July Wrap-Up! || 2016

I don’t know about you, but I had a pretty fantastic month. I spent the entire of July in Europe seeing all the sites and eating far too many delicious things. Lucky for you, I did still manage to get quite a bit of reading done so fear not, I still have plenty of bookish things to go on and on about.

If you’ve been paying attention, you might have noticed that a lot of the books that I read were Doctor Who stories. I’m a big fan of the series but the reason for this month being particularly Doctor Who-y is because the people I stayed with in England had a massive crate of Doctor Who books. I think you can all imagine what my reaction was to seeing them.

You can click on the below links to see my progress so far this year for my challenges, too, if you wish – or if you keep reading down I’ll be kind and do a quick summary of statistics at the end.


A Quick Flash of Stuff I Thought Was Cool in July

Funko Pops

In some pretty cool news that I absolutely had to share with you, Funko – the glorious company behind the addictively collectible Pops – announced  a new series of Pops coming out in August: MORE DOCTOR WHO POPS! *runs in circles*. Check out their announcement article if you want to see which ones are in the wings and ready to be released into the wild. I can’t wait to get my hands on some of them!

New Notebooks Anyone?

I found a really cool shop not long ago called Manuscript Stationary. They sell some really cool notebooks that are designed to look like books! They have a free shipping deal on for US residents (I think) so I totally would’ve bought one if I lived in the US! [disclaimer: I am not working with them or anything, I just thought they were cool].

image source: https://www.manuscriptshop.com

Save the Dogs!

A good friend of mine is doing a really awesome thing is November, she’s going over to Thailand to help out the doggies over there with a really cool program for Vet students. Head over to the information page if you want to help them out – there is currently a fundraiser on to help provide new equipment and if you feel like donating even a tiny amount it’d be really helpful! (And if it encourages you, I’m hosting a new release book giveaway in two weeks time sooo good karma, right?).


 Eon
by Alison Goodman

4stars

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy (dragons)
Author: Alison Goodman
Published: August 2008
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 430 {paperback}

Will I continue the series? YES

I actually got to meet Goodman in June at Supanova and she’s absolutely lovely! I decided on a whim to pick up Eon and see what it was all about and I’m really glad I did. It was a thoroughly entertaining read and had many DRAGONS in it – so I was a happy chappy.

The Challenge Count:

RMTBR challenge points award: 0
Fairy-Tale Retelling: 0
Pop Sugar: A Book Recommended by Someone You Just Met

Review to come

// GOODREADS // BUY //


Wetworld
by Mark Michalowski

Genre: Sci-Fi (Doctor Who)
Author: Mark Michalowski
Published: September 2007
Publisher: BBC Books
Pages: 256 {hardback}

Will I read more books by this author? YES

I kicked off my splendidly Whovian month with Wetworld and I really enjoyed it! It was such a strange and wacky (but wonderful) story, as most Doctor Who adventures are. I loved how classic the storyline was as well: humans go to another planet to colonise and RUIN EVERYTHING. Suffice to say the Doctor was unimpressed.

The Challenge Count:

RMTBR challenge points award: 0
Fairy-Tale Retelling: 0
Pop Sugar: N/A

My review

// GOODREADS // BUY //


The Resurrection Casket
by Justin Richards

4stars

Genre: Sci-Fi (Doctor Who)
Author: Justin Richards
Published: April 2006
Publisher: BBC Books
Pages: 256 {hardback}

Will I read more books by this author? YES

This was definitely my favourite Whovian read for the month. It was a space pirate sort of story where the Doctor and Rose are solving what is half a murder mystery and half a treasure hunt mystery. I think fabu-tastic is a good word to describe how much fun this one was.

 The Challenge Count:

RMTBR challenge points award: 0
Fairy-Tale Retelling: 0
Pop Sugar: N/A

My review

// GOODREADS // BUY //


All I Know Now
by Carrie Hope Fletcher 

4stars

Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Author: Carrie Hope Fletcher
Published: April 2015
Publisher: Little Brown UK
Pages: 352 {paperback}

Will I read more books by this author? YES

I also had the honour of meeting Carrie in July! Whilst I was in London she had a signing celebrating the release of her new book, On the Other Side, and I attended a Q&A and book signing. It was so surreal to meet her and she’s every bit as lovely in person as in her videos. This was a cute little advice book for getting through life and I cannot wait to sit down and read her new book. (pssst, she’s also writing another book . . . ).

