Quarterly Rewind (June-September ’21 edition)

Hi everyone! It’s that time again, I swear these seem to come around faster and faster every time I do them, can’t believe that we only have one quarter left of this year. Aside from the weather (which has been awful), this summer has been really great for me! I’ve been at my job at the vaccine centre for about three months now, and it definitely seems as if it’s going to last through the end of the year, so that’s great. I’ve been seeing my friends, I’ve been riding fairly regularly, I’ve got to go back to the theatre which has been amazing, I’ve been back in London, I’m fully vaccinated and unlike last summer where it all felt a bit too good to be true, I’m feeling cautiously optimistic that lockdown is a thing of the past.

Anyway, Wednesday was the Autumn Equinox, the first official day of Autumn (though really, I personally always count the beginning of the month when the seasons change as the start of the new season) and that means it’s time for another Quarterly Rewind, the feature where I wrap up each season on the blog and look forward to the next one. So today I will be wrapping up Summer and looking forward to Autumn. This post will cover 21st June-21st September:

Image from this Summer:

Again I’ve not been taking a lot of pictures this summer, I have been going out more, but I’ve also been working a lot, so there’s not been much to take pictures of! This one is from when we went to see Hairspray last month, I meant to take a picture in the theatre, but I totally forgot, so instead, I took one on the bus home so I at least had something to document my first trip to the theatre post-lockdown!

Favourite Quote From A Book You Read This Summer:

“It’s going somewhere without ever taking a train or ship, an unveiling of new incredible worlds. It’s living a life you weren’t born into and a chance to see everything coloured by someone else’s perspective. It’s learning without having to face the consequences of failures, and how best to succeed….I think that within all of us, there is a void, a gap waiting to be filled by something. For me, that something is books….and all their proffered experiences.” -The Last Bookshop In London, Madeline Martin

A bit of a lengthy one I know, but you kind of need the full quote to get the whole effect. This part of the book is where George (Grace’s romantic interest) explains to her why he loves reading so much, and it just really resonated with me as a reader, because it’s all true for me too.

This Summer In One Word:

Fun!

Most Popular Review of Summer:

I am so behind on my reviews, the last ones I posted were in July and I’ve read a lot more books since then, I’m fully intending on trying to catch up on my days off, but it might take a while! Of the two reviews that I posted in this period, my review of The Unbound was the most popular, which makes sense as my VE Schwab reviews are always quite popular:

Top Two Books I’ve Read This Summer:

I’ve mostly been reading audiobooks this summer, and they’ve been a bit of a mixed bag, but there were two that I definitely enjoyed above the others:

  1. The Alice Network-Kate Quinn

After loving The Rose Code, I moved onto one of Kate Quinn’s backlist books, and I really loved it. Female spies have always been right up my alley and I loved learning about a part of WWI that I’d not really heard of before (and desperately want to read more about Louise De Bettignies now). Eve was fantastic, Charlie really grew on me and the story definitely packed an emotional punch!

2. The Last Bookshop In London-Madeline Martin

Apparently this year has been the year of WWII fiction for me, for some reason I’ve been massively in the mood for it! Slice of life WWII isn’t something you come across much, so it was nice to see a book which focused on everyday peoples’ experiences rather than spies, or pilots or soldiers. It was a really charming story and though obviously there were harsher aspects due to the war setting, it feels like a warm hug. Both of my favourites from this period were narrated by Saskia Maarleveld as well, who has fast become my favourite audiobook narrator!

Two Things I’m Looking Forward To This Autumn:

  1. Holiday with friends

I’m going on a long weekend spa break with my friends at the end of October and I’m so excited for it. We haven’t been on holiday together since before the pandemic, and I’ve never been to a spa before, so I am fully prepared to be pampered into oblivion.

2. Indecent Proposal musical

Apparently this is the year of 80s and 90s film to musical adaptations because we’re going to see yet another one in November, this time at the Southwark Playhouse. I’m super excited to go back there as I had such a great time at The Last Five Years last year, and it will be great to experience the theatre sans pandemic restrictions! I will need to actually watch the film before I go though, as I’ve not seen it.

