May Wrap-Up

The latest Lenny Letter pointed out to me that we are half way through 2017. I should have had this figured out already, but that particular information has me a little bit floored.

May was a weird month. At the beginning, I was a waitress, with little hope of not being one in the near future. Then, pretty much out of the blue, I was offered an internship at a magazine I did some work experience at a few months back. So I’m there now. Temporarily. I have not processed it yet. I had to interview a chef yesterday and I barely stopped myself saying yeah it’s like that in the restaurant I work in. 

Come August I most likely won’t have a job, but I’m trying really hard not to think too much about that.

Life = Up. In. The. Air.

For so many reasons. There’s a general election happening in the UK this Thursday. It also came pretty much out of the blue and at the start I was so determined not to care about it.

Not caring about things isn’t really how I roll.

If Theresa May and her awful Conservative government get back in my heart will be broken.

My brother turned 27.

And my blog turned 2.

Whaaaaaaat?! As per usual, I do not know what to make of any of it.

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So, that being the case, let’s review the month.

I read:

The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

Feelings: I want to sit in a busy city centre and hand out copies of it to everyone I see.

The Rules Do Not Apply – April Levy

Feelings: An interesting look at survival in the face of life fucking you over. Truthfully, I didn’t get as much from this as I hoped I would, but I really enjoyed Levy’s fearlessness is describing her infidelity, her miscarriage and her wife’s alcoholism.

A Conjuring of Light – V.E. Shwab

Feelings: This past week I reread Maureen Johnson’s Shades of London books just because I really needed to think about something other than the election. I know that this series will be a similar sort of comfort reread for me in the future. If you need to say goodbye to reality for a little while (and who doesn’t, honestly? This series’ll do the job).

Play It As It Lays – Joan Didion

Feelings: A dark novel about ennui and suicide. Absolutely riveting. Adored it.

I also wrote…

Should characters be likeable?

OTHER THAN BOOKS: Some recommendations you didn’t ask for…

To Read: This fascinating piece about 13 Reasons Why (which I still have not watched. Sorry. I will! I promise!) and whether such frank and – from what I hear – graphic depictions of teen suicide help the problem or contribute to it.

To Watch: Handmaid’s Tale. All of the trigger warnings. I have only watched one episode and I haven’t psyched myself up to watch to second but OMG Necessary viewing. I LOVE Elisabeth Moss.

To Listen: Gone Now the new album by Bleachers. In the past couple years I finally shed any pretensions I had about having a ‘cool taste in music’ and admitted I love straight up POP. As such, Jack Antonoff is essentially my musical hero and boyfriend.

April Wrap-Up

Let’s be honest.

I was not a good blogger this month.

I reviewed:

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There but for the – Ali Smith

Tiny Beautiful Things – Cheryl Strayed

(I’m sorry)

I also wrote:

When Do You Read?

Eesh. Thank you, everyone who has stuck with me through this period of epic blog drought. I will try and do better in May.

OTHER THAN BOOKS: Some recommendations you didn’t ask for

To Read: Krsta Rodriguez on womanhood after breast cancer. Reading this is sort of like wringing your heart out like you might a wet towel, but it’s wonderful.

To Watch: I’m newly obsessed with Lilly Singh, and selectively watching my way through her back catalogue of videos. The other day I came across this one about how to get shit done and it got me all kinds of motivated.

To Listen: The Rookie podcast. It is wonderful. Go listen. Now.

 

February Wrap-Up

I hope everybody had a good February. I worked and caught what feels like my hundredth cold of the winter.

My ipod classic finally died. RIP, ipod classic.

I started attending a spin class. And I love it! Who am I?!

I celebrated March 1st by sellotaping the four agreements to my (broken in an unfortunate incident) mirror. During February I started to think that becoming a better person was an active process. In addition to the four agreements, I stuck another post-it above my desk that says ‘my fuck budget is low’, a Katherine Ryan quote.

Apparently measurable person improvement begins with post-its.

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Also I reviewed books. This month they included:

Swing Time – Zadie Smith

The Wangs vs the World – Jade Chang

Blue Lily, Lily Blue – Maggie Stiefvater

Hope in the Dark – Rebecca Solnit

I also wrote:

Are Book Bloggers Becoming Censors? 

I think that a good discussion post provides an opportunity for your own mind to be changed, and I really appreciated some of the comments that people left on this one. They provided a perspective that I hadn’t considered, and I appreciated that.Thank you to everyone who participated in the conversation.

A Reading List (hastily complied, somewhat diverse)

OTHER THAN BOOKS: Some recommendations you didn’t ask for.

To Read: This article by Lena Dunham about dealing with her sexual assault. It’s about how after her assault she found it pretty much impossible to have any sort of sexual fantasy. It’s an emotional and difficult piece, and I loved it.

To Watch: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. It’s likely I will write more about this show after I’ve watched it all. I love it. I love it SO much. Often TV shows of this kind have a lead female character that I find alienating because of her lack of emotional damage (lol). Her role is so often to be the perfect solution for the emotionally damaged gentleman in her life (think New Girl). Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching it, but I come with far too many of my own weirdnesses to ever really relate to this role. Becca of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is much more on my level. It’s weird, but hearing the words ‘she’s so broken inssiiiiiiiide’ joyfully sung during the opening credits of the show makes me feel a little bit less alone in the universe. Thank you, Rachel Bloom.

