Posted in Reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie (Books I can’t wait to read)

April 17

I discovered this fun blog via Death By Tsundoku Top Ten Tuesday is a meme originated by The Broke and the Bookish now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week the theme is:

This week the theme is: Freebie (Books I can’t wait to read)

Please note I am having a ridiculously busy year and am now running really late on this meme but as I love it I want to catch up so you are all about to be spammed with multiple posts as I finish my back log 😉

SO MANY BOOKS I CAN’T WAIT TO READ!!!!! Narrowing it down it going to be the hard part for this one!

  1.  The Hate U Give

    The Hate U Give


    Angie Thomas (Goodreads Author)

    “What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”

    Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

  2. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

    Like George Orwell and Philip Wylie, Ken Kesey is concerned with man’s battle to be himself in a world of increasing controls, the battle of joy and freedom against a society which fosters guilt and shame. His first novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, tells the story of a struggle between a man and a woman for the spirits and hearts of a group of people who have been defeated by the world.
    The setting for these defeated lives is a mental institution. The teller of the story, a half-Indian and a long-time inmate, has made the most complete retreat from life of all of them; he will not talk, and he has fooled the staff into thinking he is deaf and dumb. But through his self-imposed protective fog he is an acute observer. His vision of the life around him seems to have a truth which is beyond the definitions of sanity or insanity. To him the world is run by an all-powerful “Combine.” The hear of the war, the “Big Nurse,” is the chief instrument of evil. She wields her insidious power over the men to destroy their wills and freeze them into mindless obedience.
    Into this gray world comes McMurphy, a brawling, gambling man, full of spirit and a glorious lust for life. He is horrified by the docility with which the other men accept the rule of the Big Nurse and decides to fight her on her own terms. The battle begins, for him, as a lark – a way of winning the bets he has made with the men. And then, as he becomes more aware of the terrible dangers in it, and more committed to the others who have come to count on him for their own survival, his decision to go on is a heroic act of sacrifice and compassion.


Lovecraft Country

Lovecraft Country


Matt Ruff (Goodreads Author)

The critically acclaimed cult novelist makes visceral the terrors of life in Jim Crow America and its lingering effects in this brilliant and wondrous work of the imagination that melds historical fiction, pulp noir, and Lovecraftian horror and fantasy

Chicago, 1954. When his father Montrose goes missing, twenty-two year old Army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his Uncle George—publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide—and his childhood friend Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite—heir to the estate that owned Atticus’s great grandmother—they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits that seem straight out of the weird tales George devours.

At the manor, Atticus discovers his father in chains, held prisoner by a secret cabal named the Order of the Ancient Dawn—led by Samuel Braithwhite and his son Caleb—which has gathered to orchestrate a ritual that shockingly centers on Atticus. And his one hope of salvation may be the seed of his—and the whole Turner clan’s—destruction.

A chimerical blend of magic, power, hope, and freedom that stretches across time, touching diverse members of one black family, Lovecraft Country is a devastating kaleidoscopic portrait of racism—the terrifying specter that continues to haunt us today.



The Kingmaker's Daughter (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #4)

The Kingmaker’s Daughter (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #4)


Philippa Gregory(Goodreads Author),

Is there anyone she can trust?
The Kingmaker’s Daughter is the gripping story of the daughters of the man known as the “Kingmaker,” Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick: the most powerful magnate in fifteenth-century England. Without a son and heir, he uses his daughters, Anne and Isabel as pawns in his political games, and they grow up to be influential players in their own right. In this novel, her first sister story since The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory explores the lives of two fascinating young women.

At the court of Edward IV and his beautiful queen, Elizabeth Woodville, Anne grows from a delightful child to become ever more fearful and desperate when her father makes war on his former friends. Married at age fourteen, she is soon left widowed and fatherless, her mother in sanctuary and her sister married to the enemy. Anne manages her own escape by marrying Richard, Duke of Gloucester, but her choice will set her on a collision course with the overwhelming power of the royal family and will cost the lives of those she loves most in the world, including her precious only son, Prince Edward. Ultimately, the kingmaker’s daughter will achieve her father’s greatest ambition.


