The Micro Reviews from Planet Procrastination go to Uranus!!!!

It comes to the point in every tragic saga of movies/books/TV shows etc. when the creators have obviously run out of ideas and flog one last installment with a truly terrible pun title which could’ve been brainstormed by a 10-year-old….. *cough*….

The Micro Reviews from Planet Procrastination go to Uranus!!!!

Code Noir by Marianne De Pierres

Even more exciting, engaging and confusing then the first Parrish Plessis book which together made it more addictive. This series is a unique Australian Sci Fi, with a strong, vaguely terrifying heroine, that’s worth a read, even if at times it does your head in.

Raisins and Almonds by Kerry Greenwood

A very entertaining an informative Phryne Fisher book. Explores Judaism in 1920s Melbourne, Zionism, and alchemy and has a very ingenious ‘murder weapon’. I’m a fan of all the Phryne books that I’ve read so far and would recommend them to anyone who likes a sassy, stylish female detective, and mysteries with a ton of class :).

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Another fun, exciting and intense book in the Mortal Instruments series. Further plot and character development drew me in and the action made be keep reading well after I should have put it down to get some shut-eye. It’s easy to see why this series is so popular, especially with teens/young adults and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was turned into the next big blockbuster movie franchise. I for one would welcome it more than I did the Twilight saga!

The Raven’s Heart by Jesse Blackadder

An amazing historical epic, especially for the author’s debut. Historical and fictional elements blended seamlessly into a very engaging story which twisted and turned like a raging river. The characters, especially Alison/Robert were intriguing, raw and deeply flawed which made them very believable. A tale of family secrets, power, betrayal and secret love but also a frank exploration of blood-soaked Scotland during the rule of the beautiful Mary, Queen of Scots.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Amazing. The epitome of the rambling epic but also a book that transcends the genre – part mythic fantasy, part road trip story, part murder mystery, part thoughtful examination of America and humankind’s changing values, plus a bunch of other elements twisted together to make a Frankenstein patchwork quilt of awesomeness. A book that I had to digest in small bites over time (16 weeks in fact) because it was like a big nourishing meal for the mind that you don’t want to end. Recommended for lovers of mythology, coin tricks, con jobs, the addictive voice of Neil Gaiman or anyone who wants a unique and insightful read.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

An insightful and important classic. Some of the language and themes are hard to stomach in this day and age but ultimately that makes the novel even more poignant. Even though there has been a lot of controversy regarding the use of the N word and so it has been removed from some schools, I think all kids should read it so they can see the prejudice and bigotry that was so prominent in the past and how in some ways society has grown but in others these evils still exist.

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

A very exciting end to a fun trilogy…except the trilogy is now 5 books long O.o Not sure where it will go because City of Glass was so final and climatic, but as long as there’s still demon hunting, interesting looking faerie folk and funny dialogue I’ll be happy 🙂

So that was my final set of Forgotten Reviews, however in the meantime I have amassed a few more reviews, mainly ones which don’t really warrant a full-size one, plus I have really enjoyed writing these Micro Review posts and you, my clever and beautiful Bookbaggers seem to like them (in fact thanks to the first three posts I’ve received a couple of extra likes and followers which is always nice :)) so I have a question to pose to you all:

Should I continue writing Micro Reviews from Planet Procrastination posts on a semi-regular basis (i.e. once a month or after I’ve amassed a list of 5 or so)?

My current idea (which I decided upon with advice from my best friend, Sarah :)) Is that I will do Micro Reviews for some of my reads that don’t really require a full review, and then do a full one for books that I think need expanding upon. For example I currently have a backlog of around 10 reviews, but since a lot of them are shorter books only about 4 or 5 of those really need the space of a large review and the others would be perfectly content sharing a Micro Reviews post.

As I like to get the opinion of my readers (coz its you that I write for after all) I thought I’d put it to you in a little poll:

The poll closes in a month so you have plenty of time to vote – and I’ll probably remind (*cough* pester *cough*) you all a few times before then.

I hope all my beloved Bookbaggers had a lovely holiday season, whatever you happen to celebrate (or not celebrate as the case may be) and as always:

Happy Reading! 😀

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Revenge of the Micro Reviews from Planet Procrastination!!!

In this day and age a simple one-off book, movie or game has become old-hat, and a single sequel? Well that’s just passĂ©! Why create just one or two works when you could release a grand Trilogy, Saga or Franchise into the world to wow generations and collect some extra coin? Sure the second sequel isn’t always a hit and with every new installment your original vision is watered down until it resembles a thin gruel, but on the other hand you may hit the magic point where a sequel surpasses its parent!

