Someday at Christmas

Back in April, at the start of this fucking pandemic, I bought a Kindle Paperwhite because a) I mostly read at night, in bed; b) my old Kindle didn’t have a backlight; and c) WHY THE HELL NOT?

So, the result was simply that I have never so much in my entire life, and for so long, without virtually any breaks in between books — fine, maybe I didn’t also have breaks whilst I read “A Song of Ice and Fire” but that’s another situation entirely. We’re talking here of STANDALONE BOOKS!! *cries with joy*

I’m fucking elated, you guys.

Naturally, and as I’m still on Netgalley and happily they haven’t kicked me out yet, on Monday I was approved to read & review “Someday at Christmas” by Lizzie Byron. Which took me, like, 3 days to read. I basically never read that fast but this was the greatest Christmas romp you’ll ever see these days.

Also, the cover is SO cute!

The story goes something like this: Shell Smith works at an old-fashioned department store, Duke & Sons, on the counter for ART, a make-up brand, and she’s bangin’ at her job! She’s confident, has the LOVELIEST family, has an old crush on a indie scoundrel (hey, who hasn’t been there?) that comes back to haunt her, and has managed, in the meantime, to accumulate a most fabulous band of friends, who are as warm-hearted and diverse as one would’ve hoped.

There’s a LOT of shop-floor gossip, which is much like any real life workplace, and just at the beginning there are changes afoot: there’s a Dapper Suited Stranger who’s possibly trying to ruin it all and close up shop, but is he really?

There are loads others tropes which are amongst some of my favourites but it has to be said that Friends to Lovers is one of the best — rivalled only by the second best which is Enemies to Lovers, amirite?

Anyway, I shan’t say anymore for fear of spoiling things as I’m wont to do, so, suffice to say I enjoyed every minute of it! GO READ!

On Harry Styles and obsessions

I was supposed to be reading a book but I’m not, so here goes something. Like I said some other day, I miss blogging and, more importantly, I miss writing about my hobbies and obsessions. Last Sunday, I just finished watching the latest series of Doctor Who (like the rest of the world) but I didn’t utter a single word in public about it. That would be unheard-of at the height of my fandom years.

ANYWAY. I’m here to say I’m definitely, head over heels, obsessed with Harry Styles. Look, I’ve known of him for years, I’ve listened to Sign of the Times over the radio an infinite number of times (alô JBFM, que sempre toca as mesmas músicas no mesmo horário), I just hadn’t paid attention to the music so far. But then, by December, he’d released Fine Line and people started talking, like it was the best indie pop album of ALL TIMES, and I’m thinking, “heyyyy, I’m interested. Should I listen to it? Okay, I shall.” I did and I immediately looooooved what I heard, especially Cherry, at which point I’m questioning my most musically-inclined friends on Twitter about who they think that song reminds them of (a bit Magnetic Fields with vocals by Sufjan Stevens, we’ve established). Then, as I was relaying this all to Fiona, she was like, WATCH THE ADORE YOU VIDEO RIGHT NOW. And, oh boy, I did:

😍😍😍

Heart eyes all around, amirite? It was all downhill from there. That month, I also took a holiday so I just listened to Fine Line on repeat by the pool. Very summery. I swear I’ll always link those two things in my mind: Harry Styles and my end-of-year holidays ’19. You know how Sparks go “the olfactory sense is the sense that most strongly evokes memories of the past” in Perfume? Well, it is closely followed by the hearing sense for me.

So, all this time I’ve been kept busy by various other appearances and videos uploaded on YouTube. I’m just going to dump my favourites here without further explanation, because I don’t need to.

more videos and gushing

In Five Years

Oh dear. How shall I start on this one? This is only my second review for Netgalley and I feel like I’m letting them (and the author) down by saying I didn’t actually enjoy the book? If I reveal too much about the reasons why, it could be a bit spoilery. The truth is, this one should come with a trigger warning. I came in expecting a feel-good story about romance and time travel but I got something else instead.

In Five Years” by Rebecca Serle

I was enjoying it, actually, as an easy to read novel, about young people in love and having really taxing jobs and revelling about having to work almost 24/7. Except for the unnecessary name-dropping for 1) every brand in existence in corporate (North) America and 2) every stylish place ever in New York when I haven’t been and know nothing about, you know. I felt a bit left out for not knowing them, or even heard about them. And then, whoosh comes the trigger and, yeah, I wasn’t pleased.

The characters also aren’t really relatable, to me anyway. In comes Danielle, or Dannie, corporate lawyer, workaholic, likes having no time off and simply sleeping at the office for days at a time (what?? the strangest concept to me), makes a ton of money out of it; David, her boyfriend, also rich, less workaholic, is tall and lanky, as per usual; Bella, Dannie’s best friend, REALLY RICH, is a jetsetter, can’t seem to settle down with anyone; and then Aaron Gregory, Bella’s boyfriend, no idea who he is except that he’s an architect and likes tennis.

