Author Archives: anne-marie

2018 Reading Challenge Book 5–What Does This Button Do? Bruce Dickinson

I loved this book! (To be fair I select books that I’m reasonably certain I will enjoy, and am likely to not bother finishing ones that don’t hold my attention.)


The narrative moves at a reasonable pace, sometimes biographies get bogged down in certain places such as childhood or when a particular interest of the writer crops up, but this keeps a steady rhythm to it all with only a couple of moments where it drifts a tiny bit. As he states at the end of the book he leaves out births, marriages and divorces, maybe that’s the sort of salacious content some people want from autobiographies but I’ll be frank I really didn’t notice the lack of personal stuff in there because the tales of his career and various hobbies were enough to keep the pages turning. Sometimes the style is blunt, but never cruel, at times it’s almost like tales regaled to friends down the pub. There is an ego present, but it’s a balanced one.

The whole book is fascinating stuff covering music, fencing and flying all with relevant anecdotes thrown in along the way. The final chapter is particularly strong as Bruce battles cancer. If I didn’t know he’d made it out the other side of it all I’m not sure I could have got through it. (The final chapter of Greg Lake’s biography where he talks about his fight with the disease is very difficult to read knowing that he lost.)

I have a lovely signed hardback of this book thanks to a very good friend queuing up at a signing event when I had to catch a train, however I also got the kindle version to read as I really didn’t fancy risking damage to the signed copy by lugging it to and from work in my bag each day.


2018 Reading Challenge Books 2-4 No Such Thing As A Fish, Susan Calman and Sarah Millican

For a change I seem to be rattling through books at a good lick. Combining the latest three into one post as I didn’t get chance to post when I finished each of them.

The No Such Thing As A Fish Book of The Year

Much like the DoG book (see previous entry) this is the kind of book I am fascinated by. I love random facts. I wish I remembered more of them. Focusing on 2017 this book is chocked full of facts, all in alphabetical order (with amusing cross references). I do hope they plan to do this every year. By the way the No Such Thing As A Fish weekly podcast is well worth a listen if you like this sort of thing.


Cheer Up Love – Susan Calman

I’ve been following Susan Calman on twitter for a while after enjoying her appearances on The News Quiz and QI.  I’ve also loved her pure joy at being on Strictly Come Dancing. This book is a very honest, but still amusing where applicable, account of her dealing with her depression. The ultimate message is that you are not alone and even at the deepest, darkest, lowest point there is a way back. It’s written in a very approachable way, and I look forward to the next book which I think is due in September and is about kindness.

How To Be Champion – Sarah Millican
I loved this book! I bought it just out of curiosity for the kindle when it was on offer. I’d seen tweets to Sarah Millican about how much people had enjoyed it so figured it was worth a punt at 99p. It is brilliant. I found it relatable, reassuring and most of all funny. All of that could be because I am of a similar age and have a similar relationship with cake, but even so it’s a smashing book.



Next up – What Does This Button Do? – Bruce Dickinson



Links to the books in this post –


2018 Reading Challenge Book 1–Den of Geek Movie Geek

I adore books like this. I read it cover to cover but it is one of those books that lends itself to those who like to dip in and out of a book which makes it quite good for journeys of varying lengths.

Speaking of travelling, being the type of person who doesn’t like the idea of books getting creased in her bag, I bought a second “copy” of the book for my Kindle. It takes up less space in my bag and doesn’t damage the wonderful tactile physical copy which is now on a shelf waiting for other people in the household to flick through its pages.

Movie Geek is packed with trivia and fascinating movie info which had my (not so) inner geek leaping with joy and kept me interested even when dealing with films with which I was not so familiar.

The writing is pretty much what I have come to expect from the Den Of Geek site – light, non-patronising and highly entertaining. There’s a reason I love the DoG site and it goes the same for this book. I feel included and any in-jokes are never at the expense or exclusion of the reader. You feel part of the gang. It’s never preachy so you don’t feel like you are being told what to like and not like, your own opinions are rarely, if ever, invalidated.

