Horror, Internet, Librarian's Choice, Not Library Related, Playlists, Reviews

Podcast recommendations: Lore, Tanis, Limetown, The Black Tapes and Alice isn’t dead

09.08.16 | Permalink | Comments Off

Podcasts are just the thing for shelving, I find, but I often struggle to find good ones. So I was excited to find four that I really enjoy. Like a lot of my recommendations, they err on the side of the creepy and/or mysterious. All are free and all are available on iTunes. All have quality voice acting and excellent production values.

The Black Tapes

Borrowing Serial’s format, this (fictional) podcast follows Alex Reagan, a reporter investigation Dr. Strand, a mysterious figure who’s offered a million dollars for scientific evidence of the supernatural. The podcast takes its name from a mysterious collection of tapes that contain footage that Dr. Strand has never been able to definitively debunk. What seems a straightforward assignment takes Alex (and the listeners) on a strange journey involving mysterious deaths, sacred geometry and Dr. Strand’s missing wife.


Tanis is made by the same people who make The Black Tapes- both in real life and in universe. Like The Black Tapes, the podcast follows a single journalist, Nic Silver, as he investigates the mysterious concept or place or conspiracy known as Tanis. Nic is searching for a real mystery in the internet age – like Alex, he finds a lot more than he’s looking for. While TBT focuses on the supernatural, Tanis skews more to strange conspiracies. Nic relies on the services of Meerkatnip, a hacker who spends as much time wryly dealing with Nic’s naivety as searching for information on the hidden side of the internet.

Both are in their second season, so there’s a plenty to catch up on.


Limetown’s my pick for the best of the bunch – once again, a journalist seeks to find out the truth, this time behind the mysterious disappearance of over 300 people from a small town in America. Like Tanis and TBT, the journalist gets a lot more than she’s bargained for; the tense atmosphere starts at episode 2 and doesn’t let up until its shocking conclusion. Unfortunately, there’s no sign of a second season, but there may be a TV show in the future and the creators are working on a prequel novel.

Alice isn’t dead

Like the previous three, Alice isn’t dead follows a narrator chasing after a central mystery; what happened to her wife, Alice, whom she had presumed dead. Unlike the others, the narrator isn’t a professional journalist; instead, she’s a long haul truck driver, transporting mundane domestic items across America. The podcast consists of her audio diaries, which she narrates to Alice. Along the way, the narrator encounters many other strange occurances and people, some of which are connected to the central mystery of Alice, others which are not.

Books, Grimm, New

Upcoming Brand New Fiction

03.08.16 | Permalink | Comments Off

Stealing Snow, Danielle Paige (October). Danielle Paige, who wrote the very cool Dorothy Must Die series, has fixed her steely gaze on Snow (White).  Snow is trapped inside the Whittaker Institute, a high-security mental hospital (not a chocolate factory, as I first thought). With the help of an orderly she escapes, to return to her home of Algid, where Snow gradually figures out the truth behind why she was in Whittaker, and how much danger she is in.

Replica, Lauren Oliver (October). “Gemma has been in and out of hospitals since she was born. ‘A sickly child’, her lonely life to date has revolved around her home, school and one best friend, Alice. But when she discovers her father’s connection to the top secret Haven research facility, currently hitting the headlines and under siege by religious fanatics, Gemma decides to leave the sanctuary she’s always known to find the institute and determine what is going on there and why her father’s name seems inextricably linked to it. Amidst the frenzy outside the institute’s walls, Lyra – or number 24 as she is known as at Haven – and a fellow experimental subject known only as 72, manage to escape. Encountering a world they never knew existed outside the walls of their secluded upbringing , they meet Gemma and, as they try to understand Haven’s purpose together, they uncover some earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls forever…” (goodreads.com)

Gone Wild, Robert Muchamore (October). The third book in the Rock Wars series, from the author of CHERUB. Jay, Summer and Dylan have made it through the Boot Camp stage of the Rock Wars reality TV show, and now face the Battle Zone. But! They also have their own issues to battle, and Dylan is investigating corruption that might be going on behind the scenes of the popular TV show. Things could get interesting.

