Nashville Tour!!!!

This blog has turned into nothing but reviews again, which isn't a surprise, but what might surprise you, is that I do occasionally do things other than read and watch TV (I know, shock horror) and last week I went to the Nashville Tour! If you're not aware, Nashville is an American TV drama about the country music industry - and if you appreciate great writing and acting, engaging characters, soapy story-lines and country music you should definitely try it! (Although season 5 is pretty dire, got to be honest.) I've been a 'Nashie' since season one and I'm not the only one in my family, so when the tickets came on sale we couldn't resist.

*In case you're planning to go to another of the UK shows, the following contains set-list SPOILERS* 
 On Friday my two sisters, my mum, dad and I, traveled down to Birmingham's Barclaycard arena (Gunnar wasn't doing the Manchester show) to indulge our mutual love of ABC's Nashville and its music. And it wa…

Teaser Tuesday: Sofia Khan is Not Obliged

'Teaser Tuesday' is a link up hosted at The Purple Booker (I think - it keeps moving around!) To join in, turn to a random page in your current read and share two teaser sentences. This week I've been reading Sofia Khan is not Obliged by Ayisha Malik. I've been trying a few new books lately (I work in a library Saturday mornings so always like to take something home - because, free!) and it's been a while since something's really held my interest. But I loved Sofia Khan! Here's your quote:

'10:55pm. Of course it's not important whether someone's read Harry Potter or not. Except they must have been asleep for the better part of this century. Also, one shouldn't off-handedly disparage something they've not read. 11pm. Though I reserve the right to do so for self-published erotica. Obviously.'

The book has been described as a Muslim 'Bridget Jones' and although it sounds disparaging to compare the two, it is actually quite a go…

Why 'The Adventures of Robin Hood' is my ultimate feel-good film

Olivia at 'Meanwhile in Rivendell' is holding a Robin Hood Week over the next few days, and I couldn't pass it up. The Adventures of Robin Hood (the Errol Flynn version) was one of my favourite films as a kid - I always considered it the 'real people' version of the Disney film - and even now it's a film I return to whenever I'm feeling low, to let the genuine merriness of the Merry Men cheer me up. It's old-fashioned and cheesy and silly. But also rousing and light-hearted and a lot of fun. And there's lots of throwing back of heads and belly-laughing, which I count in its favour. I think everyone's in need of something feel-good this week, so here are my reasons why Errol Flynn's Robin will make you smile.

The music

From Gone with the Wind to Harry Potter, an iconic film score is quick to bring memories rushing back. And there's nothing more nostalgic for me than the Robin Hood music. I only need to hear the first few bars and I immedi…

The Hogwarts Tag

Spotted this tag for the first time this week and thought I'd give it a go. (*Already read this post back and it makes me sound like the geekiest person ever. But you already knew that, probably.*) If you're a Harry Potter fan consider yourself tagged :)

Am I pure-blood, half-blood or muggle born?
Er...muggle-born I suppose?
Which wand chose me?
Cherry and dragon-heartstring, 11 and a half inches, flexible. Sounds fab, but I can't remember what any of that means.
Did I take an owl, a cat, a rat or a toad?
A cat. An owl would be more practical, for post and things, but a cat would be better company. Owls have to sleep in the owlery. Where did the sorting hat put me?
Hufflepuff, "where they are just and loyal." :D
What house did I want to be in?
What kind of question is this?? Hufflepuff of course. I have proper house pride, me.

(Flashback: Me far right as Tonks at a Harry Potter Halloween feast at uni. Hufflepuff pride!)

What lessons are my favourite and least favourite…

Top Ten Tuesday: Memorable Mothers in Literature

When I saw the topic for this week's Top Ten Tuesday (a weekly link-up hosted at The Broke and the Bookish) I had a bit of a panic attack. Mother's Day??? And then I realised that we had Mother's Day ages ago in the UK, and I did get my mum a card and a present in time. Phew. Anyway, here's my list of memorable mothers in books. Got to say, I struggled slightly (I found it much easier to make a dads list). Book mums generally tend to be awful or, well...dead.  Maybe this says something about our patriachal society, but I suppose it's good to show mothers as real people, rather than angelic beings. Plus, traumatised children often make for more interesting characters. Anyway, here are a few of my favourite fictional mothers, the good and the not-so-good, in all their flawed glory. Enjoy!

Molly Weasley from the Harry Potter series

“Now, you two – this year, you behave yourselves. If I get one more owl telling me you’ve…you’ve blown up a toilet…”

There are loads of moth…

WWW Wednesday: Spring and Summer-y reads

May is here and Spring is in the air (on and off) the bluebells are out and the lately it's even been warm enough to sit and read outside. I've been trying to read seasonal appropriate books too - vaguely sunny and upbeat - if you've got any suggestions let me know! 'WWW Wednesday' is a weekly meme hosted at Taking on a World of Words. To join in just answer the three questions and leave your link in the comments at the host site :)

The Three W'S: What did you recently finish reading? What are you currently reading? What do you think you'll read next?

I just finishedThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agencyby Alexander McCall-SmithThe first in a series of books about a lady detective in Botswana, it was a lot of fun and I loved the characters, but it kind of felt like lots of short stories rather than a novel. Re-watched that pilot too and really enjoyed it. It's so well cast! Bit slow to get going, but funny and warm and I lovethe Botswana accents (although…

Female Screenwriters: The new-ish and the note-worthy

It's no secret that the film industry (like so many others) is a very male-dominated field. Every time a female director gets a taste of success, or a female protagonist is considered 'strong' it's something to be discussed and celebrated, but never considered the norm. Screenwriting is no different, although it's true that screenwriters, whether male of female, generally go under the radar anyway. (Why is that? Surely the script is key to the success or failure of any film?) I studied screenwriting for my masters course, the class was mostly men, and it seems to me that an interest in film seems to have become a bit of a boys club. Romantic comedies (other than the cynical gross-out kind) have died the death, and cinemas are currently dominated by action flicks, particularly of the super-hero variety (I'm not saying girls don't like that stuff too, but it is more traditionally geared to the boys.) Any list of 'must watch' or 'best ever' fi…