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Weekly update: 20th August, 2017

What I’ve been reading

This week I’ve been reading A Monster by Violet by Laura Wake. I couldn’t put it down. It is so good. The review on the front says, ‘I actually held my breath,’ which is exactly what I found myself doing.

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When I’d finished reading, I didn’t want to go straight into another novel, so I started Gary Duncan’s short story collection You’re Not Supposed To Cry. My plan was to read a couple of stories and then move on to a novel, but once you’ve read one story in this collection, you have to read more. I was hooked.

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What I’ve been watching

The BBC programmes on India, Pakistan and partition have been incredibly moving. I ended up in tears most nights. One of my friends also shared her family’s experience of partition with me. I felt ignorant that I didn’t know much about it, and wanted to learn more, so obviously turned to books. I added three to my to read pile: Where the River Parts by Radhika Swarup; A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry; and, of course, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children. 

What I’ve been blogging

Not a lot this week, or for a while, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about Cosy Corner Books and where I’d like to take it. For a long time, I’ve had to juggle the blog alongside my English literature degree, so haven’t had enough time to blog or read anything other than the set texts. Now the degree is over, I have more time to read and to blog. We’ll see how it goes.

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Weekly update: 15th January 2017

Finishing my assignment on 1930s poetry took most of the past week. I managed to fit studying in between work and running training, and really enjoyed writing the essay, even though I found it hard.

It’s always a great feeling to hand an assignment in. That’s three down and four to go before I finally finish my degree in English Literature. After six years, the end is in sight – almost.

I started reading Fell by Jenn Ashworth. I’ve only read a few chapters but know this is going to be a great book. I’m hooked.

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I also started reading Unfuck your habitat by Rachel Hoffman.

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Chris found it hilarious that I’ve bought a book about tidying up. But he’ll not be laughing for long. I’ve only read the prologue and already I’ve taken something on board. Cleaning, so the book says, should not be done marathon style. It should be done little and often. I’ve always been in the marathon camp, but since reading the first few pages, I’ve changed my habits. I’ve been doing little things daily, and I’m hopeful that these little changes will have a BIG impact. I will keep you posted.

The books I ordered arrived, so I’m looking forward to reading them. They will be featured on the Mumsnet book club during 2017, which is where I discovered them.

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In my own writing, I’ve done very little this week because of the assignment. I continued working on a short story during my lunch break at work, but apart from that, there wasn’t time. This does frustrate me, especially when I have deadlines coming up, but it couldn’t be helped. I’ll make up for it next week.

We’ve been watching Silent Witness and Sherlock. Every time I watch Silent Witness I’m fascinated with the script and how it is written. I’d love to get into scriptwriting. I have no idea how to do this, and probably don’t have time, but when have I ever let that stop me!

In other news, I took part in a local 5,000m track race, finishing first female, and wrote a blog about it on http://www.championrunning.co.uk. I also had a makeup and hair trial for my wedding, so that was exciting.

This week, I have three long days at work, including a coaching and mentoring two-day training course. I have, however, booked a day’s annual leave on Friday, so will be setting time aside for reading and writing then.

Have a good week.

Liz x

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Weekly update 12-18 December

With only one week to go until Christmas I decided it was probably best to start my shopping. So, on Saturday, Chris and I spent the afternoon and evening hunting for presents in Meadowhall, also known as Meadowhell, or Murderhall, depending on how you feel.

Waterstone’s was the first stop. I love buying books for my friends and family. I’m not sure if they like receiving them year after year, for Christmas and birthdays and Mother’s Day and any other celebration, but they should.

Time wasn’t on our side, so instead of spending ages browsing the shelves, I was in and out in about 20 minutes. It was a record. My basket was full of books for other people (good choices too), but I couldn’t Continue reading

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The week in books (6-12 June 2016)

Now that my exams are over I’m looking forward to a summer of reading. I’ve got lots of novels, memoirs and short stories on my to read pile. Before I start blogging about these books, I wanted to update you on last week.

What a good week it was!

On Tuesday I finished my exam on the nineteenth century novel, part of my English Literature degree. I’m pleased to say it went really well. We celebrated by having a meal out and booking a holiday in the sun. Chris and I have been very busy lately, so we’re looking forward to a week’s holiday. Chris is also a keen reader, so there will be lots of reading.

The first book I picked up after my exam was Continue reading

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The week in books

The weeks are going too quickly. It’s now only two weeks until my exam. I wish time would slow down a bit, just so I can do the necessary revision.

Over the last week I have completed and passed (hurrah!) my final assignment for my literature degree, had my dad’s birthday party (more small gathering really) and taken part in a few running races. Here are a few pics from the small gathering. Olivia had spent most of the day being creative and decorating the door.

I’ve been writing and blogging here Continue reading

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The week in books

Hope you’re having a good start to the week. Normally, on a Monday evening I would be out running, but seeing as though I have a race this week, I’m having a day off! In fact, we both are. I’m updating my book blog, and Chris is reading the paper. Then we are both going to spend the evening reading!

So, here’s a quick update about last week.

What I’ve been reading

I’m still in the nineteenth century. Last week my focus was on The Woman in White, Madame Bovary and Heart of Darkness.

What I’ve been writing

Essays, essays and more essays. They are taking over my life. However, I am managing to work on my book. I’ve set myself a target of 500 words a day. I’ve also been blogging here, and on my running and wedding blogs.

What I’ve been watching

I’ll admit that I’ve not quite given up TV. We’ve been enjoying Undercover, Line of Duty, and the OJ Simpson programme that’s now finished. On Saturday night we also watched a Liam Neeson film, but not the one where he has a particular set of skills, another one, where he didn’t so much want the skills he had – being an assassin! Chris has just informed me it was called Unknown. We fell asleep before the ending, but that’s not a reflection on Liam!

What I’ve been buying (book shopping)

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I couldn’t resist some book buying when my Mum and I went shopping. I bought The Loney, which I’ve already told you about, The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma, The Seed Collectors by Scarlett Thomas, and Louis de Bernieres The Dust that Falls from Dreams.

The Fishermen is set in a small town in Western Nigeria. I may have mentioned before that I love African literature. I seem to be drawn to it. Anyway, four young brothers use their strict father’s absence from home to go fishing at a forbidden local river. They encounter a dangerous local madman who predicts that the older brother will be killed by another. This prophecy breaks their strong bond and unleashes a tragic chain of events of almost mythic proportions. I can’t wait to get started.

I bought The Seed Collectors because I’m a fan of Scarlett Thomas’s writing. I absolutely loved The End of Mr Y.

This coming week I will be reading The Awakening. I’ve also just had an email from my Comma Press short story tutor who’s told the group to go mad this month and read as many short stories as possible. I will certainly do my best.

What are you reading this week?

Happy reading

Liz

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The week in books

I’ve got some fantastic books and short stories to read this week. Most of them are for my Open University degree in English Literature.

Exams and final assessments are happening within the next seven weeks, so there will be lots of books to revise and re-read. I’m not quite there yet, so need to have this week focusing on the final part of the module. This will involve reading Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and re-reading Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, which I studied years ago when I was at university the first time round.

Away from the nineteenth-century novel module, I will be reading a collection of short stories from the Bridport Prize, 2002. I’m hoping to read at least one a day, just as a break from the heavy reading and revising of my course.

I’ve got a huge pile of books I want to read, but can’t start yet until my university reading is out of the way. Needless to say, I’m getting ready for finishing the module. I’m pleased we’re down to the final few weeks.

What’s on your reading pile this week?

Happy reading

Liz x