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{Review} The Owl Service – Alan Garner

{Review} The Owl Service – Alan Garner

Summary
Owls. That was the pattern formed by the plates hidden upstairs. But these owls vanished when they were copied onto paper. With each owl that fades from the page, another layer of magic is awoken, forming a net that encloses the valley. As the web tightens, will Alison, Roger and Gwyn be able to free themselves, or are they the latest three in the valley’s history to be forced to relive it? Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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Summer so soon has glided by

At the start of the summer, I had so many plans as to what I’d do over the last few months: read ‘World’ Literature by the shelf, learn the violin, travel, learn basic Polish, watch over 20 films… Basically making my last summer as a student as memorable and exciting as humanly possible!

As a result, I’ve not had an internet connection from mid-June to August and am only now starting to plug myself back into the ‘super info-highway’.

I’ll re-start posting on a regular basis from the start of next week: it’s been 5 years since we enjoyed such a perfect (relatively rain-free) summer in the U.K., so I’m loath to come inside and sit in front of the computer for any real length of time.

Keat’s Sonnet X expresses what I’m feeling so beautifully that I have to include it.

To one who has been long in city pent,
‘Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven,—to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.
Who is more happy, when, with heart’s content,
Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair
Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair
And gentle tale of love and languishment?
Returning home at evening, with an ear
Catching the notes of Philomel,—an eye
Watching the sailing cloudlet’s bright career,
He mourns that day so soon has glided by:
E’en like the passage of an angel’s tear
That falls through the clear ether silently.

Hope you’re all having superb summers! Looking forward to catching up on all your thought-provoking and fun blog posts.

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Inspiring Blog Award


Many thanks to http://help-me-rhonda.com/ for giving me this beautiful award. I know that quite a lot of bloggers aren’t “into” the awards system, but I think that it’s a great way of finding bloggers you may like that would otherwise probably slip under your radar.

I say this because, in addition to always having brilliant posts that make the reader feel involved with their contents, Rhonda is a lady who is all about spreading joy and the community spirit on the blogosphere. 🙂

I am required to tell you seven things about myself, so…

1) I’ve been living on the 5th floor of a building that has no lift for nearly a year… and still get out of breath before I get to my floor.

2) I’ve wanted to play the violin since I was 4. This summer (and nearly 2 decades later) I’m going to start learning it. 🙂

3) The Book Buying Ban has now been going for 4 months and my purse is thanking me for it.

4) France has amazing French food, but they don’t cater to other countries’ cuisines. I would kill for a ‘korma’ that was not made with wasabi sauce.

5) I have a penguin-shaped hot water bottle called James that my best friend gave me for Christmas.

6) I have written a rhyming poem about James’ heroic exploits in the Antarctic (saving his friends from predators) and have started a 2nd poem about his subsequent travels about the Antarctic.

It is gripping stuff, though I say so myself. 😛

7) I re-read North and South at least once a year and maintain that I love it so much because it has a poem by Tennyson in it.

And now… here’s the list of the ten people I pass this award on to:

Words and Peace: A really well-read book blogger who started the I love France meme. I go there every Thursday to get my French culture/ history/ art/ life/ literature fix for the week.

Tavi Meyer: Is the man who introduced me to the concept of photography as a valid form of art. He’s a brilliant photographer and an interesting guy. I’m hoping to do a proper photo shoot with him before I leave Aix. (The fourth photo on the first row is from our first trial shoot).

The Synthesist Chronicles:  Whether she’s discussing academics’ use of social media or gender equality, her posts are snappy and introduce me to a new way of looking at the issues she discusses.  

Rose City Reader: Her methodical approach to creating reading lists and exploring genres is slowly rubbing off on me.

La Plume Noire: A wonderful mixture of prose and more genres of photography than I can count. Simply superb.

50 Year Project: to paraphrase, TBM’s aim in creating this blog was to refocus all the negative energy around into a positive, exciting and inspiring experience.

Lifetime Reading Plan: is an intelligently written blog that is absolute heaven for someone who is interested in a broad spectrum of literature. Every novel mentioned is a classic, even in the ‘books about reading’ section!

