Monday 31 October 2011

The Whisper Jar - Carole Lanham

Spooky Halloween everyone!

Tonight is not just the time for witches and monsters to come out of their hiding holes and haunt us. It’s also the day The Whisper Jar is released. It’s no coincidence, as the whisper jar is the keeper of horrible, unmentionable secrets that should never be told. And yet, here they are, for everyone to read, all wrapped up in one deliciously creepy collection, beautifully crafted by author Carole Lanham. Read if you dare.

And you should dare, because they’re all great.

If you’re looking to extend the Halloween feel to the cold and windy nights of November, you should look no further and give this book a try. It’s the perfect choice. Here you’ll read tales of vampires, zombies, torture chambers, werewolves and mad creatures in the attic. They are tales of bitter jealousies and unhealthy desires, of sexual awakenings and dangerous games. Some of them deal with the supernatural, some others are simply human, but not less freaky because of that.

You’ll learn about the wonderful power of the jilly jally butter mints, and the terrible fate that has fallen upon those who dared to mess with them unsupervised. You’ll get acquainted with a flower fairy and how she came to be the bearer of a secret too painful for her to handle. There are all sorts, but ultimately they all share something: the power to make you want to read more, even if you know it’s not going to be pretty.

My personal favourite is the one called "The Blue Word". It’s a different setting than most of the other stories’ in the collection, which seem to have an early 1900s feel. "The Blue Word" is one of the exceptions. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic/dystopian world, during an unspecified future, where a virus has transformed half the population in flesh-eating zombies. The story is confined within the walls of the Salvation House, a school run by nuns, who are keeping their students from the dangers of the outside world. But of course nothing is what it seems in Carole Lanham’s world, and when the secret is revealed, it’s both chilling and heartbreaking. It would have been a fantastic idea for a novel, but I also see the appeal of keeping it short, it certainly heightens the final revelation’s effect.

I honestly can’t think of a better book to read this Halloween. OK, I haven’t read any other horror fiction books this time, but it doesn’t matter, ‘cause this was more than enough. It’s eerie, surprising, beautifully written, with dark humour and a strange, playful, inventive language. It was also very sensual, which is unusual seeing that it involves children and teenagers. So, yeah, it is about children, but it isn’t for children. I wouldn’t give it to them anyway, but I can imagine curious kids stealing it from their parents’ nightstand and reading it sneakily under their beds…and then scare the crap out of them for days to come.

One more thing. It seems like most of the stories have an underlining Christian theme. Nuns and priests are abounding, but definitely not in a comforting way. This brings me back to a line from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which is useful for the Whisper Jar too. “Note to self. Religion: creepy”.

This review is part of a blog tour.

To read what everyone else is saying about The Whisper Jar follow these links:

Kinder Trauma - Oct 28

The Deepening World of Books - Oct 29

Author Cate Gardner - Oct 30
Words words Words - Nov 2

Storytellers Unplugged Nov 2

Littlebird Blue -Twitter Interview with Author Camille Alexa - Nov 3

To know more about the author visit her websites at the horror maker and carolelanham

Wednesday 24 August 2011

New passions

Last Sunday I've been to the Ukulele festival in Dun Laoghaire. Beside having a wonderful day in the sunshine (and occasional liquid sunshine, too), listening to great gigs and meeting beautiful people, I've been struck with a sudden and irrepressible desire to own a ukulele. I entered the raffle convinced I'd win one, but alas, it wasn't meant to be so easy. By Tuesday my fickle desire hadn't evaporate yet, so off I went to by myself one! I am now the proud owner of a cheap but lovely wooden ukulele and I am on my way to "accomplish my goal of becoming a proficient ukulele player", according to the Ukuelele Method Book 1 's introduction.
Now, the last time I ever read a note on a music sheet, I was probably thirteen. And they were in Italian. Playing an instrument or reading music, I can safely say, is NOT like cycling. But I'm hopeful. I've only practised for about two hours last night and it's going swimmingly. Let's see how long it'll last.

It will be easy to remain inspired, if I keep attending gigs as great as the ones I've been to lately. There are so many amazing musicians here and everywhere. The Dublin scene is full of them.
One of these special musicians I'd like to introduce you is the crazily talented Riona Sally Hartman. I had the pleasure to listen to her live last Monday in the International Bar, during the Glor Sessions, and I was mesmerised. Listen to her and you'll know why.

