Trying to get my blogging groove back and what better way than with a brand new theme of Six for Sunday! Seriously, my ideas for blog posts has gone way down the toilet (ahem) these past few months; if anyone has any inspirational ideas for posts/tags/listicles then send ’em my way – I’d be so grateful! ☺️
For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. July’s theme is ‘Sounds of Summer’ which I am living for at the minute – bring it on!
You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry I loved Emily Henry’s debut Beach Read and the stunning pastel colours of this cover make me desperate to be back in a tropical paradise somewhere.
She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan The sunburst yellows of this cover immediately make me think of that blazing ball up there in the sky which gives us those amazing summer sunsets. This book is one of my NetGalley arcs and one I’m hoping may be featured in a book subscription box very soon! 👀
Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim Another one lucky enough to be on my NetGalley Arc list! This whole pastel-loveliness of this cover just makes me think about all of the summery/floral clothes that I pull out of my wardrobe at this time of year rather than the darker colours of winter fashions.
The Sunshine and Biscotti Club by Jenny Oliver Blue skies, sunflowers and lemons – what’s more summery than that?
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren This book is on my ‘to buy’ pile but that cover just gives me all of those tropical summer vibes!
Nocturnal by Maya Motayne[Fairyloot Edition] The gorgeous blue tiling and mosaic effect on this cover make me think of swimming pool floors or those fabulous tiled floors you find on old city houses when you go away somewhere exotic.
What are your favourite summer-y colours on books? As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!
It’s been a little while hasn’t it? I took some time away from my blog over the past couple of weeks to deal with some things on the home front, and they’re not fully sorted but it’s also not really in my control to sort so my headspace is in a bit of a weird place right now.
What I am loving is that Spring is finally arriving – even if in typical British style the day can turn from sun to snow to hail all in the space of a morning! It has been so nice to catch up with friends and actually socialise again as England comes out of another stage of lockdown. I always used to have a packed diary but I had forgotten how tiring it can be actually having to make the effort and get out there – I think I took to the lockdown hermit life too well even though I was still in school like normal! How are you all coping with the different stages of the pandemic wherever you live?
What I’ve Been Reading in March
March was a pretty good reading month for me even if I did hit a massive reading slump which is kind of still ongoing… 😏 Taking part in the ‘Tis the Damn Readathon was so much fun as it’s been quite a while since I’ve taken part in one. It was also a really good way to keep me in my Taylor Swift zone. Ever since Folklore my fandom has reached brand new heights! 😂
Instead of repeating myself, I did a small breakdown about each book and the readathon prompt they were for in a separate wrap post which you read here!
What I’ve Been Watching in March
Shadowhunters – Series 1
I finished watching the first season of Shadowhunters on Netflix. Being completely honest, I’m not sure it’s something I’ll continue with. I’ve read all of the books so was curious about the series but there are so many other things I think I’d rather try watching as I wasn’t really blown away by this one.
I think this was based on the true story of Ashraf Marwan, an Egyptian spy (and President Nasser’s son-in-law) who tried to bring about peace with Israel. I didn’t really know any of the story beforehand so it was a little bit confusing to follow.
Now this film I really enjoyed! Chris Hemsworth (a.k.a. Thor) is a mercenary tasked with rescuing a kidnapped teenager from a load of drug lords. It was fairly gory and there is a large amount of violence but I enjoyed the bond the mercenary and the teenager developed during the film.
Dead to Me – Season 1
Wow, this show! I can’t believe I didn’t see the twist at the end of the first episode coming! From there, the whole season was so addictive and I had to just keep clicking ‘next episode’ to see everything unfold. It’s kind of a tell-all show where the watcher knows exactly what is happening and is just waiting for the characters to find out to see their reactions. I definitely need to find out what is going to happen in season two after that incredible season finale.
OMG the ending to Wandavision, it went slightly off tangent for me but then the exploration of Wanda’s and Vision’s relationship just melted me! I’m so pleased we got to see Monica Rambeau as I can’t wait to see how her character evolves in the upcoming Captain Marvel II.
What I’ve Been Listening to in March
March has definitely been the discovery of the podcast! I’ve been listening to three different ones on a bit of a cycle during the mornings whilst I get ready for work.
