Monday, 28 March 2016

Bookish and Not So Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not So Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they've encountered during the week, etc)

1. I hope everyone reading this is having a very lovely Spring (or Autumn depending on where you are in the world!) and also that you had a very happy Easter holiday! Easter is a wonderful time of year and I love what it represents - hope, redemption, second chances and forgiveness :) Here's what I've been up to over the past few days... On Good Friday I finally got to meet the very cute baby daughter of one of my best friends. This friend now lives in a different town which is quite far away from me so I don't get to see her anywhere near as much as I'd like. The meeting went well although the baby cried (hard!) when I held her and then I accidentally called her "it" at one point *facepalm* Then on Easter Sunday I was delighted when not one but two of my childhood favourites was shown on TV: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and The Great Mouse Detective! ♥

2. At this point in the year the best book that I've read so far is Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn followed by Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. I'm also really enjoying the book that I'm currently reading which is Jonathan Tropper's This is Where I Leave You. 

3. In April you can expect to see a lot of poetry themed content on this blog. My blogger friend Hamlette is doing a Poetry Month Celebration next month so I thought I'd just share some random poems I like :)

4. And now I have a guilty bookish confession to make: some of you may recall that I was said I was reading War and Peace in my last post but I've actually given up on that book. I think I managed to read about 300 or 400 pages of that book but then I had to give up on it because I was finding it so dull - and this is coming from someone who loves Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. But, yeah, the characters weren't engaging me and there was too much of an emphasis on boring military politics. War and Peace is still on my Classics Club list for now but I'm going to take it off and replace it with something else.

5. In my last post I mentioned that I was thinking of creating a Twitter account. Well if you click on the link you'll see that I did! :) Feel free to have a look at what I've put up and to follow me! I'd really appreciate that actually since most of the followers that I've picked up so far are clearly spammers.

6. I had my birthday in January and turned 28 :) My birthday was on a Wednesday this year so I had the day off (most of the libraries in my town are closed on that day) and baked a Victoria sponge cake (see below). In the photo you can see me relaxing in my favourite pyjamas which were a Christmas present from my Dad (they're DKNY, the only piece of designer clothing I've ever owned and they're seriously comfortable to wear too) and with a piece of the cake that I made and a cup of tea. Yes, that is a Kylo Ren mug in case you were wondering :D

7. I've made a new and exciting discovery. When I had my birthday I also bought the complete boxset of Avatar as a present for myself and it's one of the best purchases I've ever made! Just to clear away any confusion I'm not talking about the James Cameron film, I'm talking about the TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender. It was a Nickelodeon show that ran for three seasons from 2005 to 2008 and it has a huge cult following. To give a quick synopsis of the show, Avatar is set in a fantasy world where there are four nations and where people can manipulate or "bend" the four elements (water, earth, fire and air). The four nations all used to live together in harmony until a hundred years before the start of the show when the powerful Fire Nation began to try to conquer the others. In the opening episode, two teenage siblings from the Southern Water Tribe, called Katara and Sokka, find a boy who has been magically frozen in an iceberg. When they then manage to thaw him out they learn that the boy is a 12 year old Airbender called Aang. As the Airbenders were all massacred near the start of the war Katara and Sokka quickly work out that Aang must be the avatar: the only one who has the ability to master all of the four elements, communicate with the spirit world, and end the war. In the first season of the show the three of them then go off a perilous quest to the Northern Water Tribe to find a waterbending master to instruct Aang and are pursued every step of the way by Prince Zuko of the Fire Nation.

Trust me on this one people, Avatar is in no way just for children and if you're a fan of Star Wars, LOTR, Harry Potter or even Game of Thrones you'll find much in it to enjoy. It's an intelligently-written show that can be hilariously funny but there are plenty of mature themes and philosophical overtones in it. The worldbuilding is impeccable. The martial arts-inspired action scenes are intense and thrilling to watch. The characters are complex, well-developed and engaging. There's an interesting range of cultures depicted in the show as the Waterbender's culture is based on that of the Inuit, the Earthbender's on Imperial China, the Fire Nation's on Feudal Japan, and the Air Nomads on Tibetan Buddhism. The voice actors in the show are all extremely good and there are a few big-name actors in its cast: Mark Hamill voices the show's main villain Fire Lord Ozai, George Takei voices a character in one episode, Jason Isaacs has a recurring role in the first season.... Avatar has been an absolute joy to watch and I think it's even... *drum roll* my new favourite TV show! :) I've still got some episodes from season three left to watch and it's going to be such a bittersweet experience to finish them all :')

8. But since I am almost finished with Avatar I'm now at the stage where I'm also starting to think about the other TV shows that I can watch as I'll need something to fill the void! Thankfully Avatar has a spin-off show called The Legend of Korra but I'm thinking that it might not be such a good idea to immediately start watching that show once I'm done with Avatar. So at the moment I'm thinking of starting to watch J.J. Abrams' Fringe.

9. I haven't made many trips to the cinema in recent months - in fact the last time I went was in December to see The Force Awakens as there's been absolutely nothing that I've particularly wanted to see :( Thankfully there are now some upcoming films that I finally have an interest in (i.e. Midnight Special and Eddie the Eagle), The Force Awakens will be out on DVD soon, and the DVD of Brooklyn has now been released. 

10. And finally, I've also made a new and exciting musical discovery - Halsey. I downloaded her debut album Badlands recently and it's so, so good! The best description I've found for it is "imagine if Ellie Goulding, Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift all teamed up to make an album together" :)


Lianne @ said...

Belated happy birthday Hannah! Glad to hear you had a wonderful one :)

I read War and Peace before Anna Karenina but I honestly don't remember much of the story...or how I got through it for that matter (as I was very busy that summer). But Anna Karenina is definitely a favourite from Tolstoy, left me pondering quite a bit.

My favourite song from Halsey is "Colours" :)

Christine said...

Happy belated birthday!

Mònica said...

Yay, Happy Birthday and Easter!
Fringe is really good, I like it (we're actually watching it... right now as I type, lol) but it's pretty weird, haha.
You mentioned War and Peace which made me think of The Peanuts Movie. I just saw that one and there's a bit where Charlie Brown reads it for a book report and finishes it over the weekend.

Michaela Szczepanski said...

It was lovely to see you and Phoebe thinks you're great(she was just made shy by your greatness and it was all too much). Tom loves Avatar too but I've only seen the live action film which isn't great and it put me off.

samara said...

Thank you for all your thoughts!! Your writing got me finally to download Halsey's album - WHY DIDN'T I DO THIS EARLIER?!?!? Anyway, she's helping me write about LBD tackling the patriarchy. :)

Hannah said...

Lianne - Thanks!

It's hard for me to say what my favourite Halsey song is but right now I'm thinking... 'Haunting' :)

Christine - Hi! And Thank you! :)

Monica - Thanks! And yes I've heard 'Fringe' can be quite the mind-trip :D

Michaela - Oh, of COURSE! My GREATNESS! It all makes sense now! :D

Oh please try not to judge the TV show by the M. Night Shyamalan movie! I haven't seen all of it but the bits that I have seen are shocking! During last year's Comic Con - a place famed for its extremely warm and supportive atmosphere I might add! - they showed a trailer for one of his movies and the people there actually groaned when his name showed up on the screen! This is what happens to you when you ruin a much beloved TV show, Shyamalan!

Samara -YESSS! So glad you liked it so much! And wait a minute, if Halsey's songs are helping you with your thesis and I'm the one who told you to GET her album then surely that means I deserve some kind of a reference in your paper, right? Or you could just dedicate the whole thing to me. I mean it's only fair ;)