A Place to Read

1Q84 – Haruki Murakami

1Q84 audible edition

I have read Haruki Murakami before so I am well aware of his way of writing. Translated into English it always reads a little different. And his ideas are less than ordinary. I’ve wanted to read 1Q84 for a long time, ever since I finished reading The Wind Up Bird Chronicles a few years ago. I thought it would be good to listen to the story on Audible, but with all three volumes it came to just over 46 hours. (The last 28 minutes are an interview with the translators.)

The Blurb

The year is 1Q84.

This is the real world, there is no doubt about that. 

But in this world, there are two moons in the sky. 

In this world, the fates of two people, Tengo and Aomame, are closely intertwined. They are each, in their own way, doing something very dangerous. And in this world, there seems no way to save them both. 

Something extraordinary is starting.

My Views on 1Q84

First of all you have to realise that this is a translated Japanese book, so things may not read (or listen) as smoothly as some stories. There is a fair amount of repetition, but it could be translation, it could just be the way Murakami likes to get his story across.

I found it all a bit long winded at times. In fact there were times that if anyone mentioned the moon one more time I’d start howling at it. But, some things are real important to the story and if that’s the way Murakami likes to put it across then I guess that’s something you have to deal with.

Murakami likes talking about sex, he can be quite crude at times, a lot of the language used is very explicit. But he also knows how to make a distinction between the different types of sex, so you really get an idea of how the character is feeling about it.

One thing that Murakami excels at is characterization. I love the way he brings his characters to life, whether it’s physical description or his delving into the very depths of their being. It’s hard not to connect with them, even if they remain nameless. After reading, as well a the main characters, I also feel I know The Dowager and Tomatsu like old friends.

He also describes their surroundings in great detail and I think it’s this attention to detail which add to the length of the story. Sometimes I found myself wishing he’d just get on with it, but now, looking back, I’m glad I felt such a part of the story, knowing all the little details and living it too. No matter how surreal it all was.

That’s the next point. Now, I’m all for a bit of science fiction or fantasy, a pushing of the boundaries of belief. But Murakami does this in way which makes you think, what the heck is going on sometimes. At other times, it all seems very normal. The more surreal points are left hanging, keep a hold of your imagination, you will need it. Different dimensions, The phantom NHK collector, The Little People, Air Chrysalis, two moons, Mutha, Daughta (forgive my spellings, I was listening not reading!) Any reader can draw their own conclusions because none of these are given explanations. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy all of this, but at times I was a little baffled to say the least.

The Three Volumes

All set in one year, 1984 (or is it really 1Q84?) You can read (or listen) to the book in the three separate volumes if you wish to break it up a little. I wanted to keep going and get it all sorted. Maybe even find some elusive explanations? It starts with the main female character Aomame, who jumps from a taxi on an express way and climbs down an escape ladder. The impression is that she is going to some sort of job interview, when in fact, she turns out to be a deadly assassin with a clever way of killing.

Another main character is Tengo, a part time teacher, part time novelist who ends up being roped into re-writing a book by a strange young girl.

The two characters once went to school together many years before. They never spoke to each other, but did hold hands once. They would also see each other walking the streets, Tengo with his father who was a television license fee collector, and Aomame with her Mother who was out preaching as a ‘witness.’ Tengo made some kind of reconciliation of sorts with his dying father during one part of the book. Murakami has such an interesting way of exploring relationships of all kinds.

The Narrators

I thought the narrators where really good, the three main ones where the female Aomame voiced by Allison Hiroto, Tengo by Marc Veitor and the ingenious baddie Ushikawa. Probably not everybody’s cup of tea but I enjoyed the American Private Investigator spin put on this character. He was ugly inside and out, but I still felt a little sorry for him in the end. Ushikawa is mentioned by Tengo earlier on in the story but when he starts to narrate in the third book he is everything you expect him to be.


This is a long book and it takes some getting through. There were times when I thought that maybe I didn’t want to carry on. Or that maybe the whole story could have been told in half the time. There was certainly lots that could have missed out, but i think they would actually have been missed. At the end I was glad I badgered on with it. It was no great surprise ending, or maybe it was, it could have gone any way really, but it was satisfying and, well, nice.

This won’t be for everyone, but if you want to indulge in something a little different and you have 46 hours to spare, then this could be just what you are looking for. It has been compared to 1984 but I don’t see that really. 1Q84 is more of a different reality rather than a dystopian future. And to be honest, we don’t even know if 1Q84 is dystopian.

Not for the prudish or those without a good imagination that is willing to explore the more surreal. I think everyone will come away with a different opinion of this book.


I have just read this fabulous quote which sums up Haruki Murakami in an interview from The New Yorker.

I’ve hardly ever thought about the theme or point of the the stories I write. I’ve had a number of opportunities to discuss my work with college students in their classes, and the students always seem to end up confused, because they cant find the theme or the point of my stories. But that doesn’t bother me at all.

Haruki Marakumi, interviewed in The New Yorker.

Discolsure: I bought this book myself, but this post contains affiliate links.


Fabulous Beauty Box Competition!

beauty box

The Avon Best of Beauty Box contains 8 of Avon’s iconic items from across the decades. It’s a must have for any beauty lover.

