FEBRUARY 2018 | Wrap-Up

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:

  1. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
  2. The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket
  3. The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket
  4. Poetics by Aristotle
  5. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  6. On Beauty by Zadie Smith
  7. From the Darkness Cometh the Light, or, Struggles for Freedom by Lucey Delaney
  8. Howards End by E.M. Forster
  9. 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:

Here are some posts that I loved reading this month:

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!



44 thoughts on “FEBRUARY 2018 | Wrap-Up

  1. I ADORE Bleachers. Both Gone Now by Bleachers and Lorde’s new album came out around the same time and they were both the soundtrack to my summer. I love Jack Antonoff so much.

    I haven’t had a great reading month! I read the third book in the Diviners series, which I really enjoyed, but since then I’ve been in kind of a slump. Also I started watching Riverdale and I got obsessed in a very hardcore way, which used up much of what would have been my regularly scheduled reading time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES Jack Antonoff is the best ❤

      oooh I can definitely relate to that! I haven't kept up with a show on Netflix in the longest time because a) school but also b) I find that whenever I get into a show I spend a lot less time reading. So many TV shows and books, so little time! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha today we have a ton of snow! I call my parents about once a week and Skype my brother pretty regularly, but most of my communication is through texting because it’s easier.

      For mug cakes I basically mix 3 tbsp water, flour, sugar, oil, cocoa powder, a pinch of salt, some vanilla extract, and then microwave it for about a minute. Super easy! 🙂


    1. I really liked it! Neil Gaiman is such an incredible writer, and he does a great job of explaining Norse mythology for those who aren’t that familiar with it already.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale! I remember picking it up in seventh grade and not getting past the first two chapters, but I’ve been meaning to actually read it soon. I think I’d appreciate it a lot more now, haha. I hope you have a wonderful March!

    claire @ clairefy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Handmaid’s Tale is definitely worth a second chance– it’s such a brilliant read! Hope you enjoy it, and have a lovely March as well! ❤


  3. Mug cakes are amazing! They’re the perfect things to make with friends over because they’re simple, everyone can make them, and you don’t have to create a huge mess in the process. And anyone can host a mug-cake making night, really — the ingredients are so simple that most people just have the ingredients lying around their kitchen. 😊

    I haven’t heard of Lady Bird before, but I’m in the mood to watch something emotional but hopeful this weekend (last weekend I watched Goodbye Christopher Robin, which was about the background behind my childhood fav of Winnie the Pooh, and oh my goodness I cried so badly watching that movie 😭), so do you think Lady Bird would be a good fit for that?

    You’re right, it’s necessary to find time to relax and break up the routine lest you lose your mind constantly doing schoolwork. Your February sounded amazing, and I hope your March goes wonderfully as well! 😋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG definitely, Lady Bird is the definition of emotional but hopeful ❤ Let me know your thoughts on it if you end up watching it!

      I hope you have a lovely March as well, Zoie!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. handmaid’s tale is awesome! i had a debate about it yesterday with my colleague and things got out of hand a bit, cuz she got agitated when i said i loved the book… she thought it was boring. i mean, it’s not action packed, but how could it be when they live in a world where barely anything happens apart from the monthly ritual…

    mug cakes are a sore topic for me… i tried 2 recipes but i guess I’m doing something wrong cuz they both turned rock hard and inedible… 😂


  5. It sounds like you had a great month! There are several books on your list that I’m looking forward to reading myself. I also can’t wait to see Lady Bird. I’m slowly watching the Oscar nominated films and really enjoyed Three Billboards the other day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you enjoy Lady Bird! I’m so bad at keeping up with Oscar nominated films every year… I’m usually lucky if I get around to seeing one or two 🙂


  6. Colour me impressed! 9 books is amazing for a month! Norse Mythology has been on my TBR list for a while. What did you think of it? Worth keeping or should I sell to my nearest used bookstore?

    I read The Perfect Nanny this month and it was scary, but the story went along quickly and it was well-written.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Erin! ❤ I definitely recommend Norse Mythology. Neil Gaiman is such a talented writer and has a great way of explaining the mythology for those who know nothing about it before reading this book.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Since my February sucked, let’s skip about it… but did you wroite mug cakes? *homer simpson voice*. I’ve two books of them, one only with chocolate mug cakes ❤

    Hope Norse Mythology was cool. The bookshop near my academy has a little English section and there's the paperback edition. Everytime I'm bored or I need a break I go there and searches the shelves – even if I don't buy a thing – and the book is always there. I'm still not convinced to buy it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww I hope your March is better ❤

      Norse Mythology was really great! Neil Gaiman is such a brilliant writer and he explains everything in a way that makes it easy to read even if you have no prior knowledge of Norse mythology before reading it. Would definitely recommend! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I had a pretty good february! I got to meet up with some blogging friends and did some casual work to make money , and then moved (away from Shar sadly) for uni. I think I’m definitely feeling more comfortable in new zealand and definitely put myself out of my comfort zone a bit but in a good way. I’m listening to gone now right now and liking it!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I LOVE LADYBIRD. and also a series of unfortunate events. and mug cakes!

    i read bits of aristotle’s poetics this month! just to write a paper, but still. it was interesting!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ll have to check out The Bleachers – I’ve been in a new-music-search for the past couple weeks and have already discovered so many great albums.

    I fully intend to watch Lady Bird soon. I’ve heard a lot of praise for it. Have you seen Black Panther? Wakanda forever!!!! ✊🏻(it was a masterpiece)

    Every time you talk about your classes, I somehow miss the hustle and bustle of college. I’m still over here living vicariously through you and your wonderful Oxford experiences, Holly! Don’t mind me! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely let me know what you think of Bleachers! I haven’t seen Black Panther yet but I really need to ASAP.

      Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoy these posts ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. So jealous that it’s spring for you! It’s just hitting Autumn here and I already miss the beach. So glad you loved Handmaids Tale! I have it on my shelf and I’ve been meaning to pick it up for ages so I can watch the tv series. 9 books is such a good month!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I read Norse Mythology on Friday. How did you like it? I liked it well enough. 🙂 The one time we tried mugcakes we didn’t really like it but maybe we just tried the wrong recipe. 😉

    Sounds like you had a pretty great month. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I liked Norse Mythology as well! Neil Gaiman is such a brilliant writer 🙂

      Definitely give mug cakes another try– some recipes are better than others! I recommend trying one without eggs if you haven’t already 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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