#BookReview THE WAY TO THE SEA by CAROLINE CRAMPTON #NonFictionNovember #TheWayToTheSea

ABOUT THE BOOK

Caroline Crampton was born on the Thames Estuary to parents who had sailed there from South Africa in the early 1980s. Having grown up with seafaring legs and a desire to explore, Caroline is both a knowledgeable guide to the most hidden-away parts of this overlooked and unfashionable part of the country, and a persuasive advocate for its significance, both historically and culturally. As one of the key entrances and exits to England, the estuary has been pivotal to London’s economic fortunes and in defining its place in the world. It has also been the entry point for immigrants for generations, yet it has an ambivalent relationship with newcomers, and UKIP’s popularity in the area is on the rise. As Caroline navigates the waters of the estuary, she also seeks out its stories: empty warehouses and arsenals; the Thames barrier, which guards the safety of Londoners more precariously than we might; ship wrecks still inhabited by the ghosts of the drowned; vast Victorian pumping stations which continue to carry away the capital’s sewage; the river banks, layered with archaeological Anglo-Saxon treasures; literature inspired by its landscape; beacons used for centuries to guide boats through the dark and murky waterways of the estuary; the eerie Maunsell army forts – 24 metre high towers of concrete and steel which were built on concealed sandbanks at the far reaches of the estuary during the Second World War and designed to spot (and shoot) at incoming enemy planes; and the estuary’s wildlife and shifting tidal moods.

PUBLISHED BY GRANTA BOOKS

PURCHASE LINKS

amazon uk  £11.89

whsmith  £11.89

hive.co.uk  £12.49

MY REVIEW

As someone who lives alongside the Thames Estuary, I found this to be a fascinating mix of memoir and history of the Thames from Caroline as she looks back to her first memories of the Thames with her parents, and how it has changed as she travels back along the Thames from the source to the open sea. And there’s huge differences in the River from one end to the other so it’s really interesting to hear her thoughts as she sees the landscape change around her on her journey.

And amongst her own personal recollections of time spent along, and in!, the Thames there are also clever uses of how the Thames has been recorded and used in history, literature, art and photography which gives you another look at how important a role that the Thames has played over the years, and continues to do so but in a rather different way now than before.

As a local to the Thames I found it fascinating to learn so much more about places and points along the river that I thought I knew so well! I understand the pull of the Thames so I really connected with the author and her ‘obsession’ with the water and the places along it. From the animal life to the diseases and disasters that have plagued this stretch of water, I found this book to be really entertaining and informative.

★★★★

#BookReview Woods: A Celebration by Robert Penn #NonFictionNovember

ABOUT THE BOOK

A tribute to the natural history of some of our most iconic British woods. The National Trust manages hundreds of woods, covering more than 60,000 acres of England and Wales. They include many of the oldest woodlands in the land and some of the oldest living things of any kind—trees that are thousands of years old. From Dean to Epping, from Hatfield to Sherwood, this book covers the natural history of Britain’s forests and how they have changed the face of a landscape. Covering the different species of trees that give these woods their unique characters, the plants and animals that inhabit them, and the way their appearance changes throughout the seasons, Woods is a fascinating and beautifully illustrated celebration of Britain’s trees and the ancient stories that surround them.

Published by National Trust

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK  £20

whsmith  £14

MY REVIEW

A beautiful coffee table book that helps to shine a little light on just how important woods are and how the National Trust are doing all they can to help preserve and conserve these areas for many generations to come.

This book takes you through the seasons in a variety of NT owned woods and how the flora and fauna change through the year and how each wood is used nowadays – how can it stay relevant in these more modern times when large patches of woodland are disappearing fast.

It talks about the problems facing these areas and the diseases that are wreaking havoc amongst the native species. As well as personal commentary from the author, it also features poetry, history and literature that features woodland areas.

The photos are beautiful and especially Autumn for me with all the different colours showing, just shows how stunning these areas are and hopefully will continue to be with the help of the National Trust and other organisations.

★★★★

#MusicMonday Chocolate by Snow Patrol

Happy Monday! Time for more tunes!  Hosted by the fabulous Drew atThe Tattooed Book Geek, Music Monday is a weekly thing where you get to share a song or video that you love!

And this week I’ve gone for Chocolate by Snow Patrol!  I love the band so it’s been hard to choose just one song but this is one I could listen to on repeat!

