Tuesday, 3 May 2016

My Month in Favourites – April 2016

April was a crazy whirlwind of a month, mostly consumed by work. Though I did also rub elbows with Sir Ian McKellen at the theatre, made a big dent in my to-be-read pile, and started to properly plan my two-week holiday in Canada in October (I can't wait!). But what were April's favourites, I hear you ask. They are mostly of the theatrical and literary variety this time around, with a visit to Sunset Boulevard and a shout-out for publishing Twitter account Bad Tote Bag, but there are also a few other highlights, including Instagram, Captain America: Civil War and Just Bee Drinks.

Monday, 2 May 2016

The World of Lewis Carroll exhibition & sale at Peter Harrington Books

150 year after its first publication, the wondrous Alice in Wonderland is still hugely popular with countless reprints in different formats, novels inspired by the true story of Alice Liddell, memorabilia for all ages, and even a recent exhibition at the British Library. And with a new Disney live action film to be released at the end of this month, the sale of a unique collection of Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) works by rare booksellers Peter Harrington in Mayfair couldn't be more timely. It includes rare items such as Carroll's own copy of the first published edition from 1866, and the only book (Rhyme? And Reason?) inscribed by Carroll to Alice in Wonderland illustrator John Tenniel.

Friday, 29 April 2016

The Toxic Avenger at the Southwark Playhouse

Photo credit: Claire Bilyard

I knew nothing about cult classic The Toxic Avenger before taking my seat in the theatre, but I have been a big fan of the Southwark Playhouse for quite a while now as they have the tendency to take Broadway or Off-Broadway hits and move them across the pond for a very successful, often smaller-scale version, of shows that are very popular within the musical theatre community. Recent favourites at the Southwark Playhouse have included Titanic, Grand Hotel and Carrie, and The Toxic Avenger is going straight onto that list as well.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Book review: All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

All the Birds in the Sky is a crazy sci-fi/fantasy mash-up, which started out as a solid 5-star novel aimed at the young adult market. As the story progressed, however, it became less sure of what it wanted to be and the feeling of excitement I felt over those early chapters mostly disappeared. In the end I did think it was an interesting read, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it, but it didn't manage to live up to my initial expectations.

Monday, 25 April 2016

My Jewellerybox Favourites

I love Jewellerybox. Not only do they sell pieces that perfectly match my style (Sterling Silver dainty studs, bracelets and necklaces are my favs) but they're also super affordable, great quality and based in the UK. Their packaging is also adorable and very photogenic. If I've seen you in the last year it's very likely I've told you about this brilliant brand already or I've even gifted you something from them for a birthday or other special occasion. And I've mentioned them on my blog a few times before already as well but as they're a firm favourite of mine – and they're a small business – I'd love to support in any way I can. So, without further ado, check out some of my favourite jewellery from the brand below and make sure you pop by their website to view their entire incredible range (they also have lovely pieces in rose gold and gold).

Friday, 22 April 2016

Book review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

I owe a big thanks to Booktube for flailing all over Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, as it was released in the US a few months prior to the UK and the hugely positive reviews I've come across since is what got me interested in this book in the first place. It's crazy to think that I read not just one complex and completely gripping time travel young adult novel with pirates within a single month but two (the other one being the brilliant The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig), yet there you have it. If this is the latest hype in YA fiction and more swashbuckling time travel novels will be released soon I'd be totally okay with that, because I'm hooked.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

York day 3: Castle Howard

After spending two days in York, exploring sights such as York Minster, the Shambles, York's Chocolate Story, the city walls, Clifford Tower and YorkBoat, on our final day in Yorkshire over Easter we left the city for a trip to Castle Howard. This is a stately home you might have seen on the big or small screen before as, among other things, it was featured in both in the mini-series and film adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited. It already looked impressive on screen, but it was even more so in person.  

Monday, 18 April 2016

Sensational Butterflies at the Natural History Museum

Sensational Butterflies is an annually recurring exhibition outside of the Natural History Museum but I'd never actually visited before. The zoo near my hometown in the Netherlands (Dierenpark Emmen) housed the largest butterfly garden in Europe for many years and so I've been pretty spoiled in that regards. However, it's been a while since I visited and I was keen to see how the London version would compare, so this year I finally made an effort to check out Sensational Butterflies.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Somewhere Inside of Happy by Anna McPartlin *GIVEAWAY*

Today I'm delighted to take part in the blog tour for Somewhere Inside of Happy by Anna McPartlin (author of The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes). I had the pleasure of listening to Anna talk about her new novel at Transworld's Rising Stars Event and it sounds like both a poignant and funny read (and Anna herself was hilarious). Telling the moving tale of three generations of women, the novel is described as "heart-breaking yet uproariously uplifting" and you can get your hands on the book thanks to the lovely folks at Transworld have given me a copy to give away to one lucky winner (UK only)!

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

York day 2: YorkBoat, Clifford Tower and Ghost Hunt of York

After our first exploration of York, including York's Chocolate Story, the Shambles Market and York Minster, we had grand plans for our second day in this historic English town, but the weather wasn't quite so co-operative so we didn't do a huge amount. Nonetheless we still had an excellent time and did catch a few more of York's main attractions.