Miscellany

Read, watch, listen – October 2014

October almost slipped away from me before I got around to writing this post!  Lucky, the universe may have imploded if I didn’t get to it in time!

So without further ado.  Here’s what I’ve been reading, watching, and listening to this month:

Read

Offline:

When I wrote my September post, I had just started reading The Point by Marion Halligan, a book that drew my attention because it is based here in Canberra.  The book was ok, it did have a bit of a depressing streak through it though- it examined homelessness, the recklessness of youth, and the ending was not a happy one.  Not that there’s anything wrong with including those elements in a story, I just prefer not to get immersed in downers!  I find I’m heavily influenced by the tone of what I’m reading, or watching, or listening to, and it sets the mood for my days.

I also finished Saga: Volume 1, a graphic novel centred around an interplanetary war, and forbidden love between two members of opposing races.  It was fun to read something completely different to what I’d normally sit down with, and part of me is interested to know where the story leads.  But I just can’t see myself checking out the next volume from the library.  I don’t think I liked it that much.  Give me words on pages.

Next up, I read Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.  This book has only been out for a couple of months, and I had read some enticing recommendations of it on Book Riot.  And OH MY.  I absolutely loved this book.  I haven’t loved a book so much in quite a while.  I gave it my highest rating on Goodreads, and I don’t whip out that 5/5 for just anything!  Briefly, it’s about a deadly flu that spreads across the globe like wildfire, and just about wipes everyone out within a couple of weeks.  Only small pockets of civilisation exist now, and in their most basic forms – no electricity, no fuel, no running water, and certainly no smart phones or Facebook.  The story follows a handful of characters each affected differently by the outbreak, and really gets inside their heads and examines the minute details of existing in “the new world”.  I just love this kind of stuff.  It will make you appreciate everything we have today.  Although while I was reading it, I have to admit I felt a little nervous every time the word “Ebola” was mentioned on the news….

I also just finished Vantastic by none other than Kate Ulman of Foxs Lane.  Do you ever dream of the day when you will finally splurge on a caravan/motorhome, pack up, and hit the open road with no set agenda?  I know I do.  I really hope it happens to me.  Yes, it WILL happen!  After reading this book, I’m even more determined.  Kate and family set off on a 6-month adventure around Australia, and this is both a photographic memoir of their trip, as well as a handy guide with tips for anyone planning on following suit.  From purchasing a caravan, to what to stock in the pantry, to ideas for keeping the kids amused on the road, this book covers it all.  Even if you’re not intending to embark on your own road trip just yet, it was still a really pleasant read.

I’ve now just cracked open Everything I Know About Writing by John Marsden, for NaNoWriMo inspiration.  Yes, I’m doing it (oh lord, help me).

Online:

Did you know a recent report by the OECD named Canberra as the best place in the world to live?  Based on criteria such as education, access to services, safety, environment and more, Canberra comes out on top in this report which examined 362 regions across 34 countries.  As a proud born-and-bred Canberran myself, I could have told you that though 😉

What is it about babies that just makes you want to smell their heads?  This was a cool article explaining this phenomenon.

I was recently pointed in the direction of the Hugzilla blog, by Emily at You Learn Something New Every Day, and now I’m forever in her debt!  This is the post I was initially visiting, which convinced me to look around further until I found this post, which is part of a short series on Things I Never Knew Before Having Children, and had me clicking the “Follow” button because it was like someone had invaded my brain, found my half-complete thoughts, and managed to form them in to actual real sentences that make sense.  I agree with Emily.  Follow this blog.

Watch

Still following along with Sons of Anarchy.  I think it has something like 5 or 6 episodes to go.  It’s starting to get nail-biting, I just know it’s not going to end well.  What am I going to do when this series finishes?!

We recently watched The Giver.  I wasn’t sure whether I should have waited to read the book first or not, I had only read a brief synopsis of the story and it sounded great, so I thought I might really enjoy reading it before I saw the movie.  In the end I threw all caution to the wind…..and man was I let down.  I did NOT enjoy this movie.  Firstly, the production was poor.  I couldn’t help but nitpick at the terrible graphics in some scenes- in this day and age, ain’t nobody got time fo dat.  Secondly, I just felt the whole premise of the thing was a) reeking of The Hunger Games, and b) weak.  There were plot holes, I felt some of the acting was halfhearted with no real belief in the story, and the whole time I was thinking, this is just…..stupid.  Boo.

I haven’t watched it yet, but next up on my “to-watch” list is the HBO documentary series, Sonic Highways, which chronicles the making of the soon-to-be-released next Foo Fighters record.  I’ve seen trailers, and it looks really interesting.  The Fooies travel to 8 different cities within the US, interviewing musical legends along the way, and using those insights to write their next album as they go.  The result is a dedication to the musical history and geography of America.  I can’t WAIT to get stuck in.

Listen

Did you see this beautiful rendition of “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys, for the BBC?  See how many big names you can spot in this video collaboration.  I just love it.

And speaking of big names taking part in that collaboration – Foo Fighters have released the first and second singles from their next album, Sonic Highways, out November 10.  In case I haven’t mentioned it here yet, Foo Fighters are my faaaavourite.  And there’s heavy rumours that they’ll be touring here again soon.  I am so in on that.  I don’t know how Big R and I will manage to find someone to watch the kids overnight so we can go and see the Foos, but it will be done somehow.

So that’s what I’ve been immersing myself in.  Tell me, do you love the Foos too?

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2 thoughts on “Read, watch, listen – October 2014

  1. i also dream about having a caravan, and i hope this dream will come true soon!!!!!
    i’m new on tv (netflix arrived to belgium last month and we’ve decided to try it) and i’ve seen zeitgeist, a saga of great films

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