October Favourites!

The words September Favourites over a purple watercolour splash.

Can you believe it’s November already?!? ME NEITHER. HOW IS IT EVEN AUTUMN YET. We are creeping towards the end of the year… And I am here with a monthly wrap up, actually kind of on time!

ink swash divider

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera I’d been wanting to read this book for SO LONG and it finally came into my school library! I was pretty excited and it lived up to that — just, like. WOAH. The writing is so good and it was very gripping and also I cried a bunch of times which doesn’t normally happen to me. One of my favourite recent reads.

Middlemarch: The Show This webseries is a modern adaptation of Middlemarch by george Eliot and OH MY GOODNESS IT IS AMAZING. I’m not very far through yet but I LOVE IT and I love everyone! Especially Dot and Fred! And also Max and Celia and Jamie and Billie actually okay I kind of love everyone. My queer heart cannot take it. I’d highly recommend it, and you can watch from the start here!

Warcross by Marie Lu I already did a mini review of this here, but I thought I’d give it a mention here too! I loved the world, it was super enjoyable, and I just couldn’t put it down. Can’t wait for the sequel!

Woke Doctor Who This podcast is, in its own words, a podcast about race and representation with an Asian lady from DC and a Black lady from Baltimore. I’ve only just discovered it but I’m already loving it SO MUCH. I’m a pretty new Doctor Who fan & I’m hoping to take this opportunity to watch over some of the episodes I haven’t yet seen! You can check it out here.

The Great British Bake Off Okay, I was pretty sad when I heard Mary Berry, Mel and Sue were leaving, and I didn’t watch it for the first few weeks because I kept forgetting, but… I admit that I succumbed and now I am very excited by it. (We try to watch it recorded so the ads can be skipped.) All my favourites were out before the final which is unusual and kind of sucked, but I’m still looking forward to the final this evening. I guess I’ll have watched it by the time this comes out? Oh well.

stuff from around the internet:

in the diary:

  • I…was not very good at storing up blog links this month, oops. Or really reading blog posts at all. I’ve been kind of stressed out with school to be honest. This seems to be something that I’m saying often this term, and sadly I’m not sure it’s going to get better. I might even have to take a hiatus here which sucks but at the moment I’m struggling to write blog posts as frequently as I used to.
  • I attended the region selection for international Girlguiding trips — and I got on a trip, yay! I’m still figuring out my gender and I’m not sure if I actually am a girl, so I’m not sure that I should be spending much more time in Guides. But I haven’t come out to my parents yet and I don’t know how to quit otherwise, so for the moment I’m still there. I also didn’t want to quit something I enjoy if I change my mind about gender stuff later? So yeah, I dunno.
  • It was Halloween! I went over to my friend’s house where we played games and ate lots of food which was super fun. My costume was kind of…queer witch? To be honest I don’t know. Just generic witchiness. Also a long ginger wig. Here’s my face, because I’m pleased with this look:

A person with pale skin and long, wavy ginger hair. They wear glasses, dark purple eye makeup and dark lipstick.

how has your month been? done anything nice? what are your plans for november?

 

 

 

 

Winter Favourites!

YES, I AM ALIVE. HI. Yes. Onto favourites it is. Just as I am getting tired of winter, it feels like spring is about to arrive… I can’t wait to have a few less grey and cold days haha. December feels like SO LONG AGO. But here we are, and I must press forwards!

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1. Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour I feel like I’ve read a lot of great books recently, but I loved this one a lot!! It was so aesthetic and lovely and yay for happy queer girls! I thought Emi’s movie production thing was super cool and in general this was just a very happy read for me.

2. Rent I’ve been a fan of Rent for a while, and I was so overjoyed to hear that it was going on a UK tour! (Because it hasn’t been showing anywhere for a good while.) I went to see it at the end of December and aaah it was so excellent! The cast absolutely KILLED it — I was going to list the actors I thought stood out here, but then I kind of started to list them all? — the set was awesome, and overall it just really added to my experience of the cast recording and movie. I’m still flailing.

3. Podcasts I CAN’T FIT EVERYTHING INTO MY POST, noo! I feel like I am basically the only person ever who didn’t enjoy Welcome to Night Vale — I mean, it was cool, but I found it too creepy to listen to alone in the house or at night, which is basically when I listen to podcasts. (They’re great for cleaning.) But I have found others, and I am slowly but surely making my way through Witch, Please, The Adventure Zone, and Penumbra Podcast — all of which are wildly different but each excellent in their own way. If you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them! (Although bear in mind it takes me forever to listen to things haha.)