On that note, it is my pleasure to introduce a hopefully successful and non-gruely installment of the Micro Reviews Saga:

Revenge of the Micro Reviews from Planet Procrastination!!!

Monster Blood Tattoo Book 2: Lamplighter By D M Cornish

Took me ages to finish as the story is so involved and the world is so intricate, but if you persevere it is a great second installment to a very unique trilogy. A good trilogy for children and young adults that enjoy fantasy worlds that they can really sink their teeth into, but would probably only hold the attention of kids that like a lot of detail. Prepare yourself for endless checking of the glossary and other appendices.

Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

A graphic novel that exceeds the form and a super hero comic which is unlike any super hero comic (or at least any I’ve read). Complex, intense and brilliant. Possibly not the best Graphic Novel to test the waters of the format (just like V for Vendetta) but one that will please Graphic Novel lovers.

Trick or Treat By Kerry Greenwood

Another fun Corinna Chapmen book. This one had Earthly Delights, Corrina’s beloved bakery, almost closing down, people drugged/poisoned with cakes, a Nazi Gold mystery and some suspicious witches. Not my fave so far, but still a treat, not a trick.

Adultery By Richard B Wright

Not exactly what I expected (certainly not a Mystery like the library spine label suggested) but a good read nonetheless. An exploration of grief and the consequences of ones choices – in this case the consequences of adultery is not simply hurting a spouse and loosing their trust, but the loss of a life and having to endure media attention and the grief of a family. There was so much more I wanted to know about the aftermath of the murder in this story, but it was still a cleverly simple book that was quite engaging.

The Girl Who Played With Fire By Stieg Larsson

As with the first Millennium book, this was hard to get into but once I did it was a wild ride! I was a bit disappointed with the ending as it didn’t wrap everything up like the ending of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo but I guess that’s because it continues into the next book. I can’t say much without giving important plot points away, but this series is worth a read if you enjoy a fast-paced thriller with complex, interesting characters.

So the Micro Reviews have had their sweet, sweet revenge! Will they be back once again?! Well all I can say is I only have one more planned (which finishes off the pile of Forgotten Reviews) but if there is enough demand I may make it a regular feature, kind of “reviews lite” for people who want to have a quick look at my recent reviews before (or instead of) reading the full-length ones.

What do you think? Do you Bookbaggers enjoy the Micro Reviews from Planet Procrastination or do you prefer just the regular reviews? Feel free to sound off in the comments 🙂

Happy Reading!

Just in time for Halloween and Birthday Bonanza :)

Things have been pretty exciting in my life since my last post, mainly because my birthday was on Saturday and I’ve pretty much been celebrating and getting spoilt by friends and family for the past week. Since this celebrating and spoilitude involved getting some new books (of course) I thought why not share my goodies with you, my loyal Bookbaggers, as well as update you on my recent reading exploits 🙂

Ok, so firstly, on Thursday the 20th, after going out to a lovely birthday dinner with my family (yes, I did say my birthday was Saturday, but my grandparents have a weird thing about only going out to dinner on Thursdays – don’t ask me!) I FINALLY finished Coldheart Canyon by Clive Barker, which I have been reading for a really long time. It was a pretty crazy book (I’ll post a review soonish) so it was a bit strange finally getting to the end of it, especially as It was the only book I had been reading for a few days, but it also meant that I could now pick a new book from the scary towering library book pile next to my bed. Now, I was determined to use my usual process to pick a book instead of just picking one of the newer more exciting ones, but the towering pile of certain death consisted of 11 books, when my eeny meeny miny moe…ing only works for 7, so it took a bit longer and was more complicated. However, eventually I did have a winner – Trick or Treat by Kerry Greenwood (the 4th Corinna Chapman book).

Happy Halloween!

Now onto the much more exciting topic of my book haul this birthday 😛 I received a total of 6 books for or around my birthday this year, 1 with money my nana gave me (as well as too very pretty bookmarks), 1 from my friend Sarah, 2 from my mum (as well as new sheets, a pillow and some clothes – score!), and 2 which I had ordered from my bookclub but just happened to arrive near my birthday, which was pretty sweet timing.

