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 This is a collection of previously unpublished stories presented together along with some biographical facts, letters to publishers and photos of Scott and Zelda.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.

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April Round up

Wow, April, you were random but fun!
I think I socialised more in April than I have the rest of the year! This month I got to spend time eating take out and watching Riverdale with Charlotte, spent many hours sat eating in Chris and Julia’s kitchen, there was eating involved there too and got to do some Easter themed baking with my favourite munchkins! You might have noticed an eating trend there. No biggie. What is the point of Easter if not for eating, eh? There was even a day warm enough for me to sit in my mum’s garden and just read, I managed two trips to see Guardians of the Galaxy, there was new Paramore and new Fall Out Boy and a whole load of previously unpublished F Scott Fitzgerald stories were published!

What I read this month:

Who’s That Girl – Mhairi McFarlane
Well, I think the disappointment of this book can only be matched with the disappointment I felt when I first tried a Hershey bar. So many people I trust told me this was good, but honestly, I got so tired of it so quickly, I didn’t find any part of it funny, just mostly ridiculous and predictable. I’d like to give Mhairi McFarlane another go, but this wasn’t a good start!

Unconventional – Maggie Harcourt
Oooo this was cute! Take all the endearing nerdiness of Fangirl, make it British and set it at a series of conventions instead and you have this story of Lexi – daughter of a convention organiser who has a cute meet cute with an author at one of the events and fun ensues. I haven’t read a fun, British YA romance for so long so this was a nice change.

Girl Up – Laura Bates
I have wanted to read this for so long! I still have a copy of Every Day Sexism I’ve not managed to read yet. Though this didn’t have anything in it that I didn’t already know/ think before (guess that’s because I’m on the internet but *shrugs*) but it was still wonderful to read a book that shared all my thoughts on the subject! If you are interested in gender politics, this would be a great and accessible book to start with and is presented in a fun, engaging way. If you are planning to read it in public, there are lots of doodles of vaginas, just so you know!

Windfall – Jennifer E Smith
I love Jennifer E Smith’s books, seriously, if you are looking for some cute, fluffy YA (which let’s be honest, is a sub genre that gets more hate than it deserves) then you need to get this woman’s books in your life! This was an ARC I received from Netgalley and I was so excited to get a copy of this… While I enjoyed it, I don’t think its the strongest of her books, check out the review here.

Things I should have known – Claire LeZebnik
This was such an interesting book! While the blurb is all, girl decides to set up her sister and ends up falling for the brother of the boy she wanted to set her sister up with, which doesn’t sound like anything new, this was written in an engaging way and  I didn’t realise until I started reading it that the two kids being set up on the date are on the autism spectrum – I’ve never come across a book about kids with autism before! See my review here.

The Idea of You – Amanda Prowse
I feel really bad about not enjoying this more. Admittedly, it isn’t to my usual taste, but I wanted to read outside my comfort zone a bit more, there was nothing wrong with the narration or the story per say, it just didn’t really gel with me. I should preface that having started this book I did realise that I’m not really its target audience. There will be a full review up soon, even though it wasn’t for me, this is the exact thing you’d want tot take on holiday with you!

Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur
I feel like this book is every where, it appears in every review and haul video/post I consume, so I’d wanted to read it for ages, though I was put off by the fact that I’m not that well versed in poetry, it’s just never really been something I’ve been able to really sink my teeth into. (I say this, but one of my favourite books is a poetry book lol) I can understand why people love it and why it resonates with so many people, but it wasn’t my cup of tea I’m afraid.

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!

  • Nerve
  • Fire walk with me – Twin Peaks prequel 
  • Moana
  • The Nice Guys
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (I actually ended up seeing this twice! 000ps!)
  • Ghostbusters
    Yes I finally saw the latest Ghostbusters movie, I don’t know, I think it would have worked a lot better as a sequel or a spin off rather than a remake, the ladies were all fab, but I didn’t like the original cast turning up and not being themselves and bits were a tad silly, but it was fine.
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2

TV I watched his month:

  • 13 Reasons Why
    I read and loved the book and when I heard it was going to be a Netflix series, I wasn’t sure how they’d make a whole series, but omg that was intense and so well put together. The series comes with trigger warnings before the harder episodes if you’re worried but those scenes are very intense, so do look after yourselves. Also there is a random cameo from Dan Howell, so… there’s that.
  • Riverdale
  • iZombie
    ITS BACK ITS BACK I AM SO EXCITED
  • Doctor Who
    Honestly, I had been falling out of love with this show for the past few series, but the opening episode was so much fun and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.
  • Iron Fist
  • Pretty Little Liars
    I can’t believe we’re on the last nine episodes!!
  • Once Upon a Time

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

Bristol is looking pretty spesh today

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its time for the great munchkin bake off

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y e s t u r d a y || this is as close to sunbathing as i get.