The Challenge Count:

RMTBR challenge points award: 0
Fairy-Tale Retelling: 0
Pop Sugar: A Self-Improvement Book

Review to come

// GOODREADS // BUY //


 Jonathan Livingston Seagull
by Richard Bach

4stars

Genre: Fiction, Classics, Philosophy (look at me being fancy)
Author: Richard Bach
Published: 1970
Publisher: Scribner
Pages: 112 {paperback}

Will I read more books by this author? MAYBE

This was such a cute little book that I was lent a copy of by a family friend (because I don’t have enough reading material, obviously). Apparently it’s a crying shame that I hadn’t read this so I sat up reading it one night before bed. AND OH MY GOD THIS STORY IS ADORABLE. It’s basically a seagull telling you a story that is maybe a sort of critique on what is heaven. It was seriously adorable though.

The Challenge Count:

RMTBR challenge points award: 0
Fairy-Tale Retelling: 0
Pop Sugar: A Book Recommend by a Family Member

// GOODREADS // BUY //


Snowglobe 7
by Mike Tucker

Genre: Sci-Fi (Doctor Who)
Author: Mike Tucker
Published: April 2008
Publisher: BBC Books
Pages: 256 {hardback}

Will I read more books by this author? YES

Another wonderful Whovian adventure! This one definitely had the creepy element to it considering the monsters were similar to spiders, *shudders*. I thought Martha was an excellent leading lady in this story and the concept of building “Snowglobes” to preserve melting icecaps in a world gone haywire with global warming was surprisingly believable . . .

The Challenge Count:

RMTBR challenge points award: 0
Fairy-Tale Retelling: 0
Pop Sugar: N/A

My review

// GOODREADS // BUY //


 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
by J. K. Rowling et al

9tzrmx8te

Genre: Fantasy
Author: J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
Published: July 2016
Publisher: Little Brown UK
Pages: 330 {hardback – Special Rehearsal Edition}

Will I read more books by this author? IS THIS REALLY A QUESTION

I have thoroughly been enjoying the chaos and confusion that this book has caused throughout the world. I feel like 50% of the world is sitting contentedly going BADABOOM, I loved it! And the other half is wailing as though this was the Titanic of all books ever created. I thought it was just what it needed to be and I cannot even imagine how amazing it would be on stage!!

The Challenge Count:

RMTBR challenge points award: 0
Fairy-Tale Retelling: 0
Pop Sugar: A Book Guaranteed to Bring You Joy

Review to come

// GOODREADS // BUY //


 What else did I blog about this month?


The Statistics

Genres Read:

meta-chart-2

Pages Read:

Total: 1,992

Progress Towards Goodreads’ Challenge:

80%, or, 56/70 books

I am 15 books ahead of schedule

Overall progress of RMTBR challenge:

Points accrued in July: 0
Number of books read in July that counted: 0
Total points: 30
Mini challenges completed: 2/10

rock

The Fairy-Tale Retelling Challenge:

Retellings Read: 6
Level Achieved: Goose Girl

Overall progress for Pop Sugar Reading Challenge:

28/40


What about me?

Throughout the whole of July I was in Europe (as you probably know). I was staying with family and seeing the sights and just generally taking a break from the world of study. A well deserved break, if I might say so, you should’ve seen the grades I got last semester – they were fantastic. So uni is also going well.

I spent a lot of time in and around London and I also spent a week in Southern Ireland (and a few days a bit further up  England in Cambridge). I had such a fantastic time and did some marvellous things. I am planning on doing some individual posts throughout August (she says) on a few specific areas of interest – a bookish guidebook to London, say.

One of the things I did was go the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour WHICH WAS SO AMAZING I CAN’T EVEN. If you find yourself in England (anywhere) then the answer is YES, it is worth travelling to no matter what. Strap your socks on tightly though, else they’ll be blown right off.

I also went to a book signing for Carrie Hope Fletcher which was as amazing as it sounds. Carrie is the author of All I Know Now (which I read this month, so scroll up) and is as lovely as she seems in all her videos. It was the most surreal experience ever. So I now have my copy of All I Know Now signed and a copy of her new book (also signed).

I did so many other amazing things that I could list and turn this into a massive section so I won’t go on forever. Some of the other amazing things I did was:

  • Go to the Titanic exhibition in Cobh, Ireland which is located in the actual last stop that the Titanic took passengers on from before heading out to sea;
  • I went punting through the colleges in Cambridge;
  • I saw the most spectacular bird show at Crag Caves in Ireland;
  • I took a stroll on Inch Strand in Southern Ireland;
  • I visited the filming site of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Goodnight Mister Tom, and The Vicar of Dibley;
  • I saw The BFG & participated in a trail around London;
  • I visited the six storey Waterstones and Foyles in London;
  • I got to see Phantom of the Opera performed at His Majesty’s theatre;
  • I went to the amazing Whipsnade Zoo;
  • I visited the Natural History, Science, Victoria & Albert, and the Imperial War museums;
  • And so much more.

