Thursday, 31 July 2014

what I've read this month (July)

Here's what I've read this month (click to see full review)
  1. Max Barry, Lexicon
  2. Graham Joyce, Some Kind of Fairy Tale 
  3. Octavia Butler, Mind of My Mind 
  4. Octavia Butler, Clay's Ark
  5. Elizabeth Haynes, Into the Darkest Corner  
  6. Helene Wecker, The Golem and the Djinni
  7. Nnedi Okorafor, Who Fear's Death 
  8. Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride (re-read)
  9. Janet Mock, Redefining Realness (non-fiction, autobiography)
  10. Octavia Butler, Patternmaster
  11. George R.R Martin, A Feast for Crows (re-read)
stack of books, reviews, list, photo, pile of books, paperback, spines,

I'm pleased I've managed to review all of July's books with the exception of one. It has been a concerted effort though, as I realised earlier in the month I'd been a bit lax with doing reviews. 

The stand-out book for me was Elizabeth Haynes' Into the Darkest Corner it was completely gripping, even though it did make me feel anxious. It totally deserved to win Amazon's book of the year in 2011. Best read with all the lights on, or perhaps by the poolside, Into the Darkness Corner is a tense crime thriller. 

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor is another notable book for this month. I've written a ridiculously long review on this science-fiction novel, so all I'm going to say is if your a fan of the genre add this to your reading list. 

Redefining Realness has been the most educational book I've read this year. It is a truly brave and important autobiography that should be read not just by trans people but everyone.   

stack of books, reviews, list, photo, pile of books, paperback, spines,

I did two re-reads this month, The Robber Bride and A Feast for Crows. Margaret Atwood is queen of my heart and I'm obsessed with George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series (#teamTyrion)  

For a full list and links for every book I've reviewed ever, see here 

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Janet Mock, Redefining Realness

I'm not going to a do my usual sort of review on Redefining Realness as it is an autobiography and can't be analysed the same way as a fictional novel, however I still wanted to bring it to people's attention.

Redefining Realness, Janet Mock, autobiography, life story, hardback, book cover, review, trans, womanhood,

Janet Mock is a writer, speaker and advocate of trans rights. Redefining Realness is her story about growing up, identity, her experiences as a child of drug-addicted parents and her involvement in sex work. It is a courageous book, well-written and thought provoking.

As well as telling her personal story, Janet discuses trans issues with great clarity, educating and advocating tolerance and support. She explains concepts regarding gender and sex in an easily accessible way. More importantly, Redefining Realness will be a great comfort and affirmation to young trans, or non-binary people.

I highly recommend Janet's autobiography, it is an insightful and important book.

Octavia E. Butler, Seed to Harvest

Seed to Harvest is a collection of the four Patternist novels in one volume. It contains; Wild Seed, Mind of My Mind, Clay's Ark and The Patternmaster in the chronological narrative order, not in the order they were published. Survivor is also part of Patternist series, but is not included in this collection as it was later disowned by Octavia Butler.

I read Wild Seed back in April, but didn't round to reviewing it so I'm going to review all four novels in a singular post now. Be aware there maybe spoilers for the whole series.

photo, photograph, paperback, UK edition, book cover, spine, Octavia E Butler, Seed to harvest, Patternist series, book review, Wild seed, mind of my mind, clay's ark, Patternmaster, afro-futurism, science fiction, African-American literature

Wild Seed: Dora, an immortal and immoral being seeks to create a new race of supernaturals by selective breeding. Anyanwu would be an asset to his collection, as she possess the powers to shape-shift, regenerate and heal, though Dora will not find her easy to control. Anyanwu attempts to determine her own life in the face of Dora's relentless persecution, but eventually one must submit to the other.
Set in both rural Africa and 17th century America.

Mind of My Mind: As a result of Dora's selective breeding programme, Mary is a powerful telepath, able to link minds with other telepaths and draw on their strength through a mental pattern. Initially Dora's prodigy he becomes wary of her growing power and influence.

