Reading roundup 08/04/20

I have a confession to make: I haven’t managed to read a book this week!!! Not even a chapter, a paragraph, or even more than a sentence!!!!

Shame on me…

In fact, I have been under a lot of stress for a variety of reasons, one being very obvious, and I have been unable to concentrate. I do hope that next week is better.

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 06/04/20

This is going to be a very short post this evening. I’m afraid that my existing conditions, together with fear of the Coronavirus, are overwhelming me at the moment. I am trying to blot out my terror by watching wall-to-wall frivolous TV via Amazon Prime rather than following harrowing news updates.

Today, I had a letter informing me that I am on the NHS Shielded Patients List. I did expect that this would happen, but it has still given us all a lot to consider.

I hope to be able to write a better post later in the week.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Outfit of the day 03/04/20

The weather is continuing to be warm and sunny. In fact, it has been a bit too warm for scarves! So instead of wearing them, I have decided to remind myself about some of my nicer necklaces. I wore my pretty turquoise, aqua and white tassel necklace last Friday and today I am showing you the lovely lapis lazuli and gold pendant which was a birthday gift in November. I was also given the matching earrings, but those are very heavy for day wear and I think that the overall effect would have been rather over the top! I wore tiny crystal and gold earrings, so tiny that they wouldn’t detract from the impact of the pendant and bracelet.

Outfit of the day 03/04/20 with lapis lazuli pendant

Today’s outfit:

  • Cobalt cotton cable jumper – Lands’ End.
  • Navy cotton joggers – Cotton Traders.
  • Gold and crystal stud earrings – not shown as they are too small to photograph.
  • Navy enamel and gold Agama bangle – Halcyon Days.
  • Lapis lazuli and gold tassel necklace – Bill Skinner.

We continue to soldier on, which is all we can do in the present situation, and I am very proud of our sons who are still working.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Reading roundup 01/04/20

Well, I actually finished two books this week. I am really enjoying my reading, although I am having some issues with concentration. That isn’t very surprising in the current situation. My eyesight is continuing to improve slowly – I am so pleased about this, as you can imagine.

The Man Who Didn’t Call by Rosie Walsh

The first book of the week was The Man Who Didn’t Call by Rosie Walsh. Here is the blurb:

Imagine you meet a man, spend six glorious days together, and fall in love. And it’s mutual: you’ve never been so certain of anything.

So when he leaves for a long-booked holiday and promises to call from the airport, you have no cause to doubt him.
But he doesn’t call.

Your friends tell you to forget him, but you know they’re wrong: something must have happened; there must be a reason for his silence.

What do you do when you finally discover you’re right? That there is a reason — and that reason is the one thing you didn’t share with each other?

The truth.

This is my review on Goodreads:

The Man Who Didn't CallThe Man Who Didn’t Call by Rosie Walsh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I will write this with my first reaction to reading this book in mind and not allow myself to be swayed by some of the very negative comments on here. Yes, it appears that this is another marmite read!

In my present condition, which I won’t go into here, I found the book thoroughly absorbing and enjoyable. This is a great thing when you have concentration issues! I thought that it was cleverly constructed to give the reader unexpected twists and surprises. Of course the author manipulated her readers’ emotions! It was this that kept me so interested right until the end.

I will definitely look out for another book by Rosie Walsh, and I think this is a suitable compliment.

View all my reviews

The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi

My second book of the week was from the science fiction genre, so completely different. I had really enjoyed the first book in the series – Old Man’s War – so I turned to John Scalzi’s second book: The Ghost Brigades. This is the blurb:

The Ghost Brigades are the Special Forces of the Colonial Defense Forces, elite troops created from the DNA of the dead and turned into the perfect soldiers for the CDF’s toughest operations. They’re young, they’re fast and strong, and they’re totally without normal human qualms.

The universe is a dangerous place for humanity—and it’s about to become far more dangerous. Three races that humans have clashed with before have allied to halt our expansion into space. Their linchpin: the turncoat military scientist Charles Boutin, who knows the CDF’s biggest military secrets. To prevail, the CDF must find out why Boutin did what he did.

Jared Dirac is the only human who can provide answers — a superhuman hybrid, created from Boutin’s DNA, Jared’s brain should be able to access Boutin’s electronic memories. But when the memory transplant appears to fail, Jared is given to the Ghost Brigades.

At first, Jared is a perfect soldier, but as Boutin’s memories slowly surface, Jared begins to intuit the reason’s for Boutin’s betrayal. As Jared desperately hunts for his “father,” he must also come to grips with his own choices. Time is running out: The alliance is preparing its offensive, and some of them plan worse things than humanity’s mere military defeat…

And here is the review (for some reason, the review will not link here as usual, so I have taken a screenshot instead):

I have downloaded quite a few ebooks to enjoy during this enforced isolation, so I am not sure what I am going to try next.

So, until next week’s Reading Roundup…

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 30/03/20 with some frivolity!

I’m feeling a bit guilty as I write this post. Everything feels so grim at the moment and our household is not coping very well with the stress. Up until last night, we had been holding things together, but then we all had a horrible quarrel which has carried on today. We are all frightened and worried (I expect that everyone is) but these feelings, on top of ASD, became the touch paper that lit the flame.

I will not go into any further details. Let’s just say that I was in need of something frivolous to take my mind away from everything this morning. Part of the distraction plan has been watching Downton Abbey from the beginning via Amazon Prime. I hadn’t seen any of this series before and it is proving to be just the ticket!

The other distraction, however, is the source of some guilty feelings. Liberty of London are having an amazing sale until the end of today and I must admit that I succumbed! As you must know by now, I cannot resist scarves and a beautiful example in one of my favourite patterns, Ianthe (actually, an adapted version called Ianthe Star), came into view…

Ianthe Star – Liberty of London

Isn’t it simply gorgeous! Yes, I know I shouldn’t have bought it, but it will bring so much pleasure, even if I can only wear it indoors.

From a very bad and naughty Librain,

Anne

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Outfit of the day 27/03/20

We have had such gorgeous weather this week. It has been warm in the sun and the sky is  so clear and blue. Frustrated with looking at burgeoning Spring flowers through my window, I have managed three walks outside! I am feeling very pleased as I haven’t been able to do anything like this for months. Social isolation has somehow made me more determined to try to regain some strength and fitness. I also thought that being outside in the sunshine would bring benefits and that has proved to be correct.

Now, after today’s walk around the block, I am back home in bed feeling very tired, but also pleased. On some days, Lovely Husband has come with me. Today, I went alone. Elder Son has also offered to accompany me, so I might take up his offer on his days off work. I have seen a few people whilst outside and we have greeted one another cheerfully. Well, it’s the only way to get through this!

This was today’s outfit on my walk…

Outfit of the day 27/03/20 with turquoise tassel necklace

Today’s outfit:

  • Aqua cotton mix cable jumper – Lands’ End.
  • Navy cotton joggers – Cotton Traders.
  • Turquoise, gold and white beaded tassel necklace – BOHO-LANE.
  • Navy leather shoes – Hotter.

OK, it wasn’t one of my most exciting outfits, but I love wearing this jumper in the Spring and the colours really felt fresh and cheerful 😀.

I do hope that you and your loved ones are well and that you are also managing to remain optimistic.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Reading roundup 25/03/20

Books are such a solace in so many situations, and they are even more of a comfort to me at the moment. The ability to lose oneself in a book is so valuable and I am lucky to have had that ability since childhood. Sometimes, my worries surface and prevent full concentration, probably one of the reasons why my reading is so slow these days, apart from the effects of the stroke. At other times I can feel my sense of self melt into the story. This is a truly wonderful experience.

Escape by Barbie Probert-Wright

Once again I chose an absorbing ebook this week: Escape: our journey home through war-torn Germany by Barbie Probert-Wright. This is the blurb:

Two sisters.
One extraordinary true story.

Germany, 1945. Trapped between advancing armies, stranded hundreds of miles from their mother, and with their father missing in action, sisters Barbie and Eva were confronted with an impossible choice.

Should they stay and face invasion or risk their lives to find their mother?

Together, they set out on a perilous three-hundred mile journey on foot across a country ravaged by war. Fuelled by courage and love, Eva and seven-year-old Barbie encounter incredible hardship, extraordinary bravery, and overwhelming generosity.

Against all odds, they both survived.
But neither sister came out of the journey unscathed . . .

This is the powerful true story of their escape.

The book is certainly worth reading and here is my review from Goodreads:

Escape: Our journey home through war-torn GermanyEscape: Our journey home through war-torn Germany by Barbie Probert-Wright
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t usually read much non-fiction these days, but I am very glad that I found this book. The idea of seeing the end of WWII through the eyes of a German child intrigued me. The journey that the two sisters undertook was very interesting and really kept me absorbed. The highs and lows of the story made me feel quite emotional at times and the landscapes and unfolding events were well-drawn. There were certainly very harrowing parts of the tale too.

The book kept my attention until the last part. The immediate aftermath of the journey was interesting enough because I had heard the stories of my own parents, who were also young at that time. However, as the book turned to more recent events and further information about family members, I must admit that I skipped quite a few pages.

All in all, I feel that the author should have been persuaded to end the book much earlier, perhaps at the beginning of adulthood, and should not have continued too far into her later life. Still, the book is well-worth reading for the first part and I congratulate Barbie’s and her sister’s courage.

View all my reviews

OK, now I will return to my cup of tea and my current ebook, which I will write about next week. Until then…

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,

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