A Place to Read

What I’ve been reading lately

I like keeping a track on the books I’ve been reading and as my last post was in March I have some catching up to do.

So here is what I’ve been reading the last two months. This post will contain affiliate links which will cost you no extra if you click and purchase anything, but can earn me some money. So thanks in advance to anyone who uses them.

Jess Kidd – Himself

Back in March I read a book by Jess Kidd called the Hoarder. I loved the quirky way the main character could see Angels and it was quite different from anything I’d read before. So, I decided to go for another Jess Kidd book and the one I chose was, HImself.

The Blurb

A charming ne’er-do-well returns to his haunted Irish hometown to uncover the truth about his mother in this “supernaturally skilled debut” (Vanity Fair) and turns the town–and his life–upside down.

Having been abandoned at an orphanage as a baby, Mahony assumed all his life that his mother wanted nothing to do with him. That is, until one night in 1976 while drinking a pint at a Dublin pub, he receives an anonymous note implying that she may have been forced to give him up. Determined to find out what really happened, Mahony embarks on a pilgrimage back to his hometown, the rural village of Mulderrig. Neither he nor Mulderrig can possibly prepare for what’s in store…

From the moment he arrives, Mahony’s presence completely changes the village. Women fall all over themselves. The real and the fantastic are blurred. Chatty ghosts rise from their graves with secrets to tell, and local preacher Father Quinn will do anything to get rid of the slippery young man who is threatening the moral purity of his parish.

My Verdict

Another quirky book but this time the main character can see ghosts. I love the characterisation that Jess Kidd provides. These characters just jump out at you and you can see them in your mind’s eye as well as if they lived next door.

This was a great ‘detective’ story with a very unusual twist. Very dark in places but also full of humour and a fair amount of swearing!

I loved it and will definitely be reading more Jess Kidd.

Safe With Me – KL Slater

The Blurb


Thirteen years ago someone did something very bad to Anna. Now it’s her turn to get even.

Anna lives a solitary existence, taking solace in order and routine. Her only friend is the lonely old lady next door. She doesn’t like to let people to get too close – she knows how much damage they can do.

Then one ordinary day Anna witnesses a devastating road accident and recognises the driver as Carla, the woman who ruined her life all those years ago. Now it’s Anna’s chance to set things straight but her revenge needs to be executed carefully …

First she needs to get to know Liam, the man injured in the accident. She needs to follow the police investigation. She needs to watch Carla from the shadows…

But as Anna’s obsession with Carla escalates, her own secrets start to unravel. Is Carla really dangerous or does Anna need to worry about someone far closer to home?

My Verdict

This is one of those books where you just don’t get to like any of the characters you are reading about. They all have something to hide, they are all quite weird in their own way. I think this makes it difficult to digest, everyone needs a hero, or a victim. Of course, there are some major twists and turns that may change your mind.

Anna, kind of reminded me of Eleanor Oliphant, you could tell that her actions where guided by something awful that had happened in the past. But even Eleanor had redeeming qualities, or at least made you feel a little empathy towards her. Anna’s awful background is made quite apparent, but I still lacked empathy for her. Maybe, that’s just my opinion, or maybe that was the intention?

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman – BBC dramatisation

The Blurb


A full-cast BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman’s celebrated apocalyptic comic novel, with bonus length episodes and outtakes.

According to the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday in fact. Just after Any Answers on Radio 4….

Events have been set in motion to bring about the End of Days. The armies of Good and Evil are gathering and making their way towards the sleepy English village of Lower Tadfield. The Four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse – War, Famine, Pollution and Death – are assembling. 

Witchfinder Shadwell and his assistant Newton Pulsifier are also en route to Tadfield to investigate unusual phenomena in the area, while Anathema Device, descendent of prophetess Agnes Nutter, tries to decipher her ancestor’s cryptic predictions.

Atlantis is rising; fish are falling from the sky; everything seems to be going to the Divine Plan.
Everything, that is, but for an unlikely angel and demon duo, who have been living on Earth for several millennia and have become rather fond of the place. If they are to prevent Armageddon they’ve got to find and kill the one who will bring it about: the Antichrist himself. There’s just one small problem: someone seems to have mislaid him…

Adapted, sound designed and co-directed by Dirk Maggs (Neverwhere, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) this first ever dramatisation of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s novel features a large cast including Peter Serafinowicz, Mark Heap, Josie Lawrence and Paterson Joseph.

My Verdict

I read this book many years ago and didn’t remember much of it. As a big Terry Pratchett fan I was not impressed with it not being a Discworld book. I did download it with one of my free credits on Audible and I LOVED every moment of it.

It’s just fantastic to listen to, the cast do an amazing job and I will definitely listen to it again. It doesn’t matter that it’s not Discworld, the story is still funny in the Terry Pratchett way along with the story line you’d find typical of Neil Gaiman.

The Humans – Matt Haig

The Blurb


THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME. OR IS THERE? 

After an ‘incident’ one wet Friday night where he is found walking naked through the streets of Cambridge, Professor Andrew Martin is not feeling quite himself. Food sickens him. Clothes confound him. Even his loving wife and teenage son are repulsive to him. He feels lost amongst an alien species and hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except Newton, and he’s a dog.
Who is he really? And what could make someone change their mind about the human race . . . ?

