Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Blood Sisters - Graham Masterton

I am a bit addicted to this DS Katie Maguire series, although I am wondering if she is beginning to get a few too  many strange murders in her neck of the woods, and each one being a serial killer with special interests.  In this novel, it is a series of nuns who keep turning up dead in bizarre circumstances.  Who could be doing it?

I also wonder why people keep volunteering to get into Katies car or come round to her house?  Now that is just asking for trouble isn't it.

Still I will keep coming back for more as I am hooked.  4/5

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Jane Doe January - Emily Winslow

Emily Winslow was a young drama student who after being followed home one night in 1992, is brutally raped in her apartment.  Now twenty years later, a mans dna is matched to her assault and she is called upon to be a witness at a new trial.

She also begins to look at what happened in their lives since this all happened, and questions many of the staff involved in the investigation.  Part of me had great admiration for what she did, researching lots of files and information must have been difficult as much of it was done pre computers.  Another part of me wondered if she drove herself a bit crazy being so focused on a lot of things.  In the end I was left feeling a bit flat and deflated and just wanted to know what happened. 2/5

Monday, July 25, 2016

Music Monday - Running Up That Hill - Kate Bush

I was listening to this song on Saturday night on the bus going home, with silent tears spilling down my cheeks.  I've always loved it, but now the words mean more to me than ever:

It doesn't hurt me
Do you want to feel how it feels?
Do you want to know that it doesn't hurt me?
Do you want to hear about the deal that I'm making?
You, it's you and me
And if I only could
I'd make a deal with God
And I'd get him to swap our places
Be running up that road
Be running up that hill
Be running up that building
See if I only could, oh
Kate Bush

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

It Was Me All Along - Andie Mitchell

Andie Mitchell writes about what it is to have lived most of her life as the fat girl, and how as an adult she realized that she was ebbing towards 300 pounds. Deciding she needed to change her body, she chose to make some drastic changes.  After losing a lot of weight she found new challenges and still struggled to accept herself.

Finding herself beginning to enjoy food again, she started a blog and found a new career as a food blogger, and I guess it is from there that this book got written.  I liked this memoir and could empathize with the little girl rejected and made fun of because of her size.  People do think that it is fine to bully and talk about someone who is fat, in a way that they would not if it were any other issue that a person was dealing with. 3/5

Monday, July 18, 2016

Music Monday - Christine and the Queens - Tilted

My ipod is busy playing this one as I walk about at the moment.  I can't figure out a lot of what she is saying, but the French is sweet and the tune is addictive - and it makes me feel happy as I listen.

Sunday, July 17, 2016


Saturday night in the winter time is the perfect time for heading out for Asian Chicken Noodles and then a little arthouse movie.  The noodles were great, although not so great this morning as I had to run to the bathroom several times.  My bestie who ate the same meal felt fine, so I am sure that I am just sensitive to some of the ingredients.

As we sat down at the movie we were a bit surprised as the promos running first.  They were advertising super hero/comic based shows.  I guess it was the school holidays, but as the audience were mostly over 60 it seemed like they had not thought about the demographics watching.  Mum and her bestie thought they were the youngest, until a couple in their 30s were the last couple to sit down.

Mum and her friend did enjoy the movie, and more so because they didn't know a lot about it.  It is a little type of thriller about two elderly men in a rest home who make a plan to search out the block kapo that had their family killed at Auschwitz.  That really is all you need to know.  4/5

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Penguin Bloom - Cameron Bloom

Oh my gosh what a special little book.  I found it lurking on the shelf at the library,  and as soon as I looked through the pages at the photos I was hooked.  I took it home and read it in one evening loving each page.

Penguin Bloom is actually a magpie that the family saved as a bedraggled baby and raised her until she was strong enough to fly and to live outside.  In the meantime the family are also dealing with their own dramas, and she helps them to heal.  The photos are just amazing, how relaxed and happy that little bird looks lying on its back with the kids, or sitting on someones head.  Just awesome. 5/5

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Love & Friendship

I was looking forward to this one, the shorts looked appealing.  What is not to love about a costume drama based on a Jane Austen novella?  Kate Beckinsale plays Lady Susan, a widow who is in search of a husband for herself and her daughter.  I thought she did a fabulous job as the wicked and devious widow, she holds the movie well and keeps the momentum of the story going.  All the characters were wonderful, with that certain charm that only British drama/comedies can offer.