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IT ARRIVED!!!

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What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

As much as I hate April 1st, it does mean that we get a Dan and Phil Crafts video and this year’s was utterly genius! We also got ASDF Movie 10 which is one of my favourite things on the internet, seriously (beep beep I’m a sheep!), while we’re on the subject of Tomska, his Last Week series are the best weekly vlogs out there, so get on that, yeah? Liam Dryden‘s YouTube comeback was amazing, so if you haven’t seen it, do! I have to mention Emma Blackery’s new music video and this video about twenty one pilots and this birthday edition of Baking with Layton.

December round up

Wow. We made it. This month was kind of a strange one for me, it was a month of firsts, it was a month of endings and it was a month of reflection, as well as being Christmas and all. Firstly, I celebrated my one year anniversary of being in my flat. I’ve been an adult for a whole year! Go me! I also preformed my first ever show as a ukulele player as part of the Frome Ukulele Group, my niece appeared in her first school nativity play, we took our first ever train trip together, went to many a festive party and generally, this month has been fun!

What I read this month:

12600138Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
My brother lent me this! This is a big deal if you know my brother, the boy that spent our entire child hood ignoring the written word, but who now actually likes reading! This is his favourite book apparently and I can see why! I’m not much of a gamer, but I did love this! A novel set in the future about an international cloud based game that is littered with eighties references – sign me the frick up.

31114950No Virgin – Anne Cassidy
I spotted this in the library and was drawn in by the attention grabbing cover and the fact that the blurb consists of “My name is Stacey Woods and I was raped”. I’ve read a lot of books about this subject this year (which sounds like a strange thing to say, I didn’t intend to do that, I just think that sexual assault and consent have been on the forefront in recent years, as they should). While this was an important story, I don’t think it was handled very well, its very short and I think it could have done with being bulked out a little. Stacey didn’t have enough room to grow on me, I just didn’t feel like I knew her or even wanted to, she also spends a lot of time blaming herself, which I know can happen, but I wanted her to remember that she wasn’t at fault. Would like to discuss this further though if any of you guys have read it – let me know!

568061The Colour Purple – Alice Walker
So if you saw my video about all the bookish things, you’ll know that I visited the library and found out about the reading passport, this is my first trip and let’s face it, a book I should have read already. This was honestly one of the most harrowing things I’ve ever read, I can’t say as I enjoyed it, it’s a bit hard to enjoy something like this, but its something I can check off of my things I should have read already list.

23361172Paperweight – Meg Haston
This catches my eye every time I visit the library and finally the time came and I checked it out. I did a whole post on this just because I felt like the subject matter deserved more than just a few lines in a round up post and also, you know me, I do like to give you guys trigger warnings and I felt like I needed a bit more of an explanation. So… Check that out here.

29567432Generation Next – Oli White and Terry Ronald
I’ve never watched any of Oli White’s videos, but like I’m in the internet, so I know the name (even if I couldn’t tell what he looked like…). While I’m glad that this book actually does acknowledge the ghost writer I am a bit like… Why give Oli White a publishing contract when he can’t write the thing himself?! Eurgh. Also, though this was an interesting idea for a story, I didn’t get on with the way it was written at all. Good idea, badly executed. Can someone point me towards a YouTuber who has a publishing deal because theyre talented as opposed to because they have a big audience?

31182580Motherland – Jo McMillan
Honestly, I mostly picked this up because it’s about communism and the Daily Fail recommended it and I thought that was kind of funny… Anyway, while this was an interesting take on a mother/daughter relationship set against a strong political ideology I was hoping it would be a bit more… Well, more. I wanted to learn more about the eastern block and communism and British communists and that was kind of a backdrop as opposed to the main focus. Which is fine, but not what I was looking for!

31259053Saying goodbye to London – Julie Burtinshaw
The last ARC of the year! I mentioned it in my last book video and showed you the cover… Honestly, I think the cover was the best bit… Sorry, I will do a more thorough review of this in the next few days or so, once I have my thoughts together! I picked this up mostly because of the cover, look at that cover and because I love London, tis my home town after all, this was about a very different London and while I thought the story was interesting, I don’t think it was executed very well… Anyway, look out for my thoughts!

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!

