My favourite books list. 


Books are life, and life is books. These are my list of my favourite books:

  • The diary of Anne Frank.
  • Searching For Grace Kelly.
  • Dreaming in French by Alice Kaplan.
  • Mad Girl By Bryony Gordon.
  • Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig.
  • Pain, parties, work; Sylvia Plath in New York, 1953 by Elizabeth Winder.
  • Ariel by Sylvia Plath.
  • The Big Life by Ann Shoket.
  • First woman by Kate Brower.
  • Dear Pussycat by Helen Gurley Brown.
  • We are all made of stars by Rowan Coleman.
  • The book thief.
  • Reading Jackie by William Kuhn.
  • The Help.
  • The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult.
  • Sherlock Holmes.
  • House Rules by Jodi Picoult.
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.
  • The Summer Of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman.
  • Deathless.

What are your favourite books?

Lydia

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2016 hasn’t been all that bad. Here’s why..

In chatting with a friend, we both agreed that 2016 has been a pretty awful year, for so many reasons; politically, socially, and various other ways. I wanted to write this blog post, almost as a way to say “but this, and this happened…”, disputing the awful doom and gloom tone of conversation. So, basically, here’s why 2016 isn’t as bad as it seems. I also wanted to write my own, personal version, having seen another version kicking around on news websites. 
*Some of these have been inspired by friends, and do not necessarily reflect my personal views.

  1. Leonardo DiCaprio finally got an Oscar. Says it all, really. I really enjoyed watching the clip on receiving.
  2. Ghoustbusters-the remake-was released. Although it was a little bit divisive-for all sorts of reasons-you can’t deny that the script was excellent, with great gags, and intertextual references.
  3. Britain got its second female Prime Minister! (You can disagree with Theresa May’s policies, but to succeed in a male-dominated career sphere, I find this rather admirable.)
  4. Messenger Of The Gods was released. The new Freddie Mercury box set, complete with a few unreleased recorded gems, prior to his success with Queen. (If anyone is thinking of a Christmas present for me, I would love this!)
  5. Phil Collins has made a sort of comeback, complete with biography and concerts for next year. I never got to see Genesis in their heyday-but I do enjoy a bit of We Can’t Dance, as well as the single That’s All. It’s a catchy tune, currently stuck in my head.
  6. Netflix. We all have our personal favourites..
  7. Looking to the recent US Election now; love her or hate her, Hilary Clinton has had a historical impact on American Politics. Same as her opponent, but that’s another story and angle.
  8. Rio Olympics. 
  9. The gene for ALS has been found, partially because of the Ice Bucket Challenge. I saw this on the other list, as mentioned in the opening paragraph, but I felt it was worthwhile mentioning again. Sometimes silly things seemingly help the serious parts of life. And I am all for it.
  10. Finding Dory. FINDING DORY! I can still recall watching the original Finding Nemo. And I loved the trip down memory lane.
  11. Deadpool. A new style of sadistic, but ultimately funny, film genre. What should it even be classed as? Anyway, I can’t wait to see the sequel.
  12. Lissie and My Wild West. This album I have had on all year, basically. It’s really good. And I really would like to see her in concert in December.
  13. Anastacia on Strictly Come Dancing. Although she came across as a little divisive, in terms of injury preventing a dance off, she made a campaign for giving her fee to a breast cancer charity. She also promoted atheism charity endlessly. Now that’s a great human being.
  14. There’s a new version of Sylvia Plath’s letters in the works. Surely this has got to be a good thing?
  15. Emeli Sande has a new album. And it has quite an edge to it.
  16. There’s an album specifically designed for cats. Yes, really.
  17. Lesley Ann Jones wrote the massive tour de force biography of David Bowie. She had known him seemingly as a friend, making a fitting tribute.
  18. Highlander turned thirty this year. And it was restored. And it’s stunning.
  19. Raised By Wolves may have been cancelled, but there’s a kickstarter campaign aiming at rebooting it. That’s such a good idea, I just hope it works out, after all.
  20. Jodi Picoult has written Small Great Things. And, in my estimation, this has got to be one of the best books this year.
  21. Boys In The Trees is now out in Paperback. 
  22. There’s endless speculation about Sephora coming back to the UK. Who knows?
  23. Instagram and its filters.
  24. Drumroll please….Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. Who wants to come and see this with me? (Just kidding..)
  25. We have people like Gala Darling. And Radical Self Love! She has also written a book of the same title. 
  26. There’s a delicious brand of sweets called Candy Kittens.
  27. The Good Ship Benefit.
  28. Jessie Burtons The Muse was published.
  29. The Fall came to an end. What a great series.
  30. Alfie Boe and Michael Ball collaborated on an album.

