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.

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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.

Good Omens!

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite books of all time. I actually still remember the first time I saw the book. I was killing time in the mall in Lexington, KY while my girlfriend(now wife) shopped and found it on a display. I will admit that at the time I was not really familiar with Gaiman at the time. The book seemed interesting, but I didn’t have the money to buy books, so I made note of the title so I could eventually get it from the library. I am glad I did. I loved it. I’ve gone on to read more Gaiman and Pratchett, but only Neverwhere comes close to Good Omens for me. That might be because I read Neverwhere right before my first ever trip to London. I love the city and probably love the book a little more because of that.

I eventually made my wife go with me to a Gaiman signing at Joseph Beth in Lexington so she could get extra stuff signed for me. He signed both Neverwhere and Good Omens(and eventually more and the National Book Festival in DC later). I eventually moved to DC and, of course, my signed books moved with me. Some time after I moved to DC, The Washington Post hosted a few book events and one of them was Terry Pratchett discussing Good Omens. I signed myself up and after a slight delay from a random DC bigwig motorcade got to the venue to see him, signed Good Omens in hand. He was very pleased when I met him to see the book was already signed by Gaiman and signed a response to his. The book is now one of my prized possessions. I’ve been anticipating this show for a long time. I don’t think my family understands why I’m so excited about it. I don’t think they will read this to understand it. They will just have to suffer through me making them watch the trailer and me talking about it until it finally airs.

My Week in Books, TV, and Movies 3/1/19

In an odd week for me, I actually have more screen to report on than books. I’m not sure that is a good thing.

Movies – I watched Night School this week. My expectations were low. I wasn’t expecting much more than the usual Kevin Hart plays Kevin Hart, but without The Rock to help make the move better movie. It was, indeed, Kevin Hart playing Kein Hart. I’m pretty sure that’s all he will ever be able to do. It was also a lot of Tiffany Haddish playing Tiffany Haddish. If you like Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish, this is the movie for you. If not, skip it. It did have a good supporting cast and there was more of a story than I expected. It wasn’t a bad way to kill a couple of hours on my morning off. It was better than cleaning toilets. They should make that the tag line.

TV – I recorded Whiskey Cavalier when it aired after the Oscars. The only part of the Oscars I watched was the Queen opener. I enjoyed the performance and I’m tired of people complaining who apparently think Queen should never perform again unless the can bring back zombie Freddie Mercury. We did watch Whiskey Cavalier. I like Scott Foley, Laren Cohan, Tyler James Williams and Josh Hopkins(a Kentucky guy!) and I’m a sucker for the romantic action comedy shows like this so I was predisposed to like it. Guess what? I did really like it. It was fun. I enjoyed Foley being the heartbroken romantic and Cohan being the hard, I don’t believe in love type. Tyler James Williams was good as the computer hacker they were both after and I’m glad he will be a part of the team going forward. It won’t win any awards, but I would recommend it. I’m watching the season finale of A Million Little Things while I write this. It has become one of my favorite shows.

Books – I didn’t finish a book this week I’m still reading How Long Til Black Future Month by NK Jemisin. Short story collections always slow me down. For some reason, it takes me a lot longer to read short stories than it does to read a novel. Probably because it’s easy to put it down once I finish a story and it’s harder to get into another story once I finish one I really liked. I am determined not to abandon it like I usually abandon story collection. I only have about 100 pages left. I can do this.

On Deck – I have Bohemian Rhapsody and First Man on DVD. I’m happy that AP Bio and For the People season premieres are this week.  After I finish the short story book I will continue reading If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin. I already had the physical book checked out and then got the e-book version when I found myself stranded somewhere without a book(a rookie mistake). I like what I’ve read so far and I’m looking forward to continuing the story.

My Week in Books, TV, and Movies 2/15/19

This week I actually have a movie, a book and a new TV show to write about. It’s been a while since that’s happened. One of the benefits of a three day weekend.

Movies – I didn’t watch any new movies this week. I have a couple of DVDs of newer movies but instead of watching them I watched random movies on cable. Friday I watched Footloose again because it was on IFC. I still love it. Saturday, I found Cooties and HBO. I always meant to watch it, but never did so I was happy to stumble across it. It’s a horror comedy set in an elementary school where a virus turns all the kids into crazed cannibals. The teachers, including Elijah Wood and Rainn Wilson, fight to survive. I enjoyed it.

TV – I spent a lot of time watching my normal shows and The Walking Dead returned, so there was a lot of TV this week. The one new show I watched this week was Miracle Workers on TBS. It is based on a book by Simon Rich. I really like Simon Rich. The show stars Steve Buscemi as God and Daniel Radcliffe as an angel in the answered prayers department. A young, idealistic angel is transferred to the department and wants to answer bigger prayers. Her conversation with God leads to his decision to destroy Earth and then to a bet. If they can answer an impossible prayer, Earth will be saved. I really liked it. I laughed several times. Buscemi is really good as God. Daniel Radcliffe and Geraldine Viswanathan are good as the angels. It’s a good cast with good writing. I say watch it.