Anyway. If you don’t mind stories like these, go for it. Who am I to keep people away from books, right? But, on the other hand, if you do… well, see for yourself?

walking the streets of London with Lawrie and Evie

(Bear with, bear with, for this is my first official attempt at book reviewing. I’m endeavouring to get better!)

“This Lovely City” by Louise Hare.

Many thanks to @HQStories and Netgalley for the early eBook review, I was delighted to receive it.

I loved the book! Lawrie and Evie are absolutely adorable and, for once, I enjoyed the company of all the characters most closely related to them.

It is a story set in the late 1940s yet somehow feels perfectly contemporary as we go through Lawrie (and his mates) trials and tribulations as they grow accustomed to life in London, being newly arrived from Jamaica. One year on, he’s getting by, peacefully at best, what with having a steady job, a lovely home (and landlady 💗), a great girlfriend and being an accomplished musician at a band, playing gigs in Soho almost every night.

Then, something very unfortunate (to say the least) happens and it shooks him to the core, along with everyone else in the vicinity. We also get a small glimpse of police (and society, as a whole) treatment of immigrants and it is this bit which feels more like reality as we know it.

It is a beautifully written novel and I’d recommend it to everyone who’s interested in stories set in post-war London and that talk about immigration and race but is also really about friendship and companionship.

Book reviews

(Or an attempt at Netgalley.co.uk to give me some books to review.)

I solemnly swear I shall review books as soon as I finish reading them, and I shall become very proficient at doing so.

Right now, I’m re-reading Pride and Prejudice, because why the hell not. It had been a long time since I last revisited Longbourn, the Bennets and Mr. Fitzwilliam. I missed them? I didn’t really miss Miss Bingley because she’s insufferable and exactly the type of person which I like to dislike on the grounds of… well, superciliousness.

I’m up to Mr. Collins visiting the Bennets (or, rather, viewing his property, *cough*), but he hasn’t proposed to Elizabeth yet. Should I call that a proposal? It’s more like A BUSINESS PROPOSITION. Which takes on a whole new meaning if you were once completely absorbed by North and South.

edit: yesterday (that is, 20/12), I got an e-mail from Netgalley which said that my request to read & review “This Lovely City” by Louise Hare was approved! YAYS! Can’t wait to read it all (I’m up to 10% already).



The room where it happens

A obsessão é tão grande que preciso escrever sobre ela em algum lugar, e no Twitter simplesmente não dá. E também me mandaram fazer isso, então tenho que obedecer.

Lá pelos meados de março, enquanto eu estava me recuperando de um vírus/infecção intestinal (TMI) que me atacou sem dó nem piedade, decidi dar uma nova chance a Hamilton. Pra quem nunca viu nem ouviu falar, Hamilton é, resumidamente, um musical da Broadway sobre o Alexander Hamilton, o primeiro Secretário do Tesouro americano. Eu ouço falar desse show há vários meses, desde ano passado, mas a última vez em que fui investigar o que era exatamente, eu meio que tive uma certa aversão, por dois motivos principais:

  1. nunca fui muito fã de musicais e nunca curti o estilo de cantoria deles;
  2. era sobre HISTÓRIA AMERICANA ESTADUNIDENSE!1!

Tadinha, como eu estava errada que era só isso.

Continuar lendo

There and back again

I’ve always had blogs. Since the inception of the internets, or thereabouts. That’d be about 1998. Inception of the world wide web for me, you see. (I was 13, and was instantly hooked.) Blogs truly are the reason I can read and write English to this day.

The last blog I had, in which I wrote almost every day from 2005 ‘til 2011, was on LiveJournal. I miss that place so damn much. It’s still there, as far as I can tell, but no one uses it anymore. No one from my immediate internet family, anyway. Speaking of which, I was never part of a wide crowd, but I had (have?) my people, and we’ve all either moved on and stopped blogging altogether, or moved on to Twitter. I swear I love it there, too, but man, I don’t know. I just get lazy of writing up 10+ tweets to get my point across and, on the very rare chance when I do, peoples’ timelines are just too quick that I get the impression that there are so many tweets to get through that most of us just go to the top of our feeds and ignore the past. As I’ve done countless times. I KNOW! (I’ve found that filtering personal accounts into a list is far better and much more manageable. 20 years too late. And much like I did with LJ, heh.)

Anyhowwww. To round this up and before I get too nostalgic AND boring to boot, I’ve set up this blog in November but haven’t done much with it since then, as you can see. But I’ve thought things through and as I kinda wanted to get back to writing, I decided to put the proverbial wheels in motion. (I should do that with my life as well, but that’s another matter entirely. Ahem.) To be honest, I wanted to start writing in Portuguese, my mother language ♥, but somehow I’ve always felt better writing in English? Freer from the oppression of my own language! (Talvez eu escreva de vez em quando também em português, quem sabe!) Too many parenthesis! Next time I shall write about something more interesting. My life, or lack thereof. V. entertaining.

Now I’ll leave with a Hamilton-related video, natch. (Please get Rufus Wainwright to sing “You’ll Be Back”. I demand it.)

The lunatic, the lover and the poet

And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.

– William Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)