Romance Recommendation: Soulless by Gail Carriger

Soulless

by Gail Carriger.

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations.

First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire–and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Blurb taken from Goodreads.

Length: 357 pages.

Series: Parasol Protectorate #1

Genre: Romance. Steam Punk. Paranormal.

Read as an: eAudio (10 hrs 47 mins)


My Thoughts

I have previously read this book as a paperback and loved it – but there was just something about the audiobook that took Soulless to new heights. The narrator, Emily Gray, brings life to Carriger’s world.

The language and humour of the book were amazing and had me smiling throughout my commute. As a writer, Carriger crafts not only story, but characters and dialogue so well you will be hard-pressed to put the novel down. I absolutely fell in love with Alexia and Lord Maccon, not to mention Lord Akeldama, Biffy, and Professor Lyall.


Enjoyment Level

While I absolutely adored Soulless, I am quite intimidated by the larger Carriger world. Do not get me wrong, I do so wish to read the rest of the adventures of Alexia, however that would lead on to the Finishing School series, then the Custard Protocol series, and who is to forget the novellas that stem off from each of the series.

No, I do not think my TBR pile could handle reading the rest of Carriger’s work.

I am really intrigued and want to know more about Biffy, however small a part of the novel he played. So I will potentially be reading, Romancing the Werewolf. Which is kind of a stand alone…


Recommendation

If you are a fan of romance novels and after something a little bit different give Soulless a read as it is quite different – the book blurs genres in a seamless way that is an utmost joy to read.

Book review comment ender

World Poetry Day

The 21st of March is marked by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation as World Poetry Day. On this day, the UNESCO recognises the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.

Poetry reaffirms our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings. Poetry is the mainstay of oral tradition and, over centuries, can communicate the innermost values of diverse cultures.

Taken from the UNESCO’s Poetry Day website

For the longest time I have been a huge advocate of the power of poetry and all the ways it can emotionally affect a persons life. Poetry has the power to move people; it can speak to us, can convey emotions, and make us feel.

Poetry has the power to change people; it can make us see things differently, change how we feel, and force us to confront emotions. So regardless of how you feel about poetry, whether you think its frivolous, tough to understand, or an amazing way of communicating human emotions, it can have a lasting effect on readers.

Poetry has power.


So with this in mind, I thought I would share some of my favourite poets and works of poetry.

FAVOURITE POET

Dorothy Parker – hands down.

Parker’s style is just so sarcastic yet devastating. She will offhandedly and often slyly comment on something all the while pointing out the emotional and unfair core of an issue. Alot of the time she will capture a moment about being a woman, the poem itself will be kind of funny but often she ends with a final kick to point out the true injustice.


FAVOURITE POEM

Honestly, I’m not able to narrow it down, so head over and check out my Five Poems That Changed My Life posts, because they are all poems that I absolutely love.


FAVOURITE BOOK OF POETRY

smalldreams

Small dreams of Scorpions by Spike Milligan

The book itself is very small but it packs quite an emotional punch. As it often the way, Milligan (who was a comedian and actor) battled with depression and this book offers some very hard hitting poems concerning his turmoil.

Coupled with some illustrations the book is full of often difficult emotions. Stand out poems in the book are OberonValues ’67Manic Depression, and Love Song.


Favourite Styles

LIST POEMS

I talked a bit about my love for list poetry in Day 4 of my feature Five Poems that Have Changed My Life. I find the repetition and open possibilities of list poems incredibly freeing. It is always fun reading list poems and seeing where the poet takes you.

PANTOUM POEMS
Pantoum

I have this weakness for pantoum poems. Pantoums are quite difficult to write (trust me I’ve tried multiple times and only twice successfully) because there is a very strict form to follow.

The poems basic structure is that each quatrain has four lines and they follow an abab rhyming structure. Pantoums can be any length, however they must always begin and end with the same line. The below image explains the structure that pantoums must follow. It may seem strange but after reading a pantoum, you do get a sense of the rhythm and effect of the poems.

If you’re interested in reading more about the pantoum structure check out this link. If you’re after some examples of pantoums check out this link. One that I really enjoy is, Another Lullaby for Insomniacs by A. E. Stallings.

