Thursday, 31 March 2016

5 Things I Love about Amazon Instant Video!

Now I've talked about how much I love Netflix and some recommendations I have before but Amazon Instant Video has always been the lame little brother in my eyes. Until I tried the free 30-day trial and downloaded the app on my phone, then I changed my tune. Here's 5 reasons why...

5 Things I Love about Amazon Instant Video on a background of the Amazon website


1. It has big name shows
The Walking Dead, Fear The Walking Dead, X-Files, Constantine, Arrow, Outlander, The 100, Parks and Recreation, Sleepy Hollow, Revolution, Under The Dome, Vikings, Lucifer, Black Sails, Crossing Lines. Amazon has some very well known shows that UK Netflix just lacks. Current shows as well, with some updating every week with new episodes.

2. It's cheaper than Netflix
Did you know this? I didn't know this. At £5.99 a month for Instant Video to Netflix's £6.99 a month, Amazon is the cheaper option. In fact, an Amazon Prime account at £79 a year still works out cheaper at around £6.58 a month with the free shipping and Amazon Music and all that other stuff. I think that's enough maths, basically- cheaper. I don't have Prime but my mum does and I figured out how to share it here! Pretty neat.

3. They tell you when shows are leaving
Friday Night Dinner, Educating Essex, The IT Crowd and The Inbetweeners were taken off on the 27th March. How do I know this? Not by suddenly finding them gone or searching the internet. It's clear on both the app and the site.

4. The app is better
My one wish for the Netflix app is a skip forward 10 seconds button to go with the skip backwards 10 seconds button. Basically so I can skip through credits and 'previously on'. If I've been watching a show for hours, I know what happened last episode. But alas, it doesn't. And the Amazon one does, along with intuitive pausing (press the middle of the screen) and sliding to skip (left for forward, right for back).

5. Amazon Originals
Netflix has better original shows but the Amazon ones aren't half bad! I just marathoned Alpha House, a comedy show about four Republican congressmen, and The Man in the High Castle looks really good. I'll probably watch it after I read the book. They don't have a lot of originals, but I think over the next few years they will really pick up their game.

Do you have Prime Instant Video? You can get a 30-day Free Trial here!

*My Amazon link is an affiliate link. Sign up and fund my TV habit, or don't, you do you.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

My Quiet Re-Read-a-thon Wrap-Up!

Okay so my Quiet Re-Read-a-thon TBR was a bit eager. I ended up spending the long weekend marathoning various comedy TV shows, working on self-care and completely failed the readathon. But I thought I'd write a wrap-up anyway because we all fail things sometimes...

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling


The only book I started re-reading was Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling and got a ridiculous amount of sticky-notes out. I wrote down so many lovely quotes and felt really inspired. It took me the whole four days to get 178 pages in, I think because I'm so used to listening to the audiobooks that I read it so slowly.

Either way I'm going to finish re-reading it, I know I'm going to go on and re-read Conquest and Empire, but I might read some un-read books first. That's just me. Lastly, thank you to Beth for hosting the read-a-thon!

Did you participate? Did you do better than me? (Probably)

Thursday, 24 March 2016

5 Things I Love about Lent!

I should start this by saying I'm not religious, but I went to a school that while claiming not to be Christian put a heck of a lot of emphasis on the religions traditions. And I guess Lent kind of stuck with me. Since I've now made 44 days without the love of my life; chocolate, and it's nearly over- here are 5 Things I love about this tradition...



1. Shrove Tuesday!
My mum makes the best pancakes and I love any excuse to bring out the frying pan, lemons and sugar as a subtle hint. Shrove Tuesday is literally the day to indulge and treat yo' self. Even if Lent isn't your thing, everyone loves pancake day.

2. The Challenge
Not only do I give chocolate up for Lent, I also give it up for November in a pre-advent calendar/Christmas detox. I think pushing yourself to give something up forces you to adjust and find out something about yourself. If you manage to get to the end, nothing feels better than that first taste. If you give up half-way through it just doesn't have the same effect.