  • Men in Black
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Muppets Most Wanted
    I had a craving after all those evil Kermit memes.
  • School of Rock
  • Frozen
  • Moana
    Took the oldest munchkin out for the day to see this! I really enjoyed it! The soundtrack is my latest to buy!
  • Love Actually
  • Naked Gun
    My brother and I may have concerned our collective facebook friend list by sending each other quotes from this…
  • Die Hard
  • Home Alone
  • The Muppets Christmas Carol
  • Hateful 8
  • The Adventures of Tin Tin
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Raiders of the Lost Arc
  • The Take

There are a lot of movies on the list this month, blame Christmas, there are always way more movies on than usual at this time of year!

TV I watched his month:

  • Class
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Tatoo Fixers
  • Once Upon A Time
  • Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
    I’m a big fan of the book I’m not sure yet what I think of the Netflix series, I think the characters are all a little too young… But I’ll stick with it!
  • The Crown
  • Timeless
  • Doctor Who Christmas Special
    Is it me or is Doctor Who just getting worse?

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

House pride

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It got very cold at the beginning of the month which meant that I got to show off my house pride on my morning commute.

I found bath's baubal

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Bath’s Christmas lights looked pretty spesh this year.

Took the munchkin out on the train today. She found the metro very interesting

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I took my niece out for the day, we got the train into town to see Moana!

Much jolly very christmas

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What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

There were so many awesome videos on Dan and Phil Games this month, so I’m just going to go ahead and recommend their whole channel! YouTube Rewind arrived in December, so many memes, so many memories and is it just me or did Dan Howell’s Stranger Things inspired wardrobe look a little Marty Mcfly? Because he’s in my favourite film and if so, D Hizzle, you are the one for me. Hit me up yeah? Stepping away from British boys with great fringes for the moment, I also enjoyed James Corden’s festive Carpool Karaoke, Casey Neistat’s batshit crazy drone video and this cute skit from KickthPJ. Also this month, Tyler and Josh were super nice and gave us a Christmas gift by releasing five reimagined songs with MuteMath and they made a video about it too and head here to download the songs for free before 18th January! Hannah Witton did Vlognukkah instead of Vlogmas (why didn’t I think of that last year?!) the videos were all so good and interesting, so check all of those out!

November round up

November feels like its crept up on me and now its only weeks before the end of the year! I think we can all agree that the world feels like a very strange place thanks to events of November and I don’t really know where we go from here… In more local news, this month saw my niece turn five (HOW ON EARTH IS SHE FIVE YEARS OLD?!), I joined the Emotional Roadshow in Brussels and though the trip wasn’t quite as planned, Brussels was a very interesting place and the show was amazing, you can see more of that here! I also got to see Billy Elliot live on stage (by jove that was fun) and spend time in my home town hanging out with the fam. My parents and I did a tour of the Houses of Parliament, which was so good, I also got to witness my dad get mad at tourists for ruining his photo op when he was being a complete tourist! Actually, I spent a lot of time with my parents this month which has been really nice.

What I read this month:

26117652The Rest of us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness
Urgh. I love Patrick Ness so muuuuuch. So, like, you know all those stories where the unlikely hero/heroine is just this teenage kid that goes around slaying demons/ saving the world whilst handing in their history homework and stuff? Do you ever wonder whats going on with their classmates and what they think of the situation? Well, wonder no more! This is the story of Mikey, his friends and his family who live in a town regularly invaded by aliens, vampires etc but its ok because they’re not the chosen ones and the indie kids at school always sort those problems out for them which is fair enough cos Mikey has enough going on with his dysfunctional family life and all he wants to do is graduate and go to prom before yet another apocalypse begins so… Just pure and utter brilliance once again from someone who is fast becoming my favourite author ever. I’m not sure if by writing this Ness is admitting to being a complete Buffy fan boy or if he hates it, but either way. AWESOME. Also, if you didn’t know, Patrick Ness is the writer behind the Doctor Who spin off – Class, which is as the title suggests, Class. Check it out!

10814687Whispers Underground – Ben Aaronovitch
Finally I got around to reading the next in the Rivers of London series! I love the way these are written, I’ve said it before, the Peter Grant books are how I hoped the Harry Potter series would end up. Other than the magic, the wonderful narration, the humour and the way the mysteries are shaped, I do love books where the setting itself ends up being a character and as I love the city of London and know it well, its always a bit special seeing all these places I’ve stomped around coming to life as Peter goes about his business!

20733840Mr Penumbra’s 24 hour book store – Robin Sloane
This has been on my to read list for what feels like forever, then Sophie posted a review, so I had to bump it up a few spaces! Also according to my goodreads (be my friend?) a couple of other people started reading this around the same time as I did, so I’m looking forward to their thoughts! This was one of those really addicting books that I kind of felt lost without, its a mystery set around a bookshop with an enigmatic owner and has the power of google and the power of books coming together to solve the puzzle! That’s about as much as I can say without ruining it completely. If nothing else, you have to love a book about books!

