Category Archives: Uncategorized

I promise it’s not over.

Hello my sweet chinchillas!

You may have noticed that I haven’t updated recently. I’ve been having Internet connection problems, but have also been mega busy in the lead-up to holidays. I know, I know – lame excuses. But they are unlikely to change in the coming weeks.

So until then, The Friande is going to have to go on hiatus. Actually, all my blogging activity – including regularly reading some of the awesome blogs out there (you know who you are) – will be on a break.

It’s ok though: it’s just a break, it’s not like the relationship is over.

Hope Santa brings you all something awesome this year!

– The Friande

PS How awesome is the new Harry Potter movie?!


In which I get busy…

Some of you may have seen that I recently did a guest post at The Blue Bookcase for Anne of Green Gables. Apparently, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, because I have somehow found myself agreeing to be a regular contributor at Aidy’s Poetry.

My latest post over there is an interview with self-published author John Mellor, but I’ve also uploaded that blurb rant of mine to the Opinion section. I figured the latter was as good was as any to introduce myself…

Keep your eyes peeled, folks.

46. Anne of Green Gables, and Ilona of The Friande

Some of you may remember my haiku giveaway a while back – it was actually a blatant excuse for getting reading recommendations from randoms.

I even made a pie chart of the most recommended books, one of which was Anne of Green Gables. You spoke, and I answered: Anne of Green Gables has finally been both read and reviewed by yours truly. Interested in my thoughts? You’d better be.

However, you won’t find my commentary here. No, my young padawans, you must go on a quest (or simply click your mouse, whichever terminology you prefer) to read my Guest Review over at The Blue Bookcase. It’s a bit of a different format to what I’m used to, so let me know your thoughts.

The most recommended books (by three or more people).

If you are here from The Blue Bookcase – hi! My name’s Ilona, I can’t stand long walks on the beach, and there’s no way I’m going to tell you my star sign because you could be some creepy stalker. I started this reading 100 Books thing a few months ago. It was actually after I got tired of people telling me I couldn’t insult Jane Austen until I had read her work. Pfft, details, details; I found my oh-so-witty insults were definitely warranted.

Anyway, have a look around, say hello, and feel free to curl up on my (metaphorical) couch with a good book.

Item the second: Todd Pack was kind enough to pass on another of those Versatile Blogger awards to me here. I’ve previously received the award before, so click here if you’re interested in my natterings about myself.

Item the third: The Book Blog Hop – I decided to participate this weekend, and the question was: When you write your reviews do you write them as you’re reading or after you finished the book? Um, I write them when I’m done with the book, but I also have a notebook to write notes in because I have a terrible long-term memory. Actually, as soon as I write something down, it gets etched into my long-term memory, thereby making the notebook kind of pointless. Except that it isn’t. But you know what I mean.

Free haikus for … uh … one?

The time has come to announce the winner of One Hundred Great Books in Haiku: Sue from Books, Books, the Magical Fruit. Congrats, Sue!

I’m sorry for the rest of you disappointed folks; don’t blame me – blame your luck. Clearly, you need to save some soggy homeless kittens, soon, to give karma a nudge. But because I adore each and every one of you, I’ll throw in a haiku as a bit of a consolation prize:

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

Act I. ‘It’s hopeless.

My boots don’t fit. Where is God?’

Act II. The same thing.

(Note: My only experience with this play comes from an annoying classmate who insisted on pontificating about it for the entire semester. One Hundred Great Books in Haiku sure would have come in handy back then…)

So a sincere thank you is in order for all your entries and book recommendations. And for those of you that suffer from habitual curiosity, or have a particular love of stats, I made a pie chart of the most popular suggestions:

Books recommended by three or more people

Apparently I’m supposed to read Wuthering Heights next, but this depends on how masochistic I’m feeling in the near future.

Also, a special shout out to Todd Pack for writing me a haiku in the comments here!

Considering this post is all about winning things, I should mention that the lovely Callista and the equally lovely Zee each awarded me with a Versatile Blogger Award a few days ago. For those of you keeping track at home, you’d know that this brings my grand total up to three awards. (It’s so exciting, that I had to brag a little bit!)

If you do want to read seven things about me, or, more likely, check out the fifteen bloggers that I passed the award onto – as per the instructions – go here.

Edit: Hey, whaddya know? Apparently I’m a nice person after all; I was drawn as second prize winner for Martha’s Bookshelf’s Got Books? Event giveaway.

A sensational weekend, my sweet chinchillas, and I hope you had the same.

Free haikus for all!

