Thursday, 4 February 2016

comfort food, a book haul & best friends | adventures with bee

uk lifestyle blog vivatramp adventures with bee

If you cast your minds back to my to do list post, you may remember that I talked about wanting to spend more time with my loved ones in 2016 and, well, lets just say I am acing that goal so far! 

January was the month of quality family time, mostly involving food and bowling alleys, and friends over to stay and, if I'm honest, I think my mental health has been all the better for it...even if my hip joint is like 'remember when we would spend all our time chilling alone?!'  Not content with just living my life and enjoying the moment, I decided to take you with me this weekend just gone in order to share what I got up to with Claire and G (friends that you may remember from yesteryear's best friend tag post and a ton of adventures that I've linked at the bottom of this post). 


S A T U R D A Y,  3 0 T H j a n u a r y  
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As soon as the two of them arrived, a little later than planned because we are always doing things a little later than planned, we headed out to one of our favourite pubs for a long lunch. It looks a little different here to its beautiful flower-crowned summer look, huh?! I am so over Winter, pals. Give me blue skies, warm weather and lazy afternoons sat outside the pub on the picnic benches. 

uk lifestyle blog vivatrampvivatramp country pubvivatramp lolvivatramp drinkbest friendslol

The pub was remarkably busy and packed to the brim with country yuppie type families and farmers dogs - four collies, 1 jack russell, 1 terrier and 1 spaniel to be exact. We are the types that are able to fill silences so we just spent the hour or so wait for food drinking elderflower pressé and chatting about what we'd been up to of late. 


Fish pie is one of my ultimate comfort foods so I find it pretty impossible not to pick it when I see it on a menu, hence why I've had this particular version a handful of times. It's essentially packed with salmon and haddock fillets and all the cheese you could hope for. Hnghh!

vivatramp top lifestyle blogs uklifestyle book blog uk vivatramp

Contrary to tradition, we decided to forego dessert instead heading to the supermarket to pick up pizza, chips and dip for  the night ahead. We watched About Time (a new watch for me - still really fancy Rachel McAdams) followed by Gone Girl (a re-watch for me - still think it's a great adaptation of Gillian Flynn's book) and then headed up to bed with even more tea to discuss books for a bit. 



S U N D A Y,  3 1 S T  J A N U A R Y 


vivatramp breakfast

After drinking enough tea between the three of us to fill a bath, like the walking clichés that we are, G and I waved Claire off, as she had a day of lesson planning to endure, before heading out to one of my favourite spots to buy secondhand books...



uk blogsecondhand books uk lifestyle blog vivatramp

...after a plate of cheese on toast, with mushrooms if you're G!


uk book blogs vivatrampcheese on toast

As you can see, there are a metric ton of books to browse so I tend to attack it in a strict methodical way. Nothing says fun like 'strict' and 'methodical', right?! I always carry a list of the books that I am hoping to find, in alphabetical order because that's how they order their fiction books, so I tend to tackle each letter as soon as I get there. I then move to the American literature section, before heading to the dark depths of poetry, and back up to the classics to see whether anything takes my fancy. One of these days I would like to go and solely browse the unsorted sections because I think it'd be interesting to see what gems are tucked away there. 


secondhand bookshop somerset vivatramp blog ukvivatramp secondhand book haul

After an hour or so browsing the many shelves, we decided it was time to sit down and chat over hot drinks and cake. I opted for the chocolate cake, a cake that I will always opt for, and a babycino because I'm 5 years of age. 

cafeboopuk book blogs vivatramp lifestyle blogs

Whilst we didn't have a very successful trip in terms of book buying, which was strange for me especially, G did buy herself these pretty earrings that are made locally so all was not lost. 


vivatramp earrings

After a Gothic novel-esque drive home on the foggy Mendips, it was time to wave G off and say goodbye to a pretty perfect weekend with two of my best friends. Worryingly, I forgot that I was meant to be going out for dinner with my Dad that evening. As I was exhausted and my hip was killing me, I managed to convince him to stay in and get Chinese food with me instead. I practically inhaled the mountain of chow mein and honey spare ribs (hnghhh!) before heading to bed for the night. 

vivatramp chow mein

Miraculously, I only bought one book whilst I was at the bookshop and since that doesn't really warrant a separate blog post I thought I'd share my teeny tiny January book haul here: 

vivatramp uk lifestyle blog the color purple alice walker

the color purple by alice walker
Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the lives of women of colour in the southern US in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. 

