This week I bought one of these 100 Movies Bucket List scratch off posters with the intention of watching every film on it in the coming few months. There are plenty of films that I’ve already seen and a fair few that I haven’t. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m not a massive fan of horror films so there’s more than a few classic horrors that I’ll have to force myself to watch. I’m thinking of making it a blog thing so I can keep updating my progress as we go along but we’ll see. As of this moment, I have only scratched off one panel and that’s only because I promised myself I was never going to watch Dirty Dancing again. I know people adore it but that film did nothing for me. I just found it irritating and silly. Although, I do admit, that the final dance sequence is something I like to watch on YouTube every now and then but I’ve always been a sucker for a good dance sequence in a film. It’ll probably be slow going but 100 films doesn’t seem like such a terrible undertaking. We’ll see how much it affects my reading.
Weekly Bookish Post
Okay, hands up, I didn’t write anything this week because I didn’t have a topic in mind. I want to start writing better posts so I didn’t want to start a habit of posting because I have to. I’ll spend some time thinking of my next one and, fingers crossed, will come up with something useful and interesting.
- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
So, strictly speaking, I haven’t finished this yet but I intend to complete it tonight. It’s been wonderful going back over this tale. It really is one of the greatest pieces of crime fiction that’s ever been written. Agatha Christie really still is the Queen of Crime and this book is a masterpiece. Everything slots into place and it keeps people guessing til the end… unless you’ve already read it obviously. Then it’s just fun picking up on all the things that become so obvious when you know.
- Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Still put this on hold. Still trying to stop myself buying the Waterstones special edition hardback. Probably going to buy it.
- No Art: Poems by Ben Lerner
I had a random bookshop trip whilst waiting for a train the other day and I decided I was in the mood to buy some poetry. I’m a student of Romantic literature so I, understandly, love reading a bit of poetry but I tend to read less of it these days. Especially contemporary poetry. Most of the time I find it a bit too hipster-y for my liking. Like Milk and Honey. I so wanted to like the collection, and I mostly do, but a lot of it just felt silly… or pointless. I don’t know. But I decided to give Ben Lerner’s poetry a try based on the cover alone. I’ve heard a lot about Lerner but never read anything by him. It’ll be interesting to see how this goes.
- Undying: A Love Story by Michel Faber
Another collection of poetry added to my library. This time I thought it would be good to see what I thought of Michel Faber’s poetry. It also helps that the quote on the cover is from Ian McEwan, someone who I once considered my favourite contemporary writer. I admit that, even thought I like to act the big cynic, I’m a bit of an old romantic at heart so I do love poetry about love. Especially when it shows the realistic nature of human emotions. We’ll have to see if Faber can deliver.
- The Novel Cure: An A-Z of Literary Remedies by Ella Berthoud & Susan Elderkin
My final new purchase is a book that I’ve wanted for ages but one I’ve bought in a different edition than I’ve seen. So, no matter how excited I am that I now own it, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed with the way it looks. Anyway, this is one of those fun little books that I just adored the sound of. It suggests reading material that is suitable for whatever malady you are inflicted with. What an adorable idea.
- Netflix Binges: Stranger Things
Stranger Things 2 came to Netflix on Friday. By the time I went to bed on Friday night (before a 7am start at work) I had watched all but 1 episode. This is something that my coworkers judged me on but I couldn’t stop. It was such a good season. Not sure it was as good as the first but it definitely wasn’t a let down. Now I want to go back through from the very beginning and watch both seasons in a row. Yes, there are things that didn’t quite work or needed a bit of tweaking but this show is still pheneomenal. Roll on Stranger Things 3.
Thanks to BBC iPlayer I’ve now watched all three episodes of the BBC’s gruesome drama about the gunpowder plot. I absolutely loved the first episode when I watched it. It was dark, yes, but it was dramatic. I can see why people complained about the violence: it all got a bit much at times. Unfortunately, it didn’t really move beyond violence as the episodes went on. I understand that the underlying historical basis is there but it felt like this show had little else to fall back on. I found myself bored for the most part and, let’s be honest, this isn’t a boring story. Yes, we all know how it ends but that shouldn’t mean it couldn’t be exciting. It felt like Kit Harrington and co didn’t really understand their purpose. For the most part they’re trying to justify the attempted murder but then it doesn’t really delve any deeper than the torture scenes. It all feels like a wasted opportunity to make something really good with really great actors.