Seasnail by Ríona Sally Hartman

Kamikaze by Ríona Sally Hartman

"Oh Rapunzel!" by Ríona Sally Hartman

04 Song for the Dead, Song for the Living by Ríona Sally Hartman

Also, not a new passion, but FLORENCE HAS A NEW SONG AND VIDEO OUT!
And a RELEASE DATE (November 7th) for her NEW ALBUM!

*happy happy dance*

Wednesday 25 May 2011

A Star called Henry by Roddy Doyle

I've been a slow reader lately, but I'm very proud of myself because I've been sticking to the TBR list quite closely and reading books that have been on my shelf for way too long.

One of these veterans is A star called Henry by Roddy Doyle. Henry has been waiting since early 2008 to make his acquaintance with me. It was worth it, although I did struggle through it a bit and towards to end I almost felt like giving it up. But then my curiosity to know how it all ended made me continue and I'm glad I did, because it did pick itself up again.

A star called Henry follows the life of Henry Smart, a boy growing up in the early 1900s in Dublin. He is a street urchin who looks much older than he is and who learns quickly how to survive in the dark Dublin alleys. He's smart by name and by nature, always working out the best way to bring food into his and his little brother's mouth.
I was really absorbed by Henry's accounts of his adventures on the streets. One of the most memorable scenes for me happens at this time, when at only 8 or 9 years old, he decides he's going to get himself and his brother an education. So he shows up at a school's door, demanding just that. Here he meets Miss O'Shea, the teacher, another strong, amazing character who you will look forward to meeting again. The time that the two kids spend at the school is short, but very meaningful. It shows Henry the plain injustice of the system and it sets the scene for what comes later: the 1916 Rising and all the hopes of change that will come with it.

The second part of the book jumps straight from Henry being a child to him being a soldier fighting for Ireland at only 14. I was taken aback by this abrupt change of scene, I would have preferred to have followed Henry up to that point. But I got over it quickly as the accounts of the Rising and especially of the battle at the GPO ( the general post office) is so vivid that it takes you all the way back then, as if it was happening now. For someone who lives in Dublin, it was even more exciting. Reading the names of familiar streets being under fire or siege, realising that O'Connell street was actually still called Sackville Street, and that Eason's (a bookshop) was already there (!), were some of the reasons why I was captivated by this section. I also loved that Henry had such a close relationship to famous names like Michael Collins and James Connolly. If it wasn't for the strong language and the explicit sex scenes it would have been a great way to learn history at school.

The story after the rising remains as engaging . It's only when Henry starts being involved with the IRA again and training soldiers for Collins, that I started to doze off. I'm not one for war stories at all. Keep it short and sweet and I'll be yours. Drag it too long and you might loose me.
Also, I didn't like what the war did to Henry. It stripped him of his humanity, like any war would do. For all his cockiness, Henry had been a lovable character. His love for his brother, his charm, his energy, were palpable. But it was sometimes hard to find that Henry beneath the ugliness of what he was doing.

All in all, I'm glad I read it, even though it felt really long. I've learned a lot from it and I've seen a different side to Roddy Doyle's style. A richer, more ambitious way of writing, which worked well in this historical setting. To be honest though, I'll probably won't read the next two in the trilogy. They sound even murkier than this one, and I'm a bit of a softie. So I'll pass.

other reviews:
An adventure in reading
50 books project

Thursday 24 March 2011

Some speedy reviews

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
(<---by the way this cover here is not OK. What's up with Adam's face? Ugh).

With two writers as Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, there was really little chance I wouldn't like this. And yet, at first, I struggled a bit. There are so many story-lines and characters that it's hard to love it at first sight. I liked almost every one of them, but there wasn't time to get acquainted with one that you had to leave it and start with another. It gets better when you begin to know the characters. It's easier to leave them and follow others. But even then, I was always looking forward to spending more time with Adam and the Them. He's the kid who's supposed to bring forth the Armageddon, and the Them are his gang. But Adam, even with his powers, and being the Antichrist and all, is really hard to fear. I loved him to bits, him and his friends. Second close comes Anathema Device, because she's a witch and she reminds me a bit of Tiffany Aching. Then there's the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley, who are supposed to be mortal enemies, but get along better than they would ever admit. They also should facilitate the Armageddon, but none of them is keen on the idea of the world ending.

But most of all I loved to know I was in safe hands. There's nothing more comforting than that. Whatever happens, you're going to enjoy it, because it's Terry Pratchett and because it's Neil Gaiman and that's that. So I did. I laughed and I giggled and I was sorry when it ended, just like with every good book, although the ending was absolutely perfect, and probably my favourite part of the story.
Now I'm looking ever more forward to what that photo promises. How long do we have to wait?

