December & January Wrap Up // In Which Awesome Things Happen but I am Defeated by Illness.

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If you’re reading this, it means you’ve officially made it through the most depressing month of the year, GIVE YOURSELF A PAT ON THE BACK (and maybe a cookie…or 5???)

cookie gif.gifActual image of me being a cookie monster.

There’s something about January that feels a little like limping over a finish line, am I right? It bleak, it’s rainy, it gets dark so early and it feels like you shouldn’t have to go out into the world and DO THINGS.

I’m summarising both December and January in this post because in December I did my end of year wrap up instead.

December was actually a really positive month for me despite not looking forward to it for once. There were lots of positive family festivities, quizzes and laughs.
January, however, started off promising and I had all these great blogging intentions… andddddd then came down with a throat infection that knocked me for six, which is why it’s been very quiet on here! I’m still suffering in bed as we speak, so if there are awkward typos in this, YOU’LL KNOW WHY.  Also, I haven’t been as active at viewing your posts because I have been so out of it, so if I’ve missed an interesting post you want me to check out, please do put it in the comments! 😀

SOME GREAT THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN DECEMBER AND JANUARY:

  • Christmas and New Years (obs). New Year’s day was spent binge watching You by candlelight with the boyfriend, which was a perfect start to 2019!
  • I went to see the British Ballet perform The Nutcracker. It was so wonderfully Christmassy and it was the first time I’d ever been to a ballet, so a totally new experience (and I would highly recommend it!) I also visited the British library while I was there!
  • I actually went sales shopping for once and treated myself quite a bit, especially in the beauty section which was great fun!
  • A friend got a Bengal kitten and I went round to give the adorbz little thing belly rubs!
  • I met up with my best friend who I do not get to see as much as I would like. We walked around the January London Winter Lights interactive art installations in Canary Wharf which were absolutely stunning and incredibly inventive. Art reusing plastics, ghost whales made out of lights with eerie music, words made of water, and most impressive of all was the immersive light experience which had thousands of orbs on dangling cords that changed colour and pulsed!

Jan personal wrapup.png

 

books read

Total Books Read December:  5 | Total Books Read January: 5| Backlist Books: 4 | Classics: 1

DecemberJan wrap up books.png

Requiem by Lauren Oliver (Delirium #3) | ★★★| Comments: This was a decent ending to the trilogy. It could have been much better… it could have been much worse as well! Ultimately, I was happy with the way Lena’s story was wrapped up.

Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray (Diviners #3) | ★★★| Comments: I love this series and will rave about it until the ends of the earth, but I did feel like this installment was missing… something? It’s a long book, it was quite slow paced and not an awful lot happened, despite the fact that we actually get quite a lot of reveals in the plot we have long been waiting for. You can read my Goodreads review here.

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean | ★★★| Comments: I was SO CONFLICTED about this book. On paper? Yaaaaassss! But on actual paper that I read??? Poorly executed. Here’s my review if you missed it!

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James | ★★★★| Comments: I really enjoyed this UKYA novel set in space and it was so relatable! Check out my review here if you missed it!

Anges Grey by Anne Bronte | ★★| Comments: Hmm, this wasn’t exactly what I was anticipating. I’ve read both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights (adoring both), and Agnes Grey completely lacked the same plot complexity or depth. Fingers crossed The Tenant of Wildfell Hall can redeem Anne Bronte and make the sisters a perfect literary trio!

JanuaryJan wrap up books 2.png

Vicious by V.E. Schwab | ★★★| Comments: I’M SORRY INTERNET, BUT THIS JUST DIDN’T DO A WHOLE LOT FOR ME?!? I KNOW, I feel like I should go crouch in a corner in shame??? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it enough but I just expected…more? I guess the hype monster strikes again. :/

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson | ★★★★| Comments: This was SO GOOD. It was my first ever Brandon Sanderson novel and I was really impressed! Great characters and worldbuilding. Good to finally read it after 6 years on my shelves, too! Look out for my review coming soon!

