We thought this article about the great philosopher Kierkegaard was well worth reading. See what you think!
Cook club is coming to the Escape Club, so why don’t you join us! Mandy is a fantabulous cook, as we all know by her mouth-watering recipes. I, on the other hand, suck at cooking.
I failed Home Economics in high school. To some extent, flunking wasn’t entirely my fault. I’ve tried to remake the recipes in that lovely, photocopied and stapled together cook book, 20 years later and I am convinced it wasn’t me, it was the recipes. They were not good, whichever way you cut it.
Who the heck eats carrot salad with sultanas in it anyway…? Eww.
I’d love to not be a failure in the kitchen, and if anyone’s recipes are worth testing its Mandy’s. So let’s see if I can manage to not screw up everything I touch in the Cook Club.
I’m sure some of the other staffers will want to get in on the fun, and hopefully I won’t be the only one giving stuff a go. Maybe they’ll post pics of their efforts, or impress us with youtube clips of their own.
I’m hoping Mandy will go easy on us for the first one. And if I should fail, at least it will be fun… I hope.
So we’re on the cusp of Halloween again, the perfect time to curl up in bed with a spooky book. Last year we compiled a list of our favourite scary stories – this year let’s explore some of my favourite ghostly reads.
Mediator Series – Meg Cabot
When Suze moves to sunny California the last thing she needs is a hot boy ghost haunting her bedroom. Especially one who has no intention of moving on. Now, on top of settling in to a new house, family and school, she has to juggle her duties as a teenage mediator, and not all of the ghosts are friendly. The Mediator series is not really spooky, but it’s sweet, romantic and entertaining.
Doll Bones – Holly Black
Because what list would be complete without a Holly Black novel, right? Doll Bones is a little more middle-school than the rest of the books on this list, but a haunted doll called The Queen is creep-tastic enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine.
A Coming Evil – Vivian Vande Velde
An oldie, but still one I return to regularly. During WWII Lisette is sent to stay in the French countryside with an aunt who is harbouring Jewish children. When their safety is threatened, the only thing that might save them is a ghost that Lisette met on a lonely hillside.
Glass Houses – Rachel Caine
Technically not a ghost story, this book still manages to fit in a pretty compelling haunting sub-plot. Also the books are being made into a TV series so now is definitely the right time to be picking the Morganville Vampire series up.
Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
This one will always, always be on my scary books list. Best. Vampire. Story. Ever.
Madigan Mine by Kirstyn Mc Dermott
Pet Sematary by Stephen King
Do I need a because for this one?
The Tommyknockers by Stephen King
The first book of King’s I ever read (many, many years ago) so I’m not sure if it’s really that terrifying, but I’m happy to let it sit in my memory as just that.
Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill
There were moments with this book I had to put it down, walk away and catch my breath. Phew. Suspense to err, die for. Joe Hill gives just as good horror as his Daddy (Mr King himself).
Watch Bel’s hilarious video as she puts on her eyelashes for Halloween!
It’s 1837 in London and Julius Higgins lives a quiet life, trying to fly under the radar of the bigger boys at school and helping in his grandfather’s book store at home. On the day that he fails at the former, unexpected salvation is found at the latter. An unusual customer, who has a preoccupation with finding the diary of a master watchmaker, scares the bullies off.
No one could have predicted the events that unfold from that – least of all Julius. Soon he is a thief, unwelcome in his home with nowhere else to go. In desperation, he turns to the shady stranger from the shop…
Julius and the Watchmaker draws you in from the first page. It shows the seedy underbelly of 19th Century England complete with violent gangs of street urchins, thieves, and kidnappers. The language is kept in the vein of its time as well, without slowing the pace of the novel.
While Julius and the Watchmaker lacks the unhurried pace of 19th Century texts, it captures the essence of the era beautifully. As a bonus, the era doesn’t seem forced. It’s evident that a huge amount of research went into the time period; but that research is used to make the setting authentic, not to bog the novel down.
It’s obvious that Hehir is a huge history buff and there are some nods to major historical figures in Julius and the Watchmaker. For the most part this is a really lovely introduction into literary, philosophical, and scientific individuals of the past. However, the fact that most of these people are lauded as even greater than they were in life while the only female historical figure mentioned, Mary Shelley, is reduced to a plagiarist, is deeply problematic. More so considering a long history of women writers and writing being discredited or accredited to the men around them.
The world-building of Julius and the Watchmaker is vividly entertaining. It’s massive on action and adventure, but maintains a grip on the technicalities so that the storyline always makes sense. And there’s a lot to make sense of. Julius and the Watchmaker spans various time periods, countries, and even parallel worlds. It takes a talented writer to work this degree of detail into a novel without the prose descending into info-dump territory; but Hehir manages, seemingly, with ease.
Julius and the Watchmaker is an imaginative adventure that drags you away from real life completely. It’s aimed at a slightly younger age-group: more middle-grade than YA, but is interesting enough that it shouldn’t deter anyone who likes a good adventure story. It’s a lot of fun to lose yourself in for a few hours.
Julius and the Watchmaker – Tim Hehir
Text Publishing (May 22, 2013)