About a boy by Nick Hornby
Again with the comforting here. It's Nick Hornby, I won't be disappointed. At least, it hasn't happened yet, so don't start listing all his worst books now, OK?
Anywho, this was brilliant and I wanted to hug it and the characters lots. Especially Marcus, the boy of the title. For those who never heard of this book, it's about a boy, (!), who is too grown up for his age and sticks out a lot. It's also about this other guy, Will, who hasn't grown up at all and still feels like a teenager. In a way they complement each other but they take a while to realise that. The funny bit is that I identify with both, at different times. It's easy to identify with Marcus, the outsider, generous, bullied kid. With Will was different. He's shallow at first, with no real purpose in life except to just get on with it. But I could sympathise with him when people criticised his seemingly aimless life. Since he doesn't have a job and doesn't have a family, people fail to see what use his life is. Sometimes, being unemployed I feel in a similar situation. I know I'll have to get a job, but even though I tell people I don't do anything, I do lots of things. Things I enjoy, but that I'm not paid for :P I'm great at filling my life with these little things, and if I could keep doing them for the rest of my life, I'd be happy. But for some people, it still looks like I don't do anything.
But anyway, the similarities with Will end here. He's a bit of a wanker to be honest, and even Marcus doesn't understand why he keeps going back to him. But he does, and their relationship gets stronger and stronger, until even Will starts seeing that Marcus is good for him. And how couldn't he? He's ADORABLE. And wise, and kindhearted and everything that's good in the world.
I can see this book making the top list of best books I have read at the end of the year :)

Gifts by Ursula Le Guin

This one was a slow burner. For a while I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy it, because the introductory part seems to go on forever. Nothing much happens for a long time as we're introduced to the world and powers of the Domains. But sure enough, almost without realising it, I found myself caring deeply for its main characters and enjoying the time I spent with them. It definitely isn't an action-packed story, but aside from the start I can't say it's slow either. It's definitely unusual. Intimate. And ultimately very powerful. I couldn't expect anything else from Ursula Le Guin.

The story take places in the imaginary rural Uplands where its communities are plagued by perpetual feuds and where each lineage has a particular power called gift. The story is told by Orrec, a teenage boy whose lineage possesses the power to undo, to destroy. But Orrec's gift only manifests itself wildly, and since it can't be controlled his father is forced to blindfold him, so not to harm anyone accidentally. Orrec's dear friend is Gry, a girl who has the gift to call animals. Traditionally this gift is used to call animals to the hunt, but Gry refuses to do so, putting her in a similar situation as Orrec's. They both struggle to be accepted and to find a suitable role in their rural society. Their relationship is beautifully portraited. You can feel their strong bond any time they're together, in very gesture and word. I really liked the two of them together. I also liked Orrec's mother, Melle. She's an outsider, a lowlander, and all her life she struggles to understand the ways of her husband's people, never fully grasping the meaning of the gifts and their importance. She's the only one in the Uplands to know the beauty of the written word which she teaches to both her son and Gry. Her love for storytelling is her gift to Orrec, and one that he treasures more than anything, his only moments of light in his blind dark years.
It was a wonderful book, one that shows its beauty little by little and will stay with you for a long while.

Friday 4 March 2011

Quick update about stuff: crafty market, trip to London, etc...

I meant to write this ages ago, but I never got around it, of course...
A while ago I managed to participate in my first crafty market, selling what I've been making in the last few months, so I thought I'd share.
I was really proud of it, even though it was tiny, in a badly lit corner, and I didn't make much of a profit. But I got the support of my wonderful friends and lots and lots of praises from random people, so I was quite happy with the experience. Next time I'll try and team up with someone else to share the costs, or just got to a cheaper market.
I love having a stall. It's what I've grown up with. My parents were jewellery makers and all-around artists back in the 80's. When they weren't in their shop they would be selling their products at fairs and such and I'd be sleeping beneath their stalls during those hot Italian summers, or running around during the day wearing tiny rings still too big for my fingers. I kept loosing them and coming back for more.
After my parents split up and sold the shop, my mother kept doing markets and I'd stay with her sometimes. I remember making earrings with her with just some bits of metal and some permanent markers to decorate them. I must have been 10 or 11. I was so proud of myself when I sold my first pair!
Today my mum still runs a successful stall, where she sells crystals and handmade jewellery, so it really runs in the family :)

