A Place to Read

The Binding – Bridget Collins, book review

The Binding, book cover
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: The Borough Press (10 Jan. 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0008272115
  • ISBN-13: 978-0008272111
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.9 x 22.7 cm

You can buy this gorgeous hardback copy of the Binding on Amazon for just £8.53 Also available in paperback, kindle edition and Audible My links are affiliate links which will cost you no more to click through and purchase but may earn me some pennies.

I listened to The Binding on Audible narrated by Karl Prekopp.

The Blurb for The Binding

Imagine you could erase your grief.
Imagine you could forget your pain.
Imagine you could hide a secret.
Forever.

Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a letter arrives summoning him to begin an apprenticeship. He will work for a Bookbinder, a vocation that arouses fear, superstition and prejudice – but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

He will learn to hand-craft beautiful volumes, and within each he will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, he can help. If there’s something you need to erase, he can assist. Your past will be stored safely in a book and you will never remember your secret, however terrible.

In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, row upon row of books – and memories – are meticulously stored and recorded.

Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of them has his name on it.

THE BINDING is an unforgettable, magical novel: a boundary-defying love story and a unique literary event.

My Verdict on The Binding

As I already stated, I listened to this book on Audible, but I’m a little envious of the beautiful cover and I may even be tempted to buy a hardback version. It’s quite a long book a whole fifteen and a half hours on Audible. But, I couldn’t stop listening. The narrator was gentle and lent himself perfectly to the story, but I have to admit, he did also send me to sleep a couple of times and I had to rewind.

The story itself is like nothing I’ve read before, it’s a world that is so like this one but more historical, but it’s a world were books are more like drugs than reading material. There are novels which are made up stories, but most books are peoples memories, stored away in pages. Some sell their memories for others to read. Others pay to have their memories removed. But once those memories are bound into books they no longer belong to the original owner.

The book is written in three parts. The first is a little strange and it’s hard to figure out if you are reading a normal story or some sci-fi novel. Nothing is made perfectly clear, but it’s understandable because the main character has already been to a book binder and had his memories erased. This, in turn, showed that he had the talent to bind himself and was taken on as an apprentice.

The Second part fills in all the missing pieces as the main character finds his book and remembers everything. But as soon as this part of the story is told we are taken back to the place where his book was found and the story is taken over by someone else. Then the two characters work together to find out the truth.

It’s a really interesting concept and shows what lengths people will go to to erase their memoires. It also shows how other people can be manipulated by having their memories erased. It also touches on social differences where the rich pay for memory erasal and for books of other’s memories, and where the poor sell their memories for cash.

It certainly has a philosopical edge as to how much of real life is put into books and how much people crave to read about a different life. It made me think of Jostien Gaarder’s ‘Sophie’s World.’

The main theme of this story though, is not the philosophical stanse, but a coming of age love story. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, it’s very unsual and the love story is not even conventional. Personally though, I enjoyed it thoroughly and would definitely like that hardbound copy for my ‘pretty’ book collection.

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Uncategorized

Home, Matt Dunn – book review

This post contains affiliate links which will cost nothing if you decide to click but may earn me some money if you decide to purchase. This review is for Home by Matt Dunn.

book cover, Home, Matt Dunn
  • Paperback: 335 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (10 Nov. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1503948390
  • ISBN-13: 978-1503948396
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21 cm

The Blurb

There’s no place like home—except when it’s a faded resort town like Derton-on-Sea. Which is why, eighteen years ago, Josh Peters couldn’t wait to escape the place he thinks of as ‘the last resort’ for the bright lights of London.

Now his dad is sick, and his mum needs him, so he’s back, living in his cramped teenage bedroom. But he’s promised himself he won’t be staying for long.

With simmering family tensions a little too close for comfort, and amongst the old friends, old enemies, and old flames he left behind, he’s worried that some things may never change.

But is Derton the same place he was desperate to leave back then, full of failures and bitter memories, or has it been doing just fine without him? As Josh revisits his past, will he find that the only one who hasn’t moved on is him?

His London life is calling him back. But sometimes, home is where the heart is…

My Verdict on ‘Home.’

Not that I need anymore books to read or listen to, I joined Amazon Unlimited for a while. I was intrigued that you could also loan audio books. This is the first one I borrowed.

