Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bones Are Forever - Kathy Reichs

Bones Are Forever - Kathy Reichs (2012)

Awww Kathy Reichs, have you been out brainstorming with Mr Lee Childs and cra cra Patricia Cornwell?  Been discussing how to write a formulaic thriller for a dumbed down audience?

It started out promising with Dr Bones helping in the autopsy of three small babies found hidden in a residence, with a missing mother.  Then we went haywire, you know the bit where Dr Bones becomes detective Bones, and travels here and there digging into every ones business, investigating the murders and of course the obligatory being held hostage by one of the accused.  Don't you know I hate that?

Surely in these recession proof times, even the medical examiners office has had to pull up the purse strings, and Doctor would be chained to her desk, being expected to investigate several cases at once?  Not out running around town with the two men who are secretly in love with her, like sulky puppies.

I have already had to relegate you from the buy now to the borrow from the library pile, now you might just have to get demoted to the stop reading pile, and join your buddies James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell in the why bother pile.


War Horse

War Horse - DVD (2011)

The Flu Festival of 2012 provided me some opportunity to sit on the couch over the weekend, and catch up on the reading pile and watch some DVDs.   I had wanted to see this one, but didn't want to spend the money at the cinema.  There are quite a few that come out that I can easily relegate to the might look at later pile of movies.

So this is the story of a  farm boy and his horse Joey who are separated  during the first world war.  Drafted into service we get to follow this Joey, as he is sent into battle.

Of course as soon as it starts, we get an inkling of the ending, but even though the journey is somewhat predictable, it is hard not to be touched by this story.  The visuals are also quite stunning, especially the English countryside which is probably filmed in somewhere cheap and European.  3/5

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Real Estate Stalking - Tauranga

Yesterday when I was sick, I decided to see what I could buy if I had a couple of million bucks to spend (I wish).  I found this house in Tauranga NZ.  Isn't the view from the front deck lovely? I could quite happily sit out here with a glass of wine in the evening, and Pops and I would be  cosy curling up on the couch reading a book, or watching the tele.

The kitchen was a bit too laboratory for me, but hey - I am sure I would have thousands left to make it more homey.

You can find it for sale on trade me at:

Friday, September 28, 2012

Literary Tattoos

Me, well I don't have any tattoos, but I like the idea of using a favorite picture, quote or lyrics on your skin, words that resonate with your life.  I often peak at which is a blog where people post their literary inspired tattoos (that's where these pictures come from).

I haven't found anything that I would be happy to live with all my life yet, maybe one day, maybe never.  But, I like looking at other peoples beautiful pictures and haunting words.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn (2012)

This is the story of a modern marriage. On the day Nick and Amy are celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick arrives home to find that Amy is missing.

That's all you need to know, as the story switches between both their stories, their current lives, and how they got together years earlier.  Two different versions of a marriage, with twists and turns everywhere.

I enjoyed this book a lot, from the first page when I picked it up I didn't want to put it down, and carried it around with me all weekend.  Normally, it is the type of book that I avoid, as so often it is filled with a predictable storyline, but I felt that the author was able to give a fresh voice to a story we think we know.

So I have to say it is worth a 4/5, almost pushing a 5.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Usually I am a bit dismissive of New Zealand TV.  You see my budget can't afford Sky TV, so I am stuck with poor peoples free Television, where most of the channels seem to be run by fifteen year old boys, who rotate series of Friends and specialise in Adam Sandler movies - yuck.

Thank goodness for Prime TV, for at least they show Game of Thrones, Mad Men and this week I have seen them start to advertise for season three of Downton Abbey.  I do love my books, but I don't want to read them every night, and a few hours in front of the box is good downtime in the evening.  Oh and how can I forget Antiques Roadshow.  Someone on their programming committee must be  middle aged  me thinks.

Still, the evenings are getting lighter here, and next week I think our daylight savings time will start, so there will be time to potter in the garden, and spend with friends.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Front Room Fabrics

Yesterday I spent my $5 jar money on a much needed Dyson vacuum cleaner. I could have gone budget, which I have in the past, and that resulted in ones that break down after a year or two.  I must have super strength hair or something.

Anyways, I'm unlikely to travel to New York and go shopping at Anthropologie, but thank goodness for online shopping.  This lovely duvet is from front room fabrics in modern.  I actually have the pillow cases, and maybe next years $5 jar could get me the duvet cover.

I do love it so.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Jackpot (2011)

A mild mannered factory manager decides to chip in with his ex-con workers for a football competition.   This leads him to be being found in a strip club, lying in a puddle of blood underneath a large woman, clutching a shot gun, with 8 dead bodies surrounding him.

There was plenty of violence in this Norwegian thriller, but because there were lots of laughable scenes as well, it made a good balance, and I could see producers wanting to remake it for a US audience.

