My Week in Books, TV, and Movies 5/17/19

I’ve reached the point where I’m going to have to resign myself to this being one of my lowest number of books read in a year. I don’t know if it is the books I’m choosing or my state of mind, but it is taking me forever to finish a book these days. I should be reading a lot more. I have no kids at home. I have at least an hour every night home alone. I have days like today when I’m off work and my wife is actually at the office. What will I do with today? Watch the Grey’s season finale(already done), do a load of laundry, clean toilets, mow the lawn, vacuum if I still have time and then maybe read for a couple of minutes after it is all done. What do I do with my time alone every other day? Walk the dog and watch TV. I’m not making time to read and when I do read  I fall asleep or get distracted. Maybe my upcoming travels will increase my reading, but I doubt it. Now, on to the week.

Movies – I only watched one movie this week. We watched Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse while the kids were home for Mother’s Day. Well, three of us watched it. My daughter had seen it already and slept instead. I liked it a lot. My son liked it a lot. That is not a surprise. The surprise was that my wife actually liked it a lot. I did not think it was a movie she would enjoy and I was surprised when she said we could watch it and actually liked it. Thumbs up from the entire family.

TV – Nothing new on TV. This was a week of watching season finales of the shows I watch and reading about which shows are coming back and what new shows are coming. I think most of the finales I’ve watched have been satisfying. I thought about watching the series finale of Big Bang even though I don’t watch the show but opted against it.  I liked it at first but gave up on it pretty early. I know a lot of people loved it. I just didn’t have an interest in it.

Books – I finished Word by Word: The Secret Life f Dictionaries by Kory Stamper,  Stamper is a lexicographer for Merriam Webster and writes about the work of writing a dictionary.  There were some interesting chapters and interesting facts(pumpernickel means fart goblin), I was surprised that people actually write to the dictionary. It would never occur to me to do that. It was not a bad book, but not what I would typically read.

On Deck – I will watch whatever movie is available on the plane and whatever we can find on TV in Baku. I’m desperately trying to finish Harry’s Trees by Jon Cohen before we leave and have some teen books downloaded to read on the trip. They are books I need to read for work before I get back. Maybe all of the time on planes and in airports will help increase my reading. I doubt it.

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My Last Couple of Weeks in Books, TV, and Movies 5/9/19

I did not do my normal weekly last week. I was away at a conference Friday morning and lazy Saturday morning. The sad thing is, I don’t have a lot to report even covering two weeks. I’m starting to think my entire reading year will be slow.

Movies – The only movie I’ve watched over the last two weeks is Avengers Endgame. I went to the movies the morning I was heading to the conference and then drove directly from the theater to the hotel. It’s hard to talk about the movie without spoilers. I did think it was a good wrap up of the original Avengers phase of the movies. I’m curious to see what the next big team-up movie will be.

TV – Still mainly dealing with an almost full DVR. I am still watching the latest season of Shameless on DVD and watching every new episode of Game of Thrones live. I have been watching the 1969 documentary series on ABC. The first episode bored me a little as it was about the moon landing and I feel like I’ve heard everything I need to hear about that. Episode two was about Manson and I’ve always been fascinated by that story and they had both Squeaky Fromme and the member of the family who testified against them giving their perspective. It was a good episode. This week’s was on Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick. I didn’t really know a lot of detail on the story, so that was an interesting one to watch. I will ignore the fact that a retrospective series on the year I was born means I’m old.

Books – I finished two books over the past two weeks. Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner and Last of the Stanfields by Marc Levy. Rayne and Delilah is a YA book about two girls who host a public access TV show where they screen horror movies. They are at the end of their senior year in high school and dealing with what that means for the show and their friendship. It was good, but I hate the books that make it seem normal and right for an 18-year-old to make major life decisions around the plans of their high school relationship. Last of the Stanfields is about two people who get letters alluding to secrets in the past of their moms. It alternates between the present and 1980 when the moms are best friends living in Baltimore. It was a good story with a few flaws in some of the characterizations and dialogue My book club thought maybe some of that could be a translation issue(it was originally written in French). I did enjoy it,

On Deck – I need to watch Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse this weekend, but I’m sure my wife has no interest in watching it so I’m not sure when that will happen. A lot of season finales on TV this week and the network upfronts are next week so I will be writing about the new fall schedules. I am reading Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper because I traded book clubs with a coworker this month because I’m out of town for mine.