The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1)

The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials #1)

Some books improve with age–the age of the reader, that is. Such is certainly the case with Philip Pullman’s heroic, at times heart-wrenching novel, The Golden Compass, a story ostensibly for children but one perhaps even better appreciated by adults. The protagonist of this complex fantasy is young Lyra Belacqua, a precocious orphan growing up within the precincts of Oxford University. But it quickly becomes clear that Lyra’s Oxford is not precisely like our own–nor is her world. For one thing, people there each have a personal dæmon, the manifestation of their soul in animal form. For another, hers is a universe in which science, theology, and magic are closely allied:As for what experimental theology was, Lyra had no more idea than the urchins. She had formed the notion that it was concerned with magic, with the movements of the stars and planets, with tiny particles of matter, but that was guesswork, really. Probably the stars had dæmons just as humans did, and experimental theology involved talking to them.

Not that Lyra spends much time worrying about it; what she likes best is “clambering over the College roofs with Roger the kitchen boy who was her particular friend, to spit plum stones on the heads of passing Scholars or to hoot like owls outside a window where a tutorial was going on, or racing through the narrow streets, or stealing apples from the market, or waging war.” But Lyra’s carefree existence changes forever when she and her dæmon, Pantalaimon, first prevent an assassination attempt against her uncle, the powerful Lord Asriel, and then overhear a secret discussion about a mysterious entity known as Dust. Soon she and Pan are swept up in a dangerous game involving disappearing children, a beautiful woman with a golden monkey dæmon, a trip to the far north, and a set of allies ranging from “gyptians” to witches to an armor-clad polar bear.

In The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman has written a masterpiece that transcends genre. It is a children’s book that will appeal to adults, a fantasy novel that will charm even the most hardened realist. Best of all, the author doesn’t speak down to his audience, nor does he pull his punches; there is genuine terror in this book, and heartbreak, betrayal, and loss. There is also love, loyalty, and an abiding morality that infuses the story but never overwhelms it. This is one of those rare novels that one wishes would never end. Fortunately, its sequel, The Subtle Knife, will help put off that inevitability for a while longer. –Alix Wilber


The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale

Angelfield House stands abandoned and forgotten. It was once the imposing home of the March family–fascinating, manipulative Isabelle, Charlie her brutal and dangerous brother, and the wild, untamed twins, Emmeline and Adeline. But Angelfield House conceals a chilling secret whose impact still resonates…

Now Margaret Lea is investigating Angelfield’s past–and the mystery of the March family starts to unravel. What has Angelfield been hiding? What is its connection with the enigmatic author Vida Winter? And what is it in Margaret’s own troubled past that causes her to fall so powerfully under Angelfilds spell?


Sleeping Beauties

Sleeping Beauties


Stephen King (Goodreads Author),
Owen King (Goodreads Author)

In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze.

If they are awakened, and the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place.

The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease.

Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied, or is she a demon who must be slain?


The Lovely Bones

 The Lovely Bones

Once in a generation a novel comes along that taps a vein of universal human experience, resonating with readers of all ages. THE LOVELY BONES is such a book — a #1 bestseller celebrated at once for its artistry, for its luminous clarity of emotion, and for its astonishing power to lay claim to the hearts of millions of readers around the world.

“My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.”So begins the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on earth continue without her — her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling. Out of unspeakable tragedy and loss, THE LOVELY BONES succeeds, miraculously, in building a tale filled with hope, humor, suspense, even joy.
The major motion picture version of THE LOVELY BONES, directed by Peter Jackson and starring Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, and Saoirse Ronan is scheduled for release on December 11, 2009.