DOGGERAL POEMS

Doggeral poetry are defined by their badness. Typically the poems are filled with cliches, terrible rhyming choices, and irregular meters – they also are unintentionally hilarious. For the most famous doggeral poem check out William McGonagall’s The Tay Bridge Disaster.


Favourite Poetry Quotes

BY POET

‘I hate writing, I love having written.’ – Dorothy Parker.

ABOUT POETRY

‘Vogon poetry is of course, the third worst in the universe.’ – Douglas Adams.


If you want to see more of my posts about poetry check out my below posts!

Mending Life by Nina Montenegro and Sonya Montenegro

Mending Life: A Handbook for Repairing Clothes and Hearts

by Nina Montenegro and Sonya Montenegro

Mending Life is a beautifully illustrated, practical tool kit for repairing the clothes and belongings we love. It is also an exploration of how mending can be a gently healing practice in our daily lives and a small act of rebellion in a world where many things are discarded without thought.

Mending Life encourages us to cherish our things by repairing them rather than discarding them. It also encourages us to change our consumption habits so that with small mends here and there, we extend the life of our garments and other household items. This handbook is for beginners but also offers more advanced techniques to those with some experience in mending.

You’ll learn basic techniques such as patching, but will have options to take it a step further with decorative sashiko stitching; you’ll also learn how to darn socks and mend sweaters, as well as things like a tear in a bedsheet or down jacket. And along the way, the authors share heartfelt stories about the powerful act of mending, which strengthens not only the object we are repairing, but ourselves as well. Vibrant, full-color illustrations are woven throughout the handbook.

Mending Life is a timeless, practical guide to cherishing and caring for our belongings.

Taken from book blurb

Release Date: March 10, 2020.

Length: 224 pages.

Series: Stand alone.

Genre: Non-Fiction. Craft and Hobbies.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

Mending Life is equal parts a a book about mending clothes and philosophical statement on how learning to mend can change your life. Throughout the book you will find information on not just how to repair and care for clothing but how you can learn to cherish clothing and make steps away from our throwaway mentality around damaged items.

Continue reading “Mending Life by Nina Montenegro and Sonya Montenegro”

Long Lost Review: Windmills of the Gods by Sidney Sheldon

Long Lost Reviews Icon

Windmills of the Gods

Sidney Sheldon.

The world is on the brink of mutual destruction between the East and the West and Mary Ashley, beautiful, talented, intelligent, has been chosen to represent America as Ambassador to Romania. Thrust from her comforting, homely life in Kansas, she finds herself lost amongst the political turmoil in a foreign country where she is seen as the enemy and no-one is to be trusted.

Then someone starts to threaten Mary and her children. Who can want her to leave so desperately and why? And can Mary decide who she can trust when her life is on the line?

Sidney Sheldon is at his gripping best in this thrilling political page-turner.

Taken from book blurb

I have absolutely no recollection of reading this book.

Continue reading “Long Lost Review: Windmills of the Gods by Sidney Sheldon”

A Happy Life in an Open Relationship by Susan Wenzel

A Happy Life in an Open Relationship:

The Essential Guide to a Healthy and Fulfilling Nonmonogamous Love Life

by Susan Wenzel

Discover the secrets to successful open relationships. A Happy Life in an Open Relationship is a handbook to healthy nonmonogamous relationships.

For anyone curious about open relationships, here is a valuable handbook from an expert in love, sex, and communication. Relationship therapist Susan Wenzel—who is in an open marriage herself—delivers skillful advice on how to navigate the complex emotional landscape of multi-partner relationships, from polyamory to swinging.

• Filled with of compelling personal stories, anecdotes from clients, and practical exercises
• A guide to cultivating harmonious and fulfilling open relationships
• Author Susan Wenzel is a sex and relationship therapist with years of experience counseling patients on issues related to monogamy, intimacy, and trust.

A Happy Life in an Open Relationship will help you develop your trust and communication skills, explore sexuality and desire, build your confidence and self-worth, set healthy boundaries, overcome jealousy, and so much more.

People interested in making changes in their relationships will appreciate the positive tone, helpful advice, and expert wisdom from an accomplished relationship therapist who has gone through the experience herself.

• A great gift for anyone interested in testing the boundaries of monogamy and exploring the world of polyamory
• An accessible and inviting guide for couples to build an open relationship that is strong and lasting
• Perfect for fans of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence and The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity by Esther Perel, The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family by Dan Savage, and Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships by Christopher Ryan

Taken from book blurb

Release Date: March 10, 2020.

