Why hello and happy Thursday to you all. You may have noticed that there's been no book club review this month because I didn't finish the book. Yeah, about that. Life got in the way, assignments got in the way, I've been reading other things basically. I'm a serial reader or something like that. My bad. Anyway, I still wanted to talk about books and things today so I thought I'd give you a little overview of September's book, well what I've read so far anyway as well as the details on October's books...
So September's book was The Lonely City by Olivia Laing. It documents her experiences in New York City and discusses introvertedness, being comfortable in your own company and art among other things. It's beautifully written and while I've not given it much time yet, I've read about fifty pages or so, I am really enjoying what I have read so far. My aim is to finish this by the time I do my next book club post so I'll talk more deeply on it then. If you're like me though and are just as happy spending time by yourself or have ever adventured around a big city on your lonesome then I think you will really relate to and connect with this book.
Next month is October, how/why/when?! In seriousness, October is so close which means Christmas and Summer are even closer. Instead of freaking out, let us celebrate those two joyous things. Anyway, enough reminiscence, October's books are by two amazing women and storytellers. First up we have Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson. I've already read this. Waiting to read it was like being told you can't touch the biscuits that are fresh out of the oven. Painful and far too tempting. I loved it and am going to be re-reading it again very soon so I can do a more insightful review for you all. Secondly we have milk and honey by Rupi Kaur which is very popular among bookstagrammers and reading enthusiasts in general at the moment. It is split into four sections; each being intertwined with thoughts, poetry, ideas and illustrations. It's an incredibly powerful, emotional read. I've found myself getting quite overwhelmed with emotion and memories reading this. There's a lot of dog-eared pages and underlined passages. I'm not quite finished this as I am savouring it but again it is going to be getting high-praise around these parts next month.
-If you're taking part in my book club next month, let me know. The more the merrier! If you've read any of these books, let us know what you think of them in the comments too. It's always interesting to hear everyone's insights on books, especially the more personal ones like these.
If you're a bit of a beauty enthusiast, you will have heard of COLAB and their haircare products, made famous by the British beauty blogging community and of course their ambassador, Ruth Crilly aka A Model Recommends. It's taken a little while but the brand is finally available in New Zealand. *insert confetti, sparkles and streamers here* I was offered the opportunity to try some of COLAB's products and jumped at the chance. Dry shampoo is my jam as I'm sure you all know. My lack of enthusiasm for hair-washing is well documented around these parts. COLAB had me at Sheer+Invisible and the range of enticing scents, inspired by different cities. As it is still very early days, I thought I'd share my first impressions and musings about the two products I have tried...
COLAB Sheer+Invisible Monaco*-Having dark hair, I want dry shampoo that doesn't look like I've run flour through my hair and called it a day, so the idea of a sheer and invisible dry shampoo was always going to get my stamp of approval. The Monaco fragrance contains top notes of; lemon, bergamot, seaweed, driftwood and cardamom, heart notes of; neroli, petitgrain and mandarin and base notes of; amber, musk, vetiver and oak. I wish this was a body spray or something as well because it smells divine. As for its sheer+invisible qualities, it literally is undetectable in the hair, even before you brush it through. It definitely had my third-day hair looking a lot more refreshed too.
COLAB Volume London*-As well as the Sheer+Invisible offerings, COLAB have bought their range of Volume dry shampoos to NZ as well. I opted for this in the London fragrance which contains top notes of; bergamot and rose, heart notes of; rose, violet, magnolia and jasmine and base notes of; wood, amber and musk. The volume formula adds a bit of texture and body to the hair, without taking things overboard. It's a little less lightweight than the Sheer+Invisible but it still isn't weighty by any means. I love the mini size of this one too, it's perfect for travel.
COLAB's dry shampoos are available from select stockists in New Zealand now. To find your nearest supplier, call 0508 734 466
September's almost been and gone, and for once I'm rather decisive with my monthly favourites. There's a book and mascara that everyone's loving, a movie that's taken me far too long to watch and a couple of new and old beauty loves...
Too Faced Hangover Primer-The primer I usually use, Hourglass's Veil didn't seem to be gelling well with my skin, or at least not the foundations I paired it with so I've gone back to this primer and love it. Despite this primer feeling quite hydrating and maybe better suited to drier skin types, my combination skin loves it. It adds a little bit of glow without making me look shiny and helps to keep my matte foundation looking flawless+intact. I've nearly run out of this and I will definitely be making a point of repurchasing it in Australia.
YSL Lip Vinyls*-These are what I'd call an introduction to the liquid lipstick. They have the silky feeling of a gloss, combined with the staying power of a much more matte lipstick. They're so comfortable to wear on the lips and the colours are gorgeous. I have a vibrant pink but also a more peachy nude and they're both so pretty. I've had one, or sometimes both in my handbag all month.
Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Drama Mascara*-In honesty I am usually not the biggest fan of Maybelline's mascaras. They're good, but not amazing. That being said, I am loving their newest addition to the Falsies range. It gives your lashes a curl and makes them look thicker and fuller. I've seen this applied on people who have sparser eyelashes than I do and it makes theirs look amazing as well. This one's worth the hype if you're hunting down a wallet-friendly mascara.
