Thursday, 4 September 2014

August Wrap Up – On Quick Reads, Benedict Cumberbatch and London

I won’t be doing a TBR for September, because I’m terrible at sticking to it. I’m an awful procrastinator, so as soon as I make a reading list, my brain perceives it as a task, and the procrastination mode will be intiated. Or at least that’s how I think one could explain it. Aaanyway …

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J. K. Rowling (3.5/5)
Quidditch Through the Ages by J. K. Rowling (4/5)
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (3/5)
Alex + Ada Vol. 1 by Sarah Vaughn and Jonathan Luna (3.5/5)

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (4/5)
18 post-its for 150 pages
This was a thoughtful novel(la) about the concepts of memory, history, time and remorse. It follows an ordinary man named Tony Webster from his school days to an old age, when he receives a letter that causes him to reflect upon his past. Julian Barnes uses an eloquent diction, and he examines interesting philosophical themes, which creates the impression that he draws upon a big bowl full of life experience. Plus, he mentions my favourite composer, Dvořák, by which he has earned some bonus points.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (4/5) 
Really good, although I don’t claim to have fully understood it in more than the literal sense. 
I enjoyed the mystical elements of the story as well as the overall dark tone with glimpses of light, hope and friendship. Reading the book, I felt as if transported back to my childhood and to the way I experienced and perceived the world around me back then. I’m definitely going to read more of Gaiman’s books; no idea what has taken me so long to pick up his work.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them + Quidditch Through the Ages by J. K. Rowling
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins 

Unfortunately, I haven’t posted any original content this month because, most of the time, I didn’t feel like occupying myself with books. Reasons why are stated below.

I alluded to this in my last wrap up, and now it has actually happened: I bought a ticket for Hamlet at the Barbican Theatre in London. If you haven’t heard about it yet, the play will be performed from August till October 2015, and the only details announced so far are that Benedict Cumberbatch will be playing Hamlet and it’ll be directed by Lyndsey Turner
You have no idea how excited I am about this, and I’m not even a hysterical fangirl—although Sherlock is one of my favourite shows and Mr Cumberbatch appears to be a decent British chap, I don’t believe in obsessing over actors. I just stumbled across this by accident a few weeks ago, and ever since then I’ve been spending my time on the internet creating Google maps and doing research for all the places I want to visit whilst in London. 
It’s been a long-cherished dream of mine to visit the UK (starting with London and Edinburgh) for years and years, but it had never worked out for various reasons. But now it’s finally going to happen, and I’ll also get to see some Shakespeare as a nice extra. I’M CHUFFED TO BITS. It’s ridiculous how much I’m looking forward to emptying all the English bookstores. Be prepared, Waterstones/Foyles/Daunt Books/Persephone Books/..., I’m on my way!
If you have any tips for (bookish) places to visit in London, give ’em to me! Moreover, if by happenstance you’re going to see Hamlet as well, I’d love to talk to you about it! :)

In August, I also rekindled my love for drawing. I’m terrible at drawing things from my imagination—because I have none. Seriously, I always need pictures as a reference. But I’d like to believe that I’m tolerable at drawing portraits and copying other paintings. It just takes so much time that I rarely do it.
At the moment, I’m working on this painting by Edgar Degas, whom I adore because I like ballet. I bought pastels specifically for this, so now I feel like a kid all over again, and it’s nice! I might share the results on my neglected tumblr page or here, if it turns out alright.