Clay's Ark:  When Elias returns from a space mission he brings back a highly contagious disease. In spite of his best efforts he soon infects a isolated family that came to his aid. The disease increases speed, agility and ability to heal, but also compels suffers to spread the infection at any cost.

The Patternmaster: War rages between the Paterrnists (desended from Dora's telepaths) and the Clayark's. Meanwhile the Parernists are beset by and internal political struggle as Teray and Coransee fight to decide who will succeed the Patternmaster and have ultimate control over the telepathic pattern.

Rating:  «««« (4/5) this score is for the series overall, though I preferred some novels over others. Wild Seed is my favourite.
Full review under the cut:-

Monday, 28 July 2014

Helene Wecker, The Golem and the Djinni

I picked up The Golem and the Djinni for £1.99 after reading a sample at the start of this month.
kindle, ebook, photograph, photo, mug, tea,

The Plot: Chava is a golem, shaped from clay and brought to life by a rabbi, who dabbles in dark magic. When her master, dies whilst a ship bound New York, Chava is left purposeless and alone. Similarly forlorn is Ahmad, a being of fire, trapped for centuries in a copper flask. Once freed, he is still tethered to the physical world, by a band of iron and must, like Chava, try to survive in a strange, human world. 

Rating: ««¶¶¶ (2.5/5)
full review under the cut:-

Friday, 25 July 2014

Harry Potter at Primark

If you're a fan of the boy wizard and want to show your school pride, get down to Primark pronto. Hogwarts and House T-shirts are selling for a tiny £6.00 (1 gallon, 3 sickles and 11 knuts)

Harry Potter, buy, clothing, top, T-shit, UK, cheap, £6.00, burgundy, House crest, school

I'm about 5"6 and the shirt nearly covers my bum, they come in the usual range of UK sizes and have a relaxed fit with rolled sleeves.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

pistachio and almond cookies

These biscuits are perfect with a cup of tea. Plus they're quick and easy to bake. 
pistachio and almond cookies, biscuits, grams,  recipe, home baking, easy, simple, quick, nutty, sweet

They're are slightly pasty looking, so some green food colouring might be a good idea, to give them a pastel hue. 

Recipe under the cut:- 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Elizabeth Haynes, Into the Darkest Corner

When photographing this book I was quite tempted to find the darkest corner in my house, but then realised that was a daft idea.

Into The Darkest Corner won Amazon Best Book of the Year 2011, but I missed the buzz. I read about in on a blog (sorry can't remember who) recently and thought it sounded worth a try.

Trigger warning: rape, domestic violence, OCD, post-traumatic stress, death, torture, compulsions, crime
crime fiction, Into the Darkest Corner, photo, photograph, Elizabeth Haynes, paperback, review, ISBN: 9780956251572, Amazon Best Book 2011,
Into the Darkest Corner - photographed not in a corner
ISBN: 9780956251572
The Plot: Catherine is young, bold and up for a good time. Happy to be single, she is is smart enough to realise what a great catch Lee is when she meets him on a night out. Charismatic and good looking Lee has soon won Catherine over, but soon is becomes apparent that Lee is darker and more dangerous than he first seemed. Several years later Catherine is struggling with OCD but otherwise managing to cope, that is until she receives a phone call that puts her into a further tailspin.  

Rating: «««« (4/5)

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride

Yay more feminist literature! I  was shocked to see that so far this year my reading list has been many male, to rectify this, this month (with the exception of two books) every novel I've read has been written by a woman.

The Robber Bride, Margaret Atwood, paperback, spine, UK edition, review, Canadian, literature, feminism, second wave, book review,

I first read The Robber Bride years ago, so though I could remember the gist, the ending was a nice surprise. I don't think I can say it enough, I adore Margaret Atwood, without fail her novels are full of wit and insight.

