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.

Sunset Boulevard at the ENO

I go to the theatre a lot. And while I would love to write reviews for every production I see, unfortunately I simply don't have the time for it so nowadays I usually only cover shows which I went to visit specifically for review. I did see some other things at the theatre this month that deserve a mention, including Funny Girl with Sheridan Smith at the Savoy Theatre and Sunset Boulevard with Glenn Close at the London Coliseum.

Both were fantastic, but I particularly want to highlight the phenomenal Sunset Boulevard, which I've fallen head over heels in love for. I had never seen the film, but as soon as the overture started playing I fell in love with Andrew Lloyd Webber's music for this show, and the cast was an absolute sensation. Of course Glenn Close was brilliant (outstanding on the acting front, though vocally she wasn't the very best I've ever heard), but Michael Xavier has also grown a lot since The Pajama Game and was complimented well by Siobhan Dillon. A stunning show.

Instagram

I've had my Instagram for many years. The week the app was launched for Android I downloaded it to my phone, but while I photographed places I visited and books I received in the post it was all a bit of an disorganised collection of memories. Inspired by following some stunning book accounts (be sure to check out madamereadsalot, hayaisreading, ineffablepages and little_bit_of_literature), I gave my account a little bit of an overhaul. While it will still include London and travel pictures from time to time, it is mostly book focused and I am putting more thought into my photography. What do you think? Follow me on Instagram here.


Oh Canada

Despite my holiday to Canada still being 6 months away, I've become utterly obsessed with the country again and especially Vancouver. I'm already making lists of places I want to revisit, things I want to eat and buy, and basically cramming as much as possible in a flying visit. On a whim I emailed Tourism Vancouver to see if they had some information for blog post ideas I have (A Booklovers' Guide to Vancouver, among other things) and they were kind enough to offer me a media pass for my visit, so I can enjoy the tourist attractions for free! Now I am planning to do even more than I already was and I've come to the conclusion I might just have to forego sleep (TBC as this no doubt will be a recurring favourite until I'm back from my trip).

Bad Tote Bag

If you work in the book publishing industry, or you're interested in it, then new Twitter account Bad Tote Bag (a cheeky nod to publishing's love for tote bags) is an absolute must to follow. With a heavy dose of humour the person behind this alias touches upon some real issues within the industry, mostly the lack of diversity and poor pay. I have many friends who work within this industry and it's one I have always aspired to be a part of, but the fact is that there are some real problems to address. And if Bad Tote Bag with its humorous yet very true observations can provide a kick-off point for change that can only be a good thing. Plus they're absolutely hilarious.

Just Bee Drinks

I don't have many favourites of the foodie variety this month, but one brand I have properly fallen for is Just Bee Drinks, which I discovered at the recent Blogger Hangout Tea Party. I'm usually one of those people who lives on water or tea, with the occasional fruit juice (of the none concentrate variety) but I may just have found my new favourite. Just Bee's Blueberry drink combines three of my favourite things: water, honey and a dash of fruitiness. It's properly refreshing too so perfect for summer (if it ever comes around, as we still had snow last week...).


Captain America: Civil War

I used to go to the cinema up to 80 times a year but in the last few years I started to work longer hours and spend more time on my blog outside of my day job so this has reduced drastically and I've only seen two films in cinema so far in 2016. Having to be more picky is not necessarily a bad thing though and my most recent visit was a good one as it was for Captain America: Civil War. I won't go into much detail (because, spoilers!) but I will say that it's one of my favourite Avengers movies to date (Steve Rogers is THE best Avenger and any film with a focus on him is awesome), I'm surprisingly okay with Spiderman (even though I still prefer Andrew Garfield) and despite being 2.5 hours long, the film felt quite short, it was that fast-paced and engrossing. It gets a big thumbs up from me!

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

This is a bit of a cheeky one as the whole point of my monthly favourites is to highlight things I haven't already covered on my blog in one way or another, but oh my days I cannot stop talking and thinking about this incredible novel! This one will undoubtedly make its way into my list of favourites at the end of this year but for now have a look at my review, which is basically an essay detailing why you must read this incredible time travel YA adventure packed with pirates and empowerment.

What were some of your favourites things you enjoyed or discovered in the month of April? And what are you already looking forward to in May? Let me know in the comments below!


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