I’ve just got back from a weekend spent at a music festival and, despite really wanting to sleep, I’m finishing off my rundown. Because I’m all about the schedule. It was a three day event that I went to with my sister and her husband. Instead of having to camp I was able to stay at their house near the festival ground. I’ve been to a few festivals over the years and, whilst I don’t hate camping per se, I’ve never been able to sleep in the din of the campsite. Plus, brushing my teeth in front of strangers is never a great thing. So being able to sleep in a proper bed and shower and stuff was a massive plus point. The festival itself was great. I can’t complain about the music, despite not knowing many bands that were playing. And it was one of the nicer grounds I’ve been to. There were plenty of people complaining about the portaloos but really I’m happy if there’s toilet roll, hand sanitiser and no naked strangers when I walk into a festival toilet. But I’ve always been fairly easy to please.
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
I had’t meant to start this yet but I wanted to have a book this weekend. So I figured this YA would be an easy one to get in and out of. So far I think it’s living up to all of its cliches and I can see me getting more annoyed as time goes on. Still, it is a super quick read and I should be done soon enough.
- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
So my August Austen read along is over and I’m done with Sense and Sensibility. Rereading this was fine but I still find Austen frustrating in general. Here, more than ever, it all just seems to neat to be realistic. Everything has to tied up in a neat bow even if it doesn’t feel right. Marianne shouldn’t have settled for Brandon and Brandon, in turn, should have realised that Elinor was the woman for him. Nobody ends up with the right partner and it just sucks.
- The 7th Function of Language by Laurent Binet
I was going to look back and work out how long I’d been reading this for but that would have made me too sad. Now I’ve reached the end I can see this for the great read it was. It’s a great book that deserved a better reader.
- How Not To Be a Boy by Robert Webb
I was doing really well this week and not buying books. Then I went on Facebook and somebody reminded me that comedian Robert Webb’s memoir, that also tackles the subject gender stereotyping, was out. I have loved Robert Webb since I first watched him and his comedy parnter, David Mitchell, in Peep Show. I think he’s a great man and have always loved his writing for The Guardian. So I was excited to read this anyway but the added bonus of exploring gender norms just pushed this over the edge. I can’t wait to get this.
- Netflix Binges: Modern Family
I think I’m finally up-to-date with Modern Family now thanks to my latest short binge. I watched all of the remaining episodes of season 8 that I hadn’t watched so, when I was done, decided to go back to the beginning. They look so bloody young. I can’t cope.
I put myself through the arduous task of watching this for my last TBT review. Find out how bad I really found it here
Another week down. Life just keeps on going doesn’t it. I don’t have many updates this week to be honest. I’m trying to turn my life around by not being so financially irresponsible so I’m on a full buying ban unless absolutely necessary. Of course, my idea of absolutely necessary seems wildly different to most peoples but I’ll get better. I’m also getting better at reading during my normal week. I’m not sure if it’s down to the reading material or just because I’m finally out of my slump but something’s working. I’m loving it. Maybe I can finally start reducing the size of my TBR? I mean it’s doubtful if my past is anything to go for but, as Aragorn says, “there is always hope”.
This is a fairly long book so I still have a considerable way to go. However, it’s an easy read that I’m really enjoying. Hill is one of those writers who can take a really interesting idea and make it readable whilst still keeping it exciting. I hope this keeps being as good but I’ve heard that it starts to decline as the novel goes on. We’ll see.
I’m being really strict with my spending this week. I need to stop buying books and, for the most part, I’ve been pretty good. I’ve splurged on a few vintage penguin bundles because I just can’t get enough. Plus, in one bundle I got 9 classic green Penguins books for less than £1 each. You can’t say fairer than that, right?
- Netflix binges: Girlboss, How to Get Away With Murder, Mad Men
I finished Girlboss this week and I’ve finally decided why it bugs me so much. Although, it’s something I want to talk about on Tuesday so you’ll have to wait. After that I realised that the second series of How to get away with murder was finally on UK Netflix so I watched the whole thing yesterday. I love that show. Although, I’ve found it a bit weird ever since I realised that Frank is actually Ben from Buffy. Not great. Today I started season 6 of Mad Men which I never managed to see after Netflix stopped me cheating it into giving me the US selection of shows. Those selfish bastards. My lust for Jon Hamm is running deeper at the moment. It’s bad guys.
