Books I Read In August 2019!

And we are back on a roll people! August saw me read 10 books – that is totally down to all the wonderful books I picked up at YALC being on my now pretty full shelves. I got through 10 (!!) books this month and I’m super pleased. Here they are in their full glory.

First up I finished the audiobook of Eat, Drink, Run – How I Got Fit Without Going Too Mad by Bryony Gordon. I’ve really enjoyed Bryony’s other books looking at her life with mental illness. You can read all my thoughts in my review here. This is a 5 star read for me.

Next up was another YALC read – The Disconnect by Keren David is a short book that centers around a group of teenagers asked to give up their phones for 6 weeks in the name of research and a cash prize. This was a gifted book and more to come! I gave with 4 stars.

Next up was Birthday by Meredith Russo, I’ve been looking forward to this, I loved Meredith’s previous book If I Was Your Girl so this was highly anticipated. This was an incredible read, so incredibly well written and such an emotional read. I would definitely recommend, a 5 star read from me.

The Truth About Alice is by Jennifer Mathieu who also wrote the amazing Moxie, which was my reason for picking this novel up. This tackles the impact of rumours and slut shaming and it’s another strong book by Mathieu. I gave this 4 stars, a strong read.

I received an ARC from the publisher of American Royals by Katherine McGee and wow, wow, wow! American royalty, a bit of scandal? I adored this book and gave it 4.5 stars – you can read my full review here.

Next up way another YALC purchase, I know I hit it hard in August. This novel was set in post WW2 Germany and looks at the secrets left behind after an international war. I learnt a lot from this novel and highly recommend it – you can read my full review here.

I picked up Can Everyone Please Calm Down? A Guide to 21st Century Sexuality by comedian Mae Martin and it was an interesting and informative read probably aimed at teenage readers but I gave it 4 stars and would recommend.

I was sent an ARC of Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer, a poetry collection that had some promise but overall wasn’t for me. That said I would you like to read more to get a better opinion.

My last 2 books were both audiobooks and thank goodness because I was a so busy with work I barely had the option to pick up a physical book! First up was The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla – I wanted to read this a while back and finally got to it, this was worth the wait. Listening to these stories of what it means to be a BAME person in UK today was something I think everyone should read/listen to. A 4.5 star read for me.

My final read of the month was another audiobook, this time narrated by Carrie Hope Fletcher who’s voice I love! The Flat Share blew me away, it’s not something I would normally pick up but I was intrigued by the premise. Tiffy and Leon share a bed but they have never met. I couldn’t stop listening and absolutely adored it. I won’t spoil the plot but I was trying not to cry happy tears at the end.

A super strong month in terms of reading, more so at the beginning but I’ll take it. I read some excellent books and while September might not have as many reads I hope that I get to some good ones!

What I Read in July & August 2018

What I Read in July and August

I have a confession to make! You might have noticed that I didn’t post a what I read post in July. Honestly, I forgot and then I felt like it was too late AND I only read 5 books in July. I completely lost my mojo, which is mostly due to having a lot of other things on my mind and recovering from my stay in hospital. BUT, it came back in August thanks to my YALC haul so let me share with you some of the awesome (and not so awesome) books I’ve read.

July

How To Be A Grown Up – Daisy Buchanan

A light-hearted book on growing up. This was a nice book to read, it had some useful insights but didn’t particularly stand out to me – I gave it 3.5 stars.

Plum – Hollie McNish

My regular readers will know I loved Hollie’s collection on motherhood so I wanted to pick up another collection. Plum is about growing up with added poems Hollie wrote as a child and teenager. Another 5 star read.

Notes On A Nervous Planet – Matt Haig

I love Matt Haig’s writing. This is such a relatable book, whether or not you’ve struggled with mental illness, it’s one to read. Short and easy to read chapters that will really make you think and give you a little pick me up. 5 stars review here.

Saga Vol. 5 – Brian K Vaughn

It’s so hard to write about these because if you write about ANYTHING after the first one then you post spoilers. Still loving it, still solid. 5 stars

Moonrise – Sarah Crossan

I loved this novel, even if it made my heart hurt. This looks at the brother of a death row prisoner. It is entirely written in verse which actually works really well, so much so I want to try her other novel One again. 5 stars and will make you very emotional. You’ve been warned.

August

Orbiting Jupiter – Gary D. Schmidt

If you need a good cry read this novel. Short, sweet and heartbreaking all at the same time. It’s a novel about second chances and a young teen who just wants to see his daughter. 5 stars, review here.

She Must Be Mad – Charly Cox

Poetry about being a woman, mental illness and body image. I enjoyed Charly’s first collection and think there will be more to come, one to watch. 4 stars.

Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee – Mary D Thompson

I read a few darker novels in August, starting with this one. Two girls are abducted and only one comes back, what happened? This was a thriller and a half! I gave this 4 stars and there will be a full review coming soon!