Diary of a Haunting, M. Verano. Love the cover! A creepy horror! Paige moves into an impressively awful house in Idaho with her mother and brother. Horrible things happened there in the past, and horrible things are happening now. “Found in the aftermath, Diary of a Haunting collects the journal entries, letters, and photographs Paige left behind” (goodreads.com). Spooky.

Books, Comedy, dystopia, Great Reads, Mysteries, Nicola

New books

02.08.16 | Permalink | Comments Off

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsRemade, Alex Scarrow

Leon and his younger sister, Grace, have recently moved to London from New York and are struggling to settle into their new school when rumours of an unidentified virus in Africa begin to fill the news. Within a week the virus hits London. The siblings witness people turning to liquid before their eyes, and they run for their lives. A month after touching Earth’s atmosphere the virus has assimilated the world’s biomass. But the virus isn’t their only enemy, and survival is just the first step. (Goodreads)

First lines: The girl was only ten. Her name was Camille. She was on her way to collect water from the drinking well, a large battered and dented tin jug dangling from each hand, when she spotted it just a few meters off the hard dirt track. A dead dog. Not an uncommon sight. Except the fact it was only half a dead dog.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsWhen Michael met Mina, Randa Abdel-Fattah

When Michael meets Mina, they are at a rally for refugees – standing on opposite sides. Mina fled Afghanistan with her mother via a refugee camp, a leaky boat and a detention centre. Michael’s parents have founded a new political party called Aussie Values. They want to stop the boats. Mina wants to stop the hate. When Mina wins a scholarship to Michael’s private school, their lives crash together blindingly. (Goodreads)

First lines: I know two things for a fact. My parents are good people. And ever since I can remember, they’ve been angry about almost everything. I scan the area and see my dad, draped in the Australian flag, talking to Li Chee, who’s wearing a flag top hat and holding up a Turn Back the Boats banner.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe monstrous child, Francesca Simon

A stunning, operatic, epic drama, like no other. Meet Hel, an ordinary teenager – and goddess of the Underworld. Why is life so unfair? Hel tries to make the best of it, creating gleaming halls in her dark kingdom and welcoming the dead who she is forced to host for eternity. Until eternity itself is threatened. (Goodreads)

First lines: You’d think after my brother the snake was born, they’d have stopped at one. But no. Next was the wolf, Fenrir. And then me. How Mum must have hoped, when my top half slithered out, that it was third time lucky. A human head. Praise the Blood Mother.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsOne would think the deep, Claire Zorn

It’s 1997 and seventeen-year-old Sam is mourning the sudden loss of his mum…Sam has always had things going on in his head that no one else understands, even his mum. And now she’s dead, it’s worse than ever. With nothing but his skateboard and a few belongings in a garbage bag, Sam goes to live with the strangers his mum cut ties with seven years ago: Aunty Lorraine and his cousins Shane and Minty. Despite the suspicion and hostility emanating from their fibro shack, Sam reverts to his childhood habit of following Minty around and is soon surfing with Minty to cut through the static fuzz in his head. But as the days slowly meld into one another, and ghosts from the past reappear, Sam has to make the ultimate decision … will he sink or will he swim. (Goodreads)

First lines: Sam rang from the hospital. A social worker called Amanda gave him a dollar for the phone in the shop that sold teddy bears and balloons with the declarations of love. Sam plugged his ear with a finger to drown out the chaos in the corridor behind him. He didn’t know the voice of the guy who answered. He didn’t know any of them anymore.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe edge, Roland Smith

The International Peace Ascent is the brainchild of billionaire Sebastian Plank: Recruit a global team of young climbers and film an inspiring, world-uniting documentary. The adventure begins when fifteen-year-old Peak Marcello and his mountaineer mother are helicoptered to a remote base camp in the Hindu Kush Mountains on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. When the camp is attacked and his mother taken, Peak has no choice but to track down the perpetrators to try to save her. (Goodreads)