My Week in Books, TV, and Movies 4/26/19

I’m way behind on my reading for the year. Too much screen time, books for work that even when they are good feel like homework, mediocre books, etc have all contributed to that. Now that the weather is nice, I need to sit and read on the desk without my phone so I’m not distracted by any type of screen. My TV and movies are average for the week.

Movies – We watched the second Fantastic Beasts movie while the kids were home for Easter. It was OK I enjoyed seeing the past versions of Harry Potter characters, but I didn’t think the story was a strong as the first. I will still watch the next movie. My wife went to Redbox Monday while I was at work and rented Bumblebee. She loves the Transformers movies. Bumblebee was much better than most of those movies. It helps that they had some decent actors that I like as the humans in the movie. I’m still not a big fan of the movies.

TV – I watched the first three episodes of the latest season of Shameless. I still really like the show and I’m still pulling for at least one Gallagher to have a happy ending. I finished the final season of One Day at a Time. I liked it, but I’m not clamoring for another season. Sweeps started last night so we can look forward to TV episodes full of major events. TVline.com says that there are 27 confirmed deaths of characters on the broadcast networks shows during this sweeps. Game of Thrones will get close to that tomorrow.  Surprising renewal news yesterday – All American was renewed by the CW. I really like the show and was sure it would be canceled.

Books – I only finished one book this week – A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller. I liked the book and would recommend it, but it took me a while to read. I think it was because it as for work so it felt like reading for school and not for fun. If you like sci-fi you should read it. It is weird that it was the second book I’ve done for book club that was a sci-fi that revolved around the Catholic church.

On Deck – I’m reading Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner and need to also finish The Last of the Stansfields by Marc Levy by next Friday for my personal book club(more homework). I don’t think there is anything new for TV this week. I will be mourning deaths on Game of Thrones Sunday night. We have some movie options for the weekend but we might opt to just catch up on TV shows instead. I leave for a conference on Wednesday, so that will limit my viewing for the week. I hope to get more reading time while alone in a hotel room, but I’m afraid I will just stare at some sort of screen instead.

My Week in Books, TV, and Movies 4/19/19

It was a big movie week for me and I still had time to watch TV shows and finish a book. I’m sure there is some cleaning around the house I should be doing instead, but all of that was more fun.

Movies – My big week in movies was mainly due to them being due back to the library. I take a lot of movies back unwatched, but I wanted to make sure I watched these, so we made time for them. Here’s the list:

Girl in the Spider’s Web – It was good, but I did doe through a lot of it. That was more a me thing than a movie thing. I do think it’s weird that they made the first movie and then recast and skipped to the 4th book in the series.

Vemon – I really liked this one. It was fun and Tom Hardy was good in the lead role I hope they make more.

Instant Family – This was a lot better than I was expecting. I think Mark Wahlberg should do more comedy and less dumb action moves. Rose Byrne is always really good. It made me miss working with teens.

Green Book – Very good movie. One of the few Oscar movies that my wife actually liked. Great acting from both Mortenson and Ali. Highly recommend.

TV – The big TV event was the premiere of the final season of Game of Thrones. I watched live so I didn’t have to worry about spoilers. It was fun to see so many characters together in the same place. I was disappointed it was only 55 minutes. It was also the premiere week for the new season of Amazing Race. It’s the one reality show my wife will watch with me. It’s also the one I think I could actually compete on and not embarrass myself too much. This season has former Race, Survivor and Big Brother contestants competing. The only downside of this is it brings Rupert back on my TV. I don’t know why people like him so much. He’s very annoying.

Books – I read two books this week. Both a little disappointing.

Rule of Law by John Lescroart – The latest in the Dismas Hardy series. I’ve always loved this series, but the last couple have not been great. It might be time for Lescroart to end the series or at least focus on some of the more interesting side characters instead of Hardy.

The Size of the Truth by Andrew Smith – I love Smith’s work. This one was not a bad book. It was his first book written for middle-grade readers and I was reminded that I generally don’t enjoy books written for that age group. I’m sure younger readers will love it. I think it would have been better if it would have been just the middle school story and did not have alternating chapters of when the main character fell down a well when he was four.

On Deck – I’m reading A Canticle for Leibowitz for my book club at work. I have the second Fantastic Beasts movie on DVD from the library alone with Kin and A Silent Voice. I should have the latest season of Shameless on DVD this week.

