Monday, 28 December 2015

Sofa Spotlight - The Case for Faith, Lee Strobel

This being one that I had read before and not particularly enjoyed (I think it took me over a year to read it) I was interested to see if I would like it more the second time round. And I did appreciate it more this time, but I didn't enjoy it or benefit from it as much as I did from the other Lee Strobel books that I've been working my way through.

Why The Case for Faith is not as sharp or as hard hitting as the others I'm not really sure. Maybe it was the questions that he was raising were just not as appealing to me. What I did like about the book was the way it began and the way it concluded. At the very beginning Strobel goes to visit Charles Templeton who was a friend of Billy Graham but had since lost his faith in Christ. Strobel wants to know how he lost his faith and why he doesn't believe any more. Following that interview Strobel sets out to answer the objections that Templeton raised, and for me that had a lot of worth.

Overall it's a good book. I just didn't get pulled in as much as the others. Still worth a read though.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Sofa Shelf - Sleeping Murder, Agatha Christie

Well this was really fun to read. It's about a murder that takes place eighteen years before and at the start there is no body. Actually at the start it reads a bit like a ghost story. A young couple take a house in Dilmouth and it's not long before that Gwenda remembers that she's lived there before and possibly witnessed something sinister.

Miss Marple is at her best. Of course she works out more than anyone else but the way she goes about it is brilliant. Well it would be wouldn't - who could resist telling a little old lady with her knitting everything. She comes across as so harmless but is yet sharper than all of them.

So who is it that committed the murder? All that Gwenda remembers is someone with monkey paws. Creepy! Right at the end the tension is so high that, yes I was up late trying to get to the end of the book!

This is the last of the novels that I'm going to read with Miss Marple in them for now, but it has to be the best one that I've read so far. Anyway it's been so good that I decided to find a book of short stories with Miss Marple in them. My hope is that short stories will be short enough to read so that I won't stay up all night trying to get to the end of the story!

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Sofa Spotlight - Plain Tales from the Hills, Rudyard Kipling

Plain Tales from the Hills is a collection of short stories. And they definitely fit the description of being short! All of the stories stand alone and are enjoyable in their own right, but there are a couple where characters reappear. In some ways it feels as though you get to know Rudyard Kipling through these stories and the way that he saw India when he lived there.

In the 336 pages of this book you get a picture of what India would have been like to the British people who lived there. It's not a book that you would go to if you wanted to get a broader idea of life in India at the time of the Raj. There is really only one point of view in this book, and that is the point of view of the white man. 

Even so these stories are worth reading. Behind most of them is a light humour, but some of them are rather poignant. As I like reading just before bed these stories have been a light way to unwind at the end of the day. It's something you could dip in and out of as you please. 

Anyway one I liked.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Sofa Shelf of Faith

One new book this week:

The Case for Faith - Lee Strobel

My final Strobel read and one that I have read before. The first time I read this book I found it hard work, but in hindsight I'm wondering if that is because I tried to read it too fast. Anyway given how much I have appreciated Strobel's other books this year I thought I would give this one another go and see how I got on.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Sofa Spotlight - The Case for Easter, Lee Strobel

It didn't take long, but then at 90 pages it shouldn't take long. I read it over the course of a week, but I think you could comfortably read it in one sitting of about an hour and a half. There are three chapters, an Introduction and a Conclusion. As I mentioned previously it is an excerpt from The Case for Christ and the chapters have been slimmed down, but haven't lost their punch.

The three questions Strobel sets out to answer in this book are:
1. Was Jesus' death and resurrection a hoax?
2. Was the tomb really empty?
3. Was Jesus really seen alive after His resurrection?

For me the first chapter on Jesus' death and resurrection was the hardest hitting. There was no holding back from the details and from the evidence put forward, there can be no doubt that Jesus died on the cross. I think EG is right when she said that everyone should read this book regularly. For Christians who believe that Jesus did die and later rose from the dead it is important to be reminded what Jesus suffered and why. Thinking about that brings home how serious sin is and what the cost was to make us right with God. It's not something we should forget.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Sofa Shelf

Two books this time round:

The Case for Easter - Lee Strobel

It's sort of the wrong season, but then I read The Case for Christmas in the summer so I don't see a problem. A short one, so shouldn't take too long. EG has read it and thinks it's one that everyone should regularly and at 90 pages that's probably not an unreasonable ask. Like The Case for Christmas it is taken from The Case for Christ so it's not unfamiliar territory.

Sleeping Murder - Agatha Christie

The final Miss Marple case. And one that I remember the outcome of, so I will be interested to see if watching the TV adaptation and knowing the ending spoils the book in any way. I hope that it won't. My copy has the reproduction of the Crime Club's original cover from 1976 - it is an interesting purple colour.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Sofa Spotlight - They Do It With Mirrors, Agatha Christie

Another Miss Marple adventure, and as expected it is brilliant. This one has Miss Marple going undercover at a house that has an institution for juvenile delinquents attached to it. So when murder happens there are about two hundred obvious suspects.

This was one that I couldn’t remember the ending but it wasn’t hard to work out who was behind it. There were still parts that I couldn’t work out so that it kept it interesting, but there is something nice about the story that it doesn’t matter whether you work it out or not. What I find more interesting are the characters that Christie creates. You know that there will always be one character that will work out too much and end up becoming a victim. In this case it was a character I really liked so I was rather sad when they met their end. I took comfort from the fact that I could know that they weren’t the murderer.

It took me a little while to cotton on that the title didn’t mean that the murder was done with mirrors. (Apologies if that is a plot spoiler or if you are just appalled by how slow I can be.) Because a murder actually done with mirrors would be tricky. But apparently it is to do with theatrical stuff that is rather clever. And it was with the clever theatre stuff that the murder was done.

If you want to know what on earth I am talking about you should just read the book. And if you have read it, what did you think?

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Sofa Shelf - The Case for a Creator, Lee Strobel

This is one of the best books I’ve read in a while. First published in 2004 this is the most recent understandable sciencey book that I’ve read. In fairness I do try and stay away from science books because I find them quite dull. (Sorry to all science people everywhere.) But it’s not my subject, English and History are way more interesting, on the whole.

