Monday, 31 August 2015

August Book Log

New to me

The Man in the Queue by Josephine Tey
Her first, so rather ironic that I've read most of others before this one! It was okay, although I almost regret reading more of her books - now the plots are beginning to look a bit repetitive, and this one was a bit verbose. Still had style, panache, great sense of place and time, and Detective Grant was as satisfying as ever. Slightly odd ending with Grant not actually working it out, the murderer confesses.

Mz Marvel: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson, Jacob Wyatt & Adrian Alphona
Fantastic- funny, quirky, heartfelt, liked the art too. Looking forward to reading more of this run.

An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson
A recently released book this is the first in the series, intriguingly featuring Josephine Tey as the main protagonist and shoehorning a murder into real events from her life. Also had features of a classic Josephine Tey - the main suspect who is really innocent going on the run, for example. Looking forward to reading more.

A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies and Mark Hearld
Gorgeous, gloriously retro illustrations, fabulous text - a mix of poetry and factual bits and bobs. A real treasure of a book, one to pour over and delight in.

X-Factor, The Road to Redemption, by Peter David and Paul Davidson.
Cannot now remember anything about this, which doesn't bode well...

Wonder Woman (The New 52), Volume 2, Guts by Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang and Tony Akins
Loved this - loved the writing, the art, the twists and turns - looking forward to getting the third part.

Love and Rockets, New Stories, no 1 by The Hernandez Brothers, and Love and Rockets, New Stories, no 2 by The Hernandez Brothers
Intriguing main story featuring female super heroes with various interesting pastiche and commentary on the genre. Utterly bizarre stand alone stories, some I couldn't even make any sense of - but as ever the monochrome art is compelling.

Blotto, Twinks and the Heir to the Tsar by Simon Brett
Not the first in the series and to be honest, I was glad to get to the end of it. It's a bit TOO quirky and funny with so much slang I was bored of the vocal style of the main characters before the end of the first chapter. Could also have done with a bit more editing I think, stylistic or not some of the grammatical affectations were just annoying. The characters were so comedic and satirical that they were two dimensional and I didn't care about any of them. Still, now I know not to bother with another one!

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Eight Today

Eight! My baby is eight! How did that happen?!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Book Sharing Monday: Dinosaur Dig!

Dinosaur Dig! by Penny Dale

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Well, you only have to look at this to see why we often take this one home from the library, don't you?!

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The text is simple but satisfying rhythmically, and the illustrations - well, as you can see, they are just sublime.

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It's another of Hoof's favourites (no surprise there) and one of mine, too (no surprise there, either).

Monday, 17 August 2015

Book Sharing Monday - When Dinosaurs Came With Everything

When Dinosaurs Came With Everything by Elise Broach and David Small

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We've had this from the library a long time ago if memory serves, and when I saw it recently I grabbed it thinking that Hoofie would really appreciate it right now, deep in a dinosaur phase as he is. I was quite right, of course! The story is awesome and funny, the illustrations whimsical with exactly the right level of accuracy. One of our favourites. 

Saturday, 15 August 2015

More about the allotment

That tree, that's in an awkward place we have never worked out what it is and it NEVER flowers or does ANYTHING interesting -


Not victoria, sadly, but small sweet dark plums with bright green insides. Very nice, if you can get to them before the worms.

And I got a great handful of runner beans this evening, the blackberries are coming through and are MASSIVE (so glad I cut them right back, it's done them the world of good) and Dot's sweet peas are doing well.

I'm really enjoying the allotment at the moment, I really wasn't when it was such a scurry to get things in and everything was such a mess. Now it's looking a bit more organised and is producing and I love pottering around down there, especially of an early evening on my todd - blissful peace!

Friday, 14 August 2015

All About Me for a change!

There's so much going on I just have to record it... Lets divide it up into chunks.

Wyntercon - we are definitely going to our local comic and TV convention in the autumn, we've got the tickets and some of us have even decided on costumes already! Dot's is half sorted, Papacrow's is planned and mine - well. I am going Wonder Woman. I have a wig, I have an anime style costume that is a bought one but is going to need some painting, customising and so on - fun fun fun! I'm totally happy with how I look in it now, but as I have couple of months I decided I'd like to tone up a bit and maybe beef my arms up a bit, so I'm upped my protein intake, decreased how much wheat I eat and have started doing stomach crunches and push ups again which I've been meaning to do for ages anyway. Plus the fact I really wasn't eating enough protein and I'd slid into eating far too much bread (too much doesn't really work for me) and I'm feeling really healthy and bursting with energy all of a sudden! I'm definitely going to get round to jogging again, and have been doing some hand weights. I'm already reasonably fit, I've been dancing twice a week for most of the year so far after all, so pushing myself a little feels good rather than being an uphill struggle. I'm going to fit karate back in there and I may even start swimming in the sea again... Mind you, it's been years since I've so much as dipped a toe in, so we'll see on that one!

Ballet - as mentioned, I've been dancing twice a week now for some time. The second class is pretty challenging - not that the first one isn't, mind you, but the second one is definitely a step up - and recently has added a short pointe work class on the end! Wheeee! So I went and bought pointe shoes with my birthday money!!!! Getting all the ribbons and elastic and so on just right is a work in progress, breaking in brand new pointe shoes so they're not like bricks has been an experience, and it's every bit as uncomfortable as I've heard. But oh my goodness me! I'm doing proper ballerina dancing! Such fun!

Writing - So I've written two books so far this year. Perpetual Light, a scifi novel which I sent out to some test readers I recruited on twitter. It got positive feed back and I got a professional copy edit done on it - I'm just going through those corrections now and then it's off to the agencies and publishers with it. I also wrote Back to the Garden, number five in a series of what I call my game books - sort of grown up novel versions of the old fighting fantasy books, they're interactive in that the chapters can be read in any order, so you can choose which one to read next. Wig has polished it off - I really wrote it because he demanded another one - but I'm not sure I'll do much more with it. I'm now revving up to write the sequel to Perpetual Light which is cunningly titled Perpetual Dark. I'm nearly ready. The plot is mapped out, I've got music, I've done all my usual ups and downs and the 'oh I want to start now!' 'oh no, I can't do this, in fact lets give up this writing lark altogether shall we?!' stages and also the completely distracted phase where I try to put the dog in the fridge type of thing (no, we don't have a dog, which makes it even more baffling), so I'm nearly ready.

Reading - oh so many good things at the moment! Books keep flowing in the door some how, each one so much better than the last so that I keep doing a Helene Hanff style 'wait right there!' and abandoning my read to take up the new one!

Allotment - beans doing well, much of it dug over, I've even taken my courage in both hands and started digging up the strawberry bed. It's many years over due but is slow work because I find it very hard to dig up and discard plants that are happily growing and still sort of producing. *sigh* But really, the whole bed is so riddled with grass and dandelions and couch grass and so on that SOMETHING has to be done and it's so overgrown and run all over itself that it's impossible to weed without accidentally pulling up plants anyway. And certainly the yield was smaller this year. So I am hardening my heart and getting on with it. Certainly I'll have no shortage of new plants off runners for next year, and I'm only moving the whole kit and caboodle up a bit - it evidently likes that spot, seems silly to totally move it somewhere else.

The housework is jogging along, as is home edding. I'm not baking anything like as much as I probably ought to be but hey, there's another day tomorrow, right?!
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