The Bookdate, Volume Four

The Bookdate, Volume Four

Guess who's back? After my week's break I am back and read to blog all the things. Well maybe not all, that's just a bit too overambitious. I am back for now and seriously missed blogging although if anything taking a break has reminded me that it's good to press pause every now and again. Today I have another edition of the bookdate, aka the literary speed date if you will. Admittedly I've really not read and finished a lot lately. What I have read and liked though has for the most part been brilliant. Before this intro gets any longer, let's get on with the books shall we?

Book Club: So I finally finished The Cows* by Dawn O'Porter this month. I'm not sure why it really took me so long to read this book because once I properly started it, it was very difficult to put down. I gave this 4 out of 5 stars over on Goodreads. For me, The Cows was the perfect blend of frank and funny. It covered a wide range of topics; feminism, childlessness and internet trolls to name but a few.  My only qualm with this book was the character Stella's storyline. It was just a bit too twisted and weird to be plausible. Maybe that's the whole point. In saying that her plot was wrapped up in an incredibly satisfying way. That little niggling complaint aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Another brilliant read from Dawn. 

Emma Watson's book club, Our Shared Shelf are reading The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. It's a book I've wanted to read for ages and with the new television series sending the world into a frenzy it seemed the perfect time. It's also one of my good friend's favourite books. Anyway, because I've been terrible at reading all month I'm still not very far into it but I am finding what I've read so far brilliant. Keep an eye out for an update next month.

20 Years of Harry Potter: As I type this, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was published twenty years ago. I was four, nearly five at the time and didn't read it until I was seven so it had been out in the world for two years by that point. Nonetheless, as a Harry Potter fan and someone who grew up utterly immersed in all of J.K. Rowling's magnificence today still feels very special. Last year I bought my eight year old cousin the first book and he loved it and is now reading the rest of the series. If that doesn't prove their timelessness and ability to transcend generations, in an ever-increasing digital age, I don't know what does. Happy Birthday Harry. Thanks for the magic.

Recently Read: / The Lottie Project by Jacqueline Wilson. I was recently sent Jacqueline Wilson's latest book. She's published over 100 titles now. Isn't that amazing? Anyway, for nostalgia's sake and in preparation for a post, I decided to revisit some of her titles. The Lottie Project was one of the first of her books I read and it's still just as brilliant in my nostalgically biased, rose-tinted eyes. Lottie, aka Charlotte is a schoolgirl tasked with doing a project on the Victorians. Bored by the mundane books she has to choose from, she decides to create a journal about Victorian life. She cleverly interprets events from the present day for the earlier times. I like how the journal's handwritten in Nick Sharratt's illustrative script too. So good. So nostalgic. I love it. / Moranthology by Caitlin Moran. Newcomers around here mightn't know I'm a bit obsessed with Moran's writing. Everyone else, yes I am talking about Caitlin again. Moranthology is a bind-up of Caitlin's columns covering everything from Amy Winehouse to Downton Abbey, in a rather hilarious recap or two. She introduces each column with afterthoughts which are equally as brilliant. I really hope she releases another book soon because I've only got her novel left to read and then I'll have covered everything. Send help, or new Moran-isms. 

The Wishlist: / Face Paint by Lisa Eldridge. Believe it or not I've actually not read this book. I have flicked through it though and it looks brilliant. Lisa is so knowledgeable and I have a birthday coming up so. Hint hint, family.  / Without A Doubt by Marcia Clark. I'm a bit obsessed with The People vs OJ Simpson and only have the last episode left. Much to my dismay. Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark is amazing and we all know I love memoirs so I really want to read her book about this incredibly fascinating trial. She actually writes crime novels too but it's this book in particular I'm intrigued by.  / Play It as It Lays by Joan Didion. More Didion. This time set in the sixties and shining Didion's microscopic lens on Hollywood. Like Moran, I want to read everything of Didion's and this is next on my well-established list.

-What have you read lately?

