June Round up

Well, here we are six months into the year and wow has this been one of those months. Firstly, we had the General Election, or as I like to say, the day Theresa May scored a phenomenal own goal, we had all the ups and downs of the fall out of the election and then the tragedy of Grenfell and all that went with it. I don’t really know what to say, other than I hope that this is the thing that puts an end to profits before people. There were some fun moments in a month of uncertainty and anger though, like getting to see George Ezra debut some of his new material and hanging out with some old friends. I also did a big scary thing this month – I handed in my notice! By the time you guys read this it will be the start of July and I will no longer be working as a journalist, instead I’ll have moved into marketing at a new company, I’m very scared, but as I’m constantly told, if things don’t scare you, they aren’t worth doing.  Guess we’ll find out how that’s all going in the next one of these!

What I read this month:

Hag-seed – Margaret Atwood
With the Handmaid’s Tale being on TV at the moment, I was looking into getting some extra Atwood in my life. I’d been interested in reading this ever since I saw Sanne over on Books and Quills talking about this and a few other Shakespeare retellings which were released a little while ago, so when I spotted it at the library, I chucked it onto my pile. This is the retelling of the Tempest, which isn’t one I’ve read before, I would like to track that down at some point so I can compare the two and of course, I want more of the Hogarth Shakespeare collection in my life!

Free at last, the diaries 1991- 2001 – Tony Benn
I’ve always admired the work of Tony Benn and this was a gift from my grandad many moons ago that has sat on my shelf for way too long, (I’m not allowing myself to let my bookshelf get untidy, so I must read everything on it that I haven’t read and give away the ones I won’t read again before I am allowed to go anywhere near a bookshop.) so  I figured I’d give this a read while the election campaign was going on. It really is a  fascinating read and I wish I’d started it sooner, also that I had more of Benn’s diaries sat on my shelf to work though. This was interesting from a political point of view in the sense that I learned a lot about a period of politics I didn’t know a lot about before and also got to see life in the commons, which I’d not come across before. There was of course the shade thrown at New Labour and hearing about the various things going on in Benn’s life which were also very engaging. I would be interested to read more books on socialism – anyone read Bernie Sanders’ book? Any good? – before moving on to other ideologies!

Release – Patrick Ness
I love Patrick Ness. Like, really love him. I think he might be my favourite author, I think I’ve read pretty much all the Patrick Ness available now and  I have loved all of them and this was no exception. This was recommended to me by Amazon, so of course, I downloaded it. Their one click buy thing is really quite dangerous and doesn’t help with my plan to read everything on my bookshelf and tidy it up. Anyway, this is loosely inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway (which I’ve read) and Judy Blume’s Forever (which I’ve not), Mrs Dalloway is a stream of conscious type novel that takes place over the course of one day and while Release takes place over the course of one day, it isn’t stream of conscious and has slightly connected story intertwining with the main story, I don’t know if that’s the Forever aspect, but what I do know is that this book was amazing and I would do a review, but its so incredible I am kind of lost for words!

Speaking out: Lessons in life and politics – Ed Balls
From Tony Benn to Ed Balls, I figured I might as well work my way through the whole of the Labour party. I’ve enjoyed Ed Balls as a public figure (who doesn’t love Ed Balls Day and his rendition of Gangnam Style?) but I didn’t know all that much about him and having read about the political landscape in the nineties and early noughties, I thought I’d learn about more recent times when I saw this at the library (again, not helping myself with the tidying of the bookshelf). While this was an interesting insight into life in politics, especially about how the civil service and the treasury worked, there were a few moments that had me despairing. I don’t know if it was the way the stories were presented, but I think I preferred the more intimate nature of Benn’s book tbh.

I am Malala – Malala Yousafzai
I think this should be required reading, like seriously, jesus christ, not only because Malala is an incredibly inspirational and intelligent young woman who has a lot of wonderful things to say about education and women’s rights to it, but because if, like me, you are a Brit, it is very easy to be ignorant to the world around you – it isn’t in the best interests of the people in charge for you to know too much about other cultures and this was so interesting learning about Pakistan and the different people who live there and its culture. It was also fascinating to learn about someone who had first hand experience of their religion being hijacked by extremists and living in close quarters to people who felt that way. I have many thoughts about this, so I wrote a whole thing, check it out.

The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp – Eva Rice
Ok, so at the end of the month, I stopped pratting about at the library and on my kindle and started reading the stuff I had laying around on my shelf. Go me. I feel like I’ve had this book on my shelf forever, I picked it up in a discount book store because the cover is pretty and from the blurb, I expected the tale of a vicar’s daughter breaking into the music industry in the sixties and finally feeling equal to her older sister. Well, over half way through this book and she still hadn’t sung in front of anyone, let alone made it out of childhood. I just found the whole thing dragged on with lots of unnecessary stories, when what I was there for was the shock of suddenly being in a whole new world. The people of goodreads seem to love it and while the atmosphere of the novel is great, I just… I don’t get it. It couldn’t decide what the main story arc was or who the main character is and it really didn’t need to be as long as it is, the story could have been told better in fewer pages with less of the meandering about. The only misinterpretation of Tara Jupp I could see was whoever designed the cover and wrote the blurb, because they clearly didn’t read the book first. It isn’t a bad book, it is just very slow. Too slow for what the blurb promises. It’s exactly the sort of thing I’d recommend my grandmother.

