You Drive Me Crazy

Anna Premoli

Maddison works in mergers at a corporate bank. She'd much rather be set free to shop using the money of whichever rich guy she can snag.
She applies for a transfer to the bank's New York office and instead finds herself being sent to Seoul.
Shocked by the culture clash and her stern new boss (and next door neighbour) she begins to grow as a person and to take a chance at real love.
The characters in this are pretty cardboard and the plotting incredibly by-the-numbers but occasionally the dialogue crackles into life enough to be enjoyable.

Rating: C+



Romancing Mister Bridgerton

Julia Quinn

This is a really enormously enjoyable piece of historical romantic comedy.
Penelope Featherington is the perpetual wallflower of the London Set and has had a lifelong crush on Colin Bridgerton - her best friend's brother. When a scandal erupts around notorious gossip columnist Lady Whistledown the two are involved in the mystery and pushed together.
I'm not a huge fan of historical romances but this is a really well written and thoroughly entertaining slice of romantic fiction. Funny and emotionally involving I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who likes romantic comedies.

Rating: B+



Scrappy Little Nobody

Anna Kendrick

Kendrick's short memoirs are entertaining but never particularly revealing (unless you're surprised to learn that a twentysomething has taken some recreational drugs).
The best parts are about her early days as a child actor breaking into Broadway and the sacrifices her family made to get that to happen.
I would have been disappointed by this book if I had paid full price for it. At a discount it was worth it.

Rating: B-



Hold Me

Courtney Miilan

A very enjoyable slice of contemporary romance that basically does the whole 'Shop Around The Corner/You've Got Mail' plot with Physicists and science bloggers.
Unusually among the romance novels I've read this one has a very diverse cast none of whom are defined solely by their ethnicity, identity or whatever.
I much preferred it to the first in this series.

Rating: B




Ernest Cline

I gave this a re-read to see if it improved on a second go-through. It really didn't
I really have nothing new to say about the book so read my earlier review.

Rating: B-



Wishful Drinking

Carrie Fisher

Only a few days ago I nearly bought a physical copy of this book in a bargain bookstore.
Since I've just a had a big clear out of books I didn't want to start adding new books to my shelves.
Imagine my delight when I saw it pop up in the Kindle Daily Deals on Amazon. Especially because I had a credit that meant I could get the book for nothing!
Wishful Drinking is a book adaptation of Fisher's successful one-man show of the same name.
It's a mostly hilarious, occasionally moving piece of autobiography. The best parts are when she talks about her family and her battles with mental illness but it's never less than entertaining.
Given it's stage show origins it's not surprising that it's a little on the short side but it's still very much worth reading - especially if you can pick it up at a bargain price.

Rating: A-



The Collapsing Empire

John Scalzi

This is easily Scalzi's best book since Zoe's Tale.
The story is set in the Interdependency which is a collective of planets controlled by aristocrats and guilds and connected by a FTL network called the Flow. We arrive to find this fictional world in the midst of political upheaval and finding itself on the brink of disaster. Unusually for a book with many point-of-view characters I enjoyed spending time with all of them. It has to be said, though, that Kiva Lagos is my favourite. I definitely want more of her in the rest of the series.
Indeed the only real flaw of the book is that it feels very much like the set up for a series. I can't wait for the next one to come out so Scalzi's got me hooked already.

I should note that I read an advance copy of this book provided by NetGalley

Rating: B+




Rainbow Rowell

I've not made the quickest start to my reading this year. A health issue has meant that I really couldn't concentrate on story for any length of time for the past few weeks.
To get me started I decided to pick out an easy read, something that I've read before.
Attachments is a novel about people working for a newspaper in 1999 and early 2000. It's a sweet tale of female friendship between a film critic and a subeditor told epistolary style through emails which are read by the poor IT guy who has to check for abuse of the Internet by employees. There's a believable but always fundamentally creepy romantic relationship that develops between the IT guy and the film columnist. After all he's read all sorts of things about her life without her knowledge or consent.
It's not as good as later books by the author but it is enjoyable and as I say it's an easy read.

Rating: B+


2016 Albums of the Year

Forever Sounds

2Angel Olsen


4Lou Rhodes


6Leonard Cohen
You Want It Darker

7Hannah Peel
Awake But Always Dreaming

8Drive-By Truckers
American Band

9Heron Oblivion
Heron Oblivion

Puberty 2


2016 Books

Not my most prolific reading year but I did listen to a record number of audiobooks

  1. Johnny and the Dead by Terry Pratchett, rated A-
  2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster, rated B+
  3. The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, rated C+
  4. Johnny and the Bomb by Terry Pratchett, rated A-
  5. You're Never Weird On The Internet, Almost by Felicia Day, rated B
  6. Justice Calling by Annie Bellet, rated B-
  7. Murder Of Crows by Annie Bellet, rated B-
  8. Pack Of Lies by Annie Bellet, rated B-
  9. Hunting Season by Annie Bellet, rated B-
  10. Heartache by Annie Bellet, rated B-
  11. Thicker Than Blood by Annie Bellet, rated B-
  12. Magic To The Bone by Annie Bellet, rated B-
  13. Me, Earl & The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews, rated A-
  14. Chaos Choreography by Seanan McGuire, rated B+
  15. Stiletto by Daniel O'Malley, rated B+
  16. Country of the Blind by Christopher Brookmyre, rated B+
  17. Uprooted by Naomi Novik, rated A
  18. Some Kind of Wonderful by Sarah Morgan, rated C+
  19. Christmas Ever After by Sarah Morgan, rated B-
  20. First Time In Forever by Sarah Morgan, rated C+
  21. Wife By Wednesday by Catherine Bybee, rated C
  22. The Boss's Fake Fiancee by Inara Scott, rated C-
  23. One Con Glory by Sarah Kuhn, rated B
  24. Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn, rated B+
  25. Goodnight and Good Riddance by David Cavanagh, rated A
  26. Maskerade by Terry Pratchett, rated B
  27. Must Love Mistletoe by Christie Ridgway, rated C
  28. Superheroes Anonymous by Lexie Dunne, rated B
  29. Supervillains Anonymous by Lexie Dunne, rated B+
  30. How To Save The World by Lexie Dunne, rated B
  31. Miss Kane's Christmas by Caroline Mickelson, rated C