So, you may have noticed that this isn’t a book review. And that’s only partly because I haven’t quite finished Machines Like Me yet. I say partly because I’m trying to convince myself that I haven’t been rubbish at reading this week. That’s not the reason. The real reason is that I needed to talk about this week’s episode of Game of Thrones. Or, more specifically, the reaction to it. Cause this season has divided opinion quite dramatically. And the last few episodes have left a particularly sour taste in people’s mouths. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve found the final series of Game of Thrones to be disappointing. The writing has gone downhill and the storylines are being rushed to fit into the shorter episode run. The focus has been on spectacle instead of the story. Character development has gone out of the window in favour of more CGI dragons. Now, it should go without saying but spoiler warning guys.
It’s nearly been a week since the last Game of Thrones episodes so it may seem like a stupid time to post a rant about it. However, there never seemed to be a decent time to do it. This week was all about Endgame. The only sensible time would have been Wednesday but I had a book review ready to go and I’m trying to keep on top of those. So, I almost just left this alone but, as you should know by now, I’m never one to miss the chance to rant about something. And this is a doozy. Spoiler warnings to anyone who hasn’t seen the episode this week. It’s been long enough by now but I still don’t want to risk it. A friend of mine had the ending ruined for him and I feel his pain. If I’d have known how that episode finished going in, I would have been fucking livid. It was such a fantastic thing to be surprised by. So, yeah, if you haven’t seen the latest episode I’m about to give you major spoilers so stop reading now. It’s really not worth it for what I’m going to say. I’m just going to be getting angry about stupid men on the internet. I have hundreds of rants like this already. Go read them instead.
So, once again I’m having to put off my book review until Friday. At this rate, I might as well just do two bookish posts a week. Especially now I have weekends off. I’ve been thinking about it for a while. It means I can do at least one review a week (if I can keep up) and a random post. Of course, it would also mean me coming up with an extra post idea a week and that’s not always worked out well for me. I’ve never been the kind of person who wanted to write content for contents sake. Despite what I might be being told at work. But that’s another rant for another day. Instead, I’m filling my Wednesday night post with a subject that’s close to my heart. A topic that I’ve been getting quite passionate about with a friend of mine. A friend who really wasn’t ready for how much I cared about it. I’ve ranted about this television show before and I will again. That’s the joy of finding something you actually give a shit about. You’ll always find something to be annoyed about and something to absolutely adore. I’m not the kind of person who believes that anything is flawless. That doesn’t sound like much fun to me. I enjoy conflict and feeling conflicted about something I love is the ideal situation. Really, what I’m saying is, I just love debating and arguing about things.
There probably won’t be many people out there who still remember the days when I tried to write a Top 10 list every week. Yep, in the not too distant past, I struggled to come up with a coherent list of 10 things related to a specific book or film related top 10. I did it every Wednesday cause, you know, I fucking love to make things rhyme and it always stressed me out. I could never think of a topic and I could never pick 10 things. I think I threw about 6 fake dinner parties for fictional characters in the space of 4 months and the guests were pretty much the same every time. I don’t know what I was thinking. But, I’m obviously a glutton for punishment as I’ve been thinking about starting a new weekly series on a Friday. I’m already struggling because my journey home tonight took me over 3 fucking hours so I’m too tired and pissed off to be writing anything. But, I’m still really angry about this film so this has to happen somehow. I guess it can’t be that bad… and it’s not as if it’s got anything to do with dinner parties. Yet, anyway. So, without further stalling for time, I present the top 5 things I think made The Crimes of Grindelwald a bad film. These don’t include the changes to the canon that I mentioned in my post on Wednesday. Nor do they mention, though it took all of my strength not to, Jude Law’s annoying and laughable Irish moments. I get that he was paying homage to Michael Gambon but who seriously heard him speak his lines and said “yep, that’s exactly how he should say that”? It’s so distracting!
Yesterday I posted my spoiler free review of The Crimes of Grindelwald which probably ended up being one of the longer posts I’ve written lately. And there was definitely more I wanted to say. Despite coming out of the film feeling fairly positive, in the week since I watched it I’ve become more and more angry about certain things. Driving home on the evening I was bemoaning the changes in timeline and it’s something that hasn’t stopped since. So, I’ve done the unthinkable and purposefully broken my book review streak in order to get some stuff off my chest. I have a history, on this blog, of ranting about J.K. Rowling and this year has been a good year for angry content about her. That was mainly concerned with the fact that Johnny Depp continues to star in the blockbuster franchise despite his worrying personal life. Not only the possibility that he is a domestic abuser but also has a constant struggle with drugs and alcohol. I found it sad that a writer who wrote a series about not letting entitled bullies get their own way would allow an actor to get away with such troubling behaviour and still get paid a shit-ton of money. But, let’s be honest, he pulls in the viewing numbers and, these days, that’s all that seems to matter.
