Sunday Post – 21st July, 2019 #Brainfluffbookblog #SundayPost

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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 feel like a cracked record – but this has been yet another really busy week. Last Monday I completed my Creative Writing course. It was a lovely way to end ten wonderful years of teaching with two beautiful bouquets of flowers and a voucher for dinner at my favourite vegan restaurant in Brighton. Being creative types, someone also sang a song they’d written for me and someone else recited a very funny poem about my teaching experiences with them… It’s been an emotional time, saying good-bye.

However, I didn’t have too much time to brood as Tuesday saw us sorting out three kitchen cupboards, me catching up with book reviews and and paperwork, then packing in readiness for my trip up to Lincolnshire to visit my friend Mhairi. On early Wednesday morning. Himself accompanied me as far as St Pancras station in London, and then I completed the rest of the journey on my own. Although I’d taken my Kindle, I spent most of my time looking out of the window at the lovely rural scenery. Mhairi was there to meet me after an uneventful journey that took some five and a half hours. We had a lovely time together catching up with Mhairi and her lovely mum and I was made to feel very welcome, especially by their gorgeous Alsatian, Jake, who very quickly was treating me like one of the family. In the middle of all the laughter and chatter – and one of the most delicious Indian dinners I’ve ever eaten at the local restaurant in Spilsby – we managed to complete our tax returns together. We’ve been doing this now for several years and it is so much better tackling such a horrible, stressful job alongside someone else. So I now feel very virtuous that I have that grotty chore out of the way for another year.

All too soon Friday morning came around and it was time to set off for home again – next time I visit Mhairi I will stay longer. Himself was waiting for me on the platform at King’s Cross and it was lovely to see him again, even though he’d scarcely had time to miss me… Yesterday we did an inventory of the freezer before going shopping, so this month we are going to be mostly eating frozen food (suitably defrosted, of course) to help eke out the pennies as tomorrow the builders arrive to start tackling the dangerous concrete canopy over the back door. Wish us luck!

Last week I read:

Witch-Hunt – Book 1 of Lodestone by Wendy Scott
Sabrina is thrust out of her sheltered life at Mistress Florisah’s healing school after the destruction of the witch-ancestor portraits and the appearance of Lauren the Destroyer’s ghost. An anti-witchcraft regime is poised on Karthalon’s borders threatening full scale genocide, unless Sabrina, the last of Lauren’s bloodline, can destroy the Lodestone and restore magic to Valloaria. Hundreds of years before Lauren had wrought the cataclysmic demise of the Council of Witches by unleashing the Lodestone and now Sabrina is the only one who can undo Lauren’s legacy.
This is a story about an act of desperate vengeance and the ongoing consequences that Sabrina is now trying to undo.

 

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.
I recalled the buzz around this retelling of the Aladdin story from the viewpoint of the jinn when it first came out, but somehow hadn’t got around to reading it. I’m glad I did so now, as I’d hit something of a slump. This was so much more than a romance – and I will be reviewing this one in due course.

 

Changeling – Book 1 of the Sorcery and Society series by Molly Harper
If 14-year-old Cassandra Reed makes it through her first day at Miss Castwell’s Institute for the Magical Instruction of Young Ladies without anyone discovering her secret, maybe, just maybe, she’ll let herself believe that she really does belong at Miss Castwell’s. Except Cassandra Reed’s real name is Sarah Smith and up until now, she lived her whole life in the Warren, serving a magical family, the Winters, as all non-magical “Snipes” are bound by magical Guardian law to do. That is, until one day, Sarah accidentally levitates Mrs. Winter’s favorite vase in the parlor…
I enjoy magical school stories and this one is an engrossing read with a young, upbeat character who mostly prevails without becoming too smart or clever. Review to follow.

 

The House at Sea’s End – Book 3 of the Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths
Ruth Galloway has just returned from maternity leave and is struggling to juggle work and motherhood. When a team from the University of North Norfolk, investigating coastal erosion, finds six bodies at the foot of the cliff, she is immediately put on the case.
This is a series I started a long time ago and am now catching up on. I mostly enjoyed this one, though there are times when Ruth’s hit and miss mothering annoys me. But it is a refreshing change to find a protagonist trying to juggle a working life with the role of a mother and having to make all those hard decisions that confront so many women caught in the same situation.

 

My posts last week:

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

Friday Faceoff featuring Dichronauts by Greg Egan

Review of INDIE Ebook Ascending – Book 1 of the Vardeshi Saga by Meg Pechenick

Review of AUDIOBOOK Mythos – written and narrated by Stephen Fry

Teaser Tuesday featuring The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

Review of ARC Jack Jetstark’s Intergalactic Freak Show by Jennifer Lee Rossman

Sunday Post – 14th July 2019

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

Morningstar’s Thoughts on Reading https://literacyletters.wordpress.com/2019/07/18/morningstars-thoughts-on-reading/ What a fabulous definition of why we all read…

Down the Rabbit Hole… to a Book Cover! https://ailishsinclair.com/2019/07/book-cover/ These pics are so much fun – especially if you are a fan of Alice in Wonderland.

About that ‘Writing Vacation’ https://writerunboxed.com/2019/07/19/about-that-writing-vacation/ I read this feeling really nicely smug that I hadn’t fallen into these traps on my writing retreats – and managing to get a great deal written.

Is Our Company Enough for Pets? https://chechewinnie.com/is-our-company-enough-for-our-pets/ Cheche raises an uncomfortable question here for those of us who are or who have been pet owners…

5 oddly specific storylines I like in books https://thisislitblog.com/2019/07/16/5-oddly-specific-storylines-i-love-in-books/ Shruti shares with us her top five favourite storylines – which had me wondering about mine. What about you?

