Books I DNF-ed in 2016

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Back in August last year, I put together a post about books I had given up on – DNF-ed, if we are using the technical book-term – so far in 2016. My plan was to write another post when I got to ten DNF-ed books, but that never happened; I seem to have got a bit more savvy with my book choices as the year went on.

However, I still DNF-ed another four books after that post and thought it would be fun to share them again.

I do not mind putting a book down, I never feel like I must finish a book just because I started it. After all, there are so many books to enjoy, there is no point spending time on one that you don’t like. Time is precious and should not be spent on books that make you groan every time you think about reading them. Unless the joy of finishing a book outweighs the pain of reading it, then maybe it is worth the time and effort but that rarely happens for me.

I’m not sure I admire people who refuse to give up on a book, sometimes I wonder what you can get out of something that you just do not enjoy but put hours into completing. Not enough wondering to make me more persistent with finishing books, though. I will leave that to the more dedicated readers out there.

Now, let’s get complaining!

Books I DNF-ed In 2016

In case you missed the previous post, and to save you having to go back and look, I will include those books here as well as a quick recap of why I gave up on them. For my in-depth complaints, you are welcome to check out the first post.

The first five books are the ones I have already wrote about. These were at the beginning of the year when I was trying to work out which books tickled my fancy and which ones did not. These books, most definitely, did not tickle my fancy.

Kiss Me First by Lottie Moggach

Reason for DNF-ing: Excessive mentioning of Facebook and other social media, a main protagonist that was unbearable and I just did not really understand what was going on.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip Dick

Reason for DNF-ing: Turned out to be an abridged version of the book and it was just plain boring. Did include talk of pet-robots which was mildly interesting.

Death of a River Guide by Richard Flanagan

Reason for DNF-ing: Read a previous book that I did not like by the same author, thought I would try another book. A mistake, this was one big snore fest and absolutely not my type of book.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Reason for DNF-ing: Unable to work out if characters were mugging people or buying a magazine. Just nope. Even if it is only 100 pages.

Umbrella by Will Self

Reason for DNF-ing: Book narrator had the most annoying voice and everything else about the book was awful too.

Now, onto the books that I didn’t mention last time! 

Dracula by Bram Stoker

I cannot remember if I picked this up in the Audible daily deal or on one of their offers, but it has been in my Audible library for ages, it was about time I gave it a listen. Well, I got a few chapters in and that was that. I enjoyed the beginning, reading Jonathan Harker’s journal entries, but then the perspective changed to letters between to female friends and I just lost all interest and gave up. This book falls in to the not for me side of my love/hate relationship with classics.

The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald

I had a feeling I wouldn’t like this before I started the audiobook, but since it was free and only five hours long, it couldn’t hurt to give it a go. I listened to about an hour and then gave up, too much social commentary and not enough story. Another classic for the I don’t like you pile.

The Two Towers by J.R.R Tolkien

I tried, I really did. I read The Fellowship of the Ring with great pain and thought I could power through the other two books to complete the series. I couldn’t, they are just too boring. I do not think a single part of the book went into my brain. I would look up from the page and lose my spot instantly, chances are I missed a paragraph or two as I would look down and start again at the wrong spot. Or I would just be sat there wondering if I really did just read 20 pages of a book where they did nothing but walk across a patch of land and be sad about it.

So yeah, I gave up, I did not even bother to finish the chapter I was on, just nope. Then I sold the series to someone else and made €6 of them.

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

I could not get into this book, it was too slow and there was nothing to keep me interested. I did not mind the multiple perspectives, thought it was a bit difficult to distinguish them from each other, making it far too much hard work to keep up with every character and what was going on. If there was anything going on, I am not sure there was. I could not quite grasp the descriptions so even if there was something going on, I am not really sure I understood it anyway. So, back to the library this book went.

And that is a wrap. What was the last book you DNF-ed? Or are you someone who never DNFs a book? I’m curious, does the joy of completing the book outweigh the pain of reading it? 

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What I Ate Today #5

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Continuing on from my last What I Ate Today post, we are still catching up with the photos that I have lying around from last year.