So what I was doing with a book that is clearly about science? Well apart from being on a bit of a mission to work my way through Lee Strobel’s book this is one that stood out for me. Like most children I was taught in school that evolution was correct, and although I didn’t buy the evolution theory I didn’t know how to give a valid reason for why I believed the Bible’s creation account. Other than that it was in the Bible.

Early on in The Case for a Creator Strobel outlines how he started in the evolution camp but has come to firmly believe in the existence of a creator. What I find shocking is the lack of evidence for evolution and how many scientists no long think that it is a valid theory.

Not every chapter was of great use to me because some of it was beyond me (not into science you see). But there were some chapters that I found astounding. Chapter 7 was called The Evidence of Astronomy and was all about how the universe and the position of our planet show that there must be a creator. I find looking at the vast array of stars fascinating and reading this chapter was just like spending an hour stargazing.

I would recommend this book if you want to find out what evidence there is for a creator and why evolution maybe isn’t the valid theory that we were taught it was. 

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Mind Blown

Fairly soon I am going to finish The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel. So far I can tell you that parts of it have blown my mind. It is a book that covers everything from the universe to the smallest cell. My experience of it has been stretching. Some parts harder than others because I’m not all that interested in science so some parts are lost on me. But on the whole it is has opened my mind and I’ve thought about things I’ve never considered before. So unless something drastic happens in the next 80 pages I think it’s going to be a worthwhile read.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Five Times and Places You Shouldn't Read Agatha Christie Novels

1. Before going to bed – unless you don’t mind being up all night, because putting these books down once started isn’t an option.

2. Before you head off to work – at the very least you will be late, that is if you even show up at all. And remember work is essential to fund book buying.

3. Anywhere you may be interrupted – because you will hate that person, no matter how much you love them, if they distract you from getting to the next page.

4. Whilst trying to eat – eating and reading is good, but not if what you are reading is more interesting than the food and you thus stop eating. You need food to live and if you don’t live you don’t get to finish the book.

5. Anywhere with water – you get the book wet you will be upset, particularly if it washes away the words on the last page. 

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

What's on the Shelf?

Racing Through the Dark - The Fall and Rise of David Millar

A Life's Ambition - Alexandre Dumas

The Journal of Madame Giovanni - Alexandre Dumas

The Prince of Thieves - Alexandre Dumas

Le Tour - Geoffrey Wheatcroft

On Looking - Alexandra Horowitz

Time Warped - Claudia Hammond

The Neapolitan Lovers - Alexandre Dumas

How to find Fulfilling Work - Roman Krznaric

Intuition Pumps and Other Thinking Tools - Daniel C. Dennett

Mastermind - Maria Konnikova

How Children Succeed - Paul Tough

Thinking - edited by John Brockman

Manage Your Day-to Day - edited by Jocelyn K. Glei

Give and Take - Adam Grant

The Examined Life - Stephen Grosz

The Case for a Creator - Lee Strobel

They do it with Mirrors - Agatha Christie

Plain Tales from the Hills - Rudyard Kipling

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Sofa Shelf - Tales from the Hills

Another week another new book:

Plain Tales from the Hills – Rudyard Kipling

I haven’t started this yet, but the bookmark is firmly placed on page one. What I have done is to have a little scout through to see what sort of story or tale might come from the hills. I discovered that there were about 41 stories across 336 pages so I’m guessing they follow their description and are in fact short. Like Kim they are set in India during the time of the British Raj, and I can’t help wondering what the first British readers of these stories would have thought of it. It must have been so different to Victorian England. 

Monday, 12 October 2015

Sofa Spotlight - Kim, Rudyard Kipling

The next of my Rudyard Kipling books finished and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I did enjoy the story, it’s just that it didn’t end how I thought it would and it didn’t answer the questions that I had. Part of the problem may have been that I didn’t realise what the story was actually about so my questions may not have been the questions that the book was answering.

Anyway, like I say I did enjoy it while I was reading it. Kim was first published in 1901 and it’s a story, set in India, about a boy named Kim (oddly enough). Kim is the son of an Irish soldier who dies leaving Kim in the care of an Indian woman. And I guess the whole story is set around Kim’s identity. There are a number of characters in the book, including Kim himself, who have a view about who Kim should be.

Early on in the book Kim finds himself a part of the Great Game, which is a British intelligence gathering operation. Even though he is just a child he proves that would make a good spy. The book covers him growing up, how he meets a Lama and becomes his disciple, how he ends up at school where they try to make him a Sahib and finally how he joins the Great Game.

Kim is a very likable character and the adventures that he has are exciting. Even though he wants to play the Great Game he also cares about his Lama and does a great deal to take care of him. Which I think is what sets him apart from the other players in the Great Game. Kim may be clever and cunning but he is also kind and I think he has a way of making people like him.

Poor Kim has a hard time working out who he is, Bazaar boy, Sahib or disciple of the Tibetan Lama. And I think most of the other characters, the Lama excluded, all have a similar quandary. They are all watching to see who Kim will become and I think they learn that they cannot control that.

Anyway it is a good story, lots of adventure and humour too. Would definitely recommend. It’s a good length, my Penguin copy is 383 pages long and it had no problem holding my interest to the end. Kipling writes India beautifully, and just for the descriptions, where you can see and smell everything, it is worth the read. It is very colourful and the humour and action make it a difficult one to put down. Another book that is disturbing my sleep pattern!

For my next Kipling read I’m going back to some of his short stories, Plain Tales from the Hills.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

What's on the Shelf?

Racing Through the Dark - The Fall and Rise of David Millar

A Life's Ambition - Alexandre Dumas

The Journal of Madame Giovanni - Alexandre Dumas

The Prince of Thieves - Alexandre Dumas

Le Tour - Geoffrey Wheatcroft

On Looking - Alexandra Horowitz

Time Warped - Claudia Hammond

The Neapolitan Lovers - Alexandre Dumas

How to find Fulfilling Work - Roman Krznaric

Intuition Pumps and Other Thinking Tools - Daniel C. Dennett

Mastermind - Maria Konnikova

How Children Succeed - Paul Tough

Thinking - edited by John Brockman

Manage Your Day-to Day - edited by Jocelyn K. Glei

Give and Take - Adam Grant

The Examined Life - Stephen Grosz

Kim - Rudyard Kipling

The Case for a Creator - Lee Strobel

They do it with Mirrors - Agatha Christie

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Sofa Shelf - Mirrors?

