Throwback Thursday #7 - Come, thou Tortoise

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Gosh, my Mommy is on such a roll this week. She's posted 6 days in a row. Nope, no idea what's up with that, but I'm not complaining here. I know she loves the blog and I'm glad she gets her days sorted in such a way that she has a bit more time to spend on the blogosphere. 

It's Thursday and time for Throwback Thursday. Guess what? My Mommy actually plays by Davida's rules for a change! 

  • The Chocolate Lady's #Throwback Thursday takes place on the Thursday before the first Saturday of every month. Yes, there is a linky and it will remain open until she uploads the new one. Thank Goodness. My first and last sometimes gets very confused. 
  • Your post must highlight one of your previously published book reviews and Davida encourages other participants to do the same. 
  • Add the link to your post and remember to link back to The Chocolate Lady's Book Blog And do not forget to #ThrowbackThursday!

As this is our 7th Throwback Thursday, Mommy is looking back at the 7th review that she's written. 

Goodness gracious me! This is a funny review. I sniggered more than once, but I do understand that it's a fond memory for her. Apparently this book was her inspiration to start blogging in 2016. I won't know, I wasn't the apple of her eye yet, as I wasn't even born yet. I don't think my feline mother was even born. Thank goodness she traded up from tortoises to cats. 

Come, Thou Tortoise
Author: Jessica Grant
Published: March 2009 (Knopf, Canada)
Pages: 412
Format: Paperback
Read: 19 March - 05 June 2016 (I know,.... But keep in mind - this was a book concerning a tortoise. I call it "empathetic reading")
Synopsis: When Audrey (a.k.a Oddly)  Flowers learns that her father has been hit on the head by a Christmas tree and is in a coma, she knows what she must do: leave Winnifred her tortoise behind, fly home, make a moving speech at his bedside and wait for him to wake up. When Audrey disarms an Air Marshall on route to St Johns and the Wednesday Pond, we realize there is something a bid odd about her.
Things didn't work out quite the way she planned. Instead, Audrey finds herself embarking on an extraordinary journey: one full of puzzlement and pain - but one that could also light up her life (very similar to a Christmas tree). Come, thou tortoise  unfolds in a world that is not quite our own; a place where you might just live forever if you can avoid the dangers, and where the truth can be hidden in the armrest of your airline seat.

Should you be in the very, very fortunate position to be following this blog * (amazement in the making here - watch this space) for the past two months - this is the book you should be thanking.

*This blog here refers to my Mommy's previous blog, MareliThalkink. Long before I was in the picture.  I think our blog, Elza Reads, is even more swoon worthy.

The idea of starting my own blog was simmering somewhere the back of my mind for a couple of months and it took Winnifred, the highly opinionated tortoise, to bring the idea to the boil. When I read the above quoted lines from Come, thou Tortoise, it was an enlightening moment. That is exactly what I have become! A bookmark. Really, think about it; I'm not working full-time anymore;* I'm at home most of the day; I spend most of my waking hours reading; at least 15 000 of my daily quota of 20 000 words per day are on books and authors and bookish blogs. See??? 

*My Mommy is working full-time again and not at home as much as I would like her to be. And she talks a lot of school. At least 25 000 words a day. 

"This is what I've been reduced to. A bookmark. Me thinks I need a plan"

What other choice did I have than to follow the wise-old tortoise's advice? I made a plan. And started my own blog. Maybe that is the main reason why it took me so long to finish this book. I didn't want to let go of Winnifred. I was hoping that she would be able to give me more advice on the important things in life. She did. And it was a bit more than just "Slow and steady wins the race".
You can read the rest of her very unstructured review by clicking on the link above. 

As always, I have asked her a couple of questions regarding the review:
  1. When was this review first published? - 06 June 2016
  2. Did you have any idea what you were doing? - Obviously not! But leave it. It shows that growth is always a possibility.
  3. Will you re-write this review? - Good grief, no. I would never be able to be so ridiculously creative again. And by ridiculously, I literally mean ridiculous.  
  4. Did you tweak this review? - A bit yes. Could have done more, I guess. But let's leave it as is. 
  5. Will you re-read the book? - I think so yes. I remember that I loved it. 
  6. Will you recommend others to read this review? If you want to have a laugh, yes. But the book comes highly recommended. 

End of last year, we've decided to combine Throwback Thursday with  Books from the Backlog, hosted by Carole's Random Life of BooksThis worked very well. By working well, I mean that my Mommy actually spend some time on her TBR shelf and cleared some space for new books. (She needs to do that every time we post on Books from the Backlog. Very effective)

Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread.  If you are anything like me, you might be surprised by some of the unread books hiding in your stacks.

