SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

I’ll be honest with you, this week has fucking sucked and I’m super glad it’s over. It’s been a shit week for my family and, really, I haven’t felt in the mood to do anything. Other than shop. That’s the one thing I can rely on at all times. So this week’s rundown isn’t exactly inspiring. I have read some things but I’m only getting through one chapter a night because I’m so tired. Still, it’s hopeful and tomorrow is the start of a new week. It can only get better.. or I hope so because any worse and I’d have to give everything up.

Currently Reading

  • The Plague by Albert Camus
This is slow going, I’m not going to lie but I am getting into it. I love the writing and it’s a super interesting study of humanity in a difficult time. I’ve had this on my TBR for ages so I’m hoping I get more inspired soon. I just need to watch less Netflix and spend less time on the internet. 

Recently Purchased
  • The Magician of Lublin by Isaac Bashevis Singer
I wasn’t supposed to be buying books this week. I was doing so well… until I saw that Pocket Penguin editions come in fucking pink. I know barely anything about this book but as soon as I knew it existed I bought it. I’ve seen bright pink Penguin editions all over Instagram and have always been jealous. Now I have my own and my life feels more full.
  • The Great Science Fiction by H.G. Wells
Another that I don’t need because it contains copies of books I already own multiple copies of. However, this collection of Wells’ stories is beautiful. I’ve never needed a better reason to buy a book in the past so it’ll do me now.
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Illustrated Edition) by J.K Rowling
This is another of those books that I’ve coveted for ages but haven’t felt like I could justify. Until I decided to just say “fuck it” and bought it. It’s a beautiful edition and has already come in handy on my Instagram. I’d say it was a great investment. 
Recently Watched
  • Sherlock series 4 episode 3
I’ve pretty much just finished watching this as I write and I’m not sure how I feel about it. This whole series has been weird. I liked the first episode but it wasn’t anyway near the best. I hated the second but loved the ending. This one felt… disappointing. It was emotional, certainly, but I feel like they’re forever moving Sherlock more into the realms of the Steven Moffat era Dr Who. He’s like a completely different character to the one from the beginning and I just don’t buy it as much. It’s too far removed from the books and it’s an unprecedented change. I’m kind of hoping we don’t get much more because it’ll be a fucking rom-com in no time. It’s less about the solving of crimes and more about Sherlock’s emotions. It’s as awkward and annoying as the moment The Big Bang Theory started making Sheldon a more emotional person. It just didn’t work with the character development they’d already started. I’ll have to watch this again.
  • The Girl on the Train
I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this film considering my feelings on the book. But I kind of wanted to see how it worked out. And I do fucking love Emily Blunt. So, what did I think? Find out Tuesday.
SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

I haven’t given myself much time to read this week because I’ve been busy getting on top of my Instagram and getting my posts in order. As much as I love following prompts in all of the challenges that I’ve been doing, I kinda feel like every thing I’m doing is about photos and finding things to put in photos. The problem with following such great people means I’m forever trying to up my game without losing my own personal aesthetic… which is basically just simple and uncluttered. I don’t get how people can throw so much at a photo and just make it work. I’m more about blanks space and calm in my photos. I guess I just lack the skills for anything too complicated. Sometimes I tend to forget I’m just an enthusiastic amateur.

Just Finished

  • Losing It by Emma Rathbone
So I finally finished this book on Monday night and, it’s safe to say, that I had a shitload of feelings about it. Instead of my planned review of The Nice Guys, my Tuesday review this week turned into my own personal therapy session to get out my anger about this novel. It ended up being quite brutal.


Currently Reading

  • The Plague by Albert Camus
I started reading this after I finished Rathbone’s novel because it was the title I picked out of my TBR jar. It got off to a fairly rocky start when I realised that I’d accidentally skipped the first chapter when I mistook it for an introduction to the novel. But I’m back on track now even if I haven’t dedicated much time to reading this week.

Recently Purchased
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
I had every intention to be good when it came to buying books this week. Well Vintage books really fucked that up by releasing their exquisite new editions of Russian classics. I saw them in my local bookshop during a lunchtime window shopping session and couldn’t resist this one. As soon as I got home I added the remaining books to my Amazon shopping basket. It’s through my not very strong willpower that they’re still there to this day.

  • The Invisible Man and The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
Another day and another great series by Vintage. I saw their new H.G. Wells editions on their Instagram and just couldn’t resist buying a couple. The designs are psychedelic and so colourful. They’re amazing. By this point, I have far too many copies of Wells’ biggest novels but, when they continue to be this beautifully designed, then I can’t stop myself.

  • HHhH by Laurent Binet
Binet’s upcoming book The Seventh Function of Language was part of my Most Anticipated Books of 2017 list. As such, I was starting to feel guilty about never reading his debut novel. Especially as it sounds so fucking amazing. The events of the novel takes place within the real life attempt to assassinate Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich in 1942. However, the events are augmented with Binet’s own commentary about writing the book and the problems that may have arisen. 

