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!

The Shakespeare Awards- And The Winner Is….

the shakespeare awards 2

Okay, so I’m later than planned with this post- firstly because of Game of Thrones in all its glory and secondly because I was reading the most incredible book (more on that later!) But for now, it’s time to wrap up my Shakespeare Awards and announce the winners! As voted by you!

Special thank you to all my contributors: eclectictales, Pages Unbound, Captain’s Quarters, Claire @ Art and Soul, Kat @ Life and Other Disasters, Annette @ Book Blather, Sammie @ Bookshelves and Biros, Read Diverse Books, Nicole Alter @ Thoughts on Fantasy, and Samfalston

And thanks to all the people outside of the Blogosphere who I roped into doing this!

So without further ado- here are the results:

most tragic

Both Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet had the same number of votes- which I’m kind of happy about because they’re both tragic for their own reasons- one is the power fate as to destroy us, the other is the power we have to destroy ourselves- both are tragic in their own way and who am I to decide which is worse.

best comedy

Midsummer Night’s Dream won hands down! Which makes me happy because it was my first ever Shakespeare! I mean, what’s not to like: fairies, idiot actors and love are all clearly the recipe for the best comedy!

most romantic shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet grabbed a second win- understandably so- because it is one of the most romantic stories of all time.

most entertaining

Macbeth– and I agree with this wholeheartedly too! I mean, who doesn’t at the very least enjoy watching the “forests move” at the end of the play? It’s like the Ents smashing Saruman! (gosh- just when I thought I couldn’t get more dorky- I compare Shakespeare to Lord of the Rings!)

best history

Richard III– which I was also happy about, because nothing beats the shenanigans in this play.

best sonnet

“Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds”
Sonnet 116

best film adaptation

Branagh’s uncut Hamlet

An honourable mention goes out to 10 Things I Hate About You– which I loved as an answer for ingenuity and Heath Ledger alone!

most beautiful language

Hamlet– let’s face it the language in this one is exquisite so totally deserved. And if I had a category for the most deep, this play would have won hands down too.


Measure for Measure– because let’s face it, it’s one weird play/story/thing (I mean what even is this?!?)

most unpopular

Tempest– which “won” because clearly a lot of the people I know feel the same way about it as I do. But a “dishonourable” mention goes out to Henry VIII, which I’m sure if more people had read would have taken the biscuit.

And that’s it! Until next time Shakespeare has a big birthday in a hundred years or so…. :p

I’m Not OK With The Ending to Henry IV

henry IV

So as I mentioned some time ago, I struggled to get through Henry IV Part 1 and 2. Even though I was supposed to read it at uni, I really was not a fan, and just couldn’t finish them. But now I’ve finally got through the whole thing and I have to say I AM NOT OK WITH THAT ENDING!! Goddamn you William Shakespeare for making me feel like this!!

(Apologies cos I’m about to get a little ranty and spoilery)

Because you cannot stab Falstaff in the back like that- it is not okay! No, just no. Of course it makes sense and was realistic that a king would act like that- but I just couldn’t bear to see it unfold. Especially after the hope Falstaff had expressed that they would have a king who was finally on his side- only to have said king stab him in the back!

Of course it was realistic that a king would do something like that. In fact, it speaks volumes about the divide between the aristocracy and the poor. At the end of the day, the poor were just there to be ridiculed and were not to be taken seriously. Much like Shakespeare’s other work, the lower classes were just there to be mocked. They are seen as lesser people on a lower rung of society. It is a tragic indictment of the society Shakespeare lived in. No matter how funny Shakespeare gets, there’s often something sinister going on under the surface.

When you see this cruelty played out in Henry IV you finally get to see the harshness of Shakespeare’s universe. In the moment when Falstaff is cast aside laughter turns to tears. What could have been such a joyous, triumphant moment ends up leaving a bitter taste in the mouth. Because the reality of the play is too harsh for words.

And that is the power of Shakespeare- even 400 years after his death- he has the ability to get under your skin as if he wrote it yesterday. The drama of it is insanely accurate- which is a true testament to his genius.

Okay, so I know that was fairly ranty and had little to do with the play as a whole, but I just had to get that off my chest. Do you ever feel like that about books? And who’s your favourite non-contemporary author that just taps into your feelings perfectly? Let me know in the comments!

And, just to let you know, I’m posting my results for the Shakespeare Awards tomorrow, so today’s your last chance to vote on your fave Shakespeare plays!

Quote Challenge- Shakespeare Style: Day 8

This is it! I’ve reached the last day of this! As many of you know, I’ve been doing this for a few extra days so that I can thank the people that tagged me. And in honour of 400 years of Shakespeare, I’m solely quoting Shakespeare.

