Thursday, February 28, 2013

Nose in a book

I have an apology to make, internet. And to you too, TV. You only have half my attention at the moment. While both of you would normally take up 100% of my leisure time, I have something else distracting me right now: a book.

Yes, I've once again grown completely obsessed with a book series. There's not enough spare time in the day to be reading it! I haven't been this "into" a book for a very long time.

The irony is, it's a series I've read before, and was one of my teenage favourites. The book in question is "Daughter of the Empire", the first in the "Empire" series by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts. If you'd ever read Feist's Midkemia novels ("Magician" may even be considered a fantasy classic) this series fits in nicely as it is set in a sister-world, and pleasingly, they make a young girl the protagonist.

Thus, I am chest-deep in a world that unlike the Midkemia novels, which have a Medieval European feel, is distinctly Feudal Japan in flavour. Kelewan is a world where the great families strive for the honour of their House, in a great Machievellian web of intrigue known as the Game of the Council.

Sound familiar? It reminds me of Game of Thrones! There's different Houses with their own colours and crests, and when you play the Game, you win or you die...

Re-discovering these books has been an absolute joy. I bought all three from the most recent Bookfest and I am overjoyed that when I finish the first one, I don't have to hunt around for the second one. That's one of my biggest annoyances about fantasy series! You can always find three copies of books two and four, but never book one and three...

So, that's what I've been doing - in between working and watching MKR, I've been escaping to a fantasy realm of warriors, Ladies, servants and Warlords.

What are you reading right now?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I Heart the 80s

This post first appeared on We Heart Life on 22/02/13

On my 8th birthday, a friend gave me a My Little Pony as a present. Her name was Yum Yum, and I thought she was the greatest thing in the world.

My Little Pony, along with many many other cartoons, made up a large part of my childhood. I look back fondly at many happy hours spent watching shows like Muppet Babies, Count Duckula, DangerMouse, Voltron and Rainbow Bright.

And you know how everything old is new again? The 80s are making a comeback. My Little Pony has successfully rebooted in the last few years, Strawberry Shortcake seems to be cool amongst the children again. And have you caught the remakes of Hawaii 5-0, Knight Rider and Teen Wolf?

And it’s not just tv shows but that 80s fabulousness is sneaking into movies, music and fashion too.
Recently we’ve been treated to everything from The Smurfs  to The A-Team and 21 Jump St on the silver screen. I think screenwriters still have a rich vein of movie goodness to tap into when their well of creativity runs dry! Can you imagine a live-action movie version of The Jetsons?

I’m also loving some of the 80s style music coming out recently! Check out bands like Haim and the new single from The Presets. I honestly thought that last one was Duran Duran when I heard it on the radio.

And I haven’t even mentioned The Carrie Diaries yet. It is a veritable smorgasboard of 80s fashion, music and fun! Check it out if you have cable tv.

I do think there are some things that are best left behind in that decade though: rah-rah skirts, neon sunglasses, crimping…

What do you miss, or definitely DO NOT miss about the 80s?


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