Thursday, 11 April 2013

I gots some things...

It was my birthday! It was totally the funnest. And I got some books, if you can even believe it! And now I'm going to show them to you and you'll love it because SHINY NEW BOOKS!

 I say this all the time, but I really really didn't expect to get friends out of blogging (admiring commenters, sure! But ACTUAL friends? No way.) and even when I did have blog friends, I definitely didn't expect those friendships to hop off the screen and through my letterbox, delivering real presents I could hold in my hands. It's RIDICULOUS, and AMAZING, and the best possible reminder that you should always take the risk and do something, because you never know what might happen. BOOKS might happen!

And, books did happen on Tuesday. I guess this post is going to be kind of a showing off/thank you sort of thing, so I'm probably going to be really really nice about various people on the internets, so you should probably look away now if you don't want to be a part of that shit. I mean, seriously. It's going to enter gushing territory, I should think. (Not in THAT way. You pervert.) OK? Are you ready? I know I am.
Firstly (and these are in no particular order, I should add) I got Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life by Melisser Elliott from the ever-so-lovely Bex, and obviously I am INCREDIBLY excited about them both because AVM seems to be all about getting back to nature and eating things you only grow yourself and things, and OBVIOUSLY I need a vegan guide to life because who doesn't?! But these are both very Things I Think About A Lot-esque, and so I'm clearly going to eat them right up (gettit? Cause they both involve food! No?)

And then... Miss Ellie COMPLETELY outdid herself and blew me away with FOUR books (Bad Ellie! But also, so so good Ellie...) and I'm RIDICULOUSLY excited about all of them. To continue with the good eating theme, there's this Vegan Diner book which I am both excited and intrigued by because there is a MILKSHAKE on the front, and how can such a glorious thing (a vegan milkshake) be?! Also I REALLY need to learn how to make good veggie burgers, so... Yesssss book! And then also there's Lamb by Christopher Moore, which has to be good because Alley says so, and CLEARLY she's always right. Annnd there's a Paul Auster book, which is always, ALWAYS the right choice as a book to buy me (that's The Music of Chance, just in case you can't read the title) and then, also, can we all see that Penguin Clothbound Classic? Ohhh yes, she sent me that too. That's Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson and it's got a very awesome cover. LOOKIT THE BOOKS!!
(Also Ellie wrote hilarious and lovely notes to go with each of them. So that's clearly awesome.)
Kayleigh really really outdid herself with her package (all the way from Australia, I should add!) and each new item I pulled out maaay have involved some squealing! So firstly there's THAT CARD, which isn't her calling me a bitch but rather the AWESOMEST CARD IN THE WORLD because hello, Breaking Bad card! I mean, who else sent me a Breaking Bad card? That was no one (I should add that the whole cornerstone of our friendship is Breaking Bad. So this makes perfect sense!) And then there's a kangaroo pen (!) that looks like it should be a nightmare to write with, but its actually really good, a pencilcase that I'm currently using to hold my Kindle and is pretty much the best pencilcase I've ever owned (Let's blog some shit? Yeah, let's!) Aaaaand a book. Obviously. It is Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner and according to Kayleigh, it's a bit Little Women-esque, only also very Australian and also she makes Ethel Turner sound like a badass. Translation: I can't wait to read it. Obviously. There was also this:
A JESSE PINKMAN PAPER DOLL KIT! Obviously I'm just going to be playing with it all the time. But I never even suspected that such a wonderful thing existed! JUST LOOK AT IT! I should probably get over it, but I never will because it's amazing.

Anyway. I opened all of these presents and was all overwhelmed and happy and everything was cool and it was my birthday and I had a croissant for breakfast and THEN the post came and I had ANOTHER parcel and it was amazing. And obviously you're going to want to see what was inside it, so...

Instagram was not my friend with photographing these presents... But anyway! These are from the wonderful Hanna, and eeeeeeee look, another Penguin Clothbound Classic! Be still, my heart! That'll be The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas and look how pretty it is! (I'm going to keep pointing out its beauty to hide the fact that I don't know much about it. BUT I WILL WHEN I READ IT, WON'T I?!) And the other is The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne which I DO know a lot about (I believe I wrote an essay on it once... Maybe...) and look how pretty it also is! And also very necessary because I got rid of my other copy just to make room for the eventual purchase of this one. And look! The lovely Hanna got it for me so I didn't have to! AMAZING!

