Tuesday, 25 May 2010

The Gallery - Friendship

I have had a couple of week's off The Gallery but new immediately when I saw this week's prompt that I wanted to take part. My friends are really important to me and I am so lucky that I have so many wonderful friends. We are spread quite far and wide (luckily I have some on my doorstep too!) and each time I spend time (both physically and on-line-ally)with my friends I feel all warm and fuzzy and know how lucky I am.

My girls seem to be like me and love spending time with others - there are few things more lovely than watching your kids making new friends and building relationships.

My picture this week was taken at one of the 4 parties my 7yo attended after her recent First Holy Communion - This was the class party and my word did they have fun?! It was lovely to see all the children mixing and just having enormous fun- a memory I'm sure they will always have. I remember my First Holy Communion party, do you?

The first picture shows the little ladies chatting (my little girl is the one with the yellow dress and the drink in her hand - just like her mother!!) I love how happy she is suurounded by her friends.

I especially love the sencond picture which was just moments later when the scene descended into mayhem with boys doing what they do best - having fun and climbing!

Book Review - Mister Teacher - Jack Sheffield

The last book review I did followed on from an author event I recently attended. Me being me decided that I had to order not 1 but 2 of the author's books and I have just finished the second.

The first book in the series was a hit and I expected more of the same from the second - and I got it. These are easy to read books but not necessarily speedy reads. Again there were elements of the books that had me laughing out loud (I cannot bring myself to say 'LOL' Ugh!)

By now the Headteacher is well settled into life in Ragley Village (A fictional village but the stories are based loosely on the author's real life as a Headteacher)
Most of the old characters appear along with some new ones - The lady who runs the Newsagent is brill!

There is an off and on love saga with Beth and some rivlary between her and her sister, Laura. I know it sounds like a contradiction but the love interest is what I kept reading for but also the bit that irritated me somewhat. I won't spoil the story but there is a cracking cliffhanger at the end (and yes, I will be reading the 3rd book) but I find myself wanting to say to Jack to bin Beth off - she's messing you about. I bet he won't listen!

All in all, another great read!

What's next? 2 more author events and reviews of Della Says: OMG by the delightful Keris Stainton and Like Bees to Honey by the lovely Caroline Smailes

Since I wrote this post I have received an e-mail from Jack Shefield himself (squeal!). He thanked me for the review and said I had the measure of the Jack, Beth and Laura scenario and to watch this space - who knows perhaps he might listen to the voice of reason?! I am now even more determined to get book 3 and see how the story continues! Oh well another book to add to the TBR pile(s)

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

The Return and the books in my life

A massive gap between blogging I know, but I am back (AGAIN!) Real life really does seem to get in the way of this blogging lark but thats the way I'd always have it be. Lots of exciting things have happened in Casa Costello over the last month (to be blogged at a later date!)

As a result, reading and potential book reviews have really suffered so the book reviews for April are I'm afraid pitiful!

Zoe Heller - The Believers

A none finisher I'm sad to say ... I tried, I really did but just couldn't get to grips with this book. I couldn't even get any sort of story out of it but maybe that would have come together at the end. I felt I was just reading about a family set in current times that I just couldn't get to know and ultimately care for. Just words.

Teacher Teacher - Jack Sheffield

Every now and again, we attend author events at our local library and this was the last one. Jack Sheffield's stories are based on diaries detailing his life and work as a Headteacher in the wonderful North of Yorkshire. The school in question is set in the fictional place of Ragley and the characters are loosely based on people everyone of us must know. The front cover says that if you like Gervase Phinn, you will love these books. I have read Gervase Phinn and enjoyed them but feel Jack's books are better. There seems to be more about him as a human rather than just the job - and you find yourself wanting to know how things turn out. I have heard critisisms of this style of book that the anecdotes feel a little forced and how can things turn out so well - I like to look through that and think of it as clever writing. There are really humurous points in this first book (I think he is currently writing his 5th in the series) - Anyone who doesn't laugh aloud at 'Tonso Lighthouse' is a misery! I am half way through the second book in the series, Mister Teacher and enjoying that too. Hurrah!

Next book reviews = More Jack Sheffield and a concerted effort to reduce that TBR pile!