2014 – November

This month I managed to read 20 novels – wowsa! This is what happens when I have eight days off work that include plane travel! Below I’ll list the novels read for my part in judging the fantasy novel category in the Aurealis Awards which I’m not able to discuss, then below shall carry on as normal for books I’ve read for enjoyment or review.

Novels read for Aurealis Judging (thank goodness for travelling! It really helped me get through a stack!)

  • Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins
  • Raven Stone by A. K. Gallagher
  • The Scales of Time by Josephine Crnkovic
  • Uncle Adolf by Craig Cormick
  • Chosen by Shayla Morgansen
  • Shadow Sister by Carole Wilkinson
  • Nymph by Tonya Alexandra
  • Missing, Presumed Undead by Jeremy Davis
  • Troll Mountain by Matthew Reilly
  • Covens Rising by Adina West

And now, onto the novels read in November!

Skinny Bitch: A No-Nonsense, Tough-Love Guide for Savvy Girls Who Want to Stop Eating Crap and Start Looking Fabulous!

Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin is a book that’s a bit outdated, and written in a very blunt manner, all about how you should lose weight. And become vegan. And a whole lot of other things. Parts of it are quite good, parts are outdated, and parts are just so misguided that it’s a little worrying. It’s a good read if you’re prepared to put in your own effort of research and make your own decisions about the meat industry and the fear campaign out there about everything from milk products and sugars to preservatives.

My own opinion? Know what your body hates and needs in order to be healthy. Be mindful of what’s being said in the public about meat and free-range and all that and who’s saying it, for what reason and agenda. Money speaks volumes in these industries. If you want to really get into it, talk to people in the know such as actual farmers and those in-between them and markets and stores. The stories my uncle could tell you would curl your toes.

(And no, I’m not going to become vegan anytime soon.)

Lute's Tale (Lost Shimmaron, #5)

Lute’s Tale (Lost Shimmaron, #5) by Maxine McArthur is another book read for editing/publishing purposes. Not much else I can say about it currently!

I Was Here

I Was Here by Gayle Forman was one of those books you can’t put down and it leaves you exhausted from feeling so damn much while reading. My review of it can be found here. We see the rougher walks of life, where there’s dumpster diving just to eat, and the types of jobs one must take even if they come with sexual harassment – and there’s little support out there to make it go away, or for there to be consequences. This is a novel that will stay on my mind for months to come.

Galactic Suburbia Scrapbook #1

The Galactic Suburbia Scrapbook is from the podcast Galactic Suburbia (imagine that!) This scrapbook features some of the highlights of 4 years and 100 episodes of Alex, Alisa and Tansy along with some notes from loyal listeners, and how GS has made an impact on them. This is excellent for reminiscing!

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography

Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris is, as you may have guessed, an autobiography. What makes it awesome (other than it’s about the excellent NPH) is that it’s written in the style of a Choose Your Own Adventure novel – which sadly doesn’t work too well on eReaders. As such, I bought a print copy while I was away and promptly devoured it, first reading it through as you’re supposed to, flicking back and forth as directed or as you choose, but then I also read it from front to back in case I’d missed a story. And it’s a good thing I did, for reasons I won’t say! He’s had such an interesting life, and I highly recommend it.

What a Croc!

What a Croc! by NT News is a coffee-table book collection of front pages from the NT News, a newspaper in Australia known for its puns and it’s relaxed, humourous nature. You can read my review here. 

Mitosis (Reckoners, #1.5)

Mitosis by Brandon Sanderson is a very short book, more of a short story rather than a novella, set in the Reckoners series (that starts with Steelheart and shall continue with Firefight, which are listed as YA but I’d almost slant them as a higher ‘Middle Grade’ series, as they’re pretty tame. They’re pretty good fun and a light, easy read – especially this as a short story. You can read my review of it here.

SNEAK PEEK: A Darker Shade of Magic SAMPLE

Sneak preview of ‘A Darker Shade of Magic’ by V. E. Schwab was the first 130 pages of the book due to come out February 2015 and oh my goodness this is THE novel I’m looking forward to next year! You can read my short review of it here. This is just so well written, so much fun, just going to be SO dang awesome. I can’t wait for February!

The Elementary Sherlock Holmes

The Elementary Sherlock Holmes is a book that collects information about Sherlock Holmes – the short stories of canon, the characters, misc information such as the aliases Sherlock goes by, disguises he used and so on. It’s quite cute but has a bit of personal speculation that’s not really based on any fact in a few parts, which is a bit disappointing – it’d be better if it were from a neutral point of view so you could rely on it if needed. Regardless, it’s quite good. You can read my review of it here.

Ayoade on Ayoade

Ayoade on Ayoade by Richard Ayoade is an autobiography by, well. Guess. This is written in the style of interviewing himself – with one of him in bold and the other not, literally just a back and forth over the page. While not my favourite autobiography this month, it’s still pretty fun – though he’s just far too intelligent for me, so I think a bit of it went completely over my head. You can read my review of it here.


November’s monthly challenge is dystopian – any suggestions for what I should read?

Review: Ayoade on Ayoade by Richard Ayoade

AyoadePublished by: Faber (Allen & Unwin)
ISBN 13: 9780571316526
Published: December 2014
Pages: 307
Format reviewed: Paperback
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Three out of Five

I’ve been a fan of Richard Ayoade like I’d expect most of his fans have since the IT Crowd first began airing. From there I’ve mostly enjoyed him on the Gadget Man and various British quiz shows, but other than that, haven’t seen much of his other work. I’ve liked what I’ve seen though, so as soon as I saw this book, I knew I had to get it. Written in a style where he interviews himself, the book is quite intelligent and satirises the general nature of interviews most people in the entertainment industry must be so sick of. If you get the chance, look up some of the interviews he’s been part of to advertise this book (or not advertise it, as on the BBC you can’t directly promote things like this) – it’s hilarious. His very, very dry, blank humour is excellent.

But onto the book. As said earlier, this has Ayoade interviewing himself – with one of him in bold and the other not, literally just a back and forth over the page. It gets a little complicated and deep at times, Ayoade’s intellect far surpassing my own. This isn’t a simple and light autobiography that recounts childhood through discovering comedy and the famous people he’s met, no, this artfully mocks the drudgery of interviews and has quite black humour at times – pure Ayoade to a T, also showcasing that he’s a master of self-deprecation. This makes it a little hard to read at times (in a ‘I need to concentrate’ kinda way) but it’s gold throughout.

This book is full of footnotes (and an appendix which takes up a good fifth of the book, I’d say) which may make it a little hard to read on eReader, much like Neil Patrick Harris’ autobiography, incidentally. Best buy this (well, both of them) in print.

Like a lot of well known comedians, he was part of the Footlights in Cambridge which just goes to show his talent. It may seem odd for someone so new to the scene to have an autobiography out already, but this actually works. If that doesn’t convince you, I’m not sure what will.