I read a library copy of 'The Color Purple' in my first year of university and was entirely enamoured by it - it's an incredibly powerful piece of literature that everyone should read at least once in their lifetime. I actually later went on to write a paper on the book, comparing and contrasting it with Zora Neale Hurston's 'Their Eyes Were Watching God' in its depiction of womanhood. I had never seen this edition before but I think it's quite beautiful in the way that it alludes to points within the story. I'm definitely going to have to re-read it some day.

And so, that was my weekend with two of my best friends and a teeny tiny book haul for good measure. In order to honour one of the 'goals' on my 2016 to do list, I'm hoping to share at least one adventure per month. Hold me to it, pals! I'd love to know what your stand out moment from January was - doesn't have to be big or fancy - let me know in a comment and I'll get back to you. 


want more? check out: 
read about our barbican adventure from 2014
read about our seaside adventure from 2013
read about our shopping adventure from 2012 
other adventures with bee 


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Thursday, 28 January 2016

bee's mini book reviews: december 2015 feat. carrie brownstein, rupi kaur & j. m. coetzee

uk book blogs vivatramp book reviews milk and honey rupi kaur penguin essentials carrie brownstein virago

We're now well into 2016, so, me being me, I thought I'd drag us all back to the dark recesses of the end of last year in order to talk about the books that I read to combat the freezing cold afternoons. It was a mixed sort of month but I had some really interesting reading experiences - memories of which I am sure will continue to sustain me over the next few months. As always, I'd love to know what you're currently reading or have just finished in the comments below and if you do so I will pop over to your blog to discuss them further. You cannot escape my inane chat, pals. 

I'll hopefully be back this weekend with my first adventure post of the year but don't hold me to that because I am the worst


vivatramp book blog uk

foe by j. m. coetzee*  
FINISHED: 09/12/15 | ISBN: 0241973694 | PAGES: 160
In an act of breathtaking imagination, J. M. Coetzee radically reinvents the story of Robinson Crusoe. In the early eighteenth century, Susan Barton finds herself adrift from a mutinous ship and cast ashore on a remote desert island. There she finds shelter with its only other inhabitants: a man named Cruso and his tongueless slave, Friday. In time, she builds a life for herself as Cruso's companion and, eventually, his lover. At last they are rescued by a passing ship, but only she and Friday survive the journey back to London. Determined to have her story told, she pursues the eminent man of letters Daniel Foe in the hope that he will relate truthfully her memories to the world. But with Cruso dead, Friday incapable of speech and Foe himself intent on reshaping her narrative, Barton struggles to maintain her grip on the past, only to fall victim to the seduction of storytelling itself. 

In all honesty, there are times when books leave me as soon as I have read them and, in those cases, I have to rely on my notes in order to form anything that remotely resembles an opinion. This is one of those instances. From what I gather, I felt it was a story of two halves with the first half leaning towards the dry and exhaustive and the second half consisting of some complex passages that I deemed to be far more engaging. Coetzee goes some way to re-invent the original narrative but, to be honest, if this story were to have a subtitle it'd be: 'The One Where Friday is Still Plagued by White Noise'. I'm not sure if Coetzee's take on the characters was meant to be more or less racist than Defoe's. I'm not sure what he was trying to do, in general, if I'm even more honest. 

I wouldn't really deem this an 'Essential' but it may be something that other people enjoy, particularly if you have an interest in 18th century literature or literary re-imaginings. I don't think you necessarily have to put yourself through Robinson Crusoe in order to read this re-invention, so if you're in any way interested in this book then feel free to pick it up. This just wasn't my bag. 


RATING: 


hunger makes me a modern girl carrie brownstein book haul

HUNGER MAKES ME A MODERN GIRL BY CARRIE BROWNSTEIN  
FINISHED: 17/12/15 | ISBN: 1594486638 | PAGES: 256
This book intimately captures what it feels like to a young woman in a rock-and-roll band, from her days at the dawn of the underground feminist punk-rock movement that would define music and pop culture in the 1990s through today. 

As I said in my Christmas book haul, I read this in one sitting as soon as I unwrapped it and my god is that an afternoon I'd love to return to. 

