Talking about…Stuff…

Okay guys, sorry for the lack of posts. I have had very little to post about, especially as most of this week I have just been resting my knee. This post really is exactly what the title states it is: just me talking about…stuff!

So what stuff do I have to talk about?

Well, I have learnt from the doctor this week that I have torn a ligament when I dislocated my knee. Very normal apparently with this type of injury and the doctor has said that I have to rest my knee for the next two weeks and they will take it from there, depending on how it is healing.

He has also told me that I have to take my splint off on a night. Yeah… I woke up yesterday and bent my knee fully without thinking. OW! That was agony and, as daft as it sounds, the pain made me nauseous. So now, I make sure I am fully awake to tell myself, internally and out loud, don’t bend your knee. Go slow! Thank God for the splint during the day and pain killers on a night to ease the pain from any stiffness that develops. I can move about pretty well though on crutches so gaining some of my independence back.

The fact that I have to rest my knee for the next two weeks though is annoying for me as this leaves me unable to attend Wakefield Lit Fest, which takes place between the 21st and 30th of this month (read as: very, very, VERY annoyed). I am not one for staying inside all day, every day. The most I can do is one or two days inside but then I HAVE to get out of the house, even if it’s just a walk up to my local library branch and supermarket so being unable to go outside at all means I am getting cabin fever.

I am determined though to make it  to my graduation. I will attend that, one way or another, no matter what! And who knows, I might even do November NaNoWriMo, depending on how things go and how well my knee ends up healing. Heck, it’s better than me sat being bored out of my skull right?

Creativity cheers me up and distracts me when things aren’t good. It’s my outlet for a lot of things. I will discuss this further in an article I am planning and I am aiming to at least start researching for very soon.

It isn’t all bad though being stuck inside, or at least, that’s what I am telling myself.

I have FINALLY finished Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand of Dead Men by Derek Landy this week and a review of that IS in the pipe line! Why it has taken me so long to finish it will become clear when I post the review. (Unsure whether it will be a good or bad review yet I do not know). Whether or not it will be up this weekend or another day depends on how lazy and/or distracted I get. I do have a copy of Chosen by Benedict Jacka on its way too (i.e. waiting for someone to go and pick the book up for me from my local Waterstones) so I will be reading that as soon as I possibly can once I receive it.

The twelfth book in the Ranger’s Apprentice Series, The Royal Ranger, by John Flanagan is due out early next month, 3rd October, the second Texts From Dog book by October Jones is due out 24th October and on October 29th, Black Butler Volume 15 is due out too.

Yes, I know, I still haven’t reviewed volume 14 just yet so I may, MAY end up reviewing both volumes at the same time. So, yes, reviews ARE coming! I am just being a bit lazy with them. I will admit so I do whole heatedly apologise to people who come to this blog for reviews.

Since I have all this time resting ahead of me, I am also going to try to get down to editing and rewriting my novel. I am aiming to double its current word count and length so it is actually novel length. This will mean I will have to restructure the story but I do have a lot of material and story that was taken out of previous drafts for various reasons and some of it is still relevant, even if it does need editing ever so slightly to fit the newer versions of the story. So hopefully the story will be improved and character development increased with the addition of words and events.

If nothing else, it might cheer me up that I can’t get outside and attend the lit fest.

What is DEFINITELY cheering me up at the moment though is that 1) I am watching How To Train Your Dragon as I type this post, even if it every so slightly, and 2) Defenders of Berk starts on September 19th! I might be in the UK but I will be looking around for information and maybe even a way to watch the episodes online, like I did with the previous series. (In case no one knows, I LOVE the HTTYD franchise!) I cannot WAIT for next year for when the next HTTYD film is released! I am loving what Dreamworks has already revealed to us and cannot wait to see what other amazing stuff they are going to give us!

So yeah, this is just me chatting about stuff, what I am HOPING to get done (whether I do any of the stuff mentioned above is a different matter altogether!) and getting excited about How To Train Your Dragon and stuff to cheer myself up.

Sorry. I know I have rambled but it has cheered me up a lot doing this post and I thank you if you have got this far and have read at least some of this post!



Blog Post Drought

Okay, so there might be a blog post drought whilst I focus on recovering from a knee dislocation.

I am reading Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand of Dead Men and waiting for my copy of Chosen by Benedict Jacka to arrive at my local Waterstones so I will have stuff to post about in the future just not this week (except this one naturally!)

For now though, I am just relaxing, hobbling about on crutches and hoping I will be walking at least a little bit in time for the Wakefield Lit Fest (21st-30th September, 2013) and in a state to be getting on a stage to accept my degree at graduation in October.

Wish me luck!

Book Review: Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch

Can I just say, I love the cover of this and the other books!

Yes, it has been a few weeks since I last did a review (not surprising since I have focused on Camp NaNoWriMo) but this is the “certain” book I have read. Yes, I know this book is not due out until next Thursday (25th July 2013) but I received my copy a couple of days ago due to having it on pre-order at Waterstones.

The Folly is working through its list of Little Crocodiles, on the trail of the Faceless Man when Peter Grant and his boss, Thomas Nightingale, is called to look into an RTC (Road Traffic Collision) turned Murder case in Crawley where a man by the name of Robert Weil is discovered to have a connection to a mutilated body in a forest. Without being able to step back for a breather, Peter is called to investigate a one-under on the Underground of a town planner and a stolen magic book.

