Sunday, 26 October 2014

Take Me To The April Sun In Cuba...

Actually more like October sun in Noosa, which doesn't sound quite as exotic but you get the picture.

Holidays are awesome.  And overseas holidays are even more awesome.  Because seriously how could you not love seeing new places, trying new things (like yummy food), speaking a new language and numerous other reasons as to why travelling is just the best.

I am about to head off on my first overseas trip in 7 years.

Which is a) so nice, b) a little nerve wracking because I hate flying and c) just a tad depressing in that it has been 7 years since I last wandered around foreign lands.  Not that Australia is foreign but for now it's the closest I'm getting.  As you can imagine I have a pretty long list of all the places I want to go to, because List Girl is my middle name.

Hopefully one day I will be able to take off and permanently travel as I work my way through said list.  Until then I have this holiday and a pile of wonderful travel books to keep me going.

Men on the menu: delicious affairs from around the world / Bambi Smyth

"26 countries, 81 days, 294 meals and 75 blind-dates"

I'm a sucker for a good romance.

Any romance really.

So a story of a woman who travels the world looking for love sounds just my kind of thing

Romance and travel and food.    Just perfect, really.

Hitchy feet: a grown-up;s guide to running away from home and accidentally getting a life / John Card

"John Card was a bored 30-something high school science teacher when he decided to pack it all in and run away from life"

The idea of running away from it all sounds so tempting.

Certainly it's something that I've dreamed about.  Travelling the world and writing.  With a suitcase filled with chocolate and cherries.  And a laptop of course. 

Because life necessities.

"The story of a freewheeling Aussie girl who gives up her life in Sydney to live in Prague"

Travelling the world may sound tempting but so does the idea of going to live in a foreign country, immersing ones self in the culture, the language, the lifestyle... it all sounds very romantic.

The reality is probably far different and anything but romantic.

Still one can dream...

My sweet Paris / Caroline Mignot

"The top 150 places for dessert in Paris"

Food.  You just knew I had to go there.

Because how could I not.

After all I'm the girl who went to the same patisserie in Paris every day and tried something new. 

For a whole week. 

And it was delish.
Hot pink spice saga : An Indian culinary travelogue with recipes / Peta Mathias and Julie Le Clerc.

"A love affair with food, travel and India, celebrated by two of New Zealand's favourite foodies."

Another travel book and another book about food.

This time it's India and all it's bright and colourful delights.

I'm intrigued by the title alone

"Lynne and her husband sold almost everything they owned and took to a global lifestyle, living out of a couple of suitcases"

My other half and I dream of this. 


We have plans and counter plans and plans of plans.  And to go with those plans I have lists.  Endless lists of all the places and things I want to see.

And books like this just inspire me more.

The world's best cities : celebrating 220 great destinations

Because I love drooling over travel books filled with lots and lots and lots of wonderful photos I just had to include at least one book that filled this passion.

Of course looking through books like this means that by travel wish list just keeps getting longer and longer.

What's a girl to do?

Travel of course.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Hector and the Search for Happiness

Thanks to Becker Film Group, Auckland Libraries is giving away 10 double passes to Hector and the Search for Happiness, opening in cinemas on October 30, 2014. Visit our Facebook page to enter. This competition closes at 5pm on Sunday 26 October 2014.

Want to know more about the movie?

Read on!

Happiness: that elusive, mystical life goal we're all chasing, and Hector, the hero of Simon Pegg's new movie, Hector and the Search for Happiness, is no different.

On the surface of it, his life seems charmed:  a beautiful apartment, an even more beautiful girlfriend named Clara (played by Rosamund Pike) and a loyal stable of patients to his psychiatrist practice. But he the one who needs therapy? For despite all the outward appearances of success and happiness his life has, Hector feels something is missing. And so our dapper dressing protagonist sets out, armed with a notebook from Clara to record his findings, on an overseas Odyssey to discover "what is happiness."

What unfolds is a series of unlikely but amusing adventures in first China (involving a night of partying with a woman who is not all she seems and a visit with a skpying monk), then Africa (in which he escapes from a murderous drug cartel) and lastly Los Angeles (to look up the first woman he loved Agnes, played by the always delightful Toni Collette). The action is infused with a host of colourful characters who each provide their own insights into the happiness that Hector is seeking, and he records these nuggets in Clara's journal.

I loved these wise and perceptive little gems of insight and the way director Peter Chelsom chose to have them written and drawn across the screen as Hector wrote them down. Some of these really resonated with me like "If I seem happy, it is because I know I am loved for who I am," "Happiness is answering your calling" and the especially poignant and simple "Listening is loving."

Being a rom-com it was inevitable Hector would get his happy ending but it what a wild and fun ride watching him realise he had what he was looking for all along.

Hector and the Search for Happiness is based on the book of the same name by Francois Lelord: place a hold on a copy for yourself here.

Our thanks to Becker Film Group for providing tickets to an advanced screening of this film for our reviewer.

Monday, 20 October 2014

American Horror Story

American Horror Story is a horror television series where each season is a stand-alone story of a different horror theme. The actors remain the same in each season, but take on different roles. It's really awesome to see so many different sides to the actors.

I am not the biggest horror fan, but had heard so many good things about this show so tried to give it a go. I started at season 1, Murder House, and I could not get past episode 1. It was toooo scary! I really only watch scary films on Halloween, and even then I mainly focus on eating the movie snacks and making jokes to stop myself being scared. 

A few years later though, I decided to give it another go and just start from the current season which was season 3, Coven. This season seemed much less "scary" and had a lot of sass, which is what I like! Once I started I was hooked and have gone back and watched the first two (Murder House and Asylum) as well. Asylum was excellent but terrifying and I still feel weird if I see stills from it. 

Throughout my love affair with AHS (despite its rocky start!) I've fallen madly in love with Jessica Lange.
She is. Just. Fantastic. Words cannot even describe how she is the most perfect. See? My grammar goes out the door when trying to explain Jessica Lange.

Season 4 has just started and it is called Freak Show. It is set in Florida in 1952 and tells the story of one of the last remaining circus/freak shows of the time and their bid to survive. 

I would highly recommend this show, and it doesn't matter what order you watch them in, so get to it!

   Murder House                        Asylum                             Coven (place a hold!)

Below is a clip of one of my favourite moments from season 4, ep 1. I can't get enough of it!