Wrapping It Up: Books I Read in April 2021

Life is starting to pick back up again, so I might not be able to read quite as much this month.

Simplexity by Kiley Reid

I found that she had a short story, and I had to read it. It was really good, not as good as the perfection that is Such A Fun Age, but it was great.

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

I was expecting this book to make me cry, but it didn’t. That probably says something about me, to be honest. It was really good, but it I did not connect with it in the way I wanted to.

Last Tang Standing by Lauren Ho

This book was a lot of fun. It is marketed as Crazy Rich Asians and Bridget Jones’ Diary and it is definitely that. I don’t know why but I thought this book had a fake dating situation in it so I was disappointed when it did not. There is nothing wrong with the book, it is honestly great, but because I thought it would be something else I was a bit disappointed.

Six of Crows: Book 1: Amazon.co.uk: Bardugo, Leigh: 9781780622286: Books

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I do not fully know why I decided to reread this book. I thought I would give it another go, and this time I did enjoy it a lot more than the first time I read it. I have been craving a heist story and I had forgotten almost everything that happens. I am not going to rush to read the second book, but I will probably give it a go eventually.

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

This audiobook was fun to listen to. I don’t know how much I would have enjoyed this if I had not been listening to it though. While I did love the mother daughter dynamic, I don’t think it was explored enough. A lot of this book is just about the context. You learn a lot about the great depression, but I think this overshadows the character dynamics.

Pet Semetary by Stephen King

This book is, to me, a poor man’s The Shining. They both centre around nuclear families who move to a new place. The both feature a passive mother and children. They both feature a non-threatening old man who knows a lot about the supernatural occurrences. They both feature a final chase to stop the father from ruining everything. It was alright, but I hoped for something a bit more. Something I really wanted to happen did not happen and I felt like a lot of the book was just waiting for someone to bury someone in the graveyard.

Anxious People: Amazon.co.uk: Backman, Fredrik: 9781501160837: Books

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

After reading what feels like a lot of average books, I finally read something I really loved. This book was confusing in the best way. Backman wants you to be taken aback by a lot of his revelations and his writing style keeps you engaged. It was a beautiful story about mental health and loving other people. I love a story where strangers are forced together by a happen chance situation. Everything about this book was perfect. I started reading it on a whim and I am so glad that I did.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

I think I may have confused this book for a different one when I picked it up. For some reason I thought that it was a thriller and it is definitely not one. It is actually about a refugees. It was quite good, but I never got over it not being what I expected it to be. The audiobook was read by the author which was nice. I enjoyed the characters complicated relationship too.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I am glad I read this book because it is a classic dystopian story, but I didn’t feel very original. But that is because it started all the trends that I recognised. I did love the exploration of literature. It felt like a very quotable book.

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

This is one of my favourite books. I do not need to keep discussing how much I love it. It is a fave. Click here to read my original review.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

This book would have been everything to me when I was younger. It was great now, but I think it hits differently when you are 18. It is a beautiful book about how there is not just one path for everyone. Its about friendship, accepting yourself, and being kind to yourself. I am very glad I read it. The mystery elements were not always my favourite, I think it might have been fine without it.

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

This book is beautiful. It was a great memoir about the authors experience with an abusive partner. I highly recommend this book.

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

This is not as good as The Hating Game. It was a fun time, but the characters were not as engaging. I didn’t root for the relationship as much. It was a fun easy romance, but not a memorable one.

This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

I should not have finished this book. I only did because I somehow thought that Booksandlala liked it, but I was wrong. It was alright, but not amazing.

Vengeful: Amazon.co.uk: V. E. Schwab: 9781785658631: Books

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

I am slowly trying to read the V.E. Schwab books that I missed. I put off reading this one for a while because I thought that the first one didn’t really need a sequel. This was a fun book though and I am glad I read it. I particularly liked the villain in this one.

Writing into the Wound by Roxanne Gay

I love Roxanne Gay and I need to read every piece of non-fiction she has ever read. This was a short essay about writing trauma and the pandemic. I loved how it connected global traumas to personal traumas. It really made me think.

Disfigured by Amanda Leduc

After reading something by Roxane Gay I had a desire to read even more non-fiction. So I decided to pick this one up. I had been wanting to read it for a while and this seemed like the perfect time. I really enjoyed learning more about disability and the presentation of disability within the media. I loved how it explored Disney films, superhero narratives, novelists like Angela Carter, while also explaining her own story.

