Friday, 26 April 2013

Gone Girl: A Discussion

   Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is the book that I picked for April. Full disclosure I didn't finish it, I think I read up to page 280 and flipped through the rest of the book.

   There are many reasons why I couldn't finish this book, but I think the main one was this really felt like an unpleasant and upsetting read. It got to the point that I would have to read another two books that made me happy straight after to counter the reaction that I had.

   It is a hard book, for me I understand to an extent what the Flynn is trying to achieve, but it felt like a battle to I had to try and finish.

   The way this book is first set out, the diary is upsetting and Nick is also really unlikable and dishonest. I also really loathed both of these people.  

   I felt that this book really made me spend time with people who were disturbing, disrespectful and rotten. There is a strange relationship between truth and how people see others. The thing that made me have a violent reaction to both people is this need to get people on their side, I really felt weird about this.

   I also felt that there are predicable things in here, the pregnancy one false the other true. The annoying mistress that feels like a tacked on thing, like this sweet girl who is the victim but I failed to see why she enters into this affair, and Nick slowly being more and more self serving.

   I just didn't like how awful this was.

   I can see why others think that this was good, but it really is a disturbing and ultimately not a worth while book to spend time with.

   The picked this book because it got rave reviews everywhere, I also wanted to know as little as possible so I could enjoy it, boy did I get that wrong. I think because this worked out so well with Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (which I loved) I thought I could try it out with other stuff. So the book I pick for May will be one that I think I will enjoy and want to discuss.

   Is there anything that anyone wants to talk about? If so leave comments and we can have discussion here.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Happiness Shared

   So I have list of things that are making me feel happy within the last couple of weeks and months. In no particular order here they are:

   Beth Ditto. I really like her, she is the front singer for Gossip, I do like their songs, in particular the song Heavy Cross. What I really want to talk about is her though. She has done a lot of stuff that I like. She designed a whole range clothes for Evans. She dresses in a way that flaunts a body that does not follow the beauty standard, she also did a nude shoot, which I thought was really provocative and for me cool. I don't want people to be reduced to sex objects but I think by posing nude there is a bravery in showing herself as different and there is acceptance in that. 

 
 
 
   Beth Ditto is a great, and I have seen a bunch of interviews with her, that make me like her all the more. I like that she dares to be different, and I love how she dresses. I totally want that domino dress with a white hot want. I also really want that purple dress and I love her hair in the purple dress too so gorgeous. It is her personality by far that makes me like her so much as well. So she always makes me happy.

   The Great British Sewing Bee. I am fully in love with this. I don't whether people not in the UK can see it, but I guess I am lucky because I am really hooked on this show.


  
 

   There are all the contestants, and it's been two episodes (of only a measly four, boo) so far. There a lot of things that I like about this series, like the Bake off it has three challenges and it also has no meanness in it's DNA. This is a show that celebrates sewing and creating things for yourself. Yes the judging is pretty exacting but that's the judges for you. I want to be in that room and play with all the stuff that they have.

   A couple of things though I want to point out, you don't need a sewing machine to sew, yes it takes a substantially longer time to finish things but it is not a requirement, unlike a sewing needle, pins, fabric and thread. I loved all the garments that they make, and the time pressure would definitely undo me (an hour to alter something and make it look good, um I would probably start panicking and possibly be hysterical).


   I wanted to quickly mention the judges May and Patrick, and the presenter Claudia Winkleman. I think they do a good job in this programme, in particular Ms Winkleman is great at presenting. She makes is look super easy and I think she pulls off a great job. 

      All the contestants are brilliant at sewing, they all have really good skills, and all know how to make so many things. They also all love what they do, which always makes something for me is the passion that these people have. I don't want to tell you who my favourite is in case you start watching it but I like it a lot. It also inspired me to finish a project I started over a year ago.


   Which brings me to my sewing. I love sewing, I have been not doing it for a while but I really liked doing projects. I do have a sewing machine and I do love it (I also love that picture). My next thing I am going to do is turn up my jeans and then see if I can make a patchwork bag, baby steps but I do really enjoy making stuff just for me. Sewing with a machine is a actually quite relaxing. I also was pretty proud of myself for replacing a needle that I broke on the machine and it works all fine. I do also think that making mistakes is part of making things and it's how you learn. I'll see how my projects progress.

