Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Book Review: Trash - Andy Mulligan

Synopsis - Three friends.  Raphael, Gardo and Rat.  Living on a heap of trash, a lifetime of sifting rubbish.  One day they find something extraordinary - a deadly secret.  From that moment they are hunted without mercy.

With danger snatching at their heels, the boys are chased from the city's dirty gutters to its wealthy avenues.  But they can't run for ever.  They need a miracle.

Review - I won this book from a competition some time ago and I wondered why I had not read it before.  It had got pushed to the back of my shelves.  I am so pleased I made a book jar it is a great way to aid the choosing of what to read next.  I digress.  Onto the review.

If you read the journalists reviews they liken this novel to Slumdog Millionaire.  There are similarities in so far as the central characters are from the poorest quarters and both stories have clues and involve problem solving.

Our three characters live in Behala a very poor area where all the country's trash is dumped.  The only way these young boys can survive is by sifting through the trash for valuable and saleable articles and trying to earn some much needed dough.  When they find a bag their lives change dramatically but not without some adventure.  Using their wits and some contacts they follow the trail of clues to find the answer.  Great fun read.  The audience will root for these boys and gasp when they are within a hair's whisker of danger.

Although this novel falls under the YA genre it did not feel that it particularly spoke to that age group.  I felt it was a work of fiction that could appeal to all.  4*

ISBN 978-1-849-92056-8
Published by David Fickling Books 2011

Monday, 1 September 2014

It's A Wrap - End of Month Round Up

Here we are it's the 1st September and autumn is upon us.  It's a shame to say goodbye to summer for another year but our weatherman has hinted at an Indian summer.  I am not ready to have seen the last of the sun so I hope the predictions are correct.

After having a slack few months as far as the blog is concerned I have made up with some fairly regular posting during August.  Not many reviews but I have joined in some memes as well as continuing my regular Friday feature Poetry Corner.  Here's how August was in books on Booketta's Book Blog.

Post Stats
Poetry Corner = 4
To Finish a Book or Not? = 1 
Sunday Post = 4
Wondrous Words Wednesday = 3
Book Review = 1

Books Read and Reviewed
Hearts of Gold #1 - Catrin Collier 4*

Books Read and Rated
Alys Always - Harriet Lane 4*
Can't Live Without - Joanne Phillips 2*
Can't Wait to Get to Heaven - Fannie Flagg 5*
Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett 3*
Call the Midwife - Jennifer Worth 4*

Books Unfinished
Love Lies  - Adele Parks

Winner
Can't Wait to Get to Heaven - Fannie Flagg 5*

Loser
Love Lies  - Adele Parks

Poetry Feature
Milk for the Cat - Harold Monro
One Perfect Rose - Dorothy Parker
The Pedlar's Caravan - WB Rands
Uphill - Christina Rosetti

Discussion Post
To Finish a Book or Not?  This was my first proper discussion post on the blog and I had some good responses.  I feel encouraged to make this a regular monthly post discussing varying topics of interest to the book blogging community and bloggers in general.

Sunday Post 
This meme has been running for some time but I decided to join in the fun this month and I am hoping to be able to keep this up. I enjoy reading about what other folks have read or been up to during the week.

Wondrous Words Wednesday
I am happy to have joined in again with this weekly fun feature after my holidays.  I love adding new words to my vocabulary and I have introduced some new words to others.  I make a point of saving words from various sources as well as my current reads.

Current Reads 
I am working my way through some poetry collections including:
The World's Wife  - Carol Ann Duffy
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud... - Ana Sampson
More Poetry Please - BBC Books
Fiction read:
Trash - Andy Mulligan

Overview
I have made 13 posts during August which isn't bad going for me of late.  Okay, so only one of those was a book review but I will try and remedy that.  I am still catching up on my TBR reads and I think this will take me some time to actually clear the shelves.  Therefore I am still not able to take on any review requests for the foreseeable future.  I realise I really am not averse to linking up with other bloggers and I'm enjoying taking part and also joining in on the Saturday Snapshot meme on my photography blog over on Wordpress.

Plans for September
I am currently reading Trash by Andy Mulligan and aim to post a review fairly soon.  My next choice will be from the book jar and I am down to the last two pieces of paper so I need to refill it.  I will find more poems to share with you and new words to bring to WWW.  The intention is to try and make regular contributions to the Sunday Post and find an interesting topic to discuss with you guys.  I hope to post some reviews and I am going to host a PreLoved give-away this month for autumn.  Due to the fairly high postage costs over here I can only manage one of these give-aways a month and for UK residents only.  Watch this space!

How was your month in books?






Sunday, 31 August 2014

Sunday Post #4


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog. This is your news post, so personalise it! Include as much as you want or as little. Check out the rules of the meme.

