My October 2017 Favourites


Chatting about the books, musicians, TV shows and movies, and other random things have been piquing my interests lately.

1. (Re-)Reading // The Night Circus

I've read this book three times now in the past year. I actually picked it back up in the week before Halloween forgetting that key elements of the story take place on Halloween (or properly Samhain, as the events span from sunset on the 31st October to sunrise on the 1st November).

Why do I love this book? I often talk of The Grand Budapest Hotel as being a film pretty much made for me; it combines so many of my favourite things into one beautiful package. The Night Circus is my book equivalent. A gothic Victorian setting where magic is real but only a handful of people realise so - check. A set of characters who are a bit of an anathema to the strict ideas of respectably of the time - check. An fiercely independent and intelligent female lead with a love of books, a perchant for flirting, and a quick temper - check. World building that is both glorious and vibrant - check. Completely magically with an original love story between two equals - Check and check.

I absolutely love every page of the book, whether it's pieces about the secondary characters or the primary protagonists. I really hope any filmed production will be a mini-series rather than a movie; as much as I adore the love story, I think a film version would focus on that element and leave out so much of the charm of the other story elements.

And I really should do a Celia Bowen portrait at some point.

And sticking with this historial gothic theme ...

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

2. Listening to // Rasputina

I wanted music with a little bit of spookiness to keep me going this week (I get too easily distracted when working if there isn't some music playing), and realised that it's been a while since I've listened to any Rasputina. And I've had a hard time switching to something else even though Halloween is well and truly over.

I first discovered this band through the Buffy The Vampire Slayer soundtrack; their song Transylvanian Concubine is used in an episode, and from there my love for them was cemented by the fact they have a song all about 1816, the Year Without a Summer. A cello-based rock song all about an historical event with mentions of gothic fiction? OMFG, yes please! That song, along with In Old Yellowcake are probably my two favourite Rasputina songs, and the whole Oh Perilous World album has really been helping me conjure up my Halloween spirit.

3. Wearing // Constellation Dress

I've been having a bit of a conundrum about clothing lately. Most of the fashion from high street stores feel a little young for me, whereas stores that cater to 30+ women tend to be pretty sedate and same-y. And summer fashion and I don't tend to get along.

Then the autumn season begun and finally I've started to find a few things I actually want to wear. Velvet is back in a big way and I'm so excited. I don't think I've worn velvet since the '90s and now can't get enough of the stuff.

But top of my list of new loves on the fashion front is this constellion dress from ... Marks & Spencer 😨 It's quirky but elegant, the two main things I gravitate to when it comes to clothing. I went full on space-themed by pairing it with my Caticorn necklace when I went to see the amazing St. Vincent last month in London.

Eleven from Stranger Things: Season 2

4. Stranger Things: Season 2

Like pretty much everyone else, I've been binge watching the second season of Stranger Things. Isn't it a wonderful show? Growing up in the 80's (I was born at the start of '83) it brings back a lot of fond memories. But it goes beyond simplify being a nostalgic trip for Xennials and Gen-Xers. I'm so happy to see actual female writers on the show (and a female director), and love this article on how the show tackles toxic masculinity.


So, what books have you been reading? What shows and movies have you been raving about?



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Karen Murray of A Rose Cast

Hello, I'm Karen

I'm an illustrator & designer from the UK, producing my own products as well as custom illustration for clients, both big and small.

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