I LOVE reading. And every spare minute I get I would love to cozy up with a good read. Last year I managed to get through roughly 20 books. Wuthering Heights – Eat Pray Love – The Hobbit – Revolutionary Road (2nd time) – Never Let Me Go – Little Children – Cider with Rosie – Freedom, J Franzen – The particular sadness of lemon cake (dead) – The Road – Easter Parade – Far from the Madding Crowd – Persuasion (well half of it) – plus tonnes of screenwriting books. Okay I guess it wasn’t 20, but it still beats my 2010 record, which was likely to be around 5 or 6. So you get the picture, I like to read. It can be to the extent i’ll rather pick up a book and hear the words fall off a page, rather than words fall out of certain people’s mouths. So when a book comes along and halts the flow of my reading ritual I get annoyed, especially as I’m the one that wants to know what happens in the end. Once I’ve got through the first chapter there’s no going back. Same with films. 20 minutes in and I have to stay committed. Unless I fall asleep.

2012 book count = 0

Cause = Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day.

I know some people will be outraged by this, dumbfounded that I didn’t love this. It is on a lot of must read lists. The film adaptation was Oscar nominated and so forth. But I tell you, no one is more outraged than myself. My reasons are that I don’t often read more than one novel from an author, and Kazuo Ishiguro was one author I felt compelled to read another one of his novels. As I mentioned before I read Never let me go, which was also by Ishiguro, and I was engrossed in it. I enjoyed how the tone of the book was very simple, yet pensive and had a tinge of sadness about. It moved me. It surprised me. And I love it when anything does that to me. N.B. Please read the book before watching the film starring Carey Mulligan and Co.  Yes it is one of those cases where the film does not live up to the book, although it isn’t terrible. But mainly it fails to convey all the best bits about the novel.

So I was expecting the same with The remains of the day. I started reading it in January; we are now in March, and I’m still stuck on the second chapter. All I know of the book is that a subservient butler is released to go on a road trip. Well something along those lines. He starts to analyse the how the butler/ servant community rate each other, which I suppose was to give us a sense of the community/place he comes from. But to me it sounds highly dull. And unfortunately because I expected so much from this novel, the energy to push through the dull bits has disappeared and I can’t seem to find it. I can’t believe it has halted all reading for 2012. I know I could have put it down and moved on, but yes there is a tinge of hope that this is going to be a good read. So every 5 -10 days I pick the book up again, re-read the same 3 pages again and put it down, again. That is my new ritual. It goes everywhere with me, like a nagging dog, and I’ve succeeded in ignoring it so far. But now I’ve realised it’s getting in the way of plenty more amazing reads.

From the moment someone asks “What are you reading?” and you are lost for words since you’ve completely forgotten the name of the book, looking like you lied about reading something, it’s time to divide or conquer.

So I’ve decided to Conquer! (or Divide). Actually i’m still making my mind up. But if I conquer I give myself till this time next week to write a full review on it. If I divide there’s no going back. Unless I decide it is necessary to read it in the distant future.

So it’s time to decide and continue my flow of reading along the mountain of books I have waiting for me.

I’ll keep you posted on the outcome via twitter if I divide, or via here in the form of a review if I conquer.



Before we say adiós to 2010 and Bonjour 2011, it is only right to reminisce over the past year, as you do. So forget the Queens honours list because this here is the only list I know you are anticipating; but that not to discredit the honourable acts of the recipients MBE’s/CBE’s/OBE’s. If you disagree with the compilation of the D.S honours list feel free to suggest better recipients.

Best Film of the Year: Inception

This was not really a difficult choice as I can appreciate a good epic movie. Although there are no dragons and battles between swordsmen, I would say that Inception has re-imagined the epic movie by using a complex concept and using visual artistry to display the grand scale of the mind! Although the action of the film was encapsulating, the underlying emotional  story is one that made the film linger on in audiences minds and held the whole film together.

The performances from Leonardo Di Caprio (Cobb) was honest and believable, quite similar to the character he played in ShutterIsland. The supporting cast Ellen Page (Ariadne), Tom Hardy (Eames) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Arthur) performances cannot be faulted either and added to the adventurous essence of the film.

Okay enough fanatical utterings about Inception, if you haven’t seen it you have truly missed out on one of the great movies of our era! If you have seen it once go see it again, I know I am… i’ll make it my new years day movie.

Best TV of the Year: Misfits

This for me only had two cats in the race, the other being Glee of course. But although I can rage on about Glee forever, the difference is that Glee is the creation of a big Hollywood studio. And although they are modelled on different concepts they both grip audiences equally. So I think writer Howard Overman deserves credit for forming these silly ASBO teens and planting them in dark situations using original superpower formulas, such as the ability to cause people to want to have sex with you. So much better than the chavtastic/hipster Skins!

