Late Summer Reading List

I’ve spent the best part of the last two months trying to get through the first book in the Game of Thrones series – and although I’m enjoying it, there’s a lot to get to grips with. I love the story and many of the characters but I wouldn’t exactly call myself a fantasy girl. Thankfully, I’m coming to the end so I’ll be able to pick up something new soon. I have a couple of books waiting in the wings, hence this late Summer Reading List.

I’m only 28% through my Goodreads Reading Challenge and according to the app, will need to read two books a week for the rest of the year to hit my target of 50 books in 2019. Better get my skates on then, I guess.

What I’m Reading Next

The Corset by Laura Purcell

This book has been on my radar for a while. I loved The Silent Companions and found it genuinely eerie – so I have high hopes about the follow up. I’ve already spoken about it so I don’t want to repeat myself but I’m looking forward to dipping back into Purcell’s version of Gothic goodness.

Honestly, this is the kind of book I normally reserve for Autumn reading but fuck it. It’s windy enough out there to appeal to my nesting sensibilities, so bring it on.

My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen

“So, this is me. Lily Allen.

I am a mother, and I was a wife. I’m also a singer and a songwriter. I have loved and been let down. I’ve been stalked and assaulted. I am a success and a failure. I’ve been broken and full of hope. I am all these things and more.

I’m telling my truth because when women share their stories, loudly and clearly and honestly, things begin to change – for the better.

So, this is my story. These are my thoughts exactly.”

I’ve got a soft spot for Lily, who hasn’t always got it right but has always been seemingly honest, which I admire. She also been through an awful lot in her career and personal life, so I suspect this autobiography is going to be pretty eye-opening stuff. I’m holding out for heaps of scandal and a healthy dollop of bitching about other celebrities.

Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams

I follow Laura on social media and find her quite endearing, so when I saw she’d written a novel, even though it’s not my usual kind of book, I wanted to check it out.

When I was grabbing dinner in Sainsbury’s at the weekend, I found it for the bargain price of £2.99. Well I’m a girl of limited means, so what was I going to do?

The premise is this:

“What if you almost missed the love of your life?

Nadia gets the 7.30 train every morning without fail. Well, except if she oversleeps or wakes up at her friend Emma’s after too much wine.

Daniel really does get the 7.30 train every morning, which is easy because he hasn’t been able to sleep properly since his dad died.

One morning, Nadia’s eye catches sight of a post in the daily paper:

To the cute girl with the coffee stains on her dress. I’m the guy who’s always standing near the doors… Drink sometime?

So begins a not-quite-romance of near-misses, true love, and the power of the written word.”

Cute, huh?

No Big Deal by Bethany Rutter

Bethany is an internet staple for me, someone I’ve followed and admired for a long time. I’d go so far as to say she is one of the people most responsible for helping me change my way of thinking towards my own body. I’d definitely recommend you check her out on Twitter and beyond.

NBD is her debut fiction novel and I am so excited to meet her fat protagonist, Emily. I suspect this is a book I could really have done with back when I was a teen and I just really hope it gets the attention and acclaim it undoubtedly deserves.

A little outline:

“A warm, funny YA debut about a fat girl embarking on her first romance, female friendship, valuing herself and not settling, by one of the best body positive writers in the UK.”

So that’s me. Getting ready to hunker down with several good books and a duvet.

What are you reading?

Ice Ice Baby

Turkdel8
Party pooping in style

This weekend (and before really) social media has been awash with videos of people, first celebrities and now all the people you work with, drink with and spend time with, tossing icy buckets of water over each other. All in the name of charidee, apparently.

A discussion with my beloved this morning as we completed our own version of the ALS ice bucket challenge (walking around the Level while it pissed down) has led me to this post.

I’m not being a spoil sport about this, I want that to be known first and foremost, although I can assure you that I won’t be standing in my communal front yard in a bikini top while Mr Bee flushes me through with cold water (relax, World).

I’m taking a Patrick Stewart stand on this one, which I think is perfect acceptable given that it’s all about the money, rather than how many of us end up soggy.

I agree with anything that raises awareness for a good cause and up until I saw Lily Allen looking fabulous during hers, I didn’t have a clue what the eff was actually going on. In fact, it took this very touching video to make me realise what it was even for, and that was a good few days in.

(Most people haven’t been as clear as they could have been about the reason for doing the challenge but this seems to have rectified itself the more people are doing it).

ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and is a motor neurone disease. In the US alone upward of 30,000 people are affected and it claims about 2 in 100,000 lives a year.

Of course Wiki has this is terms of explaining it better but it’s an awful degenerative disease I had no clue about a few days ago. I now have a basic understanding of what it does, all thanks to Cumberbatch in a tight wet tee.

Oh yes!

So, in short I am not poo-pooing those who have partaken in the ALS challenge at all, and unlike some of my less amused friends on Facebook, say, have been enjoying most of the videos. It’s nice to see people you’d never normally expect to be getting involved and also, as I have typed this with a steadfast ‘I am not doing it’ agenda, I’ve started to become even more touched by those who have done it.

My personal reason is that I’d like to be a quieter participant, I might be the silent Queen of the #selfie but I’m not so much of a stand up and be counted extrovert (and I know not all are). Practically, I don’t know where I could do it – the shower perhaps? Plus, Mr Bee thinks I should be concerned that people will think I’m a ‘pussy’ if I am nominated and don’t do it (nobody has yet, thankfully) and on our walk I got all Warrior Woman, ranting about peer pressure at my age, my right to stand as a single person, etc. And now I have come too far to back down.

This is how our arguments tend to go.

Instead, I will be donating to ALS whatever happens and should I be nominated by somebody cruel (it will Mr Bee taking me down with him), I will deal with it my way. Pussy or not, I’ve got this.

It would feel remiss somehow not to mention the King of my Heart in this post. Did you see Tom Hanks’ ALSIBC? I love him so so much!

So, have you been nominated and if so, will you be doing the challenge? Col of The Bohemian Within just has! What are your thoughts?

If you would like to donate to a great cause, you can do so here.