16. A book by an author you love

There are so many to choose from, so many whose books I buy when I see them, whether I’ve heard about it or not. 

I love Garth Nix. Though not all his stuff. I haven’t read any of the Keys of the Kingdom series because by the time I realised they existed I felt a bit old for them. I can’t get enough of The Old Kingdom books though. So this collection starts with a long Old Kingdom story and then has a whole bunch of horror, mystery and fantasy stories that Nix has written over the years. And most of them are awesome. I only stopped reading one about Mars because I didn’t like the character telling the story. He was too boring.
Coming up on my next blog: Another Nix.

Heightened Sense of Fairness

One of my favourite reality TV competition shows of all time is The Great British Baking Show, also known as The Great British Bake Off. 

I love it because it is so gentle. There is no drama between contestants. Every one is happy for the star baker each week and sad to see the ousted contestant leave. The hosts are witty and compassionate and the judges are fair and sensitive. 

Not so in the series I am currently watching, which I think is the 2014 one, but I’m not sure as I’m watching through Netflix.

I was positively outraged during the showstopper challenge of the desserts episode.

They had to make a Bombe Alaska.

And they had to do it in twenty five degree heat (which apparently is downright tropical for anyone living in the British Isles).

Iain’s bake was completely sabotaged.

That’s his ice cream cake sitting on the bench. Two of the other contestants had taken it out of the freezer because they thought he should be using a different appliance. I just couldn’t believe it. 

Of course when he opened the spring form tin an ice cream waterfall occurred. He, understandably, was very upset. And he threw the dessert in the bin. He left the baking tent and in the end kept his dignity by presenting the judges with nothing.

They asked him what went wrong and he just said he had issues with r the ice cream. Which in actual fact he didn’t. What he did have was issues with the other contestants, but to his credit, he didn’t say anything about this even though every TV viewer saw what had happened. 

What irks me most is that the other contestants didn’t own up to what they had done. They took his ice cream out of the freezer thereby ruining his dish. It was completely unfair. The producers should have done something.

According to a Google search there was big outrage at the time.  

So I’m glad I’m Not the only one feeling indignant.

Coming up on my next blog: Future Learning

5. A book with a number in the title

I don’t know why I keep reading these.

The problem with the Lorien books is that they are just not published quickly enough. So much time lapses in between instalments that you forget the plot and who the characters are, and to really care about it at all. And yet, when I see a new one on the store shelves I think to myself

I really must get that.

I’ve had a big problem with his series right from the beginning.  It really annoys me that he author thinks they can just create different character voices with font changes. It doesn’t work. I never remember whose perspective I am reading because they all sound the same. Even switching from first to third person doesn’t have all that big an impact on voice. And some of the fonts hurt my eyes, like the one for Six, seriously at least choose fonts that reflect their personality, and are easy on the eyes.
So The Fate of Ten. I can say that I didn’t hate it. In fact, of all these books since I am Number Four, it’s been the best. This one is only set over about a day or so and Lore packs a lot of action into those few days and hundred odd pages. You can really tell that we are coming to the pointy end of the series. Things are starting to be wrapped up, they’ve cut all the mystery and are revealing things from the past which helps to make sense of everything. I like that. I like to learn things while I am reading. They don’t have to be facts, they just have to help me understand the world of the novel and now I feel like I kind of do.

There is one pretty startling twist at the end. I totally didn’t see it coming, and it will make the next book very very interesting.
Coming up on my next blog: Not quite sure.

Open sesame

I have mastered a new biscuit this week – a sesame ring.

I accidentally picked up a baking magazine instead of the quick meals one that I wanted. I don’t normally like baking, it’s too precise for me. I don’t have the patience for accurate measuring and weighing. 
I did find two good recipes in it though. This was one of them.

They are the tastiest things ever. Not very sweet, the orange makes them tangy and moreish.

I’m going to make them again this week. You should try them too.
Coming up on my next blog: More reviews to catch up on.

10. A mystery or thriller

Another book that crosses multiple categories.

I really should have blogged about this book back when I read it. Which was in April I think. Because, for the life of me I cannot actually remember what it is about. Possibly that is a good thing because it means I won’t be giving away any spoilers, but it does make for a pretty generic review.

I have read all the Nikki Heat novels, and I used to love watching the TV show they were spawned from, Castle. This year though, we’ve kind of drifted apart. I thought it all got a bit stupid when Castle was kidnapped on his wedding day and the whole amnesia thing was really annoying. Mostly I stopped watching though because that serial killer was back, can’t even remember his name, but I wasn’t in a good frame of mind for watching serial killers (I was spending a lot of nights up, alone). 