3. That Countdown
Countdowns are either the best or the worst. Countdowns to exams, deadlines, Monday mornings, and the end of the holidays suck. But Countdowns to Christmas, exciting events, travelling and the end of Lent are the best. 3 days to go!

4. The Anticipation
I've spent more time than I care to admit thinking about what I'm going to eat first when Easter Sunday comes around. Do I go classic Easter with Mini Eggs? Spoil myself with a hot chocolate pudding? Finally rip open the box of my favourite ice cream bars; Maxibon? Whatever it is, it's going to taste so good.

5. Easter!
Some of my favourite memories from being a kid revolve around Easter. Doing the egg hunt with my brother and cousin, those little plastic fluffy chicks that seem to appear from nowhere, and as I've grown up it's always been a time of productivity for me... Maybe from all the extra chocolate related energy!

Do you participate in Lent?

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

My Quiet Re-Read-a-thon TBR!

I love a read-a-thon and I love Beth's blog; The Quiet People so on finding out that Beth was hosting a read-a-thon through the Easter weekend, of course I was going to join! So, the Quiet Re-Read-a-thon. It's a little different in that it's all re-reads (something I'm horrible at since I started blogging) but it's going to be fun. Here are some books I'm hoping to read...

Lexicon by Max Barry, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling, The Three by Sarah Lotz and Conquest, Empire and Dominion by Jennifer Ridyard and John Connolly.


First, We all know I adore Lexicon by Max Barry*. I love itI love love love it. But I've never re-read it and after being let down by Jennifer Government, I'm wondering if Lexicon will hold up two years later. I hope so.

Next it's everyone's favourite re-read! It's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone! Or Sorcerer's Stone if you're wrong. I'll be honest, the main reason I want to re-read this one is because when I read it with my friend I went a little overboard with the sticky notes to the point where I'd basically be re-reading it anyway trying to get them all out.

Another book I loved when I originally read it was The Three by Sarah Lotz**. The mark of a good book is the way it resonates with you and I still think about this book. The working title of my novel is The Six (don't sue me please, I will change it eventually) because it made sense and a minute later I was kicking myself at the obvious influence.

However, there are only two books I am absolutely definitely going to re-read in this re-read-a-thon and those are Conquest and Empire by Jennifer Ridyard & John Connolly**. I've been in love with this series since it was first published but I haven't got around to reading the third and final book, Dominion, yet. Why? Because I want to re-read Conquest and Empire. Why haven't I done that? Because I don't want this series to be over! I'm not ready! But like a sign, the Quiet Re-Read-a-thon popped up on my Bloglovin' feed and it's time. I can do it.

Are you joining the Quiet Re-Read-a-Thon? What are you going to read?

*I won this book on Goodreads!
** I was sent these books for review! I then went out and bought a hardcover copy of Conquest because I loved it so much.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Books I 'Paused' in 2015!

I am aware it's now three months into 2016 but I was debating on writing this post. It is a little negative. I start a lot of books that don't work for me, and sometimes- I just don't like 'em. I wrote a 2014 post that had 12 books and I've either got meaner, or my taste has evolved, because I have 26 for you today...





Lets have a closer look...



Kit by Marina Fiorato*
I have such an odd relationship with this book. I loved it when I first picked it up. 200 pages in 2 days kind of love, mentioned it in a Creative Writing essay as an inspiration kind of love. But when I hit that 50% mark and the story changed, it just slowed to a grinding halt. Maybe it was just a slump. I'll be back for you, Kit.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
It's no Mockingbird and really, nothing less would do it for me.

A Blink of the Screen by Terry Pratchett
I really enjoyed these short stories but since I haven't read any of the Discworld series, I decided to wait on finishing the stories that were part of that world until I had. Once my TBR calms down a bit I'm heading right for book number one.

Small Blessings by Martha Woodroof**
I started reading this one while I was on holiday, turns out I want action when I'm relaxed and relaxing stories like this when I'm stressed.

