This week my word has to be:

It was very hard to pick a word this week, it was my birthday at the beginning of the week so I've had lots of celebrations for that, including going out to see Blockers at the local Cineworld. I've also been lucky enough to get some new shoes (so shoes was a definite possibility for word of the week)!

However, I had to go with summer in the end, because despite the fact that as I write this it is cloudy and raining, overall this week has just been so lovely and summery. I've been able to wear summer dresses, and walk in the sunbeams! With the daffodils still out from Spring everything has been so bright and yellow and warm - I love it, doesn't summer just make everyone feel happier?

Another thing that has been making me feel happy this week is sitting in the sun reading a beautiful book by Lucy Mangan called 'Bookworm' all about all of those books I read as a child - where my love of reading all began!

As it's been sunny this week I have been updating my makeup look - adding a bit more lovely bronzer, shimmery eyeshadow and using a glow stick called 'Beach Babe' (I'm not sure at all what a glow stick is, or what it does, or how to use it, but I'm giving it a go)!

Picture featuring my curtains and wash cloth (just like those instagrammers do it)!

Hope you have all had a lovely summery week,

Isabelle
The Reading Residence
What with my birthday, coming back to uni, and getting back to work it's been a bit busy and I'm ready for a bit of a relax this evening, so I'm going to sit down and watch The Job Lot on Netflix.

I came across this programme quite by accident on Netflix and decided to watch it as I recognised Sarah Hadland in the photo as Stevie from Miranda. I wasn't expecting much from The Job Lot but I've actually really enjoyed it. It's been the first programme in a long time that has actually made me laugh out loud. 

The Job Lot is set in a job centre in Brownall and revolves around the people who work there such as the very neurotic and funny Trish (Hadland), the slightly crazy cat-loving hater-of-people Angela, the funny Karl, the lovely Natalie and all the other staff and job seekers at Brownall job centre. I would describe the series as a toned down version of The Office.

While some of the episodes have predictable plot lines overall they are very good, the writers are brilliant at playing various characters off each other. One of my favourite moments in the series is in First Impressions (S2 E2) where due to a misunderstanding Angela (who hates everyone, particularly Trish) becomes Trish's PA, hilarity ensues.

Definitely take a look, it's funny, it's sweet and the characters are overall just very nice (some nice romantic moments too)!

Let me know what you think,
Isabelle



No. of episodes: 18 (3 series)
My favourite episode: Workshop (S2 E6)
Favourite character: Trish (you gotta love her)
Ending: The show has ended (sadly)
Available: Netflix 

Photos: https://www.comedy.co.uk/tv/the_job_lot/
http://keithduffyexperience.co.uk/the-job-lot/4590309563
Today my blog turns three years old - can you believe it?! I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped me, I've learned so much and it's been a crazy journey! Thank you to all my friends, family and readers!

To celebrate the occasion I thought I'd share some of my favourite posts and moments from the last three years!

1. Interviewing Janet Evanovich
I sent an email to this New York Times Bestselling author and to be honest I never thought I'd hear back, so you can imagine my surprise when she agreed to answer some of my questions! I love her books, they are fun, imaginative and witty!

2. The Durrells
After settling into university I started blogging every day and after a little while I got disheartened, my blog wasn't achieving what I wanted it to achieve. Then I did a little tweet about The Durrells and everything went crazy! I got shared and retweeted and I don't think I've ever been so happy looking at my blog's stats page!


3. Meeting Margaret Atwood
I met Margaret Atwood at Ely Cathedral when she was on her 'Hag-Seed' book tour. She was such a great speaker - super inspiring! After her speech and after she had read out some excerpts from 'Hag-Seed' there was time for questions. I knew I would kick myself if I didn't ask her a question! The person in front of me asked pretty much the question I was going to ask so I had to very quickly come up with something different - I couldn't miss out on the chance to speak to this world famous author!

I have so many plans and ideas for my blog so stay tuned!

Have a wonderful week,

Isabelle


Photo: http://www.lovethispic.com/image/148577/happy-birthday-im
I recently read an article about this show, loosely based on a true story,  that slammed it for using nerd/geek/loser stereotypes. OK, so it may have problems, but here's why I think you should give it a try.

Firstly,  I can't think of one show which has 'nerdy' characters that has not been criticised at some point for making the characters too stereotypical, including The Big Bang Theory, and what a tiny unsuccessful show we know that to be! To be honest I like the characters, overall (although Happy can be at times a bit irritating). Toby has to be my favourite character, he is the genius psychiatrist who 'reads' people - he has some great lines.

Secondly it's an enjoyable watch. It's primarily a drama but it has some brilliant comedy moments. I would liken the programme to a crime show although the problems are varied and unusual and are based all around the world. Each episode revolves around a problem (which usually ends up much bigger than they initially thought), and the genius team have to solve it.

Thirdly - who can beat a bit of romance? I don't want to give away too much, but this show has some very good romantic moments!

