23 Apr 2014

WORLD BOOK NIGHT 2014: THE BOY WITH THE TOPKNOT.

Unfortunately unlike last year when we were notified in plenty of time what our designated book was this year we weren't notified until fairly late so I'm afraid I wasn't able to read let alone review my given book .......



The story of Sathnam Sanghara who when asked why he did not fictionalise his story instead of laying bare such intimate details of his family's life simply stated he 'absolutely had to write a memoir' #1.This is the tale of a young man of Punjabi descent for whom growing up in Wolverhampton in the eighties is a confusing business until aged twenty four he makes a discovery that changes everything.

Thought of as a beautifully written and important book for Sikhs by one site #2, The Boy With The Topknot (subtitled A Memoir Of Love, Secrets, And Lies In Wolverhampton) is an award winning book regarded by many as a hilarious and heart-rending reinvention of the modern British memoir. #3

Seemingly well received, at the time of writing of the 187 reviews on Amazon.co.uk not one reader rated it less than three stars out of five, many thought of it as a book that despite delving into issues of mental health had the ability to leave them laughing out loud, that though about the life of a British Asian it managed to captivate a much wider audience. #3

On the other hand, felt by others that whilst it was engaging as a memoir the authors own neurosis had the power to irritate #4, that at times it read a little like lad's mag journalism #5. As always its up to the individual to read it and make up their own mind.


#1 THE GUARDIAN
#2 SIKHNET
#3 AMAZON.CO.UK
#4 COLIN MULHERN
#5 PENGUINS READERS GROUP



Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.

22 Apr 2014

THE INSPECTOR AND MRS JEFFRIES.

THE INSPECTOR AND MRS JEFFRIES by EMILY BRIGHTWELL.

SOURCE: Received for review from publishers Constable & Robinson whose catalogue can be found HERE.


When a doctor is discovered dead in his own office, Mrs Jeffries' diagnosis is murder .....


Inspector Witherspoon of Scotland Yard may not be the most dynamic detective on the force but, whether he realises it or not, he has the help of his housekeeper, Mrs Jeffries, when it comes to cracking cases.


The death of Dr Bartholomew Slocum, found slumped across his desk as though he had simply fallen asleep, at first seems like it might be a tragic accident, but Mrs Jeffries senses something more sinister and is determined to discover the doctors' murderer.

..... Outer back cover

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter One}: Dr Bartholomew Slocum was definitely dead.


MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 57}: She hoarded her tidbits of gossip like an old miser with a pot of gold.


MY THOUGHTS: Just as Holmes has his Watson so Inspector Witherspoon, albeit unknowingly, has Mrs Jeffries 


The first in a series (now running to more than 30 books) of Victorian crime novels featuring the mild mannered (some would say inept) Inspector Witherspoon of Scotland Yard, his housekeeper, policeman's widow, Hepzibah Jeffries and, to a lesser extent, his other servants who amongst others number Smythe the coachman, housemaid Betsy, and arthritic cook, Mrs Goodge.


OK, so The Inspector And Mrs Jeffries is somewhat plodding and simplistic (rather like the good Inspector himself), has a plot that doesn't necessarily hold up to close scrutiny and is littered with Americanisms but in its favour its a charming, fun read full of the most deliciously eccentric characters.







Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.
Disclaimer:  Read and reviewed on behalf of publishers, Constable & Robinson, I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.

20 Apr 2014

CELEBRATING EOSTRE, THE BIRTH OF THE EASTER BUNNY (OR IS IT THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE INVENTION OF CHOCOLATE?)

 I remember reading somewhere that research showed that something like 53% of children aged ten and under believed that the whole purpose of Easter was to celebrate the birth of the Easter bunny. That more than a quarter thought it was the anniversary of the invention of chocolate so with that in mind I thought I'd share these gems with you.....

Named in honour of the Goddess Eostre (aka Ostara) after whom the springtime Paschal festival is named though a time of spirituality, of the turning of the earth, there is no reason why it can't also be fun which is where this fun ritual perfect for children comes in.

For The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Chocolate Rabbit you will need ..... 

  • A bag of jelly beans
  • Marshmallow chicks, bunnies etc
  • A chocolate rabbit for each participant
  • A glass of milk for each participant
  • To click HERE for full details.


