Author: Alexandra

Bullet Journalling — One notebook to rule them all!

To keep myself organised and, because I love paper and all things stationery, I’ve been a journalist all my life. From writing in little spiral-bound notebooks and school exercise books as a child, right on through to a fancy leather-bound Midori (an expensive Japanese notebook) that was a birthday gift. I’ve been an avid note-maker since I was able to hold a pencil and write. I’ve used all sorts of notebooks to scribble in, and even tried the made for journaling journal by Baron Fig—yes, what a great name! Never mind the journal that everyone seems to hold as sacred, the Leuchtturm1917. But amongst them all, big, small, ruled, dotted or blank, fancy, plain, expensive or cheap. The one I love the most has to be the A5 pocket size Moleskine. I’ve noted everything from lists of movies watched, to books I want to buy, to snippets I want to remember—quotes, sayings and random thoughts—all the things I don’t want to forget. From To-Do lists to complicated weekly and monthly calendars — they’ve all been …

Book Review: THE CITY OF BRASS

DETAILS Title: THE CITY OF BRASS Author: S.A. Chakraborty Publisher: Harper Voyager ISBN: 9780062678119 Genre: Epic Fantasy BACK COVER BLURB Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, and healing—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles. But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical Marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound. WHAT I THOUGHT …

E Pluribus Unum

Warning: This post contains spoilers from Sunday’s Madam Secretary premiere. Sometimes, and not very often enough, a TV show comes along that just rocks my world. One such show is MADAM SECRETARY, starring Teá Leoni in the title role, as Elizabeth McCord. This outstanding show—penned and steered by Barbara Hall and God himself, Morgan Freeman—is now in it’s fifth season. It was the premiere episode this Sunday, in which Gen. Colin Powell, Madeline Albright and a personal hero of mine, Hilary Clinton guest starred, playing themselves. Each of these great previous, real-life, Secretary of State, offering advice and sage counsel to the fictional McCord on the topic of a Unified America, and the rise of Nationalism — “a perversion of patriotism” she quotes in what is, quite honestly, truly one of the most outstanding speeches never given by a Secretary of State or, to come out of the White House. The fictional McCord’s remarks were inspirational—so much so, I ended up with chills going down my spine and goosebumps all along my arms. Here’s the full text …

Top 5 Tuesday: 5 Tropes I’ve Had Enough Of, Thanks!

Ah, another Tuesday, another Top 5 Tuesday, courtesy of Shanah over at, Bionic Book Worm. This week’s topic is all about tropes, again, but this time: Top 5 Tropes I’ve Had Enough Of! #1 : The Love Triangle This has to be the ultimate in clichéd tropes. Enough already, it’s been done to death! This is why I do not read romance novels. Ever! #2 : The Unlikely Hero Despite the fact Hero was a woman, why do we use the word Hero to exemplify men? Get over it people, woman are just as good, if not better, at being the hero. Where’s the female Harry Potter? Of, yeah, her name was Hermione. #3 : The Old Duffer Who’s Life Is Changed … By having a kid in the house, you know the kind of story, the Anne Of Green Gables kind of trope. Can we please reinvent this one, or get rid of it altogether? #4 : Dysfunctional Family Saga I was so done with this trope decades ago. I lived this so why …

November is SF Month

Having signed up to participate in SciFi Month (the perfect month to do a speculative fiction readathon!) I then had to think about what books I was going to read—and yes, of course, review. One book was going to be obvious. I’m reading and reviewing Beth Cato’s ROAR OF SKY for the Science Fiction Foundation website, and their magazine, Foundation. The other obvious choices of books are in my over-flowing TBR pile—I need to separate them from one pile, and make a new one exclusively for this November Challenge. My reading list now looks like this: ROAR OF SKY — Beth Cato (Fantasy) EMBERS OF WAR — Gareth L. Powell (Space Opera) LEGION OF PROPHECY — Mark A. Latham (Fantasy) MARCH OF WAR — Bennett R. Cole (Science Fiction) ORPHAN BRIGADE — Henry V. O’Neil (Military Science Fiction) If I manage to read all five books in one month, it will be something of an achievement. Not that I’ve not read more than 5 books in a month, but that lately, I just choose not …