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August book goals!

Hiiiii😊

After spending stupid amounts of money in Paperchase buying pretty stationary😍, I’ve made a conscious effort to put a plan in place and schedule to write more!

My plan is to (fingers crosssed):

  1. Line out any and all my book goals for the upcoming month at the beginning of the month.
  2. Write an update halfway through, see how I’m doing!
  3. And then a review of the overall month at the end.
  4. (Plus any extra blogs I manage to write😁

Soooo…*drum roll please maestro* here are my book goals for August *tada!*

  1. Read at least 3 new books this month AND review them.
  2. Read 2 literary journals/articles.
  3. Write 3 extra blogs on top of the 3 already listed above.
  4. Complete an August reading challenge (if anyone knows of one please let me know😊)

Not massively extensive, but small steps and all. Gosh I really hope I stick to this. Guess we’ll find out in 2 weeks!

Happy August😊

xo

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200 years of Austen❤

Hello 🙂 This is just my little tribute to the brilliant writing of Jane Austen.

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!” – Jane Austen 

Today (or 2 days ago by the time this is posted😶) marks 200 years since one of the most influential women writers died. She, her novels, and characters have managed to stay in the public eye for 200 years. She even got put on the back on the £10 note😊🎉

Gosh, where do you even start with Austen? Her characters? Her mesmerising writing? Her scathing critique of social situations, and society? I’m not even sure to be honest. She’s spawned prequels and sequels, fan fiction, a web series, stage productions, podcasts, and multiple tv and film adaptations. Phew! Did I get everything? It’s like we can’t get enough of her, even 200 years later, constantly being drawn in and enticed by her witty language and bold protagonists. What’s brilliant is that her stories and themes still hold relevance today. Everybody still wants their Mr Darcy, or Colonol Brandon (I’m a hard-core Mr Darcy lover, particularly Matthew McFayden in the 2005 movie😍).

I read an interesting article today about how Austen is lost on teenagers because they can’t understand it. That the deep meanings, intricacies, and themes of her novels go over their heads. I’ve gotta say I completely disagree with this. It’s not that teenagers don’t understand it’s that most teaching methods won’t allow them to gain the understanding and nodules of from her novels. What makes Austen so relevant and brilliant is how accessible her writing is, whether that’s through her novels or the maaaany adaptations and interpretations (Bridget Jones ftw although I am partial to the Bollywood version of P&P😂).

Smart, funny, witty, passionate, and fiery, Lizzie Bennett is probably the most well known Austen heroine, and my favourite. But she’s not without her faults. Her pride and naivety get in the way of her judgement of both Wickham and Darcy. Its not until she’s forced to realise her mistakes that she re-evaluate all she knows and allows herself to become open to change. So beautifully written, Austen isn’t afraid to make her characters flawed, nd that’s what makes them human. No character in an Austen novel is perfect. Perfection for Austen is superficial only. No-one, no matter how much they claim, can attain that level of perfection because reality dictates it as unattainable. It’s down to this and Austen’s frankness of society that’s allowed her work to transcend over the past 200 years. 

For me there’s an Austen novel and heroine for everyone. You just have to find it. So thank you Jane. Thank you for writing 6 of the greatest novels in the English language. But not only that. Thank you for being one of the pioneering women writers in a time where it was frowned upon. Thank you for showing and proving that some of the greatest stories come from those who are oppressed and that all they need is one chance to get their story out there. 

xo

Book Reviews

How to be interesting?

Hello! I hope you’ve all had a lovely Monday😊

I picked this up from the clearance section at my local supermarket for £2! Such a bargain, I love clearance sections😌 

The title and red pages drew me to to it and for the price I thought why not. I mean who doesn’t want a step by step guide on how to be interesting? This was a YA read (which I didn’t realise), but on the whole it was an enjoyable, quick and easy going read. It was the overall message that stood out for me, being really relevant for today’s society. So want to be interesting? Well follow these rules and all will be well: 

  1. One must be attractive.
  2. One must make friends with attractive people.
  3. One must fall in love with someone forbidden.
  4. One must lose all sight of oneself, get into a huge emotional mess, and break down as a person. 