That’s What I’m Tolkien About This is such a great podcast by Mary Clay Watt which explores each the world of Tolkien chapter by chapter. I’ve come to this podcast fairly late (it’s up to episode 91/92 already). The Lord of the Rings and the movies have already been covered so I decided to start with The Hobbit chapters which are updated every Tuesday and always feature a special guest. I was so tempted to try and read the chapters along with the podcast, which I may go back and do for the LOTR books (the reading slump has beaten me to it this time around).
It’s Super Effective This Pokémon podcast comes out every Monday and discusses all of the latest updates in Pokémon world. It’s pretty hefty at about 1.5 hours long but there is a mashup style music remix featuring as a break to each one which is kind of addictive. There’s a little too much TCG and Masters chat for me in some parts but the hosts SBJ, Will and Greg are incredibly entertaining and I like the Pokémon news and Pokémon Centre shopping updates they do. There’s also a Pokémon of the week style quiz to try and guess.
Book Riot’s SFF Yeah! There had to be a bookish podcast in there from Book Riot! I love the way Sharifah and Jenn share their recommendations about books. I’ve mentally added so many more books to my TBR and actually preordered two books purely from their recommendations.
Pokemon Go Update
March was pretty quiet in the Pokemon Go stakes. I did find a group of local players in the village I live so I have been participating in more events and raids etc. which has been really nice. Rayquaza Raid weekend was such hard work! 😂 I did 15 raids, caught 14 of them and my 13th catch was my only shiny – how’s that for superstitious!
In March I took part in the Taylor Swift based ‘Tis the Damn Readathon with my friend who is one of the biggest Swifties I know! Quite often my reading ambitions fall on the fantasy side of magical realism so I always end up giving myself too much to do and then fall out with myself when I don’t hit the goals: #ownworstenemy I came up with a TBR of about 7 books as I wanted to try and hit all of the album prompts – you can read about that here! Right towards the end of the month I hit a massive reading slump which probably killed my blog vibe too to be honest. I have just started reading Crescent City whilst it’s still the Easter holidays so I’m hoping that drags me out of it.
Album: Taylor Swift / Prompt: Read a Memoir / Book: The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
I love the Star Wars franchise and actually won a copy of this book through Bookmarks which is an online research panel lead by Penguin. It was the perfect choice for a memoir and it was so strange reading this knowing that she tragically passed away shortly after its publication. You read my review here.
Album: Fearless / Prompt: Do some meditation (non bookish prompt)
I didn’t read anything for this but I do meditate every morning before going to work so this felt like an easy prompt to achieve.
Album: Speak Now / Prompt: Listen to an Audiobook / Book: The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley
I was pleasantly surprised by this audiobook and ended up adoring its plot and characters. There was a day at school during remote learning where we set the children on an off-timetable creativity day so we didn’t have a live lesson schedule, this audiobook was the soundscape to my redecorating the classroom and laminating all of the resources. It’s one of those I could listen to again and again! Read my review here.
Album: Red / Prompt: Read a book with red on the cover / Book: The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart
This was a late addition to my TBR as I unexpectedly got approved for this on NetGalley in preparation for the paperback release of the book. This was such a great SFF book with a really curious twist on magic. I’m so intrigued that I can’t wait to see where the series goes next. Read the review here.
Album: 1989 / Prompt: Read a book with a number in the title / Book: Locke and Key Volume Two: Head Games by Joe Hill
So I cheated on this one a little – I didn’t have time to read my TBR selection for this but I figure it counts right? I watched the Locke and Key series on Netflix and was so captivated that I had to start reading the graphic novels too. They’re a little different to the TV show in terms of the timeline but it still satisfies that void whilst I’m waiting for Season Two to drop.
Album: Reputation / Prompt: (Blank Space Tile) Read a book Taylor has referenced / Book: Peter Pan (Audiobook)
I used a Blank Space tile for this one as I struggled to think of an idea for any of the prompts. I came across an audiobook of Peter Pan read by a whole cast of celebs including Joanna Lumley, David Walliams, Kit Harrington and others. It was put together by Martin Jarvis who did the Good Omens audiobook which I also loved. I enjoyed exploring this as it was a classic which I haven’t read before.
