Quarterly Rewind (March-June ’20 edition)

Hi all! So yeah, this Spring has been a bit….well let’s not sugarcoat it, it’s been pretty awful on all fronts and I reckon we can all agree to some extent with that, I don’t think being stuck at home for three months was on anyone’s to-do list for 2020! I have managed to get a lot of reading done but aside from that, the silver linings of lockdown have been few and far between. Anyway, it’s the Summer Solstice today, so that means it’s time for me to wrap up Spring here on the blog and look forward to my Northern Hemisphere Summer, Summer 2.0 if you like. This post will cover 23rd March-19th June:

Image From This Spring:

20200321_192205

Okay so I’m cheating a little here, as I haven’t taken any new pictures whilst I’ve been in lockdown (I mean me sitting on the couch watching TV doesn’t exactly make for a great picture) so I thought I’d share another of my South Africa pictures instead, this one was the sunset over Camps Bay on my last night in Cape Town.

Favourite Quote From A Book You Read This Spring:

“When we revise the horror and sanitise the grotesque, we risk erasing the paths that led us here” -Roshani Chokshi, The Gilded Wolves

This isn’t actually from the book, it’s from Roshani Chokshi’s Author’s Note but I wanted to share it here because it really resonated with me as someone who studied history and also with everything that has been going on with the Black Lives Matter protests in the last few weeks.

This Spring In One Word:

Monotonous (there is really no other word that describes lockdown life as aptly as this).

Most Popular Review of This Spring:

I read 14 books in the period that this Rewind covers, and have reviewed 13 of them. The most popular of these was Spin The Dawn, which I was quite surprised by as I was expecting it to be Call Down The Hawk:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/02/spin-the-dawn-the-blood-of-the-stars-1-review/

Top Two Books I Read This Spring:

I’ve read some really great books over the last few months (as well as some not so great ones) and it was tricky to choose between my four favourites, but in the end I went with these two:

  1. The City of Brass-S.A. Chakraborty

I finally read this back in April and I’m so glad that I now understand what people were raving about, the world building and the characters in this book were really great! I’m almost finished with the second book on audio now and I’m hoping to finish off the series next month.

2. The Gilded Wolves-Roshani Chokshi

Definitely one of my new favourites of this year, the gang of The Gilded Wolves has one of my favourite friendship dynamics I’ve read and I’m so looking forward to getting to read more of them when The Silvered Serpents comes out in September.

TV I’m Looking Forward To Watching This Summer:

As with last time, since I probably won’t be doing a massive amount this summer aside from socially distanced meetups with my friends, so I’m going to share the TV I’m looking forward to watching instead (however much is available, I’m slowly running out of things to watch!):

  1. Good Girls Season 3-The third season of Good Girls comes out on Netflix at the end of July, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what Beth, Annie and Ruby get up to in the new series.
  2. Becoming-I know the documentary of Michelle Obama’s book tour has been out for a few weeks but I haven’t got around to watching it yet, so that’s one I definitely want to get around to in the next few weeks.
  3. Hamilton-Okay yes, not technically TV but the release of the original Broadway company of Hamilton’s recorded performance being moved up is possibly one of the highlights of my year, and I’m really looking forward to getting to see it when it’s released (TWO WEEKS).
  4. When They See Us-Continuing my education in anti-racism, I’d like to get through a few more shows and documentaries this month. I just watched 13th, also done by Ava DuVernay today and it was really interesting and informative. There’s a lot I still don’t know and I’d like to rectify that.

Three New Obsessions This Spring:

  1. Elementary-I was pleasantly surprised that I actually enjoyed this US version of Sherlock more than the British series. The mysteries might not be taken straight from the books, but I appreciate that it doesn’t try so hard to be clever and I love Lucy Liu as Watson, and actually think I prefer Jonny Lee Miller’s Sherlock to Benedict Cumberbatch (I KNOW, I KNOW).
  2. I Weigh With Jameela Jamil-Jameela Jamil’s new podcast has been a real bright spot in lockdown, I love the frank honest conversations that she has with her guests and I’ve learned a lot about mental health.
  3. Moulin Rouge Original Broadway Cast Recording-I was a little sceptical about this album at first, but over several listens, I’ve really grown to love it!

Five Most Popular Blog Posts This Spring:

It’s funny, I’ve gone from barely posting at all during the beginning of the year, to posting quite a lot over lockdown because I don’t have much else to do! Still mostly Top Ten Tuesdays for this, which isn’t a surprise, but a couple of older reviews as well, which is nice.

