Another Monday, another update on my reading and viewing activities.
What I’ve read, what I’m currently reading & what I’ve added to my TBR pile:
I listened to the audiobook Hersenen Willen Lezen by Erik Scherder. It’s written and narrated by a professor of neuropsychology and it’s about the importance of reading for your brain. It was an okay read (/listen), but nothing special. It was informative and interesting, but quite short and not highly scientific. I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars and if you’re interested you can read my full review here.
As promised in my last Weekly Update I also posted my review of Oscar Wilde’s Stories for All Ages, a collection of short fairytale-like stories compiled by Stephen Fry, illustrated by Nicole Stewart, and written by Oscar Wilde. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.
Last week, I mentioned that I was reading Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. I’ve put that read on pause now, because I was desperate to get back into the young adult and fantasy genres.
So I started listening to La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman instead. It’s narrated by Michael Sheen and so far I absolutely love his narration. He does brilliant voices and accents and I like that he makes Malcolm (the main character) sound so young. It’s too early to say anything meaningful about the story itself, because I’m only two hours in and the plot is just getting started, but so far I’m enjoying it.
I added The Philosopher’s Flight by Tom Miller to my TBR pile. Anything with “philosopher” in the title immediately draws my attention and when I saw the splash of colour on the cover and the words “half science, half magic – entirely fantastic” I was sold.
This is fantasy, historical fiction, and science fiction all smashed together in one novel set during WWI about a young man who practices empirical philosophy (a female-dominated branch of magic and science). I honestly can’t wait to read this one. The blurb has made me incredibly curious and the whole idea behind this book sounds very refreshing.
I also added The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt to my pile. I watched Ariel Bissett’s book haul a few days ago in which she said one of her friends enthusiastically texted her that she was reading this book and how much she loved it. So I looked it up on Goodreads and it said: “The Goldfinch combines vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher’s calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.”
It does sound interesting, but to be completely honest, I’m not entirely sure if this is my genre. The reviews on Goodreads are mostly very positive though (it has a 3.90 star rating), so I guess we’ll see.
What I’ve watched, what I’m currently watching & what I’ve added to my watchlist:
In last week’s update I said I’d watched the first season of Barry, a comedy drama about a hitman who moves to LA and joins an acting class (starring Bill Hader and Henry Winkler. This is (part of) what I wrote about that first season: “… 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. (…) I don’t feel Barry is deserving of that 8,3/10 rating (I’d give the first season 4,5/10).”
I have since watched the rest of the show and I must say that the second season was much better than the first. It was funnier and it finally seemed like the show was about something. There were layered characters going through character development, there were heartfelt conversations, there were interesting storylines, there was slapstick comedy… Quite frankly, season two warmed my cockles.
I still don’t think Barry is worthy of that 8,3 on IMDb, but I’d give the second season a solid 7,5 and with that the entire show a 6. I will post a full review soon.
I am now in the middle of season 8 of Cheers. Everything I wrote last week still holds up and there’s nothing new to say about it, really, except that Rebecca talked about Trump and… well… *insert “And I Oop” meme here*.
I’ve added Pretty in Pink (with Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Andrew McCarthy, and James Spader) and The Good Liar (with Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen) to my watchlist. (The Good Liar comes out at the end of this year).
As a fan of James Spader I should be ashamed that I still haven’t seen Pretty in Pink, one of those classic ’80s films. I know Pretty in Pink’s Steff is one of Spader’s most popular roles, but somehow I always end up watching other films he’s in. (Tip: watch White Palace (with Spader and Susan Sarandon), one of my guilty pleasures).
Upon hearing that The Good Liar stars Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen I instantly added it to my watchlist. I didn’t even know the premise (I do now: it’s about a con artist who meets a wealthy widow online), but who needs a premise when you’ve already got acting royalty Dame Helen Mirren and Sir Ian McKellen?
Fun fact: I last saw Helen Mirren in the action comedies Red and Red 2 (alongside Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, and John Malkovich) and let me tell you, you may not know that you need Helen Mirren with a machine gun in your life, but trust me, you need Helen Mirren with a machine gun in your life. She is everything in those films. Bruce Willis can go home. There, I said it. (I’m kidding, Bruce, I love you, man).
See you next week!