The Unpopular Opinions Book Tag


It’s a Saturday night, I’m alone and I have a whole bottle of wine to myself. Let’s do a book tag!

1. A Popular Book or series that you didn’t like.

I love fantasy – adore it. But I couldn’t stand The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. It had an interesting beginning and world building but suffered from poor pacing and unlikeable main characters. I may have read this during a very difficult time in my life, which could have attributed to my overall feeling of the book – yet it’s not something I will pick up to re read any time soon.

2. A Popular Book or series that every one else seems to hate but you love.

This is a hard one. I had to trawl through my Goodreads account to find a suitable candidate. So here’s one – Sylvia by Bryce Courtenay. A novel set during the Children’s Crusade, with a young girl called Sylvia who sings like an angel. It’s been awhile since I’ve read it (8 years?) and I remember really enjoying it, but there are quite a few one star reviews for it on Goodreads.

3. A Love Triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with (warn people for spoilers) OR an OTP that you don’t like.

I don’t particularly care for love triangles – rarely do they work as a ‘good’ plot point for me. So let’s take the easy route and say Edward and Bella from the Twilight series. Bella should have gone ‘stuff you and all your supernatural creepy nonsense,’ and travelled around the world as a bartender (single and free).

4. A popular book Genre that you hardly reach for.

I like to think that I read across several different genres, but I really don’t. So perhaps Contemporary YA? I’m of an age where I want the high school bullshit out of my life already. It’s been 7 years and it still haunts me.

5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like.

Diana Bishop from A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness? Is she popular? I didn’t find her particularly engaging, and found her taste in men deplorable. You, an intelligent and independent woman getting all lusty over a moody and overprotective vampire. Erggh.

6. A popular author that you can’t seem to get into.

John Green. I enjoy his vlogbrothers videos, but his novels seem like a fantasy for a younger me. But then again as a teenager I was reading high fantasy and books about female circumcision and feet binding in China. Perhaps I would have the same feelings as I do now.

7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing. (examples “lost princess”, corrupt ruler, love triangles, etc.)

I’ve seen novels that have worked with an old trope and made it beautiful. A popular book trope does not necessarily mean lazy writing. That said, I try to avoid any books with the “chosen one.”

8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading.

Let’s delve into Fantasy again. So I’ll pick something I sort of tried to read – Eragon by Christopher Paolini. It was terrible, so I doubt I’ll be reading the rest of the book and Inheritance Cycle series.

9. The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?

I love, love, love Howl’s Moving Castle. And although the book by Diana Wynne Jones is lovely and different, I prefer the movie adaptation.

I Quit Sugar: Simplicious | Sarah Wilson

For this long weekend I decided to cook some of the recipes from my new cooking book, I Quit Sugar: Simplicious. I’m normally not one for reviewing cooking books, but as I’m trying to wrap my head around a really wonderful novel I’ve just read – this will do.

At the moment I’m not thinking about quitting sugar, only that the cookbook looked like an interesting space for healthy recipe ideas. Some things also looked a little bit out there (blueberry, basil and mozzarella toastie?!), but as a person who loves trying new things – I bought it as soon as it came out.

I’ve only tried 3 out of the 306 recipes found in this cookbook, but so far it looks rather good. And compared to the other books in the series, the recipes look easier and cheaper to make – thank you!

But to completely gauge how good this cookbook this is, let’s look at the individual recipes I tried over the weekend.

Bacon N’ Egg Porridge

bneorridge

This was easily my favorite of the bunch, funny considering it was the one I was the most apprehensive about. Savoury porridge? What? But it worked, oh so good. The basic porridge recipe is rolled oats, onion, chicken stock and water and it was beautifully creamy and salty. Add to that with soft boiled eggs, fried bacon and (mature) cheddar cheese – it was the best porridge I had ever had. It did take me about 25 mins overall to prepare and cook everything though, so it might be best for a morning when you have a good amount of time to cook.

Apple Cider Slow Cooker Chicken

applecider

This was another keeper. It was incredibly easy to make: just add chicken, soy sauce, apple cider, shallots, bay leaves and lemon juice into the slow cooker and cook for awhile. Come back and add the quinoa and then later the bok choy. And it’s pretty tasty, my favorite being the quinoa. Next time I think I will try some different greens, perhaps broccoli. (Note: For this and the bacon n’ egg porridge I used ready made chicken stock instead of the home made one the recipes asked for).

Green Apple Smoothie Bowl

asmoothie

Okay – this recipe wasn’t for me. It looks beautiful, but due to a few cooking dilemmas (on my part) it kind of was a disaster. The smoothie consists of green apple, coconut milk, spinach, nutmeg, cinnamon and almond butter and would have been nice on its own if I had added more ice, as it was rather lukewarm. It also would have been nicer if my blender was better (it couldn’t manage the spinach). The nut crumble to go on top was lovely (a mixture of almonds, coconut and rice malt syrup) but I forgot to cool it down before adding it to the smoothie bowl. And let me tell you, adding something warm to an already lukewarm smoothie does not taste good at all. However even if the smoothie bowl was colder, I don’t think I would have tried it again. So advice: try it individually. The nut crumble, I think, would work as a nice trail mix.

Overall I’m happy with this cookbook purchase. It has an interesting array of recipes: Lebanese roll pizza, bacon granola, strawberry chia jam, green smoothie cake with lemon cream cheese whip etc

It also has some neat sections on nutrition, how to store food, how to use leftovers and of course a guide to sugar.

On the downside, the sheer size of it makes for some difficult reading. There was no way in some sections, to have the book open whilst cooking even with something to hold the pages down. I think this is partly due to the fact that there is a fabric binding, and it’s rather annoying.

However with that said I would recommend this cookbook for anyone on the lookout for delicious, healthy recipes. But please be aware that some of the recipes ask for expensive equipment (food processors/slow cookers) and ingredients (nut butter, coconut oil etc).