Album: Lover / Prompt: Do some self care (non bookish prompt)
This prompt happened lots in March, mostly with ice cream! 😂
Album: Folklore / Prompt: Read a book based on mythology / Book: Lore by Alexandra Bracken
When I discovered this book was a standalone, it rocketed up my TBR and I was definitely in the mood for some contemporary, yet magical YA last month. It was such a fun read and I enjoyed the way the author mixed the ancient mythology into a modern world context. There might be a review of it coming soon if I get time.
Album: Evermore / Prompt: Read a mystery or thriller / Book: The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox
Again, this was a little bit of a cheat one as The Absolute Book is classed as Fantasy but after reading it I feel that it definitely has a mystery twist too – I was mystified through all 640 pages, right up until the Epilogue! 😂 I read this for NetGalley so this week’s job is to get the review finished!
That’s my ‘Tis the Damn Readathon Wrap! It was so much fun to take part in a Readathon again, I can’t remember the last time that happened. Thanks so much to my friend @megalynreads on Twitter for suggesting it and to the fabulous team over at ‘Tis the Damn Readathon for putting together the most comprehensive Swiftathon I’ve ever seen! It definitely helped motivate me to keep my reading goals on track in March!
Did any of you take part in the readathon? What did you read in March?
We are continuing the Around the World in 80 Books theme this week on Six For Sunday by creating a list focused on blue and green books. Blue and Green are two of my favourite colours so I’m really drawn to covers using those colour schemes. There were many books on my shelves to choose from this week! For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. March’s theme is ‘Around the World in 80 Books!’ (which sounds like some exciting travel adventure I’d definitely be signing up for!).
Blue and Green Books!
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao I loved this Evil Queen retelling! It was so atmospheric. I was captivated by Xi Feng’s villain-like perspective. I was a little but gutted when the cover style changed for the sequel as the vibrancy of this book cover really caught my eye.
Gemini by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff The Illuminae Files are one of my favourite trilogies. I love the mixed-media style formatting and the little Easter Eggs which were dotted around.
Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas There had to be a TOG in there didn’t there. I remember there being some mixed feelings about this book when it came out but I adored it! I’m so glad SJM made it longer than the novella that it was originally intended as. I feel that we get to learn about so many side characters and other worlds through this book and it slotted in quite nicely to making me wait even longer after that cliffhanger at the end of Empire of Storms!
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman This is one of those series starters that I read as a child and then never continued. Now, as an adult this series is definitely on my reread pile. I had to restrain myself from watching the BBC series just so I could read the whole series through first (although looking at my ever-growing TBR, I have no idea when that will be! 😂).
Here We Are by Oliver Jeffers This picture book is a brilliant one for children to try to get them to understand just how wide and vast life on Earth is. I love the illustrations Jeffers creates and the way the book narration reads to his child. It’s informative but heart-warming at the same time.
Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett This is a series which I first found through Fairyloot and then finally got around to completing as one of my reading goals last year. The setting and world-building were fabulous. It was really different to read a fantasy book set in a Himalayan style environment with a mission based around mountain-climbing. You could really feel how much the author loved the hobby by the way she included lots of careful details which were fitted in seamlessly along the narration and plot. I’d really recommend it if you’re after something a little different!
What are your favourite blue and green books? As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!
We are continuing the Around the World in 80 Books theme this week on Six For Sunday by creating a list focused on characters who deserve a holiday. I must say, this is such an intriguing prompt for this week that I really had no idea quite where to start of who to pick! My mind went buzzing off in different directions to some of the heroes and heroines from my favourite ever books and the sheer effort they exerted in their triumph over evil (keep your eyes peeled for them below!) along with some other characters who were faced with trials and tribulations of a completely different kind! For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. March’s theme is ‘Around the World in 80 Books!’ (which sounds like some exciting travel adventure I’d definitely be signing up for!).
Characters Who Deserve A Holiday!
Frodo Baggins Frodo, Frodo, Frodo – you were the first character to come to my mind when thinking about who needs a holiday. The burden of carrying the One Ring certainly took it’s toll on you (and pretty much every character in LOTR tbh!) so you’re definitely in need of a holiday to find some distant shores and leave all of your Sauron-based troubles behind!