Bridget Jones's Diary (Bridget Jones, #1)

Bridget Jones’s Diary (Bridget Jones #1)


Helen Fielding (Goodreads Author)

Meet Bridget Jones—a 30-something Singleton who is certain she would have all the answers if she could:

a. lose 7 pounds
b. stop smoking
c. develop Inner Poise

“123 lbs. (how is it possible to put on 4 pounds in the middle of the night? Could flesh have somehow solidified becoming denser and heavier? Repulsive, horrifying notion), alcohol units 4 (excellent), cigarettes 21 (poor but will give up totally tomorrow), number of correct lottery numbers 2 (better, but nevertheless useless)…”

Bridget Jones’ Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud daily chronicle of Bridget’s permanent, doomed quest for self-improvement — a year in which she resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult, and learn to program the VCR.

Over the course of the year, Bridget loses a total of 72 pounds but gains a total of 74. She remains, however, optimistic. Through it all, Bridget will have you helpless with laughter, and — like millions of readers the world round — you’ll find yourself shouting, “Bridget Jones is me!”


Into the Water

 Into the Water


Paula Hawkins(Goodreads Author)
In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help. Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind. But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped. And most of all she’s afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool . . .
I have delibieratly not given explanations this time and am letting the choices speak for themselves.
All the above is via Goodreads
Ka Kete Ano xx



Posted in craft, cross stitch, Knitting

A couple of weeks not much to show

It’s such a busy year this year.  I currently have 4 extra adults and a baby living with me so there’s not been much time for crafting or reading or me.  Don’t get me wrong, it also has its up side.  Loads of laughs and chatter and food . . . food every where hahaha

Still I have managed to get a little bit of my projects done 🙂

I finally finished the second strip for my stripey blanket! These 2 strips have taken me 3 years so far!


The next two strips are narrower so hopefully will be a bit faster 🙂

I’ve done a little stitching also. Warm My Heart is truly coming out beautifully.

Stitching badges earnt since last update are these 🙂

I’ve missed out on a few that I could have earned due to being so busy but that’s ok.

Tomorrow is moving day for 2 of our adults and the baby.  A part of me is excited to have my upstairs back but another part of me is going to miss them terribly.  It does mean that with the real onset of winter (ski season opened last weekend) that stitching and knitting and all my other things will be getting an airing for the next couple of months 😉

Ka Kete Ano xx

Posted in Crafty Bitches Monthly Challenge

May Crafty Bitches

Another great night but not much in the way of craft to show.  I totally forgot to show mine (whoops)

Ricki bought herself and as it’s the final 2 month of her MBA she has assignments coming out her ears.  I think creating a great future is a good enough excuse for the next month or 2.

Lynda bought herself also. She does jigsaws and mounts them.  The are a little difficult to transport so we just get to see the after photos’ when they are ready.

Mel was busy and made me an ear warmer 🙂 Ricki was kind enough to model it for us.

Mel has also started knitting for prem babies.  Such a worthwhile cause.  Any wool donations will be gratefully received.


Wine glass not included.

I am putting in a belated photo of my second completed stripey strip


Food was Russian this month.  Jamie & Ricki did salmon blini’s


This was after we had eaten all the salmon and resorted to tuna from my pantry.

Dinner was a fantastic array

The meat cake was awesome!

Then there was dessert

A great effort by everyone.

Looking forward to our June meeting for which we currently have no venue nor theme haha 😉

Ka Kete Ano xx

Posted in Uncategorized

Catching up with Cross Stitch

This crafting blog as become more of a reading blog of late but you know, I think its really more just about my life.  At the moment most of my focus, apart from work and family, is on the Popsugar reading challenge and getting my cross stitch done for my sisters wedding next year.  I really want it done by then so a stitching we will go.

Unfortunately this doesn’t make for exciting updates so I have been procrastinating until my ‘weekly’ folder has too many pictures in it and I need to clear it out.

Soooooooo with out further ado here are some of the photo’s of my progress over the past month.




