Quarterly Rewind (September-December ’20 edition)

Hi everyone! So we’ve almost made it to the end of 2020, and I think I can speak for everyone when I say that I will not be sorry to see the back of it. This autumn has been……well mixed to say the least. I did have some good things happen, I got to go and see an actual show in an actual theatre, I got to do some riding and I did get to see a friend once before everything went to hell again but aside from that, it’s been a pretty bleak Autumn. Anyway, it’s the Winter Solstice today, which means it’s time to wrap up Autumn on the blog and look ahead (I’m not going to say look forward because we all know this Winter is going to suck) to Winter. This post will cover 22nd September-20th December:

Image From The Autumn:

I took this a couple of weeks ago when we had snow on the hills in Stirling, one of very few new photos I have from the past few months, since I’m not really doing much that’s worth taking pictures of these days.

Favourite Quote From A Book You Read This Autumn:

“History is something you look back on, not something you really feel at the time. In the moment, you’re just….living” -The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, VE Schwab

Honestly I could have picked any of a thousand lines from this book because VE Schwab’s writing is so stunning, but this one really resonated with me when I read it, in a way it probably wouldn’t have in any year other than this one. Something about reading this in the midst of a global pandemic….yeah it hit hard.

This Autumn In One Word:

Stressful (and that’s just the past week!)

Most Popular Review of The Autumn:

I’ve read 9 books this Autumn and reviewed 8 of them. I was surprised given the immense hype around it that Addie LaRue wasn’t my most popular review of this Autumn, but it was actually Queen of Volts, the Shadow Game trilogy finale:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/09/24/queen-of-volts-the-shadow-game-3/

Top Two Books I Read This Autumn:

I’ve had a fairly mixed Autumn of books, but there were definitely two that stood out above the rest, so it was actually pretty easy to choose this time:

  1. Men Who Hate Women-Laura Bates

Laura Bates’ most recent book, Men Who Hate Women explores the world of online misogyny. It’s definitely highly disturbing, if not entirely surprising some of the things that these extreme misogynists get up to on the internet, and I definitely learned a lot from reading it.

2. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue-VE Schwab

My most anticipated read of the year definitely did not disappoint, it was beautifully written, incredibly emotional and definitely not a story I’m going to forget in a hurry!

TV I’m Looking Forward To Watching This Winter:

I’ve literally got nothing planned this winter and given that another lockdown is probably looming, that’s a good thing, so once again, I’m going to share the TV that I’m planning on watching over the next few months (I will know this pandemic is over when I’m finally able to share things I’m looking forward to doing for this section again):

  1. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 4-The final episodes of Sabrina arrive on Netflix on New Years Eve and I’m really looking forward to seeing how the Spellmans’ stories are wrapped up.
  2. Death In Paradise Series 10-After this year, I think the sunny escape to Saint Marie in January is pretty much everything I need! I may not be able to travel, but at least I can live vicariously through this show.
  3. This Is Us Series 5-The new series of This Is Us returns after its Christmas break in January and I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens next.
  4. Staged Series 2-The second series of Michael Sheen and David Tennant’s lockdown comedy starts in January, and honestly right now, I could use all the laughs I can get!

Three New Obsessions This Autumn:

I mean it’s kind of difficult to develop new obsessions when you barely leave your house, but I do try!

  1. evermore-I haven’t listened to Taylor Swift’s latest lockdown offering as much as I would have liked yet, but I’ve listened enough to have become decidedly obsessed, specifically with no body no crime, which I often find myself randomly singing.
  2. Carrie Hope Fletcher-I saw an encore performance of her London Coliseum show a few weeks ago, and I absolutely loved it, definitely want to see more things with her in, I hope she does some more streaming stuff soon!
  3. Chocolate Orange Buttons-I recently found a chocolate orange version of Cadbury’s Giant Buttons (though giant is misleading) and I loved them!

Five Most Popular Blog Posts This Autumn:

My two most popular blog posts this time were again reviews, it’s super nice to see a renewed interest in some of my older reviews:

  1. Ninth House Review

There seems to have been a lot of interest in this one over the past year as this is the third time it has appeared in my most popular posts in a Quarterly Rewind.

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

2. Unsouled (Unwind #3) Review

This one is one of my earlier reviews from my first year of blogging, so I’m always surprised when people find it after all this time!