So the newbie on the shelf this week is:

They do it with Mirrors – Agatha Christie

I actually couldn’t help myself with this book I started it and now I’m about half way through! In fairness it isn’t the world’s longest book. Anyway a murder has happened and I have no idea how it was done with mirrors. I guess I will just have to finish it to find out. Don’t think it will take me long somehow! I’m also trying to work out if there will be another murder. Once again Miss Marple has put herself in the danger zone, she knows too much. The tension is high. 

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Sofa Spotlight - A Murder is Announced, Agatha Christie

This is the fourth or fifth book (it’s hard to tell and depends who you ask) in which Miss Marple features as the detective and was first published in 1950. I sometimes think that Miss Marple is my favourite of the detectives, but I think that I equally like Poirot and Holmes, so it’s hard to tell.

Anyway A Murder is Announced is certainly a book I had problems putting down. The more I read of Agatha Christie the more I like her and she is great at keeping me intrigued. She’s one of those writers where you have to drag yourself away from the book by force, because there’s always time for one more page!  

The plot follows the story of the attempted murder of a Miss Blacklock. It all begins rather eerily when a murder is announced as going to take place at Miss Blacklock’s home. An ad in the local paper serves to bring half the village to Miss Blacklock’s door at the advertised time for the murder, each with a different reason to be there. An attempt is made on Miss Blacklock’s life and of course Miss Marple is there to begin unravelling the mystery.

As with any good murder mystery there are a number of murders, and at one point I was concerned that Miss Marple might make it to the list of victims. But at the heart of this mystery is a tale of stolen identity. In fact, there were a lot of identities borrowed or stolen. Once you start working out who everyone really is then the pieces of the puzzle start falling into place.

One thing I am grateful for is that there has been some distance between me watching Joan Hickson as Miss Marple in the dramatisations of these novels. And for books that are so popular I think I have done well to be able to read these as if for the first time, with no idea of how it is going to turn out. Which I must say annoys me, just a little, because I do like to be able to predict the outcome of a book. But these are so good I don’t mind at all.

If you’ve never read one of Agatha Christie’s novels you need to give it a go and find out why they are so popular. I was worried that I would be disappointed, but they have more than exceeded my expectations. There have been a few nights where I should definitely have gone to bed earlier but I just needed to know what was going to happen next. Really I should make sure that I have enough time to read the whole thing in one go!

Next stop on the Agatha Christie binge is They do it with Mirrors. I’m guessing that I shouldn’t start reading it just before bed!

Sunday, 4 October 2015

What's on the Shelf?

Racing Through the Dark - The Fall and Rise of David Millar

A Life's Ambition - Alexandre Dumas

The Journal of Madame Giovanni - Alexandre Dumas

The Prince of Thieves - Alexandre Dumas

Le Tour - Geoffrey Wheatcroft

On Looking - Alexandra Horowitz

Time Warped - Claudia Hammond

The Neapolitan Lovers - Alexandre Dumas

How to find Fulfilling Work - Roman Krznaric

Intuition Pumps and Other Thinking Tools - Daniel C. Dennett

Mastermind - Maria Konnikova

How Children Succeed - Paul Tough

Thinking - edited by John Brockman

Manage Your Day-to Day - edited by Jocelyn K. Glei

Give and Take - Adam Grant

The Examined Life - Stephen Grosz

Kim - Rudyard Kipling

A Murder is Announced - Agatha Christie

The Case for a Creator - Lee Strobel

Saturday, 12 September 2015

What I am loving about Kim so far

It's like the Jungle Books. I love how Rudyard Kipling portrays India. It's all in how he describes it, you can feel the weight of the air and smell all the different smells that combine in the atmosphere. It kind of makes me want to go and visit, but during the time that Kim was set.

There are some things in the book that make me sad. I know that the characters are not real and that I shouldn't spend too much time worrying about them, but I still do. It makes me sad because the Tibetan lama is desperate to find the river that he is looking for, and he wants to live a good life. But I get the feeling that he isn't going to find the river and that he will be disappointed.

I worry less about Kim. I sense that he will adapt to whatever events the book throws at him. I just hope it turns out well, because sometimes characters like him don't meet a happy end, and so although I don't worry as much I still worry.

Maybe I should have titled this post, things that Kim makes me worry about.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Are you who you say you are?

Having been well and truly pulled into the tension and drama of A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie, I am trying to work out who might not be all that they seem.

A comment that is made in the novel is that before the war (WW1) villages were full of people who all new each other and newcomers had to prove who they were. But now villages are made up of people who have come from all over the country and there is very little that can be done to prove that you are not who you say you are. So an easy time to steal an identity.

Looking forward to working out who is lying about their identity.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

India at the Time of the Raj

Four chapters in and I am enjoying getting to know a wide range of characters.

Kipling is brilliant at letting you see the emotions and motivations of his characters. Kim and the Tibetan lama have begun their journey. Kim to deliver a secret message about a horse to a British officer and the Tibetan lama to find a river that will help in his spiritual journey. The idea of war and the British rule in India is, as you would expect from a novel set at this time, a major theme so far. Kim talks about previous conflicts and potential conflicts in the future with those he meets on his journey. He gets a lot of different responses and opinions, some that are more obscure than others, but Kim gets to meet some colourful characters.

Looking forward to seeing what will happen next.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Creation or Evolution?

So far I haven't read much of The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel, just the first thirty pages or so.

I might not be able to tell you much about it yet, but I can tell you about the beginning. We haven't looked at any evidence yet as Strobel has been explaining about how he came to be investigating this. And it all comes back to evolution and how he was convinced by that theory and so became an atheist.

His story is intriguing and I am interested to know how he came to change his mind.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Why Announce a Murder?

Well apparently to avoid suspicion. Or so it would seem from what I have read so far in A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie.

It seems that the ad in the local paper was a ploy to get a number of people into one place so that suspicion will not fall anyone - well if everything went to plan, which it never seems to do in this sort of books. It's like it is fiction or something. Anyway it is all very dramatic and someone does end up dead, but you get the feeling that there should have been more than one death.

Tension is mounting.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Who is Kim?

As I mentioned in a previous post I have started reading Kim by Rudyard Kipling.

But who is Kim?

