Five Things: September

Five Things: September

Better late than never, or something? Somehow September is almost gonezo. Which is crazy. That being said, there is a lotta good new launches and reads around that demand to be shared. The rest will probably end up in my next wrap-up post...

YourShelf Podcast: Ok so I am a biased, long-distance friend but my pal Jay goes from strength to strength with his venture YourShelf. And I am proud as punch, long distance now that he has launched his brand new, bookish podcast. The first episode features Florence Welch & Rebecca Lucy Taylor of Self Esteem. It is brilliant and well worth the listen. I feel like decent book podcasts are hard to come by but this one is a gem. 

Margaret Atwood x The Gentlewoman: In case you have been living under a rock, The Testaments, the sequel to The Handmaid's Tale was released earlier in the month. More on all that soon. Well, The Gentlewoman, legends of the brilliant profile interviews that are a staple of their magazine interviewed Margaret Atwood. For their birthday issue no less. Anyway, it makes for brilliant, brilliant reading so settle in and have a peruse here

Norman Rockwell x Lana Del Rey: Blessed be the music gods and goddesses. I feel like 2019 has been spoiling us like crazy for new music. Not a bad thing and Lana's latest album is fantastic. Norman Fckn Rockwell feels like an evolution from Lust for Life and I am 100% here for it. I feel like all of Lana's albums are really distinctive and standalone yet still envelop themselves in the themes and lyricism we know and love her for; Americana, Literature, pop culture, love, sex. Standout tracks for me are: Happiness Is A Butterfly, Norman Fcking Rockwell, Venice Bitch, How To Disappear and The Next Best American Record. 

Flower Beauty: On a trip to Chemist Warehouse recently I finally had a chance to check out Flower Beauty, brainchild of Drew Barrymore. Cruelty free, luxurious makeup at an affordable price point? Yes please. I've been using and loving the Flower Pots blush and one of the pencil liners but I am keen to try more. 

Caroline Calloway: I feel like everybody has been talking about this profile and I have a lot of thoughts on it which I am slowly sifting through. There's something about Caroline Calloway that is dare I say it, admirable and extremely clever. She uses Instagram to tell stories and entice and she does it well. Heck, she even got a book deal out of it back in the day when that kind of thing was incredibly unusual. Whenever I see orchid stems now I think of her. And Matisse silhouettes. But anyway, read that essay and digest. 

-What has been on your radar this September?
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July + August Wrap Up

July + August Wrap Up

Somehow we are now in Spring as I write this and both July and August have magically slipped away. Though to be far, both July and August were rather busy times with a lot going on. Seriously, I talked through a list of all the 'stuff' that happened recently and I had to pause and be like, well yeah that is a lot. No wonder I am perpetually tired. Anyway, as is standard, here's a lil' wrap up of things I loved, the good bits of the last few months and a selection of what I read during July in August. Enjoy!

Three Things Loved

-Legally Blonde: The Musical: The local theatre company in my town put this show on in July and it was so so so good. I mean, Legally Blonde is one of my alltime favourite, feel-good films and the musical brings the same energy and fabulousness. Go see it or listen to the cast recording at the very least if you get the opportunity to.

-Lover x Taylor Swift: I bet you thought Taylor Swift's name would never grace this blog again. She lost me with the Reputation era but Lover got me back. It reminds me of classic Taylor Swift but with more optimism. I suck at writing about music sorry but I dunno, I just really like this album. 

-Derry Girls Season 2, on Netflix: I don't think I have written about Derry Girls around these parts before but I LOVE it. A brilliant, well-written, hilarious and heartwarming show set during the Troubles. Read this article. It articulates it better than I ever could. 

