Teaser Tuesday (28th July)

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Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (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!)
e• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!I am

I am currently reading a book of war poetry: Three Poets of the First World War – Ivor Gurney, Isaac Rosenberg, Wilfred Owen so this week thought I’d include a whole poem, rather than just a couple of line.

My Teaser:

Old Dreams

Once I had dreamed of return to a sunlit land

Of summer and firelit winter with inns to visit,

But here are tangles of Fate one does not understand,

And as for rest or true ease, where is it and what is it.

With criss-cross purposes and spoilt threads of life,

Perverse pathways, the savour of life is gone.

What have I then with crumbling wood or glowing coals,

Or a four-hours’ walking, to work, through a setting Sun?

                                       p.p. 26 Ivor Gurney

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Musing Monday (27th July)

musingmondays51

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn of A Daily Rhythm that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT at her blog with either the link to your own Musing Mondays post, or share your answer in a comment there.

My Musing:

When I started book blogging I had no idea what I was letting myself in for (not to mention I wasn’t starting it alone).   I think I was never really as committed as I wanted to be. I went months without reviewing anything, and my participation of memes was random; it’s not that I didn’t want to make this into a successful blog, I just didn’t have the understanding of what I was really doing.

Finally I’m starting to see what I really want to do. The past couple of weeks I’ve been posting more regularly and I sincerely plan to keep doing so. I considered letting this blog die, and with it the worry and stress it was causing by knowing I wasn’t keeping it up to date. I’m glad I didn’t as for the first time I’m feeling truly committed to this blog. A part of it is I want to use it to help me achieve my dreams of becoming a freelance editor and proof-reader, but that’s not the main reason.

When it comes down to it, I love books – have always loved books – the way the words dance across your mind, the way a theory or idea can be conveyed without ever having to say it, the way in which words can literally change your life. I think with being ill and struggling to get through each day, along with my focus going all over the place (crafts, cooking, writing, various blogs) I had forgotten that. Books and words are part of who I am and I’m glad to have found the focus and belief in myself once again. Of course, I still enjoy crafts and cooking and writing, but I know that when everything else is stripped away, words will always be there, and they will always be in my life. Realising this has given me hope I thought I’d lost and dedication I wasn’t sure I had, and hopefully the results will be seen in this blog becoming regularly updated and more interactive.

No doubt there are still kinks I need to work through (trying to find a way for this blog to look the way I imagine it being one), and I won’t always be as active as I wish I could be; but I’m certain I’ll pull through, and words are the way I’ll do so.

Review: The 100 by Kass Morgan

The 100 Kass MorganTitle: The 100 (The Hundred #1)

Author: Kass Morgan

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Published: 2013

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Source: Library

My Rating: 3.5/5

When Earth becomes uninhabitable due to nuclear war, humanity continues on spaceships.  These spaceships have strict rules, with crime being punished by death for adults and prison for those under 18; now 100 of those young convicts are being sent to Earth to find out if it’s habitable once again. While Clark, Wells, Bellamy and 97 others are trying to survive the dangers of Earth (including each other), Glass manages to escape back to her life on the spaceship only to find that has dangers of its own.

I watched the first season of the series a while back and quite enjoyed it, so when I saw the book at the library I had to pick it up to see if it was as good/better than the TV show.  Honestly I was surprised at how truthful to the book the series was, though it moves at a much faster pace (something that doesn’t really surprise me) to the point that spoiler: [the current inhabitants of Earth don’t appear in the book til the very end, whereas I remember them appearing quite quickly in the series]. The characterization and back stories were pretty much as I remembered them, to the point that at certain points it felt as if I’d already read the book.

The book is written through the viewpoints of 4 young people, all from different walks of life (guess I shouldn’t be surprised to know in the future the class system is more pronounced than ever).  It took me a while to work out who was who as I was reading as the narrative doesn’t change style and to begin with everyone is in the situation and it was only as the story unravelled I was able to distinguish which name went with who. For me this spoilt the book, especially at the start, as I was spending more time trying to work out which story I was following.

To be honest by the end of the book I didn’t feel I knew or connected with any of the characters, meaning I didn’t feel invested in the story enough to want to keep constantly reading. I think if I hadn’t already seen the TV show, I probably wouldn’t have bothered from reading the book.  While the scenario was interesting, the entire book felt more like a lead up to the main story – I know it is the first in the series, but in my opinion needed a little more action or emotional turmoil for the book to be able to stand on its own.

I don’t know if I’m going to continue reading the series, though will likely watch the next season when it becomes available. Overall, I liked the idea behind it, but just didn’t find the story or characters particularly engaging. However, if you are looking for a quick, light read and enjoy teen futuristic books, you might still want to check this one out.

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

Wondrous Words Wednesday

wondrous2Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Bermuda Onion where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and go and add your link to Mr. Linky!