Eagle-eyes readers will notice that my Sunday rundown is a day late. I’ve spent the weekend in London with my friend so haven’t had time to keep up with my schedule. I meant to have this ready to post but, as usual, I left my packing until the last minute and ran out of time. So I’m doing it now. On Monday. It still counts if it still rhymes. That’s always been my motto.
- First Love by Gwendoline Riley
I finished this on my way down to London and I’m glad I did. I’ll hopefully be talking about it in more detail tomorrow.
I started this on the way home today because it’s been on my TBR for ages. So far I’m really into it. The story is exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing how it ends up.
- WHSmith 225th Anniversary Yellowback Edition
After wanting to buy more of these I have finally added to my collection. To add to my current 2 books I also bought Hard Times by Charles Dickens and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Now I only have 3 more to get. Check back next week…
As I’ve been away for the weekend I have been outside doing actual things instead of inside watching TV. I started watching Girlboss before I went away so I’ll carry that on this week. Not sure how I feel, I think I hate it, but I’ll give it a go.
Happy Easter everyone! I hope you’ve had a wonderful day full of chocolate and whatever other Easter traditions you may have. I basically just ate too much food and did nothing else. It’s like Christmas or, you know, any other day of the year. Still, we had a family get together, which is always lovely. I meant to do some reading this evening but I, inevitably, got distracted and haven’t. Although, I’m feeling kind of smug because I have a couple of things to add to my just finished list. So I feel as though I can take a bit of a break today. The book I’m currently reading is pretty small so, once I get my arse in gear, it should be an easy enough read. I hope.
- The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion
Finally finished this last week by staying up way too late before an early shift. It was worth it to finally be done. I’ll do a proper review on Tuesday.
A great comic book series that I absolutely adore. I’ve finished this and now I’m having to stop myself buying the rest in this series. I think I have some of the 1602 Witch Hunter Angela comic books but never got the lot. I just love this concept.
- First Love by Gwendoline Riley
Started this after I finished Adam Sharp and, though I haven’t got very far, I think it’s going to be great.
- Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates (Kindle edition)
I’ve been quite good at not buying books this week and it was only because this book was on offer that I bought it. I’m well aware of Laura Bates and her Everday Sexism Project but it wasn’t until now that I ever thought about buying the book. As you know by now, I’m something of an angry feminist but I don’t read anywhere near as much feminist writing as I should. I hope to remedy this. Starting now.
- Ghost in the Shell (1995)
Decided to review this for last week’s TBT post after I saw the new film the other week. Which do I prefer? Find out here
- South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
I was reading something about Beauty and the Beast recently and it made me want this film. It was talking about the impact that the animated classic had on films that followed it including the opening sequence of the 1999 animated feature film for South Park. I hadn’t seen the film in years and I decided, with no view to writing about it, to watch it again. It’s still silly, funny and clever. How did I feel after watching it? Super, thanks for asking.
- Netflix binges: The League of Gentlemen, Rick and Morty (again),
In my week off at the beginning of April I binged The League of Gentlemen
series 1 and 3 because they had turned up on Netflix. I discovered yesterday that the second series had been added so I had to watch that too. It’s probably my favourite of the 3. I mean it’s got Herr Lipp and Papa Lazarou. It’s been too long since I watched this show from start to finish and it made me feel nicely nostalgic. My friends and I adored this show when we were younger and it still holds up nearly 20 years later.
Before I found this hidden gem I decided to rewatch Rick and Morty for the umpteenth time. I’d finally got round to watching Season 3 Episode 1 and was in the mood to watch some more. I love this show more and more every time I watch it. It’s weird and sometimes quite subtle but I love it. When I first started watching it I thought I was going to hate it but I persevered and I’m so glad I did.
Today was my first day back at work after a week off and it was dreadful. I’ve forgotten how difficult it is and, to make things worse, it’s so much busier than it was because it’s the Easter holidays. Still, it’s nice to get back to see everyone again. I’m also experiencing that similar post-holiday feeling that I’ve wasted the week. Answering the question “what did you do on your week off?” just got boring. I went to the Doctors, had my two-yearly eye check, and did a load of cleaning/sorting. It was fun fun fun. Still, I read a bit and got some photos taken and I feel a bit ahead on my blog posts. So it feels like some pressure if off at least. I was beginning to feel like I was drowning under my schedule but now I’m breathing again.
