Thursday, 28 April 2016

The Book Review ~ The Silkworm

Rating: 4.5/5

I am so pleased I didn't give up on Galbraith after "The Cuckoo's Calling". This second instalment is a gorgeously twisted masterpiece. It was supreme! 

The slow-start is clearly a Rowling thing. However, by page 200 the plot is steamrolling, twisting and turning keeping you guessing until suddenly all the subtle clues come together and it all makes perfect sense! 

The last 300 pages I consumed. I loved the characters and the plot! 
Properly getting to know Strike and Robin seems to have moved the book to a whole other level. You want to read about them not just read about the murder! 

Bring on number 3!

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

The British and their Leggings

Sometimes one is baffled at the fashion sense of the Brits. I am not talking Kate Middleton, Alexa Chung or Poppy Delevigne. I am talking the everyday, run of the mill, M&S loving British public. The ones who believe and commit to the legging. Once again I am not talking Lululemon/Sweaty Betty pant or a Kenneth Cole jegging. I am talking fake jodhpurs, primark addition legging. The type that everybody type loves to flaunt everyday life in. 

Every time a pair of them walk past my shop front I want to run out and shake the person wearing them and scream - "What are you doing? Have you seen your butt in those?" Unlike a good pair of lulus or some perfectly fitting jeggings that support your legs and to some extent hold in your flabby bits - the fave of those Brits, to put it frank do not! No material cupping the bottom half allowing the ever familiar sag to occur. This is especially frequent on those stylistas wearing them in their twilight years! For many the fashioning of these wardrobe staples are socks into which the leggings are tucked into adding an extra factor to the Wow Factor."WOW! I cannot believe how awful that looks!" 

In a day and age when fashion is so evolved with colours, fabrics even technologies - clothes can tuck, tug, pull and pimp yet in this old land people have missed the fashion revolution. Clinging instead to the very misguided conception that leggings are a complementing item to wear at any size and any age, and... seemingly in any colour. My villages personal favourite options are baby bile yellow, or cow-pat green. 

I just really wish someone would stop stocking leggings and bring Britain out of this unfortunate legging disaster taking over all its streets. 

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The Book Review ~ Life after Life

Rating: 5/5


It took me one evening and two afternoons to complete Kate Atkinson's masterpiece. I consumed it hungrily. I have not been so excited about a book since Boyden's The Orenda. What is so brilliant about this book is not just its unique concept but the fact that its plot and characters stop it from getting bogged down in the 'high fiction' premise.

The story of Ursula Todd and her family enduring the two wars was material enough to keep one page turning and interested. Ursula is a riveting character. She is so weird. Observant, intelligent and yet socially awkward, she doesn't fit into the strong stereotypical roles society would place on her like her fellow brothers and sisters. She fights the norm. Even when she conforms it is not fully and there is something interesting about her take on it - whether it be working as a secretary but sleeping with the married higher power. BUT, it is not just the fiction that keeps you turning. It is the premise - the idea of giving one multiple choices at life.  Ursula has the gift of reincarnation. We watch as she dies and returns again to the same moment that shaped her death only to take a different path. Over and over again she dodges deaths and returns reliving the events of her pasts only to react slightly differently and veer off in a different direction to face a different fate. AMAZING!

I began reading on Saturday afternoon. Exhausted from a day out I went for a nap. Picking up the book to read a couple of chapters before dozing off, but dozing off never came. I read and read until I was prompted to change for dinner... needless to say I was pissed off at the intrusion. So when Monday came... a day off... no visitors... the house quiet I dove into the book on the sofa at 2 and didn't move until 7! INCREDIBLE! The only reason I didn't avoid TidyBoy and escape with the book under the covers on Monday night was because I wanted to keep the enjoyment of reading Ursula for longer. Going to work on Tuesday I was literally counting down the minutes. I skipped out of work and into the apartment and cracked the spine. I was only disturbed as Ursula hit old age and the sun streamed into the lounge making me feel guilty! I grabbed a jacket and took the last few chapters to the park where I gorged on the final words and the sun. 

So I found the only fault with the book in the last 20 pages. Atkinson had perfectly formed every section of Ursula's life. Every scenario, every death, every path taken was perfect and fully formed and completely enveloping. However, the last few scenarios were rushed. They seemed thrown together and brushed over. I wanted more. I wanted each of those other scenarios to be fully developed and once again fully enveloping which they weren't. But I guess... a novel has to end somewhere... I just feel like Atkinson could have stopped 20 pages earlier. 

I cannot wait to start "A God in Ruins"!

Thursday, 7 April 2016

The Book Review ~ Shopaholic to the Rescue

Rating: 4/5

Welcome back Sophie Kinsella! 

So Becky Bloomwood had gone missing in Shopaholic to the Stars but is back and playing the chick-lit top players in her latest adventure. Sure the plot is a little impossible and quite unrealistic, but it's funny and the characters are back to being loveable!

There is just something so nice to slipping back into a comfortable situation with characters you fully know and love. Today - (at work) - as I finished the last two chapters of the book I had to remind myself where I was and what I was doing. Kinsella had magically wrapped me up in her world of Becky and her ridiculous shenanigans - I was happy to be back there!  

The book is a follow on to the cliffhanger left in the last book.  Tarquin and Graham have run off to Vegas with the evil yoga dude leaving Becky, Jane, Luke and Suze wondering where they were and how they were ever going to find them! So the novel starts off with them running into the desert to find them with only one clue... Brent! 

It twists and turns through the story of Becky's father who had travel around America one summer with his three friends and together they had developed a ground breaking spring which had financially made one a millionaire. The more they learn the more the plot unfolds and the closer they are to finding the boys. However, when they find the men they are no closer to completing the 'task' and so Becky takes the helm and steers them all towards victory. 

Funny. Sweet. Unrealistic. BUT BECKY!

Monday, 4 April 2016

From Porter-to-Porter

"God. The New Yorker. I have been carrying it around in my purse for 20 years."
~ Sex and the City 2 

My choice of magazine is slightly more heavy than The New Yorker but the sentiment is the same, (plus The New Yorker takes ages to read and comes out way to regularly)! I have been searching my whole 'adult' life for a magazine that grips me and takes me page to page. I have tried so many... and every time there is a twinge of guilt as I put it in the recycling bin knowing that some pages have not been written. Being a fanatic reader I wanted a magazine that I want to read cover-to-cover. 

Finally last December I found it. The holy grail of magazines! I had purchased it as a guilty pleasure at the airport on my way to Ottawa for Christmas (Emma Watson was on the cover)!  By my second day in Ottawa I had read the entire book - all 300 pages of it and had put a reminder in my diary for the next issue. The second time round I paced myself! Reading and savouring every detail and it was just as good as the first. Engaging, thought provoking, empowering and compelling. Something I had to read all of!

Broken into sections the magazine has it all. Fashion, beauty, but I am not talking the normal buy this and look amazing - these are articles that talk about healthy beauty not just makeup. I love the last issues straight up myth busting article on how much a person should really drink. 
There is the personal opinion articles, the cover features all of which draw specific attention to women. Their power; their attributions to society, real heroes of our generations; figures who make you proud to be a woman and make you want to be a better woman for the generations that will follow. (There was a fantastic article in the last book which focused on the artistry of photography, specifically female visionaries acting in the field.)

So my addiction begins. It comes with me to work, it comes on the bus and for walks around the park. It is a permanent... heavy fixture in my bag and I love it! 

Who knows maybe I will go the way of Carrie and appear in Porter magazine in 20 years... or maybe not!

p.s.  Latest Issue came out on Friday...  you won't be disappointed!