Here is how my first solo stall looked like (click the photos to see the details):

This is from the front

and this is from the back

I thought it looked pretty:)

So, that was the old news. The new news is that I'm just back from a week in London. I went to see my brother who lives there, and to see "Season's Greetings", a play which starred Katherine Parkinson, from the IT Crowd. The play was brilliant, although I lost a bit of concentration on the main action when Katherine Parkinson was on the side of the stage doing nothing. I could't help but stare:P I was in the front row, and it was amazing. After the play I waited for her to come outside, and I managed to meet her and get a photo with her. I know most of you don't know who she is, so probably you can't share my excitement, but I was absolutely over the moon. Especially cause she was so lovely. She asked me if I was Irish! I'm quite pleased with that. And when I told her I was Italian she said she lived in Italy for a bit, but I can't remember much of that, cause I was too excited. I took a photo with her and three other girls and I really hope I didn't mess it up cause my hand was shaking like a mad thing!
Here's me with her:

Isn't she just gorgeous?
Oh yeah. The other bit of news is that I dyed my hair purple! It's not exactly the colour in the photo. It's lighter, and it's already starting to fade, but I love it! I'm gonna get a proper haircut soon, this is just messy, overgrown hair with no shape. But I love the colour:) It took ages to get it right. It turns out my hair doesn't give up its brown colour that easily. But in the end we managed. Now I feel like I could experiment with lots of other colours. Blue, pink, red...

So yeah, that's it for now. I'm not gonna promise a post soon, cause it's probably not gonna happen, but you never know. I'm almost finished with Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, and wouldn't you know it, I adore it! So I'll probably share my thoughts on that one. Can't say when tough:P

Thursday 17 February 2011

The Tygrine Cat : on the run by Inbali Iserles

Remember The Tygrine Cat? He’s back! And I had the pleasure and privilege to receive a copy to review. Of course, it has taken me ages to actually write the review, but better late than never.

It was great to meet Mati again and read about his adventures with the cats of Cressida Lock. I immediately plunged into that comforting sense of familiarity that I get when I read sequels of books I loved. It feels right from the beginning, there’s no need to wait for it to grow on you. I like that. But here that sense of comfort didn’t last very long. There was no time to get too cozy because an imminent danger is threatening the cats’ lives and soon enough Mati has to convince all of them to leave their homes and follow him into the unknown.

You can pretty much guess from the title that this is a fast-paced story, with very few quiet moments. These cats are on the run, and they have a good reason for it. Although it’s hard for Mati to make them understand that. Again, like in the first book, Mati has to struggle to be trusted. He knows that danger is coming, but he doesn’t know in what form, and thus can’t exactly explain to them why they need to run away. He has the support of the leader Pangur, but this is not enough to convince everyone of the necessity to leave their beloved home. He is still struggling to be accepted, to belong, to be believed no matter what. Eventually, the majority of the cats follow him, including his best friend Binjax, and later on Jess, who returns to stay with Mati, after her hind dies. But as their journey becomes more and more dangerous, and as their destiny remains uncertain, even Pangur begins to question Mati’s judgement. Even Mati himself. The only thing that keeps him going is his instinct. And his growing understanding of the other dimension, Fiåney. In here, he can talk to the spirits, find help and guidance. It’s in here that most of the important action takes place, this time. We learn that Fiåney is not a single dimension, but it’s multilayered and sometimes treacherous. Mati spends a great amount of time in it, exploring it and learning the different kind of worlds that exist there. While doing so, he becomes stronger and more confident in his own abilities, but he also detaches himself from his friends, who begin to see him in a different way, and feel like they can’t reach him or even recognize him. Even so, their bond remains strong. One of the main themes of the book, I thought, was their friendship. Mati couldn’t go on without the help and support of their friends, and they still love him, even if they don’t understand him, and would never leave him. Another theme was the strength of family ties. You can feel it in the cries of despair of a mother who has lost her catlings, in Mati’s longing for his dead mother and his constant search for her in Fiåney, even in the shadow monster’s anger (although I can’t say how without spoiling the story). Then of course there’s the need for freedom and independence that belongs to every cat. That’s why humans are always in the background, seen as strange species, hard to understand and dangerous to trust. They are not their concern. The cats belong to another world, and they have to fight their own battles.

