Monday, January 18, 2010

On mystery novels

I haven't done very well so far at my repeat attempt to read a book a week. So far this year I've finished two books...which sounds great, except I had actually started them before the end of last year. One of them I started in's not as good as it sounds.

However, I am endeavouring to keep up the pace, and have started reading 'The Tiger in the Well' by Philip Pullman.

And wow.

Seriously. It is the third book in the Sally Lockhart Mysteries series. I hadn't realised after reading the first two how good they are. Which isn't to say I didn't enjoy them. But I already had a basic undertsanding of what was going to happen because the first two have been made into TV movies which I watched, mostly out of curiousity to see Matt Smith at work. And so I didn't realise that they completely suck you in. I am only about 110 pages in to The Tiger in the Well and I'm impatient to know what happens. I want to know how it all works out and I've got about 300 pages to go...which is surely the sign of a good mystery. You want to be thinking the whole time, trying to work out what's going on and who the villain is.

Which is largely different to my previous experience with mystery novels. Because mostly I have only read the 'Bones' books by Kathy Reichs. The first few were totally gripping until you realise she writes the same book again and again with mild variations. And makes a killing doing it, so all power to her. But there's not really any suspense after you've read a few because you learn to pick who the bad guy is because of a certain pattern. The book I'm reading now, though, you think you know who the bad guy is, but you know there's something more than what it appears. There's foreshadowing to give a hint as to who might be behind it all, but you can't be sure it's not just mentioning events in previous books.

And after all that, these are meant to be books for teenagers. Seriously. I found them in the teen section of Dymocks. I'm getting old enough that it just feels dodgy to hang around that section. And it's a shame because these are not books for kids. Sure, I would have lapped them up when I was 16, but I think I appreciate them more now than I would have then.

To sum up. This was a long rambly blog post which basically can be summarised by the fact that I like this book and am enjoying reading it. Consider this sucker REVIEWED!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

An Open Letter

Dear Christians Who Are Slightly More Evangelical Than Me

I often feel bad that my faith is not as open as yours. That all of the people I work with don't necessarily know about my faith. I don't like to say I'm ashamed of my faith. Because I'm not really. Mostly it's because it doesn't come up and I'm not about to force my God down anyone's throat, because that's a waste of time.

Sometimes I think maybe I should be more open about it, though.

And then I remember why I'm not.

Because if I was, I would undoubtedly get tarred with the same brush as this utter twat.
(blogger seems to be broken, you'll have to copy and paste the link...)

All of the explectives in the word can't describe my distaste of this man and the things he is saying. I want to somehow rip through the fabric of reality and tear his throat out for being such a miserable example of a loving grace-filled God. Sure, my violent desires aren't really loving or grace-filled. But I'm not speaking for an entire religion, I'm just speaking for myself.

So until people stop being twats, I'm going to stick with my 'christian but not that sort of christian' categorisation.

I hope you can understand. If not, well, truth is I don't really care.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

big ol' revelation

I had a bit of a realisation last week. I might not be the heartless *chooseyourownexpletive* that I sometimes think I am.

Don't get me wrong. I can be sharp. I can be blunt. I can be downright sarcastic, and I defintely have more than my fair share of cynicism. And because of this I sometimes think people think stuff just bounces off me and I'm fine.

Truth is, I think I feel other people's pain and hurt more than I feel my own. A couple of things happened last week; a schoolmate of mine was killed in an electrical accident, and a friend from uni lost her father to a sudden, unexpected brain bleed. And I felt so sad. Sad for a person I haven't seen in years, sad for his family. Sad for a friend who I usually think of a funny ditzy blonde. Just so so so so sad. I felt sad that people I knew were sad. And yet when things happen to those close to me, like when my grandfather died, I just sort of keep going with something close to numbness than sadness.

I'm not really sure what this actually means. But I think it's a good thing to realise about myself regardless.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


You know, I complain a lot. I don't always stop to appreciate the good things. And to be fair, the 'aughts' have not been a happy decade for me. Well...OK, probably more good things happened than bad, if I'm honest. But the bad things were so horrendous that they tend to cast a shadow over the good things.

But this morning at church the sermon basically boiled down to the fact that we need to embrace joy. We need to actively seek out joy and reasons to be joyful. That struck me. I'm usually content to wallow a bit. But I need to remember that joy is a state of mind and not really something you feel.

I think my real resolution for 2010 and indeed the next decade is to try and remember that joy and not just feel sorry for myself.

I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainty that just to be alive is a grand thing - Agatha Christie

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Elsewhere on teh interwebs

I found this

It almost makes this year's pop music seem cool. Too bad most of the performers in the video don't have the talent that the MashUp artist clearly has in his left pinky...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome to the much debated new decade

Yes, that's right, it's 2010. Seems weird to write that. People are debating about whether it is a new decade. Silly people. Surely a decade is just a period of 10 years, so really every new year could be a new decade if people had a little imagination. They're also arguing about what the decade will be called. Because apparently we have left the 'naughties' behind. I'm pretty sure the term 'naughties' is not quite as wide spread as people think, and that it only caught on in the last few years of the decade anyway. And I still hear/see people refer to exactly the same years as 'the aughts'.

So, in typical Rachel fashion, I would like to tell the media to get the freak over themselves. Not that they're going to listen to one girl typing on a blog that no one reads. But I've said it. That's something.

Also, I managed not to blog for the entirety of December. Oops. I think I wrote so much in November (50,000 words, yo) that I couldn't be bothered. But it is a new year and I will endeavour to blog.

The latter half of 2009 brought about an epic fail on my part. Yes, I said I would aim to read a book a week. No, I didn't. NaNoWriMo killed whatever chance I had of reading anything in November and by December I was basically exhausted and spent whatever time I wasn't awake sleeping. Yeah. Read that sentence back, I dare you.

But, this is a new month in a new year, and I'm going to try again. I'll start again on 'The Subtle Knife' by Philip Pullman, the sequal to 'The Northern Lights' which under no circumstances will I ever refer to as 'The Golden Compass'. It's not the title of the book and there is no compass in it whatsoever. Stupid Hollywood. Then, obviously, I'll read The Amber Spyglass. Then I'll hit up Borders and find something else to read. I also want to find the last Sally Lockhart mystery plus the follow up Jim Gordon one. But that's four books by the same author and it's probably best to not read them all at once.

What else do I resolve to do this year...well...I actually hate new years resolutions. But I am going to resolve to go a whole year without drowning another phone/assorted piece of electrical equipment. I have learned my lesson on that count, I think. Phones are like cats...they keep themselves clean and do not take kindly to being immersed in a bucket of water...I should also resolve to blog more but I think we all know that's highly unlikely. Setting unrealistic resolutions will only result in total failure.

I also resolve to tidy my room in the next couple of days. God it's a mess in here.

Over and out...