The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud


The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud is a popular young adult fantasy trilogy and well worth purchasing. The novels explore magic from an interesting perspective. Magic is not readily available or easily accessible. Magicians have to tap into it by summoning spirits and binding them to service. Summoning is a risky business, if the magician says one word wrong, or moves out of the summoning circle, he could actually get eaten by the spirit. The sarcastic, snarky, Djinni of the title, Bartimaeus, although not a particularly powerful magic spirit, is smart and has an inflated sense of his own importance; leading to many interesting and comedic situations. The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud now has an extra novel in the series; The Ring of Solomon, which takes you back to when Bartimaeus was at the height of his powers in Israel 960 BC and was summoned by King Solomon. The book continues the style of Jonathan Stroud in being well-plotted and funny. Another series of Jonathan’s is Lockwood & Co. In a recent interview for the Radio show Down the Rabbit Hole, Jonathan Stroud discusses the horror and hope of Lockwood & Co. stating that, while they are horror stories, he has tried to balance the scary stuff with comedy and empower the young protagonists of the stories. He certainly achieves this, and it is well worth exploring his books and worlds. If interested, you can hear more about his new novel on Friday the 16th September, with an innovative virtual launch from his Facebook page,(JonathanStroudAuthor) of the latest Lockwood & Co novel, The Creeping Shadow. Check the times though as they are 13.00 GMT -20.00 GMT.

Tablet or e-reader which is better

When you were younger you never had a problem choosing between playing outdoors or staying inside, reading a good book (or a random book that you had found in the library and seemed interesting enough based on its title). There weren’t so many possibilities to choose from and it was pretty easy to decide. Did you have any chores to do? No? Then did the weather allow you to go outside to meet someone, play or just take a walk? If it didn’t, a book was a really good companion for a few hours. Now that you’re a little older and technology has advanced so much, it’s not so easy to decide. Especially if you like reading voraciously and if you’re known to be a more secluded person. Your next purchase might hang on your choice between a tablet or an e-reader. Which one would you enjoy more? Which one would you make use of better? In the ‘evolutionary dispute’ of tablets vs e-reader devices, they have become more advanced with each new generation. If you want to read a book or a magazine, they are both there for you, connected, ready to share. No matter what you choose, tablet or e-reader, they will still not feel the same as a printed book, the touch and the smell of old paper impregnating through your reading experience. Although you might become addicted to the built-in dictionaries possible due to current technology. They will surely change the way you read. Tablet or e-reader the choice is yours!

Why choose between a tablet or e-reader

Classic literature

Classic literature

How do you choose the greatest novels of all time? When not just the story and the writing, but also the moment in time you read it for the first time, affects your opinion. Classic novels that have had a profound impact on me, may not have left their mark at all, had I read them when I was younger or older or just in a different stage in my life. But as I like making lists I wanted to share some of the classic literature that would be on my personal top young adult books of all time list. Stories and characters that have stayed with me after I’ve cried, laughed and lived every emotion with the protagonists. Stories that I’ve read so many times I could quote pages upon pages by heart. The Outsiders by S.E Hinton is definitely one of the greats for me, it has charmed and touched teenagers around the world for nearly fifty years already.

The Catcher in the Rye is another one, I remember resisting it for a long time because both the name and the cover seemed a bit boring but when I finally started reading I was hooked. And I cannot list my important books without mentioning Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery, I still sometimes feel like escaping into her world when the world feels particularly bleak. In my opinion classic literature must earn its status by being loved by at least two generations before it truly can be considered a great classic, otherwise it might just be a passing fling that doesn’t stand the test of time.

Young parents – Books you should read

Young parents need to read novels. That sounds crazy to you! Well it is not. Today I will be telling you briefly about some of the novels which can help young parents, and it will change your perspective. Here are some of the novels I have read.

(1) We the Animals – This novel by Justin Torres gives insights about good parenting while reading the story. It is a story of three rowdy brothers , their tussles and domestic violence. There are many depictions of parent child relations especially mother child which gives you real insights on parenting. A very good novel for young parents.