Chronicles of Illusions: is a ‘parallel universe’ I enjoy slipping into whenever the real world feels a bit too intense.

http://anarmchairbythesea.blogspot.com/ : was my first introduction to the world of blogging and book blogging. 🙂 She is cool.

Last but not least: L.S. Engler of http://lsengler.com/ :  ‘A writer. Writing. About Writing’. She is brilliant

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Awards

 

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{Summary} Cultural Buffet Challenge – Week One

First of all, I’d like to say thanks to Synthesist Chronicles and The Lupine Librarian for their recommendations. 🙂

Notes
This week has been quite exciting: after months of studying and revising, I can sit in the shade with a big bottle of water and a croissant and read for as long as I want. I can take as much time as I like to read the same paragraph or poem several times and I can get as carried away with making notes as I like without being crippled by guilt for not sticking to my daily schedule.

The only downside is that my mind’s whirling with so many concepts and ideas that every time I sit down to write a review, I only manage up to type a hundred words or so before my eyes stray back to a book or a film or my Polish vocabulary book.

So, I’ll start putting reviews up for the asterisked books in the next few days.

If you’d like me to review a particular book or film on the list, just ask. 🙂

Books Read This Week
1) The Prince – Machiavelli *
2) The Age of Innocence – Wharton *
3) The Spectacular Group Suicide – Paasilinna *
4) Sonietchka – Ulitskaya
5) Broadmoor Revealed: Victorian Crime and the Lunatic Asylum – Stevens
6) The Character of Rain – Nothomb *
7) The Gourmand – Barbery *
8) Travels Around Kazakhstan: After the fall of the Soviet Union – Deonna *
9) The Spellman Files – Lutz
10) Water for Elephants – Gruen
11) Italian Shoes – Mankell (re-read)

Films/ Series Seen
1) Dark Shadows
2) Things to Do Before You’re 30
3) The Bridge (series)
4) Medieval Lives (series) *

And I’ve completed the first CD of the Michel Thomas Polish course, so all in all, it’s been a rather good week. 🙂

 

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Once Upon a Time VI Challenge

On the 21st of March the sixth annual Once Upon a Time Challenge started. It is a reading and viewing event that encompasses four broad categories: Fairy Tale, Folklore, Fantasy and Mythology, including every shade and nuance and genre that crosses the paths of the afore-mentioned four. The challenge will end on the 19th of June and is great because you can join it and read as little as one book.

I know I said that I wasn’t going to join any more challenges but this one isn’t really a challenge, it’s just about reading books that I want to read and telling the world about them…

All of the salient details can be found here

I’ve signed up for ‘The Journey’ which means that I’m going to read a minimum of one book that falls into any of those categories. I am too excited to decide on which book to read right now so I’m going to come back to that later..

Please sign up and read, people! It looks so much fun!

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2012 in Once Upon a Time VI

 

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12 in 12

As hosted by booksonthenightstand

NB: unreviewed books in italics. Click on the titles to read the reviews!

Category One, ‘Through the Grapevine’ (Books recommended by others)

1) Reading Lolita in Tehran – Azar Nafisi
2) Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
3) The Alchemist – Paolo Coelho
4) Fifty Shades of Grey – E.L. James
5) Fifty Shades Darker – E.L. James
6) Fifty Shades Freed – E.L. James
7) The Help – K. Stockett

Cat. 2, ‘ Homocidal Tendancies’ (Crime novels)
1) The Maltese Falcon – D. Hammett
2) Death comes to Pemberley – P.D. James
3) The New York Trilogy – Paul Auster

Category Three, ‘Not just a pretty face’ (Non-fiction books)
1) Geisha – Lisa Dalby
2) Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman- Robert K Massie
3) The Story of Malta – Maturin Murray Ballou
4) Backpacked – A Reluctant Trip Across Central America – Catherine Ryan Howard

Category Four, ‘Young at Heart’ (YA/ childrens’ books)
1) Clockwork Prince – Cassandra Clare
2) The Hatchling – K. Lasky
3) The First Collier – K. Lasky
4) The Coming of Hoole – K. Lasky
5) Exile – K. Lasky
6) The River of Wind – K. Lasky
7) Golden Tree – K. Lasky
8) To Be a King – K. Lasky
9) Sierra Brulante – Pierre Pelot

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2012 in 12 in 12

 

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