Archive | April, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge: Book 6 complete

21 Apr

Before I go any further I’d like to pat myself on the back for reaching the end of book 6 before the end of April. Me, the slow reader. Go me!

Ok, back to business…for book 6 I chose to tick the ‘book written by a comedian’ box.

Having grown up watching French and Saunders, I’ve always loved Dawn French. So when she brought out According to Yes I couldn’t wait to read it.

It wasn’t what I expected but I still really enjoyed it – so much so that I read large chunks at a time.

I won’t spoil it but essentially it’s about being lost and finding yourself with the help of others. Something I think most of us can relate to.

It’s a lovely story with a bit of comedy woven in. Definitely worth a read.

Now on to book 7…

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out the reading challenge yourself here.


Foodie Penpals: definitely the best one yet

13 Apr

Ok so I’m going to have to stop saying this but this month’s penpal box was DEFINITELY our best one yet, and that’s saying something!

Louise was brand new to the foodie penpal world and boy did she start with a cracker!!

Her box took a while to get to us owing to a mix up with the postman but it was well worth the wait.

As always, we asked for something local; that is, after all, one of the reasons we joined Foodie Penpals last year. 

Having struggled with this though, Louise decided to pack some of her favourite foods. We didn’t mind this one bit, she has great taste! She even threw in a tea towel.

I immediately got stuck in to the eggs and cookie dough pieces. The boyfriend, meanwhile opted straight for the peanut butter cookie dough pieces and can’t wait to try the savoury stuff!

This month’s penpal is from Scotland. Can’t wait to see what we get! 😋😋

If you want to give foodie Penpals a go, take a look here.

2016 Reading Challenge: Book 5 complete

10 Apr

After a week of ups and downs, I’m feeling more than a little heartbroken as I turn the final page on book five of the reading challenge.

When I first picked up The Fault in Our Stars, I was prepared to cry; When you know a book is about kids with cancer, it’s pretty inevitable. I can safely say, though, that I enjoyed every page, tears and all.

According to the back cover, Time magazine called it “damn near genius”. It wasn’t wrong.

And, having rightly been a New York Times bestseller, it helps me tick my next box.

Nothing I can write will do it justice, all you need to know is that I loved it very much and you should read it too.

For book six, I’m opting for some light relief courtesy of Dawn French. (And can I just point out that I’m on book six by April 10!!)

2016 Reading Challenge: Book 4 complete

3 Apr

Book four of the reading challenge was meant to be ‘the first book I saw in a bookstore’.

I got quite excited with this one, mostly because it allowed me to break my long  self-imposed book buying ban (which, incidentally I’ve had to impose again as buying this book led to the buying of quite a few more!!!)

The Rose of Tibet wasn’t strictly the first book I saw in the bookstore. It was the first book I saw in the window – before I even entered the book store, which I think is even better.  
Having said that, it ended up ticking a totally different book, allowing me to break my ban again at some point this year 🙂

Instead, I’m choosing to tick the ‘book about a culture I’m unfamiliar with’ box, as I figured this would be harder to find. Technically I could also tick the ‘book about a road trip’ box, and if I wanted to cheat I’d tick all 3 (especially given the fact there’s 40 boxes althogether and there’s no chance of me getting through them all) but I don’t want to cheat so I’ll leave it at one.

Interestingly, my writing style is starting to mimick that of this month’s chosen author, Lionel Davidson, who is the perfect example of ‘why use one word when you can use 20’, something which ordinarily really annoys me as a journalist. 

It’s fair to say that he goes into a lot of description about everything in this book, which at first I found annoying. His way with words is so interesting though that I soon forgave him and instead found quite endearing by the end of the book.

I certainly felt more intelligent for reading this book, which is unusual given the type of fiction I usually choose!

This book gives a fascinating insight into the Tibetan culture (as you’ve no doubt guessed from the title!). What I found particularly interesting were the rituals and beliefs, and the idea of destinies already  having been written. I have no idea how accurate this book is in that sense but it was fascinating none the less.

If you’re squeamish, this book definitely isn’t for you. Its also quite heavy going in places and takes a while to get into due to the drawn out introduction and foreword, which are unfortunately necessary to understand the rest of the book. It’s a great tale though and one I would definitely recommend.

On to book five by the beginning of April – not bad so far!