What’s included:

True Colour Glimmerstick Eyeliner in Cosmic Brown – For perfectly shaped eyes that last all-day.

Far Away EDP Purse Spray 10ml – Our bestselling fragrance in handbag size.

Anew Essential Youth Maximising Sheet Mask – Give your skin a super-boost of hydration in 15 minutes.

mark. MagiX On The Go Primer 10g –  This skin-smoothing primer blurs imperfections flawlessly.

True Colour Perfectly Matte Lipstick in Ravishing Rose – 100% matte, 100% comfort. This lipstick has it all.

Advance Techniques Argan & Coconut Oil Moisturising Serum 100ml – Thirsty locks? Hydrate your hair in an instant.

Skin So Soft Original Dry Oil Spray – Limited Edition Design 150ml – Enjoy silky-soft skin in seconds.

mark. Gel Shine Nail Enamel 10ml in Fabulous – Gel-like shine on your nails, without the UV lamp

beauty box contents

The items come presented in a lovely beauty box and would make a perfect gift for someone else, or just for you to enjoy. Based on individual prices when not on offer the contents are worth £50!

I have one of these boxes to give away to one of my lucky readers. The contents may vary a little but will be of the same value.

Would you like to be in the chance to win one of these lovely boxes? My competition has a few ways of entering. Using the gadget below I am asking you to sign up to my Avon Store which will give you 5 entries into the competition. The other requests will give you an extra entry, you can choose which ones you want to do, or do them all for the best chance of winning.

If you sign up to my Avon Store you will be asked for your private details which will be kept private and used for Avon orders only. You do not have to make an order to enter, but if you choose to do so in the future, having an account will make it easier for you. You will receive occasional e-mails with offers from Avon. The only time I will use your details is if you win a prize. The best thing is, everyone who does sign up will be entered into a draw to win a prize every single month for as long as I am an Avon Representative.

EXTRA NOTE: I am offering extra entries for completing the sign up to receive e-mails, but I’ve noticed that although these have been filled in on the widget the sign ups on the site have not been completed. No-one is obligated to sign up to enter the competition you can use the other entry methods, but if you have not completed the Avon Website registration then your extra entries will be invalidated. I hope you understand. If you name is picked by the widget then I will check that you have completed your entry correctly and if not, then I’ll cancel and move on and draw again.

Other entries include following my Instagram and Facebook pages and tweeting for me.

Rules and Conditions

  • competition is for UK entrants only (sorry)
  • prize is provided by myself
  • prize is subject to slight changes but will be of the same value as promised
  • All information collected will not be sold on to any other company.
  • Avon will have the right to e-mail you if you sign up as a customer
  • All Winners will be checked to see that they have completed their part of the competition.

Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
best of beauty
SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky: the UK's biggest list of blog giveaways
A Place To Earn

Giving Back to my Avon Customers with a free gift offer

As you may know, I am an Avon representative. If you want regular updates on Facebook then please check out my Facebook Page for all my special offers and free gift.

At present I’m looking for more people to sign up to my store. This means you will get regular e-mails from Avon (not an excessive amount) In return, I’m offering to send out a free gift to one of my subscribers every month. You don’t even have to buy anything.

Avon free gift poster

Special Offers this Month

As it’s Veganuary, Avon are promoting their Distillery products;

We get it, it’s 2020 and you want a skincare and make-up range that has it all.

Vegan? Check. Eco-conscious*? It better be. Allergy tested? Definitely.

And that’s where distillery comes in. Think clean beauty and pure ingredients. It’s skincare and make-up that combines high-performance, vegan-friendly ingredients with beautiful textures, environmentally-conscious packaging and an ethical mindset.

From a potent burst of lip colour to a highly concentrated vitamin C powder, it’s time to wake up your beauty routine and join the distillery revolution.

distillary products
distillary, vegan, fragrance free, alcohol free, clinically tested, dermatology tested, allergy tested
distillery mascara, you could get this as a free gift if you are a subscriber to my Avon Store online
distillery shadow shots
distillery lipstick, I give out a free gift to my online store Avon customers every month.

You can view all of the distillery items at their reduced prices over on my Avon Store, AnneSweetAvon

And don’t forget, just by signing up you could be in with a chance of receiving a free gift.

Order Anywhere in the UK

Do you use Avon? Do you have a local representative? Did you know you can shop Avon online? I have my own shop and as I am disabled I have only a few customers I can meet up with so I rely on my online shop to get by. Please stop by and check out my Avon store

did you know you can order from my shop anywhere in the UK?

I’m also in the process of writing a series of blog posts on how you can set up and run an online Avon business. Follow my progress through the following posts.

How to Set up your own Avon Store Online.

Five Tips for Working Avon Online

My New Venture, I’m an Avon Representative

A Place to Enjoy, A Place to Reflect

LSW Mind Cards – A Review and Free Gift (but hurry!)

Please note: I am an affiliate for LSW Mind Cards and although I have not been compensated for this post, if you purchase anything in the future from one of my links I will earn a little bit of commission. Thank you so much for supporting my blog.

