It was the BAFTAs last weekend and there was a lot to take away from the ceremony. For one thing, all of the winners were white which seems ridiculous given the diversity among the nominees. For another, Colin Farrell didn’t win Best Actor for his role in The Banshees of Inisherin. One of the few things that we can say that BAFTA got right was nominating Brian and Charles for Outstanding British Film. It wasn’t exactly going to win because it was up against some stiff competition. However, I was happy to see it getting recognised. Even though I hadn’t actually seen it at that point. It was a film that I had been eyeing up for ages because it just sounded like my kind of thing. A quirky British film about a lonely weirdo. I loved the idea of it. The award ceremony on Sunday gave me the perfect excuse to finally watch it.
Book Review – The Phone Box at the Edge of the World by Laura Imai Messina, Lucy Randbooks, reviews
After my last read, I needed something to lift my spirits and get me back into reading. I started reading Bridget Jones’ Diary as my physical read but I wanted something for work. This is one of those books that I’ve been aware of for some time but never thought I’d get around to reading. Then I found out that I had access to it for free on Audible. So, as usual, I set about listening to it at work during my quieter moments. Would this be the antidote to my last reading experience or would it push me further into a reading slump?
Tuesday Review – Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (2021)films, reviews
I like to think that I’m a musical theatre geek but, the truth is, I don’t actually watch a lot of musical theatre. I’m not just talking about during the Pandemic but in general. I know the classics but there are so many modern examples that I know very little about. Aside from Hamilton, I’ve not kept up with contemporary musicals. Add that to the fact that I’d not watched the BBC3 documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16 and you can see that I wasn’t really rushing to watch the film adaptation of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. But, I also think it should be celebrated for putting drag culture further into the public domain and, you know, Richard E Grant is everything. So, I settled down this weekend to watch it.
Book Review – The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurentbooks, review
I’m on holiday next week, so I’ll be taking a break from blogging for a bit. Meaning, this will be my last book review for a while. It better be a good one I guess. I’d never heard of this book until Amazon suggested it to me. I know that I should use Amazon as little as possible but I’ve discovered so many novels thanks to its algorithm. This one was perfect for so many reasons but mostly because I was struggling to find shorter reads for my September reading challenge. I’ve got so many letters to cross off but the majority of the books I’d lined up were all over 300. That wouldn’t do. The Reader comes in at under 200, which means I already loved it before I’d even opened it.
Book Review – The Laird of Drumlychtoun by Hilary Pughbooks, reviews
I started August by reviewing an ARC, so it only seemed right to finish it with one. This was another book that I got access to thanks to The Book Network. It sounded like fun and I love a story set in Scotland. I also thought it would be the perfect size to finish before the end of August. I find it really annoying to get most of the way through a book but not finish it in time. It starts the month off badly if you ask me and I need September to go perfectly. I’ve got a lot of letters to cross off and a book club pick that isn’t one of them. Meaning I’m looking at 10 books at least in the next 27 days. It would be easy for a different reader but my focus has been so up and down lately. Who knows how I’ll do.
Tuesday Review – Luca (2021)films, reviews
My last Tuesday blog ended with me saying that I needed to stop watching random animated movies and start watching real films again. Of course, when I said real films what I meant was grown-up films. It’s not that I think animated films aren’t real. So, I guess it could be considered something of a failure that I’m back this week with another animated feature but I think this one’s okay. After all, the latest Pixar release is a far cry from the random stuff that keeps popping up on Netflix these days. I’ve always been a big Pixar fan, so I knew that I had to check this one out as soon as possible.
Book Review – Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakamibooks, reviews
I’m really happy with how all of my reading at the moment. I don’t know whether it’s just that I’m coming out of a very recent slump or that I’m just reading better books. Whatever it is, I’m very pleased with how it’s all going. I’m not necessarily as fast as I normally am but I’m definitely inspired by the novels I’m finishing. The latest one was a book club pick but also a book that I’ve wanted to read for ages. Longer than I actually realised. When I was about halfway through the paperback version, I realised that I had bought a Kindle copy of this book in 2016. So, I’ve been meaning to read this for 5 years and had forgotten all about it. My Kindle is full of books like that. Ones that I buy when they cost 99p but forget about moments later. At least I can finally cross one off the my list of unread ebooks.
Book Review – The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennettbooks, reviews
Considering the obsession with the royal family in last week’s newspapers, it seems appropriate that I’m reviewing this novella. I don’t know what the absolute fascination with the Queen and her offspring is. I’m don’t consider myself ardently anti-royal because I can see some of the benefits of their existence. However, I wouldn’t be sorry if we got rid of them altogether. It’s an outdated institution and they do waste a lot of taxpayers money each year. I know The Crown is trying to make the seem like ordinary human beings but you just need to look at the reaction to Harry and Meghan taking a step back from public life. Given the media response, I can see why they’d want to. The Queen and her family just seem so far removed from the rest of the world. It seems like such an odd dynamic. I realise that they’re meant to be part of our great traditions but do they have to be quite so archaic about it? But I’m digressing. The fact is, there is such a fascination about their lives that people have always used them as a basis for their stories. After all, nobody can really imagine what life as a royal is really like. There will always be a market for books like The Uncommon reader and there will always be writers willing to imagine life behind the scenes at Buckingham Palace.
Book Review – Mr Wilder & Me by Jonathan Coebooks, reviews
I have to admit, I haven’t watched a ton of Billy Wilder films. I’ve watched a lot of the big ones but not enough. I have loved Some Like It Hot since I was a teenager. My sister had a copy of it on VHS and I used to steal it from her room all the time. Without asking obviously and I wouldn’t give it back if I could help it. I sort of hoped that the longer it was in my possession for the easier it would be for me to just claim it as my own. Of course, at that point, I didn’t know anything about the Austrian born director or his Moldovan co-writer Iz Diamond. I just knew that it was a funny film. I’ve since learnt a thing or two about the pair, so I was very excited when Jonathan Coe’s new book was announced. Not only was it an insight into the real-life figures but it was a blending of fact and fiction. I love books that mess with real-life events. I bought it a week or so ago and I started it as soon as I possibly could. I knew that I was going to like it but would it become my new favourite Coe novel?
Book Review – The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osmanbooks, reviews
It’s always going to be big new when a famous person turns their hand to writing a novel. There is always the question of how good it is going to be. Plus, you have to wonder if they’ve been handed a publishing deal that should have gone to someone else. I mean, Katie Price has published loads of books but did she deserve it? Yes, she gave a ghostwriter a job but those books are just empty of quality. Or at least the ones I’ve read. The publishing industry is unfair and it’s already incredibly difficult for new writers to get their start. So, the new that Richard Osman got a 7 figure deal, £1.1 million, does raise questions. Was his book going to be worth reading or was it just an obvious cash grab? It’s from how well it’s done, that the money won’t be an issue but what about the content? I had to find out.