Long Lost Review: Chart Throb by Ben Elton

Long Lost Reviews Icon

Chart Throb

by Ben Elton.

Ben Elton is about to put the “real” back into Reality TV in his biting satire of one of today’s most popular cultural phenomena — the TV talent show.

95,000 hopefuls. Three judges. Just one winner.

And that’s Colin Simms, the genius behind the show.

Colin always wins, because Colin writes the rules. But this year, as he sits smugly in judgment on the mingers, clingers and blingers whom he has pre-selected in his carefully scripted “search” for a star, he has no idea that the rules are changing. The “real” is about to be put back into “reality” television, and Colin and his fellow judges (the nation’s favourite mum and the other bloke) are about to become ex-factors themselves.

From the best-selling author of The First CasualtyPopcorn, and Dead Famous comes Chart Throb. One winner. A whole bunch of losers.

Taken from book blurb

I have extremely vague memories of this book, however I always remember it fondly. While I could not tell you much about the plot, I do remember one character arch that has stuck with me ever since I put the book down.

Alert – Spoilers Ahead

Continue reading “Long Lost Review: Chart Throb by Ben Elton”

Christmas Book Gifts under $20

While certainly I hope for books for Christmas, or at the very least money to buy myself more books. Others may not have that need for more reading material. So why not do them a favour and get them some good books as presents this year.

Who knows, you may ignite a life long love of reading!

Be sure to click the book covers to be taken the to site/company with the books available for under $20. So with this in mind, check out my recommendations for book presents you can get for cheap this holiday period!


So popular you can’t go wrong

Surely they’re popular for a reason?

The Chef by James Patterson.

No matter my personal feelings towards James Patterson, he is incredibly popular. I can only take solace in the fact that he probably wrote none of this book. The Chef is a stand alone or but could potentially be the start of a new series – so hopefully whoever you get this for can jump on the Patterson bandwagon.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz
by Heather Morris

Fast becoming an Australian classic this incredible story is a fictionalised account based off of a true story. Rumour even has it that the book is being made into a BBC series!

The Rise of Magicks by Nora Roberts.

Another big name that you can’t go wrong with – while the book is the third in a series you can easily find the first two for under $20 each. So depending on how much you like the person, you could get them the whole series. But like Patterson you can’t go with Roberts.

The Secret Runners of New York
by Matthew Reilly

A stand alone, time travelling, dystopian, young adult novel. The master at fast paced action, larger than life stories and engaging characters- you can’t go wrong with Reilly.


For the Binge Watchers in your life

Now they’ve binged the show, get them to read the book!

Good Omens by
Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Honestly you can’t go wrong with Good Omens – Gaiman and Pratchett do what they do best and just make good stories.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
by Jenny Han

One of the most popular Netflix original moves in 2018, why not buy the whole box-set and get the person up to date with the whole story.

The Handmaid’s Tale
by Margaret Atwood

Fans of the show can now devour the original novel and the newly released and award winning sequel, The Testament.

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

Truly a classic piece of black humour and indeed literature as a genre. Catch 22 is a perfect gift for your history buffs or those who are hard to shop for.


Young Adults

Who says YA books are only for young adults?! Some of the best fiction out there is classified as YA. So why not expand peoples perceptions by getting them an amazing YA novel.

Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton

If you can make it past the first couple of chapters – you’re golden!

Illuminae : The Illuminae Files_01
by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae may tickle the fancy of people who aren’t too keen on reading as the book itself is quite different. The story is told through official document, transcripts, and often involves tilting the book to read all the text.

Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend

Touted as an Australian mix of Harry Potter and Alice in Wonderland. So great!

The Queen of Nothing
by Holly Black

The third and final book of The Folk of Air series, Black is always a great choice. If you know someone who is interested in fantasy, the fae, and dark YA then this series is for you!


Book Bingo Update 11

I did it! It’s done. All 25 of these beautiful little squares have been marked off and read 🥰I’ve found this years Book bingo really challenging and enjoyed a lot of what I read for these squares.

While the traditional bingo card won’t be returning next year, keep an eye out in the coming week for my new reading challenge for 2020. Until then, enjoy my final books that finish off this years challenge!


Transgender Main character

A Matter of Disagreement by E.E. Ottoman

A Matter of Disagreement is a really cute story about two academics from opposing areas of study who as much as they want to hate each other, really enjoy the hell our of each others company.

I really enjoyed the story of these two characters as they tried to wrangle their professional feelings and work towards being friends. It was great seeing that romantic spark from the start and watching as the two tried so hard to at different times hate and like each other.

Continue reading “Book Bingo Update 11”

2020 Reading Challenge Card

I’m officially ready for 2020!

I kid, of course I’m not, I’m just very excited because I have finished making my 2020 Reading Challenge Card. Similar to this years Book Bingo, which I have really enjoyed, I am toning it down and focusing on 12 tropes of 2020.