The 7th book on our TBR list of 502 books was Jasper Jones by Caig Silvey, but somehow I don't think we'll still get to it. So our list is now down to 501 and nr. 7 is: 

Stanley Yelnats' family has a history of bad luck, so he isn't too surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to a boys' juvenile detention centre. At Camp Green Lake the boys must dig a hole a day, five feet deep, five feet across, in the dried up lake bed. The Warden claims the labour is character building, but it is a lie. Stanley must dig up the truth.

I'm sure this little book needs no introduction. My Mommy has read this book years ago and she remembers that she told herself then already that one day she will read it again. I think one day is any day now. We just need to find a copy again. I believe there's one in the school library with the cover we've shared with you. Have you read Holes? Or is that one of those rhetorical questions?

Please remember to link your Throwback Thursday and your Books from the Backlog up to the two lovely hosts and share your books with us too! 

Lots of Love,


Read More

Wondrous Words Wednesday - Cabriolet

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

It's my Mommy's first working day of the week and we had a wonderful long weekend. It almost feels strange to think it's a Wednesday, but then again - Wednesdays are Wondrous Words. So yea! This meme was first created by Kathy over at Bermuda Onion Blog and is now proudly hosted by yours truly. 

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered, or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative! 

No rules apply here, just share any or all the lovely or new words you've encountered over the last fortnight. 

Tips and ideas:

  • Don't go pull the Dictionary down from the shelf. Use words you came across in a book, a TV show, Google, a pamphlet, social media, doctor's room, classroom - the possibilities are endless
  • If you want to share a story around your chosen word, you are welcome
  • If you want to link your chosen word up with a book or books, please do so 
  • You are welcome to share photos or pictures that will describe your word just a bit better (who doesn't love Pictionary)
  • Let's stick to words that are recognized in the English Dictionary. You are welcome to use translations of your chosen word or a brief history if it derives from a different language, but your readers need to be able to find it in the English Dictionary
  • Please add your link to Mr Linky and pay a visit to the other word wizards

You are welcome to use my graphic or design your own!  

Today's word is not a new word to us, but we honesty didn't know its original meaning:

Definition of cabriolet

1a light 2-wheeled one-horse carriage with a folding leather hood, a large rigid shield in front of the seat, and upward-curving shafts
2a convertible coupe

The second one is more what we know and understand as a cabriolet. My Mommy is reading a book set in the 1800's and when one of the characters stepped out of his cabriolet, she was rather confused. Thank you Kindle Dictionary for clearing the confusion up in a matter of seconds. Did you know that a cabriolet is not only Barbie's dream car, but also a type of carriage?

As always My Mommy mostly tries to link her Wondrous word up with a couple of books/movies/characters. There are so many books we can think of with carriages, but we've decided to just go with the ones we can remember without wrecking our brains. The first carriage we can think of, is of course Cinderella's gorgeous pumpkin carriage.

The second carriage that comes to mind, is the "horseless" carriages in Harry Potter.

Favorite carriage scene.... Oh definitely the runaway carriage in The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgerton #2 ) by Julia Quinn. It was sooooo funny! I really am looking forward to Season 2 of Bridgerton and I think it's going to be a great episode. *This is not a spoiler alert, if you haven't read it yet, I gave nothing away. If you have read it, I'm sure you are giggling now. 

We've never had the privilege to ride in a carriage. I know, unbelievable. I am a princess after all. I've never seen a carriage in South Africa, especially not a cabriolet carriage. Unless a donkey cart counts? Seen hundreds of them!

What Wondrous Words did you come across over the passed 2 weeks? Please share them with us and remember to add your name to the linky below.

Lots of Love,

Read More

Curious Tuesday #2 - Optimizing Blogger

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Greetings you all! It's Tuesday and that means that it should actually be time for Top Ten Tuesday, one of our favorite weekly features. But today's theme is Animals from Books and are there any other animals from books as important as cats? I think not. And we've done and will still continue to do enough of those to last you a last time. 

