An Interview in Oxford

Sorry this post is late – I was ill and then spent all of yesterday in London being fancy at the Ritz. It was chaotic, but that’s a story for another time. Today’s post is on interviews. Specifically Oxford interviews as I know admissions is this week, but as I know that probably doesn’t apply to most of you I’m hoping at least some of it will be applicable to interviews in general. I did really want to make this post though because I know when I went through it, my college didn’t really know much and information wasn’t really available. If you’re lucky enough to be at a school which drills you until you can barely put a foot wrong, lucky you; if not, then hopefully I can be of at least some use, even if it just puts you more at ease.

1. Be you. It’s you that they want to see, not Mr High-and-Mighty who is trying to mimic what he thinks an Oxford student is. It’s really obvious. Their going to have to spend the next three years trying to teach you so you want them to like you. Be friendly. Smile. Be comfortable. Their not trying to trick you or confuse or bully you into submission. Tutor’s are just people, and to be honest this period is just as stressful for them as it is for you. You might well be the fifth person they’ve seen that day, and if you come across and friendly and chatty after a bunch of interviews which were akin to drawing blood from a stone, you’ll be the one they remember. Believe me, when they’ve seen you cry and you’ve seen them drunk they’re a lot less scary.

2. Dress well. But be comfortable. Despite what you might think you definitely don’t have to wear a suit. Unless you’re one of those people who wears a suit every day, you’re just not going to feel like yourself and that means you’ll probably come across as awkward as well. That doesn’t go to say that you should turn up in joggers and the oldest hoody you own. Whilst I know some people that it’s worked for, most of us just look like we couldn’t be bothered to put in any effort. Try and look presentable if you can; a clean tshirt, a nice skirt, chinos etc etc, but something that you’d actually choose to wear if you were going out somewhere nice with friends. Not something your mother told you would make you look like an excellent candidate.

3. Don’t be intimidated by the other candidates. When you turn up a bunch of people you meet will show off all of the things they know that you don’t know for no good reason. Because they can. Don’t worry about it. The fact that they know more useless facts than you on one particular topic is irrelevant and doesn’t make them more qualified for a place. When I turned up at least three people started having akin depth discussion about the details of Nebuchadnezzar. I knew nothing about Nebuchadnezzar. Knowledge of Nebuchadnezzar did not help them get a place. I still know nothing about Nebuchadnezzar and I just had to look up the spelling on Wikipedia.

4. It’s okay to be wrong. Similarly to the last one, the tutors don’t care if you don’t know the answer. You haven’t gone through 7+ years of higher education – they can hardly expect you to. It’s a darn sight better to just say you don’t know than to spend five minutes of your interview making something up and ending up looking an even bigger fool. They wan’t to see your thought process, to know if you’ll fit in at Oxford. If you can’t be honest, open and communicative in an interview, then it’s unlikely you’ll be honest, open and communicative in a tutorial – and seeing as thats the primary form of teaching at Oxford, it’s really important that they feel they can work with you. Chill out. Show them what you do know, don’t lie about what you don’t. It’ll be fine.

5. Know your personal statement. And what you wrote in whatever sample work you handed in. There is a high chance they will ask you on it, and, contrary to the last point, here you look a lot more genuine if you can expand on what you’ve written, rather than having to quickly think of a way to talk about that thing that you near-enough made up… They have a lot of people to see, and they don’t know very much about anyone, so that statement is all they have to work with. In my personal statement I wrote that I admired strong women such as Ariadne and Medea, which they completely pulled me up on in my interview. Now if you don’t know the story of Medea, she murders both of her children in a jealous rage, in order to get back at her husband for marrying another wife. So I basically had to justify why I had said I admired a crazy person. If you can’t talk about something you’ve written they’ll wonder why you bothered putting it in in the first place. Be prepared.

6. Enjoy it. Regardless of whether you actually get a place or not, most people will only go through the experience once. And it’s a really unique experience. Enjoy being in Oxford – at my college at least there’s a bunch of stuff put on by the students in the evenings to entertain you, so go. make new friends even if you never see them again. Visit the museums, the parks, the other colleges. Don’t spend the entire time stressing over one interview that didn’t go exactly as you planned. You literally cannot know how well you’ve done, or how well anyone else did. Relax and have fun with it!

