Sunday, 31 May 2015

Monthly Wrap-Up | May 2015

Wow, May flew by! It was a very busy month for me, so I didn't read as much as I might have liked, but I certainly made up for it with other stuff.

Rolling in the Deep
by Mira Grant

Reviewed here!

The Great Zoo of China
by Matthew Reilly 

Reviewed here!

Rat Queens, Vol.2: The Far-Reaching Tentacles of N'rygoth
by Kurtis J. Wiebe, Roc Upchurch and Stjepan Sejic 

Reviewed here!

May was a bit of a slow reading month for me, but that's alright. It was very busy at work and I figured it's about time I stop making myself feel bad for 'not reading enough'. The Great Zoo of China was a little bit of a disappointment, but it wasn't the worst thing I've ever read, and everything else I read I really enjoyed - especially Jane Eyre's Sisters, which was my first non-fiction read of the year. I really need to read more non-fiction because that book was amazing.

I continued to watch Game of Thrones, until a certain episode I'm sure many of you have been hearing about. A little further down I link to a post all about sexual violence in epic fantasy that basically sums up why I was so upset with the way Game of Thrones went; Sansa is one of my favourites and the show treats her like garbage. I also wasn't impressed with the way things were going for Daenerys this season; Benioff and Weiss don't seem to understand that a woman doesn't have to be unlikable to be 'badass'.

Never say never, but for the foreseeable future I won't be watching Game of Thrones. I'm so sick of the gratuitous sexual violence that there really is no need for.

On a brighter note, Penny Dreadful returned this month and it's great! I really enjoyed the first season, and so far I'm really enjoying this one, too. Helen McRory makes for a very cool villain, and I still love Ethan Chandler. He's such a cutie.


I also got into The March Family Letters this month. I tried getting into it about a month or so a go but I wasn't really feeling it, then I discovered they were doing some really interesting things with the sexuality of their versions of these timeless characters and now I'm hooked! I think it just took a little while for the show to find its feet.
For those of you wondering, The March Family Letters is a webseries similar to The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and it's a modern day version of Louisa May Alcott's
Little Women. I really like what they've done with it so far (although their version of Amy does take a little getting used to!) and I recommend checking it out. You can find it on YouTube here.

Oh, and this month my parents and I went to see Far From the Madding Crowd. I really enjoyed it and so did my parents. This is a very important factor, as Far From the Madding Crowd is my Dad's favourite book and he's INCREDIBLY sceptical of adaptations, but he said it was a very faithful adaptation so I'm glad he liked it. Carey Mulligan was an adorable Bathsheba Everdeen (it was a little odd hearing that surname when it wasn't preceded by 'Katniss') and I thought they cast Gabriel Oak, William Boldwood and Sergeant Troy really well, too. It's a great film - I recommend checking it out if you're a lover of period dramas!

Here are a few posts I wrote in May that I'd love more people to check out!

As I said before, May was a very busy month!

It was my Dad's birthday right at the beginning of the month, on the 1st May, so that weekend my family and I - me, my parents, my sisters, my brothers-in-law, my nephew and my nieces - took a trip up to Derbyshire, where we went to The Heights of Abraham and Gulliver's Kingdom.

It was a nice trip, but I was glad to get back home. It was a very family-orientated trip, and while both my sisters are married with children and in their 30s (there's 10 years between me and my oldest sister) I'm still finding my feet in my 20s after uni, so big family holidays aren't really my thing. It was nice to see everyone, though - particularly my youngest niece, who is 6 months old.

This month I finally succumbed and bought myself a kindle, and I love it! For years I was convinced I wasn't going to get an eReader because I love physical books so much, but I'm literally out of shelf space and to be honest there are a lot of books I want to read but don't want to read enough to buy a physical copy of. Plus now I have a netgalley account and I've got the opportunity to read and review books before they're released!

It was the Eurovision Song Contest in May. Last year I was in uni, and my best friend and I watched it together through Skype which was a lot of fun. This year I went to my friend's Eurovision party in Swansea; there were around 10 of us there, and each of us had to pick a country and bring a themed snack. I chose Greece - I love that country - and took around a bowl of Greek salad, complete with cherry tomatoes and feta cheese, and a couple of pots of honey Greek yogurt.

It's a European feast!
The party was a success, and a lot of fun!

For the first time ever I went to The Hay Festival this year. For any of you who aren't familiar with it, The Hay Festival is an annual literary festival that takes place in Hay-on-Wye - the town of books - and it's somewhere I've been meaning to go for a while now. Luckily for me I got to go with work this year, which meant I actually ended up organising a drinks reception for the centenary of WW2 writer Alun Lewis and it meant I got to go to the two Alun Lewis themed events for free!

omnomnom reception nosh
I also saw Malorie Blackman. Malorie Blackman! Only one of my favourite authors from my childhood/pre-teens and only the author of one of my favourite books of all time which was also the first book that made me cry. I knew she was going to be there, sadly I couldn't go to her event as it was on at the same time as one of the Alun Lewis events, but I did take my copy of Noughts & Crosses just in case. I did see her signing books, but the queue was huge and sadly I was too busy with work stuff to wait to meet her. But one day I will!

stealthy shot
I had so much fun, and I'd love to go back to Hay next year for a shameless book festival holiday, there was such a lovely atmosphere and it was such lovely weather and it was just lovely.

This is a new little section of my monthly wrap-ups. I've seen a few bloggers sharing posts they've really enjoyed by other bloggers, and I decided it was about time I did the same because I follow some amazing bloggers and their posts deserve to be read!

Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies wrote about the tropes and genres she's So Over

Cristina @ Girl in the Pages wrote a brilliant post about whether or not we're Too Hard On Our Heroines

Cait @ Paper Fury wrote a great post on Writing Diversely

Mallory @ The Local Muse wrote a great introduction to European Romanticism

So how was your May?


  1. I really like my kindle, it has been so easy since so many reiew copies are in Kindle format
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  2. I'm really enjoying your new style of monthly wrap-ups! The Hay Festival sounds like it was so much fun! I love that your dad's favorite book is Far From the Madding Crowd- I love to see other people loving the classics! I bought myself the book not too long ago because I want to read it before seeing the movie (of course). Yay to the Kindle! I was really skeptical about ereaders too, but my mom talked me into a Nook and I really love it. It's great for traveling and getting ebooks from my library. Plus I think I read books faster on my Nook, but this could all just be in my head!
    Thanks for the post shout-out! I'm glad to see you enjoyed that post!

    1. Thanks Mallory! :) The Hay Festival was a lot of fun and I'll definitely be going back next year.

      I must admit my kindle is much easier to carry around in my bag. I do still love my physical books, though. ;)

      No worries - I was glad to share it! :D