Mini Reviews: Britt-Marie was here, The Thursday Murder Club & The inaugural meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club

Sunday, February 28, 2021


Greetings you all! No, it's not quite a Sunday Post today, we don't have enough to tell you. At least nothing new. Mommy still works hard and there's not enough hours in the day to get to the blog as much as we would love to. I can tell you that she does stay on schedule with reading though, and that's why we decided to start this new monthly feature here on the blog. 

Please tell me you love my graphic? I thought I was very clever. Get it? Mini Reviews = Minnie Mouse. I really wanted to make a graphic with me catching Minnie Mouse and dropping her on a book, but Mommy just gave me a thrown and a stern no

The idea of this monthly post, will be to feature the books we've read from Book Club for the month. Yes, sometimes we do write full reviews on our Book Club books, but most of the time, there's only time for a short, mini review. Mommy took 4 books for Book Club this month, but we only finished 3. Believe me, that was quite the accomplishment if you take the month she's had. 

Britt-Marie was here
Author: Fredrik Backman
Published: May 2016 (English Translation)
Pages: 324
Format: Paperback
Read: 13 February 2021
Content: Some violence and swearing
Synopsis: Britt-Marie can’t stand mess. A disorganized cutlery drawer ranks high on her list of unforgivable sins. She is not one to judge others—no matter how ill-mannered, unkempt, or morally suspect they might be. It’s just that sometimes people interpret her helpful suggestions as criticisms, which is certainly not her intention. But hidden inside the socially awkward, fussy busybody is a woman who has more imagination, bigger dreams, and a warmer heart that anyone around her realizes.
When Britt-Marie walks out on her cheating husband and has to fend for herself in the miserable backwater town of Borg—of which the kindest thing one can say is that it has a road going through it—she finds work as the caretaker of a soon-to-be demolished recreation center. The fastidious Britt-Marie soon finds herself being drawn into the daily doings of her fellow citizens, an odd assortment of miscreants, drunkards, layabouts. Most alarming of all, she’s given the impossible task of leading the supremely untalented children’s soccer team to victory. In this small town of misfits, can Britt-Marie find a place where she truly belongs?

Although this book started off strongly, it lost my interest about 25% in. I can't really give you a definite answer to why. I normally don't like to set Book Club books aside, because then I can't discuss it as much as I want to in Book Club, so I pushed through. So glad I did! This book ended up being just as lovely and enduring as its cover. I love that cover with the rat on the soccer ball. 

"Football is a mighty game in that way, because it forces life to go on."

I haven't read the tie-in, My Grandmother asked me to tell you she's sorry, but I will try to get a copy as soon as possible. I really want to read more books by Fredrick Backman. 

Will I recommend this book to the rest of the Book Club ladies? It's definitely not for everyone and some readers might find it incipit with not a strong enough storyline. If you can get passed that and mainly focus on the excellent writing style and how the characters develop, this will be worth the read. I'm glad I can also say: "Britt-Marie was here". And she touched me deeply. 

"I want a job because I actually don't think it's very edifying to disturb the neighbours with bad smells (dead body for 3+ days). I want someone to know I'm here."

The Thursday Murder Club
Author: Richard Osman
Published: September 2020
Pages: 382
Format: Paperback
Series: Thursday Murder Club #1
Read: 21 February 2021
Content: It's a retirement village. If you expect disturbing content, search for a different setting.
Synopsis: Four septuagenarians with a few tricks up their sleeves
A female cop with her first big case
A brutal murder
Welcome to…
The Thursday Murder Club
In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves The Thursday Murder Club. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.
When a local developer is found dead with a mysterious photograph left next to the body, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly find themselves in the middle of their first live case. As the bodies begin to pile up, can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it’s too late?

I was so looking forward to this book and it didn't disappoint. What's not to like? Murders being solved in a retirement village by a bunch of really old people who obviously lead very interesting lives. It's obvious that this will be a series, as you are introduced to all the main characters in a thorough enough manner, but you do keep wondering and wanting to know more.

There are a couple of red herrings in this book and it almost bothered me. Every herring could easily have been a book all by itself. It did come together quite nicely though. 

The members of The Thursday Murder Club is what makes this book the best seller that it is. My humble opinion. Elizabeth reminds me of Blanch from The Golden Girls, with maybe just a bit more savviness. Rose, aka Bettie White, would be the perfect Joyce. This series will definitely make a lovely adaptation.

"I asked Elizabeth what favour Joanna owed us and she said the universal guilt of a child who doesn't see their Mum often enough."

Will I recommend this book to the rest of the Book Club ladies? Yes! I believe just about all of them will enjoy this one. 

