Friday, 25 March 2016

Healthy Speedy Suppers

Healthy Speedy Suppers
Author: Katriona MacGregor


Friday, 18 March 2016

Goal after goal, what one next?

I have been busy researching for one of my last assignments.  Its a year of lasts and new beginnings will follow, so I thought today I would search for a BrainyQuote.  I love BrainyQuotes they have a new quote up each day and many of them speak to my inner being.

Today as I look up from my own writing I think of the goals ahead of me.  Without goals I think little would be accomplished.  What do you think?  Do you set goals and do they help you move forward?  Leave a comment below. 

If you want a bit of daily inspiration pop on over to BrainyQuotes at

Other wise go read a book and relax... Its the weekend!

Happy reading


Sunday, 13 March 2016

Miracles on Maple Hill

Miracles on Maple Hill
Author: Virginia Sorensen
ISBN: 978-0-15-204718-4
Pages: 232

Hi Everyone,

In some ways, this book reminded me of 'The Little House on the Prairie', but it had its merits beyond such books.  Marly and Joe were given brilliant characterisations as they fought and grizzled just as children do today.  We all laughed along the way as the characters sounded like one sibling or another in our house.  Marly and Joe both had strengths of character that we were able to talk about and character references around.  I also enjoyed the fact that the adults were not conceived as perfect either.  The father had his issues obtained from the war; mother tried to keep things together for the family; the hermit was far from clean, yet the family learnt to look past this to his character and needs, and Mr Chris, who was the strength of the book has a heart attack. 

As the book goes from climax to climax, the characters developed bonds that strengthened a community.  Miracle after miracle connects each season to the lives of the families.  We had a discussion on the climax and decided there were three.  Having more than one climax kept interest in a story that would have easily become predictable. 

The biggest strength of this book was the imagery.  Every season had its beauty, and the author showed this with words that impressed us all as I read aloud.  There were several parts of the book that I had to repeat because the wording was rich in detail.  Perhaps this is because the book was classic first published in 1956.  Whether it is due to the period of its publishing or not the author was brilliant in her 'showing' of the Maple Hill's beauty. 

Overall this book is beautiful.  The characters, wording and vocabulary, and the story are all gentle and beautiful. 

If you want to use this book as a study resource for classrooms you can get study notes from Centre For Lit at  There is a small charge, but they are well worth the value.


The war is over and Marly's father is home - but he's not the same  Something inside him seems as cold and dead as the winter world outside  But when the family moves to Grandma's old house on Maple Hill, miracles begin to happen.  The sap in the trees begins to rise; the leaves start to turn, and maybe, just maybe, Marly's father will begin to bloom again, like the world around them. 

The winner of the Newbery Medal, this wise and moving classic is a story of children and parents and the miracles of nature.

Happy reading


This was available from: Book depository, Fishpond and Amazon


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

In search of answers


Worthy of repeating!

I had to show this quote that came to my Facebook page this week.  I love cats.  They never fail to show their personalities.  If you want to know a cat with personality, then you should be introduced by my cat, "Kitty'.  When I saw this quote I had to laugh.  I could just imagine my cat reading my copy of 'To Kill a Mocking Bird' in search of the same answers.  She is a keen hunter and we have to keep her inside until the sun is fully up or she torments all the birds.  To find new ways to achieve her one life calling, above eating, I think she would learn to read. 
This quote links  a fantastic book with one of my favourite books, so it had to become my worthy of repeating for this week.  Thanks for sharing this around the Facebook world and beyond for those out there that can connect with the possibility of such a thing, and laugh
Keep smiling and reading


Monday, 7 March 2016

Nothing Gold can Stay

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leafs a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Robert Frost


Hi Everyone,
I got talking to a friend about what we could remember from English class, which wasn't yesterday.  It was funny the things we remembered, and we were amazed by the things we just couldn't remember even touching on.   I am sure we should have been taught how to write an essay, but neither of us could recall that day in class. 
The one thing that never left my memory was poetry.  My favourite was 'Nothing Gold Can Stay'.  I don't know what my teacher did with this poem but it stayed me.  It touched my imagination and the metaphor of life reached beyond any imagination I had.  It remains one of my favourite poems to this very day.  Every word is etched in my memory, standing the test of time.
To all the teachers out there that think their students are coming to school for lunch.  Maybe you will be the teacher that can etch just one thing upon the mind of an unsuspecting child/young adult.  And they will talk of you in time to come.
Keep teaching English and literature to the young people of today!
Happy reading


Thursday, 3 March 2016

Hidden Treasures

Hidden Treasures
Author: Fern Britton
ISBN: 978-0-00-73672-1
Pages: 387

This book is an absolute delight!  I was given this book by an aunt, who also loves to read.  She often hands me a book over a cup of tea.  This one came at just the right time, summer break.  Now my break included a university paper, crazy I know.  So, this book kept me sane throughout the last few weeks of the paper. 
The plot was brilliant.  It was by no means a heavy hard read, quite to opposite.  I looked forward to the time of day when I could curl up back in Pendruggan with Helen and her friends.  The characters each made me angry at some point in the story.  But, they all had their qualities, even Helen's ex-husband who I could have thrown my coffee on if he had stepped out of the book.  He was beyond any character I have come across, and I cannot tell you how it would be a 'spoiler'.  Read it and leave me a comment below about what you thought of him.  Then there was the innocent vicar.  He made me smile.  Every book needs a character like Reverend Simon, who had his faults in a crazy way.  As for Piran, well talk about full of himself yet crazy and mess up in his own little way.  Then there is Penny, I can't even start to tell you about Penny and her hyped up personality.  All the characters had their charms and merits which I connected to in different ways.  It was what made the book so enjoyable to read.
For a light-hearted read this is the one for the month of March. 
Helen Merrifield decides to put her ex-husband behind her and start afresh in the idyllic Cornish village of Pendruggan.  Throwing herself into local life, Helen is surprised to find herself the object of two very different men's attention - rather desperate Vicar, and the dark and brooding local historian, Piran. 
Meanwhile, Helen's best friend, Penny decides that the village is the perfect setting for  her new TV series.  When cast and crew descend, the community is thrown into a tizzy, but Helen has her hands full fending of her philandering ex, who seems determined to charm his way back into her bed. 
Should Helen hold on to the past? Or will a Cornish Christmas give her something new to treasure?
This was available from: Fishpond, Amazon and Book depository