Friday, 4 May 2018

The art of fully living

The Art of  Fully Living
Author: Tal Gur
ISBN: 9781549929618

Hi Everyone,

I was offered a copy of this book to read while I was in the midst of ahuge challenge to read some of my own books, and reading my last review which was beyond a crazy read.  But, I couldn't say no for two reasons.  First I am a crazy book person who loves to have my next read sitting beside my bed ready to be opened!  Second...

'1 man, 10 years, 100 life goals' 

Particularly the 100 life goals, how many people have 100 of the things?  And to only have 10 years to achieve them.  Now that is a mission in itself.  So I had to read what went on in this mans mind.

I enjoyed every page.  There were so many principles in this book which I live by, that I enjoyed reading about his tactics, adventures, mistakes (if you could call them that) and pickups.  I loved his beginnings and know he isn't finished even as I close the final page.  I can't say I live by every principle, because I don't, but I can say that many of the things he touches on are very good and worth reading about.

Some will read this book as a self help book; some will read as an adventure; some will read and take on their own journey; and some will put the book down half way through and carry on with their lives unchanged.  I like this about the concept of 'fully living' because we all have our own 'FULL'  

What is your 'FULL'?

I for one, like to achieve things.  I set the most stupid goals, but look back and think I have done so many little things with my life... so far... still more stupid ideas to come for me yet.  What are your latest goals?  Do you have 100?  I don't, but I keep finding just one more.  If you want to read about one mans journey, over 10 years, through his first 100, then this is the book to pick up.  I am sure this is just the start of his life goals.  I am interested to see where the next 10 years takes him.


"10 years to live, that's how far I look into the future."
My friend stood by an open window, looking out toward the water from his Melbourne apartment where three of us had gathered a few days after my birthday.
It was a beautiful starry night and the fragrance of a new beginning was in the air. We were all in a similar position: we had recently entered our 30's, and we had just received our permanent residency in Australia. Naturally, the conversation turned to the question of life goals—where do we go from here?
My friend continued: "My father died in his early 40's, so I am going to set my life goals based on the fact that I also may not be here after that age."
Salty ocean air swirled around us as his words sunk in. The idea of our mortality confronted us, filled the room. But instead of weighing me down, it had the effect of clarification. It was a much-needed epiphany, a refreshing perspective for three young men who had already lived three decades of life, but still felt the need for something grandiose, something important, something that would make us feel fully lived.
The concept immediately sparked something inside of me—how would I live my life if I only had 10 years left? I would certainly not waste any time. I would not delay my goals until retirement. My bucket list wouldn't stretch on until I was 80; things would have to get done right away.
Creating a list of hefty goals for the short-term, not the long-term, seemed a little like playing a trick on yourself, but really, there was nothing sneaky about this approach to goal-setting. It suddenly just made a lot of sense.
That night, we wrote down some of our life goals and shared them with each other.
As I drove home under starry skies, there was an energy surging through me. I felt filled up with life at the idea of how I was going to approach this huge crossroads in my life. I thought, "Yes, this is the perspective I want to adopt. This is how I want to live my life."
Creating bucket lists and New Year's resolutions had never been my thing. Tonight, for the first time, I felt the power of making those lists.
Back in my apartment, I rushed to write down more goals that buzzed through my mind. The list grew rapidly until I reached 100 life goals for the next decade of my life. Ten years, 100 goals—the numbers felt right.
Little did I know that this night and this list would change the course of my life...
This was available from Amazon
Happy reading

Monday, 30 April 2018

World without end

World Without End
Author: Ken Follett
ISBN: 9780330456920

Hi Everyone

Mission accompished!  I have read all 1237 pages.... so proud of myself πŸ˜€

So what did I think?

To start of with it is not for the faint hearted it.  I cannot understate this fact.  It has been written by a man and this man is Ken Follett - I have read a couple of his stories and he doesn't leave much out.  How can you when you have 1237 pages :)

But, I couldn't stop turning the pages.  I sat reading night after night. Week after week.  Following every character.  Every scene and event.  The historical matters in these pages were extremely interesting even though it was fictional.  I was drawn into the chaos and schemes, love, loss and everything beyond.  Truly this has just about everything possible within the pages.

