The Sunday Post #9

Sunday, August 30, 2020


I do believe that the proverbial cat that got the cream expression calls for no explanation today? My Mommy and I are still in awe about our gorgeous new template and all the added goodies. Do you like it? We love it!

I believe it might be easier and rather quicker to just give a short summary about our updated template:

  • When Blogger did their interface a couple of weeks ago, we managed to finally access a very old (2010 design, way older than me), but gorgeous template called Fluffy White Kitten. It couldn't be more perfect. As you know, perfect are very often the stuff of nightmares.
  • Nightmares: Comments (no reply function); share/follow/related posts (had to use plug-ins); upload images (what it looks like on the draft, the preview and actual post - all differed); due the lovely color theme (that is not available anymore....) all backgrounds had to be changed. All the time.
  • Resulted in tears and frustration on Mommy's side and me not entering the study at all.
  • Mommy started looking for new templates, but oh where to begin. She only knew what she wanted. Have you seen Heather's blog over at Random RedHead Ramblings? It's sooo gorgeous. That's what she wanted. 
  • Contact Heather. If you think her blog is nice. You should meet her (cyber meet). She's gorgeous! She had so much advice and tips and introduced us to Etsy. If you are looking for a new template, look no further. Stunning templates and the price won't result in your cats eating no-name brands for a month.
  • Bought and downloaded the template. Also created an Avatar that truly are very similar to what I look like in reality.
  • Got stuck after reading the 20 page instruction manual.
  • A friend in need is a friend indeed. Mommy phoned her friend who is an extremely talented graphic designer for advice. Conversation resulted in Mommy hopping in the car and spending the rest of the day with Nedine. But when she returned, she brought gifts and smiles and a whole lot of happiness!


We still need to play around and tweak here and there, but mostly it is a very user-friendly and hassle free. 

The rest of your week was busy busy. Mommy is busy with assessments and tests at school, so there isn't much time for reading and blogging. Let's see what we can give you an update on.

Adding to the litter



Scratching the Blog Pole 


I didn't join Top Ten Tuesday or my regular Weekend Book Friends this week. Only two posts saw the light of publishing. I did start with drafting my application for The Classics Club and it should have been finished yesterday, but then other things got in the way. I did a Wednesday Wisdom and then did the most fun book tag, The Tudor Queens Book Tag! Click on the images to read the posts. 


On the couch 

Reading

I am not going to start with a new audio book before the holidays, end of September. Or rather, Mommy shouldn't start with a new audio book before all report cards and feedback reports are done and dusted. So for the moment, I only read a printed book and one on the kindle. 


Watching 

Proudly South African! We started watching Trackers this week and it is excellent. If you haven't seen it, try to get your hands and eyes on it.


On the topic of South Africa. We have 11 official languages in our beautiful country. The language that is originally spoken in Trackers, is Afrikaans. It is also my mother tongue. It's quite a unique language and it can be comically descriptive. For instance:


Mag julle almal 'n baie lekker week hê! (May you all have a wonderful and lovely week!)

Remember to add your blog post URL to the following ladies so that we can all share in each others weekly stories.



Lots of Love,

Elza 



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Tudor Queens Book Tag

Thursday, August 27, 2020

I'm sooooo glad that I managed to convince my Mommy to start blogging again.  I am just as glad that I stared at her and tapped her ever so gently on the hand when she created Elza Reads. She really does need to learn to watch the cat from the tree (it's an Afrikaans expression) before she leaps. And those alluring ducks, she needs to get them in a row. That's why I am supervising the blog this time around. Cats are known for their patience and thoroughness. Okay, I'm rambling here. Thanks to me, Mommy has a blogroll and if I didn't create that, she never would have stumbled on this amazing book tag! 


On our Wednesday Wisdom Meme a couple of weeks back, we told you about Mommy's friend who inspired her to start reading voraciously again. The first books that Esther gave to her, were the Tudor Novels by Philippa Gregory. She devoured them all. So yes! This book tag will be great fun to do. It was originally hosted by Jess from Jessticulates and she would love a ping-back on this.

