Currently I'm reading: Jenseits vom Tatort by Horst Brandt

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Peggy Farooqi
Mum of 3 (1994, 1995, 1998)- born in East Germany --lived in UK/ Kent since 1993 -- studied criminology -- love reading / writing / travelling / needlecraft 
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Peggy Farooqi is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.

27 April 2014
The Sunday Post



This is is Meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer and here are the rules.

It is your chance to re-cap your bookish week, what did your review last week, any new purchases, what will be coming up in your blog next week or generally anything you feel you would like to share with the blogging community.



So, what did I do last week?


I'm putting this post together on Tuesday, as I'll be on vacation by the time of the next Sunday post, and I'm not sure if I will have Internet access. I'm not bringing my laptop, but I now hubby will, so I may or may not alter the post. 

It's been so nice being off work for a few days, and for the first time since blogging, I am actually managing to pre-schedule posts :) 

Other than that… my 18 year old son is a big Games of Thrones Fan (the TV series). He is dyslexic so struggles with reading, but yesterday asked me if I can get the Games of Thrones book for him to read, which made me really happy. Had a look in Waterstones today, wow, they are seriously big books. They had book 1-5 in a set which was £65. Well, I'm not sure if he can actually stick with it, and a big book like that is too threatening to him :) 


On the blog last week

Reviews:



Memes / Features:




Finish / Start

Finish:


Wherewolves by John Vamvas/Olga Montes

Start:

Trial of Love by Christina OW
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


Around the blogosphere/ bookish news





Added to my stash

Received for review:

Cats, Scarves and Liars by Kathryn White 


(I love the cute cover!)

Hollow Shotguns by Khalid Patel



Freebies download on Kindle
(check before downloading with 1-click to see if still free!)
A couple of non-fiction books for me


Walk it off:Walking to lose weight by Emily Stanford


Creating your plan for weight loss success by P.Seymour



What I'm planning for the blog next week

Reviews:


Wherewolves by John Vamvas/Olga Montes

Lanzarote Marco Polo Travel Guide

Bag of Bones by Stephen King

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Review of Newbooks Magazine Issue 81 May/June


Memes / Features:

First Chapter First Paragraph Intro hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea and Teaser Tuesday at MizB at Should Be Reading: Trial of Love by Christina OW


Feature & Follow

Have a Great Week my bookish Friends :)
Peggy x 






26 April 2014



I'm sure you agree with me … the Internet certainly has completely changed my reading experience and reading habits (for the better definitely). Yes, I do spend too much time browsing the Internet. Since becoming a book blogger, it is mainly other blogs and the links they take me to.

I would like to ask you to share your favourite bookish news websites you browse regularly. Here are a few of mine:




This is, of course, an open list, no value attached to any of them, just a few sides I like to browse on a regular basis. Please feel free to add yours.

Peggy x 
25 April 2014


Feature and Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Head over to their blogs to check them out. 

Feature and Follow is exactly what it says… a weekly feature of two chosen blogs, and a question or a task for us to participate in. 


This week's featured blogs are : Literary Escapism               
so check them out as well

The aim is to get new followers to your blog and, of course, follow other blogs out there and get to know other bloggers, browse their blogs, leave comments and find stuff which interests you. For me, apart from books of course, this is what book blogging is all about - connect with others and chat about our favourite hobby.

The rules are all explained here in detail by Parajunkee.


This weeks question:
Have any pets? Tell us or show us!

Aww, can't wait to check out everyone's blogs on this one. So, here we go:

I have 1 dog and 5 cats.

Our dog Bonnie is a labrador, she is now 8 years old. 

This photo is probably about 4 years old or so, here is Bonnie with my daughter Ruby (right) and her best friend Natasha. 

Our 5 cats are:

Uncle Raja (10 years old)
My husband rescued him from the grounds of the college where he was working at the time. 


Honey and Candy are sisters from the same litter, they are now 8 years old.



Medway, 5 years old.
My husband rescued him as a kitten from the grounds of the hospital where he still works, and he is named after the hospital (can you see a theme going on here with my husband and bringing home kittens!) He is the most placid cat and big friends with Bonnie the dog. 





And our pretty boy :) , Arlo who is 3 years old. 
He actually has some pedigree blood in him, he is half Siamese / half Russian Blue. We got him from a friend of mine who changed jobs which meant lots of travelling so she couldn't look after him any more. 



