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 This is a collection of previously unpublished stories presented together along with some biographical facts, letters to publishers and photos of Scott and Zelda.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

February round up

For being the shortest month, I packed a lot into February! I ended up hanging out in London with my buddy Charlotte for a few days which involved visiting all my favourite spots in the city and getting into Matilda for £5! Yaaaas! This month I also saw me saying goodbye to my little Fiat and getting a new… well… Little Fiat and eating all the vegan treats, Tesco now stocks vegan fish fingers, so naturally, fish finger sandwiches had to happen and if that wasn’t exciting enough, the Foo Fighters played in my tiny Somerset town! I didn’t get a ticket because I’m not on their mailing list, but as I’ve played the same venue, I’m going to go ahead and tell people that I’ve opened for the Foo Fighters.

What I read this month:

18867162Just one damn thing after another – Jodi Taylor
I saw this series in a book haul on the internet and then thought of it again when I started watching Timeless (which is great btw, check out my video below for how much I love Timeless!). For the first book in a series, it is very slow to start and takes a while for the story to kick in, but when it does, God! What fun! Being a history nerd and a lover of science, I did enjoy this and I’ll be checking out the rest of the series, there is time travel and dinosaurs and conspiracy and relationship drama, what more could you ask for?!

8247122Wishful Drinking – Carrie Fisher
I really wish I’d come across this book sooner, Carrie Fisher is such an engaging and hilarious writer, there are very few people who can make you sympathise, relate and howl with laughter all at the same time, but she manages it. Reading this made me not only appreciate her genius all the more, but also made me so sad at the loss of such potential, my new aim is to track down all the rest of her writings!

13262783Everyday – David Levithan
I read these in the wrong order, I read Another Day, which is the same story from Rhiannon’s point of view back last year and although I enjoyed the concept, I found the whole thing a little bit invasive and I’ll be honest, reading A’s account creeped me out on a whole new level, it’s so… rapey… I guess, I can’t think of a better way to explain it. I still think the idea of being a genderless being who experiences different identities every day is an interesting concept, but the contents of the story are still problematic for me.

28686840Holding up the universe – Jennifer Niven
I’d seen so many mixed reviews, though mostly positive for Niven’s other book, All the Bright Places, which I’ve yet to find at the library, but when I happened across this, I thought I’d give it a go, plus the cover looks pretty. The thing is, I’m not really sure how I feel about it, the romance felt a little contrived and the fact that Libby spends the whole book complaining that all she is known for is being the fattest person in the country and yet can’t stop reminding the reader every other second did irritate me no end! Not sure if I’ll be searching so hard for All the Bright Places now I’ve read this…

26200563Hamilton: The Revolution – Lin Manuel Miranda et al
OMG I WISH YOU COULD ACTUALLY SEE THIS IT IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK I OWN. It is a fact commonly acknowledged that I love Hamilton (I have tickets for next June) so when I saw this in Waterstones, I had to grab a copy for myself, if you love Hamilton, or just shows in general, it is a wonderful art book full of anecdotes of putting together a stage show, from conception, to curtain up, as well as photographs showing the staging, costume design and additions from several contributors of the show. Photographs do not do it justice and I don’t think my words did either, but if you are interested, I reviewed it here.

70947Northern Lights – Philip Pullman
This month news broke that Philip Pullman was releasing another series of books based around his Dark Materials trilogy, this excites me! So, I figured I better re read them before the new book comes out! I’ve not picked this trilogy up since the first time I read them when I was a kid, so I had a wonderful sense of nostalgia reading this and it made me so sad that the film was awful! The first time I picked these up, I always wanted to be Lyra and have my own daemon, guess I’ll just have to play pokemon go more often so I pretend my vaporeon buddy is a daemon! These books are great by the way, so… like read them!

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!

  • Hurricane Bianca
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
  • The Lego Batman Movie
  • Divergent

Considering the cinema in town has reopened, I didn’t get to catch as many new releases as I’d have liked this month! Prepare for that to be rectified.

