Short and Sweet


Every Tuesday over at the  The Broke and Bookish we all get to look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  This week’s topic is:

Read In One Sitting : top ten books I read in one sitting

  1. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
  2. City of Wolves by Willow Palecek
  3. The Amber Isles by Ashley Capes
  4. The Book of Apex edited by Lynne M Thomas (a collection of short stories)
  5. In Calabria by Peter S Beagle
  6. The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson
  7. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  8. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  9. The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
  10. Poison/Charm/Beauty by Sarah Pinborough

I love you, I love you not.

Posted On 21 February 2017

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Every Tuesday over at the  The Broke and Bookish we all get to look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  This week’s topic is:

Ten Books I Loved More Than I Thought I Would (or books that you didn’t like as much as you Thought)

I really enjoyed all the books below – much more than I expected.  Brief explanation of my original qualms against each book.

  1. Unwind, Neal Shusterman – I simply didn’t like the sound of this but then it just really grabbed me.
  2. Witch Light, Susan Fletcher – this started out slow and I thought I wasn’t going to enjoy the author’s style of writing.  A few pages later I couldn’t get enough of it.
  3. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – foolishly, the cover for this always put me off – I don’t know why.  Fortunately I got over myself – I love this book.
  4. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt – who knew that I would love western style stories!
  5. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – I figured this might be too sci fi for me but I absolutely loved it.
  6. All the Truth that’s in me by Julie Berry – I think this was simply a book that wouldn’t have been on my radar – a good friend recommended this and I loved it.
  7. The Girl with all the Gifts by M J Carey – another book that I’m glad I picked up.  I think the hype surrounding this one put me off a little.  In this case the hypes well deserved.
  8. The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore.  The cover.  Sorry, but it just didn’t do it for me.  The book really did though!
  9. Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz – another book that I figured my go ‘whooshing’ over my head.  As it happened this was fantastic.
  10. Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu – ditto the above.  I can’t recommend this series enough. 

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind”


Every Tuesday over at the  The Broke and Bookish we all get to look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  This week’s topic is:


 All About the Romance

Well, I’m not really ‘all about the romance’ but as today is Valentine’s Day, why not!

  1. Rhett and Scarlett – obvious but had to be included.  Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.  It’s not SFF Jim – but frankly, I don’t give a damn.
  2. Alexander and Tatiana.  Had to be on here – The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons – boy oh boy is this one hot romance.  I’m not kidding.  I don’t, as I said above, usually read romance but this book…omg.
  3. Jamie and Claire – Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  I expect these two will be on a few lists this week!
  4. Princess Buttercup and Westley.  The Princess Bride by William Goldman.  Sweet and funny romance – inconceivable?
  5. Buffy and Spike – Oh Yes!  I haven’t read the books but I have seen the series and Spike wins.
  6. Ron and Hermione – maybe not a sizzling couple because that would be a bit wrong and apparently Ron has the emotional range of a teaspoon – but here it is nonetheless!  J K Rowling’s Harry Potter.
  7. Han Solo and Leia – yes, I have never read any of the Star Wars books but I’ve seen the films and so this counts!
  8. Toby and Tybalt – really, couldn’t leave these off!  The October Daye series by Seanan McGuire.  Plus King of the Cats – Grrr!
  9. Tristan and Yvaine from Neil Gaiman’s Stardust – don’t you just love Neil Gaiman’s books!
  10. ??? – your choice please…



Hiding in plain sight! Hidden gems…


Every Tuesday over at the  The Broke and Bookish we all get to look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  This week’s topic is:

Ten Hidden Gem/underrated Books I’ve Read In The Past Year

I don’t exactly know that these are underrated books – I’m sure lots of people love them, but come on, it never hurts to have more love now does it.  So bring it people.  (My books below with a little excerpt from Goodreads).

Monstrous Little Voices  collects five of today’s most exciting names in genre fiction – Jonathan Barnes (The Somnambulist, Cannonbridge); Adrian Tchaikovsky (The Shadows of the Apt, Children of Time); Emma Newman (The Split Worlds, multiple-award-nominated Tea and Jeopardy podcast); Hugo-nominated blogger Foz Meadows (Solace & Grief, The Key to Starveldt’s); and upcoming novelist (and journalist for the Ottawa Citizen) Kate Heartfield – to delve into the world Shakespeare created for us. With wars and romances, its magics and deceptions, discover five stories he never told, but could have. Stories of what happened next or what went before, of the things unseen or simply elsewhere in the world as Shakespeare’s own tales unfolded on the stage.


Nelly Dean by Alison Case is a wonderment of storytelling and an inspired accompaniment to Emily Bronte’s adored work. It is the story of a woman who is fated to bear the pain of a family she is unable to leave, and unable to save.


The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky – MANHATTAN HAS MANY SECRETS.


Company Town by Madeline Ashby – Meet Hwa. One of the few in her community to forego bio-engineered enhancements, she’s the last truly organic person left on the rig. But she’s an expert in the arts of self-defence, and she’s been charged with training the Family’s youngest, who has been receiving death threats – seemingly from another timeline.

company town

It Happened One Doomsday by Laurence MacNaughton – Magic is real. Only a handful of natural-born sorcerers can wield its arcane power against demons, foul creatures, and the forces of darkness. These protectors of the powerless are descendants of an elite order. The best magic-users in the world.


