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Saturday, 17 December 2016

Fellside M.R. Carey

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I really enjoyed Fellside. It was very dark in places and had some very hard topics but also had some really shining parts which restored my faith in it.
I liked the supernatural element to it and I like that it wasn't instantly apparent that the 'angels' and the apparition of the little boy that she'd killed weren't all in her head.
People in particular were really well written, from the doctors personal struggle between his own rage and cowardice, to the love between Naz and Lizzie.
The ending left me wanting a bit, in that I wanted to know exactly where Jess went but I liked the touch with the footprints through the dreamscape.
All in all I loved it and would recommend it.

Friday, 16 December 2016

I love the Wagamama Cookbook

I have now attempted (with quite some success!) two more of the Wagamama recipes from the cook book and wish to add them to my review. Firstly I made the poached cod with shiitake mushrooms.
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I made little mistake first of all and missed out the butter entirely but remembered before cooking it and stuck some in quickly. It was considerably less photogenic afterwards but was worth it to see the butter melt around the cod when it came out.
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When cooked it was truly delicious!
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The next thing I made were the Ebi Gyoza prawn dumplings. They were really fun and simple to do as well as tasty. Unfortunately I didn't have the ingredients for the Ebi Gyoza sauce so I used sweet chilli instead and it worked like a dream. I truly love the food from Wagamama's as well as being able to recreate it at home. Their cook book is detailed, accurate and easy to follow and I love love love it.
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Saturday, 10 December 2016

2017 Monthly Motif Reading Challenge

I'm taking part in the 2017 Monthly Motif Reading Challenge!

Every month, I'm pledging to read a book that related to a theme set by the blog It's a good way to diversify my reading and get social with other bloggers out there, since my baby blog is a little lonely right now.

Here's the first month's challenge:

JANUARY – Diversify Your Reading
Kick the reading year off right and shake things up. Read a book with a character (or written by an author) of a race, religion, or sexual orientation other than your own.

For January's theme, I really want to read Pantomime by Laura Lam!

Pantomime ebook by Laura LamHere's the cover and a brief synopsis:

In a land of lost wonders, the past is stirring once more . . .
Gene's life resembles a debutante's dream. Yet she hides a secret that would see her shunned by the nobility. Gene is both male and female. Then she displays unwanted magical abilities - last seen in mysterious beings from an almost-forgotten age. Matters escalate further when her parents plan a devastating betrayal, so she flees home, dressed as a boy.
The city beyond contains glowing glass relics from a lost civilization. They call to her, but she wants freedom not mysteries. So, reinvented as 'Micah Grey', Gene joins the circus. As an aerialist, she discovers the joy of flight - but the circus has a dark side. She's also plagued by visions foretelling danger. A storm is howling in from the past, but will she heed its roar?

In January I'll post a review post of this book and choose my book of next month as well. Anyone else who's doing the challenge let me know what you've picked and why! I'd truly love to hear from some other bloggers.

Three of my Newest Cookbook Reviews

Wagamama Cookbook ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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This cook book is amazing! Great for anyone who enjoys Japanese food or Wagamama's food from visiting their restaurants. I've made a few dishes from this and found that they are fast, easy and well explained. There is a glossary at the front of the book, to explain terms such as menma, which I previously hadn't known, but refers to canned bamboo shoots. I made some of the vegetable Korokke for the friend who loaned me this amazing book. I was proud of both ramen dishes I made, a chicken ramen and a BBQ honey pork ramen (this one's a favourite!). Without further ado, here are some foody pictures:

Persepolis ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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This is an interesting book on Persian cooking I received as a proof copy. I enjoyed making the recipes I have and am looking forward to cooking from this book for a long time. Some really beautiful recipes here as well. I enjoyed the soups as well as the mini moussaka mushrooms. It's inspired me to try new foods and recipes from places I've never been. They are also very good for if you are on a budget. Many of the ingredients are spices, which I had in my cupboard, or herbs which I grow myself. In the recipe for the mini moussaka mushrooms Sally Butcher encourages 'cupboard love' and the switching of fresh tomatoes for tinned if they're more readily available to you. As a student I definitely appreciate this. My love of Sally's soups has even motivated me to go out and buy my own hand blender so I can make more of them (without continuously borrowing my flatmates kitchen utensils!). I also have a new desire to visit the Persepolis shop in Peckham soon.

A Girl Called Jack ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Haven't been the biggest fan of Jack's cook book so far. I made a seasonal greens pesto pasta and it was not my cup of tea so have been put off trying anything else. It was very strongly lemony and incredibly sour. I threw most of it out. I may try more of her recipes, after all that was only one out of 100 in the book, but from what I've made I can't give this a good review.


Monday, 5 December 2016

A HalfBad Series Review

The HalfBad series by Sally Green quickly became one of my favourite series. A not-so-typical coming of age with an unusual take on witches and their gifts, this book rocked my world from beginning to end. To start, Nathan is the spiky little hedgehog main character we all adore. The language is straightforward, to the point and incredibly hard hitting. It's so easy to believe and sweeps you off your feat! It's a fluid story with a cast that are just as fluid, as well as a message against racism and hate crimes at it's core, using white and black witchcraft as a method of communicating exactly how bad people can treat those different to themselves while justifying it as "the right thing to do". Ultimately a heart-wrenching and tragic ending but such a beautiful flight of a story that you can't afford to miss it.

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Saturday, 3 December 2016

Volunteering in South Africa

My deepest, sincerest apologies for the long awaited update. Not only have I been caught up in my work and studies, I've also spent a month abroad in South Africa volunteering on a game reserve! I wanted to share an experience of a life time with you, as well as share my main book buddies for the trip!

My two ever-present's for the trip are these:

Stuarts' Field Guide to Mammals of South Africa is irreplaceable when on game drives round reserves or even just spotting stray wildlife around Southern Africa. Whereas in zoos everything has a name tag, out on the reserve it's much harder to know what type of antelope you've spotted or whether there's African Pangolins indigenous to the area. Stuarts' field guide was a bit pricey to buy in the airport (as expected) but proved to be a valuable resource. I used many of the images in here to paint from when my photos of the animals had come out in blurs. It also helped me distinguish which type of rhino I saw when I bribed Alex, one of the rangers, into tracking them for me (he received a packet of wine gum sweets for his troubles). A nicely well illustrated guide and a helluva lot handier than a travel guide for species identification!

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The next book was one I used a lot in drives, one of the rangers, named Denzley was a real bird enthusiast and took great pleasure in helping me identify birds and pointing out pages and chapters in the following Birds of Southern Africa book. The first bird I identified was the cape glossy starling, a beautiful blue bird that really shines in the sun. In fact many of the birds are amazing exotic colours so it's really good to be able to keep track of them in something like this!

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