Five Things: September

Five Things: September

So I got to the middle of last week and was scribbling out blog ideas and things I want to write when I realised, two weeks into September and I'd not yet compiled my five things of note for the month. Mercury reentered retrograde, Spring blooms suddenly vanished. I one hundred percent felt like any sense of togetherness had left the building. Ok, heavy sarcasm aside, these posts are among my favourite to compile and put together. The fact I forgot probably says more about how my focus has been elsewhere I guess. Writing in general has fallen to the wayside, which really needs rectifying. Anyway, five things for September incoming...

Poukahangatas x Tayi Tibble: Honestly, the synopsis over on the Victoria University Press page linked sums up this book far better than I ever could. Pop culture, identity, culture all told through a fresh, raw and real lens. I'm not sure how I can write on this cohesively without sounding like a fangirl but I love Tayi's work. If you can get ahold of this book, you absolutely should. 

#ihavethisthingwithearrings: I've admired Emily Green's pieces from afar for a while so when I came across them in person at the beginning of the month, well, I got excited. Seriously-It took me a while to choose a pair because I wanted all of them. Anyway, I opted for these drop earrings. Photos don't do them justice. They are stunning and I'm going to get so much wear out of them in the coming months. 

Red Magazine: Shout out to Liv for bringing this brilliant magazine to my attention. The issue above is extra special actually because Liv is featured in its pages. Yay for internet pals doing awesome things. Anyway, Red is a women's lifestyle magazine but with a healthy dose of fashion, literature, inspiring women and brilliantly written articles. You all know I'm a bit of a Dolly Alderton fangirl. Well, she is one of their monthly columnists. I love that they seem to feature a hefty dose of books each month too, rather than the odd scattered paragraph. It's a lovely lil' all-rounder.

Feminists Don't Wear Pink / Podcast: I've been lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of the book, accompanying this podcast and it's brilliant. I'm not here to talk about the book today though. Scarlett Curtis, the brainchild behind Feminists Don't Wear Pink set her first podcast episode live earlier in the week. It's a brilliant banter-fest with her best friend, who just so happens to be Saoirse Ronan. Saoirse is also the author of the debut essay in the book which is brilliant and they talk more about it here. I'm looking forward to the upcoming episodes, especially Jameela Jamil's. She is slaying the Internet at the moment. 

Sharing Without Pressure: When Pandora spoke about this story on a previous episode of The High Low I immediately headed to Man Repeller to stake it out. Whilst my curiosity was premature, my anticipation was justifiable. I've been mulling over the ideas of sharing whatever the hell I fancy and not caring about who is double tapping their screen as a means of acknowledgement. Here's an extract from Pandora's piece which really speaks volumes: 

"In order to thrive, I have to subscribe to the belief that I do not owe everyone, everything...I am withholding, I am not withdrawing. Just as I am not sharing all of the bad stuff, I am also not sharing all of the good stuff. The best stuff. I don't want to curate a shiny, social-media version of my life...I also don't want to write long, broken narratives about various issues I face because I do not want to invite conversation into what I am still figuring out. It's delicate. It's fragile. It's mine."

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The Melbourne Book Buys

The Melbourne Book Buys

Well, well. I knew I'd no doubt traipse the well-shelved bookstores of Melbourne* and leave with a few treasures. I don't know what it is about Melbourne but they have some well curated bookstores and each seem to bring different things to the metaphorical table. I did a poll on my Instagram stories and people seemed rather curious to know what books I came home with on my travels so here you go. I've actually already read 2/6 because they're all on the shorter side of things so you'll get a couple of mini reviews too. Aren't you #blessed? Anyway, books...

transit x rachel cusk: I've been reading Outline, the first in Cusk's trilogy and love the conversational style and the way dialogue pushes the story forward. It is written in a beautiful, fluid way as well so when I saw Cusk's books on a table at the Melbourne Writers Fest I had to whisk book two away. It'd be rude not to. 

