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Ninja Book Box Unboxing

I took the photos for this post as soon as I got my Ninja Book Box but with having no internet and all the chores involved with moving….

So here it finally is!

August’s Ninja Book Box Unboxing

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Each months Ninja Book Box includes a welcome message, a recipe card, spoiler envelope and the lovely charm! Augusts theme was The Search and the gifts are a hint of where the book will be set:

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Included: a New York coaster and card, stickers for planners (love that idea) and Kindness cards (didn’t put them right for the photograph!) with ideas for little acts of kindness. 🙂

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There was also this lovely and very Autumnal candle holder. I’ve recently got interested in candles and have a few, including the one from the Magical Lands Ninja box which I’ve been saving for when I read the sequel to the book which featured in that box.

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And finally the book is: The Lustre of Lost Things by Sophie Chen Keller. I can always trust that the book will be perfect! This book is all about a search for a book, a book lover’s dream, sorry way too many repititions of the word ‘book’ and I’m told it’s a happy book which is what you need for the dim Autumn/Winter.

The next Ninja Book Box is in November, you can buy a one off box. Subscriptions are on hold after the November box.

I could do with starting this book now, I’m reading some intense books but I’ve aquired so many and have two being delivered. I am not reviewing anymore Netgalley books at present, I’m going to be focusing on reading the books I already own and maybe next year I will go back to reviewing on Netgalley and authors who contact me. That’s the plan anyway.

You can learn all about the Ninja Book Box on their website here the Ninjas have been very busy lately with the opening of their online bookshop and they’ve got a new box in development:

Project image for The Little Box of Calm from Ninja Book Box

I’ve pledged on Kickstarter to recieve the first box minus the book, as I already own a copy of On Anxiety from a previous Kickstarter. A Little Box of Calm is a one off box you will have to buy seperately from the Ninja Box. I love the idea, each box will feature a book and gifts related to a mental health issue. The box on Kickstarter here is for anxiety, you may or may not know that I suffer with anxiety myself and loved the idea of a little box of calm which will help me. If you suffer with anxiety or know anyone who does this is a perfect gift! Read my review of the book included in the box here.

I had a review copy of this book but I’ve backed another book from the same people On Bodies and bought a physical copy of On Anxiety as part of my pledge. It’s a good book!

If you can pledge anything to help the success of The Little Box Of Calm please do (be warned once you start backing projects it becomes an addiction), at the time of writing this blog these are the stats so far:

£531

pledged of £400 goal

20

backers

8days to go
They’re so close to reaching their goal! Mental Health is a very important issue and attitudes are changing. I can’t wait to recieve my Little Box of Calm and you’ll here all about it right here.
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A Discovery Of Witches No Spoilers

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Today is a day I’ve been waiting for. It’s the release day for A Discovery of Witches, a tv series on Sky and Now tv based on my favourite books by Deborah Harkness. I am obssessed with these books. I have all of them, including a book about the World of All Souls. I’ve read them a few times, once with the facebook group as part of the annual real time read. My books are still in boxes so I’ve had to borrow some goggle images:

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I’ve mentioned them before and will definitely be going on about them (sorry Twitter followers) again. It’s an amazing unique fantasy world with characters you will love, a world you will not want to leave. It begins with Diana finding a lost manuscript in the Bodleian library which everyone wants, she is pulled back into the magical world she didn’t want to be a part of.

Deborah Harkness is an amazing writer and she is a lovely person, always keeping fans up to date and connecting with us online.

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I watched episode one of the series this morning,whilst having breakfast, I couldn’t wait, it was on record at 2a.m.  Only fellow All Souls fans and other book or tv fans would understand how excitied I was and I did plan another blog post today but sorrry I can’t help but rave about this. I loved episode one, everything was perfect! No spoilers though.

Take a look at the Trailer here 

Not sure on the US release date I think it’s next year but the next book in the series is out next week. I was fortunate enough to pre-order a signed copy from Waterstones. So exciting.

 

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I’ve had such a crazy couple of weeks with moving and I’m still not unpacked and sorted yet but my internet is now up and running so I’m hoping to get back to normal very soon. Exciting moving and then a new series and two new books this month, Times Convert and the new Carlos Ruiz Zafon I have been waiting years to read. I really need to stop buying books now and read more but there’s just so many.

Thanks for reading my post and sticking with me during my busy time. I have a Ninja Book Box unboxing coming very soon I promise, still trying to fit everything in but you know how is goes.

