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Snapshot: 24 July 2020

It sure has been a while since I've done one of these things!

My mood has been like the weather lately - a bit mercurial. One moment I'm bright and sunny and happy, the next everything feels a bit dark and grim and sad. Work is very stressful at the moment, and I'm in the middle of finalizing my PhD application - which, oh boy, is well and truly kicking my impostor syndrome into overdrive. I am not accomplished enough to be applying for a doctorate.

But, lockdown is starting to lift, and there are little green sprouts of hope: my sweet pea plants are blooming beautifully. I might be seeing coworkers at a picnic in the park tonight (if I can successfully motivate myself to drag my butt to the other side of London, where they have very selfishly scheduled the picnic). I've been having barbecues with my family friends who live nearby. My friends are starting to trickle back to London. I might even get to spend a whole weekend with my man in the next few weeks. I'm even going on an extended trip to visit my family in France, and soak up in some sun that I can trick myself into thinking is holiday sun. So things are starting to look up!

Currently reading: If I Had Your Face, by Frances Cha. A bit of a weird one, this. I can't quite decide if it's meant to be satire, or contemporary fiction, or dystopian - and I think that might be a product of me knowing absolutely nothing about Korea. The writing is a bit too stop-start and truncated for me, but if you like that style, you'll probably like this book. I'm about halfway through and don't quite know what the story is building to, but the setting is atmospheric and slightly creepy, and there's a real sense of dread in the way the plot is advancing - so even though I am confused, it has grabbed my attention, and I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Currently listening: folklore, Taylor Swift. Unless you have been actively living under a rock, you are aware that Taylor Swift dropped a surprise eighth album overnight last night. I am currently on my third listen-through, and I am still working out my feelings on it. I really like the sound and the musicality, and I think she's allowed herself more creative freedom on the lyrics than she has since maybe Fearless; but my reaction to the album is experimental rather than emotional. Maybe it's a slow burn, though? My current favorites are 'illicit affairs'; 'invisible string'; 'betty'; 'hoax'.

Currently playing with: I finally, finally replaced my non-working phone this week with a working model. I have been vastly amusing myself with taking pictures using portrait mode, and playing with all the apps I now have space to download again. And I'm in the process of putting up my corkboard of all the tickets that I've collected over the past two years, so that's been quite fun to assemble. Although I definitely think some are missing...

I would also like to say thank you to the few subscribers that have joined our ranks lately - I would like to think they are real people and not bots! And to give a shout-out to a fellow book lover I've recently discovered on Instagram, fictionmatters. She does some really good recommendations and can pull from a swathe of genres and styles that I find absolutely mind-boggling; and her reviews are really thoughtful and profound. She's also got a weekly newsletter, which has contributed to my new list of planned TBR books.

That's all from me, folks - see you in a few days' time for my July wrap-up and August TBR!

Happy reading,

Amélie xx

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I’m Amélie, I love books and reading, and I also love talking about them.

I’m incredibly lucky to be bilingual, so I read books in both French and English, and will talk about both of those on here – although I will do more in English, since I know that’s probably what the majority of the people who ever find this blog will be interested in!

I also like history, traveling, Shakespeare, coffee, cheese, musicals, Italian Baroque art, the ballet, Mock the Week and Have I Got News For You, flowers, makeup, high heels, and baking. Yes, I’m a walking cliché. I am aware.

Please do tweet at me with any suggestions/book recommendations/thoughts.

In case you’re curious – yes, Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book of all time.

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