Readers unite!

20 10 2011

I am so incredibly excited.

Why, you ask?

Because we’ve started a book club on Facebook!!

Okay, I suppose you need me to back it up just a little bit. Here’s the backstory:

At the beginning of the year (January/ February), I read the HUNGER GAMES trilogy – which I loved, of course. As the year progressed, I went on to read a lot of other books – and I mean a lot – but kept wondering how the film adaptation of the first book would turn out. I wasn’t all too happy to see who they cast for some of the parts, since they didn’t fit the descriptions in the book (don’t you just hate it when they choose someone who doesn’t even have the right hair colour?), but when I saw some pictures from the work-in-progress on IMDB, I started to think that perhaps they could pull it off. It’s amazing what a dye job, haircut and make-up can do…

Anyway, back to my story. I shared a link to the IMDB page with photos on my Facebook, and then a friend that went to university with me started chatting to me about the series and books in general. From that point on (probably at the start of September) we’ve been sharing and recommending books we enjoyed. She told me about the CHAOS WALKING trilogy, which I enjoyed just as much as the HUNGER GAMES (didn’t really like the ending, though), so I told her about the MAZE RUNNER trilogy – the final book came out a few days ago, making my timing for reading them perfect 🙂

You’ll note that all the aforementioned trilogies are dystopian novels (see my blog entry about it here), yet do not despair: we’ve shared other recommendations, as well. If you’re into light reads that include mystery and baking, you can try the Hannah Swensen Mysteries series by Joanne Fluke. If you still want a bit of mystery/ a ‘detective story’ and bring in the newspaper industry – and cats, don’t forget cats! – you can turn your attention to The Cat Who… series. My friend, Ms. Booklover, has introduced me to the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher – a cross between detective stories and wizards. To quote Wikipedia (and yes, I am going to do it, even though it isn’t always a reliable source), the series is pretty much “Dirty Harry Potter”… get it? Dirty Harry + Harry Potter (a hard-core detective and plenty of wizardry)? Ah, forget it.

Okay, one  more recommendation, then I’ll shut my trap. If any of you liked THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, I’d give THE WASP FACTORY by Iain M. Banks a read. It’s odd, interesting, destructive… Not everyone’s cup of tea. I won’t take offense if you read a few pages and then discard it. As long as you’re reading and engaging with the wonderful world of words, it makes me extremely happy. I’ve always have a great fondness for books, which is why I am glad to be sharing the experience with others… and to be able to do that. Not a lot of people have or make time for reading; others simply say that they don’t like to read *tsk-tsk* Where would we be without literacy? Without imagination, some form of escape?

If you love to read, feel free to post books you enjoyed in the comments section (which should be at the bottom of this blog entry). You can also share books you have started – perhaps a few times – and just cannot seem to finish/ get ‘into’. I’m always looking for new books to read…

Yip, pretty excited about sharing book recommendations with friends. Pretty darn much.

Readers unite!!! 😀

[PS: Do I even have to say that I recommend each and every work by the literary master writer Stephen King? No, I didn’t think so.]





R&R in retrospect

20 09 2011

Hullo again, dearest blog readers

I hope all of you have been just dandy – I’m ‘back’ after having a four-day weekend (which I optimistically have called a mini ‘vacation’… spent at the apartment) and I am not looking forward to going back to work.

Why?
Because I spent a good part of my time off thinking about work… and, yesterday,  my own stupidity… because apparently I didn’t fill in a courier form correctly (gonna’ blame it on the migraine I had on Friday) and processes at work have been delayed because of it. Aren’t I just going to feel like what the cat covered up in the litter box when I have to report to my manager…

So much for no worries.

In retrospect, I cannot really say that I feel rested after this extended period of repose. I feel tired. My headaches are worse. I feel listless… I was actually bored yesterday and today… blah, blah, et cetera.

But hey – that’s life.

