Tuesday, 6 March 2018

February 2018 in brief

I've been reading...
Body Positive Power - Megan Jayne Crabbe
All Night Long (Sweet Valley High)
Dangerous Love (Sweet Valley High)
Lullaby - Leila Slimani
Everything I Know About Love - Dolly Alderton
Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda - Becky Albertalli
The Cows - Dawn O' Porter

I'm still way behind on my blogging for the #SVHReadalong, but I will catch up soon - promise!  But what about the other titles I read in February? 

 


Megan Jayne Crabbe, aka Bodyposipanda, is well-known on social media for leading the march on body positivity.  As someone who recently lost a lot of weight but still had gripes with how I looked, I hoped this book would help me accept my body .  Whilst it hasn't solved all my anxieties, Body Postive Power reminded me of all the wonderous ways my body works and how society pushes only certain, often unachievable, body types as the 'ideal'.  Thanks to my sister-in-law who bought me this for Christmas!

 


Lullaby is a novel which has received much hype due to a high-profile marketing campaign and I was intrigued to read it.  It begins by explaining a family hire a nanny who kills the children and I was expecting the reasons for her actions to become apparent as the book developed.  The writing was beautiful (huge praise to both the author and translator on that front) and I appreciated the descriptions of the often humdrum aspects of everyday life, but personally found the ending lacking in the closure I had been seeking after the early 'reveal'.




I first became aware of Dolly Alderton's memoir through listening to The High Low podcast (highly recommended) and my interest was piqued when it became clear the 'love' referred to in the title encompassed friendships as well as romantic love, lust alongside familial relationships.  A gorgeously honest book which had me hooked from the off, Everything I Know about Love explores what it is to be human.  A must-read.



The Cows is the debut adult novel from Dawn O'Porter and follows three different women as they face societal judgment for differing reasons.  I'd heard about the 'wanking on a train' scene and that this was a no-holds-barred story, but I didn't expect to enjoy The Cows as much as I did.  Edgy and sassy with dubious characters (that I empathised with even when I disliked them), this page-turner of a novel leaves me excited for what Dawn O'Porter will produce next.


 
 
This was a reread as the film based on Becky Albertalli's novel is out very soon.  I loved this YA book just as much as the first time I read it, when I said 'I was charmed by Simon as he learns to understand himself and become more at ease with his sexuality.  I was with Simon every step of the way as he sought out the mysterious Blue, who he'd been exchanging emails with.  A heartfelt read.'  

Music I've been listening to...  
 
 
Lots of Morrissey in the build up to seeing him live at Leeds Arena on February 24th, particularly Spent the Day in Bed and Jacky's Only Happy When She's Up on the Stage, my favourite tracks from his latest album Low in High School.

I've also been listening to Blossoms as I impatiently await their new album.

Podcasts I've been listening to...
Besides my usuals - The Debrief, The High Low, Sweet Teen Club, Double Love, Quickly Kevin, will he Score?, Sweet Valley Why? - I discovered Homo Sapiens, hosted by Will Young and Chris Sweeney.  Pitched as focussing on LGBTQ+ lifestyle, it'll also appeal to anyone with an interest in different takes on news stories - from the first episode where they interview Owen Jones I was hooked.

I've been watching...
Coronation Street (even though I don't really care about any of the current storylines)
The Greatest Showman (Again.  The singalong version this time)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Finally catching up with the rest of the world)
Dancing on Ice (Although I've not got a favourite who I'm cheering on)
Take Me Out (Saturday night cheese)
First Dates Hotel (I'm a romantic)
Call The Midwife (Because I love a therapeutic cry)
Queer Eye (ADORED this when it was originally on, so pleased it's back on Netflix!)
Love, Simon (Very fortunate to see an early screening of this film - so good!)
Club de Cuervos (Netflix show about a family who own a football club - becoming more outlandish with each episode)

Places I've been...


... Leeds, for a writing day with author friends Mary Jayne Baker, Rachel Burton and Rachel Dove. 

... the cinema to see The Greatest Showman and Love, Simon.  Both brilliant films.

... the Sheffield Lyceum to watch the UK touring production of Hairspray.  Feel-good brilliance!

... Pre-loved Kilo clothing weigh and pay (although didn't buy much this time), Veg Out vegan day at Peddlars, Protest exhibition at Weston Park museum (I definitely want to see this again) - lots of Sheffield goodness!

... Leeds Arena to see Morrissey, who sounded better than ever, followed by a Smiths night at The Faversham where I danced myself silly. 

I also revisited The Treehouse Board Game Café for a friend's birthday and ate delicious vegan treats at Couch in Sheffield city centre and Steel City Cakes.

I've been writing...
the first draft of the second book in the trilogy I'm working on, alongside putting the final touches on the first book in the series which is now finished - hooray!

I hope February treated you well and I'd love to know what you've been up to.

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