Welcome to my August Favourites for 2017! It was the last month of winter which put me in the best spirits. I went on an incredible all-day hike, attended the Melbourne Writer’s Festival, read lots of books, worked on my novel and had some exciting adventures. I cannot wait to share what made this month so fantastic so let’s get into it:
THE BEST OF AUGUST:
1.) Book Series – The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
These books have been so hyped in the YA for world for years. I don’t know of a single person that hasn’t enjoyed them. When I saw that my local library had the series available in audio-book form, I picked them up immediately. Each story is a fairytale retelling with a futuristic, sci-fi spin. Cinder (Book #1) is based off of Cinderella, Scarlet (Book #2) is based off of Red Riding Hood, Cress (Book #3) is based off of Rapunzel and Winter (Book #4) is based off of Snow White. I won’t give too much away but basically the plot follows these four kick-butt female protagonists who band together to overthrow the evil Queen Levana (based off of Snow White’s stepmother). This series is fast-paced, action-packed and full of twists that completely threw me. I highly recommend checking out The Lunar Chronicles if you haven’t yet.
2.) T.V Show – The Handmaid’s Tale
In August, Francis and I watched the entire first season of The Handmaid’s Tale. I apologise to those that have told me I must read the book. I may someday but at the moment my TBR list is way too high. This series is not for the faint-hearted. It is very disturbing, violent and confronting. Having said that, it is also extremely intriguing. We were hooked from start to finish. The story is set in a dystopian New England ruled by Christian fanatics. June Osborne (renamed Offred) is taken from her family to serve as a handmaiden to Commander Fred Waterford. In this new world, fertility rates are incredibly low. Handmaidens are picked because they are the rare few that can get pregnant. They are each assigned new names and homes under Commanders who rape them in the hopes of reproducing. The barren wives are forced to hold the handmaidens down as it happens. As I mentioned, highly disturbing. These women are also not allowed to work, own property, handle money or read. It is worth a watch simply for the brilliant acting and shocking story-lines.
3.) Accessories – Magnetic Disney Bookmarks by ReadandWonder
You all know by now that I love Disney and reading. It’s truly no secret. Etsy store ReadandWonder sells all sorts of pop-culture goodies, including magnetic Disney Princess bookmarks. I couldn’t resist ordering a few. My favourite is the giant Snow White (pictured above). Isn’t she gorgeous? In the large set, I also picked up Ariel, Mulan and Belle. In the smaller sets of 4, I bought Jasmine, Rapunzel, Elsa and Anna. They are so bright, colourful and cute. Definitely check out the store as it sells so many bookish goodies!
4.) Winter Beverage – Turmeric Latte by Jomeis Fine Foods
Every winter, I look forward to hot beverages with plenty of warming spices. As I’m intolerant to caffeine, I’m unable to drink coffee or even black/green tea. This year, I’ve become a huge fan of ‘golden latte’s’ that are completely vegan and 100% caffeine free. At the Big Vegan Market in May, I sampled the Turmeric Latte from Jomeis Fine Foods and loved it. It had the perfect balance of spicy and sweet. I bought a packet from my local supermarket and have thoroughly enjoyed cradling a hot mug of goodness on bitterly cold days. The ingredients are: turmeric, black pepper, coconut milk powder, stevia, cinnamon and ginger. Simply add half a teaspoon with a dash of boiling water to a little pot, mix and fill the rest with a plant milk of choice. Once it starts to bubble, pour into a mug and enjoy. Delicious! Also, if you’re wondering, my Sailor Mercury mug is from Red Bubble.
5.) Quote – Neil Gaiman
“GO AND MAKE INTERESTING MISTAKES, MAKE AMAZING MISTAKES, MAKE GLORIOUS AND FANTASTIC MISTAKES. BREAK RULES. LEAVE THE WORLD MORE INTERESTING FOR YOUR BEING HERE. MAKE GOOD ART…”
In August, I watched author Neil Gaiman’s Keynote Address on YouTube at the University of Arts in 2012. Click here to see it for yourself. It was such an inspirational speech about the power of creativity and doing what you love. Towards the end, he spoke the amazing words above and it just stayed with me. He said it’s okay to make mistakes because at least that means you’re living. He stresses the importance of enjoying the ride because one day you’ll look back and wish you had. Be yourself, be unique and express what you have hidden inside you without any fear…
6.) Place – Goodlife Health Club
In August, I joined a gym! It is very close to our place, affordable and super nice. I spent a lot of time there last month trying out different classes and keeping fit. So far, I have consistently gone 3 times a week. I really love Body Step, Pilates, Virtual Spin (this class is actually taken by a virtual instructor – so cool) and RPM (cycling). It feels good to be moving my body again and having an exercise routine. Not only that, right nearby an acai/smoothie store has opened up so I love going there afterwards for a post-workout treat! Really happy with my decision to sign up with Goodlife!
7.) Hike – Two Bays Trail, Victoria
On Sunday the 13th August, a big group of us tackled the Two Bays Trail from Dromana to Cape Schank in Victoria. I have been wanting to do this epic, all-day hike for so long and it was undeniably a visually stunning workout. We started in Dromana at 11am and hiked 28km’s (6.5 hours) to Cape Schank, reaching it at 5:30pm. Along the way we saw so much beautiful scenery and wildlife. I was in nature heaven! It wasn’t easy and the last leg was quite difficult but once we arrived, we felt so proud of our accomplishment. Hiking is something I love doing. It allows me to exercise whilst exploring my own backyard. If you ever visit Victoria, I challenge you to give this trail a try!
8.) Memory – Best Moment of August 2017
It was with great pleasure that I attended the Melbourne Writer’s Festival for the very first time this year. It ran from August 25th – September 3rd in the heart of the city. On August 27th, I went to Angie Thomas’s YA & Activism Event and just yesterday, on September 3rd, I also sat in on the Love OZ YA Event. I witnessed moving talks, watched fun Q&A panels and got the awesome opportunity to get some of my books signed by incredible authors. I loved meeting Angie Thomas in particular (pictured). She said she was a Ravenclaw like me and had my same scarf! I will definitely continue to attend the MWF every year. It was so wonderful!
TOTAL BOOKS I READ IN AUGUST 2017: 10
– Blood Beast by Darren Shan (Book #5 of the Demonata Series) -5/5 STARS
– Cinder by Marissa Meyer (Book #1 of the Lunar Chronicles) -5/5 STARS
– The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein – 3/5 STARS
– The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas -5/5 STARS
– A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (Book #1 of the ACOTAR Series) – 5/5 STARS
– The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery – 5/5 STARS
– Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – 5/5 STARS
– Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley – 4.5/5 STARS
– Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (Book #2 of the Lunar Chronicles) – 4/5 STARS
– An Abundance of Katherines by John Green -3/5 STARS
Thank you for reading. I cannot wait to document September. I will be attending a book launch, completing The Reading Quest, going on more adventures, watching the Will & Grace reboot, enjoying the first month of spring and seeing the Alice in Wonderland ballet in Melbourne! Let me know what you are most looking forward to in the coming month.
Peace & Love xoxo
Disclaimer: This post contains links to my Book Depository Affiliate which helps fund my blog, I am not being paid or sponsored for this post/products – all my thoughts/opinions are my own