4. Your Name Oh man, THIS MOVIE. THIS MOVIE. It’s the best movie I’ve seen in absolutely ages. It’s an anime movie, but as with many Ghibli movies the animation is the medium for a really excellent piece of art. (Although the animation was also part of that art.) It starts off kind of like Freaky Friday, with a girl in the country and a boy in Tokyo switching lives but then MORE STUFF HAPPENS. It did exactly something that I look for — seeking out one of those weird indescribable feelings, the ones that give you an ache in your chest. I can’t recommend this highly enough, to be honest. (The soundtrack is also absolutely excellent.)

5. A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab Yeah, no, just excuse me whilst I GO DIE A LITTLE BIT. It’s so, so weird to think that this series is done with — although perhaps I do not flail about it as much as other things, I love it a lot! It’s just so…GOOD. Aah I don’t want to let the characters nooooo. *cries* But if the series had to end, then I think it was in the best way possible.

6. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency I KNOW. I watched a whole TV show in under a month?? Crazy, right?! I’m really terrible at finishing TV shows, but for some reason I found this really easy to watch, and I loved it a lot! Dirk Gently is a smol cinnamon roll. He and Todd are definitely detective boyfriends. Farah and Amanda are definitely detective/awesome person girlfriends. I fully expect this from the next series, okay?

7. Skam I feel kinda bad putting this on here because I haven’t watched all of it — I am just bad at finding TV shows, but yeah. I will watch the other series! Because Noora is beautiful and wonderful and I definitely need to see more of her! I did enjoy the episodes that I’ve watched, though. (I’m also midway through watching Yuri on Ice, which is wonderful. I shall update when I am finished!)

8. When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore I know that I’ve already put this in my various wrap-ups, but MAN IT WAS SO GOOD. I got it for Christmas and it was everything I’d hoped for: magical prose, engaging and complex characters, and again something that really made me feel, deeply. I feel like this is getting really highbrow for a favourites post, but NEVER MIND.

stuff from around the internet:

in the diary:

  • A lot of stuff happened! There was Christmas, when I saw all my family which was really nice. My friends & I also had a stall at our school Christmas fair which was fun, and we managed to raise some money for charity. 🙂
  • I did some technical stuff for my school play which was really exciting… I mean, My job was basically to press the buttons for the cues at the right time, but it’s actually SUPER DIFFICULT and I now have a lot of respect for people who do technical stuff. Although it was quite stressful I’m very glad I did it, especially since a bunch of my friends were there too! (Hopefully I will next year too?)
  • I attended the Women’s March on London, which made me motivated to do stuff. *nods* I also wrote about it if you wish to read!
  • Probably also some other stuff. But I am rather sleep-deprived right now and haven’t written a post in what feels like a very long time, AAH.

how have your last few months been? have you read/seen/listened to anything I mentioned here? how are you doing?

Summer Favourites!

You may have noticed that my monthly favourites just sort of…disappeared from the blog. I know it didn’t have much of an explanation. BUT! Although it might sound hard to believe (I mean, this is me) I actually did have a master plan. 😛 From now on I’m going to be doing round-ups every three months — that is, quarterly. Except it’s going to run from December – February, March – May etc. because seasons and cohesion. Yeah. DON’T ASK. Doing a round-up every month was just becoming a bit of a chore for me, but I still wanted to be able to check in and share the great posts I’ve been reading. Hopefully I’ll start being more organised with keeping track of posts haha!

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1. Nothing’s Real by Shura YAY, I have listening to a bunch of great queer music lately! I first came across Shura when I found her video What’s It Gonna Be? on Tumblr, which to be honest STILL makes me sigh in happiness. It is so wonderful and cute and excellently aesthetic and you all need to click on that link right now…(No, seriously: KEEP WATCHING TO THE END. It’s fab.) Anyway, I bought her full album and it’s awesome and now I might have a tiny crush…? Erm. Anyway.

2. Japanese Woah, guys. I ACTUALLY LEARNT SOME JAPANESE. (I’m attempting to learn some for my trip next year.) I feel so proud of myself. I’ve only done the first few lessons in my textbook (an old edition of Japanese For Busy People) and a bit of a Memrise but I feel very productive. I’ve also signed up to an online course on Minato, so let’s see how that goes.

3. This Savage Song by VE Schwab Let’s be real: it’s a Schwab book. It was always going to end up in my favourites. The writing was beautiful as I per usual and I adored all of the characters! It was also completely awesome to be able to go to one of her events, asdfjkl. (In a subtle bit of self-promotion: here! check out the post where I wrote about it! :P)

4. Isn’t It Strange? by Lauren Aquilina *shrieks* A NEW LOZZA AQ FULL LENGTH ALBUM, WHAT IS LIIIFE. I’ve listened to it in full about 3 times already and…honestly. I think my life is complete. IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL. Expect more flailing in the future. 😉

5. Mr Robot Another programme I finally got round to watching. I find it a bit intense and occasionally a bit of a downer, but it’s a seriously awesome programme. I have 2 episodes left of the first series to watch. (Yes. I know. I watch TV programmes pretty rarely and if I do it’s with the pace of a snail. This is impressive for me.)

