Book review: “A Street Cat Named Bob: How One Man and His Cat Found Hope on the Streets” by James Bowen

This is the review I left on Goodreads:

“I have been wanting to read “A Street Cat Named Bob” for a long time, and I can say that I wasn’t disappointed! James is a really likeable guy, and I found myself feeling so bad that he’d had to deal with such hardships. I guess that’s the difference between fiction and non-fiction; with non-fiction you know that these awful things actually happened. The book was really well written and I found that I couldn’t put it down.

I hadn’t realised that there was a follow up book, “The World According to Bob”, and I’m really looking forward to reading that too.”

If you’d like to be friends on Goodreads, my profile is here:

Metro Guides

One WordPress site I have found to be a great source with regards to bookshops is Metro Guides. They say, “Follow Metropublications as we explore all aspects of London life” so make sure you check them out!

Exploring Derbyshire: Scarthin Books of Cromford


‘It is clear that the books owned the shop rather than the other way aboutIMG_1476. Everywhere they had run wild and taken possession of their habitat, breeding and multiplying, and clearly lacking any strong hand to keep them down.’ – Agatha Christie, The Clocks

Stepping into Scarthin Books is like entering another world, a labyrinth of passages and stairs with books as far as the eye can see, tucked away in every nook and cranny. It is impossible to know where to look, let alone where to start. What makes a bookshop truly special, in my opinion, is its ability to draw you in as you peruse with giddy excitement in search of that one cover that will catch your eye. Engulfed in the delightfully merging scents of the crisp new and musky old book collections you soon retreat to a cosy armchair, completely absorbed in your own little…

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Bookshop Spotlight: Thistle Books Glasgow

A Novel Bookblog

DSC03105 © Megan Hogarth

Drumroll please…

The first entry in our Bookshop Spotlight series is the West End treasure trove that is Thistle Books! Located (hidden) on a small lane just off Otago Street, Thistle Books is owned and run by Robert Dibble and is packed to the rafters with literary delights, an impressive selection of sheet music and a well-stocked history section with a particularly Scottish flavour.

Discovered only recently after a jaunt to the nearby Tchai Ovna, I was charmed by the shop’s cosy atmosphere and excellent variety. It eschews the sort of Black Books-esque disarray and mania that most second-hand bookshops seem to thrive on – indeed, though bursting at the seams, there’s (joy) actual floor space and some semblance of order. Which appeals to strange folk like myself, who consider a Saturday spent hoovering a very satisfying day indeed.

© Megan Hogarth © Megan Hogarth

I had a…

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Good Samaritan app could make life-saving connections

I have just read this article on CBS News’ website which relates to the UK:

Basically it talks about a new app which was designed by Mark White, a doctor with London’s Air Ambulance service who realised that people in medical difficulties could be nearby to someone who could help them, but that those people who could help would never know about the emergency unfolding nearby.

Please let anyone you know who is a doctor, nurse, firefighter or any other healthcare professional about this app, as many more lives could be saved 🙂

My favourite Goodreads Listopia lists, so far…

I love trawling through the Listopia lists on Goodreads. They throw up all kinds of books I didn’t even know I wanted to read! Below are my favourite lists so far:

Plus-sized Heroines
Everyone knows that you don’t have to be stick-thin to be happy in life, so why shouldn’t it be the same in books? Of the top 100 books, I’ve only read two: Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding and The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding, so I’ve got a lot of catching up to do!

Books Set in Brighton
I used to live in Brighton, so any chance to reminisce is always welcome with me. There are 35 books on the list, and I haven’t read any of them, so I can’t wait to get started. I have seen the Brighton Rock film (the 1947 starring Richard Attenborough, which I really liked) so I should imagine that I’d like the book by Graham Greene.

Non-Fiction Animal Heroes
Animals are cute, but occasionally they can be helpful and this list celebrates that. Of the 64 books on the list, I haven’t read any but I currently reading A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen which is on the list. I have had the below three books from this list on my to-read list for a while now:
1. Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron, Bret Witter
2. Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog by John Grogan (though I have seen the film!)
3. Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacey O’Brien
I love owls, so I especially can’t wait to read about Wesley 🙂

Chick Lit for the Beach
I have loved chick lit books since I was a teenager and it’s still the same at 35! I have read 5 of the top 100 books:
1. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

2. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
3. Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella
4. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
5. The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding
I loved the films of numbers 1, 2, 4 and 5 also!

Favorite books from my childhood
Ah, such a nostalgic list! I have read 6 of the top 100 books:
1. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
2. Matilda by Roald Dahl
3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
4. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
5. The Witches by Roald Dahl
6. Blubber by Judy Blume
I really can’t believe that I haven’t read more!

Do you have any favourite Listopia lists?

If you’d like to be friends with me on Goodreads, you can find my profile here 🙂

My favourite motivational quotes

Sometimes it can be so easy to let the negative things in life simply swallow you up and let yourself become a shell of a person, or let them totally take over your life to the point that you don’t know who you are anymore. I’ve found that motivational quotes that other people have featured on their blog posts have really helped me to gain some clarity on where I should be going, or simply made me think about things in a totally different way.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.
Mark Twain

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!”
Audrey Hepburn

It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
Abraham Lincoln

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
Dalai Lama

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
Anne Frank

When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.
Helen Keller

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Steve Jobs

I hope that these motivational quotes can help someone else, like they’ve helped me 🙂

The Six Book Challenge

I have recently found out about the Six Book Challenge, which is run by The Reading Agency and takes place every year in libraries, colleges, workplaces and prisons.

Their “How to join in” webpage says,

“The Reading Agency’s Six Book Challenge invites you to pick six reads and record them in a diary to get a certificate. Sign up now and create a profile.

You may be taking part already through your library, college or workplace – in which case you will already have a reading diary. If not, please contact us and say where you’re based so that we can try to link you up with someone running the Six Book Challenge near you and you can get a reading diary through them. Once you’ve completed the challenge you can enter a national prize draw. Last year, prizes included Kobo eReaders and a trip to London.

You can read anything you like: newspapers, poems, plays, websites, books and more.

Once you’ve created a profile you’ll be able to do lots of things including sharing reviews and finding new things to read. Follow the links below to see more.”

This is a really clever idea as I know lots of people who love reading but “never have the time”. If they were part of a group taking part in this, then I bet they’d find the time somehow! 🙂

Are you already part of a group? Are you going to take part in the Six Book Challenge?