Friday, 29 April 2016

Devouring Books: In The Country of Last Things by Paul Auster

In The Country of Last Things has so many things about it that meant there wasn't even the smallest chance I wasn't going to love it. It is, first and foremost, a letter from a woman in a desperate situation to (it seems) the man she used to love. Books that are basically a long letter are a Thing That I Enjoy, cause I think it's a really good and subtle way to bring up past events, and also because it feels so intimate to be reading someone else's letters.

I also REALLY love dystopian fiction, which this novel also is. Anna is trapped in a nameless city that she entered to look for her brother and now isn't allowed to leave, and this place is like the end of the world whilst (it seems) the rest of the world is still going on as normal on the outside. Anna's struggle to survive is gripping and stressful and not a little heartbreaking, and that little letter writing trick works wonders again for not being mad at the amount of exposition that has to happen in order to explain what the city is like. Anna is a reporter of things to her person outside of the city, and a reporter to us, too. It's a pretty great way to tell a story.

You know who else is pretty great? Paul Auster. I've read a lot of his books because he's great, but I haven't enjoyed one in a long time as much as I enjoyed this, mostly because they're not as wonderful and dystopian as this. Auster, as opposed to say, Stephen King, takes a dystopia and instead of focusing on all of the gross things that happen (rotting flesh and burning flesh and other flesh related grossness) he takes us through it through the eyes of one character and lets us see the psychological impact of this broken world, and what it means to hold onto who you are in the midst of such chaos. I'm not sure if anyone could do this nearly as well as Auster, so I'm really glad he wrote this book.

The blurb on the back of my copy is surprisingly insightful for, you know, blurb, so it seems worth pausing over here (mainly because it relates to something I already wanted to say, mmmkay?) because, this: "this is not just an imaginary, futuristic world- it is one that echoes our own, and in doing so addresses some of our darker legacies." Because, yeah. There's one point where Anna kind of seems to get somewhere in the city, and then BOOM, just like that she's literally back to where she started, and it's just kind of like, isn't life like that sometimes? There also seems to be something Kafkaesque (I shouldn't really use that term until I've read some Kafka...) going on with shifting governments and their different levels of control over the citizens of the city, and I think that essentially this book serves as a reminder not to let governments get too powerful, and of what happens when they give up on an entire place.

I'll give you a hint: It's nothing good.

This book though, is really very good. It's great if you love Paul Auster, it's great if you like dystopian fiction, and it was definitely gripping enough to keep me entertained on a train journey to Canterbury. If that's not a ringing endorsement, then I just don't know what is anymore!

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

27 Before 28, or yes I am old now

Guys, it's me! I'm still alive, I swear! I realise that I have been very lax of late, and to be honest, April has been a WEIRD month. I've kind of been all over the place emotionally and also physically (SOCIALISING, can you believe it?!), I've had a cold for most of it, I've seen two Shakespeares, had lots of wines and have quite generally been living the life. It's been kind of cool, I guess, and we still have a few days of April left! What more can there be?! (Work. Basically just work.)

Anyway. Most importantly this month was my birthday. I traditionally do a birthday post here but oh man, I was so ill the day before and of my birthday, and then other stuff happened, and then more things, and then I went to Kent, and now it's now. The point is, I had a pretty good day in spite of it being my first birthday without any grandparents, I am now old, and it's time for the annual tradition of goal making for the year ahead (minus a couple of weeks, give me a break).

First, though, last year's list. I don't know if this is the kind of thing anyone finds interesting but me, but I really do, and this is my blog so it's here anyway. I did 15 of the things I said I was going to which I think is actually pretty good going! I've been thinking about these lists, and I kind of find that, now that I'm a vaguely busy person and have lots of things that I HAVE to do, the things I end up doing from the list are the things I REALLY want to do, and the stuff that doesn't get done is kind of ok, because I probably didn't want it that much anyway. I don't know if that makes any sense, but it kind of makes sense to me, and that's good enough.

The list, though.