6. Serial I downloaded this podcast to my ancient iPod some time ago, but I only recently got round to listening to it. And woah, it’s so gripping! I’d definitely recommend it.

7. Alexander Hamilton  by Ron Chernow I am very proud of myself for finishing this brick of a book. It evens rivals The Brick (aka Les Mis) for historical density. Despite its length, though, I actually found it super readable! And…well. My Hamilton obsession is only increasing, to be honest. I’d recommend it to anyone with an interest in the American Revolution! (Because history actually is as crazy as the musical.)

8. Slovenia and Croatia So, my big trip this summer was travelling with Guides around Slovenia and Croatia! I’d been fundraising and working together with 13 other girls from my area for just under a year and the trip was absolutely AMAZING. I mean…Girlguides is a little weird for me, because obviously everyone assumes you’re a girl. But it was so nice and asadfjkl I AM FILLED WITH JOY FOR GUIDING & SCOUTING. If you guys ever get the chance to go on an international trip with a scouting organisation I’d definitely recommend it! ❤

stuff from around the internet:

  • I wrote about the Unforgivable Curses for #PotterheadJuly and I am still quite proud of that post. I just…enjoy fun Harry Potter things ahaha.
  • Well, er, Brexit happened. I talked about it just beforehand and just after. You’ll probably see some difference… -_-
  • I talked about all the languages I really want to learn! For some reason this post was super popular…? I have no idea hy, but YAY. It’s been wonderful flailing about languages with everyone! ❤
  • The Finding Our Feet project is finally live! I’ve been working this in collaboration with Em @ Adventures of a Lost Teen and Victoria @ Addlepates and Book Nerds. I do hope you enjoy it. 🙂
  • Chiara @ Delicate Eternity wrote a guest post on The Daily Prophecy about the importance of LGBTQ+ retellings, along with many recommendations.
  • Both alwaysopinionatedgirl and Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense wrote about the wonderfulness of Ginny Weasley and why she is more than just a love interest. *coughs* like the movies made her out to be *coughs*
  • Michelle @ The Writing Hufflepuff created the Amsterdam Book Tag, which is SERIOUSLY cool. And I definitely need to do it. Everyone: PLEASE REMIND ME TO DO THIS.
  • The world has been blessed with new Hayley Kiyoko music and a video! Mmm, the song is called Gravel to Tempo seriously wonderful.
  • Look! The cast of Class! Only the new Doctor Who spin off written by Patrick Ness. I am…actually really excited for this ahaha. *nods* It’s due to air around October, which will hopefully keep me surviving through school.
  • Ayy, the BBC is making a Les Mis miniseries. I AM SO HYPED. I was so hyped that I even wrote about all the things I want to see in it. I will doubtless be nattering to you all about this in the future, because HELLO I am still very much a Les Mis nerd haha.

in the diary:

  • Well. June was a little dominated by a) internal exams over the first half and b) Brexit over the second. I mean…I don’t want to write a massive thing about Brexit now because that’s a whole post in itself. I think it’s fair to say that whilst I am feeling a lot better about it, it’s always a jolt in my mind when I remember. :/ I just finished reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton and he’s all like tryign to create a system with a balance of government and people. And I do feel like this is an example of something popular but not good… Like, WHY ARE WE MAKING THINGS SO DIFFICULT ON PURPOSE. But yeah. Anyways. British politics is crazy right now ahaha.
  • However, June was also Pride month! This was my first time actually reading & participating slightly more in stuff so that rocked. I am still sad that I couldn’t make it to London Pride, but I swear to you: NEXT YEAR.
  • I went to Wimbledon and saw Serena & Venus Williams, which I am STILL VERY IN AWE ABOUT. Asdfjkl it was a pretty insane day.
  • I was so excited to do a swap box with the lovely Em @ Adventures of a Lost Teen! I mean, the internet is great and all but sometimes it’s awesome to get something real in the post. There were loads of wonderful things in it besides the ones pictured as well! (But THAT BOOKMARK THO.) You can check out Em’s post with my swap box here.