First lines: The snow leopard makes an impossible leap. Twelve feet. Maybe fifteen. Up the sheer rock face. Landing on a narrow shelf as if she is lighter than air. Her two cubs stand below, yowling for her to come back down.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsAm I normal yet?, Holly Bourne

All Evie wants is to be normal. She’s almost off her meds and at a new college where no one knows her as the girl-who-went-crazy. She’s even going to parties and making friends. There’s only one thing left to tick off her list…But relationships are messy – especially relationships with teenage guys. They can make any girl feel like they’re going mad. And if Evie can’t even tell her new friends Amber and Lottie the truth about herself, how will she cope when she falls in love?

First lines: It started with a house party. This wasn’t just any house party. I was also My First Date. Like first EVER date. In my entire life. Because, finally, following all the crap that had gone down, I was ready for boys.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsGemini, Sonya Mukherjee

Seventeen-year-old conjoined twins Clara and Hailey have lived in the same small town their entire lives—no one stares at them anymore. But there are cracks in their quiet existence, and they’re slowly becoming more apparent. Clara and Hailey are at a crossroads. Clara wants to stay close to home, avoid all attention, and study the night sky. Hailey wants to travel the world, learn from great artists, and dance with mysterious boys. As high school graduation approaches, each twin must untangle her dreams from her sister’s, and figure out what it means to be her own person.

First lines: About four years ago, when I was thirteen and still prone to crying spells, my mother liked to show off her so-called wisdom by telling me that every teenage girl sometimes feels like a freak of nature.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsP.S. I like you, Kasie West

While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she’s flustered — and kind of feels like she’s falling for him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identity of the letter writer — but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could have ever imagined it to be. Now that Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart?

First lines: A lightning strike. A shark attack. Winning the lottery. No I lined through all the words. Too cliché. I tapped my pen against my lips. Rare. What was rare? Meat, I thought with a small laugh. That would go really well in a song.

Fashion Friday, Style Catalogue

Fashion Friday

29.07.16 | Permalink | Comments Off

amazinger face

Amazinger Face! So, this isn’t exactly a fashion book. It’s a beauty book. But it’s hard to look chic and fashiony if your hair and makeup aren’t en pointe, so that’s where this book comes in!

I am a dedicated devotee of the author Zoë Foster-Blake; this book is a follow up to her earlier publication Amazing Face and is also fabulous. It gives really straight-up and helpful advice on eeeeeverything you need to know in the grooming department, and also recommends specific brands and products for particular skin types. Think of this as the kind of book you would refer to before you make any kind of beauty-type purchase. (Zoë also writes fiction, which we have, but I can’t vouch for as I haven’t read any. Just thought it was interesting and you might wanna know.)

Syndetics book coverAmazinger face : clever beauty tricks, should-own products and spectacularly useful how-to-do-its / Zoë Foster Blake.
“Fully revised and updated! Over 60 new pages! New longer title! Sometimes a lady just needs to know the most flattering lipstick for her skin tone, or how to correctly use sunscreen, or a very quick hairstyle to conceal her unwashed hair. And there’s no reason she shouldn’t know which foundation or mascara is best for her, either. All the answers are here, in this top-to-toe beauty extravaganza. Former Cosmopolitan and Harper’s BAZAAR beauty director, and the founder of Go-To skin care, Zoe Foster (Blake) suggests makeup colours and brands for every occasion; useful, practical skin care routines and products for every age; and step-by-step instructions for winged eyeliner, arresting red lips, foolproof tanning, simple updos, sexy-second-day hair, and much, much more . . .” (Syndetics summary)

Fashion Friday, Style Catalogue

Fashion Friday

22.07.16 | Permalink | Comments Off


I can never resist a bit of Audrey (or Givenchy).

