Veronica Dearly stationery club June and July.

I'm a bit behind with these so have combined two months into one post if you want to have a nose and see what was included! 

Veronica Dearly have a monthly stationery club (costs £10) that sends you a box every month full of cool stuff including some exclusive cards, a exclusive print, a sticker and other paper goods and fun things. Each month has a theme, and June's was penpals...

Each month the box includes 4 cards and I especially loved the 'you are doing so well' card. Every box always comes with a card print too and this one is perfect to give to a friend. We got a really cute letter set which includes 4 different designs of writing paper and envelopes. I rarely write letters these days but this definitely makes me want to!

Each box also comes with a vinyl sticker (and I am and have always been a sticker obsessive!) but I think my favourite item was this pen. I love the sentiment!

So now we have July's box and the theme was a good one: Space. I think maybe my favourite alongside May's plant themed box. The print had a great message this month, a pefect reminder and I loved the sticker and space facts.

The star of the box though was this tote bag!

Big Birthday book haul part 1.

It was my Birthday at the beginning of the month and I was lucky enough to receive some vouchers to have a book buying spree. Here's what I picked up...

I got a few sci-fi books including Brave New World which I feel I definitely should have read by now as a big fan of dystopian. I saw this on blog list of the 10 best dystopian books so felt it was about time I picked it up. I also bought the two books from the recently released Doctor Who series which features a novelisation of an episode from each Doctor. Of course I picked my favourite two Doctors: Nine and Ten. The Knife of Never Letting Go is part one of a YA dystopian trilogy that I've heard a lot of good stuff about. 

Girl Trouble is a non fiction book about feminism, scandal and the public outrage of women who don't conform- it sounds amazing and the cover is beautiful! Another non fiction, This is Going to Hurt is a diary about a junior Doctor and his experience in the NHS which I'm sure you've probably heard about...

Beauty Tips For Girls is a novel that has been on my 'to buy' list for ages. It's about three different women, growing up, and obsession with advice in women's magazines. That amazing little yellow book? The Goldblum Variation is a book of flash fiction about the one and only king Goldblum and it's from 404 Ink a great independent publisher.

A couple of supermarket purchases that have sneaked into this haul- The Death of Mrs Westaway is the latest thriller from Ruth Ware. I loved her first two books but was disappointed with her last release so I'm hoping this whodunit is a return to form- it is set in an old creepy house which already ticks a box for favourite book settings for me. Lullaby is a French translation mystery about a nanny and from the line on the cover a dead baby... I've heard a lot of things about this one and it sounds like it's going to be a creepy and disturbing read.

I wanted to try some contemporary non-problematic romance and heard Amy Reed was good (I'm currently reading her feminist thriller The Nowhere Girls) so got Over You. I also picked up Between You and Me which is a lesbian romance. Any recommendations of  good LGBTQ+ romance welcome.

How To Be Famous is the sequel to How To Build a Girl which I really enjoyed so had on pre-order and The Incendiaries is a book I was sent as I will be taking part in the blog tour next month. It's about an extremist cult and terrorism.

Finally, I was lucky enough to win a proof copy of the new novel by Grady Hendrix who writes brilliantly quirky horror. We Sold Our Souls is about a guitarist who tries to track down her former band mate after learning he quite literally sold her soul for his own success!

So that's my epic Birthday haul! There will be a part 2 soon which will be all the graphic novels and comics I got.

Lately. August 2018.

At the beginning of August we went on a family holiday to south west Wales. It was really lovely although it was during the heatwave.  We went on lots of beach walks, Spent some time in the arcades, had the most delicious cafe latte ice cream in Tenby, spotted lots of crabs and fish and I also tried a battered mars bar which was surprisingly good!

  We visited Carmarthen castle whilst in Wales too. 

Also at the beginning of August it was my Birthday, and I always take a Birthday selfie! 

 We visited Selly Manor which is a Tudor house in Birmingham that is well worth a visit.

 Some of my Birthday treats!

 These last few weeks have been a bit up and down but having Poppy around for hugs always helps. She is such a cutie.
Here are some of my latest figures- Alana and Lying Cat from one of my favourite comics: Saga.

And that's pretty much my August. Hope you have had a good month.

Shell's guide to... Wonder Woman

The next installment of my guides to. Previously: Catwoman, Batgirl and Black Canary.

1. Wonder Woman was created in 1941. 'William Moulton Marston, a psychologist already famous for inventing the polygraph, struck upon an idea for a new kind of superhero, one who would triumph not with fists or firepower, but with love. "Fine," said his wife Elizabeth. "But make her a woman." '

2. Wonder Woman made her debut in All Star Comics #8 in October 1941 and represented the era's 'unconventional, liberated woman'. Creator Marston, an outspoken feminist, believed women were more honest and efficient than men, and designed WW to be the kind of women who he believed should run society.

3. Originally WW was an Amazon who wins the right to return intelligence officer Steve Trevor back to 'man's world' during the second world war in which she fights the nazi's. At this time she joins the Justice Society of America (as the secretary!)

4. Wonder Woman's powers include being a masterful athlete, fighter and strategist. Her Amazon bracelets are able to stop bullets and her main weapon is her golden lasso (the lasso of truth) which compels anyone it is in contact with to tell the truth. Wonder Woman and her Amazon sisters also had a great knowledge of psychology.

5. Under a new writer WW origin story was explored, and her mythological roots were emphasised. WW was also given various other powers that made her on par with Superman. She was given mental and psychic abilities, super strength and even super breath!

6. As with most superheroes Wonder Woman had a weakness: Aphrodite's Law. If her bracelets were bound or chained to a man she lost her strength, making her as powerful as a mortal woman. Creator Dr. Marston said this was crucial to the WW character 'His point was that women are not actually inferior to men (the standard assumption at the time and throughout much of history), they are oppressed. The only reason they are "weaker" is because they allow men to make them so'.

