My Week in Books, Movies and TV(8/3/)

I actually have more to talk about this week.  I guess I should consider getting off the couch and leaving the house again after work.

Books – I finished two books in two of my favorite series, Like to Die by David Housewright(McKenzie Rushmore) and Twisted Prey by John Sandford(Lucas Davenport). Davenport and Rushmore are two of my favorite book characters and these didn’t disappoint. Like to Die is an actual mystery where the Davenports are more thrillers, but both are very good. I also finished Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence. She is a librarian and the book is her letters to books. It was not as good as I hoped. I gave it three stars instead of two just because I did check out one of the books she talked about.

Movies – I watched two movies this week. One was really bad and the other one was really good. The bad one was The 15:17 to Paris. My wife and son wanted to watch it, so I got it from the library and we watched it when he was over for dinner. It was terrible. Boring, bad acting, and as my son put it “that’s an hour and a half of my life I will never get back.” Don’t do it! The other was the Netflix movie Set it Up. It is the standard rom-com where two assistants set up their bosses so they would fall in love and stop working so much. Instead, the assistants fall in love. It was really good.

TV – I watched the first season of On My Block on Saturday. I know how it ended already because I got home while my daughter was watching the end of the last episode a few months ago. I still really liked it. I rarely watch an entire season in one sitting, but this one was worth it. Otherwise, I’ve watched a few of the new episodes of Suits and other random shows here and there. The new season of Shameless is now on Netflix, so I know what my next show will be.

On Deck – I just started reading You by Caroline Kepnes. As mentioned above, I will watch Shameless when I have time alone at home. I have Annihilation and Red Sparrow on DVD and hope to watch them this weekend.

My Week(Or Two) In Books, Movies and TV

I was in India last week so I did not do a week in review. Even with a week off I don’t have a lot to report on as I was traveling a lot so my reading and watching was abnormal.

Movies: The movie selection on the plane to Delhi was limited. There were a handful of new Hollywood movies, a larger selection of older Hollywood movies and a collection of Indian movies. I watched Pacific Rim Uprising which was a lot better than I was expecting for a sequel without the original cast. I decided to save Tomb Raider for the trip home and rewatched Creed(very good) and You’ve Got Mail(still charming). Unfortunately, the plane on the way home had upgraded screens, but even more limited movies and the new movies were not an option. I ended up rewatching The Blind Side. I almost forgot: I watched Thoroughbreds on the short flight from Delhi to Hyderabad. It wa interesting, but not great.

TV: All of my TV viewing has been random repeats of Friends, How I Met Your Mother and other US shows that were airing on TV in India. We did see a piece of an Indian TV show while in a Uber in Hyderabad that we would like to find and watch, but we can’t remember the name and I haven’t been able to find it googling key words. Maybe some day I will find it again.

Books:  I took two ARCS with me to India: We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix and Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer. We Sold Our Souls is about a former member of a metal band who now works at a hotel while her former band mate is a mega-star. When she finds out he is doing a farewell tour she decides to confront him about the end of the band and discovers there might be some evil behind the situation. I enjoyed it. It was a little weird, but it kept me reading. Hope Never Dies is a mystery where the “detectives” are Joe Biden and Barack Obama. They are investigating the death of an Amtrak employee Biden knew from his time riding down when he was in the Senate. It was a nice little cozy type mystery that I would not have read if Biden and Obama were not the main characters. It’s worth a read for the novelty, but that’s it.

My Month or So in Book, Movies and Television

It’s been over a month since I’ve written a “week in review” post of my books, TV and movies. I likely won’t have one next week either as I will be out of the country again. Here are some highlights of what I’ve read and watched over the last month or so.

Books – I’ve read at least seven books since I last wrote one of these posts. I’m sad to say that only to really stand out enough to mention in a good way. Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory and Safe Houses by Dan Fesperman. Spoonbenders is kind of mystery, but with people with some sort of super power. I really liked it. It has potential to be the best one I read this year. Safe Houses is a little more of a straight u mystery, but it does alternate between two time periods and involves some espionage as well. I would highly recommend both.

Movies – I haven’t watched a lot of movies recently. I did finally watch Lady Bird and Shape of Water on the plane to and from London last month. They were both very good, which makes sense since they were nominated for awards. I made my wife and daughter watch It with me. I had already seen it alone, but wanted to watch it again with others. They didn’t hate it as much as they expected to.