Syndetics book coverAudrey and Givenchy : a fashion love affair / Cindy De La Hoz.
“The words “Audrey style” conjure images of ballet flats, little black dresses, bateau necklines, capri pants, and countless stunning fashions.

Audrey Hepburn, the fashion icon, got her start in the early 1950s, just as a young French designer, Hubert de Givenchy, was beginning his legendary career. Together Audrey and Givenchy were a brilliant meeting of minds. Over the course of their forty-year friendship and professional partnership, both became fashion icons whose collaborations influenced trends for generations to come.

Audrey and Givenchy is a celebration of their work both onscreen and off, featuring fashion profiles on such classics as Sabrina , Breakfast at Tiffany’s , Charade , How to Steal a Million , and perhaps greatest of all, Funny Face (who could forget the many looks of Audrey’s transformation from dowdy librarian to high-fashion model?). Also covering their greatest off-screen fashion hits for awards shows and events and featuring photos throughout, Audrey and Givenchy is a stunning showcase of the most influential teaming of star and designer in fashion history.” (Syndetics summary)

dystopia, Fantasy, Horror, Librarian's Choice, Not Library Related, Uncategorized

Webcomic recommendation: Stand Still, Stay Silent

21.07.16 | Permalink | Comments Off

Stand Still, Stay Silent is probably one of my favourite webcomics ever – which is surprising, since I only started it on Friday. I read it through in one sitting, and I keep going back – there’s stuff you miss on the first reading. This summary is taken from its website:

“It’s been 90 years after the end of the old world. Most of the surviving population of the Known world live in Iceland, the largest safe area in existence, while the safe settlements in the other Nordic countries; Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, are small and scarce. Countless mysterious and unspoken dangers lurk outside the safe areas, the Silent world, and hunters, mages and cleansers will spend their lives defending the settlements against the terrifying beings. Because of a great fear towards everything in the Silent world no official attempts to explore the ruins of the old have been made, and most of the information about it has turned into ancient lore, known by few. But now, at last, it is time to send out an research crew into the great unknown! A poorly funded and terribly unqualified crew, but a crew nonetheless.”

The title comes from a piece of advice for dealing with the strange beasts that lurk in the Silent World, which neatly sums up the comic’s creepy atmosphere.

“If you come across a Beast, a Troll or a Giant do not run or call for help, but stand still and stay silent. It might go away.”

There’s an awful lot of weight in that might, hmm?

Despite the grim sounding premise, the author also describes the comic this way: “(this) is a lighthearted, Nordic postapocalyptic adventure with a lot of friendship, some magic and a little bit of horror and drama.”

There’s a large amount of humour in this comic, as the various team members try to work past cultural differences and language barriers, their own inexperience and the fact that some of them are just plain weird, to accomplish their mission, or at the very least, survive. The Beasts, Trolls and Giants are truly terrifying, but luckily they have mages, a kitten and an Icelandic shepherd. You’ll have to read the comic to work out that last sentence. It’s also great to see fiction based in the Nordic countries – something that is rare and intriguing, since the author skillfully weaves Nordic mythology through the comic.

And the art. The art is stunning – lush, beautifully coloured, unique – a style which manages to convey both the humour and the horror of the setting. It’s clearly a labour of love, and the love of the characters and setting is obvious.

The other thing to love about this webcomic is its regular update schedule – every day, although obviously time zones come into play. It’s a small thing, but it means you won’t be left hanging around waiting for the next installment.

Books, Grimm, New

Upcoming YA Novels: Sports Edition

20.07.16 | Permalink | Comments Off

Because in three weeks or so people will be watching too much sport we thought we’d highlight some sport-themed fiction we’ve ordered very recently. They’re all about sports and girls, which we say great! to.