Length: 186 pages.

Series: Stand alone.

Genre: Non-Fiction. Relationships.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

A Happy Life in an Open Relationship steps away from other books about open relationship and non-monogamy as it is a very personal book. I say personal not just because of the subject matter but because the author herself, Susan Wenzel, offers a lot of anecdotal examples taken from her own life and those from her professional life as a relationship therapist.

Continue reading “A Happy Life in an Open Relationship by Susan Wenzel”

International Women’s Day!

Sunday 8 March is International Women’s Day. On this day, people everywhere celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

This year the theme is #EachForEqual.

The IWD 2020 campaign theme is drawn from a notion of ‘Collective Individualism.’

We are all parts of a whole. Our individual actions, conversations, behaviours and mindsets can have an impact on our larger society.

Collectively, we can make change happen. Collectively, we can each help to create a gender equal world. 

We can all choose to be #EachforEqual.

Taken from the IWD webpage

What better way to celebrate inspiring women everywhere than by picking up a book written by or about inspiring women! Check out my below categories and recommended reads for International Women’s Day.

Auto-Biographies

Crack open an auto-biography written about and by an inspiring woman! I made the decision to use ‘auto-biographies’ as these are examples of women telling their own stories – using their own voices.

  • Becoming by Michelle Obama – “In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era.”
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou – “Loving the world, she also knows its cruelty. As a black woman she has known discrimination and extreme poverty, but also hope and joy, achievement and celebration.”
  • Women, Equality, Power by Helen Clark – while not technically an autobiography, this book contains powerful speeches made by the ex New Zealand Prime Minster.
  • Yes Please by Amy Poehler – “Yes Please offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious.”
Continue reading “International Women’s Day!”

12 Tropes of 2020 – Consorting with Dragons by Sera Trevor

Cinder(f)ella from
12 Tropes of 2020

The beautiful, hard working, put upon commoner girl who never loses her hope will be a princess or queen by the story’s end.

Taken from TV Tropes

A commoner by birth, or with only minor ties to nobility. Nonetheless, through hard work, perseverance, and the help of some musical animals, she’ll swoop into the ball and make the prince her “husband.”

Taken from TV Tropes

Consorting with Dragons
by Sara Trevor

Lord Jasen of Grumhul, an impoverished young nobleman, has come to the Draelands to find a rich husband to help pay his father’s debts. To the shock of everyone, he ends up attracting the attention of King Rilvor himself, and the dragons who control the magic in the land. Becoming royalty wasn’t something Jasen either expected or wanted, but he can’t control his growing feelings for kind and handsome king. Scheming factions at Court conspire to keep him from Rilvor’s side, and now Jasen has to decide if the chance at true love with Rilvor is worth the burden of being the husband of a king.

This sweet and funny Cinderfella romance is complete at ~85000 words and ends in a solid HEA. After all, true love always wins in fairy tales! 

Blurb taken from book blurb

My thoughts

I’ve previously read Consorting with Dragons in 2016 as a novella and was so excited to see that it had been revised and extended into a full novel.

What was a big draw for this excitement was that Lord Jasen was such a distinct, sarcastic, and sweetly cynical character. It’s a tough thing to do, to have a character be sweetly cynical – the emotional vulnerability yet almost resigned expectation of being hurt for me, can blend together to make a nuanced and beautifully moving character.

Continue reading “12 Tropes of 2020 – Consorting with Dragons by Sera Trevor”

Quick Non-Fic Reviews – Home and Garden

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. The last post I did like this was all about the sustainability and cook books that I had recently borrowed. Well this post is all about the Home and Garden books I borrow.

Okay so the below books are all so tempting because they have such beautiful covers! How can you look at them and not want to borrow them? Also I really like succulents and am really interested in terrariums. I mean I haven’t had the initiative yet to make anything pretty from these books but I live in hope of someday.


Home and Garden

Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things (Revised Edition) by Cy Tymony

Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things is such a fun and interesting book! The whole time I was reading this I was just thinking about how the projects could be incorporated into school holiday programs at my library. The skill and understanding level needed to complete a lot of these projects would be perfectly suited towards young adults and would be just educational and engaging enough to not bore readers.