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia | ★★| Comments: I really DON’T KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT THIS ONE. It’s taken me ages to ponder the star rating. It’s basically about a character with Schizophrenia, but the plot and rep seemed very problematic to me? But then, I also have 0 experience with Schizophrenia other than a short Psychology module at ALevel so IS IT RIGHT FOR ME TO JUDGE?!?

Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong (Women of the Otherwold 11)| ★★★| Comments: This is one of my fave series but this installment didn’t inspire me because I wasn’t a fan of the POV character.

Nineteen Minutes | ★★★| Comments: I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Jodi Picoult. This book (which is based around a school shooting) didn’t do a whole lot for me, I’m afraid! Goodreads review here!

What did you read this month?

 

film and TV watched

IN TV

Jan TV wrap up.png

How to Get Away With Murder  (Season 4) ★★★★★| Comments: A professor and her law students find ways to twist the law while bodies drop left right and centre. Shonda Rhimes strikes again with a totally unrealistic but addictive story. Season 4 certainly kept me hooked!

Outlander (Season 4) | ★★★★★| Comments: This series just totally possesses me each time a new season is released! It’s based on the famous books of the same name where a lady travels back in time to 18th century Scotland and falls in love. Each series explores a new country’s history – in this one, it was America and it made me feel ALL THE THINGS!

You | ★★★★| Comments: A Netflix original series about a creepy sociopathic stalker who will do anything and everything it takes to get and keep the girl he loves, bleugh! This was way too realistic, and I DIDN’T LIKE THAT THE GUY WORKED IN A BOOKSHOP. I think they stretched the story over a few too many episodes, but ultimately this was good!

Good Girls | ★★★★| Comments: Three housewives with money problems decide to rob a bank. Events spiral and they find themselves doing more and more illegal things. This show isn’t kind I normally watch, but I’m a huge Mae Whitman fan so I decided to give it a go and it was GOOD. I really couldn’t decide at the end whether I was rooting for these girls as total badasses or if I wanted them to go to jail because they deserved it!

IN MOVIES

jan movies wrap up

The Dark Tower | ★★★★| Comments: I didn’t expect a lot from this Stephen King film but it was actually so much fun! It gave me Percy Jackson/His Dark Materials vibes with a side of country and western.

Red Sparrow | ★★★★| Comments: A gritty spy thriller about a Russian ballerina turned spy. It was a bit too visceral for me in places but it was totally gripping and you just can’t deny Jennifer Lawrence’s acting skills!

The Shape of Water | ★★★| Comments: This one was fantastically weird. It kept me interested but I’m still not sure how I feel about it?!? I wouldn’t watch it again though which I think says something!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before | ★★★★★| Comments: THIS WAS SO CUTE I COULDN’T EVEN HANDLE IT. I haven’t read the books because it’s not the kind of novel I usually enjoy, but as a rom-com when I was ill? Perfect! Perfect balance of fluff and substance.

What did you watch this month?

product of the month

keyring harry potter  nyx-matte-lipstick.jpg

At the end of December, I treated myself to the above ADORABLE Harry Potter Funko Pop keyring that I spotted up for grabs on ebay. I’ve needed a new keyring for the longest time. I used to have a timeturner one but because of all its moving parts it kept breaking and I had to retire it to my bookshelf instead. Since then, I’d been using an interim one that was very uninspiring and I decided enough was enough! I’m really kind of in love with this little guy, he makes me so happy each time I get out my keys, and I show him off to everyone. 😀

My second product is one of my treats from the January sales, a set of 5 Nyx soft matte lip creams which are normally £6 each but were reduced to £15 total. I’ve wanted to try some Nyx products for the longest time because I’ve seen quite a few beauty bloggers rave about them, so I decided to give them a whirl. I really like them because the colours are very natural and they don’t make my lips dry out (which is a constant problem for me). I’d definitely recommend!

posts published

most anticipated book released 2019

Alas, a measly one. DAMN YOU ILLNESS *SHAKES FIST.*

But, I think it was a really good one??? I enjoyed writing it so much and I even learned a bit of HTML so I could make the blurbs appear and disappear, I HAZ A PROUD. It seemed like you guys really like this post too and I loved chatting to you in the comments!