I’m not really sure why I went for Home, by Matt Dunn. I guess I thought I needed a little romantic comedy in my life, I like to mix things up occasionally. I always listen a little first to see that I can get on with the narrator and decided to give this a go, despite him being a little ‘bland.’

Story wise, Home has got a fairly good plot, you have a fair amount of romance, sadness, embarresment that you would expect in a romantic comedy. You also have far too many ‘corny’ jokes. The storyline is pretty predictable, but I didn’t mind. Overall it was a nice easy read, and sometimes that’s all you need. I guess it even managed to normalise Cancer, which is often made out to be this real big baddie, which of course it is, but so many people face it daily, it is refreshing seeing it approached in this way.

You can buy the paperback on Amazon for £4.99, or get the audiobook for just £3.49

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A Place to Eat

My Weekly Meal Plan

Ok, I’ve been having some issues with my meal plan. I haven’t posted one for two weeks. I even took my eldest daughter, who is the most difficult to please, out to Morrisons but we still didn’t end up with any good meals. So, I’ve really been whinging it every day and we’ve had lots of take outs, tsk tsk.

It’s Christmas next month so I really need to hold on to those purse strings, buy better food and get myself sorted and reduce take outs.

This Weeks Meal Plan

  • Saturday – Lamb curry
  • Sunday – Toad in the hole and mash
  • Monday – chicken and chorizo paella
  • Tuesday – steak or pasta bake
  • Wednesday – Enchiladas or fajitas
  • Thursday – pork dish
  • Friday – fish or chicken and chips

Only half the family like steak so it will be a two meal day on Tuesday, but I don’t mind, I already have the steak. I can make either enchiladas or fajitas on Wednesday depending on what the family fancies. The kids just tend to have chicken wraps with salad and nachos.

We had a lamb curry last week and although the lamb was lovely and tender, the sauce was not so tasty, it was a bit bland. So this week we’ll spice it up a bit more. One of the children has curry with us, the other two will have to have something from the freezer.

I’m hoping the chicken and chorizo paello is accepted because we’ve had it quite a lot lately (although not for a few weeks.) My family is so hard to please, when my older kids were little we would have the same meals on rotation over two weeks, but now they get bored of food so quickly. I get so frustrated with them, I really just want to tell them to eat up or go without, which I often do. The kids will eat then, but the older ones end up causing the most fuss. Does anyone else get bored of meals, I mean to the point that even if it’s something they really enjoy they don’t want to eat it anymore because they are sick of it? I am running out of ideas, and find it so difficult to please 7 people. I think I could do with some help.

Katykicker

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A Place to Read

Book Worms Monthly November

Hello, Welcome to Book Worms Monthly November. As the weather turns colder I find reading becomes more of a cosy down on the settee

Reading is my passion and I love to write about what I’ve read. I’m a real book worm and I have been since the day I could read.

I decided to start this linky so that other book worms could Share. I’m starting monthly for now, so you have a whole month to link up your posts. You can link up to four posts, so that’s one a week. Or if you like you can link up some of your older posts.

Let’s share what we read and give other’s ideas what to read next. Tell me your reviews, you book reading lists, your author interviews, kids book favourites, Young Adult books, and even posts about your favourite authors. Anything book related is allowed and I can’t wait to read them all. I want to find all the book worms out there.

Here is last months linky to give you some idea of what it’s about. It’s a new linky so I’m trying to reach out to all the book worms out there to come and join me with their posts monthly.

Join Us for Book Worms Monthly November!

Book worms Monthly will be posted every four weeks, and you can join in at any time. I will share anyone who links over on my Social Media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Mix (formerly Stumbleupon.) I’ll also come along and read and comment on your post. Please do share this link up with your friends.

Link up your Book Worm Monthly November book posts below.

Here’s a badge to share. No code, just copy and paste it on your blog and link the photo back to mine if you wish. Or please mention my blog 
https://athomealot.com/ with a link instead. That we we can encourage more to join in and share.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
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A Place to Enjoy, Crochet

Christmas Crochet Along with Deramores

As you may, or may not know, I love my crochet. I have a stash that is way too big already but when I heard that Deramores were doing a Christmas CAL, how could I not get involved. The patterns are devised by Deramores in collaboration with Zoë Potrac and don’t you think they are super Christmassy?

The deramores Christmas Cal items

You can buy what you need right now and the Christmas CAL starts on October 22nd. Each Tuesday for four weeks a pattern with be available for free on the special Facebook group. Will you be joining me? Deramores have even been kind enough to offer a 12% off code which is available until the end of the year, just use NOW12 at the checkout.

