Celebrating 20 year’s of Harry

 

June has arrived already and this poor blog has been neglected as I have dwelled under the duvet with zero spoons. Many books have been read by our members on the topics of books vs movies, different cultures, floral books, children’s books (always a favourite to do) and finally classics with Jane Eyre being a popular choice.

#HarryPotter #tea #BookClubforSpoonies #DuvetDwellersbookclub

Perfect combination tea and Harry Potter

 

This month we celebrate 20 years since we were first introduced to the most famous boy wizard, Harry Potter and the magical world of JK Rowling. For some, it will be a time of comfort reading as they plunge themselves into their well-thumbed editions while others will cautiously tiptoe into Rowling’s imagination to meet the famous trio and Hagrid for the first time. It will be fascinating to see what their views will be. Will they find the story worth the wait and be asking the sorting hat what house they will be in or will they shrug their shoulders, bewildered at all the hype that still exists around the protagonist and friends?

Personally, I love the Harry Potter series and the community it has created. It doesn’t seem 20 years ago I picked up my copy of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone from the shelf at Woolworths. The children in the library I worked at were excited about the book and the reservation list of a copy to borrow was ever growing so I needed to buy it. I was hooked the moment Dudley was scared by the snake at London Zoo. The following years on release nights, I was queuing up at midnight with many other bookworms young and old, at the local bookshop eager to read the next instalment. Each volume conjures up happy memories every time they are read. No other series has captured me like that apart from possibly the All Souls Trilogy.

If Harry Potter is not your thing we are celebrating series of books in general? What would you recommend?

Want to join in discussions and natter about books – click here for a warm welcome to our book club for people with chronic illnesses otherwise known as spoonies.

Happy reading!

 

Meet the Author – M J Smith

This month we were pleased to catch up with MJ Smith, the author of one of our favourite reads this year, Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome: The Journey Begins. This is a 5 star rated book and it deserves every star with its brutally honest, yet heartwarming account of being diagnosed with a rare illness and the consequences it brings. If you have been touched by chronic illness, you will identify with much he says. The relaxed and humourous style makes the book that could have been difficult to read, a joy to read in one sitting with a cup of tea.

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M J Smith

About MJ Smith

In 2013, M J Smith was diagnosed with a rare life threatening genetic disorder that changed his life forever.  In his effort to gain knowledge of Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (vEDS), it quickly became apparent that there was little in the way of help or awareness.

Being a fond reader, he decided it was time to follow his dreams and pursue his passion for writing. Over the months that followed the diagnosis, M J Smith penned “Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome: The Journey Begins”.  His first novel. But this wasn’t just any novel, this was his story as told through the eyes of David Malarky. It is now used as a tool to spread awareness and in some ways help others in similar situations to show that no matter how few we may be, we are never alone.

Whilst juggling a full-time job and studying for a Bsc (honours) in Health Sciences, M J Smith continues to work on his ultimate dream of releasing a fictional story direct from his own imagination.

What is your favourite book?

I find it hard to answer this as I love many books and not really one title sticks out. Anything that fires up my imagination and takes me deep into another realm. The book I’m currently reading is “Midnight” by Dean Koontz. If I’m honest, I see most books as a work of art, as I know the challenge it can be to actually write one to a point of completion.

Who is your favourite author?

Well, my favourite authors are Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I love the way Mr King creates his characters, and the way Mr Koontz makes you visualise his world. These chaps really know how to write. Of course for a little bit of magic I don’t think you can beat a bit of Roald Dahl.

Is your writing influenced by the books you have read?

In a sense yes. When writing “Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome: The Journey Begins”, it was a deep, emotional experience. Reliving past events that weren’t so pleasant wasn’t the easiest of tasks. In order to keep it light, I wanted to add in a little humour, which seems to have come across well. I have found in many books, especially from the likes of Stephen King there is always an undertone of humour to be found.

Where is your favourite place to read or write?

To read has to be bed. To write, then that’s mostly at some stupid hour of the morning when the rest of the world is asleep, sat at my computer desk. The brain always seems to get the words flowing when the moon is shining high.

When did you begin writing and how did being published come about?

Originally I wasn’t going to publish “”. It started as a tool to help myself come to terms with the diagnosis. However, the more I tapped away at the keyboard, the more of a book it became. After a few people read samples of it, they urged me to get it published. After lots of ummming and arrrggghhhing I took the plunge and released it through Amazon. So far the response has been great, with some fantastic heartfelt messages and some brilliant 5 star reviews.

Has being chronically ill influenced your writing and changed its direction?

Oh yes. I had been wanting to write a novel for years. I tried a few times but never finished. I would have never of guessed that my own story would become my first story!

I think without the diagnosis, I wouldn’t have sat down long enough to get anything written and it would have remained a dream rather reality.

To find out more:

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MJ Smith’s book Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome: The Journey Begins is available at Amazon

Read and follow his  blog

Or catch up with him on Facebook or Twitter

 

From weird books to beautiful covers!

October’s book club party has come to an end and with a theme of ‘weird’ some strange books and characters have materialised. These include the popular Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs to the macabre tale of Perfume by Patrick Süskind.

What is the weirdest book you have read?

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November is nearly here with its cold days and long nights, perfect for snuggling up with a good book and hot drink. The theme is ‘Beautiful covers’ so this month you can judge a book by it’s cover.  Books have a different covers to entice us to read them. This month, let’s choose a stunning book  that stands out on the shelf and see if the story is as good as the cover promises.

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M J Smith

 

Look out next month for more member book reviews, themes for 2017 and a Meet the Author interview with M J Smith. We have read his book which has 5 star reviews on Anazon  and can’t wait to find out more.

 

 

Happy reading!

Book Club Party dates

November 25th 2016