TV I watched his month:

  • Taboo
  • Shadowhunters
  • Teen Wolf
  • Timeless
  • Sneaky Pete
  • Supernatural
  • Riverdale
    My new obsession! I might start wearing dungarees, Jughead is my new icon.
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine

 

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

the fourth plinth is now very excited about something

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They say you should spend valentine's with those you love so T Hardz and I are having a lovely evening

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Kinda love walking down here when there's no one else around

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The carnege left by Storm Doris

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What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

I can’t not mention this from danisnotonfire, like for serious, were all music teachers evil because I related so hard when I think back to not only my piano teacher (she even said the same thing to me about Fur Elise and my fingers!) but my drum teacher too! (It genuinely was like Whiplash if you were wondering.) While we’re on the subject of danisnotonfire, this golf video with Phil was hilarious and I’m not entirely sure how this wasn’t flagged… I want to recommend a whole channel because with all the fake news and alternate facts flying around, if you need a good source for news, Philly D is your boy. Also twenty one pilots are documenting their final few nights on tour with a series of mini documentaries, here’s the first one.

September round up

Ahh, September, the month in which my existential crisis increases ten fold because I am very neurotic and now am closer to thirty than I am to twenty. I am not a youth any more. wtf. Anyway, remember that I was attempting to achieve gingerness? Well, September has seen me get closer to this goal. This month featured bantz, wii tournaments, Yorkshire pudding failures, frozen churros, birthday celebrations, the first theatre trip of 2016 and fun times with my favourite munchkins. The oldest munchkin just started school. I can’t even.

What I read this month:

27766357Moth Girls – Anne Cassidy
What to even say. On the one hand, I raced through this, on the other it was quite simplistically written for something with such a creepy subject and because I’m not good with like kidnapping and murder as a plot line it did freak me out a bit! I was kind of disappointed with the ending, there was closure, but I wanted more and I felt like Tina was kind of robbed by having one chapter where the others got way more.

22913648Only Ever Yours – Louise O’Neill
Is Louise O’Neill the feminist author I have longed for? You know, I think she might be. If you’ve read A Handmaid’s Tale, this won’t be anything new for you, its essentially the same story, young women chosen by men to either be wives/companions or handmaids/concubines, only this features children rather than grown women, children being groomed into the most perfect they can be so that they can be picked by eligible men. Reading this made me think that this is life before the events of A Handmaid’s Tale. If I had a copy of Handmaid’s Tale, I’d have read it immediately after reading this, I think it would have been interesting to have the two as companion novels. Not exactly pleasant reading, but brilliant nontheless.

dangerousDangerous Boys – Abigail Haas
I read Dangerous Girls a while ago and dear God, it was incredible. One of those books that really stay with you, you know? If you’ve never read it, I recommend that you do so immediately. This wasn’t anywhere near the same standard,which was so disappointing. It didn’t have anywhere near the same thrill that Dangerous Girls did, I didn’t find myself desperately tearing through the pages trying to get to the bottom of the story and I do kind of find love triangles a bit… meh, essentially, this book was a teenage love triangle trying to be Dangerous Girls. It was entertaining enough and I think had I not loved Dangerous Girls so much I might have liked it a bit more… But… Yeah.

20797806The Apple Tart of Hope – Sarah Moore Fitzgerald
I bloody love apple tart and it is September, the season of apples, so… yeah, I might have picked up this book based on the fact that I really like apple tart. Or pie if you happen to be into pastry. Which I am. Anyway. Though I enjoyed this I did have a lot of questions. This is the story of next door neighbours, Meg and Oscar, Oscar likes to bake apple tarts and is a genuine ray of sunshine, like he saves a man he thought was considering suicide by baking him a pie. Anyway, Meg moves to New Zealand for six months during which time Oscar makes friends with the girl renting Meg’s house who is a total bitch and then Oscar goes missing and I’m just like… How great was this pie for convincing someone not to kill themselves? Wtf is up with Pamela? It was well written and flowed nicely, but I felt like it needed more…

895856Sometimes Madness is Wisdom: Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald a marriage – Kendall Taylor
You might have noticed (and if you haven’t you’re in luck because I’ve linked it below for you) that I wanted to read more non fiction. I guess this was me easing myself in to exploring the world of non fiction by picking a subject I’m already knowledgeable on. Though I think this book was a little too wordy in places, I did like that unlike other books I’ve read about the Fitzgeralds it focused on Zelda rather than Scott. You can see my review of this here! I did find little notes in this from the last person who read it, which is awesome! I love reading other people’s thoughts on books!

