November Favourites | Soap & Glory | Joules | Lovelace & Babbage

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It’s nearly December! Thank god, amirite guys? My November has been pretty terrible. I’ve been deep in edit swampland on The Last Beginning for most of November, so I only actually finished reading two books. However, one of them was a graphic novel so incredible I wish it was ten times as long.


Graphic Novel: The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer
by Sydney Padua 


A unique take on the unrealized invention of the computer in the 1830s by the eccentric polymath Charles Babbage and his accomplice, the daughter of Lord Byron, Ada, Countess of Lovelace. When Ada translated her friend Babbage’s plans for the “Difference Engine,” her lengthy footnotes contained the first appearance of the general computing theory—one hundred years before an actual computer was built. Sadly, Lovelace died of cancer a few years after publishing the paper, and Babbage never built any of his machines. But now Sydney Padua gives us an alternate reality in which Lovelace and Babbage do build the Difference Engine, and then use it to do battle with the American banking system, the publishing industry, their own fears that their project will lose funding, and a villainous street musician who will force the two friends to reevaluate their priorities—”for the sake of both London and science.”

Lovelace and Babbage have completely captured my heart. I can’t remember the last time I loved characters more. They have such a great male/female friendship, and they are both oddball and fun and I just – I love them so much. If I ever get access to a time machine, my new answer to what I would do with it is: GO AND HANG OUT WITH LOVELACE AND BABBAGE.



This is the first face mask I’ve ever tried, drawn in by the lure of beauty bloggers, and it was pretty good. I’m clearly not cut out to be a beauty blogger, because that’s all I’ve got to say about it: it was decent.



Internet Nonsense: Company Is Coming by Chris Fleming

I’ve cried tears of laughter at this video every time I’ve watched it (and that’s a lot). I’m pretty sure most mums are like this. I can appreciate it from the POV of someone who will 100% be a mum like this in the future.

TV Series: How to Get Away With Murderhow-to-get-away-with-murder

I’ve been watching this very sloooowly, because I’m not often in the mood for crime stuff, so I’m only halfway through series 1. However, it’s excellent and I love and support all of the characters, even though everyone makes terrible life choices and needs to go home and have a good think about their lives for a bit.

9039903981598I hear Series 2 is even more of the incredible Satan and Her Murder Ducklings, so I can’t wait for that.

Clothes: Joules Pyjamas

These flannel PJs are so soft and warm and I predict I will spend my entire winter season in them. Do yourself a favour and get some.



Music: Adele – 25

I mean, obviously. OBVIOUSLY. Like the rest of the world, I’m not immune to Adele’s dulcet tones and witch’s cackle. I’ve had the lines I’m so MAD I’m getting old/ It makes me reckless stuck in my head for approximately forever. 

And, my official Least Favourite of November: I have my driving test this week. I am very scared. Help.

In other news: My giveaway with Alice Oseman is still running here. And the cover of Alice’s second novel Radio Silence was revealed!

For a lot of this week, The Next Together has been #1 bestseller on Amazon in YA Science Fiction! Obviously I’ve been refreshing it delightedly.


I also did an interview with the University of Nottingham.

Published by Lauren James

Lauren James is the twice Carnegie-nominated British author of many Young Adult novels, including Green Rising, The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker and The Loneliest Girl in the Universe. She is a RLF Royal Fellow, freelance editor and screenwriter. Lauren is the founder of the Climate Fiction Writers League, and on the board of the Authors & Illustrators Sustainability Working Group through the Society of Authors. Her books have sold over a hundred thousand copies worldwide and been translated into six languages. The Quiet at the End of the World was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize and STEAM Children’s Book Award. Her other novels include The Next Together series, the dyslexia-friendly novella series The Watchmaker and the Duke and serialised online novel An Unauthorised Fan Treatise. She was born in 1992, and has a Masters degree from the University of Nottingham, where she studied Chemistry and Physics. Lauren is a passionate advocate of STEM further education, and many of her books feature female scientists in prominent roles. She sold the rights to her first novel when she was 21, whilst she was still at university. Her writing has been described as ‘gripping romantic sci-fi’ by the Wall Street Journal and ‘a strange, witty, compulsively unpredictable read which blows most of its new YA-suspense brethren out of the water’ by Entertainment Weekly. Lauren lives in the West Midlands and is an Arts Council grant recipient. She has written articles for numerous publications, including the Guardian, Buzzfeed, Den of Geek, The Toast, and the Children’s Writers and Artist’s Yearbook 2022. She has taught creative writing for Coventry University, WriteMentor, and Writing West Midlands.

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