26 Before 27

1. Get a bloody Masters
2. Write 15,000 words over the summer without dying
3. Run 500 km- Essentially I didn't run at all over the summer and then late November I REALLY hurt my back, so I've only just started again
4. Read War and Peace- Yeah, no
5. Get a tattoo
6. Go to London Zoo
7. Go to Bristol Zoo- I kind of ran out of time when I was in Bristol, but I will try again!
8. Do proper London book shopping
9. Bake at least 26 things- Weirdly wasn't in much of a baking mood all year
10. Blog at least twice a week-Ahem. Yeah, sorry about that
11. Go somewhere new
12. Do a Parkrun- See above, re: running
13. Do two 5ks in 2 weeks!
14. Go to the British Library
15. Go to the Globe
16. See the Hogwarts Express
17. Make a pop culture embroidery
18. Do morning yoga on work days- I did this a few times but I got dizzy this one time so gave up. I did get a new yoga app and pretty much did some yoga every day in March though, so I feel ok about this
19. Stop buying crap I don't need
20. Save some damn money
21. Read 10 books before buying a new one- to be fair, I didn't buy THAT many books... But I also didn't buy none. So.
22. Watch all the Studio Ghibli Films on Tivo- The easiest thing on the list and I didn't do it. Go figure.
23. Go vegan for a month- One day, man.
24. Give up diet coke for a month- I gave up diet coke for like 10 days and basically wanted to die. I'm just not ready yet! I did have an alcohol free month (nearly) though, so yeah.
25. Write more paper letters/notes 
26. Make Christmas presents for everyone this year 

There are a couple of things that are kind of a lie- I still haven't been inside the Globe, for example, and 'stop buying crap I don't need' is kind of arbitrary, but I feel like I've been getting better at it, with the exception of my pop vinyl addiction that needs to stop (and kind of already has) (but I NEEDED them). A few things have been so successful that I have kind of assimilated them into my everyday life- I am the bomb at writing letters/notes now, and I fully intend to make Christmas presents again this year- and THAT is kind of what this list is for, I think- for figuring out the things I want to spend my time doing, and weeding out the things I don't. I'd much rather lay in bed for longer than do morning yoga, for example, but that just means I need to think about another way that I want to fit exercise into my life.

It's all about growing and changing and oh my god please stop me before I sound like a motivational speaker or something.

Anyway. This year, I have a list as usual. But I think what I'm going to do is post my progress on the list as I go along. Obviously this isn't going to be relevant for some of the stuff on there (give blood more often, for example- Nobody wants to see that!) but I want to keep up generally with the stuff I'm doing and also apparently I need more ideas for blog posts since I never fucking do the blogging what is wrong with me?! (life). Whether this actually happens or not remains to be seen, but there we go. Nonetheless, here they are:

27 before 28

1. Give blood regularly- I used to do this all the time, but haven't for a couple of years and then I got a tattoo and basically I feel bad about it. I'm back on it now, though.

2. Go to the dentist- I realise that as a grown up this shouldn't be on my list, but there it is. I haven't been for SO LONG and I need to and even though I'm like 'ugh moneyyyy' I'm also like 'but... teeth are more important than, like, having stuff' so yeah.

3. Keep saving monies- I was surprised last year both at how well this went and how easy it was to just save a teeny bit of money a month. I'm so into doing this again this year because goddamn I want to go to Japan so badly.

4. Learn the Japanese- I'm still trying. I really am. I'm trying to be patient with myself because it really doesn't come naturally. But it's coming.

5. Do the Race for Life- Signed up for Margate in July with Bex. Now just have to do the fucker! (You can sponsor me heeeeeere btdubs please and thank you).

6. Redo couch to 5k- But properly. So I can actually continuously run by the end of it. I'm confident about my chances!

7. Surpass 500km in Nike Running- At last count, this means running 137km this year. This seems fully doable.

8. Don't buy ANY new books (kind of)- I've had enough of having an unbearable amount of books to read, and it's only made worse by buying new ones. THIS HAS TO STOP but also I'm not fully banning myself cause it makes me unhappy. So... Kind of don't buy any new books unless I have to kind of?!

9. Continue being less sentimental about books- I don't know if I've mentioned but I've fully been finishing books and getting rid of them straight away. I've been giving up on books early if they don't grab me. THIS IS PROGRESS and I want to carry on with it.

