Monthly Monkey Mini Review – March

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Hello all! I know I don’t normally do life updates on my blog, but it’s just been one of those crazy hectic weeks and I’ve not been online much (sorry for being really behind on comments and the like!), so I thought I’d tell you all what I’d been up to aside from work/life/blog…

Firstly, we’ve had pretty heavy snow this week, which is sooo pretty (also a total pain if you actually have to get places and don’t want to freeze in the process)

orangutan in the snow 2

Secondly, yesterday was a little known Jewish festival called Purim- the best way to describe it is as a cross between Halloween and Christmas- it’s seriously underrated 😉

orangutan purim

And lastly, I’ve been painting these cartoons of course! (this post is getting somewhat meta…)

orangutan artist0003

Anyway, this is still my monthly mini reviews post, which means it’s high time to talk about some of the books I read last month. I read quite a few books (before slumping pretty hard over a non-fic at the end of the month), however most of those are gonna get full reviews- which means I only have two for now. For some reason, I was feeling unusually motivated to read lots of Shakespeare at the start of the month. And since I don’t really like doing full length Shakespeare reviews, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts in brief.

titus andronicus

Titus Andronicus– well this might just be the most traumatising thing I’ve ever read. Nearly a month after reading it and I *still* cannot stop thinking about it. It’s not just that it’s phenomenally graphic and disturbing, the imagery is so symbolic. This story, so rooted in the literary tradition, has an untenable link with so much of popular culture- parts of this narrative have travelled from Greek mythology to Game of Thrones. It’s a violent tale imprinted on the Western consciousness. There’s something about it that’s hard to shake- and perhaps that’s why it won’t get out of my head.

Sidenote: I watched the film version with Anthony Hopkins after and, man, it was pure GENIUS. It made me want to watch every other film by Julie Taymor.

Rating: 5/5 bananas

small bananasmall bananasmall bananasmall bananasmall banana

winter's tale

The Winter’s Tale– I already knew this as one of the “problem plays” and after my not-so-good experience of Measure for Measure, I didn’t think I was going to like it. I was pleasantly surprised though- it was a surprisingly good story, considering everything I’d heard. I kinda think of this as King Lear 2.0: Where Everything Works Out Despite the King’s Pride. I do understand why people say it’s hard to place in terms of genre- it has a tragic feel, yet ends as a comedy. Nonetheless, it was tonally consistent, which meant it felt somewhat experimental, yet ultimately successful.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

small bananasmall bananasmall bananasmall banana 

Okey dokey- hope you enjoyed that! Have you had a nice week? And have you read either of these? Let me know in the comments!

108 thoughts on “Monthly Monkey Mini Review – March

  1. That was much shorter than I was prepared for especially since you started by saying you read a lot of books last month, haha. I didn’t know you painted the monkeys! LOVE! You’re so talented! If you ever get your book published, I hope you do your own book cover cause it’d probably be epic. I’m going to have to research Purim. Sounds interesting and I’ve never heard of it before. Also, welcome to lots of snow! I have a love/hate relationship with the stuff as well like you said, it sucks when you’re trying to travel places but mostly because of other people being silly slow! (My comment is getting so long but I’m almost done I promise)
    I took a class on the complete works of Shakespeare back in high school but I don’t remember reading The Winter’s Tale. If it’s like King Lear, I can see what you mean there. As for Titus Adronicus.. well you definitely summed it up nicely, haha.

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    1. hahaha yeah, I thought there were going to be so many more, but as I was going through my list, I realised most of them would be full reviews… so then there weren’t many on here 😉 😂 Aww thank you!! Oh Purim’s very fun- like most Jewish festivals it’s basically: “they tried to kill us, they failed, let’s eat”… but for this one you wear costumes. Like I said, it’s a little underrated 😉 Yeah absolutely! Hehe no need to apologise!
      Oh that’s really cool that you did a class on the complete works! 😀 I’m still working my way through them, so this was my first time on Winter’s Tale- but anyway it’s not that popular- even my teacher that set us Measure for Measure at uni didn’t put that on the syllabus. But it was surprisingly good (and much, much better than Measure for Measure) hehe thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yeah. My Shakespearean teacher who duoed as my regular AP English teacher was so fantastic. She made everything Shakespeare so freaking fun and was the reason I wrote sonnets and ballads in my writing class and got me into modern adaptations. 🙂