300 arguments x sarah manguso: One of the indie bookstores I discovered on this trip was Hill of Content. Upstairs they had an amazing essay selection and it was here that I stumbled upon Sarah Manguso. 300 Arguments isn't really your typical essay collection but rather a steady stream of consciousness. It jumped off the shelves to me because I've toyed with the idea of writing like this and wanted to see how it reads, quite literally. I loved it. If you don't like books that challenge the formulaic structure of writing then it won't be for you. It's short and sweet but reflective too and I love that it puts a new twist on the traditional essay.

bone x yrsa daley-ward: A book I have wanted to own for the longest time and it does not disappoint. In fact, this may well be one of my new favourite poetry volumes. The fact Florence Welch sung its praises obviously helped but seriously, her writing is beautiful and refreshing. I really want to read her memoir, the terrible asap.

she must be mad x charly cox: Another book of poetry, this came highly recommended to me by the lovely Sandrine and she has top notch recommendations. That and I heard an amazing episode of Emma Gannon's podcast with Charly and it enticed me further. I'm saving this to read because honestly I am in and out of enough book as is right now. 

mayhem: a memoir x sigrid rausing: This has been on my wishlist for an age now and I got it so I can finally read it. That and I want to pass it on to one of my friends when I am done so we can discuss it further. I know this isn't going to be an easy read but in my opinion, difficult books can often be the most rewarding. 

on doubt x leigh sales: Another essay, this time a look at doubt and the media and journalism. It also considers Australian and US poliics among other things. I'm not selling this book well but the premise really grabbed me and I am enjoying it so far.

-what books have you grabbed lately?

*Oh yeah, PSA-In case Instagram didn't make it clear enough-I spent six days in Melbourne at the end of August+beginning of September and it was amazing, I had such a good time, solo trips w/ a smattering of company are the best and I am a huge advocate for traveling alone and just running with it.

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Winter Favourites

Winter Favourites

Winter certainly seems to be almost on the backburner here in Auckland. While I love donning coats and any excuse for multiple blankets, I will not miss the cold. Winter isn't all bleak and this season, I've found a bunch of new favourite things. From stationery to fashion, podcasts and writing...

High As Hope: I couldn't not mention this album, Florence and the Machine's fourth. I feel like fourth albums seem to generate a varied response from fans. High As Hope easily feels like Florence's most candid yet. Every song is well considered yet intimate. My favourite, favourite track is still Patricia, written for Patti Smith. It gets me every time. I also love 100 Years and South London Forever but the whole album is a beaut. It's barely left my car stereo, yes I am that level of old school, since its release at the end of June. 

Olivia Laing's Writing: The Lonely City has sat on my shelves for a while, I remember trying to read it years ago and I don't know if I just wasn't patient or appreciative enough but I couldn't get into it. Flash forward a couple of years and I love her work. So far I've finished Crudo, her novel set in 2017 that naturally feels incredibly real yet personal at the same time. I've been thinking how best to articulate why I love Laing's words so much, wish me luck here. I feel like as well as writing incredibly personally, she also has a universality to her words as well. I don't mean that in a, cult book you'll see everyone reading almost ironically on public transport. What I mean is those who do choose to read her work will more than likely notice some glimmers of resonance among the pages. I'm still slowly making my way through The Lonely City and it's more than likely going to come away with me on my travels soon. I also have The Trip To Echo Spring sitting on my shelves as well. 

How To Fail w/ Elizabeth Day: Whenever anyone catches me listening to this podcast they usually give me questioning glances and want to know why. My response usually is to read the description and then realise I am not indulging in a series of bleak listening sessions. How to Fail essentially explores what hasn't gone right for people and how that in turn is cause for celebration and a chance to succeed better. My favourite episodes so far have been with Dolly Alderton, Olivia Laing and Phoebe Waller-Bridge but I highly recommend giving this a listen. 

The navy Moleskine: To know me is to know Moleskines are probably my all-time favourite notebooks. I have been using them for years, ever since discovering I could use my student discount to buy them cheaply from an art supply store here in Auckland. They were my tutorial notebook of choice, travel diaries, to-do style notebooks, heck I even used to use one way back to write out blog posts by hand first. It's only in the last year really that I have started using them again and I recently treated myself to one of their softcover, leather navy gems. My only gripe is NZ isn't the best place to find the variety of colours, styles etc so I am hoping I find some newbies when I am in Melbourne.

father rabbit's card selection: Ok so I rarely venture to the Jervois Rd side of Auckland, which is probably a good thing because I'd buy all the cards from Father Rabbit. So many gems guys! Their in-house range of floral illustrations is beautiful, but they are also home to Hotel Magique. The latter, a brand Liv bought to my attention. They also have gorgeous tags, wrapping paper and beautifully selected gifts. Well worth a visit pre or post-brunching from Dear Jervois. I highly recommend the smashed avo with smoked salmon. Such a good time. 