When I dragged out some comic books for some recent photos it got me in the mood to read this graphic novel again. It’s a fantastic story where the characters we know and love appear in England in 1602. I love the combination of the old and the new and adore the way the characters’ powers are used in the setting. It’s brilliant.
- The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion
So close to finishing and, had I not got so caught up in my current Netflix binge last night, then I would have finished it by now. I still enjoy it but it’s getting a bit too far-fetched as time goes on. I loved the beginning but things seem to bet getting a bit out of hand at the moment. I’ll see how it finishes.
- The Power by Naomi Alderman
The shortlist for the 2017 Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction was announced last week and, as I suspected, it caused me to go on a spending spree. This is a book I’ve seen all over Instagram but have ignored until now. It’s nomination brought it to my attention and it sounds fucking awesome. Girls wake up with the power to inflict pain and death on others. Amazing.
- First Love by Gwendoline Riley
Another book on the shortlist, which I thought sounded amazing. Telling the story of a woman in her mid-30s and her marriage to an older man. Whilst looking back on her relationship, she looks back on past loves and other relationships.
- WHSmith 225th Anniversary Yellowback Edition
The books created by Vintage Books to celebrate the 225th anniversary of WHSmiths are just amazing. I’ve been wanting them since I saw them on Instagram. I’ve currently only got The Turn of the Screw and Tess of the d’Urbervilles. It won’t take long until I get the whole set because they’re all great.
Saw this with a friend during my holiday. If you can wait until Tuesday then you’ll find out what I think.
I finally watched the new version of this classic fairy tale. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would but still had issues. My Tuesday review
will explain in more detail. Basically though, it made me want to rewatch the original, which I did for my TBT review
- Netflix binges: 13 Reasons Why, The League of Gentlemen, Inside No. 9, 24
Yesterday I watched the whole series of 13 Reasons Why
and, if I’m honest, the only thing to come out of it was my desire to start using cassette tapes again. The overall message is important but the whole thing dragged a bit. I feel like it would have worked better as a film or one feature length episode. Also, this teenage obsession with nostalgic technology is getting ridiculous now. I mean cassettes are great but, let’s be honest, MP3 is much better.
After discovering the new additions to UK Netflix catalogue, I spent the rest of my holiday watching Series 1 and 2 of Inside No. 9 and series 1 and 3 of The League of Gentlemen. I’ve always loved the work of the League of Gentlemen and adore their weird and black comedy. Going back to show that started it all off was a wonderful experience and Inside No. 9 is just brilliant TV.
I’ve also finished Season 6 of 24 finally and it’s just the fucking worst. I’ve not really started season 7 but I’ll get there. I loved the return of Tony and think there was some good stuff in the season. Not the best but better than the one before.
I feel like I’ve had a rough day at work. I can tell because, somehow, it’s 21:30 and I’ve just woken up with no idea where the time went. I think it’s because I had last weekend off so I forgot what it’s like. Still, I am writing this feel a sense of accomplishment because I’ve finally finished another book this year. That means I’m up to about 5. In 2.5 months. That doesn’t feel like a great rate when you put it like that. I need to find more time to read. I used to read on my break at work but I’m getting more sociable. I miss the days when I was a quiet introvert sat in the corner reading. I just need to stop making friends with the people I work with. It’s so distracting to the more important things in my life.
- The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker
I finally finished this book. After all this time. It’s over. And, lacking anything to talk about on Tuesday, and because I haven’t done a book review in a while, I’m going to discuss it then.
- The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion
Finishing my previous books means I finally get to start a new one. This one of the new novel by the writer of The Rosie Project. I read that book last year and, to my surprise, I didn’t hate it. I liked it but felt it was a bit predictable and cliched. I also thought that, despite the positive image it presents of Autism and the potential for love, it somewhat romanticised Don a little. He almost becomes the Asperger’s version of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. It meant I never read the follow up novel but it did make me excited for this one. It’s all about growing older and looking back on what you lost along the way.