TV Shows I’m Looking Forward To This Autumn:

Yes, Autumn is here and that means the start of all the great TV!

  1. The Great British Bake-Off

Agh Bake-Off how I’ve missed you. There’s nothing like watching a group of lovely people get incredibly stressed about cake and bread and biscuits to brighten up your Autumn evenings!

2. All Creatures Great and Small Season 2

One of my favourite shows of last year, All Creatures Great and Small is back, and I’m so happy because it’s basically like a warm hug in a TV show. I’m also happy that they’ve moved it to Thursday nights this year because now it doesn’t clash with Bake-Off!

3. Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly is back! That’s how you really know Autumn has started, when Strictly waltzes its way back onto our screens. I’m really excited for this year’s group as judging from the little that we saw in the launch show it seems like all the celebrities are on a fairly even playing field, so it should be pretty exciting.

4. Travels With My Father Season 5

The last series of Jack Whitehall’s travel series with his dad is now on Netflix and I’m looking forward to seeing what they got up to in their last series of adventures!

5. You Season 3

I have to admit, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Season 2, and I don’t remember much aside from the big reveals in the last episode, but the trailer for Season 3 looks really exciting, so I’ll probably still check it out.

Two New Obsessions This Summer:

I couldn’t think of three, so I just kept to two this time!

  1. Modern Love-I found this series on Amazon over the summer, and I love it, the amount of character development they are able to get into each thirty minute episode is amazing and I love that no two episodes are the same. It also had me addicted to looking up where the real people who wrote the essays that the episodes are based on are now!
  2. West End Understudies-Bit of a strange one, but I started following the @WestEndCovers account on Twitter and it’s super fun seeing all of the swings and understudies for West End shows getting well deserved praise and shout outs, some of my favourite theatre experiences have been performances where the understudy has been on, so I love that this account exists.

Five Most Popular Blog Posts This Summer:

We’ve got a mix of reviews and Top Ten Tuesday posts this time which is nice, my Top Ten Tuesday posts always get a lot of love, so it’s nice to see that people actually do see some of my other posts!

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue Review

The resurgence of this review continues as it was my most popular review last time I did one of these roundups as well. I’m happy that my scheme to push VE Schwab books on all of my blog readers is potentially working!

2. Top Ten Tuesday #323

This Top Ten Tuesday was my take on Most Unique Books I’ve Ever Read, and I’m glad this one got a lot of love as it was a fun challenge to try and come up with ten books that I felt had an original concept, or twist or took old tropes and twisted them in a fun way.

3. Unsouled Review

Speaking of, this is the sequel to Unwind, one of the books featured in the post I talked about in No.2, so kind of related to that post! I’m always really surprised when I see this one crop up in this section because it’s a very old review, and it’s a sequel, not a first book in a series, which aren’t usually as popular for me.

4. Top Ten Tuesday #325

This one was my take on books I read in one sitting, which I twisted to be Books I Read In Less Than Two Weeks as that suited my slower reading pace better. It was nice to bond with my fellow slower readers on this one!

5. Top Ten Tuesday #326

This one was Books I’d Want With Me Whilst Stranded On A Desert Island, and though I’d rather be somewhere a bit colder, as I’m not a sun worshipper, I did enjoy thinking about the books that I’d want with me if I was going to be stranded somewhere for an extended period of time. In a surprise to no one, VE Schwab and Rick Riordan featured multiple times.

Four Posts I Enjoyed This Summer:

I’m awful at keeping track of these, but I did manage to find a few:

  1. Dvora Meyers did this great article for Business Insider about men’s gymnastics and why the dance elements that you see in women’s gymnastics aren’t seen in men’s gymnastics (yes, it’s sexism, it’s always sexism).

2. One of my favourite freelance journalists, Rose Stokes, did a really great piece on Britney Spears and the issue of reproductive control, which given the recent passing of the horrific Texas abortion law, is even more pertinent now, as controlling women’s bodies isn’t just restricting access to abortion, it’s also preventing women from getting pregnant if they want to by forcing them to use contraception, the two things are very much linked. Rose’s piece is as always passionate and thoughtful so definitely worth a read if you have a few minutes!

https://graziadaily.co.uk/life/in-the-news/britney-spears-fertility-control-iud/

3. Stephanie Yeboah wrote this really beautiful piece about her worries over infertility and how a fertility test allowed her peace of mind.

