Tuesday, 2 February 2016

January Wrap-Up

We haven't had one of these for a while, have we?

This year I want to make monthly wrap-ups more of a feature on this blog. I really enjoy watching favourites, wrap-ups, and monthly review videos on YouTube, so I thought I'd have a crack at it on this blog too. My wrap-up's used to be purely book based and, whilst I'm still going to use this space to talk about the books I've loved, I'm going to start integrating other aspects, they might very well change each month, to remind me of where I was at throughout the year.


I'm trying to do the 50 books challenge again this year - after my very unsuccessful attempt last year. I've deleted Goodreads because I never really used it properly, so instead I'm tracking my books in my bullet journal (there will be a post about my journal at some point in the near(ish) future once I'm settled into it).

I've read four books (almost) this month - two fiction and two non-fiction.

Thanks to my sister for being the disembodied arm holding these books.

1) 1984 - George Orwell. This is a book that's been on my 'to read' pile for donkey's years now, and I actually bought it for my Dad for his birthday a couple of years ago. For those who don't know, this is basically the original dystopian. I really enjoyed this book - its a really easy read for a modern classic, and if you enjoyed things like 'The Hunger Games' and 'The Maze Runner' this is a good leap into the adult fiction version of dystopian novels.

I love the cover of this book; there are so many great 1984 covers out there!

2) Bad Feminist, Essays - Roxane Gay. I started reading this book way back in the middle of 2015, but at one point or another I put it down and never picked it back up again. I have somewhat mixed feelings about this collection of essays, but it was certainly an interesting perspective. Gay is a black American woman who has been sexually assaulted in her past, so her view of the world (and the way the world views her) is completely different from my own. In places I felt like the essays could have done with another edit just to tighten them up a bit, and some of them I felt could have been cut altogether as they repeated points already mentioned, but on the whole I enjoyed reading this book.

3) Purple Hibiscus - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I have now officially finished reading all the novels Adichie has published, so you could say that I'm a bit of a fan. Set in Nigeria, this novel is a coming of age about a young girl living in a very strictly Catholic family. Sometimes painful to read, Adichie's writing is vivid and beautiful, and I feel like I'm learning a lot more about Nigerian history and culture from reading her books.

I had to hold this book at an odd angle because the cover reflected the entire window!

4) Inside Team Sky - David Walsh. I'm actually just over 3/4 of the way through this book at the time of writing, but by the time you read this post I should have finished. Following Team Sky cycling team during their 2013 Tour de France, Walsh is the journalist who uncovered Armstrong and is trying to confirm his beliefs that Sky are a clean team. As you know, I'm a big cycling fan, but even for me some of the names go over my head! If you are interested in cycling, though, its a fascinating insight into how the teams operate.


This was the month of Dirty perfume. I picked it up from Lush Oxford Street when I was there over New Years, and I've literally worn it everyday since. It's a really fresh and herbal scent - a minty rosemary, if that makes any sense. I love how clean it smells, and I can see myself continuing to wear it non-stop for the foreseeable future. I might even invest in the smaller size to use on the go!

A photo posted by Vicki Maitland (@vickimaitland) on 


One of my friends Maddie hosts a podcast called 'The Late Night Tea Party', and I've been discovering some excellent music thanks to her, as well as reminding myself of artists I used to listen to whilst studying last year.


This was the month of booking. I booked my first hair cut in a proper salon (and loved the results). I also booked my holiday to South Africa, including all the internal flights and 90% of the accommodation. To say I'm excited is an understatement.

This was also the month that I moved into the marketing office at work. I'm a copy writer for the UK's largest fishing tackle company, and whilst it's certainly not thrilling it's excellent experience.

Finally, this was the month that I stuck to my New Years Resolutions. I've been doing well at running a couple of times a week and keeping my bed made, which is a shamefully big thing for 21 year old me to admit to!

So, as always, stay sunny


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