February 2020 Wrap-Up

This month has been a difficult one personally. As a result I’ve read far less that I had planned. I’m still on track with my Agatha Christie and Goodreads reading challenges, but that’s about all I can say for this month’s reading.

What I’ve Been Reading

I have managed to read

  1. Murder on the Links (Hercule Poirot #2), Agatha Christie
  2. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Jenny Han
  3. The Man in the Brown Suit, Agatha Christie
  4. The Secret of Chimneys, Agatha Christie
  5. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot #3), Agatha Christie

Favourite Read: The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie

Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that I really struggled with reading this book as I was reading a library e-book loan on my 6 inch mobile phone screen (my library app is not currently compatible with Kindles…). However I absolutely adored this book. It’s the first 5 Star rating I’ve given in my Agatha Christie #CHRISTIE100 reading challenge.


What I’ve Been Watching

Don’t F**k With Cats. Cheer. Orange is the New Black.
NB. I do not own these images. Image rights belong to Netflix

Don’t F**k With Cats is possibly the most disturbing murder/true crime documentary I have ever watched. It’s the first time I can honestly say that I felt my blood run cold. I don’t get shaken easily with the amount of these that I watch but wow. This really was something else.


I only ended up watching Cheer because it was recommended to me by friends at work. I couldn’t think of anything worse that watching a cheerleading documentary. What would be the point? Well, I was so wrong. Cheerleading is one hell of a sport. Those kids put their bodies and minds under so much pressure and through so much stress. I saw a completely different side to this sport that is usually portrayed as being for high school bimbos. PLEASE watch this show. Oh, and Jerry has my heart, what a guy.


Okay, I know I know. I’m massively late to the party with Orange is the New Black. In my defense, I did watch it when it was first released. I managed 7 episodes of season 1 before I gave up out of senseless boredom. I’m so glad that I’ve given it another chance as I’m now really enjoying it and speeding into season 4.


Next time…

More Agatha Christie. Hopefully another 5 or 6 in March. I’d also like to attempt to read the rest of the Truly Devious series by Maureen Johnson as I’ve currently only read book #1.

Keep up to date with what I’m reading over on my Instagram page @beauteaful.reads

January 2020 Wrap-Up

This month I’ve been trying to get back into blogging properly. The last half of 2019 was a bit of a nightmare if I’m honest. I failed an exam, and therefore my degree, so had to re-sit during the summer ahead of my delayed graduation this month. I was busy trying to find a full-time job with no degree classification. I also had my very busy summer job to contend with. With all of this going on I was barely reading, let alone keeping up with my blog or instagram. So far, 2020 has started off pretty well on the reading and blogging front so hopefully the rest of this year will follow suit.

Here’s what I’ve been getting up to in January.


What I’ve Been Reading

I have managed to read

  1. The Northern Lights, Philip Pullman
  2. The Subtle Knife, Philip Pullman
  3. The Amber Spyglass, Philip Pullman
  4. One Of Us Is Lying, Karen M. McManus
  5. One Of Us Is Next, Karen M. McManus
  6. The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot #1), Agatha Christie
  7. The Secret Adversary (Tommy and Tuppence #1), Agatha Christie

7 books is a really good reading month for me. I’m finally starting to get back to the numbers I was reading before uni broke me! Here are some of my highlights.


Most Pleasant Surprise: The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie

2 brilliant 20 somethings running around London and involving themselves in espionage in the 20s?! YES PLEASE. Tuppence is a total bad ass woman! Perfect book to bring a bit of the roaring 20s into the 2020s! Oh, and a little love story on the side! Now a firm favourite and I cannot wait to read the rest of the Tommy and Tuppence novels.

Most Anticipated: One Of Us Is Next by Karen M. McManus

Holy sh*t, the reigning YA Thriller Queen did NOT disappoint with this sequel. I wondered how on earth a sequel would be written but wow, wow, wow. McManus nailed it. We checked in with the Bayview Four whilst meeting new characters and a new game. This was also a OOUIL switcheroo as this time we were playing catch up and trying to work out who was dead rather than who did it, although we were trying to figure out the mysterious puppet master of the truth or dare game… Already my favourite read of 2020 and it will take a fair amount to knock it off top spot.