As you can see I had an absolutely wonderful month and am pretty exhausted now. This is my final semester of university though and then I’m going to be released out into the big wide world. Please don’t ask me what I’m going to do next because that’s a tricky question (although if you’re curious the options have always been to work in a museum or get involved in the publishing industry).

Now, the people that I stayed with during my time abroad gave me a movie-education to die for. I love my movies and so do they, so be prepared for the following list to be long.

Movies I watched:

  • Ant-Man, 2015: 7/10 stars
    I finally caught up and watched this and it was really entertaining. I hope they just make infinite numbers of the Marvel movies because I’m loving them.
  • Ratchet & Clank, 2016: 6/10 stars
    I was surpried by how good this was – in the sense that I thought it was going to be pretty awful. I was obsessed with this video game when I was younger so I think it’s really cool that they made a movie of it.
  • Chariots of Fire, 1981: 7/10
    Yeah I can’t believe I’ve only just watched this one either. If I’m being honest though, I wasn’t really blown away with it. I watched it on the plane so it was a little tricky to hear at times but it was “good”.

  • Out of Africa, 1985: 7/10
    I thought this was an absolutely fabulous film. I would’ve rated it more but I felt like the plot could have done with just a few more things in it. But as it was, it was brilliant.
  • Miss Congeniality, 2000: 8/10
    Oh my goodness, this was beyond hilarious. How have I made it through my life this far without watching this? It’s SO funny. Seriously. If you haven’t watched it then just drop everything right now and do so.
  • As Good As It Gets, 1997: 7/10
    This was a really good movie but I didn’t rate it higher purely for the fact that Jack Nicholson really creeps me out. *shudders*

  • The Man Who Sued God, 2001: 7/10
    Very, very funny. I love the way this just messes with your mind the whole way through. He’s just like dangit, I’mma prove everyone wrong and show how flawed this logic is.
  • Dirty Dancing, 1987: 9/10
    Another stella movie that I’d shamefully not watched until now. This was just so good, everything about it was perfect. And oh my god Patrick Swayze, *heart palpitations*.
  • Billy Elliot, 2000: 9/10 [rewatch]
    have seen this before but I just don’t remember any of it. So I rewatched it just to confirm that this movie is AWESOME.
  • The Horse Whisperer, 1998: 8/10
    Um, oh my god and someone please fix my soul? This movie is 100% a soul-destroyer. I loved it so much, it was so charged up on emotion and just, ARGH, perfect. And I may have developed a serious crush on Robert Redford.
  • Field of Dreams, 1989: 8/10
    I have no idea why this movie just about never comes up because it’s brilliant. It’s just so enjoyable. You need to see it if you haven’t. And you don’t need to like baseball to enjoy it.

  • Made in Dagenham, 2010: 7/10
    I really enjoyed this one. It’s like a less emotionally bullying version of The Suffragette movie that came out in 2015. It’s a really good film about women’s rights in the workplace.
  • Chocolat, 2000: 7/10
    Again, this was just good. It also had Johnny Depp in it (and I may or may not have a serious soft spot for him). I mean, it’s a movie about someone who fixes people’s problems with chocolate. #LifeGoals
  • Last Vegas, 2013: 7/10
    This movie. So funny. You just need to watch it, okay?

  • The Full Monty, 1997: 7/10
    If you need to laugh your socks off, this is the movie for you. I don’t think I need to say anything else.
  • Now You See Me, 2013: 7/10
    I admit I was only sort of half paying attention in this one but I did think it was very good. A bit of a severely cliche ending but still greatly entertaining.
  • Girl’s Night, 1998: 7/10
    Ahh, heart-wrenching story a-hoy! This was really good but it definitely pulls at your heart strings.


Tick! July done! 

What was your favourite book that you read in May? 


End Note

~~ Kirstie ~~

 

4 thoughts on “July Wrap-Up! || 2016

  1. Europe is a total dream destination of mine so I could have read all about your adventures. Especially if they involved DOCTOR WHO ♥ LOVE all the Who-Books and YAY for Cursed Child 😀 Happy reading! xx

    Liked by 1 person

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