- The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (Illustrated by Alan Lee)
I already own each of The Lord of the Rings books in various forms but I decided I wanted to buy these illustrated editions. I managed to find them all fairly cheap and I’m so excited. Lee’s illustrations are quite impressive and add something to the story. Tolkien didn’t illustrate these books much because he ended up hating the illustrations he did for The Hobbit. For the majority of texts, the most you’ll get is maps and images of runes and stuff. This is perfect for me but I was interested in seeing what Lee’s illustrations added to my reading experience. Plus, it’ll be the first full set I’ve ever owned.
In honour of the release of Logan
and my review
this week, I went back and watched this film. Not only was it my favourite in the entire X-Men film series but it was the only one that I hadn’t already reviewed. See what I thought in last week’s TBT review
- Netflix binges: BoJack Horseman
A guy at work has constantly been recommending this to me but I’m never that sure about adult animated shows. Sometime they’re great but other times it just seems too pointless. Like someone is trying too hard to be risque and it just doesn’t make it. As I watched the first series I wasn’t really bothered until at least halfway through. It just felt like every alternative adult animated comedy and every other story about a middle-aged man doing awful things. Where was the originality? Other than the fact that the man in question is a horse that wasn’t much new or fresh about the show. It certainly picked up towards the end and series 2 feels better. It’s opened up more and given supporting characters more substance. There’s finally light at the end of the tunnel so I’ll definitely stick with it.
I’m supposed to be going away with my family tomorrow and I’ve yet to finish packing. It’s only for about 3 days so I don’t need a lot but I still feel as though I should have finished more by this point. Still, I have time in the morning. We’re going to Scotland so it’s bound to be absolutely freezing. Plenty of layers needed I guess. I also need to finish my review for Tuesday which I’m going to try and upload on time. I hate writing on my phone so I want to get it done tonight and just post it. So far it doesn’t look good. At least I have all my weeks Instagram posts ready to go. Plus, I might manage a bit of reading too. Maybe next week I’ll actually have some exciting currently reading news for you.
- The Horror at Camp Jellyjam by R.L Stine
So this week I still haven’t done any proper reading but I have continue to revisit these stories from my childhood in order to make myself feel better about finishing books. It’s a good feeling but I still can’t bring myself to read a proper book. I blame Jack Bauer. Still, it’s interesting to read these again because it starts to feel so formulaic and repetitive. Not bad but just feels like painting by numbers.
I don’t know why but I have a shitload of Camp related Goosebumps books at my disposal. I know these are for kids but it’s a lovely nostalgic feeling reading them again. I just need to readjust to adult literature and get my arse in gear.
- Pride and Prejudice (Classics Reimagined) by Jane Austen
I can’t pretend that I have any real love for Pride and Prejudice or Jane Austen but I absolutely had to buy this book. On Instagram the other day I read a comment saying that this edition was going to be going out of print and, coming from the Pokemon generation, I couldn’t let the chance to own it pass me by. It’s a weird thing to so desperately want a copy of a book that I don’t really like but there is the chance that this will actually help turn me around on the matter. I mean it is very beautiful.
- Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan
Apparently it’s that time of year when I decide I need to read more non-fiction and buy as many books as possible. They, of course, get left of my shelf making me feel guilty every time I pass over them. Still, there’s chance this time will be better. Silk Roads is a “New History of the World” and focuses on the importance of the East. It’s an area that, really, I know little about so I’m interested in finding out more. Their is a lot of praise for this book so it seems like a good place to start.
- Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall
Another non-fiction offering that I bought on a whim. This book looks at World Politics from a geographical standpoint and, as someone who has a terrible grasp of geography, it felt like something I should read. I guess it’s a testament to the time we’re living but I feel more inclined to engage politically so maybe that’s part of the reason I was drawn to this. I know there’s shitloads I don’t know and, deep down, I’m just a loud and opinionated person who doesn’t really know all that much. I think, now more than ever, it’s important to change that.
All being well I’ll have a review of this ready to upload on Tuesday no matter where I may be in the country.
Just finished season 4, which is, in my humble opinion, one of the worst days. It’s so fucking boring and just drags on and on. It’s stupid how everyone keeps coming back for random reasons and there is just too much going on outside of the threats. Yes, the multiple threats thing is stupid too. I love the idea of one central ‘villain’ but we didn’t need a million different terrorist threats in one season. It just got too out of hand at this point. I’m glad this one is finally over.