Archives for category: Bloomsbury

Image result for super cats rees bloomsbury

Published by Bloomsbury

This is due to be published on the 4th of April – so a review from another proof (very gratefully received), but not a book for Christmas.

This is for all young readers who happen to love felines, books, adventures and SUPERHERO’S! This is wonderful – I loved it. Tagg finds out his parents are not the usual run of the mill Tom & Queen cats. Neither is his brother, from a previous litter.

Related imageA story of superheros and a super villain too – a real romp of a book. Not the usual run of the mill 5 – 8 story. A little more complicated, clever and intriguing.

One for the spring. One to keep an eye out for. This age group doesn’t have many new books that are good.

Filled with pictures (always a good thing) and an adventure with a twist or two.

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Image result for the universe is expanding and so am i  Image result for the earth my butt and other big round things bloomsbury

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published by Bloomsbury

I seem to read more 5-8 & 9-12 titles than Teen. Young adults seem to know what they want, without any input from me. Once in a while, though, I stray from normality and find little gems like this one.

Virginia is not a svelte, slim, fashionista – she is a little on the large size. I can relate to that. Its not that she hasn’t tried, but she’s beginning to see herself as curvaceous, rather than fat, that is on the good days. She does believe in one thing though, that the opportunity to have a relationship with a boy shouldn’t rely on whether you are slim, big breasted with long blonde hair. Never-the-less at the start of this funny and moving book, she has been going out, officially with Froggy Welsh (fantastic name) for some five or so months… Sadly though, she has come to realise that she has ‘fallen out of like‘ with him – particularly since she last made out with him in Central Park…

‘…a few blocks from school, I had this weird feeling that I was kissing a golden retriever. This was new. Not the kissing part, because we’ve done a lot of that. But the new sensation was that his tongue felt slobbery and long, like it was trying to retrieve a dog treat from behind my molars.’

Which is never a good sign.

Life is complicated enough without that.

Then there is Virginia’s brother. Byron – a perfect brother, until ‘the ordeal’ when everything changed, for everyone.

Life becomes a turmoil of emotions, and Virginia is relieved to find someone who also doesn’t want to talk about families. Someone who is special, who seems to care, but doesn’t want to know about her family, if she doesn’t want to talk about it, and is happy not to talk about his…

This is the sequel to The Earth, My Butt and other Big Round Things. Sometimes publishers send out sequels, without the first book. Which can be irritating if you are unaware, (I don’t read the blurb with proofs), especially if the sequel assumes knowledge you don’t have (having never read the initial volume) – it didn’t matter with this one.

You can read it as a ‘stand alone’ – if you wish. If it means anything, you should know, though, that I intend to order a copy of The Earth (if it isn’t in stock) even though I will be reading them in the wrong order. I suspect The Earth will be as good as The Universe – at least I hope so. Either way – buy this (and The Earth) and sit in a shady part of a garden or park, with some juice and something to nibble and just enjoy them.

 

 

Image result for storm keeper's islandPublished by Bloomsbury

This is the story of an island. A tale of history, of stories, magic, the sea and candles. Its the story of a telling of tales. Mysterious, dangerous and wild. This is a book of water, history, and the smell of the sea. This is a story of an island full of impossibility. Of siblings. Bravery and sacrifice. A book about the sea in the depths of eyes. This is a story about storms, tides; low and high… it is a story of an island, the sea, and the safekeeping of stories.

Catherine Doyle’s use of language is partly what makes this such a superb book – there are few books for children that use smell, sight, hearing, taste and touch in quite the way she does. It makes the book a vivid and quite a special read.

There’s a Storm Keeper for each generation. Just one and one wish that can be granted.  A Storm Keeper is not something that is inherited. The island chooses. Someone that will keep the island safe, they are the person that will become the Storm Keeper.

Its a story of the wielding of power.

 

This is a book to take on holiday to an island, where the wind and sea meet. This is a book of wildness which should be enjoyed in peace in a cottage, with the sound and smell of the sea surrounding it… with a fire in the hearth and a natural candle burning on the mantelpiece.

