Happy February loves! It has been a hot minute since I last posted. It’s like I posted a 2018 wrap-up and then disappeared! But I haven’t gone, I promise. Around the middle of January I broke my ankle, and even though I basically couldn’t move for a whole week which you would think meant I had a lot of time to write, I just really wasn’t in the mood for anything that didn’t involve Netflix and well, not moving.
AND it’s January, which means awards season is officially underway! Every year I wait in desperation for the Oscar nominations to come out, and then try to watch all the films nominated before the ceremony. It’s my favourite time of year! Tragically this means that if I have any stretch of time longer than 2 hours, it’s usually filled with a film instead of a book. Hence why I haven’t posted in ages! But I did read some in the beginning of the month (before the ankle incident and the Oscar nominations came out), so thankfully I still have a wrap-up to write!
Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon
Years and years and years ago, I didn’t think I liked Reese Witherspoon. I didn’t have a real reason for this, but it happened. And then I watched Water For Elephants, and was like what??? have I been missing??? She’s a wonderful human being and I don’t know what I was thinking. I have developed a fascination for the culture of the south and southern belles, and was really looking forward to this. And it did not disappoint! Little things like why they always introduce themselves with their full names and why the Kentucky Derby is such a big event, to how to host a proper dinner party and why Dolly Parton is such an icon is all covered in this book. It’s really charming and frankly, a really pretty book!
Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie
This is one of the best Agatha Christie books I’ve read. There’s a reason she’s the Queen of Mystery, people. The best thing about her books I’ve noticed is that it is almost impossible to guess who did the crime, because there are always intricate layers that aren’t even in the realm of human understanding. She’s an absolute genius and I recommend everyone try to read at least one of her books (I recommend a good Poirot, obviously).
My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
I really wanted a book that I knew I would blast right through and not have to think too intricately about plot. Sophie Kinsella does that, but in a good way. While I’m not a fan of the title or the cover, I would probably consider My (Not So) Perfect Life to be up there with my favourite Kinsella books. There’s romance, but it’s not a central theme to the story. Ultimately it’s about finding a place in the world where you want to be, and the path you take to get there – even if it isn’t the straight path.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Finally! I have officially listened to all the Harry Potter audiobooks, after probably a decade of owning them all (but never being able to find them when I wanted to). Some of them are SO LONG, Y’ALL. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is 27
YEARS HOURS LONG. But they’re so wonderful, and it was a glorious way to revisit this series that had such an impact on me growing up. Although, just as a warning, probably don’t listen to the Battle of Hogwarts sequence when you’re on a crowded train on the way home from work, because you will cry when people die and the other commuters will give you strange looks.
The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket
I don’t know what it was about this book but it took – so – long – to – finish. I’m pretty sure part of it is because I was listening to it at the same time as watching the final season of the show on Netflix, and once that finished I was like, what is the point??? I decided to listen to these because of the show, and now that it’s over I almost feel overloaded? But this also could be because The Slippery Slope was one of my least favourite books in the series. I will finish the audiobooks one day, though.
The Great Comet: The Journey of a New Musical to Broadway by Steven Suskin
I don’t know how many of you know this, but I seriously love Broadway. It is my other main passion alongside reading (and Oscar-nominated films). I don’t even listen to regular music any more, just hours and hours of Original Broadway Cast Recordings. When I lived in New York City a few years ago, I went and saw 10 different Broadway shows, including this one. And it was phenomenal and amazing and after reading this book about all the work that goes into shows and the evolving atmospheres of the development phase and the composer’s notes on the score and the stories of the cast – I realise that general people who see Broadway once and then never think about it again will never be able to fully understand a show and all the layers that make it wonderful.
Tarnish by Katherine Longshore
I cannot believe that I have actually, finally, read this book. It has been on my shelf for what feels like decades. I bought it a thousand years ago because hello?? A novel about Anne Boleyn?? And then never ever read it. To be honest, if I didn’t have a physical copy collecting dust, I probably would have removed it from my TBR on Goodreads. The ratings and reviews are just not that good and I don’t generally want to waste time on cookie-cutter historical novels that barely scratch the surface of all the richy goodness and scandal of history. This book is not that good. I didn’t like a single one of the characters, the writing was way too modern for a book that takes place in the 16th century, and there was no depth to, well, anything. But it is interesting that it tells the story of Anne before she becomes the mistress (and wife) of King Henry VIII, and actually ends about a year before their relationship even begins. So I guess it has that going for it.
This post became a little bit of a review rather than a wrap-up at the end, but that’s okay. I wanted to write proper reviews on a few of these, but now it’s a bit distant since I read the books, so I think this will have to do and I’ll start again with reviewing in February! My birthday month! I’m also in the middle of two other very good books right now and I’m looking forward to finishing them.