Handle with Care – Jodi Picoult
I don’t think I’ve read any Jodi Picoult before this, but I’ve always meant to. Which is probably why I picked this up and then left it gathering dust on my shelf for ever. I remember buying this. I was 20 and I’d picked it up in a charity shop before going to work at my shop job because it was a Thursday night shift and I’d forgotten my kindle charger. I am 28 now. I’ve had it that long and not managed to finish it, until now. It was interesting to read about Willow and her life because I’ve never come across anyone with OI before, but I had the same problem with this as I did with Me Before You in that it made me feel a bit… icky about the way that able bodied authors are portraying disabled people.

Films I watched this month:
You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • Insurgent
  • Lady Chatterley’s Lover
    I read the book what feels like a lifetime ago and I spotted that two versions of the film were on Netflix, so I whiled away a Sunday checking out the BBC adaptation.
  • The Propaganda Game
  • American Beauty
  • Under the Sun
  • Amazing Spider Man 2

TV I watched his month:

  • House of Cards
  • Handmaid’s Tale
  • Doctor Who
  • Pretty Little Liars
    Now I feel like I need to rewatch the entire thing because seriously, wtf happened?
  • iZombie
    THAT FINALE THOUGH!!

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

live broadcasting rn from a field

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❤️💛💚💙💜

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the end of an era

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Had a little going away party at work because I’m well… going away to another job! Getting my P45 and watching other people come in to interview for my position has been SUPER WEIRD.

What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

While the election is over now, I have the mention this video from LukeisnotSexy, James Corden spent the day working at Harrods which I’m sure was way more fun than actually working at Harrods, Louise Pentland made a very special announcement and her video telling her friends made me cry a bit! This video from Dan(iel) Howell was a bit too real tbh but I’m listing it anyway. Anthony Padilla has left Smosh and gone solo, his return to YouTube as just himself was very funny. Finally, Jack and Dean’s latest sketch was very on point.

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May Round up

May was a bit of a whirlwind if I’m honest. We started off with a bank holiday (always good), playing a charity gig with the uke orchestra, interviewing potential parliamentary candidates and spending a few days in Brighton! I finally broke through the wall of writer’s block and this month seems to have been one where my creativity has been able to actually work – looks like the whole documenting my life every month is starting to work! We also had some pretty horrific things happening in the UK this month, but that keep calm and carry on attitude has kept us all strong and able to continue being kind and caring in the face of adversity.

What I read this month:

I’d die for you and other stories – F Scott Fitzgerald
New Fitzgerald claxon! Seriously, who expected there would be new F Scott Fitzgerald? This is a collection of previously unpublished stories presented together along with some biographical facts, letters to publishers and photos of Scott and Zelda. I enjoyed some of the stories more than others, but it was interesting seeing Scott attempt a different style of narration and genre to some of his more famous works.

Career of Evil – Robert Galbraith
What a disappointment this was! I adored the first of Cormoron Strike’s adventures and I enjoyed the twists and turns of the second instalment, but this one… I don’t know, I just found a lot of the misogyny very gratuitous with this one. While I know that there are people who do think the way the antagonist (no spoilers here!) did, I was just a bit like, really? I also found a lot of the tension between Strike and Robin in this one kind of ruined the relationship that had been built up over the past two books. Won’t stop me reading the next one though!

That Close – Suggs
I’ve had this book sitting on my kindle for what feels like a life time, Madness are one of my favourite bands and I have always enjoyed Suggs’ humour and found him a very interesting fellow in his forays into television. While this was great because I got to see bits of London I know and love through his eyes as he was growing up, this was a very disjointed autobiography. It wasn’t like those memoirs that are a collection of essays and it wasn’t a chronological look at his life either, every now and again, something would link back to the original story, but I found myself lost at times as he meandered through life! He does have a very engaging and friendly voice though, so no complaints from me!

Big Little Lies – Lianne Moriarty
The folk at Penguin very kindly sent me a copy of this, as I’d been searching the shelves at my local library and agonising over buying a copy every time I walk into a book shop, it was a little serendipitous that it turned up! I’ve yet to watch the TV show, so I’m not sure how they compare, but this was unlike anything I’d read before in terms of layout and pacing I wasn’t sure how something could be so subtle and yet in your face at the same time! It kept me very entertained on the train to Brighton however and I’ve reviewed it for you here

My Life – David Jason
Oh I do have a little soft spot for David Jason, perhaps its because we used to watch a lot of Open All Hours and Only Fools when I was growing up or perhaps its because he reminds me a bit of my Grandad because they’re both quite tiny and from London. Although, unlike David Jason, my grandad actually is from Peckham. This was such a charming and interesting read, I loved hearing about growing up in Finchly during the war and reading about the late, great Ronnie Barker was a delight.

Mind the Gap – Phil Earle
I saw this at the library and may have side stepped a small child heading in the same direction to pick this up and was it worth it? No. Not really. Honestly, this was on my TBR because I heard someone talk about it on YouTube and as the cover had a London tube map and I’m one of those Londoners that no longer lives in London so anything to make me feel close to my roots. Honestly, I am not the intended audience for this book which was why I was ultimately so disappointed, but for younger readers, this would be a great book about dealing with grief.

The Muse – Jessie Burton
Woah. Honestly, I picked this up because I liked the cover, but bloody hell that was an intoxicating read! I’ve not read any Jessie Burton before, but now I want to read her shopping lists, she writes so eloquently! I’m not into art, which is the main thread of this book, but I am into beautifully written prose about interesting, creative people and this was just… vewy noice.

