The first part of this year has involved a lot of reading and film watching! The desire for escapism is at its peak at the moment.
So here are my highlights…
LIE WITH ME – Sabine Durrant.
Brilliant. Addictive. Clever and witty and sharp, like I was watching in real life. Not a word on the page wasted.
THE ESSEX SERPENT – Sarah Perry
I was given this to read. It wouldn’t have been my first choice because I’d have assumed it would take too long and I have very little time. But I was surprised by the pace and the quirks. You can actually whip through it and then go back and linger on the clever, beautiful bits. A bundle of unique characters all vividly still with you long after the book is finished.
THE NAKANO THRIFT SHOP – Hiromi Kawakami
I LOVED this! It was a present and I’ve never read any Japanese translated fiction before but I will now. I realised while reading this that there are some books you want to race through to the end and others that you just want to live inside. You go to bed half an hour early to be in the pages. This for me was that. I just adored being in the gentle, clever, sweet, interesting, intriguing world. A lovely book.
LA LA LAND
I’ve already written a whole piece about this. But I would say, it’s the only film I’ve been to the cinema to see twice. And the only film I’ve been to the cinema to see on my own! Shock horror. But the seal has been broken, I’m going to go solo way more often. It’s very mellow (once you’ve moved away from the people chatting over popcorn through all the emotional bits).
WESTWORLD (TV version)
This was a roller coaster for me. Brilliant at the beginning. Bit slow in the middle and a bit too focused on the violence. Excellent at the end.
Completely not what I expected! I sat down thinking it would be all Wes Anderson kooky and then suddenly everyone is running around half-naked killing deer. But it’s really good! And Viggo’s great.
BRIDGET JONES’S BABY
So nice to be back in Bridget’s world. Fall-off-the-sofa funny at times. Best choice at the end but worried that Bridget would still be lonely once credits rolled.
And, in case you’re interested, in the Under 3s world I have enjoyed:
TOPSY AND TIM – massive nostalgia, so strong I can almost taste it.
TOR FREEMAN – Brilliant illustrator.
More SHIRLEY HUGHES – can’t get enough of Alfie and Lucy & Tom
TOY STORY 1, 2 & 3 – just get better every time you watch them (I may live to regret that statement).
Not a bad start to the year, as far as excellent escapism goes.