Let's rather tickle my curiosity a bit today and see if I need to give up one of my 9 lives. For those of you who are using the Blogger platform, I guess you've all received your notice to say that FeedBurner will no longer manage your email subscriptions (or something to that effect) and you need to find another subscription service. I.HAVE.NO.CLUE.WHAT.THAT.EVEN.MEANS. Should we be worried about this? Or even worse:

Has the time come for us to get off this platform and jump onto another? My Mommy wanted to call this post Blogger vs Wordpress, but I think that's jumping the gun a bit. We did play around on the internet to see if it will be a better option to switch platforms, but it just seems complicated. I might be terribly wrong here, you are very welcome to correct me. 

Won't it perhaps just be a bit easier to just stay on Blogger and learn to optimize it as best as we can? Or is this rather a case of idiocrasy than curiosity? Yes, yes - my Mommy is a complete idiot when it comes to computers and techno lingo, but she did manage to get the blog up and running the way it's now and it's not all that bad. Is it? We are open to improvements, but might need some help! If you can help with any of the below curiosities, please be so kind to leave a comment.
  • I do use the e-mail contact form and would like to continue using it. Any ideas on how?
  • What on earth is a RSS feed? And how do we activate it? 
  • Subscription Links? How do you access and activate it? And do you still need the email subscription then?
  • And a CSS feed? I take it it's not part of the CSI team. Or is it? We don't have any interest in becoming involved with criminal activities. Especially not murder.
  • What is attribution data? Do you need to activate it?
  • Own domain: Except for having the lovely option of having your own name, is it of any other value to your blog? 
  • We love our current template, I mean it's all about me, so who wouldn't. But I see there are some lovely, gorgeous new templates available with the cutest share and follow buttons. Okay, that's not really a question. That's plain curiosity that is bound to kill this cat. 
We apologize in advance for sounding like the dumbest blondes on the blogosphere, but I have a definite fifth sense that some of you will be able to help us.

What are you curious about on this lovely Tuesday? Are you happy with the current platform that you use or do you also think you can optimize it a bit more?

Lots of Love,

Read More

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon April 2021

Monday, April 26, 2021

Wasn't the passed weekend just the most fun ever? Who else took part in the Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon? Yes, yes - I know we sound a bit like a baby who got candy for the first time, but this was just so fabulous! It was our first 24 hour readathon and also our first time playing Bingo. I do believe we might be addicted now and my Mommy is just looking for more challenges build around a Bingo board. Thankfully she needs to be back at school on Wednesday and the latest obsession will hopefully also pass.

As promised, here is our final Bingo board and the books we've read:

Blue Squares: Read a book that's won an award, Read a book recommended or gifted to you.

Yes, we did go for the Afrikaans options here! Afrikaans is our home language and of course we will read books in Afrikaans faster than in English. Ek Wens, Ek Wens deur Zirk van den Berg won the kykNET Rapport prize for best book in 2020 here in South Africa and this little, magical books deserves it. It's not available in English, I do hope I can say yet. Here's a small blurp for you: 

As mortician at White Lily Funerals Seb has embalmed countless corpses, repacked organs in body cavities, and applied make-up to pallid faces for the mourners' last viewing. You have a job to do and you do it; there's no use wishing for something else.
And yet, ever so often, Seb does wish for some kind of intervention to jolt him from his dreary existence.
One day, when the dying boy Gawie and his mother walk into the funeral parlour Seb starts believing in wishes after all . .

We read this one from start to finish for the readathon (168 pages)

Pink Squares: Read a book with no supernatural elements (contemporary romance), Read a humorous book, A book set in the Spring or Summer, Read a total of 150 pages. 

Another Afrikaans book. It really is just so much easier if you want to get as much reading as possible in. Bruidzilla deur Marion Erskine was hilariously funny, but with enough depth in to make it worth the read. We enjoyed this one so much, my Mommy immediately wrote a review after closing the book. It's also in Afrikaans, but we do have a translate option if you want to read our review. Can't promise how well the translation will be, it can sometimes be rather funny how Google interprets my Mommy's antics. Bruidzilla review Here's short blurp for you again: 

Tillie’s best friend Milanka is very high maintenance. But that’s the Milanka she knows and loves, and who has meant so much to her. Her just-so, #blessed bestie. Now Tillie must plan Milanka’s fairy tale wedding, and as Milanka morphs into Bridezilla, Tillie begins to notice that all isn’t as it should be. Will Milanka ever get to the altar – and will their friendship survive the process?