 

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • Saving Mr Banks
  • Casting Jon Benet
  • Captain America: The First Avenger
    I was watching this as the results for the French election came in. Thought it was appropriate.
  • Clueless

TV I watched his month:

  • Teen Wolf
  • Pretty Little Liars
  • Riverdale
    THOSE LAST TWO EPISODES THOUGH
  • Once Upon A Time
    I know series 7 is coming, but I might just decide to end with series 6 cos it really was kind of a perfect ending if you ignore the flash forwards.
  • Doctor Who
  • iZombie
  • Brooklyn 99
  • Miss Fisher Mysteries
  • House of cards
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
    Honestly, I could barely breathe let alone anything else while watching the first episode, my God, that was intense, it was everything I remember the book being. 

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

Awesome mix vol. 2 was the soundtrack of the day

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☂️ they're back ☂️

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that's more like it, Brighton

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What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:
Firstly, let’s talk about Leena’s video about being ginger, mostly because it made me think so much I ended up rambling to a camera myself! Liam Dryden’s Scottish roadtrip part one and part two was so good, it made me want to go back and explore more of Scotland! I’ll mention the end of the My Horse Prince saga purely because it became the soap opera I never knew I wanted! What sort of roundup would this be without Carpool Harry-oke, is it the best one yet? And well, I can’t not mention bae can I? My crush on Darren Criss was fully reignited by his band’s new music video and I was a bit blown away by Lucy Moon’s last 168 Hours.

February round up

For being the shortest month, I packed a lot into February! I ended up hanging out in London with my buddy Charlotte for a few days which involved visiting all my favourite spots in the city and getting into Matilda for £5! Yaaaas! This month I also saw me saying goodbye to my little Fiat and getting a new… well… Little Fiat and eating all the vegan treats, Tesco now stocks vegan fish fingers, so naturally, fish finger sandwiches had to happen and if that wasn’t exciting enough, the Foo Fighters played in my tiny Somerset town! I didn’t get a ticket because I’m not on their mailing list, but as I’ve played the same venue, I’m going to go ahead and tell people that I’ve opened for the Foo Fighters.

What I read this month:

18867162Just one damn thing after another – Jodi Taylor
I saw this series in a book haul on the internet and then thought of it again when I started watching Timeless (which is great btw, check out my video below for how much I love Timeless!). For the first book in a series, it is very slow to start and takes a while for the story to kick in, but when it does, God! What fun! Being a history nerd and a lover of science, I did enjoy this and I’ll be checking out the rest of the series, there is time travel and dinosaurs and conspiracy and relationship drama, what more could you ask for?!

8247122Wishful Drinking – Carrie Fisher
I really wish I’d come across this book sooner, Carrie Fisher is such an engaging and hilarious writer, there are very few people who can make you sympathise, relate and howl with laughter all at the same time, but she manages it. Reading this made me not only appreciate her genius all the more, but also made me so sad at the loss of such potential, my new aim is to track down all the rest of her writings!

13262783Everyday – David Levithan
I read these in the wrong order, I read Another Day, which is the same story from Rhiannon’s point of view back last year and although I enjoyed the concept, I found the whole thing a little bit invasive and I’ll be honest, reading A’s account creeped me out on a whole new level, it’s so… rapey… I guess, I can’t think of a better way to explain it. I still think the idea of being a genderless being who experiences different identities every day is an interesting concept, but the contents of the story are still problematic for me.

28686840Holding up the universe – Jennifer Niven
I’d seen so many mixed reviews, though mostly positive for Niven’s other book, All the Bright Places, which I’ve yet to find at the library, but when I happened across this, I thought I’d give it a go, plus the cover looks pretty. The thing is, I’m not really sure how I feel about it, the romance felt a little contrived and the fact that Libby spends the whole book complaining that all she is known for is being the fattest person in the country and yet can’t stop reminding the reader every other second did irritate me no end! Not sure if I’ll be searching so hard for All the Bright Places now I’ve read this…

26200563Hamilton: The Revolution – Lin Manuel Miranda et al
OMG I WISH YOU COULD ACTUALLY SEE THIS IT IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK I OWN. It is a fact commonly acknowledged that I love Hamilton (I have tickets for next June) so when I saw this in Waterstones, I had to grab a copy for myself, if you love Hamilton, or just shows in general, it is a wonderful art book full of anecdotes of putting together a stage show, from conception, to curtain up, as well as photographs showing the staging, costume design and additions from several contributors of the show. Photographs do not do it justice and I don’t think my words did either, but if you are interested, I reviewed it here.

70947Northern Lights – Philip Pullman
This month news broke that Philip Pullman was releasing another series of books based around his Dark Materials trilogy, this excites me! So, I figured I better re read them before the new book comes out! I’ve not picked this trilogy up since the first time I read them when I was a kid, so I had a wonderful sense of nostalgia reading this and it made me so sad that the film was awful! The first time I picked these up, I always wanted to be Lyra and have my own daemon, guess I’ll just have to play pokemon go more often so I pretend my vaporeon buddy is a daemon! These books are great by the way, so… like read them!

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • Hurricane Bianca
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
  • The Lego Batman Movie
  • Divergent

Considering the cinema in town has reopened, I didn’t get to catch as many new releases as I’d have liked this month! Prepare for that to be rectified.

TV I watched his month:

  • Taboo
  • Shadowhunters
  • Teen Wolf
  • Timeless
  • Sneaky Pete
  • Supernatural
  • Riverdale
    My new obsession! I might start wearing dungarees, Jughead is my new icon.
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine

 

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

the fourth plinth is now very excited about something

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They say you should spend valentine's with those you love so T Hardz and I are having a lovely evening

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Kinda love walking down here when there's no one else around

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The carnege left by Storm Doris

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What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

I can’t not mention this from danisnotonfire, like for serious, were all music teachers evil because I related so hard when I think back to not only my piano teacher (she even said the same thing to me about Fur Elise and my fingers!) but my drum teacher too! (It genuinely was like Whiplash if you were wondering.) While we’re on the subject of danisnotonfire, this golf video with Phil was hilarious and I’m not entirely sure how this wasn’t flagged… I want to recommend a whole channel because with all the fake news and alternate facts flying around, if you need a good source for news, Philly D is your boy. Also twenty one pilots are documenting their final few nights on tour with a series of mini documentaries, here’s the first one.

