Posts Tagged ‘2014’


In Book Reviews on October 1, 2014 at 10:20 pm
Transworld Publishers 2014

Transworld Publishers 2014

I saw advertisements for this book all over the Underground when it first came out and the cover freaked me the heck out. I love it. I knew that because of the cover I would eventually read this book. I was talked into reading her first book in the Jack Caffery series (Birdman) and did so first. While I did enjoy it, I had more negative things to say about it than positives so I refrained from doing a blog post about it. This book was much much better than that one.

Nutshell blurb: Jack Caffery is called in to investigate some disturbing events which happen in a high security unit for the mentally ill. And then bad stuff happens.

I can’t help but compare Ms. Hayder’s writing in both of the books that I’ve read. It’s interesting to see how her style has progressed from book 1 to book 6. (I’m trying to ignore the fact that I’ve skipped from book 1 to book 6 but now I’m looking at it in black and white and I’m horrified. I actually skipped four other books. How could I let this happen????) Anyway, her style has improved.

I’m not sure if I like Jack Caffery very much, though. I found the other characters, particularly A.J., a nurse in the nut house, much more interesting as he has more personality and isn’t under a lot of pressure to be a super cool detective with lots of secrets.

Being cool is totally over-rated, by the way. I realise that I’m biased on this statement as it points in my favour. I mean, I’m pretty much the opposite of cool. Perhaps this is why characters who try really hard to attain a sense of mystique annoy me. I can’t relate. I could never imagine myself as a gritty, hard-boiled detective. I would be out with my friends, having cocktails and I’d say something like ‘Oh my God, you guys. I have to tell you about the awesomest case I’m working on. So, I was visiting this looney-bin, right…’

Yeah, so I have a really hard time with the inscrutable mysterioso who suffers from extreme emotional poverty yet whom all females seem to be attracted to. This archetype doesn’t work for me. However, as I just mentioned, the other characters are pretty interesting. I was intrigued by the woman who thought that she could unzip herself out of her skin to make herself invisible. I mean, who doesn’t want to do that sometimes?

Ok, actually I don’t. It was pretty freaky.

I must admit that I saw the plot twist coming from miles away (and I’m not really one of those people who says ‘I saw the plot twist coming from miles away’) so that was a bit dissatisfying.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was difficult to put it down and even though I don’t particularly like the main character, I would be interested to see how his story unfolds in other books.

Plus, I have to read at least 4 of her other ones because I skipped them and that just isn’t the done thing. And yes, I’m a little bit obsessive about these things. I’ll let you know how it goes.


Eat Pretty

In Book Reviews on August 17, 2014 at 6:00 am
Chronicle Books LLC 2014

Chronicle Books LLC 2014


This is a bit of a departure from my usual fare of science fiction, fantasy and horror. Okay, it’s a complete departure actually. I picked up this book during a lunch hour foray into Urban Outfitters with some colleagues.

Yep, you read that right. I got this book from a clothes store. Because if there are books in a shop, I will find them. Oh yes. I will.

Anyway, I picked it up and flicked through the pages and it looked really interesting.

But before I talk about the book, here’s a little bit of back story on my weight.

I’ve always been skinny. I come from a family of skinny genes and this caused me a lot of grief because I used to get picked on for it. A lot. Chicken legs, string bean, bean pole… These were my nicknames. Because kids suck.

The upside to this was that I could eat ANYTHING. And I frequently did. People would say rude things to me like “Girl, I just want to feed you a cheeseburger” and I was like “Bitch, please. I’ve just eaten two double quarter pounders with large fries and a large coke. And about 13 cupcakes, so step off.” I was so tiny that I had to get a weight waiver when I joined the Air Force because I only weighed 94 pounds. It was in my late teens and my early twenties that I finally felt vindicated for all of the hassle that I got in school because of my weight. I finally didn’t look sickly.

But, because I never learned to control my eating habits I started gaining weight in my late twenties/early thirties. I could pack away a large pizza by myself like a pro. Unfortunately, it was during that time that I gained 15 pounds or so. Every year since then, I see a bit more squishiness added to my frame and I don’t really like it. Where is the lithe girl with the tiny waist and only one chin? She’s gone, folks. Long gone.

Don’t get me wrong. There is no way that I could be described as fat or even chunky. But as I get older I realise that I don’t take care of myself as well as I should so when I saw this book, I jumped on it.

The thing I like about it is that it tells you, in detail, about foods to eat to keep you pretty and it tells you why. Because guess what. There’s science behind it! I love reading about the different vitamins in various fruits and vegetables and what they do for you. Yes, I can find these things on the internet, but it’s much more handy to have it here at my fingertips to read as and when.

There’s a section for each season and what you should be eating and focusing on during that time. There are also some healthy recipes for each season.

The book talks about foods that are beauty betrayers (like cooked meat and sugary stuff) and how they mess up the equilibrium in our bodies.

I’m not the kind of person that can implement all of the suggestions in this book. I am a carnivore to the core of my being. I liked meat. Rawr! And I’m not willing to give up junk food. I can happily dive into a bag of nacho cheese Doritos and don’t even get me started on red velvet cupcakes. But I’m more aware of the choices I make when choosing what to eat now. I’ve been eating more vegetables and cutting back on junk food. I don’t feel the need to have it every day. But if I do decide to eat some Oreos, I’m going to do it guilt free.

The decision to change things about oneself is a personal one. But it’s great to have the facts at hand so that I can make informed choices. That is why I liked this book.

William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back

In Book Reviews on April 13, 2014 at 6:00 am
Lucasfilm Ltd 2014

Lucasfilm Ltd 2014

I know not whence thy great delusions come,

Thou laser brain.

Yes, yes, yes and a thousand times YES!! This book!

This was part of my birthday loot that I picked up when I went shopping last Friday. I’ve read William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, which was so much fun so I when I saw this on the shelf at Forbidden Planet I just had to get it.

Now, this is the kind of thing that you think might be novel to read at first but then it might grow old or tedious, but I have to say that that’s absolutely not the case with this book. It only took me a day or two to read, but it was so much fun. It kept me giggling the entire time.

Most of you know the story of The Empire Strikes Back. But what you may not know is that some of the monsters in the story not only have feelings, but they have soliloquies as well. The wampa (that furry monster on Hoth at the beginning that swipes Luke off of his Tauntaun) has lines. They go like this:

Alas, how I am by this man abus’d-

Could I, for seeking food, not be excus’d?

It seemeth that this wampa shall have strife.

Thus, gentles all: have pity on my life.

See? He was just hungry.

Also, the exogor (the giant worm inside the asteroid that the Millenium Falcon lands in) has a soliloquy. I won’t give you the whole thing, but he’s both lonely AND hungry.

To be a space slug is a lonely lot,

With no one on this rock to share my life,

No true companion here to mark my days.

and now my meals do from my body fly-

Layers, people. There are so many layers to this story that go beyond the film. Who knew?

Some of my favourite parts were when Leia and Han torture themselves over how they feel about each other.

O, wherefore did I speak so testily?

Why is it that when he is near

My wit is turn’d to unto a laser beam

With Han plac’d firmly in its sights? I tear

His heart in twain with words too cruel and harsh,

Then wonder why he is so full of pride.

I’m totally with Leia on this. I remember being a little girl when the film came out. A little girl with a huge crush on Han Solo. I was so upset at the end when he got frozen in carbonite and they hadn’t made the next film yet. It was very distressing. I felt so much joy when Return of the Jedi came out.

I anticipate that I will be just as happy when I get my grubby hands on a copy of William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return. I’ll let you know.


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