Circe (from Circe by Madeline Miller) I really felt for Circe during her tale within this book. I remember feeling that some of her problems were definitely of her own making but by the end of the novel, I was left with this overwhelming sense of pity for her. In my mind, she totally deserves a holiday to the party-loving island of Mykonos so she can let her hair down, drink cocktails on the beach and dance until sunrise – preferably without any pigs in sight!
Inej Ghafa (from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo) I feel like Inez goes through such a tumultuous rollercoaster in this duology that she definitely needs some time away from Ketterdam – perhaps to a yoga retreat or something! Not only is there the heist and imminent danger elements to physically contend with – she’s always being tracked down, chased or targeted – but then there’s also her relationship with Kaz and on top of that the emotional stress of her family situation too. She definitely needs a holiday!
Aelin (from the Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas) Similarly to Lord of the Rings, so many characters in this epic 7 book series (not forgetting the novellas!) went through such a journey in this book that I don’t know how half of them can go back to their ordinary lives without some from of PTSD – Aelin in particular after her wide-reaching character arc! This series will always be one of my favourites, and that ending will probably always sap the bookish life out of me with it’s high-stakes action and trauma – so yes, give Aelin a holiday!
Severus Snape Snape is one of my favourite characters of all time – I love the complexities of his character (massively helped by Alan Rickman’s portrayal of him). As a teacher myself, I can completely sympathise with his exasperation at trying to teach dunderheads students when sometimes they just Do. Not. Want. To. Learn. In between that, and being the whipping-boy of not one but two masters, I’d most certainly be helping into the getaway car for a much needed holiday.
Mr. Bennett (from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen) Surrounded by all those women, particularly his match-making obsessed, clucky wife and sycophantic daughter Lydia, I’m begging the holiday gods to take pity on poor Mr. Bennett and let him escape to some sort of fishing lake or gamekeeper cottage on the Pemberley estate for a little space and solitude!
Which characters would you send on holiday and where would you pack them off to? What are some of your favourite holiday destinations? Do you prefer sight-seeing city breaks or relaxing beach holidays? As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!
We are continuing the Around the World in 80 Books theme this week on Six For Sunday by creating lists focused on books set ‘elsewhere in the world’ to the place that we live. I have a massive case of ‘pandemic wanderlust’ at the moment and due to lots of things popping up in daily life and giving me holiday flashbacks, I decided to focus my list this week on one country in particular… Italy! My friend and I travelled through Italy (quite a few years ago now) and we stopped off at lots of different places between Venice, Milan, Florence and Rome. It was the most incredible holiday and I hope I get to go back and spend more time there one day, it really is a beautiful country. For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. March’s theme is ‘Around the World in 80 Books!’ (which sounds like some exciting travel adventure I’d definitely be signing up for!).
Books Set in Italy!
The Favour by Laura Vaughan This is the most recent book I have read set in Italy. It came out earlier this month and features a highly complex unreliable narrator called Ada who goes on an art-history travel adventure in Italy (definitely reminded me of my own trip!). I loved Laura’s description of the palazzos, museums and cities coupled with the dark, mysterious nature of the plot. It kept me guessing all of the way to the final sentence and that ending really did pack a punch and leave my brain spinning! You can check out my spoiler-free review here!
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown The Robert Langdon books are one of my favourite guilty pleasures. I’ve read them all and secretly believe that the conspiracies 100% factual. The Angels and Demons book is probably my favourite due to the setting and the whole idea of the treasure map across Rome. When we visited Italy I just had to retrace Langdon’s footsteps and visit all of the fountains and landmarks just to put the book’s description into reality. Bernini had also been one of my focuses in one of my degree modules as well so I definitely enjoyed geeking out on that adventure. Sadly, we didn’t find the pentagram and hidden passage inside Castel Sant’Angelo but we still enjoyed checking it out… just in case!
