Wednesday, 30 June 2010

WWW Wednesdays

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

I'm nearly finished "The White Queen" by Phillipa Gregory.

I recently finished " No Law In The Land" by Michael Jecks.Left me wanting more!

What next? not sure I have "The Winter Mantle" and "The Running Vixen"
by Elizabeth Chadwick waiting .

I also have the next Templar Mystery wating:" The Bishop Must Die" by Michael Jecks

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My teasers from "The White Queen " by Phillipa Gregory.
"Death is near us all",he says seriously. "But it is a constant companion to a king come to his crown through the battlefield and now riding out to fight again".

Monday, 28 June 2010

Musing Mondays

This week’s musing asks…

What do you think of books that receive a lot of hype? (think of the “Twilight” saga, or “Harry Potter”, or “The Da Vinci Code”). Do you read them? Why, or why not?

I generally get turned off by the over hyped books ,Da Vinci was ok though,HP i didn't read and still haven't btw. Twilight hasn't got my interest either .
The HenryVIII/Tudor's thing turned me right off ,I watched some of series one and found it boring and rather light weight!I also think doing the Tudor's/HenryVIII slightly lazy ,has been done at least seven or eight times before .The C.J Sansom I'm considering btw.
(I do have "The White Queen" on my tbr pile at the moment.)

I like discovering new authors to follow .

Friday, 25 June 2010

A few ideas......continued

A few mystery/thrillers in this part !

Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

The Medici Secret by Michael White

The Shakespear Secret and The Shakespear Curse by J.L Carrell.
The second novel like the second album is always hard!

A few ideas

A little post for the moment.
Some of the other books in my collection.With summer vacation in mind, including some for kids.

The Usborn Puzzle Adventure series have puzzles on each page, that need solving before the page can be turned.

There are two series for younger kids ;"Young Puzzles and Young Puzzle Adventures

And one for teens as well:beware of the Advanced Level seriously hard!

King Arhtur :Dragon's Child by M.K.Hume ,which i piked as my summer vacation read last year:

Also Mercenaries by Jack Ludlow ,some of the locations in this were familiar to me the story though was new .

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

If you can't beat them........

" Abominable...more common,undignified and worthless than any other game, rarely ending but with some loss ,accident or disadvantage to the players themselves."
The above is a description by some contemporaries.
This is football.
Shrove Tuesday is when a large number of Football matches are held.
The captains of the two sides meet and decide how many people are going to play:dozens or even hundreds might take part in a celebratory game between two parishes.
It's the numbers taking part that determines the size of the pitch. If more than a hundred are playing the goals (two at each end) might be several miles apart.
If only two tithings {two groups of ten on each side} competing,there might only be a few hundred yards separating them.
Balls range in size from small,stuffed leather ones , not dissimilar to a modern cricket ball ,to large ones ,made of stitched pigs'bladders filled with dried peas.
Rules in football {or "campball" as it is normally called a "camp" being a field} vary from place to place and from match to match.
There is no offside rule-----or any other rule for that matter.
For much of the century the only law relating to football is the one banning it.
In 1314 the mayor of London forbids it being played anywhere near the city.
EdwardIII bans it in 1331, and again in 1363.
It creates a lot of noise.It distracts people from practicing their archery.(This was a part of their military service and duties.The practice of archery was mandatory.)
It results in damage to property and crops,many people are injured and some are killed.

The case of William de Spadling is perhaps the most famous.
In 1321 William petitions the pope for an indulgence on account of the fact, that during a game of football, a friend of his died from running into him so hard that his knife went through its sheath and into his friend.

When medieval people roll on the ground during a football match , you can be sure they are not feigning an injury in the hope of being awarded a penalty.{261pg}

Lawn tennis is not wholly a nineteenth century invention, it's earlier "real tennis" form comes to England in the late fourteenth century.
Do not expect to see a nice rectangular court marked with lines. Your fellow players might sling a net across the road that will be your court.
You score extra points for hitting the ball through a window.
Blocking the street with a net and hitting a hard projectile is hardly a way for young men to endear themselves to the urban authorities.{pg261}
When tennis is played without a racquet it is called handball or jeu de paumme.

From "The Traveller's Guide to Medieval England.{A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century}by Ian Mortimer.


To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you'll be reading next?

I am reading A Place Beyond Courage by Elizabeth Chadwick at the moment{for the thirty second time! My possible Mastermind subject!}

I have just finished Hyddenworld:Spring by William Horwood
{strange de ja vu moment thought i'd read this already a while back!}

Reading next , could be The White Queen by Phillipa Gregory or The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme ,hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading .
Anyone can play along ! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share (2} two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers!(make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My teasers are :
"What ever else Imbloc expected to appear at this late stage of her search for her sister the Shield Maiden , it was not a strangely dressed and gangly young hydden, barely more than a boy, climbing up the wet grass towards her."
{ page 10}from Hyddenworld:Spring by William Horwood.

