Since, well, the beginning of college, I’ve envisioned this day: sat at home, not college, with all my A-level exams finished. Nothing to revise for and worry about for nearly four months. And, don’t get me wrong, I can see that this is great and it’s just what I need. I love summer and I love the opportunity to get things done and revisit hobbies. But for some reason, things all feel a little lacklustre. My exams are finished, but I feel no sense of accomplishment.
Regardless of your beliefs, the idea of Hell should conjure up images of misery and despair, pain and suffering, chaos and disorder, anguish and, most importantly, a complete and utter lack of any hope or sense of future. It’s where you go to be punished, and thus it’s where you’d never, ever willingly go – no matter how cheap or tasty you find the food there. Which is why I think McDonald’s might actually be Hell on Earth.
You may or may not know (and again, I use the elusive “you” as if there’s some sort of silent, consistent audience out there, eagerly awaiting to read my stupid posts) that I ‘run’ the teeny-tiny music channel blackslushie which is a matter of me occasionally browsing the #dreampop tag on Bandcamp for hours on end until I find an album I like and sharing it with my small but very lovely following. This channel spawned after the short-lived hiatus of TheLazyLazyMe, as I wanted to continue the sharing and discovery of unknown yet very talented bands and artists. Without further ado, here are some of the artists I’ve discovered in my time that you need to check out this April (and no, I know nothing about music, just that my ears enjoy it):
I did (kind of) say in my previous post that now begins my spiral into exclusive Megan Boyle-esque confessional writing that is uncomfortably honest and possibly really fucking boring, but I’ve committed to it now and there’s no stopping me. I thought this would be a good place to start – it’s at least not totally unfamiliar territory. I’ve discounted my primary school teachers, both because I can’t remember a single thing about a good chunk of them and also because none of them were exclusively English teachers. To quote Kimya Dawson: ‘There are some nice teachers / And there are some mean teachers / Just because you have a mean teacher / Doesn’t mean all teachers suck’…
(I’ve also anagrammed all my teachers’ names, both because I like anagrams and also because I don’t want to get sued or anything).
Like with 100% of my problems, I like to ignore the fact that I can’t write anymore. Now, it’s okay to pretend my shelves don’t need urgently dusting, but not writing is probably a much more pressing problem. Writing is (unfortunately) a huge part of my identity. So is reading, and I haven’t being doing a whole lot of that either. But as university creeps closer – and, keep in mind, I’ll be studying Creative Writing – I’m really struggling to ignore this problem any longer. Like, it’s now surpassed trying to finish Inside No. 9 before my Netflix trial runs out.
This has probably been the worst year for me in terms of reading – or maybe 2016 was even worse – but I am now making a sincere effort to read more. I really slowed down in 2017, and I regret wasting precious reading time, although I made an effort to pick up the pace towards the end of the year. I’ve omitted a few poetry books, flash fiction collections and plays, and you can see more of my books on Goodreads, but here’s my 2017 book list:
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.