Books – I finished On the Come Up by Angie Thomas. It takes place in Garden Heights, same as The Hate U Give(the events of THUG are mentioned), but with new characters. This one is the story of Bri, an aspiring rapper who lives with her recovering addict mom and underemployed college graduate brother. They struggle financially and Bri dreams of making it big to help them pay the bills. Her first song goes viral and attracts a lot of attention from bad places. I don’t know if I liked it as much as THUG, but it was close. Thomas is very good. I do think Bri’s story was more interesting and the stakes were higher when it came to her decisions. That might resonate more with some readers.

On Deck – I’m reading The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams. I might need to take a break from this one because I need to finish An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon by next Friday for book club and I haven’t even started it. I don’t think I will get to the movies I have on DVD, so I have no idea if I will watch a movie this week. Maybe I will get to True Detective at some point.

My Week in Books, TV, and Movies 2/7/19

I’m back to spending a lot of time alone, so I’m back to watching more TV and reading a little bit more. I still need to work on balancing my time between screen and books, but after my day at work, it’s much easier to veg out in front of the TV than focus on a book. On to the review…

Movies – We watched Tag this week. It is based on a Wall Street Journal article about a group of guys who have been playing a game of Tag for years. In the movie, Ed Helms, Hannibal Burress, Jake Johnson, Jon Hamm, and Jeremy Renner are childhood friends who have been playing for 30 years. Renner’s character has never been tagged and the movie revolves around the others using his wedding as a chance to finally get him. It will never be nominated for an award, but it was fun and I would recommend it.

TV – I still didn’t watch anything new again this week. It was still a catch-up week for me. I watched multiple episodes of A Million Little Things and Suits. I stayed current on Grey’s Anatomy. We caught up on New Amsterdam and The Resident and now I have their storylines all mixed together and I can’t remember what story matches which doctor show. I was happy that A Million Little Things was renewed this week. I really like it. So far the only show I watch and care about that has not been renewed is All American. I don’t get how Dynasty was renewed and this one is still awaiting its fate. The big TV news this week was that Modern Family will end after next season. It’s probably past time for that to happen. I wonder if they will consider a spin-off like they did with The Middle before opting against it.

Books – I finished three books this week:

Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina – The Newbery winner about a young girl who is dealing with being the poor kid at a private school and also her grandfather’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. It is a very good book aimed at upper elementary and middle school readers.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo – The Printz winner about a high school girl who is a poet writing about her life living with a very religious mother, first love and reading her poetry aloud for the first time. I listened to the audio read by the author who is a former National Slam champion. If you can, do the audio for this one. It is very good and only three discs if you are old like me and use CD’s still.

Damsel by Elana Arnold – Ama is a damsel who is rescued from a dragon by the prince. She has no memory of anything before this and is told that this is the way of life. The damsel is rescued, marries the prince, has a son and then that son rescues a damsel and the circle continues. Ama resists not having a choice in life. It was good, but I hope the author didn’t think the end was a shock. I saw it coming almost from the beginning. This was a Printz Honor book.

On Deck – I’m reading On the Come Up by Angie Thomas. I have Mid90’s and Halloween on DVD from the library. Odds are my wife won’t want to watch them. Maybe this is the week I finally watch True Detective.

My Week in Books, TV, and Movies 2/1/19

It’s another light week for me in terms of things on the screen, but I did finally watch a movie. You would think with so little to report screen-wise, I would have more to report in reading. I have no idea what I’m doing with my time.

Movies – I was about to say that I didn’t watch a movie again this week, but then I remembered that we got The Hate U Give from Redbox last Friday. My daughter and I both loved the book and wanted to see the movie before she went back to school so we decided to splurge and spend the $1.89 instead of waiting for the free DVD from the library. I thought they did a really good job with the adaptation. My daughter was mad that she thought they made the relationship between Starr and Khalil more than just friends because we wouldn’t believe she cared so much if they were just friends. I would highly recommend it.

TV – This is where all of my time has gone. I haven’t watched anything new this week, but I’ve watched a lot of TV. With our trip away and with my daughter being home, I am way behind on the shows I record and watch alone. I’ve spent this week catching up on shows like Grey’s Anatomy, All American and the random sit-coms I watch. Suits also returned this week so I watched an episode of that as well. I still need to watch several episodes of A Million Little Things, Vikings and Manifest and I still need to start the new season of True Detective.

Books – I finished the nonfiction book What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia by Elizabeth Catte. It was interesting, especially if you are from or have spent time in Appalachia. It was also interesting in that she had a lot of bad things to say about JD Vance and Hillbilly Elegy and linked him to people who were involved in eugenics. The Youth Media Awards were announced Monday morning at the ALA Midwinter Conference. I now have a lot of books from that list checked out from the library. I did finish one of them, The Unwanted by Don Brown. It is a graphic novel about the Syrian refugees and won an award. I was underwhelmed. The art was not fantastic and the text was OK, but not great. I’m not sure why it won an award.

On Deck – I still have no movies from the library. I did record Tag when it was on HBO last week, but I don’t know when I will have time to watch it. TV will still be filled with catch up. Maybe I will get to the first episode of True Detective this week. I’m almost finished reading the Newbery winner, Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina and almost finished with the audio of the Printz Award winner, The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo and have a big pile of other award winners waiting so I will have a lot of books to talk about next week.