As the weather starts to get colder, and the nights draw in, I find myself wanting to cosy up and read or watch TV in the evenings. I have loads to read, always, as I am constantly adding books to my collection and seeing new books I’d like to buy. At the moment I have even more to read as I prepare for my MA.

 

I’m currently reading a chapter a day of The History of Gothic Fiction by Markman Ellis and The Postmodern by Simon Malpas. I’m also reading another non-fiction book, Zero Degrees of Empathy by Simon Baron-Cohen; a fascinating book which looks at the reasons behind human cruelty.

 

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Fiction-wise, for studies I am reading Ann Radcliffe’s Mysteries of Udolpho, and I’ve just started Under the Skin by Michael Faber. I knew the latter had been made into a film with Scarlett Johansson, and that I had missed its run at the cinema (agreeing on a film to see with my husband is tricky sometimes, and going to the cinema alone seems too indulgent right now while I’m so busy). Several people recommended it as a beautiful book, and so, curious, I read the first page. I had forgotten that Faber had also penned The Crimson Petal and the White, a wonderful tome set in Victorian London, which was adapted for the BBC in 2011, and starred the lovely Romola Garai. His writing is compelling and brilliant, but what really makes Under the skin already a favourite before I even complete it, is the setting. It’s set in the Scottish Highlands, specifically around the towns, villages and roads that were so familiar to me as a child. It is quite magical to imagine this story taking place there, if not disturbing too!

 

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I am so behind on TV shows. I rarely watch anything on our television, and usually catch my shows by streaming them on Netflix, etc. I only have two episodes to go until the series finale of True Blood. I think I’m delaying it on purpose, as, even though critics and fans alike have always said it was going downhill, I’ve always been a faithful fan.

 

I am yet to start season 2 of Hemlock Grove, but I enjoyed the first series, and I’ve heard that the third series will be the last, so hopefully it will stay interesting.

 

So far I’m liking Guillermo Del Toro’s The Strain. It’s been a slow build up, and some of the characters are annoying, but the concept is an interesting one, and it’s good to see some scary vampires.

 

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I’ve finally started watching Outlander, the series based on the books by Diana Gabaldon. It’s been marketed as a sort of Game of Thrones for women, which I think is rather strange as I know many women who love Game of Thrones. In fact, columnist Lucy Mangan wrote an article in Stylist magazine last week about how women actually enjoy some violence within the safe confinement of fictional books and shows. Anyway, I digress. Gabaldon’s book was called Cross Stitch in the UK, and it’s right up my street with Scotland, time travel, history, witchcraft, sauce and drama. This is probably feeding my misery of the upcoming referendum, because my fears of Scotland leaving the UK is basically as bad as if the land was actually severed from England and floated away as a completely separate island that I could never return to.

 

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I’m still enjoying Witches of East End, especially Mädchen Amick as the rebellious Wendy, basically wearing the boho/witchy wardrobe of my dreams and turning into a cute black cat to spy on people. I remember her as Shelly in Twin Peaks and I’m glad she’s still acting.

 

Further behind on my must-watch TV, I still have The Originals (The Vampire Diaries spin-off), Salem, True Detective, Orphan Black, Masters of Sex and Revenge. I still like those shows but it’s just getting the time to watch them. I imagine it will happen one day, during a sleepless night Netflix binge fest. Sigh. Plus new shows are always starting; American Horror Story: Freak Show anyone?

 

What books and television are you loving?

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