I was about halfway through writing a review of Elantris by Brandon Sanderson when I came down with the flu, so hopefully, that will wing its way to you soon!

elsewhere on the blogosphere

 

Untitled design

Let’s Chat!
How was the month of January for you? What have you been reading, watching and discovering? What did you rate your first read of 2019? Have you managed to dodge all the germs?
Let me know in the comments!

 

Becky the Bookaholic

 

37 thoughts on “December & January Wrap Up // In Which Awesome Things Happen but I am Defeated by Illness.

  1. Aww.. I’m so sorry you’ve been ill. It’s the worse!!
    And I will definitely have a cookie 😂
    Aww… the kitten is adorable and the lights look magical!! 😊
    Vicious wasn’t my favourite read either it was just average for me. I have been meaning to try a Brandon Sanderson book for ages!!
    A lot of great shows recently– I am only on season 3 of outlander but I am enjoying it. The acting is GREAT!! 😊
    To all the boys I’ve loved before is such a cute film!!
    The keyring is adorable 😍
    My January’s been good– I have avoided getting ill and I have read 5 books. The first was the tales of beedle the bard it was a quick read and I enjoyed it. Probably 3 out of 5 stars!! 😊

    • Me too, it sucks!!
      The Light Festival in London was absolutely amazing, I still can’t believe that it was free!!!

      You have no idea HOW RELIEVED I am to hear that someone else found Vicious average, I was starting to feel like a lone potato destined to be exiled forever, LOL. I still keep thinking about it over and over again but I just can’t find enough about it to love?!
      The Brandon Sanderson novel was so good! I’m hoping to review it soon so keep your eyes peeled. 😉 I’m definitely going to be looking into his other novels now.
      So happy to come across someone else who watched Outlander because none of my friends watch it! Each time a new season comes out I literally bunker down and don’t return to the real world until its finished. 😀 I hope you enjoy season 4!

      Glad to hear your January went well, and we both read 5 books, that’s cool! It’s agesss since I read Beedle but I remember really enjoying it. 🙂

      • Omg it was free that’s an extra bonus. Do they do it every year?? 😊

        Haha I know I never see many say that it is average so I am glad I found someone too. I know– I read it while ago and then loads were saying how good it was and I was like did I miss something but I think it just wasn’t for me. 😊

        I will certainly keep me eyes peeled. That’s good if you want to keep reading his work. He had quite a few books out as well. 😊
        I know I don’t know many who watch it either but it’s really good. Yes you definitely get absorbed in the story. Thank you. I hope to get to season 4 soon. 😊
        I know snap!!! 😂 yes it’s a good selection of short stories!!

      • I’m not sure! This is the first time I’ve seen it but it would be worth checking for it again next January. It was certainly a great evening. 🙂
        That’s interesting that you read it a while ago, pre potentially a lot of the hype and still found it ‘meh’. I wonder if I would have felt the same way!
        I definitely do! I think I’m going to be a convert. 😉
        Jamie Fraser is a dreamboat! His and Claire’s relationship is just so awesome, I love how perfectly they balance each other out and are equal partners respecting one another. GOALS.

  2. I have been reading Christmas books. Now I have started “Villette” by Charlotte Bronte’. Critics have said it is better than “Jane Eyre’, I do not agree so far. It is a hard read and dark. I am determined to finish the book. My sister read “Anne Grey” and did not care for it either. I have been watching the Hallmark movies and the Hallmark Movies and mysteries.
    Marilyn

    • I don’t actually know much about the story of Villette, but I really want to read it as I plan on reading all the Bronte novels! I’m sorry to hear you’ve not been enjoying it, though. I will keep my fingers crossed that it gets better for you! I think there has to be a reason that Jane Eyre is more well known, even if the critics don’t agree.
      I love a good Christmas soppy Hallmark movie!
      Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

  3. Ugh! January sickness is the worst time of year to get ill. Just what you need after Christmas! Get well soon, anyway…{sending over virtual tea and honey}.