Summer at the Lake by Erica James After our Italian escapades, my friend practically demanded that our next holiday would be a beach one (as opposed to literally running around different cities trying to pack as much in as possible!) so we went off to Cape Verde which brought some more fantastic ‘memory-of-a-lifetime-style’ adventures. I had packed 5 books in my bag, yet I found Summer of the Lake in one of the bookshelves in the hotel lobby – being set in Italy, and having a slight case of the bookish-kleptomania, it made its way into my bag and I read it whilst sat on the divine sandy beaches. I completely fell in love with Erica’s characters and how the setting of Lake Como fitted seamlessly into the narrative. It’s definitely one of my favourites!
The Savage Garden by Mark Mills It seems that all of my Italian books have a holiday-themed story related to them but I found The Savage Garden in an English bookshop whilst visiting my friend in Lanzarote. I bought it because of the setting of the Italian garden and the way they blurb had mentioned this secret message hidden in the garden’s architecture and design – almost like some kind of horticultural treasure hunt! I enjoyed the mythological aspect to the garden statues and the way they were incorporated to the whole mystery element of the story. It’s definitely different to any other mysteries I’ve read. You can check out a little bit more in my review here.
The Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen The Immortal City is the first book in a series called ‘The Magicians of Venice’. It’s centred around a character called Penelope who is trying to find the lost city of Atlantis but gets entangled in a murder mystery with some rather peculiar symbology. Her journey then intertwines with a group of immortal magicians (hence the title of the series) and they embark upon a quest to solve the mystery and save Venice from sinking at the same time. Obviously the setting was a winner for me but I was also completely engrossed in the storyline and the relationship between Penelope and Alexis (spoiler warning: it got a little steamy 😉). The second book in the series was released in September 2020 and it’s definitely on my TBR list! Check out my review here.
Love and Gelato byJenna Evans Welch This was a super-cute, fun YA novel which I truly enjoyed reading. I enjoyed seeing Lina experience life in Florence (my retirement dream!) for the first time and again it threw me straight back into that amazing holiday nostalgia. It was a really sweet novel about finding yourself and the importance of family/home.
There’s my little fictional jaunt through Northern Italy. If anyone has some Italian based recommendations I’d be glad to hear them, I’m always on the lookout!
What country or destination has you flipping the auto-buy switch in your brain? What are some of your favourite countries or places that you’ve been to or are on your travel bucket-list? As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!
We have a brand new theme for March with our Six for Sunday prompts and I am so excited for Around the World in 80 Books! This week we are focussing on books set in the country where we live. Now initially, when I wrote all of the prompts in my planner I accidentally wrote down down the word ‘love’ instead of the word ‘live’ so I had to quickly go back and change my Italian themed post… I definitely don’t live in Italy! I do however live in a beautiful area of England called the Cotswolds and spend my time between here and Cornwall (lockdown permitting!). Most of the books I seem to read are predominantly SFF which take place in fictional or off-world locations but looking through my ‘Read’ pile there are still plenty of delightful books set in the UK that I can compile today’s list from. For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. March’s theme is ‘Around the World in 80 Books!’ (which sounds like some exciting travel adventure I’d definitely be signing up for!).
Books Set in England!
The Agatha Raisin Series by M.C. Beaton The Agatha Raisin series is probably my most locally-set series that I have on my shelves as it is set in the Cotswolds and the author herself lives in a village not very far from where I live. I’ve only read the first one so far but it definitely makes me feel at home when I read it. From the characters, to the houses and scenic countryside – I’m always wondering whether some of the people we bump into have found themselves transported as a character into one of her books.
The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare I have recently started reading Clockwork Prince just in little short bursts in reading breaks from other books. I’m really intrigued to see where this series goes as a lot of people have told me they preferred it to The Mortal Instruments which I felt was a little bit dare-I-say average… My hype-o-meter isn’t as huge for this London-based series though so I’m hoping that I’ll enjoy it (I’m just praying for more Magnus Bane moments tbh!).
Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier There had to be a Cornish one on the list! Not going to lie, but my desire to read this stemmed completely from the Most Haunted episode at the Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor and then a trip to the Inn itself. I’m a massive coastal setting / pirate fan so I loved reading the book. After watching the film Rebecca and learning more about du Maurier’s time spent in Cornwall I can’t wait to read more of her books.