This could be the very minute
I’m aware I’m alive
All these places feel like home With a name I’d never chosen
I can make my first steps
As a child of twenty-five

This is the straw, final straw in the
Roof of my mouth as I lie to you
Just because I’m sorry doesn’t mean
I didn’t enjoy it at the time

You’re the only thing that I love
Scares me more every day
On my knees I think clearer

Goodness knows I saw it coming
Or at least I’ll claim I did
But in truth I’m lost for words

What have I done? It’s too late for that
What have I become? Truth is nothing yet

A simple mistake starts the hardest time
I promise I’ll do anything you ask, this time

#PriceDropBlogBlitz THE CHRISTMAS CALENDAR GIRLS by SAMANTHA TONGE @rararesources

Fabulous news to share with you today – my thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for letting me be part of the price drop promo blitz!!  

Always worth treating yourself and even better when it’s only 99p – for a short time only!! So get clicking on the links before it’s too late……

The Christmas Calendar Girls

This Christmas fall in love with the town of Chesterwood…

Christmas is meant to be a time of giving, so with Chesterwood food bank under risk of closure Fern knows just what to do to save it. She’s going to get the town to create a living advent calendar.

Fern, and her best friends, call for help from the local community to bring this calendar to life. When Kit, the new man in town, offers his assistance Fern’s heart can’t help but skip a beat (or two).

As they grow ever closer, Fern must admit that Kit’s breaking down the barriers she built after the death of her husband. But his past is holding him back and Fern doesn’t know how to reach him. No matter how hard she tries.

In this town, Kit’s not the only one with secrets. Domestic goddess Cara is behaving oddly, burning meals in the oven and clothes whilst ironing, and Davina’s perfect children are causing trouble at school leaving her son, Jasper, desperately unhappy.

Can the Christmas Calendar Girls find a way to bring the community together in time to save the food bank, while still supporting their families and each other? Can Fern find love again with Kit?

This is a story about kindness and letting go of the past. It’s about looking out for your neighbours and about making every day feel like Christmas.

Purchase Links – 

Heart-warming, cosy and charming, get The Christmas Calendar Girls for just 99p for a limited period!

Amazon

Google Play

Kobo

Apple Books

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.

When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines. 

She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women’s fiction with publisher Canelo. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association romantic comedy award. 

Social Media Links – 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SamTongeWriter

Instagram: @samanthatongeauthor 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SamanthaTongeAuthor

HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 2nd November 2019 #bookblogger

Hello! Happy November! Hope you survived Halloween in one piece – we even have leftover sweets and treats after a lack of trick or treaters…. result!! Perfect snacking options reading for some reading time!!

And speaking of reading I managed to finish another 5 books of this week which has taken me over the 200 mark on GoodReads for my 2019 Reading Challenge which i’m rather happy about! And has it made any difference to the TBR mountain….. of course it blooming hasn’t!! Don’t know why I bother haha!!

Here’s my look back at the week gone by…

BOOKS FINISHED

The Brothers York by Thomas Penn  – 4 stars

Wham! George & Me by Andrew Ridgeley – 5 stars

The Name of all Things by Jenn Lyons – 5 stars

Finding Henry Applebee by Celia Reynolds – 3 stars

The Last Village by Audla English – 3.5stars

BOOKHAUL

Just the one from Netgalley this week..

SIR FRANCIS BRYAN by SARAH-BETH WATKINS

published by John Hunt Publishing Ltd

Out January 2020

Sir Francis Bryan was Henry VIII’s most notorious ambassador and one of his closest companions. Bryan was a man of many talents; jouster, poet, rake and hell-raiser, gambler, soldier, sailor and diplomat. He served his king throughout his life and unlike many of the other men who served Henry VIII, Bryan kept his head and outlived his sovereign. This book tells the story of his life from coming to court at a young age through all his diplomatic duties to his final years in Ireland. The latest book from the best-selling author of Lady Katherine Knollys: The Unacknowledged Daughter of King Henry VII

PRINCE – THE BEAUTIFUL ONES

treated myself to a signed copy from Foyles 

From Prince himself comes the brilliant coming-of-age-and-into-superstardom story of one of the greatest artists of all time—featuring never-before-seen photos, original scrapbooks and lyric sheets, and the exquisite memoir he began writing before his tragic death.

Prince was a musical genius, one of the most talented, beloved, accomplished, popular, and acclaimed musicians in history. He was also a startlingly original visionary with an imagination deep enough to whip up whole worlds, from the sexy, gritty funk paradise of “Uptown” to the mythical landscape of Purple Rain to the psychedelia of “Paisley Park.” But his most ambitious creative act was turning Prince Rogers Nelson, born in Minnesota, into Prince, the greatest pop star of his era.

The Beautiful Ones is the story of how Prince became Prince—a first-person account of a kid absorbing the world around him and then creating a persona, an artistic vision, and a life, before the hits and fame that would come to define him. The book is told in four parts. The first is composed of the memoir he was writing before his tragic death, pages that brings us into Prince’s childhood world through his own lyrical prose. The second part takes us into Prince’s early years as a musician, before his first album released, through a scrapbook of Prince’s writing and photos. The third section shows us Prince’s evolution through candid images that take us up to the cusp of his greatest achievement, which we see in the book’s fourth section: his original handwritten treatment for Purple Rain—the final stage in Prince’s self-creation, as he retells the autobiography we’ve seen in the first three parts as a heroic journey.

