Monmouth Trip

We took a trip to Monmouth today and I used the opportunity to donate a ton of vinyl LPs, tape cassettes, books and musical instruments to a selection of charity shops in the town. Shops there seem much closer to the car park than other towns and cities we like to visit and it’s far enough away from home for me to be unlikely to see the items again and be tempted to buy any back.

I’d made a commitment (to myself) to avoid buying anything, as I’m trying hard to declutter. However I did find a great book in “The Dogs’ Trust” – a hardback copy of Terry Pratchett’s “The Bromeliad” collection (‘Truckers’, ‘Diggers’ and ‘Wings’). As it is the first TP book I’ll be reading that was written specifically for children, I’m interested in how he altered his style and vocabulary.

Yer Tis:

Cover graphic of ‘The Bromeliad’ by Josh Kirby. Copyright Doubleday 1998.

An absolute bargain at £2.00!


Whistling in the dark — Calmgrove

Geoffrey Ashe in association with Debrett’s Peerage: The Discovery of King Arthur Debrett’s Peerage 1985 Humans make history, and histories about individual humans are particularly fascinating if not always fashionable among scholars. Occasionally popular and scholarly tastes overlap, as we have seen in the case of the discovery of Richard III’s body under a car […]

via Whistling in the dark — Calmgrove

Pratchett’s Crown

I’d drafted a whole long post on the subject of this book and it being an allegory of Terry Pratchett’s own life and passing but I’ve just deleted all of it and instead will just post a quote from the sequence of Granny Weatherwax’s passing. It seems a little Disney-esque out of context here. So treat yourself to a read of the whole book to learn how it isn’t:

“This spot in the woods, Tiffany realized, would be the same. Blessed. It had been a nice day for it, she thought, if there ever was such a thing as a good day to die, a good day to be buried.

And now the birds were singing overhead, and there was a soft rustling in the undergrowth, and all the sounds of the forest which showed that life was still being lived blended with the souls of the dead in a woodland requiem.

The whole forest now sang for Granny Weatherwax.”


From Doubleday’s 2015 hardback edition of “The Shepherd’s Crown” Page 66.

Copyright Terry and Lyn Pratchett 2015.

Was it a bear or a Russian or what? — Lizzie Ross

Inspired by a recent review by Calmgrove, I dug around in the archives of one of my retired blogs to find what I wrote. Here’s my take, with only a couple of minor revisions. The Circus of Dr. Lao, Charles G. Finney (1935), Viking Compass, 159 pp. Happy as I am to hail from the […]

via Was it a bear or a Russian or what? — Lizzie Ross

Fantasy beasts — Calmgrove

Charles G Finney: The Circus of Dr Lao Introduction by Michael Dirda Gollancz Fantasy Masterworks 2016 (1935) How to categorise this extraordinary fantasy? Its style is hard to pin down precisely, its subject matter diffuse, its denouement unclear, its cast of characters largely unlikeable. That acknowledged, it nevertheless is said to have inspired Bradbury’s Something […]

via Fantasy beasts — Calmgrove

A Hat Full of Sky

Thanks to Calmgrove and this post, I am currently re-reading and thoroughly enjoying Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching YA novels. Presently, I am on the second of the series (A Hat Full of Sky) and I’m re-experiencing everything that I enjoyed during my first read. That first time, I read the books out of sequence, beginning with the last (The Shepherd’s Crown) which was also (I think) Pratchett’s last published novel. This, in no way, spoiled the reading experience – TP is careful to re-introduce characters, themes and important prior events at the outset of each book.

Similar to the comment during my post about Hokusai’s paintings, I will not attempt an examination of the novel (I’ll leave such writing to those who do it best) but will say that the whole series is one of the most enjoyable I have read and very, very uplifting.

Image of the cover to the Doubleday edition of Terry Pratchett’s novel “A Hat Full of Sky”. Copyright Paul Kidby 2004.