Adventures in Books… Talk to the Tail

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“Following on from Tom’s life with six cats in UNDER THE PAW, he now picks up the story in TALK TO THE TAIL, updating readers on what has happened with his feline friends as well as looking back for more confessions about his animal-loving past. 
Readers of Tom’s previous book will be delighted to read what has happened to his six eccentric cats. Why does Janet keep bringing 1980s sweet wrappers into the house? Will 24-hour surveillance of The Bear, using a state-of-the-art cat GPS system, finally solve the mystery of his wanderlust? Tom also writes about his bumbling forays into the remainder of the animal kingdom. He attempts to overcome his crippling fear of horses with disastrous results, chase ostriches in Kenya, put his hand into a tiger’s mouth for 0.9 seconds and he meets his ‘alter-doggo’ — the spaniel Tom regularly walks who likes to roll around in dead animals. Where will it all end? Will he give in to temptation and get a dog, a goat or even more cats? With this soppy creature-obsessive, anything is possible.”

I’m reading these in the wrong order, but when they go to 99p for Kindle I just jumped at this one and then the first book went to 99pm once I was in the middle. The second book is still more expensive so am holding off for a while.

I love cats! This has expanded exponentially since getting two of my own and so I have an amazon wishlist full of cat books at the moment. I read A Streetcat Called Bob last year and loved it. I sometime find it hard to read non-fiction, but these kinds of books are just a different kind of story.

This book is all about Tom and his life with 6 cats. How he came by having 6 cats is told in another book. It is funny and real and shows that all cats have a life and personality of their own. It is also shows how every decision you make always comes back to the cats. For example buying a house and the type of garden you want. It is also says a lot about how relationships are impacted and it is just as complicated with pets if a relationship ends.

Cats notice change and feel stress and emotions just as we do, but we are not always good at interpreting what they need.  This books has made me more aware of the little character differences between my cats and making sure I treat them well in the ways they need and want.

This was a lovely quick book to read and made me smile. I read it all in one day while I was on leave from work and very much enjoyed that day of relaxation.  I hope there are more books about the adventures of The Bear and Tom and all the other cats he meets along the way.

Adventures in Books… Bones Never Lie

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“For a decade, Temperance Brennan has been haunted by the one who got away.

The killer of young women. The monster.

And the one who has now come back.

Feeding on fear, grief and rage.

Killing again. Killing girls.

Getting closer.

Coming for Tempe.”

I needed a good crime novel from one of my favourite authors. I love this series of books and was super happy when this was annoy he’d and pre-ordered it for my kindle, which is something I haven’t done in a while.

I loved at it came just before I had a week off so I finished it over three evening if reading. It would have been two but I just could not keep my eyes open on the second night.

This was a great story. Intriguing and full of twists. I admit I guessed part of the ending but not all of it. I still live to see how they follow the evidence to get to the offender. I like the science included in these books and this one was no exception. It is well explained for the casual reader but will enough information that you could follow up if you wanted to.

I was really happy Ryan was back in the book and can’t wait for the next one to see how their relationship continues tater the ups and downs it has taken so far.

The crimes committed in this books were quite disturbing but well written and the desire to find the perpetrator was clear throughout. I was drawn into the story straight away and read with interest how it developed and the relationships between the characters. It was a page turner and just what I needed right now.

Adventures in Books… City of Heavenly Fire

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“Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian – but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance… Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world will change. Who will survive the explosive sixth and final instalment of the Mortal Instruments series?”

I read this one as I needed to finish the series but I still prefer the other series set in this world.

Overall I enjoyed the book and the rounding off of the series. I don’t want to give anything away so I will keep it vague. I think I preferred the first three books with this set of characters, but it did take an interesting direction with this set of three.

We learnt more about the shadow world and the downworlders and their relationships to each other and the politics. We lost some characters I wasn’t expecting and gained some new ones that linked well to the other series.

I really like the history and relationships that have developed over time. The names that have withstood time and still hold meaning for people.

I am intrigued to see where the next story goes. The book is left open enough to guess there will be another set of books.

Overall they are quick and easy young adult fantasy novels that don’t require much thought, but are entertains and engaging to the reader. I enjoyed them.

