The Secret Anime Lover

So something i haven’t spoken about a lot on my blog is my love of anime. And this is something that has grown in recent years, even more than i was when i was younger and it was maybe slightly more acceptable to watch cartoons. Compared to now when i am watching anime and someone walks in and all they can hear is Japanese coming out of the laptop and then cast a questioning stare at me and all the decisions i have made so far in my life… 🙂

However genuinely i have have renewed my love of anime in the last year as i have re-watched old favourites from university, caught out with follow up seasons and discovering some new favs!

Old Favourites

So as you will soon be able to tell my taste in anime as changed a little recently. However my original love was ALL about the romance, fantasy, non-fantasy, didn’t matter as long as it was all about the romance.

One of the first anime i found (after all the studio ghibli of course) is Kaichou-wa Maid Sama, a high school romance drama which is unique because kick ass heroine, Misaki, works at a maid cafe (a uniquely Japanese situation, these are a brand of cafes where the employees dress up as the stereotypical french maid and have a cosplay like attitude when serving customers). Sounds weird but its really funny in the situation and it works for enhancing the drama between the protagonist and her romance Usui, he enjoys teasing her about her employment way too much. But it is all very lighthearted and pg13, so its sweet to go back and watch.

Another fav that i genuinely have watched in a very long time but loved is Inuyasha. I’ll be honest this anime is probably the longest anime i have every watched all the way through and i doubt i ever be able to watch it again because of the length but it is great, and is an important mention as it inspired me to watch one of my new picks coming up. In comparison Inuyasha doesn’t have the same romance focus as Maid-sama but it is prevalent throughout. My only pet peeve was how long it took to conclude their romance, however the adventure fantasy element of this anime is what held my attention more than romance. Inuyasha, who is also our main character, is a feudal fairy tale where our female protagonist Kagome falls through a portal into the past and collides with Inuyasha who is a fox demon and goes on many adventures! (without getting into the nitty-gritty of the plot). It is also a really funny which is another element which i find essential in any show i want to watch regularly.

New Content 

  Junjo Romantica is a “storm of romance” (quote taken from myanimelist.com) and this really is the best way to describe it. As there are three couples/romances taken place during one season and while each episode is dedicated to one at a time, you can spot the links throughout. An important note is that this is a Yaoi or ‘boys love’ romance but i believe that love is love, therefore i don’t need my romances to hetero to enjoy them, but i realise not everyone is this way and that’s okay. Again this is another really funny anime in between all the romance content as all the characters are a little cookie. There is also a spin off series called Sekaiichi Hatsukoi which is all based around a manga publishing company and the publishing graduate in my adore this aspect of it. However there is book, publishing references throughout both series, yeah!

The first season of Junjou was release on 2008 and season two in 2012, with seasons one and two of Sekaiichi being released in 2011. I can remember binge watching all of these in 2012 and then scarring the internet looking for news or rumours of a follow up season and got diddly! Everything said there was no nope, and every now and then following a re-watch i would search again and still nothing…until this year! When i went searching for Junjou on youtube i also discover Joujou Romantica 3!! I had heard nothing about, somehow seen nothing online, and consequently lost a whole weekend with very little sleep watching the whole season which was thankfully out. Now i need season 3 of Sekaiichi.

New Series

I have three series i am in love with this year!

First is Kamisama Hajimemashita, it’s not brand new, being in  its second season however i feel that it is slightly less well known and under appreciated. I mentioned that one of my new animes was discovered through a classic and its this one. This anime ties back to Inuyasha as they both has a strong focus on Japanese Folklore and tradition, with gods, demons and adventure. However unlike Inuyasha, KH has much stronger romantic and humorous elements, and this is why i feel that this anime is really worth a watch.

Next is Ore Monogatari or in english, My Love Story is a high school romance but with a bit of a twist. Gouda our lead is a huge dude, great at sport and heroics but not so much with the ladies. Until he rescues the teeny tiny Rinko and its is love at first sight, following which humour ensues as Gouda tries to understand the world of romance. Now it did take a few episodes for this series to grow on me but it is a really light and fluffy watch.

