Right now, I am mostly…


Buying : I put myself on an unofficial book buying ban some time ago; I just decided that I had too many books and not enough space and not really enough month for any more. But then on Saturday, I went into a charity shop and had a root around in their 10p bin, and came away with three books. I’ve already finished one of them (thanks to a long babysitting stint on Saturday night), and I’ll be donating them all back to a charity shop when I’m done with them. Three books for 30p can’t really be sniffed at, can it? I also picked up two records from the same charity shop, both firm family favourites!

Downloading : Last week Chantelle from Fat Mum Slim launched a photo editing app, called Little Moments. I downloaded it straightaway, as I am a big fan of Chantelle’s FMS Photo a Day challenge, and she was so excited about the app I wanted to see what it was all about. It’s fairly similar to the A Beautiful Mess app, with filters for photos and text and doodle overlays. But it also has all the FMS Photo a Day prompts on it, and it gives you a handy reminder at the start of every day for that day’s prompt. It’s great, and I’m having fun playing with it (as you can see from the two photos above!).

Watching : I am still watching the World Cup, with a bit of Wimbledon thrown in for good measure. I’m already lamenting the fact that the World Cup is almost over – I loved having three games a day to watch if I wanted to! All this sport-watching is good build up for the Commonwealth Games; athletics is my sport of choice to watch, so I can’t wait.

Transferring : I am in the process of purchasing my own domain and transferring everything over. I use the word ‘I’ in the loosest possible sense here; I have a very clever friend who is pretty much doing everything for me. I’m trying not to appear too dim, but most of it goes over my head, so I am very, very grateful for his help. I’ll let you know when it’s all done!

Anticipating : I booked tickets to see The Shires a couple of weeks ago, and the tickets arrived last week. I can’t wait, but I have to, because the gig isn’t until 28th July!

Ignoring : I’m really not all that interested in Glastonbury. I’m sure that there are plenty of people there that I would love to see, but I can’t be bothered to find them. I caught a bit of John Grant last night, and I’d have loved to have seen the Dodge Brothers, but I’m not really interested in Metallica or Dolly Parton.

My Thoughts On… Godzilla

Just a reminder that My Thoughts On… posts may contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film in question, please skip down to Why Should I See This Film? which is spoiler-free!


The world’s most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

What I Liked

  • I’ve never seen as much as a minute of a Godzilla film before, neither the original Japanese films, nor the 1998 American film. As such, I don’t really know what it was that made me want to see the latest offering, but after hearing some good reviews, and knowing that it was directed by Gareth Edwards (without having seen Monsters at this point), I took myself along. I thoroughly enjoyed myself!
  • I thoroughly enjoyed the opening sequence that ran behind the credits. At first it just seemed as though it was regular archive news footage, but then it became clear that it was doctored to include Godzilla, and gave the impression that all the time that we thought nuclear tests were being carried out, it was actually the monster emerging and feeding.
  • From most of the reviews and opinions that I have read about the film, it seems as though the major complaint is that there is an awful lot of time before you get to the monster. That’s true, to a certain extent, there’s certainly only glimpses for a good hour of the film, but I really liked it. It gave us time to get to know the characters, and character development is really important to me, even in a summer action blockbuster. Besides, I think the idea that we don’t get to see enough Godzilla is a bit over-egged. I think we get to see plenty of him, and the MUTOs, and the climactic battle is about as long as it needs to be.
  • I like Bryan Cranston, and I am perfectly happy watching Aaron Taylor-Johnson, but my favourite actor in Godzilla was Ken Watanabe. He’s one of those actors that I don’t think about an awful lot, because he’s not in that many films that I watch, but when I do see him, I remember how much I like him. He’s just great here as Dr Serizawa, bringing the conscience that the film needs in the face of so many American soldiers. He seems to be genuinely worried about Godzilla, and he’s the one that understands how Godzilla can be helpful, rather than just destructive. It helps that he’s pretty easy on the eyes, as well.
  • As I said, I hadn’t seen Monsters at this point, though I have heard Gareth Edwards speak on more than one occasion, and he seems like a very nice man (I’m pretty excited that he’s set to direct a Star Wars spin-off). Having since seen Monsters, and obviously having watched Godzilla, I can see what a talented director he is. He has a great eye for detail, and he constantly brings the viewer into the film through a great use of perspective. The monsters themselves are given a fantastic sense of scale, and while the film may seem to rely on coincidence from time to time, when you get shots like the stunning one of the soldiers freefalling out of the plane into the city, it really doesn’t matter all that much.


What I Didn’t Like

  • There are three main female characters in Godzilla: Juliet Binoche plays Sandra Brody, a worker at the nuclear power station in Japan at the start of the film, Elizabeth Olsen is the wife of Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s character, and Sally Hawkins plays Dr Vivienne Graham, who works with Ken Watanabe’s Dr Serizawa. None of them are given an awful lot to do, but Dr Graham has potential at the start of the film. She’s obviously an accomplished scientist who is integral to the work that Dr Serizawa does, but she just kind of disappears halfway through the film. Of course, the action sequences completely take over, and none of the characters except for Ford are really at the forefront, but I missed Sally Hawkins, because I like her.
  • Talking of Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s character, Ford Brody is a terrible name. It’s like someone went “I need an all-American sounding name now – GO!” and someone just shouted “Um, Ford Brody!” Seriously, it’s terrible.