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers*
If there's one book on this list that you can bet I've picked up off my paused shelf and wanted to start again, it's this one. It's a slow, comfortable read that I just happened to pick up at the wrong time. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet will be finished, you can count on it.

Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
I picked this up after seeing that the movie was on Amazon Prime video and decided that like a good little book blogger I should read the book first. So I attempted it and by the time I got 50 pages in I no longer wanted to read the book or watch the movie or ever hear about this again in my life.



The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
I got to exactly 50% through this book before realising I had no idea what was going on and giving up. This is one of three time travel books on this list so maybe there's something to that.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K Dick
Now this is one that was more- right book, wrong time for me. I plan to pick this up again this year and get further than 20 pages but this is not a readathon read!

True Fire by Gary Meehan**
I wanted to like this one, I really did. Gary Meehan is from my town and I have solidarity with anyone from here. It just didn't work for me. I was confused for a lot of the time and I'm fairly certain that a pregnant teen doing all that fighting is pretty unlikely. We'll see if I get the urge to pick it up again.

The Rachel Papers by Martin Amis
The main character of this book is basically my worst Tinder experience's rolled up into a fictional character. I have no patience for teenage boys trying to sleep with older women for the experience. I was expecting more from Amis.

The Next Together by Lauren James**
I did enjoy this one but I got around 150 pages in, put it down and just never picked it up again. Time travel is always tricky to get right and the pacing was just a little off for me.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
I've been looking through my Goodreads status's as I write this post and my two for this book are: "It reads like a writing exercise I had to do where you list off a bunch of descriptions for every object you see" and "The amount of over-description is ridiculous". I stand by both those statements. I couldn't get through it.

21st Century Dead by Christopher Golden
This collection of short stories started off with a bang but quickly went downhill. I'll pick it up again in time because I love me some zombies but not when I still have The Walking Dead novels on my shelves begging for a re-read.

Gone by Michael Grant
I feel bad about this one. The Gone series is actually my best friends favourite series and she was really excited for me to read it. So was I. But I like my apocalypses with less child death and more survivalism. I might try it again because I am interested in how it goes down, but I know it's a pretty lengthy series. Is it worth it?



The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
I started this series with The Final Empire last year and really enjoyed it! So when I got around to The Well of Ascension I expected the same. But alas, I found myself outside of the world and unable to get back in. I'm sure I'll try again at some point though.

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
Don't look at me. I'm so ashamed. I blame the weather, the planetary alignments and those godawful movies. 

The C-Word by Lisa Lynch
This is an amazing book but the subject matter is a little heavy. I'm so close to the end I'll definitely finish it when I can deal with reading another 100 pages knowing the author eventually, and unfairly, dies from cancer.

Jennifer Government by Max Barry
We all know my love affair with Max Barry's other book; Lexicon, so when I hauled this I assumed it was going to blow my socks off. But you know what they say about assumptions. I just didn't enjoy it. But at least I'll always have Lexicon (literally. Never letting go of that book).

TimeBomb by Scott K Andrews*
I have no memory of this book. I remember a dark room with a servant but that's it and in general, not a great sign. Another time travel book, another questionable result.

Bumped by Megan McCafferty
This was my first swap on Read it, Swap it and I was super excited when it came in the post but after half an hour and 60 pages I gave up. It's very much a tween book and I'm getting too old.

Half Wild by Sally Green
I liked Half Bad! I did. so when I got around to Half Wild I was so ready to continue on with Nathan's journey but all I found was filler. I'm not decided on if Half Lost is worth treking through this.



The Dead Lands by Benjamin Percy*
I started this book as part of a readathon and it could have gone better...
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley*
Another time travel book. I think. Honestly I was so confused by this book that I had to put it down and move onto another. I might have another go when my brain is smarter but for now I just want to read books where I have at least a vague idea of what is going on.

The Timewasters Letters by Robin Cooper
I really enjoyed this book as a youth so when I was in a reading slump I decided that it would be a quick jumpstart kind of read. But really. The only time you're wasting reading this book is your own. 