I had previously asked for some recommendations for tropes that I could explore and read, and I have been able to flesh them out to the below 12 tropes:

  • Cinder(f)ella.
  • Enemies-to-lovers.
  • Fake/Pretend Relationship.
  • Ice King/Queen.
  • Love Triangle.
  • Marriage of Convenience.
  • May/December.
  • Mistaken Identity.
  • Soul Mates.
  • Superheroes.
  • Wallflower.
  • Free choice.

So without further adieu, check out my 2020 Trope Challenge.


Shh I know free choice isn’t actually a trope but let me have my wild card/free choice 😋

So what do you think? Do you like the new layout? Digging the trope choices? If so, leave a comment and let me know!


Generic comment card

Small Snippet of November 2019

Pokemon Sword

Playing Pokemon on a big screen is amazing! For something that isn’t much of a game changer, it is a game changer for me. Usually playing Pokemon is such a individual thing, you’re looking down at a screen and to share in your adventure is to turn the screen away from yourself. With Pokemon Sword and Shield you can play on the big screen and watch as someone plays.

My partner and I are currently sharing the one console, and it is really great being able to watch them play the game and experience things in different ways than me. Especially since they chose the gross monkey starter, rather than the always superior water choice.

I say sharing but it seriously coming down to whoever wakes up first gets first dibs on the game 😋 Also how cute is the new Galarian Farfetch’d?!

Continue reading “Small Snippet of November 2019”

LV48 by Matt Doyle

LV48

by Matt Doyle.

New Hopeland City may be the birthplace of Tech Shifter gear, but it isn’t the only place that likes to blend technology with folklore. Now, a new nightmare is stalking the streets…

When PI Cassie Tam is attacked on the way home one night, she expects the police to get involved. What she doesn’t expect is to be forced into acting as bait to lure out a lunatic in a tech-suit that’s literally out for blood. But past actions have consequences, and doing so may be the only way she can get a clean slate from the city’s law makers.

If only that didn’t mean having to face down a wannabe vampire.

Taken from book blurb.

Release Date: December 10, 2018.

Length: 247 pages.

Series: The Cassie Tam Files #3.

Genre: Sci-Fi. Lesbian.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

LV48 is a suspenseful continuation of ‘The Cassie Tam Files,’ which features even more twists and turns than the previous books. LV48 takes place shortly after the events of The Fox, The Dog, and The King and jumps right into the action.

Continue reading “LV48 by Matt Doyle”

Anticipated Arrival: The Bride Bet by Tessa Dare

Anticpated arrivals

Ten years ago, Nicola and the duke wanted nothing to do with each other… and that’s exactly why they got engaged.

What is it?!

The Bride Bet is the fourth book in the Girl Meets Duke series by Tessa Dare. The book, if it goes by the usual ‘side-character who gets their own book’ formula, is potentially the last book in this series.

When is it coming out?!

August 15, 2020.

I know, I know, there is a long time to wait until we get to read the book. Probably even longer if I want to continue how I’ve previously engaged with the books, and listen to it as an audiobook. But still, I am looking forward to reading The Bride Bet.

Why do you want it?!

I really want this book because the character, Nicola, has always intrigued me and left me wanting to know more about this pretty closed off character.

The snippets of story that we got in the third book, The Wallflower Wager, about Nicola seemed really interesting – the revelation that all this time, Nicola had been engaged and her desperate attempts not to be seen by him made me want to know more!

Why does everyone else need it?!

So far Tessa Dare has been a very entertaining and humours read – it is sometimes hard to find the right mix of romance and humour in historical romance books and the third book The Wallflower Wager aside, I have really enjoyed all the characters and their romances.

So not only do I recommend you pick up one of Tessa Dare’s books but I think you should also get excited about the fourth and potentially last book of this great series!


Anticipated arrival comment

Girl Meets Duke Series by Tessa Dare

The Girl Meets Duke series by Tessa Dare has been my introduction to all things Tessa Dare. The historical romance series is also the first time that I have managed to finish and enjoy a fictional audiobook.

I’m really happy to have found this new historical romance author (well new to me 😋) and after listening to the first book in the series, quickly devoured all that I could. So the below quick little reviews are just my comments on the books that make up the Girl Meets Duke series. Enjoy 💌


The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

Girl Meets Duke: Book 1

The Duchess Deal was my first ever audiobook that I finished and that I loved. The narrator of the audiobook was amazing and really brought the characters to life.

I absolutely loved the story and characters of this romance novel, the romantic lead Ashbury is such a gruff bastard but he was one that I fell in love with – he had the incredibly endearing and humourous trait of only swearing in Shakespearean quotes. Also Emma was such a strong and beautiful character – I was honestly rooting for the pairs happy ending.


The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

Girl Meets Duke: Book 2

Once again I fell in love with the characters of this novel. I listened to the audiobook narrated by the amazing, Mary Jane Wells, and once again the whole cast were brought to life through not only this narration but storytelling.

