Slightly Peckish Tuesday

5 October, 2010

is upon us once again. This week it’s all about Angela Hartnett’s fantastic pub York & Albany. So check out what I’ve been scoffing at Umamimart!

In bookish news, I’ll be going to my first ever book club meeting this week. Can you believe I’ve never been to one before? Reading’s always been a solitary activity for me before starting my blog last year. Let’s see how I fare with other people’s opinions…

I’ve been trying to read so many books I inevitably end up reading hardly anything at all. Such is life. What with my big Boss in town, lots of social crises and just being busy with life, I’m feeling a bit battered. I ended up sleeping at 8pm on Sunday (missing Downton Abbey and Who Do You Think You Are? on telly) which made me even more tired especially since I woke up Monday to a tube strike. Lovely. I guess 8 hours really is the optimum sleeping time for me^^

And I’ve booked my ticket to go and see the divine China Miéville speak at an English PEN event at the Free Word Centre in Farringdon next week. I’m afraid you won’t be hearing the end of me going on about Miéville as 1) I’ve only read 1 of his books and he’s written 6 and 2) his talks are really enjoyable and fun to watch and you’ll come away with a whole new range of vocabulary. Really. So if you’re interested, why not come along?

Slightly Peckish Tuesday

21 September, 2010

It’s Tuesday and I’m Slightly Peckish again. Go and check out what my favourite veg is. Yes, I do eat vegetables.

I thought I’d do a little stats round-up today regarding the huge number of challenges in which I’m participating this year. Heheh, I’m only doing this because I feel I’m making some progress^^

Suspense and Thriller 2010 Challenge: 15/12
Flashback Reading Challenge: 1/3
Terry Pratchett 2010 Challenge: 3/5
South Asia Authors Challenge: 6/5
TBR Challenge: 6/12
Women Unbound Challenge: 4/5
Once Upon A Time IV Challenge: 4/1 – finished
1930s Reading Challenge: 1/1 – finished
Japanese Literature Challenge 4: 1/1
R.I.P. V Challenge: 3/4

Not bad, although I’m going to have to work hard on my TBR Challenge. Shame most of the books are chunksters! I’m actually finding the Flashback Reading Challenge the hardest because although I’ve got books lined up for it, I’m having to fight the urge to run straight for the new books. What to do?

Slightly Peckish Tuesday

14 September, 2010

And it’s my final post about Paris for my favourite food blog Umamimart. So hit the link!

On bookish news, the Book Bloggers Appreciation Week is well under way with some fantastic blog introductions and interview swaps so please do visit and see what’s going on.

Reading-wise I’ve finished Alex Bell’s The Ninth Circle which I’d had my eye on for ages and finally started China Miéville’s The City & The City and it’s looking good^^ Very noir, very sparse and I’m liking it.

I also finally saw the BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre, one of my favourite classics, starring Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens. Not bad at all. Wilson outshone everyone and Stephens made a pretty good Rochester, although his lips wobbled a bit too much. But it’s Toby Stephens and I’m not complaining.

Slightly Peckish Tuesday

24 August, 2010

I was getting a bit bored with heading my posts I’m Not Here Today when I’m off writing about food. Makes me look like an absentee parent. So I’ve decided to call my fortnightly jaunt into foodie writing my column name, Slightly Peckish, direct you to my column at Umamimart and talk about bookish news and miscellany. My next few Slightly Peckish columns will focus on my culinary adventures in Paris, so check it aht, tout de suite!

On a bookish note, I’ve slipped and have gone plum CRAZY with some fenzied book buying. Being cranky doesn’t help as I turn to books for retail therapy, even better than buying clothes or cake. Not that I don’t have enough books to read, of course. And I’ve only just found out about The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Am I the only one who hasn’t read it? The final volume, Mockingjay is out today and EVERYONE is talking about it, whether they’ve read it or not. I am SO behind with the times.

However, I’ve had a great summer reading some truly fabulous books. I am currently immersed in Nation by Terry Pratchett in preparation for the midnight launch of the fourth Tiffany Aching novel set in the Discworld, I Shall Wear Midnight, on September 1st which I’ll be attending with fellow book blogger and Pratchett worshipper, Paperback Reader. Can. Not. Wait.

I’m not here today 10

10 August, 2010

Seems like I’m not around a lot these days but I have been reading and will be popping up some bookish posts soon. However, I’ve been on holiday (Munich and Paris), my parents, family and friends are in town, one of my friends has popped out a new baby and I have a wedding to attend this week. Phew. That’s a lot of my social time accounted for. So where do I fit in my blogging? Well, while I watch telly, of course.

Which reminds me that when I was in Paris, we were lucky enough to stay in a lovely little hotel which had JSTV (Japanese Satellite tv)! OMG, we watched Gegege no Nyobo, a daily tv drama about the wife of the mangaka Shigeru Mizuki who created Gegege no Kitaro (a supernatural manga about Japanese ghosts and monsters) and also an unexpected episode of Yatter-man. I loved Yatter-man as a child but haven’t thought about the cartoon in over 25 years. I must have watched it when I was tiny and it was sweet to watch it again.

I’m reading Veronique Olmi’s Beside the Sea at the moment and feeling kind of intrigued but apprehensive. There are so many books I want to read that I thought I’d read a short book just to feel like I’m making some progress in my reading. So yay for novellas! I’ve always been a big fan of short stories, so novellas are a natural extension of that. But I also like big fat books to sink my teeth into. I guess I just like all books^^

But I’m not here today because I’m Slightly Peckish again. August is lazy month and I can’t be bothered to even make breakfast. So what do I do? I go and get me some Saaf Indian grub. Check it!

I’m not here today 9

3 August, 2010

‘cos I’ll be in Paris. Well, strictly speaking I’ll be in Paris tomorrow. But I thought I’d confuse you all by pointing you towards my Umamimart column Slightly Peckish. Oh yes, I’m in Paris but you’ll be reading about München. Read all about my 23 hour day of fun: flying, eating brezn, drinking beer and cocktails and er…drinking more cocktails. Took me the rest of my holiday to recover, but when you’re with old friends, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do. Enjoy!

In the meantime, I’m trying to finish The Châtelet Apprentice by Jean-François Parot and The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and am debating taking either The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest by Stieg Larsson or The Vein of Deceit by Susanna Gregory or Never the Bride by Paul Magrs to Paris with me. Decisions, decisions. Oops, I’ve just realised I’ve been typing the title of Larsson’s third volume with the apostrophe in the WRONG place. I may not have an English degree but this will bug me. Better go and correct it in all my old posts. Bummer.

And last but not least, there is a new literary prize on the bookish horizon: The Green Carnation Prize celebrating excellence in gay literature. One of the judges is our very own Simon of Savidge Reads so please visit their website (where you can find out the story behind the name!)

This month I’m asking my foodie friends at Umamimart, where I have a fortnightly column Slightly Peckish, what they are reading and they’ve let me in on the list below:

Miriam’s Kitchen by Elizabeth Ehrlich – a memoir of Ehrlich’s mother-in-law through food and culture
City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles by Mike Davis – a deconstruction of LA’s shadowy history
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz – Pulitzer prize-winning novel about life in the Dominican Republic and New Jersey through the eyes of one Oscar Wao
Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?: Stories by Raymond Carver – a collection of shorts from the master of spare prose
Tokyo Underworld: The Fast Times and Hard Life of an American Gangster in Japan by Robert Whiting – the story of Nick Zappetti who stayed in Japan after WWII to carve himself a slice of the Japanese underworld
Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy by Martin Lindstrom – why we keep on buying stuff
The Kid Stays in the Picture by Bob Evans – life of one of Hollywood’s most colourful producers (Chinatown, Love Story) who was once married to Ali McGraw and painted the town red with Jack Nicholson
You’ll Never Eat Lunch in this Town Again! by Julia Phillips – life and times of one of Hollywood’s great female producers who worked with Scorsese and Spielberg
Too Fat To Fish by Artie Lange – memoir of the comedian
Density of Souls by Christopher Rice – a gothic tale of four tormented youths in New Orleans by Anne Rice’s son
Blind Fall by Christopher Rice – a tale about a soldier, his lover and murder
Snow Gardens by Christopher Rice – another gothic tale about students in a secluded campus
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – a tale of love and forbidden passion
The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson – everybody’s reading this (that’s four of us here), and if you’re not, why aren’t you?

Wow, what a great list. Thank you guys!

Of these titles, I’ve only read two of the Millennium Trilogy and a couple of Christopher Rice’s books and Anna Karenina.

It’s interesting to see the diverse range which also strongly shows everyone’s interests! I love the fact that there’s a nice mix of fiction and non-fiction here.

And check out the recipe for Literary Agent, a cocktail perfect for bookish folk.

I’m not here today 8

27 July, 2010

Yup, I’m Slightly Peckish again at Umamimart! So check out what I’ve been cooking this week in the heat.

Elsewhere in the bookish world, the longlist for the Man Booker Prize 2010 has just been announced today. As expected David Mitchell has been nominated. Yay! I haven’t read any of the titles but have The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet waiting for me very patiently on my shelf. There are a couple of titles I’m interested in reading such as Christos Tsiolkas’ The Slap, Helen Dunmore’s The Betrayal and Peter Carey’s Parrot and Olivier in America, but I’m not sure if I’ll manage it considering the speed at which I read (i.e. not very fast) and the number of books I’ve got lined up. The shortlist will be announced on 7th September, so maybe I’ll wait until then. We shall see.

So was this list a surprise or were the titles you expected on that list?

I’m not here today 5

15 June, 2010

I’m Slightly Peckish again. Check it out!

On a bookish note, I spied one of my favourite writers Romesh Gunasekara (Reef, The Match) in the evening rush hour at Oxford Circus tube station a few weeks ago. It made me giddy thinking I was probably the only one who recognised him.

coz I’m Slightly Peckish again! Check me out at mouthwatering Umamimart!

London is once again dull, grey and horrible. What is going on?

As if to make things better, the wonderful Persephone Books is offering a free Persephone Classics (slightly shop-soiled but it’s what’s inside that counts) with every grey Persephone book purchased (offer applies to one book only).

From Persphone Books’ newsletter:

On another subject: you may not realise but a huge proportion of books are returned by bookshops and then pulped because the cost of having them sent back to the publisher and cleaned up is far greater than printing new copies.

We could not go along with this because it so environmentally unfriendly, and asked for a thousand unsold Classics to be returned to Lamb’s Conduit Street. This cost £500! Which makes the point that it is almost as cheap simply to throw away and reprint.

Sadly, most of the Classics are very slightly damaged: they either have a small mark or the remains of a bookshop sticker.

Since we cannot sell these either to our mail order customers or in the shop we have decided to give them away. So — if you order one grey book at the normal price we will send you a free Classic. PLEASE DO NOT PAY FOR IT. Simply pay for your grey book as normal and write in the Additional Information box – free Miss Pettigrew Classic please, or something similar. (Nb. overseas books will be sent surface mail. And the offer only applies to one book.)

Very tempting…