I wrote a “reading, watching, listening” post a few months ago and I recieved so many great recommendations, and opinions, I decided it was time to write another one. I try and read as much as I can but I also include “listening” since I love Audible and podcasts as well. And of course, I have my Netflix shows. Here's what I've been digging lately.
How pretty is this little book store where I live in Heidelberg?!
Beautiful Ruins By Jess Walter 4/5
I feel like I was in a major book slump (see the following ratings) and my friend Taylor recommended this one. Thank goodness. I loved this. Great characters, ping ponging back to the 1960s in Italy and to present day America. The story follows various characters intertwined to the movie Cleopatra to the future where life has turned out very differently. If you need a good beach book this is it. Beautifully written and kept me interested throughout.
A Dog's Purpose by Bruce Cameron 1/5
Had to put this one down. To me, this is a masochistic outlook on dogs. As a dog lover, I'm aware that dogs are treated horribly all the time, I don't need a fictional story to play on my heart strings. Want a book that follows a dog being reincarnated to just be killed again? This is it. How anyone can like this is beyond me. But apparently I'm in the minority here.
Girl Online by Zoe Sugg 1/5
Am I slightly embarrassed to admit I picked up this book? Yes. This book is by ultra famous Blogger/YouTuber “Zoella” but I thought I would enjoy her “fictional” story of how a young girl writing a blog was suddenly in the spotlight. But it's very teen-bop and written like a Disney Channel movie might read. Sometimes I go too quickly and buy a book when it's on sale and the reviews are stellar. I have to remember that people have fan girls and flood the reviews with glowing, positive accounts of a poorly written book.
I know this is an old movie. And if you're like me, you've seen it more than 15 times. But I had to re-watch it recently. I wanted a feel good movie with some good dialogue. Obviously, this did the trick. Not only is this one of my favorites, I forgot how many great songs play throughout. Michael and I's first dance song was Harry Connick Jr.'s “It Had to Be You”, which is the climatic song in the movie.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 4/5
I'm embarrassed to say I didn't get this show at first. I love Tina Fey and everything she does in life, why wasn't I digging this show? Because I wasn't paying attention. This show made me laugh so hard actual tears came to my eyes. Definitely one of the best Netflix originals along with Stranger Things and Narcos. The show follows Kimmy, a girl once held hostage inside a bunker and now living life in New York with her very flamboyant roommate and odd ball upstairs older neighbor. It's so hilarious and the writing is stellar.
I just started watching this after everyone on Instagram told me it's a must. So far, so good. I dig the dialogue and love the characters. To me, this might be following suit with shows like Orange is the New Black where we follow various characters and their lives. Oh and in case you aren't aware, this is about women's wrestling. You might be confused on my 3/5 star rating, but 4 are for definitely watch and 5s are for greatest of all time. So this is a strong 3 that might move up as I watch.
Girl Boss 1/5
It's safe to say I'm not sure how anyone on the planet can like this show. Plot: a whiny brat is a “self-made” entrepreneur by selling clothes online. Getting fired from her job (where she acted like a bitch) and treating people with general disdain is quite alright. Gross. This, to me, is the opposite of someone I look up to as a female role model. I watched 2 episodes and threw in the towel. Literally. At my TV screen.
This book turned movie is the incredible and dramatic and heart-wrenching and unbelievable (yes, all of these things) tale of the life of a child soldier in war-torn Africa. After the young boy gets separated from his father and older brother he gets lost in the jungle and is discovered by a group of rebel soldiers. His only choice is to follow along and become part of the rebels. This movie has a powerful message and is definitely worth the watch.
Cocoa Beach: A Novel by Beatriz Williams 1/5
I am a huge Beatriz Williams fan. I've probably read 5 of her books. But I had to stop reading this one in the middle. It was just so boring I couldn't continue. This novel follows the young Virginia and a slightly older one (same person, different times) in World War I France, meeting her husband. Fast forward to five years later, the newly widowed Virginia is in Florida, sorting her husband's affairs. This moved painfully slow and the way the narrator talked was just annoying. This might have been better but the narrator spoke with such an “air” I wanted to turn it off immediately. Fave comment on Amazon: “Was this even edited?” SAME.
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson 4/5
This is the story of two vastly different, but influential men in the 1890s in Chicago. The event happening at the time is the Chicago's world fair and the city is swept up in preparation and excitement and equal strain of making sure it can execute it properly. The men are the architect Daniel Burnham and in stark contrast the murdered Henry Holmes. The brilliant part of this novel weaves the true tale of these two men and the actual history of the 1893 fair.
In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware 3/5
I love psychological thrillers, despite being a closet scaredy-cat. I really liked this because it didn't leave me scared, per se, just interested. The story follows a woman, who can't make up her mind on her name, a crime writer, who goes to her ex-friend's “hen” party before the wedding. It's a strange mix of people that are at the bachelorette party and the setting seems even more strange: a glass house in the woods. The story takes place with the invitation to the party then, fast forward to the protagonist waking up from her hospital bed to try and figure out what has happened. Now mind you, this story is far fetched and I don't know why so many authors try to force action that seems inconceivable. But it was intriguing.
So that's what I've got! What have you been reading, watching or listening to lately? Would love to get out of my present book slump!