Recently Watched
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
So I found this on Netflix early in the New Year and I haven’t looked back since. What a classic. It’s been great to revisit this staple of my childhood viewing. 
Tuesday’s Reviews – Losing It by Emma Rathbone

Tuesday’s Reviews – Losing It by Emma Rathbone

So last night I finally finished the book that has been plaguing me since mid-December. I say finished but, if I’m honest, I got so bored that I skim read the major points of the final chapters. I always feel guilty reading to the end without getting all the way through but I knew early on that I was never going to finish this any other way. And, as I’ve mentioned on my Instagram, this is the year that I don’t waste time pushing my way through books I don’t enjoy. As the finish was unexpected and I’m really in the mood to talk about this book, it does mean that my intended review of The Nice Guys will be put off until next week. I’m sure you’ll survive. Plus, this promises to be a traditional Motherbooker rant so that’ll more than make up for it. Seriously, this book has cause me so much offence since I started reading it. I know I know; I need to get a life. It might just be old age that’s making me so sensitive or maybe I’ve always been this annoying? Either way, I have to get this rage out somewhere.

Losing It was part of my Most Anticipated Fiction of 2016 list because everything I heard about it was positive. I read reviews that claimed it was a fresh take on an all too familiar subject and that it was a triumph for women everywhere. I mean, I have no fucking clue which book they read but it can’t have been this one. Emma Rathbone presents the story of a 26 year old woman who is feeling a shitload of anxiety because she has failed to lose her virginity yet. Obviously, because in our society this idea is so absurd, this leads to much hilarity before she finally manages to achieve her goal. Of course, there is an additional attempt to add emotion and heart by getting the 26 year old virgin to live with her aunt who, by huge coincidence, is also a virgin. I had so much hope for this novel when I first heard about it. There was plenty of potential for it to open a dialogue about virginity but, instead, it just perpetuates every stereotype out there. Instead of representing a young woman happily living a life without sex it shows a someone who finds her inability to get any as a massive failure. Literally everything she thinks about comes back to sex. She leaves her job and moves in with her aunt to find a man. She becomes obsessed with the first guy she meets at her new job and will literally fuck anyone who shows willing no matter where she is or how it comes about.

This book just offers the opinion that it’s so necessary for us to lose our virginity in our early teens that you should go to any length to make sure it happens. Julia even says at one point that, despite having no interest in the man she is with and really not wanting to, she felt the need to continue because she wanted to get it over with. It’s no wonder we live in a world full of sexual assault. Having trouble getting laid, well why bother waiting to find someone who’s up for it when you can just take it for yourself? Now I’m not trying to accuse Rathbone of promoting rape but her novel does promote the idea that if you don’t have sex then you’re some sort of freak. And we already live in a society where sex is problematic. It’s got to the point now where it has become such a basic human right that the internet is full of threats of sexual assault and we live in a world where violent outbursts occur when someone rejects sexual advances. Maybe I’m just oversensitive after I read Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town last year but there’s a sense that the desperation to have sex as soon and as often as possible is getting out of hand. I would have preferred Emma Rathone to understand that before adding her toxic novel to the already tumultuous landscape.
Of course, I realise that this is probably just me reading too much into this and, had the novel been better written, I wouldn’t necessarily feel so strongly about it. However, Rathbone’s writing style is just awful at times. There are moment when she strives for pithy one-liners but just ends up saying something absolutely ridiculous. My personal fave was “A cave was the most inside place you could be, the most private place.” I mean what the fuck does that even mean? Inside is a finite thing. You can’t be more or less inside than something. It’s just Rathbone trying to be philosophical and failing miserably. There are parts of this novel that are just laugh out loud funny… and not for the reasons that Rathbone was hoping. 

The fact is, none of this novel feels real. It doesn’t read like the struggle of a young, single woman in modern society trying to get to grips with things. Instead, it feels like the fictional idea about young people today from the mind of someone at least 5 years older and who has been happily married for years. Take the internet dating that Julia, the books heroine, indulges in. The dates are all completely farcical and the kind of nonsense that would be dreamed up by a committee of sitcom writers rather than something a young woman would allow herself to be subjected to. Losing It is pretty much the literary world’s version of those awkward and cringey comedy shows that think they’re funny and relevant but are only watched ironically by hipsters. The reviews praised Rathbone for her shrewd and detailed insights into the modern world but it is merely the insights into the modern world as seen by bitter middle-aged people.

Losing It also fails to have any real purpose. The story doesn’t really go anyway and basically just comes down to Julia talking about sex, making snap judgements about everyone she meets, snooping around behind her aunt’s back, and generally just being the worst person in history. Now, I’m all for an unlikeable narrator but there has to be a purpose for it. Julia is just selfish and narcissistic because Rathbone doesn’t know how to create convincing characters. Just like she doesn’t understand narrative structure… because there isn’t really one. This isn’t a cohesive plot expertly weaving it’s way through the pages. This is a selection of events that happen are only connected because they happen to one person. And we have all the great sitcom tropes here: internet dating, sex at a funeral, car accident leading to a broken promise, the hilarious but totally unrealistic “oops in my haste I’ve sent this email to everyone I work with” bit, and the amazing “my parents are sexually liberated and I’m all skeezy about it” thing. It’s laughably bad.

