Category Archives: Arrrg my knee

2011- A Reading Year in Review

So I thought I would do a review of my year through the books which I have read. I tend to see what I’m reading as quite comparable to what is going on in my world, and I really like these end of year looking back post things. So without further ado…

January

Ahh January is always a good month for reading because I will always get books or book tokens for Christmas. (Which FYI are just about the best present possible for book lovers, the ability to go and browse in your favourite book shop and then buy whatever you want? Heaven!) In January I was still working full time and commuting on the train and the amount which I managed to read reflects this. Roughly one book a week and then a bit more because James and I went on holiday at the beginning of January and I always do a lot of reading whilst away.

My favourite book of this month has to be We Need to Talk about Kelvin by Marcus Chown- this is an excellent introduction to lots of basic science ideas explained really simply and well. I loved this book and have since lent in out  to  multiple members of my family to spread the joy as far as possible. If you have any interest in science at all this is a really good introduction with excellent explanations.

February

Reading for me in February is dominated by Looking for Alaska by John Green. I loved this book! I vividly remember sneaking an extra long lunch break to continue reading it and actually being happy about a delayed train because it gave me more time to read! I finished it in a day and since then I’ve been rationing out my reading of John Green books so that I can have his genius spread out over a longer period rather than just gorging on all his books all at once! February is also when I found out that I had been accepted on to my teacher training course, something which made me very very happy and precipitated a lot of squealing!

March

I dislocated my knee at the end of February and thus spent all of March at home sitting on my sofa waiting for the tendons in my knee to start liking me again. My reading increased exponentially because of this and was dominated by re-read of comforting books that I have loved for many years- basically David Eddings. Defiantly my go to author when I tired because I know the books so well that they don’t really take much of my brain power! I also treated myself to another John Green book- Paper Towns and loved it just as much.

April

In April I was back at work and back commuting and I read one of my favourite novels of the year- Kraken by China Meiville. I loved this novel- it was so densely imagined and well written that I immediately had to buy a copy for my Mum for her birthday- it really was so so good. Novel wise it was one of the best modern novels I think I have read in a long while and I would recommend it to anyone who likes slightly dark modern fantasy.

May

May was the month which I read my very first Sherlock Holmes book! I don’t know why I have never read them before- my Dad loves them and had the entire works of Arthur Conan Doyle whilst I was growing up so I really don’t have any excuse- but I made it all the way to 22 without even reading a line! It was very good- and I plan to read more when I get round to it. Sadly my to read list is ever growing and shockingly long!

June

In June I discovered P.D. James as a writer when I picked up one of her books at the hospital jumble sale whilst I was there to have physiotherapy for my still recovering knee. (And yes I am always reminded of a quote I had on a postcard and t-shirt as a teenage ‘Wouldn’t it be good if hospitals and schools had all the money which they needed and the Army had to hold jumble sales to buy guns.’ But I digress.) Safe to say, I loved her style and since then I’ve been looking out for her books and plan on slowly making my way through her extensive back catalogue.

July

July contained one of the worst books I have read in a long time- The Captive Queen. I just couldn’t get in to this at all. I’m not brilliant at reading historical fiction (I think my history degree has ruined this for me!) and this was possibly my least favourite book of the year. However I did plow my way through to the end! I always feel that once I have got so far in a book I kind of need to finish- I can’t remember the last time I actually abandoned reading a book because I didn’t like it.

August

In August I read only one book- The PGCE Survival Guide. This is possible indicative of the fact that I leaving my job and going back to university! This was a lot of upheaval but incredibly exciting at the same time. I was very preoccupied with teaching and this book was incredibly comforting in spelling out some basics and just generally making me feel a bit more comfortable stepping in to the unknown.

September

Once back at university I found my spare reading time severely curtailed- hence only managing to read 2 books- another excellent P. D. James book and a nice easy reading Nick Hornby. Since going back to university I have gravitated towards ‘easier’ books. Mostly because I tend to read late at night just before going to bed and my brain just isn’t up to much more!

October

Jeal M. Auel books dominated October. My Dad found a very dilapidated copy of The Clan of the Cave Bear on the train and thought- well something this well read must be worth a look. He got me hooked on them and I read the first 5 practically back to back. I still have the 6th one to read and I’m saving it up for when I have a nice long period of time to indulge myself!