The Fab/Murderous 5

Best Album of the Year: Janelle Monae – The ArchAndroid

I am aware that this echoes the choice of Guardian’s 2010 album and other worldwide press, but I can assure this is not the case of jumping on the bandwagon; on second thoughts I would love to be on the Wonderland ArtsSociety’s bandwagon. What makes the ArchAndroid my album of the century let alone the year is that it breaks all boundaries. Monae clearly steers away from being boxed in a genre, and lets the album flow into sounds that her heart and creativity is exuding.

The first quarter of the album is highly soulful and powerful in the melodies and lyrics inspirational. Then in latter songs you get a bit of soulful rock in Come Alive and Cold War, which grew on me hugely after a few more rounds and now define the spirit of Monae. But what made me really find The ArchAndriod truly magical is thetheatrical/ musical melodies that fit into the mix of songs well. My mind instantly was thrown back to the Wizard of OZ with Oh Maker, Make The Bus and BaBobBye Ya. And even with songs with a deep melancholy sound such as 57821 and Say you’ll go the album remains uplifting and inspiring.

I have a huge admiration for Monae as an artist in the limelight, as she has not used her celeb status to further her album. She remains naturally beautiful in her tuxedo inspired attire and she lets her music showcase her, rather than her looks. So, as much as Beyonce is amazing at what she does, she needs to take a leaf out of Monae’s book and not use her sexuality to sell her music. It is difficult to choose a favourite song from The ArchAndroid, so i’ll just say that I have played Faster, Say you’ll go and Tightrope the most on my Itunes.

If you aint coped it yet, what ya waiting for???

Best Fiction of the Year: One Day by David Nicholls

I don’t know what made me stumble upon this book; okay in a shallow way it could have been the cover, but I’m glad I did. It was the first book I read on my iPhone and it was unexpectedly phenomenal. Most certainly going up there with my favourites!

One Day uses the developing relationship formula and sets it in the back drop of the 80s/90s over a period of 20 years. There are so many themes covered in this book including life after University, fame, ambition, Cocaine and Nicholls also makes many cultural references that signify the period. But the overall message is about love and in not one point of the story is it a soppy cheese fest.

The language does not exert itself into a complex renaissance lingo. The narrative remains within the mind of the two lead characters and is not ever that of the author himself. Which keeps us engulfed deep within the story and connects us emotionally to the characters.

Beautiful story, beautifully written.

Best TV Ad of the Year: Ikea ‘You’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties’

Can’t wait to have crazy parties in my kitchen, i’m convinced… so off to Ikea I go lol!

And The Rest…

Favourite Blog of the Year: Desire to Inspire

Best TV Personality of the Year: Jamie Oliver

Best Soap of the Year: Eastenders

Best iPhone App of the Year: TuneIn Radio

I could go on forever but I would love if you guys suggest a few, and if I like I will include it in the post. Would also like to thank you guys for hitting up my blog this year, and remember to tell friends, frenemys and haters so it’ll flourish a lot more in 2011.
Happy New Year all!

With Peace and Joy,

Chezelli xoxo

LitREV: Ellis Island… Captivating Irish tale!

Ellis Island is a TV Book Club recommendation that centres on the life of Ellie, a young Irish girl, in which her life is full of longing for love and a sense of belonging. Set in 1920’s rural Ireland, Ellie was raised in a semi-affluent devout catholic household. The story evolves from her feeling a sense of belonging in her catholic school, which she even makes the decision to join the nunnery, but does a complete U-turn and instead starts a home with her childhood love John Hogan. Although they have their unfaltering love for each other, Ellie does not have the support of her parents. And life during the civil war, in which John is wholeheartedly proactive in participating in, leaves them struggling to stay above the poverty line. But the intrigue comes from Ellie’s decision to move to Ellis Island – New York when a tragic incident involving John changes their lives.On a mission to provide for her loved one at home Ellie’s life in the states is set far-apart from her struggling life in Ireland. Her transformation from maid to a sought after typist is infused with lust, discovery and doubt.

Although the heart of the story is supposed to exhibit the lavishness of New York and the Luxuries like electricity, fashion, cars it has to offer, it was slightly not as hearty and intriguing as her previous life in Ireland. Possibly, because I live in an age where the extravagance that Ellie is amazed by is too familiar already. Another plot that found my captivation wavering was the new love interest. I was already drawn in by the intense love that Ellie and John withhold for each other, that I wouldn’t even expect Ellie to doubt this.

The outcome of the plot seemed a bit vague, but the ending revealed the meaning underneath it all. A woman’s struggle of empowerment, and fulfilling life with more than just baking, cleaning and lovemaking her way through it.

An insightful read that I would recommend, despite the filler in the middle that didn’t add much to the intriguing plot.

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