The Plot: As three woman share a companionable lunch, an old enemy comes back from the dead. Zenia, beautiful, capricious and utterly merciless was thought to have been killed in a bombing, she is however very much alive. Having once already destroyed the lives of Tony, Charis and Roz, Zenia proves she's lost none of her venom and capacity to harm.

Rating: ««««« (5/5)

Monday, 21 July 2014


I've started to go through my book reviews and allocate star ratings to my posts, it's going to take me a while though. I'm in two minds whether I should go back and rate the books respectively or just do it from now on.

The rating it going to be out of five, five stars for an absolute cracking read, and no stars for an appalling waste of time. Feel free to disagree/agree with my scores in the comments.

I realise I can be rather wordy- my reviews seem to be getting longer and longer! So hopefully the stars will help give a quick impression of my opinion on a book.

Nnedi Okorafor, Who Fears Death

Just realised that so far I've only reviewed two books this months, that's a pretty poor show for a book reviewing blog.

I tried a sample of Nnedi Okorafor's Who Fears Death back in May, so I've had to wait a fair while to read the whole thing. I bought it has part of my recent splurge.

trigger warning: violence, rape, racism, death, genocide, incest, FGM, slavery

The Plot: Alone in the desert, a woman who has survived the genocide of her village and a horrific rape by an enemy general, gives birth to a girl with hair and skin the colour of sand. She names her child Onyesnwu, 'who fears death'.  Onyesonwu, already ostracised due to the nature of her conception, is further rejected by her community when she  starts to exhibit signs of powerful magic. Able to transform into any animal, travel through the spirit world and even resurrect the dead, Onyesonwu is powerful and dangerous. Her volatile spirit  and gender mean she has the capacity to cause great harm, as well as good.   However,  as the violence between the Nuru and the Okeke escalates a prophecy is made, foretelling of a saviour who will end the war. 

Rating: «««« (4/5) 

Full review and quick glossary under the cut *spoiler warning*:-
(I've included a brief list of terminology, as the novel can get confusing)

Friday, 18 July 2014

Where are you from?

'People coming into the store frequently ask Shanita where she's from. "Right here," she says, smilling her ultra-bright smile. "I was born right in this very city!" She's nice about it to their faces, but it's a question that bothers her a lot. 
"I think they mean, where are your parents from," says Charis, because that's what Canadians usually mean when they ask that question.
"That's not what they mean," says Shanita. "What they mean is, when am I leaving."'
- Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride  

historical fiction

If you enjoy historical novels, I suggest you check out this website

Wimpole library 

It lists over 5,000 novels by time and place. I would say the Africa and Asia sections are a bit lacking, but it's a great start, and other counties/time periods are more extensive.

I have a particular interest in the 19th Century, if you're looking to get started, I'd recommend  Micheal Faber, The Crimson Petal and the White and Lyndsay Faye, Seven for a Secret  and Kate Manning, My Notorious Life by Madame X. really look like a fantastic resource, and I know I'm going to end up spending a fair amount of time on it.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Scarthin Books

Scarthin Books, bookshop, photos, photographs, new, second hand, cute, independent, shelves, bibliophile, shopping, Matlock, Cromford

If you're in the area of Cromford or Matlock, you should take the time to go to Scathin Books. It is a bibliophiles heaven, thousands of new and second-hand book, plus a vegetarian cafe.
Scarthin Books, bookshop, photos, photographs, new, second hand, cute, independent, shelves, bibliophile, shopping, Matlock, Cromford

I did find the second-hand books a tad over priced, but there is a huge selection to choose from. Our itinerary was busy, so I couldn't spend as long as I wanted browsing, plan to spend a good couple of hours here.  
Scarthin Books, bookshop, photos, photographs, new, second hand, cute, independent, shelves, bibliophile, shopping, Matlock, Cromford

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

book haul

I've broken my self imposed book buying ban in a big way, but in my defence 3 of the 5 are second-hand.