 

My Week in Books, Movies and TV 4/12/19

I actually have a movie, a new TV show and a book to talk about this week. I’m sure everyone is very excited about that. Here we go

Movies – We watched Creed II this week. We recently rewatched Rocky 4 and Creed in preparation since my wife did not remember watching either movie. Creed II is a sequel to both as Creed is challenged to fight the son of Drago, the guy who killed his father in Rocky 4. If you are a fan of the Rocky/Creed series you will really like the movie. If you have not watched the Rocky/Creed movies, I’m not sure why you would watch this one. The only thing I thought could have been better in the movie is the portrayal of Drago and his son. I felt like there was a better story to tell there and it felt like they were headed in the direction of more nuance there, but then never went there. I thought we had learned that there can be nuance to the villain’s story.

TV – I’m me, so I watched a lot of TV this week. We did watch a new show last night – The Code. I don’t watch any of the NCIS shows with my wife and this seemed like an NCIS show in the previews. It didn’t get great reviews and the reviewer felt like it could have been another NCIS show. I was not hopeful, but I decided to watch anyway since it focuses on military lawyers and I love a good lawyer show. There was nothing groundbreaking here. It likely won’t win any awards. I liked it. I liked the cast. I liked their characters. They told an interesting story. I will watch it again. I am a simple man with simple tastes. I’m also getting old, so it was only a matter of time before I started watching CBS procedurals.

Books – I finished You Know You Want This by Kristen Roupenian. It is a collection of stories. One reviewer on Goodreads gave it a lower rating because she thought while the writing was good, it was very bleak. She’s correct that the stories are not feel good stories. Don’t read this if you are looking for upbeat stuff. There is no upbeat here. It is very good, though. I never considered moving on to a novel after finishing one of the stories as I usually do with collections. I would recommend if you can handle bleak.

On Deck – I have way too many movies from the library. I will not have time to watch them all. I’m sure I will watch whichever one my wife might have heard of which means Venom and maybe Instant Family. I will make a push for Green Book and The Girl in the Spider’s Web. I might need to try to stay up late or get up early to watch something alone. The big TV event is the Game of Thrones premiere. I have warned my wife that I will be watching live so she will need to decide what to do with herself. I don’t want to risk spoilers by waiting. Amazing Race also starts back up Wednesday night. I love the show and this one has Survivor, Big Brother and Amazing Race people competing against each other. It should be fun. I will probably also try Bless This Mess because I like Dax Shepard. That’s a lot on deck this week.

My Week in Books, Movies and TV 4/5/19

I had a little more success in both reading and viewing this week. I’m still going slower than normal with the reading, but at least I finished an entire book this week.

Movies – We only watched Equalizer 2 this week. I half watched/half slept. If you read my Friday posts regularly you know this is normal. I really need to get my wife to agree to start watching movies early so I can stay awake. I’m old. I liked what I saw of the movie, but  I do get tired of generic action movies even when they star Denzel Washington.

TV – I’m still spending most of my TV time working through shows on my DVR. I’m alternating between Doctor Who and True Detective when I’m alone and then the shows my wife also likes when she is home. I did watch Abby’s right after I finished last week’s post. I liked it. It was very much the “introduce the characters and set up the concept” episode, but I liked the characters so I will watch again. I was a fan of Cheers and I think this could grow into this generation’s version of Cheers. It’s my hope, anyway. I could use a new Cheers.

Books – I finished Bearskin by James A McLaughlin and A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti.

Bearskin – A man hiding from a drug cartel is working as a caretaker of property in Virginia. People are poaching bears on the property and he decides to track them alone instead of calling the authorities because of the drug cartel thing. I get the criticism I read that there is a lot of nature talk in the book. If you are just looking for a standard thriller/mystery this book isn’t for you. If you are like my son and enjoy nature and mysteries, it is the perfect book for you.

A Heart in a Body in the World – Anabelle is a teen in Seattle. She has suffered some sort of tragedy and one day starts running. She decides she is going to run across the country. Her grandfather follows along in an RV meeting her at the stopping point each day.  We slowly get the story of the tragedy as Anabelle recalls it while running. I liked the book. I think teens would like the book. I do get tired of the books that make you wait to find out what the big tragedy was. This is my second one this year that kept alluding to a tragedy while waiting to tell the reader. It can work, but it can also feel like a gimmick.