The best has been saved until last: Haiykuu!! Sports anime has never been something i had really watched but i have learned to love it. However i had heard good things about Haiykuu!! so i decided to give it a shot and it is absolutely amazing!

Haiykuu is all about a high school Volleyball team and their battle to reach the championships – sounds like a basic plot right? – but it takes sports to another level. Our lead Hinata is shorter than average player who joins a team alongside his archenemy Kageyama, an incredibly skilled setter, and these two form a unusual duo as their skills combine and bring their school to success. They are able to combine sports and competition with a lot of humour and this is what keeps you coming back every week.

Another couple of great examples of sports anime are Kuroko No Basket, Free! and Yowamushi No Pedal (love them all).

End

I don’t want to get into every anime i have ever watched and liked but i hope this gives people who are new to anime a few ideas and possibly encourage people to give it a try! If you have any recommendations please leave them below, i love hearing from you guys.

Thank you,

Maebhe

 

 

Beauty Favourites 2015

So new year and i want to diversify, i know i will never be a beauty blogger full time but this is something i have been learning more about and am determined to try. Honestly i am more invested in skincare than cosmetics purely, because when my skin is at its best i don’t feel the need to wear as much make up, as much i am learning to enjoy playing with make up looks.

So below i have chosen a few of my favourite cosmetics to share with you with some mini reviews.

First is Lips;

Below is my favourite combo of lip products at the moment

First i have 6 of the seven colour’s of the Bourjois Rouge Edition; Velvet. These are Bourjois’s liquid to matte lipsticks and they are my favourite as they are really easy to apply, solid colour in one coat and as soon as they set that is your lip colour sorted for the day. Very rarely do i ever have to apply a second coat.They are also the most comfortable lipsticks i ever wear as i don’t feel dry or tight, just velvety as they are described. I also love them for the winter periods, as my lips always get very dry and these don’t make them look even dryer.

The colours shown below are;

first row, l-r: Peach club & Nudist

Second row, l-r Grand Cru & Hot Pepper

Third row, l-r Pink Pong & So Hap’pink

These are showing quite well except for the red tones on the second row, as Grand Cru is a very dark purple red and hot pepper which is a very true red with a blue under tone, easiest way to wear red i have ever found. This is my current favourite colour combo, Bourjois in ‘Beau Brun’ with urban decays lipliner in ‘liar’. This colour is a burnt red/nude colour, its hard to describe but it is my favourite everyday colour which is both dramatic and wearable.

Liar is also beautiful on its own although it is more of a nude brown tone, rather than a red tone.

 On my no lipstick days when i am just trying to fix my dry lips or mostly when i am in work stuck in a room with air con on all day, Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour lipstick as well as their 8 Hour gel, not shown here, is amazing. Super moisturising but light and not sticky, it doesn’t taste amazing but it works so well but i don’t care.


Next for the Eyes;

Next is a recent discovery from the very end of 2015, but it is absolutely worth the mention. Prior to discovering this mascara from Wayne Goss’s Youtube channel i was set on the Urban decay Perversion mascara, but it is 3 times the price of this Boots own brand mascara, Falsifeye HD in blackest black. Two coats creates really long, black lashes, which doesn’t flake and is build-able and its only £6!!!

My second must have product is Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24hr creme eyeshadow, my two favourite colours are ‘On and On Bronze’ and ‘Creamy Beige’. These are both great for everyday wear on their own but i love to use these as a base for powder eyeshadows.
Lastly, Foundation;

Here are the three foundations i have been using all year, now to be honest i haven’t quite found my perfect foundation yet but these are all great for different reason.

