I know that a lot of people out there will say that the original Home Alone film is a timeless classic and that it could never be topped. These people will say that the most recent film in the Home Alone franchise is ruining their childhood and that its very existence is an absolute travesty. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the first Home Alone film but I wasn’t outraged that Disney was attempting to cash in on the premise again. Especially as it was going to star Archie Yates who was an absolute delight in Jojo Rabbit. He seemed like the perfect choice to take over the Macaulay Culkin role. I also think there was a lot of potential to update the story for 2021.
I know that there is a lot of debate at this time of year about what the best Christmas film is. Something that will keep happening until everyone just accepts that it’s The Muppet Christmas Carol. Many people may mistakenly believe that Home Alone is superior. Some may even believe that its sequel is the best. While both films are great in their own right, they’re just not the greatest. A lot of what makes the films good is down to Macaulay Culkin. So, it was very upsetting for me to learn that there is a fourth film in the franchise that sees Kevin McCallister played by some other kid. Yes, I knew about the disappointing 3rd film but another sequel that tried to recapture the magic of the first two? I had to see what this was about.
This weekend I realised that I’d still not watched a Christmas movie in 2021. I just haven’t felt in the festive mood recently. Thankfully, Netflix were on hand with their traditional outpouring of festive crap. Including the third film to see Vanessa Hudgens pretend to be Vanessa Hudgens. Did I really think that the first Christmas film that I watched this year was going to the third film in The Princess Switch trilogy? No. Am I happy about it? No. Is there anything that I can do about it? No. It’s done. If your first festive film of advent is any indication of how the next year is going to go, then I’m not looking forward to 2022.
I’ve only read one Matt Haig book before and that was Notes On A Nervous Planet. Long story short, I didn’t care for it. I understand that a lot of people found it helpful with their mental health but I thought it was just pointless and trite. Not bad necessarily but not as helpful as it believes. So, I wasn’t exactly rushing out to read anything else by the writer. Although, I can’t seem to escape him. I see copies of The Midnight Library all over Instagram. It’s haunting me. As it’s Christmas, I decided to go with one of his festive reads. One of his festive reads that will both cross off a letter on my Reading Challenge and is free on Audible.
That’s it. 2020 is over and we’re staring a new year. It feels good that it’s all behind us but I can’t pretend that 2021 is magically going to be better. After all, the virus is still raging and it’ll be a while before the vaccine is really rolled out. Then there’s Brexit which has the potential to fuck everything up. It might cause problems for food and shopping. There’s also the chance it will create issues with the vaccine. So, who knows where we’ll be this time next year. I’m hoping that the Leave voters were right and we’ll be fine. However, I can’t see it being that rosy. Anyway, enough about the future. We’re hear to look back. I’ve already posted my 2020 review post but I still wanted to breakdown the books I read in December.
Number of books read: 10
Number of rereads: 1
Number of physical books: 10
Number of ebooks: 0
Number of audiobooks: 0
We’re so close to the end of the year which means that everyone is thinking about what they’ve achieved this year. For us bookish folks that mainly means the number of books that we’ve read. I’m already seeing people compiling their list of favourite books for 2020. How are they so on it? I’ve figured out which my top 5 rated books are but that doesn’t mean they were my favourite reads. Flawless books don’t always give us the same feels as slightly flawed books do. It’s not always the most fun to read a technically brilliant book. I have been looking back over my reviews for the year though. I think I get more wary of ratings near New Year’s Eve because I remember all of the great books I’ve read over the last 12 months. The books I’m currently reading start to pale in comparison to the books I’d long forgotten about until now. I blame that for my struggle to rate this book. I couldn’t decide so went with a bit of a compromise. Next year, I’m only doing rereads on December. It’s easier.
As you know, I love a bit of cosy crime. I’ve enjoyed reading Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle for as long as I can remember. More than anything, I have an affinity for the novels from the Golden Age of detective fiction. Just give me a whodunnit in a country house, an amateur sleuth and plenty of red herrings. That’s all I really need. Modern crime fiction is getting too pretentious for my liking. It’s trying to be more like television and it’s getting ridiculous. So, when this contemporary version of a Golden Age novel I knew that I had to give it a go. I’m always wary of books that get compared to Agatha Christie because no modern writer has ever been able to match her genius. Still, I’m always hopefully that someone will come close.
We’re used to the “is it a Christmas movie?” debate surrounding Die Hard and it seems that every year someone takes the opportunity to write another article about it. But it’s not as if Die Hard is the only film that may or may not be a Christmas movie. There’s every Shane Black film, Trading Places, Batman Returns, and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I’ve argued plenty of times with a friend of mine about Meet Me in St. Louis. She claims it’s a Christmas movie and I am adamant that it’s not. There are plenty of films that are set at Christmas that don’t focus on the holiday itself. Films that barely even recognise that the festive season is upon us. Many of these films are just old favourites that people enjoy watching. Like Gremlins. People like the film so why not watch it at Christmas? After all, it’s a time when we’re meant to embrace the people we love so why not the films too?
So, yet again, my Christmas reading hasn’t gone to plan. It’s my own fault really because who has time for much reading at the moment? I just always seem to have something to do. Meaning all of the books that are over 200 or so pages just seem super long. To get something finished for today’s post, I decided to pick up another short one. I don’t think I’ve ever read the original version of The Nutcracker by German writer E.T.A. Hoffmann. Although, I’ve had this gorgeous illustrated copy for years. I figured it was worth finally checking it out.
I’ll tell you what, the 25th really can’t come quickly enough for my liking. I am so tired and really craving a break. Which is another reason why my heart really isn’t in this post. It’s probably going to be a fairly quick one because it’s quite late as I’m writing this. I’m also currently listening to a Spotify playlist called Christmas Lullabies so I can feel festive and get ready for sleep. I’ll be honest, I’m not feeling particularly festive right now. No matter how hard I try, it’s just not there right now. Watching a Christmas film every day hasn’t done much to help but that’s possibly due to the films I’ve been watching. They weren’t necessarily the best of the bunch. I’d better get round to my favourites soon or I’ll run out of time.