Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Richard Branson

Reach for the Skies
Author: Richard Branson
ISBN: 978-1-905264-91-9

Reach for the Skies: Ballooning, Birdmen and Blasting into Space

Hi Everyone,

This book was totally out of my comfort zone!  I have no idea what even made me pick the book off the library shelf in the first place, let alone why I continued to read it.  It so isn't me.... but it was really good.  Yes it is worth taking a look at. 

For starts, I haven't come across many books that will talk in such depth about ballooning.  I have learnt plenty about the history of the plane, through my school days, but I cannot say the teachers ever touched on ballooning.  With the additional information about Richard Branson scattered throughout the book, I found this chapter and the final chapter on the future the most interesting.

I think the only reason I picked up the book was because it was by Richard Branson.  In fact if it didn't have his face on the cover I may have missed out on a good piece of writing, both historical and futuristic.  There were plenty of pictures to help me stay interested.  I would have liked more pictures but then again they can distract me from the text.  

With the snippets of information about Richard Branson, and the history connected to the future of space aviation, I found this book quite an informative read from many angles.  For anyone interest in aviation this book is for you.  For the likes of me who thinks of a plane as a form or transport, I think you will still find something of interest within the pages.  

Give it a go...  Pick up a book that you wouldn't normally pick up this week. 

This was available from: Fishpond, Amazon, and Book depository

Happy reading

Monday, 22 May 2017

The magicians workshop

The Magicians Workshop
Author: Hansen .  Fehr

The Magician's Workshop, Volume One

Hi Everyone,

I was given this book and have finally had the chance to enter the world within the pages.  I particularly enjoyed the magical creations and reality behind them.  It was within the first few pages that we are given a taste of these magical talents.  I thought it was what gave the book life.

This book will be enjoyed by many young readers.  When I first started reading I thought it could have gravitated towards a similarity of Harry Potter, but I was wrong.  This book is unique.  I don't think I have read anything that I could say has a similar storyline even though I have read many fantasy novels. 

What I did find was there are numerous characters to keep up with.  I had to keep reading to find out what happened to each.  There were a few times that I wondered what had happened to a character as the author introduced a new group of characters.  By the end the book I had the characters under control and was left needing to read the next novel.  This is a series, and one of which you do need to keep reading to find out the end of the story.  The plot, which the series is gravitating towards, is not answered within this first book but it will be what will make this a successful series.

Description:

Everyone in the islands of O’Ceea has a magical ability: whatever they imagine can be brought into existence. Whoever becomes a master over these powers is granted the title of magician and is given fame, power, riches, and glory. This volume of books follows the journey of a group of kids as they strive to rise to the top and become members of the Magician’s Workshop.

Layauna desperately wants to create beautiful things with her magical powers, but all she can seem to do is make horrible, savage monsters. For years she has tried to hide her creations, but when her power is at last discovered by a great magician, she realises that what she’s tried to hide might actually be of tremendous value.

Kai just wants to use his powers to have fun and play with his friends. Unfortunately, nearly everyone on his island sees him as a bad influence, so he’s forced to meet them in secret. When one of the creatures they create gets out of control and starts flinging fireballs at their town, Kai is tempted to believe that he is as nefarious as people say. However, his prospects change when two mysterious visitors arrive, praising his ability and making extraordinary promises about his future.

Follow the adventures of Kai, Layauna, and a boatload of other characters as they struggle to grow up well in this fantastical world.


This was available from Amazon


Happy reading

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Saturday, 20 May 2017

The outsiders

The Outsiders
Author: S. E. Hinton
ISBN: 9780140385724


The Outsiders

Hi Everyone,

It's the weekend!  What are you doing with your weekend?  Do you have a good book that I should be adding to my lists?

I spent the start of my weekend at a course, and I was thrown into a half hour class with a Hungarian speaking teacher who progressed to teach us Hungarian.  I didn't see it coming!  He started the class in Hungarian and spoke every word as such.  I was in the 'deep end' and so frustrated, intrigued and excited all the same time.  It was only half an hour, but I left with a head ache and appreciation for someone who doesn't completely know English when I jabber away to them.  By the time I got home I know a few Hungarian phases which I spoke all the way home, with an excitement that I couldn't wait to share.