Posts on Booketta's Book Blog


Current Reads
I am working my way through some poetry collections including:
The World's Wife  - Carol Ann Duffy
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud... - Ana Sampson
More Poetry Please - BBC Books
My current read is:
Trash - Andy Mulligan

My Musical Listens
Forth - The Verve
Abraxas - Santana
Axis-Bold as Love - Jimi Hendrix
James Brown

On TV
Doctor Who (Episode 1)
I have to catch up with episode 2 and I shall also be catching up on the new Scandi-crime series Crimes of Passion.

My Week
As you know I lost a friend recently and it was her funeral on Friday.  We didn't go to the committal, just to the memorial service afterwards.  It was held in a local Methodist church and was very fitting for our friend.  It brought the group of school mum's together and as one friend said let's meet again before the next funeral.

Walks - The better half decided we should go blackberry picking again and we got a good crop this time.  Enough to do a trade for apples with friends but unfortunately, their apple crop was not good and we ended up buying some Bramley's from the supermarket.  Once again we took a walk with the ramblers along the sand dunes and sea shore, this was a 7 mile walk but advertised as 8 miles. Maybe he deducted a mile for the extra he added on last week. 

Decorating - We have started decorating our hall and landing.  First steps were to fill in any cracks in the plaster and now the other half is measuring, cutting and installing the coving.  We have bought the floor tiles to go in the porch and downstairs toilet which match quite closely with our kitchen floor.

Social - Being the social butterflies that we are, I jest here because we don't often have several events to attend in one week let alone one day.  But it just happened that Mr Booketta's cycling group had their BBQ on the same day as a friend from my writing group had her engagement party.  I had met two or three cyclists so I got to meet them all and Mr B had met two or three of the writers and got to meet more of my friends and their partners.  A small world as we discovered on chatting to a couple at the party that I briefly knew her mother from my old workplace.  We didn't get to the carnival to see my friend perform, the weather was so awful for an outdoor event but we got to see her sing some songs to the engaged couple last night.  Unfortunately, we couldn't manage to fit everything into one day so we didn't get to see the Red Arrows display.

Next Week
Pilates class is back on.  There are no more Bank holidays until Christmas so classes should run continuously until then.  The teen and I intend to trot along to the writing group we tried for the first time in August.  This group is slightly bigger and I think will be well attended as it is their second anniversary.  They have published an anthology which they will perform the following week.  We close the working week with a retrospective meal to celebrate both my husband's and his rambling and chess playing friend's birthday. There will be seven of us going to a small friendly restaurant where you can take your own drink.  The owner is known to my husband as he is also a member of the Ramblers.

Blog Book Plans
I hope I will have some more words to share on Wondrous Words Wednesday.
A poem for Poetry Corner
I hope to have a review of Trash by Andy Mulligan for you sometime this week.
I am long overdue to do a give-away so I may get organised enough to do that during the week ahead.
My next book choice will be whatever comes out of the book jar.

Did you have a good week?



Friday, 29 August 2014

Poetry Corner #12

This week I have chosen a poem by Christina Rosetti  (5 December 1830 – 29 December 1894) titled Uphill.  


Uphill

Does the road wind uphill all the way?
   Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
   From morn to night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place?
   A roof for when the slow, dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
   You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
   Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
   They will not keep you waiting at that door.

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
   Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
   Yea, beds for all who come.

Christina Rosetti

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday


Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you have encountered or spotlight words you love.  This weekly meme is hosted by BermudaOnion's Weblog.  If you would like to join then please hop over (see link above) and add your URL to the Linky.

Here we are Wednesday again!   How did that come round so quickly?  I am currently reading Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth, my first word is from this book.

ordure - noun. dung
"The ordure in the courtyards used to be disgusting, I was told."

My next word is from Hearts of Gold by Catrin Collier set in Pontypridd, Wales.

crachach or crache - is a pejorative term used to refer to those of the Establishment in Wales who are thought of as snobs.  Often Welsh speaking, they are believed to be found in influential positions in the arts, politics, academia and the media.
"We're going where the crache live.  They're the ones who can afford to throw out old for new."

Another recent read Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett threw up a new word for me. 

adze - noun. a tool similar to an axe with an arched blade at right angles to the handle, used for cutting or shaping large pieces of wood.
vb. cut away the surface (a piece of wood) with an adze.
"[...] carefully shaping a length of beech-wood with an adze."

A random word I found and saved for these posts.

rout - noun. 1. a disorderly retreat of defeated troops, (a large evening party or assembly).
2. an assembly of people who have made a move towards committing an illegal act which would constitute an offence of riot.
vb. defeat caused to retreat in disorder.
"[...] where by night and day lacquered coaches flitted from dinners to card parties to rout."