This Is Where It Ends – Marieke Nijkamp

On to another dark book, this time centring around a school shooting. Told from multiple points of view this was a novel full of suspense and intrigue. 4 stars.

Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes – Holly Bourne

I used to love Holly Bourne but her adult novel left a lot to be desired and her newest made me frustrated. The novel follows teenager Olive who does not want to know her mental health diagnosis. After a crisis, she is sent to a remote therapy retreat which has the best treatment possible (no waiting list, just ‘luck’). Some parts of it were lovely and there were some good ideas it just didn’t feel realistic to me. 3 stars.

Vox – Christina Dalcher

This is one of the hottest novels of the year and for good reason. This novel is set in the future of the states, women can only speak 100 words a day, they cannot work, they cannot travel. While I felt like it was a slow start and there were a few plot holes I did really enjoy it and I keep recommending it! 4 stars.

Please Don’t Grab My P*ssy – Julia Young

This is a short, fun but powerful book. Poetry, satire and awesome illustrations. Some of them were a little bit of a stretch but I enjoyed it all the same. 5 stars.

The Choice – Dr Edith Eger

A memoir of a phenomenal woman. From teenage Auschwitz survivor to an internationally acclaimed psychologist working with those who suffer from PTSD and trauma. An interesting read and one filled with kindness and positivity. 4.5 stars.

 

What have you read in the past few months? I’d love to know! Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August Favourites!

Let’s jump right in and see what I’ve been loving in August!

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Books 

This month it’s been quite a slow reading month I just really couldn’t get into it. The silver lining though is that I’ve loved the books I have read. I finally got my copy of Our Super American Adventure by Sarah Graley which is absolutely awesome, I’ve met Sarah before and love her artwork and stories about her relationship. I also finished what I think is going to be one of my top books this year, My Shitty Twenties by Emily Morris, an honest account of being a single mother in your twenties and still being badass, you can read my review here. I also kept seeing the Andrew Morton book Diana Her True Story and decided to download it on Audible it’s a tough book and I did think it was interesting but incredibly sad on the 20th anniversary of the princess’s death. And finally Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is just amazing, meant for children but should be read by EVERYONE! My gushing review is here.

 

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Watching 

Is there anything else to talk about this month? Of course, there’s not. Game of Thrones is over for another season and this one was everything I hoped it would be. I’m not going to post spoilers, because that just not cool. All I’ll say is the following for people who have watched the finale, they deserved that and oh lordy what a beautiful sight. Now I have to wait for the next season…my Dad has already tagged me in a countdown timer.

 

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Fashion and Beauty

I did a whooooole post about my little haul this month over here. So head over for all the info you need to know!

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Brighton Pride

I went to my first ever Pride and I can honestly say it was the best party I’ve ever been to. It was fun and flamboyant and there was glitter everywhere! I got to sit in a giant deck chair, dance in an 80s disco and I ended up sponsoring a dog…yep (wine may have been involved). I wrote a whole post about 7 reasons you should go next year!

General

This month started off on a good note with a trip to Pizza Express with my ‘spec squad’, that’s me, Abbie and Sarah to celebrate our new little group. It’s been a month of spending time with people I love. Ali went to Brighton and Scotland this month for work, and bought me home Charlie the Highland Cow from the latter, he’s adorable (the cow I mean, although Ali’s ok I suppose). It’s also had milestones with my little sister getting into college! I also went to see 80s super popstars Bros at the O2 in London, which was actually a brilliant laugh with my Mum, sister and mum’s best friend. I also may have gotten a new cauldron mug from the new Primark collection…maybe. And last but not least I’ve been spending as much time as possible with Ali, including on our 9 year anniversary, before he heads off on tour tomorrow!!

 

My favourite posts 

Feminist Friday with …. Jess Willby 

A new month, a new woman 

Nine years, new adventures 

 

What have your favourites been this month? Let me know in the comments below!

Hello August

Hello August

Like the rest of you, I’m scratching my head as to how it got to August so fast. I’m also marvelling at how different this August is going to be. Some things will stay the same, it’s still going to be my anniversary in two weeks (!!), it’s still going to rain a fair bit, my sister is still going to argue with my Mum about new school shoes. Some things though, have really changed. For the first time since I was 4 I’m not preparing to go and buy my new supplies for the new term, get new clothes or uniform. For the first time I’m not lounging around my house or working a part time job. For the first time I go to office meetings while looking at the beautiful views from my window (above).

A lot of people have written these types of post today, I’ve enjoyed looking at a few. I felt a slight sense of unease when I looked at the date today because from this month, things start to slow down. I started to panic, what do I have to look forward to? Did I make the right decision to completely stop studying? Change is necessary, but it doesn’t make it any less scary. So, I have a few things planned a trip up north, my 22nd birthday, comic con. In fact I have something to look forward to every month until the end of the year, but I guess this feeling of unease comes from a break in what has been my routine since I was a little girl, but you know what, I’m kind of looking forward to it.

