Monthly Consumption // January 2020

31.1.20


A brief round-up of all the things I've been reading, watching, listening to and seeing live this month.

Books

'Stories of Your Life and Others' by Ted Chiang - A collection of eight short stories, some of the language and settings throughout this book were too heavy on the science-fiction for my taste, but the stories posed some interesting ethical and philosophical dilemmas. If 'Black Mirror' were a book, it'd read a lot like this. 

'BOSH! How to Live Vegan' by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby - Written by the guys behind Bosh! and its genius plant-based recipes, this is an accessible and non-judgmental look at the reasons for adopting a vegan lifestyle, with handy tips on how to make small steps of your choosing. 

'The Immortalists' by Chloe Benjamin - How would you live your life if you knew the date on which you would die? This beautiful novel tells the story of four siblings who learn their fate while still children, unfolding the ways in which the rest of their lives are impacted by that. My favourite read this month.

'Moxie' by Jennifer Mathieu - Inspired by her mother's Riot Grrrl past, 'Moxie' is a feminist zine written by one teenage girl and distributed throughout her High School, with some interesting results. A fun bit of girl power in young adult fiction form. 

'Sunny Side Up: A Story of Kindness and Joy' by Susan Calman - The Scottish comedian's autobiographical encouragement for us all to be a little kinder towards each other and to spread more joy. (Includes a reference to how great Aberdeen audiences are, so y'know, all the bonus points.) 


Movies

I made it to the cinema twice this month and saw the beautiful new adaptation of 'Little Women' and the immersive World War I drama '1917', both of which I highly recommend. 

By contrast, at home I've been watching what can only be described as easy-viewing, crying at all the puppies in 'A Dog's Purpose'; being impressed by Taron Egerton in 'Eddie the Eagle'; finding my new Christmas favourite in 'Klaus'; being decidedly unimpressed by Dirty Rotten Scoundrels remake 'The Hustle'; and being far too easily amused by children's animations 'The Queen's Corgi' and 'Missing Link'.


TV

I finally got round to watching the third season of '13 Reasons Why' this month and, as with both previous seasons, I kind of wish I hadn't bothered. I think it's great that we have shows which grapple with the sensitive subject areas that impact people's lives, but the revenge focus of this show sits very uncomfortably with me and I feel like it's all gotten a bit too farfetched. 

This month also had me watching the second series of 'Sex Education', which I enjoyed much more than the first, despite my endless frustrations at not knowing quite which year or country any of it's meant to be set in (seriously, what?)! I quite like the matter-of-fact way it deals with some "taboo" subjects (although sometimes the brief, tokenistic references are a bit annoying) and it's just light-hearted, entertaining viewing. 

Far less light-hearted was Netflix's 'Messiah', about a man who appears to be the second coming of Christ, but finds himself under CIA suspicion. Not a series for background viewing, this one needed a little more concentration, but once I persevered through the first episode I was well and truly gripped.


Music

I've been listening to a lot of KT Tunstall and Tom Walker this month but, in terms of new releases, Twin Atlantic's 'Power' and Bombay Bicycle Club's 'Everything Else Has Gone Wrong' albums managed to catch my attention, as did Hayley Williams' solo single 'Simmer'. 

You can keep track of my favourite songs of the year so-far right here


Seen Live

This month I saw KT Tunstall perform (with support from Siobhan Wilson) at Aberdeen's Beach Ballroom as part of a tour organised by Lidl. I wasn't quite sure what to expect of the evening, but at less than £9 a ticket with a free drink thrown in and all profits going to the STV Children's Appeal, who could resist?! It turned out to be a top quality evening, with KT Tunstall entertaining everyone with stories and witty comments alongside a brilliant musical performance. If you get the chance to see her live, grab it - she does not disappoint!

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Leave me a comment below with recommendations for the month ahead.. 

xo