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:
Catch 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!
Time 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!
Chocolate 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.
How 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!
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!
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!
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?
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
- 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?)
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?
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.
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:
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!
My nephew, Freddie, celebrated his second birthday!
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?
January suddenly got very cold! This was the view I woke up to one morning!
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!