Wednesday, 13 March 2019

The Monthly Edit: What I've Been Reading, Watching and Listening to #1

Like most humans, I consume a lot of media. I read a lot of course, but I also love T.V and film and I’m lost on public transport if I don’t have my headphones with me. There’s always something new to watch or listen to in this ever-growing Netflix age so I thought I’d start a  series where I discuss what I’ve read, watched, and listened over the last month or so. I love reading these kinds of posts and I think it’s always interesting to reflect on what you’ve been enjoying recently. Or not enjoying. With the good comes some bad, but overall I enjoyed some pretty good stuff over the last month so here’s what I read, watched, and listened to in February!


Reading

Over the last few months I’ve gotten in to listening to audiobooks and I do wonder what took me so long to give them a go. I find that they’re perfect for those times when I want to snuggle up with my book, but my eyes are just too tired to concentrate. So with my latest Audible credit I decided to listen to I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara. As a true crime fanatic this one had been on my radar since its release last year and I enjoyed it (as much as one can enjoy a non-fiction account of an infamous serial killer.) I wasn’t completely enamoured with it as I hoped I’d be, but I put that down to listening to it rather than reading a physical copy. I think my brain might have appreciated reading the facts and statistics as opposed to listening to them. I’m still glad I finally got around to this one though.

I then had a bit of an impulse read and picked up Holes by Louis Sachar. I read this back in high school and I had a sudden, desperate urge to read it again. I love mood reading and I especially love it when I have a desire to pick up a book I know I’ve enjoyed in the past. There was something so comforting about reading Holes again – not just the story, which I think is well thought out and executed, but the nostalgia of the book as a whole. It reminded me of being 14 again and reading it in my Year 9 English class.

Whilst reading Holes I also had two other books on the go: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi and The Black Lung Captain by Chris Wooding. I’d been reading Homegoing throughout January and February for Bee’s Patreon book club and it was an incredible read. I was a bit sceptical with how I’d feel about it at first since multigenerational novels aren’t something I read a lot and I think they’re a tricky thing to master, but Gyasi does a brilliant job. It’s unlike anything I’ve read and I highly recommend. I then rounded the month of with a bit of fantasy and completed The Black Lung Captain, the second book in the Ketty Jay series. This was so much fun and I enjoyed this one more than the first book, so much so that I put my order in for the third book before I finished this one. These books are pure escapism with great characters and a super exciting plot. A very good end to February’s reading.


Watching

I somehow managed to watch a lot of TV series in February. Usually I either read a lot or watch a lot, but this month I seem to have found an equal balance between the two. I started off by watching You on Netflix, a show I’d heard a lot about and one a friend had recommended I check out. I’m sure a lot of you have heard about this one by now – the show where Dan from Gossip Girl is a seemingly charming bookstore clerk/stalker/murderer/creep. It’s binge-worthy I’ll give it that and I was hooked from the first episode, although by around episode 6 my interest started to wane. For a 10-episode series, I felt it was too long and the ending really annoyed me. It was good, but I don’t think I’d recommend it in a hurry.

So after watching 10 hour long episodes of a show about a stalker, I wanted something equally binge worthy but a bit more fun. Russian Doll starring Natasha Lyonne jumped out at me – a series following a woman who relives the same night over and over again. A bit like Groundhog Day with Nicky from Orange is the New Black instead of Bill Murray. I enjoyed this one – it’s not without its faults and it didn’t knock my socks off but it was an entertaining experience and one I’d recommend if you’re looking for something quirky.

I also finally managed to get to a cinema in February to watch the much talked about The Favourite. I’d been dying to see this ever since I knew it was being released – a historical comedy drama about the later years of Queen Anne and her closest female advisers, both vying to be her favourite. The cast is amazing: I love Olivia Colman and Emma Stone and I’ve had a crush on Rachel Weisz since seeing her in The Mummy when I was 12. Throw them together and you’ve got a strong cast of amazing women. It’s a Yorgos Lanthimos film so it’s a little bizarre but it was an experience to say the least and I felt there was lots of layers to unravel in terms of storytelling. Olivia Colman won an Oscar for her leading role and so well deserved because she was brilliant.

Towards the end of February I watched The Umbrella Academy on Netflix which was a bit of a random watch for me, I’d seen someone mention it on Twitter so I decided to give it a go and I’m so glad I did. It stars Ellen Page and it centres around a family of former child superhero’s who reunite after their father’s death and it’s so good, so so good. The cast, the cinematography, the soundtrack, this show was pure fun and I binged it in two days. It’s not perfect, most works of television have their fault, but I was so entertained by this series and I’m very much looking forward to season 2.

Once I binged The Umbrella Academy I felt like I needed something else along a similar vein – that and  I needed some more Robert Sheehan in my life - so I went old school and watched the first two season of Misfits. Damn that show is good and I can’t believe it aired 10 years ago, although watching all of the characters use flip phones really took me back.


Listening

I’m very much a repeat listener, so when it comes to music I play the same songs or album for weeks. In February I discovered Patti Smith’s Horses album, which really made me want to read her memoirs. I’ve already mentioned The Umbrella Academy Soundtrack, but I’ve been listening to it constantly. There’s an amazing collection of songs on that show, just tune after tune. It’s on Apple Music so I recommend giving it a listen.

In terms of podcasts I haven’t listened to anything new for a while. I’m forever listening to My Favourite Murder when I’m in bed and I can’t sleep, but I would like something new to listen to if you have any recommendations. Anything true crime based and chatty with a bit of humour, yes please.

So that’s everything I read, watched, and listened to in the month of February! Quite a lot for such a short month but on the whole I enjoyed some really good content. What did you read, watch, and listen to last month? Any new favourites?

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1 comment

  1. YOU HAVE TO READ JUST KIDS RIGHT THIS SECOND!

    So glad you enjoyed Homegoing. It was so good. Will you be reading The Handmaid's Tale? If so, I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

    I'm gonna start watching Umbrella Academy very soon. Love me some Gerard Way. Once an emo, always an emo.

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