I love love love listening to women talk about their passions, regardless of whether or not I too have an interest in the particular subject, and this memoir boasted passion and insight and love in abundance. Whilst the tone was conversational and in 
keeping with the genre, there were also times where it resembled something a lot more poetic and prosaic, much like her lyrics, and I think those tonal qualities make this all the more accessible to readers who may not be familiar with Carrie. Whilst I was already a fan of Brownstein, I knew very little about her life so I relished every little detail that she shared, especially her musings on what it is to be both a performer and a fan - from nostalgic insights into the Madonna concert she attended as a child to the concert venues that she would later sell out with her own band Sleater-Kinney. One of the things that stuck out to me with this memoir is how seemingly honest Brownstein is throughout,  particularly when she discusses the realities of balancing a personal life with a creative life. There were times where I felt as if I had been punched in the gut but there were also times when I was like holy shit my life has never been as cool as that!  All in all, I really enjoyed this memoir and would definitely recommend it. 


A heads up by the way, you should totally have S-K on in the background as you read this - especially as Carrie delves into the (sometimes heartbreaking) context of some of their songs, such as 'Jumpers' and 'One More Hour'. 


RATING: 


uk book blog vivatramp book haul milk and honey rupi kaur

milk and honey by rupi kaur  
FINISHED: 20/12/15 | ISBN: 1502784270 | PAGES: 194
'milk and honey' is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. 'milk and honey' takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

I'm currently writing what I hope will become a poetry chapbook so I wanted to pick up some more contemporary collections to see what was going on in the market. When I saw this beautifully produced book written by a young woman exploring womanhood I decided to hound my loved ones for it. Also, I bloody loved the bees on the front cover - lets be honest. 'milk and honey' covers some incredibly heavy subjects (such as sexual abuse, bodily autonomy, familial relationships and sexual consent) and yet the word choices Kaur uses to convey them are, in a way, quite simple. I found that balance to be one of the most exciting things about this collection and what made it stand out to me. I read this in one sitting but I imagine it'd be preferable to read it over a longer period of time, picking it up here and there as the mood arises.

I would definitely recommend this to young feminists, from around 16-20 something, or as a gift to young women as a way of introducing them to feminist ideas. Whilst I'm not saying 'yes this was intended to be a feminist collection', because I haven't done enough research for that, it felt very much like a collection about women and for women. 

RATING: 

secondhand book haul vivatramp

Heartease by lorna goodison  
FINISHED: 30/12/15 | ISBN: n/a 
Goodison's third poetry collection. 

As I said in my secondhand book haul, I didn't know anything about this poet prior to purchasing this collection but now, having read it, I am more than prepared to scour shelves in order to purchase more of her work. These poems had a religiosity to them that in a way transformed them from poems to hymns, with striking images of womanhood explored through empowered verse on enduring, overcoming, forgiving and, ultimately, surviving. 

These themes and images were guided by an inward light that Goodison alludes to throughout and by the end of the reading experience the title, Heartease, made perfect sense. I really enjoyed 'A Forgiveness', 'Blue Peace Incantation' and 'Because I Have Been Everything'. 

RATING: 

secondhand book haul uk book blogs

dream story by arthur schnitzler  
FINISHED: 30/12/15 | ISBN: 0141182245 | PAGES: 99
A novella that tells how through a simple sexual admission a husband and wife are drive apart into rival worlds of erotic revenge.

This novella lends itself to in depth study so, naturally,  I read it within an afternoon. This is the sort of dream story that you don't relay to your relatives over elevenses. It's dark but it's honest. The characters in this novella, for the most part, are either searching for or acting upon a truth that they may or may not yet be privy to. Driven by love, lust, desire and, quite possibly, shame, this novella will probably stick around in my head for a while. 

RATING: 

December was a month of short intense reading bursts but I read some things that I really enjoyed so I'm happy. What books did you finish the year off with? I'd love to know if you've also read any of these, too. 

*This book was sent to me by the publisher


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Sunday, 17 January 2016

my poetry, at severine



Hello pals, just a quick post today to document the fact that two of my poems - MELT and GLUT - are featured in the current online issue of literary and art journal SEVERINEIf you'd like to read them, head over to the SEVERINE website.. Be sure to check out all three issues too as there's lots to read and gawp at! 

I'm thinking of putting together a post on tips regarding writing poetry, in a similar vein to my How To Write Short Stories post, so if you're interested in trying your hand at verse, or want to write a sonnet about your cats, you may want to stick around. Oh and, if you haven't already done so, read yesterday's 'Christmas Book Haul' post whilst it is still fresh. I'll be replying to comments on said post over the next couple of days. 

Have a fantastic rest of your weekend - I've just eaten a huge roast beef dinner so I'm planning on settling down for the afternoon to watch the latest season of Parks and Rec with Little Cub and update my wardrobe document. Yes, I have a specific document that lists every item of clothing in my wardrobe. What of it?!