  1. Ninth House Review

It’s nice to see that this one has been seeing a renewed audience as a review that I did towards the end of last year.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/11/27/ninth-house-alex-stern-1-review/

2. Midnight (Skulduggery Pleasant #11) Review

After dropping off at the beginning of this year, this older review seems to have seen a renewed audience in the last few months, which is lovely to see. Skulduggery Pleasant is one of my favourite series, so it’s good to see this review gain some popularity.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/29/midnight-skulduggery-pleasant-11-review/

3. TTT #264 & TTT #265

I had a tie for this one, two Top Ten Tuesday posts from last month, both ones that I really enjoyed doing! #264 was me talking about Reasons Why I Love VE Schwab’s books, which was a really fun one to do and I hope I’ve helped even more people discover her brilliant work. #265 was sharing my favourite opening lines from my favourite authors’ books which was another super fun one to do.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/19/top-ten-tuesday-264/

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/26/top-ten-tuesday-265/

4. TTT #268

This was this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, which was all about our Summer TBRs, seasonal TBRs are a perennially popular topic (and one of my favourites to do as well)! Fingers crossed that I enjoy all of the books that I put on this list!

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/06/16/top-ten-tuesday-268/

5. TTT #263

This one was about the Last Ten Books I DNF’ed, which I’m surprised was such a popular topic as I didn’t think that was one you guys liked to see from me! I’ll have to talk more about the books that don’t work for me in the future.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/12/top-ten-tuesday-263/

Four Posts I Enjoyed On Other Blogs This Spring:

  1. I discovered this great post that Victoria Lee did last year about discovering her identity as bigender through Harry Potter fan communities just after the latest incident of JKR showing how bigoted she is. It definitely made me interested in checking out Victoria Lee’s books at some point:

Harry Potter and the Conspiracy of Queers: Discovering Myself in Fandom and Roleplay

2. Grace Latter did this great post about shielding and her experiences of the lockdown back at the beginning of April, which was really great and quite emotional!

https://www.almostamazinggrace.co.uk/2020/04/isolation.html

3. Rose Stokes wrote this awesome article about pregnancy tests and how we need to change the narrative around them which was really interesting. If you haven’t checked out her stuff then you really should, she’s a journalist who writes a lot about women’s rights (basically everything I’d like to be!)

https://yourdaye.com/vitals/cultural-musings/history-of-pregnancy-test-womens-rights

4. Eleanor Morgan did a brilliant post on Medium about women and the myth that there is any one “right” way to be a woman.

 

 

View at Medium.com

Five Shows That I Enjoyed This Spring:

Since I didn’t really go out all that much in the past three months, I thought instead I’d share some of the best things I’ve watched:

  1. This Is Us-Season 4

The new season of This Is Us came to Amazon Prime earlier this month and I just finished it last week. As usual, it was brilliantly acted, super emotional and I can’t wait to see Season 5, whenever it comes out.

2. Little Fires Everywhere

I also watched the miniseries of Little Fires Everywhere this month, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington are AMAZING and I thought the young cast of teenagers were really great as well (ACTUAL TEENAGERS. Not people my age playing teenagers!).

3. Noughts and Crosses

As I mentioned in my Book Vs Movie post about it, I really enjoyed the BBC’s adaptation of Noughts and Crosses when I watched it back at the end of March. The main actors were both really great, and I seriously hope it gets another series, because there is plenty more story to be mined from Malorie Blackman’s books!

4. Death In Paradise-Series 9

Death In Paradise is a great show for lockdown, easy to watch, relaxing and a lot of fun! The new series was no exception and I thoroughly enjoyed the latest outing for the team from Saint Marie.

5. Elementary

As I mentioned above, I watched Elementary Series 1-5 over the past month or so and I really enjoyed it! Very sad that Amazon Prime doesn’t have the last two series available (since much as I enjoyed it, I’m not paying almost £50 to watch the last two series!).

Six Songs I Listened To Way Too Often This Spring:

  1. Without A Believer-Sara Barielles

I discovered the cut songs album from Waitress and almost instantly became obsessed with this one. I understand why it got cut as I’m not sure where it would have fit in the show, but it is a brilliant song.

2. Bad Idea-Waitress

One of my favourite songs from the Waitress soundtrack so naturally it’s ended up coming up on my playlist more than a few times.

3. Crazy Rolling-Moulin Rouge (Broadway)

One of my favourites of the new mashups introduced for the Broadway show, I never would have thought to put Crazy and Rolling In The Deep together, but it works really well!

4. Shut up and Raise Your Glass-Moulin Rouge (Broadway)

Another of the new songs and again, two I wouldn’t have thought to put together but actually work really well. I really love the small segment of I Wanna Dance With Somebody that they use towards the end as well!

5. Welcome To The Moulin Rogue-Moulin Rouge (Broadway)

I told you I’d been listening to a lot of Moulin Rouge over the last few months and the opening number from the show is just brilliant! I seriously hope the show actually does come to the West End next year as planned after the pandemic, because I really want to see it!

6. I Didn’t Plan It-Waitress

Another one of my favourites that comes up on my IPod Shuffle a lot.

So there we go, that was my Spring! What have you enjoyed most on my blog this Spring (or Autumn, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere)? What have you been up to? What have been the highlights (if that’s the right word) of your lockdown? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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