23210035My own story – Emmeline Pankhurst
Yes, I’m furthering my quest for non fiction! I spent some time in the library hunting for a specific biography, which I didn’t find, but then my eye caught this. I am hugely interested in feminism and the suffragette movement and I want to read more about this subject and I do find autobiographies easier to read than anything else. This was so interesting and I learned so much more about the period and the suffragette movement. Also I’ve completely changed my view on Gladstone, he used to be one of my favourite prime ministers! (Yes, I have a list of favourite prime ministers. The current one and her predecessor aren’t on the short list in case you wondered.) Its a shame, but we weren’t taught an awful lot about the Suffragette movement at school, all that was covered was that a group of women wanted the vote and went around terrorising the government and throwing themselves under horses. This should be part of the curriculum, especially as we have such low voter turn outs. Since finishing this, I did go and do some further reading and while this was biased (being an autobiography) and didn’t acknowledge that the Pankhursts were privileged (for instance, the majority of women didn’t have access to education or money – though it would have taken people of the Pankhurst’s position in society to have gotten the vote in the first place) or the not so nice things that took place, like the disowning of her own children. That sort of thing. Regardless, from a historical point of view, political point of view and feminist point of view, this was super interesting and now I want to check out the film!

26255907How Hard Can Love Be? – Holly Bourne
This isn’t the first Holly Bourne book that I’ve read, but it is the first Spinster Club book that I’ve read and I appear to have started with the second one rather than the first. Ooops. I was drawn to the series seeing the author appear on YouTube talking about how the theme of the series is feminism and well, I am into that equality. I did enjoy this in a nice, fun, YA kind of way, but I can’t say that I got an over riding vibe of feminism coming from this. Had this been sold to me as teenage girl with serious mum issues spending the summer in a foreign country trying to make sense of her dysfunctional family I’d have enjoyed it so much more. The story line with Amber’s mum was so interesting and though I usually get annoyed with whiney white kids moaning about their parents, I was totally with Amber on this one. I’m not saying this isn’t feminist, I think there are many things that make it feminist, but I can’t say it is the most feminist thing I’ve ever read.

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!

  • Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
  • Brooklyn
  • Tropic Thunder
  • Bridget Jones’ Baby
  • Cockneys Vs Zombies

 

TV I watched his month:

  • Great British Bake Off
    Best enjoy it while we can, eh?
  • Gilmore Girls
    WHY DO YOU KEEP BLOWING HOLES IN MY SHIP.
  • Ripper Street
  • Adolf and Eva – Love and War
    I am a massive history nerd and love learning about World War 2 so I couldn’t resist this documentary about Eva Braun, I don’t know an awful lot about her, so this was super interesting!
  • Brooklyn 99
    I’ve never seen this before and it is legit the funniest thing I’ve seen in a very long time! Also I’ve accidentally fallen for Jake Peralta and I can’t get up.
  • Go 8 bit
  • Teen Wolf
    Netflix just uploaded the first two series and its been forever since I watched this show… So…
  • Gogglebox

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

The 1975's reading set on the tv and updating the scrap book only six months behind…

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Full of food and walking around Bishop's Palace with mum – pretty good celebration of my birth so far

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What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

Well, the first thing I saw that made me go YES. YES, LET’S SHOUT THIS FROM THE ROOFTOPS this month is this video from my friend Joe explaining his stance on Nuclear Weapons. Coincidentally, the day after I uploaded a video about reading non fiction, Sophie uploaded this abut non fiction! I got so many recommendations from her video, so thanks Sophie! Other mentions have to go to this episode of Drunk Advice with Rose and Rosie – can these two make videos with Hannah all the time? And while we’re on the subject of Drunk Advice, here’s the episode with the Midnight Beast. I feel like its been a while since Casey Neistat made an appearance, so here’s his vlog showing us how the other half live with this incredible airplane journey. And I can’t not mention my bae, danisnotonfire and the hilarious story of how he almost blinded himself.