My Review of You Had Me At Hello by Mhairi Macfarlane
I realise that I have been gone for quite some time, so here are my lousy attempts at justifying myself:
1. I’ve been reading an inhumane amount (always a good excuse right?)
2. Deadlines, essay feedback and seminar work almost killed me (in the metaphorical sense)
3. Blogging didn’t seem to flow for me, didn’t want to force it out because that’s just not me at all. Stuff like this should be fun, not a chore, and if it becomes a chore, a break is needed, whether permanent or temporary
But never fear, I have returned from the valley of the shadow of blog boredom 🙂
Life is good at the moment if I’m honest; I’m loving being at home with my family and dread going back to uni to face the dreaded exam term. Despite this dread, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and that light is my museum internship. Myself and several other history students from the University of Kent have applied and been chosen for this one day per week experience. Am so excited to get started as either teaching or museum work would be my dream career!
I really really really want to share with you guys what I have been reading on my break, but time and patience prevents me from writing full reviews on everything. However, I will give a brief overview of each book, my view on it and my rating/recommendation. I hope to be returning to full reviews very soon as well as throwing some new stuff into the mix to spice things up a little (after all my surname is Spicer)
It’s been my first day back doing lectures and seminars for this term. I’m a bit apprehensive if I’m honest because I met some incredible lecturers and seminar leaders last term and got on really well with them, but I have a new lot to contend with this term. I think it’s good that I will get to meet new people in my modules and new teaching staff, but I will miss the other ones a lot. I think this week is going to be tricky to adjust to anyway, just like my first week of lectures in September was, so I’m sure I will pick everything up again quickly, once I know what the hell is going on.
In other news, I got one of my grades back for my History of Medicine Essay on the history of madness being one of social control or medical professionalisation, and I could not be happier with it! 75/100 which is 75% and therefore a first. I know 75% doesn’t seem like much, but they say that if you are scored over 80 at university, your work was probably good enough to attempt publishing. Mine probably isn’t so yay to the number 75! Hoping to get my other marks back soon and be happy with those too!
Also would like to say a very Happy Birthday to my amazing Mum! I’m gutted that I had to miss her special day to be back for my first day of lectures and seminars at university, would have loved to have spent the day with her spoiling her rotten, making her coffee and cooking her a nice meal. Luckily I know she is being spoilt rotten by my Step-Dad, who took the day off work to spend her birthday with her and spoil her. Am going to give her a ring later and sing Happy Birthday to her and Let It Snow, because oh yes Ladies and Gentleman, we have snow! From what I’ve seen it’s worse back home than it is here, but luckily for my Mum, my sisters made it to school okay so she didn’t have to be annoyed by them all day.
So, onward to Days 5 through 10 of the 30 Day Book Challenge:
Day 06 – A book that makes you sad:
Kommandant’s Girl by Pam Jenoff is definitely a book that puts me in a bit of a maudlin mood. It tells the story of a young Jewish girl, Emma Bau, who leaves her husband, part of the resistance against the Nazis to hide away and become a secretary to a Nazi Commander. I won’t give too much away but I was really gunning for everything to be okay for her and the ending is definitely not a happy one.
Day 07 – Most underrated book:
Virgin Widow by Anne O’Brien I would describe as an underrated book which I have enjoyed. It’s historical fiction, so a bit of a niche genre at times, unless you’re Hillary Mantel with Booker Prizes that make historical fiction seem cool. But this book deals with Anne Neville, the daughter of the disgraced Earl of Warwick during the War of the Roses and shows the envisioned backstory of how she was used as a bargaining tool and then found love in Richard III. It’s nice to me because it shows a softer, more protective side of Richard III, rather than the idea of him being a mean, crippled tyrant.
Day 08 – Most overrated book:
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L.James, I’ll reluctantly admit I read and started using the term ‘kinky-fuckery’ for my own amusement. However, it is very overrated in my opinion. I know it allows for randy teenagers to delve into something forbidden looking and for desperate housewives to recreate the spark in their lacklustre marriage, but anyone who’s read them and knows a decent amount about the English Language will be outraged by the poor sentence structure and the constant repetition of ‘Oh my’ and ‘Crap’. Learn some new words aaaaah.
Day 09 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving:
Porterhouse Blue by Tom Sharpe was a book that was recommended to me by a good friend of mine who enjoyed a bit of what he called ‘Oxbridge Satiric Wit’. He recommended this to me on the basis that we apparently shared a similar sense of humour (I really think we don’t after I read this the first time). Then again, I was young and foolish and didn’t understand the wit behind it. I reread it a couple of months ago, believing that maybe this time I would get it. And you know what? I finally did! I don’t know whether it’s because in the time that elapsed, I got an interview at Oxford and got to see first hand the clinging to tradition that sometimes isn’t all that easy to maintain or wanted. Now one of my firm favourites.
Day 10 – Favorite classic book:
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, who couldn’t adore this book? It’s one of those books that you need to read twice, because the first time it confuses you, then the second time it clicks. Might just be me on that one, I read it for a bet at age 14 after my English teacher told me I didn’t read books challenging enough for my ability. I hated the woman, but it’s thanks to her that I loved this book and have reread it many times