Miscellany

Read, watch, listen – July 2014

I always enjoy hearing about what others are reading, watching and listening to at any point in time.  It gives me ideas for books, websites, posts, tv shows, movies and musicians to check out myself.  So I thought I’d share what I’ve been getting in to lately.

 

Read

Offline:

I just finished reading “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak.  I picked up a pristine copy at the last local Lifeline Book Fair, and having heard good reviews and not having watched the movie yet, I was eager to read this.  But I have to say, I wasn’t amazed.  I did feel invested in the characters from the moment I started, and I also enjoyed Zusak’s style of using Death as the narrator and the way the chapters were segmented further in to little sub-chapters (made for easy reading of snippets here and there between baby feeds!).  All in all, it was a pleasant read.  But I can’t quite put my finger on why I wasn’t enthralled with it.  Maybe it’s because it’s such a long read (nearly 600 pages), and whatever it was saying could probably have been said with less pages.  Maybe it’s that I found there was too much repetition of the minor incidents that made up the daily lives of the main characters.  The same stuff seemed to happen over and over again.  There was a lot of feeling in this book, and some lovely well-written one-liners, but for some reason I just wasn’t blown away by it.  I gave it 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

I’m now revisiting a childhood favourite that I haven’t re-read in a long time – “The Magician’s Nephew” by C.S. Lewis, book 1 of the Chronicles of Narnia.  I’ve been meaning to re-read the Narnia series for ages as they’re some of my favourite books ever.  It will be physically tricky though, my copy lives within a huge, heavy hardcover edition containing all 7 Narnia stories.  I don’t know how I’m going to read it in bed!

I’m also reading through the first edition of the new publication Alphabet Family Journal, after hearing about it via other blogs.  It’s a beautifully-made little thing, I love everything about it visually.  There’s amazing imagery inside, I love the typeface, and I love the concept of an alphabetised series of publications about family.  I’m also impressed by the little details, like handwriting the number of my personal copy inside (#1430 of 2000!), the fact that it’s printed on recycled paper, and individually wrapping each copy in paper and string.  Just gorgeous! Can’t wait for edition “B” in October!

watermarked - alphabet journal a

 

Online:

This post by Kate at Picklebums about praising and ignoring our kids made me think (actually, all of Kate’s parenting-related posts make me think!).  The strategy of praising the good behaviour and ignoring the bad, as a way of gradually stamping out the bad behaviour, is a strategy I had learnt about and used myself.  But it does raise the good point, that when our kids are acting up, getting upset and behaving poorly, maybe what they need is not to be ignored but to be talked to and supported, and guided through those times so they can learn to deal with them.

I’ve come across a lot of posts recently about the changing of the seasons and taking things nice and slow during winter, an idea that is aligning with my goal to keep life simple and free this year.  Like this one and this one from Her Library Adventures, and this one from Foxs Lane.  I’ve also noticed quite a few posts about inspired creativity, which has resonated with the urge to create that I’ve been feeling at the moment.  Like this post at This Brown Wren.  Maybe there is something in the idea that hibernating and going slowly during winter breeds creativity?

 

Watch

I’m suffering from post-Game of Thrones depression.  I still get excited on Monday nights, until I remember that the season is over!  I considered starting to re-read the books to get my GoT fix in between the TV show seasons, but I just don’t know if I can commit to the amount of time it would take to get through those mammoth tomes again!  I will do it though, one day.

We’ve just finished Season 1 of Fargo, based loosely around the movie from the 90’s.  It’s quite dark, creepy and weird, but also pretty funny, and the plot is very twisty-turny.  And who can resist Billy Bob Thornton?

I’m also jumping on the Sons of Anarchy bandwagon pretty late, it’s going to be my maternity-leave-moments-on-the-couch-in-my-pyjamas series of choice!  I’m about to finish Season 1.  No spoilers please!

 

Listen

Despite being an adamant, old-school, “Long live the CD!” music-lover, I’ve been using Spotify more and more lately.  It’s great for checking out new artists I want to get to know, or collecting old favourites in my saved list.

Odd name, but beautiful breezy songs – you should check out sister-duo First Aid Kit.  Their music makes me feel like I’m walking through a sun-dappled ancient forest, in a long flowy dress, heading towards my log cabin and a cup of hot tea in front of an open fire.  You know the type.

I’m also loving “Run For Your Life” by Bertie Blackman, “Zen” by Eves, “Window to the Sky” by Kim Churchill, and “Pittsburgh – No Intro” by The Amity Affliction.

 

I’d love to know what you’re reading, watching or listening to right now!

 

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