The Sunday Post #20

Sunday, November 29, 2020



 Greetings you all! As you can see, our tree is up and it's time to get jolly and and just say tra la la la la la la to everything that upsets you. Don't you think I am the most beautiful Christmas decoration of them all?

How was your week? Our week was long and tedious. Mommy was in more than just a bit of a mood for most of the week, but she game home on Friday all smiles and determined to put the Christmas Tree up. We spend the whole day yesterday and I think it looks lovely! Perfect jungle gym for a 13 month old kitten.

Let's talk books. I want to go and sit underneath the tree and see where I can start climbing and throw some (most) of those sparkly thingies off. 



Adding to the Litter

Actually, I don't really want to talk about all the new books. I had my Mommy down for a good talk to about her TBR shelf that surpassed the maximum amount of 500 books. You can read more about that in our Friday Fives post that will be added below. Friday was Black Friday and the only shop she wanted to go to was the Book Shop. I made her promise to buy only one (1) book. She obviously misunderstood that message and came home with 11 books. And then The Alice Network by Kate Quin, a book she wanted to read for ages,  was on special at Bookbub. I give up here. 



Scratching the Blog Pole


This month hasn't been a bad month for blogging at all. No idea how we did it, but we obviously have super powers stowed away somewhere. On Tuesday we did the Thanksgiving Top Ten Tuesday and what lovely posts everyone shared. I loved ours as well. On Wednesday we did a Wondrous Words Wednesday about the ruddy old chap who is coming to visit us one of these days. On Friday we did Friday Fives and shared 5 books my Mommy desperately need to read to keep her TBR under 500 books. What a waste a of a post! And yesterday we did a book review on The day I killed God. This one was a serious miss for us. 

As always, click on the image if you've missed the post or just want to read it again!






On the couch

Currently Reading



Sirkus is available in English as well - Circus by Irma Venter. I think that is the book my Mommy will finish this afternoon while I prowl the tree. We made a nice big dent in The Night Tiger yesterday while putting up the tree, but still not done. Lovely read though. Q is for Quarry is for the Alphabet reading challenge and as the rest of the series,it's a good read. The Aviator's Wife is also worth the read, but we might only pick it up again next weekend or so.

Currently Watching

Still watching The Umbrella Academy, The Crown Season 4 and we've just finish the first season of Blacklist. Shocking ending! But we will still watch this series.

With the Christmas lights up and the tree still standing, Mommy felt like a Christmas movie last night. They watched Last Christmas. That was a gorgeous movie! Didn't see the twist coming at all. My Mommy has always loved the song, now even more so.


Hanging by a thread

I'm bring in a new header topic this week. Bit of a discussion topic. Last week my Mommy was very upset with Amazon with their stupid $50 rule. Thanks for all the comments and tips! We got a few useful ones. Now if only we can figure out how to use them... Some of you suggested to review on BookBub. Sounds wonderful! But how exactly do you do that?

Once again, thanks for all the help! 

Good luck with your upcoming week. Our week is going to be a bit rough, so you might not see as us much and I doubt we will manage a Sunday Post next week as my Mommy will be on staff-development course the whole weekend. 


Enjoy your week and the Christmas cheer that is starting to pick up speed all across the globe. Please share your Sunday News with us and remember to link up and thank the following lovely ladies:



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The day I killed God by Nick Totem

Saturday, November 28, 2020

 

Title: The day I killed God
Author: Nick Totem
Published: 01 October 2020 (LucenGeist Literary Press)
Pages: 169 (Kindle Edition)
Source: Prism Book Tours review copy
Read: 23 November 2020
Rating: 
Genre: Science Fiction / Thriller
Content: Adult market advised. Explicit violence. Swearing and sexual content
Synopsis: Is it possible to kill God? Even to a psychic like me, the thought hadn’t crossed my mind until the day I went searching for Elliot Spinoza. He was my friend and a mathematician, and he went missing. The FBI wanted him, but so did a couple of billionaires. It had something to do with one of his equations and its secrets. The FBI told me the world was at risk. Now, it was up to me to find my friend and keep the equation safe. In the end, what I found was far more devastating. And I was going to kill anyone to do so, including God.


Let's get the one star rating, white elephant, out of the room as we start. There were so many things I looked forward to with this book. The title is thought-catchy, the cover is eye-catchy, the synopsis is intrigue-catchy. What can possibly go wrong? 