Wrapping It Up: TV Shows I Watched in April 2021

I’m not sure what I am in the mood to watch at the moment, so I expect this will be a random mix of things.

Life on Mars

My dad and brother watched this when it came out, but I was quite young at the time so I missed out. It has been a much hyped show, so I wanted to check it out. I find I am not massively interested in the individual mysteries, but the overarching one has me very intrigued.

Queer Eye

I got back into Queer Eye this month. I didn’t realise there was a new series tbh. I currently need an easy to watch show, and this provides for me. Sometimes it annoys me a bit, Americans are a lot, but overall it is a great show.

Russian Doll (TV Series 2019– ) - IMDb

Russian Doll

This month I am aiming to finish this show. Once I got past the first few episodes, I fell in love with this show. I think it needed a character to be introduced before I got properly into it. The first few episodes set up the concept and once something is revealed then the plot can properly start. It is such an interesting show that explores the concepts of morality and life and death so well. I can’t wait for the next season.

The Office

I tried to watch this show a few years ago but never properly got into it. Now I want to give it another go. I would quite like to have an easy to watch sit com to fall back on when I don’t know what to watch. I think once I have got past the first season or so this show should be exactly what I need.

Tales of the City

I fancied something that is both a drama and easy to watch and decided to giving this show a go. The character dynamics are interesting and the cast is wonderfully diverse. The setting and music of the show make it a bit more melodramatic than I would typically want it to be, but, overall, I am having a good time watching it.

Shadow and Bone (TV series) | The Grishaverse | Fandom

Shadow and Bone

My relationship to Leigh Bardugo is complicated, but I still wanted to watch this show. I haven’t finished either of her series yet, but I have been wanting to recently. They might not be my favourites, but I somehow find that I get absorbed into her fictional world. I am not fully sure about the cast, some of them are great and others are just so different to how I imagined it. Also, trying to adapt the plots so that they fit together feels a bit strange. I am overall having a good time though.

Wrapping It Up: TV Shows I Watched in March 2021

I am still making my way through the OC, so their might not end up being a lot to talk about this month.

Nadiya's Time to Eat TV Review

Nadiya’s Time To Eat

This is a great show. I love Nadiya Hussain and her ideas are actually great. Normally when people talk about quick cooking they are not talking about quick cooking. But Nadiya has great ideas which are quick and simple and use easy ingredients. I love her.

The Big Family Cooking Showdown

Another cooking show with Nadiya Hussain to comfort me. Yes, I am becoming quite predictable.

Dear White People

I wanted to watch a new show and was intrigued because this show is set in university. It was really good, but I have yet to finish it. I really liked the complexity of the show.

Russian Doll

I started this show, I am only one episode in at the moment and it is interesting but I have not felt the urge to continue. Did I start it because Annie Murphy is going to be in the next season, yes.

Firefly Lane eBook by Kristin Hannah | Rakuten Kobo

Firefly Lane

I started this show and it is a good source of family/friendship drama. I am not massively in love the storytelling structure, it feels like they are doing the flashbacks just to make simple moments shocking. I am enjoying other elements though, so I will definitely continue.

I spoke too soon. The ending of this show really annoyed me. This shows pacing was really weird and it let to nothing. I felt like we didn’t get to see the most exciting parts of the characters lives. It was okay, but I doubt I will continue with this show if it gets a second season – which I don’t think it should.

Marriage or Mortgage

This is a great show to watch with friends on Netflix party.

Superstore

I got back into this show this month. I went through a stage where I was not enjoying it too much, but I think I just needed a little break from it because watching it now I am really enjoying it and looking forward to new episodes. I do love the characters and their dynamics. It is just a classic sitcom.

Wrapping It Up: Films I Watched in March 2021

Another month, even more horror films.

Us (2019 film) - Wikipedia

US

I have been patiently waiting for this film to be put onto Netflix. I somehow missed it when it came into cinemas and I have been wanting to watch it ever since. The plot was slightly different than I thought it would be, but I had a great time watching it. It had loads of great and iconic moments. It is definitely one of those films I will think about for a long time after watching.

The Lovely Bones

I watched this film for university. This film was really well acted but it had far too much special affects. It did not need that many special affects at all: instead of thinking the imagery was cool I just thought it was unnecessary.

