Books You Need In Your Life, January- March 2019

five books stacked on white table next to decorative flowers

I usually kick off these posts with a passing comment about how time flies but my goodness, it’s been a long three months hasn’t it? Quite frankly, I’m glad to see the back of them. Thankfully I had some cracking reads to get me through it, and I’m so, so ready for the warmer weather and new summer releases. 

As always, the following contains affiliate links and some books are kindly gifted (scroll to the bottom of this post for more info), and any recommendations of your own are always welcome. I genuinely love to know what you’ve been reading lately!

This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay (Picador)*

“We’re OK in obs and gynae – the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit sister took pity on us, no doubt clocking the size of the bags under our eyes, and had a spare key cut so we can kip on a hospital bed in her unit. It’s an act of charity so kind and so rare that it made my colleague Fleur cry, and then scour the honours website trying to work out if Sister would be eligible for an OBE. […] It’s a bed with stirrups, but beggars can’t be choosers; I’d have accepted a bed with a grand piano dangling from the ceiling above it by a single pube if there was any chance of some shut-eye”.

Whenever I see a book so highly praised by so many people, part of me always expects it to fall short of my expectations. I had high hopes for This Is Going To Hurt but thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed. I tend to steer clear of real-life stories and biographies, however I’m so glad I discovered this book: it’s hands down one of the most insightful reads I’ve encountered in recent years.

View PostBooks You Need In Your Life, January- March 2019

Abigail’s Party, Grand Opera House York

abigail's party press image featuring cast awkwardly sat on sofa and two people stood behind looking at each other suspiciously

Expectations: 3.5/5

Reality: 3.5/5

Chronic Illness-Friendly: 4.5/5

Having never heard of Abigail’s Party* before and deciding to see it based on the synopsis alone, I went into this show with no idea what to expect. And having come out the other side as the small cast took their bows… I still wasn’t quite sure what on Earth I’d just witnessed, but knew it was unlike any theatre experience I’d had before.

See, here’s the thing. When I use words like ‘monotonous’, ‘slow-moving’ and ‘cringe-worthy’, you’d ordinarily expect these to be negative things reflecting a sub-par performance. However, Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party uses these things so painfully deliberately that it was actually quite brilliant. It took me a while to warm up to this alternative performance style, and a degree of patience was required at the beginning, but when things started to shift into place in the audience’s heads, you could almost sense the entire congregation getting on board and appreciating the show all the more for it.

View PostAbigail’s Party, Grand Opera House York

Musical Theatre Must-See List 2019

pippa sitting in theatre seat, holding up hamilton programme and smiling

New year, new idealistic musical theatre plans…

I haven’t done a post like this before, but after sharing quite a scrappy note of my must-see list on my Instagram stories and seeing people’s curiosity (which made my heart warm: you lot are my FAVES), I decided to share my 2019 must-see musicals list here as well. Everything’s linked by the title, and I hope you find some potential new favourites on there for yourselves too.

I’ll tell you right now that there’s no chance I’m going to see everything on this list, but I’m sure as heck giving it a good go. I’ve known for a while that 2019 was going to be a Good Theatre Year for me, with so many of my all-time favourites heading out on tour and some much-anticipated musicals transferring to the West End. So, if you too are one of the lucky souls living in Yorkshire surrounded by incredible regional theatre, you can find my top picks below. And keep scrolling for some West End highlights (and deals and discounts!) too… 

View PostMusical Theatre Must-See List 2019

Books You Need In Your Life, July- September 2018

coloured book spines arranged next to plant pot

Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow by Siobhan Curham (Walker YA)

“They say that sarcasm is the lowest form of humour but for me, sarcasm is a sanity-saver. If I wasn’t able to make fun of my situation I think my heart would crack in two from the tragedy of it all”.

If you managed to read the title of this book without automatically singing along to the tune of it in your head, I applaud you.

Siobhan Curham’s latest novel follows the narrative of two young people in remarkably different circumstances, and the story of how their hidden similarities come to reveal themselves. It’s a gorgeous story of friendship, but from each viewpoint, some hefty real-world issues are tackled head on. First we have Stevie, quietly living in poverty and singlehandedly caring for her mum, who’s suffering from debilitating depression and facing unjust cuts to her disability benefits. Then we have refugee Hafiz, still emotionally recovering from fleeing the war in Syria and trying to find his feet in the UK, all the while not knowing whether his family and friends are even still alive.

View PostBooks You Need In Your Life, July- September 2018