For the next 48 hours, my dears, the Got Books? Event will be running to celebrate all things books. Er, book bloggers. Today is also the Book Hop over at Crazy for Books. To join in all the festivities, yours truly is running a contest – my first ever! – to giveaway a book. And not just any book, oh no. This book is worth one hundred great books.

Is your interest piqued? Are you on the edge of your seat?

I won’t keep you in suspense any longer, my dears, it’s none other than One Hundred Great Books in Haiku by David Bader!


I mentioned One Hundred Great Books in Haiku briefly during an earlier review – I’d got this book about two weeks ago, and thought that it was so spectacular that I bought another copy just for you! (Also because the 100 books dealio matches my blog rather nicely, but mostly for you).

If you’re curious about this book, below is a little teaser – one of my favourites – for Vladimir Nabokov‘s Lolita:

Lecherous linguist –

he lays low and is laid low

after laying Lo.

I bet you’re just itching to enter, right? Right? So here’s how it all works:

  1. Fill in the entry form below
  2. Wait with bated breath
  3. Win!*

* Disclaimer: The Friande accepts no responsibility for entrants’ existing levels of good karma :)

In fact, have some Obligatory Fine Print for your reading pleasure:

  • Entries are open to everyone, in any part of the world, regardless of subscription status to The Friande, the nature of their blog, or even if they have a blog.
  • Each person gets one entry only.
  • The prize is a Popular Penguins’ edition of One Hundred Books in Haiku by David Bader, published last month. The prize will be drawn using
  • The winner will be announced on The Friande, so that the less fortunates could have somewhere to direct their jealousy. I will also contact the winner by email to arrange particulars.
  • If, after seven days, the winner has not replied, the prize will be redrawn, and so on and so forth.
  • The competition runs from today, Friday 23 July 2010, until 6pm Australian Eastern Standard Time Sunday 25 July 2010 (I know the Got Books? Event says Saturday, but I’m a day ahead of America).
  • All competition entries will be treated with the strictest of confidence, and email addresses will only be used for the purposes of contacting the winner. Say no to spam, kids!

So if you are here from the Got Books? Event or the Blog Hop, welcome. If you are a regular, welcome back. Whoever you are, fill in the entry form below, feel free to leave some haikus in the comments, and good luck!

One more thing: As per Blog Hop rules, I need to tell you guys about the book I’m currently reading: Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie. Quite impressed by Rushdie’s writing ability – he keeps me eagerly turning the pages. Despite the fact I have about zero interest in India’s independence from the British Empire. Oh, and there’s some magic realism thrown in.

Click here for entry form

(Sorry kids, you’ve missed out)

Look, mum! I’m famous!

The wonderful, intelligent, stunning, and consistently fabulous Becky, over at Page Turners, has featured me in her weekly segment, ‘Lights Camera Blog Action!’

So if you ever wanted to know more about me (and, really, who wouldn’t?), head on over there now to read my interview. But I make no promises about being entertaining. What am I? A dancing monkey?

… If, however, you are here from Page Turners: welcome! Seat yourself down, get comfy, and have a look around whilst I get you a drink. It will, most likely, be a cup of tea.

Let them eat cake!

… Because I won an award! The lovely Becca over at Complete and Utter Poppycock has passed this extremely esteemed award on to me.

The rules of the award are:

1. Thank the person who gave you this award

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic!

4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked and let them know about the award

So, seven things about myself huh? Writing this makes me feel like Myspace is still the place to be, but here goes:

  1. I studied Marketing, Public Relations and Advertising at university.
  2. Animal babies are far cuter than human babies.
  3. An automatic scowl is triggered by ugly website and/or blog design.
  4. I have a guy’s taste in movies, except for those rare moments when I am confronted with something in which the characters actually have a sense of style.
  5. Tea is preferable to coffee, although the reverse is true if I had a late night. Chai lattes; brewed chai; earl gray; almond tea; peppermint, english toffee and ceylon tea
  6. Guilty habit: Going on Yahoo Answers, reading those “do you think the beginning of my book is good?” questions, and quoting bits to my friends for the remainder of the day. My favourite so far was this simile: “My lustrous, dark hair was in a ponytail and blowing in the wind, so it stuck out like a bunch of swords.” Seriously.
  7. I feed lorikeets by hand every afternoon on my balcony. If you are unsure as to what a lorikeet is, you probably don’t live in Australia.

Now I will attempt to not look like a total newbie whilst finding 15 bloggers that are fantastic (and, most likely, have been around for ages, but so has Australia, and look how well Cook’s “discovery” turned out). In no particular order, the blogs are:

…And that is all from me. Excuse me while I go eat some more celebratory cake.