1 Sep 2015

Top 10 books that I want to read in the next 12 months

Todays Top 10 Tuesday is: Books that I want to read in the next 12 months.

I will hold my hands up and admit that I do not read enough, nowhere near enough, and hopefully this year I can make a concerted effort to read one book a month. I think the biggest problem I have (as someone who is ridiculously indecisive) is choosing the books. I am often swayed by my own personal mood or public interest or opting for total randomness or...yes there is another or...an author that I have read a lot of in the past.

In order to select these books I looked up some Top 10s and selected a few that sounded appealing and then I picked two books that I knew I would definitely read (and as they are graphic novels they don't have a huge time commitment). I still came up one short! Hopefully by the time I reach the end of the list I will have one....but feel free to offer recommendations...I would like to listen to an audiobook and wondered if you had ever listened to one and if you would recommend it. I am hoping that this might be a way of reading whilst stitching?!

So....without further ado...

1. A heartbreaking work of staggering genius by Dave Eggers

Its supposedly autobiographical but not, a made-up story based on reality or at least that's my interpretation of various descriptions. According to Goodreads, five of my friends have this on their shelves, two want to read it, one gave it 4 stars, another 3 stars and another gave it 2 stars! Hmmmm...mixed reviews wouldn't you say? I like to read books people rave about at least 10 years plus after they raved about it so I should at least enjoy that aspect of this book. The last book I read that was raved about was 'The Great Gatsby' and although I understood the themes and what people were saying and yes, I did enjoy the story, it wasn't really all that for me. I don't think I liked the narrator much or the tone of it...but I have gone off at a tangent! lol Lets move on...

2. Fear of flying by Erica Jong

Mini description from Goodreads says its "Bored with her marriage, a psychoanalyst’s wife embarks on a wild, life-changing affair". Ordinarily a story about a bored housewife would not appeal to me, and an affair again not really interested but...I thought I had read a book by Erica Jong and I enjoyed that so seeing an Erica Jong book on a Top 10 list meant that i would pick that to guarantee (I hope!) enjoying one of my challenge books but I can't find it and fear I may have mistaken her with someone else! Doh! Anyhoo, three of my goodreads friends have rated it and all have given it 4 stars, so thats good!

3. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Goodreads describes the story as:

Middlesex tells the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides, and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family, who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City and the race riots of 1967 before moving out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret, and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction. Lyrical and thrilling, Middlesex is an exhilarating reinvention of the American epic.

AND...I already had it on my want to read shelf for a reading challenge I started last year with a colleague and have yet to start...so this is doubly important!

Eight goodreads friends, three 3 stars, two 4 stars and a 5 star!

I am apprehensive about this only because it is an epic and I have an aversion to epics or family sagas but I might be missing out and this could be the book to convince me...could it?

4. Last exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr

Courtesy of Goodreads, Last Exit to Brooklyn is described as: a raw depiction of life amongst New York's junkies, hustlers, drag queens and prostitutes. An unforgettable cast of characters inhabits the housing projects, bars and streets of Brooklyn: Georgette, a hopelessly romantic and tormented transvestite; Vinnie, a disaffected and volatile youth who has never been on the right side of the law; Tralala, who can find no escape from her loveless existence; Harry, a power-hungry strike leader with a fatal secret. Living on the edge, always walking on the wild side, their alienation and aggression mask a desperate, deep human need for affection and kinship.

This book was banned in the UK when it was first published in 1964 (I hope I can find a copy) and I am curious to see why it was so shocking, what revelations are there? with the current level of exposure to popular culture and its glamourous and murky undercurrents, can we still be surprised and shocked by humanity? I'm keen to find out...and also...I will never forget that woman on my tour who chased a young man across the Brooklyn bridge in New York thinking that he was an actor!

5. Middlemarch by George Eliot

I saw this on the list of Top 10 books of all time and knew it would be an instant pick, why you ask? I remember seeing George Eliot books on my mums bookshelf and I know that she enjoyed them. I have always been curious as too why, and I think there may be a TV adaptation of this? anyone know? keebs?? so if I have to abandon the book halfway I might be able to save myself by watching the TV film. Hehehe....oh...is that cheating?

Goodreads friends have rated it from 2 stars to 5 stars so some inconsistency there, but wikipedia describes it for us....

The novel is set in the fictitious Midlands town of Middlemarch during 1829–32,[1] and it comprises several distinct (though intersecting) stories and a large cast of characters. Significant themes include the status of women, the nature of marriage, idealism, self-interest, religion, hypocrisy, political reform, and education.
Although containing comical elements, Middlemarch is a work of realism that refers to many historical events: the 1832 Reform Act, the beginnings of the railways, the death of King George IV, and the succession of his brother, the Duke of Clarence (the future King William IV). In addition, the work incorporates contemporary medical science and examines the deeply reactionary mindset found within a settled community facing the prospect of unwelcome change.
A political comedy written by a woman in the 19th century...of course its going on the list!

6. Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

A little intro here courtesy of amazon...
One Thursday lunchtime Earth is unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass. For Arthur Dent, who has only just had his house demolished that morning, this is already more than he can cope with. Sadly, however, the weekend has only just begun. And the Galaxy is a very, very large and startling place indeed.Fear not though! I shall be describing the books myself once I have read them :)

I haven't see the film of this, and I have never read this before, but I am aware of its cult status! I just think it may be time for me to see what all the fuss is about.

40 Goodreads friends read have this on their shelves and surprisingly only ten have yet to read it...there were a couple of two stars but i noticed that one of those people tends to only give two stars so I shall bear that in mind as the remaining 28 people rated it 4 or 5 stars! Have you read this?

7 & 8. The Walking Dead Book 24 & 25

Some of you may know that I love the graphic novels of the walking dead even though I do not watch the TV show. I will have to read these two as I feel like I am committed to it now but Book/Volume 23 was disappointing for me and I am hoping that 24 & 25 will not be. Volume 24 came out today but I can't get it till pay day....but fingers crossed it doesn't disappoint.

9. Too Close to Home by Susan Lewis

Goodreads description:

Jenna and Jack Moore have moved their family to Wales for a fresh start. For vivacious, happy-go-lucky fifteen-year-old Paige the future is full of promise.

But suddenly everything changes. Paige becomes more and more withdrawn. The closeness she once shared with her mother a distant memory.

It then becomes clear that Jack has secrets too. Preoccupied with her younger children, her husband’s fidelity and their fledgling publishing company, Jenna doesn’t realise the extent of her eldest daughter’s unhappiness until the unthinkable happens.

I saw this listed as a top read for this year and thought I should pick something current, it doesnt seem like it will be a happy book! None of my goodreads friends have read this so I am completely alone here..unless...have you read it? Is it on your list?

I am thinking that book number 10 needs to be a very silly laugh out loud devil may care kinda novel but they don't have that genre on Goodreads :(

10. Recommendation from Blog readers.....comment below with your recommendation! I am at your mercy so pick somethink good!

If any of you noticed, I mentioned Goodreads! so feel free to add me as a friend if you are about there and I think then you can see my shelf and my progress and I yours.

Here is the link: MEEEEEE!!!!

Also, go and check out Tiffstitches and Keebles blogs to see what they have listed! Links to the left of me, followers to the right...whoooo...stuck in the middle with you - ooooo -oooooo!

31 Aug 2015

Frozen Finished and Santa Stitched!

Hi all!

Well...here is the final Frozen picture in a frame...i have plenty of issues with this but I just keep saying that ebony likes it so its ok! She said that she was giving me lots of love and kisses for her lovely Frozen surprise.

I forgot to take a photo of her holding it but here it is...

and here she is!

Can you tell who is her favourite?

Anyway, today is the last day of August and my last chance to successfully complete the Christmas Ornament SAL for August! I made it just in time. 

Here is Santa...

and here he is with his missus...

The next months theme s trees/presents so I will be stitching the Bear from this same Joan Elliott Roly-Polies series.

Well, that is all for now, I have some blogs to catch up on and some work clothes to sort out as back to work I go in the morning! Eek! 

I hope to see you all tomorrow for Top 10 Tuesdays: 10 books to read in the next 12 months.

Bye for now!

Kate x

28 Aug 2015

Updates and a stay of execution!

Good Afternoon!

Update time...lets start with Frozen shall we?  As you know  had stitched some blue, and I stitched some more blue but I did make a mistake and whilst I was considering whether or not to frog, I decided to consult with my manager and client! (Ebony)

Me: Ebony...do you want the blue background or would you be ok with it just all being white?
Ebony: Erm....I do like the blue...but I think that might take you a very long time! You can just make it all white for my surprise on my birthday and then after that you can add the blue.
Me: Ok, thanks.

So she granted me a stay of execution! and today whilst out I came across the perfect frame and so I have unpicked the blue and just need to give it a wash and iron and frame it. Monday I will post the birthday girl holding the finished product!

I have also stitched on my santa ornament for the Christmas Ornament SAL but have only about a quarter done. This weekend I will be focussing on the remaining three quarters. I have noticed though that a lot of people have chosen to stitch on plastic canvas and I must say the finished products are looking fab and the design choices are great, so great that I am thinking about next year already! lol

So after this weekend, I should be free to stitch on any of my WIPS or maybe even a new start, I am leaning more to a WIP. I discovered some projects that I thought I had lost and so I have them to do, a couple are actually very close to finishes so I might just work on those ones. I also found some stashed charts so I have been reminiscing.