It looks like another day at home for this week. Next week though – well, in two weeks – next two-week, we venture out into the big wide world and eat some food. Stay-tuned or something.

The introductions might also improve when the photos are more current too, but who knows.

On to the food!

Pre-cycling snack

Which I forgot to photograph. And by snack, I mean a big glass of orange juice.

Breakfast time

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Another smoothie.

At least I change the flavours up when I know I will be sharing it with people. This week, I have had four banana smoothies and that’s it. I hope the next WIAT does not have a smoothie in it…

As always, a recipe to accompany such terrible photos.

Banana And Blueberry Smoothie

  • 5 large bananas
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 750ml water

You know what to do. 

Lunch time

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Oh I love leftover. They make my life so easy.

We had this golden rice concoction for dinner the previous night and since we have yet to master portion sizes, we had plenty of leftovers for us both to have it for lunch the next day.

I whipped this all up in rice cooker as well, and have made it many times since then. It is a delicious easy dinner and might even pass for good vegan food.

Golden Rice And Veggies

Ingredients:

  • Basmati Rice (about 3 cups)
  • Some saffron
  • Some turmeric
  • Some mushrooms, diced
  • A cup of frozen peas
  • One red pepper, diced
  • One onion, diced

I then popped it all in the rice cooker with 5 and a half cups of water and let it do its thing. We did pre-cook the peppers, onion, peas and mushrooms this time, but all the other times we have made this, we have just let the rice cooker do all the hard work.

Dinner time

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So I saw this on Instagram, you know, one of those fancy recipe-video thingies where they have all the details in the video. I thought it looked pretty tasty and I needed some more wife-points so I whipped this up as a surprise dinner for the Mr.

Since I could not re-find the video – of course, I did not bother to like/bookmark or do anything useful to facilitate re-finding – I just made everything up and hoped for the best.

The gist was, put the pastry down, make a pizza-esque topping and roll it. It was actually quite nice.

Since then, I have tried to make this a few times and it now appears to be suffering from The Curse of Too Much Filling.

Since this is a day of “recipes” here is another one.

Puff Pastry Veggie Roll

Ingredients:

  • Readymade puff pastry
  • Tinned tomatoes
  • Aubergine, sliced
  • Spring onions, sliced
  • Red peppers, sliced
  • Mushrooms, sliced

I have no idea about quantities, just enough to fill the pastry but not enough that it is impossible to roll and you shove your fingers through the pastry which causes the entire thing to collapse and you have to patch the holes up with the leftover pastry from the sides.

Roll that baby up and pop into the over. I opted for 200℃ for 30 minutes. It ended up like you can see.

Serve with an incredibly boring salad because no one really cares about that.

And that’s another day in the life of my stomach. Anything you fancy from this lot? Cooked anything good lately? 

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Wonderful Wednesday #19

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Did I miss last week?

Goes off to check. 

Apparently so. I like to take the odd week off here and there. All the time, apparently.

I have a to-do list as long as my arm to get done before a certain furry friend comes home on Friday, this blog post being one of those to-dos, along with sorting the paper recycling out, rearranging the house and deciding on the final place for the crate and making a couple of doggy DIYs!

Let’s get to this!

The Big Reveal

Easily the highlight of the last two weeks! The big reveal of which furry friend we’ll be bringing home this Friday! THIS FRIDAY! Time has flown by, but we are feeling prepared and oh so excited.

Whilst we wait, why not have a guess at which of these gorgeous girls will be coming home with us: left, centre or right. Or to use their unofficial puppy names “Pink, Yellow or Purple”.

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Following on from the big reveal, the next highlight was the big garden centre visit with all the puppies, the puppy-parents-to-be, Mummy and Daddy and, of course, our supervising breeder.

Kris and I travelled to Maastricht for an afternoon of pottering about the garden centre whilst the puppies introduced themselves to the big wide world of flower pots, fake grass and riding in trolleys. It was amazing. It was impossible not to smile as our girl jumped about excitedly at all the different things and then went into full toddler-mode once she was too tired but too stubborn to admit it was nap time.

Once we’d all stopped for a cuppa at the cafe though, she soon found herself a comfortable spot under the table and was dead to the world.