Here are my (altered) rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post a quote for three consecutive days however long it takes
  • Nominate three new bloggers each day

Thank you so much to Embuhlee for tagging me to do this. She is absolutely one of my favourite bloggers out there- I adore her posts- she is so funny and entertaining to read! And she creates so many of her own tags and shares them around. I can’t recommend her enough!

And cos I’m expressing all this affection, I think I’d better end with one of the best quotes about love in the universe:

love shakespeare quote.png


Angie books blog

K E Garland

Hey Ashers

Thanks so much for following along- if you would still like to vote on my Shakespeare Awards it’s still up and running for the next few days, so you can do so here

Quote Challenge- Shakespeare Style: Day 7

Hi all! So I’m coming to the end of my quote challenge! After this there will only be one more day and one last quote (*sobs*) so I better make these last two count.

As many of you know, I altered the rules slightly so I could properly thank all of the people who tagged me- and here they are:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post a quote for three consecutive days however long it takes
  • Nominate three new bloggers each day

Thank you so much to Rant and Rave About Books– firstly how incredible is that name- because don’t we all love to do that? Secondly, she is really fun to read and has such fabulous advice- like her post about lending kindle books, which you can read about here. I highly recommend checking her out!

And since it’s my second to last day doing this, I’m going to share one of my all-time favourite Shakespeare quotes:

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Telltale What

The Sweet Review

Quote Challenge- Shakespeare Style: Day 6

Wow- can’t believe I’ve actually managed to do this for 6 days! There’s not so many more days to go now (which is a good thing cos I might run out of quotes soon :p ) but I’m gonna keep at it till I’ve thanked everyone that tagged me!

So for all of you that don’t know, here are my altered rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post a quote for three consecutive days however long it takes
  • Nominate three new bloggers each day

Thanks so much to I Wuv Books. Her blog is the most incredible blend of memes, lists and reviews- it’s such a fun place to hang out- so make sure you have a good look around!

And considering the title of her blog, what better quote could I choose:

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Parawl perwyl



Quote Challenge- Shakespeare Style: Day 5

Yup- I’m still going with this! Hope all my fellow brits are having a fun bank holiday!

As many of you might already know, I’m doing an extended version of this so I can thank everyone who tagged me. Here are my altered rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post a quote for three consecutive days however long it takes
  • Nominate three new bloggers each day

Today I’d like to thank the Sherlockianbooklover for tagging me! I’m really excited to thank her cos she was one of the first people I ever followed on here and I’ve always loved her posts! Since she’s a huge Sherlock fan, here’s one of Shakespeare’s more mind-blowing quotes:

hamlet quoteThat’s all for now- I tag:


Lois @ My Midnight Musing


The (Three Day) Quote Challenge Continues: Day 4

I did warn you, didn’t I? This is going to go on a bit longer than 3 days, because as I said I still want to thank the other bloggers who tagged me. So here are my altered rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post a quote for three consecutive days however long it takes
  • Nominate three new bloggers each day

And yes, you guessed it- this will still be Shakespeare Style– because I’m still celebrating 400 years of Shakespeare! (For anyone that wants to vote on their favourite/least favourite plays, my Shakespeare Awards are still up and running 🙂 )

Thank you so much to Vivi Heart Books– the incredible blogger who tagged me to do this! Her blog is so much fun and I love hearing all her thoughts about books!! She’s great for book recommendations too!

For such a wonderfully wide reader, I’ve decided to go with a beautiful quote from Richard II:

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Sublime Reads

Book Dwarf

A Novel Glimpse

The ‘Spring has Sprung’ Book Tag

Happy May Day!  (Is that today or tomorrow? Either way- hope you have a good one). Since even the weather seems to agree it’s spring today (it’s been a bit erratic lately) I think it’s the perfect time to do this tag! Thank you so much to The Bookish Underdog for tagging me to do it! I really enjoy her blog- so you should check it out!

In keeping with my (a bit obsessive) Shakespeare theme of late, I thought it would be fun (for me, if no one else :p ) to answer this all with just Shakespeare plays.


  • Answer the questions for the tag
  • Nominate whoever you want
  • Post the image of this tag
  • Have fun! (My favourite rule!)


  1. Flowers: Look on your bookshelves. What is the most beautiful book both inside and out?

Well I do have a lot of editions of Shakespeare- but I like my RSC version best 🙂

rsc book

  1. Grass: What is a book that you find that others like way more than you do?

I mentioned this in my Shakespeare Awards– my least favourite is The Tempest– but very few people agree with me on that. I get it, I get it, the language is great- it’s just the plot and the concept that I don’t like at all.