Hopefully you're reading this now and thinking 'hey, I should get into this blogging malarkey for the swag', and you know what? It is AWESOME, but also, even better than the stuff is the PEOPLE, and how else would we ever have met? Exactly. The internet is magic.

I realise this post has been THE LONGEST already, but if you'll allow me, I'll juuuust quickly show you the books I got from family type people (I KNOW):
Which, from bottom to top are:
Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz (Yes, I need to learn how to make ALL THE VEGAN FOOD. Problem?)
Stitch 'N Bitch by Debbie Stoller
As Always, Julia- The Letters of Julia Child and Avis De Soto (Books of letters!!)
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (More PCCs, natch.)
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (How I haven't dived headfirst into this already is a complete mystery to me. I think I'm saving it for when I can give it a whole day of my time.)
A Widow's Story by Joyce Carol Oates
The Odyssey by Homer
Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto (I opened it and I swear my whole family thought it was written in Japanese. I was like 'it's called Kitchen' and my nan was all like 'how do you know that?!' and I had to explain that there wasn't just a character on it, it was written on the front in English too! OH DEAR)

So, whilst I still haven't broken my book buying ban (I know! Still! A whole day over and I'm fine!) lookit all the new books I have to get all excited about! I can't even tell you which I'm MOST excited about, because the answer is ALL OF THEM. And as if that wasn't enough books, there was also this:
Oh yeah, that's right, I got a Kindle. It shows me this Murakami quote while it's resting, and I feel like it KNOWS me already. Which, if you really think about it, is kind of a bit creepy... But anyway, I've already read a whole book on it (!) and so far I actually like it quite a lot- I was worried about the medium being distracting, but, so far so good! (This will definitely be discussed at great length later. I can tell.) I can already see impulse buying books being a problem on it (since... I kind of did it already today...) so I'm just going to have to monitor myself before ALL MY MONEY IS GONE. Which hopefully won't happen. I've been thinking of giving it a name to make it more friendly and also because other people on the internet have named their e-readers, so... Any suggestions?

Finalement, I just want to say a massive THANK YOU- to the present senders, of course, because you are magical, but also to everyone who Happy Birthday-ed me on twitter, or instagram, or in a blog comment, or on Facebook because there's nothing quite like looking at your various screens on your birthday and knowing that someone was thinking of you. So thank you all. You're all fab.


  1. So, your birthday was basically all about vegan deliciousness and clothbound classics, with a side helping of the most awesome looking cake ever? ALL THE WIN!

    You definitely wrote an essay about The Scarlet Letter, because when you sent me your OLD copy it had highlighted bits and you told me that would be awesome because it was colour coded and everything. My inner nerd responds well to colour coding. Oh, and that pencil case? AMAZING. And the Murakami quote, though obviously I'm ignoring the fact that it's on a Kindle. I'll mentally transplant it onto a nice piece of paper instead. *sits stubbornly in Luddite Corner chewing on a piece of grass and writing letters on parchment*

    SO GLAD you had a lovely birthday honey bunny! *mwah*

    1. That is such an accurate description! The cake was not at all about veganness though... :s BOOOOOOOKSSS!

      Duuuuude, I totally forgot that I sent you The Scarlet Letter/that I gave away books AT ALL! But yeeeees, now I remember everything! (Or, like, that one thing.) I loooooove my pencilcase/kindle holder :) Poor kindles not receiving your love though :( (I sort of really like mine already... Will DEFINITELY have to write a loving post about it at some point SORRY)

      I am also glad about this! God I love birthdays :) xx

    2. You're totally allowed to write a loving post about it, because you also buy actual books and wouldn't go into a bookshop specifically to tell the bookseller that you will never buy a book from them again now you have one. Also, if I don't like it I can mentally replace the word "Kindle" with other words like "cake", "chocolate", "Noel Fielding", "rainbows" and "baby lambs" so that it's still a happy and delightful read. My inevitable comment might not make much sense though. :P

    3. WHO WOULD EVER SAY THAT I WILL KILL WHOEVER SAID THAT TO YOU! But seriously dude- that's not cool! I... Kind of bought 2 books today, so... I'm definitely not going to not be buying any books... Whoops? (BUYING BOOKS, ELLIE!! It's a miracle I stopped at 2!)

