Tuesday, July 29, 2014

White Rabbit by K.A. Laity Book Review

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It was the cover that first drew me to this book! It’s just so simple but beautiful, Art Deco like. The next thing that intrigued me was the fact it was about a detective and after having just finished The Silkworm and Mr. Mercedes, I was in the mood for another detective based novel. Though it certainly didn’t sound like the average detective novel! James Draygo is a disgraced, ex-detective with a drug habit, who has taken over his aunt’s psychic business and is pretending to be a fake psychic, despite the fact he has real psychic abilities! When Peaches, trophy wife of her soon to be ex-husband, comes to Draygo for help on digging dirt up on her husband, she is shot dead in front of Draygo and he is left holding the gun. He discovers his bail has been covered by journal Saunders, who he reluctantly gets stuck helping with her inquiries into the White Rabbit and The Warren,a long with Draygo’s mute assistant Jinx.

I really liked this book. It has a twist on a detective story, with the slight supernatural elements to it. You might think that a mash of detectives and ghosts don’t work but it does! Peaches is a fun character, both in person and as a ghost. Draygo is a flawed protagonist, he’s more of an anti-hero really. Retired (and a big mark on his career that we find out about), he has a big reliance on all sorts of drugs, including alcohol, oxycontin and ‘Fairy Dust’. You’re left wondering throughout the book whether this whole investigation will completely ruin him and cause him to have a breakdown or if he’ll finally get his act together. He is very witty and I liked the banter between himself and Saunders. Jinx was another favourite of mine, despite the fact he never speaks! The book is short, less than 200 hundred pages, but it’s snappy and to the point, it doesn’t need extra pages. It held my attention and I loved going back to read it, found myself looking forward to it picking it back up again. However, even though it was a short book, there’s no chapters or breaks along the way, which I’m not a fan of as I generally like to stop after ending a chapter. That was the only real downside for me.

If you like both fantasy novels and mystery novels, you should give it a go, you might be pleasantly surprised. A witty, fun quick read!

This book was received from NetGalley, which I am under no obligation to review unless I want to!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Neon Splatter Nails

I did these a while back but kept forgetting I had them on my camera! I wanted to try the straw nail splatter technique that I kept seeing on Pinterest so I grabbed a bunch of straws and got going!

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I started with a base coat of Barry M Hi-Shine Gelly in Coconut. I then dipped the straw in one colour, held it over the nail and blew into it. There will be some trial and error when doing this. Sometimes nothing happens, sometimes you get a nice sparse splatter (the ideal) and sometimes you get a massive blob splatter. When I wanted to change colour, I just snipped the end off the straw so I’d have a clean starting point and continued on! While I do like the look above, I think if I was to do it again I’d do it with 2 colours, try and keep it not so blobby so that the white is showing more. But it is a fun look if you want something bright and crazy!

Colours Used

-Barry M Hi-Shine Gelly in Coconut

-Maybelline Bleached Neons in Coral Heat

-Sinful Colors in Pink

-La Femme in Neon Yellow

I know there was more, like the green and orangey shades but I can’t remember what I used or what I mixed with them (as they weren’t proper bright neon shades). I know I ended up using Nails Inc in Fenchurch Street at some stage!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Purple hair with Essence Rock Style Hair Dye Powder

2 years ago I tried to dye the bottom of my hair purple with not so great results. Even though I bleached my hair first, the purple just wasn’t noticeable. So much so that I spent an entire weekend away in London with a friend, for her to only notice when we exited the airport when we had returned home! Later that year I tried pink and it turned out well but I still wanted to have purple hair.

Enter Essence Rock Style Hair Dye Powder! I was lucky enough to receive the purple one (Pretty Purple!) at the Manchester Launch and couldn’t wait to try it. So on my last day before starting my new job, I decided to give it a shot as I was going to wash it out at the end of the day. Here’s the results.

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purple hair

The first picture really highlights how my hair does not like purple! But I just couldn’t get the picture right, I even took it outside and it just wouldn’t play nice for me! The second picture does give a better idea of how it looked though.