So that was a bit of a different post to usual but it was something that I really wanted to write. It felt a lot more serious than I thought it was going to be, so sorry if it intimidated anyone! Honestly, interviews are nothing to worry about, and the more you can relax and enjoy the process the easier you’ll find it.

~ Becca

P.S: I really just want to get this up as its so so late already, so I’m going to come back and add pictures later when I actually have time.

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A Perfect Partnership

I am an awful blogger. I know, I know. I have abandoned this blog a bit over the last few weeks. The first draft of y first bit of coursework is due on Thursday, and it turns out quite a lot of work is involved… But without further ado: Music and books.

Do you ever find that you listen to a pace of music and it just completely and totally reminds you of a book, or a book character or a book series? Books. Some are obvious – Troye Sivan’s The Fault in Our Stars goes perfectly with John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars (I was actually quite upset that they didn’t use it in the film…) but obviously it was written specifically to reflect the book; again, a lot of film scored bring up memories of a particular book, I mean try listening to Hedwig’s theme without images of Harry, Ron and Hermione running through your brain, but then that’s the point, it’s why it was written, it’s 100% deliberate. I’m talking about random songs that just happen to coincide perfectly with your understanding of a particular book.

I do have an example, and it’s going a bit far back now: Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy by Queen, goes perfectly with Twilight… Don’t hate me – I know Twilight is far from the height of literature but I actually kinda like it. I read it just after it came out, and I was about 13, and it was exciting and romantic. Obviously now I can see the really creepy, stalkerish undertones, but I don’t think that makes it an unenjoyable book – just, maybe don’t look for that in your next boyfriend… Don’t get me started on the films though; I just share the viewpoint of Robert Pattinson. But yeah, having read the book before it was butchered by the film industry, I was really struck by how much this song reflected my perception of Edward.

I don’t know, to me it just fit. I find it intriguing that a song written in 1976 can match so well with a book written in 2005.The ‘I will pay the bill, you taste the wine bit’ reminded me of the scene where they get dinner post saving her from creepy guys. I was 13 and it stuck so now the song always reminds me of Edward Cullen. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not, but it’s still a pretty great song. Now I kinda wanna go home and read Twilight… Oh dear.

Are there any song-book couplings you’re particularly fond of or am I just spur weird?

~ Becca x

P.S – Sorry about the slightly ramble, unthought-through post. It’s nearly Christmas and the plan then is just to churn out posts like there’s no tomorrow! – I have a few ideas pending… And hopefully more book reviews when I actually get a chance to read: I’m still only about a third of the way through Cress and this makes me sad.

P.P.S – I was thinking of starting a kind-of monthly photo dump. I have no clue if anyone’s interested, and even if not, it might still be quite a nice way to have a record of general life. And Oxford is quite pretty. I was going to give a post like that a go this weekend but it turns out I suck at remembering to take photos – I managed about 5 in two days and most of those are just of buildings. What d’y’all think? xx

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5 Things I’ve Learnt From Being At University

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Today’s post is not particularly bookish. Soz guys. While I’m at university, as you’re already starting to see, my posts are probably just going to get more and more random. I barely have time to write, which sucks, and trying … Continue reading

Free Ebooks: LUSH – S.L. Baum

Once again we visit the pile of books virtually stacked up on my kindle, and this time I wasn’t so bowled over.

LUSH is set in a dystopian/utopian esque world in which one’s entire future is controlled. Children from the age of five a brought up in a government run school facility, in which girls and boys are kept entirely separate and memories of their younger lives are repressed. At the age of seventeen, the two sexes are reunited once again, under close supervision, during which time they undertake a series of tests which not only determine the career path they are best suited for, but also whether or not they are fertile. After this they are released into society, to start training for their new career and to try and secure a marriage contract, have children etc etc. The story follows Bluebell, aged seventeen and member of a family which dates back to the founding council, as she goes through the integration process and what follows. Except Bluebell is special (obviously). Instead of being branded merely fertile or infertile, she is instead Lush with life – a status which sets her on a path in the public spotlight, and which leads her to discover some of the darker secrets of her family.