On Deck – We have Venom and Creed II on DVD. TV will continue to be catching up on shows on the DVR. I hope to finish either Doctor Who or True Detective this week. I don’t think there are any new shows this week. We are getting close to the big TV event of the year – the return of Game of Thrones. I’m reading You Know You Want This by Kristen Roupenian. It is a story collection. We will see if I can stick with it or if I get tired of it and want to read a full novel instead.

My Week in Books, Movies and TV 3/29/19

It was a slow week for me. It wasn’t a week for focusing on a book for long. There was a lot of screen time, but mostly old stuff. So feel free to stop reading now.

Movies – We only watched one movie this week. We had the option of a movie we had not seen before and the bad remake of Point Break we had seen but my wife didn’t remember. She opted for Point Break. It was still bad. I spent most of the time looking at my phone, scrolling through Twiter. I’m fine with remakes. I didn’t think it was bad because I compared it to the old one. It was just bad.

TV – I’m desperately trying to keep my DVR from reaching capacity. There are way too many shows I’m saving for my daughter to watch when she’s home from college. I try to watch all of the shows I watch alone as soon as I can to keep some free space. That means most of what I’m watching is the new episodes of shows I already watch. I’m watching Grey’s as I write this. There were two new shows I wanted to watch this week. The TV version of What We Do in the Shadows and Abby’s. I did watch the first and hope to have time to watch Abby’s before I go to work today. I liked What We Do in the Shadows. It was funny, but I don’t know if it is something I would want to watch on a weekly basis. I think it would get old fast. I have high hopes for Abby’s and will report on it next week.

Books – I didn’t finish a book this week. That’s mostly because I was re-reading The Girl With All the Gifts for my work book club. I’m not someone who re-reads books. There are so many good books out there. Why would I spend time reading one I already read? This took me away from the new book I was reading, so I did not finish a new book this week. That is rare.

On Deck – Equalizer 2 is waiting for me at the library. I put all the rest of my movie holds on inactive status because our weekends have been filled with basketball lately. Soon I will have more movies than I can watch. Santa Clarita Diet and On My Block come back on Netflix today so any time I have away from the DVR clearing I will spend watching those. I should finish reading Bearskin by James A McLaughlin this week.

My Week in Books, Movies and TV 3/22/19

My screen time has been taken over mostly by basketball so I don’t have a lot to post about there. I do have an increase in books this week, but I’m still below my goal for the year.

Movies – If I watched a movie this week I don’t remember it. Eventually, I will find the time to go see Captain Marvel before Avengers opens. Normally, today would be the day for that, but I have plans with my couch and March Madness. I do need to start treating myself to a movie out on my Friday off again. I do enjoy going to the movies.

TV – My daughter was home for a couple of days, so we spent some time catching up on shows we watch together. When it was her turn to choose we watched Victoria. When it was my turn to pick we watched Legends of Tomorrow. Two very different shows. Legends of Tomorrow has become my favorite of the DC TV shows. I’m watching the season finale of All American as I type this. I don’t think it will get a second season which is unfortunate. It is a really good show, but probably not the right fit for the CW crowd.

Books – I finished three books this week:

The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan – the first in a planned Irish mystery series. I should like it. I do like my Irish mysteries. It took me forever to get into the book and I never really cared about any of the characters. I felt like too much was added to the story as set up for future books. It wasn’t terrible, but I doubt I will read the next book.

The Black God’s Drums by P Djeli Clark – A  nice, short 100-page book that takes place in an alternate worldNew Orleans where the US split after the Civil War and New Orleans is neutral territory.  There are pirates in airships, mysterious weather weapons, gods and nuns. A lot for such a small book. I enjoyed it. I don’t know if I would have wanted to read more than 100 pages of it.

The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Wier – Essie is a senior in high school and the part of a reality show pastor’s family. When her mother discovers Essie is pregnant, she is determined to marry her off fast to cover the shame, but she is unaware Essie is secretly pulling all the strings. It was a quick, easy read. I alternated between the audio and the print version. The audio was well done. I liked it, but it might have been a little too long for what it was.

On Deck –  At some point when basketball isn’t on my wife is going to make me watch the new version of Point Break. We also have Widows on DVD. I’m not sure when we will have time to watch that. I like Super Troopers, so I might watch  Takoma FD’s first episode since Tru TV is hyping it so much during the games. Abby’s, the new sitcom with Natalie Morales premieres Thursday. I really like her and Neil Flynn, who is also in it, so I will give it a try. I’m currently reading Bearskin by James A McLaughlin.