And to top it off, Rathbone clearly knew she was in danger of not having a point to make so hastily attached one right at the very end. Yes, amidst everything, we have an awful final paragraph where Julia decides it’s time to stop worrying so much and just relax. Which is a fine point to make, if it in anyway related to what we’d just read. Julia never came to the realisation to stop worrying about her virginity, which is the thing she spent the entire book worrying about. She just finally lost it. That’s not the same thing. Anyone can look back after getting through something traumatic and say “it wasn’t that bad I guess”. It doesn’t make them a better person; they’ve just moved on. There’s no message here. This isn’t some woman overcoming her anxiety and accepting who she is and accepting the path she has ended up on. This is a woman who can stop feeling anxious when she has got rid of the thing giving her anxiety. If someone in a similar position were to read this book, they wouldn’t close the pages and think “maybe this isn’t such a big deal after all”. No, they’d think, “fingers crossed someone I know dies soon so I can fuck a random stranger at the funeral and finally lose my virginity.”

As a 28 year old woman, I am offended that this is the way in which women of my age are being represented. This novel is irrelevant, badly written, and lacking purpose and substance. I have to assume the people who gave it glowing reviews never actually got past the first page. I’ve never been happier to finally put away a book than I was with Losing It. Normally, this novel would sit on my bookshelf going dusty or be donated to charity. I don’t like the sound of either of those options. Instead, I’m going to burn it or something. Cathartic.

SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

It’s finally 2017 and, like everyone else in the world, I’m hoping this year will see me get my fucking act together. Although, I am well aware that I suck at keeping to resolutions and then feel shitty when I break them. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve vowed to stop eating chocolate for the year and then, a mere 8 hours into the new year, have been found stuffing my face on left over Christmas chocolate. So this year I’m trying to take some pressure off by not stopping myself doing things but encouraging myself to do stuff. Like read more, drink more water, and get more sleep. It’s my hope that turning resolutions into positives instead of negatives that I’ll be more likely to do them. Plus, they’re super vague so I don’t need to keep to any rigid promises.

Just Finished

  • The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utpoia by Bryan Talbot and Mary Talbot (Kindle edition)

This was my final read of 2016 and another book to cross off my Most Anticipated Fiction of 2016 list. As my Kindle is only a Kindle Paperwhite I don’t have a colour display so the graphic novel wasn’t quite as good as it could have been but, having since seen it on my PC, I can say the artwork is incredible. It’s a great story based on the life of the French Revolutionary Louise Michel. It’s an incredibly story and, though obviously simplified, presented in a digestible and engaging manner. Part of me wishes there could have been more detail and context but I would certainly recommend it. 


Currently Reading

  • Losing It by Emma Rathbone
I fucking hate this book. There is nothing positive I have to say about it so far except that it’s an easy read. The only reason I haven’t given up is because it’s one from my 2016 list. The characters are awful and have no depth to them. The story is the most superficial bullshit I’ve ever read. It’s like an episode of Sex and the City but with less substance. I mean that show was at least trying, and failing, to promote feminism. This is just confirming the notion that not having sex as soon as possible is a crazy and debilitating move. There’s no balanced argument here. It feels like it was written by someone from Cosmopolitan. It’d be fucking toxic for young women to read.

Recently Purchased
  • What haven’t I bought this month
This has been quite a heavy book buying month so I’ve decided to just shove it all in one section to avoid a huge list of stuff. They’re mainly books from my 2016 list but there are a few oddities that I’ve either wanted to read for a while or that just took my fancy.

  1. Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
    • A book I’ve wanted to read since January. It sounds like a glorious reworking of a problematic Shakespeare play.
  2. The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia by Mary and Bryan Talbot (Kindle edition)
    • See above.
  3. American Gods by Neil Gaiman (Kindle edition)
    • Already own a copy of this but it’s a massive hardback. I wanted to reread it before the series but feel a Kindle edition is easier to read.
  4. Nod by Adrian Barnes (Kindle edition and audible audiobook)
    • Bought on a whim but sounds pretty cool. Only a handful of people are able to sleep and those that do start having weird dreams. The others only have a few weeks before their bodies start to die.
  5. Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami (Kindle edition)
    • Something I’ve had in my peripheral vision for a while but only just bought it. It’s the love story between a woman and her ex-teacher, 30 years her senior. It sounds cute.
  6. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (Kindle edition and audible audiobook)
    • This is one of those books people have been talking about forever so I decided, when it was on offer in the Kindle store, that it was time to get on board. 
  7. Mr Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt 
    • Another one to cross off my 2016 list.
  8. Eleven Hours by Pamela Erens
    • Another one to cross off my 2016 list.
  9. The Fat Artist and Other Stories by Benjamin Hale
    • Another one to cross off my 2016 list.
  10. The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes
    • Another one to cross off my 2016 list.
  11. Jonathan Unleashed by Meg Rosoff (Kindle edition)
    • Another one to cross off my 2016 list.
  12. I Am No One by Patrick Flanery (Kindle edition)
    • Another one to cross off my 2016 list.
See I told you it was a lot. I’ve managed to find quite a few cheap copies of books I’ve wanted to read all year so I’ll hopefully cross them off my list soon. 

