Sunday, 29 April 2012

Sweet Revenge by Nora Roberts

Sweet Revenge (1988)
Nora Roberts
Grade: A+
Genre: romantic suspense
Sex scenes: mild
Source: eBay

Whenever I've finished reading a good book, I'll often feel (depending on the book, of course; amongst other things) happy at the ending, sad that it's over and excited to read it again. All of these are usually with a grin on my face, accompanied by some undignified squealing. Having just literally finished Sweet Revenge in the last five minutes (I read this in the middle of February - this is how long it takes me to get from writing the review to posting it) I'm feeling all these things but most of all, energised and exhilerated. Sweet Revenge is a book to have you smiling, laughing, crying (I teared up a few times; I've yet to find a book that makes me cry) and on-the-edge-of-your-seat deep in the action. Some people might find the concept rather hard to believe or just plain ridiculous, but I think that NR's magical storytelling makes you forget all that and just accept the plot for what it is: utterly brilliant.

Friday, 27 April 2012

TEDxSussex University

I've espoused my love for TED in a few posts now, and I was lucky enough to be given the chance to attend a TEDx event that was held at my university today. TEDx events are independently organised events where the 'x' can be anywhere from (and I'm just picking random places here; no idea if TEDx events have actually been held here) Sydney to Stockholm to San Francisco to Sussex.

I heard about this TEDx event through the Enterprise Office at the University, and boy am I glad I attended. A full list of speakers can be found here and their talks will be uploaded to in the coming months. The theme was 'The Hidden Wonders' and we saw a variety of speakers from across the country (and the globe) in three separate areas: Science and Technology, Global Issues and Business and People and Culture.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Dollhouse: Needs

Episode 1.08

Echo, Sierra, Victor, November and Mike wake up in their pods in a panic. They're not in their regular, complacent, doll-like state; they have no memories of who they are or any idea why they're there, but they're otherwise able to act like perfectly normal human beings. While they lack proper memories, they all have snippets of memories from their past lives.

Like you would when faced with such a situation, they hatch a plan to escape the Dollhouse and they succeed in doing so.

Meanwhile, Paul has a dream featuring himself, Caroline and Mellie (yes, as awkward as it sounds) that leads him to get thinking - then trashing his apartment. After making all this mess, he finds a bugging-devince-thing in the one place where he wouldn't really have had to make any mess. A quick visit to an expert tells him that even if anyone were able to replicate the thing (impossible) whoever was responsible was part of a much bigger and more powerful picture than Paul could possibly go up against..

That's pretty much all I'm going to say about the plot. You might guess as to the underlying aim of the escape (it's a tad obvious) but more important is the 'closure' that it results in that I don't really want to spoil. The episode reveals a few tidbits about Echo, Sierra, Victor and November's real lives, but I don't think that it personally adds very much to the overall plot. A 'filler' episode, as it were. Anyone care to disagree?

TED: Connected, but Alone? - Sherry Turkle

I've only seen a dozen or so TED talks, but this has to be the most powerful one that I've watched and probably one of the most powerful TED talks that I will see.

Friday, 20 April 2012

My Abhorrence of: New Book Covers

I really really hate this. Particularly where a series is reissued with new covers and the series hasn't even finished. Okay, I understand that they're doing it to market the books and boost sales; I even accept that sometimes (rarely, I've found) the new covers are nicer than the old ones, but in principle, I just hate it.

Firstly, for a purely selfish reason. Where I own the series, then it'll just mess up my entire shelf if the series is still ongoing and I'd been planning on buying the next books. Yes, I know, I shouldn't judge books by their cover, but I do and I can't help it and new covers are just a pet hate of mine.

Secondly: when they just get it completely, absolutely WRONG. At the moment, a lot of covers of YA novels targeted at teenage girls will feature a girl posing in a pretty dress. Mainly paranormal books, but other genres too. At first it was cool and I came across some awesome covers, but now it's gotten old and lots are not particularly attractive. I admit that if a book has a pretty cover, then I probably won't care too much that it's not 100% related to the content of the book itself, but when the cover is just totally wrong for the timeline in which the book is set - then I get annoyed. [There's a word for when stuff is in the wrong chronological order, but I can't remember what it is. Anyone?]