  2. I want clothbound classics! They're so pretty! I wonder how much it would cost to get some shipped over here? Hmm.. Too much, I expect. Bah!

    That's a very impressive haul!!! :)

    With kindle books, I recommend getting samples of any books that you're interested in, and then only buying it when you actually want to read it.. that way there's less regret. Hehe.

    1. Ohhhh man, I suspect it would be SO much. Although... Does The Book Depository ship to Japan? Because they have free shipping to almost everywhere! (I just looked it up and they DO do free shipping to Japan. Should... I not have told you this?)

      And, isn't it?! I just love everyone everr :) Books!

      That is very good kindle advice! So far I've just actually BOUGHT 2 books that I knew I wanted to read, and then the rest have all been free. But samples seem like a very good idea! The only thing is that I kind of don't want to use it too much because of UNREAD PHYSICAL BOOKS but also I want to use it all the time because it's new. Sooooo many issues...

    2. Hehe I completely understand.

      And maybe you shouldn't have!!! I'm going to end up with no money/space, hehe :D

  3. Your birthday was awesome! I love all the gifts, and have fun playing with your new kindle :)

    1. Wasn't it though?! I loved it :). And I will indeed have kindle fun :)

  4. All those clothbound classics are pretty much making me swoon. Like real old-timey Austen swooning. I gots to get me that Odyssey one *wipes drool from mouth - yeh, that just happened*

    Also, welcome to the Dark Side of Kindle Ownership. Beware the ease with which you can purchase many many books and keep it hidden from disapproving loved ones.

    1. Hehehehe, TELL me about it! I love them sooo much. I want to have their babies (Like a thing is even possible. BUT IT SHOULD BE!)

      I KNOW RIGHT?! It's very very bad that I can just get a book instantly delivered to me whenever I want it. I am worried about my money, more so than disapproving family members. BUT THE DISAPPROVING FAMILY MEMBERS KEEP ME IN CHECK!

  5. awww yay, happy birthday! Wishing you another great year of fantastic reads and vegan cooking :)

    1. Thank youuuuuuu! I clearly need to do a lot of vegan cooking now, right?!

  6. Awwww, lookit all the stuff!!!! SO awesome! And you totally deserve it :-) Blogging peoples are the best.

    1. Aww, I don't know that I deserve it! But thank you for saying that I do :). Blogging people are ABSOLUTELY the best :)


    2. The Jesse Pinkham paper dolls! Love them!

    3. That cake! It looks so delicious.

    So yep, glad you had a happy one! :)

    1. 1. THANK YOU!! I'm really sad it's over now, actually! WAH
      2. Aren't they AMAZING! I'm so excited by them!
      3. It was sooooo good! Especially from the woman who was like 'I can't make a cake! I'm sure I'll mess it up!' for MONTHS (seriously) beforehand! My mumma's the best.


    Ethel Turner IS a badass! She's amazing and I want to hang out with her like super-dooper-ly. And I don't know if I mentioned that there are sons in 7 Little Australians, but it's more Little Women plus fellas and it's wonderful and I love it, and hopefully you will too.

    Kitchen is awesome. I just got another of Banana Yoshimoto's books out from the library - hopefully I like it as much as Kitchen. Because I would like to have a new author to fawn over.

    1. You have made her sound SO AWESOME that I'm just like I MUST READ YOU, BOOK! I'm not sure if you mentioned there are dudes, but THAT ALSO SOUNDS FUN! I'm pretty excited to read it, and it will happen... soonish. (Did you see all the books I got?! OMG. Slightly overwhelming haha)

      Oh goody! I've heard mention of her on blogs before, and THEN when I read Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, the woman person who wrote it made Kitchen sound AMAZING, so I was like 'yep, I'll give that a go!' My theory is: She's Japanese, therefore she's awesome. Pretty solid fucking theory, don't you agree?

  9. Oh, wouldn't it be awesome if we COULD hop off the screen and through the letterbox? Although I'd probably get even less work done than I do now, being too busy drinking tea and waving books at my book-friends. Seriously, I've stopped referring to everybody as online friends. They are Book Friends now. Which sounds kind of a like a volunteer group teaching illiterate children to read, but hey ho.