Nowhere Boy-I am obsessed with this movie. In fact, it's hands-down one of the best movies I have seen this year. Nowhere Boy reveals just what made John Lennon who he was. We find out about his teenaged years, his struggles in school, his relationship with his Aunt Mimi and also his estranged mother Julia. We're introduced to his love of art and music, as well as the early formation of The Quarry Men who would go on to become The Beatles. The story is compelling and visually stunning as well. I loved the soundtrack+costuming too. It was brilliant.
The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer*-Right at the beginning of the month I said to not be surprised if this ends up being my book of the month. It actually had some competition, in the form of this but in the end Amy's book really stood out and needs to be discussed. For a comedian's memoir I was expecting to laugh out loud, that I did. However I also cried in parts, books make me emotional okay? It made me think and it also increased my appreciation+love for Amy Schumer. Her chapter on women's magazines and the unrealistic images we are presented from the media in general really resonated with me. Emma touches on this more in her review. I also really related with her chapter on introverted behaviour and I'm glad she wrote on this. Being shy and preferring one's own company definitely isn't as taboo as some other topics but I think it's fantastic that Amy is helping to normalise it. This book's worth all the hype it's getting. Read it. Devour it. Buy everyone a copy for Christmas.
-What have you loved during September?
The Internet can be a bit like the high school cafeteria in many ways, both good and bad. One of its amazing abilities is its tendency to unite likeminded people, sharing common interests and beliefs. We might not always find our people in high school but we more often than not will find them online. Readers and literary enthusiasts can now find their place online too in digital book clubs. Here's some I recommend you cast your eyes over...
Between Two Books-This is one of my favourite online book clubs, and it was established by Florence and the Machine fans. They discovered Florence shared a love for literature and now she recommends the books, along with some of her friends every few months. They have a Facebook page and closed group for discussions but you can also find them here. Some of my favourite books have been past recommendations from the club; The Goldfinch, Not That Kind Of Girl and Just Kids, among others. At the moment they are reading salt and bone which are frustratingly a bit harder to track down but if you can get hold of copies you should.
Austentatious Book Club-Zoe aka readbyzoe established this Jane Austen book club a couple of months ago and already it is brimming with enthusiastic readers. At the moment there are books assigned through to January so if you want to join in you can get organised and obtain the books in advance. Last month they read Pride and Prejudice and they are currently reading Persuasion. I skim-read Persuasion back in Year 13, in fact it's probably not fair to say I skim read it because I remember nothing. I'm reading Pride and Prejudice right now and liking it so far, it's easier to read than I expected which is a bonus.
The Feminist Orchestra Book Club-Jean's book club is another of my favourites and has unearthed some books for me that I might not have read otherwise. I Call Myself A Feminist and Take it as a Compliment in particular are worth reading. The Feminist Orchestra is another one that sets out their books in advance and have assigned books through to the end of the year. While I don't think I'm going to get around to participating in all of the reads, I will definitely be picking up December's book.
Rookie Mag-So this is not strictly a book club but given Rookie post anywhere between 2-3 book posts per month I had to include them. They recommend a range of texts, including plays, diaries and of course the novel. A wide range of themes are often covered too so while you may not always find something to take your interest in their posts, one on sci-fi reads didn't interest me whatsoever, there's plenty of others in the archives. Some of the Rookie interviews that they conduct are great ways to find out about reading material too.
-Are you in any online/offline book clubs? Which ones do you partake in+recommend?
If you read my July post, you'll know I bought myself the August Paper Gang box as well. This was before I knew what the theme was, which in this case was marbled. My second box arrived a lot faster than box one. From memory it was just under a week after it was despatched so that was a bonus. In honesty I wasn't going to do this post because I was a bit disappointed by the sparse contents of August's box but at the same time it gives you an honest look at what was inside...
As you can see, August's box only contained four items. Four. I was surprised at how few things were included to be honest. In saying that, with the exception of the calendar page I was mostly satisfied with the contents. The main item this month was the hardback, marbled notebook with rose gold detailing. You can't see from this picture but the pages actually have rose gold edging which is actually really freakin' pretty. I love it. This notebook's lined too so I will definitely find a use for it. We also received some copper washi tape which I love and will definitely use. I did have a roll of copper tape and used it all up so this one will meet a similar fate. Lastly there was another card which I will definitely use and the September calendar page. The calendar pages are the least useful for me and I imagine perhaps other people too. Unless they were doing a calendar page with every box from the beginning of the year, I'm not entirely sure.
Overall I was a bit disappointed with the August box. It wasn't terrible by any means, it just wasn't amazing and I didn't feel like I was getting my money's worth. I think if you want a decent stationery themed subscription box, you're better off going for something like Happy Mail which, while expensive is usually much better value for money. Their cards are always beautifully designed too.
-Have you signed up to a stationery subscription box before? What did you think of it?