January Favourites 2019

 

Hiya lovelies! I hope this week is treating you well. I’m back today with another Wednesday upload, and this week, to celebrate the end of January (can I get a finally?!?), I thought I’d share with you some of the things I’ve been loving this month. I kind of went a little overboard with this post (as in, 1,150 words overboard) so let’s jump straight in!

Books

A Spark of Light by Jodi Piccoult

img_8026The first book I read in 2019 certainly didn’t disappoint; I’ve spoken quite a lot on here about how much I like Jodi Picoult’s book Small Great Things, most recently in my post My Top 3 Books of 2018 so I was really excited to read another of her novels. It has a similar concept in that it tackles a very controversial topic, this time abortion. It follows the story of several people who are held hostage in an Abortion Clinic in Mississippi by an anti-abortion gunman. The story unfolds backwards, starting at the tensest part of the hostage negotiations and working backwards to reveal how each person came to be in the Abortion Clinic that day. There are some problems with this structure, but overall I respect what a brave choice it was to make for Picoult. As in Small Great Things, the subject is tackled sensitively, from the point of view of several different people of different beliefs. Even if it doesn’t sound like your kind of thing, I think it’s got a very relevant and important story.

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

I ordered this book after I finally got round to watching the film over Christmas. I so wish I had read the book first because honestly, they did such a good job of adapting it to a screenplay. I have seen mixed reviews about the book, mostly surrounding Eilis’ character but I really appreciate how flawed she is. Although I personally wouldn’t act in the same way as she did, it felt very real, and refreshing to have such a character exist. The only complaint I have about the book is the abrupt ending. I understand that Eilis made her decision and there wasn’t anywhere else for the story to go, but I have to say that I’m very glad they extended the ending in the film, as it made it feel much more complete. I’d definitely recommend it as a book, and then watch the film afterwards too – it has Saoirse Ronan soooo…

TV shows

Luther

Someone on Instagram asked for my thoughts on Luther so I thought I’d have a little chat about it in this post. I binge-watched all five series on Netflix/BBC iPlayer over a period of a week and I have quite a lot of thoughts about it. Firstly, I’m a big fan of detective/police dramas so I’ve watched just about every kind there is to watch; from Death in Paradise to Unforgotten to the Missing and the Sinner. But I’ve never seen anything like Luther. It’s literally horrifying yet still addictive. I really wouldn’t recommend it if you’re at all squeamish. After a while, you kind of get used to the fact that every single character you meet will probably die, so don’t get too attached. The thing that bothers me most is the fact that the series has no particular structure it follows – with most series, they follow a strict format (Unforgotten and the Sinner follow one storyline for a whole season, Death in Paradise follows one per episode). Luther doesn’t seem to follow these rules. Also, series 5 really stood out to me as not being as coherent as the ones before. Despite all of its faults and its horrifying visuals, I did find the series somewhat addictive and mostly well written, so it had to go on my favourites list.

Call the Midwife

On a different note entirely is my favourite TV series in the entire world – Call the Midwife. Every year I look forward to the new season and this year was no different (even though I’m still not over the plot-twist death of my favourite character at the end of the last series…). What I love about CTM is that it handles some really serious topics in a sensitive way but still manages to balance it out with enough happiness to make watching it feel like a warm hug. It’s guaranteed to keep away those January blues that everyone keeps talking about.

Make-up

Benefit Rollerlash Mascara

img_8022I received this mascara as part of the Gimme Some Sugar Gift Set for Christmas and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I knew it was going to be good because it’s certainly not cheap, but I was really really impressed – it both lengthens lashes and adds volume, and can be layered to create a more dramatic look. It stays on really well all day without flaking at all but comes off nicely in the evening, compared to the waterproof Maybelline Lash Sensational that I used to use that would not come off whatever you tried. Yes, it’s expensive, but I’m hoping it lasts a while and if you get it as part of one of their gift sets, it’s relatively good value. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a reliable new mascara!

Skincare

Nivea Soft

img_8019This has been a favourite of mine for a really long time but I’ve been especially loving over the last month, as the cold weather has been really harsh on my skin and caused my eczema to flare up. The cream has a lovely fresh scent and feels very light on the skin, making it feel much softer almost immediately. It’s really affordable compared to some of the other moisturisers that are often talked about, so it’s definitely worth trying if you’re in the market for something new.

Music

Shawn Mendes’ Self Titled album

img_8021This album came out a while ago but I got it for Christmas and have been listening to it pretty much on repeat since. It is a relatively short album but I love basically every song. My favourites include Queen, Lost in Japan, In my Blood and Why and it has honestly made me into a fully-fledged Shawn Mendes stan. I have listened to his previous albums and liked a few songs but I can hardly say a bad word about this one. It’s honestly beautiful and I won’t stand for anyone saying otherwise.

So that’s everything that I have been really loving this month! If you’ve made it all the way to the end of this post, thanks for sticking with my ramblings! Make sure you give this post a like if you’d like these favourites to become a regular feature on the blog and let me know in the comments if there are any other posts you want to see! I’ll see you again next week for another Wednesday upload…

Lots of love,

Hannah Beth

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