*Review copy but enthusiasm for O'Porter's words and general brilliance is all my own.
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A Life Update: June '17

A Life Update: June '17

"Take your broken heart, make it into art." -Carrie Fisher

I've been umming and ahhing over doing this post all week. Well if I'm honest, longer than a week. I considered just leaving my blog as is and returning, no explanations, nothing. While I certainly don't feel obligated to divulge every last detail of life and the like, Nana Wintour has been around for nearly six years. In that time I've taken barely any time away from blogging. Even when life has been stressful or hectic. Writing is my antidote.

That being said, a lot has been going on lately. A lot. To anyone who I know personally, offline or my Internet squad, cringe at the cheese factor there but I consider some of you as family and therefore a wider extension of my tribe, squad etc, please do not worry about me. I am okay. I will not be going into great detail here. There are definitely aspects I might write about at some stage but for now I won't be discussing it. You may have noticed this blog and my social channels have been all over the place lately. My writing in particular is taking a bit of a hit and as a result I'm being unfair on myself. Missing my own deadlines that don't really affect anybody other than myself, not taking good enough pictures in my eyes and vice versa. 

I love writing with every fibre of my being. Always have. Always will. I don't want this corner of the interwebs to suffer so for the time being I'm going to take a break. It might be a week, it could be a month. I'll be back when I'm ready. Instagram may be a bit inconsistent too but I genuinely love sharing on there so I will try to keep posting. 

Again just to reiterate, I am okay. This post is not me asking for attention and if you want to troll, please refrain because quite honestly I don't need it right now. I just felt like I owed you my readers an update.

I hope you are all great and I will be back soon! x
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New Reads: The Winter Edition

New Reads: The Winter Edition

It feels like I only just did one of these posts but when I went back to check it was a good couple of months ago. Time flies when you're blogging, apparently. Today we have a neat lil' edit of books I acquired during May and June. If you follow my @whatsophieread Instagram, you will know I'm on a bit of a book buying ban for the foreseeable future. It's getting a bit crowded at the literary inn that is my bedroom for one, that and I'm saving up for some arguably more luxe purchases. More on that another time. Anyway anyway, six books, waiting to be read and considered...

Bluets by Maggie Nelson: At this point I can't remember who exactly recommended this book but it has been on my radar for a while. Last year I read The Argonauts also by Nelson and I found it quite the experience for lack of better words. I'll be honest, I don't know a lot about this book on purpose and I'm not going to find out. What I do know to expect however is beautiful writing. 

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 20th Anniversary Edition by JK Rowling: How insane is it that it's been twenty years nearly, June 26th is the official day I believe, since this absolute treasure of a book was published? I didn't read it until 1999, I know this because I marked my name and age in the front of my well-loved copy. I read and reread and reenacted scenes with friends among other things. Harry Potter is always going to have a special place in my heart. These house editions, released by Bloomsbury are just exquisite. I prefer the paperbacks because if I'm honest, I'm not hugely fond of sprayed paper edges but the embossed covers are enough to win me over. That and it's got some special content, just for the anniversary. Oh-and it's always good to have a backup because my original copy is getting pretty battered. 

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue: I still can't bring myself to read Room. A friend of mine thinks I'll find it really sad so I decided to grab Donoghue's latest novel first. An eleven year old girl in 1850 stops eating yet somehow remains alive and well. Pitched as "a child's murder threatening to happen in slow motion before our eyes." This is very different to what I usually read but it sounds so riveting. I'm looking forward to branching out of my narrow, contemporary fiction comfort zone.

How To Be A Grown-Up by Daisy Buchanan: After seeing and hearing rave reviews of this book from the likes of Liv and Rosalind and then reading its premise, I was hooked. I've said it before that there seems to be an almost unrealistic expectation to have it all together and mapped out so to speak, the minute we graduate high school. The reality however is very few of us are that way, although that being said I know what I want to ultimately do, I just have to work to get there. Anyway, this book is essentially a comforting read designed to help us twenty-somethings negotiate what can feel like a treacherous decade. As someone who does feel the odd pang of inadequacy every now and again, I'm sure I'll love this book. Keep an eye out for my review and takeaways from it.