November

In November I read one of the most challenging memoirs I have read for a very long time- Nothing Left Over by Toinette Lippe. This was a very moving book about one woman striving for simplicity in our overly complex world. I made me think long and hard about ‘stuff’ and what it is that has true worth. A book to go back to I feel when I feel over whelmed by the amount of stuff that I have.

December

The best book I read in December by far was The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood. I would even go so far to say it was possibly the best book I read this year. It made me think very deeply about certain aspects of my own views of the world and that is one of the best things about well written literature- it can change your mind and your outlook.

Well there we have it, my year in reading. This year I have read 69 books and can honestly say that I’ve only hated one of them! Well if you’ve made it this far through a post this long, I salute you! Here is too another excellent year in reading- roll on 2012!

Lindy xxx

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Running

I’m linking this up with Camille over at Archive of Our Lives based upon the fact that going for a run was a great a free way to amuse myself for an afternoon! 

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7 Good Things Vol 27

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I thought I would do this a little differently this week and list 7 things which I have been thankful for this week…

1. I’m thankful that there is food in my cupboards and that my next meal is not in doubt. For too many in the world, this is not a certainty.

2. I’m thankful that I live in country where the printed word is not censored and I can get my hands on high quality works of literature, politics and poetry cheaply and easily.

3. I’m thankful that I live somewhere where political debate is an everyday, encouraged activity.

4. I’m thankful that clean water pours from my taps for pennies, plentiful and cool.

5. I’m thankful that I have the education to make informed choices about my actions and my future. I truly believe that a good education and a curiosity for the world around me is the greatest gift my parents could have given me.

6. I’m thankful that my knee is healing and I can feel myself becoming stronger day by day.

7. I’m thankful for James and for our relationship, having him to come home to is the greatest gift I could ask for.

Please let me know in comments what you are thankful for this week…

Lindy xxxx

ps: You have to the end of the week to enter my giveaway to win a book, tea and chocolate… the recipe for a perfect afternoon!

 

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Haiku Friday

this is a very old photo I just found... but I liked it!

gym you kicked my butt

hurt my knee, mocked my try’in

yet I come again

Two work out sessions in two days has not been kind to my injured knee, I really must learn how to pace myself! I’ve been writing little haiku’s all week for fun, so I thought I might share them on here from time to time. I enjoy writing little bits of poetry (no matter how poor!), haiku’s especially are just enough to give me a creativity top up in the middle of my day!

Have a fab weekend my friends!

Lindy xxx

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7 Good Things Vol 20

mmm... this was dinner tonight and it was sooo good

Yep, once again I am late this week. Blame it on the fact I had to work yesterday, on a bank holiday no less, and thus ran out of time!

1. I brough a new dress at the weekend, James persuaded me to get it and I love it!

2. Its still nice and sunny here, this is the longest spell of good weather I can remember for ages.

3. My knee is feeling an awful lot better at the moment, I actually made it to the gym this week and it felt good!

4. Easter chocolate- need I say more!

5. For once my study is tidy! I love sitting in there so much but never seem able to keep it tidy, but once it is all neat, I love it so much more. Maybe I should learn a lesson here…

6. Picnics on the beach… so perfect.

7. I’ve got a night on my own today, so cups of tea, egg drop soup and Sims 3 is in the plan!

Have an excellent week my friends

Lindy xxx

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Filed under 7 good things, Arrrg my knee, cooking, Life, Soup, Stuff

March Reading Roundup

So I thought I would try a new feature here. At the beginning of each new month I’m going to have little round up/ review of all the books I had read in the previous month. Mostly because whilst I like writing book reviews, I really love reading them and finding out what every one else has been reading recently. I thought that in the comments at the end everyone could share their favourite books from the previous month and it would all be a good place to find out some new excellent books that we might not have otherwise thought off.

You can see from my reading list at the top that I have been off work in March because I have read far more than I am usually able too. Working two jobs does have the unfortunate sided effect of seriously limiting my reading time so I try to be selective about what I’m reading and make sure it’s something I will really enjoy.