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

51 responses »

  1. That’s so cool that someone wrote a song for you as a goodbye gift. I know I would have cried. The Forbidden Wish and Changeling both sound like fantastic reads. I’ve been in somewhat of a fantasy slump lately so I’ll have to keep those in mind since they sound like they could both be slump busters. Hope you have a great week!

    • There was a big lump in my throat – but there was lots of laughter, too. Oh I highly recommend both The Forbidden Wish and the Changeling as slump busters:). I hope your week is a good one, Suzanne.

  2. It sounds like the end of your teaching was quite emotional. Especially since you loved your job so much. I hope you’ll be able to fill the extra time with wonderful things (and it sounds like you already have😁)

    • Thank you, Tammy. Yes – I did find it emotional. I am not completely giving up teaching as I will still be tutoring Tim for the next 2 years, but I’m aiming to be writing more.

  3. I loved “The House at Sea’s End,” as I have all the Ruth Galloway books! Yes, I think that it’s realistic and something that many readers can relate to, seeing how Ruth must rely on the childminder and others, at times, due to her profession. Without the job, she can’t provide a life for her daughter.

  4. What a lovely end to your teaching career! What wonderful tributes.

    And your trip sounds like it was delightful, too. We hope, one day, to take a train trip across the country. They are rare here in the US.

    Have a good week. I hope all goes well.

    • Thank you, Deb. Yes… I tend to do most of my long-distance travelling in the UK on the train. I love the fact you can get up and stretch your legs and read.

      I hope you, too, have a lovely week:)

    • Thank you, Shelleyrae – it was certainly a lovely way for my teaching stint at Northbrook to end. And I appreciate your good wishes for our building project next week which is inevitably going to be noisy and messy. I hope you have a more peaceful week!

  5. Your visit with your friend sounds lovely. I miss that closeness. My best friend moved away and we somehow lost touch. I hope the repairs go well. Such a costly job and unexpected. Maybe this will be it for a while:) And yes, please unfreeze before eating. LOL Have a lovely Sunday, Sarah:)

    • Thank you, Laura – yes… I’ve lost special friends as they’ve moved away and Mhairi has also experienced that. So we vowed that wouldn’t happen to us – hence my journey up to her and her major drives down to stay with us!

      And we are also crossing our fingers that the repairs go smoothly – I’m dreading it as it will be messy, noisy and mess up the back door area – but we’ve not choice. I hope your week goes well with lots of good books and not too hot.

  6. You’ve had quite a week too, I see, and I had barely corrected a mistake on PWR’s Sunday (Evening) Post, then I saw you had dropped by. Thanks.
    I sure am glad the university didn’t give me a big send-off because I’m going back at the end of August! Haha.
    Good luck on the construction; that’s always an undertaking. A bit of advice, feed the workers a nice lunch; they’ll be more likely to do a great job for you! Also, here if they go to a local McDonald’s or Taco Bell, they waste an hour. Our carpeting men were willing to stay past seven p.m. because of a nice lunch of beef, cilantro potatoes and onion bake, rolls and candied carrots. We’ve never had such good results!

    • Thank you for the great advice, Rae – I shall bear it in mind:)). And you must now be in the throes organising next term’s course – all the very best of luck. I’m not surprised they are desperate to have you back! Have a great week and thank you for your kind concern.

      • I have it all done for fall! …At least as much as I can do before meeting the new “crop” of potential writers. It should be interesting with at least six to eight art majors on board. They will have unique input for discussions, I am sure. I just hope they don’t cuss! LOL (or come to class stoned…)

      • Students register for summer and fall sessions in April of each year. Previously, I would experience early registration starting Good Friday, and the course would have reached capacity (23) and be closed by ten o’clock Easter Monday. Because I have just opened this class about two weeks ago, and until this week it was reserved for art majors only, it is not full yet. Once word gets out I’m back, I’ll be full up once again. Also there are always transfer students and late registration students in case there are any seats left. It is a required class at the junior level (Many put it off until their last thing because of the title ADVANCED Writing.)and is required for everyone in the College of Human Sciences and Humanities…good job security! Also it includes just about all majors from Human Performance and Fitness to Philosophy. Challenging, but never boring!

      • Oh my goodness! So as a required class, it is mandatory and you get folks there who HAVE to be, rather than WANT to be… *Touches forelock* Much respect, my friend! For the last 10 years I’ve been teaching people who love my subject – a whole different ballgame!

      • Absolutely. The worst are transfer students whose university didn’t require another writing course to graduate after Freshman Comp year. Two semesters of Freshman Composition are prequiosites to Advanced Writing. Then, just when a person is thinking I’ll never have to take another English/writing course again…

    • Thank you, Nicci – yes I had such a lovely visit and will definitely be going again – by train. As you rightly say – I can read on the train:). Have a great week!

  7. I mean it’s all busy and it’s telling that you have had impact on people that’s led them to write poems about you , but seriously the biggest take away for me was , that there’s a Station in London named St. Pancreas 😁🤭

  8. My daughter helped me with our taxes this year. My husband usually does them but this year, he was too ill. It IS definitely much better to do that chore with someone else!

    • Yes – it is quite a wrench, especially as my students are all a delight.

      And yes – though our rail system does have its issues, when it is running smoothly, it’s great. I take it that you don’t have an extensive service?

  9. Eke out the grocery pennies is right! I’ve taken to stocking up on cheap meat one week and then spreading its leftovers across the following week with loads of veg. And of course, we’ve another required bit of home improvement too, as one of our basement windows is falling apart. 😦 So, prayers to you and Himself for getting through this tough spot. We will all get through this, right? 🙂

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