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  2. Having just embarked on my own Shakespeare journey, I am glad to hear that these 2 are memorable. My fear is to muddle all of his plays together and kind of kluge them together into one gigantic messy “thing”. From there I’d come out with something like “Ahh, yes, Henry the 17th, wasn’t the play where the fairies turned the french armies into naked couples and the english army killed itself with poison because they fell in love with all the ladies?” Now wouldn’t that be embarrassing? 😀

    Now according to the book of Esther, Purim gets celebrated on 2 different days depending on whether you’re a city or country jew. Has that been folded into one day in these here modern time? 😉

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    1. hahahahaha 😂😂😂 Don’t worry- I often muddle up the names of so many Shakespeare plays- it’s hard to keep track of all the Henrys 😉 But I just love your jumbled synopsis 😂😂

      And that’s such a great question. It’s still basically celebrated on two days, depending on where you are. The difference between Purim and Shushan Purim is actually whether or not you live in a walled city (because the fighting continued in Shushan for a day after)- so I don’t live in a walled city and celebrate regular Purim. One of my brother’s, however, lives in Jerusalem, so celebrated Shushan Purim (and I also have a lot of Israeli friends who go to Jerusalem for Shushan Purim, because that way they get two Purims 😉 ) Sorry probably a longer explanation than was necessary- hope that helps!

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  3. Titus Andronicus ❤️ I didn’t know The Winter’s Tale was a problem play. I do really love that play though even though the fact that she turns into a statue for 16 years is a bit stupid.

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    1. Yes! ❤ And yep- I ended up on a genre course at uni (lucky me lol) and that one's typically labelled as such- though it wasn't a set text, so we didn't go into the whys (I know, very helpful 😉 ) heheh yes- it was surprisingly good- if a bit unbelievable 😉

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      1. When we did the problem plays for our Shakespeare module at uni they only mentioned All’s Well, Measure for Measure, and Troilus & Cressida. Seems like universities need to get together and discuss this so we’re all taught the same 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello!! Wow I didn’t know that you painted the orang-utans!! That’s awesome 🙂 🙂
    Glad to hear that you enjoyed these two books! I love the idea of rounding up mini-reviews each month- maybe it is an idea that I will borrow in the future? I always find that I always fall behind on my reviews because I read faster than I review haha 🙂

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  5. I love your cartoons so much! I stand by the opinion that you should make a redbubble store ❤
    Also, when I read Winter's Tale, I didn't think Shakespeare but the one written by Mark Helprin. That's a book that I have not yet gotten through. I have tried and tried but ugh and your rating confused me for a second hahaha

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  6. It was a cold, wet week with a fair amount of work. Unfortunately I haven’t read either of these but Titus is quite famous. It was great sharing life with is, I love this kind of posts. So, how is Purim celebrated? Eg special rituals, food?

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    1. Oh well I hope it was okay for you. And I do recommend Titus if you decide to try it 🙂 And thank you! Purim is celebrated by listening to the story of Esther, giving gifts of food, giving charity, wearing costumes and having a feast (so lots of eating 😉 ) There’s also customary food as well- like Hamantaschen (biscuits/cakes). It’s a fun one 🙂

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      1. Thanks for caring, it wasn’t that bad, just inconvenient! I will try and fit Titus somewhere in my chaotic reading. Thank you for all the info about Purim! Sounds a very interesting celebration! And yes food seems to play a big part in such occasions across cultures!

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  7. The Winter’s Tale was one of my A level English Lit texts, the other was Antony and Cleopatra, both were read, re-read, re-re-read… . Not sure how I really feel about either – could just be Stockholm syndrome! If you like King Lear I might recommend Ran, that is, if you also like Japanese films. I just saw it recently and by’eck it’s epic! King Lear as an aging Japanese warlord who abdicated in favour of his three sons….It’s two hours 42 minutes but skips along at quite a pace.

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  8. I have read neither of these. Someday I am going to sit down and make a list of what I have read and not read of Shakespeare’s, and decide what I might still want to read and re-read. I saw a TV movie adaptation sometime in the mid-eighties, I think. I will have to watch this one because I am sure I won’t want to read the play.

    I didn’t know you painted your own blog art! It’s wonderful! 💜

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  9. I’m never sure what to make of “Titus Andronicus”…serious or deliberately over the top to make fun of that kind of revenge play (a la “Hot Fuzz”)?

    Also, I love the story of Esther. I think of Haman as the Wile E. Coyote of the Bible: everything he tries comes back on his own head.

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  10. I love your drawings, especially the winter orangutan one… so cute 😆 I haven’t read any of the books in your post yet, but seeing another Shakespeare play on the blogosphere makes me even more excited to dive into the play I’m reading for English: Macbeth! I’ve only read Romeo & Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the past in terms of Shakespearean literature, so I’m definitely looking forward to becoming more culturally literate & finally get all those Macbeth references out there. 😊 Great post!