The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Kahn**
I love a cosy crime novel but I have almost no recollection of this book at all. I was reading it at the wrong time, but I'm going to try again in the next coming months. The cover, writing, general cosy sense is on point.

Witches Protection Program by Michael Phillip Cash*
The idea of a witches protection program really appeals to me but I started this at a super stressful time and it couldn't take me out of that mindset. 

Pet Sematary by Stephen King
I'm a fan of Stephen King and I kept reading how scary Pet Sematary was, how spooky, but I got up to chapter eighteen without a fright and decided that out of his 50+ books I was bound to not enjoy one or two of them.

Have you read any of these books? Are there any I should give another chance?

*These are review copies. 
**I won these on Goodreads. My opinion hasn't been changed by this and I'm not obligated to talk about them!

Thursday, 17 March 2016

5 Things I Love about The Walking Dead!

It's time I gave my favourite show some love on my blog, don't'cha think? The Walking Dead is one of the few shows that I watch week-to-week, and there's so much to it that I couldn't possibly have imagined when I watched the first six episodes of season one. I just had to share 5 Things I love about The Walking Dead...

The Walking Dead comic books, novels, TV show, action figures and video game.


1. The Show
Fun fact: I loathed The Walking Dead when I first watched it. I watched the first season on my phone while I was visiting family and it was way too spooky to be watching in a creaky bed in a dark unfamiliar house. But when season 2 came out I gave it another chance, now I love it- continuity issues and all.

2. The Video Games
There are a few different video games; xbox, phone, but the one I play is the PC version where your choices completely change the story. I've played games like that before where no matter what you choose, it doesn't seem to make a difference but The Walking Dead game really changes. I've played it a couple times with drastically different results (but always more than a few tears).

3. The Comic Books
The comics are the original source for it all, and they're pretty great. I really need to get around to re-reading them soon because the show is catching up to issues I haven't read. You don't have to read the comics to watch the show, or play the video games, or visa versa, but they were part of my introduction into comic books and I love them. Except #100, never forgive #100.

4. The Novels
When I wasn't reading much, I still read The Walking Dead novels that were out at the time. They're nice little additions to the worlds you know. I'm fairly certain they're part of the comic!verse but who knows at this point. They're good stories, you get extra Governor if you like the character and prose really adds something that TV and comic books can't.

5. I met my best friends through it!
Over five years ago I joined a Walking Dead chat room I found on Tumblr one boring Autumn evening. Now three people I met in that chat room are some of the most important people in my life. They're there for me when I'm sad, when I'm happy, they've taught me so much and I adore them. All because of some zombies.

Do you watch/read/play The Walking Dead?

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Beauty: Lush Oxford Street Exclusives Haul!

A couple weeks ago my mum headed down to London and since she was going to be near Oxford Street I asked her to pop into Lush for me and pick up any of the exclusives she thought I might like. She went a little overboard, and my thanks go to her and the lovely sales girl who helped and probably encouraged what you see...



I'll put up links for anything I can find online and I'll be reviewing these over the next few weeks. So what's in the bag?



A French Kiss Bubble Bar was put in with the Valentine's Day products this year even though it, luckily, is available year round. My mum knows this is one of my favourites as I've reviewed it before so I was stoked to see one in the bag.
The Sunflower Bubble Bar is only available online in this gift set which is a shame because it smells beautiful. It's citrus-y and summer-y and absolutely huge!
The Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar was for Valentine's Day, and is one of my favourite Lush products as far as looks go even if the scent- soapy- leaves a little to be desired.



Let your inner eye predict the future- with the Divination Bubble Bar. It smells exactly how I'd assume Professor Trelawney's tower smells, like Parma Violets and flowers.
Fluttery Bubble Bar was a Oxford Street exclusive for Mother's Day and it is amazing. It reminds me of a slightly sharper version of the Creamy Candy scent and just looks beautiful!
Windmill Bubble Bar is by far one of the more inventive bubble bars I've seen Lush do. It even spins. It smells of herbs and greens which I'm hoping I'll wake up in the mood for one day because right now it smells kind of weird to me.