Television – I’ve watched a lot more TV than I have movies over the month. I finished season two of Thirteen Reasons Why. It was a good season, but the finale was not great. It coud have been a good ending if they had focused on the friends moving on with life and not added in the scenes setting up the conflict for next season(including a brutal assault scene). I watched season 2 of Santa Clarita Diet. I think it was better than season 1. Timothy Olyphant and Drew Barrymore are very good, but I think I like the scenes with their daughter and the boy next door the best. Finally, a recommendation for a nice, light summer series – Take Two. Take Two stars Rachel Bilson and Eddie Cibrian. Bilson plays an actress who had a breakdown after a break up and is just out of rehab. She once starred in a popular TV cop show. She has a shot at a role as a PI so her friend calls in a favor and gets a former cop and PI, Cibrian, to let her shadow him. She turns out to be good at it, they solve a high profile case and he gets more clients, but they all want her, so she joins the firm. Noting ground breaking, but it is a fun show.

That’s all I’ve got. I will try to get back in the weekly habit once I’m done traveling.

My Week in Books, TV and Movies(5/25)

Here it is – my anticipated by no one weekly review of what I’ve read and watched since last Friday. It’s been a long week filled with prom, trip planning, work around the house, etc but I did manage to find time to read and watch some stuff. I’m sure that means there are things I forgot to do. This weekend will also be filled with very stressful “getting ready for company” cleaning and then the company arrives and a week from today is graduation. I don’t think this post will happen next week. Anyway, here is my week:

Books – I’m reading pretty fast right now because the day I get back from th trip I am going to a high school to do summer reading promotions. I’m trying to get through the books I haven’t read before I leave. It looks like I will be taking my last book with me on the plane. This week I finished As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti and And Then You Die by Cody Cassidy. As You Wish takes place in a small town where everyone gets to make one wish on their 18th birthday. The wish can’t affect anything outside of town. The main character struggles with his wish so he asks others about their wish and the results. I liked it even though I hated the main character. And Then You Die goes through multiple scenarios like “what happens if you go over Niagara Falls in a barrel” and “What would happen if you were swallowed by a whale” It’s interesting, but better to read off and on and not all together.

Television – I’ve been home alone a lot this week, so I’ve watched a good bit of television. I started working my way slowly through the second season of 13 Reasons Why. It’s been pretty good so far, but I’ve been warned(and then googled to read about it) about the last episode being very upsetting. I’m still slowly working my way through Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. Wednesday night after work my daughter and I watched the season finale of Survivor. I still love the show. It will be less fun next year when my daughter is at college and I’m watching alone. I also watched the series finale of The Middle. It was such an underrated show. So much better than others that won multiple awards. It was probably more emotional for me as I am looking toward my youngest heading off to college and the episode was all about Axl leaving home for a new job in Denver. I will miss the Hecks.

Movies – We watched two movies this week: Justice League and Maze Runner: Death Cure. I need to re watch some of Justice League. I did my typical “doze off and miss half the movie” thing. What I saw wasn’t bad. We started Maze Runner early enough that I was able to stay awake for the entire thing. I liked it more than I expected, especially since I can’t really remember what happened in the second movie. It had a good cast and a good mix of action humor and drama. I also liked that they actually allowed major characters to die. I’m not saying I’m a fan of death, but I get frustrated with TV and movies where the characters are always facing death, but never die.

That’s that for the week. I expect I will not have much time to enjoy myself for the next one, so I’m glad I got all that in this week.

My Week in Books, TV and Movies(5/19)

I’m a day late with my weekly review due to my post about the fall TV schedule yesterday. I’m not sure how much I will remember from the week. My mind is muddled from a combination of constant rain, waking up very early for no reason and my daughter’s prom last night.

Books: I finally finished the arc of Splinter in the Blood. I’m not sure the conclusion was worth it. I also finished Sunny by Jason Reynolds. I liked it, but not as much as his other stuff. I read Last Message Received by Emily Trunko, an adaptation of a Tumblr about the last message you received from people. It was kind of depressing. I am now currently reading As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti and Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II.

Television: It is the season of finales and reveals of what is coming next fall. I’ve spent the entire week writing about TV, so I won’t say much here. I did end up watching the series finale of New Girl this week while waiting for my family to be ready to watch something else. I didn’t see any of the rest of the season, but the finale did a good job of wrapping up the show. The Timeless season finale was very good, but still no word on its fate for next season. I finished season 2 of Dear White People on Netflix. Now, on to season 2 of Thirteen Reasons Why.