1)Lancome’s Teint Idole Ultra 24H, Colour 010

This is my work foundation, it stays all day and doesn’t move despite how oily my skin is which is my main problem when it comes to finding a perfect finish, also the color is close to perfect. This is the lightest colour Lancome makes but it is still maybe one shade too dark, too yellow toned while i have a pinker undertone.

2) Urban Decays Naked Skin, Colour 0.5

This is my favourite foundation when it comes to colour and how it feels on the skin. However, despite the fact the Urban claims that this skin is designed for oily skin, if i wear this makeup to work it separates half way through the day and looks patchy. However on a normal day or night out it is a great foundation.

3) BareMinerals, Complexion Rescue BB, Colour Opal 01

Compared to the other two foundations this is a tinted hydrating gel creme. It has a very light formula which gives a very light amount of coverage. However this was my favourite to wear during the summer, especially while i was away in Portugal with my family. This was especially because this BB has an SPF 30 but is very comfortable and i was able to wear it even when i was away paddleboarding and i didn’t get burnt despite how easy my skin is effected by the sun.

 

This is just an overview of my favourite products and i hope to do another post focused more on skincare later in the year when i master my skincare routine. As is becoming a pattern i would love to hear your feedback on this post as i work to improve.

Maebhe

Chanel Illusion D’Ombre, Rouge Noir

Hellos

So i am going to open this post with a huge disclaimer. I am by no means a beauty professional, i have no qualifications and everything i know is self taught/researched. All products were purchased by my little self and all opinions are my own, so take from them what you will.

So I recently discovered that as part of their Christmas campaign this year Chanel has relaunched the 1995 classic ‘Rouge Noir‘, and it is all truly gorgeous.

Chanel Illusion D’Ombre, Rouge Noir

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Chanel Rouge Noir Christmas 2015 (Image Source: Marie Claire)

I discovered this re-release through the amazing Caroline Hiron, skincare expert, blogger and YouTuber. She is a continuous source of entertainment and knowledge, and the reason behind my skin’s improvement in the last few months. In one of Ms Hirons September vlogs, she previewed some of the Rouge Noir pieces she had received and I simply fell. It has been twenty years since Rouge Noir’s initial launch following its premier in the cult film Pulp Fiction were it was wore by Uma Thermin. Its re-release has had quite a buzz as it is considered an iconic colour by Chanel and even collectible, resulting in it being sold out numerous times as i experienced today, as it was already sold out at Boots but i was able to snap up one of the last four at House of Fraser. At the moment the possibility of buying everything in the collection is beyond me, so i settled on my favourite product;

Brand: Chanel, Illusion D’Ombre Longwear Luminious Eyeshadow

Colour: Rouge Noir

Price: £24 (Boots) £25 (House of Fraser)

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Review

This is a cream formulation eyeshadow unlike any i have previously owned. One of my favourite cream shadows which i wear daily is the Maybelline 24hr Colour tattoo in On-and-On Bronze. It is a great eyeshadow for everyday wear and is an essential part of my quick morning make-up routine, however this is completely different, specifically the consistency and the finish. Where the maybelline is very shiny once applied and makes a great base for other powder shadows, the Chanel transforms from cream to powder when applied, without the fall out. It is also a really build-able colour, where it can go from a light shadow to a deep, dramatic smokey look.

I genuinely only bought this product today and after returning from my day Christmas shopping in Belfast i have taken off my original eyeshadow and put this on, so i am sitting in my fluffy pajamas with my fancy Chanel eyeshadow on trying to take a photo which shows how lovely it is in real life. On the eye it is purple, black, brown colour with a purple sparkle in the finish, which isn’t glittery which made me extra happy because glitter is not something i like in my eye looks.

So i tried to take a couple of photos but my photography skills just clearly weren’t up to the mark.

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However, i hope that this little video can capture some of the quality of the shadow, its iridescent quality and a better demonstration of the colour.

