Thursday, 24 May 2018

Books From The Backlog - The Light Of The Fireflies

Books from the Backlog is a weekly post hosted at Carole's Random Life In Books. Carole says it's "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." Find out more and link up your own posts on Carole's Random Life In Books.

So for my first Books From The Backlog post, where shall I start! The idea is to only feature an unread book that I already own so that does narrow down the choice and my first is:


The Light Of The Fireflies by Paul Pen

For his whole life, the boy has lived underground, in a basement with his parents, grandmother, sister, and brother. Before he was born, his family was disfigured by a fire. His sister wears a white mask to cover her burns.

He spends his hours with his cactus, reading his book on insects, or touching the one ray of sunlight that filters in through a crack in the ceiling. Ever since his sister had a baby, everyone’s been acting very strangely. The boy begins to wonder why they never say who the father is, about what happened before his own birth, about why they’re shut away.

A few days ago, some fireflies arrived in the basement. His grandma said, There’s no creature more amazing than one that can make its own light. That light makes the boy want to escape, to know the outside world. Problem is, all the doors are locked. And he doesn’t know how to get out…

The Book Depository : from £6.19 (audio CD)
Wordery : from £8.98 (PB)
Waterstones : from £8.99 (PB)
Amazon : from $2.66 / £1.98 (ebook)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

I saw this book mentioned on another blog within the past few weeks (whose blog? can't remember!) and realised it's been sat on my Kindle for about two years I think. Actually my OH bought it so I am able to 'borrow' it via that Amazon Family connection thingy. The synopsis sounds good, it's a book in translation by a Spanish author so WorldReads, and it's not ridiculously long. I even like the cover art!

Why haven't I read The Light Of The Fireflies already?
Have you read it?
Is this a Get To It Now or a Let It Lie?


Sunday, 20 May 2018

My Week in Review to the 20th May

Hope Association book sale 
I'm linking this post up with The Sunday Post at The Caffeinated Reviewer.

I was delighted today to spot that Dani at Perspective Of A Writer included one of my book reviews in her Passport To International Book Travel post - thanks Dani! She's linked to bloggers' posts about books set all over the world some of which are heading straight onto my TBR.

You might have spotted my Bicycle Accident post on Thursday? I'm happy to say that, other than an overdramatic purple and yellow bruise across my stomach, both I and my bike are fine. I've done a couple more rides since and am still loving exploring the local countryside 'en velo', but I now know to double check the brake cables as well as all the folding points. Sometimes it seems to take longer to prepare for a ride than to actually cycle.

We've been out and about quite a bit this week, I'm glad to say. The Hope Association book sale at Clussais la Pommeraie this weekend was Amazing!! Just look at all the books in the photo at the top of this post! And that was just one of the rooms! Thousands of second-hand books in good condition at just €1 each and all supporting a good cause too. We came away with six books - aren't you impressed at my restraint! - and also treated ourselves to a Coffee and Cake lunch. If you're near Clussais la Pommeraie in October - and why wouldn't you be? - there's another book sale on the 19th, 20th and 21st.

And the Atwood is signed! 

We cycled to the regular Chef Boutonne market yesterday morning and this afternoon drove in the other direction to Ardilleux for their Farmer's Market / Vide Grenier (car boot sale). There weren't as many stalls as we had hoped, but this was a very French affair in contrast to yesterday's English-style fete. We were delighted to snap up a box of ten large vintage Kilner-type jars for €5 the lot. Bargain!

One of my favourite Etsy shops, Poody And Berty, has a 10% off sale until the end of May. This is where I bought my beautiful Sleeping Eye Mask which I love so I am happy to recommend them.

We went on a lovely rural walk on Wednesday. Starting from the church at Luché-sur-Brioux, we went on to Tilleul and then found a stunning riverside picnic spot at Sompt. We later had an Exciting Wildlife Sighting at the old Laverie - a half-dozen or so Perez Frogs. Actually we heard them first - very noisy for such small animals! We also spotted a Swallowtail Butterfly. The countryside around here isn't as dramatic as other places we have walked, but I love it all the same.

