Sunday, 22 May 2016

Sunday Sundries: New Things!

Happy Sunday, everyone! Here in merry old England it is warm but kinda cloudy and I am not into that at all, so I'm essentially staying in my room, 'tidying' (blogging) and 'looking for jobs' (reading) because what else are Sundays for? Exactly.

So, I missed last week's Sunday Sundries. MY BAD. It's especially my bad because the most exciting thing (to me) happened and it deserves a moment of pause:
I GOT A KITCHENAID. Look at how beautiful it is, I simply cannot cope. I suspect that normal people probably don't really care that much about Kitchenaids, but I've wanted one for a veeeery long time now, and, as I said to my housemate, it's definitely the best consolation prize for all my grandparents being dead that there ever was. (I don't want that to sound flippant and OBViously nothing makes up for it, but this was a present from my mum out of her inheritance etc etc. And I love it.)

I feel like it might be a better present for everyone who knows me than for me because I am so eager to use it at all times that I keep baking things. I made cupcakes the day after I got it, and then less than a week later (i.e. Wednesday) I made a chocolate loaf cake (so good) and I'm considering making some cookies today, so, yeah. I'm baking the hell out of stuff, does anyone want some baked goods because seriously, I want to make them!

In further excitement, I went to see King Lear and it was actually quite a good production (King Lear is notoriously difficult to perform and stage). Even better, I bought the cheapest ticket because I'm not a millionaire, but I presume they didn't sell enough (poor Shakespeare) so I got upgraded to a way better seat for no money, which totally felt like winning.
Last weekend I went out with work and got preeeeeetty drunk which was great, and Saturday I went to this Harry Potter comedy parody... thing with my sister. It was funny, BUT I felt like the performers found it funnier than I did, and I couldn't help thinking that with all of my Harry Potter experience and experience of being fucking hilarious I could kind of have done a better job? And yet. I still enjoyed myself so I shouldn't really complain.

And now we realise that it's a good job that I didn't Sunday Sundries at you last week, because I don't really have anything to tell about this week, apart from, you know, work and so on. Friday was my dad's birthday so I went to see him and eat food, then slept at my parents' so I could meet my auntie's boyfriend's dog (I have my priorities right) and also to be fed and generally looked after for a day because who doesn't want that?! Nobody, that's who.

Which just about brings us up to now. In book news, I'm really trying to read less books at once which is why I started two new books this week when I was already reading two (*sigh*) but being in the middle of four books is still less than I was in the middle of at the start of May, so... baby steps? In life news, the soundtrack to my entire life for the whole of May so far has been the soundtrack to Hamilton, and OH MY GOD. I feel like a fool for not listening to all of the Americans I know (sorry, guys) in like January about how good it is, but I have now learnt my lesson and it's all I can listen to. If I had a bucket list, basically all that would be on it at the moment is seeing Hamilton (and it better come to London soon, or so help me God...) and ARGH HOW IS IT SO GOOD?!?!?!?!?!

I know. I'm a thousand years behind everything. But at least I know now!

So that is me. What have you been up to, tell me everything.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Devouring Books: The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan

In reviewing The Omnivore's Dilemma, the devouring part of my blog name becomes important in two different ways- not only is this a book about food, and what we devour on a daily basis and how we should instead be devouring, it is also a book I absolutely devoured, being, as it is, both incredibly informative, and also really well written.

I don't really read that much non-fiction, even though I tend to enjoy it when I do, because a lot of the time it is fairly poorly written, so for this to be on a subject I'm really interested in AND eminently readable made it a real treat to read. Pollan is a journalist as well as a human interested in food, which I guess is why he's so good at writing, and The Omnivore's Dilemma goes from something that could have been really dry and dull and not that convincing to a masterpiece of non-fiction that has made me think a lot about the way I eat and the way I would prefer the world to be.

The book is split into three sections, each focusing on a different way of growing (or rearing) food and what it actually looks like. The first section looks at the industrial food chain, and how, in this world, growing crops and raising animals has become something incredibly removed from nature, so that yield rather than quality is the only thing that matters. I was genuinely shocked by the amount of corn that America grows and how much it is subsidised by the government, but also by how many ingredients are made from it and so how many processed foods contain corn. (Side note: I feel like in the UK we don't really use high fructose corn syrup and so it's possible we maybe have less of a corn-based diet. But I'm sure there's not that much of a difference). 

