Saturday, March 27, 2010

Haven't done this for ages...

No, I don't mean updating my blog, though it has been an age, but doing one of those posts where I blather on about all the stuff I've been loving of late. First, a little catch up.

While I'm waiting for my editor to get back to me with her notes for my second grown-up book, You Don't Have To Say You Love Me (which will be out Jan/Feb 2011, no matter what it might say on Amazon,) I'm working on my third adult book. I've also been working on a new teen thing, but it won't see the light of a bookshop for a long while. I just wanted you to know that a part of my heart will always be teen. So, that's what I've been up to, now on to the good stuff.

BOOKS I'VE LOVED



I adored The Time Traveller's Wife and implore you all to read it, if you haven't already, though we shall never speak of the film version of it because then I'll have to cry and bang my head repeatedly against the nearest hard surface. So I've been anxious to read Audrey Niffenegger's second full-length novel and I wasn't disappointed. I don't think it's fair to compare it to The Time Traveller's Wife, as I feel that books on that kind of scale maybe only come along once in an author's career but Her Fearful Symmetry is a beautiful, beguiling and sometimes downright creepy read, in its own right.

It's a ghost story in the truest sense and it's largely set in and around Highgate Cemetery, which is very near where I live and one of my favourite places in the world and there is one sentence in it that is so thought-provoking and yet squicky that it will stay with you for ever.

"One Day by David Nicholls">


I read this book in a feverish gulp and went to bed far too late every night for a whole week, because I had to keep reading another chapter and then another chapter and then another one. Repeat to fade. One Day spans twenty years in the life of Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew. It starts on the night before they graduate University and find themselves in bed together and revisits them on that same day, each year as they fight or grow apart or reconnect or find themselves in very different places in their lives. OK, you may not get all the pop culture references and you might think Dexter is an arse (which he is) but this book will grip your heart and not let go. And you will probably cry.

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters">

To be honest, The Little Stranger may be a little too adult for younger teen readers of this here blog. Not that there's anything racy or rude in the book, but more that it might be too difficult a read. if that doesn't put you off, this this is another ghost story, which is beautifully written. I don't think there are many writers like Sarah Waters who can bend and twist words to such stunning effect. The tension and the sense of menace slowly seep into this story and I am a big scaredy cat who doesn't do horror or spookiness at all, but I stuck with it and I was glad I did. Though one night I dreamt about The Little Stranger and woke myself up when I screamed. For reals. You have been warned!

MUSIC I'VE LOVED

Miss Li

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After Hello Saferide and Frida Hyvonen, I've discovered another kooky Swedish songstress that I've taken to my heart and myiPod. Say a big hello to Miss Li. I don't know that much about her but she's recorded a ton of albums and she has this throaty voice that sometimes sounds like a little girl on helium and other times, an old woman who smokes two packs of Senior Service a day. I hear a lot of different influences in her music; ragtime, folk music (like old European folk music with balalaikas, not Joanna Newsom folk) Brecht & Weill and summery, shimmery, sparkly pop. If you did want to buy one of her CDs after checking her out on YouTube, don't download for free(that should go without saying.) And don't go to the usual suspects who will charge you an eye-watering amount for an import album. I get all my Swedish pop needs here I would definitely recommend her Greatest Hits

She & Him - Volume 2



The second album from Zooey Deschanel and M Ward, this is a beautiful collection of sun-drenched, summery pop that's a little bit whimsical, sometimes melancholy and guaranteed to be your new favourite band ever. Trust me on this.

Stephan Altman - If You Got To Know Me

Yes, it's the song from that Think Bike! ad where motorcyclists and mopeds drive about town with these great flashing neon signs attached to the bi-wheeled vehicles. I'm not ahsamed to say that I like a song from an advert and it's a great song. After much google-fu-ing, I can tell you that this song does not seem to have been released, however you can go here, which seems to be here and download it and decide how much you want to pay for it. I would suggest that you pay no less than £0.79, which is what it would cost on iTunes.

TV I Love



Glee

This can not be a shock to any regular readers of my blog. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Glee, how could I not? I love Kurt, I wish he was my lovely gay son. I love Rachel, in all her over-achieving, hitting high C, whininess. I really love Mr Shuester, especially when he did his Busta Rhymes moves and my God, I love Sue Sylvester. In fact, it's taken all my powers of restraint not to cut and paste all one hundred and eighty seven of my favourite Sue Sylvester quotes. And I haven't even mentioned Proud Mary performed on wheelchairs or the time they sang Imagine with the kids from the School For The Deaf and I almost had to squeeze out a tear or the mattress routine to Jump. I fricking love Glee.