Have you watched the series or read the books? No spoilers please but tell me how much you love them in the comments 🙂

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Bookish parcel one: I won a pamper from A Cornish Geek

Thanks for reading my blog today, it’s been hectic. I’ve just packed the rest of my books to realise that I missed the shelf in my living room. Oh, dear. We’ve been painting our new house ready to move in next week, wow it takes forever to paint. Whoever thought artex pain was a good idea…

I won a prize recently, I filled in a survey about one of the blogs I read A Cornish Geek and won a pamper pack! I didn’t think I would. I love reading the blog as Emma shares my love of stationary and books! Here’s what I got in my prize:

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You can’t really go wrong with tea and chocolate! I haven’t tried the ‘love’ one before but I love Chamomile and Lavender, so it might be one of my new favourites! The pens have sef-care/motivational sayings, ‘you’ve got this’ and ‘focus on you’. Lovely 🙂 I will spend an relaxing evening using my bath bomb and having some tea. The chocolate won’t last that long. I’m using soap more often now as I’m switching from cleansing gels, so great!

I also recieved a bottle of this Cornish Mead, my boyfriend and I love Mead so I guess I’ll have to let him have some:)

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And I also had this book All Rivers Run Free by Natasha Carthew.

“Brittle but not yet broken, Ia Pendilly ekes out a fierce life in a caravan on the coast of Cornwall – ravaged by floods, cut off from Europe and descended to military rule. In years of living with Bran – her embattled, battering cousin and common law husband – she’s never had her own baby. So Ia rescues the girl. And the girl, in turn, will rescue something in Ia – bringing back a memory she’s lost, giving her the strength to escape, and leading her on a journey downriver, in search of family. In hope of freedom.”- Goodreads

I was looking for more books set in Cornwall and this sounds like it’s going to be a good read. Thanks Emma, please visit her blog 🙂

Upcoming post: BOOKISH PARCEL TWO: NINJA BOOK BOX UNBOXING

Until then I hope you’re enjoying the remnants of the summer and reading some great books. I have so many books to read and so little time.  Bookworm problems, right?!

Thanks for following and reading my blog despite how quiet it’s been lately with my job and new house related chores. 🙂

 

 

 

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Review: The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

I was given a free copy of the ebook from Netgalley in exchange for a review

Synopsis from Netgalley:

From the bestselling author of The House at Riverton and The Secret Keeper, Kate Morton brings us her dazzling sixth novel, The Clockmaker’s Daughter.

My real name, no one remembers. The truth about that summer, no one else knows.

In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor on the banks of the Upper Thames. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins.

Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river. 

Why does Birchwood Manor feel so familiar to Elodie? And who is the beautiful woman in the photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets?

Told by multiple voices across time, The Clockmaker’s Daughter is a story of murder, mystery and thievery, of art, love and loss. And flowing through its pages like a river, is the voice of a woman who stands outside time, whose name has been forgotten by history, but who has watched it all unfold: Birdie Bell, the clockmaker’s daughter.

My thoughts

I love reading books by Kate Morton, I’ve enjoyed all her other books. Her stories are always compelling and written with an amazing style that brings the scenes alive. There’s usually two stories that are connected somehow and there’s always a mystery to unravel and I love them.

This book was similar, the style is faultless as ever. I was intrigued from the first page and quickly grew to like the characters of Elodie and Birdie.

I’ve always enjoyed how the author tells us multiple stories from different viewpoints but I think there were more viewpoints than usual. And I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d enjoyed the previous books by Kate Morton, I’m sad to say. There were too many characters given a voice and I found it hard to remember who they were, some of their stories were engaging and all  were connected in some way but they sometimes repeated the same information and I did wonder if the stories were neccessary to the plot.

In the end I did not feel that Elodie’s story was continued, although her future was implied and I did not feel like I’d spent enough time with her.

I think I would’ve enjoyed this more if it was only in the viewpoint of Elodie and Birdie rather than various other characters’ story being told. Despite my thoughts on this book I will still read more by Kate Morton in the future.

