Book Review – Nightmares & Daydreams by Dominic J. Anton

books, reviews

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Earlier this year, I was given the opportunity to read a copy of this book before it was published. Not only was I really honoured to get the chance to do it but I was excited to read it. The premise just sounded so good. I’d also read Dominic J. Anton’s poetry collection Intuition before, so I was excited to read his prose. The book was released in October and I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of the finished work. I couldn’t wait to get back in and read the final edition. So, I started reading it as soon as possible.

Book Review – The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau by Graeme Macrae Burnet

books, reviews

Rating: 4 out of 5.

When is it possible to say for sure that an author is one of your favourites? How many of their books do you need to have read before you can make that claim? Even after reading His Bloody Project, I was sure that Graeme Macrae Burnet would be in a position to earn that title. Then I read Case Study and it only confirmed how much I enjoy his writing. In order to get the full experience, I also bought copies of his other works but, as usual, it took me a while to get around to them. When I found the audiobook version of this book in my library’s catalogue, it seemed like it was the right time to do so. So, I listened to it during work with the hope that I could finally bestow the all-important title on the Scottish author.

Book Review – Clock Dance by Anne Tyler

books, reviews

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

After I finished Redhead by the Side of the Road the other week, I listened to a second Anne Tyler book. How did I pick it? It was available as an audiobook on my library app and it was shorter than A Spool of Blue Thread. I think that’s a pretty good way to pick a book. I’ll get around to A Spool of Blue Thread eventually but it’s just too long to finish in one workday. If I have to stretch a book over a few days then I lose the momentum. It’s much easier all around if I just finish one over the course of a day.

Book Review – Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler

books, reviews

Rating: 5 out of 5.

After I read French Braid earlier this year, I decided that I’d try and read more Anne Tyler books. She’s an author that I haven’t read enough of and it’s time to change that. So, when I discovered a few of her books on my library app, I decided to borrow them. Again, I’ve been listening to audiobooks at work and she’s a great writer for that. Her stories are detailed but don’t require a lot of effort to keep track of the plot. You just get to enjoy gorgeous writing as you perform menial tasks. What could be better?

Film Review – The French Dispatch (2021)

films, reviews

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Wes Anderson isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. I know this. He can be a little too quirky and whimsical for many people. I have friends who can’t stand him. I do think he sort of shot himself in the foot a little by making The Grand Budapest Hotel so funny and accessible. It gave more people the Anderson bug but they don’t get the same feeling from his other films. Personally, I enjoy his work. It’s like a little aesthetic escape from reality. His films are an antidote to the doom and gloom that we regularly see around us. I get excited every time a new film is announced. If it hadn’t been for the pandemic, I would have raced to see The French Dispatch at the cinema as soon as it came out. As it stands, I’m still avoiding public spaces as much as possible without totally ruining my life. Meaning I had to wait for this to come to Disney+. Better late than never.

Book Review – Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Tom de Freston

books, reviews

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I’ve had this book on my shelf for ages. I was so excited to get it because it sounded like such a fantastic story and it looked beautiful. I was hoping to read it last year but I didn’t get a chance. That’s what happens when you set yourself a stupid reading challenge that restricts your choices. I’ve been making slow progress with my current read, so I decided to spend some time yesterday getting through this one. I hoped it would be a change from the heartbreaking Dear Edward. Well, it didn’t quite turn out like that.

Book Review – Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson

books, reviews

Rating: 5 out of 5.

It’s safe to say that my Sunday didn’t exactly go to plan. I was intending to get stuff sorted. Mostly organise my week’s photos and then read this book. Thanks to unforeseen events, that didn’t happen, so I was rushing to get this book finished in time for this review. Good job it’s a pretty short book and one that is easy to read. I just about finished with enough time to spare. I was a bit later in getting to bed than I’d hoped but we can cope with that.

Book Review – Burncoat by Sarah Hall

books, reviews

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I often wonder if this whole reviewing thing isn’t a little bit futile. Not the reading books or talking about them bit. I think that’s a great part of life and something that everyone should be encouraged to do more. No, I mean arbitrarily assigning a rating to everything that I read. I never used to do it but jumped on the bandwagon a few years ago. Ratings don’t really tell you very much because they’re so personal. Everyone has an individual spectrum of greatness and it’s all very dependent on context. Take Burncoat for example. I’ve seen plenty of people say they prefer it to The Fell but I’m the opposite. The difference? They read Sarah Hall first and I didn’t. If I’d read them in a different order would I have flipped? It’s both impossible to say and pointless to speculate. On with the review.

Book Review – The Fell by Sarah Moss

books, reviews

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Short books are great for getting your reading count up but sometimes their length can be deceiving. What should only take a few hours to read could end up taking a couple of days because of the emotional toil. I definitely think that’s what happened with this one. I’m not sure that I was ready for this book. We’re still very much in the Coronavirus pandemic and, as a clinically extremely vulnerable person, I don’t feel as though my life will get back to normal for a while. So, maybe it wasn’t the right time to be reading this? However, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to resist seeing what Sarah Moss had in store for me.

Tuesday Review – The Green Knight (2021)

films, reviews

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I can’t remember if I’ve ever read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. I never spent much of my time reading Middle English poetry. Although, I had an awareness of the story, so I might have briefly touched upon the subject. Now, normally, I don’t think it’s important to know the original text before you see an adaptation but I think this might be a bit different. After all, Middle English poetry isn’t something that many modern cinema audiences are necessarily ready for. Especially when the adaptation is potentially going to be mistaken for an epic fantasy action film. In the age of Game of Thrones, the idea of what fantasy is has become pretty specific and The Green Knight was sure to be that straightforward.