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And I think this is where my problem with the the book lay. I never really understood what ‘Lush with life’ actually meant – whilst I assumed that it was meant to imply that she was super-fertile of something, it was just never really explained beyond it being really great. What did she add to society, other than a few more children? What did it mean biologically? Historically? I don’t know. i can only assume that it will be explained in one of the next book in the trilogy. There may also have been some personal bias involved related to memories of my father mocking my now Cardiff based sister for her increased use of the word ‘lush’  since going to uni. I just cannot take the word seriously. But I’m fairly sure that’s just me.

Don’t get me wrong though, it’s not actually a bad book. I just wasn’t thrilled by it. Much of the story was fairly generic, and I could predict what was going to happen in a ‘just get on with it already’ kinda way rather than an, ‘oooh I can’t wait for that to happen’ one. I do want to know what happens, but I’m not sure if I’m invested enough to pay for the next two books in the series. I’m still on the fence about this one guys.

~ Becca x


Take a look yourself:     UK     US

(something weird happens when I try to access the US link – I think it’s because I’m in the UK, but I’m not sure, so sorry about that)

I Don’t Know Anymore: TV and Stuff, because my brain is dead.

I really seem to struggle to read when I’m at university. It may have something to do with the fact that, seeing as I spend at least 5 hours a day trawling through piles from the library, trying to put together some semblance of an essay, my desire to read in my spare time decreases hugely. But I think I also feel that when I’m not working I should be doing something useful with my time; making the most of the short amount of my life I’ll spend at University. So instead of reading I’m doing two sports and still attempting to have a social life… Hmmm.

I do find though that there are some places where I am just more comfortable reading. At home I read partly because I live in a fairly suburban-esque area and there’s basically nothing else to do, but also because, curled up on my bed, or lying on the sofa I can really lose myself in the book. Before they downsized, I used to really enjoy reading at my Grandparents house as well – reading was actively encouraged and my Grandfather used to buy us books every christmas and every birthday, which meant that every time we visited it was basically a three day readathon for the whole family, interspersed with a few countryside walks. It was also a really big house, that always seemed really quiet so it was perfect for reading. Bliss. Beaches are also fantastic to read on, if you can cope with propping yourself up on your arms for that long; again, I think it has to do with not needing to be doing anything else. You’re there to relax anyway, so spending hours reading in the sun is amazing, and if you want a break the sea is right there. Being in Oxford I do really miss the beach.

Here however, I wish I read more. Instead I just seem to watch TV – I use it to wake up in the morning, before my brain has had time to fully engage, while I drink my tea. SO i thought I’d let you in on what I’m watching at the moment, seeing as I don’t seem to be reading anywhere near as much as I should.

100The 100: 

Based off of a book that I still haven’t got around to reading, season 2 has just started and it’s great. Well, I think so – my boyfriend says its one of the worst things he’s ever watched and will barely let me even put it on if he’s in the room. Spoilsport. If you don’t already know, its based after earth was made unliveable, due to radiation, and 90 or so years later, a group of children are sent down to try and repopulate it. Only they have to deal with what was left behind. It’s very dystopian, very post-apocaliptic, with a bit of an iffy love-triangle, but Clark is badass, and it’s really fast paced. I have no clue where this season is going to go, but with a whole bunch of new people introduced I’m really excited. I also can’t wait to see how the power dynamic changes now that the adults are on the ground, because the kids have all the knowledge and I don’t think the grown-ups will adjust very well. Worth a watch, and I might even try and read the book at some point soon.

reignReign:

Here we have a period drama based around the life of Mary Queen of Scots, starring Adelaide Kane. I say period drama loosely though. It’s more like Gossip Girl set in Tudor France, with an indie soundtrack, chokablok with The Lumineers, Imagine Dragons and the like. I think one of my favourites was a cover of Lorde’s Royals done on violins as one of the ballroom dances. Again, just starting it’s second season, it’s full of intrigue and magic, plots and the romantic chaos that you expect from such a show. It’s fairly predictable and everybody seems to die, but it’s still fun and I’m getting addicted.