Loafers: Hi, my name is Sophie and I have this thing with loafers. I blame Alexa Chung for this. Yeah it's naturally all her fault. Ahem, I also blame Gucci for the revival and sudden reappearance of these classic, comfortable, stunning shoes. Anyway, these have been my Winter shoes of choice and I love them. Do I want more? Absolutely. Do I need to get out of my shoe comfort zone? Absolutely. Will I? Stay tuned...

-What have you been loving this Winter?

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Women & Their Books: Madeleine Walker

Women & Their Books: Madeleine Walker

It kinda sorta maybe blows my mind that it is now August and it's time for another brilliant lady to take over Women and Their Books. This month, we're keeping it local and I'm stoked she was keen to be featured. Madeleine Walker is the brainchild behind The Twenties Club, source of inspiration, laugh-out-loud funny stories, payday treats and much more. It's one of the few websites I still frequent daily to see if there's new stories to peruse and I know a lot of my girlfriends feel the same way. We can't get enough of it. Today Maddy will be sharing some insights on the books that have shaped her. Enjoy, and as always, if you want to nominate someone to be featured here let me know...

What are you currently reading?

-I Feel Bad About My Neck x Nora Ephron. I've felt guilty about not reading it earlier because I knew that I would love it. So far it has lived up to my expectations!

What is your most read book?

-I'm not sure if this is embarrassing or not, but Looking For Alaska x John Green. I've read it approximately eight times. I went through a stage where I would read it every Summer. Before that book I never enjoyed reading. I've also read Too Much & Not The Mood x Durga Chew-Bose a few times since first reading it last year, it's covered in my scribbles and underlines and notes, and I know that I will come back to it time and time again throughout my twenties. 

What is your favourite book by a female author and why?

-It's a tie between Too Much & Not The Mood x Durga Chew-Bose and Everything I Know About Love x Dolly Alderton. Durga and Dolly make me proud to be a woman. 

Is there a book you wish you had written?

-Anything by Zadie Smith, Nora Ephron, Dolly Alderton or Durga Chew-Bose. Any time a female writer talks about the female experience in all its complexities and ugly truths it viscerally affects me and lingers with me for days. That's all a writer could ever hope to achieve.

If you were going to write your own book, what would it be about?

-I actually have something that I often think about writing, but I will keep those cards close to my chest for a little longer. For now it resides in the Notes of my iPhone.

Finally, what books are currently on your wishlist?

-I need to finish Feel Free x Zadie Smith which is a collection of some of her most famous essays. I started it, but because Zadie is so intelligent and articulate it's quite dense and time-consuming and I'm not nearly intelligent enough to finish that book in a single sitting. I also want to read Can You Tolerate This? x Ashleigh Young.

Be sure to give The Twenties Club a peruse, subscribe to the newsletter and check out Madeleine's Instagram while you are there too. 

-All images c/o The Twenties Club, shot by Holly Burgess. 
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Words that Resonate

Words that Resonate

Words are such a powerful thing. I know we say actions speak louder than words but how true is that really? I think words are equally, if not more powerful. Lately I have taken to underlining passages I love in my books-and adding further inscriptions along the way. I also write down page numbers to go back to and find myself writing out extracts of words, conversations or ideas that resonate in my diary more often than not. You get it-words hold lasting impacts and meaning. Today I thought I'd share some of my favourite words that I've been all "yass underline" or "girl, yass-write it down" over...

/ Why blue? People ask me this question often. I never know how to respond. We don't get to choose what or whom we love, I want to say. We just don't get to choose. / -Maggie Nelson, Bluets

/ Drink too much coffee and think of you often in a city where reality has long been forgotten. Are you afraid because I'm terrified? You remind me that it's such a wonderful thing to love. / -Florence Welch, Patricia

/ With your black pool eyes and your bitten lips the world is at your fingertips. / -Florence Welch, South London Forever

/ ...we go out anonymous into the insect air and all we are is the dust of colour, brief engineering of wings towards a glint of light on a blade of grass or a leaf in a summer dark. / -Ali Smith, How To Be Both

/ At some point, you have to set down the past. At some point, you have to accept that everyone was doing their best. At some point, you have to gather yourself up, and go onward into your life. / -Olivia Laing, The Trip to Echo Spring

/ Because it's true; more than the highlights, the bright events, it was in the small and the daily where she'd found life. / -Lauren Groff, Fates and Furies

/ I love people, I love them, I think as a stamp collector loves his collection. Every story, every conversation is raw material for me. / -Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

/ Hope was what separated me from the flat expanse of the rest of my life. It was like a line, a gateway that stopped me from being swallowed. / -Melissa Broder, The Pisces

*What words have inspired you lately?
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