Sunday Post – 23rd 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.

I’ve been AWOL this week – which has been something of a roller-coaster… We have been embarking on a series of home improvements, given it’s far too long since we spruced up the house and duly got someone in to look at the guttering, which clearly needed replacing. Only it didn’t. Once the builders investigated, it rapidly became clear that we needed a new roof, instead. The roofing felt is like paper mache and the ends of the joists are rotten. The cowboys who replaced our soffits (Anglian Windows, in case anyone is interested…) must have been well aware of the situation when they fitted the soffits by screwing them straight into the rotten joists, but bodged the job and said nothing. Suddenly the house is swathed in scaffolding, the tiles are off, the rotten wood in the process of being replaced, along with the felt. Meanwhile we are frantically arranging finance… The sudden, sharp rainstorms hammering down throughout the week haven’t helped, either.

Other news – I have started my Poetry short course at Northbrook this week, which went well. My writing buddy Mhairi came down for a few days and while she was here, the proof copy of Netted arrived through the post with the awesome cover looking every bit a fabulous as we thought it would. And I spent yesterday with my sister who took me out shopping to celebrate my birthday. In the meantime, I keep waiting for my life to get more boring… please?

Last week I read:

The Killer in the Choir – Book 19 of the Fethering Mysteries by Simon Brett
Although she hadn’t known Leonard Mallett very well, nor liked him particularly, Carole Seddon feels duty bound to attend her fellow committee member’s funeral. As she suspected, the hymns, readings and sermon are all very predictable — not unlike Leonard himself. What she couldn’t have predicted was that the deceased’s daughter would use the occasion to publicly accuse her stepmother of murder. Did Heather Mallett really kill her husband, as many Fethering residents believe? Deciding to get to the heart of the matter, Carole’s neighbour Jude joins the new community choir – and discovers that amidst the clashing egos and petty resentments lurk some decidedly false notes. At least one chorister would appear to be hiding a deadly secret — and it’s up to Carole and Jude to unearth the truth.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Liar in the Library recently, so was delighted when given the opportunity to also read this offering. Once more Fethering is buzzing with yet another murder – and getting reacquainted with these characters was even more fun than I’d anticipated. I shall be reading more of these…

The Dark Lord of Derkholm AUDIOBOOK – Book 1 of the Derkholm series by Diana Wynne Jones
Everyone – wizards, soldiers, farmers, elves, dragons, kings and queens alike – is fed up with Mr Chesney’s Pilgrim Parties: groups of tourists from the world next door who descend en masse every year to take the Grand Tour. What they expect are all the trappings of a grand fantasy adventure, including the Evil Enchantress, Wizard Guides, the Dark Lord, Winged Minions, and all. And every year different people are chosen to play these parts. But now they’ve had enough: Mr Chesney may be backed by a very powerful demon, but the Oracles have spoken. Now it’s up to the Wizard Derk and his son Blade, this year’s Dark Lord and Wizard Guide, not to mention Blade’s griffin brothers and sisters, to save the world from Mr Chesney’s depredations.
This is billed as a children’s book – but it doesn’t feel like it. It seems far more like a clever exploration of what happens when people flock to a wonderful place to experience said wonder – all on their own terms, of course. And while parts are funny, other parts are quite dark. But all wonderfully gripping and well realised in this audiobook.

The Halfling – Book 1 of the Aria Fae series by H.D. Gordon
What do you get when you take a highly trained Halfling teenager and throw her into the concrete jungle of Grant City? One badass vigilante, of course! 17-year-old Aria Fae is no stranger to danger. She’s super fast, incredibly strong, and on her own for the first time ever.
Throw in a brand new best friend who’s a computer genius, a mysterious and super-fly older neighbor, and a drug that’s turning people into maniacs, and you’ve got the potion for trouble.
This YA superhero read was unexpectedly engrossing. Yes… Aria has it all – super-human strength and top-notch training. She also has enhanced hearing and sense of smell, as well as effective night vision. But, after a series of traumatic events that dumped her into Grant City, alone and friendless – she is also struggling with depression.

My posts last week:

Review of Broken Heart Attack – Book 2 of the Braxton Campus Mysteries by James J. Cudney

Friday Faceoff featuring The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Outside by Ada Hoffmann

Thank you for visiting, reading, liking and/or commenting on my blog – and I apologise for not visiting or comment all that much. It’s been a tad full on. I hope you have a wonderful week.

41 responses »

    • Thank you, Laurel. It was a horrible shock to discover it wasn’t just a case of replacing the gutter – but the whole blinking roof… Luckily the firm we have now dealing with it have been marvellous.

  1. We just had to get a new roof put on our home too so I’m all too familiar with the joys of having your home surrounded by scaffolding. I hope the repairs are completed quickly and that they’re done well.

    • Yes… I am pleased that we now have a really good, reliable firm in charge of doing the job. I am just reeling a bit – in that this time last week, we didn’t realise that the roof would need replacing. I hope you have a great week – and that ours is less stressful, too!

  2. You definitely don’t have to apologize for not visiting/commenting! Life is tricky and really has that habit of getting in the way sometimes. I hope you have a great week this week! And by great I mean a more mellow, boring one!

  3. Sometimes boring is good, right? And it’s definitely no fun when unexpected repairs spring up. Hope the roofing project goes well. We had to replace our roof a couple years also.

    Have a fabulous week!