I mean of course we know that there is no step by step guide or miracle that can just poof can make you interesting and appealing to everyone, and like our protagonist finds out, popularity isn’t everything. This novel deals with school social hierachies, the repercussions of social media and technology, and what’s deemed as perfect and ‘interesting’ in a modern and clever way. Starting off as a ‘social experiment’ our main character goes through the motions of being the nobody to the popular girl, to the fallen, to finally coming to terms with her own self worth. It’s your standard coming of age and finding yourself plot, but modernised and for the generation today. It’s not about keeping a journal of thoughts any more, but rather blogging about them online (😉). I felt like it was almost a collision of worlds: the literary and the technological. The main character is desperate to be a writer and holds this passion for writing and literature, which is interwoven with her online blogging and the way social media plays a part in her life. 

For young people in this age of social media where everyone and everything looks perfect and ‘interesting,’ it’s hard to differentiate what’s real and what’s not. It’s no wonder that depression, self confidence and low self esteem are at an all time high, and that online bullying is becoming more and more frequent. While sometimes it’s easier said than done to have self confidence, self love is so important and healthy for everyone. You have to love yourself first and foremost and know that you’re important, perfect, and interesting just the way you are. 

Be bold. Be brave. Be unstoppable. But most of all be inspired in whatever you do❤

xo 

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20 years of Harry Potter ❤

Hello 🙂

Okay so I know that it was yesterday since Philosopher’s Stone was released 20 years ago (whelp!), but I was kinda busy with Eid…so free pass?

I just wanted write a little something to commemorate the day, but where do I start? These books mean so much to me. They’ve impacted my life in a way that no other book has done since, and I don’t think any book will. From receiving my first detention at 8 (because I was too busy sneakily reading Chamber of Secrets rather than doing my Maths work🙊😂), to making long lasting friendships over the years through our love for the books. 

They taught me about love, life and friendships. To not back down, to fight and stand up for what I believe in. To be just and true. That being smart or a nerd isn’t a bad thing, that true friends will always be there for you. They taught and showed me so much. I could go on for eons (might have to do regular HP blogs😅), but they’re so rich in story telling, intricately woven layer upon layer through each book that with every read I unearth new gems that were previously hidden to me. 

Philosopher’s Stone sparked off my insatiable literary passion, and I was hooked from the very first chapter. The magic literally flowed off the page and into my brain and I’ve never looked back. I also found a plethora of strong female characters, wildly flawed that made them human. Hermione Granger, untamed, wild and unapologetic. Gosh I love her. I saw myself in her and really connected with her and her struggles. The combination of her, Ginny and Luna showed me in my teen years who I wanted to be. That being female, a strong female at that, isn’t anything to be ashamed of. 

Thank you Jo. For creating this amazing world and sharing it with all of us. For never making us feel ashamed for loving it with a passion that could be considered obsession. Thank you creating a magical world where so many have found safety and belonging. 

“Whether you come back by page or by film, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” – JK Rowling.

xo

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Gotta love a bit of Shakespeare 

Hi! 

Look at me writing two blogs within 2 days😊 Fingers crossed this streak continues!

I was disillusioned with Shakespeare for so long – mainly because it had been improperly taught to me and forced down my throat from the age of 7 when I couldn’t really comprehend it and the complexity of his writing. It wasn’t until I was in my final year of University doing a Shakespeare module where I fell in love with good ol’ William. My lecturer was so passionate and taught his work in a way that was digestible, understandable and most of all, enjoyable. I finally understood why he was a big deal in the literary world – his prose, poetry, descriptions and language are just sublime. 