I adored that as an adult readers I could easily follow the instructions, and really enjoyed the graphic illustrations that demonstrated a lot of the projects and steps. Even more than that, the book doesn’t fix itself in only the American market, as when needed it converts information, for example, the book offers information on how to find south in the southern hemisphere. Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things is a perfect resource for some sneaky learning and STEM work!


Small Space Big Ideas by Philippa Pearson

Small Space Big Ideas was a beautiful book full of so many fun looking home and garden projects. I want to return to this book at some point to look at the vertical gardens featured, as well as the use of old tea cups and saucers for housing succulents and potentially using them as bird feeders. I think there are a few editions of this book floating around with different names, so if you see Small Space Garden Ideas, this is also that book, however I think the one I read was published for Australian audiences.


Creative Terrariums: 33 Modern Mini-Gardens for Your Home by Enid Gonzalez

I am a weakness for books about terrariums 😅 I’m very interested in making one but have neither the time, money, nor inclination to actually start a project. Creative Terrariums is both a visually stunning book but also a practical one. Unlike a lot of terrarium books I have read, Gonzalez takes you through and explains the necessary steps needed for not only making the terrarium but maintaining it.

Definitely give this book a go if you’re thinking about making a terrarium as it not only shows you how to make one but educates you along the way. I am particularly interested by the terrarium chandelier!


Terrarium Craft: Create 50 Magical, Miniature Worlds by Amy Bryant Aiello, Kate Bryant, and Kate Baldwin (Photographer)

Okay so this book confirms that I mainly borrow these books for the pretty pictures. And this book is full of pretty pictures! I really love some of these terrarium projects, they not only look good but I am tricked 😋 into thinking I could make these beauties.

What I really like about this book and what separates it from others, is that it has step by step pictures of how you can create terrariums. These pictorial steps do happen only at the beginning but they are still a really valuable resource as with anything, I would no doubt need visual instructions so as not to completely mess everything up. The rest of the book is filled with pictures of projects you can make which include all of the things you will need.


Favourites of February

Happy end of February everyone! I’ve decided to step away from the Small Snippet format and try something different for my month wrap up post. Below you’ll see some of my favourites from February from a whole range of different mediums.

So welcome to my favourites of February and enjoy!


TV Show

The Good Place Final Season

Omgosh you guys! The final season was so perfect and amazing. I was watching this show on the edge of my seat as I had absolutely no idea where the story would go. From season one The Good Place has been such a wild ride! I feel in love with the characters and was constantly surprised by the directions taken by the narrative!

The last episode was a doozy and despite my many emotions, I was so happy to see it through. The Good Place has cemented itself as one of my favourite shows out there!


Continue reading “Favourites of February”

Bloodlust & Bonnets by Emily McGovern

Bloodlust & Bonnets

by Emily McGovern.

From the creator of the hit webcomic My Life As a Background Slytherin comes a hilarious graphic novel pastiche of classic Romantic literature led by a trio of queer misfits—and several angry vampires.

Set in early nineteenth-century Britain, Bloodlust & Bonnets follows Lucy, an unworldly debutante who desires a life of passion and intrigue—qualities which earn her the attention of Lady Violet Travesty, the leader of a local vampire cult. 

But before Lucy can embark on her new life of vampiric debauchery, she finds herself unexpectedly thrown together with the flamboyant poet Lord Byron (“from books!”) and a mysterious bounty-hunter named Sham. The unlikely trio lie, flirt, fight, and manipulate each other as they make their way across Britain, disrupting society balls, slaying vampires, and making every effort not to betray their feelings to each other as their personal and romantic lives become increasingly entangled.

Both witty and slapstick, elegant and gory, Emily McGovern’s debut graphic novel pays tribute to and pokes fun at beloved romance tropes, delivering a joyous, action-packed world of friendship and adventure.

Taken from book blurb

Release Date: September 17, 2019.

Length: 261 pages.

Series: Stand alone.

Genre: Graphic Novel.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

As a fan of Emily McGovern and her comic My Life As a Background Slytherin, I was honour bound to pick up this graphic novel. I am glad I did because even though it is a step away from her Slytherin comic, Bloodlust and Bonnets retains the irreverent humour and distinct art style.

Continue reading “Bloodlust & Bonnets by Emily McGovern”