Abandon Me by Melissa Febos: Described as the book of the year, and another memoir. Surprise surprise. Again I deliberately don't know much about it, other than the obvious themes of abandonment. It also explores the idea of heritage and coming to terms with our roots and behavioural aspects, such as addiction that we may inherit from our parents. 

Wave Me Goodbye* by Jacqueline Wilson: Here's a nostalgic read if ever there was one. I requested a copy of Jacqueline Wilson's newest novel. I've also been re-reading some of her other books, all in the name of a blog post. Set in 1939, Shirley is sent away from her family as WW2 begins. She's billeted in the country with two boys and a reclusive guardian. This is the first book Wilson has done set in this period, I know she's done a fair few that take place during Victorian times so it'll be interesting to see what it's like and to revisit her writing. 

-Have you acquired any new books lately? I'd love to know what you're reading in the comments.

*Review copy

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The Beauty Files, Vol. Three

The Beauty Files, Vol. Three

There's certainly no shortage of beauty launches at the moment. It was made all the more clear when I was thinking about what to include in this post. Sometimes it almost feels like there's too many launches. In fact, I read an article the other day saying that MAC releases on average fifty new collections a year. A remarkable achievement for sure but one that makes me wonder if it's absolutely necessary to have that many new collections, products and vice versa on the market. I call myself a beauty blogger eh? Cynicisms aside, there are plenty of fantastic new launches around if you're feeling spendy... 

Something(s) New: Face Case* by Go-To. I'm a keen supporter of anything Zoe Foster Blake does so I was really excited to receive this through my mailbox recently. Insulting box, chocolate sleeping 'pills' and all. Silk pillowcases have a range of benefits; less static hair i.e. no more waking up looking like Hagrid, less wrinkly faces and they won't absorb your moisturiser like it's a decadent dessert. Score! I am yet to try this, as it's being saved for something special** but will keep you all updated on how it goes in silktown. Another newbie is the L'Oreal Colorista* range. Now I have to confess, I'm a bit of a scaredy cat when it comes to colours like these. I like them, but half the time I think they'll either not translate to my hair or end up looking like I've coated my head in a fluorescent pen. Irrational dye fears perhaps? Anyway, I've always wanted to add a touch of ginger to my hair so I'm hoping to try this wash-out colour very soon. I've never DIY dyed before so if anyone has any tips, leave them in the comments please.

Something Rediscovered: Exposed Blush x Tarte. In my opinion the best blush ever. It's a nude-pink that flatters my complexion like nothing else. It seems to really complement paler skin tones well but I have friends with deeper skin tones than me who can work with this colour too. I know some people think the Tarte blushers are overrated but I have no issue with them and find them really long-wearing. 

Something Unconvincing: I know one of the key things the beauty world obsesses over is solving a problem. Sometimes however I think they take things a bit too far. As is the case with these. I can't speak for the formula etc of these but I have seen them at a friend's house and they just seem unnecessary. Are women really in need of a product that essentially assumes they do not know how to apply eyeshadow? I also think the way the colours are split would end up making things messier and maybe in a sense more difficult to blend. This is just me speculating but they seem kinda pointless. 

