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Book Worms Monthly April

Welcome to Bookworms Monthly April linkup

Hello, Welcome to Bookworms Monthly April and what a strange month it is. The Coronavirus COVID-19 has so much of the world in lockdown, unable to leave their homes. This means there is plenty more time for reading, Yay! Sadly, I’ve spent so much time working with my kids on their school work and trying to keep things running. I’ve really not had much time for reading. I started a book, couldn’t get into it and I had trouble picking something else up. I have started reading again now though. Remember, if you can’t get a hold of books you can always try Audible. They are always available 🙂

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 book worms monthly is about. 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

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 BookWorms Monthly March 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.

bookworms monthly April

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
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The Testaments – A Review

I bought The Testaments with my audible credit. Audible is free for 30 days and then £7.99 a month afterwards, for which you get one credit which can be used against any book of your choice, no matter what the cost. This post will contain affiliate links to both Audible and Waterstones which is my bookshop of choice.

The Testaments

Author: Margaret Atwood Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9781784742324
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 667 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 39 mm

The Blurb

Launched to widespread acclaim at our flagship Piccadilly shop, Margaret Atwood’s Booker-winning sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale is undoubtedly the story for our times.

Picking up ten years after its predecessor’s tantalisingly open-ended conclusion, The Testaments provides a new window into Atwood’s dystopian world, as seen through the eyes of three women of Gilead: a girl brought up within its confines, another on the run beyond its walls, and a woman at the very heart of the regime’s dark designs with secrets of her own. Each has a unique perspective on the world of Gilead and each will be crucial in deciding its fate.

Effortlessly combining a piercing critique of gender, oppression and authoritarianism with the whip-smart pace of the purest literary thriller, The Testaments is devastating in its immediacy whilst remaining a timeless piece of faultless storytelling.

The Testaments on Audible

Narrated by: Ann Dowd, Bryce Dallas Howard, Mae Whitman, Derek Jacobi, Tantoo Cardinal, Margaret Atwood

Length: 13 hrs and 18 : Fiction, Literary

I enjoyed the recording as each main characters story had a different narrator which I think always makes a listening more enticing. You get to know more of the person in the story rather than reading it all in one voice. Each character is brought to life.

My Verdict on The Testaments

I will confess that the first time I read The prequel to The Testaments, The Handmaid’s Tale was only last year. So I didn’t have so long a wait as many for the sequel. I have not seen the television series although from those who I have spoken too have said it was good.

After listening to The Testaments I was left with a few questions which were kindly answered by friends, but more about that later.

I did actually enjoy The Testaments in it’s own right although it was very different to the Handmaid’s Tale. The story was less of the fear of what may become of the the future and more of an adventure tale. The feel of the whole story was very different.

Margaret Atwood claimed she set out to answer questions she’d been asked about The Handmaid’s Tale but although it does give some insight into how Gilead came about, it doesn’t really answer much. I think it could even be read on it’s own, without having read the Handmaid’s Tale. Although, you’d probably be confused as to what the actual role of a handmaid was.

The Daughter’s Tales

The story revolves around the daughter’s of Offred, the main character in the Handmaid’s Tale and this is where my questions began. In the book we see Offred being carted off in a van by ‘Mayday’ with her future unknown and only the notion that she was pregnant. We already know that she had an older daughter but she had no idea what had happened to her.

Apparently in the television series it takes the story a little further and her baby is born before she escapes.

I became confused as to why they made such a big fuss about Offred’s baby when in the book she had not even been sure of her pregnancy or the parentage of the baby.

In the Testaments this baby is now a teen being brought up by adoptive parents and is sent back into Gilead on a mission to bring the regime down.

Offred’s older child is in Gilead being raised by adoptive parents, and when her mother dies her step mother wants her to be married off. She decides that she wants to become an aunt instead. The aunts are Gilead’s version of nuns.

The two children meet, not knowing they have the same birth mother but end up helping each other.

I think a lot of my confusion in the plot came from The Testaments relying on it’s readers having watched the television series which I felt was disappointing. Friends who had watched the television series where able to answer some questions for me.

Final Thoughts

I did really enjoy listening to The Testaments on Audible. I feel that if I’d had a physical copy I’d have a spent a lot more time trying to tie things in with the two books. I’m still not sure if that would have been wasted time. So, although I enjoyed the story I felt it had a very different feel to the first book and it left a lot more questions than answers.