Beats watching NZ tv.  3/5

Friday, September 21, 2012

I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag - Jennifer Gilbert

I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag - Jennifer Gilbert (2012)

I do like me a good little memoir.  It doesn't have to be from somebody famous, or a name dropper to make an impression, sometimes the best ones are about semi-ordinary lives.   Jennifer Gilbert was living an ordinary life with big dreams of a new job in New York, when a trauma changes everything.

This trauma turns her life inside out and she returns home with her parents and plans out her new future, and it was this part of her life that was most interesting.  A new career in event planning, her relationships and path to motherhood are thoughtfully retold with a sense of strength and humour.  So much so, that I stayed up late last night and woke up early this morning to read this book.  4/5

City of Ravens - Boria Sax

City of Ravens - Boria Sax  (2012)

Initially I was drawn to this story by the cover, with the ravens sitting over the Tower of London.  I've been there, and you can't help but be drawn to the great black bird that roam around.  Of course, those ones can't fly over, as they have had their wings clipped to prevent them leaving.

The author mainly looks at the origin of the Towers birds, and the truth regarding the idea that the Monarchy will fall if the birds ever leave.    He also explores how other European cultures have their own myths and beliefs about this regal bird.

Although I learnt a little bit, I found that some of the facts were repeated over and over, and I would have liked to learn a little more about the mysterious birds.  2/5

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Coming to My Senses - Alyssa Harad

Coming to My Senses - Alyssa Harad (2012)

In her mid thirties, Alyssa Harad feels like she is stumbling along in life and work.  Finding her first perfume blog, she finds herself in a world which seems to awaken her with a new language, new friends and sets her off on new adventures.

She is a good little writer and this memoir about her discoveries in perfume world, and her impending marriage you can't help but like her.  I really enjoyed picking up this book, and delving into her world and it made me think of the scents that I use to make me feel good.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Guts - Kristen Johnston

Guts - Kristen Johnston (2012)

I saw Kristen Johnston on the Anderson Cooper show, where she was talking about her book, and then helping out with a bit of co-hosting.  Her book is part memoir about her early life, but mostly it is about her recent recovery after years of alcohol and pain medication addiction.

A couple of years ago, after a performance in a London play, she collapsed in the bathroom, after a ruptured ulcer caused haemorrhaging and peritonitis from leaking stomach contents.  A long recovery in bleak sounding London hospitals ensued, and although sore her forced withdrawal from cigarettes, alcohol and pills would not have helped to make her the most delightful of patients.

I was impressed with her television appearance, as she came across as being funny, sensitive and extremely personable, which also comes across in the book.  I think too that she showed some restraint in the book, by not being a massive name dropper and also by just holding back on the humour, unlike some comedians memoirs I have read lately.  3/5.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns - Margaret Dilloway

The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns - Margaret Dilloway (2012)

Cal is a high school science teacher who is busy at school and busy at home.  As a breeder of new and unusual roses, she has to juggle that with kidney failure and having dialysis every second day.

Just as things are are settling into a pattern, enter the teenage angst as her niece appears to stay with her, while her sister goes to work in Hong Kong.

For me it was ok, I liked that Cal was a bit prickly like her roses, but I felt like it was a story that I had heard before.


Music Saturday - Amy Stroup - Just You

I love this new song that I discovered tonight - Amy Stroup and her song Just You.  I'm not really a big production number girl, I prefer a singer song writer vibe.  If only I could remember my itunes password,  I would buy the song.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - DVD (2011)

Hmmm , this one confused me a little bit.  I had tried to read the book a couple of years ago, but gave it up after a few pages as it didn't really grip me.  I felt the same about the movie in fact, after starting it, I thought about abandoning the movie several times.

For me, it felt like it should have been a little indie movie, but instead we got Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock with old cardigans and unbrushed hair, wow - what amasing character actors they are,

The main problem though, for me was the main character who somehow I thought should have been sad and vulnerable, but instead I just found him annoying and whiny.  Is that wrong, to judge a child?  I just think the direction on this movie was misplaced, and all the things that could have been a bit of magic were just a bit lost.  2/5

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hello My New Lovie

I've been stalking the Anthropologie website again.  I know I should have bought a Big Wednesday ticket, and been in for a chance of winning $27 million dollars, but the queue was too long, and I was too cold and tired to wait.

If anyone else wins, could they buy this Rosette Quilt for me?  I love that it has writing on it, and it doesn't look like it needs an iron.  Wouldn't it be fun to go to New York to go shopping, I just know I would be good at it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Small Blue Thing - S.C. Ransom

Small Blue Thing - S.C. Ransom (2011)

Alex is with her best friend down at the Thames, celebrating sitting her last exams.  While there she spots something hidden in the mud, and pulling it out finds an old silver bracelet with a sparkling blue stone.

