Hello and welcome to the third ever What’s Making Me Happy… Where I look back on my week and think about everything that has brought me joy lately, inspired by an identical feature on one of my favourite podcasts, NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour.
We start with my re-discovery of audio books! My commute to my day-job is via bus, which is annoying for me because I find that I can’t read on the bus. So there’s a good hour at the start and end of my days where I’m just sitting there, dreaming about how many books I used to read when I had a train commute. I have found joy in podcasts (the Pop Culture Happy Hour for one) but then it suddenly occurred to me that I could be spending this time listening to books instead of reading them! I did try audiobooking a few years ago and downloaded Simon Sebag Montefiore’s Jerusalem in preparation for a family trip to the very same place, but I didn’t think much of the experience. My mind wandered and I didn’t find the book particularly interesting in the first place, so it put me off audiobooks for a long while. I’m still sceptical that I could enjoy listening to fiction instead of reading it. I adore looking at words on a page and rereading beautiful sentences too much, which is obviously hard to do when you’re absorbing a book through your ears. So I have reached a happy medium: I’m only going to audiobook non-fiction! I’ve started a subscription to Audible, and my first download has been The Caped Crusade: A history of Batman and Nerd Culture by Glen Weldon. I am currently about halfway through (I have four and a half hours left to listen to) and it’s making me very happy indeed. On my wish list are Yes Please by Amy Poehler, and Spectacles by Sue Perkins, and I am particularly excited about the fact that it will be the ladies themselves reading their work to me!
Second up, the YA novel Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend by Alan Cumyn, which I am just about to finish reading.
What a strange delight! I did have a brief peruse of Goodreads before I started reading this, and suspected that it would be a marmite book (some people seem to love it, whilst others absolutely hate it) and I can definitely see why it may not be some people’s cup of tea. It’s a weird book. A very weird book. Comparable maybe to Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith, so if you didn’t enjoy that one, you should probably stay away. I think there are a few missteps in the writing, but I’m reading a PDF courtesy of Netgalley, so it’s possible that these missteps can be explained away by formatting or proof errors in my version. I explained the concept of the book to a friend on Twitter the other day: imagine if Reece Witherspoon’s character from Election went to the same high school that Bella and Edward go to and was watching their relationship from afar. Except that Edward is a sexy pterodactyl and not a vampire. It’s a delightful twist on the paranormal romance genre that thankfully doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how Cumyn manages to wrap it all up.
Lastly for this week, what’s making me happy is my new hair colour!
I’ve decided to take the first step on the road to being a full-on redhead, ditching the blonde highlights and instead going for an all-over auburn gold. Thank you very much to Tori at Toni and Guy in Watford! I’ve always wanted to be a redhead, and my favourite Hollywood gingers tend to be blond converts too (see Emma Stone, Miranda from Sex and the City, and Christina Hendricks). The effect I’ve gone for isn’t a full on drastic change, but more of a tonal shift, but needless to say, I’m already hugely pleased with joining the Weasley clan. I’m also particularly happy about getting the chance to buy some new make-up to complement the new look!
That’s it for this week, what’s making you happy???