This is of course my opinion and I do wonder whether my enjoyment of this book was affected by my busyness of late and maybe I wasn’t in the mood for this type of book. 😦

This book will be published September 20th 

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Exciting News

I don’t usually share much about my life on here, besides my writing and my reading, I’m always concerned (probably a side effect of being an introvert) that I’ll seem self-involved or something. But I thought I’d share my thoughts and news: So me and my boyfriend have bought a house. Our first house! (I’ve been wanting to shout it from the roof tops but I have this inane fear that I would jinx it, that if I raved about it, it wouldn’t happen, yuk! sorry very bad thinking).

It was a big decision, I’m not planning on moving again. We are currently renting a small mid terraced house just off a busy main road and close to a pub. My main concern when looking at houses was that I didn’t want to move too far from my family (my father said that I’m like a homing pidgeon, but he lives in the same street as my Nan so who am I following :)) I didn’t want to have to catch buses as they are not reliable or cheap. I also wanted to make sure I could get a bus to work, or walk.

I think you have to be picky (a little), you don’t want to move then regret the distance from family or regret some aspect of the house.  I was prepared to give up my dream of a semi-detached or detached three bed house if need be but: I wanted a good size back garden and a front one too, a good size living room and kitchen. You do have to be realistic though, you can’t have everything, especially when the perfect property is way over budget. I didn’t really know where I wanted to live, my choices were limited really I wanted to avoid living near both a main road and a pub having put up with that for years.

I’ve always fancied living in this little village I live close to.  There’s nothing special about it really, the post office closed down recently, there’s about six Chinese takeaways, one chippy and two Indian restaurant/takeaways. A cafe and a random coffee shop that just opened. Mostly the shops that open don’t stay open long, there’s some that have been there for many years and probably are owned by the same people, then the convenience stores that have changed hands. So nothing amazing there.

But the houses were all way over budget. I’d have to sacrifice a lot to live there. So I wondered why did I want to live there anyway?

I think it’s just me being sentimental. When I was a child I’d walk to the library every Saturday and I’d always wanted to live there. I’m trying to recall why now, I’ve just always thought it was a lovely village and it had the library. But I don’t visit the library as often anymore, I started work and with my long shifts I struggle to find the time. Also I own a lot of books and review a lot for Netgalley etc so I never need to go there. (Sometimes I’ve checked to see if they had a book I want but they haven’t, lost or stolen usually!) I do feel guilty for not going more but that’s a post for another day.

I was asking myself about my reasonings because the place I am moving to also has a library, smaller but it’s there. It’s not far from the village either so I won’t miss out on my favourite Chinese and there’s a waffle shop (!!!) and a hairdresser. And I realised that maybe I was just holding onto this idea that didn’t mean anything, my dream would be to live by the sea (Tenby). But this is reality!

And what’s the reality? What did I give up? 🙂 The house we’ve bought has exactly what we wanted for a much cheaper price than in the village:

  • The house is maybe a 20-30 minute walk from my parents and I might end up walking to work depending on how long it takes, which is something I can’t do at the moment as it’s too long a walk.
  • It’s a three bed, semi-detached, exactly what I wanted- which I thought we wouldn’t be able to afford.
  • It’s an old house, built using local bricks (when there was still a brick yard) which means it is built a lot better than the newer houses, the walls will not be as thin as my current house (YAY!!! Peace and quiet)
  • The back garden is a perfect size, it has a small shed outside and space for another one. A lawn and also a space to use as a sort of patio. There is also a tiny pond, I’ve always wanted a pond because I used to have one as a child.
  • The front garden is paved over but there’s space to plant or whatever and there’s off road parking! I can access my back garden from the front! (sorry I live in a tiny mid terraced house this is a novelty to me)
  • I will actually have a proper washing line not a rotary thingy!!

We are so fortunate to have found this house within our price range and ticking most (if not all) of the boxes. I am so happy with the house and I can’t wait until it’s ours. We are just waiting now until we get the keys in about a fortnights time and we will then be moving shortly after. So … please again accept my apologies if I’m not blogging as much. And thanks for reading my exciting news 🙂

I can’t wait!!!!!!

I’LL FINALLY HAVE ROOM FOR MY BOOKS AND A WRITING DESK!!!!!!!!!!

Need I say more fellow book lovers/writers, need I say more?

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Currently Reading/Update

I decided to start reading the final (published, the last still hasn’t been published) Song Of Ice and Fire/Game Of Thrones book. It’s way behind the tv series and might take me a while to read. I was going to read something short but I knew I’d enjoy this.

I’m also still trying to finish The Secret Garden, which because I’ve struggled to find time to read I haven’t really got into properly.