If any product could be more suited for a morning bath than the Double Vitality Bath Melt then I'll eat one. The mix of citrus and mint is super strong. The neon pink is enough to wake up your eyeballs. I can't wait to use this!
Flowers Barrow Bath Melt is unsurprisingly floral, with a little zing behind the flowers. It's very cute rolled in flower petals.
What is yellow and dangerous? The Shark Infested Custard Bath Melt. Well I'm hoping not so dangerous, maybe for my bank balance. It smells like custard to me, which is a pro in my books.



Delight Bath Melt is a big ol' ball of glitter! I struggle to describe the scent, it's sweet and comforting but not like anything I can name.
The Dazzle Dazzle Bath Oil is the one that turned the girl on the news pink. So obviously I'm super excited. If anyone had those Toxic Waste sweets as a kid, this smells like those. Sweet and sour and totally going to be the first I try.
The Sun Bath Melt is one I haven't heard of. I'm really off my Lush game... But it smells like a muted orange.
The Lime Pastille Bath Melt is another I've never heard of before! It smells very much like lime sweets as you'd expect and has me craving an ice pop.



Never have I accidentally inhaled more bath bomb dust than with the Guardian of the Forest Bath Bomb. Fresh, leafy and crumbly as all heck.
I love Yoga. And the Yoga Bomb Bath Bomb continues my love in physical form. It's orange-y and delicious and will be used post-yoga session because I'm a sucker for matching.
And lastly, I have no idea what Ylang Ylang smells like but I'm guessing it's like the faint floral scent of the Ylang Song Bombshell Bath Bomb.

What would you like to see reviewed first? Have you ever been to the Lush in Oxford Street?

Friday, 11 March 2016

Book Review: Morning Star by Pierce Brown!

So it ends. The final book in the Red Rising trilogy is officially out. This review will contain spoilers for the first two books so if you haven't read those yet then you may want to check out my reviews for Red Rising and Golden Son!



Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.
 
Finally, the time has come.
 
But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.


Pierce Brown autograph


In preparation for meeting Pierce Brown at the Hachette headquarters in London I decided to re-read the trilogy from the beginning and ended up having about twenty-four hours in the end to get through Morning Star. I read it on the train, I read it in a taxi, I read it in my hotel and ended up being 30 pages from the end when the event rolled around. Avoiding spoilers in a room full of Howlers? Not easy! But a lot of fun and thank you to Hodder and Stoughton for the invite.

Onto the review! 

Despite the serious topic of the book, and the severity of the final challenges that Darrow faces, Pierce Brown keeps a little comedy with Sevro. As a character he grows up a lot in the time between books, especially after Golden Son's cliffhanger but somehow remains that friend in the group that can make a joke even at the darkest times. He and Victra remain my favourites. Team Sevro!

I have to mention the "Bye Felicia" add on like everyone else whenever the book comes up. It was probably pretty funny at the time of writing, made me smirk when I read it, but will age like milk. Call me a snob but I like my Sci-fi without meme references. Give me more Sevro losing his candy bar any day.

At the end of the book I had a few main issues that had me frowning at the back cover for a good twenty minutes while I sorted my thoughts; When writing in first person, it's hard to surprise the reader about something that the main character has planned without it feeling deceiving to the reader. I felt deceived. It's an issue whenever this point of view is used but I've read other books that have toed the line between planning the whole thing out for the reader, and lying to them a bit better.

Pacing was difficult. These books have been published really quickly and after three novels Pierce Brown is not a world in a grain of sand kind of writer, it was a time-consuming read. This is a 500+ page book where a lot happens, some of it could have been trimmed down but also, this could have been split into two books and certain characters like the Jackal wouldn't have fallen by the wayside. Sometimes it felt over-complicated trying to fit so much in but the story gets a satisfying conclusion and this isn't one of those 'last book in a series' where story is forgone in favour of tying everything up. It's a novel in its own right and leaves just enough open for the new trilogy announced; Iron Golds. 