"When it was finished he scribbled one word on a Post-it note and left it with the book by her bedroom door.
Agreed . It said".
{page 146}Hyddenworld:Spring by William Horwood.

The adventure of a lifetime is just beginning . . .

It has lain lost and forgotten for fifteen hundred years in the ancient heartland of England – a scrap of glass and metal melded by fierce fire. It is the lost core of a flawless Sphere made by the greatest of the Anglo-Saxon CraeftLords in memory of the one he loved. Her name was Spring and contained in the very heart of this work is a spark from the Fires of Creation.

But while humans have lost their belief in such things, the Hydden – little people existing on the borders of our world – have not. Breaking the silence of centuries they send one of their own, a young boy, Jack, to live among humans in the hope that he may one day find what has been lost for so long. His journey leads him to Katherine, a girl he rescues from a tragic accident ¬– it’s a meeting that will change everything. It is only through their voyage into the dangerous Hyddenworld that they will realize their destiny, find love and complete the great quest that will save both their worlds from destruction.

Their journey begins with Spring . . .

Another couple of teasers :

"That Lump will never amount to much" ; the sour faced cook snapped as he fiddled with a brimming pot filled with boiled eels and root vegetables.
"Ah, but it's amazing how balanced his temper is when he is treated with kindness;"Firth replied tartly."It's also remarkable how agile the boy becomes when he thinks no one is looking."
{page5} King Arthur:Dragon's Child by M.K.Hume .

The epic tale of the man destined to become Arthur, High King of the Britons

The Dark Ages: a time of chaos and bloodshed. The Roman legions have long deserted the Isles and the despotic Uther Pendragon, High King of Celtic Britain, is nearing death, his kingdom torn apart by the jostling for his throne.

Of unknown parentage, Artorex in growing up in the household of his foster father Lord Ector. One day, three strangers arrive and arrange for Artorex to be taught the martial skills of the warrior; blade and shield, horse and fire, pain and bravery.

When they return, years later, Artorex is not only trained in the arts of battle, he is also a married man. The country is in desperate straits for the great cities of the east are falling to the menace of the Saxon hordes.

Artorex becomes a war chieftain, and wins many battles that earns him the trust of his Celtic warriors and proves that Artorex alone can unite the tribes. But, if he is to fulfil his destiny and become the High King of the Britons, Artorex must find Uther’s crown and sword. The future of Britain is at stake.

Artor smiled as he spoke."How goes your day , Targo?"
"Slowly,slowly.As it does for you ,my lord.You still await news of your proposed truce from your envoys?"
"The waiting tries my patience ,Targo."
{page14}King Arthur ;Warrior of the West by M.K.Hume

Twelve long, blood-soaked years, have passed since Artor fulfilled his destiny and was crowned the High King of the Britons. Against all odds, Artor has united Celtic Britain and with a last great campaign, has banished the Saxon scourge. The legend of Camlann has begun. But even as Artor’s kingdom is at its zenith, even as he has succeeded in conquering all external threats to his rule, his kingdom is being undermined from within.

For Artor has chosen Wenhaver (Guenevere) as a second wife. Queen of the Britons, Wenhaver will always love what she cannot have and have what she cannot love, and her bitterness threatens to bring down all those around her. Not only is Artor betrayed by the one person he should be able to trust, he has also learned of appalling perversion at the heart of his kingdom. He must make a terrible choice. Does he commit a deed that leaves him open to comparison with the despotic Uther Pendragon, or does he let evil go unchecked? The burden of leadership, of power, now rests solely – and heavily – on Artor’s shoulders for Myrddion Merlinus, master tactician, guiding light for so many years, has left Artor to his fate. Could all that Artor has fought for, the destiny of Britain, be lost?Will Britain be torn apart?

{I've done my teasers somewhat differently to avoid spoilers!}

Musing Monday

Musing Monday by MizB at shouldbereading .

My top genres, at the moment are historical fiction, mystery and thriller/mystery .
"The Shakespear Secret" and "The Shakespear Curse" by J.L Carrell.
I have a few of each for a reading challenge i'm doing .
I also have a "timeslip" on the list . Hyddenworld: Spring by William Horwood.
My interests are fairly broad , i also like factual history ,i have also dipped into a "travel guide". "The Discovery of France" by Graham Robb.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

A little light relief!

Something I've had in mind since i was reminded on twitter a while ago!

Called " X Marks The Spot" in The Giant Book of Puzzles by Selma and Jack Orleans.