The brand-spankin’-new books are (in order of when I got them):

  1. The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss
    An awesome collection of “lost” Dr. Seuss stories that were never published when he was alive. One of the bookclub presents to myself 🙂 Arrived Thursday before my bday.
  2. Zombie Felties by Nicola Tedman & Sarah Skeate
    An adorably gruesome craft book that details how to make 16 cute and creepy zombie pals. This was the awesome present from my friend Sarah, which would’ve been awesome on its lonesome, but my best friends also all chipped in and got me a butt load of craft supplies so I can make the little zombies! Naw, you guys 🙂
  3. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
    An intriguing book about a travelling circus, that I bought at one of my fave bookstores – Planet Books – the day after my bday, with nana bday money 🙂
  4. The Secret Language of Flowers by Samantha Gray
    A beautiful little book all about the meanings of flowers from Victorian courtship, to ancient mythology. The second bookclub present-to-me. Arrived yesterday.
  5. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
    Another book about flower meanings (surprise, surprise) but fiction instead of non-fiction. My mum has wanted to buy it for me for a few weeks now, so she got it today as part of my continuing bday present 🙂 awesome.
  6. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    I have wanted to read this classic for such a long time, and when I saw it today at Big W for just 13 bucks, my mum immediately added it to my bday basket of goodies 🙂 Yay!

So, pretty spoilt this year huh? And this is only the book-based prezzies! I also got new bedding/pillow and clothes (which I already mentioned); a gorgeous owl statuette (I collect owls :)); an owl Skelanimal; a Sanity gift-card which I used to get the third season of True Blood and the first season of How I Met Your Mother; the new Gotye album and other awesome bits and pieces.

Now that my birthday week seems to be meandering to an end, expect reviews for the Eddie Dickens Trilogy and Coldheart Canyon as well as the next Top 10 (on the theme of book to screen adaptations) at the end of the month.

Happy reading!

Hidden jewels found at Joondalup

On the 4th of August I started my Industry Placement at Joondalup public library and I am absolutely loving it! The staff are so lovely and because it’s such a big busy library I’m getting a wide range of tasks including stuff I love like storytime and helping with displays.

Another upside (or downside depending on how you look at it) is that on my rounds shelving and the like I am seeing so many items I want to borrow! So far I have been quite restrained because I am very aware of the plentiful to-read piles I already have, but there were two books I just couldn’t resist: the next Corinna Chapman book by Kerry Greenwood, Trick or Treat  (that my local library didn’t have :() And the third book in the Looking Glass Wars series by Frank Beddor, Arch Enemy.

Ooooo!

A definite treat 🙂

I’m especially excited by Arch Enemy as the Looking Glass Wars is a fabulous series that is based on Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass and I wasn’t even aware that there was a third book until late last year.

Stay tuned in the near future for a review as I may even cheat and read one of these books without my usual process *gasp* sacrilege! 😛

REVIEW: Devil’s Food By Kerry Greenwood

Regular readers (or Bookbaggers as I affectionately call y’all 🙂 ) will be well aware of my love for Corinna Chapman and the series so far, so I’ll keep this short and sweet 🙂

Mmmmm Devil's food cake 🙂

Devil’s Food is the third Corinna Chapman mystery and revolves around a few mysteries all involving a similar problem: dangerous weight-loss. The first one starts when Corinna’s shop assistants, Kylie and Gossamer (who are typical weight/image obsessed teens) lash out at each other then dissolve into hysterics. Upon investigation Corinna finds a mysterious weight-loss tea in the girls apartment and resident witch Meroe confirms that the tea contains deadly ingredients and the girls strange behaviour was due to a slight overdose. Soon other residents of Insula (the Ancient Roman themed apartment the books are set in) Jon and Kepler hold a meeting to discuss a similar issue – suspicious herbs have been found in free trade products that Jon imports. Corinna and her detective boyfriend Daniel follow a couple of leads – a late-night club called Cade Vlad Tepes where Kylie and Goss say they got the tea; and the creepy Discarnate Brotherhood which have recently commissioned Corinna to make their ‘Famine Bread’ an unpalatable loaf made from lentil flour. On top of all this Corinna’s judgemental hippie mother, Starshine arrives out of the blue and demands Corinna helps her find her father, Sunlight, who is in Melbourne ‘finding himself’ and has been uncontactable.