What interesting words have you found to share this week?

Monday, 25 August 2014

Book Review: Hearts of Gold #1 - Catrin Collier

SynopsisTrainee midwife Bethan Powell lives in the shadow of the workhouse during the Depression. It's difficult to say which is harder for her and fellow nurse Laura Ronconi--their gruelling work in the hospital, or the frictions and financial hardships at home. Bethan's Communist miner father, rigidly Chapel mother, unruly brothers, and delightful but dubiously honest aunt, and Laura's vast Italian cafe-running family, cause the girls as much worry as any difficult case or strict ward sister. But working-class Pontypridd agrees on one thing--the "crache," or gentry, who live in the big houses on the Common, may be just the other side of town, but they inhabit a different world. So when Bethan and Laura are smitten by two young doctors, can love really bridge the divide? Or is the pull of family too strong, the gulf too wide?  (Taken from Goodreads)

Review -  Hearts of Gold #1 is the first book in the Hearts of Gold series.  It was first published in 1992 by Century.  I obtained this book on Kindle from Amazon.  You may wonder why I am reviewing a book that has been around for over 20 years.  Catrin Collier is a Welsh author and as an inhabitant of Wales I feel a sense of loyalty in spreading the word.  I have to say I was surprised when a fellow blogger informed me that she had read another title from this author.  I certainly had not come across Ms Collier's work before.  Enough background, let's get onto the review itself.

This book sets the scene for the Powell family and their friends and relatives in the Graig, on the poor side of the Common in Pontypridd.  The story is well written with fiction woven around the social history of the time.  Valley communities were tight and would stick together but despite the community mindedness there was also the small minded, nosey neighbour attitudes and the shame from any scandal that threatened to shake a family's values to the core.  This book is set in the 1930's right in the heart of the depression and the families depicted are struggling to survive.  The story centres on Bethan the eldest daughter of Evan and Elizabeth Powell.  Bethan is a nurse and a major contributor to the household, helping to keep the family from total poverty.  Her brothers Haydn and Eddie are struggling to find decent and steady jobs and the youngest Maud is still at school.  When Bethan meets the younger Dr John her life looks as if it may change for the better and to keep up with Andrew John, from the "crache" she has to dress the part.  

The story runs along comfortably and just as I wondered where it was going it twisted and turned keeping me on my toes.  I did find the story predictable in parts but even so, that did not detract from the interesting subject matter or my enjoyment of the story.  

There are 8 books in the series, the next titled One Blue Moon.  I shall look out for this book later on.  4* 

Kindle edition: ASIN: B00DI9VSB0
Paperback: ISBN-13: 978-1909840775

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Sunday Post #3


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog. This is your news post, so personalise it! Include as much as you want or as little. Check out the rules of the meme.

Posts on Booketta's Book Blog

Posts on my other blogs

Useful posts elsewhere in the Blogosphere

Books Read
The Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett (not reviewed) 3*

Current Reads
I am working my way through some poetry collections including:
The World's Wife  - Carol Ann Duffy
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud... - Ana Sampson
More Poetry Please - BBC Books
My current read is:
Hearts of Gold - Catrin Collier

My Week
You may remember I received news of a friend who was terminally ill.  Sadly to say I later learnt of her passing.  My husband and I shall be attending her funeral later on this week.

Pilates class  - No class this coming week due to a Bank Holiday in the UK (except Scotland).  Last week's class wasn't quite so busy and I returned feeling stretched and toned.

Writing group - I met up with friends from my old writing class for an afternoon chat over coffee.  Some of the group still go to classes run by the same tutor but in a different venue.  One friend is a songwriter and has formed a small band.

Walks - The better half is a regular rambler and most weeks he goes on long walks up hill and down dale.  I decided to go along this week and he kindly lowered his walking standard to accompany me on a 'C' grade walk at a leisurely pace.  What was advertised as a 7 mile walk turned into a 10 mile walk.  It was nice to discover new paths and rights of way locally.  I took myself for a local stroll yesterday taking in some shops looking for an item of clothing.  It was a successful trip.  The OH had gone for a cycle ride and I had nothing better to do after finishing my chores.

Coffees - I mentioned the writing group meet above.  The OH and I grabbed our weekly coffee at our regular haunt and as quite often we bumped into people we knew catching up on their lives.

Next Week
Weather permitting we are hoping to see my friend perform with her small band at a carnival.  I hope to get to meet with a social group from the OU for a drink.  On a sad note we have a funeral to attend.  The following day will be busy with attending a Red Arrows display where I shall try and get some photographic shots, a BBQ and an engagement party.