Christie 100 – My crazy reading challenge

If you haven’t seen my post already, I’ve decided to read all 66 of Agatha Christie’s novels (written under her own name) this year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Agatha’s first novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles.

Because apparently my life isn’t already busy enough…

This is also my own personal celebration of one of the only successful people to come out of my hometown and my reminder that I can absolutely ace my life like she did.

Click here to read all about it!


What I’ve Been Watching

The Crown, Season 3. You, Season 2. The Good Place, Season 4. Gavin & Stacey, Christmas Special 2019. Grace & Frankie, Season 6.
NB. I do not own these images. Image rights belong to Netflix, NBC, and the BBC respectively.

Season 3 of The Crown was the most disappointing so far, in my opinion. The only improvement is that Prince Philip hasn’t been painted as a villain in the same way seasons 1 and 2 did. Princess Anne is woefully under-used, which is a shame because her character has some of the best lines in the series. I also feel like there’s lots of important historical events missing that could have been included and far more interesting than the persistent personal speculation the whole series involves itself in.

Writers and producers should be careful with a historical drama like this that concerns living memory because lots of viewers seem to use this programme as a documentary and a gospel of these events. It needs to be made much clearer that this is a dramatisation based on true events where lots of artistic licence has been taken. Otherwise, it’s a slippery slope that will only get steeper as the seasons bring the show more and more up to date.


The next series of You hit Netflix shortly before the New Year and let’s just say it makes for rather uncomfortable viewing. If you’re thinking of watching this I should point out these trigger warnings:

  • Violence. Big time.
  • Child abuse.
  • Sexual assault.
  • Gaslighting.

After a hiatus from the middle of December until the middle of January, season 4 of The Good Place is finally back! I love this show, it’s so damn wholesome and I really don’t want it to end. Chidi and Eleanor 5eva 😉.


I couldn’t mention my viewing habits this month without shouting about the Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special!!! After nearly a decade we finally caught up with the Barry Island and Billericay crews! I have 2 overwhelming thoughts following Christmas Day (and the 15 or more times I’ve re-watched the episode already 😂):

  1. YOU CANNOT LEAVE IT LIKE THAT
  2. WILL WE EVER FIND OUT WHAT THE SH*TTING F*UCK HAPPENED ON THAT FISHING TRIP?!

January 2020 has seen the return of Grace & Frankie on Netflix! Hit, feel-good comedy about 2 women who are forced into friendship (and living together) after their husbands leave them for each other! I devoured this in an afternoon, as I have done with the release of most of the previous series’. I already cannot wait to watch season 7, although I’m very upset that this will be the last…

Next time…

In February I’m planning to finally read Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series, especially with film #2 being released on Netflix on the 12th.

Keep up to date with what I get up to on a daily basis on my Instagram stories @beauteaful.reads

Christie 100 Challenge

2020 sees the 100th anniversary of the publication of Agatha Christie’s first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles.

So…

I’m going to do something slightly crazy

Yep. All of her novels. All 66 in publication order.

For the time being I’m not including any short stories, plays, Mary Westmacott books, or the Detection Club books Agatha collaborated on (with the intention of preventing my brain from melting under the sheer volume of Christie I’m already attempting to read). We’ll see how I get on though.

You can follow this Reading Challenge here on Beauteaful Reads and any of my social media channels. There is a story highlight available on my Instagram and I’ll be posting more regular Christie 100 reading updates there.

If you’d like to join me, please tag your posts and updates with #Christie100. The official website for all things Dame Agatha Christie are staging an official reading challenge #ReadChristie2020 with a category for each month and a suggestion of which of her novels fit the description. So if my mammoth 66 novel challenge seems too much, maybe take some inspiration and try 20 Christies in 2020.


12 Reads of Christmas 2019: Day 8

The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle, Arthur Conan Doyle

“My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people do not know.”

– Sherlock Holmes
Continue reading “12 Reads of Christmas 2019: Day 8”