Corinna somehow manages to balance all these dramas and still bakes fabulous bread, enjoys a G&T or two and a warm cat on her lap, and has romantic interludes with her hunky man (good on her!). This book is my favourite of the series so far, for a few reasons:

  1. Corinna and Daniel’s relationship has progressed and they’re so sweet that I feel really happy for them (even tho they’re not real :P)
  2. The residents of Insula came together like a real family in this book – helping Kylie and Goss recover; helping Jon and Kepler with the mystery of the herb-filled urns; looking after Jason (Corinna’s former-junkie-turned-master-muffin-creator baker’s assistant) when he is sick; and lastly celebrating Jason’s 16th birthday.
  3. The mysteries’ conclusions were actually surprising! usually I guess whodunnit at least with one or two mysteries In a many layered mystery, but with both conclusions in Devil’s Food, the guilty parties didn’t even cross my mind until all was almost revealed 🙂 It’s much more fun that way.
  4. At the end of most chapters was a creepy little snippet which starts with “the man who was not yet a murderer” and became more and more chilling as they went on. It was a very mysterious touch that made me want to read another chapter…and another.
  5. At the beginning of the book is a diagram showing all the apartments of Insula and who lives in them, which I found very useful as it’s a series with a wonderful host of characters which are sometimes tricky to keep track of. A similar diagram can be found on the official Corinna Chapman website if you’re interested.

Overall It was a very enjoyable book – a fun, warming winter read perfect for holidays (which I’m currently on :D). I can’t wait til I get my hands on the next Corinna Chapman book – Trick or Treat – and the last one (so far!) – Forbidden Fruit.

I give Devil’s Food by Kerry Greenwood:

4/5 Stars

Top 10 Female Characters

1. The Hon. Phryne Fisher

Phryne Fisher Mysteries  by Kerry Greenwood

Phryne Fisher is an unflappable flapper in 1920’s Melbourne. She has a beautiful house with loyal attentive staff and a wardrobe of stunning dresses and pant suits. Oh, and she’s a private detective who drives fast and carries a well-concealed gun. I freakin’ love Phryne Fisher! She is such a witty and clever character and she somehow solves crime while looking fabulous and sleeping with an array of beautiful young men. If I could have the wardrobe of any book character it would be Phryne Fisher’s (with the figure to match :P), but besides that and her gorgeous home, she can keep her life – she encounters murder WAY too often! I have read the first 8 Phryne books and so far Kerry Greenwood has written 18, so I have plenty of Phryne fun ahead of me 😉

Even glamorous while taking tea

2. Corinna Chapman

Corinna Chapman Mysteries  by Kerry Greenwood

As I have said before Corinna Chapman is my kinda woman – a plus-size gal who enjoys a good muffin, G & T’s and cats. She also is a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer which gives us something else in common 🙂 I’m on the 3rd book now (Devil’s Food) and once again loving Corinna’s pop culture references and accidental detecting. There’s only 2 more books published 😩 but since Kerry Greenwood is a machine when it comes to churning out series, I’m sure there’ll be more 🙂

Corinna on the cover of the first book: Earthly Delights

3. Flavia de Luce

Flavia de Luce Mysteries by Alan Bradley

Flavia de Luce is the coolest 11-year-old I have ever read about! She is a budding chemist with a special passion for poisons and she spends most of her time day-dreaming about poisoning her two awful sisters (or performing practical jokes on them involving chemistry). In the first book, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, Flavia develops a new passion – detective work – when she discovers a corpse in the pumpkin patch. By the second book, The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag, Flavia is quite confident in her detective skills as she rides about town on her trusty bike, Gladys, looking for clues. The novel’s are set in the 1950’s in the English countryside and it is this setting that makes Flavia’s character all the more wickedly funny. She definitely isn’t the typical good little English girl, and that’s why I love her! I look forward to reading the new book, A Red Herring Without Mustard and the upcoming I Am Half-Sick of Shadows.

Flavia on trusty Gladys

4. Sally Lockhart

Sally Lockhart Mysteries by Philip Pullman

Another female detective! Sally Lockhart is another woman who doesn’t fit the mold of her time. Even before her detective work she worked as a Financial Consultant, which is thought to be a job not befitting a Victorian lady, but Sally isn’t an ordinary Victorian lady. She uses her good looks and the fact that she’s an innocent-looking 16-year-old girl to find out things that would be impossible were she a full-grown man, and she does so with her trusty pistol close at hand. I’ve loved Sally’s spunk in the first two books: The Ruby in the Smoke and The Shadow in the North, and I look forward to more adventures in The Tiger in the Well and The Tin Princess.

