Monthly Archives: April 2014

Book Review: Coming Clean, Kimberley Rae Miller

This was a fascinating but uncomfortable read – an autobiography about growing up as the child of hoarder parents. It is a brutally honest and unflinching look at the mental issues
behind hoarding and what it means in practice – unable to keep anywhere clean, hiding the truth of how the family live from friends, ending up living in a tiny corner of the house.

It is a sad tale in lots of ways and yet the author tells it in a very matter of fact, calm way – this is her parent’s reality and although she can (and does) help them to clear up the worst of it regularly, nothing can stop them living their lives in this way.

Although it is a difficult story to read, her obvious love and care for her parents is
heartwarming and you end up having a great deal of sympathy for them all.

Book Review: Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman

This is a strange and wonderful book, set in London above and below ground – and below is a fearful, magical place with links to the London we know but which isn’t altogether recognisable.

Richard Mayhew is an ordinary man, not destined to be a hero in anyway, passively drifting into an engagement with Jessica, who wants to mould and improve him. But he defies her to rescue an injured girl who turns out to be an opener of doors – literally! He loses his world and ends up following Door into her frightening and confusing world, having adventure after adventure before eventually getting back to where he started.

I enjoyed this book as I was reading it, the story races along at a great pace and the writing is excellent. But once I’d finished, I did start to think that it would have been better if it was longer, with more about the stories of how the main characters became what they were, Islington, Door and her family, Hunter and of course the fascinating Marquis de Carabas as well as many of the more peripheral characters.

Garden Visitor

Looked out of our kitchen window this morning, just before I left for work – and saw a female pheasant perched on one of my raised beds looking as though she was munching away on the onions. No sign of her mate, an extremely loud squawker who loves all the bird food we put out. 

I chased her off my onions but they didn’t look as though they had been nibbled so now I’m wondering if actually she was culling the slugs for me? There were a number of them in the beer trap we’ve put out so I’m going to have to keep an eye on that, no good growing all my crops to lose them to slugs..

Book Review: Mercy (Department Q), Jussi Adler-Olsen

I enjoyed this Scandi crime drama, with an anti-hero detective, who has lost all his ambition and energy following an event where a colleague was killed and another seriously injured. Carl tries very hard to do as little as possible even when he is given his own department looking at old cases.

HIs cleaner/assistant Assad clearly has a very interesting background and begins to look into a past case which quickly leads us into a tense kidnap storyline. The tension really builds as the two stories begin to come together and the flashback chapters from the kidnap victim’s
viewpoint really draw you in.

Although I don’t think the book is quite up there with the Stieg Larsson Millennium Trilogy, it is an original take on the detective/thriller genre and I’m looking forward to reading the other two Department Q novels published to date.

Tree Following – April update

My second tree following post – this will be a regular monthly update on our crab apple tree. I really thought there hadn’t been much change in the month, but the photos below show lots of new growth so it is coming on nicely. It was interesting to look back at last month’s photo here and see lovely blue sky, haven’t got any of that this time round!




If you want to know more about the tree following challenge, head over to the Loose & Leafy blog for more details.