Monday, 24 November 2014

SMILE - Human Beings Make Life So Interesting...







I have no idea who turned this scene for Sky One's The Hogfather (based on the Terry Pratchett novel of the same name) into gifs. No idea - but I love Death! So, thank you Terry Pratchett, Sky One and everyone else in connection with this! 

Saturday, 22 November 2014

SMILE - Are You Saying...



My thanks goes to whoever made these gifs, taken from the Sky One adaption of Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

Thursday, 20 November 2014

SMILE - The End is Nigh


A few months back, I wrote a small blog post about my SMILE thread and asking what I should do with it because the fun was going out of writing them. The fun was going out of this blog, if truth be told. But with SMILE, I was wondering over its future.

As you are probably aware, I try and do SMILE posts every Monday for the past few years (and I have a SMILE board on Pinterest), but I was wondering if I should change it. Give my blog a bit of a facelift.


And I was considering quitting SMILE altogether. I didn't want to keep doing SMILE post if I was losing interest in it and, if I was losing interest, then you guys must be too! I mean, I didn't want SMILE to become this:



But then someone said "Just do it on impulse" and I liked this idea. I liked this idea a lot. So, that is what I am going to do in the New Year. The SMILE post will be more impulsive. They will come and go as they please, and I hope that we - you and I - will enjoy the surprise of it all!

But the question is: where does SMILE go from here?

Well... It's going to have a break. I've decided that SMILE will be resting throughout the month of December, which means next week's SMILE will be the last of 2014.



I know. It's a bit short notice. I know. But I didn't realise that this is what I needed to do till I started writing this post.



So yeah, next week is the last SMILE of the year. I hope that's ok.

I want this blog to be fun. Not just for you guys, but for me.

So, to you all who liked SMILE, please go to the Pinterest board at http://www.pinterest.com/pewterwolf/smile/ or keep your eyes peeled on the blog. You never know when the next SMILE post will appear in the New Year.

And remember...

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

GoodRead - A Slip Of The Keyboard

Confession time. I have never read a Terry Pratchett - well, I think I might have read Wyrd Sisters but don't quote me on that. But Terry Pratchett is always been one of those authors that has so much buzz around them, that's a bit overwhelming. It's the same with Jane Austin. There is so much respect and love that if I dare either of them and went "They were ok", I might have been given death glares...

So when the lovely Felicity from Midas PR asked if there was any audiobooks coming out in the past few months that I fancied reviewing, I saw this collection of non-fiction essays from Mr Pratchett and mentioned that these would be an interesting listen as this would not only introduces me with Terry's writing but also, introduces me to non-fiction - a genre I'm not that well read in. 

A Slip of the Keyboard is a collection of non-fiction essays spend through Terry's life via three sections. Talking about his life as a writer, a look into his childhood, Discworld and then his thoughts of his Alzheimer's Disease and his opinions of assisted dying. 

Now, seeing as non-fiction isn't my comfort zone, I went into this a bit uncertain on if I would enjoy this. And for the most part, I did. I liked hearing Terry's ideas, thoughts and his musings about life, writing, Discworld (a series I really need to investigate) and on assisted dying. 

Now, assisted dying and Terry's battle with Alzheimer's were subjects I thought I would find taxing and upset to listen, but instead, I find them very interesting to hear his thoughts and made me, at several points, go "He does have a point here, but I'm not totally convinced on his reasoning on that point."

I do have problems with this collection (and the audiobook). The first was how the audiobook was set up. There were times I got confused on what essay or article I was listening to as the gaps between when one ended and another began were quite short at times and, there was a few times I think two essays merged into one in my brain and I didn't realise this till halfway through the second essay. 

My second is, at times, it did feel a bit repetitive. You can tell this is a collection spanning years as some jokes, phrases and ideas were repeated and with this collection, two essays will have the same joke and the essays would be following each other. But, with the nature of this book, I understand this would happen from time to time. 

While this isn't exactly something I would rush out to read, I am glad I have had the chance to listen to it. I do have plans to read more of Mr Pratchett (Stevie from SableCaught made me buy Mort and I have plans to read that soon) and I hope it makes me think about the world around me a little more. But I think this is very much for the fans who will devour anything Terry writes... 

Monday, 17 November 2014

SMILE - Madonna's At Your Grandma's Front Door Again...


Sorry, I saw this on Twitter a few days ago and I couldn't stop laughing! My thanks goes to the Twitter of Michael Spicer (can't remember who retweeted this so I saw it, but thanks whoever you are!) 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

GoodRead - The Bane Chronicles

I was very lucky and very honored when Sean from Walker Books asked if I wanted to review The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson. I said yes (because I LOVE Magnus and am a huge shipper of Malec when I was read the first 3 books in the Mortal Instruments series [or trilogy as it was back then!] and I really liked seeing him in Infernal Devices). But, something very unexpected happened. Because I was honoured with this, I had to sign an embargo. I HAVE NEVER HAD TO SIGN AN EMBARGO BEFORE! VERY EXCITING!!! 

Yes, I am very weird. The only other time I had an embargo was Clockwork Prince and, even then, I never had to sign anything. So this was new and exciting territory. I felt like some book spy! 

I was going to try and read this for review of the Tuesday just gone (its publication date in both the UK and the US), but I kinda failed on the reading front so... here it is. 