Maybe I should not have gone to the cinema when I was tired, but I did get a bit bored and nodded off, which was a  shame as I so wanted to love this little movie.  3/5

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Love, Loss and What We Ate - Padma Lakshmi

I really only knew Padma Lakshmi from hosting Top Chef on the television, and she seemed like an interesting woman.  After a career modeling, and doing a bit of acting, she then wrote a cookbook and ended up on the cooking show.  In this book we get to hear about growing up in India, then in the US with her single mother, before she headed to Europe for her modeling career.  A lot of the book is then dedicated to her relationships, as it was all a bit complicated when she had her daughter.

Somehow though I could sense that her story didn't seem complete, their seemed to be some sort of holding back and that it didn't seem to have a sense of joy, even though she comes across as a very smart and spiritual person who loves her family, traveling, and eating.   Maybe the story just seemed a little bit sad, and maybe focused more on loss rather than love. 3/5

Monday, July 11, 2016

Music Monday - Adele - Send My Love (To Your New Lover)

Oh Adele you are awesome lady.  You deserve great things for all the joy you bring.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

All the Things We Never Knew - Shelia Hamilton

I have thought a lot about this book in the days since I have read it.  It is a memoir written by Shelia Hamilton and is the story about her marriage to David and how their relationship changed after David had bouts of  anxiety and depression, and is then diagnosed with a mental illness.

Many of us have been affected by  friends and family suffering from mental illness, and it was interesting to read about Shelias experience especially once their wee daughter came along.  As the marriage disintegrated  things began to get worse, with David becoming increasingly unhappy.

A really worthwhile read - one that I am sure I will continue to think about for weeks. 5/5

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Marlene - C.W. Gortner

From the first page I was sucked into this story of Marlene Dietrich - who we meet as a young girl living in Berlin with her mother and sister, learning the violin.  We follow her to the decadent Berlin Clubs and cabarets, to her career in film, arriving in 1930s Hollywood where she becomes the highest paid female star.

Although I knew a little about Marlene, the author bought Marlene alive for me and I felt like I could picture her in her sparkling gowns and her mens suits and top hats.  I could see the glamorous salons and lounging at the beach on the South of France.

Mainly focused on her early years, I did learn more about Marlene and her working during the war entertaining the troops and although it didn't cover much further, a quick documentary on youtube filled in the gaps.  C.W Gortner is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. 5/5

Monday, July 04, 2016

Music Monday - Mumford & Sons with Baaba Maal - There Will Be Time

I LOVE this little song and have it on constant rotation on my ipod at the moment.  There are several live versions on youtube which reflect the huge energy building in the song which is best played in front of a huge crowd singing along, something Mumford & Sons do so very well.  I have never managed to see them live and would love to be given the chance to bop along with the hipsters.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Being Mortal - the Documentary

I feel like a bit of an Atul Gawande fangirl. Since reading her book Being Mortal  a year or so ago, I recommend it to everyone as a must read.  He takes the time to not only talk about patients, but also his own family and experiences with what happens when we get older and the choices to make when we are dying.

When my own father got sick, he read this book and was able to make his own notes.  The hospice says it was the best advanced directive that they had recently read, which I said was a result of reading this book.

Over the weekend I watched the PBS Documentary Being Mortal which was a good introduction to what he is trying to talk about in the book, about being honest and finding out what people value, and how they would like their life to be at the end. When is the right time to stop chasing treatments, and spend time with loved ones is a question for all of us, and it often can be difficult for doctors to have this discussion with their patients.

It is around 55 minutes, and their are a few ads popped into the documentary which is a bit annoying, but it is a very worthwhile watch.  5/5

Friday, July 01, 2016

Taken For Dead - Graham Masterton

Oh I am a bit addicted to this series about DS Katie McGuire, who is smart, sexy and always finding herself in trouble.  I simultaneously like and hate that the thriller tips into the horror/torture genre, and am drawn to reading the whole series.  This one, book 4 deals with abduction/tortures and police corruption and  although some of it was improbable I did enjoy it and am going to hunt down book 5. 4/5