  1. Rain: What’s a great book that lifts your spirits when you’re down?

That’s a hard one because even when Shakespeare is happy and comic, there’s always an edge to it. I think Twelfth Night is a lot of fun (unless you stop and think about Malvolio’s treatment in the play)

Twelfth Night – Stephen Fry and Mark Rylance

  1. Dew: What’s a book that made you feel alive?

Macbeth is one of the most exciting of Shakespeare’s work and it can really get the heart pumping

  1. Storms: What’s a book that you found unpredictable?

Well I think Shakespeare can be a little predictable, because the plots are so famous, so it’s a bit of a tough one to answer. For a play that’s unpredictable in a good way, I’d say Romeo and Juliet, because it’s designed as a comedy and then it gets flipped on its head. I’d say Measure for Measure is pretty unpredictable because the plot and the genre is a bit all over the place. It’s just plain weird.

romeo and juliet

  1. Rainbow: What was a book that you struggled with, only to be happy that you read it in the end?

Well, King Lear is hard to get through because it’s so heavy.

  1. Chilly Weather: What’s a book that you couldn’t finish or didn’t enjoy?

Firstly- isn’t that sounding familiar to residents of the UK right now! I mean it was literally *snowing* the other day- AT THE END OF APRIL?!? (yes this is the second time in this post I’ve mentioned the weather- I’m a Brit- complaining about the climate is what we do best). As for my answer, I couldn’t finish (don’t hate me) was Henry IV part 2. I know it’s a really popular one, but I really wasn’t enjoying it. But the version I was watching is available on IPlayer again, so I’m trying to remedy this now!

The Hollow Crown

  1. Warm Weather: What’s a book that you loved and wanted more of?

Well I would have liked it if Shakespeare had finished all his Histories- I would have liked more of that collection

  1. Green: What’s a book that you haven’t read yet, but really want to?

I still haven’t read/watched Much Ado About Nothing yet, but I have a copy of Kenneth Branagh’s version and I’ve heard it’s wonderful, so I’m really looking forward to it

much ado

  1. Pink: What’s a book in which you felt a strong connection to the characters?

This is a super weird one to answer because I don’t always find Shakespearean characters that relatable (I mean, you’d probably be worried if I said I identified with Iago or Macbeth or Richard III!) So I’m going to flip the question on its head and say the one that makes me feel the most conflicted is The Merchant of Venice– everyone in it is horrible and not at all relatable- and yet it has one of the most empathetic speeches for a villain known to man (Hath not a Jew eyes…)

  1. Purple: What’s a book that when you read it, you feel safe?

Does anyone ever feel that safe reading Shakespeare? It can be pretty unsettling and thought provoking, but rarely safe. I will tentatively go with Othello because I like the predictability of it and how Iago is written as a villain- he’s probably the least sympathetic villains ever written but he’s somewhat perfect because he’s straight up evil and one of the easiest villains to understand (in my opinion- many scholars will disagree with me on this- but I say that because the ability of envy to inspire hatred and spiral out of control is very common human phenomenon)

iago othello

  1. Orange: What book do you feel is intelligently written?

All of them! Okay, okay, that’s cheating- I’m going to go with Hamlet– I think that’s one of the more impressive ones, one of the most successful and one of the deepest in terms of meaning. In terms of Shakespeare’s other writing, an honorary mention goes out to My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun because in my opinion it’s the perfect example of a sonnet in that it sets up an idea only to flip it on its head in the last couplet- genius!

  1. Yellow: What book puts a smile on your face?

That’s hard because as I’ve said, I don’t think Shakespeare’s plays are ever that simple. And I also have a gap in knowledge of the comedies. So I’m going to tentatively go with Midsummer Night’s Dream

Hope you all enjoyed that! Do you all agree with my choices? Disagree? Let me know in the comments!




My Tiny Obsessions




Sublime reads

The Book Llama

Rebecca @ Books and Messy Buns 

Bitches with books

Three Day Quote Challenge- Shakespeare Style: Day 3

Woohoo I made it to day 3!!! Because I am super strapped for time I’m  super strapped for time, I’m not gonna go into the whole long schpiel of why I’m doing this (you can read about it here, here and here :p ) I’m just gonna get on with it!

Here are my (altered) rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post a quote for three consecutive days however long it takes
  • Nominate three new bloggers each day

So firstly a huge thank you to Words and Lyrics for tagging me to do this! She writes some really lovely posts- her artwork for her latest post was awesome!- and because of that I’m choosing a stunning quote from Romeo and Juliet:

stars romeo and juliet

Hope you liked that (incredibly brief) post- I tag:

Napoleon split