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24 April 2014



Title
Londonstani
Author
Gautam Malkani
Publisher
Fourth Estate
Publication Date
2006
Pages
343
Genre
Novel

Blurb:  
Londonstani, Gautam Malkani's electrifying debut, exposes a city where young Asians struggle with white boys to assert their own, singular brands of Britishness.
Set close to the Heathrow feed roads of Hounslow  Malkani shows us the lives of a gang of four young men: Hardjit the ring leader, a Sikh, violent, determined his caste say pure; Ravi, determinedly tactless, a sheep following the herd; Amit, whose brother Arun is struggling for the approval of their devout Hindu mother for his Hindu bride-to-be; and Jas who tells us of his journey with these three, desperate to win their approval, desperate too for Samina, a Muslim girl, which in this story can only have bad consequences. Together they cruise the streets in Amit's souped-up Beemer, making a little money on stolen mobile phones, a scam that leads them into more dangerous terrain.
Funny, crude, disturbing, written in the vibrant language of its protagonists - a mix of slang, texting, Panjabi and bastardised gangsta rap - Londonstani is a bout many things: tribalism, integration, cross-cultural chirpsing techniques, bling bling economics, 'complicated family shit'.


The story about young Asians in London sounded very intriguing to me straight away. I'm interesting in Asian culture and how 'second or third/forth generation Asian children cope with living in the Western World and having traditional parents at home. (In common language, if you refer to Asians in the UK - it refers to Indian/Pakistani rather than other Asians i.e. Japanese etc). The word Londonstani refers in Urdu  language to a person from London. Like Pakistani is a person from Pakistan and Hindustani is a person from Hindustan(=the urdu name for India).

I'm sorry to say that I did struggle with this book and it took quite a bit for me to get into. Once I was by the half-way point, I did start to enjoy it and got into it a bit more, starting to feel for Jas and wanting to know how his story is going to end, but it so nearly became a DNF book. I think the major stumbling block for me was the slang language the book is mostly written in. 


Excerpt:

 - Relax, Amit. I jus be jokin innit. I jus be chattin shit, checkin her out same way Ravi is, I go, trying to sound casual but not managing to sound casual enough. Not nearly casual enough. - But it in't as if she's like a strict Muslim, is it?
 - Wat da fuck is wrong wid'chyu? Wat da fuck'd I jus say Jas? None a us lot should ever b goin there, man. Don't matter whether she strict n dat. Jus don't b fuckin goin there, a'ight.


I know the book received some critical acclaim because it probably tries to explore how British Asians can turn into criminal behaviour and terrorism, community relations, pressures of growing up with different cultures etc.  It is a fresh novel with very current themes, language and characters. I did enjoy recognising some Urdu words (my husband speaks Urdu and I learned a bit), and few Bollywood actors which were mentioned i.e. Amithab Bachchan. (Not many books in the UK where this culture does get a mentioning). On the whole, the book wasn't for me I'm afraid. 




23 April 2014



Title
The Dead Zone
Author
Stephen King
Publisher
Viking Press
Publication Date
August 1979
Pages
468
Genre
Horror

Blurb:  


If any of King's novels exemplifies his skill at portraying the concerns of his generation, it's The Dead Zone. Although it contains a horrific subplot about a serial killer, it isn't strictly a horror novel. It's the story of an unassuming high school teacher, an Everyman, who suffers a gap in time--like a Rip Van Winkle who blacks out during the years 1970-75--and thus becomes acutely conscious of the way that American society is rapidly changing. He wakes up as well with a gap in his brain, the "dead zone" of the title. The zone gives him crippling headaches, but also grants him second sight, a talent he doesn't want and is reluctant to use. The crux of the novel concerns whether he will use that talent to alter the course of history
 ----


My review:

The book has two main characters and their stories and their live will eventually intertwine. 

One protagonist is Johnny Smith who suffers an accident whilst ice-skating as a young child, is briefly knocked unconscious but otherwise fine and nothing more comes of it. Switch forward a few years, Johnny is now a high school teacher and is involved in a car accident which leaves him in a coma for 5 years. He slowly recovers … and he finds that he has gained the ability to foresee events by touching people. This psychic ability brings him some local fame which he does not really like and tries to shy away from it. But he realises that maybe he can also use it for the good and for example, find help catching criminals/killers. 