Okay, Okay, I’ll stop gushing about DoG now and leave you with links to buy the books in a couple of different formats and one for the Den of Geek site (and their social media) as they are well worth checking out if you haven’t visited already.

Den of Geek – Website Facebook Twitter

“…I wish you a Brave New Year…”

2018 has arrived and to be honest, I’ve not seen a lot of resolutions flying around. Perhaps we have finally learnt not to set ourselves up to fail. Personally I haven’t bothered with resolutions for a while, but I do try and set little goals.


Goals for 2018 –

– Actually update my blogs.

– Get my routine sorted so I have time/energy to work on projects

– Get to more events

– Visit places

– Remember to take any medication I am on (honestly, it’s a good job my antihistamines aren’t vital to my continued existence)

– Listen to more music

– Read more books. (I have set my 2018 reading goal over at Goodreads)

– Watch more films. I have a backlog of stuff to watch and now I’ve found a reasonably priced cinema nearby I can see more new stuff too.

– Make it to 2019 (As in look after myself as I see fit)



It boils down to doing more stuff for myself and feeling okay about it.

Anyway, expect photos from day trips. (Though don’t actually hold your breath, it will be a while yet, I need warmer, brighter days.)

Hello Again Hello

It has been a while. I’d like to say real life got in the way of posting here but the harsh reality is a mixture of anxiety, lethargy and sheer exhaustion. However, onward and upwards as they say. There will be a couple of catch up posts and then hopefully more content as things go forward.

Keeping A Diary

I am as bad at keeping a personal diary as I am at blogging it seems. Part of the problem is that I feel that I am largely stuck in a routine. A couple of days ago I decided to embrace the “routine” and start a brand new hand-written diary that would list all the mundane tasks performed that day. The idea is that I will hopefully see that there are nuances to everyday things. The all encompassing “went to work” actually paints over a lot of details, I am trying to pick these details out daily. To aid with this (and due to my ever worsening memory) I take notes throughout the day via a memo app on my phone and so far I am taking about ten or fifteen minutes before bed to write about the day. Hopefully I will stick to this for a little longer than usual. It may encourage me to do a little more. The days are brighter and I’m feeling better than I have been for a while, time for some day trips I think.

John Hurt

As my social media feeds fill with tributes to John Hurt, who passed away yesterday, it becomes very apparent just how widespread and varied his career was. I am seeing tributes across so many ages and fandoms, several recalling blessed meetings with the gentleman. A truly sad loss to the entertainment world.

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A Post About Reading

Every year I am determined to get back into reading more often and every year this effort peters out after a month or two as life tends to rudely interrupt. What can I say? Here I go again.

I am starting 2017 with a lot of reading matter either piled up by my bedside or loaded up on my kindle.

I understand that a lot of book lovers aren’t very keen on e-readers but I see it as a way to carry around more books and not damage them. I also don’t feel able to condone anything that encourages reading in any form. I have an old fashioned kindle, not a backlit one or a paperwhite or whatever. I find it a lot more natural to read from. I do use the app on my tablet or phone occasionally, but we spend so much time staring at backlit screens these days that I prefer to give my eyes a break. It also has no whistles and bells so like a proper book it comes without the distraction of games or social media.

My usual reading preferences are non-fiction, mostly biographies. Already this year I have polished three autobiographical titles by Carrie Fisher and in the “pull pile” there are offerings about or by Debbie Reynolds, James Mason, Marilyn Monroe and Roger Moore.

That said I am currently indulging in the Father Brown stories of GK Chesterton. The short tales seem perfect for my commute, especially the homeward part where losing myself too far into a book could mean missing my stop!

The plan is for me blether about my reading progress on here from time to time if only to encourage myself to find time every day to disappear into a world of words.

I am on Goodreads here, should anyone care to follow me.