   I have recently discovered the website The Mary Sue (http://www.themarysue.com/). This is such a great resource for all sorts of things. Mainly geeky stuff in the news, and things that I would never have been aware of, a great website with all sorts of reference in it.

   I finally want to mention xo jane, this website has a .com as well as .co.uk sites. I really like Lesley Kinzel, Marianne Kirby (on the American site) I don't have favourite writers for the UK one, more like topics.

   What I really find good about this is there is no judgement on what is on there, sure there is hot debate on both sites but never anything really bad. It also has a great sense of humour, sometimes lacking in a lot of feminist sites that I read, not that it should be a requirement or employed when talking about very serious issues but I like reading stuff with humour. I also really like that this is about women, and it's not mired in trying to fit into something. It's about women, it's for women and it's written the majority of the time by women. There is a great variety of things talked about and I find most of it interesting and good. 

   So all these things are making me happy. I am looking forward to things as well. I am in London in a weeks time, and I am going to take a lot of pictures while I am there. I am going to go to all I want and see lots of interesting things I think it's going to be great. 

   I'll be doing another post before I go and then report back when I return. I can't wait!
         
  

  

Creedance Clearwater Revival

   I have only recently discovered this band within the last year or so. The song that I specifically want to recommend is Long as I Can See The Light. I really loved this song, ever since I found it, which weirdly enough plays at the end of the film State of Play (please, please watch the British series as well, I absolutely loved it and much better than the film). 

   I liked it a lot. Really evoked a feeling, and I love the voice on this song.

   Here is the youtube link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1809vqz3zA&list=FLM-m5e8_2pMgMF9Hy-o-jdg&index=3  


   I also loved their song Fortunate Son (again I first heard that song in a movie, Die Hard 4 if memory serves, forget the movie the song is great). Those two songs with that voice, just really great to listen too. 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Day 6: A Love Letter to Cheese

   I love cheese. I love it in all it's formations, I like it melted, I like it soft, I like it hard, I like it grated, I like it crumbled. Basically it's why I could never become vegan.


   I like the versatility of it, I also really like that there are so many different cheeses out there. I like hard cheddar, I love goats cheese with mashed potato, I like brie crumbled in a jacket potato.


   I also really like soft cheeses in sauces that I cook, but also when I make cheese cake.

   I have to admit that I don't like blue cheese, I can see why other people like it thought and other that that I am a very big cheese lover.

   I have to say though in most tomato sauces cheese is the extra that I want sprinkled. I also like it in salads. Just looking at those pictures makes me hungry. Cheese should be really loved, so that's why it's my sixth love letter.

       

Adaptations

    I wanted to recommend some good adaptions from books into movies. There are some great ones, this is partly because I have recently watched The Pelican Brief again and forgot how much I loved this adaption.


   Starting with The Pelican Brief, what I really liked in the movie is the sense of urgency it gives the characters. I also really liked that the two characters don't have a romantic connection on the screen. I thought it was a really great movie with two great actors. Julia Roberts does a great job, but I absolutely loved Denzel Washington in this, I can't think of anyone else playing that part.

   The book though I did read it first I think is a little convoluted. The movie does a great job in being clear in why these judges are killed. The suspense is done really well.


   Another great adaption that I thought was done really well was Sense and Sensibility. I think the casting in films is really where a film can shine, I love the female leads Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson, they both feel like sisters but also I feel that these two people really make the family in that film believable.

   Marianne and Eleanor both get their heart broken, and in the movie you really see the difference in the characters in how they deal with it. I like the book, but this is the version that I return to when I want that story.  


   I finally wanted to briefly mention a movie where I have not read the source material. Ghost World I thought was really good, and Thora Birch did a great job in that movie. What pulled me into that movie was the performances, but also how friends drift and the connection was no longer there. I liked it a lot.