January round up

Did you think this was all over? Mwah ha ha. Ok, so the most important thing we should all remember from January is the stress of getting Hamilton tickets. I AM GOING TO HAMILTON YA’LL. Yes, it is next summer, but still… Anyway, the year began with me taking advantage of the bank holiday and spending all day at the cinema catching up on some new releases I missed (A Monster Calls was beautiful and made me cry and Rogue One was just so much fun!), my nephew turned three, there was much talk about thundersnow which then never happened and I got to play a musical instrument in an actual music venue. This month I’ve decided to take on Sammy Paul’s PMS project (more on that next month though) I just really want to document the world, though I’m not sure how much I want to remember considering what has been going on in the world this month. Wherever you are in the world, I hope you are safe and if enough sensible people stand up, we can stop these things happening.

What I read this month:

30095461-1Ultimatum – K M Walton
Bit of an emotional one to start the year! This was kindly sent to me by NetGalley and was reviewed here. The actual book will be out in March and so if you’re into character driven, family dramas, I thoroughly recommend. It isn’t the most fun of subject matters, but I am a sucker for a broken family trying to mend itself!

26138370-1Seven Days of You – Cecelia Vinesse
A cute, easy to read YA novel about an American ex-pat who has seven days left in Tokyo, the place she recognises as home and the struggles she faces as she prepares to say goodbye not just to her home and school, but also the friends she has made there. Cue the arrival of an ex friend returning to Tokyo who she happens to have a very complicated relationship with that makes the whole leaving in seven days thing seem even more dire. Though it wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever read, it was fun, check out the review here.

33393021Relativity – Antonia Hayes
I was lucky enough to be included on the blog tour for this charming novel about three different stands of the same family, intelligent Ethan on the cusp of adolescence, his single mother, Claire, suddenly so aware of how old her son is and how much like the father he’s never met is and then we have Mark the absent father suddenly appearing in their lives again, all intertwined with science and astrology and all that good stuff. Read the review here!

33407778The Dead Inside – Cyndy Etler
This month is full of reading ARCS, which is always nice, send me more books in the post please! This was a difficult one to read, its Cyndy Etler’s memoir about her time in a rehabilitation centre of sorts, which, if nothing else is very good for me in my quest to read more non fiction. It is harrowing and not exactly bed time reading, full review coming soon!

852594A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Miserable Mill – Lemony Snickett
As I started the TV show, I thought I’d pick up where I last left off with this series. It was just as fun and dark and wonderfully narrated as I remember, maybe this year I’ll re-read all of them? Who knows. I’d forgotten how much I loved these when I was a teenager! Even now, I think of Violet whenever I see someone tie their hair up!

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • A Monster Calls
    Emotionally exhausting and really beautifully done – if you’re a fan of the books, don’t fret, they do it justice!
  • Rogue One
  • Beautiful Creatures
    Pretty sure the guy from this is the new Han Solo… Right?
  • La La Land
    Oh God. I cried. I hated it and I loved it and its beautiful.
  • The Duff

The Oscar nominations were announced this month! I’m such a charlatan I’ve only seen a few of the nominated films this year! My predictions for the main ones are as follows: Best film, La La Land (I haven’t seen the others, but I think its a given), Director, Damien Chazelle (I’m sure best film and best director are usually the same thing), Best Actress, I’d like Emma, but probs Meryl, Best Actor, I’d like Andrew, but probs Casey Affleck, Supporting Actor, Dev Patel, Supporting Actress, Viola Davis (she needs her EGOT), Best Song, I loved the two from La La Land, but I do really want the song from Moana to win so Lin-Manuel can have his PEGOT, it’ll probably be one of the La La Land songs though. That soundtrack was immense. What are your predictions? Let’s see who was right next month!

TV I watched his month:

  • The Crown
  • Sherlock
  • Brooklyn 99
    NINE NINE!!!
  • Timeless
  • Supernatural
  • Shadowhunters
  • Taboo
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Teen Wolf

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

❄️ icy af

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i just played on the same stage dick and dom are going to appear on. so there's that.

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la la land inspired shoes today

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What I did on YouTube this month:

So, I decided I wanted to make more stuff, so I am documenting my life this year (I know, self indulgent, narcissistic and boring af, but…) I want to get better and generally make things, so as you’ll see at the bottom, I’m doing Sammy’s PMS project this year. Enjoy.

What I loved on YouTube this month:

Starting at the beginning of the month (a fab place to start) Emma Blackery uploaded this that sums up exactly how I feel about New Year. Jack and Dean came back with another Good, Bad and just plain shit parts of 2016, Erika uploaded her final instalment of CRAMPS for 2016 and my God, I wish I were able to make things that looked that good! This video from Amelia Ace about her bisexual headcanons, purely for her Han Solo explanation alone and I feel that as creepy as this is, I’m going to link to the danisnotonfire live shows, which now get uploaded to danisnotinteresting purely because they actually are very interesting… so I’m just gonna leave a link here. Casey Neistat uploaded a couple of great videos this month, firstly this one from the time he went bowling in the white house and this one, from when he visited JFK after the ban on visitors from certain countries. Finally, let’s leave this round up on a happier note, Hazel and Jack did a cover of a song from La La Land way better than I did, Lucy Sutcliffe made this wonderful short film and Tom Fletcher uploaded this very cute video about his wife.

