Monday Rundown – That’s What She Read

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So, eagle-eyed readers out there will realise that I’m a day late with my weekly rundown. That’s because I only got back from London today. I’ve had a lovely but busy weekend visiting my friend so decided to leave this until tonight. The weekend has been great. I watched a terribly Christmas classic in Jingle All the Way on Saturday night but balanced it out by watching A Muppet Christmas Carol immediately after. I listened to some poetry, visited the design museum and went round an incredibly patronising exhibition about the North. As two Northerners we couldn’t help but cringe about the awful way the Somerset House exhibition portrayed Northerners. It was totally misjudged in tone and, really, only helped strengthen unhelpful stereotypes about the North/South divide. But I don’t want to get into that right now. On with the rundown.

Weekly Blog Posts

  • TUESDAY’S REVIEWS – Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond (2017)

I’ve been waiting for this documentary to come to Netflix for so long and, when it finally did, I couldn’t wait any longer to watch it. Was it worth it? Find out in my review here.

  • BOOK POST – The Guilty Reader Tag

Amazing! I finally have something to say for this section of my rundown. It’s not very inspiring but this tag might give you a little bit of insight into who I am as a person. Find out for yourself here.

  • TBT – Man on the Moon (1999)

I couldn’t not watch Jim and Andy and then miss the chance to (re)watch the original film. Did the behind the scenes view have an impact on my viewing? Find out in my TBT post here.

Recently Finished

  • Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
It took god knows how long to get there but I finally have. I’ve got a fairly busy week but I’m hoping to post my review of this book on Wednesday. Check back later to find out if I manage it or not.

Currently Reading
  • Autumn by Ali Smith

When the winner of the Man Booker prize was announced I was really pleased because I loved Lincoln in the Bardo. However, that wasn’t the reaction of everyone. Some random on Instagram was poo pooing the winning book and saying this book by Ali Smith was the only deserving winner. In the name of fairness (and not because I’m really petty) I decided to see for myself. I started it on the train to London and it’s better than I was expecting. I didn’t get very far though. We’ll have to see.

Recently Purchased 
  • Cheap book haul

So I bought a couple of new books when I found them on offer on Amazon for Cyber Monday and I also snagged a few new Vintage Penguins. Amazing result.

  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie – I bizarrely don’t seem to have a copy of this book anymore so I couldn’t resist the gorgeous new (I think) hardback edition from Harper Collins. Plus, it was also only £4. Genius.
  • Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood – Another cheap buy and one that I’ve wanted for ages. Although, I’ve have a few of these Shakespeare rewritings on my shelf for a while and never got anywhere with them. The Tempest really isn’t my favourite play but this sounds really good. And if anyone can make it interesting then it’s Atwood, right?
  • Vintage Penguins – I bought a few more of these than I needed to but I can never resist a beautiful vintage penguin.
    • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
    • Scoop by Evelyn Waugh
    • My Man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
    • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
    • The Nuremberg Trials by R.W. Cooper
Recently Watched 
  • Netflix Binges: QI, Compete to Eat
I’ve not really watched a lot this week. I guess it helps that my days off have both involved me being really busy. I was either preparing for my weekend away or travelling to London. I did manage to watch a bit more QI, which is always a lovely way to pass the time. Then I binged watched Compete to Eat: a ridiculous cooking show where two chefs head to cabins in the Canadian wilderness and try to cook a 3 course meal with whatever they find in the cupboards. I love a good cooking show but this definitely isn’t one. I watched it whilst I was packing and only got the end so it wouldn’t show up on the ‘Continue’ section of my Netflix home page.

Sunday Rundown – That’s What She Read

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This week has been awful. Last Sunday I came down with a bit of a cold that quickly turned into the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. I’ve spent this week at work feeling like I was submerged under water but at a depth that was causing me intense pain all over my body. There was genuinely a point when my headache felt like a bunch of tiny pixies were repeatedly stabbing me with their tiny pixie knives. Then there was the guy who was attempting to jab a screwdriver through my eyeball several times a day. It’s been dreadful. I tend to get a bit pathetic when I’m ill. I just lie down and accept death no matter what the affliction. So, I haven’t had a very exciting week. Especially considering I was expecting to have finished my current read by now. November and October were really shitty reading months for me. Must try harder in December.

Weekly Blog Posts

  • TUESDAY’S REVIEWS – Geostorm (2017)

I could have gone my whole life without seeing this ridiculous looking Gerard Butler film but, in a cold-induced haze, I watched it. It’s safe to say my life will never be the same. Find out more here.

