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Friday 31 October 2014

Halloween Reads 2014!

I've been making a concerted effort this month to read more creep-inclined books to get into the Halloween spirit. Not all of these are technically horrors but they do all have some spooky or disturbing element. Actually, I'm also only realising now that nearly all of these are books of films that I've already seen..hmm. Not sure how I didn't notice that..

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Probably not the first one you'd think of but as with the film version this is rather disturbing. Set in a dystopian future with a culture of extreme violence (or ultra violence as per the book), our narrator is a teenage Alex and his "droogs" who communicate with each other through "nadsat", a Russian-influenced language used by youths. Together they terrorise their city; sleeping during the day and then at night, roaming the streets; attacking, torturing, raping and murdering those unfortunate enough to cross their paths. So far, so unpleasant. What sets this aside from being just a plain old "nasty" is for one; the incredible use of language. I had previously read a review of this by an American blogger who claimed you could only read this with a word key, otherwise it was almost impossible to understand. Yeah, it really isn't though. The words are derived from old gypsy slang but are mostly made up by Burgess himself so at first there's no frame of reference and they make little sense. It becomes really obvious though what they mean and your brain just substitutes the words for what they should be normally. Also, the use of such unfamiliar words works to blur the violence somewhat; you're aware of what's happening but it seems less visceral somehow. This was what Burgess intended apparently. Anyway, the other thing that sets this apart is what happens when Alex is caught and sent to jail. He convinces the warden to admit him to a new rehabilitation program that's recently been set up, knowing nothing whatsoever about it other than that it'll result in him avoiding further jail time. It actually involves a new experimental behaviour modification technique where Alex is exposed to graphic violence until the sight or even thought of it makes him intensely ill. It's kind of an extreme type of aversion therapy. From there it becomes fascinating to see what happens to him- whether it can work or if he'll return to his old ways. The book also becomes quite philosophical; are we born evil and if so can we change? Are we truly capable of change or are we just inherently the way we are and that's it? I really loved this book, it wasn't always an easy read but even at that I couldn't put it down. If you think "I've seen the film, I don't need to read the book" then you're wrong- they're similar but the book is definitely better (I feel like I say that at least once a week). Read it!

Misery by Stephen King
My love for the work of Mr King is well documented at this stage. Again, I had seen the film version of this many times but had never actually read the book and if reading The Shining has taught me anything it's that the book is always 100% worth a read. That and always be wary of topiary animals. Shudder. Anyway, in Misery, best selling author Paul Sheldon finds himself coming to in an unfamiliar bed in a fog of pain and analgesia but also somehow acutely aware that he's in extreme danger. He discovers he's been in a car crash in the middle of nowhere; his car having gone off the road during a sudden snow storm. Local farmer and ex-nurse Annie Wilkes happened to spot the wreck and rescued him but then claimed he couldn't be brought to a hospital due to the state of the roads, so she splinters his legs (which are basically destroyed) and starts to nurse him back to health. Unfortunately this involves getting him so addicted to codeine that he goes into respiratory arrest several times and because she turns out to be more than a little unhinged, he really suffers at the hands of her sadism. She's also his number one fan which is both a blessing for him (as it means she'll keep him alive to write a novel just for her) and also a curse (as she punishes him for the things he's done to her favourite fictional character, Misery). Really, he doesn't stand a chance. We know it and he knows it, right from the start. In spite of that inevitability, this is just so gripping from the first sentence until the very end. Heads up though, it's way more graphic than the film; if you could only watch certain parts of that through your hands then the book isn't for you. Damn though, Stephen King can write. I've yet to be disappointed by any of his books. Love it.