In an initially unrelated story, King introduces the second main character in this book: Greg Stillson. It becomes clear pretty quickly that Greg is not a very nice character, violently kicking a dog to death, in fact any minor thing seem to bring out his anger. Again, fast forward years, and he has made it to successful businessman and politician, but his anger is still present and something all together more vicious lurks within his soul. Johnny than meets Stillson at a political rally and can see with his ability that if Stillson gets elected as president, he will bring the world a nuclear war, effectively destroying the world. But is it to Johnny to stop Stillson, or can he even be stopped?

Is it ok not to love a book by your favourite author?I can't even say exactly why, but I didn't really connect with this book, though the plot is really interesting and a typical King. I think the story jumped around too much for my liking… (I'm sure King can take my slight criticism *cough cough* and I'm also sure that others felt probably different about the book. )
Interestingly, the thought about trying to change a past by changing an 'undesirable character' who might do something terrible in the future is picked up by King again in his book 11/24/63 where the main protagonist travels back in time to prevent the assassination of JF Kennedy. (I absolutely loved that book by the way!).

Published in 1979, it is an early book of King's. What I did pick out is his excellent ability to draw characters - don't they just come to life? Here is an excerpt where he describes one of Johnny's nurses who helped him with rehab after his accident:

Eileen was a small, homely woman with a whipcord body, a nimbus of gorgeous, frizzy red hair, and deep green eyes flecked with hazel. Johnny sometimes called her - with a mixture of irritation and amusements - the world's smallest Marine D.I. She had ordered and cajoled and demanded him back from a bed-fast patient who could barely hold a glass of water to a man who could walk without a cane, do three chin-ups at the time, and do a complete turn around the hospital pool in fifty-three seconds - not Olympic time, but not bad. She was unmarried and lived in a big house on Centre Street in Oldtown with four cats. She was slate-hard and she wouldn't take no for an answer.


In summary, a must for King fans of course, but tell me what you think of it. For all others, you may actually enjoy the characters and intertwined plot. It is marketed as a horror book which I don't quite understand, certainly not horror in the blood/guts type (unless you count Stillson's heinous crimes). As always, there is of course the supernatural element with Johnny's 'ability', and that's what we love King for. 




22 April 2014

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intro is hosted by Diane at Bibliophile By The Sea.

This is how it works: Write down either the first paragraph of a book your are currently reading / intending to read or read in the past and share with us. I do like a good opening!



My current read is an eBook called Wherewolves by John Vamvas and Olga Montes. This is a YA novel about a group of teens who go on a weekend 'adventure' camp in the forest lead by their 'ex-military' teacher. But strange creatures are lurking, and it appears that their teacher has a somewhat different agenda to what they thought with this adventure camp. 





Dilly runs. The deafening beat of there panting isn't enough to drown out the monstrous growls and trampling that rumble behind her. Though she can't see well enough to dodge the naked branches slicing into her, the full moon's rays help her find the path. This Way, the young woman tells herself, and takes a left. Now right! 




Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB at Should be reading. 
These are the rules  :
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


From: Wherewolves by John Vamvas and Olga Montes

"Maybe you did this on purpose." He feels the veins throb in his temples.
"Really? And Why would I do that?" she says and continues to swing her feet.
"I don't know, you tell me. Maybe to sabotage the whole experiment.


O'Sullivan leans in. "So what are they?"
'I don't know," Brian tells him, "maybe some kind of … animals? I can't make them out."
"Animals? No, they're erect."



So, you think this could be the book for you? 

21 April 2014
 


Title
Footpaths for Fitness Kent
Author
Michael Easterbrook
Publisher
Countryside Books
Publication Date
2008
Pages
96
Genre
Non-Fiction, Travel, Maps

Book Description:
Twenty circular walks to help the young and not so young improve their fitness. The routes range from 1 - 10 miles and are graded by length and degree of energy needed.


Blurb:  
We all want to remain fit and healthy and enjoy a log life. Exercise plays a vital part - but it doesn't have to become a trial or chore.

Walking is one of the best forms of regular exercise. It is also one of the most enjoyable. A brisk walk in the open air raises energy levels, burns off calories, and it makes you feel good. Not only that - it's free.