The OC - Ten Years LaterThe OC:

I decided to start watching this a couple of weeks ago, and my lord does it make me feel old. Originally released in 2003, the outfits and the music definitely dates it. It’s a fairly typical teenage high-school drama, set in California, from which stars such as Rachel Bilson and Mischa Barton originated. There’s drama every episode, like, seriously, no one has that much drama in their life, it’s ridiculous. And yet somehow everything always seems sunny and happy at the same time. It’s not as good as One Tree Hill. And I’m not even sure how good One Tree Hill is now that I’m no longer 15, but The OC does make for some adequate half-asleep, background type watching, so why not. I’ve got 4 seasons to go…

So I guess that was kind of an update? I don’t know – I feel as though I haven’t been reading enough to talk about new books, and my brain is dead from nearly 4 hours of sport so I’m too lazy to actually think up an interesting post. So you’re stuck with some ramblings and the shit I’m currenty watching on TV. I have pretty bad taste in TV… Oh well. Maybe next week. In actual updates though, I have given up on The Program, finally, in favour of Shadow and Bone, which is sooooo much better. I’m already half-way through and I’ve barely put any time into it. Review to follow. Probably….

~ Becca x

The Pages of Inspiration

So life feels a bit hectic at the moment, and actually spending time sitting down to blog feels like a luxury. But I always knew going back to Oxford would be busy, and it’s nice not to have the pressure of needing to finish books now, especially since I’m still under half-wiy through The Programme. I’d been reading it in the gym a lot, but now that training has started again, I’ve been spending time at the Sports Centre and not the gym so progress has been slow. It’s okay so far. I’m not enthralled though – I have no desperation to pick it up and a lot of the time have been opting to continue my Gilmore Girls marathon instead. All of the characters feel quite superficial but I’m not sure how much of that is deliberate. I’m also not sure the story has really got going yet though, so I’m not giving up this soon. I’ll keep you posted.

I’ve spent a lot of the last week or so, beginning to look up DPhil’s for post-graduate study, which, by the way, is terrifying. It means I have to write a bunch of personal statements for various applications, which got me thinking. Here in the UK we have to write a personal statement in order to apply to university, and I remember my Oxford one from four years ago. in it I say that I fell in love with my subject due to a series of children’s books, and looking back, I realise how important books can be in inspiring us, or showing us avenues that we hadn’t previously thought of. The books I was then referring to were the Roman Myteries series by Caroline Lawrence. I read the lot, even though by the time the last ones came out I was basically already going off to university. If you haven’t read them, they’re about 4 kids who are detectives in Ancient Rome and get in to all sorts of trouble and it’s very overblown and it’s great. The thing I really loved though was how accurate it was. Not the characters or the plot, granted, but the world it was set in, which was not only extremely believable but, as a now Classicist, surprisingly similar to the real Ancient Rome. There was even a bibliography in the back. It first introduced me to the details of archaeology and of the classical world and I instantly fell in love. Even now, starting my Masters degree, and having renounced as much Roman stuff as I can in favour of Greek, I owe where I am to those books. They started my love for my subject and they still have pride of place on my bookshelves: all 18 of them.

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It’s amazing how important books can be to us. In inspiring us, or making us want to travel (Daughter of Smoke and Bone made me desperate to go to Prague), or even make us want to act or be a certain way, almost encouraging us to be a better version of ourselves, if you will. Whilst many of us, myself included, read for escapism, we shouldn’t forget the huge impact that books can have off of the page as well.

