My weekend at LFCC and YALC

Hello there chaps, chapettes and those who identify as neither, how the devil are you? It feels like forever since I last opened WordPress, I’m going to assume you’ve missed me. But you know, it’s fine if you didn’t. Anyway, you good? Good. Now, let me tell you about my weekend where I spent a day hanging out with a bunch of nerds in London and then ended up hanging out with another bunch of nerds in my home town!

I’ve spent the past few days mostly sat in various train stations around the South of England because I went to LFCC AND YALC! I did visit a few years ago when it was in a different venue and much like last time, I did spend a huge amount of time wondering around in awe at all the cosplayers. My favourites this time around was a large group of Rick and Mortys who all decided to hang out together singing Get Schifty, the family that came dressed as Guardians of the Galaxy with the parents as Star Lord and Gamora and the children as Drax and Groot and their baby as Rocket. How did they get a tiny Rocket costume?! I also enjoyed a couple who came as Deadpool and Spider Man who spent most of their time holding hands and skipping around the convention together and the Newt Scamander I stood next to in the queue for the bathroom.

Honestly, I spent most of my time on the second floor of the building at the YALC where I visited a load of publisher stands and got all the swag below!

I’m actually very proud of myself for only buying two things from the whole event! There were so many things I wanted to buy! Though I missed the panel I wanted to see, I did get to listen to many authors, including a bunch of my favourites, talk about everything from their latest work, to romance, to bending genres and making it work for them – fascinating stuff! I was super sad I had to leave before Non Pratt had her head shave witnessed by Benedict Cumberbatch (yes, that is a thing that happened, the Twitter moment that was put together was a work of art).
I did check out LFCC too and got to see Christopher Lloyd posing next to a Delorean, Alyson Hannigan hanging out at her booth, Sylvester McCoy heading to his talk and squeed a bit too hard at the display of Back to the Future costumes and props. One day I will learn to go all three days and enjoy the whole event. Also one day I’d like to be able to source/make an awesome costume because honestly cosplayers are the coolest. I want to be that cool! After traipsing through London in the rain to get my train home and then sitting on a platform wishing GWR would get their shit together and run their trains on time, I met up with a group of nerds I’m more acquainted with to see Woody Harrellson fight some monkeys. So, pretty successful weekend I’d say!

ARC haul, the reading passport, being a proud big sister? A book video in three parts

Yeah, I’m still doing that YouTube thing even though Dan Howell still doesn’t know I exist and I still don’t have enough subs to get into the YouTube space, but the YouTube thing is fun! And sometimes my love of books bleeds into life over on my channel, so one post spread across two social networks I guess!

Welcome to A book video in three parts:
Part one, a little round up of the arcs I’ve been sent recently, they’re probably the last ones I’ll get this year and a couple of them have appeared here before, but you know!
Part two, the reading passport, a new initiative happening at a couple of my local libraries that I thought was super cool and wanted to share, plus the books I picked up while I was there!
Part three, borrowing a book from my little brother who hated books when he was younger and now loves them and the proud big sister feels I have about that fact!

If you’ve read any of these, plan to read any of these or like the sound of any of these you should let me know so we can discuss! (also, *takes deep breath and prepares for the Philly D spiel* if you liked that video and you like what I do on that channel hit that like button and if you’ve not visited me over on YouTube before hit that subscribe button).  If any of ya’ll live near a library taking part in the reading passport, hit me up so we can discuss which books we’ve picked up and how many stamps we’ve earned!

What’s on my kindle 3.0 | ebook haul

I know actual physical books a more fun to read than kindle ones. I know they feel nicer and they look nicer and they smell nicer, but I just don’t have the space to keep buying books. I have even less space now I live in a flat by myself with one book shelf and one book shelf only, so ebooks are my future for now.
Last Summer I made a post about all the new books on my kindle, so I figured, why not do an update because there is a couple more on there all these months later, also because I read so many kindle books, it means I don’t get to show off the beautiful covers that some of these books have, so I figured why not display the art work and tell you a bit about what is sat on my ereader right now?

So, lets run through some of these!
The majority of these are ARCS from Netgalley, its super good of them to do ebook versions of advance copies, it means I don’t have towers of books every where!
The ARCS I’ve been sent are:
You Know Me So Well (which was reviewed here)
Wrecked (reviewed here)
Love and Other Man Made Disasters
The Only Thing Worse than me is you
To Wed a Rebel

And finally, the books I’ve purchased:
When we collided
You’re never weird on the internet

You can see more of these books over on my YouTube channel – so like, feel free to pop over there and subscribe and stuff.