 

 

 

Published by Bloomsbury

Mary was the daughter of Katherine of Aragon and  Henry VIII.

Katherine was Henry’s first wife, whom he set aside to marry Anne Boleyn with whom he had Mary’s half sister, Elizabeth. Both girls were ultimately to rule England. This though is Mary’s story, the story that made a young girl into the Queen she was.

It is a story knotted and entwined in her father’s desperate need to sire a son, with his drive and determination to marry Anne Boleyn, and when that resulted in her death, with his marriage to Jane Seymour.

The Tudors, for me, start English history. From them, my knowledge of history spreads, a little like a poorly made spider’s web.

They weren’t perfect. Then again, history was a different place. They did things differently then…so differently.  Their knowledge and beliefs were diverse too.

This story covers the period before Mary or Elizabeth had ascended the throne. The courtiers, and Henry VIII had nothing to compare, they didn’t know the strength, knowledge and forethought that a woman can have. Hindsight is a marvellous thing. Then again, when you look at our more recent history, perhaps it isn’t so different.

There are gaps in our knowledge about the Tudors. They are the people I’d like to meet from the past – there are so many questions. Not just of this period, but of Elizabeth’s time on the throne, and Mary’s too.

Lucy Worsley, of whom I am quite jealous, lives and works around Hampton Court, amongst other palaces, as their Chief Curator. She knows her history. I hope she will go on to write the other two stories, that of Elizabeth I and that of that much desired boy Edward VI – whose lives were so tied to the need to ensure there was a prince to follow in Henry VIII’s footsteps.

Our history would be so bland if it weren’t for this extraordinary family…

Lucy Worsley has written three books, so far for this age group, though this, perhaps, is my favourite.

 

 

 

Published by Bloomsbury.

I was sorting the picture books today and came across this book, that I hadn’t come across before. Norman lives a ‘normal’ life, until the day he grows some wings.

Rather than upset his parents, Norman begins to wear a heavy coat to cover his feathers. Which is fine outside when its raining, but not so good when the sun is shining or he is indoors.

His parents wait a while, as the coat gets tattier, until the day when Norman realises that the thing that is making him hot and bothered isn’t his set of wings, but his coat. When he at last throws it aside he realises that everyone is hiding sets of wings too – and he needn’t have worried.

This is a wonderful book about normality. The fact that we all have wings and should perhaps just enjoy them – after all what is normal for me is normal…

It is super – and its always a joy coming across a book like this when you are half way through removing every book form a section, off the shelves so you can dust, and then return them all in order.

Marvellous.

Published by Bloomsbury

‘Friendly Crime’. A term that I use to myself about murder mysteries that are not graphic and or full of disturbing suspense. They usually have good plots and aren’t going to worry me. Authors of this ‘genera’ include M. C. Beaton (Hamish MacBeth, very friendly, and good for reading in bed with flu), through to Dorothy L Sayers (Lord Peter Wimsey), and James Runcie – whose books are more literary.

I was made aware of the James Runcie’s Grantchester books because of the television programmes & I was intrigued enough some time ago to purchase the first volume in the series. This was quickly followed by volume 2 and 3. There was a small delay whilst waiting for more, but yesterday, I found volume 4 & 5 on our shelves and these were quickly purchased.

I enjoy the characters, and their relationships with one another, as much as the murder mystery. Somehow this type of crime, Friendly Crime, is almost comforting.

Usually I don’t like to be disturbed by what I read. I don’t like gratuitous violence, particularly in graphic detail. I don’t like psychological suspense.  I like my murderers to be clever, but my detectives to be more so, perhaps not in the traditional sense, but certainly to have an edge all their own. These remind me of GK Chesterton and his Father Brown stories.

I would say that was my general view of crime novels, however, I also read Janet Evanovich, (Stephanie Plum, One for the Money) whose books are often violent, but they are tempered by humour and brilliant characters. They are not books I would suggest for non-adult readers. American, with a violent streak, but full of laughter, and character. I suppose the violence is sudden, quick and mixed well in with the humour etc.