16122237Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Newt Scamander
(Should I credit this to JK Rowling or is putting Newt’s name on it ok?) After watching the film, I thought I ought to return to the magical world and so picked this up! Fun fact, I brought this with my first ever wage packet and haven’t looked at it since! While its a shame that this doesn’t include instructions on how to do the mating dance as beautifully demonstrated by Eddie Redmayne in the movie, it does fill my Harry Potter loving heart with joy!

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!

  • In Bruges
    Thought it would be a good way to prepare for going to Belgium. It just made me want to go to Bruges too!
  • The Aristocats
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
    This was so charming! I was a bit wary what with how bad the cursed child script is and the fact that Johnny Depp was named as a cast member, but it was just so lovely! I nerded out about it for about a week after seeing it and now I have so many theories and I love Newt and I want to give Credence a hug!

TV I watched his month:

  • Once Upon A Time
  • Class
  • The Missing
    It was recommended that I catch up on this and dear God, if you need a thriller that keeps you guessing at every turn you should track this down!
  • How to get away with murder
    All I have to say on this is Coliver: 
    iwillgodownwiththisship
  • Supernatural
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine
  • Gilmore Girls: Year in the Life
    I don’t know how I feel about the revival. On the one hand there is all the Luke/Loralai which I LOVED, the life and death brigade came back which I LOVED, Emily had the best storyline and there were so many wonderfully nostalgic moments but then there was that weird musical number and the destruction of Rory and the barely mentioned Lane and barely any Sookie and how has Chris not aged?! And of course, those last four words.

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

Grand place, Brussles as the lights start waking up

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Sorry not sorry for all the pics from Brussels…

I had a rather lovely day in London this month, during which my parents and I did a tour of the Houses of Parliament which was SUPER INTERESTING. The only thing that was kind of sad is that despite the fact that MPs are constantly on their phones during PMQs, you aren’t allowed to use your phone or take photos while in the building, there were so many ridiculously ostentatious rooms and so many pretty bits of design work and I’m worried I won’t be able to remember them!

What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

Firstly, Hazel Hayes did a Tipsy Talk with Amy Adams which was wonderful, she also made this little animation which was the cutest thing ever and I did love September’s instalment of Time of the Month, no matter how late it is! Philip DeFranco explained how the American Voting System works – I knew it was a bit more complicated than in Britain by wow, how did that system even come about? Lex made a beastly favourites to advertise Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, she also did a slightly spoilery review of the Gilmore Girls revival and I agree, so… Check it out! Also, Wes Anderson made a Christmas themed advert for H and M, yes, you did read that right. It’s amazing, watch it here!

May round up

May started off being way more social than usual! Coffee with two of my favourite ladies (well, I say coffee, it was juice in my case) followed by cinema and being kicked out of a pub! While summer appeared to come and go within two days during May, I did manage to squeeze in a bit of adventuring! This month I also hung out with the local ukulele orchestra in the hope that they think I’m good enough to join them and guested on Becky’s blog for mental health awareness week!

What I read this month:

11429619 A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian – Marina Lewycka
What a title!  I now know from reading the book that this has very little to do with tractors and their history (though that is a plot point), so if you are looking for a book about the history of tractors written in Ukrainian, you should probably look for a different book…. This was an interesting read, despite the misleading title! I want to read more things about Europe and European cultures, let me know if you can think of any!

26114524The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You – Lily Anderson
Oh look, a trend of long titles is forming! I was initially drawn to this book because the cover is so cool and has a graphic novel/ comic book feel to it and then I checked the blurb and saw the words Doctor and Who in that order and thought, I should definitely read that! It was ok, if a bit long, so check my review here.

To Wed a Rebel – Sophie Dash
This isn’t the sort of thing I would normally read, but I know the author so… I read a similar book of theirs back last year, you can see the review of that here and the review of this here! I hope that this time next year when her next book is out that I’ll have read more in the genre because if they’re all like this one, it’ll be seriously fun!

Love and Other Man Made Disasters -Nicola Doherty. Another ARC which has a lovely cover I'll never get to store on my shelf.

Love and Other Man Made Disasters – Nicola Doherty
This had me at the first page, you know when you open a book and you just gel with it immediately? That was me with this book. Not only was Juno incredibly relatable, but the narration is so endearing and there is a The Fault in Our Stars reference within the first few lines so I was all over this! Check my review here!

25893533 (1) The Translation of Love – Lynne Kutsukake
Many thanks to Penguin Random House for this book!
You may have noticed this book doing the rounds, I am part of the blog tour, for which I am honoured! Those of you that have popped by here before will know that I love reading and learning about the period of history before, during and immediately after WW2 and that I also love Japan, so this was a great book for me!