I live in a multi cultural country which brings many different cultural dynamics.  The Outsiders demonstrates social-economic and cultural differences from a teens point of view.  I watched the movie from this book many years ago and loved it.  In fact, funny as it may seem, the Outsiders movie is what gave me a love for poetry as Pony Boy quoted Robert Frosts Nothing Gold Can Stay
The teens in this book are just living, doing their best, innocent.  But life takes them down paths that they don't really ask for.  I feel for them every step of the way.  I would love to have reached out and plucked them from the book, especially Pony Boy and Johnny, and given them a home and family.  But then again they had a home and family.  Not a picture book family, maybe not a totally functional family.  But what is family when your parents are gone?

The Outsiders touched a part of my years ago through my TV screen.  Now I've read the book and it touched me again through written word.  I think I would class this as a must read.  It really is worthy of ready.


Description:

What defines a family? That is the underlying question in the life of Pony Boy Curtis. When his parents die in a car wreck, he comes to depend on the love, friendship and support of his two older brothers and a gang of friends defined by poverty, bad attitudes and long greasy hair. The gang, called greasers, carry on a long-standing war with a group of rich kids, known as Socs, a fight fueled by ignorance and prejudice.

An American coming-of-age classic, a story of friendship and social prejudice among a gang of friends.  




  • This classic, written by S. E. Hinton when she was 16 years old, is as profound today as it was when it was first published in 1967.  —  Amazon


  • This was available from: Fishpond, Amazon, and Book depository


    Happy reading






    Thursday, 18 May 2017

    Oh no! Winter has arrived!

    Creative Wisdom for Writers
    Author: Roland Fishman
    ISBN: 1-86508-336-4


    Hi Everyone,

    Winter has arrived here!  One minute the sun was shining and I was about to mow the lawns.... Then the rain came, the thunder, the lightning and wind followed within minutes. That was yesterday and it still hasn't calmed. 

    But never fear 😀 I am prepared! 

    It may only be 6 degrees out side (Celsius here) but there is always a bright side.  I have plenty of water in my water tank now so I can take nice long hot showers or have a bubble bath.  I have my fire going, so I am warm as toast. I have been on Youtube and started a new craft - a throw for my room.  And I have been to the library, of which I wasn't going to bring home any books... oops.

    At the library I picked up this little book Creative Wisdom for Writers.  This is an adorable little book full of quotes for the writer.  Well, I would argue that it is for the writer; I think they are genuine everyday quotes that are applicable to everyone but it has been presented with the writer in mind.

    This is how the book works... the left hand page has a purpose, the right hand page has the quote.

    Example: Page 152 simply has 'Dream'.

    Page 153 -  Quote -
    'We read a few words at the beginning of the book or the particular story, and suddenly we find ourselves seeing not words on a page but a train moving through Russia, an old Italian crying, or a farmhouse battered by rain - John Gardner".

    The book is delightful and I would like a copy for coffee table. 

    Well, what do you have planned for your day?  Is is winter or summer?  Do you curl up inside or take to the fresh air?  We all live in different areas of the world, but it is nice being connected with you all through the books we are enjoying.

    Happy reading


    Wednesday, 17 May 2017

    Tuesday, 16 May 2017

    New to booktube


    Hi Everyone,

    I have managed to stumble across Elizabeth over at her chanel "Elizabeth's Shelf Life".  She is new to the booktube world and I am really enjoying her clips.  She reads all sorts of books including adult!  Awesome Elizabeth, we need more booktubers with a wide genre and age group in there clips. I really like this about her clips as I read a wide range of genres rather than sticking to the same old norm that everyone else is reading around me... it makes reading interesting and I am sure it will make her clips interesting.

    She has a maturity about her that I think I am going to enjoy.  At the moment she only 7 clips up but they are regularly being put up which means that each time I look in on her she seems to have something new to inform me about. 

    Take a look at the above clip as she tells you a lot about herself and what she is wanting from her channel. 

    I will be watching Elizabeth with hope that she continues on with her booktubing adventure.

    All the best Elizabeth!

    Happy reading



    Monday, 15 May 2017

    Proper goodbye

    Proper Goodbye
    Author: Connie Chappell
    ISBN: 9781612967806

    Proper Goodbye

    Hi Everyone,

    This is the second book I have read by this author and I have enjoyed them both. 

    What I enjoyed the most about this book was the realism.  The characters and plot were realistic and I found myself sensing the emotions as I travelled through the pages.  As Bebee lost her position in the church and went though her own religious trials, I could feel her grief and the questioning of her choice of employment in the first instance.  Then she found out about the loss of her mother, whom had many issues and had made lots of bad choices which had effected Bebee, I quikcly became drawn to Bebee's character.  She wanted to fix her father, but had things to fix within herself and the writing of this novel portrayed all this in such a way that it was real and more than a plot line.