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Saturday, 16 January 2016

christmas book haul: december 2015

uk lifestyle blogs

In December, I welcomed a ton of new-to-me books to my shelves - some via my secondhand book haul and others via Christmas gifts from my friends, family and, admittedly, myself. I've already started wading through them, reading bits here and there, and I'm hoping to have finished the majority of the following books within the next few months. If there are any that you think I should prioritize because they're just that good, let me know and I'll bump them up my to be read pile! 

uk book blogs vivatramp christmas book haul


PENGUIN CHRISTMAS GIFT 

Jennifer got in touch on behalf of Penguin to ask whether or not I would like to receive a package full of books alongside another package of books to give to a friend to spread some bookish festive cheer and I took her up on that very kind offer. Inundated with bookish friends, I decided to send the extra package to Candice. 


Candice is a quite-new-to-me friend but I can tell you that she is just wonderful - so richly talented and in possession of the kindest of hearts and most wonderful sense of humour. I feel very lucky to have her around. Peek at her book channel, music channel and married vlogging channel, yes she does everything, once you have ingested this hefty post. She also did a little video on these books so make sure you watch that too! Credit for the following three picks, and festive photographs, goes to Jennifer

uk book blog vivatramp colm toibin nora webster

nora webster by colm TÓIBÍN* 
Widowed at forty, with four children and not enough money, Nora has lost the love of her life, Maurice, the man who rescued her from the stifling world to which she was born. And now she fears she may be drawn back into it. Wounded, strong-willed, clinging to secrecy in a tiny community where everyone knows your business, Nora is drowning in her own sorrow and blind to the suffering of her young sons, who have lost their father. Yet she has moments of stunning empathy and kindness, and when she begins to sing again, after decades, she finds solace, engagement, a haven - herself. 

As you may remember, I received Toibin's Brookyln earlier this year so I guess I should read at least one of the two titles that I own by him over this coming year! Which do I start with?  

how to be both ali smith uk book blog

how to be both by ali smith*   
There's a Renaissance artist of the 1460s. There's the child of a child of the 1960s. Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structural gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, fictional gets real - and all life's givens get given a second chance. 

Ali Smith is one of those writers that everybody and their dog talks about whilst I sit at the sidelines biting my nails. Alas, not anymore! From what I gather, her writing style can be pretty Marmite-like, so here's hoping that I find a place in my heart for it.

book blogs vivatramp the peripheral william gibson book haul

the peripheral by william gibson*
In the near future in a broken-down rural America, Flynne Fisher scrapes a living as a gamer for rich players. One night, working a game set in a futuristic but puzzingly empty London, she sees a death that's unnervingly vivid. Soon after she gets word that it isn't a game after all - the future she saw is all too real, she's the only witness to a murder and someone from that unreal tomorrow now wants her dead.  

This was the only book that arrived in the package that I had never heard of before, which is quite something because I tend to hear at least a little something about all the books ever. It sounds like the synopsis to an '80s thriller so I'm obviously intrigued. I might pick it up later this year when I fancy something a little bit out there, perhaps. 


book blogger secret santa 

Lorna from lorna, literally contacted me last month with news that she was putting together a #secretsantabookswap and I jumped at the chance to join in because I always find it really interesting to see what books people choose to swap with one another. I was paired up with Louise which was great because I already knew her and read her blog. I sent her Carver's 'What We Talk About When We Talk About Love' because I think Carver is a writer than stands out for his craft. Louise sent me...


hunger makes me a modern girl carrie brownstein book haul

hunger makes me a modern girl: a memoir by carrie brownstein
This book intimately captures what it feels like to a young woman in a rock-and-roll band, from her days at the dawn of the underground feminist punk-rock movement that would define music and pop culture in the 1990s through today. 

...And I'm so glad she did! I'm a fan of Carrie Brownstein, memoirs written by women and Sleater-Kinney so I was pretty chuffed when I unwrapped this beautiful hardback edition. Admittedly, I threw all my plans out of the window and read this in bed until I had finished it (with Sleater-Kinney playing in the background). Keep an eye out for my review! Thank you, Louise!


CHRISTMAS GIFTs




uk book blog vivatramp book haul milk and honey rupi kaur

milk and honey by rupi kaur
'milk and honey' is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. 'milk and honey' takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look. 