  • BOOK POST

Again, I genuinely planned on writing something this week but, you know, ill. It’s amazing I managed to do anything this week. I will start doing this on a regular basis soon… I’m sure of it.

  • TBT – Left Behind (2014)

After describing Gerard Butler as the new Nicolas Cage I decided it was only fitting to watch one of the Cagester’s films for this week’s TBT. I picked the shortest one I could find on Netflix because that’s the kind of approach I have to this segment. It was another life-changing watch. Read all about it here.

Currently Reading

  • Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
As I’ve already mentioned, I’ve been so ill this week. I’ve been unable to do anything really so have let my reading get away from me. I’ve managed a couple of chapters this week so I really need to step up my game.

Recently Purchased 
  • Oxfam book haul

Another week and another couple of trips to the new Oxfam books in town. God I love this shop.

  • Surrender the Pink by Carrie Fisher – I bought this because, duh, I adore Carrie Fisher and this has one of the most intriguing openings I’ve ever read. “Dinah Kaufman lost her virginity a total of three times. Not because it was so large that it took three times to knock it out, but because she thought losing your virginity was supposed to mean something and it took her three strikes to feel that she was even remotely in the meaning ball game.” If you read that and didn’t think the phrase “three times to knock it out” was enough to make you buy it then we’re just too different.
  • Brighton Rock by Graham Greene – I bought another copy of this because it was a really simple but really lovely looking Penguin edition. You’ll definitely see it on my Instagram soon.
  • Sherlock Holmes: The complete illustrated short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – I own far too many different copies of the Sherlock Holmes short stories but this illustrated book was an instant buy. It’s gorgeous and was so fucking cheap.
  • The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith – This was something of a guilty purchase because it was in the collectables section of the store. I’m talking locked in a fucking cupboard and everything. This is an illustrated edition of a novel of sensibility that I studied at university. It’s so beautiful and, despite being on the higher end of the charity shop scale, is still cheaper than a brand new paperback. I saw this and spent days thinking about buying it. I’m so glad I did.
Recently Watched 
  • Netflix Binges: Jonathan Creek, QI
To be honest, I couldn’t really remember what I’ve been watching this week. I think I’ve mostly fallen asleep trying to watch most things. I’m so pathetic at the moment. I’ll be better next week.

Sunday Rundown – That’s What She Read

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So, this week a new Oxfam books store opened up a couple of doors down form work. I always try to buy books from charity shops if I can because it makes me feel less guilty about indulging in my passion despite having no space or money for books. You know, it doesn’t become a present for myself but a way to help the less fortunate. I’m not treating myself; I’m doing a good deed. It’s taken all of my willpower to not stop in every day this week and I managed to come away only having gone in their once. I made a small (ish) haul and was incredibly satisfied with the results. I also happened to be shopping at the same time as a rather attractive young man. A life of reading books and watching sappy TV and films had prepared me for this moment. As we were both browsing the classics section we would both reach out for the same book. We’d laugh awkwardly before bonding over our love of books. Boom! Love, marriage, kids. We all lived happily ever after. What actually happened was: I nearly tripped over my extremely long coat after perusing the bottom shelf, I nearly bumped into him and I left the shop no closer to finding my soul mate than I was walking in. Why can’t life be as simple as it is when an author is neatly plotting every twist and turn?

Weekly Blog Posts

  • TUESDAY’S REVIEWS – Thor Ragnarok (2017)

After trying to organise a cinema trip with a friend for ages I finally got to see the latest Thor. It’s no real spoiler to say that I fucking loved it but if you fancy more information my review is up here.

  • BOOK POST

I promise you I was planning on writing a bookish post this week but, when it came to Wednesday, I just had nothing in me. I was exhausted and fell asleep far too early. I’d rather post better quality stuff than rigidly stick to my schedule so this could be happening more than I’d like.

  • TBT – Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Watching Thor Ragnarok gave me the perfect excuse to finally watch Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople for my TBT review this week. Everything you need to know is here.

Currently Reading

  • Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
I was actually planning on spending most of today blasting through this book but I woke up feeling dreadful. I’m full of cold. Well, half of my face is full of it. My right nostril is so bunged up that every time I breathe in it sounds like the low growling noise the T-Rex makes in Jurassic Park. So, instead of reading I’ve slumped in front of Netflix and napped all day. Not a productive use of my day off but I appreciated it.

