Reviewing 2017

Well, 2017, that was a time. It was the last year that I could call myself a twenty something, it was the year I changed jobs, it was the year my new niece was born and despite some of the less good bits, there were a few laughs along the way!

This year I got to see Matilda in the West End and the Adam’s Family tour, both of which were amazing – especially because I got my Matilda ticket for a fiver because of my youthful looks!

last night was fun

A post shared by leah-marie smith (@leeeeeeeeah) on

I got to visit the Doctor Who Experience before it shut down to accomodate the new doctor (who else is super excited about the new Doctor btw)

Hanging at Cardiff Bay doing the Doctor Who Experience today

A post shared by leah-marie smith (@leeeeeeeeah) on

I took solo trips to Edinburgh and fell in love with the architecture and to Brighton, where I may have accidentally joined the marxist and took a wonder along the beach in the fog.

I got to go to YALC and listen to loads of my fave authors talk about books and I took my oldest niece on not only her first holiday, but her first trip abroad as we ventured to Disneyland Paris. Honestly, it was the cutest thing I’ve seen in my entire life.

💙

A post shared by leah-marie smith (@leeeeeeeeah) on

Speaking of nieces, I got a new one and she’s pretty cute.

This year, I played the same stage as the Foo Fighters, I stood in the same room as Aiden Turner and started sorting my life out. I may not have finished the novel I’m still working on, I may not have made any of the films I wanted to, but I did make a headway in some other goals I’d set myself so *shrugs*

Oh and I finally did that thing I was putting off for 11 years… Yes, I got inked.

tat-two

A post shared by leah-marie smith (@leeeeeeeeah) on

And of course – the reason you’re probs here, I read a LOT of books and watched a LOT of movies this year!

I managed to complete 88 books in the year 2017! That’s 11 more than the year before!
Of those books, 59 were written by women, 15 were non fiction and I managed to read out of my comfort zone by completing a poetry collection and a manga!

The longest book I read this year was Tony Benn’s diaries, which was a stomping 752 pages long.
The shortest was Mind the Gap by Phil Earle, which was 104 pages.

My top ten were:

In 2017,  I watched a grand total of  64 movies!
47 were ones I was seeing for the first time and I managed to make 18 cinema trips this year! Thank God for the Westway and their £4 tickets. Also Sebastian the ice cream seller that I lowkey have a crush on. Maybe 2018 will be the year I finally say more than “no thank you” to him. Who knows!

My favourite films of the year were:
La La Land
Logan
Baby Driver
Dunkirk
BladeRunner 2049
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Thor: Ragnorok

My least favourite was the Justice League. Seriously, that CGI top lip, that was something else.

So there we go, 2017 in review and before I skip off to make a start on my 2018 bullet journal (yes, I bullet journal now.), here is my instagram best nine!

Advertisements

August round up

Another month another comic con – this time my local one (again I was very good and didn’t buy all the Spider Man merch, so I feel like I deserve some sort of prize). My friends and I came up with a new tradition of playing board games on a Friday night and I got to not only witness my niece’s first ever trip on a plane, but also her first trip to Disneyland and bloody hell, it was the cutest thing I have ever seen.

What I read this month:

Gather the daughters – Jennie Melamed
Dear God this book was amazing, Bookbridgr sent me a copy of this just as the Handmaid’s Tale was wrapping up on TV, its almost like they knew I’d need something to fill the Offred shaped void in my life. There is so much to say about this book, so head here to see my full review, it’s incredible and was written by a woman who owns three shiba inus. So you know she has to be awesome.

The Profession of Violence – John Pearson
Yes, I did buy this book because of the double Tom Hardy on the front. Fun fact, I am descended from cockneys, my grandparents are from the east end, my grandad’s older brother knew the Kray twin’s brother Charlie from boxing and you know, around. Yes, the Kray’s had a brother. Not that you’d know that if you read this book because Charlie is only mentioned about five times in the whole thing. Whenever I’ve spoken to my grandad and his family about life in the east end under the Krays, I’m always told though they weren’t the sort of people you’d want to introduce your mother to, they kept their streets clean and stopped any sort of bother. Which if you know the east end, is quite a feat because that place was dodgy af. So I wanted to find out more about these people and read the book that inspired the film. It was ok, but I don’t feel like I learned anything I didn’t already know.

