Saturday, 16 June 2018

Sunday Post 105, It's Monday, What are you reading? 90


The Sunday Post - a chance for bloggers to have a chat and a catch-up - is hosted by Kimba, here: https://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/ and It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Kathryn, here: https://bookdate.blogspot.com/

Let's see ... I turned 47 on Tuesday. I had work, and a quiet day, but a nice one. We ordered pizza on Saturday night as a sort of belated birthday tea. The boys got me Stephen King's new book, and a new wallet, something I very much needed as my old one was falling apart.

There's not much else to report from the week apart from that, I don't think. I took Spawn into town yesterday for Subway, and to pick up the new Lego Incredibles 2 videogame which he was very excited to get.

I painted my nails yesterday and I've managed to get some reading done. I've been re-watching Brooklyn 99 on Netflix, waiting for series five to show up, and while I'm writing this I"m watching I, Frankenstein, which I'll review later on in the week.

I'm still reading Railsea and The Fifth Season. I trough with my reading every so often and it slows right down, which is what's happening now, but it's no bad thing.

How about you? What's your week like? What are you reading?

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Review - I'll be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

True crime is one of those genres that I don't indulge in very often, but when I do, I tend to go on a mini-jag.

This time, I picked up I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara, about the man who came to be known as the Golden State Killer.

Michelle - who died suddenly in 2016 before finishing the book - writes about her obsession with this one man; an elusive predator who terrorised couples for years in the 1970s and 80s.

At the time Michelle was compiling her research for what would become this book; the killer still had not been caught; although there has been an arrest since publication.

What makes I'll Be Gone in the Dark so compelling is Michelle's very distinctive voice throughout. Even as she's tracking down the crimes of the Golden State Killer, she acknowledges her own obsession with the case.

The book itself was finished by Michelle's research assistant and a journalist friend, and there is an unfinished quality to the narrative. However, that doesn't take away from Michelle's very deft touch and her obvious attention to detail.

Unfinished - and in some cases unpolished - the book stands as a testament to one woman's determination to find answers to some heinous unsolved crimes, and is well worth reading.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Sunday Post 104; It's Monday! What are you reading? 89


The Sunday Post - a chance for bloggers to have a chat and a catch-up - is hosted by Kimba, here: https://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/ and It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Kathryn, here: https://bookdate.blogspot.com/

Let's see ... last week was a shorter week as Monday was a public holiday. A three-day weekend is always a glorious thing.

The week itself was reasonably uneventful. Yesterday Spawn and I went into town to go to the library, and we also had ice cream and sat in what amounts to a town square, I suppose. It wasn't the warmest day, but Spawn had fun running around for a bit, and I got some books out of the library so I'll consider it a win.

Today was much of the same, really. No town, but we ate ice cream and did a bit of reading, which was also nice.

I finished I'll be Gone in the Dark, so there'll be a review for that later in the week.

I'm still reading Railsea, and my lunchtime book at the moment is The Fifth Season, though I'm also eyeing up The Girl in the Tower.

How about you? How's your week? What are you reading?

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Ask me my age

I'm turning 47 soon, and I've been thinking about this whole aging thing.

I know it's not polite to ask someone their age, and if you're a woman of a "certain age" you're certainly not supposed to admit to it.

Youth and beauty are the be-all and end-all and if you're over 40, then you need to knock at least five years off that, because who wants to admit to being over *whispers* 40?

Me. I do. I'M NEARLY 47. I let my hair go grey a few years ago, and I actually like it that way. I dyed it for years, of course I did, because grey hair is a Curse and a Burden that HORRIBLY AGES YOU.

Except ... well ... no. I've always had an indifferent relationship with my hair. It grows, I cut it. I used to dye it, and it would just do its thing. Now it's grey, and I need a haircut, but I'm not unhappy about it. I think it looks okay. I think .. I look okay. Especially for someone who's meant to be

A) Invisible
B) "Just" a wife and mother
C) An embittered spinster.

I am a wife and mother, but I'm also a reader, would-be writer, gamer, fulltime worker, cat lady, cross-stitcher, film fan ... you get the idea.