I’m sure these few days have done me some good, otherwise I would have been working straight through until the end of December without having a breather (not that two leave days really count as being away from work for a sufficient amount of time so as to actually feel a bit more relaxed and less worried, but oh well). I saw my parents, I read a few books, I baked, I cleaned, I took lots of pictures of Smudgy… what more could a girl want? It’s like I said in my last blog post: “As long as I’m able to stay in bed if I want to, read a lot, and be with my Significant Other (and Smudgy!!), my time off from work will be worth it.”

Here are a few pictures showcasing my period of R&R. At least I got in a lot of sleep!

On Saturday, my Significant Other and I bought some materials at Spiro's so we could make a mosaic. I think it turned out pretty well.

Then we spent the evening watching X-MEN: FIRST CLASS

On Sunday we went to see my parents, had a late lunch at Mugg&Bean, and then I had some 'chill time' with Smudgy -- my S.O. spent the evening playing games

Lunch at Caffé Rossini on Monday; I had pastrami & avo on rye

Isn't she cute?? Smudgy spent most of her time with me while I was reading... she was lying around, sleeping

My S.O. and I played some good ol' video games 🙂

Monday at midnight (thus technically Tuesday): Smudgy in her new favourite spot -- the cooler bag!

Tuesday lunch at Pete's Diner - I had bacon, egg & cheese on rye. Not the best sandwich I've ever had.

To stave off boredom (if only for a short while), I baked a carrot cake. Nothing fancy, but it tastes nice

To bring my mini vacation to a (bitter)sweet ending, I bought us some mini cheesecakes for tonight. The choc chip one is for my S.O., of course 😉

I also took the time to read the CHAOS WALKING trilogy by Patrick Ness. They're quite lengthy, but thoroughly enjoyable! If you liked THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy, you're sure to like these books!





Scattered Brainings XIV

31 08 2011

* Old school video games are awesome. We didn’t play a lot (our SEGA machine had Alex Kidd in Miracle World built in), but my limited ‘experience’ won’t stop me from having fun… even though it probably accounts for why I get my behind kicked when playing against my Significant Other. That, plus the fact that he has been gaming for many a year.

* Finding new things to do is fun. I might not be very good, but my Significant Other and I are having a blast playing video games… which makes two and a half hours disappear each time, somehow… We also bought a Monopoly board on Monday – the South African version – and might start making mosaics/ building small things. Having to teach me all these things (excluding the mosaics) probably ties in with that “Love is patient” line.

* It’s ‘scary’ to realize how much you have in common with someone you find a tad annoying and, yes, sometimes overwhelming. Betty Bright drinks green tea, loves cats, doesn’t like rugby… and believes that the two of us think alike. Really?! This coming from someone who thinks she can do everything / knows best and whose species is most likely extinct already. [Sorry, couldn’t resist an age-related joke!]

* Sometimes I think I should either opt for the book or the film version thereof and not both. Just by looking at the cast for the first PERCY JACKSON film – along with what I heard about it from various sources – I immediately knew that I should steer clear. I had the same feeling when I read up on the cast for THE HUNGER GAMES. Yet, in this case, I am willing to wait it out and let the film decide it for me.

* Baking is awesome. What makes it even more meaningful for me (childhood memories aside) is how much people appreciate something as seemingly insignificant as a cookie or two with their morning coffee/tea. I brought some of the cookies I baked on Sunday to work yesterday, and my co-workers were delighted 🙂

* Speaking of which, when our Publishing Manager came to thank me for the cookies, she said that she didn’t see me as ‘domesticated’. This does not make sense to me… unless I am actually a household pet or something *laugh* I think she meant she didn’t see me as the domestic type, and not as someone who isn’t house-bred.

* Why are people so curious? I’m convinced that motorists are the people with the most curiosity. Just look at the excruciatingly slow pace of traffic when an accident has occurred, or when a truck has pulled over, and how immediately after you pass the vehicle(s) things go quicker. And why? Because everyone was staring and turning to look at what happened. Ogling should be a (criminal) offence.