I know little of the hierarchy and ‘doings’ of ‘the’ church, so can’t state whether the Grantchester series are accurate in that way, however, they are ‘good’ books.

A pleasure to enjoy, especially with tea,and a slice of fruit cake, somewhere warm and comfortable.

Sidney Chambers & The Shadow of Death

Sidney Chambers & The Perils of the Night

Sidney Chambers & the Problem of Evil

Sidney Chambers & the Forgiveness of Sins 

& the fifth in the series so far

Sidney Chambers & the Dangers of Temptation 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published by Bloomsbury (April 2018)

A finger of fudge, is just enough…

The proof of this book came with a bar of McBudge Fudge – actually a bar of Cadbury’s Fudge, with a wrapper advertising McBudge Fudge wrapped around it. How could I not start the book, with that sort of incentive? I ate the fudge (and very good it was too) with a hot cup of tea and began to read.  I don’t think I can remember having a finger of fudge since the above advert was on ‘the box’. It had a ‘jingle’ that started with ‘A finger of Fudge is just enough, to give your kids a treat…’  It’s hot-wired into my brain…I could sing it for you, if you were here and not there… not very well, but I could.

Actually, not only did Bloomsbury send me chocolate, but they also supplied me with a very good book too. What more could anyone want? They did rather well.

I haven’t got very far with this yet, but it has the same feel as Sylvia Bishop’s Bookshop Girl and that isn’t a bad thing.

At the beginning of the story Archie McBrudge visits Honeystone Hall with his mother to meet a solicitor. He explains that not only has Archie has inherited the hall, but also the world famous McBudge Fudge Factory, as well as his great-uncle’s gardening tools to boot!

I suppose it could be said to have essences of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Roald Dahl) – Archie is set a series of tests he has to pass, and has met one or two very strange people. An extraordinary & ancient butler along with a young lass, who works as a plumber at the hall…and things are definitely not what they seem. I am going to enjoy reading this in bed tonight – its a book for curling up with, especially when it is very, very cold. Which it is. I have my oil heater on – in an attempt to warm myself up.

One of the reasons I like books are the odd phrases authors use to describe things – in this case a character is described as looking like a ‘forlorn slug.’ Which is wonderful. I have never really liked slugs (snails, I approve of, even though they destroy my plants), and I have never thought of them as being anything…however, I shall now think of them differently and will examine them carefully in the future to see if any of them look forlorn.

I digress. I am sure this is going to be one of those books that readers who are beginning to enjoy reading for themselves and have a little confidence will relish.

The title suggests there may be more to come – The Dundoodle Mysteries – which can’t be a bad thing. I hope there will be – not too many, just the right number…

Lastly – I looked up forlorn slug then chocolate slug on the Internet.  Sadly there was nothing that really depicted the former concept for me so, you aren’t getting a picture of one. The chocolate slugs sold in California (Humboldt) look, regrettably, rather revolting (even if they are chocolate), but then I expect they are supposed to.

The Internet did, though, bring up pictures of Chocolate Frogs – part of the Harry Potter franchise. We sell these now – at £4.99 a frog. You do, however, get a mystery card to collect…to go with it. Whether these are lenticular or not, is not something I can answer. Those produced by Cadbury’s years ago, were – and they made very good bookmarks. I hope these have moving pictures too…I have not, though eaten one, so I don’t know.

Anyway – to get back to The Chocolate Factory Ghost – if a book can refer to forlorn slugs – you can’t really go wrong – imagination, a good story, and wonderful inventive descriptive English – what more could you want?

 

 

Published by Bloomsbury – Early September 2017

I really shouldn’t be writing this post – I should be trying to find a way of making some cash – ASAP.  Instead of which I have listed all the out going amounts (some are estimates; the house is peeling as though it has a bad case of eczema) and its beginning to worry me a bit – not the house, the finances. So I’m doing what I am good at, and sticking my head firmly in the sand, and writing about a proof that I have just finished and loved.

