WWW Wednesday 31/7/19

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

What are you currently reading?

The Last Spell Breather by Julie Pike, illustrated by

I’ve nearly finished this, it’s been a quick read (by my standards!) but possibly in part because I’ve skimmed a bit. I have enjoyed it, but I have to confess it hasn’t really grabbed me. I’m not as immersed on the world or as invested in the characters as I’d like to be and while the magic and spells are original, a lot of it feels a little ‘done’ or predictable.

Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens

I’m enjoying this, as I’ve enjoyed them all do far, though I have to say I’m not as gripped by this one yet, I think because boarding school life and the relationships and dynamics between the girls are pretty dominant. But, I’m not very far in yet and I’m still looking forward to trying to guess ‘whodunnit’!

Circe by Madeleine Miller, audiobook read by Perdita Weeks

I’m still listening and still enjoying despite not finding much time to listen.

What have you just finished reading?

First Class Murder by Robin Stevens (ebook)

I really enjoyed this, I thought the setting of the Orient Express was so much fun and I liked seeing a bit more of Hazel’s background and personality too. I got a bit closer to guessing this time but I think Daisy would still take a dim view of my detecting skills!

The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson, illustrated by Kathrin Honesta.

As I’ve mentioned before, I didn’t get the gushing over The House With Chicken Legs, which was a solid ‘ok’ here. So I was keen to read this, but my expectations were firmly in check.

I loved it. I’ll post a proper review over the next week or two, but it was simply wonderful. I felt it had a depth THWCL lacked, while still being very accessible and readable, and I found I got behind Yanka in a way I never really did with Marinka.

I loved the way it was told through stories within the story, I really sank into the tales that were told. I think Sophie Anderson’s passion for folk and fairytales really shines through in this.

Princess BMX by Marie Basting

This wasn’t my usual choice of read but I was pleasantly surprised. It feels very much like the debut it is, there were many little things I couldn’t get on with. But that said, there was a lot to enjoy too. A great, modern adventure that draws on fairytales and magic too. Lots of fun and just right for that tricky move into chapter books.

What will you read next?

Audio

It’ll be a while before I finish Circe I think, but no idea – any audiobooks you’ve loved?

E-book

I’ll be working my way through the Murder Most Unladylike series!

Physical copy

I have Katherine Rundell’s ‘Why You Should Read Children’s Books Even Though You Are So Old and Wise’ as well as another, longer book along similar lines – Fierce Bad Rabbits by Claire Pollard. So I’m going to squeeze them in if I can whilst also trying to bring the toppling tbr under control!

Have you read any of these?

What are you reading at the moment?

Where the River Runs Gold

I requested and received a free copy of this from the publishers in exchange for honest reviews. Opinions and views are all my own.

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Where the River Runs Gold by Sita Brahmachari, illustrated by Evan Hollingdale

I was initially dubious of this. I’d heard from a friend what it was about and it sounded remarkably similar (I’m putting that kindly) to How To Bee, a less well-known book that I loved, so I was worried that this was going to be a bit of a rip off but one that totally over-shadowed the original (Waterstones Book of the Month, more well-known author and publisher etc.)

Luckily, I needn’t have worried. While both books stem from the idea that crops, insects (particularly bees and other pollinators) and flora/fauna in general are dying out and while there are some overlaps because of this (children being used as pollinators for example) they take very different approaches and are written in very different styles, with different themes and directions.

In fact, far from hating this the way I feared I might, I really, REALLY loved it – it’s gone straight into my favourite books of the year (along with Rumblestar and Wild Folk Rising – I think while totally different from Wild Folk Rising it has that same love of nature and folklore that is present in the Stargold Chronicles, which is possibly why I feel the same way about it).

This is one of those books that’s incredibly frustrating (in a good way) as I’ve really struggled to put anything into words about it (indeed my procrastination about this review is one of the main reasons I’m currently so behind!)

