February may be the shortest month of the year, yet it always manages to be one of the most eventful. Although, it did fly by which, on the one hand, I’m not necessarily complaining about. I know it’s so horribly cliché, but I miss summer. More so after to waking up to snow just a few days ago, and thinking back to this time last year in Madrid when I was relishing a bank holiday weekend with my parents who came to visit. I want nothing more than a week in the sun with nothing to worry about besides how many books I can race through within 7 days. On the other hand, the fact that March is upon us is making me panic a little. How do only three months remain of university? But, let’s not worry about that now! Here’s what I’ve been up to lately…
Penguin JobHack and Work Placement News
Just when I was starting to fret about finding work experience in the publishing sector post-uni, I had an uncustomary stroke of luck. Firstly, I attended this year’s first Penguin JobHack in Nottingham: an insight day into all things publishing. Secondly, just the afternoon before JobHack, I found out that I have been selected for their two-week work experience placement in June!
After listening to the amazing people from Penguin Imprints chatting about their career journeys and learning more about the array of roles involved in the industry, I’m beyond excited for my two weeks working with Michael Joseph Editorial. They’ve published a whole range of books I’ve enjoyed, from Stephen Fry’s Mythos to Jojo Moyes’ renowned heart-breaker Me Before You. I still can’t believe I’ll get a behind-the-scenes look into how these unforgettable works come about.
At the end of JobHack, we were also given some treats to take home with us. I pounced out of my seat to get my hands on the Stranger Things companion guide. Also, I’m excited to finally read some of Murakami’s work with his memoir 𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘐 𝘛𝘢𝘭𝘬 𝘈𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘐 𝘛𝘢𝘭𝘬 𝘈𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘙𝘶𝘯𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨. Overall, it was such an incredible, rewarding experience, not least for also trying my first vegan sausage roll (amazing). Well worth the 5 am start.
Is it down to the incredible amount of film releases lately? Or, is it simply my old friend procrastination preventing me from doing uni work at whatever chance it can get? Whatever it is, I’m loving a good cinema trip lately. I have raved and rambled about how much I enjoyed the recent Emma adaptation already. But, Parasite blew me away. It’s been over a week and I still can’t put into words how phenomenal this movie is. Given that I didn’t watch the trailer, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Regardless, I didn’t anticipate such a meticulously crafted mash-up of everything: horror, thriller, comedy, romance, crime. This story of a poor yet united family bluffing their way into a wealthy Seoul household put me through so many emotional states. Yet during its 132-minute run time, it never once felt muddled or tonally inconsistent. The film must have featured some of the most tense scenes I have watched and they were utterly brilliant. I want to avoid spoilers here, but suffice it to say that Parasite is a masterpiece.
This Country – a hilarious mockumentary that follows the love/hate relationship of Kerry and Kurtan Mucklowe, two cousins living in a rural Cotswolds village. This show has me crying with laughter as they squabble over anything from whether Calippos or Mini Milks are better to who gets what space in the oven for their turkey dinosaurs. What’s not to love?
Westworld – it took me a few episodes to get into this series about malfunctioning robots in a futuristic Western-themed amusement park. But, there has recently been a major twist so, of course, I’m hooked.
Schitt’s Creek – this quirky comedy is filling the Park’s and Recreation hole in my heart after finishing the series last week, and I’m absolutely loving it. Moira, played by Catherine O’Hara, is such an icon.
On the train to and from Nottingham, I flew through Ideal Angels which the author, Robert Welbourn, kindly sent me. The story, told in second-person, follows our self-deprecating, unnamed protagonist fall in love with Eloise. However, there is a third party in their relationship: her mobile phone. This book was an all too real depiction of how much our lives are based on selfies and Instagram uploads. Social media truly is entrenched in our daily lives.
Another book I recently read was Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, one of her most celebrated whodunnits. With plenty of suspects, Christie’s unravelling of events keeps you guessing. More so as the eccentric detective Poirot keeps his cards to his chest up until the very end. My first Christie novel certainly won’t be my last!
Finally, in February I flew through Alice Osman’s graphic novels series, Heartstopper, and I can confirm, it is adorable. There are just so many amazing aspects to these comics: both boys are ridiculously loveable, the problematic characters are called out, bigotry isn’t tolerated, the cast of characters is incredibly diverse, and the boys have such a strong support system. Also, the little details in Alice’s illustrations make the series even more engaging. I can’t say much more except that these comics are as sweet as candy and that my cheeks hurt from smiling so much.
At the moment, I’m half-way through Min Jin Lee’s multi-generational family saga Pachinko. I’m taking it slow, soaking up every word, and as someone who knows very little about Korean history, finding it at once fascinating but deeply affecting. Has anyone else read this one yet?
What did you get up to in February? Do you have any new TV show or film recommendations? Let me know in the comments!
Check out my review for my favourite book of the year so far: Girl, Woman Other by Bernadine Evaristo.