Nnedi Okorafor, Who Fears Death
After reading the kindle sample of this I was immediately hooked. *Trigger warning rape and violence.
Recently I've been interested in reading afro-futurism (inspired by my new found love for Octavia Butler) so this novel fit the bill.    

Octavia E. Butler, Seed to Harvest
Speaking of Octavia E. Butler, this collection of the Patternist series also got put in my shopping trolley. Seed to Harvest contains four novels and fits into the afro-futurism/ science-fiction genre. For my review of another of Octavia Butler's books, Kindred see here.

Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride and Bluebeard's Egg
I've mentioned several times on this blog that I'm a massive Atwood fan, and as both these books were going cheap second-hand on Amazon I couldn't resist. The Robber Bride is a strong contender for my favourite Atwood, so I felt I had to remedy the fact that I didn't actually own it. Bluebeard's Egg is a collection of retold fairy-stories (similar to Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber) so I had to have it. It's like a triple thumbs up, Margaret Atwood, yep! Fairytales, yep yep!, feminist re-telling, yep yep yep!

Jeanette Winterson, Sexing the Cherry
I was very impressed with Winterson's retelling of the myth of Hercules in Weight, so thought I should work my way through some more of her back catalogue. Sexing the Cherry is similar to Bluebeard's Egg, more fairytales.

What do you think of my book haul? Have you got any suggestions of what I should add to my reading list?

I detest the masculine point of view

"I detest the masculine point of view. I am bored by his heroism, virtue and honour. I think the best these men can do is not talk about themselves any more"
Virginia Woolf

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Graham Joyce, Some Kind of Fairy Tale

The blurb of Some Kind of Fairy Tale doesn't give a lot of info, so I wouldn't be surprised if people picked this up in a book shop then put it back.

Some Kind of Fairy Tale, Tara, Bluebells, novel, fairies,  book cover, review, Graham Joyce, UK edition, photo, photograph, fairy tale,

The Plot:  After an argument with her boyfriend fifteen-year-old Tara Martin disappears, she was last seen in the woods near to her parents house.  20 years later a woman claiming to Tara returns, insisting that she has only been gone for 6 months and that she was taken by fairies. Her parents, her brother Peter, and her former boyfriend, Richie, are initially sceptical, but her unaltered appearance and steadfast believe in her story begins to persuade them that Tara's fairy tale is real.  

Rating: «««¶¶ (3/5)

Full review after the cut:-

Monday, 14 July 2014

Bring up the Bodies, at Aldwych theatre

I feel I can properly review Bring up the Bodies this time, as our seats were so much better, and I could actually see the stage.

Hilary Mantel's award-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies have been adapted by the Royal Shakespeare Company and are currently on stage at Aldwych theatre. The novels chart the life of Thomas Cromwell, from his tutelage under Cardinal Wolsey, to his growing influence with Henry VII, to his role is orchestrating the fall of Anne Boleyn. Wolf Hall covers up to the death of Wolsey, and the marriage of Anne to Henry. Bring up the Bodies plots Cromwell's growing power, Anne's death and the King's new infatuation with Jane Seymour. 
Ben Miles as Thomas Cromwell (picture source)
After the absolute seat disaster when we saw Wolf Hall (seriously, don't book seats Grand, AA 3 & 4), we decided that we'd go see the second adaptation of Hillary Mantel's novels, Bring up the Bodies, and this time do it properly.  Our seats (Grand, Row B, 17 & 18) cost considerably more, just under £50, but we felt it was totally worth it. It even enhanced our earlier experience of Wolf Hall as there was references made to the first play, and little things I noticed, like Thomas Cromwell's (Ben Miles) Putney accent is subtler in Bring Up the Bodies, as he is even further from his humble origins, which I wouldn't have spotted if I hadn't been to both plays.