During the reminiscing phase I got the idea into my head that I would buy some second hand cross stitch books, and they came today, I must say that I am happy with all but one of the books. This is pretty good and all the designs are very different and I am definitely inspired to stitch some of them. I was going to discuss them in this post but I think I might save that for another day. 

Oh, did I mention I have a job till the end of the year? No? Well, yeah! Phew! Which means I need to be super organised. 

As some of you know I have started a new blog thingy majig called Top 10 Tuesdays and feel free to join in as often or as little as you like, this coming month of September we have five Tuesdays! 

I have listed the dates and the themes for those weeks below for those of you who want to think about them in advance. Some months may have themes that link each week together so look out for those. I shall add more weeks themes as we work through them so that the upcoming five weeks will always be available to see (in the sidebar in the left hand side) beneath the badge (feel free to add to your blog) and links to the blogs participating. 

So with Summer coming to an end, lets spend September thinking about Summer:

1st Sept: Top 10 books to read in the next 12 months
There may be some weeks that are book related, and I like to read a book or two over the summer especially, and I figured why not look forward to the next 12 months. Maybe you will be rereading an old favourite, or maybe a best seller has caught your eye, whatever it may be share it with us.

8th Sept: Top 10 dream destinations
Maybe not this summer, maybe last summer or maybe next, where are your dream holiday destinations? Are you a love of sun, sand and see? Are you happier on the piste?

15th Sept: Top 10 things to do near here
You don't have to go away to feel like a tourist, where would you visit if you were a tourist in your village/town/city? or nearby?

22nd Sept: Top 10 cakes to make you bake
I don't bake but I love to watch baking shows! Sometimes I see cakes and think, yum! I should bake that. What cakes are you inspired to bake? Maybe you have seen or heard of a recipe that you would like to try. You hate baking? Then tell is your Top 10 reasons that you hate to bake. 

29th Sept: Top 10 songs of summer
Summer isnt summer with out a song that infects your brain...is it? Maybe you have some summer songs that you love? maybe there are some new ones that you can't stop listening to? whatever reason tell us about them this week.

I shall be back Monday with a Finish for Frozen, and a finish for the Christmas Ornament SAL, and maybe a book review or two.

Hope you all have a great weekend and if you are having a bank holiday on monday then enjoy that too!

25 Aug 2015

Top 10 Tuesdays #2 FEARS

During my 30 day list challenge I vaguely recollect covering fears and phobias, but these were my own, and today I have decided to look at ten really weird ones! People may think that my fluff and sticky hands and crumb phobias are weird...let me introduce you to.....
  1. Ablutophobia (from Latin ablutere 'to wash off") is the persistent, abnormal and unwarranted fear of bathing, washing, or cleaning.

This is a very unfortunate (for every one around you) phobia to have.

2. Hypnophobia also termed clinophobia or somniphobia, is the often irrational and excessive fear of sleep.

I am definitely scared of sleep, I love sleep, when I can get it uninterrupted.

3. Hylophobia, also known as xylophobia, ylophobia, and dendrophobia, is a psychological disorder defined by an irrational fear of wood, forest or trees.

I like forests and woods and although they can be creepy they also feel safe.

4. Phagophobia is a psychogenic dysphagia, a fear of swallowing.

I kinda get this one because I struggle with swallowing medication and have developed anxiety a little with it. 

5. Carpophobia is a fear of wrists.

I think this one is defnitely for the niche market.

6. Podophobia is a fear of feet.

lol! This pic made me laugh but seriously, I am not a fan of feet at all, but scared of them...hmmm.

7. Globophobia is a fear of balloons.


8. Koumpounophobia fear of buttons.

I have nothing to say about this becuase....well....even I struggle to reason why on this! 

9. Alliumphobia- Fear of garlic.

Are root vegetables scary? 

10. Anglophobia fear of england

Anti-English sentiment or Anglophobia (from Latin Anglus "English" and Greek φόβος, phobos, "fear") means opposition to, dislike of, fear of, or hatred towards England or the English people.

Do you have any of these phobias? Have you got a really unusual phobia? Have you written your own list? 

24 Aug 2015

IHSW part 2.


Some of you were probably hoping that I had finished, right? I know I was.

Sadly I have not yet finished, its like walking through sludge still, but I have almost finished Anna and Elsa leaving me with just the blue background. By the end of today I should be able to carry on with the blue, so thats something at least.

So, here it was on Friday...

and fractionally more....today!

Now I shall skip off to check out everyone else's progress. I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow for the Top 10 Tuesdays (this weeks topic is fears).