Well I have so far discovered that he is the son of a man in the British Army who dies leaving Kim with almost nothing. Kim grows up to be a bazaar-boy who seems to get involved with British intelligence and a Tibetan lama who is on a quest to be redeemed from the Wheel of Life. And it's set in India at the time of the Raj. So far I like.

Note to self - it wouldn't be a bad thing to acquire some historical knowledge of this time.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Sofa Shelf - On the Case

One addition this week:

The Case for a Creator - Lee Strobel

From what I can tell this is a book that isn't taken from The Case for Christ  but looks at the evidence for the existence of a creator. This is a book that I wish I could have read when I was being taught biology in school just because I think it might help me understand why I am convinced that God does exist. Anyway will let you know if it lives up to expectations.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Sofa Spotlight - The Case for Christmas, Lee Strobel

As I mentioned in a previous post this is a book that is taken from Strobel's earlier book The Case for Christ. And it is shorter. The aim of the book is to find out who was in the manger at the first Christmas.

And it works as a book in its own right. It might be the middle of summer but somehow it didn't feel wrong to be reading a book about Christmas. This version only has four chapters and less than a hundred pages. It took me about an hour and a half to get through it, which isn't bad for an entire book, short though it was.

If you are looking for a book that looks into the evidence for the reliability of the Christmas accounts in the Bible, that isn't too heavy, this could be the book for you. The one thing I would say is that the cover sort makes you want to choose the right season for this book, if you know what I mean.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

What's on the Shelf?

Racing Through the Dark - The Fall and Rise of David Millar

A Life's Ambition - Alexandre Dumas

The Journal of Madame Giovanni - Alexandre Dumas

The Prince of Thieves - Alexandre Dumas

Le Tour - Geoffrey Wheatcroft

On Looking - Alexandra Horowitz

Time Warped - Claudia Hammond

The Neapolitan Lovers - Alexandre Dumas

How to find Fulfilling Work - Roman Krznaric

Intuition Pumps and Other Thinking Tools - Daniel C. Dennett

Mastermind - Maria Konnikova

How Children Succeed - Paul Tough

Thinking - edited by John Brockman

Manage Your Day-to Day - edited by Jocelyn K. Glei

Give and Take - Adam Grant

The Examined Life - Stephen Grosz

The Case for Christmas - Lee Strobel

Kim - Rudyard Kipling

A Murder is Announced - Agatha Christie

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Sofa Shelf - Full of Murder and Mystery

So three books read this week means three more books to go on the shelf. No change in the authors though:

The Case for Christmas - Lee Strobel

This is a book that is taken from the The Case for Christ which I have just read. In terms of size The Case for Christmas is just a sliver in comparison. Anyway my aim in reading this is to see if it works as a book in its own right - and of course at the hottest time of the year it is the perfect time to be reading a book about Christmas!

Kim - Rudyard Kipling

I like Kipling. That is something that I have discovered over the past couple of months. I've tried the short novel in Captains Courageous and his short stories in The Jungle Books and now I want to try one of his longer novels. Just to make sure I actually do like his writing.

A Murder is Announced - Agatha Christie

Another one that I have watched Joan Hickson star in but I have forgotten who is responsible so it should be a surprise. I love the way that this novel starts - with an announcement in the local newspaper that a murder will happen. Intriguing.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Sofa Spotlight - The Murder at the Vicarage, Agatha Christie

For a long time now I have wanted to read the detective novels by Agatha Christie. So I thought, what better place to start than with Miss Marple and The Murder at the Vicarage? Growing up I can remember watching Miss Marple on TV, played by Joan Hickson, who in my mind is brilliant as Miss Marple, no matter what EG says. The Murder at the Vicarage was a favourite of mine to watch and that influenced my decision.

When I started I wasn't sure about the writing style. It wasn't what I had been expecting and I didn't like it very much. But it did grow on me and by half way through I was hooked. Knowing how it ended from watching it on TV didn't matter, because somehow I managed to forget and spent a long time trying to work out who had done it. Towards the end I had either worked it out or remembered who was the culprit and so I had the satisfaction of being right when the murderer was revealed.

I would say that if you have never read an Agatha Christie novel you should try this one. I'm guessing fans of Christie will have already read it - and if you haven't, what are you doing? Get on and read it.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Sofa Spotlight - The Jungle Books, Rudyard Kipling

If you've been following you will know that I enjoyed my first experience of Rudyard Kipling's writing in Captains Courageous. So although I do not in any way enjoy Disney's version I did want to read this book. (And not just because the cover had a picture of a tiger).

My first mistake was to think that this was a book with two novels. I was three stories in before I realised that it was a collection of short stories. Not being a fan of the short story I was frustrated, but as I was reading on a train I couldn't really express that frustration. Part of my annoyance came from the fact that I was enjoying the stories about Mowgli and I wanted to read more of those.

Thinking that I wasn't going to like the rest of the book I was close to losing interest. But I kept going and found my favourite short story of all time, 'Rikki-tikki-tavi' which was a story about a mongoose that protects a colonial family from a pair of cobras.

So although I wasn't sure at the start this is a book that I found to be a good read. The lesson I learnt from it was - read the blurb first!

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Sofa Spotlight - The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel

It's taken a while but I have finally finished The Case for Christ. If you've been following my progress through this book you will know that I have found parts of it challenging and it is an informative book if nothing else.

Strobel is an engaging writer. Previous experience with his books hasn't been brilliant. A few years ago I tried to read The Case for Faith and although I did finish in the end it was hard work. I'm ashamed to say it took me just under two years to get it finished. So starting The Case for Christ came with some worry that it would be hard work and be with me forever. But happily that hasn't been the case.

The book is made up of fourteen chapters, each one looking at a different piece of evidence for the accuracy of the biblical accounts of Jesus. Bit of a plot spoiler here - Strobel finds out that those accounts are accurate. His investigation into the evidence isn't brief or vague, it is full of detail, some of them so intense that they made me wince at times.

Anyway one that I would highly recommend.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

I got it right!

I had my suspicions and as it happens I was right. Yes I had worked out who committed the crime in The Murder at the Vicarage. Which is pleasing, but I still have a chapter to go so you will have to wait for my final opinion, and also if you want to know who was behind it you need to get the book.