The multiple doll funerals really made me fall in love with, not only the two girls, but Chase himself. The resigned patience and punny eulogies really made the novel and made me see past the libertine archetype that I usually dislike. Also Alexandra was a true treasure as she helped the girls explore and learn as pirates, not to mention her inner strength and Filipino representation!


The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare

Girl Meets Duke: Book 3

I loved this story – Penny had always been a character from the previous books that had stood out to me and I really enjoyed seeing her story with her romantic lead Gabriel.

Be warned – spoilers ahead

I really loved this story until about three quarters of the way through – the book takes a serious turn with a revelation of childhood sexual assault. This revelation really did sour the book for me – I am not saying that historical romances shouldn’t tackle hard issues but the previous books had been quite lighthearted so this was not what I was expecting.

I’m not saying I hated the book because I didn’t, I’m just saying that I was quite shocked that this content was included. Also the way that the characters in the novel decided to deal with it was, in my opinion, quite hodgepodged and really detracted from the end of the story.


I am really enjoying the Girl Meets Duke series and despite the one hiccup with the third book, I am looking forward to reading about Nicola in the fourth book, The Bride Bet.

Have you read the series? Do you love them or hate them? Do you agree with me about the third book? Leave a comment and let me know 😊

Self Care Saturday: Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment Bath Oil

Mmmelting Marshmallow Moments Bath Oil by Lush

For a sweet, sweet bath there is a sweet, sweet treat and in this sweet, sweet bath take a sweet, sweet seat.

Let your troubles mmm…elt away, as skin is softened and soothed by shea butter, almond oil and calamine. And, if its bright yellow and pink sandwich of colours doesn’t bring to mind dolly mixtures, its candy floss scent surely will.

Taken from the Lush AU website.

Slowly my opinion of bath oils is changing for the better and it is all thanks to Lush. I first tried one in Polyamorous and Mmmelting Marshmallow Moments is just as mind changing as the first. Lush’s bath oils make my skin so soft, how could you not love that?

Continue reading “Self Care Saturday: Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment Bath Oil”

Quick Non-Fic Reviews: Cook Books

You may noticed that I work in a library and you also may have noticed that I have a tenancy to borrow waaay too many books. My previous Quick Non-Fic Reviews were so fun to write that I’ve decided to keep doing them, as I for some inexplicable reason, I have not stopped borrowing books 😋 This post will look at all of the Cook books that I have borrowed recently and read.


I Didn’t Know My Slow Cooker Could Do That: 150 Delicious, Surprising Recipes by Better Homes and Gardens

This book was a mixed bag for me because yes there were recipes in there that I didn’t know you could do in a slow cooker but there were also not a lot of practical meal in there. A lot of the more ‘out there’ recipes that incorporated the slow cooker were ones that could have been accomplished in the oven. Now I’m not saying that a recipe that calls for you to fry ingredients, cook them in a slow cooker, put them in a food processor, and then pop in the oven aren’t practical but they’re really not in the spirit of the slow cooker.

I will say though that I will be trying some of the bread recipes, in particular the chilli corn bread one which looked amazing 🤤 Also it appears that this book has lit a sudden interest in making preserves as gifts for people. The tomato and bacon spread not only had my stomach growling but had my frugal mind spinning with present possibilities.


Ice Cube Tray Recipes by Jen Karetnick

Food from ice cube trays?! Yes please, I though as I caught a glimpse of this book cover. It wasn’t until I was reading through each recipe trying to visulise how some of these would work that I realised the books flaw. There simply aren’t enough pictures of the recipe.

For such a strange cooking concept you really do need images to back these recipes up. While there was a detailed section at the beginning of the book about the different types of ice cube trays and the ways in which to cook with them, I would often find myself reading a recipe and simply not being able to visualise the cooking process or the final product. I did read an eBook version of the book though, so who knows maybe a physical copy had more images (to be fair though I read a lot of eBook recipe books and this is not the case).

Other than that though, I really thought this was such a cool concept and would be a great type of food to whip out at parties 🤤


Tots! 50 Tot-ally awesome recipes from Totchos to Sweet Po-Tot-O Pie by Dan Whalen

Just to start I will say that I have a weakness for ‘tots.’ I say ‘tots’ because in Australia they are called potato gems and they are just so yummy with a little bit of chicken salt. Tots! is a great little cook book because it has so many recipes that not only use this lovely food item but because they are easy to make and look dilicious!

I am looking forward to trying Totchos (nachos but with potato gems) and also Shepard’s Pie with a Totty Top (normal Shepard’s pie but with potato gems instead of mashed potato). Also I am very intrigued by the idea of mooshing and flattening the potato gems and serving food on top of them – the book suggests caviar and sour cream but I will never be that fancy 😋 If you do see this book around I would really recommend giving it a read! It will 100% make you crave some potato gems.