The Woman In Black by Susan Hill
So I had actually seen both the play and film of this and as they both ended differently I was intrigued to see how the original wold turn out. This was first published in 1983 but is written in the style of a Gothic horror. Arthur Kipps is a retired solicitor enjoying Christmas with his wife and stepchildren when he is forced to remember a horrific experience from his youth. He decides to write his story down and so we learn about the event that changed his life irrevocably all those years ago. While still a junior solicitor he's sent to a small town on the North coast of England to settle up the affairs of Mrs Drablow; an elderly woman who's just died. Her large home is situated in a secluded area that can only be reached by horse and carriage and gets cut off from the mainland by the tide at certain times of the day. When he attends the funeral he sees a mysterious and creepy looking woman in black hanging around and added to that, all of the villagers become monosyllabic when he speaks about visiting Eel Marsh House, where the old lady lived. Still, he's not superstitious so he carries on with his plans and begins to sort through her paperwork. While at Eel March House he begins to experience strange occurrences and generally starts to freak out. Which to be honest, is understandable. Although it is super creepy, I only really felt actual goosebumps during about three parts of the book and I thought it took a long time for the story to fully establish itself. I mean, I was fifty pages in before Arthur gets anywhere near the house, which is pretty far in for a book that only has 200 pages. Having said that, the ending gave me an actual jolt of horror so full marks for that.

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Again., saw the film, liked it, picked up the book. It's pretty much just the story of this blog post. This is a YA Rom/Zom/Com. Like Shaun of the Dead but with less falling over fences. 'R' is a zombie and our narrator. He remembers nothing of his life pre-Z other than that his name started with an R. He hangs out with a load of other zombies in an abandoned airport and they all just roam around aimlessly until they need to go for food- when they do they shuffle to the city and hunt down some humans to eat. While on one of these trips he eats this guy but instead of also eating his girlfriend, Juliet, he finds himself drawn to protect her and so brings her back with him to the airplane he calls home. Somehow being around her makes him more human. He begins to speak in four syllables or more, feels little flutterings in his heart and an overall warmth when he's around Juliet (who by the way is pretty cool. She doesn't generally need rescuing and takes no crap from anyone). It kind of turns into a zombie version of Romeo and Juliet when her father finds out about their blossoming love and overall it's pretty heart warming. I've never actually read anything from the perspective of a zombie before so this was certainly a novel concept. It is by the way, absolutely terror-free.

Point Horrors 
For some reason, this month I developed a strong urge to re-read some Point Horrors. I used to love these when I was a pre-teen and my library in Limerick had a really great selection. I actually don't remember reading any of these three but the lovely Sharon from Behind Green Eyes very kindly sent them on to me after we discussed our mutual fondness for these mildly scary 90's books. They all have fairly similar plots; a school or college student finds themselves in a creepy situation with what seems like an obvious culprit who is usually just a red herring. In spite of not remembering these specific books, it was still really enjoyable taking a walk down memory lane- they are all basically the exact same book at the end of the day. Kind of nice being eleven there again for a while!

Do you read themed books depending on the time of year or is that just me being a big book nerd?! What's your favourite horror read?

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Seventeen Brow's That! Eyebrow Kit | Review

Last week I was delighted to be sent this fella along with the Seventeen Contour palette (separate review to follow) to review and so far I'm loving using the Brow's that! kit. Seventeen is a brand that has been on great form over the last year- I loved their cheek stamp (review HERE) and am a big fan of their mirror shine lipsticks (review HERE). I think they have many gems in their stable and are constantly adding to them with more and more clever products like this eyebrow kit. 

Seventeen Brow's That! Eyebrow Kit

Inside you'll find a wax, a powder, a highlighter for the brow bone, a very handy little brush and a mini brow pencil. You also get a removable "how to guide" that serves as an application guide in case you need any help. The case is a sturdy black plastic- nothing too aesthetically stunning here but it's functional and comes with a fine big mirror on the inside. You could throw this into your bag and not be worried about it falling apart on you. 

Seventeen Brow's That! Eyebrow Kit

The products inside are all generous sizes as well and for the price (a minuscule €7.59) you're getting a serious bargain here. And that's what sets this aside from the many similar kits you'll find on the counters of other brands- Benefit, Clarins, Urban Decay etc all do versions of this but the quality of this is as good as any of those, for a fraction of the price. 