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  • I learnt how to make lemon curd and subsequently made it several times. IT’S SO FREAKING TASTY. And it’s really easy to make! (Which is good for me considering I’m not the best cook ever.)
  • I’ve just generally be hanging out and doing fun things over the summer: meeting friends, making ice cream, going into town. Writing. Reading. It’s wonderful to have some time on my hands. 🙂
  • I head back to school today — well, I’m writing this a little earlier, but on the first — and although school and work and stress…I’m also pretty excited to be starting another year. 🙂 I’ve dropped a bunch of subjects this year and we’re getting entirely new classes so it should be good! And I am weirdly excited for the History syllabus, to be honest haha.

I hope you all had a good summer! And if any of you guys got your exam results back then congrats, and I hope you’re pleased.

how was your summer? are you back at school (or not)? listened to any good music lately?

December Favourites! Bookish Bingo!

december favourites

Yup, it’s that time again! This month I’ve got a bumper crop. My cat pillow somehow snuck in the picture there too.

1. Red Rising by Pierce Brown Post-book high? Nah, I don’t think so. Okay, maybe. But I bought this from Waterstones a few days ago (hence the half price sticker) and OH MY GOSH IT WAS AWESOME.

Drooling gif

It fixed almost everything wrong with The Maze Runner: bad writing style, bad romance (*cue music*), bad world-building. Darrow was kind of a Gary Stu, but I’m a sucker for the underdogs who have to keep their secret. (Think Throne of Glass, Curse Workers, Merlin.) (Gosh, I’ve used so many brackets already and we’ve only got to one out of nine.)

2. After Eights I love these things. You know, the mint thins? Yeah, those. I don’t understand people who don’t like mint chocolate.

3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell Am I ever going to get over this book? Probably not. At least, not in the near future. But it’s CARRY ON SIMON GUYS IT’S COMING! (I discovered this in the dressing room at the Royal Albert Hall. Torture ensued.) I’m re-reading it in celebration of the news and to fuel my secret Simon Snow fanfiction

4. Totoro plushie As given to me be a friend, because they sold these at our school fair. (!!) I love my little Totoro so much ❤

5. Belphegor’s Prime If you missed my flailing over this beautiful number then I’ll tell you again: THAT IS ONE AWESOME BIT OF MATHS.

6. Whisper of the Heart I have a long-standing love affair with Studio Ghibli movies, and this one is no exception. It’s basically the story of my life – introverted reader with no fashion sense secretly writes a book – except that I’m not in love, obviously. But I like the romance, all the same. It’s not because Shizuku is pretty; she has the same conventional hairstyle and clothes as half the other girls in her class. It’s because of who she is. And it includes the Baron, inspiration for the later film The Cat Returns and all-round badass statue.

7. Winter Town by Stephen Emond This is one cute ball of fluff, I’m telling you, though it has some serious elements too. Again, I could really relate to the main character – STORY OF MY LIFE – and the comics were an awesome touch.

8. The Spirited Away soundtrack I don’t know how I managed to fall in love with a soundtrack, but I did. This is the time when I wish I’d kept at the piano, because I’m finding Chihiro’s Waltz atrociously hard to play. My favourite track of all is probably The Dragon Boy, because Haku. And brass. I just really like brass in music, okay? Says she who plays a wind instrument

9. Solitaire by Alice Oseman I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy this, but I did. For some reason, I thought Michael Holden was going to be the pretentious idiot who introduced Tori to Solitaire, but he wasn’t. He was awesome. My main qualm was that it was over too quick. 😦 I think need to read more slowly. (Plus, go teen writers!)

Bookish Bingo December

I’ve also got Holiday Bookish Bingo to round up, it seems! It’s hosted by Great Imaginations, and the next round is available for sign-ups if you’re interested. (I already have.) You may notice that my green ticks are rather few and far-between this time compared to the other months, and that#’s because…well…I kind of forgot about it. Oops.

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But the books I read that managed to fit the terms this month were:

Creature on cover: Sisters Red by Jackson Pierce. The cover was beautiful, but the book was a bit eh.
Set on Halloween: Unrest by Michelle Harrison
Mystery: Cuckoo Song by Francis Hardinge. Is this mystery? I don’t know. A lot of books have mystery in them. Maybe Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant would have been a better choice, but it was a worse book so #WHATEVER I’M A REBEL

And that, my friends, concludes my little December round-up. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have The Bane Chronicles to begin reading…

November Favourites!

November favourites

I’m looking at the quality of this photo now, and wincing. Ah well. Dark afternoons are the price we must pay for the holiday season, it seems. On with my November favourites!

1. The Raven Boys Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater I got all three published books out of the library (why not?) and devoured them in less than a week. The cover for The Dream Thieves was particularly beautiful.

