Thursday, 25 February 2016


I give you paper first.
It's creased with laughter and a little frayed at the edges.
A stain of jealousy on one corner
our fights a carefully mended tear. 
It's greasy with travel
and it smells like late nights, and date nights; 
and the nights spent turning a new page together.
We give paper because even though it's fragile,
like us, it can last a year.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Favourite Fictional Couples

With Valentines Day just gone, I thought it would be nice to go through some of my favourite fictional couples. I crowd sourced a couple of these from Movellas users as well.

Mr Darcy & Elizabeth Bennett - Suggested by @Sanguine on Movellas
Of course, the long reigning king and queen of the list. I grew up with Pride and Prejudice in my house, and I loved the story of these lovers growing to understand each other. One of the most 'real' couples on the list I think, and that's why they deserve pride of place.

Jamie & Claire Fraser
As I write I am watching the Starz series of Outlander. I've read all of the books so far so I am not just a series hound. I can't wait for the next book to find out the next chapter in this epic couple's life. Even in times of peace on the Ridge there was drama, tied to the history of the time.

Ma & Pa Ingles
Fantastic couple. They went through some hard times let me tell you. Anyone who hasn't read the Laura Ingles Wilder series, should seriously consider it. Nostalgic look at the American trail blazers that settled the prairies and west of America. This little family makes it through and the love that the parents have for each other, keeps the whole family going. Truly heart warming.

Romeo & Juliet - Suggested by @Madouc on Movellas
The classics. They're pretty far down my list because they are one of the most impossible couples. first of all, they're children. Even in the context of the time her father is a little weary about marrying her off so soon. and then Romeo is just looking to be in love and rashly launches himself at her. Its a brilliant story and they pay the ultimate price. doomed love, it's a dark one to have on the list, but you can't miss out the greatest love story there is.

Mr & Mrs Weasley
While researching this list Harry and Ginny and Ron and Hermione came up a couple times as potentials. But that got me thinking, the real fictional couple we have to look at here is Mr & Mrs Weasley, the ultimate parents. Not only are they intent on keeping their family safe and together, they're still fighting the darkest powers there are. and Mrs W still has time to knit a Christmas jumper for all of them. Go team Weasley.

Rose and Jack
Throwing this couple in for funsies. Many of the couples on this list are also immortalized on screen as well as in as book, but these two will always be Kate and Leo for so many people. I think they're special because even though their relationship was brief, he inspired her to change her life.

Who are your favourites?

Thursday, 11 February 2016

January Reviews

Sea of Poppies
Amitav Ghosh
John Murray 16/4/2009 Paperback
Christmas Haul
One of a trilogy, which does make it a little different. I will not be reading any of the other books in this series BUT as you can see from the ranking, that doesn't suggest I didn't enjoy Sea of Poppies. The main take away is the characters. They are all brilliant and nuanced and I thought they interacted really well. The characters developed and changed as we went along. It was important that there were a number of story lines to tie together.
Another reason I absolutely loved the book is because it centres around opium. Opium was my specialist subject at Uni and I try to extend the interest now. From the cultivation and effects to the start of the opium wars, it's all in there.
The only reason it doesn't get full marks is the ending. It doesn't hold up as a stand alone book enough for me. I've decided not to carry on the series because I've warned off the other books that aren't so good as the first one, and it then leaves me with a slightly jarring ending. But it's definitely worth a read if you're interested in India or opium, or a jolly good read!

Will Self
Bloomsbury 16/8/12 Paperback
Christmas Haul
Gutted that I had to give up. I want to return to this Will Self book once I have time to get lost in it. I have been too busy to appreciate it though. I heard Will Self read an excerpt from Umbrella at a reading once and so I know that you have to read it in the same way that you approach Ulysses, dramatically, full throttle, letting the language flow over you and catching at characters as they jump around in time.
I WILL read it. I haven't given it a score yet because I think that would be unfair.
For anyone thinking of picking up Umbrella, I must suggest that you consider saving it for curling up in a corner in a pub for hours rather than a commuters book. You can't be absorbing the delicate details of the writing while someone else's actual umbrella presses wetly against your work trousers.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

All of my reviews from 2015

HUGE review round up available all in one place, you lucky dawgs. < wrote dawgs to be less derogatory perhaps? Any way, indulge yourselves with a romp through all of the books I read in 2015. Go. Enjoy.

The Miniaturist and How to Win Friends and Influence People

An Echo in the Bone, Maggot Moon, The Secret Garden

Written in My Own Heart's Blood, Smoke and Mirrors, Rasputin


The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year, Pride and Prejudice, Trigger Warning

The Architect's Apprentice, Birds without Wings


The Moor's Account

The Life I Left Behind, Burnt Paper Sky, The Chimes

Orlando, Vathek

The Bone Clocks

Sense and Sensibility, The Mistress Contract, The Poet's Wives