Five Good Things

-I got published(!!): So I was sitting on this for a while but I am so excited and smitten to be in the latest issue of Counter Journal. Bonnie and Zack invited me to write about saving the bookstores of Aotearoa for their Sustainability issue. I don't think I can get across into words how cool it was to casually flick through the magazine upon opening it and be like "Oh hey, those are my words-I did that." And I know it's probably uncool to be like I am proud of myself but you know what, I am. If you want to grab the issue to support local print+read all the awesome stories and see Bonnie's amazing design skills, head here

-From Southend to Auckland: At the end of July+beginning of August we had some family friends visit New Zealand from the UK for the first time and it was the best. I had such an amazing time with them, playing tour guide for Auckland, which of course included mandatory Duck Island on a rather chilly day because, well why not. We also went to Wellington together and then my Mum ventured with them to Rotorua for a few days. Honestly, best two weeks and it was such a treat having you ladies here, if you are reading. Come back soon-I miss you, the Whittakers will always be plentiful xx. 

-Birthday Week: August saw my birthday come and go for another year. 'Twas lovely and tbh one of the best birthdays I've had in a while. It started, pre-birthday with High Tea at Hotel De Brett. Absolutely delish if you are in Auckland, and the gin cocktails are divine. Then my birthday day was spent with our friends from England, having lunch+berry cider at Good George in Mission Bay, followed by divine cake from The Caker. And then the festivities carried on as I had a belated pasta lunch with a friend of mine. So good company, food and drink+cake. Not complaining. 

-Heather's at Academy: In Auckland we have a lil' underground cinema called Academy and they play mainly nicher films as well as classics and the odd smattering of mainstream films. Anyway, they recently had a screening of Heathers, the Winona Ryder classic. High school, dark comedy and a clique to rival the Plastics. So good. "Dear diary, my teen-angst bullshit now has a body count."  If you haven't seen it, it's well worth the watch. 

-Positive Reflection: Aka the one where I use my diary a lot more, write gratitude lists and I dunno, generally feel more optimistic. That's not to say I don't have moments when I feel more Negative Nancy than anything else but idk, lately I have just been more grateful? Maybe it's because of some of the random, unexpected life events that have happened in my life+the lives of my nearest and dearest recently. I mean, I am always overanalytical but anyway. Long story short, positive reflection is good guys!

Read in July and August

-Three Women* x Lisa Taddeo: I really want to read this again at some point because since publishing my review, I've read some interesting critiques and analysis of this book. Anyway, if you want to read my review after I finished an ARC I was sent prior to the book's release, head here

-The Great Gatsby x F Scott Fitzgerald, reread: Myself + a friend decided to read Penguin Classics, which has kinda halted since this as an aside. Anyway, this was a re-read for me as I read this around the time the Baz Luhrmann adaptation was released. I loved it. Don't get me wrong, I kinda strongly despise the characters in this book and think many of them are just absolutely shitty humans but I could wax lyrical about this for a while so I will stop. It's an easy and fascinating read. 

-Fleabag: The Script: In an effort to soothe my heartbroken soul at not seeing this gift performed live *weeps*, I ordered the script to read so I could at least enjoy its brilliance that way. I feel like the play is maybe a smidgen darker than the TV show but it is so clever and wonderful and I love Phoebe Waller-Bridge forever for writing this play and show. 

-Tatai Whetu: Seven Maori Women Poets in Translation: Another gem from Seraph Press, I grabbed this whilst I was in Wellington at the beginning of August from Unity Books. Poetry in English and also printed alongside it in Te Reo. Mirrored languages, mirrored texts. Beautiful, beautiful writing. In all honesty, it's one of my favourite volumes of New Zealand poetry that I've read in 2019. 

-How To Be Famous* x Caitlin Moran: The sequel to Caitlin's bestselling, soon to be film, How To Be Famous. This time Johanna is in London, living her best life as a music journalist for magazines. Or she thought it was her best life. This is Johanna Morrigan so of course there is wisdom but also mess-ups, humour and a touch of sadness. Though this novel isn't dark and dreary. In fact, it is really hilarious and great if you want something that is easy to immerse yourself in. 

*Review Copy

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