Category: reading

Being Behind the Times

Being Behind the Times

In which I admit just how terribly off-trend I am, and how bad I am at watching movies. I also admit just how awesome those books (and sometimes movies) are once I catch up.

Seriously, how long did it take me to read How to Train Your Dragon? What do I write about? What age group do I write for? I’m disappointed in myself.



Are you good at keeping up with the latest books or not? Are there any books you know you should have read, but still haven’t? Let me know in the comments!


A Beautiful Cover for a Beautiful Book

A Beautiful Cover for a Beautiful Book

In which I finally get over my misgivings about buying a book for the cover, and admit to being slightly confused. By the book, not life. I’m more than slightly confused about that bit.

I also talk about how much I loved His Dark Materials. It was a lot. A lot. And this book – well, it isn’t His Dark Materials, but it’s still good. I’m a pretty happy bookworm about it.



Do you have a favourite series of books? Have you ever been nervous about whether the new book will live up to the old ones? Let me know below!


Books to Read for the Sheer Fun of it

Books to Read for the Sheer Fun of it

In which I talk about three authors that I know I can pick up for a good story, a satisfying ending, and pure escapism. And that also shouldn’t be read on public transport, because giggling to oneself may be frowned upon.

I also talk about amazing book titles, such as The Island of the Sequinned Love Nun, because honestly – that’s an awesome title.



What are your favourite books when you want to get away from the world? Do you read humour? Let me know your recommendations in the comments, humorous or otherwise!


The Sleeper & the Spindle, or Wow This is Beautiful

The Sleeper & the Spindle, or Wow This is Beautiful

In which I gush unashamedly over the work of art that is The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell. Because it’s, like, beautiful. Like, really, really beautiful.

I also surprise no one by not knowing the correct way to pronounce Chris Riddell’s name.



Do you like fairy tale re-tellings? What would you recommend to someone who got most of her fairy tales from Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes…? Let me know in the comments!


Weird Things in My Kindle TBR

Weird Things in My Kindle TBR

Book hoarding. YESSS.

I’ve had a Kindle (other ereaders are also available, apparently), in one form or another, for at least eight years or so. My original Kindle, in fact, I sent to my dad when I ‘upgraded’ to a Kindle Fire. That Kindle Fire has now become a Spotify machine which crashes regularly, and the Kindle Fire that followed (which has the worst battery life imaginable and crashes regularly) has been relegated to use for YouTube workout videos, replaced by a Kindle Paperwhite. Meanwhile, Dad’s still using that that first Kindle. I kind of messed that one up.

Anyhow, I did one of those “I have so much stuff on here, what is it all?” things (of course, I know there are at least six versions of the WIP, but there is so much more on my Kindle. So much more).

Friends, do not ask this question lightly.

I thought that, other than the many copies of various versions of the WIP, that there were certain things I could expect:

  • Several Learn French books because I have good intentions, mostly never opened because I have terrible follow through.
  • A large collection of classics, because as above. Plus they’re free.
  • A very large collections of BookBub buys, because when I first found Bookbub I bought something off almost every email. Every daily email. Some were free, some weren’t. A fairly large proportion of them are unopened, and a reasonable portion of the opened ones I never finished.
  • A substantial collection of books I actually bought and read.

So, yes, I was prepared for those.

However, some things I was not prepared for.

Allow me to present:

A Tour Through the Weird Books I Thought I Needed.


Decorative Napkin Folding for Beginners.

“Napkins are easy to fold into ingenious shapes and add a tough of festivity to any dinner. Whether you use paper or cloth, a napkin folded into a delightful shape is a welcome way to start a meal.”

I do not know why I thought I needed this. Many years ago I did a combination of cooking and stewardessing aboard small boats, and did on occasion need to fold a napkin, although mostly my partner at the time took care of that sort of thing. This was many years before Kindle, though, and it is not an aspect of the job I miss.

However, if I ever decide to buy a dining table and have a dinner party, I will be able to fold paper or material napkins into festive shapes. Which is handy. (And, apparently, my guests “will have as much fun trying to figure out how you did it as you did in the making.” Good times.)