    That art installation looks like great fun, and the picture of you is lovely! if your friend took it, she’s got a good eye for subject and composition. 🙂

    We watched Ready Player One and Wonder Woman this month..two excellent films which I recommend for anyone!

    I’m half way through The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, which is a time-looping-body-swapping-murder-mystery. Like all the best murder-mysteries are. 😉

    I want that kitty cat! I can find room for another kitty! Boo and Molly won’t mind. Much. 🙂

    • I know, right? On the plus side, it does mean I haven’t had to battle any dodgy snowy roads to get to work, so at least that’s one small plus!

      It was really great, so many clever ideas and innovation! My friend is great at photos as her sister does photography. 🙂

      I watched Ready Player One in December as well but didn’t add it to this post as it was already far too long. I wasn’t a fan but it also wasn’t quite what I was expecting with the amount of animation! I watched Wonder Woman a few months back and really enjoyed it so really glad you found it a positive watch as well!

      I’ve heard a LOT about ‘7 deaths’ so I will be very interested to see what you think!

      I WANT THE KITTEN TOO. Just too adorable. 😀

    • Thank you! Unfortunately, for the first week I felt so ill I wasn’t really able to read or watch TV. :/ Now that I’m feeling slightly less dire I have managed to get through quite a few books. 🙂

      I’m so glad to hear that you like the way they’ve done the show! I know you were a big fan of the books. I’ve been debating whether I should read them, but I’m not sure if it will be as good if I already know the story?

  4. ohhhh! i’m so sorry to hear you got a throat infection. i hope your recovery goes super quick and you get back to feeling amazing again ❤️ your little moodboard is ADORABLE and the KITTY, my heart, what a cutie!

    im really interested in the diviners series and elantris. im TRYING to get more into high fantasy and im so glad to hear you enjoyed it!! wasn’t to all the boys i loved before THE CUTEST THING TO EVER EXIST!!!i never rewatch movies and i just HAD to rewatch it bc the cuteness was too much! red sparrow sounds so interesting, i might just give it a try.

    i hope your febuary turns out amazing and you feel better ❤️❤️

    • I’m most of the way through the antibiotics now so feeling a bit better, but still have a hacking cough, unfortunately! -_- I’m glad you liked to mood board! Until I made it I didn’t realise I’d been up to so much stuff!

      I think The Diviners series is AMAZING and would wholeheartedly encourage you to read it. 🙂 I think I also struggled with book three a bit because my memory was failing me as it had been such a long time since I read book 2! High fantasy stories are SO rewarding, but they can be a bit intimidating to pick up because they’re usually long AND full of difficult names to pronounce. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL.

      Omg yes All the Boys was SO cute I couldn’t even handle it (and I would really like the main character’s wardrobe too!) Red Sparrow was definitely the best spy thriller I’ve seen in a long time, so I hope you get the chance to watch it!

      Thank you so much. 😀 I hope your February is amazing too! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  5. I’m sorry you were feeling ill! I hope you feel better soon!
    It seems that you had an amazing couple months. One of my biggest dreams is to watch a ballet! Even though I’ve never danced myself, I love watching it and spend more time in the Royal Opera House channel more than I should. The British Ballet is one of the most famous ballets worldwide, so I’m sure it was beautiful! Glad you had a fun time with the Nutcracker!
    Wishing you an amazing February too!

    • Thank you for your kind words! I’m slowly getting better now so things are heading in the right direction hopefully. 🙂
      That’s so cool that it’s your dream to see the ballet, I have all my fingers and toes crossed that you will get the opportunity to go soon. It’s really rather magical! I hope 2019 will be the year you get to see it! 😀
      Wishing you an amazing February too, and thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  6. Aww man. Shape of Water was a fav for me, but I can see how it might not be too appealing to everyone. I loved it and was excited to see a book published afterwards. I read it and loved it too. It’s just like the movie but gives more depth to the characters.
    I need to watch that You TV show. I loved the book. It’s SUCH a good read. I hope the show did it well.