After wearing it round for a while, she realises that she is hearing a voice of a  mysterious young man, Callum who begins to tell her about her amulet, and how he is stuck in an imbetween world.  As their friendship grows, she begins to wonder if she should get rid of the bracelet, especially when Alex finds her life at risk, and she feels confused not knowing who to trust.

This is part one of a trilogy, and I think I will look out for part two.  It is a young adult book, and intended for the 11plus market, which makes me feel old, as I am somewhat older.


The Song of Archilles - Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller (2012)

I've looked at this one in bookshops and on Amazon, and was glad when my reserve at the library finally showed up (look at how old school I am).  Madeline Miller has both studied and taught Latin and Ancient Greek, and she uses her knowledge to tell us the story of  The Iliad, of Achilles and his friend  Patroclus.

I never expected to get sucked into the ancient Greek tale as I did, but she is a good storyteller and I was drawn into the story of legends and heroism.  Told from Patroclus point of view, it felt both familiar and yet original to me at the same time.

I have to give it a solid 4/5.

Monday, September 10, 2012

More Kindle Ripoffs

If you live in the UK you can buy off Amazon.UK,  and you pay74 pence or about $1.50 NZ.  Instead we have to go through Amazon.Com where we are bundled into the Asia/Pacific region and really ripped off.  We get forced to  pay US$9.99 or NZ$13 .  Almost ten times the price.

My colleagues often ask me about my Kindle, as lately I have returned to borrowing more and more library books.  I check and look, and often only buy books on Amazon on special, sometimes they can be discounted for a week or two.  I recommend that they hold off buying an e-reader if their family member is happy to still borrow books.

It would be better to have a fairer pricing system.  Don't forget that you can still probably buy the books for cheaper through the Book Depositary and get them sent to NZ for free.  Do I feel sorry for Kiwi booksellers - sure, but it has been a long time since I had bought books.  Once the prices went up to NZ$40, it got way out of my price range for affordability.   

Music Monday - Ed Sheeran 'Small Bump'

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Learning to Breathe - Priscilla Warner

Learning to Breathe - Priscilla Warner (2011)

As I am about to describe this book, I am trying to figure out if I remembered how it all ended, and my middle aged brain is stuck on search, but unable to pull up that particular file.

Priscilla herself is middle aged, and has spent a life time fighting panic attacks.  So, she decides to spend a year trying different methods of relaxing, meditation, yoga and therapy in order to find a cure.

Some of the therapy options/brain scanning was a bit airy fairy for me, but I liked that she did manage to find some methods of reducing her anxiety, and I thought that she was brave writing about her journey.


Friday, September 07, 2012

Absolutely - Joanna Lumley

Absolutely - Joanna Lumley (2011)

Right from when you open the book, you get the sense of Joanna Lumley talking to you, hearing her voice.  Filled with photos, this is the story of her interesting life.  A career in television and movies, I didn't realise that she had quite the modeling career.

As always the most interesting parts are about her growing up, with her family and her home life.  I saw her on a documentry recently, and she seemed such fun, amusing and clever, and like she would be awesome to share a drink with.


Most of Me - Robyn Michelle Levy

Most of Me - Robyn Michelle Levy (2012)

So after a surprise diagnosis of Parkinsons disease, Robyn Michelle Levy is just beginning to live with that when she discovers she also has breast cancer.

 With an older husband, a  teenage daughter and older parents dealing with their own health issues, most of us can understand her bewilderment at the changes going on in her life.  I admire her ability to keep her sense of humour throughout, and to be able to laugh when I know that I would have broken down and cried.

A 4/5 from me.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Movie Monday - Bob at work

Here is a wee movie for your Monday.  This is Bob, he has his own book   .  Poor wee fella, he has to go out to work busking to buy his fancy feasts.  Apparently it is one of my most looked at posts.

It's interesting to look at your blog stats to see what other people are peering at - most curious. The most popular post looked at is a little post I mad in 2010 of a John Cusack movie martian child. 

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Music Sunday - A Thousand Years

In the past couple of months, I haven't really listened to much music as the grey weather has meant nights on the couch or early to bed to read.  Now that we finally have some blue skies, the door open and spring cleaning mean that the stereo has been dusted off, and new tunes are playing.

The ipod too has been pulled out of the backpack and a few new songs added.  I've had this one on  my playlists for some time, but was reading a blog today where the lyrics were written out, and could see just how sweet they were.  I prefer this video of the lyrics, rather that the Twilight tween one.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Happy Spring - Feel the Fear

Tonight is a night on the couch.  It has been a lovely first day of spring with some gardening done, the washing has been almost drying outside and the first NZ strawberries were out at the market.  As I am on call tonight, it has been an evening at home, and the white trash girl inside me has laughed  as I caught ten minutes of fear factor on the tele, imbetween scrubbing out the shower.
Bug coffee - hilarious.

It can't be all classy foreign films, fancy food and international music acts all the time, a girl has to have some other entertainments.