Blog Book Plans
I hope I will have some more words to share on Wondrous Words Wednesday.
A poem for Poetry Corner
Again no planned book reviews but watch this space.
My next book choice will be whatever comes out of the book jar.

Did you have a good week?


Friday, 22 August 2014

Poetry Corner #11

This week's choice is selected from the BBC publication More Poetry Please.  The reason I chose this poem was because I remembered my grandmother reciting the first couple of verses to me during my childhood.  It brought back memories of school holidays spent in the kitchen possibly baking or just being with her while she prepared dinner with the radio on or not, when she would tell me stories from her past or sing songs and rhymes.  Here is The Pedlar's Caravan by WB Rands.  Wikipedia informs that his full name was William Brighty Rands (24 December 1823 — 23 April 1882).

The Pedlar's Caravan

I wish I lived in a caravan,
With a horse to drive, like the pedlar man!
Where he comes from nobody knows,
Or where he goes to, but on he goes.

His caravan has windows two,
And a chimney of tin that the smoke comes through,
He has a wife, and a baby brown,
And they go riding from town to town.

Chairs to mend and delf to sell -
He clashes the basins like a bell.
Tea-trays, baskets, ranged in order,
Plates, with the alphabet round the border.

The roads are brown, and the sea is green,
But his house is just like a bathing machine;
The world is round, but he can ride,
Rumble, and splash to the other side.
!
With the pedlar-man I should like to roam,
And write a book when I come home.
All the people would read my book,
Just like the Travels of Captain Cook.

WB Rands

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday


Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you have encountered or spotlight words you love.  This weekly meme is hosted by BermudaOnion's Weblog.  If you would like to join then please hop over (see link above) and add your URL to the Linky.

Another week flies by and so much seems to have happened.  C'est la vie!  I have some more words to share from various sources I have saved for this meme.

hawk - vb. to clear the throat of phlegm noisily, to bring up phlegm.
"Whereupon he will stop, hawk onto the floor and leave."

shingled - noun. shingled hair; shingling the hair.
vb. to cut short so that it tapers from the back of the head to the nape of the neck so that all ends are exposed like roof-shingles.
"Slicked, marcelled, shingled and pomaded."

hartal - noun. a closure of shops and offices as a protest or a mark of sorrow.
"[...] and a general hartal shuts down the city for several days."

jonnock (or jannock) - adj. genuine; real
adv. honestly; truly; genuinely
"That would have been jonnock."

Have you found any interesting words to share this week?

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Sunday Post #2


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog. This is your news post, so personalise it! Include as much as you want or as little. Check out the rules of the meme.

Posts
Last Sunday I made my very first contribution to The Sunday Post meme.
Last Friday Poetry Corner

Books Read
Can't Wait to Get to Heaven - Fannie Flagg - not reviewed 5*

Current Reads
I am working my way through some poetry collections including:
The World's Wife  - Carol Ann Duffy
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud... - Ana Sampson
More Poetry Please - BBC Books
My current read is:
Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett

My Week
Well, it has certainly been a week.  In the media we were greeted with the sad news of the death of Robin Williams which shook the nation and the following day we learnt about Lauren Bacall, although rather more expected at her age.

On a personal note a friend informed us that her father in law had sadly passed away but this morning I was greeted with more shocking news that a friend is very poorly in a hospice with a few days left.  Today although I have been getting on with household and garden chores I am trying not to feel maudlin and don't want to dwell on this too much in this post.  I shall move onto the more positive aspects of my week such as my teen passing her exams and being able to make her choices for University next year.

Pilates class  - I went to class and our regular teacher was back in charge.

Writing group - My daughter and I joined a writing group which meets once or twice a month.  We had fun with some unusual prompts and are keen to make this a regular activity.

Coffees - I met up with a couple of friends from my old photography class for a chat at a local Arts Centre.  I also met up with my friend who brought her daughter along to show me the baby, I also got a cuddle.  

Yoga - My usual class has stopped for the holiday and I found a class still running so I went along on Friday.  I have done yoga on and off for many years so it was not completely new to me but quite different from my regular class.  Having found this class to fill the gap I learnt they are having a two week holiday.

Strolls - A bit more than a stroll OH and I did a 5.5 mile walk yesterday through some lovely countryside.  We stopped at a pub by the river before heading for the nearest town to have a meander and a coffee.

Next week
I have plans to meet up with my old writing group.  Pilates tomorrow and hopefully the OH and I will get a walk or two in during the week.  

Blog Book Plans
I hope I will have some more words to share on Wondrous Words Wednesday.
A poem for Poetry Corner
Again no planned book reviews but watch this space because I may make a post.
My next book choice will be whatever comes out of the book jar.

How was your week?

Blog Archive