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cook*create*read: August Wrap-Up

Monday, September 01, 2014

August Wrap-Up

Well, August was a pretty good reading month for me!  Having the whole month off work certainly helped me to reach a reading total of 10 books, which I think means I am out of my reading slump :).

Here's some quick thoughts ...

Already reviewed:

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton - beautiful writing, but too long-winded and slow paced for me - 2 stars.  Read my review here.

The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark - a compelling, tragic tale, wonderfully written - 4 stars.  Read my review here.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - loved this, but the ending let me down - 4 stars.  Read my review here.

Reviews of these coming soon:

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri - loved this collection of short stories, my first experience of Jhumpa Lahiri - 4 stars

Dead Wrong by Cath Staincliffe - tight, fast paced, quick read - 4 stars

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry - a sad an tragic look at mental illness in the 1950s-1960s - 4 stars

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer - another fascinating story about mental illness, following a man suffering with schizophrenia after the death of his brother - 5 stars!

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman - my second attempt at Neil Gaiman, and I really enjoyed this one (I had to give up on his American Gods).  A great story with a fairytale feel - 5 stars

0.4 by Mike Lancaster - a young adult novel, a sci-fi futuristic story about what could become of the human race.  An interesting and quick read - 3 stars

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson - epic high fantasy.  A solid start to the Mistborn Trilogy, and I'm looking forward to reading the next instalment - 4 stars

Phew!  Some good reads this month, but the star of August for me was The Shock of the Fall.  My review of this will be up on the blog tomorrow.

We also watched a few films in August, with a little less success unfortunately!

First up, Dave and I went to the cinema to see The Inbetweeners 2

I don't know about you, but I really have to be in the mood to watch this kind of infantile, juvenile humour.  Luckily I was in that mood and I did enjoy this - though not as much as my immature husband! I thought his head was going to explode in the cinema at one point, he was trying to contain his laughter so much.  I gave this 7/10 and it got an 8/10 from Dave.

One rainy afternoon, the boys went to watch Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, and me and my girlie watched Pretty In Pink.

I loved this film when it first came out in '80s, and I really wanted my 15 year old daughter to like it too.  I hadn't seen it for many years and was hoping it wouldn't be too dated!  I wasn't disappointed - I loved it just as much as always, and fell in love with Andrew McCarthy all over again!  This got 9/10 from me and a perfectly acceptable 8/10 from my daughter!

Dave and I watched Under the Skin on Sky On Demand.

This was one weird film.  It was on some list of the best films of the year so far that I found somewhere (can't find it now so maybe I just made it up :)).   I've since found out that it is based on a book, and that the book is much better than the film so I might give that a go at some point.  The film is just weird.  I just didn't get it.  3/10 from me, 4/10 from Dave (an extra point for Scarlett Jahansson *eyeroll*)

We then watched Paranormal Activity 4.

I don't know why I do this to myself.  I enjoy horror films, but the Paranormal Activity films scare the pants off me, and this was no exception.  They just feel so realistic and plausible and I'm on the edge of my seat throughout the film, waiting for something to happen.  This one wasn't quite as good as the previous films, some things were left unexplained which I found very unsatisfactory! But overall, it was good - 7/10 from both Dave and I.

And finally, we watched Cabin Fever: Patient Zero

This was such a disappointment!  The storyline sounded interesting (and topical) - flesh eating virus wipes out the population of an entire island - but it just did not deliver.  Gratuitous gore and hideousness and weak acting resulted in 1/10 from me and 3/10 from Dave!

So that was August!  What were your August highlights? Let me know in the comments below!


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