The staging of the play is minimalistic, beyond a few chairs and a table, there aren't many props. The back wall is divided into a cross, as one of the key subjects of the play is religious reform,England's break with Catholicism and the dissolution of the monasteries. Fire occasionally comes out of the floor in a doorway, to represent a hearth, and to show the scene is taking place inside, dappled light, like the sun through trees, is projected on the back wall for scenes in the garden. The costumes are of the period, and there are limited changes, Cromwell wears the same black velvet throughout both Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies.    
Nathaniel Parker as King Henry VII (picture source)
I really like the use of tableaux, a simple but affective way of changing scene or illustrating a point. For example at the end of the play, all those who died throughout the two plays are frozen in the background whilst Cromwell talks about them, he then joins them, showing both his involvement in their deaths and also foreshadowing his own.  

All the cast were of of high calibre, apart from I'm afraid Leah Brotherhead, who I'm afraid let the side down a bit. Her Jane Seymour didn't have enough guile, she didn't seem to be a worthy opponent to Anne. Yes, Jane was supposed to be 'milksop', a respite from Anne's quick temper, but I imagined Jane's niceness and gentleness just to be another form of manipulation. Brotherhead's Jane came across as slow-witted and her voice verged on the whiny. I feel a bit harsh now, I think it's because the other actors were so talented, that Brotherhead's weakness were just more apparent.

The stand out performer, for me, was Lucy Briers who played Katherine of Aragon and Jane Boleyn (Lady Rochford). Both characters were distinctly different. She managed to portray Katherine's dignity and resilience, and her jowls quivered with indignation. Ben Miles (Thomas Cromwell) was also very good.
(photo source)

My favourite scene was the when Thomas Cromwell goes to the tower to question William Brereton, Henry Norris, Francis Weston and George Boleyn after they are charged with adultery with the Queen. The four accused are seated in a semi-circle around Cromwell, as Cromwell questions them they are spotlighted and when the interviews are over they exist the stage. It was very well scripted, and the actors gave excellent performances, and become trapped and manipulated by Cromwell into turning on each other.

I could go on for hours, I was incredibly impressed by Bring Up the Bodies and would highly recommend you go see it if you get the chance. As far as I know, there are still tickets available. Our seats, Grand, Row B 17 & 18, were a good choice, and we had a superb view of the stage. We where in the back section, but second from the front. I think it is worth paying the extra £7 to be seated one row back from the front, as your view may be obscured by the lights and safety bar in the front row. I'm just under 5"7 and did feel a little cramped, but this is to be expected at an old theatre. If you're tall than me, you might want to consider sitting in row D of the Grand, as it has more leg room, but on the downside, there is another safety bar which might obscure your view.     

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Canons Ashby

Owned by the Drydan family, Cannons Ashby was built in approximately 1550, and underwent significant remodelling in 1590s, 1630s and 1700 to reflect changes in style and taste.

As we visited on Thursday, unfortunately the house was closed, but we still had an informative talk about the history of the house and played a game of croquet.

Canons Ashby, historical building, House and gardens, Drydan family, garden, Tudor brick, Jacobean Plaster, travel lodge, shepherd boy statue, photo, photograph, visit, day trip

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Calke Abbey

We've seen the majority of the National Trust properties in our area, so decided to go further afield to visit some new properties. Last week we took a mini-break to Derbyshire. 

photo, photograph, review, visit, day trip, Ticknall, Calke Abbey, National Trust, historical property, Harpur, decay, faded grandeur, abandoned, preserved, tour, degenerate, disrepair, conservation

Calke Abbey, was one building on our itinerary, particularity as it is unique within the Trust as it has not been completely restored.  Calke Abbey, tells the story of decaying grandeur, of what happens when families fortunes decline and country estates are no longer affordable. 

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Max Barry, Lexicon

As I mentioned in this post, after reading a sample of Lexicon on kindle I immediately reserved the book from the library. 