Without any further ado, let's introduce you to the Tudor Queens and their book companions:

Elizabeth of York 



Elizabeth of York became the first Tudor queen when she married Henry VII in 1486, a marriage which brought an end to the Wars of the Roses. Even though their match grew into a genuine love match, Henry had to kill Elizabeth's own uncle, Richard III, at the Battle of Bosworth to become king. 

Choose a book with a complicated family. 


Book companion - 
The woman in the window by A.J. Finn 
Which family is real? No one and nothing, in either of these families, is who or what they/it seems. 

Anna Fox lives alone, a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine, watching old movies, recalling happier times and spying on her neighbours.
Then the Russels move into the house across the way; a father, a mother, and their teenage son. The perfect family. 


Katherine of Aragon 



Katherine was the first of Henry VIII's six wives(and my favorite of the half dozen), and when Henry sought to divorce her, she fought until the bitter end to remain his queen. It was a battle she ultimately lost. 

Choose a book you forced yourself to finish, even though you weren't enjoying it. 

Book Companion - 
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara 
This book had a huge impact on me. I did finish it. Took me months. It was sooooo heavy in every possible sense. Heavy to read, heavy to hold, heavy subjects..... I still gave it 5 stars though. 

Brace yourself for the most astonishing, challenging, upsetting and profoundly moving book in many a season. An epic about love and friendship in the twenty-first century that goes into some of the darkest places fiction has ever traveled and yet somehow improbably breaks through into the light. 


Anne Boleyn



Henry was so enamoured by his second queen that he broke away from Rome and founded his own church just so he could marry her, but when she didn't give him the son she promised, he send poor Anne to her death (Off with her head!). 

Choose a book you used to love, but wouldn't love as much if you read it again now.

Book Companion - 
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory  Interesting choice for this book tag. I know. This was my first introduction in the Tudor saga. I read night and day and at that stage, I didn't have a kindle yet, but read with an iRiver. Something went wrong with my download and I didn't have the last couple of chapters. I THOUGHT I WOULD DIE!!! Can't even remember how it got sorted, but it did. Most probably my awesome husband at the rescue again. But, after reading the rest of th series, this one wasn't all that good.... I just know I won't enjoy it again. 



Jane Seymour



Queen number three was only queen for a year and a half. She gave Henry the son he longed for, but died days later. (I've always been wondering about her hair. Do you think she had pretty hair? Do you still get Jane Seymour shampoo?) 

Choose a book that was short and sweet. 

Book Companion - 
The President's Hat by Antoine Laurain 
Does 208 pages count as short? This is easily one of the sweetest books I've ever read. I still want to use if for a Wednesday Wisdom too.

Dining alone in an elegant Parisian brasserie, accountant Daniel Mercier can hardly believe his eyes when President Francois Mitterrand sits down to eat at the table next to him.
Daniel's thrill at being in such close proximity to the most powerful man in the land persists even after the presidential party has gone, which is when he discovers that Mitterand's black felt hat has been left behind.
Of course it's a perfect fit.... 


Anne of Cleeves



Henry chose to marry his fourth queen after only seeing a portrait of her. (He sure did start a trend there that are still alive and well in current society.) 

Choose a book you bought / read because of the cover. 

Book Companion - 
Slade House by David Mitchell 
That cover is so alluring. It might be exactly the plan to draw you in. No, I haven't read  it yet. I might leave it for Halloween this year. 

Down the road from a working-class British pub, along the brick wall of a narrow alley if the conditions are exactly right, you'll find the entrance to Slade House. A stranger will greet you by name and invite you inside. At first, you won't want to leave. Later, you'll find that you can't. Every nine years the house's residents - an odd brother and sister - extend a unique invitation to someone who's different or lonely; a precocious teenager, a recently divorced policeman, a shy college student. But what really goes on inside Slade House? For those who find out, it's already too late.... 

Kathryn Howard



Henry's fifth queen was the youngest of his wives and the least experienced for life at court. When she was accused of adultery, Henry sent her to the block. Off with her head! 

Choose a book with a forbidden romance. 


Book Companion -  
All the Ugly and Wonderful things by Bryn Greenwood 
As forbidden as it comes. 

