Thursday, November 27, 2014

Still Life With Bread Crumbs - Anna Quindlen

Rebecca Winter is making some changes in her life.  As a semi famous photographer, divorced with an adult son, she is jittery about the future and what it holds for her.  Her finances are troubling her, with an expensive apartment in New York, bills from the nursing home her mother is at and payments for her father she can see the money slipping away.

So she takes a chance, and rents a small rundown cottage in a country town, while tenants live in her apartment.  Of course there is the new people to contend with, the man who comes to fix the roof, the woman at the coffee shop and the clown.  All normalish - which is good, because I do get annoyed when the oddball group turns up in a novel, ruining it for me.

I did enjoy this novel, as getting middle aged myself I can relate to her stress and money worries. I liked its gentle pace and Anna Quindlen is a great storyteller weaving tales from the characters present and past together so well.  4/5

Monday, November 24, 2014

Music Monday - Black Widow

I hadn't added any songs to my ipod for ages, so this weekend I bought a card and downloaded some new tunes.  So all day at work, this song was the soundtrack in my head.  Just the chorus - I'm not a great middle aged lady rapper.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty

Big little lies is about three mothers and their circle of friends, who meet up as their children are about to start school together. Madeline who also has a teenager and an ex husband who has remarried with a new wife and young children. Celeste, uber gorgeous and rich, with a globe trotting husband and twin boys. And Jane, single mother who is new to the area.

She certainly did a good job of writing about the blonde bob gang of mothers who drive SUVs to drop their kiddies off to school and then dash to pilates and coffee for their day, we see those women around at drop off time every day. I did find that I liked the book better as it went along, as something about the beginning of it felt a bit overworked for me and I was just about to put it aside.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The English Girl - Margaret Leroy

Seventeen year old Stella leaves England to head to 1930's Vienna to study music.  Living with family friends she is set to discover herself and some secrets!!  A good bit of pre war adventure that was another good holiday read.  4/5

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

When the Cypress Whispers - Yvette Manessis Corporon

Just the way I needed to start a wee holiday of my own, a nice gentle and I hate to say Chick lit, so more like a grown up woman book.  A childhood being free on a little Greek island with her nonna was the perfect way to spend her youth, eating the local food and running around left to explore by herself.  Now grown up and returning with her own daughter,  she is to be married to her rich New York beau, and looks to reconnect with the friends and family that she has not seen in many years.

I guess then, that being clever you can figure out how the story ends, but I did enjoy this gentle ramble and it made me want to book a seat to a little Greek island of my own.  4/5

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel

This little book had had such good reviews that I was expecting a bit of magic and for me the magic was lacking.  It was a touch of The Walking Dead (minus zombies) with another part Ebola virus (minus the blood and body fluids) and I can see how that is flavour of the month at the moment.  It did make me realise we would all miss our devises and the lights if the lights went out.

  I did find it hard to connect with the characters, and not one stood out to me and made me want to find out thei story, and even though I finished it last night I have no clear visions of the characters themselves.  It makes me wonder if it was all set out like a bad telemovie ensemble piece, you know ten B grade Hollywood types wearing cargo pants at an abandoned airfield/airport.  Ahhh - I can see the trailer now!!  2.5

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Fault In Our Stars

So a quiet weekend at home feeling poorly was a perfect chance to watch a movie, when you can't move too far from the bathroom in case of accidents.  This is another movie that I am probably two decades too old for, but hey I read the book, and I didn't go to the cinema to watch it, as I knew I would leave with trails of mascara running behind me.

Like most movies made from the books, the book is better, but the movie is pretty good I thought.  It did a good job of capturing young love and the strange cancer world that Hazel and Gus live in.  Sweet with a touch of reality which kept it being syrupy.  3.5/5

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Pitch Perfect

You think I might have realised that when all the twenty something girls at work went to see the movie together, that I might have known that I was not in the target audience.  It was scary realising that you are decades to old for a movie.  Not like when me and a bestie saw 10 things I Hate About You, we realised we were about 8 years too old to see it, or when they made me go and see Step Up at about the same time.  In my defence, this movie was on tv, so I loaded up the DVR and recorded it and tonight sat on my couch with a bag of nacho chips and some tip and chilled out.

So anyway, even though I am too old, I do get that it is just meant to be a bit of fun.  Really, it was just an extended episode of Glee, although the lead Anna Kendrick is much more likeable than any of the tv characters, in a similar vein it was packed full of cheesy singing and  a love story that we can figure out in the first five minutes.   2/5

Friday, November 07, 2014

A Hundred Pieces of Me - Lucy Dillon

Gina Bellamy has had  a difficult couple of years, with a health scare and a failed marriage, she moves to a small place downsizing to the essentials she needs, both in her home and in her life.  New friendships and relationships force her to look at what will make her happy.  A bit of chit lit that we can all understand, the need for cleaning out and moving on.  A bit darker than the usual light ladies story, this one made me smile and I must to admit to enjoying this read while relaxing on holiday.  4/5

Thursday, November 06, 2014


So while I was on holiday, I took my 16 year old nephew to a date afternoon, and took him to see Fury at the cinema.  Sometimes movies are so big, and especially with battle are best seen on the large screen.  We must say that we both enjoyed it, sure it was violent and dark, but essentially it was the story about brothers.  Men brought together in war, who stick together no matter what happens.  We thought a 4/5.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Music Monday - Shake It Off - Taylor Swift

I'm bringing back this Taylor Swift Shake It Off video.  I've shown it before, but I'm loving it more this week.  Just the energy I need at the moment.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Finding Me - Michelle Knight

This one maybe wasn't the best holiday read, it doesn't seem like beachside reading, but as the weather at the lake was a bit hit or miss in spring, it filled in an afternoon or two.  I must admit to dread reading this type of book, violent crime especially to women and children leaves a sour taste in my mouth and makes me sleep poorly.  I had though seen Michelle Knight on the Dr Phil show, and was impressed at her stepping up to tell her story.

We know that news head lines, that in 2013, three women were rescued from the house in Cleveland Ohio, where they had been held captive by Ariel Castro.  Michelle Knight a young single mother had been taken in 2002 and held for over ten years, and subjected to brutal beatings and continued rapes.  Her descriptions are quite graphic and it was hard not to cry reading about the horrors that went on in that house.  Those poor poor girls.

You can only admire her bravery for standing up in public and telling her story, for providing a warning to other women and girls.  As a young mother to miss her son, and then ten years later to find out that he has been adopted into a loving home, and for her courage in being able to accept that he has a new life and to keep him out of the public eye.  I hope that she is able to carry on and have a new life and enjoy her freedom.  4/5

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Bones Never Lie - Kathy Reichs

So a lazy spring holiday allowed me to kick back and read a few novels in a row which was quite the luxury.  It has been a long time since I stayed up late reading, and was able to get up and lie in bed to finish off a book.  Oh to win the lotto, imagine the books I could read!!

So in this, the number 17th of the Dr Brennan adventures, Kathy Reichs returns with a little  bit more of the charm that made her earlier novels so exciting.  I do still find it hard to get my head around her being so much out in the field, and helping police out so closely and then going off and investigating by herself all a bit strange. Surely such an expert would be either using her knowledge in the lab actually looking at the bones, or where remains are found?  I also wish there was more science and less relationship dramas in the books, providing for me a bit more balance.   Surely the will they/won't they finally get together has dragged on for enough books already.

Still I am sure I will chug along and read the next one, and the one after.  I have though had to give up on the television series.  Much as I like the characters, the storylines are so unrealistic and Hollywood overdone that I find it plastic and dull.