Do you have any books that have influenced you, even just a little bit? Or is there a book that is more important to you than any other because of what it means to you in the real world? Let me know, while I go and plow my way through this packet of chocolate malted milks…

~ Becca x

Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins

Awwwwwwwwwwww. Awwwwwwwwwww pretty much says it all. I genuinely contemplated just typing aw for 500 characters but that probably doesn’t improve anyone’s day. Except maybe mine. Seriously though, this book it cute. It somehow manages to be a pretty damn good portrayal of teenage relationships, at least in my experience. Anna and the French Kiss follows Anna, a 17 year old from Atlanta, who has been sent to boarding school in Paris for her senior year, alone. Leaving behind her best friend Bridge, and her potential love interest Toph, she is initially reluctant to open up to the most romantic city in the world, but after making friends and developing a connection to heartthrob, Etienne St Clair, she begins to feel at home. Unfortunately for Anna, St Clair is taken.

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This book basically reminds me of watching the romantic lives of a lot of my friends at Sixth Form. People fight, they confuse lust with love, characters are underhanded, Anna likes St Clair, who is dating Ellie, but likes Anna, but won’t bloody do anything about it. Anna’s new best friend likes St Clair. Frankly everyone likes St Clair. It’s just St Clair who has no bloody clue what he’s doing. It is a complete and total mess for most of the book. But the thing is, that’s why it’s so believable. 17, 18 year olds who have no clue what they’re doing, are full of hormones, and are still working out who they are make mistakes. This book is full of mistakes. But it’s also endearing. It’s cute, and funny, and it makes you squeal. I particularly liked the fact that, even when they do make mistakes, there’s no real animosity. As friends, after the initial reaction, they forgive each other and move on. They support each other. Which is healthy. And which more people need to read about, because I’ve seen, and unfortunately read about, enough friendship groups (thankfully not my own) where arguments mean taking sides, and rumour spreading, and not talking ever again because of some petty disagreement. Eurgh. The only thing I wasn’t really down with was the whole cheating thing. It was mild, and cleared up pretty quick, but it still wasn’t really okay. The not okayness was at least addressed by pretty much every character aside from Anna herself though, which for me was important. Because yes, teenagers make mistakes, but I’m glad Stephanie Perkins isn’t outright condoning it.

Which brings me on to Anna herself – I can’t say I’m her biggest fan. Frankly, she’s irritating and self-centred and whiny. But that doesn’t mean that I found her a bad character. She’s not always irritating and self-centred and whiny. I don’t think her character really changes throughout the book, but she does have other traits which appear at various points. She’s funny, smart, persistent, dedicated to her schoolwork, hardworking, she supports her friends, and she tries to be the best person she can be. She even realises when she’s being whiny and self-centred and usually goes to apologise eventually. So she’s definitely a nice, well rounded character. Just if we met in person, I don’t think I could cope…

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I also loved the setting. And whilst I imagine that the Parisian location is a draw for a lot of people, it was actually quite a surprise for me. I visited Paris when I was about 12, and I hated it. I am not a city person. And Paris was just, burgh – people were rude, it was busy and dirty and so many pigeons and it smelt weird, and I didn’t much like the food (which might actually say more about where we ate than French food as a whole – I have nothing against French food. it rocks). But I did not enjoy it at all. I often find that books make me open up to places, they make me aware of another side of a place, see it’s beauty in a new way, see it’s magic. Daughter of Smoke and Bone made me desperate to go to Prague; The Chalet School to Vienna, and Anna and the French Kiss has started to make me re-evaluate Paris.

~ Becca x

P.S – I absolutely adore the current covers for this series. I have no clue why, I just think they’re absolutely gorgeous.


The standard Amazon links:     UK     US

The Liebster Award

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I was nominated for the Liebster Award by AppleTaile. We haven’t known about each other for very long but that means nothing in the blogosphere. Thank you for the nomination! Also go and check out her blog because it’s great.

I’m also following the rules set down by 52lettersinthealphabet, with the same change in that I don’t know enough blogs to nominate, so ALL OF YOU are nominated. Go ahead and consider yourselves awarded. And do it.

The rules are:

1. Link to and thank the blogger who nominated you
2. Answer the 11 questions your nominator gives you

3. Tag 11 other bloggers who have 200 or less followers
4. Ask the 11 bloggers you nominated 11 questions and let them know you nominated them!