(2) The Lowland – This novel by Jhumpa Lahiri is a reality check for quarrelling parents. Lives of two brothers and their life journey tells a lot about parenting and related behaviours. It talks about how a parent should be reconcile just for the benefit of their children. This is very true in real life too. A beautiful book and a must read.

(3) Everything I never told you – There are many secrets of your child which you do not know. This novel by Celeste Ng focuses on this topic and the story really takes it forward. You should read it as a young parent to get really great information about child secrets. Read these three books, and you will surely feel they are much better than reading parenting guides.

Bookshelves and Kindles


A kindle and a bookshelf who says you cannot have both

I need to have both… my kindle and my bookshelves

Hopefully everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. I certainly have, busy, busy and busier. Family and friends seemed to appear from nowhere this year. The house was never empty, wonderful to catch up with others and generally have some stimulating and fun conversations but …Yes I know there is always a but, I had just finished my writing course and I was buzzing, all I wanted to do was write. Never really got a minute to myself but oh I love Siri on my new ipad, it  lets me leave messages to myself. Although some of my ideas did not write up as well as I said was still a great way to get them down without a family or friend wanting to ‘see’ what I was writing which FYI I hate!

Finally last week I got my time and house back to myself, was getting to grouchy stage with all the friendliness around, shameful I know but I am sure others get overdosed on people at this time of year, NO? Oh well I do! Then what did I do, stupidly agreed to play beach volley ball, not something I am good at and to prove that I had a very swollen and sore hand for a week. No typing and  no writing! So got my squishy cushion, sun parasol and sat reading on the beach.

Now I have eventually succumbed to technology and I love it. I have a kindle and downloaded the App onto my ipad, absolutely fantastic will never be without them but ( yes another one) when I need cheering up I want a book, to hold and get absorbed into. So I went rooting around my shelves and found Sabriel by Garth Nix, Book 1 of a trilogy. I have read this set of  books a number of times and like my old friends I enjoy their company and can rely on them to cheer me up. Sabriel is a story of magic and of girl who come into magic and her destiny. A good read by a excellent author.

Does anyone else wander through their bookcases or are they now obsolete in the modern home? I love the comfort they offer, the memories I share with the books on those shelves, just having them there is like a cosy blanket. Let me know your thoughts on bookshelves and kindles.


R. K Pavia & My Online Writing Course

The Sanctum of Souls by R.K. Pavia first in the Trilogy

Interesting Read – I Recommend this novel

Well my online writing course starts soon, can’t wait. It is a 5 week course so will keep me busy up to Christmas. Has anyone else done one of these? How did you find it? Never done an online course before so really interested in how that is going to work. Now the thing is, can I be disciplined enough to do it all properly. I really hope so, as if I want to write I need some organisation – I am a little erratic ( stop laughing those that know me).

This month I have started to read  The Sanctum of Souls by R.K Pavia.  I was introduced to this author via the friend of a friend on Facebook and I am so pleased I have found her. I have read her poetry under the name Bex Pavia, which is dark fantasy and the poems have just the right amount of intensity, creepy, ghoulish and shudder. I have downloaded TSOS to my kindle and what I have read so far I am enjoying. It has all the elements you would want in a fantasy, nice interaction between the characters and you get to see a growth in the personalities. The concept, inept hero saving the day, is not new but the angle and world is and I have been told to expect the unexpected.

Just to clarify that ( I have now read all of the book)  there are some unexpected twists and turns, this author is not afraid to surprise you. At a reasonable cost from Amazon a nice addition to anyones reading list. I have also been told she has written a rather nice children’s book for Christmas, The Story of the Snowman – might be a nice present for nephews and nieces.


Some good from the bad…


The Brides of Rollrock Island a mystical yet gritty read with some dark themes.