10. Read War and Peace- THIS IS THE YEAR. You know, maybe.

11. Read all the Stephen King- Right. This Stephen King thing has really gone on long enough. I have 18 books to finish before I've read all of his stuff, and I'm really going to try and read all of the things. I don't know if I'm going to get it done BUT this is a Mission Statement of action and whatnot. *nods definitively*

12. Blog at least twice a week- I'M REALLY GOING TO TRY. Make it a habit and all.

13. Do NaNoWriMo again- This is a bit of a tentative goal because who knows what my life is going to be doing in November and I did NaNoWriMo before when I lived at home and had way less general life admin to do, whereas now I have to feed myself and all. However, I need to write things I think, so if not NaNoWriMo, then something. Something.

14. Make at least 10 beautiful things- And now with the things I can blog about! These things obviously don't all have to be for me, but I wanna make nice things and yeah.

15. Try one new Lush bath bomb a month- I just wanna have 12 nice baths this year and maybe take pictures of them, ok?

16. Have a Hummingbird Bakery Afternoon Tea- I've wanted to do this ever since I've learned it was a thing and whenever I talk to people about it they seem into it, so I'm definitely going to make it happen this year!

17. Go to Bristol Zoo- It's a thing, Imma try and make it happen (again)! I actually need to go to Bristol some time when it's not for a run so I can actually enjoy myself, so going to try and make that happen too!

18. Go to the beach this summer- I didn't do ANY of the important summer things last year because I had to stay inside and read about Shakespeare and cartoons and whatnot. THIS YEAR, Imma fix that, and go to all the beaches.

19. Have many picnics this summer- See above.

20. Go somewhere new- Standard goal. I'm not sure where since I feel like I've exhausted my friend visiting options in this country, but I'll figure out a place, I'm sure!

21. Explore the Natural History Museum- I have been there, but it was a while ago and I definitely missed the dinosaurs because there was a queue and ugh, no. Coincidentally there's an exhibition there I want to see that ends in a couple of weeks and so that seems like a good time to do that.

22. Go to a Butterfly House- This is cheating slightly because there is a butterfly house kind of next to the Natural History Museum and Imma totally go there because I think they're magical. But, in general, I will take all the chances to go to a butterfly house.

23. Go to the Shakespeare Exhibition at the British Library- It's on from now until September, I think I can manage it. 

24. See Titus Andronicus somewhere- So the deal is- I've now seen A Midsummer Night's Dream onstage and I'm seeing Romeo and Juliet in June. Titus Andronicus will then be the only Shakespeare in my dissertation that I haven't seen, so if I have the opportunity then by golly I'm going to!

25. Make Frances see Les Mis with me- So Frances and I said a long time ago that instead of buying each other birthday and Christmas presents that year, we'd see Les Mis. And we still haven't. Because we're the worst. I am going to make this happen because damn I wanna see Les Mis again!

26. Go Vegan for a Month- I mean... I've probably aimed to do it every year? So maybe I'll actually try it this year? Time will tell!

27. Harbour Positivity and Expel Negativity- This is a pretty obvious thing to do. SPECIFICALLY- I feel like everyone who hangs out with me lately has to endure (along with all the excellent things I have to say, of course!) at least 3 rounds of 'no one loves meeeee' and also 'but why don't I have a boyfriend?' I think a little bit of self pity is fine every so often, but I KNOW the girls who say things like this and I DON'T wanna be them, so yeah. Trying to stop.


BOOM. Apologies that this post has been a bit TL:DR, but we had a lot of goal making and catching up to do, kids! I think we all did really well. And now you know all the things I'm going to be doing for the coming year so congratulations for that! Yay everything! (kinda)

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Things Imma Probably Read Soon

You know what I haven't done for a while? I thought to myself as I sat in my room one night. I haven't made a sexy pile of books that I want to read kind of soon-ish for such a long time. I should do that right now. LOOK WHAT HAPPENED:
It's pretty. I kind of want to lick it.

So. I have literally no idea if The Broke and the Bookish still do Top Ten Tuesdays (or if, in fact, they even still exist as a blog. Do they?!*) but long after I got tired of making lists of characters I wanted to hang out with, I still enjoyed doing the top ten spring, summer, autumn and winter reads list because picking books to read is totally the most fun a person can have ever. So, this is my slightly late spring reading pile, with, if you'll care to notice, ten books in it. #tbt, if you like (I know, it's Wednesday, shut up) but here are the books and why I want to read them:

  • Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger- I really quite strongly dislike The Catcher in the Rye, but really quite strongly like Franny and Zooey. I'm hoping Nine Stories is a lot more like the latter, and would you just LOOK at how damn portable it is!
  • Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee by Dee Brown- I remember reading a review of this a really long time ago that knocked my socks off, and even though I've had it for quite a while, I still haven't read it. Now is the time to rectify this, I reckon.
  • The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan- This book actually started this pile off, for I thought, 'Hey, I really want to read that book' and since I was over at my shelves already, why not pick out the rest of the books I want to read? Why not INDEED.
  • Born to Run by Christopher McDougall- I really want to get into running again since I'm about to be so incredibly old, and I feel like the way to do this is with reading (of course). I'm not even sure that I know what this book is about, only that I bought it when I WAS super into running and would read anything about it. I'll let you know how both the book and the exercise goes.
  • By Grand Central Station I Sat Down And Wept by Elizabeth Smart- I literally only bought this book for the title, but when I tried to read it a while ago I kind of just rolled my eyes and it seemed like too much. HOWEVER, I recently saw it in Waterstones and it was totally near me so I read a bit and it was much better than I remembered so now I'm definitely into trying to read it again. Plus, it's another teeeeeny portable book and I need those in my life.
  • Landing by Emma Donoghue- Emma Donoghue is my homegirl but I haven't read any of her books for ages. Sorting that out RIGHT NOW.
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez- I have to confess: I didn't really like Love in the Time of Cholera. I have tried to read THIS book and couldn't really get anywhere with it, so this is basically my final Marquez attempt (no pressure, book). If I don't like it, then it goes, no questions asked. 
  • Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami- Because Murakami is my homeboy, and, well, I read a new book of his like all the time but I wanna read this and it's my birthday soon and also shut up.
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy- Just some light spring reading... Yeah. I wanted to read this during this last year of my life which was an interesting goal, but I really do want to read it soon, mainly because my reward for that will be the BEAUTIFUL Clothbound version that I only knew existed after I got this one... *grumbles*
  • V For Vendetta by Alan Moore- Because every season is the right season for Alan Moore. You dig?
I am actually pretty excited by this pile, by which I mean it's been on my table for about a week now and I'm not bored of it yet. I also plan on finishing To Kill A Mockingbird and the last Dark Tower book over the next few months or whatever, but these books are the ones I am currently most excited about. YAY READING MY OWN DAMN BOOKS!






*Update: They fully do still exist. They even still do Top Ten Tuesdays! Where have I been?

Monday, 4 April 2016

Things I Read in March

Oh man. Not only am I late with my Things I Read in March post (I'm tryyyying to post them on the first of each month... I have now failed), I've also just opened it up hoping to see it already started and... it is not. I am such a deadbeat blogger these days that it's unreal, and I apologise profusely for my failings!

Mostly to myself. But anyway.

Things I read in March! There are quite a lot of them because comic books are magic. We won't talk about things I reviewed in March because that is basically nothing, but reading happened and that's all that matters? Maybe.

If On A Winter's Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino
I was going to review this fully but it's definitely not going to happen, so here's how I feel: I'm glad I finally read If On A Winter's Night A Traveller because I feel like I've been 'meaning to' read it forever and just never manage to, but it hasn't become an instant favourite. To start with it was because I felt like the reader ('you'- the book is written in the second person... Kinda...) was assumed to be male and I was not down with that, but I forgave that when this was rectified later on. However, for me it was almost TOO inventive, in that, although it made me think about the nature of reading and all the different ways one can be a reader, it's so odd that it doesn't give you characters or even really a plot and I just don't have time for stuff like that.

In short: I think it would be awesome to study, but didn't really do anything for me as a general fun reading experience.

Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg
Texts from Jane Eyre is fully awesome. It sets my heart on fire and brings me joy. It's kind of gimmicky but it's also pretty spot on, and I especially recommend the Wuthering Heights section, which is so awesome I had to send it to Frances in its entirety (sample: "Cathy: do you want to make out right now? Heathcliff: god no. I want to wait until you're dead and then rip up the earth over your grave and crawl inside" BECAUSE THAT'S NORMAL!) There's also a lot of Shakespeare, but since so many of the classics are covered, you're probably going to find something to tickle your literary funny bone.