Taste: The Story of Britain Through its Cooking.

“In this involving history of the British people, Kate Colquhoun celebrates every aspect of our cuisine from Anglo-Saxon feasts and Tudor banquets, through the skinning of eels and the invention of ice cream, to Dickensian dinner-party excess and the growth of frozen food.”

To be fair, this actually sounds quite interesting, but I don’t know why I thought I’d read it. It’s one of those books I look at in a bookshop, think it sounds clever, then put it down again. The odds of me learning about the history of Britain through the medium of food are – wait. Hang on, I just realised the attraction. Okay, I won’t delete this one.


Don’t Throw It, Grow It!: 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps.

“Don’t throw out your kitchen scraps — grow them! Discover how you can transform leftover pomegranate seeds, mango pits, and dried bits of gingerroot into thriving plants. From the common carrot to the exotic cherimoya, you’ll be amazed at the gardening possibilities hidden in the foods you eat.”

Delusions of grandeur. I don’t even know what a cherimoya is. And I can’t keep actual plants from garden centres alive, so I have doubts about my ability to coax life from garden scraps. It seems that, at times, I see myself as having a domestic goddess side. I’m pretty certain this is incorrect.


How to Stay Sane: The School of Life, Book 6.

“There is no simple set of instructions that can guarantee sanity.”

I can’t help but feel this book is poorly named. “How to Possibly Stay a Little Sane” might fit more with that blurb. Not that I’ve read it, because apparently this was not a high priority read for me. I’d also like to know why I didn’t start with Book 1. That might have been something handy, like “How to Adult”.


Writing a Novel & Getting Published for Dummies.

“If you’ve always wanted to write that great novel, but never knew where to start, look no further! Taking you step by step from concept to contract, this book provides the tools you need to tell your story with skill and approach agents and publishers with confidence.”


Well, we always hope there’s a secret, right? A magic formula that we just have to discover? A secret code, a hidden map, a… book for dummies?


I also discovered an astonishing amount of cosy mysteries, both read and not, as well as a perfectly ridiculous number of zombie books. Apparently I’ve been searching for the perfect zombie-cosy mystery crossover for quite some time.

I won’t mention the large assortment of books that I actually already own in hard copy, though…




What about you? Have you made any mystifying finds on your Kindle (substitute ereader of choice here)?

The Joys of Old Sci-Fi Books (& Covers)

The Joys of Old Sci-Fi Books (& Covers)

In which I show off a slightly haphazard collection of old Pan C.S. Lewis and Penguin John Wyndham sci-fi, and try to justify their purchase as an exercise in learning about humanity through the writings of old sci-fi writers, rather than just because I like the wonderfully trashy covers.

What? I never said I had fancy tastes.



What about you? Do you like old sci-fi, or old books in general? What’s your weakness when it comes to books? (Other than just, well, books…)


The Phantom Tollbooth & Why I Read Past the First Chapter

The Phantom Tollbooth & Why I Read Past the First Chapter

In which I talk about a book that I can’t actually remember very well, but that I know I loved as a kid. I also blame it for why I have guilt over DNF (did not finish) books.

Well, not really. I actually thank it for teaching me to always give a book a reasonable chance, but the other way sounds more interesting.



Do you put books down unfinished? Why or why not? And what’s something that a book’s taught you? Let me know in the comments!


Science-y Books for Non-Science-y People

Science-y Books for Non-Science-y People

In which I admit that although I own two copies of Cosmos, I haven’t read either, but have read other Carl Sagan books that I don’t own.

And I talk about other science-y books that are a good fit for my fairly un-science-y brain, and get a little over-excited by the fact that the universe is just generally pretty amazing.



Do you read science books (-y or otherwise)? Have you read any of these? Let me know your thoughts and recommendations in the comments!


James Joyce, A Cat, & The Devil

James Joyce, A Cat, & The Devil

In which I somehow turn book review time into storytime, featuring an absolutely brilliant little picture book written by James Joyce.

Well, I imagine he needed a break after Ulysses.



Do you have any strange and unusual finds you’ve come across in your bookshop travels? Books by unexpected authors? Let me know in the comments!