Anyone read any of these? Do I have delights awaiting me?

 

February round up

Well, February, you were fun! Highlights from this month included getting to add some more touches to my new home, having time off to really enjoy that Now TV pass, taking a trip to the home town, spending time with some of my favourite people, perfecting my vegan pancake recipe and seeing Twenty One Pilots live!

What I read this month:

9303985Room – Emma Donoghue
Its been on my kindle forever and now the film is out and getting all these awards, so I thought I’d get on with it! While I loved the premise and I liked that a lot of the story was inferred due to our narrator only being five, I can’t say that I enjoyed it in the sense that the subject matter was very difficult. Also, Jack was one of the more annoying children I’ve had contact with. Even so, it was a great read and I am going to try and catch the film if I can!

28425994Flawed – Cecelia Ahern
I adore Cecelia Ahern’s books, I’ve read the majority of her novels, its a shame that no one seems to be able to do the film adaptations justice, Where Rainbows End and PS I Love You are amazing and the film versions… Meh. Anyway, this is her first YA story, so I kind of had to get my hands on it! I’m also told this is the beginnings of a series, though I don’t know if I’ll be as excited about reading the rest of them. Check my review here.

982149Murder in the Mews – Agatha Christie
I’ve only read one other Agatha Christie novel and I didn’t get on with it very well, but I always enjoy the television retellings, so I thought I would give her another go. I’d love to find a full length Poirot or Marple mystery, but all my local library seems to have are anthologies, so grabbed this one!

25478293Another Day – David Levithan
I always list David Levithan as one of my favourite authors, but honestly, the last two books I’ve read of his have just been a bit… Meh. This kept me company on a train journey and I wanted to like it so much. I just… Justin and Rhiannon was such an unhealthy pairing, they were so not good for each other and then the A thing… That was equally as unhealthy and good God. I just wanted to slap everyone!

21937519Moriarty – Anthony Horrowitz
I downloaded the ebook of this a couple of months ago and was super excited to read it, but the last two chapters were missing! I found a copy in the library and decided to get it so I could finally finish it! The Sherlock Holmes story written by Anthony Horrowitz is incredible, unfortunately, this is not.

20525628How to Build a Girl – Caitlin Moran
I do love Caitlin Moran and I’ve wanted to read this for such a long time that I sacrificed picking up a copy of the Nightvale book in my local library to grab this instead. Though it was a very entertaining and enjoyable read, it didn’t have the same spark that her other books have. It did have a lot of genius quotes that I’ve had to take note of!

28674747 Jakob’s Colours – Lindsay Hawdon
I wish I’d had this in January to read around Holocaust Memorial Day because I always feel like I should make a point of remembering the day online, but I don’t feel like I can even comprehend the atrocities and I don’t want to make it all about me. But anyway, this is a story about an often forgotten group of people affected by the Holocaust. I gratefully received a copy from Bookbridgr, see my review here.

 

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!

  • Frozen Fever
    This counts right? It is only seven minutes long, but hey, I’ve made film shorter than that!
  • If I stay
    Dear God, I don’t remember the last time I cried so much at a movie! The last film I watched that got me super emotional to the point of shedding a tear was probably the Imitation Game, but not to this extent! I was a weepy, weepy mess come the credits to this film! Perfect ending as well. God its a brilliant adaptation, I don’t think I got that emotional about the book even!
  • Bad Neighbours
    Terrible movie, but so many cameos. Well, I say terrible it was one of those movies that is great for background music!
  • Whiplash
    I can’t believe it took me so long to watch this! But, finally, I got around to it. It reminded me a little too much of my traumatic drum lessons. Great movie though!
  • Sweeney Todd
  • Beasts of No Nation
  • The Giver
    The book is one of my favourites so when I saw the adaptation on Now TV (yes, I need to binge watch ALL the movies before my pass runs out!) Although not as good as the book (that book is a masterpiece, you need to read it) I really liked the way it was shot and it was very true to the book. Also, Tay Swift is in it!
  • Interstellar
    OH DEAR GOD WHY HAVE I NOT WATCHED THIS BEFORE? BLOODY NOLAN BEING AWESOME. AGAIN.
  • The Theory of Everything
    Man, that was an emotional Tuesday! I can’t believe it took me so long to watch this. Did shed a tear or two!
  • Ex-Machina
  • The Judge
  • Deadpool
    Oh my God, perfection. More please.
  • Transcendence 
    So many science fiction films this month.
  • Northern Soul
    Don’t recommend.