The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club
Author: Sophie Green
Published: August 2017 (Hachette Australia)
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Read: 27 February 2021
Content: Clean
Synopsis: Books bring them together - but friendship will transform all of their lives. Five very different women come together in the Northern Territory of the 1970s by an exceptional new Australian author.
In 1978 the Northern Territory has begun to self-govern. Cyclone Tracy is a recent memory and telephones not yet a fixture on the cattle stations dominating the rugged outback. Life is hard and people are isolated. But they find ways to connect.
Sybil is the matriarch of Fairvale Station, run by her husband, Joe. Their eldest son, Lachlan, was Joe's designated successor but he has left the Territory - for good. It is up to their second son, Ben, to take his brother's place. But that doesn't stop Sybil grieving the absence of her child. With her oldest friend, Rita, now living in Alice Springs and working for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and Ben's English wife, Kate, finding it difficult to adjust to life at Fairvale, Sybil comes up with a way to give them all companionship and purpose: they all love to read, and she forms a book club.
Mother-of-three Sallyanne is invited to join them. Sallyanne dreams of a life far removed from the dusty town of Katherine where she lives with her difficult husband, Mick. Completing the group is Della, who left Texas for Australia looking for adventure and work on the land.

A surprisingly enjoyable read. And I mean that in the nicest, positive way. I didn't expect much from this book as I haven't heard anything about it. I've heard about Sophie Green on one our fellow book blogger's posts, but nothing about this book. Seeing that Book Club is just about the one thing I look forward to the most every month, I thought a book about a Book Club should be worth it. And it was.

It was a quick read for me and I finished it within a day. What I liked most about it, was the wonderful descriptions of the Australian Northern Territory. Farvale is a cattle station about 25km outside the town, Kathryn. A small, nothing special little town. Not so much different than most small towns in South Africa. I think just about every South African knows at least one person/family who immigrated to Australia. If you read books like The inaugural Meeting of the Farevale Ladies Book Club, it does make a lot of sense. 

The women of The Farevale Ladies Book Club all come from different backgrounds and their lives in the Northern Territory are also quite diverse, but through their love of books and reading, they get together as often as possible and formed close friendships that span over years, age and the vast landscape of Australia. 

Will I recommend this book to any of the Book Club ladies? Most of them, yes. We've also come together for a couple of years by now and you have an idea of who will read what. Not all the ladies will enjoy this book, but I do know who I will recommend it to. 

"Books give us the benefit of a lot of people's experiences. They give us more options to choose from - more ways to live - than we could ever find on our own".

Have you read any of our Book Club books for February? My Mommy has Book Club on Tuesday night and I can't wait to see with what books she will be coming home. 

Have a wonderful week ahead!

Lots of Love,

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Ten Feline Book Titles that made me laugh out loud

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

 Greetings Humans! My Mommy didn't do a single Top Ten Tuesday post in the last month. Guess it's up to me to rectify that as soon as possible. Sometimes I really have no clue what she would do without me. Today's prompt from our lovely host, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl, is Ten Books that made me laugh out loud. I see in my Mommy's diary that she did start planning this, but it was written in pencil and incomplete. Perfect opportunity for me to get my claws on the eraser and make this post my own. Without any further ado, I proudly present to you:

Now I'm not as proficient with typing as my Mommy, so I'm going to keep this short and simple. In case you might think I made some of these titles up, I will add links to all the titles and you can see for yourself that my innovation only goes that far.

Seeing that I belong to the feline of the species myself, I can answer one or two questions on these for you:
  • Cats paint because we can. We don't do it often though, as it messes with our normally perfect hair days.
  • Yes, God does speak through cats every now and again.
  • You won't be able to tell if your cat plots to kill you. You might just wake up one morning in heaven with no clue how you got there. 
  • We love crafting with you!
  • Yes, we can and we will pee on just about everything. Rock, Paper, Scissors are not excluded.
  • Not sorry that I barfed on your bed. If you gave me the attention I asked for in the first place, this wouldn't have happened.

Any other laugh out loud feline titles I've missed? Have a wonderful Tuesday and remember to share the books that have made you laugh out loud with us.

Lots of Love,

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The Sunday Post #30

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Greetings you all! How are you? Did you have a good week? I've decided to just accept my fate of being a poor, abandoned kitty for most of my weeks. Life is not going to change much for my Mommy at this stage. School is busy and her days are long. I do try my best to make sure she doesn't forget completely about me by catching and releasing the odd grasshopper in the house, or chasing imaginary mice around the bedroom @ 03:00 in the morning. Oh and losing my collar. That was the most fun. 

The world outside our window shows lovely summer weather with a couple of rain showers, but not enough to ease the ongoing drought. Hence all the grasshoppers. Did I mention that my Mommy hates grasshoppers? The Covid numbers are just about 0 in our little town for over a week now, but there's already talk of the 3rd Wave that will hit Africa if we can't get a workable vaccine soon. As you know, all the AstroZeneca vaccines that arrived on our shores, had to be send back as it was completely useless against the strain that spread through Africa. Let's hold thumbs that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine proof to be more effective than their no-more-tears shampoo. 

My Mommy didn't buy any new books and she also didn't request any. There are way too many books here for her to get through first. 

Scratching the Blog Pole

We did manage to get three posts published on the blog this week and all three were loads of fun. On Wednesday we did our biweekly Wondrous Words Wednesday and on Friday Mommy came home early in time for us to do a Weekend Book Friends. Our featured book was The Thursday Murder Club and we are just about done with it.  

