Friday Meets 15 December 2017

Friday, December 15, 2017

How many Fridays do we have left? Before Christmas? After Christmas? I am seriously suffering from a bit of Scrooge syndrome the past couple of weeks. In more ways than one. Some good, some bad. But I do believe it is Friday and that means we can talk books. I can still do that. 

Meet me on Friday @ Friday 56 for a bit of Book Blogger Hop to kick-start the weekend with Book Beginnings

Let's start with Book Beginnings for a change. Why leave new things for the new year when trying them out in the old year is just as good? This weekly feature is hosted by Gilion @ Rose City ReaderEvery Friday we share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

I've got a good old Christie listed today. And it comes with a confession. I've read and re-read so many Agatha Christie books. I especially enjoy reading the book and then watch the adaptation. There's been numerous adaptations of her work and most of them are also of such good quality that you can watch them again and again. So here comes my dreadful confession:

I've seen just about all the adaptations for Murder on the Orient Express, but I've never, ever read the book. Please forgive me, for I know that must be a gravely punishable sin. 

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I haven't seen the latest adaptation yet and I am desperate to do so, but my strict Dutch Reform conscience is weighing hard on me. So I've decided to read the book before I run for the popcorn giggly-tasty machine coca-cola.

9571725Book Beginning: (I'm skipping the first paragraph, it's the second one that makes your bum get cozy in the seat)

By the step leading up into the sleeping-car stood a young French lieutenant, resplendent in uniform conversing, with a small man muffled up to the ears of whom nothing was visible but a pink-tipped nose and the two points of an upward-curled moustache.

Next stop is at Freda over at Freda's Voice for Friday 56. Just bring the following:

  • Grab a book (Yes, any book. But it might get you to your other Friday activities a bit quicker if you just grab the book you are currently reading)
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% on your e-reader
  • Find a sentence or two (your other Friday activities might determine this)
  • Post it!
  • Remember to post your link on Freda's Voice and to visit the other guys in the linky.
  • And don't forget to list the title of the book and the author as well.
A couple of months back, I couldn't stop talking about Tannie Maria. The leading character in South African author Sally Andrew's Tannie Maria mystery series. I honestly can't explain what is the most entertaining of these books. The characters, the writing style, the quirky Afrikaans translations or the recipes. In In recipes for love and murder, the food is to die for. Me and some of my friends have tried a few of her recipes, and jislaaik - it's delicious! The second book in the series, The Satanic Mechanic, is just as entertaining. I am at (believe it or not! Okay, I planned it) exactly 56%!


I put the malva pudding in the oven, and we sat next to each other at the stoep table and ate to the sound of crickets and frogs, and Kosie munching his celery. (Malva pudding is a traditional South African pudding made with apricot jam. It reaalllly is delicious. Kosie is a pet lamb.)

Our final stop for today is The Book Blogger Hop hosted by Ramblings of a coffee addicted writer. Every week they will pop a question that you need to answer. Post your answer to your blog, enter your post to the linky provided, make yourself a cup of coffee and go visit the other blogs in the list. 

Today's questions: Which book(s) would you like Santa to bring you this year?

Dear Santa,

Please can you bring me an illustrated edition of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. It will be greatly appreciated if you can find an edition with a mirror stuck on the first page or just behind the cover. So that I can look into it and get a serious fright. Not for the 3 ghosts lurking in the background, but to remind me not to be such a Scrooge. It really isn't that bad. And that Christmas is a time for peace and love and giving and forgiving. I will send you a private note for other recipients I believe can do with such a book.  

Love always,



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Top Ten Favorite Books for 2017

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Image result for scrooge readingThe year is just about at an end and not to sound like Scrooge, but bah humbug to that. Not that I am ungrateful, in fact I am extremely grateful to join The Broke and the Bookish once again for Top Ten Tuesday and that I managed to read more than 10 books this year so that I can at least make a selection of my Ten Favorite Books for 2017. 

As with most books, my selection is strictly based on personal experiences. None of my favorites for 2017 are actually published in 2017. In fact I have two books on my list that were published in the previous century! But that is the wonder of books and the magic of reading. It is always in the present tense the moment you open the book. 

I don't really have an ascending order from most favorite to least favorite list for this year. Each of the books listed meant something to me through a really tough year. Let's have a quick look at the books that made my list: 

18816603Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult Okay, this one is actually my favorite for the year. It's my blanky book. A book that brought comfort and peace and understanding from a rather strange, but wonderful source. 
"The moral of this story is that no matter how much we try, no matter how much we want it.... Some stories just don't have a happy ending"
That's life, I guess. Sometimes, we don't end up with a and they lived happily ever after. And sometimes, that's just the way it is. Sometimes your grief is as big as an elephant. Sometimes the only consolation is an elephant. 

The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra  and The perplexing theft of the jewel in the crown by Vaseem Khan Seriously, you have no idea how much comfort a baby elephant can bring. 

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Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty Those things that almost happen. But didn't. The places we come back from and those we return to. Such insignificant things that carries so much weight. 

The Light between Oceans by M.L. Stedman "That sort of experience either gives you a taste for death or a thirst for life"

The mirror crack'd from side to side by Agatha Christie No matter what happens or do not happen, you cannot put a year behind you without at least one Agatha Christie on your reading list. I do believe that all the answers you might ever be looking for can be found in The Bible. And in Agatha Christie's novels. And if you are still uncertain, just go with 42. Or Yes, please. 

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20910157Yes Please by Amy Poehler I've read this one twice. Once as an audio recording read by the lovely author herself (so worth the listen) and I've read the physical book as well. With the cute notes and quirky family photos and the glossy paper and that stunning cover of course. 
It's called YES PLEASE because it is the constant struggle and often the right answer. Can we figure out what we want, ask for it and stop talking? Yes please. Is being vulnerable a power position? Yes please. Am I allowed to take up space? Yes please. Would you like to be left alone? Yes please. 

All the ugly and wonderful things by Bryn Greenwood The most disturbing book I've ever read. But gosh, it was excellent. Don't think I would have read it though. The audio recording of this book was magnificent. 

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman If you haven't read it, I'm not going to tell you about it. Because it sounds absurd and wicket and extremely evil and totally inappropriate for children to read. But so does Harry Potter. And we all know how that turned out. 

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25480342A monster calls by Patrick Ness The most quotable book of 2017. And what is a book if you can't make little notes and copy numerous phrases and passages into another little book? 

“You do not write your life with words...You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.” 

“There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between.” 

“Your mind will believe comforting lies while also knowing the painful truths that make those lies necessary. And your mind will punish you for believing both.” 

Because humans are complicated beasts, the monster said. How can a queen be both a good witch and a bad witch? How can a prince be a murderer and a saviour? How can an apothecary be evil-tempered but right-thinking? How can a parson be wrong-thinking but good-hearted? How can invisible men make themselves more lonely by being seen?
"I don't know," Connor shrugged, exhausted. "Your stories never made any sense to me."
The answer is that it does not matter what you think, the monster said, because your mind will contradict itself a hundred times each day. You wanted her to go at the same time you were desperate for me to save her. Your mind will believe comforting lies while also knowing the painful truths that make those lies necessary. And your mind will punish you for believing both.” 

What books are your Top Ten Favorite for 2017?


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