As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight year old Wavy is the only responsible "adult" around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father's thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold, wreck his motorcycle. What follows is a powerful and shocking love story between two unlikely people that asks tough questions, reminding us of all the ugly and wonderful things that life has to offer. 


Katherine Parr



Katherine has long been remembered as Henry's sixth wife, but what she should be remembered for is being the first woman to publish an English book in England under her own name. 

Choose a book about books. 


Book Companion - 
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon 
I have used this book for so many posts already and I will continue using it. One of the greatest books about a book, ever. It's the first in a series called The cemetery of forgotten books. 

Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer's son, mourns the loss of his mother and find solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax. When he sets out to find the author's other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax's books in existence. Soon Daniel's seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona's darkest secrets - an epic story of murder, madness and doomed love. 

Lady Jane Grey 



Poor Jane was forced onto the throne to prevent her Catholic cousin, Mary, from taking charge in what had become a Protestant country. Mary brought and end to her reign after only nine days, and poor Jane paid the ultimate price for the position she'd been put in by the men around her when Mary send her to the block. 

Choose a book that ended too soon. 

Book Companion - 
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 
Please hear me out here. I was rather content when the Harry Potter series finished (1 - 7). When The Cursed Child came out, I realised that I wanted more. And no, it just isn't enough. I love Fantastic Beasts and where to find them. It offers a glimpse into Harry's world long before he was even a twinkle in James Potter's eye. It doesn't take anything away, it simply adds to the magic. I think we need to know more about what comes after. Even the grandchildren will do. 




Mary I



Commonly known as Bloody Mary, Mary restored England to Catholicism and, during her four year reign burned over 300 Protestants at the stake. (I wonder what she did with books that went against Catholicism?)

Choose a book you would burn every copy of.

Book companion - 
Lord of the Flies by William Golding 
I am so getting burned at the stake for this one myself. I know I am... But first hear my out! This wasn't prescribed reading at school and I've never read this during the age that I should have read it. I read it the first time in my late thirties. Good grief!! How on earth was/is that book prescribed reading for school children! It's horrible!! I was shocked for days and had many sleepless nights. 

Yes, I loved the TV series Lost and it was probably much worse. But this is CHILDREN. And yes, I know how horrible they truly are. The problem with the burn-at -the-stake attitude I have with this book, turly is an age thing. If I read it at age 13 - 18, I would have been fine with it and just accept it as the norm. Now that bothers me as well.... Okay, you can burn me now. 

Elizabeth I



Though Anne Boleyn failed to give Henry a son, the daughter she gave him would rule England for 44 years and bring about what was known as the Golden Age. (Shakespeare and all his great plays.)

Choose a book with a Royal main character 

Book Companion - 
The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope 
An oldie, but such a goody. This and Rupert of Hentzau are books that I will read again and again. 

Rudolf Rassendyll bears a striking resemblance to Rudolf Elphberg who is about to be crowned King of Ruritania. When the rival to the throne, Black Michael of Strelsau, attempts to seize power by imprisoning Elphberg in the castle of Zenda, Rassendyll is obliged to impersonate the King to uphold the rightful sovereignity and ensure political stability.



This was great fun! It was the first Book Tag we've done on the new blog and I'm sure I'll be able to convince my Mommy to do some more. 

Who feels like joining? Just remember to give a ping-back to Jess. She really worked very hard on this. 


Elza & Mareli 

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Wednesday Wisdom from The Stand

Wednesday, August 26, 2020


You know why I started blogging again? Okay, one of the reasons I started blogging again? I desperately wanted to talk to people about books and how some books can be relevant at a certain time and stage in human history, or just in your own life. 

When Covid 19 hit the news in early January 2020, my first thought was, The Stand by Stephen King is happening.... If you've read this epic and classic novel - I'm sure you had the exact same thoughts. 

The Stand was my first Stephen King and ever since I've first read it in 2014, I've read at least one Stephen King per year. Nope, not my favorite author of all time, but good grief - this man knows how to tell a story! And no better one than The Stand. So many quotes from that book also got stuck in my mind and as the current world events unfold, they keep on popping to the surface. 

