Film of the Month
Separate lies written and directed by Julian Fellowes, Starring Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson and Rupert Everett
Well-acted drama of England's prosperous middle classes. Set in the Home Counties near London. A successful solicitor's young wife takes an aristocratic lover. Following a hit-and-run tragedy, their lives gradually unravel. 'Fellowes's dialogue is excellent. He's good on the way traditionally understated middle-class speech has assimilated contemporary obscenities in a curiously controlled and civilised manner.' (Philip French in the Observer)
Book of the Month
Heretic by Sarah Singleton (Simon and Schuster 1416904034 5.99)
Sarah Singleton recently won the BookTrust Teenage Prize for her previous novel Century. This is her new one - a story of a young girl's encounter with a fairy in 1586. Isabella has spent the last 300 years in the faery world, hiding from persecutors who accused her of being the daughter of a witch. Elizabeth has her own persecutors to face. A Catholic priest is hiding in her home - an act of treason in 1586 - and the net is closing in. As they become friends, Elizabeth and Isabella must find a way to protect the family from being torn apart.
CD of the month
Whatever people say I am, that's what I'm not - Arctic Monkeys, Domino WIGCD162
The first album from the band from Sheffield, which promises to be the album of 2006. The band have only released one single, entitled 'I bet that you look good on the dancefloor', which hit number one in its debut week. The band became famous before they had even released their first single, through word-of-mouth. Look out for the track 'When the sun goes down'. Fans of the band are eagerly anticipating what they expect to be a great album. 'Is bound to be great', said one amazon reviewer. What do you think of the album - write a review!?
And finally＃because it's Valentine's Day on 14 February, we thought we＊d mention one of the nation's passions.
To indulge or not to indulge - the dilemma of chocolate
No matter what the 'official' opinion is on chocolate, good for you or bad for you, popular attitudes to chocolate are much as they always have been. They are a treat for all occasions, from small to large celebrations, public or private events, to share or to hog, to eat or to drink. The difficulty with chocolate is the sheer choice on offer: the range is truly astounding. To make sure we don't ever tire of its temptations, manufacturers constantly re-invent and re-package it. Innovation and novelty is not so much a trend as the life-blood of the industry. Whatever the season, from price, quality, flavour - even calorie perspectives - you can pick from everyday street bars to special gourmet selections, from run-of-the-mill factory made options, to fair-trade, organic or hand-made options. Right now though, the UK prefers...chocolate fountains. A tier of molten chocolate for dipping in - and one of the biggest selling presents at Christmas 2005.