I already have plans for this being my new go to colour as well as being my look for my work Christmas do which i already have my outfit for. I am planning on this being my first OOTD (laughing at my miserable use of YouTuber terminology). But this is a start, i hope you’s like and i would love to hear your opinions.

mwah, Maebhe

Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Illustrated Edition 

Published by: Bloomsbury 

Author: JK Rowling

Illustrated by: Jim Kay

Review

  I feel that over my two years here my love for the Harry Potter series has been well document however recent stressers in my life have caused a resurgence of my Harry Potter usage (sounding a little like a smoker trying to quit here, however this is not an addiction I would ever give up!). The HP audiobooks are amazing tools for falling asleep too when you cannot get your brain to turn off. I also have amazing friends as they have managed to get some of these extremely difficult (& this is quite an under estimation of the ticket stalking process) to purchase ticket for the Harry Potter sequel theatre production, The Cursed Child next June. Which I will 100% blog because it’s one of the preview tickets – so early! Plus we are also prepping for this trip, 7 months in advance so hopefully it will mean some good costumes!

As part of this I recently purchased the new hardback, Illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone! And it is simply gorgeous!

  

  Having created two children’s books through the completion of my masters I have had time to research a lot of children’s books, both written and illustrated. So I was extremely happy to see how the illustrations for this book turned out. I had heard about this book’s potential release a long time ago, and having seen the thousands of beautiful interpretations of the Harry Potter universe online, like those on Tumblr and Pinterest, and having followed the movies which were already visually beautiful, in my mind there were a couple of ways the illustrated edition could turn out.

  Firstly, illustrated books, like I just mentioned, being very closely associated with children’s publishing despite the growing adult illustration industry, i.e graphic novels and manga, could have been very ‘childish’ in style. Which in my mind this could be very daunting to adult individuals, like myself, who had grown up with the novels, but who could possibly be put off due to this style. Although I also realise that the diehard potterheads would enjoy it regardless in most cases.

  In a complete juxtaposition the style could have been too graphic, focusing of the older reading audience. Which could put off adults who want to introduce the books to younger readers or equally make it more difficult for younger reads to connect with the imagery.

  So I was genuinely so happy to see how they turned out when I saw the early sneak peaks which are even more glorious in the physical print. The paper quality is also REALLY nice (sad publisher issues). The illustration style is a happy medium making is accessible and beautiful without being childish.

  

This is one of favourite images from the book as they were able to capture an image I have always had in my head but have never seen, as this was an element of the book which wasn’t in the movie. The books use of imagery especially scenes which weren’t in the films is, in my opinion, why I am loving the illustrated edition so much and why it has been such a success. As it was difficult to imagine adding to the HP world, but this book and hopefully the whole illustrated series, has added to the visual ‘reality’ of the written books.    

  This is my last image but as you can see, it is a perfect example of how the illustrated edition has been able to expand our knowledge of the potter world. Not only illustrating the physical story/plot but treating the reader like a hogwarts student, educating you and allowing the reader to be fully immersed in the Harry Potter world. 

  I realise my photos genuinely aren’t doing this book, the quality and the imagery, justice. But I just wanted to share my thoughts and maybe inspire some Christmas ideas, because if I hadn’t bought myself it, it would have been an amazing gift to receive. 
Be back soon

Mwah, Maebhe x

Reveal: Legend, Katy Evans

We have something a little different today. Here is an early reveal for the sixth book in the Real series with new characters as well as our favourites in the background.

LEGEND (Real series #6)  
Can love really conquer all? – Book 6 in Katy Evan’s breakout New York Times bestselling series that began with REAL.

Maverick “the Avenger” Cage wants to rise to the top and become a legend in the ring. Though he keeps his identity well guarded, he’s known on the fighting circuit as the new kid with a chip on his shoulder and a tattoo on his back that marks him as trouble. He’s got a personal score to settle with the Underground’s one and only Remington “Riptide” Tate.

