Monday, 27 December 2010


I'm taking part in the Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge for 2011 in which the goal is to read 12 books in 12 months starting from 1st January -- thanks to Book Chick City for hosting this -- just click here for details and to sign up.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010


Genre: Fiction, True Story

Published by: Simon & Schuster (April 2010)

Pages: 274 (Paperback)

My Rating: 8/10


About the Book:

California Schemin' is the remarkable real life story of how two rappers from Dundee pretended to be two rappers from California and duped the record industry out of hundreds of thousands of pounds. Gavin Bain and Billy Boyd - or Silibil N' Brains, as they became known - were two ordinary Scottish boys who shared an extraordinary dream: to become rap superstars. Creating new identities for themselves, they persuaded the music industry that they were the latest hot young talent from California. Silibil N' Brains then lived out that lie for more than two years, securing an enormous record deal with Sony and being catapulted into the industry high-life, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Madonna, Eminem and D12. But, ironically, they could never actually deliver and promote the album that they were paid so much money to put together. As soon as they became famous they would be recognised by anyone who had known them in their former lives in Scotland and the dream would evaporate. As the pressure mounted, there would be disastrous consequences......

My Thoughts:

My first thoughts on finishing this book is that it's a wonder how Gavin Bain managed to write a coherent book at all after the huge amounts of alcohol he had consumed after his wild partying lifestyle! In fact, the book starts with him being rushed to hospital (not for the first time!) having drunk so much alcohol and popped so many pills that it was presumed it was a suicide bid.

First Lines:

Afterwards they would call it a suicide attempt - and that's if they would call it anything at all. Mostly they chose never to speak about it, at least not in my company

This story is mostly about the build up to that night and how Scot Gavin -- a neurotic, obsessive, insomniac -- and his friend Billy Boyd -- handsome, confident, self-satisfied -- fooled everyone in this fascinating account of a crazy two years in the life of the rappers known as Silibil N' Brains. Their whole appeal was built on a lie, a scam.

Gavin's life in those days was full of highs (signed by Sony and given a huge advance) and lows (too many to mention) and we follow him through all these, knowing that he's heading for a fall. I did feel quite sorry for him several times, but he was his own worst enemy, he doesn't want our pity, he knows he was an idiot.

I enjoyed his writing style, it was simple, never dull or boring, he didn't try to sensationalise things - he just told it how it was - and I'm glad he did and I'm glad I read it.

Gavin Bain interviewed in the Scotsman.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster for sending me this book to review.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Beauty Care Product Review: ALVA SANDDORN SHOWER GEL

Another product from mypure that I am reviewing today is this Shower and Cleansing Gel.

Alva Sanddorn say that this Gel is suitable for sensitive skins and the nourishing comfrey delivers moisture, aids in the replenishment of skin oils, refines and calms irritated skin. Also, natural wheat protein helps to increase the skin's moisture level.

I have been using this every day and it has a lovely fruity smell, which is not too overpowering. It is a clear rich gel which I really loved the feel of on my skin, but I did need quite a fair amount to make a good lather.

My skin felt nice and soft afterwards, it didn't dry out my skin at all, it just felt moisturised all day. A nice gentle product.

This is available from mypure for £10 for a 150ml tube.

Check out mypure for some great special offers on organic beauty products, everything sold by them is sulfate, paraben free and phthalate free.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Published by: John Murray (Nov 2010)

Pages: 320 (Hardcover)

My Rating: 6/10


About the Book:

This is a story about a woman. And the truck driver who mistook her for a prostitute. The old man she robbed and the hunters who smuggled her across the border. The woman whose name she stole, the wife who turned a blind eye.This is the story of a mother searching for her child.

My Thoughts:

The first part of the story is narrated by various people who encountered a woman and helped her in her quest to travel to Berlin to find her young son. I thought this was intriguing and I really liked how they all helped her in different ways, some good, some not so good, from a truck driver, snail shell collector to a chess player and other interesting characters.

As the story goes on we gradually learn a little more about this woman from Africa, until she herself narrates the last part and we see that she sees most of the people and the situations in a different way.

For me, the story started well but slowly I got bored, it just didn't hold my attention enough, I didn't really care too much about Ines, the woman, or the characters she meets about half way through. I did like the easy writing style which contained mainly short sentences and paragraphs.

I read and enjoyed Mister Pip which was Lloyd Jones last book so this was quite a disappointment to me.


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