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a few plays I don’t like ***controversial opinion upcoming*** like Romeo and Juliet (🤤). Why this one you ask? Again I’ve been forced to read, react and perform this since the age of about 10 over and over and over again. I think by the time I was 14 I was so sick of it. I mean once again, don’t get me wrong, I’ll watch Leonardo DiCaprio in all his 90’s cute glory at any given point in the day, but the play itself I just can’t bring myself to enjoy reading. Maybe I need to bite the bullet and give it another go…maybe.

But I will say this about Shakespeare. All his plays are strongly rooted in terms of genre – whether it be tragedy, comedy or history – and his characters are widely flawed, human, and real. That’s what makes his play so memorable and so contemporary at the same time. There’s a reason why he’s stuck in the public mind for over 400 years. His plays, while written in the Elizabethan era, are so adaptable and transferable for any time period or actor.

Coriolanus is my favourite play of his. It’s classed as a tragedy, but like so many of Shakespeare’s plays there’s overlaps with other genres. It’s so witty (I think anyway), and relatable especially in these recent times. I was lucky enough to see Tom Hiddleston’s performance at the NT which was incredible (and he’s super hot too🙊). Please give it a read if you haven’t! 

Ah Shakespeare, you keep on doing your thing❤

xo 

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All kinds of cliches

Hello☺

So nearly 2 months on from this blog post, have I managed to change things? Well…yes and no. So far I have:

  1. Utilised my time more effectively in the mornings on my commute into work by reading more🎉
  2. Taken a notebook around with me everywhere as well so that I can jot down all my ideas and thoughts. I’m actually loving this one! Just writing down my ramblings on paper made me realise how much I miss the simple act of putting pen to paper.

Aaaaand that’s pretty much it🙈 Although 2/5 from my list isn’t too bad I guess. I’m still a little annoyed that I haven’t been able to implement the others, or even get a start on them. Work has been super hectic this month and I’m really hoping after this week everything dies down a heck of a lot so I can invest more time into my writing and reading even more.

I did come across the below quote by Stephen King recently that really made me snap back into focus and realise what it is I’m passionate about. Writing has always been something I’ve never been 100% comfortable with. I mean don’t get me wrong, I can write a damn good essay, but that’s pretty much it. Facts, opinions and a strong solid subject. But writing for myself has always alluded me because I think I’m just not good enough. That my writing won’t be as inviting or intriguing as some of the amazing work I’ve read by my favourite authors, or my peers. But it’s this kind of thinking that’s held me back, and probably holds a lot of people back. Doing something (whatever it may be) for the sake of others, whomever they may be, won’t allow you to reach your full potential. Do whatever makes you happy for you. After all, you’re going to be the one investing your time and emotion, no-one else. It needs to make you happy.

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” ― Stephen King

As a lover and student of literature, I know it’s been buried deep within me to write a novel or something one day, even if it’s just for myself and no-one else. I would love to devote more time to it if I can. Hopefully this blog will inspire me to keep on going.

xo

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Manchester <3 

Hello everyone, slightly different theme for today’s blog.

Today’s a pretty sombre day for me as a Mancunian. Last night some absolute tool thought to senselessly attack an arena full of children, young people and their parents/guardians.

22 innocent people died and it makes me sick to my core. I just can’t comprehend how someone walks into a place and decides to cause so much suffering, whether on a whim or with a calculated plan. Neither one is justified no matter what. When I woke this morning and heard the news of the devastating attacks I felt almost violated in a way. Manchester is my home. I was born and raised here. How dare somebody come into my city and attack my fellow Mancunians?! I won’t stand for this, and I never will no matter where injustice might lie. But this was personal because it a struck so close home. I may not have known those targeted personally, but I feel connected to them. 

But then today Manchester did what it does best. As a city, as a community, as loving and peaceful city folk we drove out in our thousands to commemorate those who’d had their lives taken from them. We came out in our thousands to say not today! You won’t break us today nor will you ever! We will never succumb to hatred or fear. My hometown shone it’s brightest over the last 24 hours and it makes me proud as hell to call myself a Manc.

“The thing about Manchester is that it all comes from here❤” – Noel Gallagher 

xo