I honestly thought I’d fall apart on spelling the month out in my books for February. We needed one more letter and the month was shorter. It seemed like a recipe for disaster. It was a bit of a struggle to find something for Y and I had to break my book buying ban. Then there was the fact that I had to find last minute alternatives for R and B because I wasn’t going to finish the two I’d set aside. I found E a bit more of a struggle than I expected but, once again, Agatha Christie came through for me.
I’m always really interested in those challenges that ask you to spell out certain works using book titles. It’s always fun. I never really struggle with spelling out my name because, weirdly, the letter U is pretty easy. I liked the idea of spelling out the months with books but, being the overachiever that I am, I needed to go one step further. I secretly decided that I would tailor my reading material in January so I would have one book for each letter. In my attempt to keep my intentions hidden, I didn’t read them in order. Although, I’m not actually that paranoid. It was more to do with the fact that I had already started reading an A book when I made this decision. I can’t promise I’ll do this every month because some of them of really long. Plus, I think I’ve used up one of my only Y titles and I’m meant to be buying fewer books this year. But, we’ll see how it goes.
If all had gone to plan today, I would have been writing my review of Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory. Of course, things haven’t gone to plan at all. I just haven’t got round to reading enough this week and I’m still waiting to finish it. I’ll be honest, I’m not enjoying it as much as I thought I would but I do think it’s a great book. Maybe I’m just not in the mood for non-fiction? I’ve got a load of cosy crime waiting for my and I think I’m just waiting to get onto that. Knowing what I’ve got waiting for me is only making the task of getting through this book even harder. Hopefully, I’ll be ready to move on tomorrow. For now, I’ve picked a random book tag to entertain you.
So, I’m not going to lie to you. Yet again, I haven’t finished a book. It’s been a hectic week and I’ve been feeling shit. So, reading has taken a bit of a backseat. I’m away this weekend and I wanted to get ahead with posts so I didn’t have to worry about anything. I’ve been writing and taking photos in every spare second. Because I’m away in London this weekend. I’m finally getting to see Hamilton and I have no words for how excited I am. I can’t… WAIT FOR IT. Geddit? Aaah. Anyway, in the absence of a review and, needing to write something, I decided it was the perfect time to do the Hamilton Book Tag. This is a super old tag but if I’m not going to do it now when am I? I found this on DreamlandBookBlog but I think it was created on YouTube by Maureen Keavy. Either way, I’m doing it now.
We’re only 6 days from Christmas day and I’m feeling anything but festive. Forget one of my dark days, it’s been a dark week so far. I understand that the idea of being completely happy in your job is a lie that we’ve been fed since childhood but I was, at least, hoping the happy moments would outweigh the sad. Not this week. Out of the 4 shifts I’ve done so far this week, I’ve come away wanting to sit in the dark and cry after 3 of them. Which has had a massive knock-on effect on my reading so I’m nowhere near finishing Murder on the Orient Express. It’s a rereading so, realistically, I could still have written a review of it but, to be honest, I just want to go to bed and forget this week ever happened. So, I went searching for an easy book tag to fill in the space in my schedule and even that proved to be too draining. And now I’m sat here feeling defeated and quite pathetic for letting this get to me so much. I hate being the kind of person who constantly moans about work and who gets so upset about it. But, unfortunately, some days there are just so many frustrating things that, instead of washing over my head, they just end up drowning me. Still, I’d hate myself just as much if I didn’t get a post up, so I searched the internet for an appropriately Christmassy tag. Let’s see how this goes.
So, this week definitely got away from me somewhere. I expected to be finished with another book by this point but I’m still reading both of the books I’ve got on the go. I should have Matt Haig’s Notes on a Nervous Planet by next week but, for now, I’m having to find something random to fill out this post. Thankfully, it’s nearly October and I’ve been trying to get into the spirit of Halloween all month. Last week I posted a Nightmare Before Christmas themed post on Instagram so when I discovered this book tag everything seemed perfect. It helps that I love both the book and the film A Nightmare Before Christmas. But who doesn’t? It’s the perfect film to start you off on your journey to Christmas as early as October. Why wait until advent to start watching Christmas films when Tim Burton has you sorted? And why watch the film when you can do the book tag? Yeah? No? Okay. Well I’m invested now.
