June 2022 Round Up

What’s this, a round up on time? What is happening here?

Well what has been happening to me is I have sent my cat across the Atlantic, moved out of my flat while chucking most of my earthly possessions, flown across the Atlantic for a wedding, flown back, started packing for my trip back… and that’s just the short version, without peeling most of the skin off of my knee or handing out various 1 star reviews to companies or thinking I’d lost my wedding ring.

And you know what they say right? If you want something done, give it someone who’s busy. Well, this might be applying here! Now on with the round up.



The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black – A ton of fun. Smooth prose, engaging characters, and an amazing twist.

The Princess and the Goblin by George Macdonald – Still readable and interesting, but something didn’t quite click


Disappearance of a Scribe by Dana Stabenow – Swing and a miss on the mystery for me. The evocation of Ancient Egypt is great, but the characters are thin. Second in a series & maybe I’d feel different with the first, but surely murder mysteries are built to allow out of order

Poseidon’s Gold by Lindsey Davis – Goodness these are so much fun to read. Peerless.

Last Act in Palmyra by Lindsey Davis – Gobble gobble gobble

Napper Goes For Goal by Martin Waddell – Wee trip down memory lane. Not the greatest kids football book though.


The Food and Cooking of Scandinavia by Anna Mosesson, Janet Laurence, Judith H. Dern – Solid. I am led to believe you listen to them on soups and baking, and wish you had their natural ingredients for other things so you borrow the philosophy and make something new. Note – I am obsessed with the bacon and apple sandwich I got from this.

Plot by Ansen Dibell – Does what it says on the tin.

The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes by Jack Bickham – Found it a bit one true way and talky down, and the good parts have been said better elsewhere.

Gourmet Food for a Fiver by Jason Atherton – Full of brilliant ideas that I should use. The fish dishes and chocolate desserts are the ones I want to try most.


There was an awful lot of filler in the last few weeks, but there’s some stuff I’d like to flag again, namely On Objectivity As A Reviewer and Secondary Belief vs Suspension of Disbelief

As for what’s coming next? I owe the world reviews for Darkest Part of the Forest and The Princess and the Goblin. My reading has been disrupted, but Miles Cameron’s Against All Gods, Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonsong, and Davinia Evans’ Notorious Sorcerer all look set to yield reviews. Hopefully I’ll persuade Davinia to do an interview as well.


Food and Drink

I ate and drank very well, when I had an appetite. Highlights include:

The Chicken and Waffles at Friendly Toast in Portsmouth NH. I’m a sucker for chicken and waffles to begin with, but the chicken was extra crisp and putting sweetcorn in the waffle batter was genius.

Dagligt Intag, a lactose heavy Berliner Weisse from Trillium and Omnipollo, tasted just like melted down haribo

The lobster sandwich and clam chowder from Alive and Kicking from Boston (well, Cambridge to be precise) were really solid. My compliments to Mr TBG for the steer.

Finally, my Maui Wowee at Detroit Pizza London was maniac good, as were the many bacon and apple sandwiches I made myself.


So I’ve found an avant-garde black metal band called A Forest of Stars that I am utterly in love with, and White Ward’s False Light might be album of the year. Otherwise, it’s been various trips down nostalgialand – a Britpop session earlier today, a Dark Tranquillity session before that, lots of Bob Dylan-adjacent music, that sort of thing.

TV and Movies

I watched an absolute ton of Masterchef: The Professionals reruns, and celebrated being back in the States by finding Food Network as quick as possible. Beat Bobby Flay is kinda fun, but a little too easy when the challenger picks a dish Flay has barely ever cooked. I could swear there’s some movies I rewatched that I’d like to talk about, but I didn’t put them on twitter, so they no longer exist save my Airplane rewatch.


I stopped hitting the fitness trail quite so hard but I’m still under 16 and a half stone now, which means only two stone or so to that target. As for the rest… well, scroll back up!

That’s it! Here’s to July.

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