Martini Henry – Sara Crowe
This was also sent to me by Penguin Random House, thanks guys! I was excited to get stuck into this as it is a story about a young girl who wants to be a writer and her adventures just trying to deal with life in general and trying to be an adult. I think we all know that feel, right? I did find our lead character, the writer, to be a little too much like Hannah Horvath (we all know she’s from the show Girls and I really don’t get on with her character, right?) at times for me to really sympathise with her, but it was still a wonderfully eccentric, quite British read, so look out for my review in the next few weeks!

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.

  • Captain America: Civil War
    OH MY GOD ITS SO GOOD I LOVE SPIDER MAN, I DON’T KNOW WHAT TEAM I’M ON, I JUST LOVED IT SO MUCH!
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
  • Fifth Element.
    I bloody love this film. You have not lived until you’ve seen Gary Oldman with only half a head of hair and Bruce Willis running around in orange. Big Baddah Boom.
  • The Little Shop of Horrors
  • An American Tail
    A blast from the past on a Sunday morning!
  • To Rome with Love
    ** Disclaimer: I have a complicated relationship with Woody Allen films. On the one hand, his films are wonderful, they look beautiful, they’re well written. He’s an amazing film maker. I’m just very conscious that he is a problematic person what with the whole child abuse allegation and the marrying of his adoptive daughter thing.** You know, just in case any of you are triggered by his presence on this list.
  • Maleficent 
  • Spice World
    Can you believe I’ve never seen this before? Wtf even is this movie?

TV I watched this month:

  • Game of Thrones
  • 22/11/63
    This is becoming one of my favourite things on television, I need to track down the book!
  • Peaky Blinders
    It’s back. It’s back and its been so long and I am still way too over excited about it! You should take a look at this  if you’re not sure how much I love Peaky Blinders!
  • Once Upon a Time
    CAPTAIN SWAN. NO.
  • Orphan Black
  • Elementary

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

Peaky Blinders time!

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I was very excited about the return of Peaky Blinders! Also, I love this hat and I never have an opportunity to wear it.

Took my Holga lens out for a spin during the sunshine. Think that photography course might have been worth something eh?

Off to ukulele club… Hoping to emulate tyler joseph and be actually good…

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Ukulele club was amazing and I am now a proud member of a ukulele orchestra!

Jumping on the umbrella bandwagon

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For some reason there are umbrellas hanging around Southgate… So, I decided to see them for myself and photograph them!

What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

So, the first thing I want to mention is a channel I should have mentioned in the beginning of the year, I discovered it in January and its becoming one of my favourites and that’s RedHeadAbroad, she’s doing her own version of Pretentious Monthly Scrapbook (called CRAMPS) and everything she uploads just looks gorgeous and I’m very jealous of her life being in all these exotic places, so… Go check it out! Other mentions have to go to Dan, Phil and Louise playing ObamaLlama because I laughed so hard I think I might have pulled a muscle, Misha Collins (yes he of Supernatural fame), he visited a Trump rally and bloody hell, please America, don’t let that be a reality  and Emma Blackery because her new song is RAD, check it out here. I know I mention Casey Neistat in every single one of these, but even if that is the case, I can’t not talk about this – his vlog from the most incredible hotel room I have ever seen in my entire life. Plus there is a bonus drone rescue moment. Also, I love the music he uses in his videos, I want it on my iPod. Finally, I just wanted to give honourable mentions to this video by Jack Howard and this one from Tomska, because they’re both so #relatable.

April round up

Literally moments after returning home from the Wunderbar pop quiz where my team (the easter egg-istential crisis) came fourth, I looked at my calendar and thought, wow, April’s pretty empty, my buddy Amber messages me and asks if I fancy a trip to Cardiff – looks like taking impromptu trips to see 5SOS has become a trend, the same thing happened last year! This month also saw the return of Game of Thrones, the opportunity to geek out at the local camera show, getting to hang with my bestie and raising money for the Bobby Moore Fund. I also started writing my next novel this month! Excite!

What I read this month:

25398649Your Fathers, where are they and the prophets, do they live forever – Dave Eggers
What a mouthful of a title! When I spotted this at the library, I was initially drawn to the cover because the buildings reminded me of the ones at Auschwitz. (That was a weird sentence to type…) You can see it though, right? This is so different from anything I have ever read before, its told entirely in dialogue and tackles so many of life’s unanswerable questions.