Seeing that I am always open to try new things and this month is Science Fiction November, I thought this book might be the perfect kick-off to a genre I know nothing about. Therefore, my rating is completely biased and I am big enough to admit it. I have NO CLUE about science fiction at all.

I was quite intrigued with Daniel (our protagonist) from the get go and if only he stayed with solving crimes and finding missing people by using his psychic "gifts", it would have been a home-run for me. But as soon as he met up with Margo in the strange, cut-off house, I was lost.

If it wasn't for Mr. Totem's exceptionally strong writing style, I most probably wouldn't even have finished this book. That one star is a big star with a big, positive nod from my side. Character building was strong and you do following the chain of events rather easily. If only I understood the chain at all.   I will try another one of his books as I really did enjoy his style. A M M might be a bit more to my reading preference. 

For those of you who are experts at Science Fiction, I'm sure this one will be a good hit. What's not to like? It's an action-packed Science Fiction novel with a nice mix of thriller and adventure added to the plot. I do hope you sci-fi junkies will enjoy this novel and I'll keep my eye on the reviews. Maybe somewhere, something will click and I will realize that this novel was actually brilliant! 

I might need to find a Sci-fi for Dummies or read the following article in detail before I attempt another Sci-Fi novel: A Beginners Guide to Science Fiction.

For more, totally unbiased reviews, have a look at a few of the raving reviews on Goodreads by: 


I would like to thank Prism Book Tours for the reader review copy. Much appreciated!

Lots of Love, 

Mareli 



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Friday Fives #2 - 5 Books we urgently need to read to make space on the TBR shelf

Friday, November 27, 2020

Greetings humans! It's Friday afternoon and my Mommy still want to stop by the Book Shop before she goes home. I am not impressed with that at all. Her TBR has lost control again over the last couple of weeks. She really shouldn't be adding more books to it AT ALL. She reached the 500 books-allowed-on -the-TBR-shelf deadline earlier this week. So today's Friday Fives will be about: 

Five books my Mommy need to read urgently to make space on the TBR shelf. 

She will thus link up with  Connect Five hosted by the BookDateConnect Five is really very easy, just pick 5 books that are connected in some or other way. Theme, cover, genre, author - you name it. 

The following five books are on my Mommy's book shelve, not even on the Kindle where books sometimes do get "lost", physically. Right there. Just take it off the shelf and start reading! 

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl - Number 431. It's only going to take her about an hour or two to read it and it can go towards her Alphabet Challenge for this year. Fantastic Mr. Fox is on the run! The three meanest farmers around are out to get him. Fat Boggis, squat Bunce, and skinny Bean have joined forces, and they have Mr. Fox and his family surrounded. What they don’t know is that they’re not dealing with just any fox–Mr. Fox would never surrender. But only the most fantastic plan ever can save him now.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh - Number 333. It's been on the TBR for way too long and it can also go towards the Alphabet Challenge. The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life. And when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.

Circus by Irma Venter - Number 496. No, there is nothing wrong with your eyes. The third one in our picture is spelled with an 'S' and a 'K'. That's because you spell circus like that in Afrikaans and that will be the language we read this one in. Luckily for you, it's also available in English! It's the eighties in Johannesburg. Adriana van der Hoon is 18. Her father, an anti-apartheid activist and Dutch citizen, smuggles money for the ANC using a non-profit trust as a front. But then things change . . . and suddenly South Africa's security police blackmails Adriana into following the money trial from Berlin to Johannesburg. As political change sweeps across Europe and South Africa, Adriana acquires a new skills set, a lover and an enemy.

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid - Number 368. I can actually remember the day she bought it. She was so excited? Why the heck hasn't she read it yet?? It can also go towards the Alphabet Challenge. A gripping novel about the whirlwind rise of an iconic 1970s rock group and their beautiful lead singer, revealing the mystery behind their infamous break up. Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the real reason why they split at the absolute height of their popularity…until now.

The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon - Number 40. My Mommy bought this book for herself LAST Christmas. If it remains unread for another year, she will have to read The Shadow of the Wind again as well. In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martin, makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he has taken refuge in the world of books and spends his nights spinning baroque tales about the city’s underworld. But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house lie photographs and letters hinting at the mysterious death of the previous owner. Like a slow poison, the history of the place seeps into his bones as he struggles with an impossible love. Close to despair, David receives a letter from a reclusive French editor, Andreas Corelli, who makes him the offer of a lifetime. He is to write a book unlike anything that has ever existed — a book with the power to change hearts and minds. In return, he will receive a fortune, and perhaps more. But as David begins the work, he realizes that there is a connection between his haunting book and the shadows that surround his home.