Recently Purchased 
  • Oxfam book haul

Believe me, there were plenty of books I could have walked away with but the stupid card machine wasn’t working and I only had a limited amount of cash on me. Thankfully I guess. I still managed to pick up four bargains. 

    • The first was a gorgeous simple copy of The Stranger by Albert Camus. I’ve not read any Camus besides The Plague, which I gave up on halfway through. This is widely considered to be his best book so I figured giving it a try might inspire me to restart The Plague eventually.
    • The second was a vintage copy of Crime and Punishment with a weird, trippy cover. I already own too many copies of this book considering how many times I’ve tried and failed to finish it. This is the smallest though so it might be better for reading on the go.
    • The third is a find I’m really excited about. You can so rarely find good quality Penguin Clothbound Classics in charity shops that I couldn’t pass up the chance to get Great Expectations. I book this just for the edition but this is one of only 2 Dickens books that I genuinely really like.
    • The final book is my favourite of them all. It’s a gorgeous and slightly creepy illustrated edition of Animal Farm. The illustrations are really striking and I just couldn’t put it back. I had to have it. The book didn’t have a price so I was super worried it would be out of my budget. Thankfully the woman named an incredibly reasonable price of £2.99. She even looked apologetic about it! I seriously could have hugged her.


Recently Watched 
  • Netflix Binges: Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years LaterJohnathan CreekJack Whitehall: Travels with my Father
I’ve still not let myself start rewatching Stranger Things 2 yet because I rushed it last time. I feel like I’ve got to give myself time for watch number 2. Instead I’ve binged all of Johnathan Creek: a series I’ve watched far too many times considering the amount the quality drops after the first few series. Still, there’s something about Alan Davies playing a magicians technical consultant who also solves crimes that just gets me excited. Today I watched the new Netflix series Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later. I watched and semi-enjoyed both the film Wet Hot American Summer and the Netflix series First Day of Camp when I watched them but can’t say I was particularly blown away. Still, the cast list always manages to drag me in so I eventually watched it. I just still don’t think any of these are as clever as anyone making them thinks they are. They’re not even silly enough for it to good. I don’t know. There were some good moments. Finally, I started watching Travels with my Father and I adore it. I’m not the biggest Jack Whitehall fan but have watched him enough to want to see this. There have been so many awkward and hilarious moments that I hope there are more series to come.

Sunday Rundown – That’s What She Read

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Yesterday was Remembrance Day and, as usual, we had a 2 minute silence at 11am at work. Except, we weren’t given our usual warning before it started and I was so distracted by what I was doing that I didn’t realise what time it was and started chatting away whilst everyone else was silent. It was awful. One of those moments where you have an out of body experience and just start shouting at yourself to ‘shut the fuck up’. Thankfully, it wasn’t for the entire 2 minutes but I can imagine all the customers sitting silently and listening to me gabbing away to myself. I was mortified. I think it’s such an important practice so can’t think of anything less disrespectful. I recently read somewhere that about a third of young people are refusing to wear poppies because they believe it glorifies war. If it’s true and not just journalistic sensationalism then it’s absolutely fucking ridiculous. How can you be accused of glorifying conflict by remembering the people who died to bring freedom to persecuted people? Also, the money raised actually helps the armed forces. It’s not promoting war but helping people who have been affected by it. I don’t whether it’s just that I, having read a load of WW1 poetry in my time, have a pretty good grip on the grim reality of the conditions facing soldiers in the ‘Great War’ but I think wearing a poppy is an important practice. It doesn’t mean your buying into the notion that war fixes everything but it means we’ll, hopefully, learn from out past. Anyway, I wasn’t planning on getting in to this so let’s just get down to business.

Weekly Blog Posts

  • TUESDAY’S REVIEWS – 6 DAYS (2017)

With nothing else to review this week I decided to watch a film that I’d been recommended to watch on Netflix. 6 Days is about a historical British event that I knew very little about so I was quite interested in watching it. See what I thought here.

  • BOOK REVIEW: AND THEN THERE WERE NONE BY AGATHA CHRISTIE

Before Halloween I reread And Then There Were None by Agath Christie. I always love revisiting her novels because they are so charming and British. I wrote down my initial thoughts here.

  • TBT – NOTTING HILL (1999)

Another case of just watching whatever I could be bothered to click on when I was browsing Netflix. I’ve never been a big fan of Richard Curtis’ romantic comedies but, as it’s been a while, I sat down to watch Notting Hill. My review can be found here.

