Most months I think you can’t possibly want to know what I’ve been reading, watching, thinking about all through the month. Karen from Kansas doesn’t exactly have the most refined palate. Nevertheless, I show up back here at the end of every month because I need to remember what I’m into, I need to look back at what I fill my brain and heart with, I need the accountability that says, “pick up a book! Leigh expects you to have read something.” So here we are again…
Red Joan was the first book I read this month and jumpstarted my need for more fiction in my life. Jennie Rooney treats us to the fully fleshed out - though at times maddeningly naive - character of Joan, a bright-eyed student at Cambridge turned lovesick young adult who finds herself attached to the wrong crowd but ingtrigued by their passion and fortitude nonetheless. While I can't say I relate to or approve of all of her choices, one can't help but respond with understanding when it comes to being swept away by idealised young love and the dreams of changing the world. One minor quibble: Rooney overuses and misuses the term "giddy" nearly a dozen times. A “giddy” spy? Yep.
Jojo Moyes' novel, Night Music, is the story of an old mansion of a house in small-town England and the cast of characters driven to the brink because of it. I have to admit I actually had to skip to the end to set my mind at ease, as this book caused me no small amount of anxiety. I could relate to so much of it, but particularly this: a widowed mother of two finding herself in over her head in an old house signifying fresh starts and hopes, and a cunning man who takes devastating financial and emotional advantage of her. The ending is satisfying and the story well-told, but it sure was stressful getting there.
I also read my first ever JK Rowling book (I know, I know), otherwise known as Robert Galbraith, with The Cuckoo’s Calling. I lazily read through the first half of the book over the course of two weeks, not really caring all that much about a model who may or may not have committed suicide or the gruff and strange antihero Cormoran Strike (related: where do authors come up with these names??). But somewhere in the second half I found myself unable to put it down and rather invested in Strike and his secretary-turned-protégé Robin. I happily look forward to the next book in the series.
(let's be friends on goodreads)
Still love my date nights with Matt watching The Office. We finally watched The Grand Budapest Hotel and… well… I just feel kinda meh about it. Don’t get me wrong: this is another fantastical tale and the characters are witty and funny, and how Ralph Fiennes managed to make an equally dodgy, crass and wonderfully sympathetic character out of M. Gustave, I’ll never know. But it just didn’t have that overarching balance of essential goodness I’ve come to expect from my Anderson films (The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr Fox, Moonrise Kingdom).
Also, Catching Fire is now on Netflix UK and upon second viewing, I was distracted by how wooden and downcast the acting was. It picked up steam and pacing near the end, but I’m more than a little hopeful Mockingjay will overpower this sullen predecessor.
I've been walking to a steady stream of The Frames and Snow Patrol this month, and The Civil Wars last album has a decidedly autumnal feel to it. And I'm half-heartedly listening to the new U2. I don't care about the "hipster tsunami of whinging" or that it's just a lucrative financial partnership bordering on world domination. They can do no wrong in my book... well, apart from Lemon.
Nights by the sea
Meeting an old friend for lunch
How much my children love school
Wedding + communion + hymns + this view
Afternoons at the Botanical Gardens
Biking in Phoenix Park with Matt
Dublin on the edges of Autumn
Linking up with Leigh Kramer for What I'm Into. What were YOU into this month?
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