Sunday Post 50; It's Monday What are you reading? 35

Saturday, 3 December 2016

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The Sunday Post is a chance for a chat and a catch-up, and is hosted by Kimba over here: http://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/ and It's Monday! What are you reading? is now hosted by Kathryn right here: http://bookdate.blogspot.co.nz/

Let's see ... last week was mostly spent mired in spreadsheets as I'm still working through this two-week contract. The work is due on Wednesday this week, and I have a lot of double-checking to do before then.  The good thing about it is that I can just do it from home. And in looking for something suitable on Netflix to watch while I work, I stumbled over Gilmore Girls, which I had never watched.

Now I'm on to ... season three? I think? It's good fodder for while I'm working because I don't need to concentrate too hard.

What else. I've finished a few books, and I've written a couple of reviews. Coming up - hopefully this week - will be She Sings of Old, Unhappy Far-off Things (the book itself was much better than the terrible title suggests), Going South by Colin Hogg, and the first book in the Valerian series of graphic novels - City of Shifting Waters.

I've also watched some terrible, terrible Netflix movies, but I'm not sure whether I'll review them or not. Maybe do a short reviews post - lol.

The local library has launched its summer reading programme, and spawn's class travelled there on Thursday to get started, so I went along as parent help. There's challenges for kids, teens and adults, and for the kids, there's an activity challenge as well as a reading one. I've never finished one but you never know. :)

I went out for lunch on Saturday with some former workmates which was a lot of fun - always good to catch up with people.

I haven't been doing much else, I don't think. Spreadsheeting. Watching Netflix and reading -lol.

What about you?

How's your week?

Review - The Girl From the Savoy

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

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It's 1923, and Dolly Lane is about to start work at the Savoy in London as a maid. Dolly is carrying memories and baggage from the fallout of the Great War, but she's determined  to live out her dream of performing on the stage.

Actress Loretta May has the world at her feet - she's rich, famous, beautiful - and dying.

Dolly and Loretta's paths would normally never cross, but Dolly bumps into Loretta's brother Perry, and it changes all of their lives.

The Girl From the Savoy evokes the era perfectly - the early 1920s - post-war with endless possibilities in the future.

Both Dolly and Loretta come to life off the page, and the supporting characters like Perry and Dolly's friend Clover - are also memorable.

Reading The Girl From the Savoy made me want to put on a nice dress and go for afternoon tea in a fancy hotel - complete with tiny cakes. True escapism at its best.

Review - Breakaway

Monday, 21 November 2016

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Lane Courtnall's future looks bright - recruited to an NHL affiliate team, his hockey career looks set. However, after Lane says some stupid things, his team turns their backs on him, and he's feeling a bit isolated.

Jackson Shore is in his early 30s, meaning his hockey career is just about at an end. He's angry about a lot of things, and then upstart Lane challenges him to a fight on the ice.

Lane and Jackson don't get on - at first - but a one night stand soon changes both their lives.

It sounds a bit odd, but this was actually adorable. Cute, and very little angst really, and Lane is the type of character who just says whatever he's thinking with no filter whatsoever. And it's easy for that kind of character to be a complete asshole, but Lane is the opposite.

He lets his thought processes out all the time, and exasperates everyone ever, but he's such a likeable character, that it doesn't matter.

Breakaway is fun, and you don't need to know anything about hockey (I don't) to enjoy the developing love story.

Sunday Post 49; It's Monday, what are you reading? 34

Saturday, 19 November 2016

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The Sunday Post - a chance for bloggers to chat and catch up - is hosted by Kimba over here: http://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/ and It's Monday! What are reading? is hosted by Kathryn right here: http://bookdate.blogspot.co.nz/

Let's see ... it's been a couple of weeks since I did a Sunday Post.

I do have a bit of sad news. One of our cats, Casper, who was 15 this year, deteriorated. He lost a lot of weight, and then got an abcess on his jaw that got infected. It all felt like it happened very quickly. And, of course, with me not working ... ugh. But I rang the vet and we took him in and he was put to sleep. He was in pain and couldn't eat for the last few days, which you never want to see in your pets. The vet was lovely about it and told us that we could make payment arrangements if we needed to - which I hadn't realised.

This was Casper. He was a very good cat. Much more fond of my husband than me, but still a good cat.

So that was some sadness. It's never easy saying farewell to a pet - especially one who's been with you for so long.