Recently Watched
  • The Nice Guys
I needed something to write about on Tuesday. I’ve only heard good things about this so it sounded ideal. See you soon.  
Most Anticipated Books of 2017

Most Anticipated Books of 2017

It’s nearly the start of January 2017 and, after my last post looked back on my last year, this one is looking forward to the next. In 2016 I made the resolution to read more books but didn’t do a great job. This year I hope to get better at reading and, by giving up on books as soon as I stop enjoying them, will hopefully stop falling into reading slumps. So, to inspire me to get stuff finished I’ve created a follow-up to my incredibly popular ‘Most Anticipated Books of 2016’ post with a few of my Most Anticipated Books of 2017. This is only a short number of the huge list I had at one point. It looks as if I’m not going to curb my spending this year. Ah well.



2017 fiction releases I’m excited about

  • Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami

Murakami is one of my favourite writers and this is his first big work of fiction since Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki. This new release will be a collection of seven short stories about single men. This is the 2017 release that I’m most excited about and I can’t wait to read it.

  • Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki

This is supposed to be a darkly funny, noir novel about art, motherhood and female friendship. It’s a story about a female writer who hired a young woman to care for her son whilst she works. The new member of the family quickly integrates herself but things start to take a dark turn. It sounds intense.

  • The Answers by Catherine Lacey

This is Lacey’s second novel and it introduces us to a young woman who is living in constant pain. In order to pay for her experimental treatment, she takes part in a Girlfriend Experiment to play the girlfriend of an eccentric actor. It sounds like an interesting concept.

  • Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh

I’m going to be honest and tell you that I haven’t finished Eileen yet but this collection of short stories by its writer sounds amazing. It’s a collection concerning characters that are all unsteady in their own way. Wanting to be better or more connected, they are their own worst enemies. Doesn’t that sound amazing?

  • Norse Anthology by Neil Gaiman

I’m so excited about this that I’ve pre-ordered it. I love Neil Gaiman and I love Norse mythology so this book is kind of perfect for me. I can’t wait to see Gaiman’s take on these Norse tales.

  • The Seventh Function of Language by Laurent Binet

This book sounds bloody incredible. It offers a different perspective on Roland Barthes’ death and includes a line-up of literary greats. It sounds like a better version of the DaVinci Code but with more about literary theory.

  • Difficult Women by Roxanne Gay

Roxanne Gay set the literary world on fire with her essay collection Bad Feminist  which she is set to follow up this year with Hunger. However, before that is released Gay’s first collection of short stories is set to be published. They describe women in a variety of situations but, considering Gay’s reputation as a writer, it is bound to be a great representation of modern America.

  • Ill Will by Dan Chaon

Ill Will tells the story of two unsolved crimes, one in the past and the other in the present. The two are linked by one man. The story looks at the problem of memory and the dangers of self-deception. It’s a psychological thriller that I could actually get on board with.

  • The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

This novel tells the story of a criminal who is raising his daughter on the run. They move from motel to motel and always watch their back. Now, Samuel, wants his daughter to have a normal life. As they settle down for good, the father and daughter must come to terms with his past as it threatens their present. Sounds like a Tarantino movie or something. I love it.

  • Universal Harvester by John Darnielle

I really enjoyed Wolf in White Van so I’m really looking forward to Darnielle’s follow-up. It concerns a man working at a video rental store who investigates when customers start complaining that there is something strange on one of the VHS tapes. If it’s anything like his previous novel, this will be haunting but brilliant.

  • Flaneuse by Lauren Elkin

This book, part cultural retrospective and part memoir, traces the relationship between women and their cities. Elkin looks into the lives of these women in order to map her own life. It sounds like a different read and I’m pretty excited by it.

  • Idaho by Emily Ruskovich

This debut novel deals with memory, love ad forgiveness. As a wife must come to terms with her husband’s fading memory she attempts to piece together her husband’s past. I’ve heard good things about this and Ruskovich’s writing.

  • Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin

A young woman lies in a hospital bed with a young boy sitting by her bed. It sounds creepy and haunting and I can’t wait.

  • The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

This tells the story of two women in the world of animation. After the release of their first feature pushes them into the limelight, they find their friendship being put to the test. As a lover of animation and well-written stories about well-written women this sounds ideal. I’m looking forward to it. It’s had some good write-ups so far.

  • Somebody with a Litte Hammer by Mary Gaitskill

Mary Gaitskill, the essayist, brings together a series of essays on topics including all things literary, social, cultural, and personal. This is bound to be an engaging and interesting set of essays.

  • Marlena by Julie Buntin

This novel tells the story of two young girls and their turbulent friendship. Their behaviour gets more troubled and outrageous and ends with one girl dead. Years later, the survivor is still haunted by the past and, when a ghost from that year comes resurfaces, she has to come to terms with these events. This sounds like it will be an in-depth study of a friendship and the effect that people have on our lives.

  • South and West by Joan Didion 

This brings together two extended excerpts from the best-selling author’s never-seen-before notebooks. I think it will be interesting to have a greater insight into the mind of the writer and her process.