Monday, 29 June 2015

How I was confused by a seal

In previous posts I've talked about The Jungle Books which I am currently reading and how I ,intake lay thought that they were novels and not the collection of short stories that they are. An honest mistake - could happen to anyone. Anyway this is how I came to be surprised by a seal and why I firmly believe in reading books more than once.

The short story that follows the ones about Mowgli is called The White Seal. It was the fact that as a story it had no relevance to the previous three stories that alerted me to the fact that I wasn't reading a novel. As such I spent the entirety of the story inwardly grumbling about the randomness of the book that I had picked up and how I was sure I wasn't going to like the rest of it. Which is a disappointing response because in hindsight I think that it was rather a good story, but I missed it because I was in too much shock to notice.

Worth a second read I think.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Jesus and History

One of the chapters that I wanted to read in Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ was chapter four which was looking into if there was evidence for Jesus outside of the New Testament. As someone who enjoys history I looked forward to a chapter that looked into the period of history that Jesus was a part of and also that of early Christianity.

What I liked in this chapter, apart from the fact it had history in it, was the honesty of the interviewee. This time Strobel went to see Dr Edwin Yamauchi. From what Strobel says about him in the book he has an interesting background and has come along way from where he started out in life. In the chapter Strobel and Yamauchi talk about historians such as Josephus and Tacitus. Reading this chapter helped me to get a grasp on some stuff that I vaguely knew about but didn't really understand, like how reliable is Josephus really? But now I have a better idea of that so glad I read it.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

It's All in the Language

That is what I have learnt anyway. My favourite story so far in The Jungle Books is called Rikki-tiki-Tavi. Let me just tell you now that is brilliant. Worth buying the book for. The title is the name of a mongoose who protects a family from a pair of nasty Cobras. Heartwarming doesn't do it justice. There is everything in this story and the tension really got to me. Thankfully being aware that it was written for children helped me out because those kinds of stories have to end well so no matter how tense it gets you know it will come good.

Anyway Rikki-tiki is now my favourite mongoose. It may be true that I am not aware of any other mongoose but something about the story makes me think that he is not your average mongoose. Either way the thought of a sensible down to earth mongoose willing to fight for those he loves makes for a good story and I well recommend it.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

How I like my short stories

It's like asking the question, how do you like your eggs? I like my short stories to be just that; short and with a good story. Once I had recovered from the shock of discovering that The Jungle Books were not in fact novels, but a collection of short stories, I soon found that they fitted my categories for a good short story. On the whole. ( I just read one that I didn't like that much.)

The book starts off with a couple of stories about Mowgli, who I was pleased to discover has little in common with the Mowgli from the Disney adaptation. My favourite character is Kaa, and I may not like his method of killing his prey but I did enjoy the way that Kipling described it. Shere Khan also makes his appearance and ultimately meets his demise, but what I like about this book is the way it portrays the relationships between animals and man. No animal can meet Mowgli's gaze and no matter what animal you may be you have to follow the law of the jungle (well apart from the Bandar-log). 

Reading this book is making me think about God's creation and how unrandom it is. I'm not saying that Kipling is right all the time in how he portrays the animal kingdom but it has got me thinking. And they say that's what makes a good book. 

Saturday, 13 June 2015

What does Archeology have to say?

Archeology isn't something that I've given much thought since I saw a live dig in York once. I think I must have been about 14 and my memory of it was that it looked like s very slow, tedious kind of job. Exciting when they find something, but the thought of having to do all that slow work and not have the guarantee that you would get an exciting find didn't inspire me to become an archeologist. Also my objection to getting rained on ruled out any outdoor kind of jobs. So no archeology for me.

But in his book The Case for Christ Strobel interviews Dr John McRay, who when Strobel interviewed him was professor of New Testament and archeology at Wheaton. The interview was about whether or not archeological evidence confirmed or contradicted the accounts of Jesus in the Bible. Again Dr McRay was very honest about the findings, and I actually enjoyed it - probably because someone else had done all the archeological work for me. 

Friday, 5 June 2015


If you've been reading previous posts you will know that I am reading The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. I'm currently about half way through and so far I would say that it is worth a read. In previous posts I've talked about how the book starts but here is what I've found as I've worked my way through some of the early chapters.

If you've ever wondered if the accounts of Jesus' life in the Bible have been reliably preserved then the chapter is the one to read. Strobel interviews Dr Bruce Metzger, who has written books on the text of the New Testament. When Strobel went to interview him he was professor emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary. In the book Strobel gives an overview of the work of Dr Metzger which shows why he thought him a good person to interview on the subject of the reliability of the New Testament. 

For me when I read it a lot of what I read wasn't new information but I enjoyed refreshing my memory with it, and some stuff I didn't know so I learnt something too. Bonus. 

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

What do you think of murder?

I'm reading The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie. I wasn't sure about it at first because it took me a while to get into it. However when I was on the train getting to the mid way point of the book I was well and truly hooked.

What I have noticed in the book is that there are varying opinions about the morality of the murder. Perhaps the funniest for me is the sympathetic Dr Haydock who doesn't think to badly of whoever killed Colonel Protheroe, until the killer strikes again, this time choosing a victim who is much nicer than Colonel Protheroe. Apparently your opinion of the victim can influence your opinion of the murderer. 

And then of course there is Miss Marple. My opinion of her changed throughout the book. I started off not being sure I liked her - she wasn't what I imagined Miss Marple to be like. That's the curse of watching an adaptation of the book before actually reading it. But my opinion is changing.

Monday, 1 June 2015

What's your favourite?

I recently went on the Agatha Christie website and they are having a global vote to find out what the world's favourite Christie is. I'm still thinking about mine but what would yours be?

I have to decide between:

The ABC Murders
Murder in Mesopotamia
The Murder at the Vicarge
The Body in the Library

Those might be my choices but then I keep thinking of others and I have to work hard not to add them to my list of favourites. 

Anyway have a look at the global vote at 

Saturday, 30 May 2015

What happened when?

One of the things I want to do now that I am reading Agatha Christie's novels is to read a biography. But a quick visit to Wikipedia threw up some basic information:

She was born in Devon in 1890
She was 85 by the time she died in 1976
In her lifetime she wrote 66 detective novels 
During the First World War she worked in a hospital
In 1926 she mysteriously disappeared for 10 days and no one really knows where she was during that time.
As well as detective novels she also wrote 14 collections of short stories and 6 romances.