As Mav trains, he meets a young girl—the only other new person in the town–and sparks fly. When things get heated between them, he finds out she’s none other than Reese Dumas, the cousin of Remington Tate’s wife. A girl who’s supposed to root against him and a girl he’s supposed to stay away from. 

But Maverick fights for the woman in his heart, and the monsters in his blood. The world’s eyes are on them and the victor will go down in history as the ultimate fighting champion; the ultimate LEGEND. 

Legend (Real #6) Pre-order Links (Releases 2/9)

Kindle: http://amzn.to/1IcLdcd

Amazon PB: http://amzn.to/1MeyaIY

Amazon UK: http://goo.gl/sRB4jb 

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/real-series-6/id936215992?mt=11

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1Guafyb

BAM: http://www.booksamillion.com/product/9781501101540

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781501101540

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/real-series-6

Google Play: http://bit.ly/1GuakSp

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  I am really excited about this book and about being part of this release. I have have loved these books and their characters, especially Remy and Brooke. As a series it is unique, not only do you get the satisfaction of a strong alpha male with an equally strong female who can hold her own. 

  It also manages sensitive topics like mental health and how people deal with these conditions. 

  If you are interested in finding out more about this book or the series in general there are preorder links above or go to Katy’s website: 

http://www.katyevans.net/ 

Or feel free to send questions my way.

Maebhe 

Dark Hunter Re-Read : Dance with the Devil

I am subscribed to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s newsletter and have been for a long time, however ive been a fan of her series for an even longer period of time! As her Dark Hunter series was one of the first urban fantasy series i discovered and represents of my biggest series collections i own.

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  This isn’t all of the books, its just the biggest collective image i could get & they are mostly in order 🙂 

 However as with many long series, when you discover a series in the middle it’s fun and exciting to binge! Buying books back to back and watching the series progress as your own pace -which in case was quite fast, especially in high school when i had more time and money to spend on just reading! But the series progressed and naturally got more complex, spliting apart into a number of sub plots and eventually creating a Y.A. back story which developed into an independent series for one of the main characters throughout the books, Nick Gautier. (Love him as a character and the YA series is really good.) This meant longer breaks between publications and therefore mentally a slower plot progression. I never lost any love for the series yet somehow i lost contact with the series and i am now a number of books behind.

SO! When i saw the email from Ms. Kenyon’s site discussing the Dark-Hunter Re-read it was the perfect excuse to rediscover some old loves and hopefully get back into the over plot structure. With the end goal of catching up with the publications i haven’t read, seeing what ive been missing out on and hopefully introduce some new readers to this amazingly funny and action packed, romantic urban fantasy series!

rain quote

 One of my favourite quote in life which i discovered from this series and my favourite book!

So the re-read is already a couple of books into the series. However this is exciting for me as the next book being read is Dance with the Devil (Book 3). This book is one of my absolute favourites! Zarek, our male protagonist, is one of those perfect damaged heroes who is really a marshmallow inside in need of a little love. This book also introduced me to another classic children’s novel i hadn’t heard of called The Little Prince which i just had to buy and my first time re-reading this book after reading The little Prince added even more layers to our damaged hero and made his romance with Astrid, our leading lady, all the better.

The humour in this book has already brought back so many memories of why i loved this series and this writer. Her dry wit has me in stitches but it also provides an insight into the characters that other writers can’t often capture. I am about two thirds of the way through and another rediscover was the historical undertones in this series –  as the fantasy element in this series is inspired from Greek Mythology – which as a history graduate with a love for ancient history just pushes all the right buttons for me!

If Sherrilyn Kenyon is a new author to you, i would highly recommend getting involved in the re-read or even just picking up one of her books they are truly amazing. She also writes an awesome Sci-Fi series. But i will be back on this book soon with a short review – don’t want to spoil anything.

But if you do give these books a chance or you already love the Dark Hunter series let me know your thoughts below!