Yesterday I did I Classics Club post on my favorite Classic Character. That was the most fun of all. The pictures below link directly to the various posts if you missed it. 

On the couch

Recently Finished

Currently Reading

Currently Watching

Mommy saw a blog post over at At starts at Midnight on The 100 and it really sparked her interest. Mommy and Daddy watched the first one and they mainly spend the whole episode discussing Lost. Now that was a brilliant series. But we'll try at least one more episode of The 100 before me make a final verdict. 

And that's it from us this week. I do hope that your week was more eventful than ours. If you want to babysit a fluffy white kitten during the long hours my Mommy spend at work, let me know. I'm sure we can come to some sort of an arrangement.

Maybe one of our hosts will be interested!

Lots of Love,

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The Classic Meme 2.0 - Who is your favorite Classic Character?

Saturday, February 20, 2021

 Greetings Humans! It's a lazy Saturday afternoon and my Mommy just feels like lying on the couch, reading her book. Me, on the other hand, are as awake as a kitten who were up half the night chasing imaginary mice, can be. And I want to take part in The Classics Club Classic Meme 2.0.  The latest question they gave us to ponder about is:

Who is your favorite Classic Character? Why?

Technically, that's two questions. But let's not split hairs about it. My Mommy says one should always be polite and being a nosy wise-ass isn't polite at all. She didn't particularly wanted to answer this question, but she gladly passed it on to me. I wonder if you will be able to guess my favorite classic character? Not difficult at all. I'll give you 10 more seconds. 


I have enough faith in the human race to believe some of you did guess correctly. Of course my favorite Classic Character is 

Just to clarify - my favorite character is the cat, not Dick. I'm sure the story/folklore of Dick Whittington and his Cat, will need not introduction on this platform. This is a rags to riches/Cinderella tail tale where a cat saves the day and end up being both the fairy god-cat and the prince in shining fur. Seeing that all his doings resulted in Dick Whittington becoming mayor of London, I do hope that he spend the remainder of his fruitful life eating only salmon and drinking full cream milk. Once again, the cat. Not Dick Whittington. I'm quite sure he dined on salmon and full cream milk due to the cleverness of his cat until his dying day.

There are a number of different versions of the story. In some, Dick buys a cat after he did some shoe shining. In others, he found a parrot in a tree and after the rightful owners (of the parrot, not of Dick. He was nothing but a poor orphan boy) rewarded him a tenpence, he bought himself a cat to catch the mice in the attic he slept in. 

When Mr. Fitzwaren's, that's the rich merchant in whose attic Dick and his cat slept, ships set sail on a trade mission, each servant in the household sent something with the ship which could be sold and the profit would be his/hers. Poor Dick only had his cat. In some versions of the tail tale, he gave his cat to the merchant and stayed behind in London. In another version, the one we prefer, Dick decided to go with the ship as he couldn't bare to part with his beloved cat. Of course he had to contemplate about this for way to long and as he was sitting on a stone, wondering if he made the right decision, the church bells started ringing and in his own later-day tall-tail retellings - the bells called out to him: 

"Go Whittington, go! You will come back to be the mayor of London!"

Between you and me, I am convinced the cat actually just purred in his ears and would do anything to get him to move his blooming ass and get on that ship. Today there is a monument to his cat near the Whittington Stone pub at the foot of Highgate Hill where Dick sat down and heard the famous bells/purrs.

So Dick and his cat sailed away with the ship and they visited many countries where the cat dined on various species of mice and rats. He got so proficient in this (the cat, not Dick. Mice and rats gave him an upset stomach) that when they reached a foreign island that was plagued with rats, Dick was so confident in his cat's rat-killing abilities, that he made an agreement with the king to pay him in gold for every rat that his cat could catch on the island. The cat caught so many rats, that the king rewarded Dick with a ton of gold. Since Dick's cat had made him a very rich man, they decided to go home. 

Upon their return, Dick who was now called Mr. Richard Whittington, married Alice Fitzwaren and his cat had a place of honour at the wedding feast. And a nice, pink salmon. A whole one. Okay, I made that up. But it could be true. 

In 1396, Richard Whittington was appointed magistrate of London and in the next year, he became mayor of the city. Just as the bells and the purrs had promised him years before. Sir Richard had an image of his cat put on his coat or arms. 

The final part of the question asked by Classics Club, is why is our chosen classic character your favorite?

Well, beside the obvious similarities between myself and my chosen character, this story proofs that having a cat in your life, will turn your life from rags to riches. You also won't need a fairy godmother or a handsome prince to rescue you from whatever dismal situation you find yourself in. Just catch a parrot or shine some shoes and buy yourself a cat. Your life will never be the same. 

Who is your favorite Classic Character? Do you know any interesting tidbits about Dick Whittington or his cat? 

I'm going to go and curl up with my Mommy and make her life even better now. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Lots of Love,

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