Which one of these would you read first if you were her?

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. 
Today's question: Do you own an e-reader? If yes, what do you like most about it?

Yes, we do! My Mommy started reading with an e-reader about 10 years ago. Her first e-reader was in iRiver and she actually still has it. And it still works! But she did get a Kindle about 7 years ago. It goes everywhere with her. When they go on holiday, Daddy refuses to pack in any books. He says she's got her Kindle and that is enough. We use it every day. But what do we like most about it?
  • It's light and compact. Buy all those doorstop books. Like Stephen King and Lucinda Riley. They look gorgeous on the shelves, but read them on the Kindle. Not as heavy and difficult to hold. Especially if there's a cat on your lap as well.
  • My Mommy has reached that age where the bi-focal glasses are a necessity. It's lovely to be able to set the font size and the backlight.
  • It has a build in dictionary! English is not our fist language and we do need to check up on certain words. That's why we love Wondrous Words Wednesday so much.
  • When it's cold, you can snuggle up and only have your nose and one hand stick out and still read for hours. 
  • It's so easy to get review copies directly send to your Kindle. 


Do you have an e-reader? What do you like most about it? 

Tell us what you're reading this weekend.  Have fun and stay safe! 

Lots of Love,

Elza 


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Wondrous Words Wednesday - Ruddy

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

It's Wednesday and in exactly one month's time, this lovely old chap with the ruddy complexion, is coming to visit us all! 

Can you believe Christmas is just one month away? I thought I wasn't really going to get excited, but guess what? The tingles are starting with the jingles. For this week's Wondrous Words Wednesday, Mommy chose the word 'ruddy'. We've actually never seen that word before and that is the fun of this feature. This suppose-to-be weekly feature was started by Kathy @  Bermuda Onion Blog. But Kathy is taking a bit of a break and I do hope she doesn't mind that we still use her meme. 

According to the dictionary, 'ruddy' is an adjective to describe someone with a healthy red complexion. Informally, it can also be used as an euphemism for 'bloody'. Not the type you will get at a crime-scene, more like "that man was bloody rude". Therefore, we can use the following sentence today:

After this ruddy year, that ruddy old chap with with the ruddy complexion, better bring us some ruddy great presents.  

Does that work as well for you as it does for us? Let's look at a few books featuring the ruddy old chap. There are a gazillion books with Father Christmas or Santa Clause in the picture book sections and even in the early readers section. Mommy tried to find some books that has a bit more than 50 pages and what she would like to read as well. 

The Real Santa Claus by Marianna Meyer - Okay, this one is a picture book and only about 40 pages long. But one simply can't leave it out. - In this beautifully illustrated book, the author of The Twelve Apostles creates an inviting portrait of the real Saint Nicholas, who became legendary for his generosity and miraculous acts of kindness.

The Life and Adventures of Santa Clause by L. Frank Baum  - Every child knows about Santa Claus, the jolly man who brings gifts to all on Christmas. There are many stories that tell of his life, but the delightful version relayed in The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus is by far the most charming and original of all. Only L. Frank Baum, the man who created the wonderful land of Oz, could have told Santa's tale in such rich and imaginative detail.

Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien's children. Inside would be a letter in strange spidery handwriting and a beautiful colour drawing. They were from Father Christmas, telling wonderful tales of life at the North Pole. From the first note to Tolkien's eldest son in 1920 to the final poignant letter to his daughter in 1943, this book collects all the remarkable letters and pictures in one enchanting edition.

The boy who lived in Pudding Lane: Being a true account, if only you believe it, of the life and ways of Santa, Oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Claus by Sarah Addington - Good grief. Where was this book hiding when we had to choose books with extra long titles?! - The Boy Who Lived In Pudding Lane - -Being a true account, if only you believe it, of the life and ways of Santa, oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Claus- first appeared in the American magazine, Ladies Home Journal, for Christmas in 1921 and was published as a hardcover the following year. Author Sarah Addington's charming story of the boyhood life of dear Santa Claus became an instant classic.