TV I watched this month:

  • Come Dine with me Champion of Champions
    It’s like Come Dine with me crossed with Bake Off – Utter genius! Narrator Dave Lamb does not look how I thought he would!
  • Supergamers
    I had no idea you could be a professional game player! I think I’ve said before that I will sign up for anything that involves Dan Howell’s face, which this did! Really interesting documentary and I think for a first time TV presenter, Dan did well!
  • Pretty Little Liars
  • Supernatural
  • Shadowhunters
    When I started watching this last month, I was unsure as to whether I liked it or not, once Magnus Bane showed up, it started to get a bit more interesting, it’s still bloody terrible with far too much actoring for my liking, but its at least fun now!
  • Grease Live
  • Crashing
    The series ended this month. Come the end I shipped Fred and Sam so hard! Though I don’t think I’ll be seeing a series two!
  • Vera
    I forgot what time it was on one week and my mum got one of the writers to tweet me to tell me off. My mum’s twitter game is strong.
  • Sinatra: All or Nothing.
    He’s one of my problematic faves. But this documentary series was great. You can catch it on Netflix!
  • The BAFTAS
    Bloody love movie award shows, the minute the opening montage began I was instantly reminded of how much I love movies. My thoughts if anyone is interested: I’m super glad that Mad Max and Star Wars were recognised for the work that went on behind the scenes, I wanted either Taron or John to win the rising star so I was happy one of them did, Rebel Wilson did the best speech of the night, I love Idris Elba too and was a bit miffed he didn’t get the award for Beasts of No Nation because that is an incredible film and even though I’ve not seen the Revenant, I’m glad it got so many awards considering the amount of work that went into it!
  • The People vs OJ Simpson
  • Snervous
    The Tyler Oakley doc is on Netflix and as I’ve always enjoyed Tyler’s YouTube videos, I thought I’d check it out and now I’m unsure as to whether or not Tyler is the person I thought he was… Like there are moments with his family that reinforced the idea that he’s really sweet and kind and then there were moments when he was being the big ‘internet star’ and it was like he was a completely different person.
  • The Night Manager
    T Hiddles kicking ass, what more could you ask for?!

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

 

I can't go outside until my delivery arrives so I'm compromising on the reading in the sun

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Waiting for bookcases to arrive means you can’t go out into the sun to do a spot of reading!

Rocketman

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Visited the home town and checked out the Cosmonauts exhibit at the science museum, I bloody love space and it was genuinely fascinating, go if you can!

I may have gotten hideously lost trying to find the venue, but I saw Twenty One Pilots and they might have just put on the best show I have seen in a long time! Blurry face has gotten me through some very tough times since its release and it was wonderful to see Tyler and Josh perform it (and a few others) live!

What I did on YouTube this month:


The video I made at work for the B&NES Mayor referendum!

What I loved on YouTube this month:
I might just go ahead and mention Casey Neistat in every single one of these, it’s kind of hard not to seeing as he’s a daily vlogger and all, but this video of him attempting a drone rescue mission was all kinds of incredible, my friend Sophie spent the month uploading reviews of her favourite LGBTQA+ books for LGBT history month, obviously I had to rewatch Rebel Wilson’s BAFTA presentation,  then there the ultimate Turing Test, Dan and Phil talking to chimpbot and having a supernaturally good time. I also need to give a mention to Daniel J Layton’s first instalment of PMS

January Round-up.

How are we already a month into 2016. Time, you need to chill.
January has seen me celebrate my one month anniversary of living alone, getting hearing aids installed (is installed the right word? That makes me sound like a cyber man), returning to college and planning a major documentary project. (Sorry, there is no glory in the process.) It’s also seen me finally tick a book off of my TBR list that has been there for an embarrassingly long time.

What I read this month:

catchCatch 22 – Joseph Heller
This book has been on my TBR list for YEARS. Like, since I have been at school. That is an embarrassingly long time. Everyone tells me its a classic, I read books about people reading this book. That’s how significant it is in literature. As I don’t have any of my books in my new place yet, I took a trip down to my local library and this was the first thing I found on the shelf and I thought, you know what, now is as good a time as any. I can’t say as I enjoyed it as much as I thought I would. It was a bit tedious, though I am glad I’ve finally tackled it!

23164931Time and Time Again – Ben Elton
Time travel and history and Ben Elton all in one go? Wonderful. I seemed to have a very history orientated selection from the library, this was an interesting premise and you can see more of my thoughts on it here. Basically this is a historic novel about time travel and dystopian futures – what could possibly go wrong? I’d love to read more time travel novels, so if you can think of any, you should totally let me know!