We also read this one from start to finish (286 pages)

Orange Squares: Read a book with a unique cover, Participate in a 60 minute reading sprint, Read a standalone

We finished the last 91 pages of The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker to start the readathon off. It was a great read and I'm sure you'll hear more about it from us in the next couple of days/weeks.  In an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a freshman girl stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics who carry her away, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. Then a second girl falls asleep, and then another, and panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. As the number of cases multiplies, classes are canceled, and stores begin to run out of supplies. A quarantine is established. The National Guard is summoned.Mei, an outsider in the cliquish hierarchy of dorm life, finds herself thrust together with an eccentric, idealistic classmate. Two visiting professors try to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. A father succumbs to the illness, leaving his daughters to fend for themselves. And at the hospital, a new life grows within a college girl, unbeknownst to her—even as she sleeps. A psychiatrist, summoned from Los Angeles, attempts to make sense of the illness as it spreads through the town. Those infected are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, more than has ever been recorded. They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what?

Green Squares: Read a book with a character that shares similar characteristics as you, Read a children's book, Read a book with an animal on the cover

As you know, my Mommy is a school librarian/teacher and some of the most popular books in the school's library, is the Holly Webb books. They are so adorable and the kids read it up to Grade 7. My Mommy is 42 and she loved Lost in the Storm. Of course I share a lot of characteristics with Fluff: I'm a cute and fluffy kitten, I'm as brave as a kitten can be, I'm clever beyond words and I also love to wander around the neighbourhood. But no, I won't bring another kitten home. I'm the baby in this household and that's the way it will remain. End of story. We've read all 119 pages of this cute little book for the readathon.  
Ella loves her kitten, Fluff, and worries about her going missing again. But Fluff is enchanted by being outside, especially when it starts snowing and she has the pretty snowflakes to play with. But suddenly a blizzard sets in and Fluff loses her way - will Ella ever be reunited with her kitten?
Yellow Squares: Enjoy a snack or drink that's new to you, Participate in a challenge (not including Bingo), free space, Read in 3 separate locations, Make your own bookmark, Read in your PJ's

We loved the Instagram prompts and of course I was very happy to play model. 

We do hope you had just as much fun as we did with the April edition of the Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon.

See you next time again!

Lots of Love,

Read More

The Sunday Post #36

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Greetings you all! It's 10:00 here in South Africa and there are only 4 hours left of the Dewey 24 Hour Readathon. Gosh, we are having so much fun with this! It's a first for us in more than one way: Our first Dewey Readathon and also our first time playing bingo in any form. Why did no-one every tell us it's so much fun??  What other challenges revolve around a bingo board?? 

Seriously now, I think it's brilliant to have such clever prompts and games combined with a readathon. It really just brings an element of fun to it. Of course I get to snuggle with my Mommy for hours now and I can also pose for numerous Instagram photos. We'll give a complete update later today or perhaps only tomorrow. Current update:
  • Finish the last 91 pages of The Dreamers
  • Started and finished Bruidzilla (287 pages)
  • Started and finished Lost in the storm (119 pages)
  • 13% done with L'Origine on Kindle
  • Did a couple of Instagram and Bingo Prompts
We are going to try to get one more book in, but then we need to hurry up now. 

How was your week? School's busy as always, but Mommy says they are finding a familiar rhythm now again that she's  missed the last year. Late nights and busy days, but it's good to see her happy! They had Pajama Day at school on Friday and she basically stayed in her PJ's ever since coming home on Friday (different sets though, but she does take the prompt very serious).

Scratching the Blog Pole

We did two book reviews this week and finally did a Friday Post okay. It was so much fun to visit some of the regulars we haven't paid a visit to in a couple of weeks. If you've missed our posts, graphics link to the relevant post.

On the Couch

We only have one current read, but as soon as we press send, we will start with another one. Just not all too sure which one. Guess we'll have to flip a coin and tick another Bingo block.

This is a review copy from France Book Tours and we are really enjoying it! A fascinating art history lesson. We'll hopefully have it done and dusted and review up before next weekend.

We did watch the latest adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma on Friday Night. We loved it! 

That's all from us today, I told my Mommy she only has an hour to write, post and link her post up and then it's back to the readathon. I've got razor sharp claws and a very annoying little voice if I'm being ignored, so please excuse her now. 

Thank you to our lovely hosts - Debbie @ ReaderBuzz  and Kimberley @ Caffeinated Reviewer. We promise to do some serious blog hopping as soon as all the Dewey Athletes shout Bingo! at 14:00 SA time. 