The Plot: 'sticks and stones break bones, words kill'. At an exclusive school students are taught to persuade and manipulate other people using words, the very best will graduate as poets and will have the power to control people's minds. Emily is hustling on the street when she is recruited, under the guidance of Bronte, Lowell and Eliot she becomes the school's most talented pupil. Meanwhile Wil is violently attached in a airport bathroom, he has no recollection of what he is supposed to have done, or who his attackers are.
Max Barry, Lexicon, paperback, book cover, ISBN: 978144476480, UK edition, photograph, cover, review, book review, science fiction, words, novel semiotics, linguistics
ISBN: 9781444764680
Rating: «««¶¶ (3/5)

Full review under the cut *contains spoilers*:

Monday, 7 July 2014


When I was up in matlock the other week, I went to an amazing vegetarian restaurant, The Green Way Cafe. Seriously, if you're in the area you should go, I was the only veggie in the group, but the others were really impressed as well. The salad is particularly good, it tastes like summer. 
BookCrossing, book crossing, captured book, world's library, BCID

Another reason why you soon pop in, is in the corner they have free books. It's a release site for BookCrossing.  The idea of BookCrossing, is you register an unwanted book online, then leave it at your nearest BookCrossing site. The next person to pick up the book then updates the profile using the unique BookCrossing number, and after it's been read, the book is left at another site.

I chose The Olive Readers by Christine Aziz, according to the info on BookCrossing, this book has sat unloved on the shelf since February 2012. 

BookCrossing is worldwide, and I think it's a fantastic idea. When I was backpacking (in the pre-kindle day) I was reliant on book swaps in hostels, where if you take a book you leave one. I would have been really interested to see where my books travelled to and what people thought of them.  

Friday, 4 July 2014

science fiction & fantasy kindle samples

I've been reading a lot of science fiction and fantasy recently, (see my mini reviews of previous kindle samples here and here) and a loss of what to read next I downloaded a couple of kindle samples to try. 

Synopsis:  'sticks and stones break bones, words kill'. At an exclusive school students are taught to persuade and manipulate other people using words, the very best will graduate as poets and will have the power to control people's minds. Emily is hustling on the street when she is recruited, under the guidance of Bronte, Lowell and Eliot she becomes the school's most talented pupil. Meanwhile Wil is violently attached in a airport bathroom, he has no recollection of what he is supposed to have done, or who his attackers are. 
My thoughts: The book starts with a Wil been ambushed, and rather like him as I reader I felt thrown into the middle of something I didn't fully understand. My initial reservations about the novel, is that it will be too plot driven, all gun fights and car chases without any depth or character development. That might be a hasty conclusion however, and I would like to read the rest of book. The premise intrigues me, propaganda and rhetoric are powerful tools, that have lead to the deaths of many people, so I think the author is clever to make this concept literal, words as weapons.   
Verdict: want to read, but not worth buying(have already reserved it from the library) 

Synopsis: There have been elven previous expeditions to Area X, an environmental disaster zone monitored by the secretive Southern Reach agency. Each of this expeditions has resulted in fatalities and terrible consequences. The narrator, an unnamed biologist, is part of the twelfth group to investigate Area X, the quarantined area soon begins to affect her and her companions is strange and disturbing ways. 
 My thoughts: My initial reaction was yay! as all the members of the expedition group are female, though I was soon to realise most of them aren't going to last long. The opening is pretty creepy, I'm expecting that there has been some kind of outbreak, or contagion that will physiologically unbalance the group. I also suspect that the Southern Reach send people to Area X as part of human experimentation. I wasn't immediately drawn in, perhaps because I can predict what's going to happen, though of course I could be wrong. 
Verdict: not fussed, either way. There are other books I'd like to read first       