What Will We Be Making in the Christmas CAL?

two crochet baubles from the Christmas CAL

These cute reindeer and robin baubles will look great on the tree. They are 9cm in diameter and like all the patterns in the CAL (Crochet Along) they are suitable for beginners. Use your own eyes and stuffing or buy a kit including everything you need.

coasters and table mats

Need some coasters and placemats for your Christmas table, or how about making these as a cool Christmas gift? Nothing says Christmas more than red and green..and the word Noel! The coasters are 10cm by 10cm and the Placemats are 25cm by 25cm.

christmas cushion cover

This Christmas cushion cover is my favourite and I’ll definitely be making more than one of these. It measures 40cm by 40cm and if you buy the full pack you’ll get the cushion to go with it.

christmas stocking

Finally, there is the Christmas Stocking and I’m sorry I don’t have an individual photo of that just yet. The lovely red, green and white stocking is 50cm tall and 25 cm wide.

Deramores CAL

All these lovely goodies are crocheted using Deramores Studio DK and you can get the wool separately or buy the packs, one with just the wool and the other with the wool, cushion, toy stuffing and eyes.

The wool pack is £16.74 and the wool pack with the cushion, stuffing and eyes is £24.60 and you can buy them from Deramores here. Don’t forget your discount code NOW12

So what do you think? Will you be joining me? I hope to see you on the Facebook group.

If you prefer to knit than crochet, or indeed if you are lucky enough to do both, then Deramores also have a Christmas Knit along which you can find here.

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A Place to Eat

Weekly Meal Plan – Shopping

Shopping – or the lack of it!

I’m slacking again! I usually have plenty of free time on Saturday to write up my meal plan and then do the shopping on Sunday. But last Saturday I was recovering from a night out on Friday. No, I didn’t get plastered, any kind of activity, like leaving the house, leaves me too shattered to do anything, even pick up the laptop and think about shopping.

Anyway, here I am a bit late., having just finished the online shop for delivery for tomorrow. But I’ll let you know what we ate the weekend.

This Weeks Plan


  • Saturday – pasta bake
  • Sunday – curry (sweet and sour for me and eldest son)
  • Monday – Take out
  • Tuesday – Chicken kiev
  • Wednesday – Mapo Curry
  • Thursday – fish and chips (or chicken)
  • Friday – crispy pork and noodles

I’m afraid it’s take out on Monday because I didn’t get around to doing the shopping online in time for a Monday delivery. But, I should actually be in hospital today so we tend to have take out on hospital days anyway. I’m taking a 3 month break from my treatment, unless I go downhill rapidly then I’ll be straight back in.

Last week my eldest daughter and I tried this recipe, Japanese style mackerel rice bowl, which we really enjoyed. So it will probably be something we try again.

Meal Planning

I was looking for something to write on the other day while in my bedroom and came across around six notebooks. Every single one had some sort of meal plan inside. It looked like I was obsessed with food!

When you look at my bookshelves, you will find at least 15 cookery books (ok I haven’t counted them but there is probably more.) My Kindle even has cookery books on it. I seem to be always on the look out for food that pleases at least half of my family. Also, we get bored of meals pretty quickly. When I was growing up we knew exactly what we having on every day of the week. Mum’s shopping was the same every single week. Online shopping was not an option back then and Mum would go from supermarket to supermarket to get the best deals. Those were the days that you could find at least three small supermarkets on the high street.

Online recipes are great, I love how you can just type in a few ingredients and there will be a recipe somewhere. I guess that’s why my bookshelf is gathering dust.

Katykicker
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A Place to Read

I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith, review

I can’t believe I’ve never read ‘I Capture The Castle’ before. The author, Dodie Smith, also wrote one of my favourite childhood books, ‘One Hundred and One Dalmations.’ I still remember reading a part out loud in class at school.

I wasn’t sure it was the type of book I would enjoy, but after reading it, I know it’s the type of book I would like to write. It’s full of innocence, humour and humility and it’s so like the words of a naive 17 yr old’s journal.

Journalling

I kept a journal from a very young age. I doubt my life would have been interesting to anyone else, but I liked keeping all my memories jotted down and now it’s quite amazing to read back on them, especially the earlier ones. Sadly, my journalling stopped when I started blogging. Why write things down when I can blog about them instead. Of course my earlier blogs follow on in a very similar style to my journals, but maybe not so personal.