Kick Ass by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.
I think that's the cover off just one of the issues of Kick-Ass, but never mind... Kick-Ass! I watched the film a very long time ago (ok, like 6 years) and it was pretty great, and I finally got the chance to read the comic because Bex is great and lent me all the comics in the world. I'd love to tell you that I remember this really well but I kind of don't... I feel like it was deeper than the movie and more intense about the nature of violence, but I could be very wrong because of how long ago I saw the movie. This is therefore a total bust and I'm sorry I started to be honest, so let's just say... I read this! I definitely liked it. Boom

Kill Shakespeare Vol. 4 by Andy Belanger and co.
HAVE I EVEN TALKED ABOUT KILL SHAKESPEARE HERE BEFORE OMFG?! So. I totally wrote a bit of my dissertation on the first two volumes of Kill Shakespeare because I am a fool who thought it was a good idea to write about comics (it was, I had a lot of fun with it, but I probably could have got a better mark by writing about, like, feminism or something. But anyway.) What these comics do essentially is take characters from Shakespeare and pit them against each other, keeping their character traits in tact but shifting them round to fit the writers' desires. The Mask of Night is maybe my least favourite of the series (so far... I'm so hoping that there are more!) but that doesn't mean it was bad, just that it was shorter and there weren't that many characters involved, and also it finished with millions of pages left and I felt tricked because I'd taken it on a bus to read and then had nothing to read. SO RUDE. But anyway. As a Shakespearean Master and someone who likes comics a normal amount, I fully recommend this series in general, and this volume is totally fine too.

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

This is an adorable, teeny novella by Rainbow Rowell, the maestro of everything I want to read in life. I read it in less than an hour, and it's about a guy and a girl who meet in line for the new Star Wars film and it is, dare I say it again, just adorable. Clearly I don't have any more adjectives for it, but it's worth a read and more than worth the actual £1 it cost me.

Armada by Ernest Cline
I have... Feels about Armada. I'm not sure if I'm going to review this properly or not (recent form says: probably not) but I think we all wanted Cline to write another Ready Player One, and this is not that. I was really unsatisfied with the ending, I was actively bored at the beginning, but at a certain point this changed from a book I didn't really care about to one I couldn't stop reading, even if the ending didn't satisfy me at all. I don't really know what you're going to take from that, but that's how it is, basically. 

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Eleanor and Park ended up being the only book I finished for the rereadathon, but I loved it so much more than I remembered loving it. I have already reviewed it here, and stand by everything I said in that review, but it just seemed to have so much muchness this time around. I think I might be a little bit sensitive to doomed love stories at the moment, but it just filled my heart with joy and then sadness, and it's just so perfect. I need there to be Rowell clones made up so they can produce about 20 books a year and then that's all I'll need to read. Can someone get on that please?

Marbles by Ellen Forney 
(can we all tell yet that I'm getting bored of finding images of book covers...)
I found Marbles in the library on literally the 30th March, and by the end of the day I'd finished it because of the magic that is comic books. Although this book hit so many of my sweet spots (comic book, memoir, mental illness) I found that I didn't really love it as much as I wanted to, or at least thought I was going to. The memoir deals with Forney's bipolar diagnosis and how she dealt with it (not very well) and although I like her drawing style and actually her storytelling, I think I had more of a problem with how things went down, in that I was frustrated with her inability to follow medical advice and then being surprised when things went wrong. The book also sort of promises a look at the connection between mental illness and creativity, but only follows through on it to a really limited degree before turning swiftly back to Forney and her specific issues. Basically, not my favourite comic book memoir ever (Fun Home or Persepolis, if you wanted to know).

Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates
I have been reading Everyday Sexism for approximately a billionty years, but I have had to stop reading it quite a lot of times because I just got too ridiculously angry to carry on. I finally finished it on the last day of the month, but I was definitely almost too ridiculously angry to finish it ever. I think this is a really important book, but I also think it won't necessarily reach the people who need it the most- women who don't know about feminism, women who think that feminism isn't needed anymore, men who catcall, abuse, attack and generally demean women every single day in a myriad of ways. The book is part stories from real women about the abuse they face on a daily basis, and part Bates's own words and work, shoring up individual tales of woe with stark and damning statistics to make it clear that this isn't just the story of one woman, but that of many many women, every single day. 

