Book Reviews





Cycling the Cycletta

Hi everyone! A bit of a different post today, but something I wanted to share because it's going to be a huge part of my life over the next six weeks: I am going to be riding 60km in a Cycletta event on June 30th!

A little bit of craziness had me signing up for this at the end of last year thinking "ohh, it's ages away, I've got plenty of time to train!" And then my bike got stolen... and then I moved city... and then my replacement bike broke... and then I had a bit of a fall... and before I knew it I'm here, staring at the 6 week training plan with the look of abstract terror you might find emblazoning B-movie horror posters.

Still, I'm doing this thing. And as of about 3 days ago, it looks like I'm doing it alone as my poor Cycletta buddy broke her foot :( Really not great timing for her but I'm sending her all the best wishes in the world for a speedy recovery - and if all goes well, maybe she can join me again next year!

Training has started, and last week I got a 10km ride under my belt. Not a very speedy one, as my boyfriend - a bike-freak - likes to point out (thanks for the encouragement there!) but 10km none-the-less and I'm quite proud! I have never done anything sporty in my life, unless you count school sports days where my main events were the some-what passive shotput, javelin and discuss, and to have nailed 10km felt like an achievement.

Into week 2 now, though, and I am aiming for a 20km ride tonight, and I'm anticipating a world of pain tomorrow.

I'm probably going to blog about the training and the event itself, so I hope you will find it interesting even if it isn't entirely book related. However, you can credit long gym hours for the amount of reading time I'm about to get done - which will directly result in REVIEWS!

I'm doing the event purely for the hell of it, but on a personal level I have welcomed donations from family, friends and colleagues to Parkinsons UK as sponsorship, as our family is directly aided by their work. If you are feeling charitable and would like to support them too, I have a Just Giving page set up here:

I'll also take any words of encouragement and large-font reminders to GET TO THE GYM! ;) haha

Wish me luck guys!



Hand's up if you've managed to catch any episode of the new Hannibal TV series on Sky Living?!

I caught a promo for this show a month or two ago, and I couldn't wait for it to start. Hannibal is one of my top 5 books - re-read to the point of pages becoming unattached - and the show looked really interesting. Unfortunately I ended up missing the pilot, but have since seen the second and third shows and I have to say, I think it has a lot of promise.

The show features Hannibal Lecter at the stage of his life when he is a practicing psychologist (ie. not suspected or accused of his "alternative" eating habits). He is put in charge of the mental health of a new FBI field recruit, Will, who (after a complex history I'm not clear on having missed the first episode) has the ability to envision himself as the killer at a murder scene. Laurence Fishburne plays Jack Crawford - a familiar character to the Hannibal canon - who takes Will into his crime-scene team as an investigator and assigns his continued care to Lecter.

The relationship between these three key characters is already complex and intriguing viewing, I really cannot wait to see how it is explored in upcoming episodes. Will is a killer, trying not to give in to the thrill he feels from it, having shot and killed a suspect in a shoot-out. Lecter is, obviously, the master of manipulation and mind games who is professionally and personally absorbed by Will's story and unique talent. He loves to question the way Will feels about killing and keeping his propensity for in under restraint. Crawford is something of a respected colleague of Hannibal which is something very different to the hate-fueled Crawford we see in the later stories. I can't wait to see their relationship sour and change.

Of course, with any adaptation of a premise, there are points that are somewhat conflicting. Watching Hannibal read the news on a tablet/ipad - knowing that in the story's chronology, we have not yet even entered the 80's realm of Red Dragon - is a bit grating. Similarly, the events of Hannibal Rising don't seem to have had much of an influence on this Hannibal. We have not yet seen his "taste for the finer things" and considering the first episode (from what I can tell) featured some rather gruesome goings-on in a hunting lodge, memories of Hannibal's sister made no mention.

That aside, though, I really think Hannibal is worth a watch - and I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the books/films. It reminds me a lot of the BBC show Waking the Dead, which has sadly finished in the UK now. It has the same dark case situations, a bit of gore but not of The Walking Dead levels(!) and some great characters I can see developing well into the future.

So, if you've been watching, what do you think?! Are there bits your love/hate? Do you think you'll tune in if you haven't seen it yet?

(also, if anyone can give me a brief catch-up on episode 1 in the comments, it would be very much appreciated! haha!)

Under pressure!

You may have noticed a lack of posts on the blog over the last two weeks. I've been feeling the burn, guys. That daunting amount of self despair as the books pile up in front of me and I JUST. CANT. GET. THE. TIME!

I want to read so much. I want to blog so much. I dont want to be one of those people who starts every post with "Sorry it's been a while."

However, sometimes you have to step back and deal with things in a prioritised order. Unfortunately for me, I am not lucky enough to be paid to write my blog and I have no contract to uphold with it - whereas the Day Job comes with all of the above. Recently the company I work for has rebranded, and as the only designer within the marketing team I have been snowed under with work. That means I have had to take a step away from all of you lovely readers for a little while.

I can only apologise, but rest assured that although the books are piling up at an alarming rate - it means a slew of reviews are in the pipeline! (yay!) I also have a little bank of ideas written down for book related non-review posts. I just need time to sit down and write them properly. No one likes to be short changed by a post. If you visit my blog I want to offer you good content! It's what you deserve!

So if you will, please bear with me while life calms down a little. If you're lucky, I may return with a little surprise for you all! *wink, wink*

Stay tuned folks! (and thanks so much for all the kind words you've been sharing with me on Twitter. I'm always free for 140 characters over a coffee break if you want to chat! @mabismab)

Sharing some blogging tips @ Dexterous Diva

Hi everyone - I hope my UK readers are finally enjoying some sunshine this week. What a beautiful week it has been! I was beginning to think fantasy fans would no longer get to count time in "winters"... it just went on, and on...!

I've been very busy at work lately and posts have been on something of a go-slow along with my "currently reading" page count. However, this is only temporary and in the meantime I have been lucky enough to be interviewed by the wonderful Jo at Dexterous Diva!

Jo's blog helps creatives of all kinds with blogging and business, and this week I shared some of my own blogging stories and tips. Head on over and have a read - the blog is a wonderful source of resources and inspiration.

Thanks very much to Jo for letting me be a part of it!

You can read the interview here.