Luché-sur-Brioux church 


Sompt laverie

Perez Frog 

Around the blogosphere:

InLinkz - who provide the widgets for my Giveaway Linkup and Spotlight Giveaway - have written this excellent post about GDPR and what it means for bloggers.

Anne Goodwin at Annecdotal reviews two books about Disgraced Daughters: Circe and The Butcher's Daughter.

I made a batch of my new-favourite flatbread, Pumpkin Phulka, from this recipe at Sandhya's Kitchen. I actually used Sweet Potato instead of Pumpkin and think that any mashable veg would work just as well.

Here's what you might have missed Across My Blogs this week. Click the images to visit the pages ... and don't forget to enter all the Giveaways!

 

Artisan Rainbow

Literary Flits

Stephanie Jane

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Friday, 18 May 2018

50/50 Friday - Book You Can/Can't Bring Yourself to Reread

50/50 Friday is hosted at The Butterfly Reader and at Blue Eye Books.

"What is 50/50 Friday?
Everyone has a favourite and then we also have something we dislike. Like a coin, there are two sides to every question. Example: best sequel you've read/worst sequel you've read. So that's what 50/50 Friday is all about. We will have a new topic every Friday (something bookish of course!). If you have have ideas for this meme don't be scared to let us know!"

This week's topic:
Book You Can/Can't Bring Yourself to Reread

This prompt is an easy one for me because I have only re-read two books in pretty much as long as I can remember. At the risk of alienating a significant proportion of the book blogging community, I just don't like re-reading! If significant details - or the ending - pop into my head as I see a book then, for me, the pleasure is ruined by knowing what's coming up. I have the same problem with predictable-genre books - being able to guess the likely plot and ending from a book's cover art (or the font used for the title!) discourages me from picking it out. So my Book I Can't Bring Myself To Reread is (almost) All Of Them!

That said, there are exceptions to every rule! I reread The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga when I spotted it secondhand at a book sale. At the time I needed another WorldReads - India title and, although I knew I had read this years before, absolutely nothing about the story came back to me. I didn't remember it while reading either - I must have been very distracted the first time around because The White Tiger is a good book!

The second exception is Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca. I have this on audio. I think it's my favourite book, period, and I've listened to it ... three times! For me that's amazing! Strangely, I did find I enjoyed the relisten far more than I would have done a reread. There's something about being told a story that makes it a completely different experience to reading it myself. I plan to relisten to some of my earliest Audible books, even though I can remember aspects of them, and see if I enjoy these as much second time around as well or if Rebecca is an aberration.


You can see everyone else's 50/50 Friday posts at The Butterfly Reader and at Blue Eye Books, and find out what next week's prompt will be.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Btwin folding bicycle - accident avoidance advice!

Just a quick post today which I hope might prevent any other Btwin (or similar) folding bicycle riders from finding themselves flying through the air (with rather too much ease!) as I did earlier this week. Apart from a beautiful purple and yellow bruise where a handlebar ended up punching me in the stomach, I am ok, but it could have been a much worse situation.

My accident was caused by the bicycle's brakes unexpectedly putting themselves on without my wanting them to. This bike actually has good brakes so it suddenly stopped dead! We worked out that when I had unfolded the handlebar stem prior to riding, I had failed to spot it had whirled around 360° from where it should be. The wheel was facing forwards, but the brake cables were wrapped around the upright. This might make more sense visually:

In the first two pictures, the brake cables are away from the upright stem - as they should be. In the third picture they're wrapped around it. This was so easy to do without noticing, that I am amazed I never did it before! The brake cables were already so taut that just turning the handlebars a little bit to the left slammed on the brakes.

Fortunately, at the time, we were cycling fairly slowly on a softish dirt track and there wasn't any traffic. I went flying off the bike though - my first proper fall since the childhood one that put pay to my cycling for a couple of decades. However, this time I just scuffed my palms and knees, and got the aforementioned bruise. My bike only sustained a bent mudguard which Dave was able to straighten out relatively easily before we carried, gingerly, on our way. Oops and Phew!