* The fragrance of the air freshener cans in our Ladies Room at work is called “Baby Caress”. I find this highly unsettling…

How do YOU know what baby would taste like, kitteh? Also, with the air freshener: does it smell like dirty diapers and spit (like babies do), or is it the powdered, clean, 'new human' (baby) scent that's enticing...? *shudder*

* In just under a week, three or four people’s fathers have passed away (said people work for OUP). This makes me appreciate the fact that I still have my dad even more… and also makes me worry about his safety/ health/ longevity. Three deaths related to the (people in our) workplace is kind of eerie.

* I was having such a dull day at work yesterday that I actually started jotting down my brainings for today’s post. Talk about being constructive!





It’s almost over…

12 07 2011

The long wait is almost over.

Tomorrow evening I’m going to see the final film instalment of the Harry Potter series. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to end up crying, yet I know that it’s going to be magnificently brilliant.

I just hope my Significant Other appreciates the fact that I haven’t given anything away (since he hasn’t read any of the books). I’ll watch his reactions throughout the film… if, that is, I can spare a moment to tear my adorned-with-3D-glasses eyes away from the screen.





Scattered Brainings XIII

29 06 2011

* I cannot stop thinking about the fact that I (supposedly) blink a lot… and thinking about it makes me act on it! —blinkblinkblink—

* I wish that all the Naruto Shippuden episodes were dubbed. The subbed episodes are fine, I guess, since you get used to reading it pretty quickly. I just miss the characters’ English voices.

* We bought a table and six chairs for the apartment on Sunday and they delivered it yesterday. Accordingly, my Significant Other and I rearranged the whole living room when I got home from work in order for it to ‘look right’. Now all we need is new couches.

* Oats cookies/ blocks are ‘healthy’, right? I mean, it has eggs, brown sugar, oats, raisins… it’s like having a bowl of oats for breakfast, but in a compacted form. Hey, for someone who doesn’t actually eat breakfast, it’s a step in the right direction. [And yes, I baked them myself.]

* My Significant Other and I seem to be in popular demand when it comes to lunch/ dinner invitations. Everybody wants to feed us! We had a BBQ at our neighbours’ apartment on Friday evening; Saturday my sister and her husband came over for a BBQ; and on Sunday we had lunch at an uncle and aunt’s house (on the in-laws side). However, we were also invited to a BBQ at our friends’ new house on Saturday, and my father wanted us to come over on Sunday – but since we had already made our plans, we had to turn the invitations down. We’re already ‘booked’ for this coming Saturday… any takers for Friday and Sunday? 😉

* Smudgy has been a little bit more of a house cat since we’ve been back. She loves cuddling up on or under the new duvet – which she has practically claimed as her own – and she comes to curl up beside me on the couch, since there’s enough space for her, my Significant Other and myself… and even if there wasn’t space, she’d get it. I cannot deny her what she wants… mostly.

* I finished reading the Hannah Swensen murder mystery series last week. That’s 14 books and two novellas. Now what am I supposed to read? [Aside: in case any of you know the books, I’m pro-Norman.]

* I’ve read 80 books this year (including two manuscripts) and am currently busy with number 81. At this rate, I’ll be well over my goal of 100 books by the end of the year.

* When we bought Smudgy, I signed her up for the Whiskas Kitten Club, which sends e-mails with tips etc. After a year, they e-mail you to let you know that you won’t be receiving any more e-mails from them since your cat is no longer a kitten. I have been receiving these e-mails on the first of every month since January. Not only do they send the same e-mail every month, saying that I won’t be receiving any e-mails anymore because my cat is a year old already, but they messed up because Smudgy’s birthday is in December *shakes head* Wonder if I can block them…

* It’s so strange to go visit my parents and Mewsy’s not there. I miss him 😦

* Still waiting for our wedding photos. Starting to get annoying. Apparently our photographer took leave from work so he could finish our photos! Let’s hope I hear from him by next week…

* Everybody excited about Pottermore? And the last Harry Potter film?? The 15th of July can’t come soon enough!!

* Speaking of films, I’m not sure when was the last time I went to the cinema. Want to go watch KUNG FU PANDA 2, but now it’s school holidays, and I’m not particularly in the mood to sit there with a bunch of kiddies who cannot sit still, are noisy, don’t understand what’s going on… and all the other annoying things kids do.