Review: Pets at Home Christmas Pets Parcel for Hamsters

This is something a bit different for my blog, I haven’t really done much on my pets and definitely not on products, but I recently got a Pets at Home Christmas Pet Parcel for Hamsters and it’s one of those where you get a surprise. It’s £10 and has £14.99 worth of products in it (I checked).

As these are all exactly the same during the Christmas release I’m not going to put spoilers in this first bit in case you want to get one and want a surprise yourself. It does contain a mix of chews, treats and bedding and they are all definitely Christmas themed. If you want to see exactly what’s in it then keep reading.

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Book Review: The Labours of Hercules by Agatha Christie

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Another Agatha Christie book, this is from a series of ten that Penguin published that she chose herself as favourites. I already reviewed Death on the Nile, another from this series, and this has the same green cover that the Penguin Crime books do. It’s The Labours of Hercules by Agatha Christie, a book of twelve short stories about Hercule Poirot. Each one is inspired by one of the Labours of Hercules, the classic book about the Greek myths of Hercules.

This edition was published in 1955 (it’s the reprint, he original Penguin was in 1953) but as it’s one of the more well known Agatha Christie books and part of the Poirot series it has been published many times over the years. Hercule Poirot is one of Agatha Christie’s more famous characters and there are TV adaptations of all of the stories, though I don’t remember all of these being made. Each of the stories is short, ranging from around 15 to 30 pages, and covers a wide range of mysteries from dog kidnapping to murder.

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Book Review: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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I’ve recently been making my way through a list of classics I’ve always wanted to read but never had but I decided to start off 2017 with one that I loved when I read it before to see if I still enjoyed it ten years later. Great Expectations is that book that you studied at school, the one you pick apart and analyse every other word so if it survived that and made me want to read it again in the past I thought it would be worth reading again, especially as I got the Penguin Clothbound Classics version last year. This has an RRP of £14.99 though it seems to vary in price, WH Smith currently have a lot of the Clothbound Classics at £10.49.

One thing I like about these Clothbound Classics is the little extras added in that add context, whether it’s the author’s life or what was happening at the time in the world in general. I know these aren’t necessary to enjoy the story but I think of them a bit like those extras you get in DVDs that are fun to read if you want but can also be ignored. If you want the ISBN number and details of this exact edition I’ve put them at the end.

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Book Review: Red Dwarf Omnibus by Grant Naylor

reddwarf1Title: Red Dwarf Omnibus (Red Dwarf and Better Than Life)

Author: Grant Naylor

Year written: 1989 (Red Dwarf) and 1990 (Better Than Life)

Publisher and year: Penguin Books, 1990

ISBN Number: 0-13-017466-4

This is another older book and one I’ve had for a year or so now, though it was bought second hand on eBay for quite cheap with some other books. It seems to be one of those that’s available from a few sellers on there so if you want it it’s probably the best place to look for a good deal. With the recent series of Red Dwarf finishing it made me want to revisit the older ones (again) and I thought I’d give these a read too. This review is of both parts of the Omnibus, Red Dwarf and Better Than Life, I did consider doing them separately but as I read them as one and they’re basicaly a continuation of each other it made sense to do them both. If you want to skip to the review of the specific book then I’ll do the titles in bold when I start, though they’re very similar in tone so there’s not much to differentiate them apart from the plot, though I have avoided anything spoilery aside from mentioning a few episode titles.

This book, or rather two books, are based on the characters and plot of the TV series Red Dwarf. When this was published in 1990 the latest series was series 3 so anything after that in the TV universe isn’t necessarily canon with this, and vice versa. It’s a sci-fi comedy that pokes fun at sci-fi, has a lot of typically British humour in it and has the odd poke at society as a whole, or parts of it anyway.

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Book Review: Death on the Nile By Agatha Christie

deathonthenile1Title: Death on the Nile

Author: Agatha Christie

Year written: 1937

Publisher and year: Penguin Books, 1953

ISBN Number: Pre-dates ISBN numbers, later versions will have them but there are so many I can’t list them all

I have always loved watching Agatha Christie books that have been turned into TV shows or movies, especially the David Suchet Poirots, but I have never seemed to get on with reading her books. I don’t know if it was that I picked bad ones to try as a first by her or there was another reason but I’ve tried a few times to read them and given up part way through. This summer I decided to read some of the ones we have in our bookshelf and, as I know this story well though I couldn’t remember who did it to start with, I thought it was a good place to start as I knew I enjoyed the story and knew Poirot as a character. It is hard to read these without imagining David Suchet’s Poirot speaking in my head and walking around the boat.

This copy of the book pre-dates the ISBN system but it’s been published so many times in a lot of languages so I think you should be able to find it somewhere near you in a second hand book shop or online, I’ve found this exact copy for around £4 despite being the first print of the first penguin release, so they’re around and cheap if you want to pick it up or your library should be able to get it I’d expect, it may depend on how popular she is as an author in your country.

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Book Review – Dracula by Bram Stoker

dracula1Title: Dracula

Author: Bram Stoker

Year written: 1897

Publisher and year: Penguin Classics, 2011

ISBN Number: 978-0-141-19688-6

Another classic that’s been on my to read list for a while and I did start it around Halloween as another kind of spooky book, it’s just taken me a while to read it. This is another in the Penguin Clothbound Classics collection as I just love the covers on these. There’s so many editions of this so the actual story part of the review will be the same for all but some bits are reviews on this edition.

This edition has an RRP of £14.99 and it’s on sale in Waterstones with a small discount at £11.99. I bought this copy on Amazon and it cost less than half of the RRP here. I’d say if you want this exact edition then look around for the best price, though other versions will have varying prices and there’s probably copies available in second hand stores for a lot less.

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