    • I SO wanted it to be a favourite! I felt like it juuuusttt missed the mark for me in a few places. I was torn between 3 or 4 stars, but because I didn’t feel like it was the kind of movie I would ever rewatch I went with 3. Ah, I was wondering whether the book was published before or after, so thanks for that! I think I could have used more character depth so I may have to check that out. 🙂
      I haven’t read the book of You so I have no idea if it’s similar, but I felt it was a very solid TV show!

  7. Oh no, I’m so sorry you’re sick! I hope you’re feeling better.❤️
    Ooh, the Nutcracker! I love ballets (as I am a ballet dancer, haha) and it’s been so long since I’ve seen one. I agree, they’re always so beautiful! I also adore To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and I’m glad you got to finally watch the movie and enjoy it.
    Thank you so much for mentioning my post, that made my day! I’m really looking forward to reading your tag.☺️
    I hope you have a wonderful February!

    • Thank you, I’m definitely on the mend now although my brain still feels kinda foggy!
      I remember reading that you do ballet which can I just say is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I’m in awe of your mad skills and all the effort, practice and determination it must take!
      Yes, I feel like I was very late to watching that one, but it was EXACTLY what I needed when I was ill. Definitely worth the wait. 😀
      It was my pleasure, and I’m looking forward to doing the tag. The answers are going to take some thought!

  8. Awesome wrap up, love! Im so sorry to see that you’ve been sick tho! Sending you lots of love! 💕 I haven’t read the TATBILB books either, but that movie was so fluffy and adorable, and I couldn’t resist!! Also, it’s great to see that you enjoyed Elantris! That’s my best friend’s favorite novel in the world, and she’s been trying to convince me to read it for nearly a decade. Hahaha! I’m so happy to see that it was a hit for you as well!

    I hope you feel better soon and that you have an incredible February!! 🤗

    • Thanks, Kelly, I’m glad you enjoyed it! And thanks for the good vibes. 🙂
      Ah, I was starting to feel like one of the only people who hadn’t read the books, so that’s comforting! After watching the movie I’ve started wondering whether I missed out by not reading them… but the blurb never really appealed although as a movie it was great!
      Ohh no way! You should definitely listen to your friend because it turns out she was RIGHT to rave about Elantris! I hope you decide to pick it up one day because it’s certainly worth the read if you like fantasy novels. 😀

      I hope you have a fab February, too!

  9. Lovely wrap-up, Becky! ❤ I'm so sorry that you've been ill and I hope you're feeling better now, I'm sending you tons of love and positive vibes ❤
    I'm so happy you enjoyed the loneliest girl, I really loved that one – also we are reading Lauren James' newest book at the same time right now apparently, judging from your sidebar and I LOVE THAT yay 😀
    I love that Harry Potter Funko, it looks so adorable, I would show it off as well haha 😀
    I hope you'll have a lovely February ❤ ❤

    • Thanks, Marie! I’m definitely on the mend, I just need my energy back and I’ll be as good as new. 🙂
      Ahh, no way! THAT’S AWESOME. How far through The Quiet at the End of the World are you? I’ve just gone past the halfway mark and STUFF IS GOING DOWN. Fingers crossed we both love it. 🙂 Also, I don’t know about you but I can’t stop staring at the gorgeous cover!
      I’m a month into owning my HP keyring now and I still do a little happy dance each time I look at it, the novelty hasn’t worn off yet!
      Hope you have a wonderful February too!

  10. I hope you are feeling better soon! I’m so glad you got to see the Nutcracker, I haven’t been to the ballet in AGES but I grew up going to see the San Francisco ballet and I LOVE the Nutcracker (Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake are other favorites too!) I hope you get a chance to see more ballets!

  11. Pingback: The Liebster Award Number Six || Fun Award – Bookmark Your Thoughts

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