I believe that 76% of the internet is made up of quotes.

Okay maybe not quite 76%. But there’s a lot; a lot of gooduns. Quotes you want to tattoo on your right foot. Quotes your teenage self scawled into desks and ones you want to print out and stick on your walls. When Cosy Prints asked if I would like to order a couple of their prints I couldn’t say no.  After perusing their Etsy Shop this is what I picked.

Flat decorating when you rent really does constrain things. You often can’t paint walls. Bang in nails or really put your mark on a place. But, I find that prints allow you to make a space personal without cluttering. (or upsetting your landlady.) Cosy Prints offer a wide range of quotes but they also offer custom prints for the same price. Perfect for a Valentines gift or a midweek purse friendly treat.

The prints come in both A4 and A3 sizing costing £4.50 and £8.75 respectively. Average shipping is £2.75 with a courier company so you can track where you darling package is at the drop of a hat. Each order arrives rolled and securely fastened, but it’s packaged beautifully. String and labels guys. It’s the small things.

Print quality is really high. Cosy Prints use 250gsm paper and genuine inks to create true blacks. The colour prints are also a fantastic quality. I’ve used print companies in the past and these are some of the best that have arrived. Prints don’t come with frames allowing you to personalise how you display the print. But, if you are buying this as a last minute present it’s something to remember.

Prints from Cosy Prints

Messy Bun Getting Stuff Done

The first print I purchased was the ‘Messy Bun Getting Stuff Done.’ It’s a quote that describes me to a T of a Saturday morning. Most Saturday’s I’ve been to the gym, thrown a bulk of dirty clothes in the washer and cleaned the kitchen. By 9am. I know, I know. But it’s the way I’ve always been. Mornings are my get up and go time. This quote felt like the right one.

Wake up – Make up

The second print quotes ‘Wake-up – Make-up.’ Not only is a system of a down lyric it’s a girlboss kinda quote. I wanted to print quotes that would inspire me and this one certainly does. Plus, I love the contrast between the colour and B+W print. They just look brilliant. I would definitely recommend these prints. They are MLBB approved.

Where to find Cosy Prints

Cosy Prints have an Etsy store that can be found here/ You can also follow them on twitter at @CosyPrints and Instagram @cosyprints. Annnnnnd all My Little Book Blog readers can get a 10% discount with code: cosy10.

Don’t say I don’t treat you?

Prints from Cosy Prints

Prints from Cosy Prints

Prints from Cosy Prints

I don’t have a To Be Read List. It’s okay – I haven’t lost my mind.

When I started blogging I learned of the sacred ‘To Be Read List.’ Book bloggers appeared to have theirs written to the t. Or tattooed on their left leg. It might be 1000+ books but they had one. I, being new was a fraud and created a TBR. It featured a lot of popular books, highly rated and classics. It sat on a piece of paper and every so often I would add to it. I would cross books off and add them back on again. I wrote multiple posts on books that were on my TBR, books I wanted to read maybe.

But here’s the fraudulent bit. There’s no list. I mean the old list is hanging around somewhere but it’s not tangible. It’s not sat waiting on Goodreads, or listed in my email inbox. It’s been years since I’ve had one. But I’m coming clean, so here’s why I don’t believe in a TBR.

I don’t have a To Be Read List. It’s okay – I haven’t lost my mind.

It puts books on a pedestal.

I will never forget the soul that told me 1984 was their favourite ever book. And that it would be mine too as soon as I read it. I shouldn’t have believed them. But I did. Stupidly. Having a TBH made me make pedestals out of books. It’s happened multiple times and ruined tens of books. (NOTE: I did like 1984 – not my fave though.)

I’m a fickle reader.

I enter a book-shop, I see a book I like the look of, I buy it. Suddenly everything on the list is shifted back. Books originally on the list has stayed there for weeks/months/years. I can remember a few. Wolfhall is still on the list, oh, and Eleanor and Park. But I don’t like the idea that they’re suspended on a list because maybe, the next time I wander into Stones it’ll be the one I pick up.

It scared me

During my early days of blogging I did have a very long list of books to read. I would add any books that interested me or I would download them on my Kindle, maybe write them in my journal. The list grew and grew. The classics part of the list felt like a monster towering over me. I will read Frankenstein, and Anna Karina. I will attempt Tolstoy. But it became something I avidly avoided. As I added more books to it I strayed further and further.

I’m constantly changing as a reader

I think reading is seen as a constrained activity. It’s old/doesn’t change/doesn’t grow. The phrase I detest is ‘reading is boring.’ You’re just reading the wrong thing. Reading does grow – and so do we as readers. Things happen – politics, natural disasters, cures for illness and these all inspire books. It could be fiction, it could be non-fiction, either way I’m constantly changing and a TBR felt too static.

The forgotten books

There’s nothing better than entering a bookshop and seeing a book that once sat on your TBR. You walk in, spot it. Think – shit yes, I meant to get round to that. You pick it up and take it home. Devour it.