I really like this show, there are some very funny moments amidst all the drama and chaos. I'd give it a look! Let me know what you think!

Have a wonderful week,
Isabelle

No. of episodes: 93 (4 seasons as of 16th April 2018)
My favourite episode: Either 'White Out' (S2 E13) or 'It Isn't The Fall That Kills You' (S3 E3)
Favourite character: Toby
Ending: The show is ongoing...
Available: Netflix, but at the time of writing only the first 3 seasons were on there

Photos: http://www.tvguide.com/news/scorpion-season-2/
https://cupcake-literario.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/andei-assistindo-scorpion.html
This week my word is:



This month my book of the month is: Casino Royale!

I think most people, particularly British people, will have watched a James Bond film at some point in their lives but how many have read the books? Well, I decided to get back to the original and take a look at the first book in the series - Casino Royale.

The book is much shorter than I thought it would be, only about 200 pages or so. It is quick to the action - immediately James Bond is in a casino. Within a couple of chapters he's in a high stakes game with the very bad Le Chiffre who does not like losing! Now I don't want to say too much about the plot but I can promise you twists and turns, glamour and mystery - everything you expect from a classic James Bond.

Having watched the 2006 film adaptation starring Daniel Craig, I knew about his relationship with Vesper. The general relationship remains the same, but the details change. As the book was written in the 1950s you can imagine that the relationship portrayed in the book is a little out of date but it didn't detract too much from the overall storyline and I still really enjoyed it.

I do have a question though - weren't his drinks 'shaken not stirred'?! Throughout the whole book I do not think there was one mention of 'shaken not stirred'. He did however invent a drink, which he names 'The Vesper' which I'd really like to try. It's a martini and the recipe is: "Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel." Served in a deep champagne goblet - fancy! 

I'd definitely recommend taking a look at the book! Have you read/watched any James Bond - I'd love to know what you think!

Have a wonderful week, 
Isabelle 

P.S. You might like to take a look at last month's 'Book of the Month' here: https://bit.ly/2GXqzzO

Pictures: https://www.joe.ie/movies-tv/007-days-of-bond-7-actors-who-would-make-a-great-james-bond-515866
http://gurutotheoutdoors.com/james-bond-vesper-martini/



PoCoLo
This month I'm going to be reviewing some of my favourite Katherine Heigl movies. I have seen quite a few although none of her more recent thrillers! First up...Life As We Know It!

I just re-watched this movie a few days ago and I was reminded of why I love it! It's such a good romcom. The plot follows Heigl and Josh Duhamel as Holly and Messer who become guardians of their best friend's baby girl after they die in a car crash (I know that sounds very serious and sad but I promise it is actually a very light, fun film)!

As with most romantic comedies the couple start off intensely disliking each other in this case it was as a result of a blind date that didn't go very well! However, they have to set aside their differences when they become Sophie's guardians. Things don't go to plan - I mean it would be a pretty bad movie if everything went smoothly. There is also a bit of a love triangle...but I won't go into too much detail!

What else...well Melissa McCarthy is in it - always a good sign! She has such a good, yet small role as one of their neighbours. She has some great lines.

Watch watch watch and enjoy!!!

Have a wonderful week,
Isabelle

I am an English literature student and I have to read a lot of worthy books so here is my list of those books I think you should take a look at, and some books that unless you are studying English like me I wouldn't bother with!


Take a Look:
Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith
This story is a retelling of Iphis and Ianthe and that might not make you want to pick it up, but I have to tell you it is as far from a clunky heavy text as you can get. The story focuses on two sisters Imogen and Anthea. I love how Anthea embraces true love, and Imogen embraces life. My favourite moment is where she stands up for what she believes in - something I did not think she'd do at the beginning of the book!

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Quote from Slaughterhouse-Five
I wasn't sure I'd like this book but I ended up writing my essay about it. This book is strange and a little bit confusing, the main character 'time travels' to different points in his life, but it is also a little bit brilliant. My favourite quote is: “Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.” I also love the Tralfamadorians view of the world - I might not agree with all of it, but you can't say it's not written about beautifully. 

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood 
This book is coming up after Easter but I read it and really enjoyed it. It tells the story of The Odyssey but through Penelope's point of view, and as it's written by Atwood you know it's got to be good!


Give it a Miss:
Galatea by John Lyly
This is a crazy play that has a main plot, and then a subplot that is in no way linked to the main plot. It's got fairies and shepherds and is supposedly a comedy (I'm not sure who is laughing) - I'd give Galatea a miss.

A Taste of Honey by Shelagh Delaney 
This play is important in terms of theatre history but it's not that interesting. The story follows a seventeen year old working class girl Jo, and her mother Helen. Nothing too much happens and the character's are not very nice to each other.

The Odyssey by Homer 
The introduction was 61 pages long in the version I read...61 pages! The Odyssey is regarded as one of the most important works in western literature but it is not an easy read, it is heavy and a little bit confusing (well more than a little bit). This is certainly not a beach read!

