The Drowning Guard by Linda Lafferty

Drowning Guard

I picked this book up on offer at Amazon, beguiled by the cheaper price and the mysterious cover. It’s not my usual thing. However, stepping out of my comfort zone was completely worth it.

Richly detailed, alluring and filled with cultural nuances that had me fascinated from the first page,¬†The Drowning Guard was really enjoyable for me. I learnt so much about the Ottoman Empire, a period that I hadn’t studied before and that I was surprised to find ran parallel to a time of industrial development in the UK.

The characters had histories, situations of their childhoods driving them to be the adults they are. Political wrangling, male vs. female power and the complex hierarchy of the social order fascinated me. Well worth a read, I couldn’t put it down.

Check out more about The Drowning Guard on Goodreads.

Pesto Revelation

Wow. I think I just had a religious experience. Revolving around pesto.

What a revelation! In a twist of supermarket frustration (Must. Eat. NOW.) I ditched the weekly grocery shop in favour of grabbing the first, fast, cookable thing I could see. And that was fresh pasta and fresh pesto.

Now, usually, pesto is something I buy in a jar and store in the cupboard for those times when you’ve run out of food and do not have time to run to the store. It’s never really tasted of much to me, but it’s better than plain pasta, which sucks the life right out of me.

So, on this occasion I was planning to roast some multi-coloured cherry tomatoes to add a little sweetness (and health) to my meal, but gosh darn it, I was in a hunger grump. I was not going to take the time to roast anything.

I ended up chucking the steaming hot pasta in the fresh pesto and adding a healthy (read: huge) portion of pan fried halloumi. The whole thing took approx. three minutes and I gobbled it down. I may have burnt my tongue slightly. However, before I lost the tastebuds, you know what they were screaming?

WAHOOOOOO!

Now, they say hunger is the best garnish, but man oh man does fresh make all the difference. On one side, I can never go back. I’ve hereby lost a stand-by meal from my collection. Of course, *silver lining*, I have gained a whole new appreciation for pesto.

Oh the possibilities…now to successfully grow basil.

Down and Out in Beverly Heels by Kathryn Leigh Scott

Beverly Heels

I expected this book to be a bit of light-hearted fluff that would occupy some downtime I had coming up. It turned into a fun romp through the behind-the-scenes aspects of Hollywood, with a mystery to be solved and a heroine that surprised me.

Meg Barnes made for a likeable character. She was smart, sympathetic to other’s plight (despite being in no small way worse off) and genuinely just trying to get back on her feet. After a stressful run-in with the paparazzi due to her con-man husband taking off with half of Hollywood’s money, she opts for self-preservation instead of status and returns to find that she has nothing. No house, no career, no money.

Making the best of a bad situation, she continues on with her life. The book gave an interesting view on a scenario of homelessness that just doesn’t measure up with the glamorous portrayal of Hollywood’s perfection.

Check ‘Down and Out in Beverly Heels’ out on Goodreads.