To use the product, you take small sections of your hair, place the strand on top of the powder where you want it to start, placing your thumb there to hold it in place and then pull the hair down long the stand until you reach the bottom. You might need to repeat that again to get the colour payout you want. Then just repeat the process on however many more strands of hair you want to colour. When finished, spritz your hair with hair spray to seal in the colour. Beware though, there is a lot of fall out with this product, so I recommend doing it over the sink, wearing an old t-shirt and even gloves if you wish (though it do wash out pretty well). It can be a bit fiddly, it did make me wonder if it was in a stick form if it would work better or not. Also if your hair is long and you want to do all of the bottom like I did, one of these powders should do, it does get uses up fast if you’re not just adding a streak or two! My powder is over half way gone but the price isn’t too expensive so I don’t mind. Next time I will be reaching for the green powder!

You may also notice in first picture I have purple lashes. That’s another Essence product that I will be covering in another post along with 2 other coloured mascaras.

The Rock Style Hair Dye Powder comes in 4 colours, purple, pink, blue and mint. Do you think you’d give it a go?

Monday, July 21, 2014

BookTubeAThon 2014 Results

I almost didn’t want to post this but decided that since I gave it a post before I started (read here) then I needed to do a wrap up post too. In case you haven’t guessed, I really didn’t do well! I didn’t manage to complete all 7 challenges. I’m not sure I’ve even completed one! Unlike last year, I didn’t keep track of what and how much I read each day, work pretty much took it out of me, especially working extra hours. I was usually way too tired to read after work, though I did try to read some during breaks. Let’s see how I got on.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

I got the first book from the library and read it that afternoon. The second book should have been on the shelves there but wasn’t so I ordered it online. Unfortunately it still hasn’t arrived, I checked each day and when I saw it didn’t come in Saturday, I ultimately just gave up on BookTubeAThon! If I had gotten the book I definitely would have pushed to complete everything. I will still read the second book as I loved it and found it so interesting.

The Antiques Magpie by Marc Allum

I got 48% through this. I read it mainly during breaks at work, it’s full of interesting titbits so it’s perfect for picking up for 15 minutes or so here and there. I will hopefully finish this this week.

The Hive by Gill Hornby (audiobook)

I listened to this to and from work, it was the perfect way to bump up my book numbers and be productive during times I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise read.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Didn’t get a chance to start this! I really need a kick up the bum when it comes to reading this. Hopefully I’ll get it read in August.

 

That’s it. Only one challenge fully completed, the read a book with pictures one! Shockingly bad compared to last year but then again last year I wasn’t working and spent a lot of my time reading! I’m still glad I did this, I really liked talking to friends about it and setting myself challenges. I’ll do it again next year and hopefully I’ll be better at juggling a job and reading and won’t be so bloody tired all the time! To be fair, I was up at 5am for my 6am starts!

Sharon, Roisin and Chloe all did the BookTubeAThon and I’ve been so busy that I don’t even know how they all did! (except Sharon who did complete it, with 3 children to be minding too!). Looking forward to seeing how they got on.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

TBT Nails with China Glaze Fast Track

This was the one colour that really stood out to me in the Capitol Colors Collection China Glaze did for the first Hunger Games movie. Though to be honest, I loved almost all of them! I tried to get my hands on a dupe from Essence (name escapes me now!) but it was sold out everywhere. Eventually though a friend of mine in America said she had this and sent it on to me. I think it’s so pretty! I think it’s a great colour to wear if you want to wear a nude with a bit of a twist.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Think Like a Freak by Stephen D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner Book Review

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Now I’ve been a fan of the Freakonomics books for a long time. I originally picked up the first book when I was in the airport, trying to find a 3rd book for the ‘3 for the price of 2’ deal going on. It intrigued me, for what reason I can not remember but I am so glad I picked it up! I found it fascinating, especially the chapter on baby naming. I loved the sequel Super Freakonomics (especially the name!) so when I heard there was going to be a third book, I was really looking forward it it (I featured it in my Books I’m Looking Forward To in 2014 post) and was lucky enough to get approved on NetGalley to read it.

This book is different to the others. It’s more about thinking, how to put a different angle on things to your advantage and stories that back the point up. It reminded me in that sense of David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell (I bet these authors are compared to each other all the time!). I liked the the chapter on the 3 hardest words to say in the English language. No, not ‘I love you’ but ‘I don’t know’. There is often a fear of saying ‘I don’t know’, that you’ll look stupid or that your boss will think you’re not fit for your job. We’re often encouraged to be able to bluff our way into an answering things we don’t know, which can often have detrimental effects. You’ll find out who’s easier to fool when it comes to magic tricks: children or adults? As well as the up side to quitting, why Nigerian scams are so badly written, why Van Halen requested no brown M&Ms in their rider and why hotdogs are used on the cover!

While I definitely enjoyed this book, I didn’t find myself captivated like the first 2 books. Possibly because the economic side of the first 2 books (and what made them stand out) isn’t really in this book. So it doesn’t seem as eye opening to me. Though the other reason here is possibly because I have just started listening to the Freakonomics podcast and a lot, if not all, of these stories crop up in the podcasts, which I really enjoyed listening to. I did find it was a quick read, there isn’t a lot of numbers or stats that will slow you down when reading. If you’re a fan of the first two books (or Malcolm Gladwell), you’ll probably also enjoy this one, just bare in mind that if you are up to date with the podcasts then you might have already heard these stories. If you have never read any Freakonomics books, I’d recommend starting with the first one. Overall I found it was an interesting read but just lacked the wow factor of the first two books.

I got a copy of this from NetGalley to review. Readers who are approved for titles from NetGalley are under no obligation to post reviews. I chose this book to review, wasn’t asked to review it, and I definitely would have read it anyway (come on, it was on my 2014 releases list!). All opinions are my own, I think it’s important to be honest about items you review.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Bloggerversary and BookTubeAThon TBR!

First off, just wanted to acknowledge that today marks 4 years since I first set up this blog! Can’t believe it’s 4 years! I’ve gone through phases of writing loads and not writing at all but at the moment I am really in the zone and loving it. Thank you to everyone who has read and supported me through the years and to all the new readers too!

Now, back to BookTubeAThon To Be Read List! I did a post during the week about tips and tricks for completing BookTubeAThon and now it’s time to post what I’m planning on reading this week!

The Antiques Magpie by Marc Allum

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This covers book with a red cover as well a book picked by someone else (my boyfriend). I’ve previously read The Science Magpie and recently The Kitchen Magpie so looking forward to this!

 

 

 

 

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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This will cover the book to film adaptation as well as genre least read (classics). I have a physical copy but I also got the e-book free on Amazon UK the other day so that will be handy when on break at work. And it’s about time I read this book! And watch the film so I can stop my brother nagging me!

 

 

 

 

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

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This will cover start and finish a series (there’s 2 books) as well as book with pictures as it’s a graphic novel (or rather a graphic autobiography!). I’ve been wanting to read this for a while as I want to try more graphic novels.

 

 

That covers all the challenges except read 7 books/300 pages a day. I am currently at the beginning of Lost, Stolen or Shredded by Rick Gekoski so I will continue with that as well. I have a few other books such as The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum out from the library and I’m waiting on a few to come in from the library as well (so many of them! The Miniaturist, Landline, Art of Baking Blind, This One Is Mine and How to Build a Girl!) . I might listen to an audiobook as well when walking to and from work to up my count and make me productive! I’m so tired these days that I need all the help I can get! I might try and read books that will cover the challenges to see if I can get one book per challenge instead of doubling up but that may not happen!

Are you planning on joining in? Sharon, Chloe and Roisin are reading along with me, which is awesome! Check out their blogs for their BookTubeAThon posts.

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