Last Monday I was lucky enough to see Bianca Del Rio perform in Manchester. It was something I addressed last week in my review of Hurricane Bianca so you may well be wondering why I’m bring it up over a week later? Well, I’m currently writing this the week before I go on holiday so I can schedule it to be uploaded whilst I’m away. It’s a level of dedication I’ve never strived for before and it feels weird. Good but weird. So, I’m still on a bit of a drag high. I mean I’m always on a bit of a drag queen high. I definitely thought I would hate Drag Race when a friend suggested I watch it but I was, as she predicted, quickly obsessed. I’ve watched all but the first season of the show at least three times in the last 12 months. Okay, I’ve not rewatched season 10 yet but Eureka annoyed the fuck out of me. I can’t go through that again. So, yeah, I love a bit of drag. And, as it’s on my mind, I decided to try to see if there was a Drag Race book tag. For one thing, there’s a book tag to do with anything these days. And, for another, I needed something to bosh out quite quickly. Luckily, I’m not the only Drag Race loving book nerd.
Today I finally got to see Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and I’m so happy. I’ve been excited about it for ages and I’m so glad I managed to see it so quickly. I think it was quick anyway. How long has it been out now? Probably ages. Still, I’m on a bit of a dinosaur high and kind of forgot about tonight’s post. I don’t know what’s up with my lately but I’m sure getting forgetful in my old age. So, being my I haven’t finished my current read in time to write a review so I’ve been madly looking for inspiration all night. Stumbling across the Jurassic Park book tag on YouTube feels like fate right now. I’m not a massive fan of doing this (especially when I’m doing them off my own back and not because someone wants me to) but sometimes needs must. And it’s not as if it’s going to hurt anyone or anything other than my pride.
Christmas is only 5 days away and I’ve only got 3 days at work until I have a whopping 2 days holiday. Woo! Yep, I’m on the late shift on Christmas Eve and then back in work at 6am on 27th December. I never get a Christmas break as I’m always called upon to do this gem of a shift. It sucks but my manager’s aren’t willing to change their ways. Still, I am desperately trying to get in the festive spirit by watching Christmas movies, wearing Christmas jumpers, and endlessly listening to festive jingles. It works some of the time but, as anyone who works in any kind of retail/hospitality job this time of year knows, it’s hard to not let the season of good will break your spirit. No matter how many times I play my favourite Christmas song on repeat. Speaking of, what is your favourite Christmas song? I read an article recently that made the bold claim that the best was officially All I want for Christmas is you by Mariah Carey. I really doubt the validity of their statement because I, for one, wasn’t asked my opinion. I fucking hate that song and, whilst I’m at it, I hate Fairytale of New York too. It’s not cool to like it because it promotes alcoholism and includes swearing. It’s a shit song that doesn’t promote the festive spirit. My number one? Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses or anything featuring the Muppets. I’ve got simple tastes. As you’ll see in yet another Christmassy book tag.
1. “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch”: Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love.
What’s that It Crowd quote? “All women love a bastard”, right?! Well, in certain circumstances that’s true. Villains are just more interesting than most good guys. I mean look at Harry Potter. I’m far more interested in the likes of Bellatrix and Lucius Malfoy than I am in Harry himself. Harry’s a whiny, egotistical classic chosen one. I can’t stand him most of the time. I guess when it comes to the ultimate bad guy you can’t help but love I’d have to go with my traditional answer: Humbert Humert from Lolita. I’m not saying I actually love him but there’s something about Nabokov’s narrative that means you end up kind of sympathising with a disgusting paedophile.
2. “All I Want for Christmas is You”: Which book do you most hope to see under your Christmas tree?