                                                                                                  Updated Most Anticipated Fiction of 2016

                                                                                                  Updated Most Anticipated Fiction of 2016

                                                                                                  So it’s that time of year when people start to look back and look forward to the year ahead. 2016 has been an odd year. It’s been a great year for my family as my older sister got married and my twin bought a house. However, I’ve felt the sting of job rejection more times than I really want to think about. Still, 2017 has to be my year. Plus, my life is hardly as bad as it could be. After all, with the political climate being so unstable it’s going to be an interesting year that could go either way. But, instead of worrying about what’s to come, I’m going to look back at what I’ve achieved. Which, in terms of reading, isn’t that much. My only resolution last year was to read more but my grand total of reads was pathetic. I’m going to partially blame work and my sister’s wedding for taking my time away from me. So, when I went back to look over my ‘Most Anticipated Fiction of 2016’ at the start of this month I realised I’d failed miserably. So, I’ve been frantically buying as many as possible in the hope I can read them in the coming weeks. So, I’ve updated the list. The titles in red are ones I haven’t bought, orange are the ones I’ve bought but haven’t read, and the limited number of greens are the titles I’ve read. It’s hardly a mixed bunch.



                                                                                                  2016 fiction releases I’m excited about

                                                                                                  • The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes
                                                                                                    • It’s on its way, I promise. I love Barnes’ writing and am still excited to read his take on Stalin’s Russia. I’ve only heard good things about this. 
                                                                                                  • What is not yours is not yours by Helen Oyeyemi
                                                                                                    • Still so keen to read this but haven’t bought it yet because December has turned into quite an expensive month. I’ll wait a bit and then indulge in this collection.
                                                                                                  • Thus Bad Begins by Javier Marias
                                                                                                    • Another one that comes down to money. When it comes to editions I want to wait for the one I like best and, as it happens, this one is the most expensive. I’ll either wait for a cheaper copy or just relent and buy a digital copy. 
                                                                                                  • Nicotine by Nell Zink
                                                                                                    • To be honsest, I still haven’t read Zink’s first two books because I started them in the wrong mood. So, I’ve bought this but have been too afraid to start it. It keeps staring at me from the shelf though.
                                                                                                  • Blood Riders by Gary Oldman and Douglas Urbanski
                                                                                                    • I bought this on pre-order when the release date was still December. However, the date keeps being pushed back so I don’t know when I’ll get it. Good job Gary Oldman is worth waiting for. 
                                                                                                  • Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
                                                                                                    • So excited for this feminist rewriting of The Taming of the Shrew and it’s currently on it’s way. 
                                                                                                  • Shylock Is My Name by Howard Jacobson
                                                                                                    • Bought the paperback and plan on reading it soon. I struggled to get started on Jacobson’s J but am hoping this gets me into his writing so I can revist that book.
                                                                                                  • The Heart by Maylis deKerangal
                                                                                                    • Again, this comes down to me striving to get a specific edition that I can’t justify buying. Plus, I’ve heard mixed things about the book. It sounds so good but I don’t want to be disappointed. 
                                                                                                  • Mr Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt
                                                                                                    • From what I’ve heard since writing the list, I have a feeling I won’t enjoy this book as much as I thought but I’m still wanting to give it a go. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it but I love the Gothic.
                                                                                                  • You Should Pity Us by Amy Gustine
                                                                                                    • I’ve dipped in and out of this since buying it a while ago. The great thing about short stories means you
                                                                                                  • The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajon
                                                                                                    • Don’t know why I haven’t bought this one. I’ve heard good things. I guess I just haven’t been in the mood.
                                                                                                  • The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia by Mary Talbot and Bryan Talbot
                                                                                                    • The last book I read in 2016. 
                                                                                                  • The Girls by Emma Cline
                                                                                                    • Every time I saw this book on Instagram or in a bookshop it took a lot of effort not to buy it. It’s had good reviews. But it took me a while. I’ll probably get on to this one next.
                                                                                                  • A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman
                                                                                                    • Really want to read this one and I have no excuse for why I haven’t. 
                                                                                                  • Letters to Kevin by Stephen Dixon
                                                                                                    • This looks short and silly so, once I finish the books I have on my TBR I’ll get round to this one.
                                                                                                  • The Fat Artist and Other Stories by Benjamin Hale
                                                                                                    • On it’s way. Come on postman.
                                                                                                  • Eleven Hours by Pamela Erens
                                                                                                    • Just arrived today. Souds like a great read.
                                                                                                  • Zero K by Don DeLillo
                                                                                                    • I’ve heard some dodgy things about this book so I’ve been put off buying it. It’s a topic that could be great but it has to be done well. I’ll probably buy this soon.
                                                                                                  • The Good Liar by Nichola Searle
                                                                                                  • Losing It by Emma Rathbone
                                                                                                    • The book I’m currently reading and, if I’m honest, I hate it. I’m not getting through it because it’s so disappointing. I was hoping this would be a new insight into the idea of virginity in modern society. However, so far it’s just been highlighting the need to have sex as soon as possible. It’s not the message I want you people to read.
                                                                                                  • I Am No One by Patrick Flanery
                                                                                                    • Bought this for my Kindle when it was super cheap. I’ll get round to it eventually. I’ve sort of fallen out of touch with my Kindle but I have shitloads of great reads waiting for me on their. 
                                                                                                  • How to set a fire and why by Jesse Ball
                                                                                                    • I have a feeling I did buy this but I can’t find it. So I need to track it down or actually buy it. Don’t you hate it when you buy so many books that you can no longer keep track of them.
                                                                                                  • Our Young Man by Edmund White
                                                                                                    • This probably solely comes down to money. I just need to stop spending so much on books and something got to give. 
                                                                                                  • The Storyteller: Tales Out of Loneliness by Walter Benjamin
                                                                                                    • Money money money. Money. 
                                                                                                  • Not Working by Lisa Owens
                                                                                                  • Ten Days by Gillian Slovo
                                                                                                    • Bought this in December. It’s on the ever growing TBR list. I feel like I’m drowning.
                                                                                                  • Jonathan Unleashed by Meg Rosoff
                                                                                                    • Another cheap Kindle purchase. Sounds adorable and easy. Not sure what I’ll think of it though.
                                                                                                  • Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
                                                                                                    • After a self-imposed book buying ban this is on my wish list.
                                                                                                  SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