I'm writing a poetry collection this year so I wanted to pick up some more contemporary collections for inspiration / to see what is going on within the field. 'milk and honey' had been on my radar for around six months so when my best friend Sophieanne asked what book I would like for Christmas I sent her the link and rabbited on about it for a while and, luckily for me, I found it under my tree come our early bff Christmas Day. I, again, have already read this so expect a review later this month. 

uk book blog vivatramp book haul harry potter illustrated j k rowling jim kay

harry potter illustrated edition by j k rowling and jim kay
The beloved first book of the Harry Potter series, now fully illustrated by award-winning artist Jim Kay. 

I have been avidly waiting for this gorgeous illustrated edition to come out ever since I heard the news that Jim Kay illustrator of A Monster Calls - one of my favourite books that has ever made me cry multiple rivers into my lap - was taking on the gigantic task of illustrating every single book. I patiently waited and didn't look at any illustrations online and my god it was worth it! They're absolutely stunning! I can' t wait to give the story a re-read in this edition. 


uk book blog vivatramp book haul e e cummings

selected poems by e. e. cummings
The one hundred and fifty-six poems here [...] include his most popular poems, spanning his earliest creations, his vivacious linguistic acrobatics, up to his valedictory sonnets. 

Again, I'm wanting to read more poetry this year so I thought I'd ask for an e. e. cummings collection because his work stands out on the page and that's something I am going for. He's not everyone's bag, sure, but I think you can still learn a lot from his work regardless. 

uk book blog vivatramp the people in the trees hanya yanagahara

the people in the trees by hanya yanagihara 
In 1950, a young doctor named Norton Perina signs on with the anthropologist Paul Tallent for an expedition to the remote Micronesian island of Ivu'ivu in search of a rumored lost tribe. They succeed, finding not only that tribe but also a group of forest dwelled they dub ' The Dreamers', who turn out to be fantastically long-lived but progressively more senile. Perina suspects the source of their longevity is a hard-to-find turtle; unable to resist the possibility of eternal life, he kills one and smuggles some meat back to the States. He scientifically proves his thesis, earning worldwide fame and the Nobel Prize, but he soon discovers that its miraculous property comes at a terrible price. As things quickly spiral out of his control, his own demons take hold, with devastating personal consequences. 

A Little Life took the book world by storm in 2015 but I'm not entirely sure that I'm emotionally stable enough to read it so I thought I'd do the next best thing and read Yanagihara's earlier work first. The blurb sounds fascinating so I think I'm going to make a special effort to pick this up sooner rather than later. 


book blog uk vivatramp karen russell

st. lucy's school for girls raised by wolves karen russell
Charting loss, love and the difficult art of growing up, these stories unfurl with wicked humour and insight. Two young boys make midnight trips to a boat graveyard in search of their dead sister, who set sail in the exoskeleton of a giant crab; a boy whose dreams foretell implacable tragedies is sent to 'Sleepaway Camp for Disordered Dreamers' (Cabin 1, Narcoleptics; Cabin 2, Insomniacs; Cabin 3, Somnabulists...); a Minotaur leads his family on the trail out West, and finally, in the collection's poignant and hilarious title story, fifteen girls raised by wolves are painstakingly re-civilised by nuns. 

I love me a short story collection and after hearing so many good things about this one I thought I'd ask for it for Christmas. I made an excellent decision. I have already read this and, I have to tell you, it was right up my street. I won't say any more but if you are intrigued by the above you should definitely pick it up. 

uk book blog vivatramp book haul upright beasts

upright beasts by lincoln michel
Children go to school long after all the teaches have disappeared, a man manages an apartment complex of attempted suicides, and a couple navigates their relationship in the midst of a zombie attack. In these short stories, we are the upright beasts, doing battle with our darker, weirder impulses as the world collapses around us. 

This is another short story collection that I saw on Goodreads around the start of last year. I haven't heard anyone review it but the cover drew me in right away and the stories sound, again, exactly like my sort of thing. This is definitely high up on my to read list. 

uk book blog vivatramp the book of strange new things michel faber

the book of strange new things by michel faber
It begins with Peter, a devoted man of faith, as he is called to the mission of a lifetime, one that takes him galaxies away from his wife, Bea.  Peter becomes immersed in the mysteries of an astonishing new environment [...] His work introduces him to a seemingly friendly native population struggling with a dangerous illness [...] But Peter is rattled when Bea's letters from home become increasingly desperate: typhoons and earthquakes are devastating whole countries, and governments are crumbling. Bea's faith, once the guiding light of their lives, begins to falter [...] Their trials lay bare a profound meditation on faith, love tested beyond endurance, and our responsibility to those closest to us. 

