Books for Children Classics

The Beautifull Cassandra – Jane Austen


I am 300 pages away from finishing Out, and 200 pages away from finishing The Master and Margarita, so with no book reviews looking likely to occur in the next few days I was looking for something quick and easy to review. I was totally unaware that any picture books by Jane Austen existed, so when I saw this little book amongst my book shop stock I was very intrigued.

It is a short story, which takes only a couple of minutes to read. It was written by Jane Austen when she was about 12-years-old, and tells the story of a young girl who falls in love with a hat and then proudly goes out in to the world.




In this edition the words are accompanied by beautiful pictures, reminiscent of Beatrix Potter, and I have to admit that these are the best part of the book. The words did nothing for me at all. If this had been written by anyone other than Jane Austen it wouldn’t have got anywhere near a printing press. The blurb states that:

It will have particular appeal to children.

I disagree. I don’t believe that children would enjoy this at all. My toddler might enjoy pointing to the frogs, but the words would be completely meaningless to them. I am impressed by the vocabulary of the twelve-year-old Jane Austen, but she still has a long way to go in the plot development area.  

I can only imagine that this book would appeal to Jane Austen fanatics, who are keen to study the development of her language. Anyone else shouldn’t bother to read it, unless you happen to find it in the library.

stars2 (for the illustrations)

If one of your favourite authors releases a book for children do you ever buy it?

Blogging Other

Lurkers – What would make you show your face?


I am very pleased with the number of people who visit my blog each day, but only a tiny proportion ever comment on it. I’m very grateful to those that take the time to comment, but often wonder about those who don’t.

I realise that a large percentage just come via google to read about a single book, and I understand why they wouldn’t be interesting in commenting, but there also must be a large number who follow the blog and don’t show their face.

Do you ever lurk on blogs? I follow 173 blogs and I have to admit that I do not comment on all of them. Some are funny and always seem to have 50+ humorous comments by the time I get there. I don’t feel I can match their quality, so I just enjoy reading them. Some are technical (I don’t even understand some of the comments!), so although I sometimes thank them for providing information, I often just lurk. Then there are a lot of book blogs where I probably don’t comment very often. This is probably because they are reading a different genre of book to me (eg. science fiction) so I normally just skim them in case they have a useful blogging post. Is it wrong to lurk?, Should you at least let the blogger know you are there and appreciate their writing?

Was there a period of time when you first started blogging where you read without commenting? If so, what was it that made you decide to comment for the first time? I started commenting on blogs almost as soon as I discovered them. As soon as I found blogs covering the books I loved I was away!

I’d love to hear your comments on this, and whether you think there is anything we can do to get those lurkers out of the woodwork?

Are you a lurker on this blog? If so, why don’t you comment?

What do you think I could do to encourage lurkers to show their faces?

I look forward to hearing all your thoughts!


May Summary and June Reading Plans

May has been a record breaking month for me. I read a massive 14 books!! They covered a complete range from Home, which I admit I didn’t finish, to Wilderness which managed to secure one of my rare 5 stars. I managed to complete the Orange short list, and look forward to finding out who wins on Wednesday. Overall it was a very productive month!

Burnt Shadows – Kamila Shamsie stars3h

The Post-Birthday World– Lionel Shriver  stars4

2666– Roberto Bolaño. Part 1: The Part About the Critics stars3h

The Room of Lost Things – Stella Duffy  stars3

Molly Fox’s Birthday – Deirdre Madden stars3h

Home – Marilynne Robinson  stars1

The Wilderness – Samantha Harvey  stars51

Best Intentions – Emily Listfield  stars4

Half of a Yellow Sun– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie  stars4h

Gilead– Marilynne Robinson  stars21

Theory of War – Joan Brady stars4

The Invention of Everything Else – Samantha Hunt stars21

The Little Stranger – Sarah Waters stars4

Midnight’s Children– Salman Rushdie stars3h


 Audio Book

Salmon Fishing in the Yemon
– Paul Torday stars3


Reading plans for June

I actually hope to read less books in June, as my husband will hopefully be at home and not away on business. This means I can spend more time with him and go out in the evening with my friends sometimes.

I am currently half way through The Master and Margarita, Out and Outlander. It is unusual for me to have so many books on the go at once, but I can’t take The Master and Margarita in the bath with me (regular readers know I like to read in the bath every day!) and I accidentally read the first few pages of Out, then couldn’t stop!! It is really good – possibly a contender for 5 stars? All books are reasonably long, so it might be a few days before I finish one.

I am then going to continue working my way through the list of books recommended by you, stopping occasionally to read a new book or two!

I’ve also just received my copy of  The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas from New Zealand. It won the Commonwealth Writers prize a few weeks ago and looks really good.

Did any of the books I read in May appeal to you?

Are you planning to read any of books I’ve mentioned in June?

I hope you had a great May, and wish you all the best for June!!