The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles I read this as part of a module at university but the setting of Lyme Regis just swept me away. We visited there once on a holiday where we toured the South coast. I love the lampposts that have the fossil style decor on them. That image in the book of Sarah just standing on the Cobb completely encapsulates the whole novel for me – it’s such tragic love story and was a lot different to the kinds of other romances I was reading as a late teen / early tween!
Spies by Michael Frayn This is one of my favourite WW2 books that I’ve read. The way the children played in the street or in the field near their houses was a little like the way I spent a bit of my childhood so I guess that I find it filled with a little bit of sentimentality and nostalgia – although we definitely didn’t have the kind of adventure they enjoyed in this novel though! 😂
Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold edited by Daisy Johnson Hag is a wonderful collection of forgotten folktales from around the UK retold by women authors with a feminist twist. I really enjoyed discovering some tales which were completely unfamiliar to me written by some quite well-known authors. The whole tone of the collection gave off these brilliant gothic/horror type vibes at times as well which was right up my street. You can read my review of it here.
So there are just a few books that I found whilst scrolling through my ‘read’ shelf – all of them set in particular parts of the UK. I thought at first that this task would be really hard, but actually I found myself wanting to include so many more books on my list that I remember as having typically UK settings and fill me with that sense of home – even if I do spend a majority of my time dreaming about far off shores and fictional worlds!
What books are set in the countries, cities or places where you live? As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!
I can not believe ¼ of 2019 has gone already! I am so pleased that the sun is shining more and we are getting into warmer weather. We have so many blossom trees where we live and it’s beautiful when they all come out.
In terms of my Biblioshelf life I am so happy with how March has gone!
Positive things that have happened:
Managing to vaguely keep up with the Blog and Bookstagram (at least as much as I could)
New Blog and Bookstagram followers (💜 thank you all!!!)
My best month yet for reading (even though I’m still “2 behind schedule” according to Goodreads). I’m up to 10 out of 50 and half of those have been March reads.
Books I’ve read:
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – In my bid to try and finish off some of the book series I was part-way through, I finally got around to ticking this off. What a stunning duology. I really enjoyed it. You can read my spoiler-ridden Biblioshelf Musings about it here.
Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett – I was way behind with reading my Fairyloot books from last year’s boxes so many of them are forming as my immediate TBR list to try and catch up. Onyx and Ivory was fab for getting me back into the fantasy genre and I really enjoyed reading it. I added the second novel Shadow and Flame onto my TBR straightaway.
The Duke, the Autobiography of David Nicholson – The Duke is one of our local heroes when it comes to horse-racing. He trained his horses in a village not far away from where I live and the trainer and his wife who run the Racing Club I am a part of both used to work for him as well. March was the perfect time to finish this book, which I’d started and then put down last year, as the Cheltenham Festival takes over the whole area where I live so there was a real buzz in the air. It offered a great insight and history into the sport and it was quite strange to read about people who I have met and even know in real-life.
A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer – I tried to read this in order to take part in the Fairyloot readalong as this was their February book, however my work schedule didn’t really give me that much time to read it during that week. I have now finished it and love it. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite fairytales and this retelling offered a fresh spin of such a traditional story. Biblioshelf Musings are yet to come…
The Time Machine by H.G Wells (Audiobook read by Kelsey Grammer) – As I have said previously in my Top Ten Tuesday post Audio Freebie, I’m not that keen on audiobooks. I think the price is something of an issue, plus I like to have a physical book in my hands to get lost in. This audiobook was free on iTunes so I immediately downloaded it. It’s quite a classic must-read novel for any fans of Science Fiction. I surprised myself by how much I enjoyed it. Grammer’s narration really suited the character of the time-traveller, almost as if he was the time-traveller himself. The story was just short enough and suspenseful enough to keep me tuned it. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who has this on their TBR.
Other hobbies in my life include going to the cinema. I am a co-organiser of a film club and we often see 2-3 films a week at our local cinema. Like with all things, I’ve missed a few of our film events due to doing other things but here are three of my top March film releases:
Fisherman’s Friends (12a) – I absolutely loved this! As I split my time between the Cotswolds and Cornwall it made me really nostalgic to go back to my little house by the sea! Stunning scenery and location aside, this film was heart-warming, funny and poignant in all the right doses. The only thing that disappointed me was that the tale of the ‘music manager falling in love with the village girl and buying the pub to save the day’ was purely fictitious! Anyway a fantastic film nevertheless; if anyone wants to join in a sea-shanty sing-a-long one Friday night down in Port Isaac then count me in!