Maebhe x

 p.s. a sneak peek of the madness which occurred in one of my bookcases trying to clear some space to find this series – book addicts raise your hands?… 🙂

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Tea Blog: Crafting Resolutions

Since the start of the new year I have been so invested in trying to get a new job i .e. Leave my student stage behind and start a ‘career’ – without much success so far. As this can have a rather negative affect on your mental health and attitude. These effects are exasperated by the month joy of hormones.

When my mood is negatively impacted by life I always return to my crafting loves, especially my love of crotchet. I’m not sure if this is something I have ever really discussed on here but I was taught to crotchet by my granny when I was wee, as she looked after me a lot when my parents were working. And since then, following the growth of the Internet & the discovery of a wealth of tutorials and blogs on the topic I have expanded my crotcheting abilities beyond the simple granny squares to include everything from roses to bow headbands (which became quite popular Christmas presents last year).

I know it is late to be discussing resolutions beyond my usual reading resolutions to expand my reading pool & tackle my TBR pile. However I have decided that with the desire to maintain a positive outlook that I will continue to expand upon my crafting skills through the creation of unique and fun items.

As a start of this new resolution I purchased two magazines as inspiration;

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Magazine One: Simply Crotchet

Magazine Two: Mollie Makes

I believe that these magazines are published by the same publisher and there is a range of magazines involved including Simply Sew and other crafting magazines. However I think I’ll stick with my crotchet for now…. Although I do have plans to buy a sewing machine because I love my vintage finds and would love to be able to alter them myself therefore widening my options (despite as serious loss in the number of vintage fairs in Northern Ireland compared to Scotland).

What drew my attention to both these magazines was their beautiful design and simply layout. But most importantly their crotchet designs were also extremely exciting and already i have been inspired and have started learning a new skill called Amigurumi – taken from the Japanese terms for cute (Kawaii) and yarn. They are little projects made using continuous circle chains rather than rows. And from what I have seen online the options and creations are endless! I can’t wait to learn more.

These magazines both also came with little craft projects! A little needle holder & like heart crotchet pack (they can be made to look like old school American tattoos).

I am excited to see where I can go with this- what I can learn, what I will create and how it will make me feel. I hope you will share your creative outlets and hopefully a new series will come out of my new crafting resolutions.

Maebhe

Review: BBC Radio4 adaptation of Good Omens

I have mentioned in recent posts about my new found love of audiobooks. Their convenience has allowed me to diversify my reading as well as rediscover old literary loves, from the Harry Potter novels through to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

This has resulted in a new discovery- the radio adaptation! My best buddy & literary adviser Sio, knowing my long running love of Neil Gaiman & my recent investigation into Terry Pratchett’s books (specifically Mort), recommended I listen to BBC Radio4’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s & Terry Pratchett’s collaborative publication Good Omens.

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And as always she was correct! I can honestly say that I have listened to this series (all 6 episodes) three times now & I am devastated that I will no longer be able to listen to them on my iPad – as to date they’ve been available on the BBC radio iPlayer but have just recently been removed. I had heard via Neil Gaiman’s Facebook that the book was being adapted for the radio however I missed it on the radio & didn’t think to search for it online- therefore I only discovered the series a week before it is removed from the online app.

Back to the Review: The adaptation was wonderfully done and is simply hilarious. I also own the paperback book however previously I had struggled to invest any interest in the topic or genre of this book, despite the written quality naturally imbedded by the very nature of its authors. A book on the apocalypse of Earth, control of which is in the hands of an eleven year old boy is simply not something I am interested in reading – although I do love the Supernatural series. But I have been completely converted! In a brief summary – the anti Christ has been sent to earth & is destined to bring about Armageddon- however the Angels and Demons who inhabit the earth don’t particularly want to leave & are rather comfortable. Therefore two very unlikely friends, the demon Crowley & the Angel Aziraphale join together in an attempt to stop the apocalypse from happening – during which much hilarity ensues. There are also some deep lessons hidden behind sarcasm & innuendo- from devil worshiping nuns who coo & count the “toesie-woesies” of the anti Christ through to Pollution replacing Pestilence as one of the Horsemen (Sorry…Horse-people, as War is a woman! And a seriously kick ass b***h,) of the Apocalypse after the invention of antibiotics.