11065009Chocolate cake with Hitler – Emma Craigie
This was probably a tad young for me, but was enjoyable nonetheless! It reminded me of the Prisoner of Night and Fog, which is also a story about a young girl who grows up with Hitler being a uncle figure in their life. This though is the fictionalised account of Helga Goebbels, the actual daughter of the actual Nazi commander. This picks up at various points of Helga’s life through the Nazi rise to power interspersed with time spent in the bunker with Hitler towards the end of the war. It was an interesting premise and I’m a history nerd so I liked it, but as I said, I think it would have been a better suited to someone much younger than me. If you’re interested in something similar and you’re an older YA reader, check out the Prisoner of Night and Fog series. I reviewed that here and here if you want to check it out.

22428751How many letters are in goodbye – Yvonne Cassidy
I apologise to the publisher gods that it took me so long to read this (I forgot to switch the wifi on on my kindle and the egalley didn’t download… My bad) anyway, this was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster! There was so much going on and so many important, hard hitting issues being tackled. It also featured one of the most interesting characters I have ever come across in a YA book. You can check my review here!

25413848 (1)Under the Dusty Moon – Suzanne Sutherland
I had such high hopes for this book, like look at that cover! The blurb made it sound like this was a coming of age story about the daughter of two super famous people being left alone for the summer, falling in love and finding herself without her mother being around to grab focus, but what we got instead was just a spoilt brat moaning about their summer. I don’t mind a book about first world problems now and again, but I like to go into them prepared, so I was a bit unsatisfied to be honest. I hate leaving bad reviews, but it was an ARC, so I didn’t have much choice, you can see my review here if you can stand it!

21799202 (1)The V girl – Mya Robarts
This was an interesting read, I don’t often pick up New Adult books, but the blurb really caught my eye. A sort of distopian erotica set in the back drop of a hard core civil war where sexual slavery and assault have become legal. Yeah, I thought it would be hella interesting. Unfortunately, though it had loads of potential and could have been incredible, it just… wasn’t for me. If you like your graphic sexual content though – it’ll be right up your street! My review will be up soon!

 

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!

  • Bladerunner.
    It had been a while, I remembered that the day of Batty’s conception was coming up, thought I’d dig it out! I still can’t make up my mind whether Deckard is a replicant himself or not. Thoughts?
  • Singing in the Rain
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    Second viewing, still great.
  • Cowboys and Aliens.
    I was having a bit of a Harrison Ford related month really wasn’t I?
  • Amy
    Woah, just woah. This was harrowing viewing, it felt almost a bit voyeruristic, amazingly well made documentary, but I can’t say as it was a pleasant watch. I’m not sure how I feel about it, did anyone else see it? It’s been nominated for an Oscar, which has apparently upset Amy’s father. Hmm.
  • Ant Man
  • Clueless
  • Napoleon Dynamite
  • Pitch Perfect 1 and 2
    HSM turned ten and I don’t have it at my place, it’s one of the many DVDs that still lives with my parents, so I needed something else involving pretty people singing and let’s be honest, Pitch Perfect and its sequel are amazing. Also, it has the best character intro of all time (you know I mean Jesse’s introduction right?)
  • Pride
    I just got a two month free pass to NowTv’s movie package and this was the first thing I chose to watch! What an emotional ride that was! It was Welsh and it was gay and it was anti Thatcher – all things I love in a movie! Also it featured a load of my faves and honestly, I had a cry at the end!
  • Only Lovers Left Alive
    Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton, two of the most beautiful people alive are vampires that are trying to make sense of the modern world. I wish there were more vampire movies about living in the 21st century.

TV I watched this month:

  • Making a murderer.
    Yes, me and just about everyone else in the world, I wrote a blog post about my feelings after finishing the series. Interested to see what the documentary makers come up with next!
  • Agents of Shield
    series 3 has just come back and although I think I’ve missed something somewhere, it was still pretty good return to form!
  • Tattoo Fixers.
    I bloody love Tattoo Fixers! I also subjected a friend of mine to an entire evening of Tattoo Nightmares the other day, sorry Stacey!
  • Pretty Little Liars
    I have been waiting so long for this to return and I’m not entirely sure why they don’t all just get the hell out of Rosewood, but still. Home is home I guess.
  • Shadow Hunters
    hated the film, not sure how I feel about the TV show… Anyone else seen it?
  • Crashing
    wtf even is this show? I have no idea, but I do bloody love Damon Malony, so why not! It’s about a group of twenty somethings who all live in a renovated hospital in London and their various escapades. I know I’ve only just moved, but I want to move to London and I know that if I do, it’ll likely be somewhere as mental.
  • Supernatural
    the boys returned on the 20th and Jesus H Christ. I was amazed by Misha Collins’ acting prowess in that first episode back like OMG. Has anyone else seen it? Can we flail together?
  • The girl who forgave the Nazis
    What an incredible lady. I visited Auschwitz a couple of years ago and I’m fascinated and disgusted that it even happened, its Holocaust memorial day in January, so these programmes are always around this time of year, this was such an interesting documentary on how a survivor could find it in themselves to forgive those actions. If you missed it and can find it on catchup, it was an interesting watch.