2. The Graveyard Book I had to return this one to school, but I put an image of the cover in there anyway. I think that it was more of a children’s book than I am used to, but it was still wonderful. Neil Gaiman is an excellent author.

3. Mockingjay Part 1 Yes, yes, that is a mockingjay pin; it’s just a little small. I wore it to the movie, which in my opinion was as good as the others, if not better. (Although a tad *coughs* more gloomy, like the book.)

4. The Body Shop gingerbread body butter This makes me smell like a Christmas candle. LOVE.

5. NaNoWriMo I completed my goal, yay! You will note that neither the novel title nor the author name are on my certificate, and that is because a) I have not yet decided on a title b) I blanked my name out. (Yeah, no. Don’t think you’re getting it out of me that easily. 😉 )

6. Matchy-matchy oyster card cases The blue one is from my last trip to the Japanese Matsuri, and the pink one is from my most recent one. I didn’t see a chocolate one, unfortunately, but I’ll look out for it next time.

7. Rulers Granted, this is not exactly a favourite, but: do you know how many rulers I have lost in the last month? Three. THREE. Including my nice fold-out one from Muji. 😦

That concludes my monthly favourites! How was November for you?

October Favourites!

October Favourites

We’re a little thinner on the ground this time, but no matter. It was still a good month. Happy Halloween!
Let the proceedings begin:

1. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson I got this as a birthday present from a friend, and wow. Seriously. The writing was beautiful. The characters were beautiful. Everything was beautiful. I COMMAND YOU TO READ IT

2. The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas I’d already read the four novellas separately, but this one has a fifth. When I spotted it the library (along with two copies of Heir of Fire; I was very impressed) I just had to get it. And then, obviously, I had to read all the other stories too. *sobs* It’s so sad…

3. Monopoly Deal Have you heard of this game? Unlike the original Monopoly, you can actually play it to the end. I taught it to my friend whilst on holiday, and we played it loads. I went on a streak and got 9 and 8 sets in consecutive games. (You have to get 3 to win, to put that into perspective.)

4. Poetry As represented by my beautiful biro, because why not? You haven’t been seeing any evidence of this, but I’ve been writing a lot of poems recently. They’re mostly mental. They’re not beautiful, but I guess it’s a way of helping me understand things when I get *coughs* emotional.

5. Badger Balm I love lip balm. I’m a little bit obsessed, and Badger Balm is one of my favourites. It’s the time of year when you can use lip balm without people looking at you like you’re mad.

6. CHOCOLATE I was given a bag of dark chocolate for my birthday by my parents. (It’s the best kind, guys.) Omnomnom

Those are the things I’ve been liking this month! Did you have a good October? I’m doing NaNoWriMo this month, so I won’t be as active, but I have a few things scheduled and I’ll hopefully be updating on NaNo and such.

On a side note: are Chuck Taylors the same thing as Converse? Like TFiOS? Hazel Grace? Because I call them Converse.

On another side note: I joined this awesome site called Guardian Children’s Books where you get a book or more each month, sometimes pre-publication, as well as the chance to interview authors, get bookish news and review things. So far, I recommend. I’ve written a few reviews. But mostly I’m there for the FREE BOOKS.

 

August Favourites!

August favourites

All right, all right, I have jumped on the monthly favourites bandwagon. I know I did one in May (May?!) but I haven’t really followed that up. Still, I’m giving it another try!

1. The Mortal Instruments Series I’ll admit that I initially had these books pegged as post-Twilight garbage, but they’re actually really good. The Infernal Devices are even better.

2. Lava Cosmetics GB  I ordered some sulphate-free shampoo and soap online from this company, which advertise themself as a more affordable alternative to Lush. Liking a lot.

3. Kevin Brooks I haven’t actually read the one displayed, but this month I read Killing God, Being, and iBoy, all by Kevin Brooks. It’s not light and fluffy stuff, I’m telling you.

4. Creme of Morocco shampoo with Argan oil I’ve been sucked into sukphate-free toiletries. This was from Amazon, and it leaves my hair really smooth and almost slippery in the shower (although unfortunately this fades as your hair dries).

5. Wintergirls I only just finished this book, but I technically started it in August, so I’m counting it in. It’s haunting, page-turning and beautifully written. The best book I’ve read in a while.

6. Flower hair clip I bought this at the Port. Eliot Festival in Cornwall for something like £1. Bargain!

7. Birthright Trilogy These books are very different from the tone of Elsewhere, but they have an awesome kick-ass mafia princess heroine. Like.

Have you read any of these books? What are you guys thinking on more monthly favourites? Yes? No?

Anyway, I’m starting school (*cries*) so sorry if I don’t post or comment as much!