..... This morning in the Terry household

An elderly man is driving along a country lane when he hits something.
Getting out of the car, to his dismay he realises he's knocked over and killed the Easter bunny*.
Not knowing quite what to do he waits by the road side until another driver pulls over.
Full of remorse he explains what has happened to the motorist who goes back to his car to retrieve what looks like a spray can of deodorant which he liberally sprays over the deceased bunny who gets up and runs off.
"Oh my goodness," exclaims the elderly man. "Its a miracle, what was in that can?"
"Hmm," says the motorist looking at the spray can "It says here its hair restorer." 

* You'll be pleased to know no bunnies were actually harmed in the telling of this joke. TT

Sung at the end of each school day I loved sharing this with a class full of children and now enjoy it with our great-nephew aged three.


(Standing in the middle of a circle surrounded by children pretending to sleep) See the little bunnies sleeping till its nearly noon,
Come and let us wake them with a merry tune.
They're so still,
Are they ill?
(Putting finger to lips and whispering) Ssh, ssh, ssh.
(Loudly) Wake up soon.
(Children jump up and hop around) Hop little bunnies in the clover,
Hop little bunnies day is over.
Stop little bunnies,
Stop, stop, stop (Children stand still).


And last but by no means least .....


Some of you may have seen already seen these 'Vintage Easter bunny photos that will make your skin crawl' but for those of you who haven't ......

Click HERE.


Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.

18 Apr 2014

GUESS WHICH BLOG IS FIVE TODAY .....


I'll never take for granted
how greatly I've been blessed
for when it comes to those who support me
you really are the best.

Thank you to Mr T for nagging encouraging me to begin blogging,
Thank you to all my fellow bloggers,
to those who follow Pen and Paper,
to those who leave comments,
to those who silently stop by.
I couldn't have done it without you.


A double celebration ......


Happy Birthday to our nephew, Christopher, who is 21 today.
Love Aunty Taitty and Uncle Neal. x


Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.

16 Apr 2014

THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND IN A SHIP OF HER OWN MAKING.

THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND IN A SHIP OF HER OWN MAKING by CATHERYNNE M VALENTE.

SOURCE: Received for review from publishers Constable & Robinson whose catalogue can be found HERE.

September is a twelve-year-old girl from Omaha. With her dad fighting a faraway war,and her mum always out at work, she is lonely, stuck in a rut and starved of adventure. So when a Green Wind arrives at her window and invites her to Fairyland she accepts in a flash (mightn't you?).

But Fairyland is in crisis, crushed by the iron rule of the villainous Marquess - and September holds the key to restoring order.

With a book-loving dragon and a mysterious boy named Saturday by her side, she sets out on a thrilling quest to fix things. But time is short, and time is ticking, and every story must have an ending. Can September save Fairyland? Can she even save herself?
 ..... Outer back cover

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter 1: Exeunt on a Leopard}: Once upon a time, a girl named September grew very tired indeed of her parents' house, where she washed the same pink-and-yellow teacups and matching gravy boats every day, slept on the same embroidered pillows, and played with the same small and amiable dog.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS {Page 167}: The Wyverary drifted helplessly to sleep, sitting up. He snored lightly; it sounded like pages turning.

MY THOUGHTS: Having seen it featured and positively raved about on so many blogs this has been on my Wish List for a long time but I kept putting off for fear it may not live up to all the hype. Something as it turns out it both did and didn't do.

For the sites requiring a star rating, as an exceptionally whimsical and magical read with some truly memorable characters aimed at ten to fourteen year olds I'd have to rate The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland a solid four, perhaps even five, out of five. But older than the intended audience and given there is so much more to a book than merely an original plot and fanciful characters I'm having difficulty in rating it.

Overall I felt this was a unique read, a one of a kind, and yet at the same time there were elements of it that were so reminiscent of other works - of authors such as Terry Pratchett and Lewis Carrol, of books such as Alice In Wonderland and The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe - that I found myself feeling a bit let down.

Full to bursting point of wonderfully imaginative characters and creatures too numerous to mention though I will make exception for my favourite A-Through-L the wyverary (a wyverary being the result of a wyvern and a library who happen to love each other very much). My problem being there were simply too many and whilst some were woefully underused (the three witches, Hello, Goodbye and Manythanks come to mind) others, seemingly only there to tantalise, disappointingly never got anything more than the briefest of mentions.

Though undeniably creative and full of delightful imagery, imagery so vivid as to make it perfect for a movie adaptation (arguably something the author had in mind whilst writing the book) whilst I'm sure the story would have appealed to my childhood self it just didn't live up to my adult expectations hence the final mark of a lesser if still respectable rating of three out of five.


Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.
Disclaimer:  Read and reviewed on behalf of publishers, Constable & Robinson, I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.