Jen Campbell spent much of 2015 waxing lyrical about this book so onto the wishlist it went! It's quite a chunker of a book but I'm hoping 2016 will be the year where I take the plunge and try and tackle some of my bigger books. I think I worry about spending lots of time trudging through them when I could be reading other things, which is ridiculous because I am most likely denying myself some wonderful stories. This is also on the 'to read' list for 2016 so make sure I get round to it, please.

uk book blogs vivatramp the new york four

the new york four by brian wood + ryan kelly
The ultimate insider's guide to New York City is presented through the eyes of Brookyln-born Riley, who is starting her freshman year at NYU and is about to find out what an adventure - and a mystery - living in the Big Apple can be. 

This was a totally unexpected gift from Luke's brother and, weirdly, I had never heard of it! I don't know a lot about it but I liked the monochromatic art inside and it'll be pretty interesting to read something set in New York again. I am a little worried about a grown man writing from the perspective of a teenage girl because they tend to do really bad jobs but I'm holding onto hope for this little comic. 


Gifts i bought myself...



uk book blog vivatramp book haul the bell jar sylvia plath

the bell jar by sylvia plath 
Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowing going under - maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational - as accessible an experience as going to the movies.

I love Plath and I don't care if that's some sort of cliché. This cover is so me just look at it - the pinks, the blues, the everything. I've already started this so I imagine you'll get a review of it next month all being well! 

uk book blog vivatramp patti smith m train book haul

m train by patti smith 
M Train is a journey through eighteen 'stations'. It begins in the tiny Greenwich Village café where Smith goes every morning for black coffee, ruminates on the world as it is and the world as it was, and writes in her notebook. We then travel [...] across a landscape of creative aspirations and inspirations: from Frida Kahlo's Casa Azul in Mexico, to a meeting of an Arctic explorer's society in Berlin; from the ramshackle seaside bungalow in New York's Far Rockaway that Smith buys just before Hurricane Sandy hits, to the graves of Genet, Plath, Rimbaud and Mishima. M Train is a meditation on endings and  beginnings: a poetic tour de force. 

Patti Smith's 'Just Kids' was one of my favourite books that I read last year, and it became one of my favourite books of all time, so I knew I needed to pop this book on my wishlist. Unfortunately, no one took the bait so I ended up making a Boxing Day order solely inspired by this book. Part of me wants to read it as soon as possible but the other part of me is relishing the fact that I have a memoir by Smith sat on my shelf that is unread and, most probably, something that I will really enjoy. I don't think it'll take me too long to get to it, if I'm honest! 


gift card buys

My Aunt and Uncle sent me a Waterstones gift card for Christmas so I got to work ordering some graphic novels to see the new year in with. I tend to buy graphic novels and comics, etc, with gift cards because they are usually more expensive and I'm not going to come across them on my secondhand travels.


uk book blog vivatramp blue is the warmest color graphic novel

blue is the warmest color by julie maroh 
Blue is the Warmest Color is a graphic novel about growing up, falling in love, and coming out. Clementine is a junior in high school who seems average enough: she has friends, family, and the romantic attention of the boys in her school. When her openly gay best friend takes her out on the town, she wanders into a lesbian bar where she encounters Emma: a punkish, confident girl with blue hair. Their attraction is instant and electric, and Clementine finds herself in a relationship that will test her friends, parents, her own ideas about herself and her identity. 

This graphic novel had been sat on my to buy list ever since I watched the film so I thought it was about time that I bought and read it, especially as I'd heard that the source material was different from the adaptation. I have already read this, so I won't say too much, but I did cry once. 

uk book blog vivatramp wolf ales kot graphic novel

wolf volume 1: blood and magic by ales kot
Los Angeles, California: Antoine Wolfe, a hard-boiled paranormal detective with a death wish, has to cope with sudden responsibility for an orphaned teenage girl who might be the key to the impending apocalypse. The road to hell and back begins. 


Honestly, I no next to nothing about this series other than it is by my favourite comic publisher, Image, and it involves an apocalypse. That's literally all it takes for me to buy something. My comics and graphic novels never go unread for long so I imagine this will, too, feature in my reviews over the next couple of months. 

Phew - that's all the books I received for Christmas. Looking back on my hauls for the year, I got a lot of books. However, I also read and enjoyed a lot of books, and I'm looking forward to matching that this year. What did your book haul look like last month? Have you read any of these books? I'm off to spend the weekend with some of my best friends - doing well with my 2016 to do list already! 


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*This book was sent to me