Film Review, Geekery

Film Review: Fantastic Beasts – The Crimes of Grindelwald

It’s been a looong two year wait to finally see the continuation of Newt Scamander’s adventures in the wizarding world. I remember my husband and I coming home from the midnight opening in 2016 absolutely full of excitement and adoration for this new part of the franchise and complaining “I can’t believe we have to wait two whole years to find out what happens next!”

Last night we went to the midnight opening of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (yeah, we’re die-hard geeks; who needs to go to the cinema during civilised hours?!) and all I can say is: it is most assuredly worth the wait. Don’t worry if you haven’t seen it yet though – this review will be completely spoiler free.

Continue reading “Film Review: Fantastic Beasts – The Crimes of Grindelwald”

Advertisements
Book Review

Book Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles is the 40th book I’ve read this year, and so hits my Goodreads challenge for 2018 – hurrah! It’s not a book I was previously aware of, though it won the Orange Prize in 2012 and has a massive following online. The cover merely caught my eye in Waterstones in September and I picked it up with a few other purchases.

I’m so glad I did. I’ve had a great reading year, discovering a few new gems and this has undoubtedly been one of them. I’m unsure if you technically can spoil a story that’s been out there for millennia but if you’re totally unfamiliar with the legend of Achilles and still want to read the book, you may want to stop reading this review now.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller”

Book Review

Book Review: A Place of Greater Safety

What a read. Seriously, what a read! Written by double-Man Booker winner Hilary Mantel, A Place of Greater Safety is a titanic, mammoth of a novel. It’s not so much a book that you read as much as live through.

The story focuses on the lives of Maximilien Robespierre, Camille Desmoulins and George-Jacques Danton; three of the primary architects of the French Revolution. Set over 900 pages, Mantel takes the reader on a journey to discover how three misfit boys grew to be some of the most powerful men in eighteenth century France and then fell from grace. The tale closes as Danton and Demoulins, overthrown by their former friends, are taken to the guillotine.

Continue reading “Book Review: A Place of Greater Safety”

general

World Mental Health Day; When I realised I couldn’t do absolutely everything.

You know those people who seem to accomplish an inordinate amount of tasks in the space of a week? How on earth do they do it?

I’m well aware that social media is a constructed reality – I preach that to my students often enough – but I keep finding myself bemused and not a little awestruck by the people who seem to manage to work full days, exercise, prep food for the week ahead, read endless books, listen to podcasts etc etc…all the while I’m staring at my day wondering how on earth I can possibly squeeze more out of it. As my 30th birthday approaches, it feels like such a milestone and I keep wondering ‘have I done enough?’, ‘have I accomplished enough?’, ‘am I really getting enough out of my day?’.

Continue reading “World Mental Health Day; When I realised I couldn’t do absolutely everything.”

Book Review

Book Review: The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes-Gowar

The below review is spoiler free.

Apologies for the total lack of posting these last couple of months. August was an absolute write-off for me reading wise – I had so much heavy health-related stuff going on that my concentration was utterly non-existent. While off work for two weeks I’d planned to read four-to-six books; I managed the grand total of zilch. I hadn’t the ability to focus on anything more complex than fanfiction.

Halfway through September  found me still struggling with the health stuff and also way monstrously behind with my reading for my book club. I needed to read The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield in a week and then read my own selection for the club The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes-Gowar by the end of the following week. After all – I couldn’t turn up to book club not having read the book I chose myself!

Continue reading “Book Review: The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes-Gowar”

Uncategorized

Book Review: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

This is one of the most brilliantly clever books I’ve read in ages. Imagine if you mixed the DNA of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None with the plot of Inception and then added the suspense and menace of the very best Doctor Who episodes…the result would be something close to The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. Don’t worry, this review is spoiler free.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton”

Book Review

Book Reviews: The Poisoned Rock and The Bookseller of Kabul

I’ve been incredibly lax on the blog this month, but with the scorching weather and some rubbish health issues to boot, I’ve struggled to have the motivation to read – or do very much of anything in fact – these past few weeks. I did manage to get through two books in early July though that I should have reviewed long before now.

Continue reading “Book Reviews: The Poisoned Rock and The Bookseller of Kabul”

Book Review

Book Review: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

This is a book I feel I should have read years and years ago.

After reading Wuthering Heights in my teens for my Advanced Higher English (A Level equivalent in Scotland)  portfolio and finding it one of the most depressing books I’d ever encountered, I avoided the Brontës’ works for years. After watching the brilliant drama To Walk Invisible last year , which told the sisters’ story, I decided it was about time I got up to speed and duly added Jane Eyre and Agnes Grey to my to-read list.

Continue reading “Book Review: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë”

Book Review, Geekery

Books Reviews: Three Sherlock Holmes Pastiches

I have something of a complex relationship with Sherlock Holmes pastiches – sometimes I really enjoy them, sometimes I’m completely ambivalent, sometimes I loathe them – but invariably I pick them apart with the relish of a pedant. Partly it’s because I’m too much of a book snob for my own good, but largely it’s due to the fact that Sherlock Holmes is a series so close to my heart that, although I always want more stories, I have almost unreasonably high standards when it comes to other people playing in the sandpit.

In the last ten days or so, I’ve got through three very different pastiches that between them showcase some of the best elements of Holmes imitations and also some of the reoccurring niggles I have with them. Here is a brief summary of what I thought about them – I will keep it spoiler free for any Holmes fans looking for a new mystery to enjoy.

Continue reading “Books Reviews: Three Sherlock Holmes Pastiches”