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January and February literary wanderings

Posted by admin on Apr 14, 2010 in books, lists

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I’ve been so busy the last two months I’ve read a really low amount of books. Still, amongst the random ones I selected I did discover one or two amazing new authors, as well as some texts that felt like I was wasting my time-on purpose.  Read my mini reviews below. (And yes, I’m aware that it’s not April- the combined March/April version will be out soon.)

Martians Go Home, Frederic Brown

An alien invasion commonly sums up visions of explosions, violence and misery. The idea that aliens might invade and simply annoy had not really ever been dealt with before this quirky book. Aliens have appeared on earth and seem bent on frustrating people to death by invading their space with their presence and foulness, rather than with any weapons. Martians have landed, and they’re little green men who are insubstantial as they just zip from place to place and cause chaos by being inappropriate. Ridiculously entertaining and a very novel concept- this book was an accidental purchase that I haven’t regretted for a second. Read more…

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November and December Journeys in literature

Posted by admin on Jan 17, 2010 in books, lists

novedecbooks_edited-1The last two months have seen a heightened level of reading time, due to holidaying, and thus a great many more books were consumed than normal. Due to a particularly helpful bittorrent, I managed to make my way through some of my favourite authors back catalogue, and can happily now add a wide selection of Philip. K.Dick novels to my mental library.

The Gathering storm, Wheel of Time , By Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

I was completely devastated when Robert Jordan died, in part because it’s always a shame when one loses a great man due to the ravages of illness, and partly because I’d immersed myself in the WOT series for ten years now, and NEEDED to know what would happen to Rand et al. Jordan created a world of such density and scale that Sanderson, the new ghostwriter couldn’t manage to end the age in one book, needing three in fact to do so. This is the first book in the final trilogy and Sanderson has an acute wry style which picks up perfectly where Jordan left off. His turn of phrase is remarkably accurate, and the characters conundrums continue to be compelling and perplexing. Read more…

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October adventures in books

Posted by admin on Nov 28, 2009 in books

october-books-zaraAnother month, another multitude of books that have been devoured. A stranger selection than usual.

Unseen Academicals, Terry Pratchett

Pratchett bravely tackles the eccentricities of football in his latest book, referencing the varying views on the popular sport. You see the wizards of the Unseen University learning to master it, and the street urchins displaying unfathomable skill which seems magical to the wizards. An interesting dissection of how sport crosses all cultural divides, and how it’s perceived by those not directly involved in it.

Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett

Deeply delicious, this book follows the unlikely tale of a hostage situation, where a house full of wealthy people are captured and then held for over 3 months. The relationships and entanglements that form out of this situation are strangely dark, yet sweet; and though the end is inevitably tragic the journey is unforgettable. Read more…

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The Pop Up Booklamp is pretty special

Posted by admin on Aug 16, 2009 in books, geekery, technology
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pop up book lamp

Isn’t this stunning? When I first spotted it I did a double take when I saw a price next to it- as something this funky, unusual and beautiful normally falls into the realms of the prototype design. But no, investigation revealed this intriguing pop-up book lamp is actually for sale- and isn’t it gorgeous!

bookpoplampDetails on quite how it works ate a little vague, but I can tell you that you can choose between a red or gray linen book that pops out a pretty lamp when it opens. There are two styles of lamp to choose from- Parisian style or Streetlamp, but whether it runs off batteries or electrical impulses isn’t clear.

Due to the fact the dimensions are 41×30 inches I’m guessing they could fit some sort of battery, but who knows? It’s gorgeous, its affordable and it’s seriously quirky!

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Get it for $95 from Charles & Marie.

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The darling books of June/July

Posted by admin on Aug 3, 2009 in books

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Another two months, another rather random selection of books under my belt- some of which have greatly troubled the boyfriend (see image above). I’m 5 books closer to finishing all the Booker novels (yippee!) and have read a startling amount of vampire themed kids books as well, which tie in quite nicely with watching Season One of True Blood. In no particular order, here are the latest on my literary adventures.

Night World, two anthologies by L.J.Smith

The first rule of fight club is that nobody talks about fight club, and the same principle applies even more closely to the Night World – where a mere mention of it means death to all. Think shadowy creatures of the night such as Vampires, witches ‘n werewolves ,  who lead a  supernatural existence  feeding off vermin (humans), but what happens when the rule of silence is broken- for love of vermin? The theme may be repetitive in the genre AND the books, but the prose is fast paced and easy to read, and written in a lighthearted yet compelling manner. I remember reading some of these when I was younger, and quite like how they’ve re-jacketed the book- very spooky- more angst ridden Harry Potter reader than a whimsical magic loving ten year old. Read more…

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Selfridges gets Panto-tastic with their Xmas 2009 Beauty line up

Posted by admin on Jul 24, 2009 in beauty, news

panto-princess-2-maureen-lougheryWhat does the word panto connote to you?   It takes me back to auditoriums filled with sticky excited E numbered kids watching bejeweled men and women dance around in elaborate finery. There would be lewd jokes, men in drag and the obligatory, ‘He’s behind you’ catcalls, combined with the inevitable happy ending and feeling of magic. Cinderella was always my favourite, but I also have a soft spot for Aladdin, and it seems Selfridges buyers echo my feelings of nostalgia.

This year the store is going to be bedecked in gaudy colours and panto-style accessories, with a whole range of beauty products to match! They’re releasing a makeup and skincare line of pantomime themed products  and have a selection of other lovely tidbits to offer with names such as ‘the Peter Pan anti-aging night cream for men, for the boy who won’t grow up’ and the ‘Sleeping Beauty transforming night cream for happy ever after skin £15’. I’ve seen the mock ups of the packaging and it’s lovely- think Soap & Glory meets Benefit with some showgirl razzle dazzle.

They have a lot more goodies on offer though, with exclusive collections from some big name brands-here’s what you’ll be wanting under your tree this year!

– Exclusive: Shu Uemura Snow White lashes £25

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Read more…

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The latest on my literary path: A strange mix of chick lit and childrens books

Posted by admin on Jun 5, 2009 in books, lists

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The last couple of months have seen me whittle down my Booker Novels list even further and resort to reading lowbrow kiddie books when I’ve run out of novels. My office bookshelf has been firmly raided (we’re on a Penguin Kids  and chick-lit mailing list) and I’ve been working my way through a variety of novels featuring boarding school, magic and vampires- and often all three. Who said children books were predictable? Read the short summaries here!

We need to talk about Kevin, Lionel Shriver

Dark, depressing and delicious, a book that you can’t help but adore despite yourself.

How the Light gets in by M.J Hyland

Gifted but troubled Australian sixteen year old heads to the USA on an exchange programme. Her disaffection and alienation slowly blight her relationship with her host family, and we get so see the prejudices of both nations exposed under a harsh light, with a side helping of alcoholism.

Read more…

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