RIP Harper Lee

Like many others, I was sad to hear of the passing of Harper Lee on Friday evening. To Kill A Mockingbird is my absolute favourite book, it gave me my love of reading and opened me up to the world of literature, and the power a good book can have to completely transport you into a different world.

I think anyone who has read this book likes it and relates to it on one level or another. I read it for the first time as part of my school English curriculum, and as a young teenager, there was so much that wise Atticus (or Harper) taught me.

Since then I’ve read this book at lease ten times more. I revisit it every few years, and decided once again to revisit it on Friday evening. This copy of the book is my original copy from school, so it’s almost twenty years old now (shudder!). It also still has all my original notes for exams, highlighted paragraphs and underlined quotes!

I thought I would share some of my favourite quotes with you all this Monday morning, to honour Harper Lee’s memory, and inspire some positive thoughts for the week ahead. It’s also my way of thanking her for giving me my love of reading and writing. I, and I’m sure many others, will forever be indebted to her for this profound and life changing work of literature.

‘People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for’.

‘It was at times like these that I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived’.

‘You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it’.

‘I do my best to love everybody’.

‘I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks’.

‘I wanted to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what’.

Sorcha x

Book Review: A Happy Ending in Brooklyn?

So a few weeks ago I shared my reading list for January with you. I’m working my way through my three book choices and last night finished reading one of them, Brooklyn.

Okay. Can I just say first off, I was not expecting that ending! Anyone else?! It almost angers me, don’t get me wrong I loved the book, but I’m left with so many questions, there’s so much more I want to know! But that is the power of a great book isn’t it?

I don’t know how I missed this when it was first released. I love Colm Tóibin’s writing style, he has an undeniable talent for capturing his readers the instant their eyes hit the first page. He describes things exactly as we think and feel them, and it’s hard not to become engrossed in the characters and feel like part of their lives.

Eilis is a young girl who ultimately just wants more for her life and her future. She has adventures and makes mistakes, and duty calls her in many ways meaning what she wants becomes secondary to what she must do. Isn’t that so true for many of us?

What would life be like if we all lived exactly as we wanted to – followed our hearts and not our minds, and didn’t have to worry about money, jobs, bills and responsibilities? That’s a world I’d like to see. But unfortunately things don’t work like that. That same life is hard sometimes, it throws us curve balls, and obstacles, and worries and stresses and illnesses, and we end up doing the things we feel we should do, or need to do, in order to get by. I am a free spirit in some ways, but not anywhere near as much as I’d love to be.

The big question for me in the book is whether Eilis made a huge mistake, or the perfect choice? What if Eilis hadn’t got on the boat at the end? What if Colm, what if?!

I won’t say anymore for fear of spoiling it for those of you who haven’t read the book because I’m told the movie portrays it all in a very different light. And like many Hollywood movies, has a happy ending. Another reason why I’m so glad I read the book first, as I always am.

That’s not to say that for some, the book ending is a happy one. I just didn’t interpret it that way, from my perspective Eilis was just doing her duty rather than doing what her heart told her.

Have you read Brooklyn? If so, let’s chat… I need someone to discuss this with. Stat!

Sorcha x

February Wish List

Like many of you I’m sure, I’m always creating lists of things I like. I have lists for all my favourite things and lists of things I want; books, beauty products, clothes, accessories, shoes glorious shoes, and anything else you can possibly think of. I don’t know about you, but any time I read about something that intrigues me, or I see something I want to buy, it goes on my wish list.

Here’s a look at the top five things I’m lusting after this month:

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Lipsticks

Okay, there’s no two ways about it, I’m frickin’ excited to try out this whole collection, especially the new lipstick range. I love a strong lip and each of the shades in this collection are right up my street. I’m particularly excited to try out shade 714 which is a bright red colour, and the only lippy in Urban Decay’s new ‘Mega Matte’ formula.

Zara Oversized Zinc & Steel Earrings

I don’t know how many pairs of big earrings I own but they are a secret love of mine. I think statement earrings and neckpieces are a must in any wardrobe, and this month I have my eye on these zinc and steel babies from Zara. It’s love.

Benefit POREfessional Matte Rescue Gel

I don’t really have oily skin but do find that as the day goes on I can tend to get a little shinier. I’m a big fan of Benefit products, their That Gal primer is a constant in my makeup bag, so I’m looking forward to trying this out and putting it to the test.

Year of Yes

Ah Shonda Rhimes, the creator of several of my favourite TV shows, most notably Grey’s Anatomy. Shonda recently released this new book, Year of Yes, which I’m dying to read. It tells the story about how when she started saying yes to things more often, her life changed dramatically for the better. This one will also be on my February book list which I will be sharing with you all shortly.

Saint Laurent Espadrilles

I’ve had my eye on these fab studded espadrilles from Saint Laurent for quite a while now and this month I’m going to make sure they are mine! Perfect for the warmer weather that will be coming our way soon (we hope).

So there you go! What’s on your wish list this month?

Sorcha x

January Book List

I think most people who enjoy writing love to read, and I am certainly no exception to that rule. I read a lot, and still wish had more time to do it. While on honeymoon I read five books over two weeks and it was utter bliss – that’s one of the best things about holidays if you ask me – having the time to read.

But honeymoon is long over now (sad face) and I haven’t read a book since I got home four weeks ago which is very out of character for me. But it was Christmas, then New Year, then I started my blog and went back to work, so my free time has been otherwise occupied. But my book list has been slowly growing so it’s time to get back to it!

Reading, along with writing, is my form of escapism, as it is for many of you I’m sure. And although I’m a little late with this post, here’s a look at what’s on my book list for January:

Brooklyn – Colm Tóibín

I’m really looking forward to reading this and frankly don’t know how it has escaped me up to now. But with all the hype around the movie release, I’m determined to have it read before someone reveals the plot to me. I also can’t stand seeing movies based on books without having ready the book first! Anyone else have a pet peeve about this?! Anyway, so that I don’t run the risk of finding out too much, this will be my first read, starting tonight.

Girl Boss – Sophia Amoruso

I’ve had this on my book list for a while now and just haven’t got around to reading it but I’ve decided this is the month to tackle it. I’ve heard mixed reviews so I’m cautiously curious and will have to keep you posted on this one.

Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert

This is the one I’m most excited about of the three. Although Gilbert’s most famous book, Eat Pray Love, received a mixed bag of reviews, I loved it. I was travelling South America when I read it, and therefore the dreamer in me could identify with her story. I too was on a soul-searching journey at the time and it was a great companion along the way. Naturally I therefore have high hopes for Big Magic, not least because I just like how Gilbert writes. It has been described as self-help, feel good book full of common sense – I’m not sure what to make of that commentary but it I’m intrigued.

So there you go, I better get cracking if I want to finish them by the end of the month! I’ll be sure to share my thoughts once I’m done.

Oh! And I’m always on the hunt for good book suggestions, so please feel free to share your favourites. There can never be too many books on your wish list!

Sorcha x