To Listen: Marc Maron’s WTF interview with Trae Crowder, the liberal redneck. This conversation was an unexpected delight. I can’t recommend it enough. I didn’t know Crowder’s work before I listened, but I will certainly be looking into it in the future.

January Wrap-Up

I totally forgot to do this. Forgive me?

January was a weird month for me. Working in a restaurant as I do it meant I finally got to relax a little bit like everyone else did over the Christmas period. I also escaped the waitressing world for a way too short week to do some work experience at a magazine.

Back to the waitressing again now.

Here’s hoping that 2017 will bring some sort of life progress.

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This month I reviewed:

The Sun is also a Star – Nicola Yoon

The Dream Thieves – Maggie Stiefvater

Blood for Blood – Ryan Graudin

The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt

I adored all of these books for lots of different reasons. They have totally reinvigorated my love for YA and for complex storytelling in general. In The Raven Cycle I am being reminded how wonderful it is to lose yourself in a series. Reading Nicola Yoon made me think about how vital it is to read widely and diversely about experiences that aren’t my own. Ryan Graudin shattered my heart into a thousand pieces and reaffirmed the conclusion I have come to lately: fiction, much like life, is not supposed to be comfortable.

The Goldfinch made me fall more in love with books than I have ever been.

I also wrote…

Twitter: Some feelings

A Mystery

Reasons to watch Search Party

OTHER THAN BOOKS: Some recommendations you didn’t ask for.

To Read: This insane article about super rich doomsday preppers in America. This may just be because I am poor, have terrible eye sight and no bunker, but honestly, if there is an apocalyptic event I am happy enough to go out in that. I’ve read the books. I don’t want to be dealing with any of that post-apocalyptic shit.

To Listen: Invisibilia. I ADORE this podcast. I have been listening to it very gradually so as not to run out of episodes. I have shaken up my podcast habits in a big way lately. I was listening to a lot of so called ‘inspiring’ shows where billionaires talk about how they got rich. I recently realised that I have no interest in billionaires. Instead, I’m interested in questions. Invisibilia is all about those. Subjects include: Is blindness a social construct? and Do our thoughts REALLY create our world?

To Watch: Whiplash. I just watched this movie yesterday and it BLEW MY FREAKING MIND. It might be the most intense hour and 45 minutes I have ever spent. Also? It felt like 5 seconds. This story about an abusive music teacher (JK Simmons) and a talented jazz drummer (Miles Teller) will tear you apart, horrify you and make you question everything you ever thought about greatness and achieving it. It’s not often I call a film about 2 white men a religious experience but this one totally is. NECESSARY VIEWING.

ALSO ALSO ALSO I have Instagram now! I update it as irregularly and with as varying quality as all my social media. Follow me? I’m @Lydiat21

October Wrap-Up

It’s November. I am hung over from Halloween. Fun was had. As I age, I am learning that despite my hermit tendencies, I do actually like going out sometimes.

My sixteen-year-old self would be scandalised.

Happy November, people. This month I turn 24.

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I reviewed…

Unhooked – Lisa Maxwell

Feelings: A sexy pirate romance that’s perfect for those lonely winter evenings…

No Matter The Wreckage – Sarah Kay

Feelings: This is the book that made me fall in love with poetry.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson

Feelings: I might be coming to it late, but the hype is totally justified.

Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo

Feelings: Leigh Bardugo has full ownership of my heart until further notice.

The Raven Boys – Maggie Stiefvater

Feelings: Were it not for Crooked Kingdom, this would have been my favourite book from this month. I am actually very excited to progress with the rest of the series.

I also wrote about…

Big Magic: Or, some pre-NaNoWriMo wisdom 

Zodiac Book Recommendations (an aside – this post took me forever and was one of the sillier ones I’ve ever written. The reaction to it made me happy. Thank you!)

How To Be Bored

 

 

September Wrap-Up

In less than two months, I will be twenty-four. I do not feel good about that number.

(No, I didn’t take ageing into account when I named this blog. But 24 is still young adult, right? Right?!?!)

Ahem. Anyway.

This month I read…

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Hollow City – Ransom Riggs

Feelings: A totally immersive read that might even top its predecessor in imaginative storytelling.

I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith

Feelings: A YA classic that should be read by every girl who has ever sat with a diary and pondered the meaning of her existence.

Lies We Tell Ourselves – Robin Talley

Feelings: A powerful read about desegregation, race and sexuality that I’m sure will be a set text in schools before long.

I also wrote about…

Hay-On-Wye: An Actual, Literal Book Town

The Only Girl on the Gang

Feminist TV Shows

Back to School: a non-fiction TBR

How NOT to be a dick on the internet

Dumb Things Bookworms Do

August Wrap-Up

This month I did a lot of waitressing and watched a lot of Angel. When I wasn’t doing that, I lay in the sun reading Lenny.

I love Lenny. If you’re not reading it, you should be. I’m begging you. It is helping me figure out what I care about in life.

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This month I reviewed: 

Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Thoughts: This book blew my mind and shattered my heart. Everybody should read it.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne

Thoughts: It was so wonderful to have that feeling back.

Sweetbitter – Stephanie Danler

Thoughts: Required reading for women in their twenties.

The podcast of the month was: The Bright Sessions

I also wrote about: 

TTT Rewind: Books I’d Want On A Desert Island

#REALshelfie

A Library You Could Live In

Brain Food

Lady Memoirs for the SoulLady Memoirs for the Soul

Single Mothers on TV