Blinded By The Light

This film was great. I love Bruce Springsteen (not as much as the main character, but I do feel quite deeply about the song ‘Atlantic City’). I loved that it was a film about music, a film about the social realties of Britain in the 1980s and a film about being a teenager. An amazing film.

Moxie

A great coming of age film about feminism. At times it was slightly hard to watch, but it also mainly had the young adult easy watch vibe. It had a great message.

Hereditary

Another film I watched for uni and it was so great to be able to rewatch one of my favourite films. I noticed so much this second time around and even though I knew what was going to happen, it still had an impact on me. An absolute must see.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

This film is not as good as the first one. It is hard to capture the magic of a great film. The tone here felt weird and forced rather than natural. It was a good film, but compared to the first one, most of it does not live up to the hype.

Promising Young Woman (2020) - Rotten Tomatoes

Promising Young Woman

This film was phenomenal. It was so phenomenal that I had to convince my best friend to watch it. The cast of this film is great, yet slightly random. But, lets be honest, the best part of this film is the story. It is simply fantastic. It addresses so much and delivers on everything. It is one of my favourite films I have ever watched.

The Personal History of David Copperfield

I had hyped this film up for myself because I love Dev Patel so much, but I don’t think it was quite for me. It was a good film, but I don’t love Dickens and the film felt slightly too quirky for my tastes. But these were both things that I knew going into the film, so it is my fault I did not love it. I am glad I watched it though.

Wrapping It Up: Books I Read in March 2021

I’m starting to be a bit unsure about what I want to read, so I might end up reading some different things at the moment. Also, it is coming up to my Easter holidays, and while I do still have lots of uni work to do, I will have a bit more time.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

I really did enjoy this book. It is so well told, with a really interesting perspective and it tells such an interesting story. I reckon I would also really enjoy her other book, so I will probably pick that up sometime soonish.

The Night Circus: Amazon.co.uk: Morgenstern, Erin: 9780099554790: Books

The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern

This was a reread and, as I have mentioned before, I am trying to reread a book a month (which is kind of working at the moment). I could spend forever talking about how good it is. In fact I probably have done this – just scroll through my blog.

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

I managed to reread two of my favourites this month to make up for the fact that I didn’t complete a reread in feb. I loved this book the first time I read it. It is a slightly strange book about the connection between a judge and a child she has to solve a case for. I loved it just as much the second time, this time I listened to the audiobook.

The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock

I thought that this book was going to be a horror and while it was about horrible events, it was not horrifying. It was a good book, it was just not what I expected or wanted it to be. This book definitely has a very distinctive atmosphere and vibe, but outside of that I don’t think it will stick with me.

The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

This book was weird. I didn’t like it, but I did read it all. It was quite easy to read, but that is the only good thing it had going for it. The relationship is weird – the time travel means that the age gap is weird and I could not look past that. While it does imply that their relationship was fated, it also was just weird. A 42 year old man convinces a 13 year old girl they are destined to be together. I had other problems with this book as well – particularly in regards to children and disabled children. The only reason I kept reading was because I wanted to see if my view of the text held up throughout the whole book.

Writers & Lovers: Amazon.co.uk: King, Lily: 9780802148537: Books

Writers & Lovers by Lily King

This book was phenomenal. It was one of those occasions where I started the book quite casually and suddenly I had read the whole thing. I basically had to just to finish it really quickly. I loved the book. I loved the main character. I really cared about her relationships. I cared even more about her writing. It was one of the best books I have read. The writing itself was beautiful.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemison

I was in the mood for some fantasy and I decided to try and get into an adult fantasy book. I had almost no idea what this would be about – the blurb is so vague, I dare you to understand it. I found it slightly hard to get into and it was not my favourite fantasy book I have read. It was beautifully written and the world was great. I really liked where it ended, so I will definitely continue. When I got to the end, I realised I really liked the character relationships and am excited to see where it goes. I think this book might be set up for the rest of the books – it was cool, but I did predict the best bit.

Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton

I would enjoyed Ghosts by Dolly Alderton and knew I needed to pick this one up too. Also, somehow I keep finding myself reading books about women being in their 20s and having no idea what they are doing. This in no way reflects me life. I listened to the audiobook and had a great time.

Chain of Iron (The Last Hours, #2) by Cassandra Clare

Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare

This was what I was waiting for. I had been craving a young adult fantasy book where I loved the characters and I knew that this would deliver everything I wanted and more. It was so good. I loved the drama – especially at the end. I cant quite Cassandra Clare books and it is because she always delivers.