Who I am is not entirely tied up with who I married, or who I carried (for nine months and nine days); but it's made up of every single day of my nearly-47 years and all of the passions and pitfalls that come with being human.

Go ahead. Ask me my age. I'll tell you.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Review - The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

A friend of mine actually recommended this to me. She recommended it because she needs me to read the sequel so I can tell her if the horses are okay. She has issues reading about animal deaths in books.

However, she also knew that The Bear and the Nightingale would be right up my reading street, and indeed, it was.

Based on Russian history and fairytales, The Bear and the Nightingale focuses on Vasya - the child of a Russian peasant lord and his wife, who dies giving birth to Vasya.

The people in the village adhere to the old ways - giving offerings to the household spirits to keep them happy and to stave off hunger and cold.

However, when a new priest arrives, everything changes, and it's up to Vasya to realise her destiny and try and save everyone.

The Bear and the Nightingale has been compared to Stardust by Neil Gaiman, and Uprooted by Naomi Novik. For me, it has more in common with Uprooted, and the story itself is just as enjoyable.

Vasya is a spirited and feisty heroine, and the sense of family within the novel is also very strong.

There's a compelling villain, and also Morozko - the lord of winter, who is trying to help Vasya while maintaining his own secrets.

A really, really absorbing read.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Sunday Post 103; It's Monday, What are you reading? 88


The Sunday Post - a chance for bloggers to have a chat and a catch-up - is hosted by Kimba, here: https://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/ and It's Monday! What are you reading? Is hosted by Kathryn, here: https://bookdate.blogspot.com/

Let's see ... I had a pretty good week, work-wise. Things ticked over, and it was a good week all around.

It's absolutely freezing here at the moment and we have had frost after frost after frost. It's nice to get a sunny day, but the frosts themselves get a bit dispiriting after a while.

It's a long weekend here for Queen's Birthday, so I don't have work tomorrow, which is a nice feeling.

I'm hoping to finish I'll Be Gone in the Dark, and hang out with spawn for a bit as he doesn't have school either.

I finished The Bear and the Nightingale on Friday, so I'll do a review of that later in the week. I haven't watched a movie this weekend yet, so likely no movie review this week - next week for sure.

I'm also thinking of doing a blog post called Ask Me My Age - about getting older, but not feeling ... bad, or ashamed. Thinking about it. :)

Apart from I'll be Gone in the Dark, I still have Railsea on the go book-wise.

How about you? How's your week? What are you reading?

Friday, 1 June 2018

Review - The Ritual


Five friends who have little in common now that they're all middle-aged are planning their annual lads' trip. They can't decide where to go, and the pub meeting dissolves with no solution.

Tragedy unexpectedly hits the group when one of them is murdered in a liquor store robbery, which was witnessed by another member of the group of friends.

So, in honour of their murdered friend, the group decides to go on a camping trip in Northern Sweden.

Things start to go a bit wrong when they decide to take a shortcut through the woods. After they shelter for the night at a seemingly abandoned hut, things start to go very wrong - in the "We're being chased by a very large animal that we can't see and what the fuck is that - IS THAT AN ELK GUTTED AND HANGING FROM A TREE" kind of way.

The Ritual as a horror movie works on a lot of levels. The landscape is bleak and isolated and the group have underlying tensions that lead to them making mistakes. They all suffer from nightmares, and something happens in the first hut to scare them out of their wits.

As they try to escape the woods, however, the menace grows.

What I didn't like was - the monster is shown, and explained. You know that 70s Spielberg film, Duel? Where that couple in the car are just stalked by some guy in a truck for no apparent reason, and that's where all the menace comes from? That's what I wanted from The Ritual.

And I got SOME of what I wanted, but then it kind of bottled it and went "well, we'd better have a bloody good REASON for gutting animals/people" and honestly - it's scarier when there's nothing concrete to root the notion of the fear in.

Having said that - between the landscape and the overwhelming sense of menace, The Ritual is a pretty decent horror movie, all things considered.