I have laughed, gasped, cryed, been in shock and wanted to scream!

I think I had an issue with just about every character at some stage.  No one was left unscared though out the events.  Really if you read it you will understand.  Even as I write this I am stuck for how to explain even one character to you.  They all changed and grew, going from child to adult.  I found something to love in every one of the characters but they also found a way to drive me mad; really irritate me to the max.

I have enjoyed this book as much as 'Pillars of the Earth' which was the first in the series.  And I have the third and final in the trilogy - Edge of Eternity - on my to be read list.  I don't think you need to read the first book in the series but it is worth reading first.  See what you think.


On the day after Halloween, in the year 1327, four children slip away from the cathedral city of Kingsbridge. They are a thief, a bully, a boy genius and a girl who wants to be a doctor. In the forest they see two men killed.
As adults, their lives will be braided together by ambition, love, greed and revenge. They will see prosperity and famine, plague and war. One boy will travel the world but come home in the end; the other will be a powerful, corrupt nobleman. One girl will defy the might of the medieval church; the other will pursue an impossible love. And always they will live under the long shadow of the unexplained killing they witnessed on that fateful childhood day.

This was available from: Book Depository,  Fishpond and Amazon

Happy reading

World Without End (The Pillars of the Earth #2)

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Star of light

Star of Light
Author: Patricia St John
ISBN: 978-0-8024-6577-1

Hi Everyone

It's been a while since my last post for a couple of reasons.  First being that my kids and students come first and its been a busy term.  Second because I was challenged to read some of the books from my bookcase and the first one on the top left shelf was a 1256 pages long!  I also have a few books coming up that authors have sent to me.... so keep watching this space there is more coming your way very soon.

This book is part of the Sonlight curriculum, I have a few books from this curriculum is really is a good curriculum to follow through.  Star of Light is an easy little read and was first published in 1954.  While reading it I was able to sense the different era of which the book was written.  The characters were nice, the plot was nice, the scenes were nice.  It reminded me of a Sunday school book.  Because of this I think is best suited for a younger reader with a good reading vocab and comprehension.  I enjoyed it but found myself wanting to skip pages as it didn't really move fast enough.  I would have liked to read more about what happens to the little blind sister, Kinza.  I felt she could have added more depth to the story.

So, with the students I have coming through, I (in my opinion) think 10-12 years cover recommendation is a little on the older side.

Overall though, it really is a good read.  It has some talking points in the story line and definately has a good moral principle behind the plot.


Hamid does not want his little blind sister, Kinza, to be sold to a beggar, by thier stepfather, so he decides to rescue her.  Together they escape from thier mountain village to a town where there may be a new home for Kinza.  But this is only the start of their adventures.  Will Kinza be safe?  What will happen to Hamid who dares not to go back home.

This was available from: AmazonBook depository and Fishpond

Happy reading

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Sadako and the thousand paper cranes

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Author: Eleanor Coerr
ISBN: 978-0-14-240113-2

Hi Everyone,

This one made me want to cry!

It is a beautiful little story of a girl full of life, only to have that life taken from her by lukemia.  I had this on my book case, one of the many curriculum novels I have waiting for me to read.  I have had my children read them and I am now making my way along my shelves.  It is only 65 pages long but it gets a message of joy, life, heart ache and strength across in such a meaning full way.

I have to say I have never read a book, written for the young, with such beauty and power.  I wanted to run with Sudako, sit with her, and then help her friends far beyond her story's end.  When I finished the book I had to search the internet for more information.  I have handed the book on now to another adult to read, as her story stretches far beyond her town.

I would like to see this book read by many after me will definately be handing it on to friends to read.


The star of her school's running team, Sadako is lively and athletic... until the dizzy spells start.  Then she must face the hardest race of her life - the race againse time.

Based on  a true story, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes celebrates courage that made one young woman a heroine in Japan.

