Book review

The Witches are flying …

pumpkin lantern

It is Halloween and tonight the witches will grab their brooms and zoom across the dark, chilled sky. So what better than to put on your snuggly socks, grab a warming drink of tea in your favourite mug, and read a spooky book. Though, try not to jump when there is a knock on the door…

        Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

book tea witch

Witches play an important part of Halloween and there is a wide range of books based on them. One of my favourites is Deborah Harkness’ Discovery of Witches. I loved the protagonist, Diana Bishop. As an academic studying alchemy she gets sucked into a world of vampires, witches and demons when Matthew enters her life along with a mystical, bewitched book. The existence of these creatures comes to no surprise to this strong character because she comes from a long line of witches, though she turned her back on magic years before and refuses to have it in her life. Deborah Harkness description of Oxford’s All Souls College and the Bodleian Library attracts the inner bibliophile as you want to experience the atmosphere yourself. The developing, forbidden relationship between Diana and vampire, Matthew makes you unable to just read one chapter at a time. The collection of characters you meet remain with you long after you close the book for the final time. Some you love, admire and respect while others make your blood boil as they enter a scene. The trilogy grabs you into a journey of discovery of self, love, prejudice and a world through time. It will leave you wanting more.


Father Christmas came ….

FC books snuggly

I hope you all had a very happy Christmas.

Father Christmas arrived  with lots of snuggly goodies. He must have heard my moans as my favourite socks were marmalized by a pair of naughty puppies 😦 and others have lost their friends. I think a couple of furry creatures have helped there too and one day I will stumble over their sock hoard.

I have socks of all types. Snuggly ones, bright ones, toasty thermal ones and even  a posh pair of woollen ones which I need to be careful washing otherwise they will be Jack Russell size.

hanging socks snuggly

I have amazingly soft Celtic Co. handwarmers to keep my hands warm as well as a pair of their super snuggly sheepskin slippers in a delightful, cheerful red which is like wearing a little part of Christmas all year round. I love their products and have been secretly wanting a pair of their handwarmers for ages but it has always seem to indulgent to justify so I was so delighted when I opened up this parcel.

slippers snuggly

My feet and hands will be warm and cosy for cold wintery days the weatherman keeps promising. I did not receive any books but thanks to the lovely mobile library man I have Marian Keyes latest book, The Woman who stole my Life to curl up with whilst eating turkey butties and indulging in other festive treats. My ideal of heaven!!!


Hospital blues and unexpected delights.


Over the weekend I ended up being admitted to hospital. On the plus side, I am lucky to be in the most lovliest ward of all. The staff are lovely and it has a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of happy chatter around. When you wake in  the  night they will bring you a proper cup of tea which tastes of heaven.
It has been a few days of snuggly socks, a not so comfy bed and herbal teas especially my favourite Whittards baked apple tea (tea on from the trolley has alot to be desired as I doubt it sees a teabag). Not so much reading has occurred but I discovered a hidden delight on my phone.
Yonks ago I downloaded Deborah Harkness’ Discovery of Witches audio book, one of my favourite fantasy trilogies  set in Oxford, France and Massachusetts . It invokes images and senses in your head that takes you into the Bodleian library and the supernatural journey beyond.  I love the protagonist, Diana Bishop. As an academic studying alchemy she gets sucked into a world of vampires, witches and demons. The existence of these creatures comes to no surprise to this strong character as she comes from a long line of witches though she turned her back on magic and refuses to have it in her life. The chance recall of an old manuscript and meeting of Matthew, an ancient vampire throw her and the reader into a story that is well written with memorable characters who each have their own histories to contend with. They are well-developed. It is not on the same ilk as other vampire novels eg the Twilight series.

I do not usually like audio books as I get irritated by the speed of the narrator and some of their accents. I thought this would be the case but once I got used to the narrator’s voice, it has been a pleasure to listen to. It takes you away from your environment on rich story entwining myth, legends, history and the present.
I have listened to 20 hours so far and think the rest will keep me content and company for the rest of my stay especially at night when everyone is sleeping or snoring. It helps you ignore your worries, lack of Christmas preparation which were going to be done this week and undone chores deserted at home. A little bit of sanity on my phone.

Today will be an eclectic clothes day as my husband packed my
bag. We have a red t-shirt, pink snuggly cardie, blue  leggings and purple socks. They definitely won’t miss me on the tea round.