My Week in Books, Movies, and TV 3/15/19

An average week for me on all fronts. My TV portion of the week is slowly being taken over by college basketball and my Thursday-Sunday will be all basketball now until the end of March Madness. It should up my reading though as I will read during commercials and when games get boring.

Movies – I only watched Sisters Brothers this week and I was disappointed. I really liked the book and I was excited about a movie. The cast was good. The source material was good. The movie was boring. So boring. It takes talent to take a talented cast and a good book and combine them to make such a long, boring movie. Kudos.

TV – Nothing particularly exciting on TV this week. I’m still enjoying Whiskey Cavalier. I’m still watching Survivor every Wednesday when I get home from work. I’m not sure how I feel about this season. I hate the time they spend with the losers. I don’t watch Survivor to watch the annoying people who were voted off. I know more about the losers than I do about the people still in the game. That isn’t right. Also, the tribe swap didn’t really swap the tribes so the same people were back at tribal again. Not exactly an exciting result of a tribe swap. I’m sure I will like it more once we get to the merge, but I’m ready for something to happen to make the time with the losers worth it.

Books – I finished The Wedding Guest by Jonathan Kellerman. It was the 30 something book in the Alex Delaware series. I still enjoy reading about Alex and Milo. I like the characters and I like that they are still typically actual mysteries and not thrillers. I will keep reading them until he stops writing them. I am desperately trying to finish my book club book before tomorrow night. I probably should have read this one before The Wedding Guest. Sometimes I’m not very smart.

On Deck – I’m almost done with The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan, the aforementioned book club book. I’m listening to The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir. I’m not sure about movies with birthday activities, book club, and basketball this weekend. I still need to find a time to go see Captain Marvel. Not sure when that will happen. TV will be mostly basketball and hopefully clearing some space on the DVR during non-basketball times. Saving shows for my daughter is putting us close to crisis time with DVR space.

My Week in Books, TV, and Movies 3/8/19

I had a more balanced week between books and screen. I need to figure out how to keep that balance up.

Movies – We watched two new movies this week. The first was Bohemian Rhapsody. It was only the second Oscar movie I’ve watched this year. I really enjoyed it. I’m a big Queen fan and I’m a Rami Malek fan. Malek did a really good job as Freddie Mercury. I’, not sure why so many people said they didn’t think the nomination was deserved. We also watched First Man. It was OK. I was kind of bored and thought it was really slow. I also dozed a lot, which is normal for me. In old movies – we watched Rocky IV so my wife would be ready to watch Creed II and then she told me she didn’t remember watching Creed, so we have more work to do.

TV – The only “new” show I watched was the first episode of the latest season of True Detective. Mahershala Ali is, of course, very good. I liked the first episode. I hope the rest of the season holds up. Station 19 is back. For the People is Back. AP Bio is back. The only one I can watch without waiting for my daughter is Station 19. I really like AP Bio and will be tempted to go ahead and watch it.

Books – I finished two books this week. If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin is an Edgar nominated mystery that starts with a suicide note followed by a woman coming to a police station to report she was carjacked and the carjacker ran someone over with her car. The victim is a popular senior at the local high school. The suspect is an unpopular kid at the local high school and the author of the suicide note. Did he do it? Was the woman really carjacked or did she do it and lie? I really enjoyed it and didn’t figure it out until close to the end. Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Joy Gilbert was a Stonewall honor book. I’m slowly working my way through the award winners from the Youth Media Awards. It took me a while to get into this one. I can’t say much about the story without spoilers. It centers around Danny Cheng, a high school senior in Cupertino, CA. He finds out some secrets about his parents and the book is mainly about him dealing with the fallout of these secrets. I did get annoyed at the beginning when he kept referring to some sort of tragedy he and his friends had faced before finally just telling us it was a friend’s suicide. I saw no reason to drag out that reveal. It was a well-written book. I just couldn’t really ever get really invested in the story.

On Deck – I’m reading The Wedding Guest by Jonathan Kellerman. It is the latest Alex Delaware book. I still enjoy this series. I have Creed to watch tonight and then tomorrow I should have A Star is Born and Sisters Brothers of DVD waiting for me at work. I don’t think there is anything new on TV this week. I will probably watch a lot of college basketball this week with conference tournaments starting.