    Cliff, Bebee's father, was a brilliant peice of artistry in Connie Chappell's writing.  Every emotion he had seem raw.  Although he hid behind the past, trapped in the past, he was angry yet gentle all ta the same time.  He seemed to deal with the loss of his wife, and the past, as any man would. 

    The other characters seemed to drift in and out of the story, all fitting in to bring the plot to a closure as questions were answered and things brought together in final chapters.  There were twists that kept me turning the pages, even at times becoming tempted to skip read to find where the story was leading me.

    I like Connie Chappell's writing.  She writes with realism and innocence both of which draws me to her novels and the characters within.


    Description:

    Sunday, 14 May 2017

    Mothers know best...


    Hi Everyone,

    Happy Mothers Day!

    To all you who had it yesterday like my country... I hope you had a brilliant day with your children (no matter how young or old they may be)  My day was great.  I was well looked after, the housework was done for me and I finished a book.  What more can one ask for?

    Well, I wish you a lovely day where ever you are and what ever you end up doing.  And, take time to sit, relax and read a little, if only a page or two.  It is amazing how you can take your mind off things with the simple act of reading.

    Happy reading



    Friday, 12 May 2017

    A tale to two cities

    A Tale of Two Cities
    Author: Charles Dickens
    ISBN: 9780141439600

    A Tale of Two Cities


    Hi Everyone

    Welcome to the weekend!  Well, it may be only creeping up on you, but where I am it is the weekend, and I am so pleased.

    Anyway, enough with the facts.  What about my position on A Tale of Two Cities.  I love this book!  I would be bold enough to say I place it at the top of my list of favourite classics - right at the top.  When I first picked this up I thought it was dull.  I had to keep reading it because I had an essay to write on the stupid novel.  Well, that was my first opinion.  I couldn't have been more wrong with my first impressions.  If you are reading this and finding it a little slow and heavy - keep reading.

    By the middle - yes, it took me till about the middle - I started to want to know answers.  There are so many twists in this book.  I loved it!

    By the end - I was ready to re-read it.  I will read this again, so I guess that makes it a classic.  I have talked to some my friends who have only read the first few chapters.  Some them have read the first few chapters on several occasions, and still never finished the book.  I really recommend sticking with this past, probably the middle - at least.  And maybe read it a second time to get more respect for the writing.  It was through writing an essay that I think I really fell in love with A Tale of Two Cities.  Writing an essay is not my favourite pass time, but I am pleased I had to write on this novel otherwise I wouldn't have read it. 

    Seriously, I found the first few chapters like chewing dry old meat, but by the end I had it on my favourite classic list.... right at the top. 


    Description:

    After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the ageing Doctor Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There the lives of two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil roads of London, they are drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror, and they soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine.

    This edition uses the text as it appeared in its serial publication in 1859 to convey the full scope of Dickens's vision, and includes the original illustrations by H. K. Browne ('Phiz'). Richard Maxwell's introduction discusses the intricate interweaving of epic drama with personal tragedy.


    This is available at all good book stores, Amazon, Fishpond, and Book depository

    Happy reading

    Thursday, 11 May 2017

    Think! Before it's too late

    Think! Before It's Too Late
    Author: Edward De Bono
    ISBN: 9780091924096
    Think!: Before It's Too Late


    Hi Everyone

    I have been all over the country side over the last couple of days, so I only managed to listen to my audio books.  There is a place for audio books, especially in the car.  So have for you just a quick review on what I have been doing in my little literacy world and it comes form what I have listened to in my car...

    What better to listen to than a book that makes you think about how you think!

    Something we do every day without even thinking about how we put things together or if we could even change the dynamics of thinking from what what discovered centuries ago.  This is what interested me most about this book.  Philosophy and how human thought was big business... once.  Yes, today we study the brain and know so much about it, more than ever before.  But, how often do we as individuals examine our thinking process and prospectives.

    I will listen this again. 

    I will get different from the process next time. 

    I wish I had more time to listen this now and tell you more.

    Or

    You could go to Bolinda Box and download it from your library

    Just like I did!