So hello August, show me what you’ve got.

My Big Mouth: Reading Festival Friday Review

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Ali and I at Reading Festival

 

 

I was one of the lucky ones who managed to get tickets to Reading Festival this year. As I entered Friday’s sold out arena I had one goal, to come out with an honest opinion of a festival. Now I’ve been to day festivals before, seeing Kids in Glass Houses, Don Broco and Lower Than Atlantis back at Butserfest 2012 was a great moment, playing Basingstoke Live this year was another, but I’d never been to one of the ‘big’ festivals after watching Reading and Leeds for the last few years. So after arriving pretty later I found it easy to just walk in, only having my bag searched (which I found really surprising) and get into the arena and sit at the Main Stage for the majority of the day.IMG_0072

My wristband! 

Blood Red Shoes 

I’d heard of Blood Red Shoes before but I’d never really listened to their music before. They seemed pretty good and I liked their overall sound, something was missing though as I listened. Even with some well matched vocals, a killer female guitarist and all three of them being able to sing. I couldn’t put my finger on it, then I realised there wasn’t a Bass Guitar, which seemed to hinder it a little. I also noticed the difference between their old songs and new songs as they introduced them, the old songs seemed to be a lot stronger, whereas their new stuff seemed a little too repetitive.

Deaf Havana 

I’d seen Deaf Havana acoustic last year and wasn’t disappointed. So seeing them at Reading was one of the main reasons I bought a ticket. The set was different to what I expected, but not in a bad was necessarily. As the set went on the guys seemed to relax, although they shouldn’t have worried. As soon as they began to play, a mix of their new and previous album, people ran towards the stage and a sea of Deaf Havana T-shirts were clearly visible. The fact that they snapped a string didn’t matter to the hundreds of fans they had pulled in and in fact added to what I’d already known – Deaf Havana is full of nice guys who generally respect and appreciate their fans. As if they haven’t gone far, they’re going to go even further still. I did miss hearing some of the older albums but as a lot of the bands I listened to in my early teens, the musics changed and although it is sad, we accept that.

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Main Stage during Jimmy Eat Worlds Set 

Jimmy Eat World 

I was actually pretty disappointed by Jimmy Eat World’ set. It got to the point where I got pretty bored and headed off to the NME stage instead. The performance just seemed kinda average in comparison to some of the other people playing on the Main Stage. Of course when it came to playing their biggest hit The Middle the crowd were dancing and having a great time, that said I don’t know if I’d pay to see them on tour.

Mallory Knox 

I managed to catch the end of Mallory Knox’s set and kicked myself. We got down to watch the last two songs and I wish I’d have gotten there for the start, the place was rammed and the crowd were going absolutely crazy, the boys have slowly but steadily got bigger since I last saw them on the bill at Butserfest 2012. After seeing just two songs I want to get the album and THAT is how you do it at Reading!

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Me between sets 

Enter Shikari 

I was really excited to see Enter Shikari’s set, I’d heard they were incredible live and Sorry you’re not (a winner) has been a top track for me since I was about 15. The music side of the set was fantastic and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more energetic audience. It was absolutely fab, that was until the rants started, about just about anything. For me becoming a preachy band kind of ruined the set a little bit, I just wanted them to play the songs we know and love! Other than that absolutely fantastic!

Vampire Weekend 

How these guys got to such a high point on main stage I don’t know. Although they had a huge crowd I was so bored throughout, comparing the sounds to those you get on kids TV. Their two most well known songs I liked and recognised but other than that all the music sounded exactly the same with noises made rather than words….I won’t be going to see them again any time soon. Or ever.

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Paramore 

 It’s no secret Paramore are my favourite band. Ever. So as it started to get colder I held on to this while we waited and got a great view of the stage. As usual they were absolutely incredible with fantastic lighting and so much energy that it came through to the audience. We danced, we sang our hearts out that was until the power started cutting out and then it completely cut out. Hayley thought it was because we didn’t want to hear a slow song! When they then realised and couldn’t hear themselves they proved just why they should be Reading and Leeds headliners. They came to the front of the stage with acoustic guitars and said ‘we’re not moving until this is sorted out’ before Hayley sang an acappella version of ‘The Only Exception’ with the crowd. The effect was chilling and something no one who was there will forget. The rest of the set was incredible and possibly the best I’ve ever seen them, including a dinosaur singing Misery Business. It made me proud to be a Parawhore.

 

As the rain started to come in and I started to freeze I headed home rather than waiting through the 45 minute change over for Queens of The Stone Age. Instead I was at home by the time  they started and able to watch their set online which was pretty good but I’m glad I watched it from home.

Reading festival was pretty cool and depending on who’s playing I might be there again next year, give it 5 years and I might even be playing 😉