Top Ten Books To Look Forward To

All around the blogosphere, there are people writing their top ten, whatever it may be – top ten films of 2012, top ten books of 2012, top ten moments, etc. My top ten is only slightly different in that it is my top ten books that I am looking forward to reading in 2013. These are not new releases, I’m not one to look out for new books, as they come, I see them, I read them. The anticipation of newly released artefacts (that includes films) evades me.

Anyway, the books I am looking forward to reading are:

Hope: A Tragedy by Shalom Auslander

There but for the by Ali Smith

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

These first three are books I have received over this festive season, and which fit in well with my usual likings.

The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

I am bound to get rather critical of this book, as I am a notsocloseted Sherlock Holmes fan, however, I am more than intrigued to see if Mr Horowitz can in any way match the literary wisdom of Mr Conan Doyle

Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Because is has been on my shelf for the longest period of time, and because the subject appeals to me, and because it is such a huge book, I vow to start AND finish this by the end of 2013

Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski

Recommended by a friend to buy as a gift for my mother, once looking at the colourful cover and the lovely typeface used for the title (aesthetics ARE important!) I decided to buy myself a copy too.

The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

Simply because it was at one point so infamous and I want to see what all the buzz was about.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

1984 by George Orwell

Catcher in the Rye 22 by JD Salinger

Because I really should have read these books all the way through whilst I was in school, but rebelling against the educational system and not bothering to do my homework most of the time, I neglected to finish any of these fine novels.


So, what books are you looking forward to this coming year?


The 2012 Chill

At this stand still after Christmas and before the New Year, before life goes back to it’s normal pace, kids return to school and adults reluctantly return to work, I spend my time at home, eating yummy comfort food, reading books and listening to chill out music. This, people, is what I would term paradise.


So my top 3 chill out recommendations for this year are:

Rebelution. These guys make amazing music, the kind you can but on repeat, listen to a thousand times and never get bored. I’ve been listening to Rebelution for the past few years, and am in desperate hope that they will, at some point, land on the windy shores of the UK and gift us with their music live.

My top Rebelution track this year is Honeypot




The Decemberists. If you watch How I Met Your Mother, I can guarantee you have probably already heard a great variety of their music. They were discovered by myself and other half after Shazam-ing one of their songs on HIMYM.

My top The Decemberists track this year is January Hymn




Don Carlos. This guy is classic reggae, chilled out and relaxed. It’s hard to find a song of his that isn’t good. My other half was lucky enough to see him live, which, as I have heard constantly since, was the best experience of live music EVER!

My top Don Carlos track this year is Time

The Christmas Exchange Begins

Today I received my first Christmas gifts, on my last day of work for the year. They are two books that I have been continuously glancing at on Amazon for the last few weeks. I am extremely glad that I did not purchase them! Thank you to a lovely co worker and friend for the very thoughtful gift.

I will definitely be reviewing the books in the near future! They are:

The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstein

The Book Thief, Markus Zusak

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I don’t know why this picture won’t rotate. I can only apologise for the stupidity of my computer.


Also, whilst out Christmas shopping today I saw reindeer! Real reindeer! Santa was there too but I didn’t manage to get a picture of him.

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I will be off for a few days while I frantically wrap gifts, buy more for those I have forgotten and start the cooking! So happy holidays, and seasons greetings to you all!

Culture Reviews 2013 Challenge

So I considered doing something really worthwhile and meaningful. Then I realised that I’m way too lazy for something like that. Things I am also too lazy to do which no doubt would seriously improve this blog are:

Look out for and read newly released books: I read books when they have been out for a while. This is for the following reasons; they are generally cheaper, they can all be bought from Amazon which requires absolutely no effort or travel

Go to the cinema to see new films: this may happen a few times a year, but is generally second to waiting for them to be released onto DVD so I can get a clear streaming online. Reasons include; again the whole going outside thing, extortionate cinema prices and a reluctance to get dressed.


Literary –

So, my personal book challenge for 2013 is to (wait for it) not buy any books! (Until I have completed the unread books on my shelf)

My main challenge is to read all the so far unread books on my piled up book shelves and whatever new books are added from my Christmas wishlist. After which I can reward myself by buying more books.

I will then document said books by letting you poor folks know whether I enjoyed them or not. Here is my book collection as it stands at the moment:

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Film –

I am also aiming to have a regular update where I review the best films. I’m thinking groups of 5 will not be too strenuous, and maybe once a month. I’ll start on the 1st of Jan with my 5 best winter warmer films, the ones that get you all warm and lovey inside. I sincerely do hope you are excited.

A Christmas Themed Day

This time is presents.

Have you seen that Superdrugs advert with Stacy from Gavin and Stacy  Where she goes in to the shop with the aim of buying her mum a present and ends up buying herself a bunch of stuff and forgetting the present…?

Well, that’s what its like for me when book shopping. Last week I visited my favourite bookshop twice with the aim of buying my grandfather a Christmas present, and ended up walking out with a bunch of books for myself and forgetting his. So, I will have to make another visit there this evening, not that I’m complaining or anything – although I’m not sure how long my bank balance can take it…

Its not that I mind going out of my way to visit Camden Lock Books in Old Street Station, especially as they have many fantastic books for £2.99, but after a few more visits I may be bankrupt. At least I’ll get to sleep on a pile of books, in my cardboard box house that I’ll inevitably have to move in to. Preferably in Old Street Station next to the book shop and rather than having a cup in which to place coins, I kindly ask you to donate me books.


Songs for Christmas

While Gangnam style may be a very popular song that has a tendency to induce psychotic episodes and brings people to a happy place by dancing like a complete moron in public, I was left quite perplexed whilst watching BBC3 last night. Before the episode of Family Guy at 10.30pm, there was a show reel of all the films and television that will be shown throughout the Christmas season. These classic Christmas songs were set to the background music of Psy’s Gangnam style.

While I have nothing against ridiculous music that actually has the added effect of making ‘cool’ people look like retards, I am not sure whether the BBC has chosen the best genre of music to represent Christmas.

Here’s a list of better suited songs:

Jingle Bells – Yuletide Blasphemy

Merry Christmas I F_____ Your Snowman – Showcase Showdown

Slashed Wrists This Christmas – Gruff Rhys

I Will Cry at Christmas – Denim

Coventry Carol – Maddy Prior

Reindeer – The Knife

Blue Xmas (To Whom it May Concern) – Miles Davis

I Believe in Father Christmas – GregLake

I Was Thinking I Could Clean Up for Christmas – Aimee Mann

No Xmas for John Quays – The Fall

Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa – De La Soul

Santa Claus – The Sonics

Yeah so the entire list was stolen from a Guardian article but its Monday morning and I’m tired and lazy. Plus copy and pasting is so easy.

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