this idea of being in school = success, instead of WORKING in school = success.

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