The Monthly Media Catchup: Everything I've Read, Watched & Listened To | February 2019
February is the shortest month of the year but I’ve still managed to pack a fair amount of reading, watching and listening into it. February has been a pretty intense month, throwing myself back into to semester two of my second year of university and I think that definitely shows in this blog post, as I’ve been reading more than watching or listening. But some really great books have come out of this month, two five star reviews even, which are very rare for me! Despite it being Oscar season, I haven’t watched a single film this month! Shameful! I haven’t had the time (or the money) to go to the cinema and I’m not a big fan of watching films at home/by myself, I’m more of a series typa’ gal.
So anyway here we have everything I’ve read, watched and listened to this month…
I read this hybrid of poetry and criticism for my American Literature course. It’s form is so unique and its content, about what it is to be a person of colour in America, is at once confronting and informative. A must-read for everyone!
Everyone and their dog is a Sally Rooney fan these days but I am unashamedly part of her fan club. She writes like no one else about relationships and her writing is easy to read whilst also dealing with important issues, such as mental health and being a woman in the 21st century. I devoured this novel, her debut, and I like it equally as much as Normal People, and perhaps maybe even more but I’m not fully decided, so don’t hold me to that!
Another great book I read for my American Literature course. This is a classic novel written in the 1930s about an African American woman navigating love and life. It’s moving and heartbreaking and a book I am glad to have read. It’s written very similarly to The Colour Purple by Alice Walker, a novel I also love, so if you liked that, I’d recommend picking this one up.
Oh it was all going so well! A one star review is pretty harsh but I couldn’t think of many redeeming qualities about this novel. I read it for my Modernism course at university and although I understand that Joyce is doing innovative things with form and language, I’m just not that interested. I’ve read countless coming-of-age stories about privileged white boys and so perhaps my standards are high for these kinds of narratives as I just think there’s so much more interesting stuff out there that I could be reading. But the pretentiousness of this book in itself was enough in itself to knock a few stars off anyway. Not for me.
Focus by Arthur Miller | ★★★★★
I was not expecting to love this book as much as I did. Another one I read for my American Literature course (there’s a lot of reading but it’s ok because, as you can tell, it’s all great). It’s set during WW2 in America and follows the life of an American man who is constantly mistaken for as Jewish when he starts to wear glasses. Miller creates the most vivid imagery and I haven’t been as emotionally engaged with a book as much as I was with this one for a long time!
We have another potentially harsh review here! I was supposed to read this for university in the space of 2 weeks but it took me about a month. It’s very slow and repetitive and there are A LOT of descriptions of the countryside. Despite the fact that its not very readable, it is very interesting to analyse, especially when considering identity and gender, so I’ve bumped it up a star for that!
American Crime Story: The People VS. OJ Simpson | ★★★★★
This is the only TV series I’ve watched this month (other than re-watching Gossip Girl, don’t judge me, ok?) But it is SO good. I didn’t know much about the OJ Simpson trial and this show taught me so much about it. It’s also really entertaining to watch and I was so hooked on it. Sam and I spent our Valentines evening binge watching the last 4 or 5 episodes and I can’t recommend it enough. I’ve just started watching the second season about Gianni Versace so hopefully there will be an update on that in next month’s post.
I haven’t listened to this podcast before but after Olivia Coleman’s amazing Oscars speech, I felt compelled to listen/watch more of her and I am so pleased I stumbled upon this episode! I loved Broadchurch so it was exciting to hear these two actors together again. But, aside from that, it was just a lovely, genuine conversation between two friends that honestly restored my faith in humanity a little bit.
Being Human | ★★★★
This is a new podcast in which the host discusses mental health with ‘influencers’. So far she’s interviewed two of my favourite bloggers, Lindsey Holland and Alice Haran, so I really enjoyed those episodes. I also think a podcast like this is great to remind everyone that social media is not real life!
I’ve only listened to two episodes of this podcast, those with Abigail Bergstrom and Reni Eddo-Lodge, but I am loving it so far. The host invites a different female guest on each episode and discusses their career journey with them. I’m thinking A LOT at the moment about what I’m going to do after university so this podcast is really inspiring and motivational.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post! Sorry for the lack of TV/film content but hopefully I can make up for it next month (or the month after, when I have some time off university to binge watch as much as I can). Let me know if you’ve read/watched/listened anything I’ve mentioned, I’d love to hear your thoughts on them!
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