I can't promise that it won't make you hate the entire world and the way it is skewed towards one gender (and race... and sexuality... etc etc) but it might also make you want to change the world, the way that I think Bates's Everyday Sexism project has, just a little bit. If nothing else, it provides you with so much ammunition against the people who say 'but what's wrong with catcalling anyway? I think it's flattering!' and so many other things besides. If you are an English person, the kindle version of this book is only £1.99 on amazon, and I really can't stress enough how important I think it is that people read this book, anger and frustration aside. Take as long as you need, and as many anger breaks as necessary, but please just read it. 

BOOM, March done. I also started a few books in March that may or may not get finished in April, but either way I think I did a pretty good job this month, especially considering how much time getting obsessed with yoga took up! WOO GO READING.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Sunday Sundries: I Kind Of Like Animals, You Dig?

Howdy guys!
So this has been a week of weekness, huh? Having 4 days off work in a row was, I don't mind saying, absolutely effing spectacular, but it weirdly made the week back at work feel SO MUCH LONGER than usual. And I say this as a person who had Wednesday off as well! It was a very strange one, and we were definitely all feeling it, and I've never been more relieved for a weekend than I was for this one. (That's a lie, I definitely have been, but I like to deal in hyperbole, to be honest).

And this weekend! I mean, I'm writing this on Saturday night so I guess things could go downhill, but today was so awesome. I had a bit of an impromptu visit to Birdworld with my friend Chloe (impromptu in that she was always going to go, but her friend cancelled on her so she asked if I wanted to go with her and her daughter, and I did!) and it was so much better than I anticipated! I basically agreed to go because my entire plan for the day was doing some washing and maybe going to specsavers to get them to loosen my glasses (that is today's exciting plan!) and I kind of wasn't expecting that much, but Birdworld turned out to be actually awesome!

Listen up, UK friends, as I tell you why you should definitely go to Birdworld. Firstly, there are SO MANY BIRDS. I know you definitely couldn't have gotten that from the name of the place, but I was expecting, you know, a few parrots, some owls, maybe the odd duck... but no! Flamingoes, penguins, toucans, kookaburras- name the bird, and they've probably got one of them. A lot of it is, of course, kind of just looking at birds in cages, but there are areas where you're just thrown in there, with the birds, and sometimes they're flying at you and it's a bit scary but mostly it's just fucking cool.
And this one time, this bird from Finding Nemo totally tried to eat this other bird's head, it was SO COOL.

But wait, there's more! Because there aren't just birds at Birdworld, there's a farm. They have the usual farm animals, plus guinea pigs and bunnies and just generally animals that are nice to pet and cute to look at, but you know what season we're in now? That would be spring. And do you know what happens in spring? THAT would be baby animals being born. I think you know where this is going, so can you guess who spent like half an hour playing with the baby goats?! That would be us. I can't even explain to you the joy of stroking baby goats, so allow this photo to speak for me:
IT IS A BABY GOAT. ON A TYRE. LOOK AT IT. JUST LOOK. IMAGINE THAT YOU'RE ALLOWED TO TOUCH IT I MEAN I CAN'T EVEN!

So anyway. Birdworld is awesome! There's ALSO an aquarium if you're into that sort of thing, which I kind of am not, but at the same time, there's a dwarf crocodile there which is pretty darn cute... I mean deadly. I guess. Anyway. It's a cracking day out, and it's especially cracking when you're not really expecting to go, AND you're not expecting it to be great. Which obviously now you will be expecting so I've just ruined it, haven't I? Daaaamn... I also recommend getting a good friend to go with, cause Chloe is awesome and wins all kinds of awesome awards in my head so yeah. 

So if this weekend was great (which I'm hoping it will continue to be because I'm writing this on Saturday night sooooo...) then this coming week should be even greater. THINGS are going on, to wit: It's my birthday on Saturday! I only have two days at work this week! I am going to THE GLOBE (!!!!!!!) on Wednesday to see The Tempest (!!!)! I have other days off to do stuff! STUFF AND THINGS, PEOPLE! I might even write some bloggity posts, who knows! Stranger things have happened, I guess. I guess... But anyway. I hope you all have wonderful weeks, whatever you're doing! (GO TO BIRDWORLD!)

Monday, 28 March 2016

Rereadathon! Or, I know, I am terrible...

Rereadathon! That is a thing that has been happening this past week (and continues until Wednesday, if you have any pressing things to reread), not that you'd know it from being around this blog... I HAVE FAILED AT EVERYTHING AND I LOVE UPDATING ABOUT READATHONS, SERIOUSLY!