"No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart the blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just come out the other side.
Or you don't."

"That wasn't any act of God. That was an act of pure human fuckery." 
(Elza is looking at me with big, swear-jar eyes. Mommy, you used a bad word... But I believe this quote is spot on. Swear word or not). The next one is my favorite though:

"Show me a man or a woman alone and I'll show you a saint. Give me two and they'll fall in love. Give me three and they'll invent the charming thing we call 'society'. Give me four and they'll build a pyramid. Give me five and they'll make one an outcast. Give me six and they'll reinvent prejudice. Give me seven and in seven years they'll reinvent warfare."

"Love didn't grow very well in a place where there was only fear."


"Even the company of the mad was better than the company of the dead."

"If we don't have each other, we go crazy with loneliness. When we do, we go crazy with togetherness."

How true is that? Yes, there are still a whole lot of awesome quotes from this epic novel, but I only choose the ones that are currently applicable. At least to me. 


Did I miss any that you would like to share?


Mareli 







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The Sunday Post #8

Sunday, August 23, 2020

 Greetings! My humans are busy preparing for a Sunday lunch. BECAUSE we are officially on Stage 2 of Lock Down regulations and they are legally allowed to have friends over and even consume alcohol. I know the friends who are coming over, so I know I need to intercept this post. They come for lunch, they leave at bedtime. Worst part of all, their one Golden Retriever passed away earlier this week and Mommy thought it very generous to tell them to bring their remaining Golden Retriever with to play with our dogs. That means, I will have to go into hiding for the rest of today. 

Anyway, how was your week? I can't even begin to describe our week to you! We went from the coldest weather recorded in 20 years, with snow and rain and wind that would have given my namesake a run for her money. To going out for a cold beer and taking the dogs to the beach in shorts and T-shirts. 

 

You've gotta love Africa!

No new books were acquired and nothing much happened on the blog either. It was really, really, cold people. The only thing to do was snuggle up and watch TV.

Scratching the Blog Pole


Only two posts. Top Ten Tuesday was great this week! So many new adaptations to look forward to! And Weekend Book Friends was fun to write. Mommy's hands didn't freeze any more and she loved the Friday Face-off. Click on the images to go to the posts. 

      

On the couch 


Reading

Like I've said, a bit too cold to do much more than snuggling in front of the TV. So we are still busy with the same books as last week. If by any chance, the Golden Retriever family does leave before the sun goes down, we might finish up with Something in the water. It really is an edge of your seat book!


Watching

We did watch more TV than normal and Mommy was so inspired with Tuesday's post on books that should be adapted for Netflix, she tried to only watch adaptations this week. A few are new. Like Chesapeake Shores and Vera. Chesapeake Shores are the type of books my mommy won't easily read, Vera is her go-to books. BUT she enjoys Chesapeake Shores as a series, but not Vera. 


And that really is it for today. I should go and beautify myself now. You know, you need to look adorably cute and edible as you sit on the wall, just out of reach of the silly dogs' grasps.

I am just quickly adding my links to Debs over at ReaderBuzz for The Sunday Salon and to Kimberley over at Caffeinated Book Reviewer for The Sunday Post. I solemnly swear that I will visit you all a bit later. 

Have a wonderful week! Stay safe and healthy! Oh and please pray that the silly dogs don't team up and try to eat me. 

Lots of Love,

Elza




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Weekend Book Friends #7

Friday, August 21, 2020


It's finally the weekend. We've had the coldest temperatures recorded in our little town, in years. We even had snow! Yes, we were all snuggled in as much as possible. But let'st talk about that on Sunday. Today is Friday and we want to talk books and chat to our Friday Friends. 

I've had so much fun playing around with The Friday Face-off, that I've run out of time with the rest of the Friday posts. So I am not choosing a new book for today, I am going to stick with one that I've started last weekend. 
It's a Middle Grade, time-travel story about a girl who sounds very much like a few people I know on the blogosphere:

"What she treasures above all else are books and she is consumed by them, reading and collecting whatever she can to satisfy her voracious appetite for stories, facts and history".