    Haha, sounds like you've better get your Vegan Chef Hat out and get cooking! I conferred with Ellie to make sure we didn't matchy-matchy on the presents and I knew you'd be having an awesome day when she told me what she'd bought :)

    I've heard awesome things about Stitch n Bitch so hopefully it'll be amazing and then I can run out and buy it the second you tell me it's good.

    Enjoy eating your freshly cooked vegan food while stroking your new Penguin clothbounds. Because, you know, there's CLEARLY a theme.

    1. I concur, and would ADD that once you've mastered the Vegan Diner experience, I expect you to open one. Because England really needs more awesome American-style diners only with less heart-attack-fodder food. Also, I'd hang out in there all day with my book like I'd just fallen out of Grease.


    2. Ohhhhh my gosh that would be so cool. Just a little visit through the letterbox on each others birthdays- that would be good enough for me! Book friends sounds a bit special, only... in a GOOD way? Yes, that. I just say 'my blog friends!' and then people go 'you have a blog?' and I'm like THANKS FOR PAYING ATTENTION!

      Clearly I need to make some vegan things. CLEARLY. Especially so Ellie can eat lots of food, because isn't that really what we're all here for? Also, I LOVE that you and Ellie conferred on presents for some reason... It makes it all seem like everyone was talking behind the scenes to make EVERYTHING AMAZING and, you know, that's pretty cool! Nice work, birthday elves :)

      I have flicked through Stitch and Bitch and it both 1) looks awesome and 2) looks like it's way too advanced for my knitting abilities. But, I shall give it a go anyway! The things there are to knit are WAY fun, anyway.

      Don't think I'm not doing those things right now! (I'm totally not. I'm laying on my bed and ignoring the fact that there are presents that need to be put away hahahahahahaha, oh laziness...)

    3. Oh Laura - open that diner! Up here somewhere, please. That way we can all pour in and bug you and distract you from your cooking :)

      I avoid saying the word 'blog' because then people get all snooty and assume you sit here and post about boys every day. Hence, 'book friends.' And 'online friends' sounds like one of those creepy people that add you on Facebook because they know your cousin's friend's Mum and just message you and go 'hiya wanna chat?' *shudders*

      Book Friends it is!

      Well I figured Ellie would get you a Clothbound (because, you know, she has good taste ;) ) so I wanted to make sure you didn't end up with two the same. We did do that to somebody once... Also, the instant I posted that comment I went "Crap! She'll think we talk about her behind her back now!" True story.

      I wouldn't worry. I still have Christmas presents to put away :)

  10. I was going to get you Stitch n Bitch cos it's the book I learned to knit from and it's totally awesome and stuff. Glad somebody else did! :-) Also glad you liked my books - I had to send you Animal, Vegetable, miracle, cos it's awesome and then the Vegan book looked brilliant. I might have to get it for my friend cos she's all vegan and stuff too. You got some amazing stuff, and I have to say I so agree with you about the blogging people :-) When Benji was born I couldn't believe the amount of thoughtful awesome I got from all you lot. My mum was all like 'but you've never met?...but they're sending you things?'ve never met?' :-p

    1. Awww, yay! I'm glad it has your seal of approval :D.

      Animal, Vegetable, Miracle sounds SO awesome, and I'm already about halfway through the vegan book, and it's REALLY informative- sometimes in a not-nice way, but... that's the way it is, you know? But, thus far, I'd definitely recommend it for an ACTUAL vegan- the author lady clearly has a lot of friends who have their own vegan businesses, (a lot of which are online) so there are LOADS of ideas of things to buy that you know for sure are vegan. So that's pretty awesome.

      Hehehhe, aw bless your mum's confusion! We HAVE met though! Even if it is through a screen! It's still meeting! I think my mum was definitely like that at Christmas, but now she's like, 'ooh, presents from your blog friends!' and it's all good :). I mean... it was all good already. Whatevs, BOOKSSSSS! :)

  11. Um, your pile of books ROCKS. I am so jealous. Your friends have such good taste!

    Those clothbound classics kill me. I keep having to justify myself why I should buy books that technically I already have a copy of but OMG SO PRETTY! & you totally have to get the whole set, otherwise it doesn't count...

  12. Look at your kick ass birthday haul! Especially Lamb cos you know. Love