WWW Wednesday 13/11/19

WWW Wednesday is hosted by ‘Taking on a World of Words’ every Wednesday.

What are you currently reading?

North Child by Edith Pattou

I’ve not had much chance to read this so I’m still only about halfway through but it’s already a firm favourite, I’m absolutely LOVING it.

Skycircus by Peter Bunzl

I cannot believe its taken me this long to get to this, but I am thoroughly enjoying it so far. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed Peter’s writing.

I’m buddy reading this one with Amy, something I’ve not done before, and I’m really enjoying being able to chat about it as I read too.

The Book of Dust, vol. 2: The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman (audiobook read by Michael Sheen)

I’m not far into this yet either, but I’m enjoying it (though I’m not sure about Michael Sheen’s scouse accent 😂). I wasn’t sure what to expect from this or where it would go, and to be honest I’m still not! But I’m definitely hooked and intrigued..!

What have you just finished reading?

The Train to Impossible Places by PG Bell

This did grow on me, I ended up quite enjoying it and I’ll be reading book 2, but I didn’t love it as much as I’d hoped to though I honestly can’t say why.

His Dark Materials: The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman (audiobook read by Philip Pullman and cast)

As I said last week, this remains my least favourite of the series, but I’m glad to have re-read it before starting The Secret Commonwealth.

What will you read next?

Something else from my Believathon pile – which would you choose?!

Have you read any of these?

What are you reading at the moment?

Top Ten Tuesday – Bookmarks

For anyone who doesn’t know Top Ten Tuesday is run by That Artsy Reader Girl, who provides a weekly prompt for us to respond to with our Tuesday top tens on that theme.

This week’s theme is ‘Favourite Bookmarks’.

I am in no way organised enough for bookmarks! Any I have I lose, and even if I do know where they are, they’re never where I need them when I need them! So, a light-hearted, fave five take on today’s prompt…

1. Receipts. Since I always have a bag full, these are my most often used place holders.

2. The blurby sheet that publishers often send with books. If I’m starting a new book that’s been sent to me accompanied by info that quite often ends up as my bookmark, at least to begin with.

3. Bus tickets. Something else I often have on me that has all the right properties for a bookmark. In it goes.

4. Free bookmarks. A bit like the publisher blurb, if a book comes with a bookmark it often gets used (just not always in that book and quite often months later when it randomly turns up on a stack of books)

5. My tortoise paper clip. OK, this one is my actual favourite bookmark and it’s usually buried in the bottom of my bag which I almost always have nearby, so I don’t know why I don’t use it more often!

Do you use a bookmark…or are you a corner folder?!

Six for Sunday – Blue Books

Six for Sunday is Steph at alittlebutalot‘s creation with a prompt each week to blog about.

Today’s prompt is:

Books with Blue Covers

A book for all ages – The Fox and The Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith

Just gorgeous (though not as satisfyingly wry as The Bird and the Worm!)

A picture book – Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers

I don’t mention Oliver Jeffers nearly enough when talking about my favourite picture books and picture book authors. This is up there!

An early chapter book – The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson

Speaking of favourites – I grew up with Plop. He has a firm place in both mine and my mum’s hearts!

An MG book – The Time of Green Magic by Hilary McKay

I really loved this, but I think it’s been a bit under-rated! It has such a cosy feel for this time of year. You can read my review of it here.

A YA bookHis Dark Materials vol. 1: Northern Lights

Another favourite! I’ve just finished my re-read of the trilogy so had to pick this one. Not sure yet what I think of the TV series – anyone else watching it?

An adult book – The Binding by Bridget Collins

Atmospheric, historic, gothic and bookish – even the fact that it’s a love story in disguise couldn’t put me off! You can read my review here.

Library Loves Book Tag

It’s been an absolute age since I last posted a Library Love post with Peapod’s recent library picks, so ahead of (hopefully) getting them up and running again next week, I thought I’d share this Library Loves book tag which I saw on Charlotte’s blog. I’m not going to tag anyone but if you fancy doing it, consider yourself tagged!

1. When did you first go to the library / get a library card?

I don’t remember exactly when but trips to the library were an integral part of my childhood. We used to go every Saturday, running up the big outside wall/slope in place of the steps (failing for years until I was finally able to get up it!) and choosing new books with our lovely librarians, Jackie and Diane.

I have fond memories of writing (yes, actually writing on a card!) request after request for Point Horror and Christopher Pike books in my “tween” years and of helping at the summer clubs when I was older again.

2. How often do you use your library?

I don’t take books out for myself these days as I have too many to get through as it is! But we take Peapod regularly, usually every week, sometimes every fortnight. He’s not short of books at home either (!!) but I want him to love those trips to choose new books as much as I used to! Plus, use it or lose it!

