Everything I read in May

May was a big reading month for me. One of my favourite parts of going on holiday is all the reading I get done – so when I took a week off this month (Weekend Week!) I made sure to spend as much time as possible curled up with a book. Even though I was on holiday on my own sofa, it still felt very luxurious.

Here are all the books I finished this month and what I thought of them.

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Friday ramble: haircuts, telemarketing and city pop

I’m trying something new today! Recently this blog has felt a bit like work – I was hoping to get a post out once a week, but it’s not always easy to come up with an idea that I can churn out 1000+ words about. Also I’ve really been enjoying Nicole Cliffe’s newsletter recently, and I like how she touches on lots of topics, and it made me want to try something like that. Hopefully this will mean I can just write for fun instead of slaving over a lengthy and self-obsessed essay about my tween years which I later decide not to publish because it’s incredibly unflattering.

So. Friday ramble! Go!

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How I became a developer

I have officially been a web developer for about three years now. When I meet other developers, I’m always curious to know how they got into the industry. I used to think there was only one route into the job, and that always included a computer science degree. But that’s not the case – I’ve met people who have come to their current careers from all sorts of backgrounds, from acting to architecture to astrophysics.

My own path into the job wasn’t the most conventional. My degree is in English Literature, and I’m almost entirely self-taught. But now here I am, writing code that helps people do things on the internet, and I’d like to think I’m pretty decent at it.

So, here’s how I got into this line of work, and a few tips for anyone else who’s thinking of a career change.

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Novels from the end of the world

I have always been an anxious person. I’ve worried about school, work, relationships, politics, death – all the usual things. So I guess it was inevitable that over the last year, environmental anxiety has taken over large chunks of my life.

Sometimes I can redirect my focus for weeks, thinking about projects at work or wondering what haircut I should get. But then I see an article – climate change projections, biodiversity warnings, plastic, dead coral reefs – that hits me like a truck and completely trashes my mental health, at least until I manage to repress the fear again. And one of the things I do to distract myself is read.

Last year I read The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell (some spoilers ahead). I wanted to like this book, but for the first 500 or so pages, I really struggled to get on with it. Its characters were interesting, but I wasn’t thrilled by the novel’s fantasy subplots or seemingly endless in-jokes about the Hay Festival.

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