I really like it when the 1st of the month lands on a Monday. It makes calendars look neater, for starters, but it's not just that. It makes it easier to keep track somehow. I don't know, I can't really explain it very well. And this one has fallen in February, which means that next month will start on a Monday, too.
Well, it would have done, if 2016 didn't happen to be a bloody leap year. Thanks for ruining what would have been a perfect calendar month, 29th February, I hope you're really pleased with yourself.
But in all seriousness, I couldn't be happier to see the back of January. It's just been really rubbish, hasn't it? It's been a really weird month. But February will be good. Valentine's Day is soon, I'll be off to London to see Cirque du Soleil shortly after that, not to mention that the King of all days - Pancake Day - is in February.
In other news, I'm doing fairly well with my book challenge, all things considered. I've read 4/30 books, which according to Goodreads means I'm 2 books ahead of schedule.
I had a tiny bit of a set back because after reading The Handmaid's Tale, because I read Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, and it gave me the biggest book hangover I have ever had. I loved it. So much so that I had to re-read it, because I needed to get it out of my system. And then I re-read it again because I have literally no self-control. There are actually a couple of glaring continuity errors in it (nothing that takes away from the plot, but they were still noticeable - well, maybe they were only so noticeable to me because I read it so many times), which would normally irritate the hell out of me, but I just loved the story and the characters so much that I couldn't make myself care. Also I think I've found one of my now all time favourite characters ever in Baz Pitch - a gay vampire magician who is secretly in love with his roommate/mortal enemy. But yeah, I recommend it. I'm a sucker for a good love story, and this is a great one, but that's not all it is.
So anyway, after that, I started to read Dreams and Shadows by C. Robert Cargill that I knew nothing about but Jack got me it for Christmas and it has a beautiful cover. I found it incredibly difficult to get into, so much so that after struggling through three or four chapters I put it down and haven't picked it up again. After a few days passed and I realised I still wasn't ready to dive back in, I moved onto something else instead.
I had some money left on an Amazon gift-voucher and used it to get Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo on my kindle. I haven't read Leigh Bardugo's Grisha trilogy, and I had heard really mixed things about it and didn't really want to, but I had heard nothing but good things about Six of Crows. I had resisted getting it because I knew it was set in the same world as her other books and I didn't know whether I needed to read them or not first. But it's about a heist, and I love a heist, so I caved and picked it up. I really, really enjoyed it. The characterisation was good, and I didn't think I was missing out having not read the Grisha trilogy first (which is good because I'm still not arsed about reading them). The only thing is that I made the mistake of thinking that this was a standalone book, but it's not, it's the first in a series. Just for once, I'd like a cohesive ending. Just once. But never mind, the sequel's out in September.
After finishing Six of Crows, I found that I still had no desire to try and get back into Dreams and Shadows yet, so I started another book I've had on my kindle for a while - Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb. I'm not that far into it but I think I'm enjoying it so far. There's pirates involved which is always a bonus. Only thing is that it's 800-odd pages long so it might take me a while.
Fingers crossed I'll eventually get back into Dreams and Shadows as well - I do want to finish it. But that's actually a good piece of advice I think - if you're struggling to read something and it's making you not want to read at all, read something else instead. Even if it's just re-reading something you've already read.
Song of the Day: Death With Dignity by Sufjan Stevens (Amethyst and flowers on the table/ Is it real or a fable?/ Well, I suppose a friend is a friend/ And we all know how this will end)