Lots of Love,

Read More

Bruidzilla deur Marion Erskine

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Skrywer: Marion Erskine 
Hoofkarakters: Milanka Fouche (die uwe), Tillie Lombaard
Publikasie: 2020 (Queillerie)
Bladsye: 287 (sagteband)
Genre: Romantiese Komedie (maar dis nie vlak nie)
Inhoud: Teikenmark - Jong Volwassenes +. Geweld - slegs wat jy as leser wil pleeg teenoor sekere karakters.  Seks - meer suggestief as bloosbaar. Taal - soms effens kras, maar geen lastering. 
Gelees: 24 April 2021
Kort Opsomming: Tillie het 'n heel goeie lewe, dankie. Ja, sy werk haar oor 'n mik as kelnerin in Mellville, en ja daar's nie iemand spesiaals in haar lewe nie, en ja, haar beste vriendin Milanka ís high­maintenance, maar so ken Tillie haar, en Milanks het al vir haar báie beteken. Haar eksieperfeksie, #blessed vriendin Milanka.
Maar uhm… Sy't nou nie verwag Milanka sal aandring sy wat Tillie is, moet sorg dat Milanka en Jacques se troue gereël kom nie!
Eensklaps is Tillie in 'n warrelwind van warmlugballonne, dringende missed calls en uitheemse Milanka­bestellings: reënbooghoringperde, en 'n Alice in Wonderland­tema, en en en… En dít terwyl Jacques eintlik aanvanklik Tillie se date was!
Soos Milanka ál meer op Bruidzilla begin trek, begin Tillie bemerk iets is nie pluis nie. Wat skuil agter Milanka se monster­mondering? Sal sy en Jacques ooit gekerk kom - en sal haar vriendskap met Tillie dit oorleef?

Jan-Hendrik moet my nou maar verskoon, maar ek gaan nou my kerkskoene uitskop en op die tafel spring en kliphard sing:

"Lank sal hy lewe
Lank sal hy lewe!
Lank sal hy lewe in sy gloria
in sy glo-r-i-a
in sy glo-r-i-a!!"

Hiep hiep hoera! Marion Erskine, jou doring. Wat 'n uitstekende boek. Die trane het geloop van lekker lag en lekker huil. Bruidzilla is nou glad nie die tipe boek wat ek sommer sal optel en my gemaklik gaan maak op die bank voor nie. Maar danksy die Facebook blad Lekkerleesboekrak, was ek net so nuuskierig om te sien waaroor die bohaai gaan soos daai Tannies af in die straat wie se kantgordyne sulke permanente voue het van al die geloerdery straat af. Die Tannies se bohaai was glad nie verniet nie.

Malinka en Tillie is al van Graad 1 af maatjies. Jip, dit is wel die holrug geryde verdeling van die treinspoor vriendskap, maar dit werk so goed en hoekom tog nou die wiel wil herontwerp? Jip, net so hol gery, is die een blond en kom sy met al die noodsaaklike Barbie vereistes en bykomstighede, terwyl die ander enetjie die vaalhaar Cindy is wat jy sommer by Peps kan koop met 'n sak vol hand-me-downs. Weereens, dit werk. So moet nou nie gaan staan en karring nie.

Marion Erskine het dit reggekry om meer as net die twee stereo-tipe karakters in een boek saam te vat. Daar is die gay wedding planner met sy keffer-brakkie, die stok-in-die-hol Mevrou Doktor. Skuus, dis Me. Doktor. En natuurlik ook die lang, maer donker man waarop Tannie Carike en almal wat na haar gekom het, verlief is. 

Maar as jy dink die storie is ook hol gery en niks anders as oppervlakkige vermaak nie, gaan jy jouself in die diepkant van die swembad bevind, sonder vlerkies. Hierdie boek is meer soos om in die getypoel te swem. Natuurlik weet jy wat om te verwag. Jy het allermins Bride Wars, BridesMaids, Beaches en Firefly Lane gesien. Jy gaan lag tot die trane rol vir Takkie en 'n paar ander takhare, maar dan kom daar 'n onverwagse getygolf en jou vooropgestelde idees gaan saam met jou bikini-toppie in die see verdwyn. 

Meer gaan ek nie sê nie, want dan gaan die admin van Lekkerleesboekrak (waarvan Marion een is), my streng berispe en beslis van die tafel af jaag. Ek los julle vandag met hierdie wyse woorde. Ek vermoed dit was Ouma Mattie wat dit kwyt geraak het: 

"Soms gaan dit egter nie soseer oor wat jy probeer doen nie, maar hoe mense voel wanneer jy dit doen."

Diepkant. Sonder vlerkies. 

Liefde Groete, 

Elza se Ma 

Read More