September round up

Ahh, September, the month in which my existential crisis increases ten fold because I am very neurotic and now am closer to thirty than I am to twenty. I am not a youth any more. wtf. Anyway, remember that I was attempting to achieve gingerness? Well, September has seen me get closer to this goal. This month featured bantz, wii tournaments, Yorkshire pudding failures, frozen churros, birthday celebrations, the first theatre trip of 2016 and fun times with my favourite munchkins. The oldest munchkin just started school. I can’t even.

What I read this month:

27766357Moth Girls – Anne Cassidy
What to even say. On the one hand, I raced through this, on the other it was quite simplistically written for something with such a creepy subject and because I’m not good with like kidnapping and murder as a plot line it did freak me out a bit! I was kind of disappointed with the ending, there was closure, but I wanted more and I felt like Tina was kind of robbed by having one chapter where the others got way more.

22913648Only Ever Yours – Louise O’Neill
Is Louise O’Neill the feminist author I have longed for? You know, I think she might be. If you’ve read A Handmaid’s Tale, this won’t be anything new for you, its essentially the same story, young women chosen by men to either be wives/companions or handmaids/concubines, only this features children rather than grown women, children being groomed into the most perfect they can be so that they can be picked by eligible men. Reading this made me think that this is life before the events of A Handmaid’s Tale. If I had a copy of Handmaid’s Tale, I’d have read it immediately after reading this, I think it would have been interesting to have the two as companion novels. Not exactly pleasant reading, but brilliant nontheless.

dangerousDangerous Boys – Abigail Haas
I read Dangerous Girls a while ago and dear God, it was incredible. One of those books that really stay with you, you know? If you’ve never read it, I recommend that you do so immediately. This wasn’t anywhere near the same standard,which was so disappointing. It didn’t have anywhere near the same thrill that Dangerous Girls did, I didn’t find myself desperately tearing through the pages trying to get to the bottom of the story and I do kind of find love triangles a bit… meh, essentially, this book was a teenage love triangle trying to be Dangerous Girls. It was entertaining enough and I think had I not loved Dangerous Girls so much I might have liked it a bit more… But… Yeah.

20797806The Apple Tart of Hope – Sarah Moore Fitzgerald
I bloody love apple tart and it is September, the season of apples, so… yeah, I might have picked up this book based on the fact that I really like apple tart. Or pie if you happen to be into pastry. Which I am. Anyway. Though I enjoyed this I did have a lot of questions. This is the story of next door neighbours, Meg and Oscar, Oscar likes to bake apple tarts and is a genuine ray of sunshine, like he saves a man he thought was considering suicide by baking him a pie. Anyway, Meg moves to New Zealand for six months during which time Oscar makes friends with the girl renting Meg’s house who is a total bitch and then Oscar goes missing and I’m just like… How great was this pie for convincing someone not to kill themselves? Wtf is up with Pamela? It was well written and flowed nicely, but I felt like it needed more…

895856Sometimes Madness is Wisdom: Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald a marriage – Kendall Taylor
You might have noticed (and if you haven’t you’re in luck because I’ve linked it below for you) that I wanted to read more non fiction. I guess this was me easing myself in to exploring the world of non fiction by picking a subject I’m already knowledgeable on. Though I think this book was a little too wordy in places, I did like that unlike other books I’ve read about the Fitzgeralds it focused on Zelda rather than Scott. You can see my review of this here! I did find little notes in this from the last person who read it, which is awesome! I love reading other people’s thoughts on books!

23210035My own story – Emmeline Pankhurst
Yes, I’m furthering my quest for non fiction! I spent some time in the library hunting for a specific biography, which I didn’t find, but then my eye caught this. I am hugely interested in feminism and the suffragette movement and I want to read more about this subject and I do find autobiographies easier to read than anything else. This was so interesting and I learned so much more about the period and the suffragette movement. Also I’ve completely changed my view on Gladstone, he used to be one of my favourite prime ministers! (Yes, I have a list of favourite prime ministers. The current one and her predecessor aren’t on the short list in case you wondered.) Its a shame, but we weren’t taught an awful lot about the Suffragette movement at school, all that was covered was that a group of women wanted the vote and went around terrorising the government and throwing themselves under horses. This should be part of the curriculum, especially as we have such low voter turn outs. Since finishing this, I did go and do some further reading and while this was biased (being an autobiography) and didn’t acknowledge that the Pankhursts were privileged (for instance, the majority of women didn’t have access to education or money – though it would have taken people of the Pankhurst’s position in society to have gotten the vote in the first place) or the not so nice things that took place, like the disowning of her own children. That sort of thing. Regardless, from a historical point of view, political point of view and feminist point of view, this was super interesting and now I want to check out the film!

26255907How Hard Can Love Be? – Holly Bourne
This isn’t the first Holly Bourne book that I’ve read, but it is the first Spinster Club book that I’ve read and I appear to have started with the second one rather than the first. Ooops. I was drawn to the series seeing the author appear on YouTube talking about how the theme of the series is feminism and well, I am into that equality. I did enjoy this in a nice, fun, YA kind of way, but I can’t say that I got an over riding vibe of feminism coming from this. Had this been sold to me as teenage girl with serious mum issues spending the summer in a foreign country trying to make sense of her dysfunctional family I’d have enjoyed it so much more. The story line with Amber’s mum was so interesting and though I usually get annoyed with whiney white kids moaning about their parents, I was totally with Amber on this one. I’m not saying this isn’t feminist, I think there are many things that make it feminist, but I can’t say it is the most feminist thing I’ve ever read.