As I’ve said before, it’s sometimes difficult separating quality and purpose when reviewing something. When I reviewed The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas I was a bit scared to admit that I had been disappointed by the book because it was so tied up with such an important issue. I didn’t want to suggest that not liking the book meant that I was against the message at its core. It was that I thought it could have dealt with that issue better. I’m now facing that situation again as I try to work through my feeling for Matt Haig’s second mental health oriented book. How can you criticse a book where a man opens up about his mental health issues and discusses his difficult relationship with social media? How can you openly criticise a book that has, by all accounts, helped plenty of people deal with their own mental health issues? Any criticism of the book could very well be taken as a criticsim of Haig himself or the people who have found help from it. But reading is a very personal thing. As is mental health. What works for one won’t necessarily work for another. So, it is with trepidation, that I offer my immediate thoughts on Notes on a Nervous Planet.
For the first time in a really long time I haven’t got a new book to review. So, for the first time in a really long time I haven’t got any inspiration for my Wednesday post. It definitely doesn’t help that my current read is so bloody uninspiring. I don’t really know what possessed me to start reading To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, especially as I didn’t even like the film that much. I guess I thought it would be an easy read but I just can’t get into it. It’s fallen into so many awful YA traps and I genuinely hate reading parts of it. There is something about an adult writer trying to write the voice of a 16 year old that never quite works. I know that there is no way that I could write a convincing 16 year old yet, still, YA writers keep trying. It got super bad when she used the word “beotch” twice in quick succession. This was a book that was only written a few years ago. Who was still using the word “beotch”? It’s ridiculous. I’ve spent so much of this novel cringing. Which is why I’m being so bad at reading right now. I just don’t want to pick up this book.
Can you fucking believe it? I’m posting another book review only a week after my last one. It’s insane. I’m actually doing this reading thing properly. If you’re not careful I might actually become a proper book blogger. You know, the kind that posts book reviews more often than vague ramblings or book tags. Probably don’t hold your breath but who knows. Still, lets not dwell on it too much or my progress will be ruined. To the review! I started reading Less last week because I didn’t feel that I was really paying enough attention to LGBTQ+ reads during Pride. It was actually this irrational (but justified maybe?) fear that my reading wasn’t diverse enough that caused me to buy Less after I had bypassed it on so many occasions. I even bought it full price so determined was I to read something appropriate this month. I have to y, I was shocked by how easily I got into the story and always looked forward to my nightly visit to the world of Arthur Less. Maybe it helps that the character of Arthur kinda reminds me of someone I work with but, really, that’s probably only because he’s the only 50 year-old gay man who I know personally. But, hey, it got me reading so who cares…
I’m writing this post ahead of time because on Wednesday night I’m going to the theatre. A guy I work with is starring in an amateur production of Sweet Charity and a load of us are going to watch him. As a huge fan of musical theatre I’m really excited but I will miss my usual Wednesday night routine. I normally have the house to myself so I can just do whatever I want. Plus, I had to start to think about this post way before I normally would. I mean is it really a Wednesday if I’m not madly typing a bookish post at about 32:46? It’s also an issue for another reason. By the time this post goes on the blog I will have finally finished a book. I know I know. It’s a fucking miracle and it’s only taken about 3 months to do it. This slump has killed me, man. But I should be able to finish Frankenstein in Baghdad this evening. If this had been a normal week then I could have cobbled together a book review this week but, thanks to my unusually busy schedule, that’ll have to wait until next Wednesday. So, it does beg the question of what I’m going to discuss tonight.
It’s reaching that time of the month when us bookish people start to set out what we plan on reading in the weeks ahead. As a keen Bookstagrammer who sticks to a couple of photo challenges for inspiration, I am used to post at least one photo at the start of every new month to show off the books in my monthly TBR. Now, I know there are people out there who will stick religiously to whatever they pick at that point but I’m not one of them. In fact, each of my TBR Instagram posts just tend to be a random selection of books that I kind of want to read but know, deep in my heart, that I won’t be doing it any time soon. It’s just a routine I’ve found myself in. But this month is worse than other months. Because I’m in the middle of a major reading slump. I’m currently still reading Frankenstein in Baghdad: a book that I actually opened for the first time towards the end of March. Fucking March, guys! That was ages ago. So, I’m feeling a little more stressed than normal about my selection this month. And, as we all know, stress isn’t something that really helps in a slump.