What has made 2016 a good year for you?

Lydia

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QUEX Anticipation. Here’s What I wish To See.

Last year, I was lucky enough to see Queen Extravaganza in concert; to put it bluntly, the official tribute band is immensely stunning. Pure brilliance. 

This year, they are returning with A Nght At The Opera and Greatest Hits. For somebody who’s never got to see Queenin their heyday, this is something I’m really excited to be seeing, latterly reviewing. This is what I would like to see at the Hammersmith Odeon performance:

1. More from Drummer Tyler Warren.

Last year, I couldn’t help but think he was a little bit confined to behind his huge drum kit. From an interview coming soon, I want to see more of what he articulates, to be on stage. And that falsetto…

2. A gritty Another One Bites The Dust.

This was Queen’s best selling single. But when performed live, I like the rhythm to be quite fast, less stilted, with very raw vocals, and less guitar. Just my preference, or am I being overly picky?! (On second thoughts, don’t answer that one..)

3. Bicycle Race live.

Why? Because I haven’t seen it live, apart from when I saw Queen and Adam Lambert last year. I want to see it performed in an old venue, complete with auidence participation, lights, the full works. Will there be literal bikes? Probably not, in my estimation.

4. Let Me Entertain You live.

And no, not the Robbie Williams song. This was on the Jazz album, and it’s the pure embodiment of a hedonistic Rock lifestyle. As I’ve already said, I never got to see Queenin their heyday, but this is one of my favourite songs. Though it’s not a greatest hit, I would love to see this. After all, Hammersmith Odeon seems ideal for that sort of song. The Rock Montreal version is epic.

5. General chat between songs.

Yeah, this isn’t something typically associated with Rock concerts. But this is truly what I think should be a fixture in all concerts, just to lend it a little bit of fluency. It also doesn’t make such an event to be an all out intimidating thing…

What do you look for at a concert?

Lydia

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10 Things I love About Autumn. Because who doesn’t?!

Probably, over the past few years, my favourite season has changed to Autumn. I like it more than winter, the mainly doom and gloom months of where I live. Autumn I have come to love, for various reasons:

  1. You can combine wearing what counts as a sunmer dress, with thick tights. (I majorly prefer this, than trousers and thick jumpers, bundled all in! 😂)
  2. Halloween! One night a year to dress up with emphasis on the eccentric, to scary yourself witless. What’s not to love?
  3. Cinema nights in. With chocolate. And a decent film. 
  4. I like to observe bonfire night’s, complete with loud fireworks, from my bedroom window. I dislike the sound, but they are so proud.
  5. There’s usually a lot of New books that are out, I’m the run up to Christmas. For a reader like me, that’s ideal. I can spend time pouring over a new plot…
  6. The Fall, season Three!
  7. Netflix. Obviously.
  8. There are a lot of events, primarily to do with blogging, at this time of year.
  9. Blogtober. 
  10. Hot soup on a rainy day.

What do you live about Autumn?

Lydia

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My favorite apps. Because we’re all obsessed with technology, right?

So, as I write this, it’s late, and I really want to go to sleep. You can probably blame my phone for this: I feel a compulsion to blog, for just one more post… It seemed fitting, therefore, to show you my favorite apps. Thrifty Vintage Fashion partially inspired this; go and read the blog, so much better than mine. Anyway..

Blackplayer.

Blackplayer is a free music app, that’s not subscription based. I already had my tunes, why pay again? There’s largely female artists, such as Anastacia, Carly Simon and Lissie, though I do love a little bit of Queen and Phillipa Hanna. It also has a playlist section and artists biographies. What’s not to like?