You can buy a hard copy of the book from Waterstones for £17.99 Paperback version will be released soon.

Or you can listen on Audible for 1 credit or £31.99

Audible is free for the first 30 days and then £7.99 per month afterwards which gives you one credit.

Have you read The Testaments?

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The Telephone Box Library – A review

I bought this book myself but this post contains affiliate links.

  • Author: Rachael Lucas
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2548 KB
  • Print Length: 401 pages
  • Publisher: Pan (9 Jan. 2020)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07WRDCG7Y

The Blurb

The Cotswolds: the perfect retreat for a stressed-out teacher. And Lucy has found just the right cottage for a bargain rent. All she has to do is keep an eye on Bunty, her extremely feisty ninety-something neighbour . . . 
With her West Highland terrier Hamish at her side, Lucy plans to relax and read up on the women of nearby Bletchley Park. But the villagers of Little Maudley have other ideas, and she finds herself caught up in the campaign to turn a dilapidated telephone box into a volunteer-run library.

Along the way, she makes friends with treehouse designer Sam, and finds herself falling for the charms of village life. And it seems Bunty has a special connection to Bletchley and the telephone box, one that she’s kept secret for decades . . .

My Review of The Telephone Box Library

The telephone box library

After a tough long read, (like 1Q84) I like to go with something lighthearted and fun, and maybe with a little romance. The Telephone Box Library ticked all these boxes.

I was initially attracted to the book because I am fascinated with telephone box libraries, what a fabulous idea they are. Sadly, putting one in our area would probably just encourage vandalism. But putting one in a country village sounds idyllic.

The second thing that attracted me was the connection to Bletchley Park, one of the most favourite places I have visited. The stories emerging from that place are really interesting.

If I had one little disappointment, it might have been the lack of description of Bletchley Park, but I really can let that slip. The story was warm and endearing and had just the right amount of little twists and turns. I loved Lucy and Sam, the main characters and of course I was rooting for them all the time. But the real star of the show was Bunty and I loved her story.

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Bookworms Monthly March

Welcome to Bookworms Monthly March linkup

Hello, Welcome to BookWorms Monthly March. January seemed to go on forever but February was over in a flash and I managed to read two books and I’m more than half way through a third. How’s your month going?

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 book worms monthly is about. 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

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 BookWorms Monthly March 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.

bookworms monthly march

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


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Michael Rosen – The Missing – review

I bought this book by Michael Rosen myself and have not been asked to review it. This post does however contain affiliate links. Thank you for taking the time to read and click if you wish.

We are big fans of Michael Rosen, what childhood would be complete without ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt?’ The kids current favourite is ‘No Breathing in Class’ and whenever I’m being strict with them I’ll tell them ‘no breathing’ just so they know I mean business. Or rather it makes them laugh and they actually listen to me.

The Missing – The True Story of my Family in World War II

book cover, michael rosen - missing

Author: Michael Rosen, available from Waterstones for £8.99 in hardback.

Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781406386752
Number of pages: 128
Weight: 189 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 9 mm

The Blurb

When I was growing up, stories often hung in the air about my great -uncles: they were there before the war, my Dad would say, but werent after.

That never used to make any sense to me…How could people just disappear? People with whole lives? People with families? So, over many years, I tried to find out exactly what happened. This book is the result: the true story of the missing Rosens.

Our Verdict

This book was written for children but holds a strong message for anyone. Both me and Star read it in one sitting it was so intriguing. Interspersed with Rosen’s poetry it shows how he searched for his missing relatives and the stories he found.

We don’t really think about the horror of the holocaust. It was something that happened, it was horrid, we wont let it happen again. Hopefully. Well, it’s actually happening now to some extent but as always we never know the real truth, the real horror of it all.

When it is something that happened to your own relatives it brings even more horror and sadness. Michael Rosen fully understands how lucky he is to be born shortly after the war rather than during it.

Here is a note from Michael Rosen on the first page.

This story is about the things that happened to my family a long time ago, back when photos and films where in black and white. But when I think about it, my relatives were refugees – a lot like the people you may have seen on the news recently.