A Boy called Christmas by Matt Haig Eleven-year-old Nikolas—nicknamed “Christmas”—has received only one toy in his life: a doll carved out of a turnip. But he’s happy with his turnip doll, because it came from his parents, who love him. Then one day his father goes missing, and Nikolas must travel to the North Pole to save him.  Along the way, Nikolas befriends a surly reindeer, bests a troublesome troll, and discovers a hidden world of enchantment in the frozen village of Elfhelm. But the elves of Elfhelm have troubles of their own: Christmas spirit and goodwill are at an all-time low, and Nikolas may be the only person who can fix things—if only he can reach his father before it’s too late. . - I think this is the one my Mommy is going to try and find so we can read it this Christmas

The Night I met Father Christmas by Ben Miller Nine year old Jack had always wanted to meet Father Christmas. He knew all about the reindeer and the elves in the workshops, he knew where they lived and the magic that allowed him to deliver presents around the world in just one night, but there was one question he needed answered ...  how did Father Christmas become Father Christmas. One Christmas Eve, Jack’s wish comes true and not only does he get to meet Father Christmas but hear his incredible story... So begins, this enchanting, fairy-tale journey into the magical landscape of Torjus Christmas – a hard, cruel elf, abandoned at birth, who discovers the meaning of life and learn to love again. 


Have you read any of our choices? Did we miss any book that you would like to recommend? 

Hope you are all busy writing your letters to the ruddy old chap and if you don't ruddy well know what you want, how about just asking for more books? Or I can forward my list to you...  

Lots of Love, 

Elza 



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Top Ten Tuesday - 10 things I am grateful for

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Greetings dear Humans! Today's Top Ten Tuesday prompt is all about Thanksgiving. That time of year where you should give thanks for everything you have in abundance, or even just a bit of. Here in South Africa, we don't celebrate Thanksgiving. This year, however, from a feline's point of view, I do believe that all of humankind should celebrate Thanksgiving. If you are safe and healthy and all your loved ones too, you should celebrate it. It doesn't matter what country you are from, or what your religion is.

It's not too difficult to find things to be thankful for. Just think of all your favorite things! Like: 

1. Raindrops on roses - We should always be thankful for the rain. No matter where it falls. But it sure does look pretty on roses. 

2. Whiskers on kittens - Let's just be thankful for kittens in general. How dull the world would have been without us. 

3. Bright copper kettles - If you have a bright copper kettle, it means you are able to feed yourself, your family and of course all your fury friends. Not everyone is as fortunate. 

4. Warm woolen mittens - If you are fortunate enough to have warm woolen mittens, you are truly blessed. My Mommy doesn't even have a pair of gloves. Maybe that's because we don't need it where we live. But if you do have an extra pair, or a nice pattern to knit a pair with - why not go and drop it at a shelter for those who are not as fortunate. While you're at it, why not drop a blanket or two at your nearest animal shelter as well. 

5. Brown paper packages tied up with strings - I think for everyone who wasn't that into online shopping before the Covid 19 outbreak this year, these brown paper packages are a real blessing. If they contain books, you are blessed beyond measure. Or do you also consider those packages as necessities? My Mommy received her very first bookish box earlier this month and she so wish she can get in every month. 


(If by now, you know what song I'm using, I am skipping a few lines here and there)

6. Doorbells and sleigh bells - If your doorbell rings, it means your country is safe enough so that you can have friends and family over for visits. I think after this year, we will never take that for granted again. Sleigh bells, neither me or my Mommy has ever seen snow. Never mind be on a sleigh. Is it as much fun as it sounds? 

7. Schnitzel with noodles - Some people are thankful for a just a bit of chicken stock and a piece of bread. Some cats need to eat no-name brand cat food, or whatever they can dig from the dustbin. If you can gather around the thanksgiving table this weekend and feed your cat a tin of Fancy Feast, please bow your head for just a second and say Thank You.

8. Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings - If you can wander outside into nature and appreciate all the wonders of creation, you are so fortunate. We don't need to have pretty decorations or a fake Christmas tree to stand in awe. Just go stand outside and watch the sun or the moon rise above the treetops. Now isn't that a beautiful picture? But I sure am excited for that fake tree and the pretty decorations that are being put up this weekend!

9. Silver white winters - "And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time. The greatest gift they'll get this year is life." Oh what my Mommy will give to just have one Silver White Christmas. Yes, it's wonderful to have Christmas under the African sun. But there is just something magical about a silver white Christmas. If you get to experience that, think of those who would love a bit of that magic. 

10. That melts into Spring - It's Spring time in Africa. New life is blossoming all around us and the rain has come. Spring brings hope for a better future. May you never forget the power of hope. Cling to it with all your might. Like a kitten clinging to a Christmas tree just before it topples over. 

