• book review of Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. Image is blog title with image of the book on a wooden background.
    Book Review

    Carry On – Rainbow Rowell

    Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything. Carry…

  • Book review of the Ocean at the end of the lane by Neil Gaiman. Image is blog graphic with book title and author on green background and a copy of the book on a wooden background
    Book Review,  Reviews

    The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman

    Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy. Forty years…

  • book review of Dragon Detective schools out by Gareth P Jones
    Book Review,  Reviews

    Dragon Detective: School’s Out by Gareth P Jones

    Holly is desperate to be sleuthing with her partner-in-solving-crime, dragon Dirk Dilly, but instead she’s stuck at her exclusive boarding school for children of the rich and famous. She’s determined to escape, until she meets Callum, the son of the Prime Minister, who claims he was kidnapped by dragons a year ago and hasn’t been the same since. And when Dirk’s own investigation into dragon activity brings him to the school, the two cases collide. What if Callum isn’t as crazy as he seems? *** Having read some of Gareth P Jones’ books before, I was fully expecting lots of adventure and coolness from Dragon Detective: School’s Out. And it…

  • book review of The Snow Dragon by Abi Elphinstone and Fiona Woodcock with book cover and blog title graphic
    Book Review,  Reviews,  Spikes Bedtime Stories

    The Snow Dragon – Abi Elphinstone and Fiona Woodcock

    You can be late for many things in life, but you should never keep an adventure waiting… In Griselda Bone’s gloomy orphanage, daydreaming is banned, skipping is forbidden and Christmas is well and truly cancelled. But for Phoebe and her sausage dog Herb, is it possible that, just when things seem at their bleakest, magic awaits in the swirling, snow-filled air?  *** This beautiful story was on my to buy list for Spike from the minute I saw it. Unfortunately she doesn’t share my excitement for amazing authors just yet, so we ended up picking something else every time we were in Waterstones. Despite the amazing dragon on the cover. Spike picked it…

  • Book review for How to stop losing your sh*t with your kids by Carla Naumburg. Blog title graphic with title and an image of the book
    Book Review,  Reviews

    How To Stop Losing Your Sh*t with Your Kids – Carla Naumburg

    So, you’re losing your sh*t with your kids. You scream, you shout, you snap at them. You’re cranky and irritable more often than you’d like to admit. You know how you want to parent; you want to be a calmer, more rational and intentional parent, but no matter how hard you try, you can’t help it. You keep losing your sh*t. Just remember: YOU ARE NOT A BAD PARENT. How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids is as honest and compassionate as it is pragmatic about helping you work through your sht to be a more present and positive parent. Increasingly relevant to today’s parents, who are more…

  • Review of La Belle Savage, Book of Dust Volume 1 by Philip Pullman image shows book title and author written on green background next to image of book cover.
    Book Review

    The Book of Dust Vol 1: La Belle Sauvage – Philip Pullman

    Malcolm Polstead and his daemon, Asta, are used to overhearing news and the occasional scandal at the inn run by his family. But during a winter of unceasing rain, Malcolm finds a mysterious object—and finds himself in grave danger. Inside the object is a cryptic message about something called Dust; and it’s not long before Malcolm is approached by the spy for whom this message was actually intended. When she asks Malcolm to keep his eyes open, he begins to notice suspicious characters everywhere: the explorer Lord Asriel, clearly on the run; enforcement agents from the Magisterium; a gyptian named Coram with warnings just for Malcolm; and a beautiful woman with…

  • Again again by e Lockhart blog title graphic with title of book and image of the book cover.
    Book Review,  Reviews

    Again, Again – E Lockhart

    When Adelaide Buchman’s younger brother succumbs to a drug overdose, she saves his life. In the aftermath, looking for distraction, she becomes a stylish, bright charmer who blows off school and falls madly in love – even though her heart is shattered. Adelaide is catapulted into a summer of wild possibility, during which she will fall in and out of love a thousand times while finally confronting her brother, their history, and her own strength. A raw and funny story that will surprise you over and over, Adelaide is an indelible heroine grappling with the terrible and wonderful problem of loving other people. *** I wasn’t sure what to expect…

  • Book review: 44 Tiny Secrets by Sylvia Bishop and Ashley King
    Book Review,  Reviews

    44 Tiny Secrets – Sylvia Bishop and Ashley King

    Betsy Bow-Linnet longs to play the piano like her world-famous parents but no matter how hard she tries, the notes never come out right….  This beautifully illustrated book shows the power of secrets, and how hurtful they can be. In a story thats well told and made me think and feel in all the right places.  Aimed at 6-9 year olds, 44 Tiny Secrets is centred around a girl called Betsy who overhears the words ‘Terrible Disappointment’ from her mother and kicks her into a world of determination and more disappointment. While Betsy tries so hard to become something she’s not for her mother, she learns that its always better…

  • blog graphic with post title and I'm age of the books to be read, mentioned within the post, stacked in front of a bonsai tree
    Bookish News,  Challenges,  Lifestyle Post,  TBR Pile

    My second Isolation to be read pile

    In April I shared with you a series of books I was reading and going to read over the lockdown period. Ten weeks in and things aren’t back to normal. I doubt they ever will be. But for the time being, it means I’m getting a fair bit more read. This month’s reads May was taken up with finishing The Book of Dust Volume 1 by Phillip Pullman. It took longer than I expected, as did the Hunger Games trilogy. So I’ve only really started on this pile of reads in the last week. So I guess these will get me through June and July. Non-fiction first I try to…

  • Blog graphic with image showing all three Hunger Games books on a windowsill in front of trees
    Book Review

    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

    So years ago I read the first Hunger Games book. The hype was huge and everyone was talking about it. The film was about to come out and I had high expectations… They weren’t realised. While I liked the book, I didn’t love it. So much so that I felt no inclination to continue the series straight away. The more time that went the less I felt the need to read them. I just wasn’t interested and although everyone was shocked at the fact that someone who considered themselves a book blogger, once upon a time, hadn’t read the books – I couldn’t bring myself to pick them up. When…