Cold Mountain

So I’ll start with Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier because for some reason I listed it first. (Perhaps I need a better listing system!) I love this book. This is a re-read for the umpteenth time. I actually saw the film of this first when I was a teenager and loved it so much I immediately went and brought the book. Hence my edition being adorned with the face of Jude Law! It’s the style of writing in this book and the accuracy of the prose which draws me back to it time and time again. This is a beautifully crafted book and you can feel the effort that went in to writing it. I like that and would recommend it whole heartedly.

Paper Towns

Then we have Paper Towns by John Green. I actually wrote a full review of this book here. But safe to say I really enjoyed this book.

...only part of my collection...

Now we enter the humungous list of David Eddings books which I read. I don’t normally have so many re- reads in a month because I am quite convinced that one of the cruel ironies of the world is that there are too many good books and too little time to enjoy them all. But I was sick and as I wrote here some times you need an old friend to nurse you through. David Eddings is that old friend for me, and he served me well in March.

Just a Geek

Just a Geek by Wil Wheaton. This was the first audio book I had listed to in ages and it was easily the best book I ‘read’ this month. Will Wheaton was the actor who played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek the Next Generation, although I think I have seen all the episodes of TNG I’m not a fanatical fan so I pleasantly surprised that this book had appeal outside of the ‘trekkie’ fandom. I was a well written, honest book about the realities of well life really. I’m a bit of a sucker for well written autobiographies and biographies because I find other people so endlessly interesting and this did not disappoint. The audio book version came with lots of additions such as ‘audio footnotes’, which is when Wil Wheaton deviated from the written text and added in little extras as he read. There was also extra bits at the end of the book where he explained the process for recording an audio book and a bit about the publishing process he used. He totally self publishes everything through the Internet and these really added to the overall experience of the book and defiantly made me glad that I got the audio rather than the paper version. I think this was my read of the month and I would whole heatedly recommend this.

so taking photos of my ipad didn't work so well!

Next up is Sunken Treasure by Wil Wheaton. Again after enjoying Just a Geek so much I indulged in some of his other work. Sunken Treasure is a compilation book which I think he put together to sell at the convention circuit one year and although its relatively short, it defiantly packs it all in. Unlike Just a Geek which is more narrative, this is a compilation of set diaries, extended posts from his excellent blog and other pieces of shorter writing compiled together. I think it cost be somewhere in the region of about £2, but I would have easily paid double that it was so good!

Break No Bones

Finally we have Break no Bones by Kathy Reichs. Whenever I’m feeling the need for a good dose of crime fiction I tend to turn to Reichs. These are easy books to read, I think I finished this one in a day, but I generally can’t guess whodunnit and manage to get wrapped up in the world she creates. I also really like Temperance Brennan as a main protagonist, she seems like a believable female character to me, and I like that these books aren’t bogged down by romance. Maybe it’s just my reading but I tend to find that female characters often become defined by the men in their lives, and although this book features quite prominently Temperance’s ex- husband and new boyfriend, it never felt like she as a character was being drawn in relation to them. They were described in relation to her. I like that.

So there we have it, my reading this month. What have you enjoyed this month? Any good recommendations for me?

Lindy xxx

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7 Good Things Vol 17

Hello Internet! Despite the fact that this day has reneged on its early sunny promise to me and descended in to the pits of greyness this has still been a good day!

1. I’ve gone back to work. This means my knee is getting better. But on the flip side I am tired again. Its a toss up!
2. I’ve been playing the Sims again and I’ve managed to create a multi generational family without my game packing up on me! If you knew the problems I had with my game you would understand my joy!
3. I finished the really excellent book ‘Six Questions of Socrates’ by Christopher Phillips. I highly recommend.
4. I tided my kitchen and possibly created good rice pudding. It is still in the oven so the jury is out, but it is looking hopeful!
5. James brought me a very sweet present when I went back to work!
6. I found out that Doctor Who is coming back at Easter. My love for this program and Matt Smith know no bounds (oh David Tennant I though no one could ever replace you… but yeah ahhhem). So I’m very excited.

...no post is complete without a picture this good!...

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7.I had a very nice lunch with my Dad today and I’m going out with my friends this evening. Pretty snazzy.

 

So I know I’ve been away, so what has been happening that is good in your lives recently my friends?

Happy Monday

Lindy xxx

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