#63, April Favourites

BOOKS

  • Angela Carter’s “Wise Children”; I’ve been trying to read this book for months. (It’s been hopping about on my “to be read” list from my February) and I’m not really sure why I put it on the back burner. I’ve not finished it, so I can’t say very much about it, but it’s a very enchanting read that mixes a real, and surreal, world pretty wonderfully.
  • I also really loved Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” but, maybe I’ll put my thoughts on that into a different post
  • I fell for the protagonist of Dodi Smith’s “I Capture the Castle”, I feel like this book is the forgotten gem out of Smith’s writing. (As she’s famous for penning 101 Dalmatians). This book is definitely worth a read and tells a very charming coming-of-age tale.
  • Honourable mention also goes to: Nathan Filer’s “The Shock of the Fall” and Muriel Spark’s “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”

FILMS

  • I recently for the first time watched His Girl Friday, with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, and found it to be a very fast paced/easy to enjoy movie. A shower of memorable one-liners, this movie is magnificently witty, and is as stimulating as it is entertaining.
  • The Artist, wonderfully clever and charming! This movie documents the transition between silent movies to talkies through a actor-actress pair, who’s parallel careers cross after a chance encounter. The movie is romantic without being cheesy, well un-cheesy considering the genre, it acts as a really refreshing perspective in and amongst modern day cinema.
  • I actually did manage to see a few new releases this month, one that was particularly captivating and is being talked about by everyone and their mother is The Grand Budapest Hotel. Whilst being a wildly fantastic film with a wonderful cast, it also challenged my ability to fancy more than four people in any one feature.

TV

Masterchef is back, guys. I love eating. I love watching the food channel, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love masterchef. So far the season is only just passed the first heats. So, the heavy cuisine guns are not out yet, but they are on their way, oh yes.

MUSICS

Songs of the month were definitely:

  • Earth Wind & Fire’s “September”, which I featured in my post about this playlist. It’s one of them ones what you can’t not sing and dance along to
  • I’m late to the party on this one, but, holy moly Lorde’s “Buzzcut Season” is a bit of a good song, isn’t it?
  • I love me some Kelis and her new song “Rumble” fits the bill for me. A bit soulful, and a bit funky, too.
  • Brody Dalle new album came out this month and I’ve fallen in love with “Meet the Foetus / Oh the Joy” all over again. Yes. (I also believe Garbage’s Shirley Manson has some cheeky guest vocals on this?)

FOOD

  • Marks & Spencer’s Cherry Bakewell cookies; soft, crumbly, and delicious!
  • MaltEaster Bunnies, they’re like normal malteasers, but with a creamy malty layer, and little pieces of honeycomb. I am compulsively shoving these into my face over the seasonal easter period.
  • Mini eggs, another seasonal easter favourite – I like cracking these up and sprinkling them on vanilla yogurt.

SMELLS

  • My go to scents for myself this month have been: A good layer of S&G’s Righteous Butter, which smells what they call “original pink”, and from what I can deduce has fruity top notes (perhaps strawberry), some floral midnotes (think jasmine), and then dries down to something a little deeper like Amber. It’s a bit like what Miss Dior Cherie used to smell like.
  • In terms of actual perfume, I’ve really been liking Lanvin’s Eclat d’Arpege (which, on me, starts off withs lilacs, quickly dries down to peonies and wisteria, then musky-amber with something green that I can’t fix on)

And, that pretty much concludes my round up for the month!

Head up, eyes forward.

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#58, some books for your mood (when you’re in the mood for books)

There are days when you’re in the mood to read a book. But, not just any novel – a story that captures a thought, or a feeling, or a season, or even a hodge-podge of everything at once. Here are a few that may tickle your fancy:

  •  The one to read when you don’t want to read a book, Stardust, Neil Gaiman*, This is the book isn’t a book at all – it’s a wonderful dream. (edit: I wrote this and then found the image accompanying this post. funny, huh?)

 

  • The one to read to your kids (or someone else’s kids), Danny the Champion of the World, Roald Dahl*, Although I read this as an adult I thought it portrays how important it is to develop your own personal concept of right and wrong (versus the traditional concepts of good and bad forced upon us from childhood) in a way children can understand and appreciate.

 

  • The one to read when you want to appear mysterious, The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler*, the perfect embodiment of Noir (although technically it’s a hardboiled crime novel), that is both pessimistic and fatalistic. The narrator of choice for it in my head is Tom Waits and his piano, which tells you all you need to know; this book is dark, gritty, and mysterious.

 

  • The one to read when you’re feeling a bit more philosophical, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera*, this book is not for the light-hearted, in spite of it’s name. At times, I would even say it’s pretty hard going. But, in places it nails human nature so honestly and unassumingly that it makes it a must-read.

 

  • The one to read when you’re looking for a tiny bit of spiritual reflection, Siddhartha, Herman Hesse, yes, this book is both of spirit, and of flesh. But mostly, it’s a book about that grey area where the two meet.

 

  • The one to read when you need to be kind to yourself,  Letters to a Young Poet, Rilke, soothing, reassuring, and wise; this book is simultaneously a good, and truly kind hug, but also a well-deserved kick up the arse.

 

  • The one to read when you have a broken heart, Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte*, this book goes from love, to obsession, to revenge. Dark enough to coax you out of feeling sorry for yourself, because you don’t have problems. Healthcliff has problems.

 

  • The one to read to feel a little love, I Capture the Castle, Dodi Smith*, The protagonist, Cassandra is a smart, witty, and empathetic character. The story is set in the 1930’s British countryside who’s mood changes with season (winter of discontent, spring of hope, summer of love, etc). This coming-of-age book is worthy of your time and attention (and heart).

 

 

 

  • The one to read to remind yourself why men shouldn’t speak for women, even when they’re trying to “help”, Far From the Madding Crown, Thomas Hardy*. Granted, I haven’t actually finished this book, but I’m not entirely sure I want to. As far as I’m concerned Hardy took a “strong-willed woman”, navigated her through Victorian Britain by stripping her of all her own will, all the while making sweeping statements on the nature of women as dictated by this one woman, whom he made up. HARDY PLS. HARDY STAHP.

 

  • The one to read when you want to know how (some) women really feel, The Complete Poems of Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Parker, dubbed the wittiest woman in [1920s] America, Parker’s verses are frank and honest through humour and satire. If that doesn’t make you want to read her, nothing will.

And, if books aren’t your thing, all the titles accompanied by an asterisk have movie adaptations (:

Keep up with all my book likes and dislikes on Goodreads.