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Showing posts from October, 2017

October Books

I haven't done a monthly recap post for a while, but I haven't posted much lately so I thought I'd do a summary of what I've read this month. Firstly, I finally finished Lord of the Rings! I think it's been round about a year, perhaps just over, since I first picked up The Fellowship of the Ring. I tend to be very slow about reading long books - I need to take breaks to read other things in the middle - but I didn't quite expect to take so long to finish. I did enjoy it, and am partly tempted to start over again with FOTR, since it feels like an age since I read that. At any rate, I can now say that I have read it.
I made some progress with Mount TBR this month; I'm still hopelessly behind my goal of 24 books, but I did get a few off: The Return of the King (as mentioned above), Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, and Forged in the Fire by Ann Turnbull. Scarlet was a disappointment - despite having really enjoyed Cinder (last year), I found this a bit of a chore to …

Footnotes: October 2017

Footnotes is a monthly link-up hosted by Ashley and Emily. It's all about sharing quotations. Just in time, I'm joining up with the October prompt, which is: a quotation from a poem. There were quite a few quotations I could have shared this month, but I've chosen a short quote from Charlotte Bronte's poem "Gilbert":
            For words oft give but echo faint             Of thoughts the mind conceives. I've definitely experienced thoughts and feelings that I wasn't able to express in words; sometimes this might be because I don't have the words or don't understand my thoughts well enough, but other times it does seem like language is inadequate. However, one of the joys of collecting quotations is that sometimes you find that others have said things that express your thoughts perfectly, when you weren't able to do so yourself.

A Little Re-Organisation

You may have noticed that I've redesigned my blog look. I've changed things around several times lately but this is the most dramatic change, and I'm intending to leave it alone for a bit now! I've also taken the opportunity to move some things around and to add an "About" page and an "Archives" tag where you can access my non-book-review posts. Hopefully it'll be easier to find your way around now! Let me know what you think.

Weekly Poem: Psalm 13 by Mary Herbert

How long, O Lord, shall I forgotten be? What? ever? How long wilt thou thy hidden face from me Dissever?
How long shall I consult with carefull sprite In anguish? How long shall I with foes triumphant might Thus languish?
Behold me, Lord, let to thy hearing creep My crying; Nay, give me eyes and light, lest that I sleep In dying;
Lest my foe brag, that in my ruin he Prevailed; And at my fall they joy that, troublous, me Assailed.
No! no! I trust on thee, and joy in thy Great pity: Still, therefore, of thy graces shall be my Song's ditty. Mary Herbert

Book Review: The Bookseller's Tale by Ann Swinfen

SummaryThe Bookseller's Tale is the first in a series of mysteries set in 14th-century Oxford. The book takes place a few years after the population has been decimated by the Black Death, the effects of which are still widely felt. Nicholas Elyot, the main character, is a bookseller who lost his wife to the plague. One day he finds the body of a student in the River Cherwell, and discovers that his death was not due to natural causes. The town authorities don't seem to have any interest in investigating the murder, but Nicholas and his friend Jordain Brinkylsworth, a member of the university, feel they owe it to the victim to find out. Thoughts  One of the big things I liked about this book was the historical detail - we find out quite a bit about medieval Oxford, the university, and particularly about Nicholas' work as a bookseller, which I found really interesting. Some readers might not enjoy these details as they mean there is a little less focus on the mystery, but I…

Weekly Poem: She walks in beauty, like the night

She walks in beauty, like the night    Of cloudless climes and starry skies, And all that's best of dark and bright    Meet in her aspect and her eyes: Thus mellowed to that tender light    Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,    Had half impaired the nameless grace Which waves in every raven tress,    Or softly lightened o'er her face, Where thoughts serenely sweet express    How pure, how dear their dwelling place.
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,    So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, The smiles that win, the tints that glow,    But tell of days in goodness spent, A mind at peace with all below,    A heart where love is innocent.
Lord Byron

Mini-Reviews #7: Classic Adventures

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the SeaProfessor Arronax is on an expedition to find what is believed to be a large whale which has been attacking ships. However, his trip takes a surprising turn when he and two companions find themselves trapped on board the submarine Nautilus - the real culprit. Until they can find a way to escape, they must travel along with Captain Nemo and his men, exploring the underwater realm, and attempting to reach the South Pole, facing adventures and dangers along the way.
This was quite good. I didn't enjoy it as much as Journey to the Centre of the Earth, but I still found the adventures for the most part enjoyable, and I liked the character of Captain Nemo - he is a bit of an ambiguous character, someone who has suffered a lot and does some bad things, but he is an interesting character and I can't help liking him at least a bit. The descriptions of things seen under the sea were also interesting. I also liked the scientific details - there is en…

Weekly Poem: Let me not to the marriage of true minds

So, I was thinking a while back that it might be nice to share some of my favourite poems on here, and decided to try doing a weekly post. Despite getting a few posts together I didn't get round to actually posting anything, but I found this in my drafts recently and thought I might as well give it a go. How long I will keep it up I cannot say, but I have a few poems lined up for the coming weeks at least.
This was originally meant to be posted back in February, and I chose the poem in honour of Valentine's day and of I Love Austen Week (since the poem is quoted in the 1995 version of Sense & Sensibility and always makes me think of Marianne & Willoughby). It doesn't really fit quite so well now, but I've decided to share it anyway.  Sonnet 116
Let me not to the marriage of true minds     Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds,     Or bends with the remover to remove. O, no! It is an ever-fixèd mark,     That looks on tempests and i…