To keep me motivated I have, as previously mentioned, that I have joined a Facebook group that has challenges for number of stitches completed and then issues badges.  This is great for keeping motivated 🙂

My most recent badges 🙂

So that’s all for this update 🙂

Ka Kete Ano xxx

Posted in Uncategorized

April Crafty Bitches

As we are up for our next Crafty Bitches meeting on Saturday I thought it was probably about time I did the blog for Aprils meeting lol

The food theme was supposed to be Sweden but a last minute find of an over crowded freezer and a ham that required removing caused a change to Hawaii.


As I am completely slack I forgot to get the rest of the food photo’s but at least I nearly remembered in time for the Hawaiian pizza.

Now on to the important bit.

Amy had a remarkably busy month with painting letters for Benny Boy’s door, casting and painting his foot and then the continuation of her sampler.

Due to the elimination of plastics in our supermarket Mel experimented and made bag.


And I did some rug work


Ricki is in the final 2 months of her MBA so has been unable to do anything except that this month and I am picking that next month will be the same.  We are just happy she made it for a wee catch up 🙂

Linda has been a part of our wee group for a while but has never made a meeting before. It was fantastic to meet her and we are looking forward to our next catch up and getting to know her better.

Ana had some last minute visitors so was unable to attend in the end.

Looking forward to the next meeting which is our house and Russia 😀

Ka Kete Ano xx

Posted in Reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved, but Will Never Re-read

April 10

I discovered this fun blog via Death By Tsundoku Top Ten Tuesday is a meme originated by The Broke and the Bookish now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week the theme is:

This week the theme is: Books I Loved, but Will Never Re-read

Please note I am having a ridiculously busy year and am now running really late on this meme but as I love it I want to catch up so you are all about to be spammed with multiple posts as I finish my back log 😉

This is kind of an easy one.  My ‘too read’ list is so long that there are ton’s of fabulous books that I have read but will never re-read as I have other things that would take precedent.

1:  This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel                     

This is How It Always Is

Its about raising a rainbow child and I totally enjoyed it.  Couldn’t put it down even 🙂 but its a book that once read gives no reason to pick it up again so I don’t think this will be a re-read.

2:  Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell                                     

Gone with the Wind

I truly loved this book way more than the movie, which is saying something as I have seen the movie hundreds of times!  Its my go to movie for in the heart of winter when its too miserable to leave the house. Why do I think I will never read it again then you ask.  Because its a really big book! Hard to hold up in bed or in the bath and if you accidentally nod off (who doesn’t when its late and your knackered) then you run the risk of concussion when it smacks you in the face.

3:  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen                                              

Pride and Prejudice

Such a beautiful book. Funny, heart wrenching, romantic, old worlde.  Whats not to love about a Jane Austen book.  Why would I not read it again?  I found it hard going at times because you actually have to be awake and paying attention to read it.  Well worth the effort but, for me, not for a second read.

4:  The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien                                         

The Hobbit

I so loved this book.  I read it over summer break just after I turned 12.  It was probably my transition book, you know, the first one that you ever read that is loved by adults and can’t be classed only as a children’s book.  Why would I not read it again?  For the same reasons as #3.  My uncle who lent me the book when I was 12 would be horrified.  He makes a point of reading all the Lord of the Rings books at least every second year.

5:  The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood                               

The Handmaid's Tale

Wow.  What a fabulous, yet scary, book.  Scary because you can almost see this happening now.  Fertility rates are down in all western countries and there is a rise to power by mycologists in some countries. You can almost believe that something like this could happen in a small country.  Why would I not read it again?  Although beautifully written the pace is very slow and I struggled to finish more than 10 pages at a time through some parts.

6:  Four Fires by Bryce Courtney                                                                      

Four Fires

Such an  engrossing family saga book that I read in the space of a couple of weeks and I have passed this book on to several people since reading it as I loved it so much.  Why would I not read it again? Same reasons as #2, its just too big to comfortably hold on to when reading.