There’s always loads of books I want but I don’t often get them because I’m useless at giving hints. I guess the ultimate goal is the second and third illustrated editions of Harry Potter and the Visual Editions’s version of Don Quixote. All very gorgeous and all over my personal book price limit.
3. “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”: Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves.
I feel like my answer to this isn’t going to be that original but, when you think of character development, isn’t it Neville Longbottom than first comes to mind? Look at how far he comes from the scared loner with no friends other than his toad to a strong young man who is leading the DA in a Death Eater filled Hogwarts. He’s a great guy. A much more deserving hero than fucking Harry.
4. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”: a) Which character do you think would be on the top of the naughty list? b) Which character do you think would be at the top of the nice list?
Naughty List: Is saying every literary villain ever a cop out? What a silly question. Anyone who is vaguely bad should be on the naughty list but how to you quantify naughtiness. Who would be the top? Some kind of serial killer like American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman? Or Sauron from Lord of the Rings? Nah, how about Ramsay Bolton from A Song of Ice and Fire? He organised the Red Wedding… there’s no way Santa can even try to forgive that.
Nice List: Again, every hero or nice person in any novel ever. But, purely in the name of playing the game, I’m gonna say Winnie the Pooh. Why? It just popped into my head but that guy always tries to do the right thing. He’s niceness personified.
5. “Frosty the Snowman”: Which book just melts your heart.
I’m not much for the melty-heart kind of books these days. I prefer my novels to be hard hitting and dark. So much so that I’m drawing a major blank on this answer. It probably says a lot about me. I’m a fucking ice queen. I guess, if I were pushed, I’d probably say the Sophie books by Dick King Smith. I was obsessed with those books as a child and they’re so adorable.
6. “Feliz Navidad”: Choose a book that takes place in a country other than your own.
Anything by Haruki Murakami. Let’s say Norwegian Wood. I know that I don’t have enough diversity in my reading material but I’m trying to be better. It’s just that my TBR is kind of full of books written by white men and women. It’s always a question of trying to clear that or be more adventurous. I’m just drowning in books.
7. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”: Which holiday themed book do you use to spread the Christmas joy?
I think A Christmas Carol is a great read and, probably, a book that people won’t be as familiar with as they think. Dickens’ original tale is a lot darker than many adaptations allow. The scene with Ignorance and Want is actually quite disturbing. But, it can’t be denied that the Christmas message runs through and, let’s be honest, it provided the basis for the greatest Christmas film ever made.
8. “Sleigh Ride”: Which fictional character would you choose to spend the holidays with (doesn’t have to be a love interest!)
I know it says one character but I’m just going to say the Weasley family. Imagine spending Christmas at the Burrow? It would be so cosy and full of love. Molly rushing around preparing food. Fred and George pulling pranks on everyone else. Arthur enchanting some muggle fairy lights. It’d be brilliant. If we’re talking romantic Christmas then I’ll have to leave the bookish world and say Chief Hopper from Stranger Things. My passion for that man is so strong. I’d spend Christmas with him in his cabin finding fun ways to keep warm!
9. “Baby it’s Cold Outside”: Which book that you didn’t like would you sacrifice to a fire to warm yourself up in the cold?
Which book would I burn? Now normally I’m against damaging any book, no matter how terrible, but there is one book I’ve read this year that leaps to mind. One of Us is Lying is the most offensively bland and unoriginal book that I’ve ever read. It deserves to be destroyed in a horrible way just for being so fucking blatant. Urgh, I’ve never hated a book this much and I did a whole course on novels of sensibility. Those books are super sexist.
10. “Do you hear what I hear”: Which book do you think everyone should read?
Oh loads. The one I’m always pushing on people is The Monk by Matthew Lewis because it’s fucking crazy. I love it. However, my books of 2017 have to include First Love by Gwendoline Riley and Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. I’d recommend reading First Love and listening to the audiobook of Saunder’s Man Booker winning novel. I adored them both in very different ways.