The Season, Jonah Lisa Dyer. Megan McKnight is extremely capable. She can do 60 box jumps (without stopping) and bench press 150 pounds (is 68kg), so she’s a Crossfit dream. Also, she’s a soccer (football) star. Then her mother enters her in the Dallas debutante season. We see where this is going! Can Megan mix it with the other debs? A retelling of Pride and Prejudice, they tell us. I am imagining Lizzie Bennet doing box jumps (she’d do more than Mr Darcy). Also, we are also reminded of Dairy Queen, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock; D.J. is similarly sporty and goes up against social norms when she plays football (American football).

On the Road to Find Out, Rachel Toor. After finding out she has not been accepted to Yale, Alice, a perfectionist, goes on her first run ever. It’s not perfect, but she sees running as a way of getting herself out of the rut of complaining about her life to her best friend and her rat, Walter. (Walter? Why not, I suppose.) “What she doesn’t know is that by taking those first steps out the door, she is setting off down a road filled with new challenges – including vicious side stitches, chafing in unmentionable places, and race-paced first love – and strengthening herself to endure when the going suddenly gets tougher than she ever imagined” (goodreads.com). Yes, go running, it’s great!

Tumbling, Caela Carter. Gymnastics, this time. And a cool cover! The story of five promising gymnasts at the U.S. Olympic trials. “By the end of the two days of the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials, some of these girls will be stars. Some will be going home with nothing. And all will have their lives changed forever” (goodreads.com).


New books

18.07.16 | Permalink | Comments Off

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsWhisper to me, Nick Lake

Cassie is writing a letter to the boy whose heart she broke. She’s trying to explain why. Why she pushed him away. Why her father got so angry when he saw them together. Why she disappears some nights. Why she won’t let herself remember what happened that long-ago night on the boardwalk. Why she fell apart so completely. Desperate for his forgiveness, she’s telling the whole story of the summer she nearly lost herself. She’s hoping he’ll understand as well as she now does how love—love for your family, love for that person who makes your heart beat faster, and love for yourself—can save you after all. (Goodreads).

First lines: These are the things you need to know:
1. I hear voices.
2. I miss you.
3. I wish I could take back what I did to you.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsRiverkeep, Martin Stewart

The Danék is a wild, treacherous river, and the Fobisher family has tended it for generations—clearing it of ice and weed, making sure boats can get through, and fishing corpses from its bleak depths. Wulliam’s father, the current Riverkeep, is proud of this work. Wull dreads it. And in one week, when he comes of age, he will have to take over. Then the unthinkable happens. While recovering a drowned man, Wull’s father is pulled under—and when he emerges, he is no longer himself. A dark spirit possesses him, devouring him from the inside. In an instant, Wull is Riverkeep. And he must care for his father, too. When he hears that a cure for his father lurks in the belly of a great sea-dwelling beast known as the mormorach, he embarks on an epic journey down the river that his family has so long protected—but never explored. Along the way, he faces death in any number of ways, meets people and creatures touched by magic and madness and alchemy, and finds courage he never knew he possessed.(Goodreads).

First lines: “Your hands are shaking, Wulliam.”
Wull shrugged and shifted his grip on the mug.
“It’s cold.”

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsIn another life, Laura Jarrat

American sisters Hannah and Jenny Tooley have spent their lives dreaming of flying to the UK and visiting all the places their English mother has told them about. But Jenny’s dream turns to a nightmare when she vanishes without a trace. Hannah and her father arrive in England to a big police investigation. As Hannah gets to know some of Jenny’s friends and acquaintances, she realises that her sister is up to her neck in something – and the mysterious text messages she’s receiving bear this out. She is particularly drawn to Harry and, against her better judgement, begins to fall in love.(Goodreads).

