What I’ve Been Reading
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen – I listened to Bruce read this to me over the month and it was a sheer delight. This book was highly personal and he really delivered. He told his story, warts and all, with great detail about his slow rise to fame, his band, the music, the gigs. It was everything you would expect and want. And then he added in a whole lot of personal demons, about his family, his parents, and his own very real struggle with depression and anxiety. When a dude like Bruce is actually reading his own words about being in such a depression at 60 that he could not stop crying, well you take notice and hats off to him for being so brave to put that and sooo much more out there. His is an important story and not just for fans, but oh boy, if you are a fan (I am) you will just love this story.
Different Seasons by Stephen King- I haven’t read King for a long time and this was a Book Club title and what fun it was. 4 short stories, more drama than horror and including the stories that became the movies of Stand By Me and Shawshank Redemption – both being excellent reads. Apt Pupil was the stand out story though, horrifying in nature and rough to read, but what a mind to create these dreamscapes for us.
Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey – this has been around for a long time and with the movie and play coming out I scheduled it for our Movie Book Club at work. What a great read, about a fabulous character Jasper Jones, who in the middle of the night wakes up town goodie two shoes, Charlie, and takes him on an adventure he will never forget. This drama set in small town WA in the 60s tackles so many issues with gentle humour and serious honesty. Go read it before you see the film!
What I’ve Been Watching
A Bigger Splash – this is my movie of the month. An intriguing story of a couple holidaying on the Italian Riviera. She is a huge music star (Tilda Swinton) recovering for vocal surgery and cannot speak, her partner (Matthias Schoenaerts) is with her. An old friend and lover, Ralph Fiennes arrives with his young daughter in tow and the past gets dredged up and suspense and intrigue ensues. This is a superb drama as you have no idea where it will turn and what will happen next. Swinton is superb and barely says a word and Fiennes is astonishing, I have never seen him so obnoxiously good on screen.
Love and Friendship – is a lovely period drama based on Jane Austen’s Lady Susan and starring Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny. Directed by Walt Whitman, this is fun and fresh and looks divine.
Nice Guys – this was a lot of fun. Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling are both private investigators whose paths cross and they reluctantly team up to solve a case.
Suicide Squad- I enjoyed this fun anti hero movie with an all star cast. Just seemed to take a long time to get moving.
Finding Dory – this was a sweet little sequel to Finding Nemo with a lovely message about acceptance
David Brent: Life on the Road - I love Ricky Gervais, but this was a mistake. What made Brent somewhat acceptable on The Office was he was surrounded by far more interesting people and each does was less than 30 minutes. A full length film without any real substantial supporting characters made for sheer torture. I hope it would not be the case, but this was pure drivel.
Startalk- is my new favourite series on TV. It is on the National Geographic channel and I am addicted. It is a talk show about science and pop culture starring the wonderful astro-phyisist Neil Degrasse Tyson. He has a side kick comedian to help lighten moment and an expert on a chosen field of science from his workplace. His workplace is the planetarium in the National History Museum in NY. Each week they broach a subject and Neil interviews someone famous about that topic. In between snippets of the topic, Neil, the comedian and the specialist dissect the topic from a scientific pov but in a way everyone can understand. Guest have been Bill Clinton, Susan Sarandon, Buzz Aldrin, Whoopi Goldberg, Christopher Lloyd, Phillipe Petite, Ben Stiller, and many more.
Continental Train Journeys – these are great series with Michael Portillo travelling by train throughout Europe using his old Bradshaw travel guide and following the journeys within. He takes us to hotels, places, and icons as mentioned in the books and it is fascinating
Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery S1-4 - I missed the odd episode of this so watched it all over again. What a gem of a series, Julia taking Australian comics back to their hometown, schools etc and finding out what made them them. It is simple enough, but in anyone elses hands may not work as well. Zemiro is just a delight, with sleight of hand and a gentle manner. She makes her guests feel at home, and that brings out the best in them.
The Katering Show – I have seen bits and pieces of this online, but sat and watched both series back to back. They do work better in small snippets, but I love their pisstake of the cooking world, which I really loathe. It gives me more joy watching them than it should!
Toast on London S3 – I love this dry comedy about Toast (played beautifully by Matt Berry) an out of luck actor trying to make his way on the stage and on screen in London. He gets into the most stupendous scrapes and meets the most interesting of people and of course makes a total arse of himself. Jon Hamm hilariously stars in one episode!
Outlander 1.1 – I am still not sure about this soap operay time travel. It was pretty ordinary, and not a lot happened.
Girls/Walking Dead/Talking Dead/Nashville/Call the Midwife – some of my faves have started back and are all just wonderful, more when each season finishes up.
What I’ve Been Listening To
Richard Fidler – some of Richard’s interviews have been popped onto CDs, so I listened to them in the car. Fabulous stuff.