Quick May Wrap-Up
Perhaps I’ll do this every month because why would I not. I mean, with the BEST WILL IN THE WORLD – and let me tell you, my will is good – I never ever get to review all of the books that I want to review and this seems like a nice little way to make sure that the books I don’t manage to spotlight get a mention. And I can talk all about all the other stuff that’s been going on also, because my life is nothing if not fascinating. I mean, I read a lot and I sleep and lot and I drink a lot of coffee and why would you not want to hear all about that?
So, let’s do it. Let’s talk about May.
May was a month, wasn’t it. A month where we were once again reminded that the world is full of shitty awful people and a month where we wanted to hold our loved ones just that little bit closer; that little bit tighter.
The terrorist attack in Manchester hit hard. It always hurts, I’m always astounded and disgusted and angered but this one hit that little bit harder; I felt it a little bit more because it happened here, in this city, 40 minutes away from where I live. I had tickets for a concert in that very arena within days of that attack; I eat, shop, go to the theatre in Manchester; I know it. And this news, this attack, it shook me. I was in bed when I heard about it, my phone rang at 6.55 am ‘have you turned on your television yet today?’ and then ‘Manchester. They got Manchester, the arena.’
The prevailing sentiment, I think, for me, is that we can’t let these bastards win. This is our city, our country, our world and we can’t live in fear. Things like this make me just want to live harder you know, not waste a single second. Embrace every moment, be a person I love surrounded by people I love doing what I love. It makes me want to live my life. & it makes me so fucking angry that there are people out there trying to take all of that away. I’m angry, and I’m so sad but then I look at the aftermath, at the way people have rallied together, at the strength and the support and the sheer determination in the face of this bullshit and I’m proud. Terrified, but proud. I don’t want to dwell on it, but it happened and I want to acknowledge it and that’s what this is I think – me saying that this was a thing that happened in and it was ugly, so ugly, but look at all those people still holding on. Fuck you, if you want to bring us down. Fuck you.
ANYHOW. Let’s get back on topic and that most burning of questions: what did I read?
The book of the month was absolutely Matt Haig’s How To Stop Time which I talk about here but I didn’t read just that one book. I also read….
A Court of Wings and Ruin which is the third in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas. These books are pure escapism. And they’re full of flaws and things that make you want to bang your head against the wall and things that make me want to demand further explanation and turnarounds so rapid they give you whiplash and there’s too much sex and I don’t say this because I am a prude, I say this because it is gratuitous and not relevant to the plot and the sex scenes are…kind of really strangely written, and the pacing was a little off in this book and Feyre’s getting annoying and I feel like it’s kind of shoved in my face that I must like this character and I must hate this one and yet despite all of this, I like them and I will mostly read them all and I will not care a single jot how hard you judge me. So I read that.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater which is a weird one. Stiefvater is one of those everywhere authors and I kept hearing people going on about how much they loved these books and I wanted in. All the bookish bandwagons ever seriously, let me on them. I actually started it in January, read 67 pages and then put it on my beside table and didn’t look at it again until about 3 weeks ago. It was over hyped I thought, and confusing and boring and just not for me. I have no idea actually what made me pick it up again because I was so done. Probably my Kindle needed charging and it was the closest book to hand. Whatever the reason, I did pick it up again….aaaaand I read it in a day. I KNOW, RIGHT? The opening is obviously not that strong, but once you get into it, you get into it. A manic pixie dream girl and some asshat rich kids this book is not. Or actually it totally is, but its more than that. It’s also psychics and ghosts and dead Welsh Kings and a boy with a pet crow and strong female characters and a magical forest and real life problems and a fabulous supporting cast. This story is weird, really weird. I seem to be a fan of weird lately though, which surprises me. I’m loving books I never thought would work for me. It’s sort of refreshing. Also Gansey is totes Chuck Bass in my head so you know, bonus.
The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting by Holly Bourne which made me angry. It’s problematic this book, on several levels and actually I think I might come back to this one, which I hadn’t all planned to do until I started writing this. Watch this space: opinions are a coming.
Queen of Shadows, again by Sarah J Maas because I like Caelena more than I like Feyre ok. Except she’s not Caelena any more she’s Aelin and actually who am I even kidding these days I’m all about Manon and Axbraxos because WITCHES AND WYVERNS. And Axbraxos kind of made me think of A through L from the Fairyland series.
The Boy on the Bridge by M R Carey. I love this guys writing and I want to shove in the faces of all the people everywhere. I didn’t love this as hard as I loved TGWAtG (I loved that book so very much) but I still loved it a whole lot and I still sped through it and it was still the same rollercoaster of emotions and if you’ve read TGWAtG then you really ought to read this and if you haven’t then sort out your life please and then come back to me. Also Greaves. GREAVES
What have I listened to?
The Joseph soundtrack on repeat. I found my CD (Jason Donovon baby) and sorry not sorry. I do love me a bit of Joseph. I know the whole thing by heart. I’m so cute.
What have I been watching?
Gilmore Girls. Again. Because it’s my happy place. I’ve rewatched seasons 5 and 6 just for the Logan of it all.
Whitney: Fat Girl Dancing with my BFF because with love that show and we love Babs Thore
Dr Who for the first time since David Tennant because it came with cuddles. And actually I really liked it. I can totally see myself getting sucked back into that if I’m not careful.
What have I been doing?
Well the May Bank Holiday at the start of the month was my birthday weekend and involved Thai food because Thai food is my favourite. I ate my bodyweight in Pad Thai and King Prawns and then I went to the pub. IT was the nicest time. The restaurant we go to is a lovely drive over the moors, all winding country roads with the top down on the car.
I had a catch up with my oldest friends over Italian food, I think for the first time this year which is strange any mysterious thing actually because we all get on so well and we all live so close and yet somehow we just cant get our shit together.
My littlest God daughter LEFT THE COUNTRY. With her parents, but still: holy separation anxiety batman. I missed her. She’s two in the summer and she’s made of delightfulness and she sent me a video all about her new shoes and I watched it a million times.
Some friends had a massive garden party complete with gin bar and Elvis and a live band. I wore cowboy boot wellies and I drank too much and I spent the next day on the sofa asleep.
There was a super hot day and I hung out on my BFFs new patio furniture and chatted and played in the paddling pool.
I fell down my stairs and then fell over roller booting and actually, looking back, May was pretty lush. I liked it. June has a lot to live up to.
What then does June look like it might look like on this old blog?
Well I’ve got reviews lined up for The Names They Gave Us, The Manifesto On How To Be interesting, The Flight of the Starling which I am reading right now and The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil.
Handmaid’s is on Channel 4, and actually my tonight plan is to watch the first two episodes of that so I might pop back and talk about how I feel about all of that, and I don’t mind telling you right now that my hopes are the highest. I hope I’m not going to be sad.
Oh, and I also planning a fun thing over on my Instagram where I’m going to take a book (or my Kindle) to every place I go over the summer. I kind of feel like it might be cool and interesting a little bit differentto have photographs of me reading on places you know; random pictures of me reading amongst the hustle and bustle of my actual life – if I remember you’ll definitely see me reading in London and Tenerife and Scotland over the summer. I’ll be tagging it #josbookishsummer and I might do the odd blog post to go along with it if any of my adventures are super fun and you can follow my insta here if you would like.