                                                                                                  SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

                                                                                                  It’s Christmas Day and I’m full of food and festive cheer. It’s been a quiet day as we’re not really celebrating Christmas until 27th December when the whole family is back together. So, at the moment I’ve barely opened any presents. It, therefore, remains to be seen just how well I’ve done book wise this year. My family tend to avoid buying novels for each other but I do quite often get something book related. Still, it’s been a lovely day and I’m looking forward to another day of rest before I’m back at work on Tuesday morning. I want to try and be productive but I’ll probably just spend all day in bed, eating and watching TV. But isn’t that what Christmas is really all about?

                                                                                                  Currently Reading

                                                                                                  • Losing It by Emma Rathbone
                                                                                                  I’ve read about 3 pages of this in the last week. I partly blame Christmas and partly blame the book. It’s just not doing it for me. It’s painfully obvious where we’re heading and any empowering message is just being lost in the same old tired, teen movie cliches. I’m not even sure I’ll finish this one.

                                                                                                  Recently Purchased
                                                                                                  • Nothing
                                                                                                  All bookish purchases the past week have been solely for gift giving purposes. I bought my two sisters a book each and one for my parents. All just silly little jokey gifts rather than novels. I find it too stressful buying proper books for people unless they’ve given me a list of titles. What I consider readable is not necessarily what someone else will enjoy. I’ve made that mistake when it comes to lending books. I’m constantly trying to convince my friends that Mary Wollstonecraft’s Maria is just as exciting as all of their chick-lit. They remain dubious. I guess not everyone in the world can love Wollstonecraft as much as I do.

                                                                                                  Recently Received
                                                                                                  • Sad Animal Facts by Brooke Barker
                                                                                                  A present from a friend of mine. I love little miscellaneous books like this and have loads littering my shelves. I used to be obsessed with the rare books page of Abe books and would browse to find random titles. This new book features glorious but depressing animal facts and is beautifully illustrated. As the only present I’ve opened so far it’s my sole book related present and, even if it’s my only one, I’m pretty chuffed about it.

                                                                                                  Recently Watched
                                                                                                  • The BFG again
                                                                                                  We bought this for my mother’s birthday back in November and she watched it for the first time today. I admit that I probably fell asleep for part of it but I managed to get the best bits. Mark Rylance is still amazing as the Big Friendly Giant. It’s the best casting of all time. 
                                                                                                  • Dr Who
                                                                                                  The Christmas special was just glorious wasn’t it? Mainly because it’s been so long since we’ve seen an episode. Last Christmas’ The Husbands of River Song was, obviously, sad but still one of the better festive specials. This year was all about fun after such a tough goodbye. It’s also a must see for any comic book fans and shows that there is definite promise for the coming season. I’m excited to see more of Peter Capaldi’s Doctor. 
                                                                                                  SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

                                                                                                  SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

                                                                                                  So it’s officially 7 days until Christmas Day. I hope you’re all ready. I think the only thing I’ve got left to do is get my friend a small final gift, wait for my secret Santa present to arrive, and finalise my sister’s present. So I’m in pretty good shape I think. So, 7 days til Christmas. Which means it’s 8 days until the January sales really start. Which means it’s 9 days until I’m officially broke. I’m planning on keeping calm this year but that’s exactly what I said about Black Friday and that resulted in me increasing my already too big Pop Vinyl collection. I have too many clothes, shoes, books, and bags but I guarantee that Boxing Day will consist of my tracking down more of these at bargain prices. What is it about a sale?

                                                                                                  Currently Reading

                                                                                                  • Losing It by Emma Rathbone
                                                                                                  This is a book from my ‘Most Anticipated Fiction of 2016’ list. It sounded fantastic on paper: a 26 year old woman is trying to come to terms with her virginity when she ends up living with her aunt who is also not sexually active. I was hoping this would offer a different perspective to the usual idea that young people have to start having sex as soon as possible or there’s something wrong with them. Unfortunately, from what I’ve read so far, it just highlights this idea. So I’d have to say I’m disappointed and underwhelmed so far. Still, there’s always time for it to surprise me. 