Simply put, I just thought it was excellent – beautifully written with well-drawn characters you absolutely get behind and feel for, as well as complex themes and multiple layers. It was at once soothing and angering; full of a folkloric magic and disturbingly plausible; believable bleak but full of hope.

With environment, nature and climate change are at its core, there are also questions raised about power, wealth, inequality and freedom. About fairness, society and childhood. About family, friends and roots. The way it draws on nature, folk tales, cultural heritage and the arts as well as celebrating differences, talents and togetherness is inspired.

Just wonderful.

Library Love 19/7/19

Library Love is a regular post with short reviews of the picture books we choose from the library each week.

We’re a couple of days late as I’ve not been well and Peapod didn’t go to the library til yesterday, but…

What we took back

  • Yikes Ticklysaurus by Pamela Butchart and Sam Lloyd Peapod’s Dad said: “It’s not exactly a calming bedtime story, but quite amusing” He’s right. Kids will love it – there’s an accidental wee, a tickled bottom and a fierce t rex! – and it’s great for dsytime/using up energy before bedtime tickles. Lots of fun. Not one I’d buy now, but happily if Peapod wanted it when he got bigger.
  • Cyril and Pat by Emily Gravett. I love Emily Gravett’s books and we all enjoyed this one (Peapod’s Dad said “very good”) about Cyril the Squirrel and his friend Pat the… With a not-at-all-pushy message of acceptance and friendship and Emily Gravett’s usual lovely and lively illustrations, this was a great read. Which was lucky as Peapod wanted it twice. We’ll buy this one.

  • Animal Pants by Giles Andrae and Nick Sharratt. I think the Pants books are fantastic, so I can’t believe I didn’t know about this one (and there’s Party Pants too! Where have I been?!) Just as much fun as the first two – Peapod’s Dad says “they’re always fun aren’t they?” – and he got to pull Guy Gsrvey out the bag (his cbeebies reading of Farmer Joe is now PD’s go-to style for rhythmic, rhyming books!). We’ll buy this.

  • Upside Down Babies by Jeanne Willis and Adrian Reynolds “I wasn’t the biggest fan” says Peapod’s Dad, and I have to agree. It was OK, but I didn’t love it. I’d read it again if asked.

  • Bee Frog by Martin Waddell and Barbara Firth This one’s not pictured as it was one of last week’s really but we didn’t get round to it. Bee Frog is being a dragon but everyone is too busy to notice, so she hops off on her own til mum and dad come looking for her. In the words of Peapod’s Dad – “I don’t think we’ll be reading that one again.”

What we took out

Peapod and Dad chose the books today as I was in work (which might explain why we have The Smartest Giant in Town despite it being sat on our bookcase..!)

What do you think of our choices? Have you read any of them?

Have you been to the library recently?

WWW Wednesday 17/7/19

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

What are you currently reading?

The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson, illustrated by Kathrin Honesta

I’ll be honest, I didn’t love The House With Chicken Legs as much as the rest of the book world seemed to. I liked it, and there were parts of it I loved, but ultimately I think I liked the idea of it more than the actual thing.

But I’ve still been excited to read this one. I love the way Sophie Anderson draws on folk tales and really want to love this. I’ve only read the first few pages yet, so we’ll see.

First Class Murder by Robin Stevens, cover art by (ebook)

I am well and truly stuck in to this series now! And, especially as my copy of Top Marks for Murder arrived yesterday, I’m speeding through them (well as much as I speed through any reading!) I’ve only just started this one, but I’m very excited about the setting of the Orient Express and about having Hazel’s dad in the story too.

Circe by Madeleine Miller, audiobook read by Perdita Weeks

It took me a while to get into but I am very much enjoying this now, although it’s taking me a long time to get through as now I’m back at work I’m not finding as much time to listen. The use of language is just outstanding though, such beautiful writing.

What have you just finished reading?