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
  • Brooklyn
  • Tropic Thunder
  • Bridget Jones’ Baby
  • Cockneys Vs Zombies

 

TV I watched his month:

  • Great British Bake Off
    Best enjoy it while we can, eh?
  • Gilmore Girls
    WHY DO YOU KEEP BLOWING HOLES IN MY SHIP.
  • Ripper Street
  • Adolf and Eva – Love and War
    I am a massive history nerd and love learning about World War 2 so I couldn’t resist this documentary about Eva Braun, I don’t know an awful lot about her, so this was super interesting!
  • Brooklyn 99
    I’ve never seen this before and it is legit the funniest thing I’ve seen in a very long time! Also I’ve accidentally fallen for Jake Peralta and I can’t get up.
  • Go 8 bit
  • Teen Wolf
    Netflix just uploaded the first two series and its been forever since I watched this show… So…
  • Gogglebox

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

The 1975's reading set on the tv and updating the scrap book only six months behind…

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Full of food and walking around Bishop's Palace with mum – pretty good celebration of my birth so far

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What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

Well, the first thing I saw that made me go YES. YES, LET’S SHOUT THIS FROM THE ROOFTOPS this month is this video from my friend Joe explaining his stance on Nuclear Weapons. Coincidentally, the day after I uploaded a video about reading non fiction, Sophie uploaded this abut non fiction! I got so many recommendations from her video, so thanks Sophie! Other mentions have to go to this episode of Drunk Advice with Rose and Rosie – can these two make videos with Hannah all the time? And while we’re on the subject of Drunk Advice, here’s the episode with the Midnight Beast. I feel like its been a while since Casey Neistat made an appearance, so here’s his vlog showing us how the other half live with this incredible airplane journey. And I can’t not mention my bae, danisnotonfire and the hilarious story of how he almost blinded himself.

August round up

This month had lots of random little events taking place, like spending the day with my mum and my niece where we watched Finding Dory together and hatched a Pikachu! We also got to have lunch together a few days later which was the cutest thing ever! There was also some surprisingly cool sibling bonding, Instagram decided to take on Snapchat… I think I like it… Though… Plagerism is bad. The town I live in hosted a Comic Con, there is nothing cooler than walking through town and spotting Spider Man chilling outside Costa Coffee tbh,  I ventured to my home town to spend some time with the long distance bff and I managed to read SO MANY BOOKS! I think its because I have super writer’s block right now, so instead of writing, I’ve been reading. The writer’s block needs to gtfo though because writing is like my thing and what do I do if I don’t write?

What I read this month:

24288284Mrs Hemingway – Naomi Wood
If you’ve been here before, you’ll know I have a fondness about the great American writers of the twenties, I’ve read a couple of books about Zelda Fitzgerald and I’ve previously read The Paris Wife, which is primarily about Hadley Hemingway. This is the story of each of Ernest Hemingway’s wives at the end of their respective marriages, its an addictive read and I raced through it!

25394438The Marble Collector – Cecelia Ahern
Ohhhh. The cover is super pretty… You know when you love an author and then you read something of theirs and you’re just like… I didn’t like it? That is me with this book. The thing is, I have loved so many of her books and I read her YA novel earlier in the year (check out the review here) and was a little disappointed, mostly because it didn’t feel like one of her books but this… There was none of the beauty or mystery of her other books with this. It wasn’t bad, it was just a bit meh.

6694908And the hippos were boiled in their tanks – William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac
You should see the library video I posted below for the full story of how I ended up searching for Burroughs and finding this… You should def watch it if you like Matty Healy’s face and who doesn’t love Matty Healy’s face? (Also thing that happened this month is that dear Matty had a haircut.) Anyway, this is the fictionalised account of the Carr/Kramarr situation as detailed in the film Kill Your Darlings. It reminded me a lot of On the Road, very stream of consciousness and definitely not to everyone’s taste, but it does have merit.

29868290Noon in Paris, Eight in Chicago – Douglas Cowie
I picked this up purely because I like cities and I’ve been to both of these places, I really wasn’t expecting a whirlwind romance between two actual people who actually existed! Now I have to research Simone de Beauvoir and Nelson Algren. This is basically a fictionalised account of their relationship which was incredibly long distance and yet, strangely worked!

25870408We are all made of molecules – Susin Nielson
This was cute! I was expecting it to be a bit more sciencey what with the molecules in the title and all, but it was a cute YA nonetheless. I like a good family drama and you certainly got that here, when Stewart and Ashley both find their families fragmenting and then merging together. It was a quick read that broached a lot of big subjects in an easy to swallow way. Also the cover is super pretty and it involved a cat with a great name.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J K Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Throne
Did I mention I got this for 83p? No? Well, I got this for 83p. Honestly, I’m glad I didn’t pay any more for it. I wanted to like this so much…. But… I didn’t. Like… Without wanting to be that guy who spoils the whole thing for everyone hanging on for the stage show, it was kinda like someone who had never read Harry Potter put this together. None of the original characters held any of their characteristics, Harry Potter spent the whole thing blaming his lack of father figures on his problems and I’m like da fuck Harry? You conveniently forgetting Sirius and Lupin and Hagrid and Arthur Weasley there? It was full of time travel plot holes, Ron might as well have not even be there. Seriously, the only good thing about this was Scorpius Malfoy. Well, until we chucked all that queer baiting in, but hey ho, should be used to that by now. Anyway,  that boy is a gift to this world. Maybe it’ll be better on stage but, yeah. My disappointment in this was only matched by my first ever Hershey bar. The Cursed Child has become my new Phantom Menace. I will now ignore the existence of this for the rest of time.

