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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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.