And I started an ARC: The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton. I love Kate Morton books and I know that I will enjoy reading this book.

I may have done a bad thing deciding to read two books, but I’m behind on my ARC reads. My work hours are still crazy and add to that I will be moving very soon. Did I mention that?

To Do:

  • Write review of The Salt Path, finished reading this weeks ago
  • Continue working on short story
  • Eventually finish The Secret Garden
  • Eventually finish The Clockmaker’s Daughter
  • Proofread my post about my new house etc (wrote ages ago)
  • I really want to catch-up on reading blog posts, I’ve run out of mobile data so can’t read any on the go at the moment

I am already regretting starting reading A Dance With Dragons, I don’t know how I’ll find the time to read it. Whoops! If I can have a few hours uninterrupted reading maybe it might be possible. If the reading is possible.

How do you find the time to blog and work, especially if you work full time? And indulge in other interests, for me writing fiction?

 

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The library

“The library card is a passport to wonders and miracles, glimpses into other lives, religions, experiences, the hopes and dreams and strivings of ALL human beings, and it is this passport that opens our eyes and hearts to the world beyond our front doors, that is one of our best hopes against tyranny, xenophobia, hopelessness, despair, anarchy, and ignorance.”
–Libba Bray

The library has always been known as the quiet place, the hub and mecca for book lovers and learners. But it’s changed over the years. Librarian’s no longer tell you to “ssh” so people can read quietly or maybe write that novel (assuming you found the energy to change out of your pyjamas and face the world of course) you will hear a background noise of singing when an activity like the ‘bumps and babies’ group are on.

“Bad libraries build collections, good libraries build services, great libraries build communities.
–R. David Lankes”

But you can’t criticise, this is their way of making the library more of a community hub, some of them are actually in community centres and share the building. The library in the town I live close to- Bridgend in South Wales- was moved from a perfect location in the town centre to a community centre just outside and now when you’re sitting there trying to read or write in the quiet (or study, sorry students) you’ll hear the sounds of laughter from the swimming pool next door.

I still want the library to be a haven, a place of peace and quiet you can go to but honestly when was the last time I visited my library? When was the last time you visited yours?

When I got my library card, that’s when my life began.
–Rita Mae Brown

I used to visit the library every Saturday morning when I was a child and teen. I’d come home with an arm full of books, alway reading around five at once. I loved it. I have a lot to thank the library for I found a lot of favourite authors there. And I feel guilty that I don’t go there anymore.

When I started working my Saturdays were no longer free and I miss the routine. But it’s only the last few years I’ve stopped visiting the library. Completely stopped.

It’s probably a lot to do with not being patient, in this world of quick delivery and instant downloads. But when you have a day off you want a book to read that day, but when you can’t find anything in the library you have to wait for one to be ordered. I bought a Kindle for the instant book, a way to get free classics and save space.

But eventually I starting using the Kindle a bit less and decided that I preferred a book in my hand. My Kindle is great for ARCs and discounted ebooks and free classics. And fitting in my bag. But I still preferred buying actual physical books. But I have so many books that going to the library instead of reading the books I own seemed like a bad idea. It’s good if I want to read a book and don’t want to add another to the shelves but then I’ve gone to order one and it’s missing/lost. After this happens quite a few times I give up and end up buying the books instead.

I often think about going back, this is why I wrote this post but working more means reading less and it might take a while to finish a book, I could exceed the number of renewals and have to go to the library but then maybe won’t have time, possibly. Time to read and time to go to the library, that’s what it all comes down to in the end. Do I have time? I have a stack of books to read and reading library books will not reduce the stack.
The walk down is enough of an incentive, to get out of the house and get some fresh air. I will be moving soon but I’ll have the choice of a library almost on my doorstep or a longer walk (not too long) to the library I’ve gone to for years.

Writing this post I do miss my library and I wonder maybe I could make the effort. Order a book I keep meaning to read. After all if we don’t use them we could lose them. The library was so important to me as a child, I wonder how many children still use them today? Not just for the computers or the fun activities they host but to go home with an armful of books, an armful of different worlds and ideas.

“A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.”

[Letters of Note; Troy (MI, USA) Public Library, 1971]”
― E.B. White

If me going to the library keeps it open that’s good. But will one book make a difference? I need to get reading, reduce that to be read pile and visit my library again.
Do you visit your local library?