I really enjoyed reading this. I love Mati and his friends, I liked how Fiåney was more detailed and structured, and most importantly, I enjoyed the writing. Always so smooth and elegant, without being overwritten. It flows so well, it makes the reading experience a real pleasure. It reminded me of why I loved the first book so much. This could be the last we read of Mati, but I certainly hope not. I’d love to read more of his adventures, because I’m sure there’s more to tell!

Sunday 30 January 2011

Some tunes...

So, I'm almost ready to post my first review of the year, I just need to write it...But in the meantime I'd like to share with yous some tunes I've been loving recently. My old mac has passed away few days ago unfortunately, and I'm waiting for the IT guys to back it up for me, so I'm left with NO music on my new laptop. Thank the Elders of the Internet for sites like the hypemachine and we7, I'm not left completely musicless.
I'm really into happy, carefree, summery songs so that's what this post is gonna be about.
Here we go:
The Magic Kids - Hey Boy

The Magic Kids - Hey Boy .mp3

Found at bee mp3 search engine

Summer Fiction - Chandeliers

Summer Fiction - Chandeliers .mp3

Found at bee mp3 search engine

Tennis - Marathon

Tennis - Marathon - Mastered AAC .mp3

Found at bee mp3 search engine

The Love Language - Hard to Tell

The Love Language - Heart to Tell .mp3

Found at bee mp3 search engine

Generationals - Trust

Generationals - Trust .mp3

Found at bee mp3 search engine

Avi Buffalo - What's in it for?

Avi Buffalo· - Whats In It For? .mp3

Found at bee mp3 search engine

Summer Camp - Ghost Train

Summer Camp - ghost train .mp3

Found at bee mp3 search engine

Cults - Go Outside

Cults - Go Outside .mp3

Found at bee mp3 search engine

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes - Home
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - Home .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine

Also, I'm falling in love with Adele. I haven't listened to her new album yet and can't wait to! Rolling in the deep is such a powerful single, the whole album must be amazing. What I'm going to share here is her version of Promise this by Cheryl Cole. I'm glad she has a soft spot for Cheryl as I do. She's my guilty pleasure. Luckily I don't need to feel guilty to like Adele's version :)

Adele Covers Cheryl Cole& 39;s "Promise This& 39;"For BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge.mp3

Found at bee mp3 search engine
and that's all for now :)

Tuesday 11 January 2011

Books read in 2010

  • 33) Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets by J.K. Rowling (reread)
  • 32) Blankets by Craig Thompson
  • 31) The Green Guide for Business by Chris Goodall
  • 30) The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
  • 29) Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
  • 28) Rebel Angels by Libba Bray
  • 27) La caccia al tesoro by Andrea Camilleri
  • 26) Il Visconte Dimezzato by Italo Calvino
  • 25) Ho Paura Torero by Pedro Lemebel
  • 24) Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver
  • 23) A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
  • 22) Epic by Conor Kostick
  • 21) Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce
  • 20) Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
  • 19) Oceano Mare by Alessandro Baricco
  • 18) La Rizzagliata by Andrea Camilleri
  • 17) Yeats is dead! by various Irish authors
  • 16) The Various by Steve Augarde
  • 15) Skunk Girl by Sheba Karim
  • 14) Shine Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger
  • 13) My family and other animals by Gerald Durrell
  • 12) Enna Burning by Shannon Hale
  • 11) The Dreaming PLace by Charles de Lint
  • 10) The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
  • 9) Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • 8) Piggy Monk Square by Grace Jolliffe
  • 7) Does my head look big in this? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
  • 6) Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan
  • 5) Just Like Tomorrow by Faïza Guène
  • 4) Il Mistero dell'Inquisitore Eymerich by Valerio Evangelisti
  • 3) Box Office Poison by Alex Robinson
  • 2) The Deportees by Roddy Doyle
  • 1) Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett

Thursday 6 January 2011

Notes on a non-blogging year

As much as a non-blogger I've been this year, I'd be really sad if I didn't at least write a little about what this year has been about for me. I know it hasn't been much about reading. I have hit my lowest reading level since 2007. I have also more than halved my posts compared to last year. At some point I nearly thought I was done with blogging. But to be honest, I miss it.
So as for a first New Year's resolution, I'd like to try to make friends again with regular blogging and stick to my earlier idea of blogging about anything I want to, whenever I feel like (although, obviously, more often than I have done lately).
Aside from neglecting my blog, this has been a very good year for me. I have lost my bookselling job at the end of February, but that has given me the opportunity to figure out what I really want to do with my life and start planning it. I haven't finished planning yet, but I'm working on it, which is good. My idea was to open a cooking business delivering vegetarian lunch boxes to shop and office workers. I'd still love to do it, but in this current Irish climate, I doubt I will be able to get funds. Also, I need people who are willing to be my partners, cause doing it alone is out of the question. But I'll see what the new year brings.
In the meantime, I'm back to the idea of taking my writing seriously. I do mean it this time. I'm very proud of myself for finishing and editing my first novel with Nanowrimo, but I don't want that to be my only finished project. This year I'm going to finish my neverending children story which I started aeons ago. And hopefully I'll get more ideas after that.