Image result for my favorite things gif


May you all have a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving. What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Lots of Love and Blessings,

Elza



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The Sunday Post #19

Sunday, November 22, 2020



Greetings! And so another week flew by with the blink of an eye. We now only have 8 school days left for the year. That is IF we remain open. On Thursday one of the bigger schools in our area closed for the rest of the year and on Friday another one a bit further down the valley.

Just like that, Covid hit home. Throughout this past year, our little town and community remained relatively uninfected, but over the last couple of days, it became a harsh reality. We even made the national headlines!

My mommy says it was quite surreal at school on Friday with lots of kids being absent again. She says going through the attendance registers, you just heard: 

"He's not here, his Granny's got Covid." 
"Absent! Her Mommy's ill."
"Not here Mam, they all have Covid."

Thankfully, none has been too serious cases and we do wish all our friends and our community a speedy recovery.

Otherwise, not much to tell! Even through long hours and hectic days, my Mommy manages to get some reading done and she did spend a bit of time on the blog. A welcome escape from reality and a safer option.

She didn't buy any books this week. Not even on Bookbub. I think she's mad at Amazon. More about that later.

Scratching the Blog Pole


This week's Top Ten Tuesday is definitely one of my favorites. We had to think of character names you would name your pet after. As if you name your pet after anything but famous characters. Click on the image if you've missed our post. 


On Wednesday, I did my very first book review! I have highjacked just about the whole blog, except the book reviews. I just can't get my paw in the door with reviewing. When Falling into Magic fell in my Mommy's lap for reviewing, I begged, moaned, meowed, clawed, purred - until she allowed me to do the review from my point of view. It might not be purrfect, but I am still quite proud of myself and the author, Elizabeth Pantley was also very impressed with me. Just look at this lovely post from her Facebook page. She said it was the best review ever, and by a cat.  If you click on the image, you can read my review. Oh please do! 


On Friday we did our first Friday Fives with a bit of Book Blogger Hop on the side. Mommy told you all about her 5 favorite elephant books. See, I warned you it won't be the last of the elephants. 


Although we've signed up for The Classics Club a month or so ago already, we haven't started with any of the books. Luckily the awesome creators of The Classics Club keeps us on our toes and make sure we spin the dice with this challenge. Can't wait to see where it fall. Must still get the results somewhere today.

On the Couch

Recently finished

Just Falling into Magic. The rest of the week was way to busy.

Currently Reading


The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin is brilliant. My Mommy isn't very far yet, but she enjoys it so.
The Day I Killed God by Nick Totem is up for review. It's a sci-fi book and not really my Mommy's scene. But it does keep the attention and the writing style is quite strong. Let's see how it goes. 
She only managed about 30 minutes on The Night Tiger, this is our current audio book. In two weeks time, there will be lots more time for audio books.

Currently Watching

Along with about 50% of the world's population, we have started with The Crown Season 4. It's awesome! Nothing else that's new this week. Oh wait! We did watch the first episode of the last season of Once Upon a Time. No clue what's going on there. I thought season 6 was the last one and it ended quite perfectly. So what's happening now? Do we dare continue or just stick with and they lived long and happily ever after?

Let it Go

Amazon reviews: When did they change it to you have to spend at least $50 per year in order to upload a review? And is my Mommy the only one who reads the fine print or the terms and conditions? She saw the $50 thing mentioned on someone's Facebook page, but didn't worry too much. So definitely spends more than $50 on BookBub specials that she always buys from Amazon, or the Kindle Daily Deals. BUT the fine print stipulates that daily deals or any other specials does not count as add-ups to the minimum $50 you have to spend in order to publish a review. Come on!

$50 might not seem like a lot of money, but with our current exchange rates, its's about R800. A brand new book in the bookshops are expensive and will hit your purse with about R300 - R400. At least then I can hold it, smell it, hug it tight and showcase it on my bookshelf. I just don't spend that type of money on my Kindle books. So sorry Amazon. 

I'll have to think about how I'm going to do this as I still want to post my reviews on Amazon as well. Poor Elza was heartbroken when we couldn't upload her review for Falling into Magic on Amazon. Do any of you have any clever ideas?

Hope you are all well and safe! In 3 days time, we can start counting the sleeps to Christmas. Yea! Whose trees are up already? We hope to have ours up next weekend. 

Thanks for joining us for our Sunday news. Remember to link up with the following ladies as well and share your news. 



