Friday, 9 October 2015

Book Review: Alistair Grim's Odditorium

When Alma offered to send me Alistair Grim’s Odditorium by Gregory Funaro for review I was initially sceptical. Why would I read a book for 8 year olds?

Alistair Grim's Odditorium - £5.59 - Alma Books

Well I would because it is fantastically fun and exciting story. I would because I fell in love with the world of Grubb, Alistair Grim and all the Odditoria.  I would because the illustrations by Chris Mould are simply superb.

We start our story by being introduced to Grubb (“with two bs”) and discover with him the secret world of Odditoria. Odditoria for the uninitiated are magical oddities from around the world. Grubb starts off as a chimney sweep in rural Victorian England. He lives with his harsh Victorian master Mr Smears after being delivered to him and his wife by the Yellow Fairy – or so Mrs Smears tells him.

As Grubb escapes and visits Victorian London he finds both the Odditorium and London to be full of magic and wonder. At this point the adventure truly begins as we meet Nigel, Mrs Pinch, Cleona and the titular Alistair Grim, a fascinating man full of mysterious secrets. As Grubb is pulled ever deeper into the world of the Odditorium so are we and we get to see the truly wondrous things Odditoria that lie within and without its black painted walls.

As a child I would have loved this. I was a big fan of Brian Jacques Redwall series as a 10 year old and battles and magic in this reminded me a bit of that style. It would also suit a child in love with the world of magic and mystery.  As a warning there are some brutal battles but I think they are not too brutal for the suggested 8-12 age range. I found them scary, but I also found My Neighbour Totoro scary. So use that as your guide!

Alistair Grim’s Odditorium is published in the UK by Alma Books who sent me this copy for review.  All views are however my own and I shall almost certainly be buying the sequel with my own money!

Monday, 5 October 2015

Monday Music: John Grant

So while I was on a kind of hiatus loads of great music came out. Seriously LOADS. I'd list it all but it might make me hyperventilate as I am in no way likely to be able to afford to get my grubby mitts on all of it.

I am however making sure I save some pennies after paying for my wisdom teeth to be removed (woe is me) to get my hands on the new John Grant album.

So we're all already big John Grant fans right? Then we all heard Disaapointing (featuring Tracey Thorn) and lost our shit right? Just checking.

If we're not on the same page check out Queen of Denmark and Pale Green Ghosts. Just do it.

Then check out Dissapointing and proceed to lose your shit:


And check out the super creepy album trailer that came out in June:

I would love to do some long explanation of why you should get this but frankly if you don't get it from that then I am not sure I can write anything to convince you. Sorry.

So this is not a review, just me imploring you to get on the John Grant train. Pronto.

Grey Tickles, Black Pressure came out on Friday. Get on it. You know you want to.

Friday, 2 October 2015


I have not been having the best couple of months. Some tough stuff has been happening and it has been, well, tough. But in amidst all the more shitty things going on there have been some nuggets of purest joy and this post is an attempt to sum those up for posterity.

I spent a lot of time eating my lunch outside while reading to catch the last of the sunshine. And I found new salad combinations I really enjoyed - the one here was rocket, tomato, strawberry, goji berries, raisins, nuts and seeds with a simple vinaigrette dressing. Yum

Leith continued to be utterly stunning. I am so lucky with where I live. This is my favourite place to be.

Broughty Ferry did try to give it a run for its money though. We went through a few times to visit family and for a good friend's 30th birthday. It was pretty darn cool.

I did Style Me September. I only took photos for the first few days, because a thing happened that knocked me off track, but I kept it up for the full run and loved the prompts to keep me going for the long slog that is the start of term!

I really do love Leith and all the shutter art. More popped up over the summer and it was a joy to behold.

We also decided rashly to walk from Leith to Musselburgh for a housewarming. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful way, but we were prudent enough to get a cab home with some local friends!.

This is another Style Me September picture but I love it so am sharing it here!

I got some excellent post over September, including a Blurt Buddy Box, a box of hand-picked goodies from the ever excellent Claire and this card which my sister saw and thought of me.

Oh and a certain Mr Mac may or may not have turned 30 and I may or may not have made an enormous carrot cake to celebrate that fact.

He definitely turned 30. He got some pretty cool gifts and had a whale of a time. 

Seriously Leith? How do you get by with being so beautiful. 

New students arrived and we gave them sweets and treats and I nearly killed myself trying to make our timetable work. I love students, I love academics, I love working in a uni, I love our timetabling team, I hate timetabling. But when it works out - possibly one of the best feelings!

Later this day we had the annual barbecue. Yes. It was lovely and sunny and we stayed late chatting and enjoying the late September sunshine. Because there was sunshine.

See - this is me the next day going on a ROAD TRIP!

A road trip which meant I got to see Sheli!

and Ems

I love these ladies.

 And on the way back we went to OK Diner and I had a coke float. I bloody love coke floats.

So yeah - that was September - how was it for you?
Related Posts with Thumbnails