One of my favourite quotes, although it’s minuscule in the overall plot, however Crowleys tone at being handed the anti Christ has had me in stitches;

Eternal….. Tool

The quality of this adaptation is even better than the audiobooks I have listened to, to date. The actors are all amazing & I may have a small crush on Crowley for his voice alone. The music (which includes a lot of Queen) & sound affects are also perfect for example the torturous screams we can hear in the background anytime Crowley rings Hell. Another of my favourite aspects of the adaptation is the overlays from the BBC radio presenters to talking about apocalyptic events in completely average conversation. From Gardens question Time discussing the consequences of Fish falling from the sky….

Well, I’m a keen rose grower, but my prize-winning Molly McGuire lost a
couple of blossoms yesterday in a rain of what were apparently fish. What
does the team recommend for this, other than place netting over the garden?”
— R.P.Tyler on Gardeners’ Question Time, Good Omens

Or those pesky Tibetans digging tunnels all the way through the earth,

“…now as keen gardeners know, it goes without sayin’ that he’s a cunnin’
little devil, your Tibetan. Tunnelin’ straight through your begonias like
it was nobody’s business. A cup of tea’ll shift him, with rancid yak butter
for preference…” — Gardeners’ Question Time, Good Omens

And finally this adaptation was made extra special cameo appearance of Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman in the first episode as policemen, who sadly come to a tragic end soon after (eaten but a hellish creature from the sound of things).

I honestly couldn’t recommend this book/audio adaptation any more – full 10 out of 10. So If you get a chance to listen to this adaptation, the cd of which is available on Amazon or you could possibly find it elsewhere online, It is totally worth the time invested to listen. It’s also a great opportunity to investigate a new author or genre if you’re new to Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman.

Have you ever listened to this or any other radio adaptation? I would love to hear what you think!

Maebhe

Reads of 2014: A Review

While the rest of the Internet has long since shared their best reads of 2014 I’ve been a little late getting in the writing game this year. I have already acknowledged that the last year was a difficult reading year for myself due to university commitments & work resulting in a lot of re-reads rather than new reads. This doesn’t mean I didn’t read any good books. I have to say a couple of my favourite books from the last year include;

1. Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone
This was a great book, took two attempts to really get into the book. However I fully understood the plot and the heroine I was hooked. I have already purchase book 2 & I can’t wait to read it- see how the plot progresses!

2. Kresley Cole’s Dark Skye
While I can admit that this hasn’t been my favourite in the series. I realise that this for me, became one of those over anticipated books which couldn’t match up to my expectations. However it was still enjoyable & I love the IAD series.

3. Thea Harrison’s Nights Honour
This book was a nice change in pace for this series. While a lot of the reviews I have seen on this book have been pretty poor I have to disagree. While it’s not the fierce (or semi-fierce) female protagonist that is customary in the as books- Tess is still strong in a quieter way as is Xavier. It also lay a strong foundation for the next book in the series which I am now itching to read. 🙂

4. Karen Maire Moning’s Dark Fever
This is a new author for me, discovered through Thea Harrison’s Facebook page. This series in set in Dublin which is practically local for me & therefore a complete novelty. However it is also a really good book with a lot of room for growth, in book 1 there has already been dramatic growth in our lead character MacKayla who initially drove me crazy. However perseverance has paid off &now I’m really excited to see how the plot will progress.

I also rediscovered Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake series after an extended break. I had struggled with how the Anita Blake series had progressed in later books, specifically how Anita had lost some of her Bad-assery in favour of an incomprehensible number of men, lovers, boyfriends, etc. but I plan on writing an author review on Ms. Laurell K Hamilton’s books very soon. So keep an eye out.