Poison City – by Paul Krill – The name’s Gideon Tau, but everyone just calls me London. I work for the Delphic Division, the occult investigative unit of the South African Police Service. My life revolves around two things – finding out who killed my daughter and imagining what I’m going to do to the bastard when I catch him.

Poison city

The Hike by Drew Magary – At once bitingly funny and emotionally absorbing, Magary’s novel is a remarkably unique addition to the contemporary fantasy genre, one that draws as easily from the world of classic folk tales as it does from video games. In The Hike, Magary takes readers on a daring odyssey away from our day-to-day grind and transports them into an enthralling world propelled by heart, imagination, and survival.


The Motion of Puppets by Keith Donohue – From the bestselling author of The Boy Who Drew Monsters and The Stolen Child comes a modern take on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth—a suspenseful tale of romance and enchantment


Congress of Secrets by Stephanie Burgis – In 1814, the Congress of Vienna has just begun. Diplomats battle over a new map of Europe, actors vie for a chance at glory, and aristocrats and royals from across the continent come together to celebrate the downfall of Napoleon…among them Lady Caroline Wyndham, a wealthy English widow. But Caroline has a secret: she was born Karolina Vogl, daughter of a radical Viennese printer. When her father was arrested by the secret police, Caroline’s childhood was stolen from her by dark alchemy.


The Facefaker’s Game by Chandler J Birch – For fans of Patrick Rothfuss and Scott Lynch, a picaresque fantasy about a clever young beggar who bargains his way into an apprenticeship with a company of thieving magicians and uses his newfound skills in a vendetta against a ruthless crime lord.




Sci-fi movie fest! #RRSciFiMonth


Every Tuesday over at the  The Broke and Bookish we all get to look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  The topic this week is :

Movie Freebie


Given that November is Sci Fi Month (organised by Rinn Reads and Over the Effing Rainbow this is a fun event that celebrates sci fi) I’m going with science fiction movies and here are ten that I always enjoy:

1. Alien – I love this film.  It’s dark and downright scary.  I recall years ago watching a documentary about the making of the film and one story stood out to me – which was about the shooting of the ‘chest burster’ scene where the alien breaks out of Kane’s chest.  Apparently the other actors – although they knew that the alien would be, literally, bursting out, they weren’t aware of all the special effects in terms of the blood and viscera.  The scene was a one take effort and the stunned surprise that you witness was real as opposed to actual acting!  I think that’s a great story.  I have no idea if it’s true but the scene is brilliant!


2. Star Wars – and I’m talking about the first film now (as I refuse to call it No4).  No funny story as such but a whole bunch of quotes – guess the character:

“You don’t need to see his identification … These aren’t the droids you’re looking for … He can go about his business … Move along.”

“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

“Boring conversation anyway. Luke, we’re gonna have company!”

“Into the garbage chute, flyboy!”

“What a piece of junk!”

3. Jurassic Park.  I thought maybe a little bit of useless (or incredibly useful depending on your pov) info about the main star – the T-rex.  One of the largest built animatronics.  20 feet tall and weighing 17,500 pounds (which, wow!)  The roar was a combination of a baby elephant, tiger and alligator.  The breath was a whale’s blow and the sounds of the T-rex tearing apart a Gallimimus were created by recording a dog attacking a rope toy!


4. Avatar.  Production originally began in 1994 and yet the film didn’t premiere until 2009!  This film may have cost A LOT to produce but it surely must be one of the most visually stunning pieces of work ever and here’s the original trailer if you want to have a gander:


5. Matrix – maybe not everyone’s cup of tea but I loved this and it certainly set the bar for action scenes with the invention of Bullet Time (not to mention a lot of spoofs)!  I love all the references in the film, e.g. Morpheus (Greek God of dreams).  But I particularly like the Alice in Wonderland reference.  ‘follow the white rabbit’.


6. Terminator 2 – great film – and surely has some of the best quotes ever!  Well, you might not really ever have need of them but I like them – here are a few:

‘I need your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle.’ 

‘Come with me if you want to live!’

‘Say… That’s a nice bike…’

‘Did you call *moi* a dipshit?’

7. 12 Monkeys – time travelling, post apocalyptic, neo noir – what’s not to love?  In fairness though, I didn’t love this the first time I saw it!  But then it just grew on me – like a mutated fungus!!!


8. The Fifth Element – funnily enough this is another Bruce Willis film (see above) and was also another film that took a little while to grow on me (yet more fungus – just call me a truffle!).

Leeloo: Leeloo Dallas mul-ti-pass. 

Korben Dallas: Yeah. 

Leeloo: Mul-ti-pass. 

Korben Dallas: Yeah, multipass, she knows it's a multipass. Leeloo Dallas. This is my wife. 

Leeloo: Mul-ti-pass. 

Korben Dallas: We're newlyweds. Just met. You know how it is. We bumped  into each other, sparks happen... 

Leeloo: Mul-ti-pass. 

Korben Dallas: Yes, she knows it's a multipass. Anyway, we're in love.

And here:  ‘Big Bada Boom!’

9. Interstellar – I think this film is fantastic.  I definitely needed to watch it more than once though I will admit!  Very clever and some mind bending scenes!


10.  Finally, Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  The movie trailer (plus bonus points for spotting the Potter character):


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