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Weekly Update – Books, Shows & Films

I thought it would be fun to post weekly updates on my blog (on Mondays) in which I’ll go over the books I’ve read / am reading at the moment and the ones I added to my TBR pile as well as the shows/films I’ve watched / am watching and the ones I added to my watchlist.

So, without further ado:

What I’ve read, what I’m currently reading & what I’ve added to my TBR pile:

Weekly Update books

A couple of days ago I finished Oscar Wilde’s Stories for All Ages, a collection of Wilde’s short stories compiled by Stephen Fry and illustrated by Nicole Stewart. I enjoyed all the fairytale type stories (though some more than others) and Fry’s comments that make his inner Wilde enthusiast shine through were great. A full review will be up soon.

I have since started reading Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. I had never read anything by Gaiman until I came across some of his work in Poems to Live Your Life By by Chris Riddell and found that his poems were among my favourites of that collection. I also watched the television adaptation of Good Omens a while ago (the book is written by Gaiman and Terry Pratchett), which I thought was very good, and I have always been interested in mythology. So I thought that this would most likely be a fun read and so far I’ve been proved right.

Neal Shusterman’s Unwind dystology is one of my all-time favourite book series and I’ve also read and liked his books Everlost and Bruiser. I’ve been meaning to read more of his work, but somehow haven’t yet. Lately, I’ve mostly read poetry and memoirs and subconsciously turned my back on one of my favourite genres: young adult fiction. I must get back to it soon and intend to do so with Challenger Deep, a novel about a young man’s descent into mental illness.

I also want to get back into the young adult and fantasy genres by listening to the audiobook version of La Belle Sauvage, the first in the The Book of Dust series. It is narrated by Michael Sheen, whom I adore (and who coincidentally played Aziraphale in the above-mentioned television adaptation of Good Omens) and the book supposedly includes daemons, spies, a secret message, and a dangerous substance called Dust, which all sounds very appealing to me. I can’t wait to hear Sheen tell me this story.

What I’ve watched, what I’m currently watching & what I’ve added to my watchlist:

Weekly Update.jpg

I’ve started watching the HBO show Barry, a comedy drama about a hitman who moves to LA and joins an acting class. Hitman Barry is played by SNL’s Bill Hader and acting coach Gene is played by Henry “The Fonz” Winkler.
This show has been getting a lot of praise. It has an 8,3/10 rating on IMDb and both Hader and Winkler won an Emmy for their roles. The premise of the show is also bizarre and intriguing enough to give it a lot of potential, especially as a comedy, so I decided to give it a shot.
I finished the first season yesterday and I have to admit that I’m not charmed by it at all. So far I find the show to be relatively boring and meaningless. There’s little fun in it for a comedy and little excitement and suspense for a drama.
Comedy and drama can be a good mix, but it has to be done the right way. House M.D., M*A*S*H, and Boston Legal are excellent examples of the comedy/drama combination done well. Breaking Bad and The Blacklist are even better examples in comparison to Barry, both also being dark crime shows with light comedic touches (although there is a lot wrong with later seasons of The Blacklist, but don’t even get me started on that).
I won’t go further into this right now, because I want to finish season 2 first and then write a full review.
At the moment though, I don’t feel Barry is deserving of that 8,3/10 rating (I’d give the first season 4,5/10) and there are other shows around that are more worthy of this kind of praise (*cough* The Good Place *cough*).

I’ve also been watching Cheers for a while now and I’m currently in the middle of season 7. It’s my first time watching this show and I’m liking it a lot.
In this day and age some aspects of the show do make you go “eek!” though (like Sam and Diane’s slightly toxic love-hate relationship, Sam continuing to hit on women who’ve repeatedly told him to sod off, and Rebecca attempting to get into a relationship with her boss to further her career), but Cheers was created in a time that we weren’t all “woke”, so I can understand and forgive it.
It’s a show that is warm, welcoming, and light, making the theme song very appropriate. The oneliners are fantastic, the chemistry between the cast members is great, and the characters are delightful each in their own way. I particularly like Frasier, Lilith, Norm, and Cliff. So far, I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars.

I’ve recently added the film Late Night (with Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling) to my watchlist and I’ve been meaning to watch the show The Night Manager (with Hugh Laurie, Tom Hiddleston, and Olivia Colman) as well.

Late Night doesn’t have the best rating on IMDb (6,5/10) and the premise (a legendary talk show host who gets accused of being a woman who hates women hires her only female writer and hilarity ensues) sounds alright, but not groundbreaking.
However, Emma Thompson is my favourite actress and she’s able to carry a film entirely on her own if she has too. She can make literally anything watchable, so I’m confident I’ll enjoy this new film no matter what.

I’ve heard great things about The Night Manager (IMDb rating 8,2/10) and about Hugh Laurie’s performance in it. Apparently he’s deliciously charming and villainous and I really like the sound of that. I’ve admired and adored Hugh Laurie ever since I first saw him on House M.D. and then watched his earlier work (such as A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Peter’s Friends, and Blackadder), all of which I loved.
I also thought Olivia Colman was superb on Broadchurch and I may have fallen in love with her a little after that brilliant Oscar speech (she won an Oscar this year for her performance in The Favourite).
So it seems The Night Manager can’t disappoint with those two (and Tom Hiddleston of course) at the wheel.

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