20555443The Martian – Andrew Wier
I went to see the film back last year, so better late than never reading this eh? Besides you can’t not love a book when the opening line is “I’m pretty much fucked.” really can you? Also this is the second book I’ve read this month that features an astronaut! This does get a bit sciency in places that is a little hard to get my head around but its every bit as thrilling as the movie and even though I knew exactly what was going to happen, I was still on the edge of my seat!

17225311Tampa – Alissa Nutting
I put this book on my TBR list a million years ago when I saw a blog I follow mention it in a book haul, the cover intrigued me because it was so obviously sexual and seeing a book with the insinuation of female sexuality so blatantly on the cover was a bit new to me. This is an unsettling read to say the least, its Lolita but a modern day version with the genders switched, its about a 26 year old woman who becomes a teacher because she has a sexual desire in teenage boys, a very specific type of teenage boy come to that and she talks you through the process of starting at a new school, selecting the next boy she intends to seduce and the story of how she does it. Its disturbing because like… I’m not attracted to muscles and hirsute gentlemen, but I draw the line at pre pubescent people under the age of 18 and reading about their encounters wasn’t pleasant, but it was also interesting being in this woman’s mind.

23129410Welcome to Night Vale – Joseph Fink, Jeremy Cramer
The podcast is great. Like, legit great. The book I’m not so sure about, but when you see something from the internet in real life, you can’t just ignore it and move on, you have to check it out of the library! It was typically Night Vale… So basically, weird af and is not going to help introduce anyone to the world of Night Vale… I’m not sure if it works as well in book form, but I like Night Vale so much that I wasn’t all that bothered!

27158835You Know Me Well – David Levithan and Nina La Cour
Despite not enjoying the last David Levithan I read, he does still remain one of my favourite authors, so I couldn’t not request this when I saw it pop up on Netgalley, also because it is co-written with Nina La Cour, who wrote the Disenchantments which I LOVED and Everything Leads to You, which I also really enjoyed! Basically, I went in with high hopes. The cover isn’t anything special and the title is a bit wordy, but this was a wonderfully bittersweet story. Review here

28110862Wrecked – Maria Padain
When I read the blurb for this I was a bit hesitant because the subject matter is such a difficult one to stomach. There are a lot of books about this subject available now and they get such great discussions going that I couldn’t really pass up the chance to request this. 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!

  • The Help
    I told myself I wouldn’t watch the film until I’d read the book. I read the book like two years ago… Finally got around to it!
  • Easy A
  • Donnie Darko
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    Just as good on tv as it was in the cinema!
  • Look who’s back
    I read the book a while ago and noticed the film is now on Netflix (it is in German, so if you don’t speak German, subtitles are your friend), the book was fairly traumatic enough, what with it being about Hitler returning and doing what he always did, but the film was a terrifying look at how easy it is for history to repeat itself.
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
    Thank you Film 4 for Tom Hardy season. Thank you.
  • This Means War
    Again, thank you Film 4.
  • Die Hard
    I’d never seen it, it appears on Netflix, that was Sunday sorted!
  • Her

TV I watched this month:

  • Once Upon a Time
  • How to get away with murder
    Finally finished season two. DEAR GOD THIS IS LIKE THE BEST THING ON TV. Its so tense!
  • Supernatural
    Its back, I wish I knew how to quit you.
  • Girls
    Season 5 just started so I thought it was about time to catch up… I think I said this last month, but… Adam Driver is my favourite thing about this show. I think most things can be improved with the addition of Adam Driver tbh. Its a mega frustrating show, I could write an essay on how much Hannah irritates me! I did manage to watch all five seasons in one month though, so I think I deserve some kind of special recognition award.
  • 11/22/63
    The best thing about NowTV is getting to watch live tv. Also this is a time travel show about James Franco going through a time hole to save JFK from being assassinated.
  • The People vs OJ Simpson
    The series finished and now I understand how OJ managed to get off. Honestly, that entire trial was a complete shambles!
  • Orphan Black
    I LOVE THIS SHOW. I was super annoyed to hear that series four wouldn’t be coming to the BBC, but then netflix went and saved the day. Well done Netflix.
  • Your Lie in April
    If you aren’t big into anime, give this a go anyway, its just so beautifully put together and it makes me sad I’m not better at playing the piano. (Also as it was April when I found this on Netflix  I thought it was very appropriate)
  • Game of Thrones

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

These converses will be missed

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My parents have decided that my room isn’t my room anymore and so we had to go through all the cupboards where I found my favourite shoes. They were broken, my mum made me bin them. Sad face.