Seventeen Brow's That! Eyebrow Kit
L to R- brow pencil, powder, wax, highlighter.

I've been using all of the products but if I had to choose a favourite, it'd be the brow pencil. It's quick and easy to use and makes it easy to define your brow. Having said that, it isn't as natural on it's own without the powder and wax so I tend to use all three together. The highlighter is a subtle, soft champagne shade with a nice shimmer and absolutely no glitter. It's very nice indeed.

Seventeen Brow's That! Eyebrow Kit

I can see this becoming a bit of a holy grail product for those of us on a budget, which let's face it, is a lot of us in these recessionary times. It's on Seventeen stands now, I'd recommend going and having a look for yourself or you can check it out on HERE.

What's your favourite brow product? Do you use a kit like this or do you prefer a plain old pencil? To the comments!

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Winter Brights With O' Donnells Boutique, Limerick.

One of the things I really miss about living in Limerick is the City's selection of unique little fashion boutiques, so I'm always glad of the opportunity to peruse these treasure troves and one I love in particular is O'Donnells Boutique on Catherine Street, Limerick.
Recently I was lucky enough to be invited to check out what they have in store for us for the chillier months ahead and the good news is, we can expect plenty of bright woollen coats, stylish hats, leather accents, stunning accessories and perfect wedding guest attire.

First up; coats. Zesty citrus shades such as these stunning lemon and orange wool coats are the perfect pops of colour to help banish the Winter blues. As you can see, the girls paired them with simple silhouettes in white and black, the idea being to keep your outfit as classic as possible so when you introduce a bright colour like this, it still looks chic. I actually can't make up my mind which one I prefer although I think the orange would go nicely with my own brown leather knee high boots.

That lemon is surprisingly wearable in a skirt too- worn here with a leather accent black jacket and in the middle photo with a 70's style hat and opaque tights. I'm also loving that grey pleated skirt in the photo on the right- it looks perfect with a buttoned up shirt and another fab leather accent jacket. In the middle photo again you can see a print puffa jacket- the 90's look is still very popular and although it's not really my thing, I was taken aback by how well it looked on the model. 

There's that puffa jacket close up. In the middle is possibly the worlds most beautiful coat. Oh the swooning that was done over that floral beauty. Sigh. Imagine it over a plain dress with a pair of killer heels. That's the perfect wedding outfit right there. 
Although that photo on the right is a close second. I REALLY love that dress. The designer apparently picks a different completely unique print each season to adorn her dresses with so you really are getting one of a kind. The fuchsia is perfect with the grey and I love that cut.

Hats are big news this season, which is excellent for me as I have more bad hair days than you could shake a large stick at. I dare anyone to try wearing that 70's style on the left and not look like a lady- it'll make any outfit instantly stylish. I actually really love that purple cardigan it's paired with (it also comes in a bright pink..again I was torn about which one I preferred but I thought the purple had a nice Wintery vibe). The pink cloche hat on the right is again going to be perfect for any event in the upcoming months but would be ideal for a wedding in particular. 

They also have a great range of jewelry to complete your outfit. The rose gold bracelets on the left are delicate and look stunning layered together while you can also find cuffs like the one on the right to balance out your look. Below are just some of the collar necklaces available- perfect for adding oomph to a plain black dress.

You'll also find a good selection of Mad Men style hand-held bags like this powder blue beauty on the left and that gorgeous grey and blue on the right. 

While I was there I couldn't help but admire the choice of shoes that the models were wearing, which are all available from Serendipity (shops on Roches St, Limerick and in Adare), also a great Limerick shop! So I popped in there too to have a look. They've a huge selection, in particular they
 have lots of booties like these two- those fur trimmed ones are great for Winter- you'll be warm and well dressed, which lets face it is difficult at the best of times.

Sorry, was just wiping the drool away there. Would you just look at these. Pointy toed, stilletoed with a bow detail to the heel and available in three different colours. My kinda shoe.