Jodie Broom, a 12-year-old girl (almost 13!), is like most girls her age. She loves her friends, music, and is always up for a good adventure. What she treasures above all else are books and she is consumed by them, reading and collecting whatever she can to satisfy her voracious appetite for stories, facts, and history.
But Jodie lives in the year 2075, and more than fifty years have passed since the banning of books and paper; it’s a time when no one can own a printed book, or even print photographs. In this E-world, experiences are largely simulated, from the reconstituted food to the zoo that only shows films of all the extinct species.
With her student library card, which gives her the ability to time travel, Jodie discovers that she and her friends can experience historical events and meet legendary characters, and can also find and bring home her precious books to keep safe in her secret hiding place. Goodreads

Book Beginnings



  For our first stop, we will pay a visit to Gilion over at Rose City Reader to share our Book Beginnings.  Every Friday you can link up and share the first sentence of your current read (or the one you plan to devour over the weekend), as well as your initial thoughts and impressions. Hashtags are the one thing I do know on social media, so simply #bookbeginnings so we can find each other. 

Jodie and the Library Card opens with:

"Jodie had that fizzy, foaming feeling in her tummy as if she had swallowed a chemistry set and it was now doing its own experiments inside of her. If any other moment in her life had been as exciting as this, she couldn't think of it. She was here! She was actually here - the 25th of November 1984!"

(Without consulting Google, how many of you know what happened on that date?)

The Friday 56


Next we will pay a visit to Freda over at Freda's voice who hosts the Friday 56. Don't show up empty handed though! 
  • 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  last but not least, don't forget to list the title of the book and the author as well.

Lets' see what happens on 56 % of Jodie and the Library card: 

"If this was true, then Charles Joughin was about to spill his whiskey down his front as the ship crashed into the iceberg"

Three guesses to what ship they were time-travelling on. 

Book Blogger Hop 


The Book Blogger's hop's purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog. Every week, there will be a prompt featuring a book related question. It's hosted by Ramblings of a coffee addicted writer and he guess he hops around like a bunny due to all the caffeine. Hence his name. 

This week's question: Do you look at your shelves and stacks of books and wonder how you have ever read so many books?


I need to rephrase that question. My own stack of books and my own shelves, consists of a large number of books I actually haven't read yet. I just love buying new books and dream of the day I've read them all (never going to happen, the equation will never add up). So the question should rather be: Do you ever look at other peoples stacks of books and wonder how you have read so many books

Upon entering someones home, I love heading straight for their bookshelves and see which books I have read. Awkward habit, I know. Even just looking at other people's Goodreads shelves and comparing books, gives me thrills. 

The answer has gone both ways. Some shelves seem like a mirror and I feel ever so chuffed with myself. Others like a condemnation. Still so many books to read....You should see me in a secondhand bookshop. It's riveting. But I do love myshelf very much and can't wait for the new ones that will be filled with all the books I have read.  One day. 

Friday Face-off


Our last stop for today, is Friday Face-off, a weekly feature where we share different book covers of the same title. This fun-filled meme was originally started by Books by Proxy, but the beautiful Lynn over at Lynn's Books is our current host and she will determine the themes for every week's covers. You can choose your own book. Today's theme is:

Hubble Bubble - a cover featuring potions 

I had so much fun with this! Yes, I know there are thousands of books featuring potions out there. But please tell me, if you hear the words bubble and potion in the same sentence, don't you immediately think of the following quote:


I guess my book of choice for today's theme will need no introduction. I've tried going through all the cover designs on Goodreads. Are you aware that there are over 1000 different covers for this book? Good grief. So I ended up just choosing the ones that do feature that bubbling cauldron that has haunted millions of students for hundreds of years.


I completely forgot the check which publishing houses did what cover or who did the illustration. But please, all credit due where necessary. I would have to say my favorite one would be The Shakespeare for kids. Upper right corner. Love the child's drawing! The fact that the depiction didn't actually take place in the book, is completely irrelevant. 

Should I end off today and ask if you've read Macbeth? Let's rather go with: If you haven't read it, please let me know! 


Let us know what you will be reading this weekend. Remember to add your links to all our weekend friends.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Lots of love, 


Mareli  




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