Movies:  I slept through my wife watching Last Jedi. I have already seen it and was very tired, so I was OK with missing it this time. I watched The Post with my daughter. It was very good, but I can see why people like my wife, who needs action in movies, would be bored watching it. I loved the ending and would be interested to see if they bring back some of the cast to do the Watergate story as well.

I think next week’s post will be heavy on books and light on the others as I will be reading to prepare to do book promotions at a high school and the rest of the time at home will be preparing for guests for my daughter’s graduation and then a trip immediately following graduation.

My Week in Books, TV and Movies(5/11)

Welcome once again to my end of week review of what I’ve read and watched. I hope someone is enjoying them.

Books: I have been reading Splinter in the Blood by Ashley Dyer since last week. It’s not a bad book, but I’m just not really in to it. I never feel compelled to pick it up and only read it when I’m eating lunch at work. I’ve set it aside and have started reading Sunny by Jason Reynolds. It’s good, but I liked the other track series books better. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I just need the right book, but I’ve entered a period of not really wanting to read much lately.

Television: Maybe I’m not wanting to read as much because I have so much to watch on TV. My new DVR is already at 90% full and we have entered the season of finales of the network shows. I’ve been trying to catch up on those shows while also watching Handmaid’s Tale with my family and Dear White People alone. My goal is to finish season 2 of Dear White People this week so I’m ready to start season 2 of Thirteen Reasons Why when it premieres next week. Some bad TV news – Clayne Crawford has been fired from Lethal Weapon and now FOX has to decide if they want to renew the show without him as Riggs. FOX has also canceled Brooklyn 99. These are two of my favorite shows. Network upfronts start Monday, so this blog will turn in to a TV blog soon.

Movies: I’m not sure I watched a movie this week. I think during the times we would normally watch a movie we were watching Handmaid’s Tale. If we watched a movie this week it wasn’t very memorable. I still haven’t seen Infinity War. I need to convince my family to go see it this weekend. I’m not sure how much longer I can avoid the spoilers.

So, that was my week. Hopefully, I will have more to report next week. I would like to say my light week of movies and books meant I was too busy doing other fun stuff, but I didn’t really do anything last week. I guess I just watched a lot of TV.

My Week in Books, TV and Movies

I’m away at a conference and writing this on my iPad so I expect there will be typos. I’m old an can’t type well with my thumbs. I don’t want to get off track on writing these on Fridays, so here I am. It’s been a weird week with one day at my branch, our all day staff meeting and then three days of a conference, so not much to report.

Books – I’m listening to As You Wish by Cary Elwes for book club. I’m not sure I would like it as much if he wasn’t reading it to me. I love the movie The Princess Bride and the book is fun, but maybe I would be bored if reading? I don’t know. I also read Malagash. I picked it up because it won an Alex Award and new nothing about it before I read it. It was a small, beautifully written book about dealing with the impending death of a father.

TV – This has been a down week in my tv viewing because of the busy week. The most interesting part of my tv week was watching shows from my DVR on my phone from my hotel room. I love that service.we are coming up in the network upfronts where the networks reveal their schedules for next season. I will have posts on each announcement. 

Movies – I think I only watched the new Jumanji this week. I enjoyed it. Jack Black channeling a teenage girl was the highlight of the movie. It’s not groundbreaking stuff, but it is a fun two hours and that’s what I wanted from it.

My Week in Books, TV and Movies

Welcome to my Friday summary of what I’ve read and watched this week.

Books – I started reading Noir by Christopher Moore. Chris is one of my favorite authors and, as an added bonus, a really nice guy. I’m about halfway done with the book and I am enjoying it. It took me a while to get in to the noir-speak, but once I got there I really started to enjoy the book. I think listening to it would be fun. I also read For Every One by Jason Reynolds. It is very short and easy to read, but very powerful.

Television – I have had trouble sleeping this week, so many of the times I watched TV this week I was drowsy and missed pieces of the show. I have nothing of import to talk about as far as watching goes. I did watch the first episode of the new season of Westworld, but I will need to watch more to comment. The big TV news for me this week was the news that one of my favorite shows might be canceled because of the behavior of one of the stars. Clayne Crawford, Riggs on Lethal Weapon, has been reprimanded for his behavior on set and one article says he is not speaking to his co-star, Damon Wayans. I was happy that the behavior was not a sexual harassment complaint. I can deal with liking an actor with possible anger issues and given what I’ve read about what caused his “outbursts” I can understand why he might be angry. I hope they resolve the issues. I love the show.