He also makes this incredibly excellent point:
"In the industrial food economy, virtually the only information that travels along the food chain linking producer and consumer is price. Just look at the typical newspaper ad for a supermarket. The sole quality on display here is actually a quantity: tomatoes $0.69 a pound; ground chuck $1.09 a pound; eggs $0.99 a dozen- special this week. Is there any other category of product sold on such a reductive basis?"
I feel like, in general, we think of cheaper products as being of poorer quality, but when it comes to food, the cheaper we can get it, the more of a deal we believe we're getting. It really made me think about the way I buy food, which to be fair is as cheap as possible because I'm really poor, but the same goes for food as goes for anything else- you really do get what you pay for.

The second part of the book focuses on organic food, and if you're reading this book and you try to eat mostly organic and feel pretty good about yourself, then you're not allowed to because organic doesn't really mean what you think it does, it seems. For an animal to be considered organic, for example, it just has to have been fed using organic corn (this even includes cows, who shouldn't really be eating corn anyway), and organic has gone from a grassroots movement to something that's just one remove from industrial farming anyway. The thing is, even though this is a fairly depressing thing to know, Pollan never dwells on the fact that it's kind of terrible, but merely looks at the way it has been before, and tentatively suggests ways in which things could, and maybe should, be different.

The final part of the book is where Pollan gets a bit personal, and where the inevitable question of vegetarianism comes into things. I think there were many points in reading this where I could feel slightly smug that I wasn't a part of the problems described by factory farming of animals, and so Pollan's own consideration of the topic was interesting to read. Essentially, I think he does a better job of justifying his decisions than does Barbara Kingsolver (ugh) and actually it made me think about the reasons I don't eat meat and made me probably admit to myself that if I could get some meat that I had some kind of guarantee had had a pretty nice life, then actually, yeah, I'd probably eat it. So actually that was an interesting lesson for me to learn about myself, or maybe actually I just really want a steak.

A steak because, although I would say bacon, this book has probably put me off ever eating pig again ever. Because, apparently, pigs get so incredibly depressed and distressed being in confinement on factory farms that if the pig directly behind them bites off their tail (because of the distress) then they're too depressed to even care about it. HOW IS THAT OK WTF ARE WE ALLOWING TO HAPPEN HERE?! Other fun facts: mushrooms are really weird and we don't really know anything about them, basically everything on the McDonald's menu contains corn, and the guy who developed fertiliser also developed Zyklon B, AND HE WAS JEWISH, although (probably thankfully he died before the Holocaust), and these are just the ones I can remember. Seriously, this book is really good.

And so. I fully recommend that everyone read this book (I am literally trying to lend it to everyone all the time at the moment), and become more aware and caring about the things you buy to eat, not just when it comes to meat, but also in general, for your health, and for the planet. Peace out, hippie whatnot and whosits.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Sunday Sundries: Summer is here, so obviously I am getting harassed

Sunday greetings, fellow internetians!
I have had a week of life and it has been ok! Let's see... I had both Monday and Wednesday off this week because of blessed bank holidays and being generally underemployed respectively, and it was pretty great. Last Sunday I went to the seaside and had the world's best ice cream:
so Monday I just spent pretending it was Sunday and went to see my parents and whatnot. Wednesday I had a whole load of life admin to do, but that was mostly non-time consuming and so I spent the majority of the day outside reading The Omnivore's Dilemma and feeling mightily pleased with myself (harassment story to come). And THEN yesterday I went to big London because there was an exhibition I wanted to see and it's finishing next week and, even though it was approximately 5000ÂșC yesterday, I couldn't deal with the possibility of not seeing it, and so off I went to sweat on trains and the tube and in Hyde Park and basically everywhere I went.

On the exhibition: it's at the Natural History Museum and it's called Otherworlds, and essentially it's really amazing photos of the planets, moons and asteroids in our solar system as well as, y'know, the sun. I think I probably don't talk enough about how much I love space here, but I really fucking love space, and this exhibition was kind of partially science and partially art which is pretty much how I like my life (and exhibitions). Mercifully it was also dark and cool, unlike the rest of the Natural History Museum which was like an oven. I spent the rest of the day eating lunch in Hyde Park, and then strolling down to Oxford Street to buy some things (many things...) (I bought a swimming costume, when am I even going to swim, what has become of my life?)