Because of the events of the Second World War, they were forced to run:to flee and hide. When I turn on the TV now, eighty years later, I see thousands of families that have been forced to run from new wars, driven into hiding and sometimes losing their lives.

So I hope this book becomes part of a bigger conversations about the refugee crisis. About how to find fair and decent ways of helping people like my relatives

michael Rosen

A riveting and very sad story. One I would definitely recommend. We can’t keep our eyes closed forever.

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Book Worms Monthly – February

Finally, January is over!

Hello, Welcome to Book Worms Monthly February. Last month seemed to go on forever, it didn’t help that I was stuck with one book that I’d started in December. I did read through a couple of kid’s books for reviews, but reading 1Q84 by Haruki Mirakami had me both equally enthralled and exasperated. Have you ever read a book that made you feel like that? Anyway, on to this months linky.

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 book worms monthly is about. 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 January!

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 January 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.

Book worms monthly

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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1Q84 – Haruki Murakami

1Q84 audible edition

I have read Haruki Murakami before so I am well aware of his way of writing. Translated into English it always reads a little different. And his ideas are less than ordinary. I’ve wanted to read 1Q84 for a long time, ever since I finished reading The Wind Up Bird Chronicles a few years ago. I thought it would be good to listen to the story on Audible, but with all three volumes it came to just over 46 hours. (The last 28 minutes are an interview with the translators.)

The Blurb

The year is 1Q84.

This is the real world, there is no doubt about that. 

But in this world, there are two moons in the sky. 

In this world, the fates of two people, Tengo and Aomame, are closely intertwined. They are each, in their own way, doing something very dangerous. And in this world, there seems no way to save them both. 

Something extraordinary is starting.

My Views on 1Q84

First of all you have to realise that this is a translated Japanese book, so things may not read (or listen) as smoothly as some stories. There is a fair amount of repetition, but it could be translation, it could just be the way Murakami likes to get his story across.

I found it all a bit long winded at times. In fact there were times that if anyone mentioned the moon one more time I’d start howling at it. But, some things are real important to the story and if that’s the way Murakami likes to put it across then I guess that’s something you have to deal with.

Murakami likes talking about sex, he can be quite crude at times, a lot of the language used is very explicit. But he also knows how to make a distinction between the different types of sex, so you really get an idea of how the character is feeling about it.

One thing that Murakami excels at is characterization. I love the way he brings his characters to life, whether it’s physical description or his delving into the very depths of their being. It’s hard not to connect with them, even if they remain nameless. After reading, as well a the main characters, I also feel I know The Dowager and Tomatsu like old friends.

He also describes their surroundings in great detail and I think it’s this attention to detail which add to the length of the story. Sometimes I found myself wishing he’d just get on with it, but now, looking back, I’m glad I felt such a part of the story, knowing all the little details and living it too. No matter how surreal it all was.

That’s the next point. Now, I’m all for a bit of science fiction or fantasy, a pushing of the boundaries of belief. But Murakami does this in way which makes you think, what the heck is going on sometimes. At other times, it all seems very normal. The more surreal points are left hanging, keep a hold of your imagination, you will need it. Different dimensions, The phantom NHK collector, The Little People, Air Chrysalis, two moons, Mutha, Daughta (forgive my spellings, I was listening not reading!) Any reader can draw their own conclusions because none of these are given explanations. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy all of this, but at times I was a little baffled to say the least.

The Three Volumes

All set in one year, 1984 (or is it really 1Q84?) You can read (or listen) to the book in the three separate volumes if you wish to break it up a little. I wanted to keep going and get it all sorted. Maybe even find some elusive explanations? It starts with the main female character Aomame, who jumps from a taxi on an express way and climbs down an escape ladder. The impression is that she is going to some sort of job interview, when in fact, she turns out to be a deadly assassin with a clever way of killing.

Another main character is Tengo, a part time teacher, part time novelist who ends up being roped into re-writing a book by a strange young girl.

The two characters once went to school together many years before. They never spoke to each other, but did hold hands once. They would also see each other walking the streets, Tengo with his father who was a television license fee collector, and Aomame with her Mother who was out preaching as a ‘witness.’ Tengo made some kind of reconciliation of sorts with his dying father during one part of the book. Murakami has such an interesting way of exploring relationships of all kinds.

