Category Archives: Random and interesting items

Dear Agony Aunt: I really like this boy but…

Dinner for Two

By

Mike Gayle

A paperback!!! The first I’ve read in a while but was in a Turkish bath house and needed a physical book to read, so borrowed this one from my daughter.

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What do you do when you turn thirty, are married, have a cat, and your wife has a miscarriage, AND you lose your job as a pop music journo? Clearly you become an agony aunt for a teen girl’s magazine.

This book has a number of  ‘Ah’  moments – such as when Dave writes a letter to his 6 week old foetus, and his columns as the self-aware male for the women’s magazine are very well written, as are his responses for the Agony Aunt.

But then in real life,  Mike – the author – has been a music journalist; and then wrote himself for a teen magazine as the Agony Aunt. So he definitely writes from experience and his own self-awareness shows in this book.

The best book I have ever read that was written by a male for the chick lit audience. He nails it!

5 stars.

 

My New Year’s ‘Commitments’

It is that time again when every good person tries to make a list of all the things they intend to do differently in the new year that has just started.

No, I’m not going to list here all the physical and mental challenges I intend to take on – ‘cos there aren’t any.. other to try and keep as fit as I am now and to continue to lose weight and to keep on blogging as well as maintaining all the other things that I do…

I am just going to tell you about my reading challenges.

I have decided to go back to undertaking some Challenges from GoodReads this year. I last did this in 2014 when I ‘promised’ to read 125 books and actually read over 150.

This year I am going to it slightly differently though. I am going to participate in the:

Genre Challenge
January: Contemporary/Literary Merit
February: Romance/Chick Lit
March: Mysteries
April: Fantasy
May: Historical Fiction
June: Minority Studies/LGBT
July: Science-Fiction/Dystopian
August: Poetry/Plays
September: Travel
October: Horror/Thriller
November: Manga/Graphic Novels
December: Humour

And the To Be Read pile challenge.

Now you can have several levels of this but I am going to be cautious here and just say I shall read 10 books from my TBR pile.

I was also extremely brave this last weekend when I went into a bookstall and also a  Waterstones store on the same afternoon and didn’t buy one single book! Oh, the strength of will it took… The piles were laying there so temptingly and with so many new authors I wanted, but no, I must try and get through the TBR pile first and when that has been reduced I can buy. So 5 books from my physical pile and 5 eBooks must get read – at least. [Note my TBR pile is designated only as those books I have deliberately purchased at whatever cost].

I shall tag all these books under categories so you can check my progress, but also check out my GoodReads feed.

The Tigger’s 2015 in review: stats and more

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,300 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 55 trips to carry that many people.

Now at the start of the year I made some a series of reasons why people should read this blog so that I could gain 1000 followers. I now have 385 that read this blog directly; 29 read through Tumblr; and 985 see my book reviews through my FaceBook page – https://www.facebook.com/elayne.coakes which does have other stuff on it too.

So what I said was:

  1. I don’t blog a lot about my health and moan about my family or the state of the union or be vehement about my politics or… I blog about a variety of subject matters that interest me and hopefully you, some of which, especially as the majority of my followers are from the US, may be unfamiliar to you;
  2. I write good grammatical English (UK spelling), properly punctuated, and I know how to use the apostrophe. I don’t usually write in stream of consciousness mode but nice precise paragraphs.
  3. I write about a good variety of subjects so you are very likely to find something to interest you in them  – from flowers and gardens, to crafts, to travel, to – in particular – books. Illustrated by my husband’s excellent photographs. As a European I get to a lot of countries you may wish to visit in Europe, but also have been to many more exotic locations such as China and India and these are  described here. More still to come on past adventures, but this year I shall be flying out to Boston and New York and cruising back on the Queen Mary 2; and also Ireland later in the summer for sure. [Sorry, 2015 has been dominated by books but still I did cover other items, and shall try to do better in 2016]
  4. I read a lot of books and write informative and well researched reviews that don’t give the plot away and are not summaries. There is no plot synopsis but a comment that will be relevant to the subject matter and will inform. [2015:This is absolutely still true and will continue to be so]
  5. If I can get over 1000 followers, I will be authorised by more publishers on the NetGalley site which means I will get to read yet more books that are just being published, and more books by new authors you may not yet have heard of. I shall endeavour to keep up the interviews with them that I have recently started. [2015:I now have at least one author interview a month, sometimes more, and I am recognised by several publishers as shown by my widgets including being in the Brash Priority Reveiwer’s Circle]

 Here are details of 2014’s activity to compare to this year’s:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,300 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 38 trips to carry that many people.

The busiest day of the year was January 21st with 75 views. The most popular post that day was Feminism? Vegetarianism? Linked or not?. In 2014, there were 60 new posts.

Click here to see the complete report. for 2015.

And do please comment and come and read more posts!