Where the River Runs Gold by Sita Brahmachari, cover art by Evan Hollingdale

I actually finished this a while ago, but I didbt do a WWW last week, so throwing it into this one. I loved it a lot, which was a relief as I’d been worried before starting that it was going to be a ‘copy’ of How to Bee, but it wasn’t at all. I will get a review up soon. Definitely…

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Arsenic for Tea by Robin Stevens (ebook)

This series is such fun. I really enjoyed this (though I think I preferred the setting if Deepdean in book 1 to Daisy’s house here) I was a bit closer to guessing who did it this time too, but I dismissed them too soon!

The Garden of Lost Secrets by A.M.Howell

I enjoyed this. It was a pretty quick read (by my standards!) and very reminiscent (in nothing but the best of ways of Emma Carroll – definitely one for fans of hers!

I loved reading about the author’s inspiration and research too and think that definitely fed into the sense of place in the book, it’s feels so real. And I really liked the way the war was sort of threaded through it – the main theme but also not. Review to follow.

What will you read next?

Audio

It’ll be a while before I finish Circe I think, but no idea – any audiobooks you’ve loved?

E-book

I’ll be working my way through the Murder Most Unladylike series!

Physical copy

Bring back at work has made me realise more than ever that I really do HAVE to catch up on at least a few YA books soon…

Have you read any of these?

What are you reading at the moment?

Fly me to the moon…

I requested and received a copy of these free from the publishers, in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own.

There’s a real flood of space books at the moment, as we approach the 50th anniversary of the moon landing (not the 20th as I keep writing on all my storytime stuff at work!), but these three moon books from Usborne really are fab, and with increasing levels of detail there’s something for space fans of all ages.

On the Moon by Anna Milbourne illustrated by Benji Davies

This lovely little board book takes us on a journey into space – from taking off in a rocket to getting in a spaceship and putting on your spacesuit to get to the moon, to walking on the moon and exploring its mountains, craters and rocks in a buggy to blasting off for home.

It’s clear and concise with short, simple sentences that talk directly to the reader, making it easy for little ones to understand and imagine – “Don’t forget your helmet.”

There are little ‘sound effects’ too which also encourage young readers to picture the scene, perhaps role playing too – “You can bounce! BOING! BOING!”

The illustrations are similarly clear and unfussy. The mix of photo-style backgrounds and drawing works really well too. If I had one teeny complaint it’s that the astronauts pictured are all white men. But that doesn’t detract from what a visually appealing and pleasing to read book this is.

It’s a lovely introduction to non-fiction and to finding out about the moon and space.

What is the Moon? by Katie Daynes, illustrated by Martha Alvarez Miguens

I’m a big fan of Usborne’s larger ‘See Inside’ lift the flap series so it’s lovely to see something similar for slightly younger readers.

I thought this was fantastic. Again, it got the pitch, tone and level of detail spot on and the use of lots of questions, captions and, of course, the flaps will keep young readers engaged.

I loved the way the illustrations were bright and fun and engaging, but also used really effectively to aid understanding, especially on the page illustrating the moon’s shape.

I thought the way the book opens with a page of questions about the moon was a great way to draw readers in and would probably encourage discusdion and more questions too – brilliant for curious minds.

Likewise, I thought the way the book ended with a page about what to take to the moon was not only a very clever way to squeeze in some extra facts, but also a great springboard into imaginative play – perfect for helping little learners consolidate, use and build on what they know.

There’s a whole series of these books and I’ll be looking to get them all in at work so I can recommend them, not to mention getting them ready for when Peapod gets a bit bigger!

The Usborne book of The Moon by Laura Cowan, illustrated by Diana Toledano

This is another absolutely fantastic book, but this time for older readers (myself included, I am learning so much from it!) It covers an absolute wealth of information, accompanied by stunning detailed and varied illustrations.

This is a really rounded book about the moon.

Of course it covers all the things you’d expect – the space race, the moon landings (brilliantly portrayed in comic book style strips and including much of the ‘behind the scenes’ work too – hurrah!) and the later apollo missions.

But it also goes right back to early ideas about it and how we learned what we now know.