This was available from: Book depositoryAmazon and Fishpond

Happy reading
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes (Puffin Modern Classics)

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Don't ever look behind door 32

Don't Ever Look Behind Door 32
B. C. R Fegan

Hi Everyone,

I was sent this book by the publishers of B. C. R. Fegan and I have to say I continue to place this author on the top of my favourite picture book authors list!

This book is a simple concept really.  A couple of kids go to stay at a place and they are told not to look behind door 32.  Through the pages they discover what lies behind the other doors, and the imagination is brilliant, but they keep being reminded not to look behind door 32.  In the final pages, of course, they find out what is behind the forbidden door.  I have to say I was a little taken by what was behind this door as it was simpler than what I envisioned.  It is actually a good talking point to have with your kids, to see what they think may be behind the door.

The illustrations make this book a piece of art.  I love the pictures!  Anyone who has been following me for a while will know how much I enjoy children's books, particularly well illustrated, catchy ones.  This books ticks both the boxes.  The book rhymes, so it is easy to read... And the pictures are a real treasure.  I love the pictures! They bring this book to life :)

If you are looking for a gift, pick this book.  If you are looking for a bedtime story, pick this one.  If you are like me and like children's books, pick this one.


The magical Hotel of Hoo is a mysterious place with some very unusual occupants. As our guests explore the strange hotel, they are invited to experience everything it has to offer with just one warning… don’t ever look behind door 32.
This imaginative picture book aims to take children beyond the first ten cardinal numbers, and introduces them to the patterns of counting in a fun and accessible way. With rooms to explore and unique objects to count, children will enjoy lingering on each page as they make their way closer to the forbidden door.

This was available from:

Happy reading

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

The Green Ember

The Green Ember
Author: S. D. Smith
ISBN: 978-0986223501

Hi Everyone

There is nothing more refreshing than reading a kids novel.  This is one my daughter would have loved a few years back.  I have told her she needs to read it... time will tell if she does or not now that she is a little older.

I thought the characters were divine!  Heather and Picket stole my heart right from the first few pages.  Picket had an attitude and spark about him which I just loved.  He was little but proud, that's the best way for me to describe him.  Always ready to prove himself but not always quite ready: according to everyone else anyway.  But prove himself he does!  Good on you little Picket.  Heather was a typical older sister.  She was a bit of a know it all in her own little way too.

I also liked the world within the pages of this novel.  I often forgot I was reading a book with rabbits as characters.  The background was painted with descriptive words that formed a firm picture in my mind.  This is great for you young readers.  When one can envision what they are reading it makes the comprehension so much easier.  This is the kind of reading we need for your young readers.

Overall I would recommend this book for any young reader.  It grabbed me and left me wanting to pick up the next book just to take a peak at what would happen to these characters from here.


Heather and Picket are extraordinary rabbits with ordinary lives until calamitous events overtake them, spilling them into a cauldron of misadventures. They discover that their own story is bound up in the tumult threatening to overwhelm the wider world. Kings fall and kingdoms totter. Tyrants ascend and terrors threaten. Betrayal beckons, and loyalty is a broken road with peril around every bend.

Where will Heather and Picket land? How will they make their stand?

This was available from: Amazon

Happy reading

The Green Ember (The Green Ember #1)

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Booktuber of the month

Hi Everyone

I bring to you my choice of Booktuber for the month - Hailey in Bookland.  She is young and vibrant and brings to us the Fairy box subscription unboxing.  I love unboxings!  I wish it was me getting the box but unfortunately it isn't.  I have just taken a look at the subscription and it would seem that I can get it delivered to my country, so maybe one day.  I really need to look further into these boxes Hailey makes this one look fab.  

I want the cup!

And the book!

Thanks Hailey for bringing us channel.  We need more of these young vibrant book readers to bring books alive for all the other young adults out there.  

So take a look in on Hailey in Bookland she has a good variety of clips for you to enjoy.

Happy reading

Monday, 19 February 2018

The Pearl Sister

The Pearl Sister
Author: Lucinda Riley
ISBN: 9781509840052

Hi Everyone,

This is the fourth book in this series and I am still loving it!