The Narrators

I thought the narrators where really good, the three main ones where the female Aomame voiced by Allison Hiroto, Tengo by Marc Veitor and the ingenious baddie Ushikawa. Probably not everybody’s cup of tea but I enjoyed the American Private Investigator spin put on this character. He was ugly inside and out, but I still felt a little sorry for him in the end. Ushikawa is mentioned by Tengo earlier on in the story but when he starts to narrate in the third book he is everything you expect him to be.

Conclusions

This is a long book and it takes some getting through. There were times when I thought that maybe I didn’t want to carry on. Or that maybe the whole story could have been told in half the time. There was certainly lots that could have missed out, but i think they would actually have been missed. At the end I was glad I badgered on with it. It was no great surprise ending, or maybe it was, it could have gone any way really, but it was satisfying and, well, nice.

This won’t be for everyone, but if you want to indulge in something a little different and you have 46 hours to spare, then this could be just what you are looking for. It has been compared to 1984 but I don’t see that really. 1Q84 is more of a different reality rather than a dystopian future. And to be honest, we don’t even know if 1Q84 is dystopian.

Not for the prudish or those without a good imagination that is willing to explore the more surreal. I think everyone will come away with a different opinion of this book.

Discolsure: I bought this book myself, but this post contains affiliate links.

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Book Worms Monthly – January

Hello, Welcome to Book Worms Monthly January. Have you got a goal on how many books you’d like to read this Year? I aim low and try to read at least one a month, my first January book is still going from December, but it is a big one. I’ll tell you more about that later

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 January!

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 January 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.

january book worm

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Click here to enter
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Book worms Monthly – December

Hello, Welcome to Book Worms Monthly December. This is the time for gifting fabulous books and hopefully getting one or two from your Christmas Wish list too.

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 December!

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 December 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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Audible half price for Four Months!

I’m a big Audible fan, just check out some of my book reviews like the ones on this page here. I’m really excited to tell you about Audible’s Special Black Friday offer, A whole four months at half price! Then it’s £7.99 per month afterwards but for that you get a brand new audiobook credit every month that you can use against a book no matter what the price. (read below for the full terms and conditions.)

If you want to learn more about Audible you can win my prize winning post Five Reasons Why You Should Listen to Audible. But if you haven’t got the time then here is a quick run down on why I love Audible so much.

  • You can get all the latest and greates books as well as old classics, and once downloaded they are yours to keep and listen to as often as you wish.
  • As well as books you l can listen to podcasts and often exclusive dramatisations (The Terry Pratchett ones are my favourites.
  • You can listen while doing other stuff, like cooking cleaning, or even crafts. I love to pop in my earpods while crocheting.
  • There is no dropping your book if you fall asleep while reading , you can always rewind the story if you nod off.
  • It’s great for long journeys or hospital stays or anywhere you would read a book, but you only need your phone or kindle or whatever device you can download Audible on.
  • You can switch devices and still access all of your library on Audible.

These are just a few reasons why I love Audible so much and I am happy to be an affiliate for them. Many of my book reviews I’ve done on this blog are Audible books.

I hope you conisder signing up for this latest special offer from Audible, please be aware that I am including affiliate links and may receive a little commission on any sales, but it won’t cost you any more.

audible 50 % off
T&Cs:This offer is open from 18th November 00:00 to 13th December 23:59. Offer is by invitation only. Offer is not available to existing Audible members or those participating in an Audible free trial, or who have recently participated in an Audible free trial. For the first four
months of your Audible membership, you will be charged the discounted price of £3.99/mo. After the first four months, your Audible membership will automatically renew at £7.99/mo until cancelled. You will be billed monthly, and will receive one credit each month, good for any Audible audiobook. . The promotion applies only to items sold by audible.co.uk. The
same items sold by other sellers (e.g. audible.com, etc.) do not qualify. This promotion may not be combined with other offers. The Offer is subject to availability and may be withdrawn or amended without notice. The offer has no cash alternative. Limit one per customer
and account. Audible account required The Offer is non-transferable and may not be
resold.
Other terms and conditions apply, including those available at https://www.audible.co.uk/legal/conditions-of-use. Audible’s Conditions of Use apply. If your credit card is declined, the
offer will not apply. If you violate any of the terms or conditions, the promotion will be
invalid, and the discount will not apply. Terms prohibited by law shall be void without
prejudice to the remaining terms.

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