I feel she provided the world with a lot of reading and some good reading too as she has sold in the region of 2 billion copies of her novels. They must be good. 

Thursday, 28 May 2015


I'm reading The Murder at the Vicarage, which is my first experience of Agatha Christie. Well first experience of reading Christie. I grew up watching David Suchet as Poirot and Joan Hickson as Miss Marple so I know the dramatised versions of the stories. I have to say that Poirot and Marple were my favourite detectives, although Sherlock Holmes wasn't far behind. I once spent a summer reading all the Sherlock Holmes stories and it was a happy summer.

Reading a story with Miss Marple in it I have found that Miss Marple is not how I imagined her to be. For a start she hasn't been in they story as much as I thought she would be. And although I suspect that this could be a ploy, she doesn't seem to be completely accurate with her observations. But I've only read about 100 pages so my opinion on that could completely change. 

The Murder at the Vicarage was one of my favourites to watch, mainly because Miss Marple seemed to spend so much time in her garden on sunny days. Which I thought was a rather nice way to spend time. Although, I know that because this is Britain those sunny days would have been few and far between.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

What do you do with a song?

On of the features of The Jungle Books is that interspersed between the stories are poems and songs that relate to the stories. But my question is, what do you do when you find a song in the story that you are reading? I'm not talking just about The Jungle Books because there are other books out there that have songs in them.

What do you think about them?

I have to admit that I quite often get confused by them. My problem is that I don't know how they are meant to sound. Not being a huge fan of poetry I find them hard going, and kind of an interruption into the flow of the story. Although I don't like them, I do want to like them and so I don't just skip them when I come across them. It might take me longer to read the book but I hope that one day I will enjoy the poetry side of it. 

What do you do when confronted with a song or poem in a book? Do you skip it and carry on with the story without it or do you persevere and read them. Or do you love them and wish that there were more books with songs and poetry? What do you do with them?

Let me know what you think. I'd like to know what you do when two genres sort of collide like this. Or if you have any tips for how I might enjoy them more I'd like to hear them.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

No Pies with Kipling

The name Kipling makes me instantly think of Kipling Pies. I know very little about Rudyard Kipling or his work. I have recently read Captains Courageous and I liked it. So much so that I've picked up The Jungle Books. 

Still I want to know more about Kipling, so Wikipedia told me:

He was born in Bombay in 1865
He died in London in 1936 
He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature - the first English language writer to receive it
On more than one occasion he declined a knighthood

It doesn't give me a lot and I can see that soon I will be tracking down a biography. I like that he was from India, and it partly explains why the Jungle Books are so believable. What I've found in the book so far is that his stories carry a lot of flavour and I'm looking forward to seeing another culture through his eyes. 

Another little fact I found out about Kipling, this time from the front of the book I'm reading, is that Kipling was at one time a journalist. Seems that I have accidentally found another book written by an author who has experience as a journalist. 

Friday, 22 May 2015

The Jungle Books

It has to be said that one of the things that convinced me to buy this book was the cover. It has a big picture of the face of a tiger. I can also say that what nearly put me off buying this book were my memories of the Disney version. I cannot tell you how much I hate that version. Annoyingly when I told EG that I was reading The Jungle Books she started singing the songs from Disney.

But I'm now 116 pages in and if life didn't get in the way I wouldn't have ever put it down. 

The title gives it away that there is more than one book in this book, there are in fact two. What I didn't realise when I started was that it was a selection of short stories. In fact I was three stories in before I realised that this was the case. Sometimes I feel I would help myself if I didn't just pick up a book and start reading it without reading the blurb or just anything that would give me an idea of what was inside the book. 

Anyway I'm merrily reading away about Mowgli and his adventures in the jungle with Baloo and friends, I love Kaa by the way, he is my favourite if not a little sinister, thinking that this is what the entire book will be about, when all of a sudden I find I'm reading a story completely unreleated to the previous three. If I hadn't been on a train I might have made my feelings verbal but I didn't want to draw unwanted attention to myself. Having discovered I was reading short stories I adapted to what I was reading, and I still like it so it's ok. But it was a shock.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The Eyewitness

The first couple of chapters of The Case for Christ are made up of an interview with Dr Craig Blomberg. Together they look at the evidence of the eyewitness accounts of Jesus. I had no idea who Dr Craig Blomberg was so I had a sneaky look on Wikipedia to find out. Then I found out that if you read the chapter before wandering off to do your own research you would find out quicker because Strobel actually tells you who he is.

Anyway when Strobel wrote this Dr Craig Blomberg was professer of New Testament at Denver Seminary. He also has a doctorate in New Testament from Aberdeen University, so someone who knows their stuff

Some of the evidence in this chapter wasn't new to me, but all the same it was an interesting read. If you've ever wondered how reliable the accounts of Jesus in the New Testament are this is the chapter to read. Strobel doesn't shy away from any of the tough questions. He raises issues such as perceived contradictions, and the distance between the events that happened and when they were written about. 

What I've found so far in this book is that the experts don't try and make the evidence prove things that it cannot prove. They accept its limitations and show what it does help to prove. Strobel also asks them how the research and studying has affected their personal faith, their answers to that question were brilliant, but you have to read the book to find out what they were.

Monday, 18 May 2015

What's evidence got to do with it?

Different people have different ideas about what faith is. Some see it as weak thing that isn't based on reality, but for Christians if what we believe isn't grounded in reality then we are wasting our lives. The Bible says that if Jesus and His resurrection isn't for real then we are to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:12-19) So there is something to be said for having proof for what we believe in.

This is why I think Lee Strobel is a smart guy. He went after the evidence to see if what is wife believed in was real and if it was something he should believe too. There are stories about how different kinds of evidence can affect a case, scattered throughout the book. Apart from being interesting, Strobel covered some dramatic cases, they show that the man who wrote this book knew the value of evidence and knew how to get to the heart of an issue. 

So Strobel is smart. Because he didn't jump blindly into something without checking it out first. Both sides have had to prove their case and I think invesigating what people say about Jesus is worth the effort. What if you accept what someone says about Jesus as true and it turns out to be wrong? Given the claims that Jesus made about Himself, that could be a dangerous thing to do if He was telling the truth. 