3. Have you ever had a late or lost library book?

Late, yes – I am AWFUL for returning books on time! I don’t *think* I’ve ever lost one though.

4. What’s your favourite thing about your library?

The books of course! Finding new (to me) books that I wouldn’t find in the shops, sharing stories with Peapod and seeing him start to pick out ones he likes the look of.

I don’t really know our librarians now, but they were one of my favourite things about our library growing up too. They made it such a lovely place to be, always had a smile and a hello ready and truly nurtured my love of reading.

5. Are you a browser or do you plan what you’re taking out?

A bit of both. When it comes to Peapod’s books, it’s pure spur of the moment choosing.

If/when I do take books out for myself, I like to browse for any that catch my eye but usually have a list if books or authors on me to look for in case nothing grabs me.

6. Name a book you took a chance on from the library?

I honestly can’t remember a specific one, but I have been pleasantly surprised and introduced to new authors lots of times through random library picks.

7. What is the best book you read from the library?

See above!

8. Have you ever taken the same book out multiple times?

Yes, I did this a lot as a child, in particular Jill Murphy’s On the Way Home, Berlie Doherty’s Tilly Mint and the Dodo and Dodie Smith’s Starlight Barking.

9. Have you read a good book set in a library?

The Shadow of the Wind has the Cemetery of Lost Booksbif that counts? I think that’s a great book.

And I love the Skybrary in Sarah Driver’s Sky, the Librarian at Discworld’s Unseen University and the library in the Mayor’s House that Liesel ‘borrows’ from in The Book Thief.

10. Have you used your library’s ebook and audiobook options?

Yes, although not often as there’s often a wait for popular titles and brand new ones take a while to be added to it. But there are a lot available and it’s a great service.

11. Which is the best library you’ve been to?

I have to second Charlotte’s vote for Liverpool library here as its a fabulous building and I have good memories of using this library often when I was at uni/living in Liverpool. But my favourite really has to be Irby library, the little library I grew up with!

12. What would make you use your local library more?

Having more time to read or getting through my towering TBR pile!

Have you been to your library recently?

Bad Nana: That’s Snow Business

I was lucky enough to request and receive a copy of this from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own.

Bad Nana: That’s Snow Business by Sophy Henn

When the first Bad Nana book (Older not Wiser) came out it immediately piqued my interest. With a naughty Nana whose heart is in the right place, an incredibly likeable narrator whose voice was funny and believable, and eye-popping pink, white and black illustrations throughout alongside funky use of font style and size – I was totally sold.

So I was very excited to see Bad Nana back for a winter adventure, and even more excited to see that my copy had been signed!!

There’s a Winter Wonderland Variety Show and everyone is very excited to try out for it. Adults will likely find the descriptions of the ventriloquist, recorder and Disney dance moves acts just as funny (if not more so) as young readers and the book captures perfectly the feel of such a show – the nerves, the excitement, the competition that shouldn’t exist but definitely does, the ‘am-dram’ organisation and of course the “stage with swishy red curtains, which we are NEVER allowed on normally because the grown ups think we are all idiots and woukd immediately fall off.”

Bad Nana starts off helping Jeanie and her friends (and her younger brother Jack, against her wishes!) to rehearse and prepare – after all, one of her many past jobs was in showbiz! – but soon becomes swept away with the” razzle dazzle” and, along with old friend from the stage, Bobby Truelove (what a name!) she’s soon got her sights set on Winter Wonderland stardom and will stop at nothing to get there!

Bad Nana is such a brilliant character, as is our narrator, 7 3/4 year old Jeanie. It’s lovely to see Jeanie realising how alike she is to Bad Nana – don’t be fooled by her mischievous ways, she’s got a heart of gold has our BN! – and plenty to chuckle at along the way.

With enough of the familiar and funny to engage young readers, there’s also a dollop of warmth and a message of understanding that gives the book depth without it becoming didactic or sweet. This is a brilliant instalment to a brilliant series. Bad Nana is THE (snow) business!

WWW Wednesday 6/11/19

WWW Wednesday is hosted by ‘Taking on a World of Words’ every Wednesday.

What are you currently reading?

North Child by Edith Pattou

I only started this yesterday but absolutely LOVE it already. It’s all set to become a favourite!

The Train to Impossible Places by PG Bell

It has taken me SO long to get round to this! I’m just under halfway through and I’m still undecided but it’s definitely growing on me…!