Had to put up a second photo there just to show off the shoes a bit more. Sweet lamb of God, they're just perfect. If anyone's looking to buy me a new pair of shoes, I'll take those red ones in a seven. 
Ta very much. 

And that's just some of what's on offer from these fabulous stores. You can see more from the range in O' Donnells on their website HERE and more from Serendipity HERE.

What's the stand out piece for you? Are you liking the current Autumn/Winter trends?

*This post was not sponsored, I just really like my Autumn/Winter fashion!

Monday 27 October 2014

The No7 Beauty Calendar Is Almost Here!!

We all love a beauty advent calendar, am I right? I still haven't made up my mind about which one I want to badger my husband into getting for me yet this year but this No7 offering looks great. 

No7 Beauty Calendar

Featuring 25 days of cosmetic and skincare goodies and a beauty anecdote behind each door, this is sure to be a best seller, as last years calendar was for the brand too. 

I don't know exactly what will be behind each door but I can tell you it does contain some of No7s most popular products, including; 
  • No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Day Cream
  • No7 Youthful Eye Serum
  • No7 Beautiful Skin Radiance Exfoliator
  • No7 Stay Perfect Duo Nail Colour
  • No7 Mini Intense Volume Mascara in Black
  • No 7 Lip Colour Brush
  • No7 Stay Metallic Eye Pencil
Obviously that's just an idea of what's in the calendar but I think even at that it sounds like a really good selection. 
This is priced at a reasonable €45 (although in total it's worth €170) and is available from Boots stores and online from the 29th of October...just in case you're getting into the Christmas spirit early!

Sunday 26 October 2014

Weekend Book Review | The Bucket by Paul W.S. Bowler

I'm still struggling to put a finger on what genre short story, The Bucket is. I'm not sure it can even be pigeon-holed that way so I'm going to suggest that if you like a bit of action/adventure, formidable female characters and the hardships of war then this is for you. You can probably see why I have trouble describing its genre. 
Our narrator is Captain Yidda, a loyal and honourable servant to the King. She has been attempting to win a war in his name but now finds herself captured and in a dungeon along with her comrades- people she has forced into fighting alongside her. Their fates are inextricably linked with the decisions she has made and so she feels that sense of responsibility and guilt deeply, something you get a strong sense of while you read the story as we're privy to her thoughts. The non-linear style of writing means that we jump from pre-capture to different stages of imprisonment and to the outcomes for Captain Yidda and her companions and back again. Although I often find that a bit discombobulating (gotta love that word), I actually thought it created a steady build up of suspense here and made the Captain more well rounded and realistic.

The indignity and humiliations that the characters are made to suffer while captured are described in detail but also really sensitively; it's grim and each new horror felt like a personal blow- I actually really felt for these characters and although I knew things couldn't end well I realised I was intently hoping that Captain Yidda in particular would pull through. I found her to be really interesting- unflinching, strong and single-minded but also so very human- the fact that after losing her hair she allowed herself a fleeting moment to grieve for its loss felt very real to me and in turn made her more real to me too. It's unusual to find a female character like her and I applaud the author for that. 
Although it's dark, it's a gripping and intense read and although you'll have finished it in a day, it will stay with you for some time afterwards.

If you want to read The Bucket yourself, you can find it HERE on Kindle for only 77p. Yes, that's right, 77p. Go now!!

Monday 20 October 2014

Poolbeg Lighthouse Walk

A recent discovery for us has been the Great South Wall, Poolbeg Lighthouse walk. It's only a short distance from where we live so it's a bit shameful that we're only finding it now but we've been making up for that over the last month. I wanted to share it with you here because I think it's one of those lovely spots in Dublin that when you're there, makes you forget that you're actually in a city. It's really peaceful and feels like you're right in the middle of the sea. Even when the water is turbulent, it's still somehow really calming.
As we've been having unseasonably good weather lately (hello global warming), we've been making the most of the the last vestiges of the sun before old man Winter shows his face again. Last weekend was just at that tipping point I think. Gloriously sunny and about 19 degrees (seriously) but insanely windy. I expressed a fear several times that I was going to be swept out to sea and be that person on the RTE news that people are like "what was she thinking" etc but himself laughed heartily at that and I soon got over it. We did get nicely coated in sea spray but in a pleasantly bracing fashion; nothing quite like a blast from the sea to awaken the senses! 