    Description:

    The world is full of problems and conflicts. So why can we not solve them? According to Edward de Bono, world thinking cannot solve world problems because world thinking is itself the problem. And this is getting worse: we are so accustomed to readily available information online that we search immediately for the answers rather than thinking about them. Our minds function like trying to drive a car using only one wheel. There's nothing wrong with that one wheel - conventional thinking - but we could all get a lot further if we used all four...De Bono examines why we think the way we do from a historical perspective and uses some of his famous thinking techniques, such as lateral thinking, combined with new ideas to show us how to change the way we think. If we strengthen our ability and raise our thinking level, other areas of our life - both personal and business success - will improve. De Bono is the master of the original big 'concept' book and his enticement to us to use our minds as constructively as possible should appeal to a whole new

    Happy reading






    Available on Bolinda Box and from: Fishpond, and Book depository 

    Tuesday, 9 May 2017

    Here's a thought


    Here's a thougt to ponder today. 

    This came for a book first published in 1936 and is still selling strong.  I read it years ago and have picked it up again reading from a different perspective.  I will review it for your soon.

    Happy reading




    Monday, 8 May 2017

    The truth about Magic

    The Truth About Magic
    Author: Dave Luckett

    The Truth about Magic

    Hi Everyone,

    I listened to this on Bolinda Box and really enjoyed it.  The voices were well suited to the characters and the audio was the perfect length.

    In the beginning Mr Tipkins hands out gifts to two babies but his magic is too powerful, making the truth come to light right through the book.  I thought this concept was brilliant for teaching children the value of truth.  As I listened to the story I connected with Mr Tipkins and the children.  I like their values and gifts. But... I became quite annoyed with the rest of the characters (only because of the deception and pompous attitudes).  Don't be concerned about my irks, it brought to the surface the character values of the children and Mr Tipkins, exactly what I would want my children to be experiencing while listening it.

    I think I liked everything about this little audio, right down to the character irks that were really from the presentation of the book as a whole.  The plot, characters, scenery, theme, they all connected well. 

    I listened as I cooked tea each night and it did take the work out 'cooking'.  You should try it.  Go to Bolinda Box in your Playstore and download the app to your phone.  Connect in with your library card, download a book or two and start reading. 


    Description:

    When Mr Tipkins, a gift-giver from the Department of Wishes of Faerie, arrives to give a wish to a newborn baby in the village of Widdershins, he isn't in the best of moods. His uncharacteristic burst of bad temper begins a chain reaction that has consequences no-one can foresee. The Truth about Magic is a story of mistakes and of deception, of wizards (good and bad), and of what happens when perfectly ordinary wishes go wrong.

    Happy reading

    Thursday, 4 May 2017

    But...


    Hi Everyone,

    The weekend is almost upon us again.  It has rained most of the week but the forcast is for good weather for Saturday and Sunday.  Today's quote is by Maya Angelou.  Her books include:
    • Letter to my daughter
    • I know why the caged bird sings
    • The heart of a woman
    • Mom & me and Mom
    • Gather together in my name
    • The complete collected poems
    • Wouldn't take nothing for my journey now
    • All God's children need traveling shoes
    And more, which you can find a list of on Goodreads

    I hope you have a good book ready for the weekend.

    Happy reading




    Wednesday, 3 May 2017

    App zone

    Hi Everyone,

    I have had a few people ask me what I use to present the quotes I have throughout my blog.  So I bring you today, my quote secrets.

    Well I guess it isn't really a big secret, rather just a couple of brilliant apps which I got from Play Store.

    The one use the most is Wordswag


    I find this one has loads of pictures and backgrounds to select and you can also add your own pictures.  Then you type in your text, click on the font and select colour of font.  You can move the font anywhere on the screen and change the size.  Wordswag is a Play Store purchase, but I have found it worth the price.

    The other App I like is InstaQuote


    InstaQuote is simple to use, and comes with selected backgrounds, or use your own.  You can purchase extra backgrounds as in app purchases.  Once again you select a background, type in text and select font.  The fonts and backgrounds are more limited than Wordswag but I like them.  InstaQuote is free on Play Store.


    So there you have two apps, one free and one for a small price.  I use both and have found Wordswag worth the purchase price.  Instaquote is free but has in app purchases available. 


    Other than InstaQuote and Wordswag ... I simply use Microsoft Publisher.


    There are many more apps available for making words come alive.  I have just found these ones work for me so I haven't ventured much further.  If you have recommendations I would love to hear about them so leave me a comment.

    Happy reading



    Tuesday, 2 May 2017

    The dragon hunters

    The Dragon Hunters
    Author: James Russell
    Illustrations: Link Choi
    ISBN: 978-0-473-24976-2
    The Dragon Hunters (The Dragon Brothers Trilogy, #1)
    Hi Everyone,

    I was out shopping a few days ago and entered one of my favourite book stores - Young Reflections.  Once again I didn't manage to leave the store without a book (or two... shh).