Every one of these books has had its own little mystery and intrigue.  Every book has shown me a new sister while connecting the dots of this family's dynamic history.  I have been taken to four corners of the world.  Been shown four different cultures.  Looked with suspicion at some of the suggestions.

I liked that this book took me to Australia, a country I have visited and enjoyed.  I was able to connect with the background in many ways.  I thought the characters were quite different from the previous books which I found interesting as many sequels can become repetitive, but not this one so far.  

Of all the four sisters so far, I found CeCe a little slow to adore.  CeCe had, kind of anyway, lost a little of my interest in the previous book as I found her just a bit domineering and clingy.  But by the end of The Pearl Sister I have a new respect for her.  I think I actually find her one of the most genuine sisters so far now.  I enjoy it when an  author manages to trick me and have me change my mind as I go deeper into a characters world.

Overall, even though this is the fourth book I am still hooked on this series!  I await now the next book now which apparently introduces me to Tiggy.  


CeCe D’ApliΓ¨se has never felt she fitted in anywhere. Following the death of her father, the elusive billionaire Pa Salt – so-called by the six daughters he adopted from around the globe and named after the Seven Sisters star cluster – she finds herself at breaking point. Dropping out of art college, CeCe watches as Star, her beloved sister, distances herself to follow her new love, leaving her completely alone.
In desperation, she decides to flee England and discover her past; the only clues she has are a black-and-white photograph and the name of a woman pioneer who lived in Australia over one hundred years ago. En-route to Sydney, CeCe heads to the one place she has ever felt close to being herself: the stunning beaches of Krabi, Thailand. There amongst the backpackers, she meets the mysterious Ace, a man as lonely as she is and whom she subsequently realises has a secret to hide . . .
A hundred years earlier, Kitty McBride, daughter of an Edinburgh clergyman, is given the opportunity to travel to Australia as the companion of the wealthy Mrs McCrombie. In Adelaide, her fate becomes entwined with Mrs McCrombie’s family, including the identical, yet very different, twin brothers: impetuous Drummond, and ambitious Andrew, the heir to a pearling fortune.
When CeCe finally reaches the searing heat and dusty plains of the Red Centre of Australia, she begins the search for her past. As something deep within her responds to the energy of the area and the ancient culture of the Aboriginal people, her creativity reawakens once more. With help from those she meets on her journey, CeCe begins to believe that this wild, vast continent could offer her something she never thought possible: a sense of belonging, and a home . . .

This was available from: AmazonFishpondBook depository and Paperplus

Happy reading

Monday, 12 February 2018


Author: Joseph Bruchac
ISBN: 9780152064556

Hi Everyone

We are back into our school year here now and my students are off to a great start.  The enthusiasm is great to see, and I am pleased to have them all back on board.  To start the year off I read Sacajawea before assigning it to one of my own kids.  Yes, I still assign books to my kids to read; especially when I have enjoyed one that I think they will enjoy.  This book comes from the Sonlight Curriculum which uses novels as text books.

Sacajawea, by Joseph Bruchac, is one of those books that happened to surprised me.  I was expecting a book all about Sacajawea.... in your face writing about Sacajawea.  Even the cover gives that impression.  I was wrong in such thinking!  Don't judge this book by the cover it gives it no justice.

I felt like I was sitting around a camp fire with William Clark and a child, then in the alternating chapters in a tent watching Sacajawea about her tasks as she talks to the child.  It was an interesting voice to be reading and relating to.  It took me far beyond the story of Sacajawea and into the history of all the participants of the events.  There were highs and lows; freedom, capture, and return to freedom; a balance of good and bad.  The plot was well put together and the characters captured me amongst their stories.

Overall I give this little book a very high rating.  I really enjoyed it.  Maybe that is because it was beyond what I expected, or maybe it was a genuine good read.  I think it was a genuine good read but you read it as see what you think.  Leave me a comment if you have read it and recommend it to other young readers too.


Discover the expedition that put Lewis and Clark on the map, and the remarkable woman who made it possible.