I’m sorry if I gave any of you readers a heart flutter. Do you have a TBR? Should I think about creating one again. Let me know. I’m off to read some Murakami I had forgotten about.

I don’t have a To Be Read List. It’s okay – I haven’t lost my mind.

I don’t have a To Be Read List.

You know when you buy a book for someone and they just don’t love it. Or they keep slightly quiet about it. Well, I bought this for T a couple of months back because he’s a cat person. (I’m not a cat person in the slightest.) Seeing as he was trying to read quite heavy political books at the time I thought – he would love that. Turns out he didn’t. So I decided to read it and let you know what I thought – so read on to find out.

Blurb

A couple in their thirties live in a small rented cottage in a quiet part of Tokyo. They work at home as freelance writers. They no longer have very much to say to one another. 

One day a cat invites itself into their small kitchen. She is a beautiful creature. She leaves, but the next day comes again, and then again and again. New, small joys accompany the cat; the days have more light and colour. Life suddenly seems to have more promise for the husband and wife; they go walking together, talk and share stories of the cat and its little ways, play in the nearby Garden. But then something happens that will change everything again.

The Guest Cat is an exceptionally moving and beautiful novel about the nature of life and the way it feels to live it. The book won Japan’s Kiyama Shohei Literary Award and was a bestseller in France and America.

My Review

Right, so The Guest Cat is a very simple novella with a very simple plot-line. A young couple renting a beautiful guesthouse become enamoured by a tiny cat who they attempt to entice into their home. Refusing to pick her up or invade her space the cat quickly becomes a regular visitor and soon has the young couple under her spell. The couple know that the tenure in the guesthouse will come to an end in a few short months. The older couple who own the house attached to it are becoming a little old and frail and the estate will be sold and bulldozed to be made into flats. With this in mind, the couple spends as much time with the darling cat Chibi. The story narrates the touching story of the warmth, light and meaning the little cat brings to the lives of the couple.

I might seem a little bland or a little two dimensional but this book is so much more than that; it brings a life lesson both of love, companionship and respect. The Guest Cat is written in first person narration, almost in a memoir recollection. It has both detailed paragraphs and events that pinpoint important moments in the life of the couple of the cat. (There is cause to believe this is a true story.) There is very little interaction between characters it’s really a focus on the relationship between the couple and the cat that grows beautifully throughout.

The writing is very poetic and very descriptive and I have to say it’s my very favourite writing style. I love overly descriptive text and I think at times this can cause the story to become very loose in terms of tangents and time frames. Maybe at times this could cause some readers to become bored. (I think this is where T struggled with the book) but for me, it just wove stronger the bonds between the three ‘characters,’ and as I continued through I grew quite attached despite the shortness of the book.

There are inconsistencies. Chibi the cat is described with different colourings at one point which is a minor flaw. Additionally but at one point the wife and the cat have quite a tense falling out, Chibi bites her and she, in turn, discards the bed they’ve set up, the toys they’ve accumulated; but a passage or so later they are fine the cat is back and there is no explanation. I did like however that Chibi is referred to throughout but the humans are never named. The writer, his poet wife, the friend named Y – the names referred to towards the end are all cats. I liked this.

Final Thoughts

I get why T wasn’t sure on this. On a superficial level, it’s a story about a cat and a young couple and their relationship. Underneath it’s about so much more. The trouble of housing, the relationships that are altered and damaged by the cat, the personality changes from having a new companion and the climax of the story how this can abruptly change at any moment (for multiple reasons.) This is a decent little read that will entertain, provide a little philosophical insight but will probably really you consider getting your own little Chibi.

Amazon – Goodreads 

 

 

Did I mention we now live a ten-minute walk from a beautiful bookstore where all the books are only a £1? Did I? Have you fainted? God, it’s been a struggle not to buy something new every, single, day. But T and I have been good. I already have a bookcase full of books and an entire rooms worth of books back at home and T has a growing collection. We’ve been in twice and so far we’ve bought 5 books. Yes, only five and here’s a review of one those beauties.

Fiddle City by Dan Kavanagh staring Duffy

Fiddle City by Dan Kavanagh starring Duffy

Blurb

Everyone knows a bit of petty theft goes on in the freight business at Heathrow. It is fiddle city, after all. But things have gone beyond a joke for Roy Hendrick. He suspects someone who works for him is helping themselves to more than they should. That’s when he sets Duffy on the case.

A bisexual ex-policeman, Duffy runs a struggling security firm, has an obsessive attitude to cleanliness and can often be found propping up the bar at the Alligator. Duffy agrees to work for Hendrick and goes undercover to try and root out the culprit.

But things aren’t all they’re cracked up to be and soon Duffy worries he’s trying to be bought. What’s the story behind the imperious HR manager Mrs. Boseley with her permanently frosty demeanour? And is Hendrick really as honest as he claims to be? Duffy’s up to his neck in it.

