I’m still not doing very well when it comes to reading this month but this week I’ve managed to finish 2 whole books. Mostly because they were audiobooks and I was able to listen to them at work. I guess I was feeling musical as both were related to the music industry. The first was The Beastie Boys book and the second was this novel by Nick Cave. I’m a fan of Nick Cave so I was expecting something a bit weird and very lyrical.
I don’t often read non-fiction but I do like to buy it. I have a section of my TBR that is dedicated to music-related non-fiction books. This is one of the ones that I’ve had for the longest and also one that I was most excited about. I was already intrigued when I heard Adam and Joe talk about it on the Adam Buxton podcast. I was so easily swayed that I tracked down a copy as soon as possible. Then I put it on a pile and never thought of it again.
I’ve been so tired this week that I haven’t finished my current ready yet. Luckily I already had a book ready to review, so I didn’t have to rush to finish something. Hourglass was my final read of last month and one that I’d had my eye on for a while. I’ve not read any of Keiran Goddard’s poetry but I do love a verse novel. Plus, it looked absolutely gorgeous and was going to be a super quick read. Basically, my perfect book.
I come from a pretty musical family. My parents are both great singers and my sisters and I all played instruments at school. I initially tried out the oboe but couldn’t cope with the double reed. I then moved to the flute and, after a lot of effort, became pretty adequate. So, it was a given that I’d be interested in a book that a magical musical school with a flautist main character. The fact that I could get it free with my Audible account only made it better.
I’ve been on the internet recently, so I’ve heard the absolute banging tunes from this film. It got to the point where I’d heard them so much that I just had to watch it. It’s another of those recent Disney films that I’ve just heard nothing bad about. Although, I was slightly concerned that the actual film couldn’t live up to the songs. I mean, the ones I’d heard were so good out of context that I wasn’t sure placing them into a story would work for me. The only thing that I could do was give it a go.
I hadn’t expected to enjoy Sing so it took me a while to get round to it. I think, in the end, it was only after I heard Taron Egerton singing ‘I’m Still Standing’ that I decided to watch it. I enjoyed it. I mean, it wasn’t groundbreaking or outstanding but it was fun. Fun enough that I was interested in watching the sequel even before I knew Adam Buxton had a starring role as a Proboscis monkey dance instructor. But was that enough to make this film necessary?
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.
After finishing Mr Wilder & Me, I was hoping to start reading Jonathan Coe’s Brexit novel Middle England. However, I knew that if I did that, I would never finish it in time for today’s review. Instead, I went to my Audible library to find a quick read that I’d been putting off. I guess the melding of fact and fiction in Mr Wilder & Me made a bit of an impact on me because I went with this Julian Barnes book. I don’t know as much as I should about classical music and I don’t know as much as I’d like about Russian history. I did know enough about the Stalin’s Russia to have been excited about this one. Could I have done with knowing more about Shostakovich before I went in? Possibly but, then again, wouldn’t I find out everything I needed to know?
I used to listen to Brett Goldstein’s Films To Be Buried With podcast when I was working. For those who haven’t listened to it, each episode was based around a series of film question that Brett put to his guest. It included the question “what is the funniest film ever?” Comedy is one of those genres that is so subjective, which is perhaps the reason why comedy films don’t have the same lasting appeal as dramas. Some comedies do have staying power but funny films tend to age quicker than straight films. There are only a handful of really important classic comedy films, so most people answering this question would pick more contemporary ones. Of course, the one major exception is This Is Spinal Tap. It was the film that was picked most often in this category. So, is Spinal Tap really the funniest film ever made?
You’ve probably seen that Bill Clinton Swag thing going around Instagram, right? You’ve probably even been tagged to do it. Well, yesterday some absolute bastard tagged me to do it. Now, I’m a very indecisive person. Although, I’m not actually sure I’d describe it as indecisive. I just don’t like the idea of ranking the things I like. Why should one thing be superior to the rest? It depends on the context. Why is everyone so obsessed with finding out what my favourite book or film is? I have loads. I love Goodfellas but it’s not the kind of film I’m going to want to watch all of the time. I love The Monk but it can be a bit much to read at times. That’s why we have collections. But I decided to try and play ball and it was going well until I was thrown another curve ball. Another friend made a point about everyone picking male artists and I realised I’d picked 4 albums by male artists. So, I went back to the drawing board to make it more even. But I still had too many to decide between. At least it gave me a Friday Favourites idea. I had to limit myself or I’d have been here forever but I think this is a pretty cool list.