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  11. Ahh, yet another post where you’re all “yay for the super hardcore classic literature! Go culture!” and I’m like “I’m too uneducated to be able to appreciate this”. Shakespeare was thoroughly ruined for me by my school so I’m not even going to pretend to tell you I’ll be checking these out! But great post, I love reading reviews where people are genuinely passionate about the subject 😊

    Happy Purim (I hope that’s what you’re meat to say?) It sounds so fun. On the whole issue of walled cities, what happens if the city used to be walled, parts of said wall are still standing but at some point in history most of it was torn down?

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    1. hehe aww I’m just so sad that school put you off Shakespeare (though I understand- most comprehensives manage to put us all off something :/ ) I was just lucky to have other influences when it came to drama- but even then they royally managed to put me off The Tempest- I’ll never like that play. Thank you! 😊

      Thank you! Yep that’s right 🙂 It is a lot of fun! hehe that’s an excellent question- seriously, people spend ages debating that sort of thing, so I won’t pretend to know the right answer 😉 However, I’d guess not, just on the basis that most cities have had walls at some point- like London- so I don’t think they base it on that. But yeah, a pretty complex and brilliant question!

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  12. Haven’t read these too books (or heard of them, for that matter), but they sound interesting! I didn’t read very much from that genre but I’ve been branching out lately so I’ll definitely keep an eye out for these two beauties.
    Don’t worry, I think we all understand that life gets in the way a lot 😀 I hope you’re doing okay and that you’re the good type of busy! Also, hey, didn’t know about that holiday, thanks for letting us know ❤
    Great post!


  13. oy happy Purim Monkey. Some very nice images on this post…particularly liking the monkey in the snow <3. But jeez ya keep up with those comments yo.


  14. Life gets in the way- can’t live online! I remember eating, breathing, and sleeping Shakespeare in college. It’s hard to have a “favorite” but I think The Tempest is up there.

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  15. The snow has been crazy this week. I love it most of the time, but it’s also a slight pain. It’s an excuse to catch pretty pictures anyway haha. Purim sounds awesome. I mean, what’s not to love about a holiday that’s like a mashup of Halloween and Christmas. I can’t say I’ve read a lot of Shakespeare beyond school though.

    Also, LOVE the drawings!!

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  16. Purim!!! I go to a Jewish YMCA and there was that morning where A LOT of little kids were dressed up (there was all kinds of costumes, even saw The Flash in there) and I had no clue what was going on. Now I think I do!! 😀 Awesome mini-reviews though. Titus Andronicus sounds phenomenal and super intriguing. Somehow it reminded me of a book I had recently added to my TBR too called The Epic of Gilgamesh hahah Doubt they’re connected though! 🤣

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  17. Ooh! Love your drawings especially of the orang utan having fun in the snow – so cute!
    I’ve read both of the plays – I’m a huge Shakespeare fan btw – but it’s been a while now and I think I’m going to re-read them soon. 😊 Have a lovely Sunday! ❤

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  18. Purim is such a great holiday! I love that you gave it a shout out. So few people know about it. Hope you thaw out soon from the snow. Your cartoons are great BTW.

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  19. I don’t know what it is with you but you always manage to make the classics sound so interesting XD Shakespeare has never been on my ‘wow’ list… but that’s maybe, hopefully, because I wasn’t mature enough to understand them.. hmm…

    Yes for snow! I mean, it really brought havoc but while everyone was indoors with their 76465 bread loaves and 73485 bags of tea, I was outside enjoying the snowstorm and totally loving it… but I can understand that this part of Europe really isn’t used to these conditions… I actually had a chat with my father when the red alert kicked in in Ireland and I was like- man, I haven’t seen a loaf of bread in the shops for 2 days and the government is telling everyone to be indoors by 4pm. Snow and -5 degrees Celsius… My dad was like, oh- that sounds like a holiday- it’s -24 here during the day at the moment and I still have to go to work outdoors … hahaha…

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    1. hehe well I’m really glad I managed to make it sound interesting at least!

      hehe weirdly, I hate the cold and I hate the wet, but I *love* snow 😀 It made it harder to get around though, which was a bit annoying. hehe yes, the UK is really ill-equipped for it 😉 hahaha oh gosh- yeah when I think about how cold it is on the rest of the continent, I feel reallly embarrassed about how bad we are over here at dealing with it 😉 I mean, it’s a very mild climate, so we’re not used to it, but still… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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