Sunday, 20 February 2011

Hangin' in the Graveyard ★★★★

Now, this isn't a post about hanging around in graveyards and acting a bit weird. It is about Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book.

Sorry the lighting isn't great, it is really overcast here today.
p.s. check the knitting in the background, sneak peeks of what I have on the needles!

Let me just set the scene for me reading this book for a second.
I believe I started this book about a year ago. If you look at my list you will see a lot of Neil Gaiman on it, and that is because I read both Stardust and American Gods and LOVED them! No joke, they are some of my favourite books, ever. So of course I read some more of his, and then when I was working at Waterstone's the christmas before last I bought them all so I would have my own copies. That is the sort of thing I do, and why I have such a huge list of unread books!
I think The Graveyard Book was the second one that I read out of the new copies I bought, and I got about half way through, (page 156, thank you Read More app on my iPhone) and I stopped. I can't remember why because I really love this book, I imagine I just got distracted by something new and shiny which happens a lot with me.

So, the book. It tells the tale of Nobody Owens, a boy whose family are murdered and he escapes as a toddler to the graveyard at the end of the street where he is gifted the 'friend of the graveyard' honor and raised by a family of ghosts. I know, sounds strange, and bear in mind that this is a book which is marketed for the teenage kind of age range but adults could definitely read and enjoy it. It is a classic coming of age/mystery story, with a twist.

There is a definite murder mystery plot line as the person who murdered Bod's living family is still looking for him, and not only that but he doesn't know who he really is. He doesn't know what his name was, who his family were, what happened to them or how he ended up in the graveyard and Bod begins to discover the answers to these questions as the book progresses.
It is a coming of age story in that it details the many difficulties Bod has with living in a graveyard, he is constantly outside of the norms of his world; when in the graveyard he isn't dead, so he isn't quite a part of that world, and when in the real world he still retains some of the secret benefits of being a friend of the graveyard so he also isn't a normal kid.

My copy of the book also had the most amazing illustrations by Dave McKean in it. I'm not sure if they all do, but my Bloomsbury 2010 edition did, and I just had to take a quick picture to show you these because I think they are wonderful and really capture the atmosphere that the graveyard in the book creates.

Again, sorry about the lighting.

Now Neil Gaiman has said that this book was influenced and inspired by Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Books, which I haven't read. This book is really good to just read, and I found it really fun, It has great characters and the details about the graveyard are just great, the plot is equally exciting, with twists and turns that keep you reading with a pleasant little smile on your face. I think however that it would be even more interesting if you have read The Jungle Books. That might just be because I am rather fond of over analysing literature, but I think it would be interesting to see how Gaiman has updated each little story.

Over all, a great read, especially if you want something which is fun while being smart and informed. I would definitely recommend it for teenagers as it has those fun weird elements that they seem to like, and there is enough action to keep them reading. Plus if you give it to a teenager, you can read it once they are done!


Next time look out for a review of Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk, which was the book I read before starting the challenge. I can tell you now, that will be a five starred one!

A/N: If you have checked the reading list page recently, you might have noticed that I have changed the "Week X" bit next to the books I have read to just "Book X". Following my last post, I received even more work at university, so instead of setting a book each week (as I am clearly not managing that) I am just listing them in order that I read them. I am still hoping to read 52 books, and I am not going to buy any other books etc, I am just not going to try and force myself to read a book a week. It just isn't feasible at the moment, and this was supposed to be fun, not a chore.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

My little miracle worker.

So, I totally suck. The first week of the new semester at Uni just finished this weekend, and I have completely lost my pace with the reading thing. At the moment I have several books to blog and a couple of knits. I also have books to finish. I didn't manage to finish Q&A the other week, so I am behind. I am determined to bring it back though, and I shall tell you how.

I wouldn't be able to do it without this:

Blurring intentional, have to preserve the identities of professors etc.

My filofax. 
More specifically the to-do pages. I just compacted my three, yes THREE pages of partially checked to-do list into these two half pages, one for the blog and one for uni stuff. 

I have had such an insane couple of weeks, I really do wonder why on earth I decided to go to Library School when I am juggling so much, but it is all sorted now, my schedule is all set apart from one signature, (which is nice considering I discovered a week and a half ago that 2 of my modules were cancelled!) and I even managed to squish all my modules into two days, which means less traveling, less time in the vicinity of meadowhall and therefore, less spending money!

Over all it has been rather hectic and exhausting this past week, but hopefully from now on I will be a bit more on top of things. You never really realise how much of a waste of time traveling is until you have to do it several times a week. Time that I envisioned as being used to read books and knit is being taken over by reading fan fiction on my phone so that I don't have to carry other stuff around with me, or reading the journal I needed to for my 9am class. I am sure I wasn't this stressed last semester, but then I do have more work this time around. 

I also wanted to let you know that I dropped out of the HPKCHC this term, I simply have far too much going on, and I want to place more importance on my own personal challenges then ones set by others for the time being. I am still knitting, just very sporadically, and I am trying to finish projects that are already on my needles which as you may remember are quite large projects which take time and concentration. Before I decided to leave the challenge I did cast on and make some progress on my first ever sweater though so look out for that. (Another post I need to add to my list, AND I totally just remembered another blog post to add to my list too. So much to do so little time!)

Anyway so I just thought I would show you my pretty to-do pages which will be a mess by tomorrow lunch, just because I was proud of them, and let you know that I am hoping to be posting a bit more often soon as a couple of days a week I will actually be home when there is day light, and can take photos! 

If you want to keep more up to date with me, feel free to follow me on twitter, I am addicted to that thing. Be aware that I do tweet a lot about fashion and beauty though, which I know isn't to everyone's tastes. Same with my Tumblr, it is really easy for me to tumbl from my phone so there will probably be a few more updates there but that is again random stuff. Blogger really needs an iPhone app!!

I hope everyone is well!

P.S. Contemplating a blog item on how I use my Filofax, could be quite interesting, so look out for that too!

NOTD: Marshmallow Pink

Barry M in Marshmallow Pink.
Totally forgot I had this one, absolutely loved it a couple of summers ago, and I amazingly have a lippy now that will match! Definitely putting it in the summer rotation :)

Sunday, 6 February 2011

NOTD: Caramel

Current nail, nails Inc caramel, free with 2 bottles of diet coke in Boots at the mo!

Friday, 4 February 2011

Haul: February

SO todays haul. I went into town with some back 2 mac stuff, a £20 debenhams reward (thought it was £15, checked my email yesterday and thought it was only £5, then dscovered at the counter it was £20!), and 2 completed project pan items, I also knew about the nails inc offer. I think I did pretty well considering this is my first payday since I started this. 
Nails Inc Nail polish in Caramel - Free with 2 bottles of diet coke in Boots (@ChanelAddict85, take note).
MAC Harmony Blusher - Debenhams reward
MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner in Fuschia Fix - Refill
Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation in Soft Ivory - 1 reward (finished Benefit Creaseless Creme)
MAC Lipstick in Costa Chic - Back 2 Mac
Topshop Blush in Flush - 2nd reward (Chapstick)
MAC Lipglass in Prrr - Refill
MAC Lipglass in Oystergirl - Part debenhams reward, because the blush was only £17, part I contributed to.
Slightly bent the rules a little. I have finished two of my items from the project pan, though, and am well on my way to the third and fourth so I think I am allowed a couple of refills, I did finish them up aaages ago, and in my opinion they should be in every girls mac collection!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

NOTD: Ski Teal We Drop

Todays new nails, had been hankering after this one for a while so I am glad I got it!
ETA, It’s Ski Teal We Drop

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

NOTD: OPI Not Like the Movies

Katy Perry for O.P.I. Not Like The Movies, Such an awesome colour!

January Favourites

Faves for January, quite a few this month.
Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask - awesome stuff it just sucks it allll right out.
Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals Foundation in Fairly Light - Great for at work.
Collection 2000 Big Fake Lash mascara - Great and it is only a fiver!
Skindinavia No More Shine finishing spray - Nice, expensive, but nice, does reduce my oiliness, need to test against fix+ really.
MAC Lipstick in Hue - Great everyday lippy.
Vichy Dermablend Corrector Stick in Opal - Good concealer for blemishes and discolouration.
NARS Blush in Luster - Poss my fave Xmas present this year, love this finish of this, so subtle and pretty!
MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study - Wasn’t sure about this, because I love Painterly, but it is awesome for a sparkly look with no effort, a la work days.
Armani Diamonds perfume - Got this a couple of christmases ago and it is one of my faves, doesn’t get enough love because i always forget to put any on and grab my Coco Mademoiselle atomiser out of my handbag instead, but this month, it has been lovely.
O.P.I. for Katy Perry Nail Varnish in Teenage Dream - Only got this the other day but I love it! I forgot to take a picture before I swapped it for another one in the set, but I want this in the full size, like now!
Swedish Cookie Cutters - just kidding, bad camera skills there lol
MAC Chromagraphic pencil in NC15/NW20 - awesome on the water line, <3
MAC Eye Kohl in I Get No Kick - Also awesome on the water line, espesh when wearing Bare Study on the lids :)