Recommended Reads For The Modern Gal Monday, Aug 16 2010 

There is absolutely nothing that beats the luxurious experience of reading a good book. A book can offer escapism, knowledge, fantasy and fun. It can save you from a bad mood or monotonous day in one articulately written sentence. It can also give you access to thoughts and ideas that you have never touched on before, and at times things that not only teach you but can make you a better person.

Now, I’m not going to go on to tell you to read Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, or Emily Brontës Wuthering Heights (though both true gems and are classics for a reason!) I am here to recommend a few books that I believe most young women should read – for different reasons.

Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella (NZD$24.99 from Fishpond)

This is a hilarious, fluffy read for the “in-between” girls out there that are no longer teens, but not yet saddled with a mortgage/husband/2.5 kiddies etc. The heroine, the incorrigible Emma Corrigan, is a bubbly, early twenties girl with aspirations of a perfect life. There’s one problem – she tells little white lies to everyone she knows. To her boyfriend (he thinks she is several sizes smaller than she actually is), to her parents (she killed their goldfish, but replaced it before they cottoned on!), to her colleagues (never admits that it’s her that keeps breaking the photocopier) and so on and so forth. This is a fabulously funny book, adorably romantic but also highlights the failings of our society on the up and coming generation. The fact Emma can’t admit the small flaws to herself and the people around her, that she needs to skew things to make herself feel more of a success, is something I see in people every day. This is a good rainy day read, not too heavy, but I think has a good message to it.

Can You Keep A Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pick-up Artists by Neil Strauss (NZD$39.99 from Fishpond)

Now, you may be wondering why the hell I would recommend this kind of book to women. Basically, knowledge is power, right ladies?

I heard about this particular book during a conversation with a male friend. He told me about Neil Strauss, a nerdy writer who couldn’t find love and so took it upon himself to meet the Masters of Seduction around the world. This book tells the story of how he became a part of this bizarre secret society, who he met and what he learned. (There are other books by Strauss that are more dating self-help types, but I think this one gives the better picture.)

Basically, this book goes through how a society of men have developed ways to manipulate women into sleeping with them. Ugly, boring, nervous, creepy, skinny, fat, sleazy, shy – no matter what the drawback of the male, these Masters of Seduction were able to show these ill-equipped men how to bed hot ladies that normally wouldn’t notice them. I read this book with utter fascination – was it possible for women to be manipulated this way? Certainly tricks and lines, gestures and clothing couldn’t get us to fall for someone totally not our type – right?! Well, as I read, I got that sinking gut feeling. Though not all of the tricks would work on all of us, there was real merit in what he was saying. I am glad I read this book – purely so I now know what to look out for! Ladies, beware.

The Game by Neil Strauss

He’s just not that into you by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo (NZD$23.99 from Fishpond)

I would be extremely surprised if you haven’t heard of this book already. It was a phenomenon a few years back, even made it onto Oprah! There has also been a movie made about it, and many a female discussion revolving around it’s teachings.

Basically, this book goes on the list because I know too many gals that haven’t read it when they really should have. This is a must read. A dating bible if you will. It’s not heavy, it’s not all about loving ones inner self. It’s a friendly prod to say – Girl, you are great, but if that guy isn’t asking you out? He DOESN’T WANT YOU! A little bit harsh, perhaps. But sometimes we need a bit of a slap in the face. I know too many girls who justify not getting a text from “that guy” for weeks, because maybe he lost his phone, or maybe he’s really busy, or or… You get the point. This book is brilliant. Makes you laugh, makes you cringe with self realisation, makes you open your eyes to the realities of dating. If he doesn’t call you, he doesn’t like you. If he only calls you at 3am for a drunken stopover after town, he just wants to f#%& you. Plain and simple. You’d think we could figure all of this out on our own, but sadly, when you mix emotions in with a woman’s thought processes, everything goes a bit whack. Hence, why all ladies should read this book!

Seriously!

He's Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo

So there you have it… One book that is light and fluffy, one that depicts the inner workings of seriously screwed up men, and one that guides us poor ladies into the dating light (if you will).

Enjoy! More to come…

Scattergories Wednesday, Mar 24 2010 

Recently I was reintroduced to board games by some friends of mine. At first I thought, yeah, why not. We were all hanging out, with nothing to do, so it seemed like an okay idea. Well.

The game that was chosen for the night was Scattergories. I’m a bit of a board game virgin, having not played very many of them growing up. So I had no idea how BLOODY ADDICTIVE these things can be! Especially Scattergories! What a game!

Scattergories is a Hasbro game (through the Milton Bradley Company) that was first released in 1988. Wikipedia puts it quite nicely: The objective of the 2-to-6-player game is to score points by uniquely naming objects within a set of categories, given an initial letter, within a time limit.

This game is amazingly difficult, surprisingly so, and an absolute must for parties in my opinion. Forget SingStar, I think this is the best way to get people laughing and yelling and jumping up and down! So fun, and gets you really thinking due to the fact its actually quite difficult to list 12 things starting with one letter within a 2-minute time limit! Think about it – being on the spot and trying to come up with things starting with, say, the letter B. An animal, a singer, a thing found in the sea, a vegetable etc. And it’s not the same questions each time! Argh! 😀

Brilliant, crazy fun! This board game has now become a staple to sunday night drinks within my group of friends, instead of unsociably watching a movie or just hanging around chatting. Go out and buy it (approximately NZD$49.99) and you’ll see how much fun you can have.

Scattergories Board Game

Silly Hoe Tuesday, Nov 10 2009 

Okay, so maybe I used this topic just so I could get away with the title, but who really cares? 

FarmVille on Facebook has become an addiction of mine – and I’m in no way overplaying my obsession. What is FarmVille, you ask? Well it’s a free game application created by Zynga for the time-wasting geeks on Facebook.

You start off with a small plot of land, a tiny bit of cash and go from there. Suddenly you’re fervently plowing soil and planting seeds, buying and gifting animals only to harvest them for their offerings (Milk, Wool etc). Everything you do costs or is rewarded with money and experience, and the more you have of both, the more you can do, buy and gift.

You go up levels as you go, allowing you to purchase bigger and better things (Houses, Vehicles, Decorations like fences, ponds and topiary’s) along with getting gifts from neighbours and helping out others with their farms. It’s silly. It’s pointless. It is utterly the most fun piece of nonsense around. A total boredom buster, you get to design, collect and just plain waste time doing something meaningless.

I have quite a few friends as obsessed as I – so at least I’m not alone. And at least we’re not as bad as Trekkies! (Right?!)

FarmVille

FarmVille