(So, I was really busy on the weekend and didn’t get a chance to post this, but here I am now! Also, because of aforesaid busyness, I didn’t get a chance to take any cool book pictures or anything 😦 So, sorry)
Summer is oveeerrrr!!! This is good news because I’m not a huge fan of summer…It’s hot (over 40 Celsius sometimes), and there’s fires and snakes and…yeah, not a fan. But I love autumn! There’s something so lovely about warm (not hot) days and something cosy about chilly nights.
February was a pretty quiet month, which was nice, and I only got up to a few things.
I filled you guys in on most of my writing this month in last week’s Writing Updates.
Other than that, not much has happened in the realm of writing. But March is “Scramble Frantically in Order to Be Prepared for Camp NaNo Month”, so hopefully I’ll finish my outline for When Infinity is Empty this month!
I read twelve books in February, which I am quite proud of, especially since February is three days shorter than most other months of the year. I read:
I Have Seen God by Klaus-Dieter John. A really good autobiography by Dr John, a German doctor who runs a mission hospital in Peru. I sometimes get so wrapped up in the stories of old missionaries, Hudson Taylor, Jim Elliot, C.T. Studd and all the others I’m obsessed with, that I forget there are amazing missionaries doing amazing things, right now! If you have any interest in medical things, or missionaries, I’d definitely recommend this book. 4/5.
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. The first Austen book I
didn’t want to burn enjoyed. Even though I enjoyed it (and am in love with Mr Tilney) it’s not really a favourite. 3/5
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. My second Dickens book and I loved it only a little bit less than A Tale of Two Cities. I was expecting something…Christmasy, I guess. Which sounds weird, but I have a hate for pretty much any story/movie/song dealing with Christmas because they just are always so…fuzzy. I don’t like fluffy stories that make you feel “your faith in humanity restored”, that’s just not how I work. So, I was quite happy to see that this book wasn’t really like that at all. 4/5
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. For some reason it took me a long time to get through the unabridged version after reading the abridged. And strangely enough, I actually liked it less. There was more of a focus on Mr Rochester and Bertha, and my feelings for Mr Rochester are worse than my feelings for Mr Darcy. There is not a fibre of my body that likes Mr Rochester, or finds him at all romantic. Three and a half/four stars. I couldn’t decide.
Farmer Giles of Ham/The Adventures of Tom Bombadil by J.R.R. Tolkien. I’ve been trying out some of Tolkien’s lesser known works over the previous six-eight months, and I’ve enjoyed a lot of them. Farmer Giles/Tom Bombadil wasn’t my favourite one, but Farmer Giles was a pretty fun short story, and some of the poems in Tom Bombadil were very haunting, such as “The Sea Bell”. 3/5
Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte. Anne is the forgotten Bronte sister, mainly because her books didn’t rock the literary world in the same way that Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights did. But I really enjoyed Agnes Grey. Definitely don’t go into it imagining it to be anything like her sisters’ works, because Agnes bears more resemblance to the work of Jane Austen, than Charlotte and Emily. But she’s Jane Austen, with more emotion. And Mr Weston too, who is way too underrated. It’s very realistic, and, though it’s probably classed as a romance, romance isn’t really the focus of the novel. It wasn’t long, but it was kind of boring in parts, but on the whole…4/5
The World of the Brontes by Jane O’Neil. I wanted to learn more about the Bronte sisters and so I got this book out, which not only dealt with the Bronte sisters, but their literary influences, their contemporaries (such as Elizabeth Gaskell and Charles Dickens), the politics and events of the time, what they ate, how they lived, etc. It was fascinating and I really loved learning more about them. 5/5
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. This was one on my classics list, and it only took me a few hours to get through, because it was quite short….but I felt it was lacking something. It had a weird way of narrating the events and it never really gripped me. It would have been interesting though, to have read it without knowing that Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde were the same person, because I think that knowledge killed a lot of the suspense. Overall, 3/5, just because it’s a classic.
Now by Morris Gleitzman. The third in the series that I started back in January. It was a bit less heartbreaking than the previous two, but…well…it’s still heartbreaking. There’s still two more books to go and I don’t think I can take anymore of it. 4/5
The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde. Hmm…I wasn’t sure what to think of this one. I read it right after Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and I could see a lot of similarities between the two. Both have a protagonist who turns into an antagonist because of his own foolish desire for more (more knowledge, more beauty), and who has an alter ego (Mr Hyde, the portrait), which portrays their worst side. I think, my feeling on Dorian Grey are probably best summed up in the words of Dorian himself, when asked why he liked a certain book. “I did not say I liked it. I said it fascinated me.” 3/5
Beowulf (translation) by Robert K. Gordon. This is a prose translation of the story of Beowulf from the ’20s, I think. I enjoyed it, but I honestly drifted off in some bits, because there’s so much description and barely any plot. Still, I read it because of it’s well-known influence on Tolkien, which I could definitely see in the imagery, plot points and themes. 3/5
King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table by Roger Lancelyn Green. I really loved this! Granted, the plots of King Arthur rarely make a whole lot of sense, and they can be downright weird, the characters are often cardboard cutouts and all the other problems it suffers from. Still, I’ve always been fascinated by the King Arthur legends, probably more than any other mythology/legends I’ve ever studied (and trust me, I get obsessed. I’ve read books of Chinese, Indian, Greek, Australian, Roman, Norse etc, etc), and so I enjoyed Green compiling them and making them consistent. 4.5/5
I ticked off five classics from my list, Northanger Abbey, A Christmas Carol, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Picture of Dorian Grey and King Arthur. In March, I’m hoping to (finally) finish Anna Karenina (which I’ve been slogging at for months!), and to read The Silmarillion, Oliver Twist and North and South.