It looks at how ancient civilisations worked out its cycles and eclipses, shows how the thinking of astronomers and philosophers from ancient Greece, Rome, India and the Middle East influenced and changed our ideas and tracks the invention and development of telescope.

My favourite part of it though was the section at the beginning detailing the various folk stories from all over the world about the moon, and the beautiful illustrations accompanying them.

This is a really excellent book. It feels full and diverse, and like it gives space to the overlooked people, events and details.

The text is at just the right level, with detail and technical language but not so much that it becomes boring, long or confusing. The use of speech bubbles, captions and lots of humour, as well as the really varied but consistently appealing illustration and design keep it exciting, interesting and fresh.

Brilliant.

Have you read any of these?

Peapod’s Picks/#KLTR – Morag Hood

Peapod’s Picks is a weekly round up of some of the books that Peapod* has read (often, but not always, for his bedtime stories) each week plus a review of at least one of them.

*His social media alter ego, not his real name!

This week it’s also time for another #KLTR post, hosted by Book Bairn, Acorn Books and Laura’s Lovely Blog.

This week, we’re celebrating the release of a new book by one of our (my) favourite author/illustrators and making our claim to fame that we almost, nearly met her (we were in the same room anyway!)

On Saturday, we hopped in the car to Rochdale Children’s Literature Festival as I’d booked tickets for Morag’s event.

I was a bit apprehensive that Peapod would be too little, but reasoned that he always enjoys storytime groups and stories with us, plus it would give me chance to get our books signed – eek!

As it turned out, it was somewhere between the two. Peapod enjoyed listening to Morag read I Am Bat, and seeing her draw Bat. He just about made it through Brenda is a Sheep too, before heat and tiredness won out and we had to give in and leave for a nap and fresh air.

It meant no book signing for me, which I was gutted about, but also a little relieved because I’ve never met an author whose work I love before and I wasn’t really sure what you were supposed to do or say! (Social situations are not a forte!)

What we did see was fab though and we all loved listening to the stories bring read by their creator before we had to leave!

And so to today’s review(s) First a recap of some of her other books…

There’s the incredibly loveable, expert of everything Sophie Johnson of course, written by Morag and illustrated by Ella Okstad. You can read our reviews of them here and here.

Next is the book that introduced me to Morag Hood. It appeared on a trolley not long after I started at Waterstones, intrigued I flicked through and chuckling away instantly loved it and read it to everyone ekse (un)fortunate enough to be working with me that day.

Colin is a carrot. Lee is a Pea. They may be very different, but they’re still the best of friends. And it’s Colin’s differences which make him so much fun to be friends with. A quirky celebration of difference and diversity, deftly done.

Incidentally, I really wanted to get our copy of this signed to Peapod, because you know – peas, but it wasn’t to be…

Bat is such a brilliant and expressive character. Very Barnett-Klassen. Somebody (or, indeed, somebodies) are stealing his beloved cherries and it just won’t do. I love the way little readers can see what’s going on and guess at who’s stealing them through the illustrations while poor bat is left in the dark.

I think The Steves might be my favourite of Morag’s books so far (though picking a favourite is tough) I love the sulky, stroppiness of it, the funny name-calling and the ending that negs to start all over again. Such a fun book to read aloud too. My full review of it is here.

This is a close contender for my favourite too though, and Aalfred and Aalbert are definitely my favourite fictional couple.

I thought I’d reviewed this, but apparently not. Let me remedy that – it’s full of humour and heart and is just wonderful.

Aalfred and Aalbert are aardvarks who live right next to each other but have never met, as Aalfred sleeps during the day and Aalbert at night. Bird decides to play matchmaker with some brilliantly, we’ll, bird-brained plans. Luckily one of them backfires and *spoiler alert* they all live happily ever after!

I love the way their favourite things (broccoli, cheese, flowers, stars…) play into the story and become shared interests by the end, I love the funny little details in the illustrations and how very much their personalities and manners shine through despite its deadpan style. A masterclass in the understated and truly heart-warming and joyful.