Movies – We watched Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri. I can see why there were so many Oscar nominations. It was very good and the acting was superb. I heard vague rumblings that people were unhappy with the arc of Sam Rockwell’s character. I guess I can see their point, but I didn’t feel like anything in the movie made it seem like his behavior was OK. I think it is more of the “we must be outraged at everything” atmosphere on Twitter these days.

I will be away at a conference next week. The week in review might be delayed.

My Week in Books, Movies and Television

Here it is. My new weekly report on what I am reading and watching. Try to contain your excitement.

Books – My reading pace slowed down significantly this week. I finished American Heart by Laura Moriarty(discussed in last week’s post) and read Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson. I never read the original novel and it’s hard for me to go back and read older books I missed  because I have a steady stream of new books coming to me from the library. It was nice to have the graphic novel version arrive so I could finally read it It is very good.

Movies – We watched American Assassin. I have never read any of the books, so I can’t speak to how it compared. It was a good action movie. Dylan O’Brien seemed a surprising choice for the lead role, but he did a good job. I think his star will continue to rise and he will be our next big movie star. Of course, I once thought the same of Shia LaBeouf, so my judgment is suspect. It was one action movie my daughter willingly watched with us because she loves O’Brien. If you like action movies you should watch it.

Television – Another week of watching a lot of shows on the DVR. Nothing outstanding to report. I’m still, three episodes in, trying to decide if I like Bill Hader’s show Barry on HBO. I like the premise(hit man decides he wants to become an actor) and it has a good cast, but I’m still not sold on it. I recorded the HBO documentary on Elvis, but I want to wait and watch it when I can force my family to watch and understand why I like him so much. We are getting close to the network upfronts and the announcements of next season’s TV schedule. I will have full reports then. Two shows appear to be headed to cancellation. Both Living Biblically and Taken have been pulled from the schedule. Both are mediocre and likely won’t be missed by many.

Hopefully, I will have a report on Noir by Chris Moore in next week’s post. I need to read more this week.

My Week In Books, TV and Movies

Since my last attemt at a weekly post didn’t work, I decided to try something new.  My new weekly Friday post will be about what I have consumed media-wise over the week.  We will see how long it takes for me to stop following through on this one.

Reading – I am reading American Heart by Laura Moriarty. I decided to read it after I read about the controversy surrounding the book. Kirkus gave it a starred review and then took it back after complaints. People are apparently upset that the story is what they consider an offensive white savior narrative. The basic story is that in a world where Muslims are being sent to detention camps a 15 year old white girl has to overcome her prejudices to help a Musim woman escape. I’m about halfway through and my main complaint is that the story is too slow. I don’t have a problem with people not wanting to read the book. I do have a problem with people giving it bad reviews on Goodreads without reading it. I also have a problem with Kirkus changing their review based on complaints, especially since they say the reviewer who gave it the starred review was Muslim. I see the issue with a white savior narrative, but I also see why a white woman would likely tell the story through the eyes of a white woman.

Movies – I watched Wonder with my daughter on my day off on Tuesday. I never read the book, but I knew the general story. A kid with facial differences goes to school for the first time after being homeschooled and deals with bullies and making friends. It was a good movie, for the most part. I liked that they told the story from the perspective of a few different characters. I didn’t think they needed to tack on to the end that the school gave him an award at the end of the year. Wasn’t it enough of a feel good story that he made friends and was able to make friends and overcome the initial bullying? Did anyone else who watched it feel like it was the school saying “look at us. we gave an award to the kid who is different. Aren’t we special”? Or is that just because I watch and love Speechless where they routinely bash schools and organizations who do that sort of thing?

Television: I watch way too much to talk about it all. I will say that I am really enjoying Alex, Inc, but I think you have to be a big Zach Braff fan to like it. I started watching Station 19(the Greys’s Anatomy firefighter spinoff) and like it a lot more than I was expecting. I am a fan of Grey’s though, so I shouldn’t be surprised. I’m also watching Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix. It is Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant in a sitcom where Barrymore plays a realtor who is now undead and has to eat people with Olyphant as her husband. It is very good and it’s fun to see Olyphant play a totally different character than his Justified tough guy.

Other media news:  I finally made the decision to change from the physical delivery of the Washington Post to a digital subscription with Sunday delivery only. I can still read the entire print version of the paper on my iPad, get my coupons, crossword and Sunday comics delivered and save several hundred dollars a year. I’m not sure why I didn’t do this sooner.