Adventures in (Audio)Books… Grave Peril

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“Harry Dresden’s faced some pretty terrifying foes during his career. Giant scorpions. Oversexed vampires. Psychotic werewolves. It comes with the territory when you’re the only professional wizard in the Chicago area phone book. But in all Harry’s years of supernatural sleuthing, he’s never faced anything like this: the spirit world’s gone loco. All over Chicago, ghosts are causing trouble – and not just of the door-slamming, boo-shouting variety. These ghosts are tormented, violent, and deadly. Someone – or something – is purposely stirring them up to wreak unearthly havoc. But why? And why do so many of the victims have ties to Harry? If Harry doesn’t figure it out soon, he could wind up a ghost himself …”

Audible sent me through an offer I couldn’t resist – £1.99 a month for 3 months, compared to the normal £7.99 a month! I had to sign back up and this was the perfect excuse to get the next Dresden Files book, which is narrated by James Masters! I love his narration so much!

I enjoyed this book although I got a bit lost on where the story was going in the middle but it was interesting and there was some character development and as this series just realised something like book 15 I felt like I needed tolerance bait more about Harry.

I loved being able to listen once I was in bed as I’ve been struggling to read once I’m tried but need something to help me unwind.

I don’t think there was a major jump in overall story but there were some new characters introduced and some background to previous characters. I have no idea where the overall story is headed but am intrigued to see if there is a big bad (still use this term from Buffy) that will become a major plot line. Otherwise I like the style of crime and fantasy mixed together.

I plan on continuing to get these as audiobooks as I love them in this form.

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Cotswold Sprint Triathlon

Last weekend I took part in my third and final triathlon of 2014 (my 4th overall) and really enjoyed it. It was at the local lake where I do my open water swim sessions so it is nice and familiar and is the same course as the Women’s only one I did back in June.

As I sprained my ankle for the second time this year only a few weeks ago I made the decision to take part, but without any goal other than to try and finish (I told myself to do one lap of the run and see how I felt) and to enjoy it. Probably a weird sentiment for an event, but I was actually successful at both parts of my goal.

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It was a mixed event with the males and females split into waves. I was in the second wave for Senior females and enjoyed the swim. The only downside was that I hadn’t practiced in my wetsuit beforehand as it has been so nice, so my breathing went a little wrong half way round and I had to take a breaststroke break to get my rhythm back. A little disappointing as the swim is my best bit, but I still came out 26th out of 135 women for the swim over the 750 metre course.

I took my time in transition and this even probably had my longest ones, but I did not want to fall over and hurt myself. I would like to work towards not wearing socks for sprint events, but I just can’t bring myself to just yet. I wore my ankle support in the swim as I knew that would take ages to get on if I tried to do it in transition.

I then headed out on the bike. The best bit of this was that they have improved where you have to run to the bike mount. It is now no longer as far as it used to be and goes out where the bike in comes back to the transition, so it was only about a minute jog, compared to 5 as it was before. I got on my bike (another thing I would like to work on is jumping on!) and set out at a decent pace. My ankle was a little uncomfortable so I just enjoyed the ride through the Cotswold Water Park area. I was actually a little faster (13 seconds) than in June so was happy with that. It was a little windy on the course, but the sunshine made it a nice temperature. I got overtaken by a lot of people on the bike, but I managed to overtake 2 ladies from the wave before mine. I came out 120th out of 135 women.

The second transition went okay. The only thing I did different this time was grab a bottle of water to take round with me as I really struggled with hydration last time and I knew I was not going to be fast at all. I started off at an easy jog and got into a nice rhythm. I had to walk a dip in the course as I was worried about being unstable on my ankle, but managed to jog the whole first lap otherwise. I then made the decision to do the second lap and it felt better than the first. I walked the dip again, but jog all the way round and managed to speed up a little into the finish. It really helped to have fellow running club members marshalling and Jace doing the commentary as this spurred me on. I was a lot slower than the one in June, but I was happy that I was able to jog at all! I came in 135th out of 135 women on the run section.

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Overall I finished in 1 hour 40 minutes and 20 seconds, compared to 1 hour 34 minutes and 54 seconds back in June. I had a nice morning though and am really glad I took part as the week leading up to it I had a lot of doubt and wanted to pull out, but I knew others from running club were taking part and I wanted to be part of it. I love this photo that was taken of Shelly, Me, and Katie at the end. Dan and Andy also took part, but had disappeared at photo time. I felt so good at the time and I really think it comes across in this photo. I always dislike my race photos, but I have some great ones from after my races that bring back all the good memories of the events.

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On a side note, this completed my Project Lifestyle goal. I originally had down to complete 4 triathlons, but due to the sprained ankle issues I cut that goal back and am extremely happy with 3. I have also helped out on the Saturday before 2 of the 3 I completed, and also marshalled at 3 long distance triathlons and will be marshalling this weekend. I feel I have learnt a lot this year about the sport of triathlon and have really enjoyed seeing both side, by taking part and marshalling. I am currently thinking about future goals and where I want to go with this sport, so keep an eye out for posts on that later in the year!

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