                                                                                                  Recently Purchased
                                                                                                  • Shylock is My Name by Howard Jacobson
                                                                                                  It’s December and I’ve realised that I didn’t get round to buying many of the books on my Most Anticipated Fiction of 2016 list, let alone read any. So I’m desperately trying to track down the ones I was most excited by. Starting with Howard Jacobson’s version of The Merchant of Venice. I’ve always liked this play so am interested to see what Jacobson has done with it. There are plenty of dodgy moments in it and lots of stupid cross-dressing that I’ve always hated so I definitely think there’s room for improvement and Jacobson could be the person to do it. Looking forward to this. 
                                                                                                  • The Girls by Emma Cline
                                                                                                  Another book on my list and a book I’ve been watching other people read for ages now. I wanted to track down the gorgeous blue and red face cover but it was proving too expensive. However, my desire to read it has overcome my cover lust. No doubt this will be slowly creeping up my TBR in the coming days. 
                                                                                                  • Harry Potter – The Character Vault by Jody Revenson
                                                                                                  I bought this on a total whim the other day after seeing it for ages. It’s the kind of book that I love but will just forget about in a few weeks time. It always seems like a waste to buy them. However, I’m actually really glad I did. It’s an interesting look behind the scenes of the Harry Potter films and how each character was brought to life on screen. It talks about costumes, hair, and wands that were all chosen. It’s fascinating and gives a great insight into the world of film making. So glad I let my need to keep on buying books take over this time. 
                                                                                                  Recently Watched
                                                                                                  • Shit loads of Christmas films
                                                                                                  Today alone I’ve watched Arthur Christmas, the Blackadder Christmas Special, and Elf all to get in the Christmas Spirit. The other day I watched Christmas with the Coopers to write about on Tuesday and I’m probably going to watch A Mupper Christmas Carol tomorrow night. It’s a festive feast in my house right now.
                                                                                                  • Designated Survivor
                                                                                                  I finally caught up on the episodes that I’ve missed recently and I’m loving it. Well I was until the major cliffhanger that led to the Winter break. How am I going to wait three fucking months to find out what happened? 
                                                                                                  Top 10 Wen-sday: Top 10 Fictional Characters I’d Invite to Christmas Dinner

                                                                                                  Top 10 Wen-sday: Top 10 Fictional Characters I’d Invite to Christmas Dinner

                                                                                                  It’s so close to Christmas it’s unreal. In 10 days it’ll be Christmas Eve. I think I’ve just about got my presents all sorted but who really knows. I’m not a fan of last minute shopping but I tend to need little stocking fillers as I go through the month. Still, I’m mostly there. As it’s a time of celebration I’m adding a few additional posts this month. Each year I’ve released a Christmas top 10: My Essential Christmas films and My Least Favourite Christmas films. So I’m planning on keeping them as festive as possible but I’m likely to run out of ideas by next week. We’ll see how it goes. For now, I decided to delve into the world of fantasy dinner party and decide who I’d invite to my ultimate Christmas celebration.
                                                                                                  Ten: Brienne of Tarth

                                                                                                  My main reasoning for including Brienne on this list is simply because it’s kind of a habit to include her on all of fictional character based lists. It’s no secret that she’s my favourite character in both the book and the show. It’s also no secret that I adore Gwendoline Christie. If Brienne came to my Christmas dinner then I’d spend most of the time just starring at her the way Torumund did at Castle Black.

                                                                                                  Nine: Belle

                                                                                                  Now I’m not talking about the Belle from the upcoming, unnecessary live action Beauty and the Beast as played by the annoying Emma Watson. Nor am I talking about the Belle on the show I’ve tried so hard to enjoy Once Upon a Time. No, I’m talking classic, animated Belle. She’s always been my favourite Disney princess because she loves books as much as I do. There’s nothing I enjoy more than talking about books and it’s something I don’t really get to do too often. So, I’d love nothing more than sitting in a post-Turkey daze and discussing my favourite novels with Belle. Unlike friends, she might appreciate the Romantic era fiction that I recommend to her. Of course, being so fucking cynical, I’d find her hopeless romantic thing quite annoying but it would be something we could happily debate on.

                                                                                                  Eight: Holtzmann

                                                                                                  Another of my latest character obsessions. Jillian Holtzmann is the greatest thing to come out of the Ghostbusters reboot and Kate McKinnon is such a fantastic performer. I’d love the chance to meet the Holtz but worry that she would make dinner a little awkward. Not that I don’t love awkward moments but, as a perfect host, I’d have to think about my guests. Still, I love her so she’s coming.

                                                                                                   Seven: Rob Fleming (High Fidelity)

                                                                                                  High Fidelity is one of my favourite books and films. I love it. You may remember Rob was featured on my list of Top 5 Fictional Husbands. As such, I’d love to invite Rob to my Christmas dinner. I mean we both a predilection for making Top 5/10 lists so we could definitely turn it into an amusing dinner table game. He’d also know the best tunes to play before, during, and after dinner to keep us all in the party mood.

                                                                                                   Six: Leslie Knope

                                                                                                  Re-watching Parks and Rec recently gave me an all new appreciation of Leslie Knope and what a great person she is. She champions women, loves her friends, and won’t back down in an argument. She’s the kind of person I pretend to be but much nicer and much more successful. I’d love to sit next to her at Christmas dinner because, not only would we have a great in-depth discussion about all things, I think she’d share my childish love of the holiday.