The book is framed by editor Dan Piepenbring’s riveting and moving introduction about his short but profound collaboration with Prince in his final months—a time when Prince was thinking deeply about how to reveal more of himself and his ideas to the world, while retaining the mystery and mystique he’d so carefully cultivated—and annotations that provide context to each of the book’s images.

This work is not just a tribute to Prince, but an original and energizing literary work, full of Prince’s ideas and vision, his voice and image, his undying gift to the world.

CURRENTLY READING

One of these from my non fiction November pile … I’ve just not decided where to start haha!!

HAPPY READING!!!

#BookReview The Name of all Things by Jenn Lyons #TheNameOfAllThings

ABOUT THE BOOK

“Everything epic fantasy should be: rich, cruel, gorgeous, brilliant, enthralling and deeply, deeply satisfying. I loved it.”―Lev Grossman on The Ruin of Kings


You can have everything you want if you sacrifice everything you believe.
Kihrin D’Mon is a wanted man.
Since he destroyed the Stone of Shackles and set demons free across Quur, he has been on the run from the wrath of an entire empire. His attempt to escape brings him into the path of Janel Theranon, a mysterious Joratese woman who claims to know Kihrin.
Janel’s plea for help pits Kihrin against all manner of dangers: a secret rebellion, a dragon capable of destroying an entire city, and Kihrin’s old enemy, the wizard Relos Var.
Janel believes that Relos Var possesses one of the most powerful artifacts in the world―the Cornerstone called the Name of All Things. And if Janel is right, then there may be nothing in the world that can stop Relos Var from getting what he wants.

And what he wants is Kihrin D’Mon.


Jenn Lyons continues the Chorus of Dragons series with The Name of All Things, the epic sequel to The Ruin of Kings


Published by Tor Books

Publication Date –  7th November 2019


PRE-ORDER LINKS

Amazon UK  £26.99
Goldsboro Books – signed first edition £25.00
WHSMITH  £13.29


MY REVIEW

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the return of Kihrin since The Ruin of Kings, and in The Name of All Things you’re left totally absorbed in the world of magic, battles and dragons once more and I loved being part of this world once more! The snark is strong in this book!! Kihrin is being hunted after wreaking havoc in book one and in the quest to escape it brings him face to face with new characters – allies and foes!

These stories are always told really imaginatively and in this installment we’re with Kihrin and the cast in a tavern as they recall their story. The main storytellers are Janel and Qown and they are such intriguing characters with very diverse backgrounds – this book does a superb job of looking at the issues of gender and how society sees it. To see the struggles the characters, especially Janel, faces brings a more poignant side to the story.

With this book you get maps (always so important!) and the brilliantly epic and snarky footnotes which really do help with the way the story is told, and endears you to the characters even more! They don’t take themselves or the danger they’re in very seriously at times, even though maybe they should! Ooh and there are dragons!! Dragons who are hellbent on destroying anything and everything in their path!

There are battles, fights , insults, deceit, demons, witches, magic and portals galore throughout and the pace is relentless! This story does focus more on the story of Janel but with such an interesting story to tell then this seems only fair! Doing things the easy way is just not how Janel does things!

All the characters are flawed and use unorthodox methods to achieve their aim so you’re often left scratching your head as to the outcome of each ‘adventure’ but it all leads to a satisfying story that sets up everything so nicely for the next installment – which I’m hoping won’t be too far away as I love spending time in this world!


★★★★★

My November TBR – nonfiction November special!

I’m feeling rather smug for this month! I’m all  up to date with Blog Tour reading  so that means I’ve pretty much got free reign for this month, perfectly timed seeing as it’s Non Fiction November too so maybe I’ll now finally get round to the ever growing pile of non fiction titles that I’ve been saving up for this month!  Might even make more of a dent on my Netgalley TBR…I’m just getting ahead of myself now aren’t I?!  Right, here’s what I hope to read  in the month ahead….please click on the book title for a link to the GoodReads page for more info!

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

This is the November choice for the Readalongs With Karen group on GoodReads

The Five by Hallie Rubenhold

Landfill by Tim Dee

The Way To The Sea by Caroline Crampton

Please Read This Leaflet Carefully by Karen Havelin

How To Catch A Mole by Marc Hamer

The Otters’ Tale by Simon Cooper

Woods: A Celebration by Robert Penn

Looks like I’m in for a very educational month! I just hope my poor little brain cells can cope!!

HAPPY READING!!