A little bit of personal news to start this post; our poor car gave up the ghost last week on the way to work and the repair bills is an unnecessary burden this month. had a look at some loans and decided to go with payday247. The end result of this is not only is my car running more smoothly than in years and so much quieter to, I have also gone ahead and bought myself a creative writing course. I am so excited been thinking about it for years so glad to finally have taken the plunge – I wonder if I will be saying that next month when I try to fit the course into my hectic schedule? I have gone for an oh-line course for that reason, gives me a bit more autonomy of when I will work.

I thought people might be interested in this post I found while meandering around the net  – as you do. It is a list of Australian YA writers and some fun facts about them. Maybe I might enlarge on this a bit in other posts, some in-depth info on our own Au bred authors – what do others think? Interesting or what?

I am currently reading ,’The Brides of Rollrock Island’ by Margo Lanagan. It is a beautifully written novel, mystical as well as gritty, with a theme that everything has its price ( oh wait is that me reflecting my finances at the moment??) It has a dark depth and quality to the writing,  that keeps you engrossed and wanting to know more. Look forward to more by this author, in fact I have Tender Morsels on my TRL for next month.

Book Recommendation Sites where to find everything and anything Sci fi and fantasy

My post this time is a rather generic topic. Where to find books? Good reads of course is an excellent site but I actually favour more. It covers more than just the genre of the books; it introduces new authors along with articles about sci-fi and fantasy. All aspect of a book gets it share of attention and I especially love the cover art articles. New stories specially written by prominent authors for Tor make appearances and new books and authors are showcased. So much more than books well worth a visit. Whilst the TV aspects of the web site are geared towards the American and Canadian market it is still a good site to check out.

Another site I like is Wattpad, this is a platform for new and established writers to introduce their work to constructive criticism. It allows along readers an introduction to new work and new authors. This fan fiction site is not just about fantasy and sci-fi you can find all the genres and choose to follow authors you like.

There are also a number of sites out there that bring daily or monthly information on free eBooks for downloading. A great way to check out an author or new story. Here are two links one from Adelaide Uni and Project Guttenberg.

For a good read check out Troll Mountain, the link I have used is a good resource for all books.

Happy Reading

Skulduggery Pleasant- An Underrated Classic

Skulduggery Pleasant is the brainchild of Irish novelist, Derek Landy. It is certainly one of the best young-adult fantasy series of all time, but for some reason, it does not always get the accolades it deserves. The series is a mixture of fantasy, horror, comedy, drama and adventure, and it is written quite well too.

Skulduggery Pleasant

The series follows an undead detective, Skulduggery Pleasant, as he tries to save the world from a number of escalating problems and criminals. He is helped by his partner, Stephanie Edgely, who calls herself Valkyrie Cain when she’s working. The characters are nuanced, funny and incredibly snarky. Every line of dialogue in the novel sparkles, and the plot keeps the person gripped to the book till the very end.

The book has some interesting plot lines, and a strong female lead (let’s face it, all of us are huge fans of strong female leads in young adult novels). The story never gets tiring, or repeating, which is quite a feat, considering the fact that there are nine novels in the series.

So, do you feel like you would like a break from all the mundane reading you have been doing to escape into a humorous world full of adventure? Pick up a Skulduggery Pleasant novel- I assure you, you will not regret it.

Rick Riordan’s Greek Series

Percy Jackson might have had two of the worst movies ever made, but the book series is still pretty spectacular, especially for young adults. I was always interested in Greek mythology and I knew my fair share of it, so these books fascinated me. But I know that the books can be incredibly interesting for people who do not know anything about the mythology and want to start learning as well.

In the Percy Jackson universe, Percy is a demigod- the son of a major Greek god. It’s when he gets to Camp Half Blood that he realizes that Greek gods still live amongst us- in the USA, to be precise. He learns about his parentage and about the greater things that are unfolding. Throughout the next five books, he learns more about Greek myths and how they have integrated themselves into modern life.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

It’s an incredibly fascinating story that never slacks off- it is ideal for children and young adult readers, for the readers will find themselves growing up with Percy, throughout the books. Riordan’s writing is easy to read without being too amateurish. His sense of humor is incredible as well! If you have not read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians, you should do it right away!