Monthly Archives: July 2014

“I’m melting!”

Despite the weariness that came with hayfever, I used to love summer. I revelled in the heat, and come autumn I’d grieve its loss until the next year. Since I was diagnosed with chronic migraine and insomnia I’ve hated the heat. My body just can’t cope with it anymore. Especially in extremely humid conditions – as it is right now – making temperatures feel hotter than they really are.

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Daily Mail’s Downing Street Catwalk

Ah, The Daily Mail. You can always count on them to be predictable.

What did I say on Tuesday?

Media influence in politics is highly critical of women, more so than back in Thatcher’s time. Privacy is anathema to the media. It’s not what they say or do but what they wear, who they marry, and where they shop that attracts criticism. Their actions and opinions are overshadowed by meaningless appearances.

And that other headline, ‘Now win election, PM tells new girls’ – they’re not girls, they’re women and have been women for decades.

Through the Looking Glass (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland #2) by Lewis Carroll

Through the Looking GlassRating:

Okay, so I didn’t enjoy Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland but I had a free audio of Through the Looking Glass voiced by Miriam Margolyes, and I thought, why not?

Continue reading Through the Looking Glass (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland #2) by Lewis Carroll

Victories for British Feminism?: Women Bishops and Parliamentary Promotions

Be Aware: Things aren't always what they seem

The Church of England finally voted for women bishops. A victory for employment equality and sex discrimination, if nothing else. It remains to be seen how many women will be promoted or will be able to exact any influence as the previous synod vote controversially opposed change, opting for the status quo. Many believe the no-voters were put under pressure to change their controversial, patriarchal and antiquated views in 21st century Britain, but then you can say the same for the institution they represent.

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Have I compromised my integrity by reviewing free ARCs?

Does ‘free’ influence my opinion?

Ms Bubbles SockieP wrote: “I’m not saying that there aren’t honest reviewers of giveaways or competitions, but I’d like to see those who run blogs that depend on freebies for material, give a dozen 1/2/3 star critical reviews in a row… not going to happen.”

The thread, in which the above comment is from, prompted me to ask myself if I’m biased in my ratings for ARCs. Had I gone over to the darkside? Was I deceiving others as well as myself, all for the prospect of more freebies?

I looked at my ratings.

Continue reading Have I compromised my integrity by reviewing free ARCs?

Love Story by Jeanne C. Stein

Love Story (from Dead but Not Forgotten)

Fans of Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series may be interested in this one as Stein imagines Adele Stackhouse’s (Sookie’s grandmother) affair with Fintan, a fairy, written as extracts of Adele’s long-lost diary from that time period.

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The Annotated Pride and Prejudice: A Revised and Expanded Edition by Jane Austen

The Annotated Pride and Prejudice: A Revised and Expanded EditionRating:

“Pride is a very common failing I believe… human nature is particularly prone to it, and there are very few of us who do not cherish a feeling of self-complacency on the score of some quality or other, real or imaginary. Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.” [p36]

Ah, one of the most widely read books in history – the pressure! But since Ms. Austen’s Emma is the reason I received a D in one of my English Lit exams, I’ve held a bit of a grudge.

Continue reading The Annotated Pride and Prejudice: A Revised and Expanded Edition by Jane Austen

Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales

Nelson Mandela's Favorite African FolktalesRating:

Do not read this, listen to it.

Besides the veritable buffet of Hollywood A-listers from various ethnic backgrounds providing narrations, there’s beautiful music and songs in the interludes between stories and in the stories themselves. I’ve derived much enjoyment from the imaginative and enthusiastic performances from the narrators, most of whom possess great skills with accents. Even if you don’t recognise a couple of the narrators’ names, odds are you’d recognise their faces.

Whoopi Goldberg and Hugh Jackman’s performances were outstanding though most were above average.

Urban legends, origin stories, fables, parables, myths, magic, time travel, African versions of well-known fairy tales, clever and devious characters, and emotionally touching stories – what more could you want?

Well, the publisher has donated 100% of its takings from the audio to Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and Artists for New South Africa who work with children affected by HIV/AIDS.

Here’s a rundown of the folktales:

Continue reading Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales

American Fairy Tales by L. Frank Baum

American Fairy Tales

Polar bears in drag. Zombie birds. Pink glass dogs. Baum’s politically incorrect fairy tales have them all. Stereotypical Italian criminals aside, I enjoyed these stories of bargains gone wrong and villains reaping what they sow, with morals preaching against the seven deadly sins.

I listened to the free Librivox version expertly narrated by Matthew Reece.

Continue reading American Fairy Tales by L. Frank Baum