                                                                                                  Five: Thor

                                                                                                  Thor is my favourite superhero. I love all of the Norse mythology and his Shakespearean qualities. He’s so dramatic and literal about everything. I have to admit it would be kind of cool to have him at my Christmas dinner just so I could say there was a real-life God there. Kinda cool, no? Plus, the arms are always a plus. He also seems that he’d be fun to have at a party. Asgardians are basically Vikings and they were kind of up for a good time. Also, how great an after dinner game would it be to try and lift Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir? You’ve had all the turkey so now let’s find out whose worthy.

                                                                                                  Four: Buddy the Elf

                                                                                                  I don’t know about you guys but I always feel that Christmas Day is kind of let down after the endless weeks of lead up. I’m not saying I’ve ever had a terrible Christmas Day but we’re always just so exhausted we end up eating and lounging for the entire day. What we really need is an injection of Christmas spirit. And who has the largest supply of that round here? Buddy’s love for the holiday is contagious and he’d have no trouble getting everyone up around the piano for a sing song. With Buddy at your house, every Christmas can be like the ones you see in every American sitcom’s Christmas special. Plus, you know, the candy.

                                                                                                  Three: Tyrion Lannister

                                                                                                  Despite everything the Bible tries to tell us, Christmas is basically about excess and over-indulgence. It’s about spending too much money, stuffing your face, drinking too much, and basically letting go. Who embraces these ideas more than anyone? Yes, the self-titled “God of tits and wine”. To re-appropriate Ke$ha for a second, the party don’t start til he walks in.

                                                                                                  Two: Newt Scamander

                                                                                                  Not only would the addition of Newt to the party mean guaranteed Eddie Redmayne but it would also mean some fantastic stories. Newt has travelled all over the wizarding world and met some of the most amazing creatures. He’d be able to fill the time with so many exciting tales. There’s always a boring lull on Christmas Day when you’re eaten too much but there’s a few hours before Doctor Who is on. Newt would be the perfect person to fill the silence. Hell, if we’re lucky he might even get his Niffler out… which, as I’m writing it down, definitely sounds like a euphemism you might come across in the wizard world. Hey, Newt, how’s about you let my play with your Niffler.

                                                                                                  One: Sookie St. James

                                                                                                  This is the second time this month that Sookie has been in the number 1 spot of my top 10 list. Maybe she’ll be the new Brienne? Anyway, I think Sookie would be a great person to invite to dinner. Not only would she definitely bring something scrumptious to eat but she’s just such lovely human being. Why would you want to spend this holiday with people who were anything but nice? My only doubt would be the fact that she would clearly be silently judging everything that was being cooked for her. It would take about five seconds of her being in the house before she was “fixing” everything that was being made in the kitchen. Still, what a meal we’d get in the end.

                                                                                                  SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

                                                                                                  SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

                                                                                                  It’s been a stressful week and I’m so glad it’s over. It started off terribly when my house was broken into on Monday. Thankfully there was no major damage but they took some of my mother’s jewellery, including her engagement ring. So I’ve spent the week feeling really angry and sad about it. I just don’t understand how someone can do that to another person. It’s absolutely disgusting to break into their home and root around all of their stuff. What kind of person thinks that’s acceptable? I don’t care how difficult or hard someone’s life is. It’s just horrendous. Still, there’s not much we can do about it now. It’s just bullshit. So a new week will hopefully mean a better one. It’s getting nearer to Christmas and, fingers crossed, I’m basically done with my presents. Although, I feel like I’m spending a shitload at the moment. It was my Christmas party this week and, despite being fairly restrained on the drinks front, I did end up caving and buying a fairly big round of drinks near the end of the night. One shot of tequila and suddenly I’m super generous. Just waiting until January and my year of sensible living awaits.

                                                                                                  Just Finished

                                                                                                  • Not Working by Lisa Owens
                                                                                                  This is another book that I can cross off my ‘Most Anticipated Fiction of 2016’ list. It wasn’t exactly a challenging read but I enjoyed it enough. I actually really related to the character of Claire who, during her search to find the perfect job, keeps making excuses for herself. She avoids dealing with issues and gets easily distracted with meaningless tasks. As someone who has lost their way a lot during job hunting it was both a positive and a negative to come face-to-face with a different version of yourself. It left me wanting to change and feeling happier that my life could be worse. 

                                                                                                  Recently Purchased
                                                                                                  • Mistletoe and Murder: A Murder Most Unladylike Mystery by Robin Stevens
                                                                                                  I’ve been inspired by the season of goodwill and am trying to find as many festive books as possible. This one sounded like a fun and silly murder mystery set at Christmas time. I’m not the biggest lover of crime fiction but if its silly enough I’ll give anything a go. 

                                                                                                  Recently Watched
                                                                                                  • Lucifer
                                                                                                  I am currently enjoying a free trial of Amazon Prime and am taking advantage of all the shows that I’ve currently missed out on. This was the first I tried and, I must say, I love it. Tom Ellis is fabulous as Lucifer and the premise is fun. I mean it’s hardly a challenging show and it’s always obvious who the killer is but it is enjoyable enough. 
                                                                                                  • Doctor Strange
                                                                                                  Yes, it’s been fucking ages but I finally saw Benedict Cumberbatch’s turn as Stephen Strange. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. But I’ll go into this on Tuesday. I’ll see you there.