View of the walk and lighthouse from the beach
Poolbeg chimneys in the background
Generally making a fool of myself there. Plus check out the crazy windswept hair!

Any new discoveries in your own city? Do you also fear being swept out to sea or is that just me?! To the comments!

Saturday 18 October 2014

Weekend Book Review | The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes

*Does a "Marian Keyes is back" dance*

Yes, having been a big Marian Keyes fan for years now I was greatly anticipating her latest release, The Woman Who Stole My Life and so I was thrilled when NetGalley sent me a pre-release to review.
Our protagonist here is Stella, a married mum of two troublesome teenagers who works with her sister as a beautician. Her husband is a designer of very fancy bathrooms (think disco balls) and is a bit of an egomaniac but overall, Stella has a pretty ordinary life. That is until she is struck down by a rare, debilitating and life-altering condition, requiring a lengthy hospital stay. 
The book is told in different stages of time; her life before her illness, her time in hospital, her life post-sickness when she writes a best selling book of inspirational quotes and finally, her life post-book, living in New York where she struggles with writers block and tries to produce a second best seller. It sounds almost like there's four books in one there but the stories are cleverly woven amongst each other and it means that Stella becomes a much more well-rounded character because of all of the details of her life that we receive.

I found that the chapters where Stella is in hospital in particular resonated with me. Having been quite unwell myself in the past, I remember well what it feels like to be a patient and to feel stuck in that role- stripping you of a lot of what makes you you and giving you a new "sick person" identity. I felt Keyes captured this element really very well and especially as the condition that Stella has basically means that she's completely trapped, I felt what she felt so acutely that it was almost like being in her hospital bed with her. On that note, it also made me think long and hard about my own nursing care of others and how I've treated patients in a similar situation to Stella. Thankfully, I know that I've always tried to be more mindful and aware than her fictional nurses are but still, I thought it was an impressively written viewpoint and provided some real food for thought. 
I won't lie, those chapters are hard going at times but are obviously very important to the storyline and will make you truly root for Stella in her endeavours to get her life back; if anyone deserves to be happy it's her. It's a great example of what the human spirit is capable of and will certainly put your own worries into sharp focus. That said the rest of the book takes on more of a lighter tone with Stella experiencing a burgeoning romance, a move abroad and a pretty manic book tour across America.
The supporting characters in this are equally as entertaining as Stella; I loved her mad sister Karen, her dad reading to her at her hospital bedside and her at times fairly arrogant doctor, Mannix. 

I really enjoyed this book, I stayed up late into the night reading it (furtively in the dark on my kindle so as not to wake himself) and I thought it kept the momentum going nicely.
I've said this before about Marian Keyes and I'll say it again; she is undeserving of the title "chick lit". All of her books deal with serious life issues in an incisive and at times heart-breaking fashion; it's a pretty remarkable skill to discuss topics like this in such a sensitive way but then to also infuse them with the classic warmth and Irish wit that Keyes does so naturally is quite special in my opinion. 

If you loved her previous novels then I think you'll enjoy this. I've a feeling it's going to be a massive best seller and will no doubt be under many's the Christmas tree this year! It's out on November 6/7th.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Lush Christmas 2014!

Yes Scrooges, I know we "haven't even had Halloween yet" but as Lush have both their Christmas as well as their Halloween goodies in stock, now is the perfect time to tell you what you need to buy! 