I'm not saying that you necessarily should read this book, but I am saying that looking into the claims of Christianity is something you should do. Read the Bible for yourself before you form an opinion on it, you might think it's not true but at least you can have an informed opinion. My question is, what have you got to lose? 

Saturday, 16 May 2015

A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus

That's the tag line for The Christ for Christ by Lee Strobel. This isn't a new book, my edition is from 1998, which I'm guessing is when it was published, but I've never read it before even though I've heard a lot about it. It's not my first encounter with Lee Strobel, I've read another of his books and I found it rather hard going.

Anyway before I tell you anymore about this book that I'm reading (196 pages in - very pleased with that in just over a week) here are some things about Lee Strobel that I found out from that most reliable of sources Wikipedia:
He was born in 1952
Has a Journalism degree from the University of Missori 
Has a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale
Was a journalist for The Chicago Tribune 
Has 14 years experience as a journalist

The blurb of The Case for Christ explains that Strobel wrote the book to explore his journey from atheism to following Christ. Part of that journey was to visit 13 experts and interview each of them about their area of expertise and what light they can shed on the evidence for Jesus. Each chapter follows the interviews and the evidence that is put forward.

There are three parts to the book: 
Examining the Record
Analysing Jesus
Researching the Resurrection

So far it's made interesting reading. Will keep you posted.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

What I've Been Watching

To round off the awful adventure that was reading Les Mis I decided that I would give watching it another go. And this time maybe I wouldn't fall asleep. It didn't work though - I still don't like it. In fairness when I watched it I was full of a cold and maybe watching a musical - a genre I am not a great fan of was not the best way to make me feel better. But still I have watched it and I feel that I can say that I gave the story a fair trial. I still don't like it.

Friday, 8 May 2015

What's on the Shelf?

Racing Through the Dark - The Fall and Rise of David Millar

A Life's Ambition - Alexandre Dumas

The Journal of Madame Giovanni - Alexandre Dumas

The Prince of Thieves - Alexandre Dumas

Le Tour - Geoffrey Wheatcroft

On Looking - Alexandra Horowitz

Time Warped - Claudia Hammond

The Neapolitan Lovers - Alexandre Dumas

How to find Fulfilling Work - Roman Krznaric

Intuition Pumps and Other Thinking Tools - Daniel C. Dennett

Mastermind - Maria Konnikova

How Children Succeed - Paul Tough

Thinking - edited by John Brockman

Manage Your Day-to Day - edited by Jocelyn K. Glei

Give and Take - Adam Grant

The Examined Life - Stephen Grosz

The Case for Christ - Lee Strobel

The Jungle Books - Rudyard Kipling

The Murder at the Vicarage - Agatha Christie

Criminal Stitching

So while the literary crime wave continues on the shelf I have been merrily stitching away at my projects. You can see how I have progressed below. But I have also been enjoying my reading. I'm discovering that Lee Strobel was worth giving another chance and The Case for Christ has caught my interest. The Jungle Books have so far been brilliant, possibly competing to be my favourite stories and certainly better than Disney's version. I want to give The Murder at the Vicarage more of a chance before I give my opinion as I feel it could go either way.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Sofa Shelf - A Jungle Case

It's been a while since I have entered three books onto the shelf in one week but here they are:

The Case for Christ - Lee Strobel

I have reservations as I've read Stobel before and found it hard going, but maybe this will be different. There's only one way to find out!

The Jungle Books - Rudyard Kipling

Given how much I enjoyed Captains Courageous I'm looking forward to reading these short stories. My one fear is that I didn't like Disney's version so let's hope the book is better.

The Murder at the Vicarage - Agatha Christie 

Because I've always wanted to read Agatha Christie and I have aquired a taste for crime fiction ever since The Cuckoo's Calling. Hope it doesn't disappoint. 

Monday, 4 May 2015

Sofa Spotlight - In Cold Blood, Truman Capote

I finished it in a coffee shop in Hastings with a milkshake. A pleasent way to finish a book on an unpleasent subject. As this was my second reading I knew what to expect but somehow I appreciated the writing more this time round. If one thing disappointed me it was the knowledge that Capote didn't always stick to exactly what happened and embellished a few things. But it was still worth the read.

The story follows the investigation of the murder of the Clutter family in 1950s America.  Both the culprits are caught and subsequently executed. What makes the book more chilling is how human both the killers are. In some ways they are almost likeable - maybe not Hickock, but certainly Perry Smith. Something that got me thinking was the  part of the book that looks at the psychology of the crime and the mental state of the perpetrators. I'm not sure where I stand on the subject, but I do like that one of those present at the trial states that the killers were not the only people with sob stories but not everyone goes onto commit crime. Fair point.

It's a gripping read and thought provoking too. Just don't read last thing at night.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Book of the Month - April '15

It's not really a contest if I've only read one book this month, but I think it is a worthy winner all the same. Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling was a good gentle read to ease me back into reading classics after the mammoth effort to read Les Mis - a book I am truly glad to see the back of.

I didn't imagine that I would find Captains Courageous too inspiring, but I was pleasently surprised. Apart from not being drawn to books about fishing, or those that use a significant amount of dialect in the dialogue, there wasn't much that attracted me to it. What I did like was the size - 127 pages is an easy accomplishment and the storyline was well paced.

If you are after something with intrigue and tension then this might not be the book for you. It does have its dramatic moments, but you know pretty much from the start how the story is going to pan out in the end. But sometimes I like the security of knowing that it is going to be a happy ending.

I also discovered they made a film of it in 1937, might give it a go!

Sunday, 26 April 2015

What's on the Shelf?

Racing Through the Dark - The Fall and Rise of David Millar

A Life's Ambition - Alexandre Dumas

The Journal of Madame Giovanni - Alexandre Dumas

The Prince of Thieves - Alexandre Dumas

Le Tour - Geoffrey Wheatcroft

On Looking - Alexandra Horowitz

Time Warped - Claudia Hammond

The Neapolitan Lovers - Alexandre Dumas

How to find Fulfilling Work - Roman Krznaric

Intuition Pumps and Other Thinking Tools - Daniel C. Dennett

Mastermind - Maria Konnikova

How Children Succeed - Paul Tough

Thinking - edited by John Brockman

Manage Your Day-to Day - edited by Jocelyn K. Glei

Give and Take - Adam Grant

The Examined Life - Stephen Grosz

In Cold Blood - Truman Capote

Friday, 24 April 2015

Blood of the chilled kind

Having finished Captains Courageous, it's probably time that I worked my way through In Cold Blood. To be fair I'm not doing too badly, I'm upto the point where the murderers have been caught and are awaiting trial. I'm still unsure what I think about this kind of book. Although I think it's a good idea to make it clear that their actions are criminal it did give them both a lot of publicity and they and their crime are now famous, or they were anyway.

