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Do people still say Netflix and chill? I hope so because today’s post is about what I’m watching on Netflix, listening to on my iPhone, and reading with my actual eyes. Paper books are still my favorite. I see enough screens to read on an iPad. I always love to see what others are watching on TV, reading, or listening to, so I thought I’d share.

 

Reading

While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman 5/5

I hope you know that I don’t throw around 5 stars like they are candy. I don’t believe in a society where everyone makes the cheerleading squad. It just doesn’t build character in a person. So understand that when I give While You Were Breeding 5 stars, I overwhelmingly mean it.

It’s as if Amy Poheler, Tina Fey, and Kristen Wiig got together to write this book. But instead it’s by a comedy writer living in California who uses travel to aid the highs and lows of her life. Something I can certainly relate to. You not only learn about her travels, but her love life, hilarious and crazy sexual experiences, and how travel can help you find what you want out of life. It’s truly gold. And I’m so happy I have this book in it’s actual form so I can read it again and again. I have dozens of pages bookmarked. Her uncanny writing style, comedic timing, and ability to make a point in each chapter is excellent. Basically, she wrote the book I want to write.

 

She Means Business 1/5

I almost didn’t post about this book since I was sent it, but I felt like it’s necessary to talk about because I didn’t want anyone else to buy it. It’s so bad, y’all. Written by mega female entrepreneur Carrie Green, I was hoping for some really great insight and to read about her journey.
Let me sum it up: she started a phone unlocking company in college that somehow (unknown to us) did really well. She started the female entrepreneur association and it basically went viral because she dreamed it would happen.
There is so much talk of visualizing your dreams I thought I would throw the book at the wall. I’m all for visualizing stuff, but at some point you have to take some action. The writing was so bad, skipped around, and written like a teenage girl excited about her new braces. I’m not sure why she didn’t just make this a blog post or series. It clocks in at over 200 pages but as Michael pointed out, it’s Times New Roman size 16 font and double spaced with the kind of margins I’d use if I had to write a paper that had to be a certain length. SKIP IT. Side note. This book has 500 5 star reviews. It's safe to say I think she paid for that.

Listening

S-Town Podcast 4/5

I started listening to this podcast after Chelsea recommended it to fill the void after listening to Serial (season 1, if we’re clear.) I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews, but went to it with an open mind. I loved the way this story is told, it grabs a hold of you almost instantly and makes you want to figure out what will happen.
SPOILER ALERT: Like Serial, there is no definitive answers in the end. Which to many is obnoxious. And it’s why I’m giving it a 4 out of 5 stars. I remember when I insisted Michael listen to season one of serial and he was so angry that we didn’t find out if Adnan was the killer or not he wouldn’t speak to me for about a half an hour on a road trip in Tennessee (which is an eternity to me.)
Despite the fact that there are some frustrating parts on behalf of the narrator, I loved the story. I felt like I got to know John B and was so enthralled the entire season. Which I finished in a week and a day.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman 3/5

This book has a well written story and I think many can relate to the theme of the book, but there’s just not a lot of plot. I LOVE Liane Moriarty books because the whole book is pushing the action forward. The plot is always mysterious and you just have to keep reading to figure out more.
There is none of that here. You might even dislike the main character, Ove. I like him a lot, but the book drags on and on to the point that I couldn’t like it very much. However, the ending kind of won me over. I even found myself tearing up a bit. It pulled at my heartstrings and was really heartwarming.

Obsession: The Steal Brothers Saga by Helen Hardt 1/5

This books solidifies the fact that I will NEVER read 50 Shades of Gray. Or is it Grey? Whatever. I was recommended this book by a friend who said it was like 50 Shades but much more plot and darker. I wanted something easy to listen to while traveling and thought I’d give it a go.
The book is overly sexualized to the point of nausea. There is a plot but it’s overly dramatic. If the book is trying to be dark, if definitely got that right. But the dark part seems overshadowed by sex and to me that’s horribly misplaced.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling 2/5

Clocking in at under two hours, I thought this book would be perfect to listen to on a train ride. I was wrong. I know that this is by beloved J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter fans might throw pie at me, but I can’t help to dislike this book. It reads like a dictionary, which I guess was the point. It’s literally definitions of different “beasts” we heard about in Harry Potter. Which is just a little superfluous.
I think she wrote it to make some easy cash. I think she knows anything she puts her name on, people will buy. Like in my case.
I listen to everything on Audible. It's the BEST.

Watching

Narcos 5/5

To me there are three shows that are the greatest I’ve ever seen: True Detective (Season 1), Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Arrested Development. Now I’ll have to change that number to four. Narcos is some of the best TV I have ever seen in my life. I’m addicted. Sometimes Michael and I will even convince ourselves NOT to watch an episode because we’re worried we’ll finish the show and then be sad. There are two seasons and we’re on episode 7 of season 2.
It is a bit graphic (I close my eyes like the 12 year old I am) but the story is just so incredible AND true, you have to watch. Set in the 80s in Colombia, we follow Pablo Escobar and the American DEA agents that are trying to catch one of the wealthiest men in the world. Take my word, this show is incredible.

13 Reasons Why 3/5

I just started this after seeing everyone raving about it. I’m only on episode 3 but I know I’ll finish all 13 episodes. The story is about a high school girl who kills herself and has left behind tapes to explain why she did. You learn quickly that there were some people at the school that didn’t make it an easy road. The main character is a shy, simplistic nerdy boy who didn’t seem to have to do anything with her death, but he’s still instructed to listen to the tapes. I’m not sure that this is the best message, especially for suicidal teens who might be watching. But it is an interesting concept and definitely worth the watch. P.S. it's based on the book by the same name.

Riverdale 2/5

Why am I watching a show I’m rating a 2/5? That I do not know. But you know those shows that you just kind of play in the background and glance up at every few minutes? That is Riverdale for me. I watch it when I edit photos and it seems to make sense for me to do that.
The show is an overly dramatic teen drama based loosely on Archie comics. It’s pretty silly, very far fetched, and kind of stupid. So I like it. I watch the Bachelor in the same manner, it’s just kind of fun to follow along. So if you need a background show, this one might be a good pick.

Lion 3/5

I think I might get in trouble for this one, but Lion, while an incredible and compelling true story, was not that great. The story follows a young boy living in India who gets lost and accidentally gets on a train far, far away from his family. It sheds a dark and depressing light on the fact that kids in India are living in the street, getting picked up by sex traffickers, and worse, no one seems to care. The poverty there is just so monumental, it’s hard to do anything when you can barely get by. The story follows the boy into adulthood who is adopted and raised in Australia, then goes back to his homeland to try and find his family.
The first half of the movie was enthralling. But as soon as we got to Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman’s roles I was out. To me, the acting was sub par at best. It felt like I watched hours and hours of him looking at Google earth. The love story seemed superfluous.
While it’s an important story, the acting was just… bad.
Lastly, you know what I’m not watching? Big Little Lies. Not because I don’t want to. But because I haven’t had cable in 7 years and I definitely do not in Germany (although I’m not sure I could even watch it then). I read the book years ago, like I mentioned above, I’m a massive Liane Moriarty fan and I’ve read all her books, ever. If someone wants to send them to me that would be great. Thanks.
What are you watching, reading, or listening to?