A psychologist was working in a civilian capacity for one of the armed services during World War II. Bored with the work he was doing , he decided to have himself a bit of fun. He cut a stencil of a typical mess hall, and had copies run off. Taking one copy , he marked a number of X's on it. Next to X he made a circle. In each circle he wrote a number. Then he prepared a memorandum explaining that each X represented a spot where fly paper had been hung from the ceiling of the mess hall. The number in the circle near the X was the number of flies which had been counted on the flypaper at the end of the week when the paper was replaced by fresh flypaper. The psychologist then "bucked" the memorandum to some higher echelon.
Nothing happened. The next Friday he marked up another copy of the imaginary mess hall diagram with his X's , circles and numbers, prepared a new memorandum and sent it on its way. Again nothing happened. When after four weeks nothing had happened , he got tired of the whole business and gave it up. Two weeks later , he received a memorandum asking where the " fly reports" "were for the preceding two weeks!"

Friday, 18 June 2010

Getting carried away!

Having read a few book blogs i noticed some reading challenges around, and not having done any i thought I'd give one ago.
The first one was the Tournament of Reading:Historical Fiction Challenge .
I signed up at Peasant level: 3 books.My 3 reads:
The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England
{A Handbook for Visitor's to the Fourteenth Century.}by Ian Mortimer.

When Christ And His Saints Slept by Sharon Penman,

and Kathrine by Anya Seton.

The next challenge was the Royal Reviews :Historical Reading Challenge .

{On the comments section on the website you can see i singed up on January8th.}

King Arthur:Dragon's Child {book1}by M.K.Hume. I got this for my summer vacation last year and couldn't put it down!{Little note to editors there was some slang early in book1 which rather threw me.} M.K.Hume is a new Australian author.
King Arthur :Warrior of the West{book2}Very moving and absorbing ,both are on my reread list.
Love this series so far, I'm waiting on book 3.

Azincourt by Bernard Cornwell, Harlequin,Vagabond and Heretic by Bernard Cornwell .
Azincourt i love ,being a fan of the Kenneth Brannagh HenryV the two are not unlike .I think the depth of Azincourt would make it brilliant movie. (If wonder of wonders Hollywood can ever get history right and can be detached from HenryVIII!?)Azincourt will have you crying though .

A Place Beyond Courage,The Greatest Knight,The Scarlet Lion ,The Time of Singing and Shadows and StrongHolds all Elizabeth Chadwick.

When Christ And His Saints Slept and Kathrine were on the list for this challenge also.
I will cover the remaining seven in the next post.

A little point to make is when reading historical fiction if you find you don't understand something find out! I have read a few reviews that went along the lines of" X character went on and on about this". The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England is very good at explaining points that a modern reader will not get. If a character is droning on about their "pure Norman blood" for example that was the law from 1066-1340 when the law of Englishry has it was called was repealed.After the conquest the Anglo- Saxon lords those that hadn't been slain either re-belled, went under ground or fled. You may not like the behaviour of a character but they had to live in those time you don't.

Giving a book low marks because a character had beheaviour,thoughts and ideas from the time the book is set in isn't fair. What you're marking down for is the author's good research.
Inserting modern thoughts and feelings to something set in 1076 for example is like finding a modern flat screen TV on HMS Titanic!

I have in some instances wanted to scream a character "if your not part of the answer your part of the problem"! The lack of what is known in modern times as "sister hood".
The early chapters of When Christ and his Saints Slept being a very good example .Anyone who has read this book will know where I'm referring and to whom .Another was a certain gambit between Stephen's Queen and Amabel, I dearly wanted to strangle both!! To paraphrase so i don't give anything away " let's see if Amabel will stab Maud and her husband in the back?"

A fair few of the books I've read for these challenges are on my reread list so i will get around to giving my own humble review of them.

I also hope to do a bit of recommending !

Thursday, 17 June 2010


A while back when TV book clubs were still a new thing, i heard a book mentioned that seemed interesting or so i thought at the time. Even given that during the discussion on the show i could guess some of the main plot of that book!
This being able to guess plots doesn't happen often but when it does it is generally right.
It is worth thinking things over sometimes and this was one of them , i thought about it a few weeks and decided it would be good to have a look see if this book was deserving of the hype it was getting.

After reading maybe three pages i was proven correct. Not worth the hype !
This book was The Conjuror's Martin Davies.

Another book i had heard good things about was The Ringmaster's Jostein Gaarder.
This one promised much but was too long and very complex, i didn't feel any attachment to or investment in the characters either .
Over hyping is a very quick way to kill a book a case in point for this is Beach Road by James Patterson and Pete De Jong. The TV trailer looked good i thought at the time the book again had a bit of a weak and slightly cop out ending {no pun or spoiler intended!}.