The Delicious Miss Dahl


Might be in a minority here, but I really like Sophie Dahl's cookery show. I don't care that she's meant to be the new Nigella. I like that she's all fey and whimsical and twee (are Belle & Sebastian not one of my favourite bands?) I adore her shabby chic kitchen (even if she just borrowed it for filming and she doesn't actually live there.) I love that she quotes Dorothy Parker and goes to adorable little antique shops (if anyone knows where that shop is that she bought the art deco cocktail shaker from, then you HAVE to tell me.) And I especially love the food that she cooks and how it looks a bit ragged and messy, but is well within my capabilities and doesn't require any fancy utensils. There are lots of things I don't like about the show, but this post is all about the things I love and I kinda wouldn't mind being Sophie Dahl occasionally and seeing the world the way she sees it. (Though not the Jamie Cullen bits of her world because Jeesh.)


Random stuff I've loved

Lindt Lindor Eggs



I love the delicious, gooey-filled white, plain and milk chocolate eggs equally and without boundaries. It may, in fact, be the greatest love I've ever known.

My iPhone

Then again, I'm not sure my heart knew what love was until I went to my local Apple Store and took home a shiny new iPhone. It's a phone and yet it's an iPod. I no longer bother to talk to my friends when I go out, because I'm too busy Tweeting about them. I can hear a song when I'm out and go to iTunes and buy it and listen to it immediately by pawing at its screen with the tips of my fingers. The future is now. (So what are the cool apps that I should be getting?)

Tiger




Not the stripey, furry, claw-y cats but a truly adorable Danish chain of stores that have six branches in the South of England. They sell well, everything from little retro china dishes and pots and cups that you want to arrange in a haphazard yet artful manner on your shelves to fab stationery, bathroom gloops, alarm clocks, herbs and spices and sweets. And it's really, really cheap. Above is a picture of the swag I bought this afternoon.


So I guess I've reached the end of this mammoth post. Just want to remind you that I am on Twitter. It's the best place to find me as I Tweet about a gazillion times a day. You are also quite likely yo get an answer if you tweet me a question and we have such fun! You've already missed our heated debate on Toxic Boys and the opportunity to help me when I'm stuck on research (translation: too lazy to Google) and ask my readers insightful questions about their lives. So, come, join me. This is my twitter addy.

Anyway, I promise not to leave it so long between updates - I feel as if it's not the first time I've typed that sentence.

Live on

Sarra x

PS: I know the pics are weird sizes and some of the links are a bit messy, but people. friends of mine, this post has taken days to assemble...

10 comments:

juliannelefay said...

I just went on that Tiger website. I am going to have to stay away from those stores for the good of my bank account!

Iffath♥Ahmed said...

Haha. I really liked Sophie Dahl's new cooking thingy too :)

hiven said...

i love you sarra manning!

The Wild Mushroom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Wild Mushroom said...

Yes, Belle and Sebastian are one of my favourite bands. I am seeing them this year at Latitude Festival. You should go! :)

Robby said...

Sarra Manning, I love you.

Lily Greatrex said...

Le gasp, I'm so glad I found this. I've spent the last week on a Sarra Manning binge and thank God for Nobody's Girl - there's only so much Edie-angst I can take in one week. If I don't have new reading material soon, I think I might end up in a depressive heap in the corner.

its-may-kat2 said...

Lindor truffles are amazing. Sarra, you seem to enjoy all sorts of indie and amazing music. Look up Cloud Cult. You won't be disappointed, I promise. They are a beautiful, environmentally friendly band, in the experimental, indie art rock range with classical instrumental flair and poetic lyrics sung with a shaky, emotional voice. I think you'd love them.

lovesarra04 said...

Sarra manning, i accualy love you,since iv read diary of a crush 1 2 and 3 (possibly more than a million times), i have been listening to belle and sebastien on a LOOP, its never ending, atm dear catastrophe waitresse is my favourite song of all times :)
i have been running into waterstones waiting for the next sarra manning book to come out (sound a bit sad) but still im happy reading the ones i have now, lets get lost still makes me cry like crazy when i read it. :'(

lovesarra04 said...

Sarra manning, i accualy love you,since iv read diary of a crush 1 2 and 3 (possibly more than a million times), i have been listening to belle and sebastien on a LOOP, its never ending, atm dear catastrophe waitresse is my favourite song of all times :)
i have been running into waterstones waiting for the next sarra manning book to come out (sound a bit sad) but still im happy reading the ones i have now, lets get lost still makes me cry like crazy when i read it. :'(