Monday 16 February 2015

It's Monday!

Happy Monday!

Before I see the movie, I need to read the book....which is a problem when the book is a huge chunkster! But never let it be said that I shied away from a challenge!
Seeing this particular movie has become even more desirable since I found out that 'you know nothing' Jon Snow (aka Kit Harington) is the young male lead!

This week I've decide it's time to get started on it...

Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain

In 1914 Vera Brittain was 20, and as war was declared she was preparing to study at Oxford. Four years later her life - and the life of her whole generation - had changed in a way that would have been unimaginable in the tranquil pre-war era. 

TESTAMENT OF YOUTH, one of the most famous autobiographies of the First World War, is Brittain's account of how she survived those agonising years; how she lost the man she loved; how she nursed the wounded and how she emerged into an altered world. 

A passionate record of a lost generation, it made Vera Brittain one of the best-loved writers of her time, and has lost none of its power to shock, move and enthral readers since its first publication in 1933.

I'm sure this beast of a book will keep me going all week, but if some lighter relief is called for I have a pile of YA books to dip into including: 

Back to Blackbrick by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

Cosmo's brother Brian died when he was ten years old. His mum hides her grief by working all the hours God sends and Cosmo lives with his grandparents. 
They've been carefree days as Granddad buys him a horse called John and teaches him all he knows about horses.

 But the good times have to come to an end and although he doesn't want to admit it, Cosmo knows his Granddad is losing his mind. So on one of the rare occasions when Granddad seems to recognise him, Cosmo is bemused that he gives him a key to Blackbrick Abbey and urges him to go there. 
Cosmo shrugs it off, but gradually Blackbrick draws him in...

Cosmo arrives there, scared and lonely, and is dropped off at the crumbling gates of a huge house. As he goes in, the gates close, and when he turns to look, they're rusty and padlocked as if they haven't been opened in years. 

Cosmo finds himself face to face with his grandfather as a young man, and questions begin to form in his mind: can Cosmo change the course of his family's future?

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo’s first published novel, like Winn-Dixie himself, immediately proved to be a keeper — a New York Times bestseller, a Newbery Honor winner, the inspiration for a popular film, and most especially, a cherished classic that touches the hearts of readers of all ages.

The summer Opal and her father, the preacher, move to Naomi, Florida, Opal goes into the Winn-Dixie supermarket--and comes out with a dog. A big, ugly, suffering dog with a sterling sense of humor. A dog she dubs Winn-Dixie. 

Because of Winn-Dixie, the preacher tells Opal ten things about her absent mother, one for each year Opal has been alive. 
Winn-Dixie is better at making friends than anyone Opal has ever known, and together they meet the local librarian, Miss Franny Block, who once fought off a bear with a copy of WAR AND PEACE. 
They meet Gloria Dump, who is nearly blind but sees with her heart, and Otis, an ex-con who sets the animals in his pet shop loose after hours, then lulls them with his guitar.

Opal spends all that sweet summer collecting stories about her new friends and thinking about her mother. But because of Winn-Dixie or perhaps because she has grown, Opal learns to let go, just a little, and that friendship—and forgiveness—can sneak up on you like a sudden summer storm.

The Door that Led to Where by Sally Gardner

 AJ Flynn has just failed all but one of his GCSEs, and his future is looking far from rosy. So when he is offered a junior position at a London law firm he hopes his life is about to change - but he could never have imagined by how much.

Tidying up the archive one day, AJ finds an old key, mysteriously labelled with his name and date of birth - and he becomes determined to find the door that fits the key. 

And so begins an amazing journey to a very real and tangible past - 1830, to be precise - where the streets of modern Clerkenwell are replaced with cobbles and carts, and the law can be twisted to suit a villain's means. 

Although life in 1830 is cheap, AJ and his friends quickly find that their own lives have much more value. They've gone from sad youth statistics to young men with purpose - and at the heart of everything lies a crime that only they can solve. But with enemies all around, can they unravel the mysteries of the past, before it unravels them?

A fast-paced mystery novel by one of the country's finest writers, THE DOOR THAT LED TO WHERE will delight, surprise and mesmerise all those who read it.

The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

The spiral has existed as long as time has existed.

It's there when a girl walks through the forest, the moist green air clinging to her skin. There centuries later in a pleasant greendale, hiding the treacherous waters of Golden Beck that take Anna, who they call a witch. 
There on the other side of the world as a mad poet watches the waves and knows the horrors the hide, and far into the future as Keir Bowman realises his destiny.

Each takes their next step in life. None will ever go back to the same place. And so, their journeys begin...

The Head of the Saint by Socorro Acioli
After walking for days across the harsh Brazilian landscape only to be rejected by his last living relative, Samuel finds his options for survival are dwindling fast - until he comes to the hollow head of a statue, perfect for a boy to crawl into and hide...

Whilst sheltering, Samuel realises that he can hear the villagers' whispered prayers to Saint Anthony - confessing lost loves, hopes and fears - and he begins to wonder if he ought to help them out a little. 
When Samuel's advice hits the mark he becomes famous, and people flock to the town to hear about their future loves. But with all the fame comes some problems, and soon Samuel has more than just the lovelorn to deal with. 

A completely charming and magically told Brazilian tale, sure to capture your heart.

I jumped on board a fun getting-to-know-you meme going around the book blogging world at the moment called I Moustache You Some Questions. If you'd like to join in simply visit my link and copy the questions to your own blog.

What will you be reading this week?

This post is part of It's Monday! What Am I Reading?


  1. What an array of books on your list! I read so many which are similarly themed that I feel guilty when I see what others are reading!


    1. Working in a bookshop spoils me for diversity & choice!

  2. I should read Winn Dixie. Kate is a Minnesota author after all:)

  3. I've always been like you too, always read the book before the movie! Winn Dixie is a good one, and oh, I haven't heard of Testament of Youth! It sounds really good! Sometimes it is very intimidating to read lengthier books for sure.

  4. Kit Harrington fangirl ... loved 'seeing' him in Pompeii even though the movie was a dud lol. PS started on audio of The Brain that Changes Itself. Have a great week and happy reading :)

    1. Lovely to see one of my recommendations beig picked up by someone else. Hope you find it fascinating too:-)

  5. The head of the Saint sounds good, I might look into that I bit more,

    Have a great reading week,
    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

    1. I've actually started reading it during my lunch breaks this week -it's amazing. The blurb does it no justice at all. Also includes stunning woodcut style illustrations at the beginning of each chapter.

  6. Is Testament of Youth the movie you are talking about? Never heard of it, but we're a bit slow up here in the country you know. I'm going to see Mr Turner in the next couple of days.

    Of your books, I've only read Winn-Dixie- it's lovely. I don't think I"ve actually heard of any of the others actually.

    1. Yes, Testament of Youth. It's release in Australia coincides with Anzac Day Louise, but the trailers have been running here since before Christmas.

      All the kids book are from favourite authors of mine, except The Head of a Saint which is completely unknown to me. But it's the one I've started to read during my lunch breaks this week and it's quite amazing.

    2. I really should get to the movies more... But they probably didn't play it before Paddington and Into the Woods I guess. I'll be looking forward to your review of Head of a Saint.

  7. I'd love to read Testament of Youth! Enjoy your books this week :)

  8. I'll go see anything with "Lord" Jon Snow!

  9. The Brazilian tale sounds like an accident waiting to happen ! Enjoy :)

    Here's my MM POST

  10. Oh yes, Winn-Dixie. skip the movie completely and just spend the time rereading the book again!

  11. I've never heard of Testament of Youth, but it sounds like an important read! I am always on the lookout for good non-fiction.


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