The Bane Chronicles is a collection of short novellas the follow the life of Magnus Bane in year order (barring the last few). From the depths of Peru to Victorian London then modern day New York, we see Magnus getting more and more involved in the lives of Shadowhunters. Whether he wants to or not. 

Now, I have read three novellas when they were published in eBook form (What Really Happened in Peru, The Runaway Queen and The Course of True Love) and I admit, there was mixed reactions from me. So, knowing my reactions to them, I went into these stories with some uncertain. But all I knew was that I wanted to reread What Really Happened in Peru. Surely, it wasn't as bad as I remembered it to me. 

And it wasn't. Much to my surprise, I found What Really Happened in Peru quite funny. I'm still not thrilled over how the story ended (for the reasons I stated in my review) but because I was aware of how it ended, I braced myself for it. Forewarned is forearmed and all that. 

Now, I do want to write my thoughts and feelings over every short so am going to pick a few at random and do a quick thoughts/reactions. 

Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale - I have no idea why I enjoyed this short. I just do. It was fun and yet, at the same time, It gave a tiny insight to the events that lead to Infernal Devices but it wasn't important to the series. And a new character that I instantly liked! 

The Midnight Heir - Ok, because I am a huge Infernal Devices fan, I am quite excited/intrigued over the whole The Last Hours trilogy that will look into the children of the Infernal Devices characters. I was reading it, looking for clues and hunts. But the main character - the child of [CENSORED] and [CENSORED] - I did not warm to him. But I got why he was the way he was but still... really? 

I was going to talk about some of the other stories (believe me, I could - let's not get me started on What To Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (And Who You're Not Officially Dating Anyway), shall we?) but let me talk about the reason why the book was embargo. This collection of short stories has one short story that had never been published and we had illustartions by Cassandra Jean (some of you may know Cassandra Jean's drawings from the tarot designs that Cassandra Clare put on her tumblr or from the Beautiful Creatures: The Manga). 

Now, I love the illustrations and, before I even started reading the book, I flicked through the pages for the illustrations to see what she drew.

And this mysterious story that hasn't been seen before this publication - The Voicemail of Magnus Bane. Now, before I go on, my advice is only read this story AFTER you read City of Lost Souls, as this takes place due to the event that happened at the end of that book. If you haven't read City of Lost Souls, you would be spoiled. I haven't read CoLS but I know the event in question (I went to an event after CoLS was published and Cassandra told us why she wrote it. I swear, I have never heard a group of readers gasp that loudly before!). Bu, I read this three times and out of the colection, this was a fave. It was heartbreaking yet funny. It felt like something that would be inside the book. It made me want to read the latter three books in the Mortal Instruments series. 

And I plan to. Soon. But am in no rush. Not yet. 

But this book. Ok, this is a mix bag - some stories are good and some aren't up to par. But this is a book for the fans (or, if you're a cynic [which I can be at times], another way to milk that cash cow dry!) but I would advice caution if you are a fan as this is in hardback and, I know some of you guys want your books to match. But yes, this is for fans but read if you have read all three Infernal Devices and the first 5 Mortal Instruments books to get the most enjoyment. 

Monday, 10 November 2014

SMILE - Your Aren't A Disappointment


My thanks goes to Hannah on Twitter (@AitchLove) for this pic. I love it and I laughed for a good minute when I saw this!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

GoodRead - This Night So Dark

After I finished This Shattered World that the lovely Luna from Luna's Little Library lent me (she got a copy from BEA - my review of that is here), I wasn't ready to leave this world. Even though I have LOADS of books to read - one book I really should have finished sometime this week but I know I'm not going to make my mental deadline and I have a second that I need to read by 3rd December - I wanted to stay in this world for a tad longer.

I knew about this eNovella for a while, but it took a while for me to hunt it down and get a copy of it. This is free and if you live in the UK and you want to read this eNovella within These Broken Stars world, you can go here. Anywhere else in the world can go here.

Tarver has started to have nightmares. Nightmares about something that happened six months prior to the horror that was the Icarus crash. Six months prior where Tarver has to rescue a group of civilians from a group of brutal mercenaries. But is what happened then connected to what happened to both him and Lilac...

I finished this several days ago and, I did like this. It was a fast read (though I did have to spread it over several days - real life sucks sometimes!) and it was a nice titbit for readers. We get more Tarver and Lilac and we see them after the events of These Broken Stars. But it also gives us a insight to Tarver's history and why he was on the Icarus. 

And it does a good thing by making the plot thicken over the mysterious LaRoux Industries.

But, I did have some issues. I always do so why did I expect not to have problems is anyone's guess.

While it was nice to read this, I was expecting more. I'm not what more I wanted but I was expecting more details, more hints and clues and more story (with this download, 47% is This Night So Dark and the rest is sample chapters of These Broken Stars and This Shattered World). Also, I expected to see a crossover where we meet Jubilee from This Shattered World and see how she and Tarver know and interact with each other. But the only clue for This Shattered World is Tarver mentioning he was based on Avon a month or two ago.

While this isn't important to the series in my opinion (so if you miss it or decide not to read it but read This Shattered World), I think fans will enjoy this. And if you're curious over this series, this is free and there is sample chapters of These Broken Stars and This Shattered World, I would say go to it.