This is a tale of two sets of siblings. The first two are sisters – bound up with each other, getting one another into scrapes as they grow up amongst the higher echelons of society. That is they were, until one sister is accused and convicted of theft – and not just any theft. The other pair are a sister and brother. The sister to become queen, both though, secure and safe, or so one would have thought…

This is a brilliant adventure full of bravery, fear and a wonderful distraction from all mundane things like paying bills, doing the ironing, booking boiler appointments and other such interesting things…. It is a tale of friendship and is full of mystery too.

There is reference, on the back of the proof, to the book being for fans of Katherine Rundell, Eva Ibbotson and Cornelia Funke – and so it is, but I think it is also from a new unique author who is one to watch in her own right.

Also on the back of the proof is a note stating there is to be a second volume – which is marvellous – that is due out in 2018.

Wolves, adventure, mystery, bravery and treachery mixed – what more could you want?

A small comment about design. Each chapter starts with the notation of which it is, Chapter 1, 2 and so on, with an arrow design beneath. Someone somewhere in Bloomsbury has taken the trouble to ensure that the arrow on the chapter headings points one way on the verso pages, and the other way on the recto – which pleases me more than it should. I suspect its something to do with Dad, who designs books…

As always with proofs, I have no idea whether the picture above is the one that will be used on the cover…but it is a rather good one.

It would make a very good House of Ghibli animated film – perhaps someone will read it and do something about that. Sadly I don’t have any connections in the film industry, however, you never know who might just be reading this blog…

 

 

 

Published by Bloomsbury.

I haven’t had the joy or the terror of having a child – a mixed blessing / curse. In some ways I would love to have had a child, however, it wasn’t to be. In other ways, I sometimes think I and he or she was lucky. I’m not sure I’d have fitted in to today’s ways of bringing up children… Neither have I had anorexia. If anything I am the reverse. I love food and as a result am, over weight really and not very fit. So this book is about subjects of which I have very little knowledge. It is a powerful and in some ways, heart rending book.

It is a tale of numbers. A tale of a young girl under the control of ‘Nia’. Anorexia has Hedda firmly in her grip and isn’t willing to let go any time soon, and if possible ever. Hedda, though, makes a bargain with ‘Nia’ – if Nia agrees to let her eat sensibly for the unborn child, then she will come back to her, back to her control.

This is in a way a terrifying story. It is a story of hope, mixed with a strong splash of darkness.

I am not sure I would have had the strength that Hedda displays in similar circumstances…and I am lucky in the support I know I wold have had from my family. Read it – and let your family know how important they are…

 

Published by Bloomsbury

This was wonderful – I loved it. Not least as it takes you back to another era. A better time, a period of stiff upper lips and honour. This is a brilliant story of the old style with gorgeous language:

“…almost squeezed the pip out of poor Sponge here…”

“…frightfully dangerous…”

“…Mildew’s southern most lip began to quiver…”

“…Mildew’s upper lip began to lose some of its structural integrity…”

Along with the two main characters being named Mildew and Sponge.

What more could you want or need or indeed expect to have? Well, it seems you can have a lot more for your money –

A book of mysterious ghosts, Vikings, Romans, werewolves, a time machine….a school with a cloister, with extraordinary school teachers who are remarkable in themselves…adventure and it will be stuffed with illustrations. I know this to be true, because my proof has little boxes set within the text to give an indication of where they will be when the book is published. They have also said that Chris Priestley wrote it and that it will be illustrated by him. They have printed that on the cover of the proof. So there!

The only problem is, I’m afraid is that it hasn’t been published yet – but they state on the inside cover that you will be able to buy copies on the 5th of October, which I believe is a Thursday. A good day on which to buy a new book – this one will be perfect. Funny, full of interest, good English (for those of you who know this to matter)….a wonderful book on so many fronts.

Put Thursday the 5th of October in your diary.

As sometimes happens when I have read a book before its published, the cover has not been put on the Internet yet. I have found though the above sketches of the Werewolf Boy – so that will have to do.

Ps. Sorry, I forgot to say – this is the start of a series…and also that Chris Priestley is an author to ‘follow’ – he also wrote Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror – which are brilliant. Slightly surprised I have never done a post about that volume…I suppose I read it before I had this blog – buy that too – and you can buy it now – its already published.