7: Cleo: The Cat Who Mended a Family by Helen Brown                                

Cleo: The Cat Who Mended a Family

If you love books about animals and families this is your book.  My daughter read it and then passed it on to me and I’m so pleased she did.  Why would I not read it again? I cried WAY too much reading this.  Such a beautiful story yet so so so sad at both the beginning and the end.  Consider yourself warned.  Buy tissues with this book.

8:  Primal Fear by William Diehl                                            

Primal Fear

This was a real spell binding page turner.  I loved this book and, once again,  I was given to me and I have passed it on to several people.  Why would I not read it again?  The movie absolutely wrecked it for me.  In the opening 10 minutes the race of the Janet (she was African American in the book) and Goodman (he was white New York Irish ex boxer in the book) had been swapped and that annoyed the hell out of me.  I REALLY hate it when movies mess with things like that! Makes me so angry!

9:  Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks                                              

Go Ask Alice

My mum recommend that I read this book when I was in my early teens so I did and loved it.  I re-read it several times during my teenage years.  Why would I not read it again?  I found out it was a lie!!!

Go Ask Alice is based on the actual diary of a fifteen-year-old drug user.  It is not a definitive statement on the middle-class, teenage drug world. It does not offer any solutions.  It is, however, a highly personal and specific chronicle. As such, we hope it will provide insights into the increasingly complicated world in which we live.  Names, dates, places and certain events have been changed in accordance with the wishes of those
The Editors.
They lied to me!!! I can’t stand a lie.  If they had portrayed it as a story that could be true in countless homes or as a cautionary tale for teens then I would be fine with it and still love the story but THEY LIED TO ME!
10: Lord of the Flies by William Golding                                  
Lord of the Flies
This was a forced read for 5th form English and I was determined to hate it . . . but I didn’t . . . and that annoyed me.  It was the second time in the same year that the teacher did that to me and To Kill a Mockingbird will always remain my favorite book so this poor sausage has been relegated to read it, loved it, won’t read it again pile.
That’s all for this one 🙂 All covers are courtesy of Goodreads.
Ka Kete Ano xx
Posted in Reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Liked That Were In Non-Favorite/Disliked Books

April 3

I discovered this fun blog via Death By Tsundoku Top Ten Tuesday is a meme originated by The Broke and the Bookish now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week the theme is:

This week the theme is: Characters I Liked That Were In Non-Favorite/Disliked Books

Please note I am having a ridiculously busy year and am now running really late on this meme but as I love it I want to catch up so you are all about to be spammed with multiple posts as I finish my back log 😉

Crud! This ones going to be tough

1:  Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy                

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Marian, Izz Huett, and Retty Priddle: aka the milk maids.  As far as I could tell they were the only redeeming feature is the tale.  They were fun and loud and even bawdy at times but actually came across as real people and not as lettuce sandwiches (all greenery and no substance) like the main characters of the book.

2:  Asylum Trilogy by Amy Cross                                                    

Asylum (The Asylum Trilogy, #1)

Annie Radford: Although the trilogy is very tedious and disjointed I did like the character of Annie.  It was very obvious that she had mentally taken a leave of absence but the character herself was very readable.  It was a good thing she was the first character up in the trilogy or this series would have wound up in the ‘could not finish’ pile.

3:  Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice                     

Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1)

Claudia: This kid got robbed of her puberty and was not ashamed to be angry about it. Only redeeming feature in an otherwise long winded boring vampire drama.  One of the few times I have ever preferred the movie.

4:  Once Were Warriors by Alan Duff                                     

Once Were Warriors (Once were warriors trilogy, #1)

Grace: She was a beautiful caring soul in an otherwise abysmal home.  She was the only light in the room.  I’m really pleased I read the book after I had seen the movie as I really hated the way the book was written.  Apparently I am one of the few who feel this way about the book so fully expect to be disowned by all kiwidom.

