Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Recent Reads ( Part 2 )

More recent reads from me. I heard good things about 'The Burning Air' by Erin Kelly and it was a very good thriller. It took me quite a while to realise the narrator's gender, I had presumed wrongly and I'm not sure if that was a deliberate plot device. A child goes missing after being looked after by the girlfriend of a family member, she isn't who she appears to be, but who is manipulating her? It is cleverly written and kept me gripped until the end.

'The Middlesteins' by Jami Attenburg was rather melancholic. Edie is morbidly obese and is eating herself to death. The book charts her family life, her background and how we are all bound by familial and emotional ties. It is a well written story set in contemporary Chicago but left me feeling so sad.

'Amity & Sorrow' by Peggy Riley was a strange read. The sisters of the title are spirited away by their mother from the quasi-religious cult they have been raised in. There are hints that Sorrow has been a victim of abuse but she is desperate to return to her father who leads the cult. The landscape of the American mid-west is beautifully described and it certainly is an original plot. The ending was a bit disappointing really but it was still a good read, on the whole.

My favourite book of this bunch was 'Instructions for a Heatwave' by Maggie O'Farrell. Set in the hot summer of 1976, a man goes out for a paper and fails to return. The plot concerns the effect this has on his wife and three ( very different) children. I loved the characters in the story and it was very funny in parts, and very touching too. Maggie O'Farrell is an excellent writer, I love her style, wit and humanity.

Monday, 24 February 2014

London Town

Bel and I went to London this week to see 'Matilda', which was such excellent fun. We also visited Notting Hill and the Portobello Market, as well as mooching in our favourite shops. I managed to succumb to temptation in Anthropologie and Orla Kiely, good job we don't visit too often.

Pretty houses in Notting Hill.

The Matilda stage.

Lovely pots at Anthropologie.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Tales From The Tearooms: Selo Deli

Selo Deli in Monton has been open quite a while now, and for some strange reason I haven't got round to visiting. I went with my mum last week and it was quite lovely. Irina, the owner, is Ukranian and the menu boasts many delicacies from her homeland. Not feeling adventurous, I chose homemade broccoli soup with artisan bread and it was simply delicious. I was looking forward to her famed "Monton Tart" but unfortunately all had been eaten, so I had a perfect cherry scone instead. Service was friendly and prices were reasonable. I will be returning VERY soon.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

A Visit to Brum

I went to the wedding of my friend Pat's daughter recently. She is from Worsley but lives and works in Birmingham and that's where she got spliced. I have never been to Birmingham before and was really excited to visit the new library there. It was a wonderful building, futuristic but filled with floor upon floor of books. The design was breathtaking and we got a brilliant view of the city from the observation deck at the very top. There was a Shakespeare room, a recreation of the original room built at the old library, and I couldn't resist hamming it up for Belinda's photo! It was a lovely weekend, Katy is now married and I finally got to see Britain's THIRD city...