23705512You’re never weird on the internet, almost – Felicia Day
Felicia Day is a bit of hero of mine, if you’re not familiar with her name, she is basically the queen of the nerds (though it appears that although its a title she enjoys, it isn’t a self proclaimed one) she made her name making her own web series, filmmaking, acting and generally being a geek goddess to us mere mortals (she is also in Supernatural if that is an easier reference point). I’ve long admired her work and been interested in how she managed to gain success doing the fun things that she loves, so this has been on my TBR list for what feels like forever. It read much like I imagine having a conversation with Felicia would sound, the opening chapter instantly made me warm to her and it was in equal parts funny and inspiring (to me who is also a nerd anyway.) I feel like I don’t read enough non fiction. Recommend me more?

3232341The Fiction Class – Susan Breen
This was legit the worse thing to read when you have writer’s block! This is about a woman who has been writing her novel for the past seven years and has no idea how to end it, despite the fact that she’s struggling to be a writer, she is telling other people how to write by running a creative writing class alongside moaning about her mother and starting a relationship with one of her pupils. Maybe I need to go to a writing class to sort myself out…?

26365537Kindred Spirits – Rainbow Rowell
I wanted to grab this when it came out for World Book Day and then I spotted it at the library. I may have gone overboard in the library. I had to beg an assistant to let me take more than my allotted amount. Anyway, this is a cute, short (literally less than 100 pages) story about a girl so excited for the release of The Force Awakens, that she sits on the street for four days with two random people… I can’t say that’s its my favourite Rainbow Rowell story, but it was fun.

25707621Sofia Khan is not Obliged – Aiysha Malik
I’ve wanted to read this since watching this video, so I was very excited to spot it on the recently returned shelf at the library. This was so good on so many levels! Firstly, it was just bloody hilarious, secondly, it was nice to read a book about someone who wasn’t white and have an insight into a different culture. I need to read more books with non white protagonists. Hmu with recommendations. If you’ve not read this, check out my review!

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • Finding Dory
  • The Great Mouse Detective
  • Kill Your Darlings
    Thought I’d give it a watch seeing as I read Burroughs and Kerouac’s fictional version of events.
  • Wreck it Ralph
  • Hotel Transylvania
  • Bridget Jones’ Diary
    OMG THEY ARE SMOKING INDOORS was my first thought when rewatching this. Followed by DEAR GOD I AM OLD ENOUGH TO RELATE TO THIS NOW.

TV I watched his month:

  • Stranger Things
    SO GOOD. It was like ET, The Goonies and Supernatural all rolled into one! Bring me series two immediately!
  • Gilmore Girls
    So, right I didn’t watch this when it was first a thing, then it arrived on Netflix and I thought I’d watch it before the revival, now I’m hooked which is ANNOYING because the last two seasons let down the entire show.
  • Tattoo Fixers
    Guilty Pleasure, don’t shame me.
  • Ripper Street
  • Great British Bake Off
    I love this I’m so happy its back.
  • Pretty Little Liars
    THAT LAST EPISODE THOUGH.

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

I hate plagarism as much as the next person, but I do kinda love Instagram stories and I’m using it so much more than I do Snapchat… Which might be a problem considering I do a snapchat series over on youtube!

Finding Dory with the munchkin 🐟

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The Doctor is in #FromeComicCon

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Comic Con came to town!

Forever wishing i didnt have to say goodbye to this city

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I hate having to leave London behind 😦

What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

One Day I’ll manage to do one of these without mentioning Casey Neistat, now is not that time. Of course he had to make a video about the Instagram stories vs Snapchat thing (I prefer the Insta stories… hbu?), I also loved the Midnight Beast’s Pokemon Parody. I like his face and also this was funny af, so here’s danisnotonfire offering the best advice on the internet, the Hillywood Show are back with another INCREDIBLE parody video that you HAVE to see and just because I am a sucker for room tours and hers are always super pretty, here’s Noodlerella’s new room. (I want her Ghibli postcards so hard.)

July round up

Wow seven months into the year!
2016 has kind of sucked so far hasn’t it. It needs to slow the eff down and chill the eff out. The first of the cool stuff that happened is that my so far only published book, Harley’s Angels, turned three! I also had a lovely night full of too much Indian food with my friend George, celebrated Somer Valley FM’s 10th birthday and finally downloaded Pokemon Go! I also acidentally achieved gingerness! Well… Sort of. I am on the road to ginger, which is a start. (Backstory, I have always wanted to be ginger, but my hair is too dark… Now I think I have found a way to achieve ginger.) Then the month ended by going bowling with my homies and picking up a copy of The Cursed Child!

What I read this month:

11282000Rosemary’s Baby – Ira Levin
You will know from previous posts (in fact there is a section below that mentions it), I really love films, yet despite that, I have never seen the classic that is Rosemary’s Baby. Mostly because everyone tells me its terrifying and I’m not too good with horror films. Even so, I picked this up for a pound a while ago and its been on my shelf ever since, so I thought while its light enough in the evenings for me not to be too freaked out, I’d give it a go. It wasn’t jump out of your skin scary, but it was still pretty uncomfortable reading, the whole anti christ, devil worshipping cult thing aside, there is also a very abusive relationship to be found here and that is what got to me the most. Maybe I will give the film a go, thoughts?

