Leiden Book Club Book 2 – The Fountainhead


  Towards the end of 2016, while exploring different books for Leiden’s Book Club reading list, it quickly became apparent to me that a true Leiden reading list should reflect the literary taste of our contributors. And so, At Leiden’s Christmas party, speaking to other contributors about their favourite books, browsing our editor’s bookshelves in between conversations to gather courage for the next (as any introvert would, of course): that is how The Fountainhead came to be on our Book Club reading list; a novel much loved by fellow contributor, Miriam Walsh. I had not previously heard of Ayn Rand… Continue Reading

Leiden Book Club Book 1- Great Expectations


  Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, has been on my ‘classics to-read list’ for quite some time. It is a bildungsroman that depicts the psychological, emotional and moral growth of the narrator and protagonist, Philip Pirrip, nicknamed Pip. Be warned, this is a classic on the more voluminous side – and much more so than this writer expected (that is, I nearly missed the deadline for turning in this review). As an adolescent, I had read Oliver Twist and thoroughly enjoyed it for its satirical humour. I had expected to experience a similar enjoyment with Great Expectations; yet, I find… Continue Reading

Book Review: Only Daughter


  Last year, I received Only Daughter, by Anna Snoekstra, as a birthday gift from one of my neighbours. She had read it with her book club a couple of months earlier and thought I might enjoy reading it for myself. She was right; I enjoyed it so much, I decided to write it about it. Only Daughter is a gritty, mystery thriller. After a shoplifting incident gone wrong, a young fugitive claims to be the decade-missing Rebecca Winter. The only catch is: she’s not. Told in a split narrative, the story recounts the events preceding the real Bec Winter’s… Continue Reading

Book Review: If On A Winter’s Night a Traveller


Earlier this year, I picked up If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller, by Italo Calvino, from a book-swap shelf at my workplace. I was about to embark on a six-week journey around Europe and was looking for some reading material; a book with ‘traveller’ in the title seemed appropriate. What I expected was a travelling tale. What I got was an exploration of how we humans undertake, experience and process the read experience. My default approach would be to start by giving you a synopsis of the book. However, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller is not a… Continue Reading

Review: Good Dye Young


In typical everyday life, we don’t tend to see people walking around with hair that is so bright you need sunglasses just to look at it. But why not? Well now there is nothing holding you back. Let me introduce you to Good Dye Young. Good Dye Young is a new, do-it-yourself, at home hair colour that has already made a huge impression, appearing in publications such as Nylon, Vogue and Bustle. Created by my vocal hero and hair idol, Hayley Williams, and her colourist, Brian O’Conner, this new and exciting colour range will have heads turning. Some of you… Continue Reading

Book Review: The Many Selves of Katherine North


  Before you read this book, hop onto Emma Geen’s website and have a quick read about her. When someone’s PhD ‘aims to draw together the findings of science, philosophy and literature to examine the relationships between narrative, embodiment and empathy,’ it’s difficult not to feel as though their debut novel is going to be an epic ride. And The Many Selves of Katherine North doesn’t disappoint. Geen’s novel asks many big questions. What does it mean to be human? Where does ‘animal’ end and ‘human’ begin? What is the human conscious and what sets it apart from other living… Continue Reading

Review – Laura Mercier Highlighters


  Highlighters. So many to choose from. Shimmery, glittery, pearly, embossed with brand names and swirly patterns that make them look so pretty you won’t want to ever put your little paws in them. So about a year ago when I officially became a Beauty Bitch for an entire cosmetic department, I would walk around trying to familiarise myself with everyone’s star products so that I would be on top of current trends and so that I would know what the hell I was talking about when people asked me about products from different brands. Look I’ll be honest here,… Continue Reading

Thermae Bath Spa


  Bath, a picturesque city about an hour west of London, is what is known affectionately as a spa town. The name sounds luxurious doesn’t it? It conjures up images of being pampered and having a good time. The city of Bath dates back to Roman England, when it was named Aquae Sulis for the geothermal hot springs in the area. The Romans built a large temple and bath complex to both worship and make use of these precious mineral waters. Bath next hit its peak during the Georgian period when it was fashionable for those with health complaints to… Continue Reading