I’m never without some sort of distraction close at hand, and while that can be a negative at times, it has also allowed me to experience a plethora of art from various creators. From books to movies and everything in between, I feel overwhelmed yet incredibly grateful that I am able to learn so much from so many different people and their experiences. As someone who also enjoys creating things, I wanted to share the love by talking about a few things that have been taking up my time outside of work and preparing for my move to England later this month.
Too Much And Not The Mood - Durga Chew-Bose
This was a book I decided to buy on the recommendation of a friend. I don’t usually do too much research before I pick out my next read because I like being surprised by the content, writing style, and unique voice that the author has. I am definitely glad that I did pick it up because Durga Chew-Bose’s voice is so different than anything I have every read before. The way she puts together sentences and strives to make her readers feel a connection with certain life moments is exactly what I love from personal essay collections. There are moments while I’m reading the book that I am instantly pulled back into a memory of my childhood that she has encapsulated perfectly by mentioning a certain moment she experienced as a child or a specific item that only Canadians may have had access to at that point in time. I would highly recommend this book, although it isn’t a light read. It definitely demands your focus to get through the intricately woven essays.
On Writing - Stephen King
When you are a writer, who better to turn to for advice than Stephen King? I picked this book up in hopes of getting some real advice about writing fiction rather than the very magazine-like articles I was finding online. In this book you learn a lot about Stephen King’s life, but also his writing process and how it has gotten him to where he is now. While I’m not the biggest Stephen King fan, I can totally respect his achievements and his ability to craft compelling stories for decades. I would recommend this if you want to learn about the craft and don’t necessarily want a very heavy read.
Where I’m Calling From - Raymond Carver
I’ve been reading this book for a while now, not because it’s a difficult one to get through, but because it is a collection of short stories that I’ve enjoyed putting down and picking up whenever I’m in the mood for them. I myself am working on a collection of short fiction and it’s been great inspiration for those days when I don’t feel very motivated or have much direction. Raymond Carver is a master at telling a very mundane story and packing it with deep meaning. The relationships he portrays are simple, yet riveting and very telling about the time he was in and the encounters he had in his society.
I’ve never been a huge Vogue reader, but lately I’ve been really drawn to the magazine and it’s articles. I love that even though it has advertisements within the pages, between the interesting Op-Ed pieces and interviews it presents them in a very artistic way, not taking you out of the experience. Of course, I picked up the September issue with Beyonce on the cover, if only to read her article, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it the past few months and will probably pick up a few more in the future.
I’m probably a little late to watch this show, but ever since they put most of the seasons (not all, though) on Netflix I’ve been flying through them. I usually put it on while I’m running on the treadmill as a quick distraction from the pain my legs and lungs are experiencing and it has been serving me well.
There’s not much I can say about this show that almost everyone doesn’t already know, so all I’ll say is that it has its highs and lows. Sometimes the comedic social commentary is spot on and other it tends to fall a little flat. There are certain jokes they make that can be incredibly controversial, but pretty funny, and sometimes it’s not funny at all. I enjoy the overall experience of the show, which is why I’ve been watching for the past few months and would recommend it to anyone looking for something to watch while doing other activities.
This is a show my parents and I binge watched last week, not really thinking it would be something we enjoyed, but had heard good reviews from our family members. It follows the story of three women who decide to rob a grocery store as a means to pay off incurred debt, hospital bills, and lawyers fees—once they do, the plot shifts to watching them deal with the consequences. We watch them being caught by others and having to figure out a way to involve their blackmailers into their plans and also get a thrill from the experience and continue pursuing other illegal ways to make money. There’s only one season on Netflix which I was pretty disappointed by because it’s a good show to binge. I would recommend that anyone interested should wait until they put up a few more seasons.
By The Sea
I did not expect to like this movie, but I instantly fell in love with the feel of the plot and the French scenery set some time in the 60’s. It was written and directed by Angelina Jolie and revolves around a husband and wife from New York who take a trip to a French hotel where he tries to write his book and she deals with some darkness within their relationship. It is a very intricate story that depicts the shift from young love to old love and what can happen when a couple does not communicate. It also discusses alcoholism and the effect a fall from fame can have on someone who isn’t quite emotionally stable.
I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore
This is a fairly dark and gory movie, but is a bit uplifting at the same time. I didn’t really know what to expect when first watching it, but I thoroughly enjoyed the performances and plot. It follows a woman who, after her house gets robbed, partners with her strange neighbour to find out who is responsible for it. I initially thought it would be a revenge story (my favourite kind of story), but it isn’t really about revenge. The themes I observed were about recognizing the good in life even if it feels like there isn’t much being directed at you. It’s an odd movie, but well worth the watch.
Okay, so, I only just started listening to this podcast and I’ve already devoured the four episodes that are out. It discusses the crazy story of a surgeon who was ego-driven and performed procedures on patients even though he didn’t have the skill to do even the most basic ones. The cover up from his hospital of residence led to the deaths of many more patients as he moved from hospital to hospital before he was discovered as being completely incompetent. It’s not a story for the faint of heart, but if you are a true crime junky, such as myself, then you’ll probably really enjoy this podcast.
Tiny Meat Gang
I’m always on the search for a comedic commentary podcast and this one has been my favourite lately. It’s hosted by Youtubers, Cody Ko and Noel Miller, and it discuss random pup culture and Youtube stories, sprinkled with inside jokes and bits between the two of them. I would recommend this for anyone who wants a laugh on their way to work or while working out because they are fairly long and pretty entertaining all the way through.
My boyfriend recommended this podcast to me a while ago and, of course, being the diligent girlfriend that I am I only just started listening to it. I was a bit hesitant because the first season dissects a Kanye West album and I’m not the biggest fan of his behaviour and social presence, but I can agree that My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was a great album. This podcasts focuses on one album every season—so far they have three and they are all very interesting to listen to. I love hearing about how an artist went about creating their work and this podcast delves right into some of the most iconic albums of our generation.