One day I will write ‘no books! :Friday Finds

FRIDAY FINDS  from adailyrhythm showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).


I already had the book choice for next month at the last reading group, and far to many fictional books on that tottering pile . I wasn’t going to take home any more books.

I wasn’t.

I did.


Anyway I wandered over to the non fiction section and found these three. I’m an avid reader of The New Scientist magazine so I had no hesitation in picking those two up

Non fiction

This Changes Everything by Naomi Aklein which is apparently provides a historically refined expose of ‘capitalism’s drift toward monopoly’ and more.

Chance ed Michael Brooks (New Scientist) The science and secrets of luck, randomness and probability

Question Everything ed Mick O’Hare (New Scientist) – 132 science questions – and their unexpected answers


All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr which was recommended to me a few weeks ago. A Second World War story but from a different perspective – it sounds like a good read.

So as you can see I haven’t been good – yet again!!

I am determined one day to write- NO BOOKS this week !:)


A marshland of uncertainties: YA over 60 years .

 reading passion

Waterproof books? oh please no! Musing Mondays


I have lined up my books for this coming week if my fancy doesn’t turn to something else. I have an unexpected visitor arriving later in the week who will be staying for a fortnight therefore reading time will be limited. I have to confess the garden is taking up quite a bit of my time at the moment and, as I am re-jigging the whole kit and caboodle, I am taking down various gardening books to dip in and out of. Not strictly reading them as in, from cover to cover, but I am certainly reading many sections of many books- not sure if this counts towards various goals. There are one or two which I find I have not read or have I just forgotten them? whichever, I am learning new aspects of gardening . One of the great sides to life is no matter how well one thinks one knows a subject there is always more that can be absorbed.

This coming week I have in the pile next to me

The Land of Green Plums by Herta Muller
Berta la Largu by Cuca Canals
The Falcons of Fire and Ice by Karen Maitland

The Norman Conquest by Marc Morris
The old ways by Robert Macfarlane

Left over from last time

Dark Winter by David Marr
The Emerald Planet by David Beerling

The first two being translated novels and the third is my fourth title by her. Large and long but so worth the reading. Dark Winter is a must as it is for the next reading group.

As time will be limited I may well scotch any idea of reading the non fiction titles and pass them onto another pile.

The random question this week is about waterproof books – good or bad idea?

I am not altogether sure why anyone would want any. Over decades of reading including by swimming pools, the sea and in my bath I have never managed to make any book I have read wet. Are people particularly clumsy when reading near water?

As for reading in the shower,

Oh please!

I am a dyed in the wool bookworm, you cannot find a keener reader of books than moi. I have paper, Sony reader and audio books, I devour them all and throw in magazines and journals as pudding. However, why in the shower? The shower is for scrubbing off the day’s dirt and angst. A few minutes a day concentrating on self , cleaning, pampering, is good for you, and society.For those who spend much longer than that, have you considered the water shortage the world faces? just asking:)

No, no, no I wouldn’t donate a penny towards such a ludicrous idea:)

Although I feel in my ancient bones that although this is a crazy idea and just adding to the overuse of fossil fuel to make the plastics to create them, add to the non disposable pile of faddy junk we litter our planet with it, will be done. Done because it’s new, it’s technology, it’s do-able and therefore shall be done.

Ah me, I despair of humanity sometimes I really do:)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

 + a random question of the week


So what is Fantasy exactly?

senior hands on a bible

So what is Fantasy exactly? These genres confuse an old lady mightily. Books I was brought up on, which just seemed like exciting /interesting tales have to be split into genre’s? Genre, being a subject there seems to be much debate about because, of course, stories do not like being confined by boundaries, so no sooner than it is decided what consists a particular genre, than sub divisions and alternatives creep out from under the fence and leap to freedom, to divide and multiply as they should.

There are purists who firmly draw lines under the boundary fences, and the other free’er spirits who chase after the new, hearts pounding in excitement at the novelty.

So what is fantasy when it is at home?

Fiction, with no doubt, is the first and most fantastical of all. Authors create worlds, people them with non existent characters and spin a tale of pure imagination around them.

I’m afraid though that the individual levels of genre I am easily confused and often impatient at the necessity to name stories so. Since writing my own books I have had to struggle with genre, it taking years before I was anywhere near finding one that suited. But, I have discovered that many of the books I have enjoyed reading in the past come under the title of magic realism.


Well magic accepted as everyday aspects, needing little or no explanation, okay I understand that – just – however, what basically is the difference between that and a fantasy story which is set in the real world and has magic in it? ‘Tis a difference of only one or two degrees. In the first, magic mustn’t be the main aspect (sorry in The Particular Sadness of Lemons, the magic of knowing what others were feeling and experiencing and where it happened when a particular food was made, is kind of the whole point of the story. Yet despite magic being a central part it is magic realism not fantasy.

Ah well, booksellers must have their way I suppose, it has meant the reading challenges I entered have become all the harder, as I have to search to find out what genre exactly I am reading, when it comes to all things fantastical. Fairy tale /legend/myth or fantasy/sci fi or magic realism or. . or. . .or. . .

I am getting there,but only by researching, it is not really apparent with many of them. After all shouldn’t fairy tales come under fantasy, shouldn’t myth and legend? And what to do about ghosts, are they ghost stories or fantasy?Or werewolves and angels, should they not be paranormal or are they fantasy? Does it depend on whether the reader believes in an after life? If a murder is solved using magic, is it a murder mystery, a fantasy or a fairy tale?

I need to separate my reading challenge books into fantasy and also into fairy/myth. The lines blur dreadfully but am slowly sorting it out. Why, oh why, can we not just have, BOOKS.

I can hear you devotees of labels stirring impatiently so I will cease my rambles and confess to having found that I enjoy two genres I knew nothing about, magic realism and urban fantasy (well specifically London urban fantasy, as all those I enjoy are set in the city of my birth.

I am putting them into my fantasy challenge collection which means it is now burgeoning out of control as it was already full of traditional fantasy – dragons, imaginary kingdoms and the like. Who would have an old lady such as moi, cynic as I am would fall into the genre trap:)

Nightfall by Stephen Leather

Nightfall by Stephen Leather

I have never read Stephen Leather’s thrillers, never been tempted, I have been assured by a friend that they are very good. However this book today, the start of a series, I discovered through the fantasy route. Urban fantasy. I am hooked. But still not tempted into the thriller side.


Who knows why?


What do you do if you wake one day and find your soul has been sold to the devil the day you were born. And the devil will collect when the baby (you) grows to 33 years old.

Jack Nightingale discovers he is this baby, when he unexpectedly inherits a mansion and a pile of books worth a fortune. His soul? Well he is three weeks short of his 33rd birthday.

While your sympathies are with him as he struggles to save himself, you also get the feeling he would be a bad, bad, friend to possess. It is unlucky to be around Jack Nightingale as he searches for the truth,for answers and a way out of his future. As he pursues these ends the devil is engaged in stopping him, he has after all waited 33 years for this soul. To stop him, people die, die horribly, die before they can give him the answers he needs.

This is quite dark in places, which I confess to liking, not all old ladies are sweet lavender and honey cakes:) I don’t in reality believe in anything supernatural so one would think this kind of book would not appeal over much to me, but I do enjoy a good story and I can suspend belief any old time. I have discovered, this year, a real liking for urban fantasy.

Nightfall was a very satisfying book to read , when I began it I didn’t realize there was more to come, however the news was very welcome and the next two are lined up for next years enjoyment.