First lines: Your text is where this story starts, Jenny.
I need you. Please come.
And so here I am: coming.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsHow to disappear, Ann Redisch Stampler

Nicolette Holland is the girl everyone likes. Up for adventure. Loyal to a fault. And she’s pretty sure she can get away with anything…until a young woman is brutally murdered in the woods near Nicolette’s house. Which is why she has to disappear. Jack Manx has always been the stand-up guy with the killer last name. But straight A’s and athletic trophies can’t make people forget that his father was a hit man and his brother is doing time for armed assault. Just when Jack is about to graduate from his Las Vegas high school and head east for college, his brother pulls him into the family business with inescapable instructions: find this ruthless Nicolette Holland and get rid of her. Or else Jack and everyone he loves will pay the price. As Nicolette and Jack race to outsmart each other, tensions—and attractions—run high. Told in alternating voices, this tightly plotted mystery and tense love story challenges our assumptions about right and wrong, guilt and innocence, truth and lies.(Goodreads).

First lines: There is a body in the woods. The flash of an electric yellow blanket in the moonlight, unfurling as it’s dragged along. A glimpse of nylon binding at the edges, sweeping the ground at the corner where the arm has fallen out.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsEnd game, Alan Gibbons

There are not many things Nick Mallory knows for sure. He knows there was a car crash. He knows he is in hospital. And he knows he feels furious with his father. What he doesn’t know is why.
As his memories start to return, Nick finds himself caught in a net of secrets and lies – where truth and perception collide and heroes and villains are not easy to tell apart.(Goodreads).

First lines: He was here again last night, the man with the dead eyes. He was in my room. He was in head. I don’t have a name for him yet. I don’t have names for many things since it happened. What I have is a jumble.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsHow it feels to fly, Kathryn Holmes

The movement is all that matters. For as long as Samantha can remember, she’s wanted to be a professional ballerina. She’s lived for perfect pirouettes, sky-high extensions, and soaring leaps across the stage. Then her body betrayed her. The change was gradual. Stealthy. Failed diets. Disapproving looks. Whispers behind her back. The result: crippling anxiety about her appearance, which threatens to crush her dancing dreams entirely. On her dance teacher’s recommendation, Sam is sent to a summer treatment camp for teen artists and athletes who are struggling with mental and emotional obstacles. If she can make progress, she’ll be allowed to attend a crucial ballet intensive. But when asked to open up about her deepest insecurities, secret behaviors, and paralyzing fears to complete strangers, Sam can’t cope. Sam forms an unlikely bond with Andrew, a former college football player who’s one of her camp counselors. As they grow closer, Andrew helps Sam see herself as he does—beautiful. But just as she starts to believe that there’s more between them than friendship, disappointing news from home sends her into a tailspin. With her future uncertain and her body against her, will Sam give in to the anxiety that imprisons her? (Goodreads).

First lines: I focus on the movement. My arms extending away from my shoulders. My back curving and arching. My knees bending and straightening. My feet pressing into the floor. I focus on all that, and for just a moment, I’m able to forget that I’m in a cozy meeting room, not a dance studio.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsBad apple, Matt Whyman

Like all good law-abiding citizens, sixteen-year-old Maurice no longer considers going off the rails as just a teenage phase. It can only mean the mark of a troll…But these trolls aren’t confined to causing trouble online: now they’re in our homes, on our streets and have ruined life as we know it. As a rule Maurice tries to avoid trouble – until the day he crosses paths with Wretch, a very bad apple indeed. And with tensions rising, can these two teens put their differences aside in order to survive? (Goodreads).

First lines: “Why can’t they just go back where they came from?” The man addressed the television as if he expected a direct answer. “There should be laws!”
On the screen, the reporter stood before a crater. It spanned the complete width of a freeway, sixty kilometres south of Dallas according to the sliding news ticker. Judging by the way several vehicles teetered over the edge, a catastrophic event had occurred without warning.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsIvory and bone, Julie Eshbaugh

Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe—that’s the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless—and nearly grave—mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives. As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo—Kol doesn’t know which—had been planning all along. (Goodreads).

First lines: The darkness in this cave is so complete I can no longer see you, but I can smell your blood.
“I think your wound has opened up again.”
“No, it’s fine.” Your words echo against the close walls. Even so, your voice sounds small. “I ran my fingers over it. It’s dry.”