Lots of Love,

Elza & Mareli 

 

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The Classics Club Spin #25

Saturday, November 21, 2020

 Greetings! How are all you lovers all things Classic doing today? Yes, I'm still a novice and my blog icon still fall under current princesses, but watch this face - one day I will be a Classic. Until then, I'll just join my Mommy in her pursuit of The Classics Club Challenge. I think it's more of an adventure than an actual challenge and as it goes with many adventures - it's all about the journey and not the destination. That journey takes planning and careful consideration of what route to start off on. 

Okay, I do realize that all of the above just sound like a whole bunch of excuses. We haven't even started with our Classics Club Challenge! Luckily, the lovely creators of The Classics Club stay with it and they have these fun spins to help you along. Here's the rules for the latest one (it's not number 1, sorry. We are a bit late to this party):

It’s easy. At your blog, before next Sunday 22nd November 2020, create a post that lists twenty books of your choice that remain “to be read” on your Classics Club list.

This is your Spin List.

On Sunday 22nd November, they'll post a number from 1 through 20. The challenge is to read whatever book falls under that number on your Spin List by 30th January, 2021.

We can so do that! Seeing that we haven't even started, I guess it would have been the easiest to just list the first 20 books. But then again, it is the holiday season and we don't necessarily feel like all the dark, bound to be depressing, reads on our list. So I've shuffled them around a bit. Our selection that we feel brave to tackle any one from is:

1. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
2. Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
3. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
4. The Princess Bride - William Goldman
5. A tree grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith
6. The Westing Game - Ella Raskin
7. The Lord of the Rings - J.R. Tolkien
8. Watership Down - Richard Adams
9. Charlotte's Web - E.W. White
10. Tuck Everlasting - Natalie Babbitt
11. Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson
12. All Creatures great and small - James Herriot
13. The BFG - Roald Dahl
14. Around the world in eighty days - Jules Verne
15. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
16. Perfume: The story of a murderer - Patrick Suskind
17. The Unexpected Mrs Pollifax - Dorothy Gilman
18. The Secret life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd
19. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
20. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot


Three of these are a bit of a gamble and I'm not sure how we will feel if the dice falls on them. But I am not going to tell you which ones! If it does land on one of them, I will show my hand.

Good luck to all of you and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Lots of Love,

Elza 

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Friday Fives #1 - Our 5 Favorite Elephant Books

Friday, November 20, 2020

Greetings humans! It's Friday afternoon and after a long week, all my Mommy wants to do is hop on the couch and start reading. I told her we first need to connect to you guys so that she can just get in a bit of a better mood. I do this for my own well-being you know. 

Seeing that she doesn't know what to read yet, we've decided to do our first Connect Five hosted by the BookDate. Mommy's been eying this for quite some time, but Fridays are usually just hectic and we hardly open the computer on Fridays. Connect Five is really very easy, just pick 5 books that are connected in some or other way. Theme, cover, genre, author - you name it. Well, I hope I understand it correctly... I'm sure the lovely Kathryn will quickly guide me in the nicest possible way if we are having the cat by the tail today.

It's been more than a month since Mommy and Daddy had been on holiday and went walking with the elephants. After the numerous posts that she shared after their holidays, I've told you that it won't be the last of the elephants. For today, Mommy would like to share her 5 favorite elephant books. Nope, this is not figuratively speaking (big chunky books), these are books with real, big, chunky elephants.

I know we should only feature five books, but may I please start with my favorite little, big-eared elephant? Mommy says every time a child takes this book out from the library, her heart makes a whistle and she lifts ever so slightly into the air.

1. Circles in a Forest by Dalene Matthee I am picking this one first, because she can go on and on about it. Good grief, you would think these elephants are more important than me. If you've missed her Wednesday Wisdom from Circles in a Forest post, I gladly attach the link. 

The Knysna Forest: a primal world of strange beauty and hidden dangers, of secrets shrouded beneath the canopy of towering trees, where, for centuries, the only sounds were the songs of birds and the trumpeting of the magnificent elephants.... until man arrived to claim for himself the rare wood of the trees, and the rarer ivory of the elephants' tusks.

2. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult The book that broke my Mommy's heart, but strangely enough - it also glued all the little pieces back together to let the light shine in again. "Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let the light in." And the cat. They will let the cat in as well.

For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident. Refusing to believe she was abandoned, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice’s old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts.

3. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen Who hasn't read this one yet? I wish we could have a pet elephant named Rosie. 

Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell.
Jacob was there because his luck had run out—orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive "ship of fools." It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, a handsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was there because she was the great gray hope, the new act that was going to be the salvation of the circus; the only problem was, Rosie didn't have an act—in fact, she couldn't even follow instructions. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.
Surprising, poignant, and funny, Water for Elephants is that rare novel with a story so engrossing, one is reluctant to put it down; with characters so engaging, they continue to live long after the last page has been turned; with a world built of wonder, a world so real, one starts to breathe its air.

4. The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan We'll settle for baby Ganesh as well. This is a fun series and I think my Mommy needs to read the rest of them. She's only read the first two. 

The first is the case of a drowned boy, whose suspicious death no one seems to want solved. And the second is a baby elephant. As his search for clues takes him across the teeming city of Mumbai, from its grand high rises to its sprawling slums and deep into its murky underworld, Chopra begins to suspect that there may be a great deal more to both his last case and his new ward than he thought. And he soon learns that when the going gets tough, a determined elephant may be exactly what an honest man needs... 

5. Elephants can remember by Agatha Christie Okay, maybe this one is more on the figurative side. I've chosen this one, because my Mommy is one of those people with the elephant memories. Don't know how she does it. Names, dates, what's where in the grocery shop, things Daddy did wrong - it can sometimes be a bit uncanny. 

Hercule Poirot stood on the cliff-top. For here, many years earlier, there had been a tragic accident – the broken body of a woman was discovered on the rocks at the foot of the cliff. This was followed by the grisly discovery of two more bodies – a husband and wife – shot dead. But who had killed whom? Was it a suicide pact? A crime of passion? Or cold-blooded murder? Poirot delves back into a crime committed 15 years earlier and discovers that, when there is a distinct lack of physical evidence, it’s just as well that ‘old sins leave long shadows.'
This story is part of Agatha Christie’s murder in retrospect series, a collection of stories which look at a crime several years after the fact, piecing together testimonials and witness reports to finally uncover the truth. This time we see Mrs Oliver’s goddaughter, attempting to find out the truth about her deceased parents – who killed whom? 



Book Blogger Hop


It does appear as if we will have time to quickly do a
Book Blogger Hop as well today. It's been months... 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. 
Today's question: Have you ever started reading a book and suddenly realized you've already read it?

My Mommy says she's got three words to answer that question - Mary Higgins Clark. Mommy says they have grown up with those three words (I strongly suspect it's someone's name) and my Auntie Hannelize still loves her books. Mommy reads them as well, because she always buys them for Auntie Hannelize and then her curiosity just about kills me.  But as soon as she starts reading it, she remembers she has read it before. Her elephant memory doesn't stretch as far as all the plotlines she's read in her life. 


This isn't our photo, we've borrowed it from a lovely lady who has a super cool blog. So glad we've stumbled upon Elizabeth's blog. Have a look at this post if you are looking for a Mary Higgins Clark book you can't miss and hopefully won't forget: Off the shelf.

Maybe we'll read a Mary Higgins Clark this weekend. Will go and see what's left on the shelves.

What are you reading this weekend? Have fun and stay safe!

Lots of Love,

Elza 



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Falling into Magic by Elizabeth Pantley

Wednesday, November 18, 2020


Title:
Falling into Magic
Author: Elizabeth Pantley
Published: 15 November 2020 (Kindle Direct Publishing)
Pages: 299 (Kindle)
Series: Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic #1
Read: 18 November 2020
Source: From the author herself (couldn't be more chuffed)
Rating: 
Content: Genre: fantasy mystery, amateur sleuth. Age appropriate: from young adult +. Language: squeaky clean. Adult content: wishful thinking with two sexy hunks. Violence: you won't need therapy. Magic: tons.  
Synopsis: When Hayden was a child, she lost her cat. Adults told her the cat ran away, but she knew the truth. The mirror had taken her. She knew because the mirror had given her a glimpse of an alternate world and had nearly pulled her in, so she was certain the cat had suffered that fate.

Twenty years later Hayden discovers the secret of the mirror when she is thrust into it. She learns of a world she never knew existed, and a family she never knew she had. But danger brought her here, and it followed her. Now, Hayden is on a mission to remove the threat, so that she can begin her magical, meaningful new life in this enchanted world.
 


Greetings Humans! For those of you who do not know me yet, my name is Elza. I am a fluffy white kitten who will present you with a review for Falling into Magic. My Mommy has written a couple of reviews, but ever since this book fell into her lap, I begged her to do the review from my point of view. 

I do a lot of reading with my Mommy and I can tell you, she reads as wide as the sea is deep. Falling into Magic is the type of book you take to the beach and just enjoy it for what it is - funny, fluffy, far-fetched and fabulous. Although my Mommy doesn't always read the fffff books, she always enjoys a good Disney or Hallmark movie or mini-series. 