At just seventeen years old, Sacajawea had already been kidnapped, gambled away to a french trader who wanted her for his wife, and was pregnant with her first child.  But her greatest challenge was about to begin.  As Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark started their journey to forge a path from the Mississippi River tot he Pacific Ocean, Sacajawea served as their guide, translator, and peacemaker.  Join these intrepid explorers as they establish trade with Native Americans; navigate uncharted territory; battle wild animals, warrior tribes, and disease; and live to tell the tale.

In alternating chapters told in Captain William Clark's and Sacajawea's voices, with authentic excerpts from Clark's journals, this is the true story of the legendary young woman whose wisdom beyond her years, bold spirit, and bravery made the historic expedition a triumphant success.

This was available from: Sonlight CurriculumAmazonBook depository and Fishpond

Happy reading

Friday, 9 February 2018

Desiderata - Part 6

Hi Everyone,

We did it!  This is the last stanza of Desiderata.  What a beautiful, thought provoking poem. I am pleased I have taken the time to think about each stanza, day by day.  

Now, I leave you with this last work of art.  Be cheerful.  It isn't always easy, life brings it's ups and downs to the table every day.  But at least we can a least try to be a little cheerful each day, after all it is sometimes contagious.

Happy reading

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Desiderata - Part 5

Hi Everyone

What are you being hard on yourself for?  Chill out and let the world unfold around you for just a minute or two.  It may just clear your mind enough to get you through.

We have one more day to go and we have completed Desiderarta!

Happy reading

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Desiderata - Part 4

Hi Everyone,

We are working our way through this terrific piece of literature now.  Part 4, only a couple more days to go.  What do you get from this stanza?  There is quite a bit to think about in this stanza.  One thing that I think we could all take on board from time to time is our imaginings.  How often do we worry about things which never end up happening?  Come on, we all worry far to much!

So relax today, maybe grab a book πŸ˜€

Happy reading

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Desiderata - Part 3

Hi Everyone,

Part 3 of Desiderata we are half way.  

Okay leave me a comment below about what you get from today's stanza.  The main thing that jumps out for me is being not blind to the virtue around you.  My mother always taught me there was something good to see in everyone and everything, sometimes you just had to look hard to find it.  She was a beautiful woman with a beautiful heart and this is one message I remember her always enforcing.  So, if you can't find anything special in today's stanza take away my mothers advice and find something good in someone or something today - even if you have to look hard to find it.

Happy reading

Monday, 5 February 2018

Deiderata - Part 2

Hi Everyone

Today we have Stanza 2 of Desiderata.  How easy it is to compare oneself to another, even as children.  I often hear children comparing themselves with the achievements of others in their classes and activities.  What age do we start the comparison trap?  What age do we intend to end the comparison trap?

Happy reading

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Desiderata - Part 1

Hi Everyone,

I thought it was about time to bring you another poem and while looking through one of my favourite poetry resources, Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorisation by Andrew Pedewa, I found the Desiderata.  I have heard of this before but never looked at it.  I am quite impressed by this piece of poetry but it is quite long. 

So, I thought we could have a stanza a day that way we can ponder the words as they still have as much meaning as they did back in 1927 when it was originally written by Max Ehrmann.

I have also noticed that I haven't told you about the resource, Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorisation, so I will give you a review of that after I have finished bringing you Desiderata πŸ˜€

I leave you now to ponder the words in stanza 1 and wish you all a brilliant day.

Happy reading

Monday, 29 January 2018

Booktuber of the month

Hi Everyone,

I am amazed at how quick January always moves by here.  We have Christmas, New year, school holidays (our summer break) and planning for 2018.  This year we have seen the most beautiful summer in... forever.  Yes, I seriously mean that.  We have had one of the best summers on record.

Anyway, to this this months Booktuber...

I have been scanning through some of the Booktubers who take the time to review children's books too.  There are plenty of Booktubers who review the latest books, especially young adult genre books.  But what about children's books, after all it is children that I teach and I have to say I really enjoy children's literature.

