Summer is Over and Now It’s Autumn: February Happenings

Feb blog header

(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.

~Writing~

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!

~Reading~

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.

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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.

 

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My sister took this one of me in Scottish pose 😀

 

~Watching~

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).

~Listening~

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~

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).

I also participated in a tag ,  and another tag and a website launch and did a writing update and a January wrap up.

 

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Here, have a pretty spider

 

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!).

~Doing~

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?

 

18 thoughts on “Summer is Over and Now It’s Autumn: February Happenings

  1. I am over here waiting for Spring to start.

    My February:

    I did not read any books for fun, but just books required for school

    College fun:

    1. Candy and Critters- was able to make two stuffed animals not one. Usually each student is only able to make one. But if there was still enough towards the end, we were allowed to make another one. The first bear, a brown bear with heart patches I named Eponine. I never named a stuffed animal after a muiscal character before and decided to do that during the event. The other bear, a tie dyed looking rainbow bear, which I named Tiedye.
    2. Musician
    3. Skate Night
    4. Driving on Blue Ridge Parkway and tasking quick stop in Asheville- more of a memory with friends

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Whew! Sounds like a pretty great February! Twelve books is pretty impressive–I didn’t read that much at all in the past month. I noticed that you said that you’re trying to read lesser-known Tolkien works and I’m unsure if you’ve read The Children of Hurin before but I highly recommend it if you haven’t yet! It’s probably my favorite Tolkien novel ever.
    Writing-wise my February was pretty calm. I started working on Before You Forget Me again but I’ve been moving pretty sluggishly with that one. The latter part of February was spent with me battling it out with myself about whether or not I would be able to actually do Camp NaNoWriMo in April but I’ve decided that I will attempt it even if I do not reach my 20,000 word goal that I’ve set!
    Actually, one of the main reasons that I don’t like watching (most) movies more than once is that the second time ’round, I can’t help but nit-pick and realize everything wrong with it. I do have a list of movies that I like to rewatch relentlessly but even in that list there are some scenes that I just skip when I watch them for the second, third, fourth, etc. time. Luckily that doesn’t tend to happen with musicals!
    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You had a way better reading month than I did! I’m not even going to say how many books I actually read… (Also, I think your thoughts on Jane Austen are quite similar to mine. >.>)
    My family and I have been re-watching The Hobbit, and LoTR movies too, which has been a lot of fun.
    Have you heard The Digital Age’s cover of, Oceans? It’s probably one of my favorite songs. 🙂
    I enjoyed reading about your month, thanks for posting!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. YOU READ SO MANY BOOKS.
    HOW.
    I read…one? Two? I don’t actually remember. xD

    Do you have a cabin for camp NaNo? I have some room left in mine if you were interested in joining us. 😀

    Also…YAY FOR COOLER WEATHER. *throws confetti*

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love Northanger Abbey! Mr. Tilney is one of my favorite Austen men, if not ‘the’ favorite. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is one of my favorite books as well. I’m not really sure why, probably because it’s so creepy (my mom will never fully understand me 😀 )

    *gasp* YOU SAW THE GREATEST SHOWMAN YAY! I’m so glad you liked it! and while I don’t greatly dislike the first Thor movie, I agree that Loki is the best part of it 🙂 well, Heimdall too

    ohhh, now I have to listen to the Lord of the Rings musical! I wasn’t aware that such a thing existed, so thank you for enlightening me! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Black magic…or a lack of social life…or, I don’t know, pure obsession, I’m not sure.
    I haven’t had time to make/find/get sorted into a cabin yet, but it would be a great honour to be included in the cabin of the great Jane Maree, so thanks for the invitation!
    Cooler weather is awesome….but I don’t know, my local weather has just skipped autumn and gone straight into winter.
    Thanks for commenting!

    Like

  7. I suffer from an obsessive desire to read more books than everyone else in the blogosphere. 😛 I’m one of the few people in the world who harbours great dislike against Jane Austen. I don’t know what it is about her, when I adore the Brontes, Dickens, Hugo and all the other classic authors.
    Yes! I love rewatching movies! This is the third time I’ve rewatched the LoTR movies and the second time for the Hobbit. I love noticing all the little things I missed the first time around.
    No, I haven’t! I’ll definitely look it up.
    Thanks for commenting!