Siri knows more than jon snow

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Siri is bae

Amber and I went on a beautiful, impromptu trip to see 5SOS which involved her birthday outfit being mistaken for hen party attire and then resulted in her being sung to by the staff at the Disney Store and Hamleys! Good times,

Don't stop doing what you're doooooooin

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Live SOS

I have a dining table now! My aunt and uncle donated me their old kitchen table when they moved and then my mum sanded it and painted it so it would go in my living room and then my brother and my dad delivered it to me! Eating my first meal at it was a bit of a big deal! It feels wrong not eating at a table!

Bridges

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Exploring.

What I did on YouTube this month:

 

What I loved on YouTube this month:

April Fools is the reason I have trust issues, but some of my YouTube faves did do some awesome things on the YouTubes for April Fools, my favourite had to be the return of Dan and Phil Crafts PRO TIP. I know I’ve already mentioned him, but I actually pulled a muscle laughing at Dan and Louise’s story about an awkward dinner, so I kind of have to tell everyone else about it. Keeping up with tradition means I have to link to at least one Casey Neistat video, so here’s his adventure in France for his son’s birthday. I also wanted to mention Dodie Clark’s new song and Pj’s new animation.

March round up

I don’t know about anyone else, but it felt like February went on forever! Finally we’ve hit Spring! This March was significantly better than last March because my mother didn’t spend Mother’s Day in hospital this time around, even if it wasn’t a particularly great month for me mentally… Anyway! In March I got to do my usual coverage of World Book Day which was just as incredible as always (there was a Princess Leia this year and so many Mary Poppins’ as well as a Jake the dog, a Finn the human and a Scooby Doo!), I judged a talent show for the second year running, finally got all my instruments moved into my house (I learned how to play the Jaws theme and see it as being my greatest achievement of the month), I bought a coffee table (adult level unlocked), finished college and you know this post I made two years ago about whether or not to get a tattoo? Well, I’ve spoken to three tattoo parlours this month….!

What I read this month:

tumblr_o39c0rauQI1ugamu7o1_1280Escape – Leah Smith
I know, I’m a douchebag featuring my own book, but one of my goals for the year was to finally finish and upload this to my proper grown up website with all the other silly little stories I’ve written over the years, so I started the month by actually getting that last full stop on the page and copy editing. Its not the best thing I’ve ever written, but it isn’t as bad as I thought it might be. You can download a copy for yourself free from here if you like!

25337019Hot Feminist – Polly Vernon
Eurgh. So, I wanted to read more non fiction books on gender politics etc because that stuff is super interesting, so I was really excited to see this listed at Bookbridgr and requested it asap. It’s a shame then that the author of this book doesn’t really seem to understand the fundamentals of feminism and decided to really patronisingly explain how she is ‘hot’ and also a feminist. Like, yeah. and. Anyway, for a full review, you can head to this post here, even though I really hate giving bad reviews.

4584Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer
I wanted to like this so much more than I did. I just found that it was very style over substance and not in a grand Fitzgerald kind of way, but more of a look how linguistically clever I am with all these intermingling narrations and all these fancy bits and pieces I’m putting in here. It just felt a little… like it was trying too hard. Either that or I’m just  not clever enough to understand it properly…

25152479The Dolls – Kiki Sullivan
It feels like forever since I read a straight up YA fantasy. I was also drawn to this because it had very pretty pink edging on the pages and when the book was closed it just looked super awesome. I really need to stop with the being suckered in with a pretty cover, if I look for personality in people, I should do it in books too (this is why I don’t get on with Tinder very well) anyway, I was, from the blurb, hoping for a whimsical True Blood style story about witch craft and voodoo set in Louisiana where its all warm and hazy and all that… but honestly, it was just a bit… Meh.

20800223Oranges are not the only fruit – Jeanette Winterson
My friend Sophie recommended this to me ages ago, she also mentions it a lot on her YouTube channel, so I grabbed a copy when I was at the library because seriously, Sophie does have a great taste in books. I’d heard a lot about this book, mostly that it’s a great book for the LGBTQA+ community, but actually I think its just a great book for anyone who is growing up and realising who they are and who their parents think they are doesn’t have to be the same thing. Review here.

The night that everything changed PB.inddThe Night that Changed Everything  – Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice
I was sent this from the lovely people at Penguin Random House, I love it when people send me things! If anyone else would like to send me things, I would be more than grateful! This is a wonderfully entertaining story about two well matched people who’s entire lives are turned upside down by one throw away comment on one night. Check out my review and grab yourself a copy!

6473592Gone – Michael Grant
Can you believe this has been sat on my bookshelf for over two years? I know this because when I thought, I’ll read that and opened it, I found a voucher that entitled me to the sequel half price that expired in 2013. Ooops. Sorry I was so late reading this book whoever gifted it to me! Anyway, I was excited about this because its cited as being a modern day Lord of the Flies, but honestly I was kind of disappointed. I know its a series so there are four more books in which the various details of how it all came to be, but this one just didn’t answer enough questions for me. Also it just wasn’t dynamic enough considering all the stuff that was going on. So, I’m not entirely sure the half price voucher would have been used anyway!

