Tag Archives: best of

What I Read in 2016

26 Dec

I’ve been looking forward to doing my reading round-up for a while. I made it to 51 books this year (so far – I’m sure I’ll squeeze in another before the very end), not beating my 2015 score of 64, mostly because I was driving to work for a few months. It’s the usual mix of literary, YA and trash – but I’ve also really got into non-fiction lately and read some absolute corkers.

As always, I’ve bolded those I’d particularly recommend. It’s quite a few this time.

  1. A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk
  2. Asking for It by Louise O’Neill (A devastating look at rape culture. Everyone needs to read this)
  3. Be Awesome by Hadley Freeman
  4. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (A super fun fantasy YA – sharpshooting in the desert)
  5. The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury
  6. Iron Council by China Mieville (I always think about CM’s books for years after reading them. Iron Council no exception. Fantasy with poison barbs) Continue reading

Top Ten…Mihalis Hatzigiannis Songs

28 Mar

Ah, Mihali! My favourite Greek singer and perfect for writing to – listening to music with English lyrics can interfere with my thought patterns, so something in a foreign language is great. Today I’d like to celebrate and share my top ten Mihalis songs, which is an extremely difficult list to whittle down (was aiming for five but I can’t do it).

Although I lived in Greece for almost a year in 2009-10, I actually didn’t know much about Mihalis back then. One of my private students told me he was her favourite popstar, but for a long time I was confused between him and Kostas Martakis (who is ridiculously good looking but musically nothing special).

It was back in England about six months later that I discovered the Hatzigiannis magic via Spotify. I’d been browsing lists of Greek artists and songs when I came across the theme tune to I Polikatoikia, ‘The Apartment Block’, a comedy I’d watched almost every day. Its catchy title song was sung by Mihalis and included on his album ‘7’, which I went on to fall in love with after many repeat listens! I bought the album, took it to Greece on holiday, listened to it several times a day and subsequently became a bit of a Mihalis addict. Watching his videos on Youtube just cemented my love. He’s ridiculously adorable, especially when he tries to dance, but the main attraction is his amazing voice. He has a whole range of song types and most of them have gorgeous melodies and lyrics that just get better the more you listen to them. The fact that he started as a Eurovision singer shouldn’t count against him…

A slight annoyance in searching for his songs is that his name can be transliterated several ways – Mihalis Hatzigiannis, Michalis Hatzigiannis or even Mixalis Xatzigiannis. Perseverance is worth it, though.

So, without further ado, here are my top ten must-listen Mihalis songs:

Kati Dinato (Something Strong) – 2013

I love the video for this. It’s very Athenian.

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What I Read in 2014

20 Dec

I know the year isn’t over yet, but it’s around this time that I usually do my reading round-up post and I have to say, I’m pretty proud of myself. This year I managed 43 books! I know that’s nothing compared to some of you out there, but it’s five more than 2013 and 2012. A longer commute and part-time work are probably to thank! I also feel like I read some amazing things this year, with very few duds and quite a nice variety in genre. The number of YA books decreased somewhat, to make way for a few more Adult reads and even a few non-fictions. My absolute faves are bolded.

The List: What I Read in 2014

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Deathless by Catherynne M Valente (stunning Soviet fantasy – does for 20th century Russia what Pan’s Labyrinth did for the Spanish Civil War)

Dark Eden by Chris Beckett (thought-provoking and utterly absorbing sci-fi set on a distant planet without an external light source)

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Vicious by Victoria Schwab (super-powered antics with a pleasing lack of certainty over who is the true hero)

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