    • Thank you, Greg. It’s good to know there’s life after roofing repairs. Right now that seems a distant dream…

      I hope you also have a suitably boring, uneventful week – in the best possible way:)

  4. Oh Sarah, what a nightmare! The on off rain has been painful with only a broken gutter, I can’t imagine how worrisome it is for you with a major roof repair ongoing!
    Fingers crossed it all goes well. It’s not a bill you want but at least you’ll avoid further damage to your property.

    • Yes – that was the point… When we realised the extent of what needed to be done – and the builders made an immediate space for us in their schedule – we knew we couldn’t hang around…

  5. Oh I’m sorry to hear about the roof repair. Well not repair but total gutting and replacement. I feel your pain though I’m not going through anything that crazy. Best of luck and I hope the rain holds off for a bit.

    You asked on my Sunday Post if the A Study in Scarlet audio I’m listening to is read by Stephen Fry and it is! I got the audio of the entire collection read by him and so far I’m really enjoying it though a little Holmes goes a long way for me.

    • Yes – I also picked up the same collection and I’m going to be listening to the fifth part after my current audio read. Like you, I have spread it out amongst the other books I’ve been listening to – and found it a total joy. Holmes does get a bit annoying, but dear old Watson is lovely – and I have really enjoyed listening to how Conan Doyles mixed it up regarding structure and approach to each different work.

    • Thank you, Laura:). The forecast is supposed to be dry all week, but it’s rather lowering with a real feel of thunder in the air at present. I’m hoping we don’t get a storm with the builders on the roof! I hope you have a great week:)

  6. Re: house: weeeell shit. BUT, it’s getting fixed. Financing, though…yeah, I hear ya. Money stinks. 😦 I’ll be praying that these repairs are done right and true and soon.

    Re: Dark Lord: Isn’t it weird this is treated like a kid’s book? I think that’s the fault of booksellers, lumping an author’s library just aaaaaaaaaaall together when that shouldn’t be the case. Loved this story, regardless. It had me laughing out loud at certain points, and you’re right–there’s some biting commentary in here, too.

    • Yes… I think we’re all set for the financing, though I won’t relax until we get the loan offer confirmed… You’re right about money stinking!

      I loved the Dark Lord – and like you say – there are some funny set pieces, but I wouldn’t class it as a comedy. The audio version is a joy, btw…

      • Cool! Who reads it?
        Pretty sure money always stinks. I’m hoping my summer school sections open up, because I really don’t want to do transcribing again…blech…

  7. Oh dear. I’m thinking about the turmoil your house is in right now. Of course you are probably also in a similar state. We’ve replaced our windows and repainted our house over the course of the last few months. My husband replaced rotten wood. Fortunately we had a new roof put in a few years ago, so I hope we don’t have deep problems that haven’t shown their faces yet. But who knows.

    I will be thinking about you as you go through this process. Please keep us updated.

    Sending good wishes for your poetry course. I know you are a wonderful teacher.

    Have a good week.

    • Yes… we were already in the middle of redecorating the bathroom and repainting the kitchen walls – so turmoil just about sums it up! Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement, Deb. I’m very glad this came to light before the winter storms hit us – while the weather is reasonably mild, because we are close to the coast we are subject to high winds and gales. The damage that could have been inflicted doesn’t bear thinking about – and because the joists are rotten and old our insurance wouldn’t have covered us *shudders at the thought*.

      I will definitely keep you posted – and thank you for the good wishes regarding the poetry course:).

  8. I’m so sorry to hear about your roof! I hope the repairs go well (and the financing, too.)

    I’ve been meaning to read The Dark Lord of Derkholm for years. DWJ is, or rather was, a marvelous and original writer; I’ve loved everything I’ve read of hers so far.

  9. We had to have a new roof last summer so I feel your pain on that one. It’s such an expensive job and such an upheaval too, especially when other home improvement projects are ongoing at the same time. We were in the middle of re-decorating the living room when the roofer asked if they could start a week early on our roof. So it was chaos for a while! I hope all your projects go smoothly and that they’re finished soon.

    • Thank you, Hayley! Yes… you clearly do understand exactly where we are! Given everything else that’s going on – I would have preferred if this had been postponed at least for another couple of weeks – but it simply didn’t work out that way…

  10. It’s SO annoying (to say the least…) to discover that someone whose work we trusted not only did a bad job but managed to mask it so well, knowing that it only compounded the crime… I hope you manage the necessary repairs without… bleeding!

  11. I am definitely interested in all three of these books! Good luck with the major house repairs. I, too, constantly experience the joys of living in an older home, but thank goodness “older” on this side of the pond means only 1977. Here in Texas, people don’t have the respect for history others do in Virginia, where I grew up. You would be amazed, and probably dismayed, at how quickly buildings are torn down if they are over 50 years old. Yes, I said 50!!!
    I am returning to teaching at the university in the fall. Retirement was punishment, and I am so happy writing and planning a brand new course! Details later.

    • Thank you, Rae:). Oh my goodness… as my final lessons teaching at Northbrook get nearer, I’m dreading saying good-bye so I understand why you are returning. However, I’m hoping to be able to spend more time writing, instead. And I will still be teaching Tim, so it isn’t as if I’m totally relinquishing the teaching…
      As for the roof – thank you for your good wishes. They are working really hard and hope to be finished by the end of tomorrow or Monday at the latest, which is impressive progress, given that all that needs to be done. And here in the UK, a house built in the 1950s is regarded as a relative youngster… Fancy pulling down a building because it’s 50 years old – how wasteful!!

  12. That sounds like quite the rollercoaster. I hope your house renovations go well. I read The Halfling a few years ago and book 2 as well, but didn’t read the rest of the series. i quite enjoyed the first two books form what I remember. I hope this week is a good one for you!

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