7. At the end of the 60s with another new writer WW surrenders her powers so that she can stay in 'man's world' rather than go with her fellow Amazons to another dimension. At this time she uses the alias Diana Prince (and opens a mod boutique!). 

8. Under her Chinese mentor I Ching she learns martial arts and weaponry skills. Using these skills she undertakes a variety of espionage roles.

9. In the 70s Wonder Woman returns to her superhero roots in the Justice League, and her own comic returns to the second world war era. Due to the popularity of the Wonder Woman tv show the comics move forward to the 70s to coincide with the show.

9. At the end of the decade WW got a new look and logo but due to declining sales was cancelled in Feb 1986 at issues 329. The final story depicted Wonder Woman marrying Steve Trevor.

10. As part of a crossover event in DC Comics (Crisis on Infinite Earths) Wonder Woman was given a new origin story. Now she was an ambassador from Themyscira, sent to the patriarch's world on a mission to bring peace to the outside world.

11. This origin works as the foundation for all modern Wonder Woman comics, and incorporates a lot of Greek mythology as well as the story of Wonder Woman being birthed from clay. Her powers are bestowed upon her from various Olympian deities. 

12. Wonder Woman stood apart from Batman and Superman in that she would use deadly force when she deemed it necessary. Her marriage to Steve Trevor was also erased although he was still featured in the comics alongside Wonder Woman's best friend and sidekick Etta Candy. This relaunch was a big success and took Wonder Woman right through to the millennium.

13.  In 2010 an alternative timeline is introduced where Diana is an orphan raised in New York and the story focuses on her trying to restore reality to how it should be. 

14. In 2011, and the launch of The New 52- which saw the whole of the DC universe and it's characters rebooted, Wonder Woman was taken over by writer Brian Azarello and (the brilliant) artist Cliff Chiang. They redesigned her costume, made use of her sword and shield and completely rewrote her origin.

15. Now she was a demi-goddess and the daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus. She also gained new powers such as super speed, accelerated healing and flight. She is also considered to be stronger than Hercules. 

16. A large part of her New 52 storyline is about protecting a young woman called Zola at the request of Hermes. Zola is pregnant with Zeus's child, and Hera wants the baby dead. It then unfolds that Diana's original origin story was a cover up so that Hera didn't know that WW was also the daughter of Zeus. 

17. This era also featured a story line that went back to Diana's childhood and her tutelage under Ares- god of war.

18. In 2012 in the Justice League comics Wonder Woman and Superman kiss which leads to a romantic relationship. This leads to a series titled Superman/ Wonder Woman in 2013 which follows their romantic relationship as a 'power couple'. 

19. In 2016 DC comics relaunches all it's comics again with Rebirth. It begins with a story line where she discovers she has a twin brother and follows her quest to find him, as well as a Year One story line that charts her childhood in Themyscira. This takes us up to the current Wonder Woman comic line.

20. Wonder Woman is seen as a feminist icon. Renowned feminist Gloria Steinem featured WW on the cover of the first issue of Ms. magazine in 1972 and featured an appreciative essay about the superhero. 

21. Also in 1972 there was a planned story line that involved a plain clothed Diana protecting an abortion clinic but the controversial story never went ahead. 

22. In 2015 Wonder Woman became the first superhero to officiate a same sex marriage. The following year the United Nations controversially named Wonder Woman a UN Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls- although they dropped this a few months later after a petition complained about her 'overtly sexualised image' !

23. It is suggested that Wonder Woman is bisexual and has been depicted as having feelings for fellow Amazon Lo. Current writer Greg Rucka announced that she is canonically bisexual, having been brought up in a world of women and past WW writer Gail Simone strongly agreed.

Now you know about Wonder Woman here's some recommended reading (and watching)...

1. Wonder Woman the Golden Age Vol.1 (here) Collects the orginal WW comics starting at the very beginning.

2. Wonder Woman the TV show (here) The classic 1970s TV show depicting Wonder Woman played by Lynda Carter ran for three series.

3. Wonder Woman: Rise of the Olympian (here) The first of five WW books written by renowned comic book writer Gail Simone. 

4. Wonder Woman Vol.1 Blood (here) This is the first volume of The New 52 reboot and works well as a starting point. There are nine volumes in total that feature an array of stories, writers and artists. 

5. Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman Vol.1 (here) More of a quick read this is a compilation of shorter stories involving Wonder Woman written by an array of writers that see her help the Bat-family, go to Gotham City, and go to school among other things!

6. Wonder Woman Vol.1 The Lies (here) This is the first volume of Rebirth and again works as a starting point. Collecting all issues of the current ongoing series this so far features five volumes.

7. DC Bombshells Vol.1 Enlisted (here) A fun series set in an alternate World War 2 where the war is fought by the women of DC in a cool retro style! So many great characters working together and lovely artwork. 

8. Batman '66 meets Wonder Woman '77 (here) Another fun one this is a 6 issue mini series collected in one book that teams up the Adam West Batman with the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman. 

9. Wonder Woman (here) The brilliant film adaption of one of comics most iconic superheroes played by Gal Gadot. Who's excited for the sequel? Meeee!

10. The Little Book of Wonder Woman (here) Not a necessity but a cute little guide to Wonder Woman that features lots of info and beautiful artwork throughout the years.

[As you can imagine the Wonder Woman back catalogue is huge and there are tons of other books I haven't mentioned as well as the Justice League of which Diana is a prominent member.]

So that was my guide to Wonder Woman-hope you enjoyed it! Next time: Batwoman...