Every year I pick up one of the seasonal shower gels, last year I got Rose Jam, which I loved (and you can still buy) but this year I have my eye on both So White (a shower gel version of the bath bomb by the same name)- this smells like pure Granny Smith apples, a super fresh scent to wake you up in the mornings. The other one I'm going to have to get is Hot Toddy, this is basically mulled wine in a bottle. One of my favourite things about Winter is curling up in the snug of a pub, preferably with a nearby crackling fire and a hot port in front of me, preparing myself to face the cold again. Best smell ever.
And as always, the sweetest shower gel of all time, Snow Fairy is back. As one of the girls in Lush said "this is the colour pink in a fragrance". She's not wrong! This is limited edition for the festive period, so if you want it get it now!

Bath Melts:
These are sparkly, solid bath oils ideal for those of us with super dry skin- it's like having a bath full of moisturiser! They're full of goodies like fair trade cocoa butter, almond oil and Shea butter as well as classic Christmas scents like cinnamon, clove and ginger.
Star Light Star Bright, Melting Snowman and Snow Angel.

Bubble bars:
These fellas are a solid version of bubble bath- how cool! Full of essential oils and fresh ingredients, you crush these under running water to create a big mad bath full of bubbles. 
Old favourite Magic Wand Bubble Bar (it jingles as you swish it), Drummers drumming (reusable!), The Christmas Hedgehog and Candy Mountain. You can also pick up Christmas Eve and the Christmas Penguin again this year too (not pictured).
Lastly, the brand new Holly Go Lightly. I love this little pudding because again, it's fragranced with Christmas spices similar to a hot toddy, which just sounds so comforting!

Bath Bombs:
Lush are possibly most well known for their bath bombs and as always, there's a great selection for Christmas, I just have a few here to show you. 
Pictured right are Father Christmas (top) and Dashing Santa (bottom) for those of you who love a bit of Santy. 

These luxury handmaid soaps are all works of art in their own right. Last year I got Snowglobe, which smelt just incredible. If you're disappointed not to see it below, fear not, the last on the right Baked Alaska is pretty similar but is way more colourful- Imma need that one! 
Yog Nog (egg nog in a soap!), Reindeer Rock (Scandinavian inspired with comforting bergamot, lingonberries and cypress oil), Snowcake (a classic bestseller that smells just like marzipan!) and lastly the aforementioned Baked Alaska (uplifting hits of grapefruit, lemon and Ylang Ylang).

Gift sets:
The great thing about Lush is that you can spend as little or as much as you want and still come away with a beautifully wrapped gift that looks pretty fantastic under the tree! You can find gift sets for under €13, €13-€20, €20-€30, €30-€40, €40-€50 and €50 and above (that includes WOW, which contains ALL the Christmas and Halloween special editions except the Buche de Noel cleanser…this guy is €199.50 but it genuinely has everything Lush that you'd ever need). If you know someone that just wants one or two things you can buy a festive knot wrap- a Christmas themed scarf to wrap up your choice of bath bombs, body lotion etc. It means you get your bath goodies and a super cute scarf to wear afterwards! I have my eye on the "It's Christmas Deer" wrap, which is the kitschiest scarf I've ever seen. Naturally this means it'll have to be mine.
This one now is a bit more advent calendar so that you can treat yourself to a bath for the 12 days in the run up to Christmas. Best to make the most of the water before we're forking out extortionate water charges in the New Year, am I right?!

And lastly, in case you're just not quite ready to embrace the C-word, you can get some very cute Halloween themed bath treats; the Sparkly Pumpkin and Wizard Bubble Bars.

Any of these making your wish list? I won't lie, there's plenty here that I would love; if I could, I'd do an auld supermarket sweep and stock up for the foreseeable future! There's plenty more to check out in store, I just couldn't fit it all in one blog post. Some of these are already selling fast so if you want them, go get them!