His Dark Materials: The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman (audiobook read by Philip Pullman and cast)

This is still my least favourite of the trilogy which is probably why it’s taking me the longest to get through. There’s parts I do really like, like the World of the Dead, No Name etc, but the Mary Malone and Mulefa side of the story just doesn’t do it for me.

What have you just finished reading?

Since my last WWW Wednesday I’ve read all sorts, but I covered most of those in my Autumn overviews. Since then, I’ve just read

Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver

I really liked the idea of this, and I enjoyed the way the story unfolded and the parts written from Maud’s perspective. But I did find the parts taken from the old diary and her father’s notebook dragged a bit and felt a bit repetitive.

What will you read next?

Skycircus by Peter Bunzl

Looking forward to buddy reading this one with Amy and finishing the trilogy finally!

The Book of Dust, vol. 2: The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman (audiobook read by Michael Sheen)

I have the special edition signed hardback of this, but will get to it sooner on audio and I really enjoyed Michael Sheen’s reading of La Belle Sauvage so I’m looking forward to listening to this.

Have you read any of these?

What are you reading at the moment?

Top Ten Tuesday – Autumn

So, a bit like Six for Sunday, I always really enjoy reading people’s TTT posts and often think I’ll join in…then never seem to manage it. I doubt I’ll manage every week, but I’m going to try and take part when I can!

For anyone who doesn’t know Top Ten Tuesday is run by That Artsy Reader Girl, who provides a weekly prompt for us to respond to with our Tuesday top tens on that theme.

This week’s is

Books that Give off Autumn Vibes.

I’d been planning a similar post anyway in order to share Peapod’s autumn reads, so this week it’ll be mostly about picture and board books, but most weeks I’ll either go all out MG or a mixture!

Board Books

1. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

The story itself is still a bit long for Peapod’s short attention span, but he loves the character of the Gruffalo!

He especially likes his bag of Gruffalo primers and playing with the puppet book.

2.Woodland Sounds by Sam Taplin and Federica Iossa

Peapod is a big fan of these sound books, we have the Garden and Zoo ones too, and I know we’ll end up getting more! He loves pressing the sensors to hear the sounds on each page and looking at the bright, colourful and busy pictures as we point out and name flora and fauna in them.

3. Can You Say it Too? Twit! Twoo! by Sebastian Braun

This is another absolute favourite and it’s testament to the durability of the flaps that, although they’re a bit creased and well-handled, they’re not torn or coming apart from the page in any way despite daily reading at least! We also have ‘Roar! Roar!’ and it’s another series we’ll definitely get more of.

The pictures are gorgeous and Peapod loves folding the flaps down to find the animals, matching the pictures to his wooden animals and hearing and trying to copy all the animal sounds/actions as we read (he does an excellent owl!)

Trying to make his wooden owl hoot!

4. That’s Not My…Owl/Squirrel/Hedgehog

Peapod is not as interested in these now he’s getting a bit bigger (or maybe it’s just that he’s had SO many of them for SO long!) but he does still like to get a few down from the shelf at once and flit between them now and then and these are the three most seasonal that he has on his autumn shelf downstairs!

5. Wow! Said the Owl/Wow! It’s Night-time by Tim Hopgood

Peapod has a real thing for owls and can often be heard “ooo-ooo”-ing and found playing with his owl toys, so these books tie in perfectly. With Tim Hopgood’s gorgeous use of texture and colour, they’re lovely books to share.

6. Tree by Britta Teckentrup

Another absolutely stunning book. While it’s not technically autumnal as it covers all four seasons and their comings and goings, it’s autumn spreads are wonderful and it features, as it’s star, an owl in the centre of the tree, in one of the many peep-through parts of the book which are fab as they increase and decrease with the changing seasons to reflect all the life in the tree. A wonderful book about nature that we’ll be enjoying for years to come!

Picture Books

7. Pumpkin Soup/A Pipkin of Pepper/Delicious by Helen Cooper

Helen Cooper’s Pumpkin Soup trilogy are real favourites of mine and what could be better for this time of year than stories about a cist cottage in the woods where friends share hot, tasty soup?! Not to mention the autumnal colours and warmth in those illustrations!

8. Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson

A gorgeous, warm and onomatopoeiac book full of the colours, sounds and scenes of autumn.

9. Percy the Park Keeper – After the Storm

I wrote on Sunday about how One Snowy Night is perfect for winter, and this is my go-to Percy book for Autumn! Stormy weather, falling leaves and woodland creatures, plus look at this beautiful fold out tree…

OK, so that’s only, but it’s actually at least 14 because I’ve put sequels and similar titles in together! If I had to pick another to round it up, I’d go a bit older and choose Claire Barker’s Picklewitch and Jack books!