Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Personal - Lee Child

Boyfriend got a passport, new pants and a plane ticket to London - oh my!!!!  That is kind of where my excitement ended, as I have to admit to being a bit bored and ho hum about his overseas adventure.  What happened to excitement Mr Reacher, how did you end up in this boring hunting down of a sniper via London street gang that reads like a boring  spooks episode?  It didn't have any grit or humour for me, it just felt like a beginning and an end with a long long, dull middle.

But - I still love you Jack.  Just hoping it will work out, we've been together a long time. 2/5

Monday, September 15, 2014

Romany and Tom - Ben Watt

What a poignant  love song this is,  to Ben Watts ageing parents  In this memoir, musician Ben Watts introduces us to, Romany who starts off as an actress and then becomes a journalist, dashing off to interview Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton abroad, and Tom, her second husband, a jazz band leader who after changing fortunes in music becomes a painter decorator.  Fuelled by a fair amount of alcohol, their relationship appears to have its rocky moments with plenty of arguments.

Although it made me sad to read about their decline, the memory loss, the falls, the loneliness and despair, Ben manages to remind us of the fun times they had together, the loving memories that bind a couple together.  I do so like a book that succeeds in making me both smile and produce some tears, and this one did this so well.  5/5

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Big Tiny - Dee Williams

I must say that I am intrigued by the tiny house movement.  The thought of not spending all that money on a huge mortgage/rent and just living with the essentials really appeals, as well as the independence it seems to give its owners is great.  It is just the thought of no shower or toilet, and having to climb up a ladder to bed, or falling of the ladder in the middle of the night.  I also love stuff - I love my couch and my big bed, my bedside table and having more than three pairs of shoes.

So this was a really good read, I enjoyed hearing about why Dee Williams chose to build her little house and was amazed that she built it herself with little to no help, good on her!!  She seemed to have been lucky and was able to have her little home on the properties of her friends, and they seemed totally chilled at having her share their facilities.  I could see that wearing out really quick with my friends or family - maybe I have to use the bathroom too often in a day.

Certainly worth a 3/5 for more than a tiny read.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Music Monday - Shake it Off

Officially I am sure as a middle aged lady I am three times over the average age of most girls listening to Taylor Swift.  But I do find myself tapping my foot and singing along in my middle aged lady brain when the tune comes on the radio (that also shows how old I am - still listening to the radio in the morning).

Where I work, often the tv is on during the day for our clients, so we often get arguments about what channel will be on.  As most of the free to air channels are sponsored by endless replays of horrid informercials, robot roombas,  Wen haircare, pimple care and blenders, the staff are divided into the Al Jazeera camp and the music channel.  Now at least the music channel has changed into a channel run by the radio station, so at least we get some modern pop music.  Before it was run by depressed hipsters out to discover the next weirdo beardy band, with the occasional hip hop video of girls doing nasty twerking/gynae exams - hardly family friendly viewing.  So I have decided to stay neutral and not enter into the argument, although I do sneakily switch to the home channel every now and then.  To make the old ladies happy!

Four Sisters - Helen Rappaport

The author has brought to life the story of the Romanov family, from the marriage of the Tsar and his wife, to the family years right up till their murder in Siberia.  The title suggests that the book is about the four sisters, but I found it to be a more general description of family life.  I was surprised to read about how simple and isolated the family were, although they must have had their luxuries what with all those FabergĂ© eggs and all.

It is almost impossible sitting here a hundred years later after their deaths, to imagine in a modern world how such a leader and his family were able to be taken away and brutally killed.  I was surprised to ask around at work, and many of the twenty year olds were not aware of the story, one can only imagine if it happened to the pseudo celebrities of today, the internet would explode.  4/5

Saturday, September 06, 2014

The Fictional Woman - Tara Moss

In this memoir, Tara shares her a lot about her early life when she began modelling as a teenager, it would certainly make you wary of sending your own young girls out on any modelling jobs after she describes eating disorders and sexual abuse occurring all around her throughout her career.  She then gave up her modelling career to begin writing novels at twenty five and became successful around the world, although this did not stop people questioning whether she had actually written her own books and making her the subject of gossip.

I admire her honesty, talking about the death of her mother at a young age, difficult relationships and the hard journey to becoming a mother.  As well as telling her story, she also looks at womens rights and how there is still a place for women to step up and take leadership roles in the community and business, how sexism is still all around us, and what she feels needs to be changed to get equal rights for all.

I did just feel somehow that I didn't want to be preached too, and that for me, this would have almost been better as two books, and by bringing both parts together it made it confusing. 3/5

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The Darkest Hour - Barbara Erskine

Barbara Erskine is one of the best authors of the time slip tale, the one set in modern day that is connected with the historical fiction, bringing both stories to life.  I do love a good World War II story, but I felt with this one I wanted more.  More action or heartbreak, I couldn't quite figure out what was missing in the story for me.

So in the story we meet modern day Lucy, recently widowed she is left with a mysterious picture that was painted by war artist Evie Lucas.  Determined to find out the origins of the painting, and more about Evies private life, the stories begin to spin around her.  I loved both the characters, but somehow I didn't connect with them, wanting to know more about Lucy and her past with her husband, or more about Evie and her brother, more about growing up on the farm, or really about the War.  Evies world felt a bit empty, no girl friends, no dances, no workers on the farm or gossip at the shops, it all came across a bit bleak and boring.

So I left wanting more, more story and less pages, it just felt a bit wordy and long for me and felt like a long slog.  3/5

Monday, September 01, 2014

Music Monday - Budapest

I keep encountering this song on the radio, in shops and over the weekend saw the artist George Ezra play it with just his guitar making it even more haunting.  For a middle aged lady I am loving the music of this decade, how I hated most of the 90's/millennium big haired guitar music and horrible boy bands.  Singer songwriter is more me.