I had actually planned a post based around this, but it wasn't going to be until quite a while ahead. But I was doing stuff on Shelfari and I saw the new covers for a trilogy of books that I like, and I saw red.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The Cabin in the Woods

I went to see The Cabin in the Woods with my housemate this evening as we're both huge Joss Whedon fans. I've been looking forward to this film for so long; the release date had just kept being pushed further and further back, so I was so excited when I heard that it was finally coming out.

The books have arrived!

They're here! Don't they look beautiful? Granted, the covers aren't as pretty as some of the other books that have been chosen for WBN, but I think they look pretty awesome all lined up, ready to be given away. Really looking forward to Monday!

Monday, 16 April 2012

TED: Half a Million Secrets - Frank Warren

I love PostSecret. For those of you that don't know, PostSecret is a blog started by Frank Warren where people from all over the world send in their secrets on a postcard. Each Sunday, a new 'batch' of secrets are posted up and it has become my ritual to check PostSecret every Sunday morning and take some time to laugh and cry at the thoughts and feelings that people have found the courage to share with the world. Frank sums the project up pretty nicely in the first few minutes of his talk.

Friday, 13 April 2012

I'm the One That's Cool


I confess, I've never watched The Guild (I mean to) but I love Felicia Day from Buffy and she was awesome in Dr Horrible. The Guild's Do You Want To Date My Avatar is similarly as brilliant as this.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Birth of a Book

Have a look at this video - just awesome. I can't imagine how many hours it would take to print and bind a book like that. I'd love to have a go, just to try it; I think it would make me appreciate the process a whole lot more

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Header/Downton Abbey

How do you all like it? The header, I mean. I'll get to DA in a moment.

I chose the books and took the picture a few weeks ago, but when I uploaded it to blogger, the picture wouldn't shrink to fit. I was a tad annoyed, but for some reason, it worked today, so I'm very happy with it.

Added to that, my aunt ordered the two series of DA and the Christmas special to be sent to our house. Today and yesterday, we've had ourselves a DA marathon with the seven episodes of the first series (with my aunt's permission, of course) and we're watching the Christmas special right now (my third time). I'd never watched DA when it first started but I watched series two with my mother earnestly.

Series one was brilliant; not as good as series two, in my opinion. Watching it, I can't believe how different the characters are from what I saw in the second series. I thought my sisters and I can be horrible to each other at times, but Mary and Edith are utter bitches to each other when provoked. I absolutely love Mary, but she was so up herself it's untrue. Miss O'Brien and Thomas are similarly a lot nastier than I remember in series two and even just small things like Cora's accent seems so different to what I had got used to. Still loving it, though.

A list of the titles in the header will be put somewhere on this blog.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have the latter half of the Christmas episode to get back to.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Awakening by S.J. Bolton

Awakening (2009)
S.J. Bolton
Grade: A
Genre: Gothic thriller crime (from the mouth of the lovely Sharon Bolton herself)
Sex scenes: n/a but some wonderful sexual tension
Source: bookshelf in the Transworld/RHCB building

Clara Benning is very happy as a wildlife vet in Dorset, tending injured badgers, birds and hedgehogs as well as the more mundane household pets, despite being perfectly qualified to work in a big zoo - something she tried but didn't like. Quiet village life suits her, though Clara makes a concerted effort to avoid seeing and coversing with the few neighbours she has; despite being deliberately blunt and rude, her neighbours continue to be nothing but friendly. When Clara begins to see an increasing number of snake cases, she refuses to believe it to be the work of the local gang as many suspect; herpetology being a speciality of hers, she investigates deeper.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Sheriff Got Your Tongue?

Robin Hood, episode 2

The closing scene of Will You Tolerate This? shows Robin, Much and Allan surrounded by Little John's gang in the forest. At the beginning of this episode, they've been tied up while Little John and co take their weapons, horses and other belongings. Will has followed Robin into the forest and frees the trio once the gang have left; Robin decides to enact his own revenge, tying up and treating the gang like the animals they've behaved as when they catch up with them.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Cinnamon Buns

These are fucking amazing. You need a lot of time to make them, but so worth it when you have them fresh from the oven.