Now here's one that I couldn't put in a category - The Rover by Aphra Behn. Whilst I know it's unlikely that you'll pick up this medieval play for a bit of light reading you should definitely look up Aphra Behn - she was the first British professional writer! I also cannot write about The Rover without mentioning some of the brilliant words Behn uses my favourites being:

tatterdemalion - a shabby, ragged person

and picaroon - a pirate, a rogue, a scoundrel

If anyone can casually drop either of those words in conversation I will be very impressed!

What books have you read that you think people should try or not try?

Have a wonderful week,
Isabelle

https://twitter.com/kennicosmith/status/656934055741554688
http://brucemctague.com/tag/reading-slaughterhouse-5
https://study.com/academy/course/the-odyssey-study-guide.html
Recently I wrote a post about the brilliant Michael Schur and I thought that his show Parks and Recreation would be a perfect show for this week's 'Relax With..'!


I have seen this show more times than I would care to admit. It is so comforting to watch, each episode is funny and well-written, and the characters are so individual and brilliant.


I have to start with Amy Poehler! This show was the first time I encountered Poehler and she is brilliant as Leslie Knope - she is passionate and caring and a force to be reckoned with! I love how strong she is as a character - she knows her goals and she will do whatever she can to achieve them. I also admire her gift-giving, one of my goals in life is to give gifts as well as Leslie Knope!




All the best shows have good plots and good character relationships, and this show is a great example of both. Each season has a main story-arc and over the series each character has relationships, career moments and difficulties and their personalties and lives are really explored. My favourite relationships on the show? - well that's a difficult question... (don't read on if you don't want spoilers) it has to be Ben and Leslie, I just love them as a couple. They are both so sweet and nerdy in their own ways! I also love Tom and Donna's friendship - their treat yo self days are amazing!



I also have to mention Aubrey Plaza! Aubrey, as April, is quite possibly the weirdest character on TV but it works really well and I like the character development that April's character undergoes. April marries Chris Pratt's character Andy who was initially supposed to just be a guest star!

This show is also pretty well known for its guest stars including: Michelle Obama, Kathryn Hahn, Bill MurrayMegan MullallyLouis C.K.Paul Ruddand Jon Hamm - so look out for them! 

Anyways,  I could go on all day! I love Parks and Recreation, it's a brilliant mockumentary comedy, I would definitely recommend!

Have a wonderful week,
Isabelle




No. of episodes: 125 (7 Seasons)
My favourite episode: With so many seasons it is too hard to pick just one episode! 
Favourite character: I mean it has to be Leslie doesn't it!! 
Ending: The show has ended (and...it ended happily 
Available: Amazon Prime


http://startimestv.com/programdetail/12498.html?code=2
http://rebloggy.com/post/k-parks-and-recreation-amy-poehler-aubrey-plaza-april-ludgate-leslie-knope-parks/47787397614
https://www.ranker.com/list/ben-wyatt-vs-jim-halpert/eric-conner?var=8&utm_expid=16418821-388.8yjUEguUSkGHvlaagyulMg.2&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.co.uk%2F



Whilst I was still up in Newcastle I went to the cinema with my cousin to see Game Night! 
I love Rachel McAdams (Annie) , Jason Bateman (Max), who are the stars of this black comedy which is directed by John Francis Daley (who you might know from 'Bones') and Jonathan Goldstein. I also love Lamorne Morris who is in New Girl, and in Game Night he plays a husband concerned not only with the kidnapping plot but also with which celebrity his wife slept with before they were together!

The plot follows a game night that goes awry when Brooks (Max's brother) gets kidnapped in the middle of the murder mystery evening he planned, and it is very funny. It took a little while to get going, but when it did it was really hilarious. It is a dark comedy, you cannot get away from that fact, but it was super funny - the image of Rachel McAdams accidentally shooting Bateman, her movie husband, in the arm will forever be in my mind!

As well as the main plot each couple involved in the game night have their own little plot which are basically just ways to get in more jokes - but it works, most of the time. I especially loved Sharon Horgan (Sarah) and Billy Magnussen (Ryan) as a couple - they had some of the best lines (including Ryan's obsession with rich people's fight clubs)! Also, I have to mention Chelsea Peretti (whose Twitter account is worth looking at by the way), she has a small but brilliant part which I can't say too much about without giving anything away!

This film is definitely worth a watch (although if you're a bit squeamish then maybe look away during the bullet removal scene)! It's funny, well-written, and has a brilliant cast! 

Have you seen it, what did you think? 
Have a wonderful week, 

Isabelle 

All he wants is to be part of game night...


https://revengeofthefans.com/2018/02/24/rtf-review-game-night/
https://www.cinemablend.com/news/2317302/game-night-originally-had-a-very-different-twist-ending-for-one-of-its-big-plot-lines
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/feb/20/game-night-review-playful-comedy-thriller-will-just-about-win-you-over
https://www.moviepilot.de/people/jesse-plemons/images/727979