Picking up the right book at the right time makes all the difference to your enjoyment levels. If you pick up a sure-fire hit at the wrong time then it can become a nightmare. I won’t say that December was the worst time for me to pick up this book but it certainly didn’t make it easy. She and Her Cat is the kind of book that I should have been able to read over a couple of nights or in one day over the weekend. What actually happened is that I slaved over this book for about a week. I’ve been so tired that I couldn’t manage more than a few pages a night. It was painful. I really wanted to read it but I just couldn’t. Last night, I decided to power through and finish it. I’ve been struggling at work today but at least it’s done.
I absolutely promise that I had planned to watch something sensible this week. At least, as sensible as a Christmas film is ever likely to get. Then I discovered that Netflix had released a film called I Believe in Santa about a grown man who still believes in Father Christmas. How could I not watch that? It sounded so stupid. Even more ridiculous than any of their previous festive offerings. Could this possibly be a new low for the streaming service or would it end up being the best thing they’d ever done? I suspected it would be the former but I had to find out for myself.
Some books just sound like they’re going to be your kind of thing. I was offered a copy of this book and it just seemed like it would be right up my street. A YA novel with LGBTQ+ representation set in the glitzy music world and written by a musician. It had the potential to be something really interesting. I admit that YA isn’t my usual kind of thing but I’m always willing to give it a chance when it sounds good enough. As I’ve mentioned, it’s been taking me longer to finish books recently but I got a fair chunk of it finished on a train ride this weekend. Not in time for my usual Monday review but close enough.
Am I going mad or are there two different films with this exact premise this year? Either that or the main actors in this film are so utterly generic that every time I see the trailer I forget that I’ve already seen it. It’s not as if I ever expected this to be one of the greatest Christmas films ever. After all, the trailer makes it pretty obvious what’s going to happen. In fact, the premise alone makes it pretty obvious what’s going to happen. Both halves of a young couple end up at their partner’s house for Christmas. Hilarity ensues. Even if I was pretty convinced that hilarity would be the last thing on the menu. The least I could hope for would be an easy watch that didn’t require much attention.
I don’t know what’s happened to me in the last few months. Reading just isn’t going as well for me as it was in the first half of the year. I don’t even know if I’m going to manage to get to 100 in 2022 let alone beat my reading score from last year. On the plus side, I have read a few books that have been on my TBR for a while. This is one of those books. Due to my history with classic gothic fiction, I was interested in this book when it came out. I possibly even have a copy of it hidden away somewhere. I found a copy on my library app and decided it was finally time to listen to it. It seemed like a good book for the winter months. There’s nothing like a good creepy book on a chilly night. Especially a book that I’ve been looking forward to reading.
It’s December, which means things are about to get a lot more Christmassy around here. Obviously, most of the streaming services have already been pushing their festive content since the 1st of November but I like to put it off for as long as possible. There’s only so much that I can take. In the past, I’ve attempted to watch one Christmas film every day in advent. I really don’t think I could do that to myself this year. There’s so much happening. Instead, I’ll just review one every week of the month. Seems manageable. And what better place to start than Netflix. The platform has long been giving Hallmark a run for its money with their paint by numbers approach to holiday films. One year, I dare them to do something unique. Until then, we’ve got the same old story but with new faces.
One of the first books that I read this year was Julia and the Whale by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. It has been sitting on my shelf for a while but in the pre-Christmas madness, I hadn’t managed to get to it. It remains one of my top books of 2022, so I knew I had to fit Leila and the Blue Fox into my reading list as well. How could it not be as good as the previous one? I managed to finish it just before the end of November. I knew that I wouldn’t finish my current read in time, so decided to fit this one in instead. It was a quick read last weekend and a great way to end my month’s reading.
I always meant to watch this before now. It was one of those films I was more excited about than I’d expected. I just never go around to it. Why? It just seemed so long. When did we decide that films must be so bloody long these days? It feels as though we either get 90 minutes or a 3-hour epic. And what is the benefit of a long film? If anything, it just means you can’t tell your story succinctly enough. What better way to tell people that you don’t know how to tell a story than by making it go on for an hour longer than necessary? This week, I decided to suck it up and braced myself for the 158-minute runtime. I know that’s not actually a lot in the grand scheme of things but it was a work night and I was already exhausted. Who knew if I would be able to concentrate on this enough to get a good idea of how good it was? At least if the film didn’t keep me engaged then Adam Driver’s face would.
I never got the love for Disney’s Enchanted because it came out when I was a bit too old to care. It came out when I was at university, so I had other things going on. I don’t think I watched it until a few years ago and it had been really overhyped at that point. I didn’t think it was bad but I’d heard so much praise for it. Yeah, it subverts the traditional Disney fairy tale tropes but it was hardly the best parody. It was fun and Amy Adams is always a joy. I just didn’t think it was so amazing. So, when the sequel was announced, I wasn’t exactly counting down the days until its release. I knew that I’d watch it but I doubted that I’d be that into it.
Sometimes I feel as though I’m the only person on Earth who didn’t think that Knives Out was the revolutionary and original murder mystery that everyone else believes. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it but the way some people go on, you’d think Rian Johnson had invented the drama. Although, I’m generally underwhelmed by whodunnits in general. It might be because of my love of Agatha Christie or because I’m just too cynical. Either way, I just think they’re too obvious. It’s such an oversaturated market that we’ve seen it all before. I just think it’s difficult to shock, so you need to do something special to keep me on board. I was keen to find out if See How They Run would do that.