 

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

Just finished my 2015 scrapbook!

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I finished my 2015 scrapbook! I’ve never kept a scrapbook before and its definitely something I will be continuing into 2016, it was so much fun and really weird looking back on all these pictures and events that took place over the year!

Birthday boy!

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My nephew, Freddie, celebrated his second birthday!

Internet, do these look more like foxes now?

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I made use of the fox shaped cookie cutter I received for Christmas (and some vegan butter that really needed using up) to make foxy biscuits, maybe I’ll feature them as my first Great Bookish Bake Off post of the year?

❄️

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January suddenly got very cold! This was the view I woke up to one morning!

I learned depth of field

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Finally getting the hang of depth of field after three weeks of photography lessons. Also remember back in May when I said I wasn’t going to collect tsums and would only have the Big Hero 6 ones. Yeah, that didn’t really work out for me.

Lastly, a picture of a picture, it was my Grandad’s birthday on the 29th, so I insta’d my favourite picture of the two of us together, also featuring my dad and a large slab of chocolate cake that I appear to be force feeding to the aforementioned birthday boy. (I have no recollection of where this photo was taken. Also yes, I was once a natural blonde, why it couldn’t stay that colour, God only knows.)

What I did on YouTube this month:

Leah Loves 4: Not A Christmas Haul


2015 a year in review

What I loved on YouTube this month:

As always, I watched everything that Casey Neistat uploaded because he is like the King of vloggers, though I suspect everyone saw his video of him snowboarding through New York because that was all over the internet and all over the news in the last few weeks, I also enjoyed the very welcome return of Crabstickz, PJ battling some evil pens, Dan and Phil beginning a series of Undertale, which reminded me of Pokemon, my friend Joe doing an incredible dance recess, the conclusion of Hazel’s Time of the Month series and of course, James Cordon’s carpool karaoke with Adele!

What have you guys been up to this month? Have any of you seen/read any of these things? Let me know!

NaNoWrimo – the ending

Well, that’s that then for another year.
NaNoWriMo went about as well this time around as it did in 2014. This year I managed a grand total of 45,000 words. Yep. 5,000 off the target. I am so annoyed at myself!! I know that come the end I was writing words for the sake of it, not because they added anything to the story, but I so wanted to reach my target, especially as I have been suffering a lot with writer’s block this year. The idea I had was something I’ve never really considered writing about before, but its been difficult to write, not just because I’m inexperienced with the subject matter (always dangerous) but because I’ve found it really hard to find the time.
This November just was not the November for me to decide to write 50,000 words. Yesterday, I finished work at 5 p.m., hurried home and wrote for an hour before having to go out to a council meeting, when I got home, I wrote a bit more (albeit with London Spy on in the background) but I just found that I was writing for writing’s sake and as much as I wanted to get the extra 5,000 to hit my target, I just couldn’t do it, I had nothing left in me to write about.
So. That’s that.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, last year’s effort ended at about 19,000 words due to said writer’s block and the entire manuscript was saved to a hard drive never to see the light of day again. This time, I have 45,000 words of story that actually has potential. My new challenge is to have a workable first draft by January, which I can then maybe get to a point where I’m happy to share it with people.
So, there you go, 2015’s Nano story, done. I’d love to hear everyone else’s progress, did you hit your targets? Are you happy with your creation? Can I read it maybe? Let me know!

Now though, its time for a new challenge, I’ve decided to take on Vlogmas over on my YouTube channel in the hope that forcing myself to upload a video every day until Christmas Day will in fact help with my creative juices and get me over this whole writer’s block barrier thing. We hope anyway. If you don’t have an advent calendar/ are lactose intolerant/ vegan/ not buying into the whole capitalist calendar idea/ don’t celebrate Christmas, maybe check it out? I can’t guarantee that it will be entertaining or make up for the lack of chocolate, but I’ll try my darndest!