Friday 10 October 2014

Philip Kingsley Pure Silver Try me Kit | Review

I've been on the look out for a silver toning shampoo for blonde hair for a while now so when I saw this Try Me Kit from Philip Kingsley containing a Pure Silver Shampoo & Conditioner for "dull, discoloured, grey and brassy blonde hair" with an added Elasticizer to try out, I jumped at the chance to pick it up. The Elasticizer is one of those products always rated highly by bloggers but I didn't want to risk spending a small fortune on the big size as I  have a history of having poor results from haircare, no matter how fancy or expensive it is. This little kit came in at only €6.50, which I couldn't resist. Now it says on the packaging that each 20ml bottle is one application but like most mini sizes this has lasted me for four washes so far with plenty left so I'd ignore that.

Philip Kingsley Pure Silver Try me Kit

First off, these smell incredible. Kind of like a mix of super fancy salon shampoo with a whack of lavender for good measure. Mmm.

The Elasticizer is an "intensive, super-conditioner" that you apply pre-shampoo to wet hair, applying in sections. After covering in a plastic cap (or cling film if that's all you have to hand), you leave it for 10-20 minutes before washing out. The idea is that this adds elasticity, manageability, bounce and shine. After washing out you use your shampoo and conditioner as usual. 

Philip Kingsley Pure Silver Try me Kit

The shampoo and conditioner are created using violet hues and optical brighteners to add shine and take down any brassy tones that can happen when you dye your hair blonde. The shampoo doesn't lather up that much and you need about two squeezes to do your entire head while the conditioner has a light enough texture and is easily massaged into the ends of your hair. After drying and styling, my hair was noticeably shinier with more volume and definitely a bit brighter. I can't say that it was really a much brighter blonde afterwards but overall my hair looked healthier and in better condition. I wasn't sure if that was down to the Elasticizer, the silver shampoo and conditioner..or both combined so I tried them separately and while I like the shampoo & conditioner, I really love the Elasticizer and will definitely be buying a full size. I might keep on with my search for the perfect toning shampoo however. 

You can find various Philip Kingsley kits including this one HERE on Feel Unique.
Have you tried any of these? Thoughts?

Thursday 2 October 2014

September Book Haul

For someone who read only two books last month (none of these were those two), I somehow managed to procure a fine big stack of books to read. 
I also bought none of these which leads me to believe I'm some sort of book acquiring genius. I really need to get reading but my brain is completely switched off at the moment, all it'll allow me to do is re-watch Buffy and be subsumed by The Good Wife (seriously, I watched the first five seasons in about two weeks. I'm obsessed). Anyway, I've some creepy/spooky type books lined up for October but here's what I picked up last month:

My lovely parents-in-law are great for the auld books, a visit to their house can often be like going to a book shop and I often come away very full and with something to read clutched in my grubby paws. This makes me inordinately happy. 
Firstly, my father-in-law bought me A Clockwork Orange cause I've been going on for ages about wanting to read it. I think I'll be reading it this month as part of my disturbing reads in the build up to Halloween, as having seen the film, I'm prepared for some unpleasantness. He also picked me up A Life's Music (on top) by Andrei Makine. This is a novella based in the Soviet Union and tells the story of a man's life, illustrating the "strength of human resistance" apparently. I'm looking forward to getting stuck in! From my mammy-in-law, I borrowed Longbourn (the story of the servants in the Bennets house in Pride and Prejudice- big P& P fan!) and Her Fearful Symmetry which I have somehow still never read but I hear it's an interesting one!
Harry's Last Stand was sent to me by Icon Books and is written by a survivor of the Great Depression and WW2, Harry Leslie Smith. In it he discusses the past and what we can learn from it to change our present and our future. I've already started this and I have to say it's actually fascinating so far. 
Hubster took pity on me when he saw me stroking the new releases in Easons that I can't actually afford (like, seriously, The Book Depository is where it's at. I don't know many people that can afford to bankrupt themselves on some new books. Take note, Easons) and spent some of a voucher he had on Ian McEwan's The Children Act and The Secret Place by Tana French. I love both of those authors so I can't wait to read these new releases. 
NetGalley also sent me The Before Now and After Then which I requested to read after seeing Sharon's review HERE. I haven't actually started it yet but it looks great.

Have you read any of this lot? What's on your current reading list?