Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Year in Books - February



Linking up today with Laura at Circle of Pine Trees for this month's Year in Books where we aim to read at least one book a month. At the start of the month we blog about the book we are intending to read and perhaps a few words about the previous book.

Last month's book Wolf Hall by  (Dame) Hilary Mantel was one that I had started, put down and then picked up again when I realised the serialised drama was scheduled on the tv. Try as I might, I simply couldn't finish it in time and had to put it back on the shelf once more.

In summary, the book is a fictionalised story of the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell whose father was a blacksmith who bullied him as a child. At fifteen he ran away to sea and travelled Europe - joining the French Army and later working as a merchant in Antwerp and Florence. After many years he returns where his life experiences enabled him to becomes an assistant to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop of York. Steeped in history around the life and loves of Henry Vlll this book brings the brutal world of the Tudors to life.

This month's book is Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton -   and seemingly of a mystery/crime genre.




"Black smoke stains a summer blue sky. A school is on fire. And one mother, Grace sees the smoke and runs. She knows her teenage daughter Jenny is inside. She runs into the burning building to rescue her". 

Afterwards, Grace must search for the identity of the arsonist and protect her children from the person who's still intent on destroying them. Afterwards she must fight the limits of her physical strength and discover the limitlessness of love.

I'm not one to read crime as a rule but I do like a bit of mystery so hope I'll stick with it. I picked this up last night and it clicked instantly. I have a habit of testing the water so to speak. Sometimes I just get bored after the first chapter and leave it on the side for another time - which never happens! 

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On another note I just want to apologise to all of my blogging friends for my lack of comments and posts this last couple of weeks. We have been in a dilemma here as to whether to move house or stay where we are. We've lived here for 30 years and the children have now fled and we thought it might be a good time to downsize. However, I do love my house, all of our bedrooms are in constant use - our master bedroom, the guest room, my study/craft room and then a little box room for whatever gets put in there.  Plus we live in a quiet neighbourhood with plenty of walks and open spaces nearby as well as the sea. We started to look around and nothing matched or compared with our house - even if we did move I daresay I would definitely want some re-decoration and/or improvements done. That being so we have decided to stay and have some work done here - new kitchen and possibly some other improvements. So instead of hours of trawling around looking at properties we are now out looking for kitchens etc and having people in for designing and quoting for said work to be done. This all takes time and something has to give - so once again I hope you'll bear with me.

I would like to say thank you so much for all your lovely comments on my last posts. I really do appreciate them and they mean such a lot to me. Hopefully I'll be back on track again in a few days.

Take care my friends and have a good week.
Patricia x

21 comments:

  1. Moving is a lot of hassle, we have done it three times since 2008! But now we have found our forever home, so we definitely wont be doing it again. We are also empty-nesters but with both of us being at home all the time, the whole house gets used, and having a room all to myself for all my "stuff" is a real treat. My advice to anyone would be not to downsize, but if, like us, you want to capitalize on the value of your house, you need to move well away from London. Good luck with all your improvements, looking forward to following progress. Joy x x

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    1. Thanks Joy. I know what you mean about both being at home all the time. There really isn't enough space sometimes! I'll keep you posted. P xx

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  2. Hello Patricia,

    We usually test a book by reading the first few sentences of the first chapter. If we are gripped, then it stays, if not we ruthlessly cast it aside, knowing that the day will not dawn when we might pick it up again. We have not heard of Rosamund Lupton, so we shall seek her out......and give it the test.

    Moving house is so very stressful and there is nothing better for appreciating one's own home than looking at what is on offer for sale. We are sure that it is going to be far more exciting to be carrying out projects where you are and taking advantage of the space you now have around you. We look forward to seeing how your plans work out!

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    1. Thankyou Jane and Lance. It was only when we started looking that we realised we had the house we wanted all the time. Not sure if I could handle the stress either! P x

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  3. I think if you are happy, stay put and have the work done as you are. We unfortunately live in a flat and are constantly thinking about moving for all sorts of reasons but it would be nice not to hear neighbours noises, not they they are overly noisy but sometimes it's like they are in the same room!! Also our downstairs neighbours are moving, which is a worry! Anyway, enough of me. You must take photos of the befores and afters and during of the work being done, if not for us then for you to look back on. Are you watching Wolf Hall, I am and quite enjoying it. Suzy x

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    1. We're pleased we've taken the decision to stay and I'll post some photos as work proceeds. Yes I'm watching Wolf Hall and enjoying it too. Hope you have some nice neighbours move in downstairs. P x

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  4. Hello Patricia

    I'd thought about watching Wolf Hall, after reading your review I'm so pleased I changed my mind.
    I've not heard of Rosamund Lupton, but the books sounds interesting, I look forward to reading your review.

    Good luck with the house improvements.

    luv
    irene
    xxxx

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    1. Thanks Irene. I'd not heard of this author either but apparently her last book was very good so am hopeful this will be too. P x

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  5. Good luck with the home improvements - I hope you find what you are looking for. x

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    1. Thankyou Sara. There's so much going on in my head at the moment I'm not sure if I'm coming or going! P x

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  6. Always a tough decision to make, but it sounds like you feel you've made the right one - so have fun redecorating and hope it's a happy process for you both.
    I have to admit I started to watch Wolf Hall but just didn't seem to be in the right frame of mind for it at the time - perhaps another day.
    Have a good week,
    hugs xx

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    1. Thank you. I am looking forward to this project Gilly and the end result. Wolf Hall has been a bit slow on the tv I have to admit but im going to stick with it. Have a good week. P x

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  7. I must admit I'm enjoying Wolf Hall on television although I haven't read the books. It sounds as if you have made a good decision to stay in a house you love and in an area you feel at home in. Good luck with all the renovations and enjoy seeking out all the things you'll need:)

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    1. Thankyou Rosie and we know it's the right decision. P x

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  8. These books both sound really good. I wish you all the best with your renovations. It's not easy to live amid the construction messes but it's so worth it to have an improved home when it's all done.

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. I must admit I'm not looking forward to the mess that's for sure! P x

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  9. I hope that all goes well with the renovations and other works, it will all be well worth it when it is done even if it keeps you very occupied in the meantime! xx

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    1. Thanks Amy. Yes it will be worth it in the end and looking forward to the challenge. P x

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  10. Yes, you made the right decision, Patricia, too soon to downsize just yet. We also have 4 'bedrooms', which are in constant use, as guest room, his work/study, her sewing/grandson room, etc. What fun to be able to plan a new kitchen, and other renovations. I will look forward to seeing what you have chosen. Meantime, the books look interesting, especially anything to do with the Tudor era. xx

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    1. Thanks Patricia, we're looking forward to making these changes and so glad we're not moving now. The Tudors - a wonderful era in our history which I love. Have a great week. P x

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  11. Hi Patricia.........the book preview was interesting. To be honest I rarely read fiction. The only time I would is when on holiday and my husband takes a siesta :)

    We moved 13 years ago.....I was in my fifties then. We did not downsize we went for something bigger.
    I now have Grandchildren, who stay frequently, so the space is used.
    I cannot imagine living anywhere else. I am realistic enough to know that one day that time might come but for the moment, I fully intend to spend the rest of my life here :)

    You sound very attached to your house.....I believe you have made the right decision.........enjoy. x

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