23363874 (1)Reasons to stay alive – Matt Haig
I feel like maybe my review of this was a bit of an over share, so lets not go into it again. Just know that this is a great book regardless of whether you actually need a reason to stay alive or not. Its an honest, candid read that is sympathetic without being patronising and was exactly what I needed.

 

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.

  • Tomorrow Land: A World Beyond
    So many Disney feels, I want to go back! Though I have no idea what the hell happened. I can just assume that the Brit is a bad guy as per and that George Clooney, a robot and a teenage girl who likes baseball caps saved the day? Yes? Someone correct me below if it is in fact something completely different.
  • This is where I leave you
    Dysfunctional family story where not a single sibling looked anything alike. I find that a bit odd about films, like at least pick people with the same colour hair or similar shaped noses or whatever. Also, as great as Jason Bateman is in Arrested Development, he doesn’t make great choices when it comes to films really, does he? The best bit about the whole film was the fact that Yellow jacket from Ant Man played Kylo Ren’s big brother. (See what I mean about family members looking nothing alike?)  Adam Driver was the thing that kept me going until the end, he is a little (well.. 6’3) cutie and should be everyone’s baby brother.
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service
    I haven’t seen this since the cinema! Oxfords not brogues every time. I’m looking forward to the sequel!
  • Tangled
  • Cinderella
    Fun fact, I saw this in the cinema and thought it was alright, I watched it on Now TV and cried like a baby every time someone said “Have Courage, Be Kind.”
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • Licence to Drive
    I bloody loved this movie when I was a kid! I found it on Now TV and honestly, if you have Now TV, watch it! Its one of the worst things you will ever see in your entire life, hard core eighties cheese with the two Corey’s and a very young Heather Graham.
  • Zootropolis
    Great film, made up for the disappointment that was the Good Dinosaur! I really love the direction Pixar is going in at the moment! Also, finally Jason Bateman! You made a movie I liked!
  • Morning Glory
    Harrison Ford was the best thing about this film. Sorry. 
  • The Great Mouse Detective
    The best Disney movie. Like for real. You can fight me on that.
  • Hop

TV I watched this month:

  • The Night Manager
    Man, this just got better and better, more T Hiddles please! How great was the final episode!?!
  • The Aliens
    I bloody love Michael Socha! Confused the hell out of me that they swapped Tattoo Fixers around to put this on on a Tuesday instead! I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the concept, but I will watch pretty much anything with Michael Socha in, so…
  • Pretty Little Liars
    HANNA!
  • The People vs OJ Simpson
  • Once Upon A Time
    ITS BACK. ITS BACK. I GET TO SEE HOOK AGAIN AND HOPE THAT CAPTAIN SWAN RESURFACES.
  • Shadowhunters
    I came crawling back. Simon got hot. So….. Are Magnus and Alex ever going to get it on?
  • How to get away with murder
    I forgot it was back! If you’ve not seen this before, its basically a how to guide to excude sexual tension with everyone around you. Also how to get away with murder.
  • DareDevil
    Series two hit Netflix and I am so pleased to have Matt and Foggy back in my life again! Is it weird that I’m starting to ship Frank and Karen? #Kastle

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

As its world book day, my phone is repping the HP love

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Covering WBD is a highlight of being a journalist tbh.

Snow joke

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We had snow!

Close up!

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I found a tree full of wagtails in the middle of Bath, here’s a close up!

💙

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My niece took this picture of me and my nephew! I think she’s a better photographer than me!

On my last night of college I finally managed to take a picture I like.

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College is over, but I finally took a picture I like.

My brother is amazing!

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I bought a coffee table. Because I am an adult now. And my brother dropped by and built it for me. Because he’s awesome.

What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:
I’m so glad I started this feature because HOTDAYUM if I hadn’t I’d have needed to make an entire post just dedicated to this slam poem from Leena, I wish I were that articulate and creative. I also need to mention Tom Fletcher and his family being adorable, the new Civil War trailer 9OH GOD HAVE YOU SEEN ANT MAN AND SPIDER MAN ARE IN IT?) ((is it me or does the new spider man sound EXACTLY like Tyler Joseph?)). I also enjoyed PJ‘s interactive story and Tomska‘s latest sketch! I feel like I can’t break tradition, so I’ll also mention Casey Neistat, he celebrated his 365th daily vlog this month, so you can watch that here!