    The Dragon Hunters is part of a trilogy, in children's picture flat.  This is the first trilogy that I have seen in children's picture flat format.  Then to top it off the children in this trilogy grow up and have a paperback novel.  Yes! Seriously, it is brilliant.  I will review the novel for you once my son is finished with it and finally shares it with me.

    That's just the start...

    When you open the front cover you find a map...


    Download the app that accompanies it and the map comes alive for the young reader.

    There are sounds, it's three dimensional and movement.  Yes movement, they can see the dragon flying and the kids running around the map.  I am most impressed with the concept of the app to bring alive the book even more for children.

    I enjoyed the story too.  Always an added bonus.

    You can find more about these books on their website dragonbrothersbooks.com/ or better yet if you ever get a chance take a trip into Young Reflections their shop is one of my favourite for children's books.

    This is available from Young reflections (my copy was even signed by the author)


    Description:

    When a passing dragon flies off with their family dog, brothers Flynn and Paddy go to the rescue.


    Happy reading





    Monday, 1 May 2017

    This quote is from the classic - To Kill a Mockingbird.


    Happy reading

    Sunday, 30 April 2017

    The Grumpface

    The Grumpface
    Author: B.C.R. Fegan
    Release date: 1 May 2017



    Hi Everyone,

    I had the pleasure of being contacted by B.C.R Fegan he author of The Grumpface and being allowed a copy of this brilliant picture book.  First opinion was from the cover, of which I smiled and took off around the house to show my kids.  First impressions are always a good start.

    I opened the book to find the most amazing, captivating, brightly coloured illustrations.  I give top credits to the illustrator D. Frongia.  The facial impressions of the characters are priceless, they told the story even without reading it.  This is always good when you have a little one who wants to sit looking at a book and making up their own story because they can't read the words.

    Now, as for the wording.  The Grumpface has obviously had hours of thought gone into the writing.  The rhyme.  Every two lines rhyme.  I give here an extract to show you the brilliance to show you:

    He turned and led Dan to a very high peak.
    "Across this volcano is the freedom you seek.

    Your next task is simple, but you'd better be bold.
    You cross by this bridge, but you do it blindfold."

    I want to give you more! But all I can give you is my advice, get a copy.  Especially if you have little ones.  The illustrations will grab them, the wording will roll off your tongue and they will want you to keep reading, the story line had a good moral.  What more do you want from a children's book??

    Look, I have to give you two more lines because I just read them again and had to giggle at the thought and word play:

    He'd invented some shoes: though they weren't to appealing.
    Their grip was so strong he could walk on the ceiling.

    If I give you anymore I will risk getting in trouble!  Can you see I have really enjoyed this book?

    Anyway here is the description and a little about the author...


    Description:

    Dan is a young inventor in love. He ventures into a forest looking for a rose but instead finds the mysterious Grumpface who threatens to hold him captive unless he passes some difficult challenges. What follows is a humorous adventure that neither Dan nor the Grumpface could have anticipated.

    The Grumpface is a tale in the spirit of any grand adventure. It is about a clumsy young inventor’s quest for love, and the challenges he must face to find it. But it is also a tale of bravery, absurdity and happiness, and the power of these qualities over negativity and sheer grumpiness.

    Every parent will be acquainted with their own little ‘grumpface’ now and then. This story stands as a small piece of hope – that no matter how ingrained the grump, there will always remain in every one of us a smile or a laugh just waiting to come out.

    About the Author:

    BCR Fegan is an Australian author who has written a number of fairy tales and fantasies for children and young adults.

    Raised on a small hobby farm only minutes from some of Australia’s greatest beaches, Fegan grew up inspired by the power of natures ambience. From the intensity of the frequent summer storms, to the overwhelming serenity of a lonely beach in the early hours of the morning. His ravenous appetite for both reading and writing soon saw him drawing on the transformational influence of the world around him to craft short stories, poems and picture books


    Available 1 May 2017 from:




    Additonal Link:




    Happy reading

    Saturday, 29 April 2017


    Hi Everyone,

    This quote comes from Freya North's Chances. Her other titles include:
    • Rumors
    • Secrets
    • Pillow talk
    • Home Truths
    • Fen
    • Pip
    • Sally
    • Chloe
    • Polly
    • Cat
    • The turning point
    • Love rules
    • The way back home

    Happy reading