5:  Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult                                          

Plain Truth

Ellie Hathaway: I really couldn’t believe in this book.  Don’t get me wrong, I could see how a traumatised, very religious young girl could block out being pregnant but for it to drag out that long was quite hard to swollow. HOWEVER I did enjoy the character of Ellie and would love to meet her again in another book.  She was just so strong and determined.  Gotta love that in an attorney.

6: Solomon’s Song by Bryce Courtney                                 

Solomon's Song

Solomon: I loved this guy but for me this book was just one too many and I couldn’t finish it.

7: For a Ghost-Free Time, Call . . . by Sean Kelly                  

For a Ghost-Free Time, Call

Jared: I know.  Again he is the main character.  I didn’t find myself gripped by the book but enjoyed the character.  Reminded me a little of Odd Thomas but more criminally.  Am seriously considering reading more in the series and hope they get better 🙂

8:  Mount! by Jilly Cooper                                                           


Rupert & Taggie Campbell-Black:  I adore Jilly Cooper books but this one just seemed a step too far off the track.  After how many years love rat Rupert looks to cheat on his wife?!? Taggie nearly goes down the same path?!? WTF!!!! It just didn’t feel right I’m sorry.  I do, however, still adore these two and can’t wait for the next installment 🙂

9: The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett                             

The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1; Rincewind #1)

The Luggage:  I love Terry Pratchett HOWEVER I was late to the party after reading this one in my teens.  It didn’t rock me.  The Luggage had me in hysterics though, swallowing monsters, protecting Twoflower, eating ships.  It is very homicidal luggage.  10 years later I discovered Nanny Og and it was all over.  Often thought perhaps I should re-read this one. You know.  Give it a second chance as it were.

10.  Tis a Memoir by Frank McCourt                                            

'Tis A Memoir (Frank McCourt, #2)

Frank: Ok this one is technically not a character as it is a real person but I’ve run out of ones to use right now lol I loved Angela’s Ashes but didn’t really enjoy this one as much.  Still, I greatly admire Frank on the whole.

Thats this weeks another week caught up on.  All covers are courtesy of Goodreads.

Ka Kete Ano xx


Posted in Reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Take Place In Another Country

March 27

I discovered this fun blog via Death By Tsundoku Top Ten Tuesday is a meme originated by The Broke and the Bookish now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week the theme is:

This week the theme is: Books That Take Place In Another Country

Please note I am having a ridiculously busy year and am now running really late on this meme but as I love it I want to catch up so you are all about to be spammed with multiple posts as I finish my back log 😉

As I live in New Zealand nearly all of them are set in another country so yay this one should be easy 🙂

1:  We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

I’m starting with the last book I finished, which I also loved.  Set in Vermont, the Blackwood family can only be describe as crackers.  After the mass murder by poisoning of the majority of the family, followed by the subsequent trial, Merricat (Mary Katherine), Constance and Uncle Julian become pretty much become recluses and rarely venture out although Merricat does the weekly trip into the village for necessities.  The thoughts that go through Merricat’s mind while on these trips pretty much tweeks your spidey senses from the first chapter.  Everything changes one day when cousin Charles makes a sudden unexpected visit . . .

2:  We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver      

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Well that was a disturbing yet amazing read (then watch).  Set in New York State its a story about a child who is, well, difficult.  He is not the average happy go lucky toddler by any means.  The story is told from the perspective of his mother and yea, she definitely makes some mistakes. What would you do if your child came out the womb unhappy, violent and perhaps born with a psychotic personality disorder?