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Stephanie Jane's #Giveaway #Linkup

It's time for the fourth Stephanie Jane's Giveaway Linkup!

A monthly blog feature with a new post and InLinkz widget on the 15th. Add your own blog giveaways and enter everyone else's! The Linkup is 'never-ending' so adding once keeps your Giveaway visible until its closing date and I'll clear out extinct ones each month.

Please start each link with the End Date in British Format (DD/MM).
GC = Gift Card / HB = Hardback Book / INT = International /
PB = Paperback Book / WW = Worldwide

And here's all the Giveaways ... Good luck!


I'd love for you to grab the Linkup Button. Paste the code into your Giveaway page somewhere for everyone to see. The more people we can each bring to these pages, the more will see all our giveaways!




Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

Monday, 14 May 2018

My Week in Review to the 13th May

Insect hotels in Ruffec 
I'm linking this post up with The Sunday Post at The Caffeinated Reviewer.

I deleted my Stephanie Jane Facebook page this week because I am trying to streamline my blogging and social media stuff. Having a Page and a personal profile just seemed like duplication and most of my FB interaction happens on my personal profile anyway - other than regular messages from Chinese sellers wanting me to buy and review their stuff on Amazon! I've got a two week grace period to reinstate the page if there's a massive outcry, but I kinda doubt that! You can see all my FB stuff by friending me.

This week we drove to Ruffec, a nearby town about half an hour away, primarily to visit a couple of wonderful shops Dave had discovered and also for a wander about. I loved Ruffec! It's a vibrant place with lots going on and a great variety of independent businesses. First stop for us was Emmaus, a rehoming warehouse for homewares, clothing, records and tons of books! We dropped off a chair we no longer need and had a good look around. I'm pretty sure we'll be back before long! I was amazed by the cheap prices on gorgeous antique wooden furniture. Beautiful craftsmanship and carved decoration, but one would need a certain type of house to suit these pieces which, I guess, is why they are less popular these days.

Also on our list, and a ten-fifteen minute walk from the town centre, is Les Papilles Fermiers which stocks products from local farmers and producers. There's fruit and veg, meats and cheeses, wines, jams, oils, flours, ... We bought a litre of rapeseed oil from Gaec Des Epardeaux, dried chickpeas from La Ferme de Chassagne, chocolate spread from La Ferme de la Vacherie, and Pear-Chocolate jam from Les Perles Rouges. Like with many of these types of shops, some items seem incredibly good value with others ridiculously overpriced. We've only tried the pear-chocolate so far - which is excellent - and I am looking forward to homemade hummous with the oil and chickpeas.

Insect hotels (and Dave) at Ruffec 

The insect hotel photos were taken outside Ruffec Mairie (town hall) where there are a dozen or so on display, most brightly painted with images of the insects they might atteact. I don't know if this is a temporary or permanent installation, but it caught out attention particularly because Dave got me my very own insect hotel for my birthday. It's now hanging under the lean-to and we've already seen a few bugs investigating.

My insect hotel! 

A special RedBubble offer for Today Only! Get 20% off sitewide with the checkout code RAIN20 The code is only valid during the 14th of May so hurry!


Around the blogosphere:

Aj at Read All The Things asked How Accurate Are Amazon Recommendations?

I made delicious Pita Breads from a super easy recipe at My Greek Dish. It took a couple of goes to get these just right. Both times I made half the recipe quantity. Second time I increased the yeast amount slightly, left the dough for an hour so it really did rise, and rolled out the breads to a 1/2cm thick before cooking them. Delicious - so much nicer than shop bought!

And today's the start of National Vegetarian Week. I've got some vegetarian recipes on my blog and Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes has put together this great Recipes And Ideas for Beginners post.

Here's what you might have missed Across My Blogs this week. Click the images to visit the pages ... and don't forget to enter all the Giveaways!


 

Artisan Rainbow

Literary Flits

Stephanie Jane

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