Archives for posts with tag: Bloomsbury

Image result for the monster who wasn't

Published by Bloomsbury

I think it was J.M. Barrie who had the idea that fairies are born from a baby’s first laugh. I’m not certain – he certainly had an idea of that sort. I  think it’s in Peter Pan…T. C. Shelley has taken this just one step further. If a baby’s first laugh makes fairies, then perhaps a monster might come from a person’s last sigh. The bigger the sigh, the more formidable the monster. Those with small regrets, begetting smaller monsters. Those who have greater qualms or misgivings creating larger…

What happens then, when a baby’s first laugh is mixed at the same moment with that of a last sigh?

So a monster that looks very similar to a boy – a human boy, but a boy with a monster’s sense of smell for one thing. An imp boy, perhaps it would be the best way to describe such a creature. A being so outwardly similar as to confuse humans into believing he is, just that, a small, rather dirty, ragamuffin of a boy…

This should by rights be read in some great cathedral – it should be read by the boys who attend those Choir Schools – you know the sort – that sing so stupendously at Christmas…a book of monsters, gargoyles and at least one angel…

This is wonderful – I’m only part way through this and I’m finding that I can’t get on with other things as a result.

It is out now – buy it.

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Image result for extraordinary birds sandy stark-mcginnisImage result for extraordinary birds sandy stark-mcginnis

Published by Bloomsbury

Everyone has oceans to fly, if they have the heart to do it. Is it reckless? Maybe,

but what do dreams know of boundaries?

Amelia Earhart

This is something quite unique. A story of recovery, hope and bravery. A story of continuation and existence. A story of hope. This is December’s story. Her last foster home from which she hopes to fly. Literally.

She is known to leap from trees. She has been known to leap from a barn roof. She hopes that the scars on her back will at last allow her wings to unfold and so prevent her from falling.

It is Henrietta’s story too. A bird to be released back into the wild, if all goes well. The training of Henrietta is different from that I have known from my experience of falconry – there the bells are attached to the tail feathers or leg furniture. They are not there to attract the bird’s attention, that is usually done with a whistle or cry. In this the bells attached to the glove do just that.

This is a unusual and quietly compelling tale of the emergence of trust…and hope and of flight.

Not yet published – and I have found two possible covers – I prefer the bottom one – it seems to capture what the book is about much more clearly…

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.

Image result for tuck everlasting babbitt bloomsbury

Published by Bloomsbury.

It is most inconvenient, if not to say irresponsible for authors who have written a book that is so good that I would like them to come and have an event at my branch of Waterstones, to be deceased. It doesn’t happen that often – there are many books being promoted written by authors who are still in the land of the living, so that this is, to be honest, a rare occurrence. When it does happen, and I am not aware, it is, as I said, an inconvenience, if not highly irritating.

This is one such. Charming beautifully written and a gift of a book. A spring in a wood that can give ever lasting life. What could be so wrong with that? Initially you wouldn’t think there was, until you give the idea some consideration. 

This is a story of a wood. A kidnap, blackmail and murder. A story of love. It is both charming, whimsical and rather wonderful.

It has the right ending. 

Published by Bloomsbury who have given it some rather enchanting and whimsical boards. It is a hardback, a gift for Christmas and is also rather charming and wonderful too.

It is also inconvenient that WordPress have changed their systems – I can no longer add pictures to the blog which is particularly annoying. I suppose somewhere there is a way to do it – but as yet I have failed, so this post is rather boring. I will work it out one day, but at 21:29 at night it is too late. Just know that this has some rather beautiful boards. Illustrated on the back of the book as well as the front. Beautiful chapter heading illustrations too…

Buy it for Christmas.

NB. I am pleased to say I have managed to get back to the old editing – system and so have been able to illustrate the book – just the front cover, but I feel much more relaxed now. Changes for changes sake, aren’t always the best!

 

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…