Friday, 22 November 2019

Blog Tour: The Death of Mungo Blackwell

The Death of Mungo Blackwell: Lauren H Brandenburg

I've been struggling to keep on top of my reading pile, lately. Nonetheless, when I received an email a few months back about this book, I knew I'd have to make some time to fit it in to my schedule, so I've read it through my lunchbreaks over the past weeks.

The Death of Mungo Blackwell follows The Blackwells, a family with astounding history and traditions, which include holding their funerals before they die. Their ways are questionable and their stories about deceased relatives are as bold as their red hair, but it is their eclectic wares that keep tourists coming back to their market in the town of Coraloo.  Charlie Price finds himself flung into the chaotic world of the Blackwells when he relocates to Coraloo with his socialite wife, Veleteen, and comic book-obsessed son, Gideon – and soon finds this new way of life under threat. Perhaps it’s time for Charlie to have a funeral of his own…

I loved the idea of a family who hold their funerals before they die - much more fun to be present, wouldn't you say? Apparently, this was based on a distant relative of the author who did one and the same, which she found super intriguing. 

When Charlie and his family lose everything and decide to start life afresh in Coraloo, they suddenly find themselves flung into the midst of an ongoing feud between rival families the Blackwells and the Tofts (think Capulets and Montagues, for sure!) I have to admit, the pace of the main story was a little slow-going for my liking and I'd have preferred a little more focus on the eccentricities of the Blackwells, but it's an enjoyable story nonetheless. After all, it's not every day you can read a story featuring pirates and low-flying macarons at the same time, is it?! 

The Death of Mungo Blackwell is available now. Thanks to Midas PR for the ARC. 

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Friday, 15 November 2019

Friday Favourites: Festive Knits

As the dreaded C-word looms ever closer, my attention has turned to those warm winter woollies that seem to be plugged in advance of Save the Children's annual Christmas Jumper Day on 13th December this year. I don't know about you but we always support this one at work.

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Every year I'm amazed at how many new and unusual designs are released - you'd have thought the festive jumper market would be saturated by now with reindeer and robins, but it seems not. Here are a few of the ones which have caught my eye in recent weeks. 

001: I'm desperately sad that this one only comes in kids' sizes. 

002: More of a winter-y jumper, I'm enjoying the IWOOT range of contemporary pop culture Christmas designs. I figure this one would be perfect for chilling with a mulled wine apres ski on the next skiing holiday. 

003: HelloDODO never fail to come up with designs which are both quirky and quippy. I love their festive offering - of course, that might be because it features a dinosaur. 

004: I love this Pacman design - it's an online exclusive for Tu Clothing and I'm ignoring the fact that it's in the mens secion, because how can a jumper even be gendered?!

005: If a full-on jumper isn't your thing, how about a Christmas tank top instead? And if that's not enough, why not cover it in fairy lights..and toucans?!

006: Not a fan of jumpers full stop? Well, I'd opt for one of Little Moose's wonderful necklaces instead.

007: Enjoying this penguin-y take on fair isle. It makes for a slightly more general "winter" jumper, which I guess you could wear for more months.

008: Little Pig has a new Christmas jewellery collection due out soon, but these Xmas sweater pins are available now as part of her sample sale. 

009: I like this one because a first look, it's a fairly staid design (is that even a thing with a Christmas jumper?!), but it lights up!

010: Festive Muppets? A winner for my best friend who starts the festivities off every year with a rewatch of A Muppet Christmas Carol. 

Do any of these take your fancy? I have a discount code for IWOOT if anyone wants it. Use CHARXMAS for 30% off. 

Of course, I've been considering making myself a Christmas jumper for a while now, too. I really love Andi Satturland's Julgran pattern - but who knows which Christmas it will be before I actually find time to knit one for myself. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Tuesday Titles 175..

Dear Edward
Dear Edward: Ann Napolitano

If you're a superstitious person at all, I'll start by suggesting that you don't make the same error that I did and begin this book in the airport waiting area, as you wait to board your plane home. (It's about a plane crash.)
Having said that, if I'm honest, I didn't find that reading this whilst flying home bothered me too much, as I was too engrossed in the story. If anything, it seemed rather fitting.

Gradually, through each chapter, we find out more about the lives of some of the passengers on the plane that day, as well as how Edward - the sole survivor of the devastating crash - attempts to continue with his life even though nothing can ever be the same for him.

Read anything great lately? I've been feeling a little bit stuck in a rut with my to-read list, lately.