Oh puppies. How I love thee.

What we did not love though was trekking the two hours home on trains and busses with 20kg of dog food though. I do not recommend running for a train with a 20kg weight, not one bit. That was defintely not wonderful.

Coming next week: Wonderful Wednesday The Doggy Edition. With plenty of photos (I kid you not, I have already amassed around 150 photos from the first eight weeks of her life!) and all the necessary introductions. Probably not all interesting for those who are not dog-people.

Afternoon walks

Kris had last Thursday off work so we decided to make the most of it and head to the supermarket when it wasn’t busy and then get out for an afternoon walk into town. A little cold and a little overcast, but it was nice to pick up my camera again and get out in the fresh air. Bonus wonderful-ness to finding a slice of town that we haven’t been to before.

It also appears that Spring might even be in the air, I spotted some shoots coming up on our walk and the Sun even came out this week.

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Street Art

We don’t have much in the way of a Street Art Game in our town, but sometimes you come across some interesting bits. Like a giant whale. Or multicoloured zebra crossings.

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Santa Clarita Diet

I saw this mentioned a couple of times in lasts weeks Wonderful Wednesdays so I watched the trailer, showed it to the husband and then we ended up watching four episodes in a row.

It’s not bad.

It definitely makes a change from all the other TV we watch that takes itself far too seriously. What with Supernatural and the constant battle of who is in more danger than who and who can die this season and then there’s The Flash where the entire premise of the show is: it’s Barry’s fault and he needs to run faster.

So yeah, I’m down for some light-hearted TV time over dinner.

Mo Money, Mo Food

And a desperate attempt to introduce the usual food talk with something witty.

Foodie mentions this week go to:

Everything British. Last weekend we went to the British Store and bought ourselves three of almost everything. I know have a healthy supply of Bourbon biscuits, Bisto gravy granules, crumpets, Rich Tea, custard powder, vanilla extract and vinegar. As well as Linda McCartney sausage rolls, curly fries and some Hovis best of both bread. It’s a good time to be British in my kitchen.

PB2 Powder. I’m a big peanut butter fan and it was only a matter of time before I ordered some peanut butter powder just to give it a try. Turns out, it’s pretty good. So far I have enjoyed it in smoothies and on my Wheetabix, for a subtle peanut-y flavour. Two for two with the PB2 original and PB2 chocolate. Next step: trying out the official instructions for actually making peanut butter from the powder. Come back next week to find out how that goes.

BBQ Sauce. BBQ sauce on pizza, BBQ sauce in my burgers, BBQ sauce nowhere else because I can’t think of any other ideas.

More tofu scramble. Specifically this recipe. It was delicious.

Pancakes. Pancakes for dinner, like the 27-year-old adult I am. Does anyone know when the official pancake-eating-day is? I just assumed since lemon juice and pancake mix are in the seasonal aisle that it must be time to eat my weight in pancakes whatever the day.

Mo money, mo potatoes. I thought about being more specific but everything potato related has been great lately. Wedges? Great. Baked? Great. Mashed? Great. The mashed potatoes even turned into a damn good Shepard’s pie-thing that I whipped together for Kris’ birthday.

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The Little Things

Like being able to access the toilet in the hallway now that I have sorted out all the paper recycling. Or the new recycling scheme we have for “soft plastics” which basically means I can now recycling items made of plastic instead of only plastic bottles. Then there are Skype chats with Mum and the Bro, the Beauty and the Beast trailer, new books and the expensive orange juice just for a change. Don’t forget working out that you are not being charged double for your boiler service and it was just a mistake on their part and that glorious time after 1am when Sir Shouts A Lot the neighbour finally shuts up.

All wonderful things.

And that’s all the wonderful for today. Don’t be shy, share some wonderfulness this way! 

Don’t forget to check out all the other Wonderful Wednesday-ers starting with the inspiration Sally, and then the rest of us raggedy bunch:  Kate, Helen, Jo, Cat, Michelle, EmmaSamLauraPetaSarah, JasminEleanor, Mimmi, Isabelle, Martina, Lynsey & another Sarah!

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