25255576Asking for It – Louise O’Neil
I’m still struggling to describe how I feel about this book. Reading it felt like such a chore and not because it was bad, it was genuinely wonderfully written, but because of the subject matter, it was so oppressive and there were times when it made me very unsettled. I think this needs to be read in school’s because everyone knows a girl like Emma and everyone wishes girls like Emma would get kicked by karma, but no one, not even Emma deserves what happens to her. I think that was part of my problem, this highlighted so many latent problematic ideas I had buried deep within me. Please read it so we can discuss at length. I did post a slightly spoilery word vomit type ramble about it, which you can read here.

15984268The Universe versus Alex Wood – Gavin Extence
Wow. Just wow. The blurb on this doesn’t give anything away, so I’ll try not to, but this was not about what I thought it was about and for such a quirky, fun book, it has a very heavy subject matter. To start with it reminded me a lot of  Kurt Vonnegut books, full of tangents and yet somehow managed to be about the life, universe and everything and that was without all the KV references. A very serious subject wrapped up with heart and humour, its a long and winding narrative but when you stop meandering, it packs quite a punch. Also its set around where I live, which I always love! It is also, incidentally, the second book I’ve read recently about the aforementioned secret subject and is definitely the better of the two.

278958I am David – Anne Holm
This is something I wish I’d read when I was a lot younger. Its just such a shame that something that contains this good an emotional story was kind of hampered by how simplistic and childish the language was. If like me you’ve never crossed paths with this while young enough to appreciate the child like language, this is the story of a boy who escapes a labour camp with the help of a guard and his adventure as he tries to run to freedom. Its a quick, easy read while broaching some very big, scary subjects. Why didn’t I have this when I was a kid?!

20703242A Long Way Down – Nick Hornby
I saw the film a little while ago, it was ok, it was no High Fidelity or About a Boy, but it was an alright way to spend a few hours, I assumed the book would be better, because no matter how great High Fidelity the film is, the book is better, but it turns out, the film was a pretty good indication of how the book would be. It isn’t the best Nick Hornby book I’ve read, but it also isn’t the worst thing I’ve come across. Give it a go if you are looking for a light hearted, quick read… Well, I say light hearted, this is a book about suicide…

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • Tangled
  • Shaun of the Dead
  • Paranoia
    Liam Hemsworth’s face and Harrison Ford’s weird haircut were by far the best things about this film.
  • The Fundamentals of Caring
    Selena Gomez drops all the F Bombs, Paul Rudd is amazing and Craig Roberts just makes me wonder why he’s so under rated.
  • Diary of a teenage girl
  • Ghostbusters (the OG, not the new one)
  • Slueth
    The original with Michael Caine. Not the remake with um… Michael Caine.
  • We need to talk about Kevin
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

TV I watched his month:

  • iZombie
    Come the end of series three, I had developed a Saturn sized crush on Ravi. Ooops.
  • Pretty Little Liars
  • Gilmore Girls
    Baby Sam Winchester is in this and his name is Dean! Anyway, I remember watching this when I was very young, but I don’t really remember an awful lot about what happened and apparently there is a new series coming? Colour me excited!
  • White Collar
    Netflix finally updated and gave us the last series. Matt Bomer should be on tv more, he’s so nice to look at! Also that ending was incredible.
  • Celeb first dates.
    Wtf has my life become when this is what I watch on TV, but honestly, Preston from the Ordinary Boys was on there and I used to freaking love the Ordinary Boys when I was in sixth form! From watching it, I can confirm that I would totally date Preston.

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

I GREW A STRAWB!!! GO STELLA GO

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I thought I’d update you all on Stella’s progress, she’s giving me strawberries!

You shall not pass

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Indie being a little cutie

 

Time warp

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Taught the munchkins how to do the time warp!

ellie made a friend

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I finally got hold of Pokemon Go and although it is glitchy af, it is my new favourite app! Say what you want about millennials always looking at their phones, but this app has seen me go out and explore my surroundings, I’ve found all manner of interesting places thanks to this game! I even had a fun adventure with the munchkins looking for pokemon and this one popped up at my mum’s house so Ellie made a friend!

I have always wanted to be ginger! Now I am! I fancied changing the hair a bit, so I tried a home colourant which ruined my mum’s towels and although didn’t lighten my hair as much as I wanted, did accidentally turn me into an auburn princess, so!

Bowling with the homies

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!!!!!!

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AAAAARGH! I was debating whether or not to get The Cursed Child, but then I was like, I have to have it. Its Harry Potter and it came out on Harry’s birthday! Also, I found a load of vouchers and ended up only paying 83p for it!

What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

Firstly, PJ’s Pokemon Go review, aka, so much shade I can’t even, also PJ is one of my favourites, so… Like, watch his stuff. While we’re on the subject of Pokemon Go, I also enjoyed Pew Die Pie’s video. Most of this month was me being sad about not having Pokemon Go tbh, so here’s Casey Neistat’s movie about the game and his attempt to play it IRL. I do have it now though and although it is glitchy AF, it is too much fun, if I didn’t work nine to five, I would have so many gyms by now. Also, if you need a giggle, check out Casey’s video orchestrating a prank with Emma Roberts and Dave Franco. Other fun stuff I enjoyed included Dil getting engaged! (Fo reals though it feels like its been forever since Dan Howell has graced my screen. Damn I’d almost forgotten how beautiful his face is), he also did his own roast yourself diss track a whole month later than everyone else, but I’ll forgive him because like I said, he’s beautiful. Finally, I must mention Luke Cutforth  and his vegan parody of Heathens I love twenty one pilots and I’m vegan, so… Lastly, but no means least, my friend Joe introduced me to a new channel by appearing on it and making several very articulate points about being LGBTQ+ and mental health.