Synopsis: After the world has been annihilated by nuclear war, and humans are nearly extinct, aliens first make contact. Hoping to save the earth and humanity, the Oankali rescue the people they can and begin to rehabilitate the planet. Lilith is one of the first to be awoken by the Oankali, and she must prepare her fellow humans to survive in a hostile environment. 
My thoughts:  I've been on an Octavia Butler kick recently, Kindred was my top pick last month (see my review here) but this sample didn't really grab me. Going of the strength of her other books though, I think I may have been too quick to judge. I'm a fan of post-apocalyptic books, I'm always interested to see how authors think society will rebuild itself, so that appeals to me. It's just the involvement of aliens that puts me off. 
Verdit: There are other Octavia Butler books I'd like to read first (I bought Seed to Harvest the other day and am waiting for it to arrive)  

Synopsis: Chava is a golem, shaped from clay and brought to life by a rabbi, who dabbles in dark magic. When her master, a failed businessman, dies whilst they are travelling, Chava is left purposeless and alone in 19th Century New York. Similarly forlorn is Ahmad, a being of fire, trapped for centuries in a copper flask. Once freed, he is still tethered to the physical world, by a band of iron and must, like Chava, try to survive in a strange, human world. 
My thoughts: I only know a little about golems, so this novel had instant appeal for me, I love learning about different myths. The turn of the twentieth century is also one of my favourite time periods, so that gave the book another tick from me. Though Chava and Ahmad are supernatural beings, there story will have a lot in common with the flood of immigrants that arrived in New York in this time, culture clash and alienation are going to be huge themes in the novel, as both try to navigate their way around the human world. I was immediately invested after reading the sample.
Verdict: desperate to read (plus it's only £1.99 on kindle) 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

first lines 2

Following on from my post last week (here), here are more first lines that I admire:

great first lines, opening lines, books, quotes, quotes from books, author, literature, inspiration, best, favourite, list
'The sea has many voices. The voice this man is listening for is the voice of his mother. He lifts his head, turns his face to the chill air that moves across the gulf, and tastes the sharp salt on his lip. The sea surface bellies and glistens, a lustrous sliver blue- a membrane stretched to a fine transparency where once, for nice changes of the moon, he had hung curled in a dream of pre-existence and was rocked and comforted.' 
-David Malouf, Ransom 

great first lines, opening lines, books, quotes, quotes from books, author, literature, inspiration, best, favourite, list
 'I stand at the window of this great house in the south of France as night falls, the night which is leading me to the most terrible morning of my life. I have a drink in my hand, there is a bottle at my elbow.'
-         -James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room 

great first lines, opening lines, books, quotes, quotes from books, author, literature, inspiration, best, favourite, list
'Like most people I lived a long time with my mother and father. My father liked to watch the wrestling, my mother liked to wrestle; it didn’t matter what. She was in the white corner and that was that. She hung out the largest sheets on the windiest days. She wanted the Mormons to knock on the door. At election time in a Labour mill town she put a picture of the Conservative candidate in the window.'
-          Jeanette Winterson, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
great first lines, opening lines, books, quotes, quotes from books, author, literature, inspiration, best, favourite, list

'I still get nightmares. In fact I get them so often I should be used to them by now.  I’m not. No one ever really gets used to nightmares. For a while I tried every pill imaginable. Anything to curb the fear. Excedrian PMs, Melatonin, L-tryptophan, Valium, Vicodin, quite a few members of the barbital family. A pretty extensive list, frequently mixed, often matched, with shots of bourbon, a few lung rasping bong hits, sometimes even the vaporous confidence-trip of cocaine. None of it helped.'
-          Mark Z. Danielwski, House of Leaves  

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

rhubarb and polenta muffins (gluten free)

Rhurbarb grows really well in my back garden, but aside from crumble we're never sure what to do with it. Looking for some inspiration I came across this recipe, which I then adapted.

easy, simple, gluten free, baking, recipe, rhubarb and polenta muffins, yummy, tasty, photograph, pink, home made,

recipe under the jump:-