The Big Lie – Julie Mayhew
I’ve read a couple of ‘alternate reality’ stories exploring what could have been if Nazi Germany had come to Britain before Russia and been successful, but none aimed at younger readers or specifically about young LGBTQA+ women. This is the story of Jess, living in what was Britain in 2013, but Britain is part of the Greater German Reich, everyone speaks a mixture of English and German, she attends a school where the curriculum is influenced by the rules of the Hitler youth, and all other aspects of Hitler’s rule are every day life. Only because of her friend questioning everything, Jess starts to see that life isn’t as it seems… It was such an interesting read though such a shame that actual Nazis started hanging around America while I was reading it.

Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
Last month I was at YALC and got given some Six of Crows art print things from a stall there, and this month I found the book at the library and oh my, this quickly became one of my favourite books of the year! The world building was spot on, the characters were brilliant and the story was incredible! I need all the Grisha novels in my life now!

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/ cinema screen this month!

  • Dunkirk
    Yes, I saw it again.
  • Vampire Academy
  • Jurrasic World
  • Valerian and the city of a thousand planets

TV I watched his month:

  • Game of Thrones
  • House of Cards
  • Shadowhunters
  • Rick and Morty
  • Atypical
  • Defenders

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

successful first game night 📸 @krisskarnage79

A post shared by leah-marie smith (@leeeeeeeeah) on

whenever there is a star war, you'll find these folk guarding the galaxy

A post shared by leah-marie smith (@leeeeeeeeah) on

and we're off ✈️

A post shared by leah-marie smith (@leeeeeeeeah) on

💙

A post shared by leah-marie smith (@leeeeeeeeah) on

What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:
Last month this section was just filled Dan Howell, this month we’re full of James Corden! Firstly, this he’s also killing it with the interviews, like this where Jaime Lanister picks up Alexander Hamilton  and this Crosswalk Musical We also got great new vids from Charlie and Emily this month. Sammy Paul gave us a video that was a year in the making and this from Elliot Gough for Last Week’s guest edition!

Great Bookish Bake off – Lemon Cake

The cakes I bake and the books I read while baking them.

So even though I spent most of the past year determined not to watch new bake off… Bake Off returned and I watched it. And I don’t know how I feel about it… like it feels wrong… But also… familiar and I don’t know! What does everyone one else think of it? Is it good? Is it not? I don’t know…!
Anyway, one simply doesn’t watch bake off without cake. So, I made a cake. And I cheated a bit and thought you guys might also like a cheaters recipe to cake.

You will need:
A mixing bowl
Two round cake tins
A box of cake mix (I chose Lemon cake)
Ready made icing (yes, that stuff is accidentally dairy free)
A can of Sprite.

And the book of your choice, I was reading Six of Crows which is one of my new favourite books.

This is a great cake hack if you hear the Bake Off theme and think, damn, I should have got some cake in. All you need is one of those cake mix boxes and a 320ml of lemonade, mix the two together, split the mix between the two cake tins and bake for twenty minutes. Which admitedly, doesn’t give you much time to read, especially when you’re working your way through something as exciting as Six of Crows, but there is also the cooling time, so you know.
Once they’re cooked, put them aside and let them cool and then crack into the ready made icing and assemble your cake. My packet mix came with drizzle for the top which I also stuck on because BAKE OFF.
As weird as it sounds, for some reason, adding fizzy drinks to cake mix makes a perfectly risen and moist (sorry) cake! It’s mad but true! Try it!

 

Also while we’re talking about Bake Off, Veronica Dearly posted this great image the other day and I can’t not!

Giving the #bakeoff a whirl. #gbbo

A post shared by Veronica Dearly (@veronicadearly) on