Monday, 5 October 2015

What are YOU reading? #287

What are you reading on Monday? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys where you post books completed last week and plans for upcoming books. Jump over to her blog and see who else is participating.


How Many Greeks Fit Inside A Trojan Horse? by Dr Dino
Children's, Non-fiction, 7 years +
(Funny way of learning about myths from around the world!)

Season of Salt and Honey by Hannah Tunnicliffe
Women's Fiction
(A touching read about a woman who loses her fiance...)

Gone But Knot Forgotten by Mary Marks
Cozy Mystery, Crime
(Diving in partway to an incredible series whose protagonist has fibromyalgia, which has a few symptoms like mine, its full of humour, and lots of twists!)

Do Dinosaurs Make Good Pets? by Dr Dino
Children's, Non-fiction
(Filled with heaps of dino facts!)

Sir Scaly Pants: The Dragon Knight by John Kelly
Children's, Picture book
(A dragon rescues a town after being bullied...)

The Valentine's Day Cat by Sabuhi Gard and Karen Moore
Children's, Picture book
(A cat who gets lost due to human error...)

Little Grey Rabbit's Year of Stories by Alison Uttley and Margaret Tempest
Children's, 5 years +
(This is a wonderful compendium of one of my childhood favourites!)

The Rabbit Ate My Flipflops by Rachel Elizabeth Cole
Children's, 9 years +
(An extremely funny sequel about siblings and their pet rabbit!)

Candy Corn Murder by Leslie Meier
Cozy Mystery, Crime
(Brilliant murder with emphasis on family life...)


The Rabbit Ate My Homework by Rachel Elizabeth Cole
Children's, 9 years +
(Hilarious sibling tale about hiding a rabbit!)

Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey
(This is the book that made me fall in love with magical horses! And want to be every profession in Valdemar... ^o^)


Sweet by Kathryn Littlewood
Children's, 9 years +
(This time I understand the baking themed story better...)


The Great British Bake Off
Cookery show, English version
(The semi-final had lots of chocolate!)

Once Upon A Time: Season 4
Fantasy Drama, English version
(Shocking news in store for Emma about the Snow Queen!)

Anime, English version
(Seeing Elsa in 'Once' had me rewatch this, skipping the parts I'm not fond of [anything with Olaf, some love songs, parts which exclude Elsa and Ana]...)

Winx: Season 6
Magical Girl Anime, French version
(The girls have begun their quest to fund Eldora's diary!)

Anime, Japanese version
(Minus occasional innuendo this is a super fun school show, including Evangeline who is a vampire trapped as a girl who can't leave school!)

Bodacious Space Pirates
Science Fiction Anime
(Mariko successfully leads an attack in space on the school yacht club's first outing!)

Kikari (also known as Kilarin Revolution)
Music Idol Anime, French version
(It was sad and hilarious how awful Kilari was at singing, but she didn't give up and managed to sing in tune...)

Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Magical Girl Anime, Japanese version
(The fight scenes are a bit too weird for my liking but there's something which makes it impossible to stop watching those parts, especially when a significant character dies...)

Fantasista Dolls
Magical Girl Anime, Japanese version
REWATCH - 10/10E
(Yo-yo wielding Akari seems to decide to leave Uzume...)

Music Idol Anime, Japanese version
(Shion and Mireille are at war with each other which proves entertaining...)

Aikatsu: Season 1
Music Idol Anime, Japanese version
(Time for Sakura to debut!)

Aikatsu: Season 3
Music Idol Anime, Japanese version
(Adoring the new episodes especially when Luminas come 2nd in a competition and Akari states her wish to be the next Starlight Queen! I hope she makes it...)

Games, craft and more
Still no gaming, but instead I did some colouring of a cute Disney princess art therapy book...

I baked a super yummy nutella cake (layer of nutella just under the surface of the cake thanks to adapting the recipe which only asked for tiny splodges)...

Also made these super yummy wholegrain hoop marshmallow (fish gelatine version) crispies which are DELICIOUS!

Craft wise I didn't do much as I got ready for welcoming family home from holiday, then had some rest days, bit managed to work on a cute knitted baby bootie...

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Chloe by Design: Balancing Act by Margaret Gurevich and Brooke Hagel (Children's, 9 years +, 10/10E)

 September 2015, Capstone Young Readers, 384 pages, Ebook, Review copy from NetGalley 

Content: competition, life issues, humour

16-year-old Chloe Montgomery beat out the competition to win Teen Design Diva, but she already has another challenge to face — tackling her internship. After winning the first season of the fashion reality show, Chloe is ready to start her job with a famous designer, Stefan Meyers, in New York City. But with an old crush and new challenges to contend with, Chloe discovers that fast-paced fashion industry isn’t for the faint of heart. Will she be able to make it work, or will the balancing act prove to be too much for this budding designer? 

Nayu's thoughts
Somehow I'd managed to think I'd reviewed Chloe's tale, which I hadn't. I love tales where characters chase their dreams, which for Chloe evolved around fashion. She gets to see a variety of departments in a fashion house, as well as a variety of characters. Her fellow interns are competitive, some with a bit of a mean streak, but by working hard and being good Chloe is rewarded with amazing opportunities. 

I like how modest she is, how she doesn't always think her ideas are good, but how she ends up being the one pointed out as having potential. Life isn't straight forward, but Chloe meets each problem face on and, sometimes with much needed friendly advice, she conquers them. This is a feel good book which everyone, regardless of how into fashion you are, will enjoy. 