The Twits by Roald Dahl

This audiobook was great. A friend inspired me to pick this up and it was well worth it.

A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie

This was not my favourite Christie book I have ever read. It was good but it felt like there was something missing for me. I think I like her stories when they focus on an enclosed setting with a group of people forced together. I don’t think I loved how much travelling there was in this one. I did read it really quickly though. I got into it so much quicker then I expected to, Christie is just one of those writers that draws you in quickly.

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo | Waterstones

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo

This book was fantastic. I love a book that focuses on lots of different people and I loved the connectivity between these stories. It was a deep dive into multiple different black women. It showed that perspectives differ and people are just muddling through. A great book.

The Cousins by Karen M McManus

I wanted something easy to read and this delivered. I wanted it to have more about wealth as I love a book about the highest classes. But it was what I wanted it to be, it was easy to read and a fun time. I am defo too old for these books now though.

Wrapping It Up: Books I Read in February 2021

I am starting to loose steam a bit with reading, this term I have a lot of deadline and am just generally tired.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

I did enjoy this book but I think my lack of motivation to read affected my enjoyment of it. I really enjoyed the beginning and I loved the quirky characters. Maybe this might have to be something I eventually reread.

Nella Last’s War

I read this book for history, it was okay. Would not have read it myself.

The Nickel Boys - Wikipedia

The Nickle Boys by Colson Whitehead

My reading experience for this book was slightly affected by the fact that while listening to the audiobook I got really into podcasts. This meant that a took a little break while reading the book. I did really enjoy it though and found it was a fascinating read. However, I probably would have preferred The Underground Railroad as that is a book I was more consciously excited to read.

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh | Waterstones

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

I don’t fully know how I feel about this book. I did enjoy it and I am glad I read it, I just don’t have massive thoughts about it. I think part of it might be because I started to read it cause I thought it might be helpful for university. However, I have come to realise that I do love a book about ridiculous rich people, and I do love a book about university and weirdly close friendships. Maybe if I reread it it would do more for me – on paper it is basically everything that I love.

Hag-Seed: Amazon.co.uk: Atwood, Margaret: 9781781090220: Books

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

I really enjoyed this book. Reading this reminded me why I love Margaret Atwood so much. Although this book is slightly different from the other books of hers I have read. This is the only one I have read with a male perspective and it also includes more action that the rest of her books. I will say I might have got more out of it if I had read The Tempest, but I do feel like I know quite a lot about it now. This story includes theatre, revenge, ghosts and loveable outcasts – this are all things that I really love.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

I will say that I went into this book knowing that I would probably prefer the sequel – that one includes tropes that I traditionally enjoy a bit more. But, saying that I did really enjoy this one – just not as much as the hype for this book. I will definetly get the second one soonish.

The Voyage Out by Virginna Woolf

I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. I wanted to diversify my reading a bit and read some modernist texts. This was a great choice. I really enjoyed it’s exploration of class and women’s role, although you would expect the later from Woolf.

Such a Fun Age: 'The book of the year' Independent: Amazon.co.uk: Reid,  Kiley: 9781526612144: Books

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

This book was fantastic. At this point, it is my favourite book I have read this year. I got about 10 pages in and new I was going to love it. The writing style is fantastic, I found it so engaging. I am definitely going to read everything she has ever written and will write. The themes were fantastically explored. It explored race relations so fantastically. I both learnt a lot and had times when I found uncomfortable which was great. I also loved how the main character was in a stage of her life where she was unsure of her purpose and direction. A perfect book.

Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn

I listened to this as an audiobook and really enjoyed it. I wasn’t my favourite book she’s written by any means but it was a really good time.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Another book I read for university. It was really, really good, but not my favourite thing I have read for the course.

I Want to be Where the Normal People Are by Rachel Bloom

I read this book before bed for a while and it was a good time. I love Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is one of my favourite shows. So, I obviously had to read her book. It was an easy read, but I think her humour works better on TV than in a book.

Take A Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

I really did enjoy this book, it was definitely more my thing than the first in the series. I loved the tropes, but mostly I loved the characters. Such a good book.

Wrapping It Up: Films I Watched in February 2021

Thanks for my university modules for keeping my film watching up, don’t know what I would do without it.

