Book Babble #4 – The People in the Trees

The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara

★★★★★

Ashamedly, had I not been as infatuated with Yanagihara’s second novel, A Little Life, I would probably have never considered picking up The People in the Trees. I bought it only with the assumption that the author of one of the greatest books I’d ever read was not capable of disappointing me, and yet I still neglected reading this book for a stupid amount of time, for very stupid reasons. Firstly, the plot outlined in the blurb (and it really is the entire plot, on the surface) didn’t appeal to me; I had no interest in science or anthropology or scientifically-accurate semi-fictional memoirs despite never having read one before. Secondly, of all things, the footnotes scared me! I was convinced I was not the sort of person to enjoy a novel with footnotes (granted, I didn’t like John Green’s Abundance of Katherines, which is littered with many tongue-in-cheek footnotes, although these were to provide comedy, rather than something as horrifying as the Harvard referencing system), and this novel is full of them, some filling entire pages. Yes: I was very stupid to have put off this novel for so long.

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The Only Teenager to Ever Have Anxiety

All my life I’ve been told time and time again ‘everyone has some kind of mental illness‘, ‘so many teenagers have anxiety and depression‘, ‘hey I’ve got anxiety too!‘. Yet all through high school I failed to meet anyone who was having the same experience as me. I would watch presentations and talks from people who claim to suffer terribly with anxiety… which seems impossibly contradictory. How can that be if they’re confidently and calmly speaking in public?! “I have anxiety,” someone might say as they boarded a bus or walked through a crowd, sat in a theatre or attended a party, all with complete confidence. Even ‘they’re struggling inside’ couldn’t convince me. When I was younger, getting on a crowded bus and walking into cinema was enough to give me a panic attack, and the pure fear and sickness I’d feel was very much visible in my shaking and sweating. I couldn’t believe the statistics I saw, because I never met someone as anxious as me.

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My EPQ Artefact

The reason I’m making this post is because I struggled a great deal in the initial stages of creating my Artefact to find any previous Artefacts people had made, or the relevant documents. As part of the June cohort, I have only yet to do my final presentation now, so I thought I’d provide anyone who may be struggling in the future with this with a little insight.

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The End of the F***ing World

Happening upon this little dark comedy on Channel 4 was purely accidental, but a Happy Little Accident, as Bob Ross would call it. The first twenty-minute episode of this eight-part series was shown on the telly, and then the remaining episodes were uploaded that night on the C4 catch-up app. It’s not totally clear as to why they did this – perhaps it was to promote the app to their younger, ‘hipper’ viewers (i.e. the demographic of TEotFW), or just that the show contains quite a lot of violence, strong language and sexual references – but soon enough this will be popping up on Netflix, like every other show in the world, so maybe it’s time to get used to everything being distributed virtually. It was a pain when I could only read my Dandy comic online. Now it’s the norm.

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Movie Babble #2 – The Space Between Us (2017)

★☆☆☆☆

The Space Between Us (2017)

It probably seems at this point I’m picking bound-to-suck sci-fi flicks on purpose, but these movies do a really good job at inspiring me to write about them, so I guess I need to give credit where it’s due. I will be spoiling some things, so if you haven’t seen the romantic YA sci-fi drama disaster, then don’t bother averting your eyes because you don’t need to watch this steaming pile of manure anyway. (And I’m serious: this WILL be a full-on babble.)

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My Life in Books

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (1999)

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Contrary to the title, this book was a very good beginning to a world of literature for me. At the time – Year Six, when I was ten – I absolutely hated reading and would never dare to do so in my spare time. However, the teachers decided to let me access the ‘free reading’ shelf in the library (with the coveted white stickers!) and the first book I picked up was this. Naturally at the time I was having my ‘goth/emo’ phase, and this cover instantly appealed to me. I gobbled up the entire series over breaks and lunches and bedtimes, and from then on I was an avid reader. These books taught me that reading didn’t have to be boring, nor did it have to be an academic thing – it was something I could enjoy. This book also led me to start writing my own stories which were initially very similar to Snicket’s (to the point of plagiarism!) Continue reading

My Life in Albums

Lemon Jelly – Lost Horizons (2002)

lost-horizons

Favourite tracks: Space Walk, Nice Weather for Ducks, Elements

According to my dad, we used to dance to this album together when I was little. Although I don’t really remember those times, I do get a hit of nostalgia whenever Space Walk is played, and I love Lemon Jelly to this day. The cover for ‘Lost Horizons’ is really beautiful, and I have some of the artwork from the CD hung up on my wall. Additionally, I’m very fond of the track ‘The Staunton Lick‘ from the album ‘The Yellow’ as it always reminds me of the final episode of Spaced, which is a bit of nostalgia in its own right. Lemon Jelly brings nothing but sweet (and bittersweet) memories. Continue reading