Which brings us to Brenda.

Brenda may not look much like a sheep, and when she’s busy chasing her wooly friends and brewing up batches of mint sauce while planning a feast for them, she doesn’t seem to act much like one either.

But the sheep don’t mind. They love their Brenda. So much so that they try to be more like her and plan a surprise of their own for her…

Deliciously dark at times, despite being zingy neon and popping in colour, this is full of a wicked humour and dramatic irony that means little readers will delight in seeing what Brenda is up to way before the poor sheep have a clue!

The ending is fantastic too, happy enough to avoid any nightmares or tears but funny enough to stop the likes of me groaning and grumbling!

I would say I can’t wait for what Morag Hood does next (and this is true) but luckily I don’t have to, because somehow this…

…somehow passed me by, so I shall be ordering it in work this week!

Have you read any of these? Or will you be giving any of them a go now?

Have you ever met one of your favourite authors – what do you do and say?!

Library Love 12/7/19

Library Love is a new regular post with short reviews of the picture books we choose from the library each week.

There may be a bit of stop-starting and moving about of Library Love over the coming couple of weeks as we settle into a nursery and work routine and figure out where library trips best fit into it all – please bear with us!

What we took back

  • The Heron and the Crane by John Yeoman and Quentin Blake Crane is lonely, so decides the only solution is to get married (of course) and that the only viable option is Heron because she looks like him and isn’t past it. Heron, is quite simply stunned by the proposal and doesn’t mince her sirs when turning him down, but then feels bad and goes to apologuse, whereupon Ceane is snappy and rude to her in return. Then he feels bad and goes to apologise…and so on. It’s utterly ridiculous but I really did quite like it! I’m not dashing out to buy if immediately but I’ll be getting it at some point.

  • Quick Quack Quentin by Kes Gray and Jim Field. I don’t know how we’d not read this sooner, especially as we’re such big fans of the Oi… books by this duo. But we loved it, a big thumbs up all round. Quentin qucks instead of quacking so sets of to see if any of the animals on the farm or at the zoo can help him get his quack back. Hilarious and with lots of fun word and letter play. I’ve bought it.

  • Roo the Roaring Dinosaur by David Bedford and Mandy Stanley. A tiny Dino with a comfort blanket meets a mammoth in a damaged hot air balloon. They have gun. Mammoth needs to leave but his balloon is torn… etc etc I really don’t like to be negative on here but Peapod fell asleep while we were reading this and I think he had a lucky escape. Moving on.
  • Ebb and Flo and the Greedy Gulls by Jane Simmons Ebb gets the blame when seagulls steal the picnic and seeks refuge in a nearby boat. Then the tide starts to come in… Jane Simmons illustrations usually feel so safe and cosy, it was interesting to see them evoke a slightly darker, stormier feel in this. It wasn’t one I’d buy but I’d read it again if asked. Peapod’s dad rated it below Roo though so...!

  • Bee Frog by Martin Waddell and Barbara Firth We’ve kept this for next week as we haven’t read it yet!

What we took out

I also found these two for me:

What do you think of our choices? Have you read any of them?

Have you been to the library recently?

Peapod’s Picks – Billy

It’s a briefer than usual Peapod’s Picks this week as I try to fathom a new routine around work.

And this is really more of a Mum Picks. But Peapod did enjoy it too when we read it at bedtime last night, so I’ll take that!

But before we get to that, let’s go back to last year and this absolute gem:

Billy and the Beast by Nadia Shireen

I thought I’d reviewed this at the time, but it’s either vanished, my search bar is failing me or somehow I never did. But we loved this book and have since given it to every child we know as their birthdays or Christmas rolled around.

Billy and Fat Cat set off on a walk through the wood only to find their friends are missing. They son discover a terrible beast is planning to eat them up, and must find a way to save them!

