September Reading

Dear Reader,

Compared to August, there was a definite upsurge in my reading in September. Not that that was a particularly difficult feat. I completed six books in total: three graphic novels, two audiobooks, and one paperback novel. A successful month of reading for me.

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August Not Reading

Dear Reader,

In my July Reading post, I spoke about how I was finding it hard to concentrate on reading. It was a month that was instead dotted with some audiobooks and graphic novels.

I expected that after a light reading month, I would begin to read more again. This wasn’t the case. August proved to be a very busy and stressful month; I’ve been going through a big life change for me. Nothing bad, so don’t worry! Once I’m a bit more settled I’ll most likely make a quick “life update” post. All this to say that I really didn’t read in August.

I didn’t really read and I’m okay with that. A few months ago I posted a video titled In Defence of Not Reading and, whilst I can no longer remember exactly what I said, I stand by that statement. Sometimes I’m just not in a place where reading is a priority.

So, what little did I read? Continue reading

A May Getaway

Dear Reader,

Earlier this month I went up to the Lake District for a week with my mum. It was a beautiful, relaxing week and this is honestly just a self-indulgent post where I can share some of my photos from it.

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The cottage that we stayed in is one that we have stayed in before and it is perfect. Cosy, comforting and filled with everything you could need. Plus the owner had gifted us a bottle of Prosecco on our arrival. Such a sweet touch.

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The view from the window was also the most glorious thing you could have asked for.



So majestic.


These babies were so freshly made. We’re pretty sure they were born during the night or in the early hours of the morning. They were Darling.


I met so many baby sheep over the course of the week. It was delightful. I also met lots of grown up sheep, who were also wonderful. Every one of them was just the best version of themselves. There were baby ducks down by the lakeside who were beyond adorable, and one day I got to meet some chickens. As you can see, one of the significant parts of this holiday was meeting all the animals.






The views around Coniston are stunning. It’s pretty much impossible to take a bad photo, because the natural beauty is gorgeous. One of my favourite walks there is a walk to Tarn Hows. There’s a steep ascent as you walk up the side of the Tom Gill waterfall through trees and rocks. It’s just beautiful.

It was truly the most relaxing and wonderful break. My mum and I watched a different film every evening, there was lots of time for reading and cups of tea, and the weather couldn’t have been better. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to go on a holiday like this. I hope that all of you get the chance to do something that you enjoy this year.

Love Lydia x

P.S. Bonus photo of when a choice had to be made:

April Reading

Dear Reader,

I posted my March reading catch-up rather late, didn’t I? Let’s hope I get this one done in a slightly more timely fashion.

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I started the month off with Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. This has been sitting on my bookshelf for ages so I was excited to finally get around to reading it. I had my reservations from the first chapter. A lot of the writing in this book is extremely allegorical and I can only really deal with that in limited amounts. When Ellison was narrating the plot or when our main character was making an impassioned speech, I could get into the book and enjoy it. However, when that wasn’t happening I found my attention wandering and myself getting bored. It’s a shame that this was such a mixed bag for me. I can see why it’s so highly regarded though. And it has made me interested in reading some of his essays.

After Invisible Man I needed a comforting read. I was just in a place where I needed a book that was going to give me a warm hug. So I re-read The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. I loved it the first time, I loved it even more this time. It has everything I adore: found family, working hard, strong friendships, space gays. A perfectly wonderful book.

When browsing in Waterstones a few weeks ago I stumbled across I Am Not Your Negro: A Companion Edition to the Documentary Film Directed by Raoul Peck. I’ve not managed to see the documentary yet, but I knew I needed to buy and read this book. It combines extracts from Baldwin’s books, essays, letters, notes, and interviews to create a masterpiece on the history of race in America. I highly recommend it.

In February I picked up Suetonius’ Lives of the Caesars, but put it down quickly because I wasn’t in the mood for it. In April, I tried again. This time with the Penguin Classics edition translated by Robert Graves, revised by James B. Rives. This translation is easier to read than Catharine Edwards’ and much better for my current mindset. Roman literature isn’t my strong point, but I’m taking it slow. I’ve read the biographies of Julius Caesar and Augustus so  far and been enjoying myself a lot.

All in all I’d say it was a pretty positive month of reading! No books were so dull they needed to be abandoned, no books were wholly unenjoyable, and I had a nice little mixture of genres.

What books have you been enjoying so far this Spring?

Love Lydia x

March Reading

Dear Reader,

Spring has finally arrived! Sunny evenings are here. Daffodils are still dotted around in some places (just about). And I’ve had a month of mixed reading experiences. It started off on a high note though, so that was nice.

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When you read library books you don’t always haven’t access to all the books you want for your photo.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I began reading Affinity by Sarah Waters in February. I had the joy of finishing it in March. Sarah Waters can be a bit hit and miss for me, but this one definitely hit the spot. This was the first book I’d read in quite a while that sucked me into the story, the writing, the characters, and the world. She held me in suspense and the eerie setting of Millbank Prison was captured perfectly. The ending of the book left me devastated in a really good way, which is always a plus as far as I’m concerned. Eternal thanks to Sarah Waters for existing and writing.

Then we moved on to Revival by Stephen King. I’ve only read a couple of King’s books, but I enjoyed the ones I’ve read before and I fancied something slightly trashy and easy-going. It started off well; the story gripped me and it was easy to read. Then it all started to go wrong in the last third of the book. Characters’ choices became utterly unbelievable, the sexism became way too much to deal with, and the plot started dragging. Also, there was a whole paragraph where our narrator talked about how hot a dead woman was. So by the end of the book I was just glad that the experience was over.

I tried reading The Ancient Garden by Hwang Sok-Yong, but after 85 pages I just couldn’t get into it. I picked it up when I went to withdraw it from our library because it was falling apart. The title caught my eye and the premise sounded interesting, so I thought I’d take it home to read it. But I couldn’t get into the writing, and it wasn’t focusing on the aspect I was interested in (how our main character struggled with re-integrating into modern society after two decades in prison). I don’t make myself finish books I’m not enjoying, so this one’s going on the “abandoned” pile.

I picked up The Mysterious Mr Quinn by Agatha Christie without knowing it was a short story collection, so that was a surprise! It was fairly entertaining, but that’s about all I can say on it really. I enjoyed some stories more than others, and none of the “reveals” took my hugely by surprise, but it was a pleasant enough read.

After wanting to read it since its release, I finally got around to Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me: and Other Essays. This was such a great essay collection and I know I’m going to re-read it again and again. There’s a lot of statistics packed into her essays, which just made the points that she made hit home all the more. I didn’t enjoy the Virginia Woolf essay so much, but that didn’t detract from my overall appreciation. It was wonderful.

Are you enjoying spring-like weather where you are? Or are you in that southern hemisphere and experiencing the delights of autumn instead? I hope that you’ve all read some beautiful books recently.

Love Lydia x