Us (15) – This is probably going to be one of my Top Ten Films of 2019! It had scary bits, humour, mickey-taking, horror, doppelgangers, audacity, fairgrounds, violence, story-telling, mythology and pure, downright weirdness in buckets (or boat-loads 😉)! There are so many layers to this plot that keep you guessing right the way to the very end. Just when you think you’ve worked it all out, something else happens to make you think something completely different. It’s one of those films that you watch again and again and discover something new every time. I won’t spoil it for anyone who is going to see it but if dark, twisty, multi-layered psychological thrillers are your thing, then this is your must-see film of the year!
Fighting With My Family (12a) – Any film with The Rock in is immediately added to my cinema list. What I enjoyed about this film was how accurately it portrayed the real-life family which this film is based on. It represented a part of our society that does not get a lot of air-time (if only for the wrong reasons) and showed the hardships that they go through, the struggles they face just to make their way in the world and find a space for themselves. I honestly didn’t feel that this film would be my type of thing. I’m not a wrestling fan at all but that really didn’t matter – the key meaning to take away is about the sense of community and the dreams people can achieve if they all pull together. It’s a message of positivity in what can sometimes feel like a very negative world.
Other life stuff:
My friend got married – She had one of the most gorgeous wedding cakes I have ever seen! As a massive fan of the film Labyrinth, her three tier cake was themed around the film. The characters were made of fondant icing and there was even a dancing Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie at the top from the ball scene. It was almost too good-looking to eat but it tasted so delicious. We are massive fans of Gloucester Rugby and always go to their matches. We call ourselves the “Shed Family” after the area of the ground we stand in and in true Glaws Family style, we all piled into the bar to watch the Gloucester match that was taking place that evening – a true rugby wedding!
Cheltenham Races – I’ve already talked about this above and in a previous post but Race Week is always a highlight of March. Along with the Six Nations Championship the month is great for sports fans like me!
George Ezra – To be honest, if it wasn’t for my friend I don’t think I would have gone to see him live in concert but I am so glad I did! I have his album Staying at Tamara’s which is on constant repeat in my car at the moment and this sunny weather is perfect for blasting out Paradise and singing along at the top of my voice! He is even better live and the anecdotes he told throughout his set were funny too. He was supported by Sigrid who brought her catchy, bouncy pop songs to warm the crowd up. Before George came on they played Don’t Look Back in Anger into the auditorium and there is nothing like a classic Oasis song to get 15,500 people to burst into the biggest round of karaoke ever – fabulous! A brilliant evening and I’d love to see him again.
Tonight I am off out with friends to celebrate their birthdays. We are eating at The Botanist which is new in town so I’m really looking forward to trying it out. I’ve heard lots of great things about it. The restaurant looks so pretty and I bet they have an exceptional Gin/Cocktails list. Afterwards we are going to Mr. Mulligan’s Crazy Golf which I am extremely looking forward to!!!
I want to leave you with a quote from V.E. Schwab which I read from her Instagram post on 8thMarch. It was one of those motivational things you read which seems to come along at the exact time when you need it. I read it after getting some disappointing news and it really helped me to hold things together and get through the remainder of the day. I’ve referenced to it as well in my Six for Sunday post which comes up tomorrow. I’ve written it down; I read it often; it gives me the motivation to carry on doing my own thing, on my terms in my own way. I may not read as many books as everyone else; I may not post stuff on a regular basis; I may not have a viewpoint or an opinion that is groundbreakingly different or that people are even interested in; but this is my little corner of the big wide blogosphere and I am learning to stop putting myself under so much pressure to meet deadlines for this or fit into a mould for that and to just be happy and at peace with my extremely blessed life!
‘Show up. Put in the work. Let go of the outcome. The list of things out of your control is too long. Success is not guaranteed, and sometimes you can do everything right and still miss the mark. Because the mark is arbitrary, and always changing. The only thing you can do is tell your story.’
Gold star to you, reader if you made it through my March ramble! Have a super weekend and enjoy whatever is you’re up to!