Anyway, here are the questions:

1. Do you dog-ear the corners of pages in the books you read, or does the idea make you scream?

Yes, so badly. I have a habit of folding over corners of pages containing quotes I particularly like, with a mind to go back and write them don when I get a chance. I inevitably never do end up writing them down, but if you go through my bookshelves you’ll get an insight into my brain just by looking at the folded pages. I also am that annoying person who leaves books open on their spine to mark my page. My best loved books are in the worst condition. But in my opinion a book is there to be loved, not sit in a display case…


2. When you eat, do you save the tastiest food until last or eat it first?

Most of the time I leave it until last, unless it’s something like ice-cream that will melt or taste awful cold. I made the mistake of leaving my halloumi until last once and cold halloumi just isn’t the same.  I remember my mother and my aunt having an argument over this at the kitchen table once though, so it apparently doesn’t run universally in my family.


3. Do you prefer fountain pens, gel pens, biros, or felt tips?

I like the concept of fountain pens, and I love the feel of them as they write, but I’m left handed which means I get the decision between horrendous wrist pain, or blue ink smeared absolutely everywhere. Same problem with gel pens. Which means biros for day to day life, and felt tips for everything I want to look good. Stabilo fineliners are my favourite but they cost a fortune, and you can’t buy the purple ones individually. (For some reason I choose to write in purple).


4. Do you watch any long-standing TV programme?

I’ve watched Doctor Who since Eccleston. I also religiously watch Teen Wolf much to the dismay of my boyfriend, but I don’t know if that counts as long-standing.


5. If you were having a surprise party tomorrow, what cake or dessert would you make?

Betty Crocker’s Devil’s Food Cake. Partly because it’s amazing and partly because I am actually capable of making it.


6. Do you have a lucky number? If so, what is it?

I wouldn’t say I have a lucky number. If I’m ever asked my favourite number I always say 4, but I have no clue why.


7. What’s your typing style? Can you touch type?

I type fairly quickly, but I still look at the keyboard a lot. I can type without looking, and tend to finish words as such, but if I try to touch type whole sentences I end up thinking about it too much and start making mistakes. So kinda? I feel like touch typing is fairly redundant in my generation now anyway, as everyone types pretty fast, having spent our entire lives connected to the internet.


8. Do you like to buy aesthetically pleasing products? Do book covers affect the books you buy?

I am a complete sucker for pretty things. I buy half of what I do based on aesthetics, including books, which means I have a lot of books on my shelf that look nice but are completely unread. On the other hand I’ve also found some really amazing books because of it, like Throne of Glass, usually as my 3rd of Waterstone’s 3 for 2. I also buy wine based on how aesthetically pleasing the label is, but that’s a topic for another time…


9. What’s your favourite kind of sandwich?

I tend to eat wraps so I don’t really eat sandwiches much anymore unless they’re grilled, so either a tuna melt, or a croque monsieur. Fried brie, bacon and cranberry sandwiches are also amazing, but are a heart attack in a pan.


10. Which season do you like best, and why?

I am a summer child. I always feel happiest in the summer, especially by the sea when your skin ends up part sweat from the heat, part salt from the wind. I really hate being cold, but I’m also not a fan of wearing massive coats if I can avoid it, as it feels too bulky. Which is an issue because college haven’t turned the heating on yet so I have to wear thermals. I always feel like I like the idea of winter, but after a few days of enjoying it, the novelty wears off and I am reminded that in Britain winter = rain. Summer all the way.

11. What would you summarise the meaning of life to be, in less than 3 sentences?

42? I don’t know; I don’t think I actually have a serious answer. Be happy? Do what you love? I feel like I haven’t lived enough to have found it myself yet… Come back to me in 30 years and I might be able to tell you (although probably not). (Totally not less that 3 sentences).