Looking back to my 2010 resolutions, I can say that I stuck to the one about creativity. With so much time in my hands, I was free to create lots. And had great fun with it. Knitting, photographing, painting jars and making bookmarks. That's probably what I liked most about this year. That's exactly what I needed, and what I want to keep doing in the new year too.
My digital camera was my favourite buy of the year. I haven't parted with it since. My jar-decorating thing is getting better and better. And the knitting thing has produced some much appreciated Christmas presents. I'm gonna have to learn how to knit socks next. It'd be amazing.
Also a jumper would be nice...

The other resolution from last year was to reread more. That, I must say, wasn't followed through. I only reread one Harry Potter book, and I have listened to Neil Gaiman reading The Graveyard book, while knitting. It was such a treat. I wish he had read more of his books, so I could enjoy his voice again and again.
As for the new books read, they weren't many, but there were some great ones.
My favourite in no particular order have been:
The Deportees by Roddy Doyle - a very entertaining collection of short stories about being an immigrant in Ireland.
Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan - an engrossing story with a fairy tale touch to it.
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale - the blogging hype on this one wasn't without reason. Such a good book.
Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness - a wonderful ending to an epic story. I still sometimes think of Todd and Viola and miss them.
Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown - a lesbian coming of age story. I didn't think I would enjoy this as much as I did. So ahead of its time. I will never forget the main character.
Blankets by Craig Thompson - It's unbelievable how the art and the narrative mix so perfectly well in this memoir. Mesmerising.
Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce - I really wish I wrote a proper review for this one. I had so much to say about it, but now I can only say it was adorable, and funny, and clever, and you should read it.

I have to admit I haven't read much not just because I was busy being all artistic and stuff. I've also spent an insane amount of time online. Specifically on that evil invention design to suck you in and never let go until it's too late to do anything else, aka Tumblr. I could say that it helps my mind find inspiration, but what really it's pure procrastination.
So another New Year Resolution is to be strong and Spend. Less. Time. On. The. Internet.


Another way I have used my time was watching the It Crowd obsessively since this summer, and having a massive crush on Katherine Parkinson.
If you have never watched the It Crowd, I sort of envy you, because you can still experience its awesomeness for the first time. But don't leave it too late, cause it's worth it.

And now I'm going to wrap it up by sharing with you some of favourite songs of this year,meaning songs I have discovered this year, not necessarily *released* this year.

Cathy Davey. She has released a great new album this year called the Nameless, but I have discovered her previous album, Tales of Silversleeve, and fell in love with it. I like all the songs in the album so it's hard to choose, but anyway, I have to. (Oh by the way, if you know of a better way to upload music on blogger, please let me know, I'd love to use one of those streaming devices, I just don't how to).

and "Mr. Kill"

The Concretes "Kids"
I've listened to this band a lot this year. They are a bit similar to Camera Obscura, so I had to love them. This song in particular is the one that made me listen to them more.
I love this line: Music could really knock you over back then, so we would lie on the floor just to be safe.

Of course I'm gonna have to repeat myself, because this is a year's summary and I've posted this video already. This song is part of this year's soundtrack so it has to feature:
Slow Club - "When I go"

In my opinion, the coolest, most faboulous Irish singer around at the moment. I can't wait to see her live in February
Imelda May - "Mayhem"

Marina and the Diamonds - "Seventeen"
Why the hell wasn't this on the album??

Amiina - "What are we waiting for?"
The discovery of this band was such a gift. Their music makes me enter a state of incredible relax and well being. I love them so much I bought the full album.

This band's only a recent discovery, but I like them very very much
Allo Dalin' - Kiss your lips

OK, I better stop here. I realise I could go on and on about all the songs and bands I've discovered, so maybe I'll leave it to future posts.
Hope everyone's year has been a satisfying one, or at least one to remember for a few good things. I also wish everyone's new year to be full of new exciting discoveries, love, art, moving reads, tasty food, fun parties, and good company.
Talk soon,
Val :)