Mabye in the future someone will take my journals and turn them into a novel. Or maybe not…most days are a *yawn*

I Capture The Castle

This novel is written in journal form, not diary entries but story telling from the view of the main character, Cassandra. And what a character she is, how could you not fall in love with her, she’s just perfect. Even when she shuns the boy who adores her and falls in love with her sisters fiance, you just can’t feel anything but sympathy and endearance. Such a likeable character I don’t think I’ve ever met.

Cassandra sets out to capture the castle in her words. She brings you into her weird and wonderful life by bringing it to life in her journal. Her family is rather eccentric and they live, penniless in a rented castle (on which they no longer pay rent because the landlord has died.) Then the heirs come along, an ‘exotic’ American family who stir up all sorts of commotion and emotion.

Beautifully written with an unexpected twist.

Who hasn’t wrote those last words in their journal at some point. I know I have.

You can also listen to I capture the Castle on Audible, narrated by Jenny Agutter. Click the link to listen to the sample. You can join Audible for just £1 and download your first audio book. If it’s not for you then cancel your subscription, if you like it (I Love it) you can continue your membership for £7 a month which includes a credit to any book of your choice each month. At the moment I’m taking part in extra commission for everyone who signs up to Audible using my link, so thanks in advance if you decide to give it a go.

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A Place to Read

Bookworms Monthly October

Hello, Welcome to Book Worms Monthly October. As the weather turns colder I find reading becomes more of a cosy down on the settee

Reading is my passion and I love to write about what I’ve read. I’m a real book worm and I have been since the day I could read.

I decided to start this linky so that other book worms could Share. I’m starting monthly for now, so you have a whole month to link up your posts. You can link up to four posts, so that’s one a week. Or if you like you can link up some of your older posts.

Let’s share what we read and give other’s ideas what to read next. Tell me your reviews, you book reading lists, your author interviews, kids book favourites, Young Adult books, and even posts about your favourite authors. Anything book related is allowed and I can’t wait to read them all. I want to find all the book worms out there.

Here is last months linky to give you some idea of what it’s about. It’s a new linky so I’m trying to reach out to all the book worms out there to come and join me with their posts monthly.

Join Us This October!

Book worms Monthly will be posted every four weeks, and you can join in at any time. I will share anyone who links over on my Social Media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Mix (formerly Stumbleupon.) I’ll also come along and read and comment on your post. Please do share this link up with your friends.

Link up your October book posts below.

Here’s a badge to share. No code, just copy and paste it on your blog and link the photo back to mine if you wish. Or please mention my blog 
https://athomealot.com/ with a link instead. That we we can encourage more to join in and share.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

I listen to many of my books on Audible, it means I can go on listening while I crochet, cook, make a coffee, or even in bed without worrying about light or my glasses. You can take a £1 trial for 30 days of audible, and then if you decide it’s for you a subscription is only £7 a month for credit towards any audible recording of your choice no matter what the price. There are always plenty of real bargains for when your credit is spent too. I will receive a small comission from anyone who signs up to Audible using the banner below, although it will cost you not a penny more. So thank you in advance.

Book worms monthly September

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A Place to Eat

Weekly Meal Plan – Sweet and Sour

I think sweet and sour sums up last week too. I was so bored of the same meals that I wrote my meal plan with the idea what I already had in the cupboards, fridge and freezer. We did stick to most of it, and my shopping bill was only £130. Also, I didn’t spend much during the week either. So, I might have been bored of food but it was cheap. The only meal I swapped was on the Wednesday, I’d put fish or pork, and we ended up having toad-in-the-hole.

This weeks Meal Plan

I’m doing a sweet and sour this week as my son has been asking for months. I love it made in the slow cooker, it’s so easy, just through it all in and let it cook. Then make some rice to go with it. I’m thinking about making some battered quorn or tofu and straining off some of the sauce for my daughter. She likes the sauce but won’t eat chicken or most of the vegetables.

Let’s get on to this weeks meal plan

  • Saturday – Take out
  • Sunday – Stir Fry
  • Monday – Sweet and Sour Chicken
  • Tuesday – Sausage ragu (or sausage pasta bake)
  • Wednesday – pies and mash or chips
  • Thursday – quiche / salmon parcels.
  • Friday – pasta with spinich and stilton.

