Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Switch - Joseph Finder

Michael Tanner is having a bit of a tough time.  His wife has moved out and his coffee business is struggling to bring in new clients, and the bills are building up.  After returning from a work trip, he ends up picking up the wrong laptop at the airport and his troubles are about to get serious. 

Often I find that my enjoyment of a book is linked to being able to visualize the story in my head, and in this one I couldn't help but think it was more like a  movie turned into a novel, with fast paced action scenes.  I am not sure that I fully believed the story and the twists and turns seemed a bit unrealistic to me, but it would make a good movie with a good everyman type of actor in the main role. 4/5

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Notes On A Nervous Planet - Matt Haig

Matt Haig has had his own issues dealing with anxiety and depression which he has written about in previous books.  In this book he looks at why rates are rising and affecting so many people around the world and what changes we can all do in our own lives to make things a bit more peaceful.  It is not all yoga and meditation, but doing things that make you happy, putting the phone down, switching the news off, going outside, visiting friends and spending time with pets.  It might all seem sensible stuff, but sometimes we need to be reminded about the importance of taking time for ourselves, and just to breathe and relax.  4/5

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Home Body - Joanna Gaines

I could live in every house in this lovely book.  I have only recently discovered Fixer Upper on our local television, and I have to admire both Joanna and Chip Gaines for their enthusiasm and love for each other and their children.  Like all shows of its like, I am sure there is a big team helping out on each renovation, and although led by them it is not something that they do alone.  Joanna Gaines styling though is on point for each and every home I have seen, with a farmhouse rustic touch combined with a modern clean style and I could just step in and happily live in each one.

A book I would happily have on my own shelves and it would make a lovely gift for my friends.  5/5

Monday, December 10, 2018

Music Monday - Little Drummer Boy - David Bowie and Bing Crosby

Christmas Carols are beginning to be played everywhere you go at the moment.  I could do without Snoopys Christmas being played 10 times a day, but do enjoy some of the more traditional songs.  I hadn't seen this one before and enjoyed the combination of both singers.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Becoming - Michelle Obama

Like most of my favorite biographies, Michelle Obamas focuses mainly on her childhood and growing up in a small flat in Chicago, where her father and mother work hard to provide for Michelle and her older brother Craig.  Her eloquence and humor shine through in this book,  and all parts of it were interesting to read, especially as I knew so little of her back story.  From living with a father who had MS, but never took a day off work sick, to piano lessons with the foreboding aunt who lived downstairs, to the young law student who one day had to mentor a young first year law student, to the White House where she tried to raise her two young daughters in as normal a family unit as was possible.  You have to admire her for stepping up and for trying to be as normal as possible, when all eyes were on her, when many were waiting for her to fail.  For trying to make the lives of children better, to get them to eat better, to move more and to work with families of service men and women. 

A great read, that felt like it was written by a friend telling you about their life.  One of my favorite reads of 2018. 5/5

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Middle Aged Lady Movie Night - Skyscraper

A Saturday night at home means once the chores are done and dinner served up, it is time to plonk myself down on the couch and watch a cheap movie on the Apple TV while drinking some cold  beverage and chewing on some cheap sweets.

 Not looking for any high brow viewing tonight, I was happy to watch The Rock Dwayne Johnson fling himself round this super high rise that is burning with his family in it.   Being neither a fan of high rises or fire , but an admirer of Dwayne Johnson and disaster movies I felt that this might be one that I might enjoy.  However I found it a bit dull and slightly too formulaic.  It was like the producers had sat in a room and ticked off too many boxes- Asian setting, fit and toned baddies with an accent, injured war hero, super cute kids, action sequences tick, tick, tick.  However  like most modern action movies, they somehow forgot to write a compelling story.  Still watching Dwayne Johnson is always a pleasure.  3/5

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Survivor - Harry Borden

A deceptively powerful and moving book, it is primarily a book of portraits that the author took over a period of five years.  Each is a photo of a Holocaust survivor, and each is accompanied by a simple statement from each sitter.  At the back, there is a description of each person - where they grew up, and what they experience during the war, and their life other.  Haunting small stories that made me quite teary, especially the stories from those survivors who were children at the time. 

It is especially poignant as the years go by, as more survivors die and so many of their stories will be lost to read such a book. 5/5

Monday, December 03, 2018

Music Monday - Oh Sherrie - Steve Perry

I stepped into a taxi at midnight the other night after a long and busy shift, and this song started up.  I hadn't heard it in years but it got my toes tapping and I desperately wanted to sing along.  I think I've reached that turning point of enjoying the golden oldies radio station. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

In Pieces - Sally Field

I enjoyed this memoir more than I expected to.  Rather than being the typical celebrity tell all, this is the story of the real Sally Field, the one that grew up with a rather sad childhood, with few friends and a bit neglected by her actress mother, with a step father who bullied and abused.

The little I knew about her came from shows and movies, but I nothing about her background or life.  Primarily this book focuses on her childhood and young adulthood with 2/3 of the story about her life until age 30, and then skimming over the last 40 years.  I did like that it was not full of boring meetings or stories about obscure plays and shows which I am normally left skipping pages to get through. 

I felt she let all of her vulnerability show in this book, describing the times when she was abused by people who should have taken care of her by family members and people she worked for or were in relationships with.  4/5

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

How We Made

I found a little series tonight on the Guardian website called How We Made.  There are a variety of small articles about how certain songs/tv shows/Magazines/films  were made or inspired.  I enjoyed reading How We Made All Creatures Great and Small and How We Made One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.  I didn't know that Michael Douglas produced One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, or that it was filmed in a real Mental Hospital with patients used in the movie.  Interesting facts.