My Verdict

After reading this I’m determined to read much more of Matt Haig. How have I not read anything by him before?

I love his gentle story telling and how he makes it feel like it’s coming from a completely different perspective. It’s so alien!

It’s a fantastic look at the human race and their qualities good and bad. It certainly gives you food for thought.

Both humorous and heartwarming, and a little dangerous at times, it provided me with a story I found difficult to put down. I can’t wait to be reading more.

Audible

All the links so far have been to Amazon books, but I always listen on Audible. You can read about my Five Reasons to Listen to Audible on my other blog.

Anyone can join audible and you can start with a 30 day trial. After that you pay £7.99 which gives you a free credit against any download, no matter what the price. You can also look out for deals and offer, at the moment you can get a daily deal for just £1.99 and also buy 3 audible books for the price of two.

I really never thought that I’d get into listening to books but I honestly love it. All of the above books I listened to on Audible and I’ve also started listening to free audio shows. I’m currently 95% through The Power of Vulnerablity by Brene Brown, if you’ve not seen any of her TED talks I’d recommend you do. I’m a bit fan.

Anyway, click on the banner below to find out more about Audible. I will get more to listen to if you do 🙂

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A Place to Eat

Weekly Meal Plan

My meal plan, a photo of a plate of colourful food

This weeks Meal Plan

  • Monday – BBQ
  • Tuesday – lasagne
  • Wednesday – Mediterranean fish
  • Thursday – pizza
  • Friday – chicken and chips
  • Saturday – Take out
  • Sunday – Pies

Last week’s meal plan went okay, apart from not having the Mediterranean fish, so I’ve put that again this week.

We may have a move around of meals this week as we’ve been promised warmer weather and I’ve a freezer full of BBQ food. I guess we’ll have to wait for the right day though. I’ve also got a new garden table that I’m itching to use…so please weather, be kind this week.

Also, we won’t be home on Friday and Saturday. My plan is to treat the older two left behind to a take out. Hopefully it won’t cost too much for just the two of them. Friday they can stick in some chicken and chips from the freezer, or have whatever they can find. They are old enough to fend for themselves.

Shopping last week was a bit of a nightmare as I had a ‘funny turn’ while doing the online shop and had to give up. I wasn’t even sure if I’d been through the payment page, but I did and the shopping arrived on Monday…well, about three quarters of it did. We still managed up until the weekend though, then I had to do a quick top up shop at Iceland. Total shopping this week works out at £160, plus little extras for milk, bread etc. As there are seven of us, I call that a good week.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do next week as I will be away the weekend. I may have to forward plan and get the shop done early but still to arrive on Monday. I just hope I don’t forget!

Linking up with Katy’s Meal Planning Linky.

Katykicker
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A Place to Eat

Weekly Meal Plan

Meal Planning

I haven’t done a meal plan here in a little while because I was doing it on Monday after the shopping had arrived and it seemed disadvantageous. I do my weekly shop online on Sunday, so now I’m planning earlier so I know what I want to buy, rather than what I’m going to cook with what I’ve bought. It’s not rocket science really is it!

This Weeks Plan

  • Monday – Mediterranean fish and new potatoes
  • Tuesday – Turkey Meatballs and spaghetti
  • Wednesday – Hot Dog Rolls and fries
  • Thursday – Pasta bake
  • Friday – Fish and chips
  • Saturday – Curry
  • Sunday – Chicken roast

The fish on Monday is a pre-prepared one. Graham will need a chicken alternative due to his fish and seafood allergy

The Turkey meatballs we buy ready made and I make a lovely tomato based sauce for them. I don’t eat spaghetti (yes, even I’m a pain sometimes) so I’ll have mine with pasta instead.

Quick recipe – Hot Dog Rolls

Hot Dog rolls are surprisingly delicious. I buy frankfurter sausages and ready made puff pastry. Roll out the pastry and cut it into strips just a little longer and just over twice as wide as the sausages. The put the sausage in the middle and smear with mustard and tomato ketchup (or whatever relish you prefer.) Then I slit the pasty on either side of the sausage at slight angles kind of like wings on each side. Then brush with egg wash and fold the sides alternately. Or you can just wrap them up like sausage rolls. Brush the tops with egg wash and bake until puffed and golden (About 15 to 20 minutes.)

Young’s Frozen fish is our favourite brand. We have found that beer battered fish is less soggy when baked. If you want a fish without a soggy bottom then I’ve found getting it out of the freezer 10 minutes before cooking works best.

Curry on Saturday will be from a jar, we are currently trying all brands to find our favourite.

The Sunday Roast is not a family favourite, so I’ll provide some pasta dishes for those that complain.

Shopping

We actually went to the supermarket last week, and still have some food left that will help with this weeks shop. I will be back to shopping online this week though.

One thing I picked up which I wouldn’t normally buy is cold teabags. Now I have to drink a lot of water because of my treatment and I get fed up of plain water. So, I thought I’d try something different. These are okay, a little less stronger than squash and they gave you the sort of flavour you’d expect from a bottle of still flavoured water. They were a bit more expensive but I found I could leave the ‘teabag’ in and keep refilling my bottle and the flavour lasted for about four 500ml bottles, so better value in the end.

Fingers crossed it all goes to plan this week.

Katykicker

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