Currently Reading

  • Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
I’ve done some reading this week but, after a particularly difficult day at work, I was forced to stop mid chapter. I hate doing that so haven’t picked up the book again. I still adore it but it’s getting darker as it goes on. I realise it’s par for the course that a novel about an escaped slave being hunted would be a difficult read but the moments with the real underground railroad were so light and happy.

Recently Purchased 
  • Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

I’ve never read this book so when I came across the gorgeous Centennial Edition whilst browsing Amazon I couldn’t resist. And I always believe that buying a book for the cover and because it’s a piece of classic literature makes it an okay kind of purchase. I was probably going to read it eventually so I might as well buy a nice version of it.

Recently Watched 
  • Netflix Binges: Stranger Things, Anchorman 2, American Vandal
I finally got to the end of Season 1 of Stranger Things again and it was wonderful going back. I didn’t think it would be possible to love Hopper anymore but it’s happened. I’m obsessed. What is so great about season 1 is the relationships between the four main kids and how up and down it was. Dustin as mediator is just adorable. The only thing I didn’t like it Steve being a dick for most of the season. His character development between seasons was fabulous and now he’s one of my favourites. Although, that final showdown with the Demogorgon let him have his moment. Here’s to rewatching Season 2. Today, I’ve had a pretty lazy day and have just watched films. I decided to rewatch Anchorman 2 and I’ve decided that, whilst it’s not great, it’s better than I first thought. Finally, I watched the entire first series of Netflix’s true crime parody American Vandal. It’s super silly but also a really clever parody of the genre. I’d recommend it to anyone and I happily await a second series.

SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

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Remember, remember the fifth of November, 
Gunpowder treason and plot. We see no reason Why gunpowder treason Should ever be forgot! 


As I write, I’m surrounded by the sound of fireworks going off in every direction. To be honest, I have mixed feelings about Bonfire Night. I enjoy fireworks as much as the next person but, as someone who loves being indoors, I am slightly apposed to the idea of being stood in the dark and cold for a long period of time. Still, despite having only had about 4 hours sleep on Friday night, I dragged myself out of the house to watch our local display. It was pretty fun and I’m glad I went. Even if I still find it weird that we all happily celebrate the attempted murder and subsequent torture of a load of people in 1605. Like, “oh yeah, Catholics had it so bad that they were driven to try to blow people up before they were found and violently killed. Let’s all stand around having a great time.” Anyway, I’ve discussed this issue enough today so let’s get on with the rundown.
Weekly Bookish Post

  • TBR? More like WTF!

I may have veered away from helpful slightly in last week’s bookish post but I just needed a quick rant about how little I appreciate the Bookstagram obsession with the TBR. Read more about it here.

Currently Reading

  • Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
I’ve had a stupidly busy week so I have to confess that I didn’t actually get round to reading anything this week. I’m planning on really getting back into this book asap because it’s so good. I can’t wait to see where it goes.

Recently Purchased 
  • Treason by James Jackson

This week I was a bit inspired by the time of year and having just watched the BBC show Gunpowder. When I saw this on Amazon I couldn’t resist. It’s a fictional account of the Gunpowder plot of 1605 and it looks really exciting. I’m a bit of a lover of history: I definitely would have studied it at university if I hadn’t loved books quite so bloody much. As such, I adore novels that base themselves in specific historical events and take a fictional slant on it. If it’s done well then it can be magical.

  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

This is one of those books that I’ve had my eye on for a while but never got because I was a bit scared. As you may be aware by now, I’m not a big lover of the majority of YA fiction. I tend to avoid authors that are primarily YA writers because I know the likelihood of me enjoying it is small. However, I enjoyed this year’s Wonder Woman film so much that I just wanted to check this out. I so hope it’s worth it.

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by Alexander Freed

This is another one of those books that I’ve been contemplating for a while. I think Rogue One is the best Star Wars film to be released after the original trilogy and was really interested to read the novelisation. I’ve heard it really adds to the story and gives some much needed development to each character. However, I did quite enjoy the fact that we know very little about each character in the film because, really, it didn’t matter who they were. That’s just the fact of war I guess. 