Finally! An author who manages to pin the Disney/Hallmark magic down on paper. Yes, yes, I do know that the author dedication normally comes at the end of the review, but I am a cat and I shall do as I please. Miss Elizabeth Bennet, wait - that's someone else. Mrs. Elizabeth Pantley had me at hello:

Dedication 
"This book is dedicated to all the cats and dogs who support and protect their owners, in exchange for only love and care."

All books should start like that. It's almost as powerful as Once Upon A Time. No, I am not only talking about the most magical opening line in literature history, I am also talking about the hit TV Series


and more specifically, the magical town of


If you thought Storybrooke had magical powers, wait till you spot Destiny Falls on the map of enchanted realms. "Destiny Falls was a community, perhaps a town, maybe a world. It was unique and magnificent. And it was very, very well hidden." 

Nothing-special-about-her Hayden, lives in Seattle with her Himalayan long haired cat, Sassy, her grandma and great grandmother. While on her way back from a grooming parlor with Sassy safely tucked in her carrier, a man shoved them both in a construction hole and blackness enfolded them. When Hayden saw the light of day again, she was in a beautiful palace, a princess with a sparkling, twirling gown and a her gorgeous cat turned into a Fairy Godmother. 

Okay, I'm exaggerating here. But not really as much as you would imagine. When Hayden woke up (in a magical mansion) she was greeted by her brother who she didn't even knew she had. The only Axel she knew in "our" world, was this guy  


I tell you, they breed them better in Destiny Falls. Hayden quickly realizes that she is part of a very important family, the Caldwells. Better known as the chosen ones. No, they are not vampires or the last remaining family after the apocalypse. This is a fairytale, stay with the plot and theme, please. Thus - they were the town's royalty (see, like a princess). 

Hayden soon meets the rest of family who are all picture perfect. But as we know, no fairytale can be complete without a villain, an evil stepmother/grandmother, a fairy godmother and a talking animal or two.  Okay, maybe there isn't a fairy godmother, but there is a fairy housekeeper and the talking animal is non other than Sassy! Who now goes by the name Latifa and she is so the true queen of this story with one sassy personality. Jazz hands to you girlfriend! 


My Mommy says I need to stop with the spoiler alerts now, so if you want to know what actually happens from here on, you better read the book. It won't disappoint. It's very Disney'ish (to quote the author), and Disney always delivers. 

Although Destiny Falls is not Elizabeth Pantley's first book to be published, it is her first attempt at fiction. One will never say that. Hayden is a first person narrator and her quirks and comments on herself and her own thoughts, are delightfully refreshing for this type of narration. Elizabeth's writing style is strong and the plot flows smoothly and effortlessly. Most memorable, is the character sketches. Granted, it is mainly from Hayden's point of view, but if a picture says a thousand words, then this author can do the reverse with 10 to 20 words.  

As always, my Mommy has highlighted a couple of great quotes:

"We all have things that go wrong in our lives it's part of being human. And then we have choices to make. We can go down the rabbit hole of anger and sadness, or we can pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and get on with life. It is our life, after all, and we can make it as good as we choose."

"Caldwell women do not sneak. We do not avoid confrontation. We do not run from problems. We keep our emotions in check. We get stronger. We get focused. We get to work."

We want to be like the Caldwell women. Something tells me, Hayden is going to develop into one amazing Caldwell woman as the rest of the series unfolds. With such a sassy cat by her side, can you expect anything less?

Thanks for this lovely review copy, Elizabeth! Both me and my Mommy enjoyed this tremendously and we wish you all the best and top of the best sellers with this one. 

About the author:

Parenting educator Elizabeth Pantley is president of Better Beginnings, Inc., a family resource and education company. Elizabeth frequently speaks to parents at schools, hospitals, and parent groups around the world. Her presentations are received with enthusiasm, and praised as realistic, warm and helpful.


She is a regular radio show guest and frequently quoted as a parenting expert in newspapers and magazines such as Parents, Parenting, American Baby, Woman's Day, Good Housekeeping, and Redbook and on hundreds of parent-directed Web sites. She publishes a newsletter, Parent Tips, which is distributed in schools nationwide.

Elizabeth is the author of 13 popular parenting books, available in 24 languages.

Elizabeth and her husband, Robert, live in the state of Washington along with their four children and "Grama."

More reviews on Falling into Magic:


Lots of Love,

Elza 


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