4. Olivia Petter did this amazing article for The Times about her experience of being “stealthed” (removing a condom without consent during sex) and how it had helped other women realise that the same thing had happened to them. It was obviously horrible (but not surprising) to see that this was an experience so many women shared, and I think it shows how lacking so much of our sex education was at school: I don’t remember consent ever being talked about, and there certainly wasn’t any mention of stealthing, what it is or that it’s a form of sexual assault. The first I heard of stealthing was when I watched I May Destroy You, and that was only last year!

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/i-saw-the-condom-on-the-floor-and-i-realised-id-been-stealthed-6ssfmrgmf

Five Shows I Enjoyed This Summer:

  1. Lucifer Season 6

I binged Lucifer Season 6 the weekend it came out and what a way to the end the series! I’m so glad they got their final victory lap and were able to say goodbye on their own terms.

2. Sex Education Season 3

Again I binged this last Friday and Saturday, and I swear this show gets better and better with each series! However I will admit to being emotionally destroyed by that ending, and could I demand Season 4 now?

3. Modern Love

I mentioned this in one of the sections above, but I really enjoyed watching this anthology romance series over the summer. It’s really hard to pick favourite stories, but I think mine were: from Season One, the second episode with the app developer Joshua and his missed chance with his first love Emma and from Season Two, the third episode where the two strangers meet on the train on their way home at the beginning of Covid and their chance to meet again is scuppered by the lockdown.

4. Heartland Season 14

It was heart-breaking of course (those who know, know, I won’t spoil for anyone) but I was actually pleasantly surprised by how well they handled the big change this season and being such a long running show, I think it’s allowed them a bit of a refresh and a chance to tell some new stories, which I really enjoyed.

5. Ghosts Season 3

Ghosts remains one of my favourite comedy shows ever, it’s just so much fun and it’s so brilliantly written and acted, and ah just a joy to watch! Long may it continue!

Six Songs I’ve Listened To Way Too Often This Summer

  1. I Know Where I’ve Been-Hairspray

I’ve been listening to this one a lot since I saw Hairspray last month, it’s such a beautiful song and seeing it performed live is just something else (especially because Marisha Wallace is INCREDIBLE).

2. Summer In Ohio-The Last Five Years

I love The Last Five Years soundtrack and this one of the songs that comes up a lot on my shuffle, which is perfectly fine by me as it’s one of my favourite songs in the show.

3. august-Taylor Swift

It’s literally in the title of the song, I think you’re doing August wrong if you don’t listen to august a lot during it right?

4. tolerate it-Taylor Swift

This one’s been coming up on my shuffle quite a bit lately. One of the only downsides to Taylor Swift having released so much music in the past year, is that I’ve not managed to learn all the words to all the songs as quickly as I usually do, but never fear, I plan to rectify that.

5. Goodbye Until Tomorrow/I Could Never Rescue You-The Last Five Years

Another Last Five Years song that comes up on my shuffle a lot.

6. long story short-Taylor Swift

An emerging new favourite from evermore. I always find my favourites change the more I listen to Taylor Swift albums and long story short has been creeping up on subsequent listens.

So there we go, that was my summer! Fairly busy, happily taking advantage of all the things we’re now allowed to do again but a lot colder and wetter than any of us would have liked! Autumn is my favourite season though, so let’s hope it brings good things! What have you enjoyed most on my blog this Summer (or Winter for my Southern hemisphere readers)? What have you been up to? Let me know in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Quarterly Rewind (June-September ’21 edition)

  1. lindseyhabets 28/09/2021 / 7:15 pm

    This summer has been feeling a little more hopeful than last one, so hopefully lockdown really is a thing of the past! It’s so cool that you got to see Hairspray and also planning a holiday with friends. Hope you’ll enjoy and have a great autumn!

    • iloveheartlandx 28/09/2021 / 8:44 pm

      Hopefully! Yes, Hairspray was amazing and I’m so excited for my holiday with my friends. Thank you 🙂

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