Billy is an absolutely brilliant character, not to mention a clever, brave, takes-no-bullshit, BAME girl. Her Mary Poppins bag of a hair do is genius, there’s nothing she can’t did out of it when needed – donuts for Fat Cat (her permanently hungry, grumpy but loveable sidekick), or pine cones, crayons, feather dusters and masks for saving the day with.

The tone of the text and expressive illustrations are wonderful, and mean you will enjoy this as much as kids do, even on the twenty billionth read. The imagination behind Billy’s plans is fab and Fat Cat is just ace.

Fast forward to yesterday again and behold…

Billy and the Dragon by Nadia Shireen

This appeared on my shelving trolley at work yesterday to my delight! Needless to say, I snapped it up before it came close to a shelf (but only after reading it, chuckling to myself first!)

This has all the daring, deadpan drama and humour of the first, but this time with added dragon and dressing ups – yessss!

With echoes of ‘Where’s My Teddy?’, Fat Cat, while (begrudgingly) dressed as a dragon is snatched from the fancy dress party (I love, love, LOVED that Billy was a Knight – genius on do many levels!) by a real dragon so Billy and her (rather less willing) friends set out to save him…only to find its all just a bit of a mix up. Phew!

Fat Cat is grumpier than ever, Billy is braver and smarter than ever (and has her trusty stash of useful stuff on hand in her hair again of course!) and their woodland mates are back too – hurrah!

Just as fantastic as the first book, I cannot wait for our Billy and the Dragon fancy dress storytime in work over the summer now!

The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Amy at Golden Books Girl posted this and I thought it was a good way to review the year so far, even though I’ve not managed to read as much as I used to!

1. Best book I’ve read so far in 2019

Rumblestar by Abi Elphinstone.

2. My favourite sequel of the first half of the year

Wild Folk Rising by Sylvia Linsteadt.

3. A new release I haven’t read yet but I’m really excited about

Lost Tide Warriors by Catherine Doyle, Garden of Lost Secrets by A M Howell and Brenda is a Sheep by Morag Hood.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of 2019

Ooh, this is a tough one. There’s lots, but I’ll narrow it down to Uki and the Outcasts by Kieran Larwood and The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman’s (I’ve ordered the special edition too!).

5. Biggest disappointment

*whispers* Brightstorm… I’m sorry! I didn’t hate it or anything, it just didn’t live up to expectations after hearing absolutely everyone else say how much they loved it! It’s a solid ‘Unrateable’ for me!

6. Biggest surprise

How much I enjoyed Chris Smith’s short story in the Return to Wonderland collection only to find he was a celeb-funny-book type that I’d usually dismiss out of hand. Lesson learned!

7. Favourite new-to-me or debut author

Hmm, Robin Stevens isn’t strictly new to me, as I read A Spoonful of Murder last year, but it’s only now that I’ve gone back to the start of Murder Most Unladylike to read the whole series, so she feels new!

Otherwise I’ll say maybe Catherine Bruton or Karen McCombie, as I really enjoyed No Ballet Shoes in Syria and Little Bird Flies.

8. Favourite fictional crush

Does this mean a fictional person I have a crush on or a crush in a book that I loved? Either way, I don’t have one!

My favourite new fictional couple are Aalfred and Aalbert.

9. New favourite character

I know I’ve already mentioned Rumblestar, but Utterly Thankless is just wonderful, as is Bartholomew in Everdark.

10. A book that made me cry

I’m not a big crier at books on the whole (I think I make up for it by crying at the drop of a hat on real life!) and I can’t think of one I’ve cried at recently.

Peapod Lullaby by Glenda Millard and Stephen King probably came close though! (Although it’s not new this year, it was one I bought and read this year.)

11. A book that made me happy

Can I really say Rumblestar again?! Well I’m going to, I just thought it was joyous!

I’ll also add in Aalfred and Aalbert again. And Circle. And…

12. Favourite book to movie/TV show of the year so far

I don’t think I’ve seen any… Good Omens is on my to watch list, but I can’t even think of any others!