Why Should I See This Film?

The best way to see this film is at the cinema, there’s no doubt about that. If you haven’t seen it, and it’s still lurking around on a screen near you, I’d hotfoot it to the cinema to catch it while you can. It’s a great action film, with characters you are actually encouraged to care about. I’ve never seen any Godzilla films before, but I’m lead to believe that this one has been made with deference to the old Japanese ones, and that fans are more than happy with this new addition to the franchise. Plus Ken Watanabe is just amazing (and really attractive).

Book Review ~ Vintage Girl by Hester Browne

Making the recent decision to review every book (or as near as) that I read means that I have to review the ones that might not seem as trendy or intelligent as others. I have a real problem with people who try to make others feel bad for what they are reading, because they think the books they read are somehow more worthy than others. There has been a lot of it on Twitter recently, and there’s a blog post brewing, but for now I will just keep on reading what I want, and reviewing as much as I can!

Vintage Girl is not a literary book. It’s not a trendy book, and it’s not going to be winning any awards. But it’s fun, and it’s sweet, and it’s a really easy read. Sometimes I go through those stages where I’m not really reading as much as I feel I should be, and I’m struggling to really get my teeth into anything. When times like that come along, I reach for a book like Vintage Girl, and I finish it in a day, and I feel I’m back on the horse.

Evie is a young woman with a passion for antiques, and working for a dealer means that she gets to indulge in her obsession on a daily basis. When she is tasked with going to a Scottish castle to help a family determine if they are sitting on a gold mine of antiques, she jumps at the chance, revelling in the romantic visions she has of dressing for dinner and falling in love with a Scottish laird.

There are no real surprises in the story here; whilst there Evie meets Robert, the heir to the castle, and is immediately thrown into his arms, literally. Hester Browne tries to inject some tension by way of Hamish, Evie’s sister’s boyfriend, on whom Evie has a crush, and a romantic interest for Robert who is obviously all wrong for him. A book like Vintage Girl never really tries to be anything different to every other book that has been written in this style before, but the fun has to come from all of the incidental details; the quirks of the characters, the location and the situations in which the characters find themselves. Luckily, Vintage Girl just about delivers on this level. The setting is a beautiful Scottish castle, the likes of which I would love to visit, and Evie was likable enough to spend the length of the novel with. The romance seemed to be tied up rather neatly and abruptly at the end, but as I said, that’s the nature of these novels, and I don’t believe anyone goes into a book like this expecting anything different.


Vintage Girl by Hester Browne
First published: February 2014
ISBN: 9781782065654
Library book

On being a book blogger

It has been a while now since I first decided to actually start calling myself a book blogger. I have always written about books here at Is That You Darling, but making a conscious decision to call myself a book blogger was an important step for me, as before that I felt as though I was losing my way as a blogger a little bit.

So since I added the words ‘Book blogger’ to my sidebar, I have been trying to incorporate as much bookish bits as possible. I’m lucky enough to be sent various books by publishers for review, so along with anything I buy myself and borrow from the library, I have been writing as many reviews as possible. Of the 33 books I have read so far this year, I’ve reviewed eighteen of them, and there are three more to come in the next few days. I’ve reviewed everything I’ve read since the start of May, and I’d like to say that there will be posts for every book I read for the rest of the year, but I know better than to make such promises!

Elsewhere, I’ve posted about my long library lists, and I’ve taken part a couple of times in The Broke and the Bookish Top Ten Tuesday posts.

I feel as though I am still finding my feet as a book blogger, and indeed reviewer. I write book reviews for Essex Life, and my word count is so minimal that I have to be very clever about how I write them. With my blog, I don’t have a word limit, and I find that I have a tendency to waffle on. It can be hard to synopsise the book and offer an critical opinion without using a lot of words, and I definitely think I am still learning the art of the well-worded review.

I’m also trying to decide if I want to continue giving star ratings on Goodreads. I’ve been wondering this for a while; I’m reluctant to stop, because I know people use it as a quick way of deciding whether or not I might recommend a particular book. But I really don’t like the idea of reducing a book down into a perfunctory number out of five. Goodreads also doesn’t allow you the option of giving a half star, so while I often think that a book might not warrant three stars, but isn’t as bad as two stars might suggest, Goodreads won’t let me show you that!

So after much consideration, I’ve decided that the best way to solve this is to only apply ratings to books that I feel are four or five star books. Anything lower than a four won’t get a rating. I’ll see how I feel in a few months, but I think this is probably the system that will work best for me.

So in the future, you can expect to see a lot more book reviews, and more general bookish posts. I’m also hoping to film some more videos. I toyed with the idea of dipping my toe into general lifestyle vlogs, but for now I think I will just stick with the booktuber side of things, and see how I get on. I’m also hoping to visit some beautiful libraries during the rest of the year, and write about them. There will be some aesthetic changes to the blog in the next couple of weeks (fingers crossed), but the content will remain as bookish as ever, and even more so, hopefully!