I kind of feel ready to start watching again though. I miss Castle and Kate, and I really like Alexis and apparently she features quite heavily not that Castle can’t be the NYPD’s shadow.

But I digress.

What I like about these novels is not that they are the TV show, but that they come from it. Unlike Veroncia Mars which extends the drama of the show into book form, the Castle novels actually exist in the TV world. I mean, he claims to be a writer after all. 

And like the show used to be, they are just a fun piece of fluff writing that you get carried away in.

Haven’t read the Storm books yet, also from the series. I’m not sure I’ll like those because of the male protagonist.
Coming up on my next blog: Let’s switch to food.

43. A book based on or turned into a TV show

Veronica Mars is probably my favourite character of all time. Which may make it seem odd that this book is not fulfilling the category of a book with the character’s name in the title. In fact, I’ve read a few character titled books this year, all by coincidence.

I came to Veronica Mars late. And I mean about a decade late.

That was good for me because it meant I got to binge watch everything, all three seasons, and I only had about a year to wait for the movie. 

This book is the second published by Rob Thomas and picks up where The Million Dollar Tan Line left off – which itself picks up from where the film left the story. I absolutely love Kristen Bell. She is perfect as Veronica, and when I read the books it is her that I picture and hear. This is the only book (except for the next one I’ll review) where you need to watch the show and movie before you read the books. If you don’t you just won’t get it.

What I love about the series, besides the cross text type composition, is the sass. There is no one quite like Veronica Mars. She is so clever, so funny. You just want to be her best friend.

So do yourself a favour, set aside a month, and binge on Veronica Mars. You won’t be sorry that you did.
Coming up on my next blog: The other TV / novel cross over series that I’m into.

4. A Book Published This Year

I was trying to hold off on filling this category until much later in the year because I just keep buying new books. I can’t help myself, there are just so many good new ones coming out. But then I realised it was October and I didn’t have anywhere to put this book, so category filled.

I lobePatrick Ness even though I haven’t read the entire Chaos Walking series. I read The knife of never letting go


And started The ask and the answer


I just couldn’t get through it because too many bad things were happening. And as you know, I like my books to turn out ok in the end.

But I have pretty much devoured everything else he has written (except for The Crash of Hennington, which is still sitting on my shelf with a bookmark in it).

The Rest of Us Just Live Here is the best anti-fantasy YA fiction I have ever read. I love it because of the parallel plots that are taking place. Ness uses  the ya tropes against themselves and is, in essence, writing two stories. I love that he is taking the piss out of ‘the indie kids’ who are trying to figure out the prophecy and save the world, while the rest of the characters just live around all this.

It’s a funny and sad book at the same time. It’s poignant because while all this world saving stuff is going on, there are things happening to the regular characters that are just as important as saving the world.

This review really doesn’t do the book justice. It’s such a unique concept, and I was so excited to read it. But at the same time, it wasn’t as good as I thought it was going to be. Here was so much potential there, very much like for More Than This, except I don’t think Ness quite delivers this time. Which is a real shame. You should probably still read it though.
Coming up on my next blog: Food, games and books.

20. A book a family member loves


Never mind that I introduced my sister to Rainbow Rowell in the first place. Though that was with Eleanor and Park. She is right though, Fangirl is just so much better. 

I think that’s in part due to the age of the characters. They’re in their first year of college, and so are perhaps a little more relatable than the teens in high school I so often read about. They’re actions, at least, are a lot more realistic. I often can’t believe what some high school characters get up to in YA fiction. Are there really people like that out there?

The other amazing thing about this book is its fantasy parallel plot. A fictional work of fiction about two magicians. Basically it’s Harry Potter, but not, because Harry Potter also exists in this universe.

It’s the fan fiction part of Fangirl that makes it great. I have never read any fan fiction and probably never will, but Rowell has led me to appreciate why people do. And I can understand why people write it as well. An English professor in the novel accuses the main character of plagiarism for her Simon and Baz stories. But that’s not what fan fiction is. It’s an homage, a borrowing. It would be like accusing a realistic fiction writer of copying just because the places, times and types of people they write about actually exist. Fan fiction just supposes imaginary worlds are real too.

In just a few days time this book will be coming out as well.  
When she handed me Fangirl my sister said 

I wish the Simon and Baz books were real. 

I suppose some wishes can come true, and this one is some small consolation for not receiving that Hogwarts letter when we turned eleven. 
Coming up on my next blog: I just have so much catching up to do.