February reads: Four brilliant books

I started this year really well in the reading department after signing up for a Goodreads account, but it’s fallen to the wayside a bit over the past couple of weeks. In an attempt to kickstart things again and boost my total reads for 2017 so far, I downloaded a couple of books this weekend and put about 58 in my amazon basket (and about 58 pairs of shoes in my ASOS basket to match). I intended to read loads on Sunday but life (including a balance of work and sticky toffee pudding) scuppered that plan.

The stuff I have actually gotten around to reading (shoutout to Thameslink for all the delays recently giving me time to read on freezing platforms) has been really bloody good. The best are listed below and I’d highly recommend them all.

Hold Back the Stars – Katie Khan 

This is Katie’s first novel, and I ordered it after following her on Twitter for a long time. She heads up digital at Paramount and after always enjoying her work and personal life tweets I felt like I needed to read this. Also the cover is gorgeous and will do your bookshelf a pretty little favour when you’re done.

Behind Closed Doors – B A Paris

This is brilliant. A proper page-turner and if you love Girl on the Train and Gone Girl style books this is a must. I gave it to my mum to read for her holiday last week and ended up reading the start again afterwards and it’s just as good second time around. It’s essentially about a glamorous, happy marriage that is actually far from. Just the right amount of grit.

The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon

Yeah I know, so late to the party there are people asleep on the stairs and the wine ran out three hours ago. I had been meaning to read this for so long and when I found it on my boyfriends kindle I finally did it – in just under two days. If you haven’t gotten round to this, seriously do. It’s pretty short, very sharp and really interesting. I’ve never read something like this and found it so clever and inspiring and actually pretty moving.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves – Karen Joy Fowler

I mentioned this in the pub at work on a Friday and a couple of people whipped round to chime in on how bloody good it is. It took me a while to twig exactly what this was about but that, in my opinion, makes the book. The way the story of Rosemary and Fern is told is like thinking back to childhood with your own sibling, but then you learn it really isn’t like that. I absolutely loved this, probably one of the best books I’ve read in years.

July recommendations

July has been a really busy month in my life and it’s felt like it’s lasted approximately 3 hours, so that’s nice. I’ve started a new job, flitted to Scandinavia and got a new bed and wardrobe. Getting a new furniture is more stressful than it sounds, I can tell you that right now. I have still found ten minutes to throw this together (on my phone, on the tube, which since I started my at my new place of work has become my blogging office, it’s super glam) so yeah. Knock yourselves out.

1) Monty Bojangles chocolates

I got these as part of my bundle of leaving presents from my old job and I quite literally cannot believe how good they are. I’ve never been a massive chocolate addict (yet here I am, mentioning chocolate again) but these things are clearly crafted by the hands of some chocolate God. If you want to make someone bloody happy, send them a box of these. Along with details of where they can obtain them, because they’ll need a lifetime stock after they sample them.

2) Copenhagen

I wrote a post about this lovely little city last week. I went there for a few days as a quick break and it’s so worth checking out if you want to book yourself a city break. It’s small, colourful, ridiculously chilled and full of nice sandwiches. What more could you really ask for? There’s also loads of pretty canals and boat tours to go on while you enjoy an extortionately priced beverage (Scandinavia innit).


3) Apple Music.

Er, Apple Music is AMAZING. I love it. It’s life changing. I’ve listened to the Years and Years album about 15 times in the last week. If you haven’t got it, get it.

4) Seeing a kids film at the cinema

It’s been so long since I saw anything a bit childish at the cinema but I saw Inside Out this week, the new Pixar film, and loved every second of it. I forget sometimes how nice it can be to just sit and watch something so uncomplicated and easy. The film is brilliant, as basically all Pixar films are, and my woman crush Amy Poehler voices the main character. Well worth a dash to the cinema to see it and feel 12 years old for an hour and a half.

5) Neutrogena T-Gel Shampoo

I’ve had a dry scalp for about a year now (joy) and i’ve tried loads of different products. This stuff is one of the only things that’s really helped. It also smells less offensive than most shampoos aimed at sorting out this sort of problem, and it isn’t black or dark green, which is nice. The only thing is, your hair doesn’t look clean for very long, but you can just use it every other wash to keep on top on things, and it certainly does the trick.

6) Fortitude

I’ve just started this and it’s pretty bloody good. If you’re after a new TV show to binge watch then definitely consider this. It’s set in Scandinavia on a remote island, deemed the safest town in the world, but obvs things get very unsafe and all manner of shit goes down among the polar bears and the snow. Oh and it stars Stanley Tucci and flipping Dumbledore (well, Michael Gambon) so it was always going to be  amazing. It’s also got a seriously eerie, chilling theme tune. So yeah. GO WATCH.

June recommendations

 These are all my favourite things from the past month that I think you should seriously considering bringing into your life. You deserve it.

1) The Bees

This book is like nothing I have ever read. It is quite literally set in a hive, and the concept is beyond cool. It’s the kind of book that makes you miss your tube stop and walk around still reading it when you should be going up some stairs to find your office. Ahem. Guilty. If you need a holiday read, I couldn’t recommend this highly enough. It’s also bright yellow so that’s nice and cheerful.

2) Lily O’Brien’s chocolates

So my sister got me these for my birthday last month and only this week did I delve in and LITERALLY DIE OF HAPPINESS. These are insanely delicious. The caramel macchiato chocolate is everything that is right with the world. I’m also considering eloping with the sticky toffee and zesty orange. If you want to please someone or just treat yo’self, get a box of these babies. Sorry Milk Tray, but these walk over you.

3) The Body Shop brown brow kit

I think I have found something I will use forever. Please never discontinue this Body Shop. PLEASE. I’ve always mostly used pencils on my unruly eyebrows, before dabbling in powder for a while, but everyday they looked different and I was never thrilled by them. This is a game changer though. The brush is really good, the colours are perfect and it stays on all day without smudging. You will get a bit of loose powder on your face though, so don’t overload the brush. This is like, my beauty crush of a lifetime.

4) The West Wing

Now I know this is old and I’m a million years late to the party as per usual, but such love I have for this TV show. I didn’t know anything about American Politics before I started watching this, and I found it a bit difficult to get into at first, but if you haven’t seen it, you need to. It’s amazing, not least because the first four seasons are written by genius Aaron Sorkin, but because the characters are amazing and you actually learn stuff. If you’re looking for something to binge or get stuck into, give it a go. You can also enjoy the transition from computers the size of cars to flat screens and phones that you don’t have to flip open. Oh and 90s fashion LOLZ aplenty in the early days.

5) Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde mascara

My fave mascara will always be by Clinique, but I usually have a more bargain one in my make up bag too, and I got this to take away with me, because I was worried my other one would melt and get ruined in the Asian heat. This is such a good mascara, and these aren’t words I say often. I struggle to like mascara, but this has a good brush, does volume and thickening and one coat makes your eyes look wider and more awake. It also doesn’t drip down your face when you’re facing the tropical heat of the Central Line, so there’s that added bonus.

6) Schwarzkopf Got2b Poweder’ful volumizing styling powder.

That’s a mouthful isn’t it? This was actually originally purchased by my boyfriend, a man who is more obsessed by his hir than any girl I know, and I stole some. I have very flat hair, and I usually use dry shampoo to boost it between washes, but I dabbled with this and it’s really bloody good. You have to put it in your finger tips and rub it around and it kinda vanishes, but then you massage your roots and your hair sort stands up to attention. Magic. It lasts a while too, which isn’t always the way with powders like this.