Recently Watched 
  • Netflix Binges: Stranger Things
So, I’ve been experiencing some Stranger Things withdrawal since I finished season 2. I’ve grown rather fond, okay creepily fond, of Hopper and miss having his beardy face in my life. So earlier this week I made the decision to start watching the entire show from the beginning. I actually forgot a bunch of stuff that happened so it might have been better to rewatch before my season 2 binge but we live and learn. And frankly, as long as David Harbour is there then I’m hooked. This week the latest season of The Great British Bake Off ended so I’ve been looking for a new cake based form of entertainment to take its place. Thankfully, Netflix introduced me to my new favourite show Zumbo’s Just Desserts. It’s insane and so fucking hard. I love it!

TBR? More like WTF.

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In my life as a member of the Bookstagram community the beginning of the month marks the moment where a large proportion of user share a shot of the books they intend to read in the coming 4 weeks. As someone who religiously follows a couple of photo challenges for my inspiration I am often expected to become involved in the TBR pile craze but every photo I’ve ever posted using that hashtag has proved to be a massive lie. I don’t think I’ve ever read any of the books that I’ve included in any of my TBR photos unless I’ve already been reading them at the start of the month. For me, one of the big problems with Bookstagram is the inevitable pressure that comes from comparing yourself to other people. Even though nobody is really competing with anyone but themselves it doesn’t necessarily feel like that. Over the years I’ve felt that my inability to follow a simple monthly TBR is a flaw and some kind of failure. Well, until I decided to just say “fuck it” and do what I like. After all, life’s too short to make and follow a TBR.

Next year I turn 30. I realise that this has nothing whatsoever to do with my TBR fails but it does mean that I’ve had a lot of time to come to terms with the kind of reader that I am. For the vast majority of my academic career I was expected to read the books that were set by other people. Obviously this is normal but it’s not necessarily the best way to get people reading. I much prefer to write essays about books that I’m not too fond of but it’s not always easy reading something that you’ve not chosen. I’ve had to read a lot of shit over the years but I’ve also discovered some of my favourite books. I’ve also not finished a lot of books that I should have read. Especially during my postgraduate studies when I was tasked with reading a bunch of novels of sensibility. I enjoyed the course but these books haven’t exactly aged well. There were a couple of longer novels towards the end of term that I never finished reading because I couldn’t get myself to do it. That’s the problem with not having power over your reading material.

So, when I finished university I decided I would indulge in only reading the books that I really wanted to. Unfortunately, because I’m too easily swayed by covers and hype, I tended to pick books that I really didn’t get on with. Back in those days I would never give up on a book until I finished it… or, as was more often the case, put it back on my shelf to never be touched again. I’ve finally reached a point in my life where I know there’s no point in trying to force myself to read books that I don’t want to read. There’s no sense in wasting what little time I have to indulge in reading on something that I’m not enjoying enough. So, in that case, why should I restrict myself every month to choosing between a handful of titles?

If you guys are anything like me you’ll have a few bookcases filled with books you bought on a whim and never read. I don’t know my exact unread book count because if I ever take the time to count it I know I’ll just start crying by how big it is. It’s such a huge amount that it can cause a lot of stress. I feel the pressure to decrease the number but, in turn, this pressure leads to the same reaction I gave my university reading list. When you have such a large range of books to pick from how can you possibly decide which is important enough to make the top of the list? Well, you can’t. It’s the same reason that I will, probably, never be able to state with any kind of certainty what my favourite book is. Different books work at different times. My tastes change based on so many ridiculous factors: mood; tiredness; hunger; season; time of day; time since last saw a dog; the list is pretty much endless. I can’t predict which books I’m going to be in the mood to read so how am I supposed to compile a TBR for each month?

I can’t say that not living my a TBR each month is making me any better at reading. After all, I’m still too exhausted from work to read and am, more often than not, distracted by something on Netflix. I know that I don’t read enough as I should but I really don’t see how a TBR could improve that. If anything it would make me less likely to read because I’d end up reading something I didn’t want to open. When it comes to books, I’m one of those people that has a super short attention span. By which I mean, whenever I buy a new book that becomes the only thing I think about. They would immediately go to the top of the list. Something that would be fine if I only bought books after I finished one. I don’t. I buy books far too often. By the time I finish my current read I’ll have probably bought or borrowed a couple of new books that will have replaced the previous acquisitions at the front of the queue. As I’ve been doing this for years, the books I bought unnecessarily years ago have got no chance of being read as I continue to spend.