The Sixth Sense - Wikipedia

The Sixth Sense

My children in horror module is to thank for quite a few new favourite films. I don’t know how I have never watched this film before, I loved it so much! I really enjoyed the emotion of this film, I very nearly cried a few times. I could talk forever about my love of Toni Collette, but lets be honest the star of this film is Haley Joel Osmet. Such a fantastic film!

To All the Boys: Always and Forever - Wikipedia

To All The Boys: Always and Forever

So… I cried watching this film. There was something about what it was saying about making the right university choice for you that really hit me in the moment. I am about to graduate university and I did not like that it made me think about the future. Other than that the film was a really nice ending to the series.

The Shining

Yet another horror film. I am not fully sure how I compare this to the book. I think I like both, but they are very different and I do have the odd problem with both of them. But, I will say I love analysing both text – very interesting and intriguing.

Bombshell (2019 film) - Wikipedia

Bombshell

I did not really know what this film was about when I started to watch it. I also don’t fully remember the news story – I must have heard of it at the time but I have literally no memory of the story. It was a fantastic film, it was hard to watch when it needed to be and had a great message.

Ringu and The Ring

More films from my univeristy course. These were not my favourite of what I’ve watched, but I did love that they both gave me Scream vibes.

Wrapping It Up: TV Shows I Watched in February 2021

Am I ever going to watch anything other than the OC? At this point it seems unlikely. This post might end up being very short. I am absolutely loving the OC, it is exactly what I need in my life. It is easy to watch, melodramatic and has engaging characters!

Wanderlust: Season 1 - Rotten Tomatoes

Wanderlust

I did eventually watch something other than the OC. I basically wanted to watch this show because I love Toni Collette, that’s basically it. Also, it has a guy from Waterloo Road in it, and sometimes that is enough. I am enjoying the show, it is an interesting premise. I will have to see how it turns out. It might take me a while to watch it cause I am basically always watching the OC.

The Big Family Cooking Showdown

I am hoping that this show will fill in the hole left in my heart by The Great British Bake Off. Basically, it might be sad that GBBO is no longer on Netflix, so I have decided to watch this as it has Nadiya Hussian. Hopefully, it will become a new comfort show. I am enjoying it, but I am also very early days.

Trying to Relax

Trying to relax is hard for me. Relaxing is hard for me, but somehow even trying to relax is hard. I like being productive, I like getting stuff done, I like achieving my goals. However, my whole life should not be me achieving things. I really need to relax – man am I tired at the moment. Productivity colure has ruined my ability to relax. Even in a global pandemic when I have more time, I still cannot relax. Why am I like this? I blame society – but maybe that is just me not wanting to blame myself.

Wrapping It Up: Films I Watched January 2021

Expect a lot of horror this month as that’s what the university module I am taking is about.

Spree

I don’t think I liked this film… I think. I’m still not fully sure how I feel about it. It was not the worst thing I have ever watched and the message was interesting (if a bit obvious). I think it was just a middle of the road horror film.

The Bad Seed

I had to watch this film for university and it was not amazing. It is obviously an old, overly-dramatic film and I can’t hold that against it. But alongside the almost unbearable acting and dramatic moments, the overall message of the film was problematic – you cannot change your familial destiny etc.

American Psycho (film) - Wikipedia

American Psycho

I read this book ages ago and have never watched the film, even though the film is more iconic than the book. I thought now was the right time to finally get to it, and I enjoyed it but I definitely think it is one of those stories that cannot affect you the same way twice. I remembered quite a bit about the book which was nice as it meant I remembered scenes (it is a very accurate adaption), but this also meant that it was unable to shock me. Also, the unease over whether he is actually doing the actions if much more affective in the book as it is from his perspective. I still think that this book is one of the best and accurate film adaptations I have ever seen, but film and literature are just different mediums.

The Innocents

I also watched this for university. It was good, but not my favourite adaption of Turn of the Screw.

Don't Look Now - Wikipedia

Don’t Look Now

Apparently I basically only watched horror films this month, most of which were for university. Not a big month for films for me. I absolutely loved this film, and the short story, it might be one of my favourites. I love a film that makes you think and the filmography of this film really makes you question everything. A classic for a reason.

The Exorcist

I can now say I have watched The Exorcist which is quite cool, but other than that I didn’t particularly enjoy this film. It was okay but it somehow felt even more conservative than the book.