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDownriver, Will Hobbs

No adults, no permit, no river map. Just some “borrowed” gear from Discovery Unlimited, the outdoor education program Jessie and her new companions have just ditched. Jessie and the others are having the time of their lives floating beneath sheer red walls, exploring unknown caves and dangerous waterfalls, and plunging through the Grand Canyon’s roaring rapids. No one, including Troy, who emerges as the group’s magnetic and ultimately frightening leader, can forsee the challenges and conflicts. (Goodreads).

First lines: I stumbled on a rock that was barely sticking up, my legs were that tired. Flailing for balance, with the pack working against me, I slipped in the mud and almost went down. I still Couldn’t believe this was really happening. I couldn’t believe my dad had done this to me.

Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Great Reads, Horror, Librarian's Choice, Nicola

Librarian’s choice : Graphic Novels

15.07.16 | Permalink | Comments Off

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsFaith Erin Hicks has been one of my favourite graphic novelists for a while; she wrote and drew both Friends with boys and Nothing can possibly go wrong, both slightly offbeat stories about high school and growing up. But I think her latest work, The Nameless City, is her most standout title so far. The titular city has been squabbled over for centuries by three “great” nations. It’s located in the only gap in the mountains, and whoever controls the city controls the wealth of this world. It has been invaded and conquered so many times that it no longer has a name. Or at least, no one can agree on one. The book follows Kai and Rat; one a dreamy military recruit from the current occupiers of the city, the Dao; Rat is a street urchin with every reason to hate the invaders. Of course, they strike up an uneasy friendship, but a fraught one, between the occupier and the occupied. By it’s more than just a story of two conflicting peoples; it’s a great adventure story as well. It’s funny and poignant. And the art, as always with Hicks, is incredible. She manages to convey a rich, lush world without being cluttered or busy. It’s a historically inspired world,

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsOn the very opposite end of the spectrum, we have Through the woods, by Emily Carroll. I first discovered her through her magnificently creepy website, which she updates yearly with a terrifying story. I’m not kidding about the “terrifying” by the way – this is the stuff of nightmares. But it’s not Freddy Kruger jump scares – the stories that Carroll writes are just as visceral, but subtle. Gory, sometimes – but they’re equally about psychological terror. Her stories often don’t have neat and tidy endings, which I like, and I personally find all the more creepy. I honestly can’t pick a favourite among the five short stories that appear in this collection.

Fashion Friday, Style Catalogue

Fashion Friday

15.07.16 | Permalink | Comments Off


If your over-flowing wardrobe is making you feel guilty, read this book (even if it’s not making you feel guilty, you should read this book). Aussie fashion writer Clare Press explores the real cost of our modern-day addiction to cheap clothing and I have to tell you, it’s pretty morbid. But the solution to the problem lies with us, as shoppers, and this book is the perfect way to kick-start some smarter (and kinder) shopping habits. The tone of this book is really great as well and will immediately draw you in. Read it.

Syndetics book coverWardrobe crisis : how we went from Sunday best to fast fashion / Clare Press.
“”Who makes your clothes? This used to be an easy question to answer: it was the seamstress next door, or the tailor on the high street or you made them yourself. Today we rarely know the origins of the clothes hanging in our closets. The local shoemaker, dressmaker and milliner are long gone, replaced by a globalised fashion industry worth $1.5 trillion a year. In Wardrobe Crisis , fashion journalist Clare Press explores the history and ethics behind what we wear. Putting her insider status to good use, Press examines the entire fashion ecosystem, from sweatshops to haute couture, unearthing the roots of today’s buy-and-discard culture. She traces the origins of icons like Chanel, Dior and Hermes; charts the rise and fall of the department store; and follows the thread that led us from Marie Antoinette to Carrie Bradshaw. Wardrobe Crisis is a witty and persuasive argument for a fashion revolution that will empower you to feel good about your wardrobe again.”” (Syndetics summary)


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