Seen in these terms, having a definite list of unread books or books to read is actually a really scary idea. It suddenly becomes this towering monster that is threatening to engulf you the more you leave it. We’ve all seen how unstable book towers can be and I can’t believe that an imaginary one would be any sturdier. I’m nearly 30 years old, single, living with my parents, and in the same dead-end job I’ve had for years: I have enough to worry about without adding a never ending TBR pile to the list. So, despite my monthly posts that suggest otherwise, I do not nor will I ever have a TBR. I don’t have time for that shit.

SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

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This week I bought one of these 100 Movies Bucket List scratch off posters with the intention of watching every film on it in the coming few months. There are plenty of films that I’ve already seen and a fair few that I haven’t. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m not a massive fan of horror films so there’s more than a few classic horrors that I’ll have to force myself to watch. I’m thinking of making it a blog thing so I can keep updating my progress as we go along but we’ll see. As of this moment, I have only scratched off one panel and that’s only because I promised myself I was never going to watch Dirty Dancing again. I know people adore it but that film did nothing for me. I just found it irritating and silly. Although, I do admit, that the final dance sequence is something I like to watch on YouTube every now and then but I’ve always been a sucker for a good dance sequence in a film. It’ll probably be slow going but 100 films doesn’t seem like such a terrible undertaking. We’ll see how much it affects my reading.

Weekly Bookish Post

Okay, hands up, I didn’t write anything this week because I didn’t have a topic in mind. I want to start writing better posts so I didn’t want to start a habit of posting because I have to. I’ll spend some time thinking of my next one and, fingers crossed, will come up with something useful and interesting.

Just Finished

  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

So, strictly speaking, I haven’t finished this yet but I intend to complete it tonight. It’s been wonderful going back over this tale. It really is one of the greatest pieces of crime fiction that’s ever been written. Agatha Christie really still is the Queen of Crime and this book is a masterpiece. Everything slots into place and it keeps people guessing til the end… unless you’ve already read it obviously. Then it’s just fun picking up on all the things that become so obvious when you know.


Currently Reading

  • Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Still put this on hold. Still trying to stop myself buying the Waterstones special edition hardback. Probably going to buy it.

Recently Purchased 
  • No Art: Poems by Ben Lerner

I had a random bookshop trip whilst waiting for a train the other day and I decided I was in the mood to buy some poetry. I’m a student of Romantic literature so I, understandly, love reading a bit of poetry but I tend to read less of it these days. Especially contemporary poetry. Most of the time I find it a bit too hipster-y for my liking. Like Milk and Honey. I so wanted to like the collection, and I mostly do, but a lot of it just felt silly… or pointless. I don’t know. But I decided to give Ben Lerner’s poetry a try based on the cover alone. I’ve heard a lot about Lerner but never read anything by him. It’ll be interesting to see how this goes.

  • Undying: A Love Story by Michel Faber


 Another collection of poetry added to my library. This time I thought it would be good to see what I thought of Michel Faber’s poetry. It also helps that the quote on the cover is from Ian McEwan, someone who I once considered my favourite contemporary writer. I admit that, even thought I like to act the big cynic, I’m a bit of an old romantic at heart so I do love poetry about love. Especially when it shows the realistic nature of human emotions. We’ll have to see if Faber can deliver.

  • The Novel Cure: An A-Z of Literary Remedies by Ella Berthoud & Susan Elderkin


My final new purchase is a book that I’ve wanted for ages but one I’ve bought in a different edition than I’ve seen. So, no matter how excited I am that I now own it, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed with the way it looks. Anyway, this is one of those fun little books that I just adored the sound of. It suggests reading material that is suitable for whatever malady you are inflicted with. What an adorable idea.

Recently Watched 
  • Netflix Binges: Stranger Things
Stranger Things 2 came to Netflix on Friday. By the time I went to bed on Friday night (before a 7am start at work) I had watched all but 1 episode. This is something that my coworkers judged me on but I couldn’t stop. It was such a good season. Not sure it was as good as the first but it definitely wasn’t a let down. Now I want to go back through from the very beginning and watch both seasons in a row. Yes, there are things that didn’t quite work or needed a bit of tweaking but this show is still pheneomenal. Roll on Stranger Things 3

  • Gunpowder

Thanks to BBC iPlayer I’ve now watched all three episodes of the BBC’s gruesome drama about the gunpowder plot. I absolutely loved the first episode when I watched it. It was dark, yes, but it was dramatic. I can see why people complained about the violence: it all got a bit much at times. Unfortunately, it didn’t really move beyond violence as the episodes went on. I understand that the underlying historical basis is there but it felt like this show had little else to fall back on. I found myself bored for the most part and, let’s be honest, this isn’t a boring story. Yes, we all know how it ends but that shouldn’t mean it couldn’t be exciting. It felt like Kit Harrington and co didn’t really understand their purpose. For the most part they’re trying to justify the attempted murder but then it doesn’t really delve any deeper than the torture scenes. It all feels like a wasted opportunity to make something really good with really great actors.

SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

animation, audiobook, book haul, books, currently reading, Johnny Depp, Netflix, Penguin Books, recently watched, Will Arnett
Bit of a confession time to start with: I’ve just got Netflix back and it’s meant my amount of reading time has decreased quite a bit. I knew I was going to go back before Season 2 of Stranger Things came out but I’ve so easily fallen back into my usual binge watching. I’ve read a bit but definitely not as much as I should have. I’m definitely blaming work; if I wasn’t so tired I wouldn’t find it so easy to just collapse in front of the TV for hours. It would also mean I’d have finished writing this post hours ago instead of now. Although, to be fair, I have been busy today. I’ve taken my usual load of Instagram photos (with a new Halloween aesthetic – so look out for that) and then I’ve had a good tidy. I’m, once again, trying to sort out my life and get rid of loads of stuff I don’t need anymore. Like clothes I haven’t worn in ages or don’t fit. Eventually I’m going to own a normal amount of items and be able to walk around without having to step over piles of books that take up every inch of available space… but that doesn’t sound too much fun really.

Weekly Bookish Post

  • Classic gothic fiction – where to start?

In my new series of, hopefully, helpful bookish posts, I wrote a handy guide to early gothic fiction. I’ve encountered a few people over the years wondering where to start or having trouble getting into The Mysteries of Udolpho. I use my years studying these novels to suggest a way into these novels.

Currently Reading

  • Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
I’ve read a bit of this recently and am still loving it. If the chapters weren’t so long that I keep falling asleep in the middle of them then I’d be further on by now. However, I put it aside in favour of some more appropriate Halloween reading.

  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Starting with one of my favourite Christie novels. It’s a creepy crime tale that is full of death and intrigue. It also helps that I’m reading the Facsimile edition and it’s pretty fucking spooky. I’m hoping to finish this ASAP before moving on to something else. I’ll also attempt to finish my Dracula audiobook. It’s the Audible exclusive featuring a cast including Alan Cumming and Tim Curry. I’m sure it will be fantastic. 

Recently Purchased 
  • Vintage Penguins

 Another week and another batch of new, old books. This time I’ve found the classic Penguin copy of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, the iconic Milton Glaser cover of Run, Rabbit Run by John Updike, and, finally, a rare (ish) edition of Island by Aldous Huxley. They’re all gorgeous and I can’t wait to see them in person.

Recently Watched 
  • Netflix Binges: Rick and Morty, BoJack Horseman
So, after all this time, I finally get Netflix back and what is the first thing I do? Watch the 3rd season of Rick and Morty again. I genuinely think this was the best season so far. It featured the best episode so far (‘The Ricklantis Mixup’) and my least favourite ever episode (‘Morty’s Mind Blowers’). Despite this, it was just a great all round season. The episodes all worked well together and everything was just so entertaining. I can’t wait til the next series comes out in a million years. Then, after having to hear a colleague talk about it recently, I watched the entire new series of BoJack Horseman in a day. I loved it but I’m feeling a bit pyschologically drained. I’m a huge fan of dark comedy but this series was super intense. The episode about BoJack’s mother was fantastic but left me feeling more than a little empty. I definitely think it requires a second watch… just after I’ve got over the first viewing I mean.

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

I watched this for the first time in years for my latest TBT review. Find out what memories it brought up in my review here.

SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

book haul, books, British, Chris O'Dowd, currently reading, Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom, pirates, recently watched, Richard Ayoade, sitcom
So, finally, I’ve sorted my computer woes and bought a “new” laptop. I say new but it’s actually just an old, refurbished one that I can use until I figure out what I’m going to do next. Although, I can’t exactly say my woes are over because the screen is cracked/scratched and the seller is being an arse about it. I guess I’m just destined to be a loser when it comes to technology forever. Anyway, we’re here again with another Sunday rundown and, unfortunately, I don’t have much to report. I’ve tried to get further into my current read but I’ve been super tired all week. It’s been touch and go if I was going to make it through a chapter (something I need to do) before I go to sleep until last night when I just couldn’t do it. It’s been leaving me feeling a bit anxious all day so I’m planning on having a good reading sesh tonight. As early as possible to give me enough time to finish.