Finally but most importantly I discovered the joy of the audiobook. Specifically the Harry Potter books, allowing me to rediscover all the depth and nuances from the series that I have forgotten.

These have been my favourite reads if 2014 however I have high hopes for this years reading endeavours. But Thank you as always for taking the time to read my little piece & I would love to hear what you’ve been reading or are looking forward to this year.

Maebhe

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My Audio book Experience

So it has been ridiculously long since i have been blogging regularly and i am struggling to pick up one of the now numerous books in my to be read pile while which is growing dangerously tall. However it is not for any loss of love for reading, as i continue to read about new releases and purchase the odd book which i am fascinated enough about to purchase – which has been a much stricter process in recent months as i am on a very limited budget as i have only  started back to p/t work and i am currently on the job hunt. A miserably place for any book lover and graduate to be as i am once again in limbo regarding what to do with my life and i am developing a severe case of ‘itchy feet’ – “the need for travel”, which has only been made worse by all the people around me who are going adventuring at the moment.

I feel that this amalgamation of factors has led to some of my reading melancholy – as books are adventures in themselves (or they are supposed to be) and i think i might be jealous of their fictional lives…. George R. R. Martin says it best;

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”

George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

I’ve put this one down to ‘Problems associated with Readers Addiction’, gave myself a good boot in the backside and a reality check! So my solution has been to delve into the world of audio books and it has been to much success. As i mentioned in a previous the Masters dissertation referenced to the Harry Potter series and this re-fueled the desire for a re-read and resulted in my listening to my first ever audio book (excluding a read-a-long copy of Bambi from when i was very little) – and i loved it!

So much has been released recently regarding J. K. Rowling on social media for example the ‘Harry should have ended up with Hermione’ scandal to the resurgence of ‘Pottermore’ and the Quidditch World Cup coverage which allowed a fresh insight into the on going lives of our much loved characters that i began to realise that much of my Potter knowledge was starting to be replaced by the film edition of how this developed rather than the books – as i have gone back to the films many times in recent years to fix any potter cravings rather than dive into the time warp that the books can be, and this had caused me to forget some of the best bits of the books.

Starting with the first Harry Potter book in audio this was highlighted by the extended run from Harry’s acceptance letters through to how much of the book was changed for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I new personal favourite has to be Harry’s singing valentine from Ginny in The Chamber of Secrets which – when read by Stephen fry has had me in stitches.

His eyes are as green as a fresh pickled toad,

His hair is as dark as a blackboard.

I wish he was mine, he’s really divine,

The hero who conquered the Dark Lord

While i haven’t finished the series (again) yet. Its renewed my love for the series and J. K. Rowling writing but has also shined new light on the Harry & Hermione vs. Ron & Hermione debate which i discussed in a Tumblr post HERE.

Overall i feel that the audio book and the animation and effort which has clearly been put into the reading has alleviated my fears that i would be listening to someone drag on and ruin some of the experience (Like experiencing Professor Bins History of Magic first hand –  The Potter references are coming back 😀 ) and created a true fan of the medium.

This has encouraged me to go on and try other audio books, resulting in the discovery of H. G, Wells’ The Time Machine which is currently downloadable on Random House Audio Books Facebook page in celebration of H. G, Wells’ birthday.

“It sounds plausible enough tonight, but wait until tomorrow. Wait for the common sense of the morning.”
H.G. Wells, The Time Machine

I am honestly not that far into the recording but it is wonderful and i am very excited to see how much it differs from the film. As it is a move which i watched numerous times growing up and its different editions. Already it is quite different from one my favourite film versions which has a strong romantic element to why the ‘Time Traveller’ developed the time machine however this hasnt stopped my from enjoying it. And as an admitted sci-fi fan I feel i need to add this book to my read list (listened list??) – as Wells is acknowledged as one of the fathers of the genre.

I would love to know if anyone you are audio book fans and how they compare to paperback/kindle etc?

Be back soon!

Maebhe