 

My questions are:

1. How do you organise your bookshelves?

2. In what kind of apocalypse do you think you are most likely to survive?

3. Are you are city or a country person? Why?

4. If you could live in any fictional world where would it be?

5. Write a haiku?

6. Who has influenced your perspective the most in life?

7. Do you prefer to buy your books in bookshops, at second-hand stalls or online?

8. If you could marry any fictional character who would it be?

9. Favourite Starbucks drink?

10. Are you a Christmas Jumper person?

11. What are you most looking forwards to?

 

I’m going to nominate Bookw0rmtales – and all of you!

 

~ Becca x

When in Oxford: A Bookshelf Switch and Termly TBR

So this is what Oxford looks like today:

Ox 2 Ox 4

Still as beautiful as ever, if very very wet. And yes, I am finally back. I spent my morning today training to be a consent workshop facilitator, which basically involves leading discussions on consent and the culture surrounding it. Discourse surrounding sexual abuse and consent is incredibly important if we want to break the culture of victim shaming and ‘Blurred Lines’ to quote the incredibly awful Robin Thicke song. Without talking about these subjects, the bad becomes normalised, and incidents get brushed under the carpet; we act as if, by not talking about them, they cease to exist. And that got me to thinking about the role consent plays in books. *Spoilers* In Anna and the French Kiss for instance, she asks Etienne to kiss her – clear consent, even if I have other issues with that particular scene. In Crown of Midnight, Celaena is clearly consenting to her escapades with Chaol. All of which is great. But I think that there is more to be said on how consent is explored and portrayed in books. This post is not where I want to do this – it’s far too big and important a discussion and so I want the chance to go home to my bookshelves and do a bit more research before plunging into the topic headfirst. If I’m going to talk about it then I think it’s important to do it properly, and I don’t feel in a position to do that yet. But I did still want to mention it here to start to get people thinking, especially with the huge importance the conversation on sexual abuse is currently playing within the YouTube community. If you don’t know hat I’m talking about, go and look it up, as a lot of people have great things to say. So this may be just barely touch on the idea, but I do want to come back to it so watch this space, and if you know of any books in which consent is a particularly big theme, or for that matter, a minor one, please do send them my way.

What I did want to do with this post is actually far more trivial, so sorry to disappoint anyone who was hoping for an in depth discussion of what I learnt this morning. You’ll have to wait. Moving back to Oxford means that I had to leave my bookshelves behind. *cries* For the next eight weeks of so, I will be swapping fantasy and dystopia, for these:

Ox 1

And for anyone whose ever actually read Arrian back to back, you’ll know that a ten page description of troop layout and battle tactics is far less enticing than it is in YA fiction. I did, however, allow myself a few escapist reading books. So without further ado, here is my termly TBR:

THE PROGRAM 0719_LOThe Programme: Suzanne Young

I’m already a fair few chapters into this and it seems okay so far, I’m not completely enthused by it, but it still has time to woo me. It’s set in a dystopian-esque world in which teen depression, leading to suicide, has become an epidemic. In an attempt to cure it, the government instrumented a therapy known as ‘The Program’, but those who go through The Program don’t come out the same. Oooooh dramatic. Tbh, I’m just waiting for the main character, Sloane, to get thrown in already.

calamityThe First Book of Calamity Leek: Paula Lichtarowicz

I think this is about cults? I don’t know. I’ve heard it’s weird but the cover is pretty.

cressCress: Marissa Meyer

I loved Cinder, I loved Scarlett. I hope I love Cress. The entire Lunar chronicles are retellings of classic fairytales in a futuristic society. Cinderella is a cyborg. Red Riding Hood is in love with a mutant wolf man. And now we get Rapunzel – I can’t wait.

shadow-and-bone_hi-res-677x1024Shadow and Bone: Leigh Bardugo

I bought this book because I kept hearing so many good things about it. I bought it without actually reading the blurb though… So I’ve just gone and read the blurb and apparently it’s about an orphan who gets thrown into the world of the elite and has to save the kingdom. There also appears to be a love triangle between her childhood friend, and a potentially evil guy called the Darkling. Because god knows we all need more love triangles. But yeah, I’ve heard good things about it, so maybe there isn’t a love triangle after all… I’ll let you know.

What are you all reading this Autumn?

~ Becca x