Facebook.

I have a blog, that’s almost continually updating. This serves as insparation, really. I also have it linked to Messanger.

Instagram.

I love to look at what other brands are doing, and it’s also a database of contacts that I’m slowly building.

WordPress.

Blogging on the go people, on the go!

Twitter.

This is my main point of contact, as I just find it far easier than Facebook or Instagram. Besides, it also seems far politer.

I am also a bit obsessed with Election Day; racing to be President. Not long until Election Day!

What apps do you have on your phone?

Lydia

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My bucket list: here’s what I want to achieve.

Bucket lists..love them, hate them, they essentially are goals set over a certain amount of time you wish to achieve. These are long term goals that I wish to achieve, and what currently reside in my Filofax:

  • Meet and/or interview Carly Simon.
  • Visit Holland for a week.
  • Be a reporter.
  • Write an article for Blogosphere magazine.
  • Publish a book.
  • Learn to cook a curry.
  • Get married.
  • Meet Hilary Clinton.
  • Take part in a flash mob.
  • Learn a full Sylvia Plath poem.
  • Qualify on the NTCJ course.
  • Read Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon.
  • Interview Brian May.
  • Cook a complex three course meal.
  • Visit the JFK library for research.
  • Have at least a thousand hits.
  • Sell a literal book to make money.
  • Attend many concerts.
  • See Alison Moyet live. 
  • Have an award from Royalty.
  • See an imperial Russia exhibit.
  • Design my own stationery.
  • Interview Alfie Boe. 
  • Sing live on stage.
  • Become a national columnist.
  • Write a poetry book.
  • Learn Dutch.
  • Be able in Shorthand.
  • Play pingpong for an hour.
  • Make a mixtape.
  • Interview Caitlin Moran.
  • Sustain a pot plant.
  • Watch The Entity.
  • Learn a passage from the Diary Of Anne Frank.
  • Read the critical edition.
  • Sing a Carly Simon song fully.
  • Listen to Serinita.
  • Cook a roast.
  • A week of no sugar and meat!
  • Meet a drummer.
  • Take part in an acapella group.
  • Read Everyday Sexism.
  • Type a poem.
  • Watch Race.
  • Lie peacefully in a Bostonian beach.
  • Visit Plath’s hometown.
  • Buy myself a diamond ring.
  • Always vote.
  • Serve politically.
  • Have a spa day.

What are your ambitions?

Lydia

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30 Things to do in Autumn.

If ever you look over at Gala Darling’s website, there’s always a list of things to do in accordance to season. This is my version, and what I’m challenging myself to do.

  1. Try a pumpkin spiced latte. I don’t drink coffee, but the obsession with this has me intruged.
  2. Organise a guest post week. (In the making as I write this!)
  3. Make a collage of leaves, like I used to do as a kid. And they have to be all shades of the season..
  4. Cinema night!
  5. Wear red nails for at least a week.
  6. Go through a box set, complete with blankets and cider, cushions and chocolate.
  7. Sing a song loudly.
  8. Take photos of the changing season in a park, including motion shots. 
  9. Write poetry to somebody.
  10. Keep up a correspondence. 
  11. Crochet myself a scarf.
  12. Compile a seasonal playlist to listen to everywhere.
  13. Take a break from blogging!
  14. Meet an old friend for coffee, just as a catch up.
  15. Try a new perfume.
  16. Walk along the sea front, despite the obvious biting cold. Smiling.
  17. Have a soup for dinner.
  18. Read an old childrens book. Fantastic Mr Fox, anyone?
  19. Shop for boots. H&M, here I come!
  20. Watch a film by myself.
  21. Decide on a favorite emoji.
  22. Write a song.
  23. Complete a time capsule to be opened when I’m in my mid twenties.
  24. Create a lip sync video.
  25. Learn a passage of my favorite book.
  26. Quote a poem.
  27. Wear a matte lipstick.
  28. Try false eyelashes.
  29. Organise a party.
  30. Be thankful.

Do you have anything else for this list?

Lydia

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