Seasonal favourites: Winter 2018

Winter is almost over (finally!) and I thought it was time to talk about some things I’ve been loving in the past couple of months. Obviously the most important things on this list are books – I’ve had a pretty good reading start to the year though I think that’s starting to change. I’ve also watched some amazing films and TV series and I want to share them with you.

First of all the best books of this winter were (in no particular order) Uprooted by Naomi Novik, La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman and The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I’ve posted reviews on all of these books so I won’t get too much into details here, they were all wonderful and one of my favourite fantasy books of all times and I can’t wait to read them again. This winter has been great for reading fantasy literature.

The next thing I want to talk about is my favourite TV series (and no, it’s not Arrow). I actually started watching Victoria again and I love Jenna Coleman so much, I think she’s great as queen Victoria. I’m not a huge fan of the actor who plays Albert but maybe he’ll grow on me, I am currently still watching season 1 so perhaps that will change with season 2. This series has reminded me how much I love period dramas. Downton Abbey has got to be my favourite TV series and Victoria is just as wonderful.

I’ve seen quite a lot of films this past months but the one that sticks out is Black Panther. To tell you the truth, I am not the biggest Marvel fan because the stories are too similar for my liking and the films packed with action and not enough character development, but I went to see Black Panther on opening night and I my mind was blown away. IT WAS SO GOOD. Not only was the story more original and complex than in your average Marvel film but the female characters were just amazing. I can’t wait to see more of them in the upcoming Avengers film.

Moving on to my favourite music of this past winter, I actually didn’t listen to any new bands. However, I did listen to a lot of Disney soundtracks. I know, I know, I’m supposed to be an adult. But I learned that listening to Disney songs while studying or writing papers really helps me relax. Even now, I’m listening to a piano versions of the songs on Youtube and I feel surprisingly calm.

I can go on talking about my favourite food of this winter (chocolate cake with red wine infusion), my favourite drink (mint tea) and my favourite piece of clothing (my Harry Potter sweat pants) but I think those are pretty self explanatory. I’m trying to decide about a favourite moment but there were too many of them to choose from (plus I forgot like half of them). For my last favourite category I chose favourite book purchase and it has to be the illustrated version of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them because the illustrations are simply beautiful and I just love browsing through the pages.

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Wrap-up: February 2018

This months has been legendary for me because I managed to read 10 books. Usually I read about 5 or 6, maybe 7. I’m really proud of myself, I have to say. I didn’t plan on reading this much but then some of my classes got cancelled and some of the books I’ve read are relatively short, which resulted in me finishing 10 novels. Congratz!

Now let’s look at the books I read this month. Here is the list:

  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • The Greatest Cases of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner
  • Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling
  • Power of Three by Diana Wynne Jones
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
  • Messenger by Lois Lowry
  • Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

Besides reading a lot, I actually read a lot of great books this month. Uprooted was absolutely amazing, the story still plays itself in my mind even though I read it at the start of the month. Sometimes I go to my bookshelves and pick it up and just stare at it for a few minutes (does this make me strange? probably yes).

The biggest disappointment of the month was Secrets of a Charmed Life. The book promised a lot but while the second part of the book was really interesting, the first part dragged on. Kate Morton has set such a high standard for me regarding historical fiction that I just can’t stand other authors who write in a similar way because they just don’t deliver the same quality writing as she does. This was the second book of Susan Meissner’s I’ve read and I am fairly certain it’s also the last.

Because I had exams this month I decided to cheer myself up and I listened to the audio version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets which is narrated by Stephen Fry. His voice was so hilarious I literally laughed out loud whenever Dobby appeared because his voice was the same as the one in the films. But although I liked Stephen Fry, audio books just aren’t my thing. I prefer to read myself ( and to myself).

Last week I binge read the first three books in the Giver series and they were AMAZING. Since they were also quite short (200 pages each) I managed to read them in three days. I finally understand why people keep complimenting the series, it truly is a modern classis. I also started reading the last book but found it too intense and so I had to stop for a while.

Instead I picked up Without Merit by Colleen Hoover and I’m really liking it! I still have about a hundred pages to go but I know I’ll finish the book tonight. The story is way more interesting than in Slammed and I love all the characters, they are so unique and funny. Moby is adorable and Sagan, agh, Sagan is a dream.

Norse Mythology was also totally amazing but since I reviewed it, I won’t talk about it here. Neil Gaiman is brilliant and always will be.

What’s left to mention? Power of Three was pretty good but it didn’t blow me away. I still prefer Fire and Hemlock and Howl’s Moving Castle. But even though the book wasn’t great, the story still impressed me a lot.Β Sherlock Holmes was, well, Sherlock Holmes. It’s so surprising to see how his character shows itself through the writing. He’s probably one of the best characters ever written.

So there you go, these are all the books I read this month. I think I deserve a small award for managing to read this much.

(opening book depository in a new tab)

 

 

Best reading week ever

It’s Saturday morning and I managed to read 2 whole books this week plus finish 2 from last week and I’m planning on reading the fifth one in one sitting today so I start on my number six tomorrow. Did I lock myself in my room or something? Did I move to the middle of the forest or somewhere likewise remote? Nope. I decided to blow off uni for the rest of the week and so I had plenty of time to read.

Funny thing about reading this much – it makes me even more anxious and willing to read. I keep thinking about books (even more than normally) and if I don’t have a book in my hands I literally get nervous. But it’s the good kind of excitement (so far at least). I’m also cat-sitting my sister’s cats Zoya and Oscar this weekend and yesterday little Oscar slept in my lap while I was reading. It was so adorable.

Which books am I binge reading, you ask? The Giver series. I read the first part on Thursday, the second part yesterday and I’m planning on reading the third book today (I haven’t started yet by the way) and so tomorrow I can get to the fourth book. It’s really, really good. They’re not my favourite books and so I don’t adore them (probably because they’re not fantasy novels), but they are still insanely good and the plot twists make my head spin. The only thing that bothers me is the lenght, they are about 200-250 pages long and even though that makes them a quick read, I wish they were a bit longer and more descriptive.

Earlier this week I finished listening to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on audio and I started missing Hogwarts terribly but since I have so many books on my physical TBR pile I decided to stop there and not pick up the third book. I’m saving it for tough times. Then I finished reading Power of Three by Diana Wynne Jones and again I really liked it but didn’t love it as much as I expected it. I’m afraid I already read all the best of her work and now I’ll only be disappointed by her other novels. I hate this feeling.

Besides reading I went to the cinema twice this past week. Black Panther was totally amazing because the story was a bit different than your usual superhero plot twist. It instantly became my favourite Marvel film although Iron Man still is my sweetheart because I just love Robert Downey Jr. I also watched The Post which was totally different but likewise amazing. Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks are such talented actors, the only thing that bothered me was the fact that I didn’t quite understand all the background of the story, the politics, but I was still able to follow the story.

Since I’m getting anxious again (no book in my hands) I’ll finish here and start reading. Later in the day I’ll visit the cats again and hopefully they’ll be in a petting mood. I might actually manage to read 10 books this month. That would be a first!