Anyway. The sun is out so I am generally a happy Laura, and also I have been wearing summery dresses that show a lot of boobage. And my god. The men have been feral, it's kind of gross. If we discount the number of times I saw my chest get eye contact yesterday (that's right fellas, I noticed), I've had two separate guys in cars being pervs. The worst was on Wednesday, when I was innocently walking down my road when this guy in a van (of course) drove past, actually LICKED HIS LIPS, and shouted 'nice tits!' I didn't disagree with him, but didn't exactly need the validation in such a gross way. Yesterday, though, I was walking home from the station laden with bags when I heard a beep and saw this old guy driving past me and grinning. I was so perplexed by this that I assumed he was trying to tell me I'd dropped something or whatever, but I looked around me, saw nothing, so assumed my breasts had been spotted again.

I don't really know where I'm going with this. Having read Everyday Sexism, I know that many women feel threatened and upset by this kind of thing, whereas I mostly just feel pissed off and, y'know, confused. It's still a really weird phenomenon- the intention isn't for these dudes to actually ever have a meaningful interaction with you, and they can't possibly think it's alluring in any way to just yell things at girls, so why do these guys do it? Is it the horribly misguided belief that their opinion on women's bodies matters even the slightest bit? Or is it, as my friend pondered, that they just haven't been weaned yet?
Either way, it doesn't affect my life in the sense that I'm going to stop wearing whatever the fuck I want at all times of the year, but if anyone wants to give me an insight into the minds of these dudes, I'd definitely be willing to hear that.

But anyway- I hope you all have a fabulous week, with much sunshine and many opportunities to let your girls get a bit of air. I am barely going to be home for dinner at all this week, which is very exciting, and I shall let you know all about that next week.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Things I Read In April

Aprillllll. You were weird and excellent at times, but also really rubbish at others. I got to see some of my favourite people and go to the Kent coast and get unspeakably drunk, but I also celebrated my first birthday with no grandparents and got rejected from a job I kinda wanted and had some emotional messiness going on. I'd love to blame the fact that I didn't read very much on any or all of these things, but whilst being emotional and seeing lovely people does indeed take up some time, I definitely had more time to read than the amount of books I finished suggests.

To be completely fair to me, I am in the middle of approximately 400 books (actual number... about 5 or 6?) so if I had been focused on less things at once I could probably have sneaked another couple in there, but as it is, I just read a modest three books this month, mostly on the train to and from Kent. The books!

Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Murakami! One has to treat oneself in one's birthday month, I feel, and what better way to do that than a Murakami? I read this in a couple of days, so obviously I liked it that much, but I also have some qualms. Not qualms, exactly, but little niggles that made it not-quite-perfect for me. So essentially the story follows Tsukuru as he goes back through his past in order to figure out why his friends all stopped talking to him one summer during university, so that he can move on with his life and kind of be a proper person, in the way he hasn't since this happened. It's all good stuff, but the thing is... It wasn't that weird? And I don't mean that as a compliment since we're talking about Murakami. There are elements of oddness and unease as in all his books, but they are also all explained away as dreams or kind of visions or whatever, which made everything less weird than usual. The ending is INFURIATING (but in the way it's supposed to be, which almost makes it better except aghhhh no) and overall I just came away feeling like 'yeah, I liked you... But not as much as lots of other Murakamis'.

But still, it's Murakami so it's better than like 95% of other books.

In The Country of Last Things by Paul Auster
I HAVE REVIEWED THIS ALREADY! See? It's right here. In case you can't be bothered to read it though, essentially it's a very human dystopian tale, it's short enough that you don't mind carrying it on a train, and it's Auster so it's always pretty great. BOOM read it.

By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart
I bought this book for the title. It's such a good title. I started to read it almost as soon as I got it, but gave up really quickly because I was very tired and it was very very poetical prose. The blurb tells me that Elizabeth Smart had 4 children with a man who was another woman's husband, and By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept is essentially based on her experience with that, and I'm glad the blurb told me that because I'm not sure I would have grasped it from the book. What I'm saying is this: This book was beautiful to read, and the sentences are wonderful, but I'm not sure I really grasped the story at any point (sort of like The Great Gatsby, only worse. Or more poetic. Or something). Even now I'm not even sure if I can tell you that I conclusively liked it, and I had the hardest time deciding whether to keep it or not (as part of my strict anti-sentimentality of books policy, I have to decide with every book I read if I'm going to read it again or not, and if not it has to go).

I've kept it because it's beautiful and because I really want to understand what I read. And because dammit, just look at the damn title, I can't even.

So yeah, books! I read 'em. Go me! What did you read in April?

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?