13. Favourite post I’ve written this year

Oh, I don’t know if I have a favourite post. But blog-wise I’m glad to have found a rhythm and ‘schedule’ (though it is not that structured!) that works for me, with Peapod Picks, WWW Wednesday and Library Lives as staples with reviews around them.

14. Most beautiful book I’ve acquired in the first half of 2019

I’m not sure. Though I do think the Wild Folk covers by Sandra Dieckmann are fantastic.

15. The books I have to read before the end of 2019

SO, SO, SOOOO many and I know the list/pile will only continue to grow!

What have been some of your favourites of 2019 so far?

WWW Wednesday 3/7/19

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

What are you currently reading?

Where the River Runs Gold by Sita Brahmachari, cover art by Evan Hollingdale

I’m still not very far into this, but am encouraged by the story so far that it’s different enough to How To Bee to not feel like a ‘copycat’ version of the same story, despite them being set in very similarly imagined dystopian near-futures with the same issue at their heart. So far though, I’m really enjoying it and the writing style at least is wildly different. I think this will pan out ok…

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Circe by Madeleine Miller, audiobook read by Perdita Weeks

I’ve been wanting to read this since it was released, as I really enjoyed Song of Achilles by the same author, but adult books have not had a look in as I frantically try to keep up with kid’s releases around looking after Peapod, so when Charlotte said the audiobook was great too, I knew that would be the best way to read this one. I’ve only listened to the first chapter and I’m enjoying it, but finding I have to concentrate a bit more than I’ve had to with the other audioboks I’ve listened to up to now.

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Arsenic for Tea by Robin Stevens (ebook)

I’ve dived straight into this after finishing Murder Most Unladylike – I think I’m just going to devour this whole series, now that I’ve finally got round to reading it! Thank you Amy for keeping them on my radar all this time – I can see why you love them so much!

What have you just finished reading?

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Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens (ebook)

It’s taken me SO long to get round to reading this series after reading Spoonful of Murder last year, but I finally got started and I’m so pleased I did – I thought this was brilliant!

I’m ridiculously rubbish at ever guessing the who in ‘whodunnits’ and this was no different (although, as Amy said I was kicking myself by the end of it!) but I think that’s what kept me hooked. I thought Hazel was a fantastic narrator and I really like her character, I also like the way we see the case notes as the case develops. Can’t wait to read the rest now!

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Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, audiobook read by Martin Jarvis

I enjoyed this, although I have to be honest, my attention/interest did dwindle a bit towards the end. I think maybe I could have happily reached it a bit earlier in proceedings. But overall, I enjoyed it and I’m glad to have read it. Still not watched the series yet though.

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When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and Bombs on Aunt Dainty by Judith Kerr

I’ loved re-reading When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit for the #PinkRabbitReadalong on Twitter. Lily pointed out that it had changed for her over time having read it as a child, a teen and now an adult and parent and I have to agree – the things I noticed, the way I felt and especially the connection I felt with Mama rather than just Anna have all changed since previous reads.

Likewise, it left me feeling very…non-plussed? angry? upset? powerless? not sure, probably a combination of these that so long after this, we’re still facing the same problems and attitudes. I also found this very hard to articulate, but Lily’s review of this sums a lot fo it up perfectly so I’ll direct you there instead.

I really wanted to continue with the Out of the Hitler Time trilogy after finishing it, so read Bombs on Aunt Dainty next, which I also really enjoyed revisiting with fresh, older eyes! At some point, I will go back and read the final book A Small Person Far Away too.

What will you read next?

Audio

It’ll be a while before I finish Circe I think, but no idea – any audiobooks you’ve loved?

E-book

I’ll be working my way through the Murder Most Unladylike series!

Physical copy

The same as I say every week before then going off on something totally different – probably The Boxer or Deathless Girls in the evening and maybe an MG during the day, I have SO many to choose from!

Have you read any of these?

What are you reading at the moment?