Something(s) Lustworthy: As previously stated, there's certainly a fair few new releases around at the moment. I'm currently getting all heart-eyed over; Pillow Talk lipstick by Charlotte Tilbury. I love me a good nude and Charlotte's Matte Revolution lipsticks are one of my favourite formulas. Seriously they are so comfortable and long lasting for a matte it's kind of ridiculous, in a good way. Cloud Paint by Glossier. I'm definitely not the hugest cream blush advocate, I find them difficult to work with and oftentimes unflattering but Dusk looks absolutely exquisite. It also seems like this product leaves you a bit more time to work with it which I love as well. Now for something a bit more local, Loose Eyeshadow x Nude by Nature. Annoyingly I can't remember which of these colours I liked and this is by no means an essential, but they are cheaper than some similar products on the market and seemed pretty impressive on swatching. Don't be intimidated by the fact they're not a pressed shadow. I found on swatching that they didn't make too much of a mess and wouldn't be too difficult to work with on the lids. Lastly, less of something I'm lusting over but more a PSA. Oskia's beloved Renaissance Cleanser is now available in a larger size. Now they just need to release a mini for traveling and we'll all be set. 

-What are your current beauty go-to's?

*PR Sample

**Semi fake news/clickbait lol. 

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Five Things | June

Five Things | June

This is the one thousandth blog post. 1000 posts and now nearly five and a half years of blogging too. Time flies when you're having fun typing and photographing and everything else that goes along with blogging. Nostalgia aside, I've got a lot of love for weekly lists and just list-type blog posts in general at the moment. Whilst I'm a bit reluctant to commit to this weekly, expect to see this little round-up monthly. Without further ado, here's five things that are on my radar. Clothing, podcasts...y'know what, just scroll down and keep reading.

Alexa Chung: My all-time muse released her first collection under her own label in a church last Wednesday evening. I woke up early to watch the live-stream and it was worth it just to hear the children's choir singing Good Vibrations, yet alone the clothes. I love it all. I want to get my mitts on a lot of the items. At the moment though I am seriously lusting after the Star Loafersthis shirt which I am kindasortamaybe considering as a birthday present to me from me and these earrings. The whole collection is just brilliant and obviously I'm insanely biased but I love it and think y'all should go cast your eyes over it here.

At Home With: Podcasts are certainly still having their moment and the latest I've subscribed to and love is this gem, created by Anna  and Lily. They go inside the homes of inspiring women and talk to them about their spaces, their careers and a bit of everything really. My favourite episode so far has to be the one with Lisa Eldridge. Not only is she a kiwi expat but she's one of my absolute idols so hearing her share her wisdom was always going to be a treat. That and her home looks so dreamy. Further proof of that here

The Book Fairies in Auckland: You might've heard about The Book Fairy initiative over on Emma Watson's platforms. The gist of it is you leave a book somewhere, preferably with a sticker for someone else to find. You can personalise it and leave a handwritten note inside too as I have done. Anyway, from June 6th-17th in Auckland, the No. 1 Cafe will have its caravan turned in to a Pop-Up library. There'll be plenty of book fairy books waiting there and I'm going to be dropping some off this week too. Stop by for a coffee and a book.

The People vs. OJ Simpson: So I might just be the last person to watch this show, also known as American Crime Story. After reading Caitlyn Jenner's book recently though, in which she mentions OJ Simpson briefly I was reminded that it was something I want to watch. For sure, some of the Kardashian scenes might be fabricated but on the whole I'm finding it makes for really compelling watching. The way in which the whole circus leading up to the trial, which is where I'm up to at the moment seems to mirror what happens now in the press, albeit on a smaller scale is quite eerie. Not to mention the sexism surrounding Marcia Clark, portrayed by Sarah Paulson. Highly recommend you watch it though if you're yet to see it. It's on Netflix here in NZ.

Auckland Fair: One of my favourite events in Auckland is back for one last hurrah on June 18th. Jess Whiting has been the brainchild behind this brilliant showcase of all things handmade for the past eight years and is moving on to more exciting projects. Having been at many of the first fairs and being on the door at one back in the day at Aotea Centre, I know just how much of a labour of love it is for all involved. It'll be sad to see it go but I can't wait to see what Jess does next. I'll be there, wallet in hand to support some local makers and of course Jess. It's $6 entry and on from 10.30am-5.00pm at Shed 10 here in Auckland.

-I hope you enjoy this post! Let me know in the comments what you've been loving recently.
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