Things get weird though when he hears of odd things happening in a housing estate block flats South of the River, which has been built by an eccentric and seems to have some sort of secret running through its core.

Peter’s got a full case load again and London just got weirder! (If that’s possible!)

This book follows on nicely from the previous book, with The Folly’s investigation into the Faceless Man and grabs attention from the start, featuring all the usual wit and laugh out loud writing readers have come to expect from Aaronovitch and his compelling character, Peter Grant. The opening does read like a summary and it did catch me off initially but it is easy to read and certainly, with hindsight, it is possibly how Peter would receive an update on the investigation.

A host of characters from previous books return, including the Gods and Goddesses of the River Thames, Peter’s dad and the Irregulars and The Quiet People discovered at the end of the last book. Admittedly, they do seem a little shoe horned in and I think Aaronovitch could have explained what language Peter’s mum speaks to him in and translated it. I struggled to understand what was being said, even after re-reading those bits.

I do like the way he combined all the seemingly unconnected threads together into one story line and certainly upped the tension with events at the end of the book, leading to a great (if slightly predictable) twist at the end.

As usual, you can tell Antonovich’s love for the city and how well he knows it. I know I have mentioned this before, but his ability to describe London and all the locations of the novel is fantastic and brilliantly done for a person, such as I, who has never been or has been down just once.

I have already stated a few negatives about this book but I feel it is also worth mentioning that the story seems to finish then restart again near the end. Whilst it is obvious as to why this happened and provides a good cliffhanger leading into the next book, I do feel as if the structure is slightly broken due to it but then again I don’t see really how it can be rejigged to prevent this issue. Maybe I should just put it down to the charm of Aaronovitch’s writing…

As well as the actual novel, if you get your copy from Waterstones, you will also get a short story exclusive to Waterstones, taking place in the Covent Garden branch of the chain, featuring a poltergeist activity and taking place possibly before this novel. It is amusing and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Certainly it ends with a message we should all take to heart in this day and age of internet, TV and films.

So my ultimate verdict on Broken Homes? An excellent addition to the series and I will definitely re-read this one, along with the others, whilst waiting feverishly for the next.


The books that made me

This post says most of what I would want to say on the subject but to add something new personally, for me it was Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society. It was beautiful and made me think philosophically at a young age. This made me fall in love with China and want to learn more about Chinese philosophy as well as take it on board and apply it to my own life.


Wakefield Libraries

Books are powerful things. They can introduce us to new ideas. Give us the courage to do what we couldn’t do before.
Even transform our lives completely.

Here’s Neil Gaiman talking about a book that changed things for him

Waterstones is inviting readers to tell their stories about the books that have made a difference to them in The Book that made me There are lots of stories to read from all sorts of people.

For me it was Alan Garner’s The Weirdstone of Brisingamen read to me at school (thanks Mr Brennan) and Alison Uttley’s A Traveller in Time which I found on the classroom bookshelf. They were the first books that took me so completely to another place and time and showed me how powerful a book can be.

What book changed things for you?

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Excerpt from Skulduggery Pleasant: The Last Stand of Dead Men by Derek Landy

I will be reading and reviewing Landy’s latest book as soon as possible when it is released (Waterstones is offering a release date of 29th August, 2013) but in the meanwhile, Aiden Bracher on YouTube has recorded and posted a video of Derek Landy reading a chapter from The Last Stand of Dead Men.

No Skulduggery. No Valkyrie. Just Scapegrace and Thrasher and an old Chinese mentor. Prepare to laugh! I was crying with laughter watching it. Here’s the video:

Thank you to derek-landy (just a fan site) over on Tumblr ( for posting the video on their account for us Minions to enjoy. Much appreciated!

EDIT 15/08/2013: Just to make sure everyone who visits this post is aware, I have posted another video of Derek Landy reading the first chapter of the next book here.

Book Review: More Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops by Jen Campbell

I know I haven’t posted for a couple of days but life got in the way. I have however finished another book, as well as this one, in the last few days so I will be posting two reviews today. Moving on, this particular book is only a short book so this will probably be only a short review.

More Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops is the sequel to the original book and features conversations and quotes from customers in bookshops, either to the bookseller or to another customer, which have happened in either in the shop that the author works in or from other bookshops and libraries around the world. There is also a section about quotes from customers from when Jen Campbell was signing copies of the original book.

The original book kept me giggling and laughing and this book was no different. One of the quotes left me literally crying with laughter (I will post it at the end of this review) whilst others left me as confused as the booksellers and the librarians featured in the book. It also left me wondering about some of the customers. I can’t describe what I mean as I can’t even put my thoughts into words. I think the best way to describe it is that it just leaves me wondering and makes me question how some people’s brains work. I think everyone knows those people that they sometimes are left wondering about and I think that some of those people must feature in this book. The last section also shows that some people have some pretty weird ideas and shows that some traditional ideas about writers still persist.

Moving on though, I loved this book and would highly recommend it to everyone, particularly if you work in a bookshop or a library and/or go into shops or libraries a lot. It certainly gives you a new perspective on the people who go in. And I will finish, as promised, on my favourite quote:

CUSTOMER: I need to return this book on ghosts.

BOOKSELLER: Is there a problem with it?

CUSTOMER: Yes. It’s haunted.

Susan Holland: SmithBooks, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. (p.94)