On my travels through the world of Booktubers I have come across Words of a reader and really like her channel.  She seems honest and genuine.  I say this because in this book haul she has even included a Little Golden Library Book.  I smiled with the memory of my Little Golden Library Books.  I still have many of them in my tutoring room and the kids still enjoy reading them - after all these years!

Click any one of the above links and you will be transported over to her Youtube channel.  Do take the time to look in on what she is reviewing, she has quite a wide range of reading.  I like the reviewers who keep their content wide, after all the whole family reads.  I have subscribed to her channel so I can keep checking in on what she has to show us.

Happy reading

Sunday, 28 January 2018


Author: Eleanor H. Porter
ISBN: 978-0786181407

Hi Everyone,

Oh my goodness!  I love this little Gem.

I loved the movie as a child.   I still enjoy the movie.  But the book is the best!

I was impressed by the characters in when compared to the movie.  Most were the same and as I have watched the movie a few times now I was able to almost hear their voices πŸ™…  The only thing that I found different was the way in which Pollyanna loses the ability to walk.  There is no sneaking out to a fair and then falling while climbing back in the window in the novel.  I actually like the novels idea better it kept Pollyanna good, sweet, and innocent in comparison to sneaking out of the house.  Other than that most of the book was the same.  I wonder why movies so regularly take away the innocence of a novel?  I found Pollyanna just a treasure in character and plot, there was no real need to change her/it for a movie... in my opinion anyway.  But, I still love the movie none the less.

Overall, I am so pleased I read this.  I should have read it years ago 😊


"Oh, Aunt Polly, I don't know how to be glad enough that you let me come to live with you!" As soon as the orphaned Pollyanna arrives in Beldingsville to live with her strict and dutiful maiden aunt, she begins to brighten up everybody's life. The sick, the lonely, and the just plain miserable all fall under her spell and are transformed--until one day something so terrible happens that even Pollyanna doesn't know how to feel glad any more. First published in 1913, the tale of Pollyanna and the "glad game," the game of finding a silver lining in every cloud, is one of the most popular and enduring children's stories of all time.

Description from:

This was available from: Amazon

Happy reading

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Today's quote

136 years ago it was different than today 
for the women of the world

Hi Everyone,

Google tells me today is Virginia Woolf's 136th birthday!  Born in 1882...that seems like so long ago and yet her books are still read today.  Isn't that just amazing.

Virginia Woolf was famous for her writing and was also in many movies.  Take a look over at her Wikipedia page, here is the Link.

I read and studied her novel, To the Light House.  I notice it is one which I never reviewed for you.  That may be because I found it quite a 'different' sort of read.  I can remember reading and re-reading trying to get a grasp of what we were studying at the time.  Maybe I should go back a re-read it again, but this time for pleasure.

If you have read To the Light House and enjoyed it, leave me a comment.  If I get inspire by you all I will pick it back up again, and this time review it.

Happy reading

Friday, 19 January 2018

Hollow city

Hollow City
Author: Ranson Riggs

Hi Everyone,

I really enjoyed the first book, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, and I have now finished Hollow City which is the second book in this trilogy.  I kind of cheated and listened to this one, but I am so pleased I did.  The audio was fantastic.

The narration of this audio made the book was just perfect for bringing alive the characters.  I would have done this in my own little mind, but in this case I think the audio did a better job than I would have.  I give credit to the presentation of the audio version which I purchased through Kindle as an add on to the book.

Now to the plot.  Also fantastic!  I have enjoyed both books and where the author is taking me is unstoppable.  I have to read the next one too, I can't be left stranded now.

The presentation is also something that gives this trilogy life.  The characters are very unusual but the pictures, which look like photographs, enable the reader to envision the characters the way he has.  Very clever!  And as for these peculiar little kids I am impressed by the imagination behind the creation of each one.  They all fit into the plot in their own unique way.

Overall, a series I am pleased I didn't disregard, like I was tempted to when I first came across it.  I have enjoyed this book even more than the first, and the movie.


This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine's island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises. Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.

Description taken from:

This was available from: Book depositoryAmazon and Fishpond

Happy reading

Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #2)