Monday, 28 June 2021

HOUSEKEEPING... or should that be BLOGKEEPING?



Feedburner, which has been the subscription function offered by Google, is no more. It is to be discontinued in July. 

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Tuesday, 8 October 2019

BRIGID..the GIRL from COUNTY CLARE.. by Vicky Adin.

by Vicky Adin

"Like making lace – she pieces together a new life from a single thread of hope.."

and that she does. 

The title attracted me as well as the description of a lacemaker, being a family historian and a craftswoman. It also helped that I am named after my Irish grandmother, Bridget, who was a native of Co Clare.

With all that in mind, I wondered if I was expecting too much, though reminding myself that this is a book of fiction. I was absorbed in the story from the beginning... the need to leave home, as there was simply not enough food, resonated with the story of my own family, who did this from two countries, one being Ireland.

The heartbreaking decision made, and the awful sad farewells made, Brigid finds herself in the turmoil of London, wondering just what had she done... At least she wasn't to be alone, as her cousin, Jamie, was to travel on the same ship. Not that they would be together too often, as the passengers were segregated. 

The voyage seems to take an interminable time, as you would expect in that era... Brigid's fellow passengers are portrayed in such a manner that you feel you are getting to know them as well as Brigid is. Her beautiful lace atracts attention and compliments set her dreaming of her future, in between reliving all that has passed before she came to the decision to leave her beloved Ireland.

There is so much that holds your attention.. including the meeting of a man who was to change her life, and not in a good way. Before you know it, you are settling with Brigid in her new home... To tell you much more would spoil the story.. Let's just say that there are a number of twists and turns, some good, some not and as things develop, Brigid begins yet another new life in New Zealand. It was going so well until a man from her past threatens to.. well, I'll let you find that out for yourself.

I couldn't stop turning just one more page, well, ok, just one more chapter... so much was familiar, yet so much was new and interesting. You really don't know what to expect, which to me is a sign of a well written story. At no time did I want to end this book... not just fiction, but factional.. and I can't wait to read more from this author.

Many thanks to Shannon O.  aka Shanannigans for providing me with this book.

Disclosure: I have no connection to the author or distributors of this book. If you would like a copy, please Google the title and author and select from whatever outlet suits you best. 

public domain

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

"The wolf is not the only hunter........." SHEPHERD by Catherine Jinks

Whenever there are awards for books that grab your attention from beginning to end, then SHEPHERD by Catherine Jinks, has got to always be a contender!

Tom Clay is just a boy, just 14 years old, but the life he's led and the trials he faces, are so far from that of the average 14 year old today, it's hard to comprehend.

 At the age of 12, he became a convict, transported to New South Wales when caught poaching in Suffolk. He'd been taught to keep quiet, a necessary skill when poaching, and it was to stand him in good stead for all that lay before him. This seemed to be the only positive thing he got from his father, himself a poacher.

At 14, he was sent to a shepherd's hut out west of Sydney, to protect the master's sheep from wild dogs. Surrounded by violent men, he kept to himself, having greater affinity with his dogs...Gyp and Pedlar. 

I loved the depiction of the first encounter Tom had with kangaroos ... 
" Though I'd heard tell of 'em, I hadn't believed such wild tales. I thought the old lags were toying with fresh meat.  But when our rattling cart scattered half a dozen big grey beasts on the road and I saw 'em bob away like the bastard spawn of a deer and a rabbit -- well, after that, I was ready to believe anything I heard about this place."

The master was Mr. Barrett, not a man to get on the wrong side of, though he could be fair at times, but as a magistrate, he wasn't averse to handing out 50 lashes. Tom did his best never to draw attention to himself. Barrett trusted him, but how he could trust Dan Carver, was beyond Tom. Carver was a murderer and a vengeful man.. and set about ridding himself of all around him.

From then on, it would take all Tom's wits to avoid and out think Carver whenever he can... his life and that of Rowdy would depend on it. Sheer madness was pitted against a young boy in a foreign land, living off his knowledge of nature and trying to relate it to this strange landscape. I felt Tom's frustration when trying to keep Rowdy quiet, but also sympathised with Rowdy for having to voice his fears...

I found my heart in my mouth so many times and just when I thought the worst was over, the pace became even faster and more horrifying. There are moments of great emotion and of anger and sheer disbelief. Catherine Jinks is an artist of words and emotions and depicts a side of convict life in colonial Australia that most will not have encountered.

The byline on the cover couldn't be more apt.

I can't wait to read more of this award winning author's works and I thank Text Publishing for sending me the book.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018


Turkish Garbage Collectors Curate Their Own Library

The sanitation workers have already amassed a collection of more than 6,000 books

Books! (Wikimedia) 
Many bibliophiles shudder at the thought of tossing a book in the trash. But tons and tons of books are discarded globally each year, either pulped by publishers, shredded by libraries or tossed out when people empty old houses. Sanitation workers in Ankara, Turkey, however, decided to give some of those abandoned tomes a new life by collecting books off the garbage heap. The result, reports Spencer Feingold and Hande Atay Alam at CNN, is a more than 6,000-book library that now serves their community.
The project began when garbage collectors in Ankara’s Çankaya district began collecting books for fellow workers and their families to borrow. But the collection kept growing and soon there was interest from other people in checking out the growing list of nonfiction and fiction titles. “We started to discuss the idea of creating a library from these books. And when everyone supported it, this project happened,” the mayor of Çankaya, Alper Tasdelen, tells CNN.

You can read the full story here

Wednesday, 19 September 2018


Whether they be tiny.................
Anton Chekhov, Chameleon, 1996

Courtesy of Pixabay
  or very large....

books and libraries and bookstores continue to attract large followings...

Atlas Obscura often feature some wonderful book related articles.. enjoy.

 When a strange document appeared in her shop, an Australian bookseller turned detective. January 23, 2018 ...

Tuesday, 1 May 2018


Atlas Obscura, the site that delves into all manner of interesting things, presents some very interesting concepts...

"A LIBRARY IS, AT ITS most essential, a space that holds a collection of books. A dedicated room or building is not technically necessary. In his Book of Book Lists, recently released in the United States, author Alex Johnson offers examples of portable libraries—“sturdy wooden cases” of books and magazines that “were passed between lighthouses around the United States,” for instance. He includes the library Robert Falcon Scott took on board the Discovery in 1901, when the ship left for Antarctica, with a catalogue that specified which cabin a volume could be found in. Napoleon, he writes, had a traveling collection of French classics that was ported with him to war. It included five volumes of Voltaire’s plays and Montesquieu’s work on the Causes of the Greatness of the Romans and Their Decline.
But whatever form a library takes, someone had to have chosen the books in it, which reveal the secrets of heart and mind—their cares, their greeds, their enthusiasms, their obsessions."
To read on, go to The Tales of Libraries......
What is your library like, do any of these seem familiar?

Reasonably tidy 

Very tidy

A bit haphazard like this one from Italy

Or haven't quite got enough room on the shelves?

I think my collection is a mixture of all and it doesn't worry me a bit....Some shelves are tidy, some are not, some are more or less in some sort of order, others aren't. They suit me fine, I know where things are (mostly) and no one else has to bother with them.

I aim for comfort, tidiness and the joy of knowing that I am surrounded by things I love. Life's too short to be concerned with trivia, unless of course, it's in a good book!

Which are your favourites and what suits you best?

All images courtesy of Pixabay.