Billie Piper as Sally in the tv adaptation

5. Sookie Stackhouse

The Sookie Stackhouse Series/Southern Vampire Mysteries  by Charlaine Harris

Regular readers probably saw this one coming! Sookie is a great character both in the books and in True Blood, but mostly in the books. She is a great mix of sweet Southern belle and kick-ass vampire/were-loving part-faerie telepath. She has a hilarious inner monologue, and while she makes some stupid mistakes, mostly she’s quite smart and strong. If you read my recent post you will know that I’m nearing the end of the Sookie Stackhouse series, but once I’ve finished all the current books I will wait patiently for more 🙂 plus I always have the 3rd season of True Blood and seasons after 😛

Not your average waitress

6. Valkyrie Cain (AKA Stephanie Edgley, Darquesse)

Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy 

Valkyrie Cain is the kick-ass partner of skeleton detective Skulduggery Pleasant. She is an Elemental (which means she can throw fire, control air to lift herself and other neat stuff) and since the 4th book (Dark Days) she is also a Necromancer and stores shadow power in a ring. Her real name is Stephanie Edgley but she had to take another name when working with Skulduggery so that her name wasn’t used to control her, and she chose Valkyrie Cain. Darquesse is her “True Name” and has only been known to her in the last two books. That’s plenty to make her one of my fave female characters, but I also love the back and forth she had with Skulduggery (or any one else that takes her on) and pretty much everything else about her 🙂 Basically, she rocks.

A kick-ass fire-throwin' gal 🙂

7. Mma Precious Ramotswe

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall-Smith

I’ve only read the first book or this series (which has the same title as the series) but even from that (and I have to admit from the wonderful tv adaptation) I have grown fond of Precious Ramotswe. She is bright and vibrant and larger than life, and she always seems to make solving mysteries look like a piece of cake. I also love how she’s so tricksty when it comes to making criminals spill their guts – it makes me laugh every time! There is currently 12 books in the series with a 13th to come, so I’m sure as I go on I’ll love her more and more.

I think the cartoon her is so cute!

8. Anna

Mister God This is Anna  by Fynn

I’ve already gushed enough over this book in a review and my Top 10 books of all time post so I won’t do it again, but I’ll just say that Anna has to be in this top 10 because she’s such a special, memorable character. I recently found out that there are 2 other books in the Anna Biographies when I didn’t even know it was part of a series! So I will be finding Anna’s Book, and Anna and the Black Knight and will most likely fall in love with her even more. I wish I knew an Anna 🙂

So cute!!!

9. Sophie Hatter

Howl’s Castle Series  by Diana Wynne Jones

Sophie Hatter from Howl’s Moving Castle (as well as the sequels Castle in the Air and House of Many Ways) is a hilariously feisty character that had me laughing out loud many times. I loved the  Hayao Miyazaki animated movie Howl’s Moving Castle but until I saw it in the library I didn’t even know it was based on a book. If you’ve seen the film and thought Sophie was a riot then you must read the book, because she is even funnier on paper and it is such a magical story. She isn’t in Castle in the Air much til the end but every moment that she is, is gold! I haven’t gotten to House of Many Ways yet, but it is in one of my piles so I hope to get to it soon 🙂

Sophie as she looks in the film (before the spell)

10. Luna Lovegood

Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling 

Ever since “Loony Lovegood” popped up in the beginning of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix I’ve thought she was the bees knees! Luna is just so wonderfully weird and a space cadet (which I identify with) and she has come out with some classic lines. I also like her odd accesories such as the butterbeer cork necklace, dirigible plum (radish) earrings, and the Spectrespecs.

Loony is awesome 🙂

The devil’s in the….cake :P

The choosing of this book was a rare (and very nice) occurence – eeny meeny miny moe actually led to the book I wanted to read the most 😀

That cake could kill me anytime! 😀

I simply love the Corinna Chapman Series for a few reasons:

  1. Corinna is a “plus-size” woman like myself and she doesn’t care what people think of her
  2. The descriptions of baked goods in Corinna’s bakery, Earthly Delights, is simply saliva inducing
  3. The mysteries are fun but smart
  4. There is a nice abundance of quirky characters, cats and G & Ts – all things I love
  5. The books are set in an apartment building whose architecture is reminiscent of Ancient Rome and all the apartments are named after Gods, Goddesses and the like (plus the matchings of characters to apartments fit in a really neat way)
  6. There are recipes in the back of each book 🙂

Thanks again to Sarah for introducing me to a great series xo I’m loving this one already 😛