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January Reading Round-Up

I hope you’ve all survived January! It’s gone pretty quickly for me, and I’ve now been back at work longer than I was on holiday for. Those days of lie-ins and lounging about reading all morning are but a distant memory. *sigh*

But, I have managed to read quite a few books despite that (the January social calendar is usually pretty slow!), as well as catch up on a couple of films and TV series I’ve been wanting to watch for a while.

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Books read in January:

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | Review
The Telling Room by Michael Paterniti
Stoner by John Williams | Review
Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O’Farrell | Review
The People in the Photo by Hélène Gestern | Review coming soon
Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth (proof read for work)

Films watched:

The Thirteenth Tale | Based on Diane Setterfield’s book (read my review here)
American Hustle
(On this note, I also featured on my blog a list of my top 10 book adaptations which was good fun collating)

I’ve been watching the first three seasons of Downton Abbey which is wonderful (it’s become a bit of an obsession) – I can’t quite believe it took me so long to get into it! I’ve also been watching season 2 of the quirky and clever Swedish/Danish crime series The Bridge, I think the characters have developed even more and I’m really enjoying it. What else? Sherlock! I loved the first and third episodes in the new series (wasn’t so keen on the second one) but it’s all over already – how long do we have to wait until the next series, hmm…?

In February, I’m mainly looking forward to the gradually lighter mornings, taking part for the second time in the Literary Blog Hop Giveaway (running from the 4th-8th of February), watching the film adaptation of The Book Thief, wine tasting at Divino Enoteca and tree top climbing at Go Ape.

I’m not sure quite what I’ll be reading yet, but some of my potential reads are:

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (definitely will be an at-home read as it’s far too weighty to cart around in my handbag!)
The Map of Love by Ahdaf Souief (I picked this up at a Book Swap event in my work during Book Week Scotland)
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (I won this as part of the Literary Blog Hop giveaway back in 2012 and thought there was no better time to read it than in the run-up to the next one!)

What about everyone else? Got any exciting plans coming up in February?

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Return to the norm

My days at the moment feel like they are filled with waiting about for something to start.  My job at the festival.  My 4th year of uni.  My dissertation.  The days vary from being interesting to being unbelievably dull and boring, where I find myself lying on my bedroom floor in a star shape, staring at the ceiling and thinking over and over I’m so bored I’m so bored I’m so bored I’m so bored…  The past two weeks have amounted to this short list of activities: reading several books (Auster’s The New York Trilogy, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, and Thackeray’s Vanity Fair), cleaning the house, ironing, writing notes on various essays about Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation (this isn’t intended to be fun but turns out to be – I have had many mini revelations, the most recent being “Yes! Big Sur IS a shattered mirror of fragments of the vision of the Beat Generation!”  It seems so crucial at the time but means so little when I go back to it a few days later…)  Umm…where was I?  Oh yeah, tasks.  Others include plant-watering, finishing off the second series of Mad Men (I was so gripped I went on a four episode binge one day), and going on trips in the car.  Side note: My Mum referred to her car as “our” car yesterday!

Have also had the time to go and see Inception and was blown away, felt like I stepped into another world, except that one that could exist, in a kind of The Matrix-y way.  I’ve been paying a lot more attention to my dreams since then, but I shan’t harp on about them!  (Vanity Fair is starting to sink into my consciousness…)  Going to see Toy Story 3 tomorrow, hopefully in 3D, and cannot wait!  I’ve been itching to see it, it’s been farrr too long since the last decent Disney film.  I also watched the first episode of Sherlock on the BBC iPlayer and it was an hour and 28 minutes that passed very quickly.  There is so much rubbish on the television now that it seems slim pickings, and I think that was the main reason that I found myself watching the coverage of the Hungary Grand Prix from half 12 until four o’clock this afternoon.  My parents are back from their holiday and the house is no longer my own to roam and I seem to resent this a little bit.  I can’t do as I please myself anymore, it’s a terrible state of affairs that my Mum is back to cook dinner for me and wash my clothes!  I am so hard done by…

I started work yesterday, although after 7 1/2 hours of work I had successfully poured myself more drinks than I had for paying customers (mine were non-alcoholic, of course).  Waiting about now for my next shift, looking forward to it too.  There’s a good atmosphere during the festival, and it’s always nice to inject your life with a bit of energy by meeting new people.

There are other things I could talk about, such as how I drove into Edinburgh for the first time yesterday by myself and nothing catastrophic happened; or how I saw three birds having a bath in a puddle today; or how I bought books from amazon and spent the best part of an hour making myself a wish list that is completely pointless…but now I am cutting myself off – the less you do, the more you go on about the little things and I do hate to ramble.  Well, that’s a blatant lie.  Off to read more of Vanity Fair, I am determined to get two thirds of the way through.  I’m not quite sure why this is my benchmark but I have a feeling that page 448 is going to be a good one…

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