J stayed with him, but I get weird and panicky around death, so I waited out in the waiting room.


Right. What else has been going on around these parts for the past couple of weeks?


I'm sure everyone heard about the big quake, but luckily I live well outside of that particular area, so we weren't affected, though a friend of mine lives in Wellington. She's fine, but naturally rattled, of course.

I actually managed to write some posts last week - three reviews - two books, one movie. I also read Breakaway by Avon Gale, and I'm hoping to finish The Girl From the Savoy this week. So yay, content!

I was frustrated on Friday though. On Tuesday, I had an assessment to see whether I had the skills to proceed with a job interview to be a court reporter. Basically transcribing notes, etc. A job that I KNOW I could do easily. So. Of course, I completely fluffed the assessment. Typing speed, using MS word ... everything. Everything but accuracy. But just being accurate isn't enough.

So I'm still sending out applications and trying to fill my days. I do have the chance of a couple of weeks' work with a local independent community newspaper, which is good timing with Christmas right around the corner. I'm meeting with the editor - someone I used to work with - tomorrow to have a chat. Fingers crossed and all that jazz. It's only a couple of weeks at the moment, but who knows?

As I said, I'm reading The Girl From the Savoy, and I'm not sure what might be up next. Wizards and Glass, perhaps.

Anyway.

What's up with you? What are you reading?

Review - The Prophecy Con

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

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Loch and co are back in book 2 of Patrick Weekes' The Rogues Republic Series.

This time, the team has to steal an invaluable elven manuscript in order to prevent a war between the Republic and the Empire.

Just why this particular manuscript can stop the war, no one really knows, but Loch has a job to do. She gathers the usual suspects from The Palace Job, and we're off to the races.

If you like your fantasy with a healthy dose of humour, strategy and the kind of heists seen in Ocean's Eleven, then this is the series for you. It dives right in and doesn't let up until the very end.

Loch and co pursue the manuscript, uncover consipracies, and there's even a little romance, if that's your sort of thing.

Something for everyone.

Review - Hold Me

Monday, 14 November 2016

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Hold Me by Courtney Milan is the second book in the loosely connected Cyclone series.

This one features Maria Lopez, Tina's room-mate from book one.

Once again, I downloaded it, sat down to read, and basically didn't get up till I'd finished the book.

Maria is studying to be an actuary, and on the side she runs a blog that runs scenarios for different kinds of apocalypses. She has her friends, and her adored brother, and things are good.

Then she meets Jay, a professor at the university and things go a bit ... wrong.

Jay and Maria get off on the wrong foot, as Jay pre-judges Maria for her very put-together appearance, and assumes she's about as deep as a puddle. Maria, for her part, comes out swinging - she's worked hard to get to where she is in her life and refuses to let someone like Jay bring her down.

What neither of them know, is that they've been communicating via a message app for over a year, as Jay commented on Maria's blog - that she runs anonymously.

Ah ... this was greatly satisfying to read. Especially Maria, who takes absolutely no shit from anyone, especially Jay - even when they work out who the other is.

Hold Me is about two adults meeting, hating each other, then not so much hating each other, then actually TALKING about why they hated each other and then dating and then nakedness.

This is SUCH a good series and I'm looking forward to book three very much.

Review - Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Sunday, 13 November 2016

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Ricky Baker is considered a problem. He's got a list of offences that are as impressive as they are sad for a 12-year-old.

He's packed off to a foster family in the middle of nowhere, and that's where the fun begins.

His foster mother Bella (Rima Te Wiata) is loving and patient with Ricky, whereas - in contrast - her husband Hec (Sam Neill) is grumpy and standoffish with Ricky.

However, when Bella dies, Hec and Ricky find themselves having to get along. They're also on the run in the wilds of New Zealand's backcountry thanks to a misunderstanding with a bunch of weekend warriors.

I missed this at the movies somehow, but picked it up on DVD and I'm so glad I did. It's a very New Zealand story, and the landscape is almost a third star of the film along with Sam Neill and newcomer Julian Dennison as Ricky.

Hec and Ricky are hilarious together and the story itself is extremely heartfelt. It's a feel-good movie from start to finish (although warning for animal lovers, there is a pet death in there).

Under the steady hand of Kiwi director Taika Waitit, Wilderpeople is an absolute must-see.