And to end the review, I'm a fan of happy endings, but the way Morning Star ended was- cheesy. There were other ways it could have gone down, I think. Too much ended well for a book that was about battles on all sides of the war. But I liked the ending to Lost so take my opinion with a pinch of salt.

Overall, despite my issues, this was a solid ending to the trilogy and has promise for the three more books in the new 'Iron Gold' series. But I ponder on if I will continue with that trilogy, which I'll go into more in my series review. Want a copy? You can get one here!

Have you read Morning Star? What did you think?

Thursday, 10 March 2016

5 Things I Always Forget to Do!

You know that feeling in the back of your brain like you've forgotten something? It's my nemesis. And it's always the silly day-to-day stuff, it's hard to forget to go on holiday or when Christmas is, but the normal stuff can have a big impact! Here's 5 Things I always forget to do in hopes that it reminds you of something you've forgotten...

body butter, nail polish remover, Lucifer on Amazon Prime and bills


1. Buy the staples
I can't be the only one that forgets to buy things that everyone needs. I've gone months without having nail polish remover before because I never remember to buy it. Meanwhile, I have a gazillion nail polishes in every colour under the sun that I can't use because I can't remove them!

2. Check my bills are correct
In the age of direct debit, it's pretty easy to let companies take your money and sometimes- there are mistakes. My phone bill had been a couple of quid over each month for about half a year before I picked up on it! Awful!

3. Message back
This is my public apology to my friends, people who tweet me and email me, basically anyone who tries to communicate with me that isn't Skype or phone calls- I am really bad at messaging. I generally go for weeks as a chatty cat then I'm incognito for months. If I'm not actively in a quick back-and-forth conversation then I get distracted. I'm working on it!

4. Moisturise my body
I'm fanatical when it comes to moisturising my face but my body is a completely different matter. It just takes so long and I can never find lotion and it just feels so sticky if you put too much on. Such a first world problem, I know.

5. Watch TV shows on a weekly basis
I'm a marathon girl- not the running type, don't be ridiculous- but when it comes to watching TV shows I tend to get into a show when it's long over or near the end so I can marathon through the seasons in time for a finale. But there are some really good shows actually on TV right now; Lucifer, The Walking Dead, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and even though I love them I somehow manage to get a couple episodes behind before I watch them. I'm a networks worst nightmare.

What do you always forget to do?

Thursday, 3 March 2016

5 Things to Help a Migraine!

You may have noticed that it's been quiet on Imogen's Typewriter lately with only 5 posts last month. That's because I spent the majority of February with intense migraines. With a headache, mixed with sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea, the last thing I wanted to do was look at a computer screen. But it's more manageable now, thanks to these 5 Things...

Migraine help: Painkillers, water, almonds, a banana and headphones.


1. If you can, get in a dark room and lay down.
My logic to migraines is that I can't feel them if I'm asleep, it's pretty hard to drift off when your brain hurts though so laying down in a dark room is the next best thing. A cool wash cloth over your head and a cosy bed is sometimes enough to let me get a nap.

2. Listen to a podcast.
I get really bored when I can't read or watch TV or write or work, so podcasts are my saving grace. As long as I keep the volume down I can find myself distracted, without adding to the pain. Same with audiobooks.

3. Take a painkiller.
I'm always a little hesitant to pop a painkiller after all the fear-mongering to do with rebound headaches. But it gets to a point when it's been a day or two and I can't spend that much time away from life!

4. Press on some acupressure points.
I don't pretend to be an expert but through trial and error I've found a couple of acupressure points that can knock off the edge. The ones that work for me are at the base of my skull and in-between my eyebrows, but it's worth a google and a test to find ones that might work for you.

5. Eat, drink, and get some fresh air.
Oh the clich├ęs, but it is really easy when you're in pain to forget about the bare necessities. Throwing open a window, sipping at a glass of water and eating a banana or some nuts can stop any extra dehydration/ hunger pains.

What do you do when you get a headache/ migraine?

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