The Greatest Showman. I went and saw this movie with my brother and…there’s only one word to describe it. Awesome. 4.5/5. My musical obsessed sister hasn’t seen it yet though (cause she was away touring Tasmania or something), but that’s her loss.
The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies. Despite my dislike for this movie, there are some genuinely good (tear-jerking) moments in this movie. (also, who thinks that Bard looks more like Legolas than Legolas actually does? I can’t be the only one!). 4/5
The Fellowship of the Ring. Awesome, but not as awesome as the books. One of my all time favourite movies though! 5/5
The Two Towers. Super cool. I love this movie too. 5/5.
The Return of the King. And the heartbreaking finale. 6/5 (yes… I just gave it a higher rating than the movie I just told you was my favourite. No…I don’t understand).
Spider-Man: Homecoming. Even better the second time around, because I got to laugh over it with my mum and brother! I actually enjoyed it more than I did the first time (you can see my super-old-and-cringey-review Here), and a few things that annoyed me–I mentioned in the review that I thought the villain’s motivation was bad–I didn’t think were so bad this time. 4.5/5
Thor. I liked this movie when I first saw it a few years ago (though I didn’t like Thor, just Loki), but I cringed the whole way through it this time. It’s so….cringey. The plot is terrible. The romance is terrible. The only thing that’s good (and I don’t mean, like, good-good, I just mean well-developed good) is Loki, in all his icy glory. 2/5 (that’s two stars for Loki).
Les Miserables: Original French Concept Album. I bought this cd at a book fair earlier this month and I’m in love with it! I’m actually listening to it as I type this up.
Cats: Original London Cast. I also bought this cd at the book fair and I also like this (but not as much as Les Mis).
Camelot (whatever original cast it was that I listened to). An online friend suggested this and I was interested (cause look, it’s King Arthur and I’m obsessed), and I quite liked it.
The Lord of the Rings: Original London Cast. Most awesomest thing ever. Did you even know there was a Lord of the Rings musical? Apparently it’s the West End’s most expensive musical ever and it’s not really hard to see why. It’s awesome (especially the tracks Wonder, Lothlorien and Now and For Always). (Also, Legolas has black hair, and I find that very satisfying for some reason).
Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong. Wait, was is this? Does Chelsea listen to something that’s not from a musical? Yes, she does and she’s kind of obsessed with this song at the moment, especially since we started singing it at youth group.
O Come to the Altar (I don’t know who’s song this is and I’m too lazy to find out). It’s another song that Youth group introduced me too, and I really like it!
Blogging was a bit on and off last month, I didn’t have a whole lot of time for it, so I got kind of slack (I still haven’t finished catching up on all your lovely comments!). But I did publish some interesting posts.
In particular my comparisons of musicals/movies/books were pretty popular, and even though I’ve finished that series, I’ve got a few ideas (and a request!) to do a few more of these. I’ve been considering doing a Mary Poppins book/musical/movie (fun fact: Mary Poppins is the only musical I’ve seen live!), The Lord of the Rings, The Once and Future King/The Sword in the Stone/Camelot (book, Disney movie, and old musical), and Illiom/Carousel (that was the requested one).
Next month, there’s hopefully going to be a bunch of interesting posts! I am going to (maybe) be talking about sequels, how to write a retelling, musical couples, and some other things. I will be taking a two week hiatus in March as well, because I need a bit of an escape from the internet for a bit, but I’ll hopefully notify you before I disappear anywhere :D.
In other bloggingness, Hailey Hudson posted about her Bucket List ; Audrey posted about the Importance of writing love stories (that is, how we fell in love with writing, not how to write a love story) and Abbie posted about how to take a hiatus (and I’m going to take her words to heart when I take my hiatus later on in the month!).
How was it that February was such a crazy month and yet nothing seemed to happen? My sister got back from her Tasmanian tour, so that was good. We got to squeal over musicals again! School, Youth Group, Girls Brigade, St John cadets and dance all started back.
I performed with my dance school at a festival, helped at a competition and started helping to teach the little dancers (They’re so cute!). I also am taking the little kids at Girls Brigade again.
Other than that, nothing much happened!
How was your February? What sort of things did you get up to? What were your bookish/writing highlights? Have you ever loved a movie, and then watched it again and been disappointed?