3:  One for the Money by Janet Evanovich                     

If you are after a good girly crime read with loads of laughs, and a little romance, then I highly recommend diving into the Stephanie Plum series.  Set in New Jersey Stephanie finds herself becoming the worst bounty hunter in the world.  Every book has a new old car as she tends to blow them up as well as new crooks to catch.  From falling off a fire escape and landing in dog diarrhoea to befriending the worlds best plus sized former (eventually) prostitute you will find yourself laughing out loud A LOT 🙂

4:  Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt                                         

Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt, #1)

I read this because it was recommended and fully expected to hate on it but, turns out, I loved it.  Set at first in Brooklyn, then later on in Limerick, its a true tale of one mans childhood journey through poverty and his dads alcoholism.  At times the story will make you cry and at others make you laugh.  Truly a beautiful story that will stay with you long after you turn the last page.

5: Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Live with a Blind Wonder Cat by Gwen Cooper                          

Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat

I love a good cat tale, and this was a good one 🙂 A true story about a New York City rescue kitty that’s blind as well.  A feel good book to make you smile and remember that not all humans are assholes 🙂

6:  Four Fires by Bryce Courtenay                                         

Four Fires

The Australian version of Angela’s Ashes except its not a true story.  Really really well written and really hard to put down. Set in small town Australia it follows the lives and hardships of the Maloney’s.  If you liked ‘Angela’ then rush out and get this one.

7:  The Help by Kathryn Stockett                                              

The Help

Growing up in New Zealand shields you from a lot of racism and bigotry.  Don’t get me wrong, it still exists here just like everywhere else in the world but we just don’t see it like they do in other places.  Therefore books like this one, set somewhere in Mississippi are always a bit of an eye opener to me because quite frankly, apart from overhearing the occasional nasty comment I have never been a part of a society where segregation or bigotry is even a thing.  We treat people with ginger hair worse than we treat people of different skin tones (Hug a ginger day is a real thing here that would cause both my brother and sister to refuse to leave the house for the day due to random hug bombs from strangers).  I have to say I love the women in this book although I am never eating chocolate pie again 🙂

8:  Angels and Demons by Dan Brown                             

Angels and Demons (Robert Langdon, #1)

I loved this book and could hardly put it down.  Set in most of Europe at some stage or another it was a fast paced mystery thriller that kept my attention from start to finish AND it had puzzles 😀 I am very pleased that I read it first because I really struggled with DaVinci Code as there was too much math in that one for me.  I loved this one so much that I made my non-reader husband read it (he loved it by the way), then passed it on to one of my besties who then passed it on to her husband who then passed it on to someone else and so on and so on 🙂 I love it when a book just keeps moving 😀

9:  One Rainy Night by Richard Laymon                              

One Rainy Night

This was the first Richard Laymon book I ever read.  Sadly I discovered him after he had passed but I have read everything since 🙂 Set in middle class America in a town called Bixby, one night someone is tied to the football goalposts and set fire to.  Not long after it starts to rain a strange black substance.  Anyone who is caught out in it is instantly turned into a homicidal manic and goes on a killing spree with a smile on their face.  Laymon was the master of sex, violence and bouncing boobs with a knack for crossing the line so nothing was sacred.  If you don’t like horror then this is definitely not for you 🙂

10:  Riders by Jilly Cooper                                                            

Riders (Rutshire Chronicles, #1)

Ahhhh my love of bawdy British novels began with this book 🙂 I was in my late teens when I read this and I spent the entire novel with either my eyes popping out of my head or laughing my ass off.  Jilly Cooper is the supreme queen of this genre and even though the books are starting to get a little tired I will still be reading the next one as soon as it hits the shelves.

So that’s my top for this catch up.  All cover shots are courtesy of Goodreads.

Ka Kete Ano xxx


Posted in craft, Crafty Bitches Monthly Challenge, cross stitch

Crafty Bitches March Update

As the end of March was Easter weekend we elected to push our gathering out a weekend so that we could all enjoy the break 🙂


As always our guest of honor was avaliable for cuddles and snuggles.

First up was Mel and her Pashmina as modeled by the lovely Ricki


As Ricki has been super busy with the final semester for her Masters she has not been crafting.  Due to this Jamie sent along one of his projects which is a pretty spectacular chopping board.


As Ricki isn’t a fan of it (WHAAATTTTT!!!) so Ana scored it to keep and I sulked.

I showed the latest update of my cross stitch


Super stoked with the way its looking 🙂

Amy didn’t bring her project as advancements had not been made due to being a mum 🙂

Unfortunately I can’t show Ana’s project as it was a very cool fairy light lamp that I videod and my wordpress doesn’t support that sorry 😦

The theme for the evening was Spain and wow did we do good on the food 😀

Ricki & Jamie provided a fabulous board for entree



Our mains



Mel made croquettes. Half were ham and half were chicken, all were delicious.  Ana made a lentil and rice dish that was yum.  I made garlic chicken and a pesto orzo salad 🙂


Desert was very good 😀 Amy made flan and we had rather a blast getting it out of the dish as none of us had ever made one before.  It came out in one peice and tasted fantastic.

That’s it for this month

Ka Kete Ano xx



Posted in craft, Crafty Bitches Monthly Challenge, cross stitch, diamond painting, Knitting

A Long Overdue Craft Update

Wow this year has been busy.  Between a record year at work and a very very long hot summer the time has just flown and my craft posts have been few and far between.  This shall be rectified right now 🙂

I finished knitting my second bunny well before Christmas but procrastinated way too long on sewing him up.  The twins eventually headed for their forever home in mid february.


I learnt a lot while knitting these guys and considering it was my second ever completed knitted project I am very pleased with the result 🙂

February also saw me making a second stenciled Tiki for a friend.  He wanted to pay me for it but that’s not how we roll 🙂


The green one is the new one 🙂

During February I decided that there would be no more new starts unless absolutely necessary until I had cleared my backlog of WIPS.  With this in mind I spent 3 days cutting up wool for the little rug that I am making.  A small amount of progress on this then occurred.


She’s going to need a wee mow when finished as some of my wool is longer than others hahaha

I discovered a rather large error in the back of my teal jersey so that resulted in redo :/


I’ve randomly become addicted to cooking programs that feature for 1.5 hours 3 nights a week.  As I am a kind and loving wife I made the call not to subject my husband to them and have taken my knitted Stripey Blanket to the bedroom where I prop myself up on the bed and knit away to mindless yet yummy looking TV.  This has resulted in much progress on my blanket and I hope to finish the second strip very soon 🙂

My daughter and her partner are living in our basement while they save to buy their first house 🙂 They are planning on buy in and moving to Rotorua later this year.  It snowed on me while I was in Rotorua last year.  Also, she is an avid snowboarder so spends a lot of time on the mountains during winter.  With this in mind I am knitting her a hooded scarf for her birthday in August 🙂 I’ve never tried cable before so it’s rather a test


This and a pair of very rude mittens which I will show another day will be my only new starts for this year.  I can justify this as they are presents and presents don’t count on the WIP challenge 😉

My sister got engaged 2 days before Christmas 🙂 This means that the whole family will be traipsing off to Perth for a wedding in mid 2019.  I am so excited!!! 😀 It suddenly occurred to me that I haven’t done any of her cross stitch since about mid 2017 so it was time to get it back out again.  Maybe, if I work very very hard at it, I might just be able to get it finished for her wedding.


To help keep me motivated I have joined a Facebook group for cross stitch that runs challenges and issues badges when you complete them.  Always up for a challenge I have achieved a few badges in the past couple of weeks.

Now that’s a lot of stitching 😀

With the long weekend fast approaching, in 6 more hours to be precise, I can’t wait to climb back into all my wee projects.  My favourite annual book fair is on saturday and I am helping a friend move that day also plus there is a chocolate festival in Rotorua that we just have to attend but apart from that I home a lot and keen to sit in the sun with my knitting and my stitching while listening to podcasts 😀 Ahhhhhh some days I really am living the dream 😀

Ka Kete Ano xx