Miscellany

Geeking out – Winter 2015

So apparently these are no longer monthly posts, but seasonal posts! Ugh, life huh? That life stuff is still going on around here – in the past couple of weeks Big R got the flu, then I got the flu, then he got gastro, and now I have sinusitis. The lives of us lately.

One good thing about being sick though, is that usually you can still veg out and read or watch TV or chill out with some music. And that’s where this post comes in! I’ve got so much reading, watching, and listening to catch you up on. Let’s go!

Reading

Seeing as we’re talking about reading, I firstly need to put in a plug for my new home-away-from-this-home. Little Blog of Books is a blog by my sister and me, where we choose books for each other to read, post book reviews, and write about all corners of our love of books. You’ll also find more of my thoughts on some of the books I’ll talk about here. If you love reading, you might enjoy our blog! We also have a cool Facebook page, and a busy Instagram account, for all your bookish needs!

Ok, back to recent reads. My first read for June was A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson. This was my first Bill Bryson read, and I absolutely LOVED it. Couldn’t put it down. It gave me a craving for going hiking (which I haven’t done yet, but I will, I will!). Bill and his friend attempt to hike the entire Appalachian Trail in the US, and along the way they meet some interesting folks, deal with “roughing it”, and the ever-present threat of bears. A great mix of factual information, adventure, and humour.

The Fever by Megan Abbott was up next. This was my first joint review with my sister for Little Blog of Books, and we were both so excited about reading this one together. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a flop for both of us. It could have been a great book, but the slow pace and the ho-hum conclusion let it down. Those in their mid-late teens might still enjoy this though.

I then listened to The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield on audiobook, which was a great experience. I’ve listened to a few audiobooks this year and I’m finding it to be a great way to squeeze in extra reading time in the car, when I’m cooking dinner, folding the clothes etc. This is a literary mystery novel, and it’s also largely a book about books. I thought the characters were developed very well, and the language was beautiful. Well worth a read.

I also got around to reading The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman, the final book of The Magician’s Trilogy, which I have zoomed my way through of late. This series is being turned into a TV series so expect to see it on your screens soon, but I would recommend reading it first if you’re interested. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I did the first and second books, it seemed to be in the mode of wrapping up the story from page 1 so the plot wasn’t as thick with little events along the way. But all in all, I loved this series!

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Image used with permission from Little Blog of Books. Because I own LBoB. That’s right, I permit myself to use my own photo.

I also found some great online reads over winter….

Since the beginning of the year my mind has been occupied with thoughts of finding my true career path, and setting myself up towards becoming self-employed in something I love doing. This post from Leo Babauta on Lifehack about Finding your passion sounds like a great set of first steps towards achieving big dreams.

This year, Triple J celebrates its 40th anniversary, and has been celebrating the milestone with fun flashbacks to iconic music from the past 40 years. This is a great wrap-up of the major musical milestone from each year in the 40-year period, as seen through the eyes of Triple J.

I found this one on Picklebums’ Facebook page – an explanation of how to properly use consequences, instead of inadvertently using punishments. This is something we’ve been testing out at our house with a certain 5-year-old, and the jury is still out at our place, but we do struggle at times to come up with an appropriate consequence for behaviour, especially when you are put on the spot. This article from HuffPost Parents Canada is useful.

I recently read Stephen King’s The Gunslinger, after reading from a number of sources that the Dark Tower series is the greatest fantasy series ever written. And I was completely UNDERwhelmed. After reading the GoodReads reviews, it appears that I’m not alone in this view. Then I found this post on my beloved Book Riot, which deals with this exact problem (I’m really not alone!). It’s encouraged me to continue on with the series anyway, in the hope that I will fall in love with the subsequent books.

Again from Leo Babauta, a post on his blog Zen Habits with useful tips on how to get out of a slump. Useful in so many circumstances!

This article about how to talk to little girls in a way that encourages self-worth and respect, instead of centre-ing on looks straight up, had such beautiful sentiment and has really stuck with me.

Watching

Well, Game of Thrones ended….no spoilers here, but Big R was NOT HAPPY and complained for days about what happened at the end of the season! Personally, I just think it’s unfair that GoT doesn’t run continously on and on and on every week without a break. I really do love that show. I don’t mind the controversial events that happen along the way, I think that makes for great TV.

I’m STILL watching Season 1 of both Bloodline and House of Cards on Netflix, they’re both fantastic in their own ways (Bloodline – dark, suspenseful, kind of mystery/thriller but not fast-paced, House of Cards – intricate political drama, fast-paced), it’s just about getting the time to watch them!

I watched one episode of Sense 8 but haven’t got around to watching any more. It’s got potential, reminded me a little of Heroes with the big cast of characters. Anyone watched it?

Big R and I gave American Horror Story a go….and we will NOT be going back! It wasn’t so much scary, which is what we were expecting and hoping for, but absolutely disturbing and depressing. Not my cup of tea, no no no no no.

We did finish Season 1 of The Returned. We loved the whole season, right up until the end of the last episode which was totally LAME and was neither revealing nor suspenseful. Not happy! Having said that, I’ll totally watch Season 2 when it’s available.

Listening

I’ve been listening to a lot of Purity Ring lately – they’ve been described as synth-pop, but I’ve also seen them described as witch-house! Interesting, I’ve never come across that genre before! I just think of them as chill winter beats, their sound has really been fitting to the weather we’ve been having. They did a great set at Splendour In The Grass this year which was recorded by Triple J.

I’ve also been listening to new stuff from The Rubens – they’ve just released their new album “Hoops”. I adore the voice of Sam Margin, totally sexy.

And that’s what I’ve been spending my free time on! When I catch up on three months’ worth in the one post, it makes it look like all I day every day is sit around reading, watching TV and listening to music. I wish!

What have you been reading/watching/listening to lately?

 How would you like to be my friend on Facebook?  We can talk about books, TV and music ALL THE TIME.

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT and Maxabella Loves for The Weekend Rewind

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2 thoughts on “Geeking out – Winter 2015

    • Yes, reading is pretty much all I have been wanting to do for the past few months! Finishing that series is quite a feat, well done. Yes I think I felt the same way when I finished it too.

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