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/unsouled-unwind-quartet-3-review/

3. Top Ten Tuesday #290

One of my Top Ten Tuesdays from last month, this one was where I talked about Book Characters I’d Name A Pet After. It was a super fun one to do, so I’m glad you all seemed to enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

4. Top Ten Tuesday #288

This one was actually a non-bookish Top Ten Tuesday, in which I talked about the hobbies I have outside of reading and book blogging and it was really fun to talk to everyone about the things I love outside of books and to find out more about everyone else as well.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/11/03/top-ten-tuesday-288/

5. Top Ten Tuesday #286

My final most popular post for this Rewind period was this one from October, where I talked about some of the great book recommendations I’ve been given from other people over the years.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/10/20/top-ten-tuesday-286/

Four Posts I Enjoyed On Other Blogs This Autumn:

I haven’t been great at keeping track of these, I have to admit, but I did manage to find a few for you guys:

  1. This is one from last year but I only found it after I finished the book this November, it’s an essay that Christine Lynn Herman wrote about her struggles with anxiety and depression and how it influenced her debut novel.

https://www.powells.com/post/original-essays/into-the-gray

2. Morgan Hartley, a fellow writer for the Indiependent (an online news platform that I write for), wrote this great piece about platonic relationships and how her friends and family have enriched her life.

3. Catherine Renton did this really great article for Vogue about toxic positivity which is something I’ve struggled with over the course of this pandemic because I feel like a lot of this has been going around social media during the pandemic, and especially during the first lockdown, it made it hard for me to really grapple with the more negative emotions I was feeling because everyone was constantly being like “we’re all in this together” and “this too shall pass” and everyone passing around the good vibes was actually making me feel much worse, so this article really resonated with me.

https://www.vogue.co.uk/arts-and-lifestyle/article/toxic-positivity

4. Emily Burack did this great article about the myth of Judeo-Christianity and why it’s not a thing, and I found it really insightful and interesting read.

https://www.heyalma.com/the-myth-of-judeo-christianity-explained/

Five Shows That I Enjoyed This Autumn:

  1. Strictly Come Dancing

I’m so so glad that we got a series of Strictly this year because I can 100% say that my Autumn would have been a heck of a lot bleaker without it. Having this one glorious shred of normality, even if the show itself was a little different was definitely a lifesaver, especially the final over the weekend, the way that they pulled that off and brought a little joy for a couple of hours after the Government’s terrible announcement was amazing.

2. The Great British Bake Off

My other lifesaver show this Autumn, if there was ever a year that needed the glorious comfort watch that is Bakeoff, it was 2020. I nearly cried at the final episode, it was super emotional!

3. The Crown Season 4

I tore through The Crown Season 4 in 3 days when it arrived in November, it was thoroughly addictive drama and though I’m looking forward to seeing the new cast, I’m definitely going to miss the outgoing lot!

4. folklore: the long pond studio sessions

The Taylor Swift surprises have been thick and fast this year and I loved getting to see her perform all the songs from folklore, watching this special definitely gave me a new appreciation for songs on folklore that I hadn’t necessarily listened to as much.

5. Ghosts

I’ve needed all the humour I could get over the past few months, so this BBC sitcom was definitely very welcome! I’m really looking forward to seeing the Christmas special on Wednesday night.

Six Songs I’ve Listened To Way Too Often This Autumn:

  1. A Miracle Would Happen/When You Come Home To Me-The Last Five Years

After seeing The Last Five Years at the Southwark Playhouse in October, I definitely became next level obsessed with the soundtrack (I have the movie one with Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick) and this one is one that’s been coming up a lot on shuffle.

2. august-Taylor Swift

The latest tune from folklore that has been cropping up a lot!

3. no body no crime-Taylor Swift

Okay, granted the new album has only been out for just under two weeks, but I’ve listened to no body no crime more than any other song from evermore in that time.

4. A Summer In Ohio-The Last Five Years

Another of The Last Five Years songs that has been stuck in my head since the seeing the show, Molly Lynch’s performance of this was fantastic.

5. The Room Where It Happens-Hamilton

This one comes up on my shuffle pretty frequently!

6. Nobody Needs To Know-The Last Five Years

Another of the songs from the show that has been stuck in my head since seeing it, Oli Higginson did a fabulous job with this song.

So there we go, that was my Autumn! What have you enjoyed most on my blog this Autumn (or Spring for my Southern Hemisphere followers)? What have you been up to, if anything? Let me know in the comments!

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