LSW Mind Cards


LSW Mind Cards are a pack of 45 individually designed cards each with a tool or task to help you increase your wellbeing, boost your mood and help you move towards a more fulfilled life.

By introducing positive habits into your everyday, Mind Cards will give you the power to create the healthiest and happiest life for you.

A Free Gift

For the next few days you can get this Relaxation Download worth £2.99 using the code – freelaxation. The recording helps you to relax and drift off for some much-needed ‘me time’.
Why not take advantage this weekend and treat yourself.

I’ve been reading through the e-book, Getting to Know You, by Lili Sinclair Williams, the creator of LSW Mind Cards. I can thouroughly recommend the opportunity for a little self discovery. In this busy world it’s easy to forget who we really are and what we want from life.

The book and the cards both help you to become more mindful, but it’s broken down into manageable chunks. It’s a sad life if you can’t afford to spend just 10 minutes on yourself.

LSW Mind Cards

lsw mind cards spread out

Each day I take a card from my pack of LSW Mind Cards and read what it says, it could be any one of the five catagories, kindness, ritual, gratitude, gratitude, journal or reflection. Then I do what is written on the card. I have started keeping a journal for writing down things that need to be written, but not all the cards require this. Even the Journal cards can just be spent thinking rather than writing down if you don’t wish to.

What do you think? Is this something you could incorporate into your life? Can you take just a few minutes each day to focus on yourself?

Please take advantage of the free download while you can and see what you think.


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all my readers. I didn’t actually remember to celebrate my blogs first Birthday last November. I guess I was a bit busy. I can’t believe that Stay At Home A Lot has been going for over a year!

If you are new here then welcome, I just wanted to take a moment to reflect and let you know what my blog is all about. Up in my Header you can see Four catagories and an About Me page.

The Four Categories

A Place to Read

Reading is a passion of mine right from when I was young and I’d read my books well into the night and go to school with dark rings around my eyes. It was always worth it though. I like to write book reviews, mostly for pleasure but also to share with you so you may get some ideas. I will often use affiliate links to my books as they can earn me a little money if you go ahead and buy, and with no extra cost to you!

I’m also an affiliate for Audible as I like to listen to a lot of my books and I’ve been an Audible member for many years. If you want to know more about Audible you can read my prize winning post Five Reasons Why You Should Listen to Audible.

I also run a monthly link up for all book lovers who like to write about books they’ve read or want to read. It’s called Bookworms Monthly and you can catch up with the latest link up right here.

A Place To Eat –

Mostly you will find my weekly meal plans under this heading but I hope to be sharing some more recipes with you too. I find budgeting for food a real task, and I have seven people to feed at home. Sometimes making sandwhiches for everyone can be a mammoth task in itself.

I hope you will join me and enjoy my food related posts.

A Place To Enjoy –

This is a bit of a mixture of things that I enjoy. When you are home a lot this generally means hobbies or shopping.

I love to crochet so I’ll be sharing all my makes with you and letting you know of the best places to get your wool and patterns.

I also love to shop, so you’ll find a lot of shopping posts here. Again from places I’m affiliated with so please feel free to click through. Remember, if you purchase you’ll earn me a little cash at no extra cost to yourself. (More money = More wool)

A Place to Earn –

Here you will find my hints and advice on how to earn money from home. I’m currently an Avon Representative trying to set up an online business so I’ll let you know how I do that step -by-step. I’ll also share guides on how to make money from being an affiliate and which programs to join.

Also, I have sideline earnings in matched betting and filling in surveys. It all helps.

Thank You –

For reading me, and I hope I can help in any way. You can find out how to get in touch with me on my ‘About Me’ page.

Happy New Year!

Anne x

A Place to Read

Book Worms Monthly – January

Hello, Welcome to Book Worms Monthly January. Have you got a goal on how many books you’d like to read this Year? I aim low and try to read at least one a month, my first January book is still going from December, but it is a big one. I’ll tell you more about that later

Reading is my passion and I love to write about what I’ve read. I’m a real book worm and I have been since the day I could read.

I decided to start this linky so that other book worms could Share. I’m starting monthly for now, so you have a whole month to link up your posts. You can link up to four posts, so that’s one a week. Or if you like you can link up some of your older posts.

Let’s share what we read and give other’s ideas what to read next. Tell me your reviews, you book reading lists, your author interviews, kids book favourites, Young Adult books, and even posts about your favourite authors. Anything book related is allowed and I can’t wait to read them all. I want to find all the book worms out there.

Here is last months linky to give you some idea of what it’s about. It’s a new linky so I’m trying to reach out to all the book worms out there to come and join me with their posts monthly.

Join Us for Book Worms Monthly January!

Book worms Monthly will be posted every four weeks, and you can join in at any time. I will share anyone who links over on my Social Media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Mix (formerly Stumbleupon.) I’ll also come along and read and comment on your post. Please do share this link up with your friends.

Link up your Book Worm Monthly January book posts below.

Here’s a badge to share. No code, just copy and paste it on your blog and link the photo back to mine if you wish. Or please mention my blog 
https://athomealot.com/ with a link instead. That we we can encourage more to join in and share.

january book worm

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter