July has been a whirlwind of a month. I can’t quite believe it is almost over and that in exactly two weeks I will be setting up home for the next year in Hong Kong. I am definitely starting to feel nervous now. I finish work tomorrow at the wonderful charity Greenwich Mencap and I also finish volunteering at Oxfam Bookshop next week, so it is all starting to feel real now – there is no going back!
Anyway, July has been an excellent month in terms of reading. I mentioned before that I am trying to read more than usual so I can schedule some posts for the first few weeks in Hong Kong. This was helped by Emma Louise’s brilliant #sunathon, where I managed to read four books in one week. I also found it a wonderful way of interacting with fellow book-bloggers and book-lovers via Twitter. In the middle of July I had a few days break in the beautiful city of Bruges with my mum. We took the Eurostar and had an amazing time eating lots of Belgian cuisine (and by cuisine I mean chocolate and waffles) and tasting a variety of different beers. I inevitably dragged my mum along to many museums and exhibitions, which I will write a post about shortly. Also, on Monday I had the pleasure of attending a talk at the British Library called 1914: Goodbye to All That and curated by the poet, Lavinia Greenlaw. Greenlaw had invited ten world-renowned writers from countries that were involved in the First World War to respond to Robert Grave’s autobiography Goodbye to All That and reflect on artistic freedom in the face of conflict. Before the talk, which was held in the Conference Hall, I was able to squeeze in the free Folio Society exhibition in the foyer of the British Library. They are currently holding a temporary exhibition entitled Enduring War: Grief, Grit and Humour. I will eventually get round to writing up longer posts on both of these. Lastly, I was very lucky to be nominated by Karen at Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Karen has been one of my first followers on this blog since I started last August and she has always read and commented on my posts, so thank you! I will make sure to post about this and nominate other inspiring book-bloggers soon.
- The Vagenda: A Zero Tolerance Guide to the Media by Holly Baxter and Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
Books read in July:
- Strange Girls and Ordinary Women by Morgan McCarthy
- Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution by Laurie Penny
- The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (review to come)
- The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West (review to come)
- A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (review to come)
- Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (review to come)
- My Baby Shot Me Down ed. Richard Penny (review to come)
- Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism by Natasha Walter (review to come)
- Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson (review to come)
- The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton (review to come)
Books started but abandoned:
- The Poppy Factory by Liz Trenow – I received this via Netgalley but just couldn’t connect with it so gave up.
Interesting bookish-related outings:
Interesting bookish-related articles read in July:
- Interview with Laurie Penny @ Curious Animal Magazine
- Women’s Poetry of World War 1 @ All Poetry
- Untold stories of the war @ The Guardian
- #ThisBook Campaign Top Twenty Books @ Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction
- Exclusive interview with the authors of My Baby Shot Me Down @ Female First
- Man Booker 2014: more global, less diverse @ The Guardian
- Margaret Atwood doesn’t see herself as prolific @ The Star
- How to Build a Girl, by Caitlin Moran, book review: Potato-peeler strikes a blow for teenage liberation @ The Independent
July in pictures:
As I said earlier, I will be moving to Hong Kong in August to start a new job. Before this, however, I have tried to book in as many events and things to do in London as possible. I have tickets for The Crucible at The Old Vic Theatre, 1984 at The Playhouse Theatre and the Virginia Woolf exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. I am also planning on going to the Suffragettes: Deeds not Words exhibition (which is free) at the National Portrait Gallery, the new First World War galleries at the Imperial War Museum and to see as many of the other BookBenches as I can. I will also be frantically trying to write up all those book reviews before I go – wish me luck! On the reading front, I think I will take it easy!