I’ve been back in Leeds for two months now, and university work, together with the bitter weather, has officially turned me into a housebound hermit. Lately I’m harnessing nothing but slipper socks, cosy clothes and a dressing gown. So, aside from working through relentless essay deadlines, keeping myself fuelled by splashing out on food outings and drinking endless cups of green tea, life hasn’t been too eventful.
Nonetheless, the upside to the colder weather and the evenings darkening earlier is that it gives me full license to stay indoors to catch up on my ever-growing pile of books and TV series backlog. Also, now that I’ve had my annual weep while watching the John Lewis Christmas advert, the countdown to December 25th has begun once and for all. If the dawn of festive ads isn’t evincing enough, I also had a dream in which I was eating mince pies and watching Elf. Nope, it won’t be long until Christmas tunes replace my podcasts and Will Ferrell stuffing his face with chocolate spaghetti will be my sole form of entertainment. But, before the festivities begin, here’s everything I’m reading, watching and listening to lately.
Aside from ploughing through compulsory reading lists and literary theory, I’ve squeezed in some time for reading for pleasure. After a couple of sluggish months, I loved every second of my recent reads; ‘The Dragon Republic’ and ‘Entanglement’ (that I shared a gushing review for here) both were given 4.5 stars, while ‘Olive, Again‘ and ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ — an astonishing collection of short stories — received 5.
I’m also currently listening to ‘Nevernight’ on audiobook, the first book of ‘The Nevernight Chronicle’ by Jay Kristoff, which I’ll admit is a little difficult to keep up to with down to the incessant action. Nonetheless, I grasp why so many book lovers rhapsodise about this series and I can’t wait to continue.
Next up: a couple more texts for my English post-apocalyptic literature module, a few of rereads for my dissertation, and I’m finally going to delve into the enormous Stephen King book bundle I bought back in September starting with the book he crashed the writing party with; Carrie.
Honestly, I’m ashamed at how much TV I’ve consumed; keeping me company as I trudge through work and house chores. I’ll save myself the embarrassment by just mentioning a few of my favourites.
First of all, I flew through the entire series of Gavin and Stacey. I’d be lying if I said the reunion isn’t what I’m most looking forward to on Christmas Day. Did Gavin and Stacey have a girl or a boy? What’s baby Neil like now? Did Smithy and Nessa ever marry? Is Gwen still making her omelettes? What happened on that fishing trip?!
Another series I raced through was the much-anticipated second season of The End of the F**king World. James and Alyssa embark on another road trip to find themselves in a bit of a morbid muddle once again.
Meanwhile, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK is the best thing to have graced my screen all year. Although I love Divina de Campo, it would be wrong for me not to route for fellow Liverpudlian, The Vivienne.
As for now; I’ve just finished season 1 of comedy-drama series Succession about the conflicted, multi-millionaire Logan family; season 3 of Atypical is the best one yet, and finally, I’m still enjoying Parks and Recreation more than ever.
I’ve mostly been listening to audiobooks, but Jonathan Van Ness’s Getting Curious episode with Season 5 Bake Off winner Nancy Birthwaite was an absolute treat to tune into.
I also had a trip down memory lane and listened to Jacqueline Wilson’s Penguin podcast episode in conversation with Katy Brand talking all things Tracey Beaker and how she seeks writing inspiration. I’m this close to buying myself her new Beaker books.
What have you been reading, watching and listening to lately? Let me know in the comments!