Both my words this week are from Harry’s War Diary by Harry Drinkwater and Jon Cooksey:

1. Indolent – “That is not to say that Harry’s Battalion was indolent.

              Indolent means lazy or wanting to avoid activity/exertion.

2. Brazier – “A petrol can with the top off and holes in the side makes a brazier.”

             A brazier is a container which holds hot coals.

Teaser Tuesday (21st July)

teasertuesdays2014e

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (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!

My Teaser:

At eight thirty we break for sweet, milky tea, served in the tent by a woman with a Kent accent thicker than the Earth’s crust. You’re s’posed to have your own mug but I’m using an old marmalade jar fished out the kitchen bin, which raises a few eyebrows but it gives my tea an orangey tang.

~p.p. 84 The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

Review: Cinch! by Cynthia Sass

Cinch by Cynthia Sass

Title: Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds, and Lose Inches

Author: Cynthia Sass

Publisher: HarperOne

Published: 2010

Genre: Non-Fiction Food

Source: Library

In Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds, and Lose Inches Cynthia Sass puts across a whole new way to enjoy food while losing weight and as part of a healthy lifestyle. While some may call this a ‘diet’ Sass states that it’s a change of habit, rather than a fad diet, and I have to agree with her. The basic idea is eating four small meals a day, each consisting of five food groups to give your body the nutrition it needs without expanding your waistline, though it is more a way of being healthier, than simply a weight loss regime.  I am not interested in diets, but I do love learning how to live healthier, and I feel that reading Cinch!  expanded my understanding of food, cravings and how my choice of food will affect my body.

While many will likely love the fact that chocolate is an everyday part of this diet, personally I’m not sure if the Cinch! diet is for me; but I still found it fascinating to read about how Sass came to create this lifestyle. I particularly enjoyed that she includes the science behind her choices in an accessible way, making it easy to understand and learn what our bodies need.

The book is also filled with examples of how it has changed people’s lives (which I skipped over), as well as lots of side notes full of interesting facts and thoughts relating to whatever Sass is talking about. I found these side notes great but they disrupted the flow of the narrative, often appearing within a sentence, making it harder to read and follow the book.

One thing I loved about Cinch! is that Sass includes a breakdown of how to create your own meals, as well as over a hundred recipes, and how to adapt restaurant meals to follow the plan. I feel this is really useful as most people aren’t able to always make/carry their planned meal to eat at the set time. Having a breakdown of the meals also allows the readers to discover and adapt meals to their own tastes and dietary needs

One way in which Cinch! differs from diet books, is the chapter exploring why we feel the need to overeat. This includes worksheets to fill out to help us understand and conquer our cravings. While it is only a chapter and therefore not extensive, I feel it is a good introduction to food psychology and, as well as being accessible, is easily personalized, making it a great tool for the reader, whether or not they choose to follow the 5 meal plan.

I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in what we eat and how it affects them and their health. Cinch! is highly flexible so the reader can take from it what they need, and while reading there is never the feeling of having to stick rigidly to a set meal plan, making it an enjoyable, as well as an informative read.

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

Teaser Tuesday (July 14th)

teasertuesdays2014e

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (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!

My Teaser:

A shell landed in front and another behind, blowing in the parados [rear of the trench] and smothering me with dirt. This appeared to be no ordinary bombardment, so I made for a shelter, hopeless if a shell hit it but useful to stop shrapnel, and found some of the other fellows there.

~p.p.91  Harry’s War: The Great War Diary of Harry Drinkwater

Musing Monday (July 13)

musingmondays51Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: What book (or books) would you take with you on vacation? Why?

I’m going to assume taking my Kindle isn’t an option for this question, as otherwise it’d be far to easy to just load it up with lots of books to choose from. So, imagining I don’t own a Kindle, trying to think of what books I would take on holiday is actually quite difficult. Even as a kid I always packed more books than clothes, and inevitably came home with even more books, so I’ve decided to try and narrow it down to 3 for right now.

My first book would be Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. This book always makes it into the top of my lists as it’s fairly big so lasts a little longer than a small book, and there are many different styles and genres within it so gives lots of variety.

The next book I’d like to take would be Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. This is one of my favourite books but I don’t reread it as often as I’d like as it does take a while to get through, so taking it on holiday would be perfect, you know, if it wasn’t massive. As I have the 7 book set, I’d probably just take the first 2-3 parts, rather than the whole thing (but still have to count it as one as originally that’s how the book was intended).

To be honest, those two alone would probably be more than enough to keep me busy, but I always like to take something light to read as well, for when my mind doesn’t want to think too much. Currently I’m looking forward to reading Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling. Someone sent this book to me in a penpal swap, and as I haven’t watched The Mindy Project I probably wouldn’t have picked it up by myself. But can’t wait to read it and it looks super summery; so if I were going on holiday in the next couple of weeks without a kindle, it would definitely make it into my bag.

Looking forward to seeing what books you have chosen.