Treasured In: October 2021

2021, Favourites

Hello!

Another month has flown by and somehow I’ve managed to finish one job, be unemployed for one whole week, get a new job, all amongst some of the lowest lows I’ve ever had. Every month, I wonder how the hell it’s gone so quickly, but I’ve done a slightly better job of feeling more present and slowing it all down a little. Maybe I slowed it down whilst I was at my saddest and that wasn’t the most fun, but I’m working on getting to know myself better and figuring out what makes things better and what makes things worse (ironically, both seem to be binge eating…).

But amongst the learning curve, there were lots of little moments of happiness and things I enjoyed so here’s that.

What I bought

There are two things that spring to mind – discounted tickets to the new West End musical Cinderella and the tattoo I got a couple of weeks ago.

One of the best things about the West End (other than the productions themselves) is the lottery for discounted tickets – I entered on the off chance and won the same week, planning a semi-spontaneous trip to London with my fiancé to see Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical with it’s inaugural cast including Carrie Hope Fletcher, who I’ve been a fan of for over a decade at least. The show was so much fun, the songs were really catchy and the set design and staging blew my tiny mind away.

Then I finally got another tattoo after literal years of waiting – just a little something this time to scope out the studio where I live, but this is the logo for All Time Low’s ‘Wake Up Sunshine’ album. All Time Low have been my favourite band since I was about 13 and I adore this logo.

What I ate

My main sweet craving is still for Sainsbury’s Victoria Sponge cupcakes that they barely ever have in stock at my local Sainsburys, but my wonderful fiancé (every time I type it, I mentally pronounce it fee-on-key) treated me to a bar of Tony’s Chocolonely chocolate as a gift at the end of my first day of my new job and I really wanted it to just be average because it’s SO expensive… but it was really nice. It was lovely and I want another one but it’s so expensive.

What I watched

In my week of unemployment (which I didn’t know would only be a week), I wanted to be really productive and do lots of nice craft things and make the most of time off, but the expanse of potential unemployment was really overwhelming and my mental health was trash so I watched a lot (and I mean a lot) of ‘House’ on Amazon Prime. I’m really into medical shows, when my partner is home we watch ‘Grey’s Anatomy’.

But I watched so much ‘House’. So much.

What I watched (on YouTube)

Rhiannon Ashley’s Vlogtober videos are the cosiest.

What I listened to

Because I need the main character energy, okay?

What I made

One – I’ve been working on this cross stitch kit for longer than I really should have. It was only £1 from the Range, but there was so much excess thread and I hate wasting things, so I started sewing a border. I still have loads of thread left but it’s been a nice little mindless project to do while watching TV.

Two – a Halloween costume – I’m not a big Halloween person; I hate horror movies, I’ve never really been trick or treating and I think it’s just American commercialism being adopted by the rest of the world, but I do love fancy dress. So when work suggested an inter-office costume competition, I was all over it.

We’re doing it a little early for when everyone’s in the office so by the time this goes live it won’t be a secret anymore – my office are doing Scooby Doo, but there are six of us… so I offered to make the Mystery Machine:

So two huge cardboard boxes and too much acrylic paint later, I made the Mystery Machine! I had far too much fun making this and I don’t have a damn clue what I’m going to do with it now, but I had so much fun making it and I’m probably too proud of it.

What I read

I’ve finished five books this month (so far! Still a few days left) and it’s been a very mixed bag…

Good Girl, Bad Blood (Holly Jackson) – the sequel to one of my favourite books from 2020, ‘A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder’, I loved reading about Pip’s next investigation with the development of her own podcast, the fallout of the investigation into Andie Bell’s death and the impact her ‘research’ has on everyone around her. Absolutely adored it – 4 stars (but very close to 5).

As Good As Dead (Holly Jackson) – and the last of the trilogy… was a huge let down. Pip had suffered huge trauma and I’m sure that’s the ‘logic’ behind her massive character shift, but she was so different and the really big plot point that defines the book goes against every principle Pip fought for in the first two books. Plus the trauma was really difficult to read about the 100% needed a trigger warning. When I initially reviewed this book on Storygraph I gave it 3 stars, but I’m bumping it down to 2 stars.

Red, White and Royal Blue (Casey McQuiston) – my favourite book of the whole year so far and potentially one of my favourite books of all time – definitely in the top 5! I’ve seen lots of TikToks and Instagram posts about queer literature and RW&RB has been so massively hyped. I listened to it using one of my Audible credits (because it feels like a ‘free’ book) and I’m obsessed. The characters are fantastic, the storyline is adorable and the voice actor was incredible. I went out and bought the physical copy straight away because I know this is a book I want to reread over and over again. 5 out of 5 brilliant, glittering stars.