Currently Reading

  • Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Still loving this but I just need to get my arse in gear. I’m not reading as much at work so all my book time is pre-bed. It’s not been going so well lately but I really want to finish it asap. I’ve got a huge TBR to get through and loads of books I want to buy.

Recently Purchased 
  • Vintage Penguins

Instagram is both a wonderful and a terrible thing. It makes me so happy to share my book collection with other, interested people and I love seeing other people’s books. However, it does make me more aware that I’m lacking certain things. When planning a recent post I discovered that I didn’t have any purple Penguin books. I decided it was time to rectify that as, now that I’ve also stumbled across a couple of the hard to find grey ones, I only need Purple to complete me Penguin rainbow. The purple are also pretty rare to find these days so I’m extremely excited about this purchase and regret nothing. Despite my new plan to try and stick to a ‘one in one out’ rule that will only let me buy a new book when I finish one. The rate I’m going it’ll be months before I can buy another book!

Recently Watched 
  • Netflix Binges:, IT Crowd, Green Wing
Still not got Netflix back because I’m still trying to read more. Instead I’m still watching some classic British sitcoms on channel 4 catch-up. It’s been great. I finished watching season 2 of Green Wing because I haven’t seen it since it was first on TV. Yes, it’s not as good as the first series but it’s still a fantastically weird show. I love quirky British comedy and this was so different to anything at the time. Now I’ve gone back to the beginning of The IT Crowd. This is the show that really cemented my love of Richard Ayoade and he is undoubtedly wonderful as Moss. There’s something so comforting and familiar about this show and it’s all down to the performances and Graham Linehan’s writing. A classic.

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
I haven’t really liked any POTC film since the first one so I never planned on watching the 5th one. Especially after the 4th was so fucking awful. However, I relented and watched it today. I’ll tell you all about it on Tuesday.

SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

book haul, books, currently reading, Edgar Wright, Nick Frost, poetry, recently watched, Simon Pegg
Writing something in Blogger on an iPhone is fucking awful. Yes, I know this is starting off this post in the most #firstworldproblems kind of way but I’ve only been doing this for the length of the song Hit Me Baby One More Time and I already want to bash my head in. So, as you can probably guess, my laptop is still busted. I’m hoping I’ll have the tools I need by Monday otherwise Tuesday’s review is just going to written in emojis or summed up with one word. Either that or we’ll try voice to text and have a good laugh about how shit that technology is. In other news, I’ve spent all of today lying in bed feeling sorry for myself. I’ve had a cough for a few days and this is my first day off since I got it. Which means whatever is slowly ripping away the inside of my throat has successfully drained me of any energy. It’s just another good excuse for this post being so shit I guess. Have pity on a dying girl guv’nor.

Just Finished

  • New Cemetery by Simon Armitage
This collection of poetry is both tiny and lovely. I read it in about 5 minutes but I really liked it. Not entirely sure it was worth paying full price for. It’s illustrated as well but, again, it doesn’t really justify the £13 price tag. Great collection but disappointing price tag.


Currently Reading

  • Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
This was on my TBR Instagram photo for this month and, for the first time, I actually picked it up. I’ve not got too far but I already love everything about the writing. It’s beautiful. Can’t wait to really get stuck in. 

Recently Purchased 
  • New Cemetery by Simon Armitage

I went into my local bookshop on Saturday in honour of Bookshop day intending to only buy the new Books Are My Bag tote. I also accidentally picked up this small collection of poetry. It’s the Ilkley Literature festival at the moment and Simon Armitage was there the other day. This signed copy was calling tonne. It’s beautiful.

Recently Watched 
  • Netflix Binges:, Snack the Pony, Green Wing
So I’m now finished with NowTV and, considering they charged me after I cancelled my subscription, I probably won’t be going back. Despite this I’m not back to Netflix just yet. I intend to get it before Stranger Things series 2 comes out but, for now, I’m trying to focus on reading. I’ve still managed to binge thanks to Channel 4 catch-up and have spent the time in my such bed watching great comedies from my past. 

  • The World’s Emd 
I didn’t like this film when it first came out. My love of Edgar Wright is currently pretty strong so I decided it was worth another shot. See what I thought in my TBT review here.