We are already on Sunday and we started with a Take Out because Graham went out and I didn’t feel like cooking, plus we had kind of ate everything we had.

Today, Sunday, we are having a stir fry because I really fancy it. I cook the chicken, noodles and vegetables and keep everything seperate. Then everyone can choose what they actually want in their stir fry and it takes a minute to fry it up with their chosen seasoning or sauce. Star doesn’t eat noodles so I’ll make her a little mash and she can have chicken and vegetables with mash instead.

I’m a bit worried about the sausage ragu, but we’ve had sausage pasta bake before so I’ll just make sure it’s got ingredients that will please everyone. I’ll add the pasta last, so Star can have mash again.

The sweet and sour can be served with rice, or noodles or even chips (star doesn’t eat rice either!)

I’m actually beginning to look forward to food again and I love all the inspiration I get from reading the other weekly meal plans in Katy’s meal planning linky.

Katykicker
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A Place To Earn

Setting up Your Avon Store Online

I previously wrote an post Five Tips for Working Avon Online. I’m going to work through each of these tips in details and the first one was to open your Avon Store Online.

Step One -Open your Store

First you need to log on to your Avon online account.

Click the representative log on/registration. If it’s your first time you will need your Avon business number and decide on a password.

Once you have logged on you will see your welcome page. You can choose manage your business to check and place your orders, but today we are going to open your Online Store, so click on the box on the right.

Update Store Settings and Profile

When you log on you will see a menue on the left on side as in the picture above. The same menu will also appear in taps across the top of the page.

Start at the beginning and click Update Store Settings and Details

Set your online store name


the beginning of the site will be the same www.avon.uk.com/store…..
you choose the name of your store. I chose AnneSweet

so my url is www.avon.uk.com/store/annesweet

Then you fill in your contact details so people who visit your store know how to get in touch. You can put your e-mail and telephone number and then set the times that you are available for people to contact you. i.e. your hours of working for Avon.

You then choose your delivery area, where you are prepared to deliver brochures and orders.

Then its time for the personal touches like a photo of yourself and a personal message for people visiting your shop. Adding a personal touch makes your site more appealing to customers.

The next setting is Find a Representative.

This enables you to appear in ‘Find a Representative’ when customers are looking for a rep. in their area.

This should bring you more local custom so I’d advise to fill it in.

Make your Store Status ‘open’
Select show or hide

If you want to opt in to appear in ‘Find a Representative’ search you will need to click New Customers. If you only want to serve your customers that you are already familiar with then click ‘customers who know you’

I would strongly advise to click the New Customers if you wish to do a lot of work online.

The final option is to Hide from ‘Find a Representative’ Search. This will stop you from showing up if someone in your area is looking for someone to buy from.

Delivery settings

YOu can choose whether to offer personal rep deliveray and direct delivery, or direct delivery only.

Decide whether you will receive parcels for local people and take it to them. Or only accept people who are willing to have their deliveries direct from Avon.

If you are working online only you will prefer for your customers to have direct delivery. However, a lot of customers prefer a personal service and if you can get out locally, it would be a good idea to offer this.

Automated Payment Option

If someone buys from your online shop and choose direct delivery it will show as a credit on your account.
You can choose to be paid your commission through bank transfer or through automated payment through your mobile number linked to your bank account.

Once you have completed these steps you can click the next tab, Update My Store.

Update Avon Store Content

Here you can choose which departments you want to feature on the front page of your Avon Store. You can change these as often as you like.

Once you are happy you can save your changes and click the next tab.

Promote Your Online Store.

The Next Step is to promote your store through social media

If you don’t have social media accounts you will need to set them up. Make separate pages from the ones you already use. I’ll go into more detail about social media later, but you will need to create a Facebook page especially for your avon, you will also need twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

You will need your store link and use it as often as you can.

You also get the options to email customers who have already signed up.

I will tell you how to get subscribers in a later post.

Holidays plus Tips and Advice

The final tab tells you how to keep selling while you are on holiday, but it’s important to make sure that local customers know you will not be delivering while you are away.

It also has some good tips and advice for you to read.

These are all really important so do read them and click through the links to make sure you have everything set up ready to go.

Now it’s time to get selling!

Watch out for my next blog posts!

My Avon

My Avon Store

My Avon Facebook Page

My Avon Instagram

My Avon Pinterest Board

How to set up your Avon Online Store, a step by step guide
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