As I’ve said before, I love reading middle-grade fiction. It makes a nice change from my usual literary fiction which often deals with fairly depressing subjects. I loved The Happy Couple but I needed to read something jolly afterwards. So, of course, I was attracted to the rainbow-stencilled edges of this book. It was pure joy. Although, as we know, a petty cover doesn’t necessarily mean a pretty interior. Would the actual book live up to the artwork that had drawn me in?
Book Review – The Happy Couple by Naoise Dolanbooks, reviews
I can’t promise that this will be the best thing I’ve ever written. At the time of writing, I haven’t slept for about 32 hours. After a bit of unexpected drama, I ended up spending 11 hours in an A&E department. Nothing to worry about in the end but there were some very stressful moments. By the time I got back, I decided it was best to power through for the rest of the day so I don’t mess up my sleeping pattern before work tomorrow. The last-minute outing to the hospital meant that I wasn’t able to get this review written yesterday, so it was my sole mission when I did get back this morning. Well, once I’d finished the last 30 pages of the book at least. I was so close to the end when the drama occurred and I was hopeful I’d be back in time to finish it that night/morning. I’d forgotten just how much of a mess the Tories have let the NHS in.
Book Review – An Offer From a Gentleman by Julia Quinnbooks, reviews
I was surprised by how into Bridgerton that I got. Okay, so it’s essentially just a sexy soap opera set in Regency-era London. I knew it would be a pretty casual watching experience but I didn’t think it would be my thing. I’ve never been a lover of romance novels, so didn’t think I’d care about all of those same tropes being dusted off again. I won’t pretend that I’m a huge fan but I binged watched both series 1 and 2 pretty quickly recently. An act that made me curious about the novels the show was adapted from. I had no illusions that I’d ever undertake reading the whole series but I did at least want to give one a try. Why start with book 3? Well, it made sense after finishing season 2 of the show, even if the next season is based on book 4. I also think that Benedict is the most interesting of the siblings, so was interested to see how he came across in the books. Also, I had to see if the Cinderella elements were as awful as they sounded. So, without having any belief that I’d enjoy this book, I set about reading it. How bad could it be?
Book Review – Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christiebooks, reviews
I have to admit I’ve sort of abandoned my plan to reread every Agatha Christie book. I started it ages ago and knew that it would take me ages. Not because her books take that long to read but because I didn’t want to suffer from burnout. Still, I haven’t really been keeping up with it this year. I think the last Christie book I read was back in December. Although, it’s not as if I read a great deal in 2022. I only picked up 4 of her books. Absolutely abysmal when compared to the 16 I got through in 2021. So, I’m going to try and improve this year. I’ve still got over 30 to get through so I need to get cracking. To get me started, I finally listened to an audiobook I’ve had in my library for too long. I normally like Hugh Fraser’s narration but surely David Suchet would be even better, right? At least Poriot would sound familiar.
Book Review – The Last Bear by Hannah Goldbooks, reviews
I’ve been meaning to get this book for ages because it just sounded perfect. The fact that it was winning all of the awards only convinced me further. I think hyped books for older readers tend to be disappointing for me. However, hyped kids’ books are usually as good as we’re told. So, I was excited to read this book. Partly because of something I did at school. We were asked to write a leaflet about an animal and I chose bears. I went into so much detail that I became a bit obsessed with bears. I’ve never forgotten it and, as I found out when I discovered it recently, the leaflet holds up. The clipart isn’t great but the rest is gold. So, I reckon younger me would have loved this book and I’m reading it for her.
Book Review – Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevinbooks, reviews
How do you approach hyped books? I tend to buy them immediately and then put them on the shelf for years. The minute people start praising a book, I lose all confidence in it. I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve heard nothing but good things about a book that I didn’t like. Or, at least, that I didn’t find very interesting. So, I do worry when a book comes along that sounds right up my street but is also massively hyped. It didn’t help that my friend also insisted that I give this one a chance. I do tend to trust her judgement so I decided it was finally time. I figured this would be good holiday reading but I didn’t start it until near the end of the week. Getting back to work meant that it took ages to finish it
Book Review – The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallettreviews, books
While I was away, I didn’t get quite as much reading done as I expected. I took 4 hardbacks and my Kindle just to be safe. In the end, I finished 2 and got halfway through a third. Not bad but not what I was hoping for. It gave me time to finish this one, and I’m glad I finally read it. I’ve been putting it off for a while because I was worried about how I’d feel about it. I mean, how long can Janice Hallett keep going with her gimmick before it gets old? I love the DIY approach to crime fiction but it doesn’t really leave room for the depth I’m looking for. Then there’s the fact that I was disappointed with her second book. I’d told myself that this book would be the decider. If I didn’t like it then I would probably avoid any future books. At least ones with the same conceit. So, there was a little extra pressure on this one than normal. Would I enjoy it?
Book Review – Our Hideous Progeny by C.E. McGillbooks, reviews
It’s been a while since I requested anything from Netgalley because I just don’t need the hassle. I just never get around to reading them and it always makes me feel guilty. I have too many of my own books that I would rather read, so I might as well get them done first. Sometimes, I find a book that I just can’t resist requesting. This was one of those books. It just sounded like my thing. As always, it’s been sitting in my account for ages waiting for me to remember it. I had actually forgotten about it until I checked my Kindle before going away. Then I felt so bad about it that I started it immediately. It wasn’t the holiday reading I was expecting but at least it ease my conscience a bit. Was it any good though?
Film Review – Love Sarah (2020)films, reviews
I love Yotam Ottolenghi. I am obsessed with his cookbooks even though I’ve only ever made a few recipes. That’s mostly because the ingredients always include something random that isn’t a cupboard staple. It’s also because they tend to be about 2 pages of instructions and who has the time? One day, I will go through them and make every single one. Or at least any without mushrooms, olives or any other foodstuff that I can’t stand. But for now, I can just dream of a time when I’m drawing in my own versions of his recipes. I’ve also never been to his place in London but I’ve walked past it and lusted over the cakes in the window. The same cakes that have a starring role in this film. I wanted to check it out as soon as I knew about the Ottolenghi connection but I didn’t exactly have high expectations.
Film Review – Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022)films, reviews
How are we not over the Minions by now? As good as I thought Despicable Me was, I always found them annoying. I didn’t need there to be two spin-off movies based around these irritating yellow sidekicks. But here we are. We can’t seem to get away from them. I can only hope that other people have started to feel the same way and we won’t have to put up with much more of them. Considering this burning hatred, you might be asking why I decided to watch this film for today’s review. The answer is a familiar one: time. I ran out of time to watch something and this was less than 90 minutes long. I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of it but it certainly worked within my time constraints. Also, every time I turn on the TV, Sky are telling me that it’s available to watch. It felt like something was telling me to watch it.