Thursday, 31 December 2015

21 Things That Made Me Happy: 2015 Edition

   So 21 things that made me happy throughout 2015. I know that everyone and their mother has a list out but I wanted to do one of my own. So here we go, and in no particular order:



   The Great British Sewing Bee, this year was the third series to air (the fourth will be next year and I am already excited about it!). I love this series and I am always happy to have something I like be celebrated. They have a twitter account as well which you can follow @sewing bee. That picture of all the contestants on the third series always makes me happy.

   This video always makes me happy from Joy Nash. I love the bit where she talks about wearing hot pants. I now want to wear hot pants all the time.


   I found several Christmas songs that I like this year, I am going to share two. One is this cover by Emmy The Great Light Speed Champion of Christmas in Prison. You can find it here:



   The other one that I found this year was A Christmas Duel sung by Cyndi Lauper and The Hives. This one I think makes me smile the most. And definitely not safe for work :)




   I have listened to a lot of audio books this year and I am going to give a lot of love here. I started with Hold On by Kristen Ashley. Not for everyone but I really hooked onto Cheryl the heroine of this book. It's narrated by Erin Bennett. I will also shout out to a book published quite a while ago but I listened to this year. Be My Baby by Susan Andersen, narrated by Annie Green. One of my favourites that I listened to this year. 

   Following Bim Adewunmi on twitter @bimadew, I have only recently in the past couple of months started to follow her, and she's really great at the medium. 

   This post on buzzfeed about Hermoine as a black heroine. It's both informative and the art displayed is great: http://www.buzzfeed.com/alannabennett/what-a-racebent-hermione-granger-really-represen-d2yp#.neAmWRMMj

   Also this post from buzzfeed about periods it made me laugh so hard: http://www.buzzfeed.com/caseygueren/i-will-bleed-on-everything-you-love#.hwlnr6eej

   This list from NPR about 100 romances: http://www.npr.org/2015/07/29/426731847/happy-ever-after-100-swoon-worthy-romances

   This great list of female heroine stories from the Marysue. It made me want to snuffle all this books on this list: http://www.themarysue.com/strong-ya-characters/  I would also like to add myself Dinah from The Demon Headmaster by Gillian Anderson and Kitty from Goggle Eyes by Anne Fine were strong characters I really identified with and were strong in different ways to me and both female. 

   This website: http://mediadiversified.org/ I've only found this recently and it's really great. 

   Sens8, that was on Netlfix this year. I watched it for how much I love Sun. She's an amazing character that is worth watching for a lot of the mess that show is. 

   This amazing post about women in TV by Jennifer Crusie. I agree with this so much. It happens in so many movies as well. I have re-read this so many times. http://arghink.com/2015/11/theres-a-new-girl-in-town/



   The amazing Lunar Cronicles series by Marissa Meyer. My favourite book has to be Cress, and with that cover who wouldn't fall in love with her? She's definitely my favourite character of the whole series as well. Thorne and Scarlett being a close seconds.  The audio books are amazing too, a great series I only found this year and it's a complete series as well and for me it's an amazing take on fairy tales. And these girls have agency coming out of their ears. Oh and a special mention to Iko who made me laugh.  

   I saw for the first time this year A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. A lot of it is sexist and gross. A lot of it is fun and I like this reprise of this song. I like this version as well: 

   
  This list of romances from the Bitch website made me happy, and want to read all of them, it was posted in 2014 but I read it this year: https://bitchmedia.org/post/three-authors-talk-about-their-favorite-romance-novels-featuring-people-of-color 

   The podcast Swoonstep. It's fucking amazing and I love it. You can find it here: http://swoonstep.tumblr.com/

   This podcast Book Shambles is relatively new but I still love it. Co-hosted by one of my favourite comedians Josie Long, and they talk about books all the time be still my heart! You can find it here: http://cosmicgenome.com/shambles/



   The movie Spy. On of the few films I saw in the cinema and totally worth it. And I love that poster, I am a huge fan of Melissa McCarthy, and I would also say that Alison Janney is amazing, she made me laugh so hard in her part.

  The audio book of Deep by Kylie Scott narrated by Andi Arndt. The narrator for me makes this book so amazing. I've experienced narrators that find that series that makes it so good for me, Susannah Jones and the Rock Chick Series by Kristen Ashley has that same quality. This book made me cry and it made me laugh. The rest of the books in the series are really well done. I can't pick an out and out favourite but I think I like this heroine Lizzy the best. There is a lot of stuff going on but ultimately this is her story.

   The song Modern Girl by Sleater-Kinney. It's something I've not been able to stop listening to you can find it here: 
   

   Last but not least I wrote a whole book!!!!!! I am still so happy with this, it still shocks me. I am in the middle of writing (well NaNo didn't quite work out how I wanted), another book. A heist book and I am now roughly just past 16,200 words. It's been a great ride and I am determined to keep writing books, it gives me such great pleasure. And I hope to finish this one. 

   Here is 2016! Hope that you find all the books you could ever want, well really that applies just as much to me as anyone :) 

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Bossy Boots Bookclub, Year Review!

   So I am going to the bookclub in review. The bookclub this year had been really thin, but next year my organisation will be better.


   So to start of the year it was In Another Man's Bed by Francine Ray. I really liked it, and I really want to read more romance like this. I want to branch out with the romances that I am reading, and this one was good.

   

   Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. This I think is tied for my favourite book that I've read this year. I keep remembering things that she had written about race, popular culture and bodies. It is a book I would want to make everyone read, her voice is specific and it stayed with me when I finished it. 


   The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore. I liked the history of the creation. I actually for this Christmas got some old strips of Wonder Woman and I am looking forward to diving in to it. I love the art of them. I do still like Wonder Woman as a character and the book didn't quite live up to my hopes. 


   Re Jane: A Novel by Patricia Park. I am a huge fan of Jane Eyre and I will read/watch/listen to every version. This version though I really thought brought out how to modernize something without taking out what made it great. Something I would recommend definitely. A really good read, and a great modern adaption of something I love. 


   Dangerous Books for Christmas: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained by Maya Rodale. I am a huge romance fan, it is mostly the books that I read for pleasure (I am still in the middle of Golden Gate by Vickram Seth, I really like it and it's really easy to read, but I keep getting distracted :) and I got that book for Christmas last year). This is definitely a book for romance lovers and we are mighty. I didn't agree with a lot of stuff, but there is a lot of stuff I hadn't picked up on in here. A lot of quotes from people I like as well. 

   I had a quick look today at some modern covers and the covers now have changed. It got me to thinking about the cartoon covers I remember in particular being part of Rachel Gibson books, and Susan Andersen in the 90s. Romance covers change with the times, and there are clues that I and I assume many other readers will pick up on already to assess what type of book it is. That is something that interests me. If you are a fan of the genre this is a book I would definitively say would hold your interest. 

   
   Last book, but tied with my favourite. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. This is such a beautiful rendering of childhood I wanted to savour the book. It's won any awards and for good reason. I can't recommend it enough. 

   I am going to keep going with this and be more vigilant with it. It's something that I love doing and find books that I want to read for this. So next February I will be on it. 




   I want to recommend audio books this time. In particular Katie Fforde's books. Going Dutch and A Vintage Wedding. She is an author that I really like but she is not without problems. She does not have any characters who aren't white and there is a thin line between persistent and boundary pushing but the narrator makes these books work for me. Both are about more than one relationship. I think there is something very charming about both books, and it's a geography that I am familiar with. So I hope that these aren't just available in the UK!