The Switch (Beth O’Leary) – another 5 star read – again, Beth O’Leary is a massively hyped author and although I haven’t read ‘The Flatshare’ yet, I’ve been obsessed with the concept of ‘The Switch’ since I heard about it last year but I’ve only just got round to reading it and it was everything I hoped it would be. The Londoner living in a village in Yorkshire was hilarious, the Grandma dating in London was fantastic and every character was very sweet, especially Leena’s friends looking after Grandma Eileen in London. It was heartwarming, a nice cosy read, 5/5. Full marks.

Every Other Weekend (Abigail Johnson) – I always have such low expectations of the Audible Plus catalogue, and a book about 15/16 year olds is only just on the line for YA (to me at least), so I wasn’t expecting a lot, but as always I was blown away. It was a lovely insight into a variety of family experiences from the teenage perspective, the complexity of teenage relationships and the importance of communication. Genuinely a lovely listen, a 4 star review from me.

I’m currently listening to ‘In The Time We Lost’ by Carrie Hope Fletcher on Audible and I struggled a bit choosing my next physical book to read – I tried ‘Shadow and Bone’ by Leigh Bardugo but I didn’t have enough brain power for it, then I tried ‘The Book of Two Ways’ by Jodi Picoult and I was a little overwhelmed with Ancient Egyptian history so I’m currently reading ‘Sunrise on the Coast’ by Lilac Mills which I picked mostly because (I hope) it’ll be a nice little easy read and the main character is called Sophie.


Writing these posts always cheers me up! I think I want to write more review-like posts and share positivity about the media I’m enjoying, whether it’s TV, books, a film, a trip or whatever! I like reviewing things and I love these monthly round-ups.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

highlights from my tbr

2021, books

Hello!

Just because of who I am as a person, when I was unpacking my books I wrote them all down in an Excel and begun my own little database and now I have an official tbr list (to be read).

59.5% of the books I own haven’t been read (138/232) – which isn’t too bad? I thought it would be much nearer 70%! Though this doesn’t stop me from buying new books (however hard I try!), it means I’m not short of books to read.

I thought it would be nice to take you through some of the books I’m most excited to read from my book shelf – I’m not going to be reading 138 books by the end of the year, but I’m going to read as much as I can!

So if you like an easy read, a rom com, a fantasy story, a mystery, a YA story of any genre or a little bit of anything really, here are some books I’m excited about reading!

  • All That She Can See – Carry Hope Fletcher

I’ve read several of Carrie’s books and they’re always filled with a fantastical sense of wonder – I acquired this one from a pile of books that was being donated in my childhood home and I don’t really know anything about it, but I imagine it’ll be wonderful.

  • An Absolutely Remarkable Thing – Hank Green

I’ve heard incredible things about this book in regards to capturing the teenage experience growing up with the internet and the impact it has on mental health (as far as I’m aware!), I’m intrigued to find out what Hank’s writing style is like but it has to be good to have such an incredible reaction!

  • Good Girl, Bad Blood – Holly Jackson

I devoured ‘A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder’ last year and I’m so excited about the sequel – I know there’s a third book out now and I can’t wait to dive back into this series. I never thought I’d really be into crime novels but the way the protagonist is written as a teenage girl who cares about school and getting into uni but isn’t a ‘traditional’ nerd made her such a believable narrator to read. And the plot twists were brilliant!

  • Five Feet Apart – Rachael Lippincott

Did I buy this book exclusively because I want to watch the film with Cole Sprouse? Yeah, to be honest. I think he’s cute, so I want to read the book with him in mind and then watch the film to compare. There’s something about a YA medical love story that just gets me!

  • The Switch – Beth O’Leary

I saw a lot of people talking about ‘The Flatshare’ and the concept didn’t grab me tbh (though the hype around the book still convinced me to pick it up!) but The Switch sounds brilliant – a young woman living in a busy city looking to slow down and her nan looking for some adventure swapping houses for a bit? Sounds brilliant, I can’t wait!

  • Gods Behaving Badly – Marie Phillips

If I didn’t mention it enough in writing about ‘Lore’ by Alexandra Bracken on my bookstagram, I love Greek mythology and retellings of it. My sibling sent me a tiktok of someone recommending this book as a kind Friends meets the Gods and I love reading interpretations of the mythology. I think if I only read one genre for the rest of my life it would be interpretations of Greek mythology.

  • Percy Jackson series – Rick Riordan

And along the same lines… I’ve read the first one and seen the films but I never got into them properly when I was in school so when I saw the series for £10 in the Works, I bought it for my partner to give to me for Christmas and I’m yet to read them. But I will get there!

  • The Princess and the Suffragette – Holly Webb

This book I picked up from the children’s section last time I went to my favourite book store High Peak and it just intrigued me. I love when people cleverly bring conversations that many would deem ‘controversial’ to children and make it accessible. Plus it’s incredibly pretty!

The Princess and the Suffragette: Amazon.co.uk: Webb, Holly: Books

And with that, I’m going to have an early night so I can finish my current book and get onto a new one as soon as possible!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx