The books, movies, tv shows and other perfectly archaic ways I'll be entertaining myself this month. This is a Tik Tok free zone.
I take pride in the fact that I know how to spell Tik Tok, yet do not engage in it. Makes me feel hoity-toity to be above all that drivel and more interested in the academic pursuits in life like reading and Instagram.
After last month's publishing of 12 things to read, watch & listen to I realized that this kind of thing is USELESS if you don't know what my tastes are.
So here's a quick review of things I DO and DO NOT like in no particular order.
Table of Contents
Geek Love, A Prayer for Owen Meany, The Book of Negroes, Lonesome Dove, Middlesex, A Man Called Ove, Little House on the Prairie series
Shameless, Sex in the City, Doc Martin, Call the Midwife, anything with Chris O'Dowd, Please Like Me, Downton Abbey, VEEP
The Menu, Women Talking, Parasite, Jojo Rabbit, Sing Street, any horrible Hallmark Mystery Movie, The Princess Bride
Remains of the Day, A Gentleman in Moscow, self-help books, American Dirt, Where the Crawdads Sing
You, Game of Thrones, Grey's Anatomy, Fleabag, Westworld, Better Call Saul,
Titanic, Hamilton, Everything Everywhere All At Once, Banshees of Inisherin, Avatar, Deadpool, Where the Crawdads Sing (omgsoawful)
So now you know a tiny bit about my tastes, which like yours are probably all over the place and nonsensical.
Currently Reading ... and LOVING. More than loving. I'm admiring it.
My plan was to read a different book next. Then reader Librarian Nancy alerted me to this book: Remarkably Bright Creatures. The tale of Tova, a widow who takes a night shift janitorial job at an aquarium after her husband dies.
There she befriends an imprisoned (his words) giant Pacific octopus named Marcellus who narrates parts of the story.
Stop rolling your eyes at a narrating octopus. I had the same reaction, but the chapters that are told through the eye of the octopus are the chapters I most look forward to now.
I'm not sure I've ever been so instantly enchanted with a book. I'm currently ⅓rd of the way through so I shouldn't officially recommend it but if you are a fan of literary fiction I think there's very little chance you'll feel anything but love for Remarkably Bright Creatures.
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow
Once There Were Wolves
The story of two childhood friends who develop video games.
A biologist releases 12 grey wolves into the Scottish highlands in an attempt to revive the ecosystem.
I'VE READ IT
I'VE READ IT
As you might remember I started this book last month. I finished it and loved it.
I never thought I'd say this about a book that's based on gamers and game developers but ...
I can now 100% recommend it.
A Christmas gift from Fish Pedicure, Once There Were Wolves is yes, about wolves.
The writing is beautiful and I always looked forward to cracking it open again at night but I would have been happier with the book if they'd just left it at wolves and the ecosystem. Instead they dilute that plot with romance and murder. Just gimme the wolves and the environment please.
But don't listen to me. Goodreads readers LOVE it. (4.2 stars from over 60,000 ratings)
Even with my complaints I wholeheartedly recommend it.
The Museum of Extraordinary Things
Lessons in Chemistry
WANT TO READ
WANT TO READ
WANT TO READ
HORSE was supposed to be the next book I read after Tomorrow & Tomorrow & Tomorrow. Instead I went with a reader recommended book.
I may be disappointed by this novel from Alice Hoffman because this genre is one of my favourites. Circus folk.
It'll be hard to beat my favourite, GEEK LOVE.
Set in 1960s California; Lessons In Chemistry is the brilliant, idiosyncratic and uplifting story of a female scientist whose career is derailed by the idea that a woman's place is in the home - something she most definitely does not believe - only to find herself the star of America's best-loved TV cooking show. (from Goodreads)
These are the two I've watched in the past month that I LOVED.
At the beginning of the pandemic I shared a video made by a grade 9 student about the effects of Covid isolation on mental health. The 15 year old girl who wrote, directed and acted in the video is the daughter of a television director I worked with a lot when I was a television host.
Two years later this Etobicoke School for the Performing Arts student is starring in a critically acclaimed, Academy Award nominated feature film. So how'd that happen?
That end-of-school project ended up getting millions of views on Youtube. It struck a chord with a lot of people - one of those people being Canadian director Sarah Polley.
In fact, Sarah Polley liked Liv's video so much they developed an online friendship which led to Sarah asking Liv is she would be interested in auditioning for a movie she was making.
Liv auditioned, and landed the role of Neitje in the award winning movie Women Talking about a group of ultraconservative Mennonite women who after years of physical, mental and sexual abuse by the men in their community finally decide to start talking about it.
Make time to watch this movie.
I have watched (or really, really tried to watch) all of the best picture nominations for 2023.
Women Talking is the one I'll remember in years to come.
We Have a Ghost
This is just a fun, ridiculous popcorn movie. It's no Ghostbusters but it's an easy and enjoyable watch.
The Other Two
The Other Two, being the siblings of a newly manufactured child pop star. What happens when you're in your 20s and your 13 year old brother becomes the biggest thing since Justin Bieber? Hilarity, that's what.
A legendary, but on the downslide, Vegas comic tries to reinvent her act to stay relevant. She is an absolutely and perfectly AWFUL human being. Which is always fun to watch. But the real reason to watch is for the character Kayla.
A new murder mystery every episode starring Natasha Lyonne as a woman who can instantly tell if someone is lying. I think I'd get bored with multiple seasons of this, but the first season was really good.
You can see the February list here.
As always add some of your recommendations below. It's also helpful if you include some other things you like or don't like.
In conclusion, yes, I really did hate Game of Thrones.
Finally! Someone who agrees with me about A Prayer for Owen Meany… and Chris O’Dowd. 🤗
Seriously thank you to Karen for suggesting Owen Meany - I really hadn't heard of it - So so glad I read it -
but...I love a good Circus book - Geek Love is the best followed by The Final Confession of Mabel Stark by Robert Hough (get past the raunchy stuff in the first few chapters if that bothers you...)
Mabel Stark was captivating too! I'm glad you read Owen Meany :) ~ karen!
I just started reading The Night Circus and love it already. You have to read Cold People by Tim Rob Smith. Humanity is given 30 days to get to Antarctica by invading aliens. The aliens aren’t mentioned aside from the go away part. The story follows how humanity copes by genetic manipulation. I read it in a weekend.
I remember The Night Circus being incredible at creating a mood right away. I could picture the house exactly. ~ karen!
I swear we are Sisters from another Mother LoL! (except for hating on GOT) I've recommended watching Women Talking to everyone, as it is such an engrossing story. Im not sure if you've read The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor by Sally Armstrong? Canadian Author, Canadian Content (surprisingly, my neck of the woods) & reads like it SHOULD be a HBO miniseries! Finally, THE WHALE - Brendan Frazier stands alone & is so well deserving of his awards. Hard to watch & I was an emotional dishrag afterwords but I had to see what all of the fuss was about.
Hi Jenny! I tried to watch The Whale. I only got about 5 minutes into it when I thought NOPE. Depressing. VERY very depressing. But it's still on my list to try again. ~ karen!
I'm that "television director" - SO thrilled Women Talking is getting the accolades it deserves, I'm not sure why Sarah didn't get the Director nod as well... My daughter learned so much from Sarah, that amazing cast and the entire master-class filmmaking experience, just life-changing. Thanks for the shout-out. Love your picks, I LOVED Banshees, thought EEAAO was also a "what?" ending, been thinking of seeing We Have a Ghost with my Hollywood gal. Will for sure now! See ya pal.
Thanks Scott! She couldn't have worked with a more impressive group around her. And Sarah's Oscar acceptance speech was perfect. I'm very happy she meandered off the road to Avonlea. (television director is the easiest way to describe you, lol) ~ karen!
I'm currently reading "The Moment of Lift" by Melissa French Gates. Yes Bills ex-wife. Its all about empowering women. Highly recommend this one.
Thanks for the info!
If you like podcasts, try The Book Case with Kate and Charlie Gibson. They chat with Shelby Van Pelt about the writing if Remarkably Bright Creatures. Loved that novel ❤️
I expect to finish it this weekend! ~ karen
Oh noooo ? I so love both a Gentleman in Moscow and Where the Crawdads Sing. I love reading your comments, your how to, your funny lines, but this ? YIKES I'm crushed ! :). Ok fine, I still like you.
Excellent! Can't expect us to agree on everything/ And I liked A Gentleman in Moscow. I just didn't go crazy nuts over it like most people. As for Where the Crawdads Sing I stand by my decision. ;) ~ karen!