But anyway.  If anyone would like to hear my excuses, I have them and they involve smooshing almost the same amount of work hours into fewer days last week, using the easter weekend to clean, shop, and eat (with a tiiiiiny bit of reading Watchmen which I have fully left at my parents' house), and every single evening doing yoga I am not even kidding. It cuts into my reading time, sure, but do you know how relaxed I am basically all the time now? It is a lot.

Anyway. Why am I even bothering to update you now, I hear you cry? Well. This evening I juuuust finished Eleanor and Park and it is worth talking about because OH MY GOD THIS BOOK. So I first read E&P during one of the 24 hour readathons and I liked it plenty because Rainbow Rowell is a genius and should just write all the things. After I read it, though, I saw everyone everywhere saying it was their favourite Rowell book and I never thought of it as mine because, although I am loathe to pick a favourite, I probably lean more towards Fangirl or Attachments than any of the others (maybe).

But. Oh my god. I think I absolutely read Eleanor and Park too quickly last time because this time? It broke my heart. Shattered it. I'm not ok! Will I be ok again? I'm not entirely convinced. I do now completely understand people saying it's their favourite Rowell (although I'm still not willing to choose!) but more than anything else, I want to emphasise the importance of the reread. Because my GOD! Eleanor and Park could have just passed me by as a very-good-but-not-the-best book, and now I'm just full of the belief that it is The Best. I'd be pretty happy to reread it again right now, if I'm completely honest.

My plan for the next two days is to reread To Kill A Mockingbird, but I've got work tomorrow and a LOT of errands to do on Wednesday (multiple locations and everything!), plus all that yoga, so it might not pan out that way. But even if it doesn't, I've had the best rereading experience with Eleanor and Park and I'm most sincerely thanking Ms. Bex for hosting this grand week and a half of rereading. Even if I only reread one book each time, it's still going to be worth it to revisit some of the very best books I've ever read.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Sunday Sundries: Ummmmm...

So... This week... Happened, I guess?

I don't know when I became such a boring human, but I can't really think of anything that notable that has happened this week. I've realised this is a lie because a few things happened this week, but they're notable in how much I don't want to be notable about them, which is to say, I'd only tell you a really boring story about this stuff and is it even worth ittttt?

Ok, let's do these notables:

  1. Our fridge broke on Monday (booooooo) and despite emailing the church (we rent the house off the church at the end of my road, have I ever mentioned that?) ON Monday, it still took me calling on Friday, getting an 'oh whoops, forgot to do that!' to get a new fridge sorted. Which I did and it's coming on Tuesday and yassssssss!
  2. Our fridge also had a freezer in the bottom. Don't ask me what I've been eating, I don't think you want to know.
  3. In a continuing series of fails, I had to go to Richmond on Wednesday because the prescription in my new glasses was wrong AF (to be fair, Specsavers have amazing customer service and will totally fix it if something's not right) which could have been really dull but I took my mum with me (i.e. she drove me) and we actually had quite a nice outing in the end! Worth the hassle.
  4. I saw my cousin and her baby on Thursday morning so she could wax my eyebrows and we could gossip about whatever and also go to Starbucks, and that was nice! And then I had to go to work and noooooo what shut up what even is this bullshit?
See what I mean about kind of notable but also kind of boring? It's been a pretty good week though, I've been doing yoga EVERY DAY (I know!) even when I didn't feel like it, and I've made some flashcards to try and learn the Japanese alphabet/s which has been... mildly successful? Maybe like 4 successful. I'm pretty lazy, like I've said. 

So this week coming! The re-readathon starts on Monday (woo!) so I might actually write blog posts this week! Or at least one blog post I can update! Fun story about reading this month- I finished Armada yesterday (I have... thoughts. Not good ones. But also good ones. It's complicated.) and thought 'gosh, I've read so many books this month, what is it now, like 10?' and then realised that was the first book I'd finished in a week and I've only read one other novel this month, the rest has been like comic books and teeny novellas and whatnot.

I've just realised that was a story that could have stayed in my head and we all would have been equally as happy. I'm really sorry!

Anyway. I have taken up enough of your Sunday time now, what are you still doing here? Get outside and enjoy the crap out of your lives, go on now, you hear? Good. Good.