At this stage in the book it is less chilling, and less likely to keep me awake at night. But as you get to know Smith and Hickock you end up liking them a little bit, maybe not Hickock but certainly Smith. The problem is that you have to remember that underneath their charm they were ruthless killers and that they had to face up to their crimes. From what I can tell some of the people in the book had this problem too, so it's not just me.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Sofa Spotlight - Captains Courageous, Rudyard Kipling

It's over and it was over quickly. But I think it was a good length. The story follows the adventures of the son of a millionaire who gets swept overboard and picked up by a fishing vessel. He then spends the next few months learning the ways of a fisherman before being taken back to shore. It had a feel of The Famous Five to it, and it was a pleasant light book to read.

I definitely enjoyed the read, but I did have to work hard on the many accents that are represented in it. There's American, Scots, Dutch, Portuguese and others. Given that I'm not keen on reading dialects, multiple dialects worried me a bit. But it actually worked out ok and I don't think it took anything away from my enjoyment of the book. The only other thing that I would say is that the character of Harvey's dad didn't seem believable to me. He just doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would raise the kind of person that Harvey was at the beginning of the story. 

Anyway I would definitely recommend it if you are after a quick read that's just a bit of fun.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Something Fishy

Like I said in my previous post I had no idea that a story about fishing would inspire such an emotional response from me! I'm now nearing the end and I have to say that I am nearing tears at the thought that it will all soon be over. It's not the first time that I've read a book set in a fishing community - Sylvia's Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell has a seafaring element to it, but it is the first time that my imagination has spent a week on a boat, full of fish, off the shore of America.

When I've finished it I will give you a bit more info on what happens on this boat load of fish. But I will give you a clue - it involves fish. 

When I haven't been reading about this particular fishing boat, called We're Here, I have of course been stitching away. 

Look here is a tiny mouse:

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Good Catch

I've spent my week reading Captains Courageous and I have to say that I've been pleasantly surprised. Reading shorter books of less than 200 pages is rare for me because I don't know how I feel about it. Somewhere I must have had a bad experience of shorter books that don't have much to say and are not that interesting. So my expectations were not high when I started this book. But it has been good.

If you've had a look at some of the stuff I've been reading and am currently reading then you can understand why I'm so happy to be reading something that is short and not in any way horrific. Which is what I think until I remember that I am essentially reading a book about fishing. Then I wonder if I have started to lose the plot! Fishing is something I have no interest in, even though my grandfather made his living from it, so in theory this shouldn't be the book for me. But I am emotionally invested in this book now - I care about what they catch and I am genuinely worried they won't catch enough! 

Maybe it's a good job it's short.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Sofa Shelf - The Courageous

Captains Courageous - Rudyard Kipling

When I started reading Rudyard Kipling I didn't want to start with the Jungle Books just in case I wasn't a fan and it put me off for life. So I have started with Captains Courageous which in no way feels like a courageous read! It is short, about 127 pages, so no Les Mis! But also from what I've read so far it is a gentle story, so nothing like the terror of In Cold Blood. It's about a 15 year old boy who is the son of a multimillionaire, but who gets seasick on a journey to England and is washed overboard. He is picked up by a crew of fishermen who can't return him to shore until the end of the season which is four or five months away. From what I can gather the story is about what happens to Harvey during those months aboard the fishing boat. Shouldn't take too long to read!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

April Fools

It's already April, and so far I have had a shocking year for reading. Yesterday, however was not a shocking day as far as April fooling went. I had success and others had disappointment when I didn't believe their little tales! Somehow I just didn't believe that Chris Froome would be near my sister's house to film a documentary, nor did I believe that Justin Bieber had sent me a box of merchandise in response to a letter I had supposedly written to him. Good effort, but it didn't work.

With the start of April I'm going to start a new book. I've opted for something shorter than Les Mis, I don't think it's even a tenth of the size. Speaking of Les Mis I watched the film version of that last week and I just didn't get it. I did find it entertaining, but I don't think that it lived up to the hype that I had heard about it. Maybe I'm missing something but it just didn't appeal to me. Anyway back to this new book that I'm going to start. It's called Captains Courageous and it's by Rudyard Kipling. Anyone read it?

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Burning the midnight oil

The past couple of weeks I've been doing two things: stitching and reading In Cold Blood. Both of which have sort of kept me awake a bit. You would think that I would know not to read In Cold Blood last thing at night, but I go to bed and I think "oh I will just read a little bit." And it's all fine until I switch off the light and then I hear a noise. And then I'm properly awake thinking, was that EG moving around out there or something more sinister?

Anyway I'm reading it because I find the aftermath of high profile murders like the Clutter Case interesting. I've already read The Suspicians of Mr Whicher and the reactions that people had to it were so wide ranging it just made me wonder why we all get obsessed with this kind of stuff. Like if there's a crash on the motorway we all want to look, and it's not just to confirm that it was a crash, we want to know the details. Where does this morbid curiosity come from? I guess I must have it too as I'm reading this book and yeah I want to know what happened, but some people react in crazy ways. I'll give a few examples in a later post.

But on a cheerier note I've been stitching away furiously as I try and get my stitching project done. Check out my progress below.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Book of the Month February '15

It's taken me a while to get this post written, but it is finally here and another modern miracle is that I actually managed to finish a book in February! In fact I finished two. Finishing Les Mis couldn't come soon enough after many months of struggling through it. EG is also relieved that that book is out of our lives!

But February's book of the month has to go to Simon Callow's Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World. I love Dickens and so any book that is about him will be of interest. Knowing very little about Dickens, it was a good book to read and I find that I look at his novels in a different way, now that I know little more about what was going on behind the scenes. It's a good sized book, not too short so that you only get the bare bones of his life. But neither is it so big that you may get every detail but you feel like you have to climb a mountain to get there! 

Anyway worth a read in my opinion!