big woo, books i've been reading, cooking, kids' books i've been reading

I went to London and all I got was…

…champagne and lovely lunch and boooooooooooooooooks! Oh, glee. It’s not in the shops till April, so until then you’ll just have to make do with a rubbish cameraphone picture which in no way conveys the sheer SHININESS of the beautiful wee thing. And the inside looks even more pretty. I love it to bits, I do.

I might be convinced to part with one or two – mainly to stop me from spending the next six weeks in a giddy stupor, unable to stop just gazing lovingly at its shiny woo-some self. You’ll have to be very persuasive, though. I am open to all forms of bribery involving either tea or cake. Let the bidding commence!

Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine (YA 12+, contemporary fiction). I loved her debut last year, Finding Violet Park, and we’re in similar territory here, with another teenage hero struggling with the responsibility of taking on an adult role within a family. FVP‘s Lucas was trying to become his missing father while searching for him: Broken Soup‘s Rowan has to play parent to both her little sister and her ailing Mum, in the absence of her dynamic big brother. There’s romance too, and a puzzle to solve – but unlike her first book, precious few laughs. Yet however much I found myself missing Lucas’s sly little asides, there’s really no place for them in this heartbreaking story. Any reservations I had about the meandering plot and the slow place were crushed by the latter half of the novel, in which difficult subject matter and a slightly creaky plot twist are handled with such skill that there is not one false emotional note. Not fun, exactly, but absolutely worth the work. (Contrast Anne Kelley’s The Bower Bird, winner of the 2007 Children’s Costa and the last in my trio of ‘books about kids at death’s door’, which I will be kind enough not to pass comment on. If you can’t say anything nice…)

Writing? I have no time for writing! I am too busy meeting sales reps and being taken out for lunch by my editor!

Compulsively listening to the Moldy Peaches and Kimya Dawson (baa baa, yes, I know); being in Wales; ice-skating (which apparently is a Thing I Can Do now: how odd); becoming strangely obsessed with Masterchef (though if Emily doesn’t win, this will lead to sulking).


12 thoughts on “I went to London and all I got was…”

  1. Oh dear – I assume you’re sulking then? I am now casting around wildly for something to replace Masterchef in my affections – suggestions gratefully received!

  2. And shiny, shiny, shiny, shiny, shiny books! Don’t offer them around to people – make them buy them.

  3. I am sulking, alas. She was robbed by that evil Sideshow Bob!Apparently scouring YouTube for old-skool Masterchef with Lewd Grossman is the done thing for coping with post-‘chef blues. The lack of the John ‘n’ Gregg romance, however, may scupper this plan. I suppose we could go to the kitchen and do cooking instead of watching it on the telly?And I can’t make people buy them as they aren’t purchasable! But rest assured I plan to harass people to part with cold hard cash come April. Firearms may be involved, I warn ye.

  4. Very Shiny. Oooooh! Am unfortunately not in a position to offer tea. Or cake. Except by post. Boo. So will wait patiently. They took Serafina away! Why? Why?

  5. You can tempt me with offers of future cake and tea? (Or possibly those chicken thingies?) Though I might have to ask the ‘narth crowd to share one or two around you all: just gave one to some Actual Teenagers and am starting to feel possessive about the little pile of lovelies…Yeah, there was much debate about subtitles and straplines and so on, and while I personally think the title of a book is what’s supposed to go on the front cover, I also agree there’s a point where you’re trying to put too many things on the front cover along with it, and actually I’m quite happy with the compromise. Mainly because OH LOOK SHINY.

  6. Ooh now I feel even more privileged! Thank you so much!I think I will read my copy this afternoon whilst eating something indulgent. *bliss* Before the teens get their mitts on it…

  7. Ooh I am halfway through and having to take a break because OMG it’s like living in the bedroom of my teenager girl and trust me, I venture into that world as little as I can…Very much enjoying it…eating Cadbury cake to accompany.

  8. ‘Big Woo: authentic enough to require parents of teenagers to seek therapeutic cake’. Can we quote you? :PGlad you’re enjoying! Mmm, cake…

  9. Well Izi took it home last night – she had been babysitting and wanted to finish it. So I will have to wait my turn. Hrmph.Meanwhile Moanie Miss Groanie has gone off on a strop and MOTHER’S DAY! Low it.All cos I insisted that two late nights parteh-ing, all Saturday out with pals demanded she now spend Sunday attending to the complaints raised in yet another letter from school.Sound familiar? At least I got my perfume and chocs first. Mwaha.

  10. Oh well: Mother’s Day is all about the gifties, not the sentiment. Or something. :(Tell Izi to let me know what she thought (good and bad, I shan’t bite her or anything)! How was the night’s dancing?

  11. Yes, it’s NOT the thought that counts, I’ve had ‘thought’ before and yanno what? Not nearly as good as the actual loot.I will ask Izi but she rarely comments on anything beyond “Ya, I really liked it…” She said last night that it was ‘really good’.

  12. ‘Really good’ > ‘steaming turd’. Good enough for me!Certainly ‘I thought of buying you chocolates’ is not anywhere near as appealing as ‘Here are chocolates’. Unless they are Ferrero Rocher.

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