My Review

As the blurb suggests the book follows the hard-hitting but exciting investigation from the bisexual, ex-policemen and security firm owner/only employee Duffy. Hired by Roy Hendricks, following an almost hookup in a gay bar, Duffy is required to help Hendricks who is fed up with his freight going missing and his customers getting pretty annoyed. One of Hendricks employees has had a rather terrible accident on the M4 and so there’s a vacancy for Duffy. It soon becomes apparent there are a number of dirty dealings going on when a massive wodge of cash appears in Duffy’s locker. From then on we join Duffy’s investigation as he attempts to unearth what on earth is going on with the help of an incredibly downbeat security guard from Heathrow who has a surprising number of stories as to how someone can fiddle the airport and its staff.

Review of Fiddle City by Dan Kavanagh starring Duffy

Review of Fiddle City by Dan Kavanagh starring Duffy

Duffy is an incredible character; he has this brutish exterior but he’s also obsessed with cleanliness and he can’t anything ticking in his bedroom. Meaning that if there are any after-dark activities in Duffy’s bedroom they have to deposit their watching in a box in the bathroom. The writing has a coarse style that I really enjoyed and the dating of the book (the 1980’s) is very subtly working in with the use of telephone boxes and no mention of the M25. The humour is incredibly dry and basic but also a little wonderful. There are a number of scenes placed in a topless bar and the writing here is especially amusing. At one point I had to show T and we both dissolved into slightly disgusted giggles.

The writing is very distinctive and throughout it keeps a good pace and a really intriguing plot-line. The little stories woven in by the disgruntled security guy help to keep the mystery fresh and I thought that although the book was an easy read it definitely had a darker seedier side that darkened as I read to the end of the book. It’s also impossible to dislike Duffy

Final Thoughts

I thought this book was a lot of fun. I struggled a little at the beginning but it turned into a very interesting but dark humoured book. Pocketed with lots of twists and turns which Duffy helps to hold together. Incredibly glad I picked this up at the bookshop and now I think I might need to go back and add another of this author’s books to my collection.

Linnks 

Amazon 

Author Website 

Goodreads

 

Gah this post could end up being a downer. I don’t want to go into too many details but as you can imagine my moving to Greenwich did rest on a number of chances? Maybe promises is a better word. Some of them appear to be falling through and it’s left me feeling under-the-weather with an inflamed eye and I’m still not quite over this cold. But I’m cheering up. I promise.

Greenwich Clockhouse Market

T isn’t a fan of the Clockhouse Market in Greenwich. I think it’s because it’s one of those markets where you really have to look. There are lots of bits and bobs which I wouldn’t  want but another man’s trash is another man’s treasure and all that. I bought a retro-leather handbag for £15 which I have already fallen head over heels for. It’s such a perfect shape, colour and size. I also bought a longline cardigan in a size 14 (which is a little too big for me) but makes it into this perfect oversized cardi.

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Caribbean Food from Greenwich Market

Not even going to apologise for this one- every week that we’re in London together T and I find an excuse to stop into Greenwich Market and buy something amazing. I had been eyeing up the Caribbean food for a couple of weeks and it was to die for. Slow-cooked pork, perfectly cooked and seasoned rice and peas, and I love coleslaw (I think it’s a love of hate kinda thing.) Anyway – this was fantastic.

Danny Dyer and Who do you think you are?

I’m not a big fan of Danny Dyer but on Who do you think you are, he was brilliant. It’s a really funny and intriguing episode and definitely worth a watch.

Nutribullet

I work at a University and lots of people sell bits and bobs every week. There’s a been a chainsaw, a tortoise and over 200 comic books come through just this week. Over black Friday I had my eyes on a Nutribullet but I just couldn’t justify the cost. This week a silver one popped up for only £25.00 on said selling page so I nabbed it. It arrived the next day, it’s almost new and I adore it. Such a brilliant Christmas present just for me.

Weight-loss 

As of this week I’ve lost a stone and three pounds and kept it off (SO FAR.) I’m incredibly proud of myself and starting to feel more confident. I didn’t realise that my wardrobe had almost become a shrine to oversized jumpers and baggy tshirts so may need to do a little more shopping. I’ve written a couple on posts of how I’ve done it – mainly the snacks I’ve converted to whilst reading and blogging so they’ll be up soon!

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(I made a chicken tickka masala style soup and it was incredible – tasty and filling and super healthy.)

Pokemon Go!

Any fellow Pokemon fans will know that the game has gone a little downhill over the last few months and that Niantic have been trying to get people back playing again but finally FINALLY there’s a tracking system that allows you to find pokemon a pokestops which is brilliant. Hilariously T and I live on top of Pokestop so when playing from the sofa it’s not helpful but when you’re out an about it bloody brilliant.

Aaaaaaand I finally caught a bloody ditto! Fuck yas. 

So there’s my week. I’ve struggled a little this week if I’m honest – my blog needs a refresh, my job is brilliant but unsettling at times and the cold weather has really struck me down. I’ve felt more grumbly than I have in weeks but another week down, I’m sure the next will be better.