cymry: (Miyu - tooi gate)
[personal profile] cymry


One good thing about Halifax, I've got plenty of time to read and a great library to get books from!

Books
The Keys of Egypt: the Race to Read the Hieroglyphs by Lesley and Roy Adkins - interesting history of both Champollion and Young, as well as a good primer on what was going on in the world around them at the time.
So Anyway... by John Cleese - actually quite disappointing; it felt like he was skirting around his time with the Pythons and while it was easy to read and he has a great narrative voice, it wasn't particularly funny or revealing.
The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine - I've heard good things about this author and I finally had a chance to read something by her. I devoured this book in an afternoon and loved every single second of it. The diverse characters, the simple story, and the evocative setting were all brilliantly done. I can't recommend it enough.
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton - a good multi-generational family saga with some interesting twists and varied settings. Well written and interesting.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson - one of those teen books I never got around to in school. It was quite good, even if it did bring back my high school years a little too forcefully.
The Young Elites by Marie Lu - a nice take on teen fantasy, with the main character being more dark side than light. It felt like a pale echo of Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone series though, and I liked that one much better.
The Mistress of Nothing by Kate Pullinger - I was attracted by the premise: Victorian ladies in Egypt. However, the narrator's matter-of-fact, accepting, placid voice made me angry and left me disturbed. If this was intentional, bravo to the author. If it wasn't...
Ru by Kim Thuy (French) - where I was expecting a coherent narrative of Vietnamese immigration and integration into Quebec culture, I got a disjointed, almost train-of-thought approach, like a series of writing exercises. There were some powerful gems here and there, moments in time, but I found it impossible to piece together any kind of timeline or evolution. I respect the style but I feel like there's so much more that I wanted to know and I was left disappointed.

Movies
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) - I feel like I might be reviled but I thought this movie was boring and overrated. I think I'm just going to have to relegate it to the same category as Star Wars: I just don't get it.
War Horse (2011) - another movie that I just couldn't get into. There were some good moments (Tom Hiddleston's character was particularly good) but in all it just felt slow-paced and overly dramatic. I respect what they were trying to do though.
Jersey Boys (2014) - I had a bad run with movies. Interesting as a biopic but difficult to get into.
Ghost in the Shell: the New Movie (2015) - I knew, going into the movie theatre, that nothing would compare to the original. The original Ghost is probably the most iconic anime I've ever seen; it had a huge impact on me and continues to haunt me. I saw it during the world premiere, and again a few days later, queuing up for hours in the rain and late at night for isolated seats at the Imperial, surrounded by other rabid fans. I loved it. This version was... well, it was updated, and interesting, but it lacked that depth that was in the original, the sense of fear of the future and what boundaries it would make us cross. Also, the music was downright annoying.
Jem and the Holograms (2015) - oh yes, I saw it. And I didn't hate it. It wasn't Jem, not the Jem we grew up with... it was a teen movie, it was silly, and it had some good catchy songs.

Theatre
Hamlet (National Theatre of London) - they were showing this in cinemas and I couldn't resist seeing Benedict Cumberbatch perform Shakespeare. And oh, he did not disappoint. All the characters were marvelous except Ophelia, who I found overblown and overacted. My only complaint: they cut my favorite ridiculous line - "Oh, I have been slain!"
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