 See more of Brooke's fantastic work on her website.

Available to buy in the USA now, out November 2015 for UK so available to pre-order in most bookstores including NRC affiliate Foyles

Suggested read
For more stories about the fashion industry try the first in one of my favourite fashion series, Threads by Sophia Bennett (Children's, 11 years +, 10E/10E)

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Katie's Pony Challenge by Victoria Eveleigh (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E)

 August 2015, Orion Children's Books, 144 pages, Paperback, Review copies

Content: dealing with emotions, competitiveness, some humour, sweet moments

Book summary
Katy's life has never been busier. What with riding Jacko, keeping Trifle in shape and trying to tame her cheeky foal, Tinkerbell, Katy certainly has her hands full! New neighbour, James, is eager to help but doesn't always seem to save Katy much time! Things are just as hectic for her best friend, Alice, who has a brilliant and demanding show jumping pony. So when Katy hears about a new sport called horse agility, she wonders if it could help her solve all kinds of problems . . .

Nayu's Thoughts    
This is an absolutely heartwarming read horse read from Victoria, with lessons of frustration and jealousy explored by Katy. I kept laughing every time she got in a mood, because I saw my younger self in her (minus the whole having 3 horses thing. I didn't have 1, certainly not 3! For the record I didn't want one, I prefer admiring them from afar. 

Katy learnt a lot about horses – she discovers she doesn't know it all, especially on how to bring up a foal – and I learn a lot from her. The mistakes she made made sense to me when they were pointed out, but until then I didn't think she was doing a lot wrong. She is desperate to prove she can do it all herself, but a fact of life is none of us are perfect, or have all the skills we need to do tasks, such as caring for different types of horses. Katy has to ask for help, which is hard to do but in the end it's worth it. She manages to help a wonderfully sweet boy with extra needs, which softened her frustrations. 

Find out more on Victoria's website

Available at most bookstores including NRC affiliate Foyles

Suggested read
Be sure to read the other books in this series starting with Katy's Wild foal by Victoria Eveleigh (Children's, 7 years +, 10E/10E)

Friday, 2 October 2015

Desperate Measures by Sandra Orchard (Romance, Thriller, 10/10E)

June 2015, Revell, 368 pages, Ebook, Review copy from NetGalley

Content: heaps of drama, suspense, mild to moderate romance, humour, 

Summary from Revell
Kate won't be safe until all of Port Aster's secrets are revealed

Researcher Kate Adams has finally pinpointed the supposed "miracle plant" that tore apart her family years ago. She's certain that discovering its secrets is her only hope of solving the mystery surrounding her father's disappearance. She's willing to risk anything to find the truth, including her relationship with Detective Tom Parker. But with so many people in pursuit of the plant, going it alone might be a fatal mistake.

Nayu's thoughts   
Squee! I do like my Mafia, reads, and this one didn't disappoint, although initially there's not a lot of involvement. I love Kate's life. I sort of understood why she was hiding her research, that she would do anything to see her father, which is sweet. It got her in a lot of trouble, although at times sort of saved her too. I enjoyed not knowing who to trust, all the drama which came about when she was in trouble – it found her frequently. 

There are plot twists and ever so many layers to unravel, which continued to surprise me and make me smile, and some which had me convinced Kate wouldn't survive to the end of the book (she does, just). She has plenty of courage, perhaps a bit too much stubborness, but she slowly lets people into her head, as it were. The inevitable romance was realistic and not overpowering. I'm hoping there will be more books with her in! I doubt her life will ever be ordinary. 

The only reason this didn't get full marks is that at times the plot twists were too complex for me to grasp, especially near the end where people switched sides a lot. This is probably because I read when tired, so find it harder to get my head around subtle plots. I didn'trealise for a while this was the 3rd book in a series which goes to show it can be a standalone read, although I definitely want to read others in the series! 

Find out more on Sandra's website.

Suggested read
Another thrilling read which I've since bought the audiobook is The Liar by Nora Roberts (Thriller, 10E/10E, short 'n' sweet review)

Nayu's Crochet Dreams Catch Up September 2015

This post is simultaneously being posted on Nayu's Crochet Dreams Picture source
Somehow August's Catch up on all my Nayu's Crochet Dreams blog posts didn't happen, but September Catch Up is now ready! Here's what's been going on in my craft world - and baking ^o^

Please! Or yarn to keep on knitting ^o^

Find out how you helped me reach an important milestone!

Nayu's Craft Time #71 Baking and stuff
A brief post on what I've been baking - including bran flake marshmallow crispies!

 Nayu's Craft Time #72 This week's plans
Which include truffle making!

Nayu's Craft Time #73 The 3 Cs: Carrots, Crochet & Chocolate!
I work on a set of cream fingerless gloves bordered with this soft pink

I share a smoothie recipe with you!

which involved more roll baking (white rather thn these super tasty sun-dried tomato and chilli rolls)

Nayu's Craft Time #75 Relaxation is bliss!

This post involves me squee-ing over having Elsa appear in the US fantasy drama Once Upon A Time season 4
Can you guess what green veg I've snuck in with these blueberries?

As you can see September was a pretty quiet month craft wise, at least for those things that I can show you. I'm trying to find a new routine for both blogging and craft, to get a fair balance of each. Finally building work is complete which means I can easily have a few hours of crochet without being needed for rounds of tea and checking progress. I plan to make October quite different from September! 
This quote says it all!