    Like

  8. I bought the Children of Hurin at a bookfair last year, but it’s just sat on my bookshelf since then. I was going to read it this month, but I saw somewhere that it’s better read after the Silmarillion, so I’ve started the Silmarillion and I’ll read Children of Hurin after that, I’ve heard it’s good though, so I’m looking forward to it!

    I hope it Before you Forget Me gets going a bit quicker, it’s always annoying when they’re sluggish and you don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere.

    Yep, I’m definitely the same! There are only a few movies that I’ll watch a second time around (LoTR, Les Mis, Captain America, Spider-Man Homecoming) and they’re usually the movies I’ll watch *cough* slightly more than a few times :D. Thor obviously isn’t one of those movies.

    Thanks for commenting!

    Like

  9. I really like making stuffed animals! And it’s cool that you named it Eponine too 😀 And the little rainbow one sounds so cute too!
    Thanks for commenting 😀 It sounds like you had a great February and I hope you have a great March too!

    Like

  10. I tend to name stuffed animals after what they look like.

    I went in already knowing I was gonna name a stuffed animal after a musical character and had to be one I love. I did not know which name it was going. I first looked for a Wicked none and found none. Than I came across Eponine and I knew it could be a Les Mis character and settled on Eponine due to her color scheme and heart-shaped patches which have stitches around them.

    If you want to see what these stuffed animals look like, go to feb 15

    Liked by 1 person

  11. UGH YES THOR IS HORRIBLE. I mean, the actual character of Thor is great, and Ragnarok somehow redeemed his trilogy, but the first film is just SO bad. And I cannot stand Jane. She’s horrible.
    And I don’t know how the man managed to do it, but Martin Freeman made BOTFA a tear-jerker instead of just another excessive battle sequence. *cries* he’s too good for this world.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. How did I not reply to your comment????? I feel like a terrible person now. 😦
    Mr Tilney foreeeveerrr!!! Ahem.
    I thought Jekyll and Hyde had a lot of missed potential, but I did love the way it explored the two sides of human nature in a really interesting way, over all though, it felt kind of lacking and disjointed. I also would have liked to have been able to read it without knowing the twist, because that probably made it feel a bit stranger too.
    Yes, it was really good! I thought the acting was brilliant and the storyline was really good, even though none of the songs have really stuck in my head. It was really good though, I liked it a lot.
    No one knows about it! But I really enjoy it, so definitely go and listen to it.
    Thanks for commenting!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. And…I missed your comment.
    I’ve never even liked Thor himself, he’s just so…dull. Jane is also just terrible. I’m too scared to rewatch The Dark World.
    Martin Freeman is an absolutely amazing actor, I definitely agree with you there. I cannot think of anyone else that is better suited to playing Bilbo than him. Or Watson for that matter, or anyone else that he’s been.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ahh I remember going to girls brigade when I was really little.😂But YAY for a really busy February! (And so glad summer is over…agh, it hasn’t been super hot for me, but I’m in FNQ so all it does is raaaaain. I hate the wet season. I WANT WINTER AND BLUE SKIES.) Also wow you sure do read a lot of classics! That’s very admirable! And I definitely have liked movies less the second time. 🙈Although I don’t often rewatch? But like I used to like the TV show Teen Wolf and then I tried to watch it with my sister like 2 years later and it was SO BAD. I’m burying myself now ah hahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’ve been going to GB since I was really little too, and somehow I got stuck there 😛
    We’ve had it soooo hot, I don’t know why, it’s just been really dry and I love autumn, so I’m glad we’re in March now! I would hate to be in QLD in the wet, too hot and muggy and rainy….
    I don’t watch many movies, so I do quite a lot of rewatches. I’ve been finding as I rewatch the Marvel movies I either love them way more than I did originally, or I hate them with a passion, like Thor.
    Don’t bury yourself, come back! A Thousand Perfect Notes isn’t out yet and we need signed copies!
    (Thanks for commenting!)

    Like

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