Thursday, 29 September 2011

School Reading Lists Suck (aka Childhood Torture Through Books)

I know it's been all quiet on this Western Front for a while. I think my brain is still in holiday mode and is taking a while to get back into gear. But I am slowly returning to my writing schedule. Slowly.

Today I saw an article about books that deserved to be banned. Swallowing my automatic reaction of "How dare they!? No books deserve to be banned" I read on to find that it was a discussion about the books that would be better to not include in classrooms and schools as mandatory reading. And not due to any religious, moral, or ethical concerns but purely because the books are no fun to read when you're a kid. I can definitely relate to that. I recall being inflicted with tortuous books in High School and College. I've purged the books before that from my mind so have no idea what they were anymore. So here is my list of books I was forced to study, and why I hated them, as well as the ones I loved (y'know, for comparison's sake):

Sunday, 18 September 2011

The Traveller Returns

I am back from my week long excursion in Las Vegas and I can safely say it is an experience I will never forget. Me and my boyfriend were only there for seven nights but I think I have seen and learnt more in that one short week than I could cover in dozens of blog posts. So to avoid bombarding you all with multiple posts I'll condense it all into one (slightly long) post. Neatly subtitled so you can skip to the bits of interest. I didn't do much in the way of gambling but I think we both experienced a full and exciting visit to Vegas with a lot of unexpected and educational experiences. If you've never been I can't recommend it enough.

Monday, 5 September 2011


I'm now on holiday for two weeks, seven days of which I get to spend in Las Vegas. It's incredibly exciting as I've always wanted to go to America, and Las Vegas was one of the places on my list to see before I die. I think most people have that list somewhere in their mind... if not then I guess it's mainly me. I also have New York, New Orleans, and Washington top of my list of American places I want to see, but at least next week I can cross off Las Vegas. This excites me enough that I've had to hold in squeals of delight - and may let one loose when we land.

I'm slightly concerned about how long the flight is, as I've never done a long haul before. But so far I'm loving all the things Virgin Atlantic include on their flights. There are a number of films available (they say) that I haven't seen yet, so those should help to kill a few of the eleven hours I'm in the air for. I also have my Kindle, a DS and my MP3 player. And maybe, just maybe, I'll get some sleep. As we land at around two in the afternoon Las Vegas time I really hope I sleep a little; just so I can stay awake until something approaching night time there!

Activity on the blog will be a bit quiet while I'm away, but services should continue as normal from next Thursday onwards. And I may even have a few pictures to share with you all - hopefully including one of me striking it lucky at the casinos and winning a fortune. Hey, a girl can dream. I will have my Netbook with me while I'm out there though (as Internet access is included in the resort fee so I figure I better use it) so I should still send a few tweets out at some point while I'm there.

Watch out USA - here I come!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Book Review: Mockingjay (Hunger Games, Book 3)

Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins - 2010 - 448 pages

Wow. Just... wow. I was expecting an explosive finish to the trilogy and Mockingjay more than delivers. The writing is as punchy as it has been throughout but Collins ramps up the stakes and shows a vulnerable side to Katniss that has so far only been seen in rare moments. The characters have to make some tough choices and face dire consequences for daring to stand up against the Capitol, and as ever the Games are never far away.