Here is a carefully selected combination of country walks in the beautiful Kent countryside. The 20 graded circular routes have been designed as a simple programme for those who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The routes are between 1 1/4 and 6 1/2 miles in length and include:

  • How to get to the start
  • Estimate of calories used
  • details of distance and terrain
  • recommended refreshment stop
  • numbered route directions
  • points of interest along the way
---
There is not much more I can add to the above, as it pretty much describes exactly what is contained within the book. I would really like to get more into walking, and decided to take it a bit further than just walking around my town, so best to start with my local county. 

All the maps in the book are very clear for beginners and the walks and descriptions of it are designed for a walker who wants to take their sport a bit further afield. - perfect for me. I guess if you are an accomplished walker those walks might be too simple for you? Still, it is always good to find new walks. What I do like about the guide is that it gives you options for parking near the beginning of the walk, and the walks are circular. 

The Author lives near Maidstone and is a member of the Ramble's Association. 








20 April 2014



Title
Watchers of the Night
Author
Matthew Keith
Publisher
CreateSpace
Publication Date
Dec 2013
Pages
352
Genre
YA, Paranormal


Blurb:  
From the outside, Paul Bennett appears to be an ordinary high school senior from small-town Kentucky. But Paul has a secret. He possesses an extraordinary gift which allows him to leave his body during the night and go anywhere, see anything—unseen, undetected. 

Unbeknownst to Paul, he is not alone in his ability--there are others who can do what he can, and they belong to Astralis, a government agency funded by the United Nations who train people like Paul to become spies. When one of their scouts recognizes Paul for what he is, he is offered a place in the agency. Paul makes a new life at Astralis, forging new friendships and inadvertently creating new enemies. Through the mentoring of the agency's director, Dr. Abrams, Paul finds a place where he finally feels he belongs. 

Unfortunately, Astralis is an organization under siege from within. Not everyone feels Dr. Abrams is a fit director, and some are willing to do anything to make a change of leadership--even murder.

My review:

Paul is late at school - again. Doesn't go down well of course with the teachers. But he can't help it. He has a sleep disorder making him falling to sleep when the sun goes down and only waking up when the sun comes up again. No specialist and no method tried by his parents  can keep him awake or wake him up earlier. But what neither his parents nor his two best friends, Steven and Stephanie, know is that not only does he fall asleep like that, but also seems to walk in his sleep whilst his physical body stays in bed - so no-one can see nor hear him when he walks around town in night-time. First he thinks it must be a dream, but it is too real.

A meeting with his school counsellor leads him to Astralis, a Sleep Disorder Clinic. Only, it isn't a clinic. At Astralis, Paul will find out that there are others like him, called Walkers. And at Astralis, they work for the U.N. under peace missions. The walkers are obviously a valuable commodity, being able to walk around in nightime where no-one sees them and but they can hear and see everything. Paul makes good friends at Astralis, but there are also those who disagree with what Astralis does, and would like to use their special 'power' for other purposes and would rather like to get paid for it. Paul's two friends from his home town, Steven and Stephanie, will be by his side when he has to make important decisions and book 1 ends on a big cliffhanger. 

I absolutely loved this book, in fact it reminds me of my favourite writer Stephen King's style. This story could have come straight from SK's pen. Having the idea for the story is one thing, but as a writer, you also have to be able to put it into a 'readable and enjoyable' format - and that's exactly what Keith did here. Even though, due to the age of the main character, a YA book, it clearly also very much appeals to the slightly older adult (I'm in my 40's :). The story never stalls, and the 'walking ability' is easy to understand and not made too complicated by some weird science or other factors. For example, Paul will learn at Astralis how the Walkers complete their missions - they can't be seen, but they also can't move anything, so doors need to be open for them. They can't get hurt, even if, for example, jumping out of a helicopter. But their physical body is vulnerable whilst sleeping, so they all have a Sentinel who guards them. 

What I like about Paul is that he is not some kind of Super-Kid but himself almost feels awkward with his special ability and for a long time, sees it as a disablement rather than a gift. The story is plot driven though in my opinion, and this makes it a real page turner. This is another book which I can see working beautifully as a movie. 

The only thing which did not work for me so well was the cover. The tag line is 'spot on': The end of the day…is just the beginning', but I felt this good story needed a bit of more exciting cover. I just simply know that a lot of readers chose the book by the cover. But this is just a personal preference I guess. 

All in all, one of the best YA Paranormal I have read in a long time, and I can't wait to read book 2. 

I have received this book from the author in return for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.