Happy March! It’s that time once again to look back on the last month’s books, favorites, adventures, and highlights. I’m just going to ignore the fact that it’s March already and spring has basically already arrived in England which means we’re getting closer to summer… but enough looking ahead! Here’s what I was up to in February!
In February I read a total of 9 books:
- Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
- The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket
- The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket
- Poetics by Aristotle
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- On Beauty by Zadie Smith
- From the Darkness Cometh the Light, or, Struggles for Freedom by Lucey Delaney
- Howards End by E.M. Forster
- The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket
I’m going to cheat and choose two favorites this month: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and On Beauty by Zadie Smith. I really enjoyed rereading The Handmaid’s Tale for the first time since high school, especially in a more academic context. Knowing the startling ending from the very beginning reframes the rest of the novel and makes so many more details stand out that I hadn’t noticed when I read it the first time. At the same time, I was thrilled to have been assigned yet another Zadie Smith novel to read, this time one with an interesting connection to Howard’s End, an early twentieth century classic by E.M. Forster. Now I just want to read everything Zadie Smith has ever written…
+ MOVIE: Definitely Lady Bird (2017), which has been nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture. My friends and I decided to go to a movie theater here in Oxford recently for the first time and we saw this incredible film. It. Was. Brilliant. This movie is hilarious and sad and heart-breaking and heart-warming and thought-provoking all at the same time. I’m a sucker when it comes to movies about families (especially about mother-daughter relationships) so I was literally sobbing by the time the credits began to roll on the screen at the end. If you like coming-of-age stories, California, teen angst, great music, or feeling nostalgic, then this is the movie for you!
+ MUSIC: I’m the kind of person who listens to one song/album/playlist over and over and over again for about a week or two and then moves on to the next cycle of repetitive listening with a different song/album playlist. Over the summer I listened to Bleachers’ album Gone Now (2017) countless times as I commuted to work every day, and then when autumn rolled around I moved on to something different. However, recently I started listening to Bleachers again and realized how much I’ve missed it. If you’ve never listened to this album before, definitely give it a go!
+ FOOD: This month my friends and I have discovered something extraordinary: the art of the mug cake. Not only are mug cakes ridiculously easy and convenient to make, but they are also DELICIOUS. They’re perfect for when you want some dessert but don’t want to commit to actually making a full cake. There are so many recipes online for different kinds of mug cakes that the possibilities are endless!
+ PLACE: This past month I’ve really enjoyed spending time at the Oxford Union watching debates and speakers, as I discussed in a recent post. Recently my friend and I saw an interview with Michael Wolff, author of the recent bestseller Fire and Fury about his observations and insights of the Trump administration. It definitely made me want to read the book now!
February was definitely a month of plenty of ups and downs. From being sick with a small bout of the flu to celebrating the halfway point in my year at Oxford, this past month was filled with unexpected highs and lows. It’s a common Oxford belief that Hilary term is the least exciting term, which I would definitely agree with. There’s a sense of getting caught up in the daily grind of reading, researching, outlining, writing, attending lectures, defending arguments in tutorials… and then doing the exact same thing again and again for eight weeks. Fortunately, my friends and I found ways of breaking through the monotony by playing football games, going to the local movie theatre, attending formal dinners, having movie nights, and even taking a spontaneous trip to London.
February was also a month of a lot of planning: spring break trips, having friends over to visit, honors thesis ideas, classes for next semester, my flight home in June, etc. It’s strange trying to balance my life here with my life back home in the States, especially when trying to coordinate times to talk with people and taking the time difference into account. Part of me thinks I’ll never get completely used to this time difference!
Here are some notable posts from my blog this past month:
- A Classic Couple: Frankenstein and Jurassic Park
- Extracurricular Activities | Holly Goes Abroad
- Fantasy Tropes Book Tag
- Feminist Fridays: Have celebrities corrupted the feminist movement?
Here are some posts that I loved reading this month:
- Sarah laments the lack of college stories in the YA genre
- Shanti celebrates the amazing feeling of reading a certain book when you need it most
- Jolien argues that we should stop speaking/writing in absolutes when it comes to loving ourselves and others
- Shar criticizes the fact that blogging makes her read things she doesn’t actually want to read
- Ashley ranks Sarah Dessen’s books in this wonderful throwback post
- Jess shares her love of using bath bombs while reading a good book
- Rita answers the important question: Why don’t we read books we say we want to read?
How was your month of February? What was the best book you read? Did you do anything really fun or exciting? Let me know in the comments section below!