October 2017 Reading Wrap Up

As anticipated from last month’s wrap up, October brought a bunch of newly released gems out into the world. It was a month to remember.
In total I read 10 books:

Honorable Mention:
Season two of Stranger Things was released this last Friday, and you know I had to binge-watch the shit out of it in a day… Mostly because I was scared to get spoiled online, but also because once you get hooked it’s nearly impossible to leave Hawkins behind.

The plot, courtesy of this article: Stranger Things season 2 begins nearly a year after the first installment, on Halloween in Hawkins, Indiana. (The boys are going as the Ghostbusters, naturally.) Will has rejoined his pals after being rescued from Things’ alternate dimension, the Upside Down. But all is not well with young Mr. Byers, as evidenced by the slug he coughed up in season 1’s final moments.

I came late to the hype behind the first season, having watched it only 5 months prior to the sequel’s release. But thankfully that turned out to have its benefits, since my mind was still fresh with certain plot points to start my binge-watch right away. I also went in knowing exactly what I wanted from the ongoing arc: Eleven’s backstory, my boy Dustin Henderson with his ragtag group of loveable nerds, and Jonathan with Nancy, of course.

The season started out with a bang (quite literally). And I’m beyond grateful that I got what I wanted and so much more:

(SEASON TWO SPOILERS BELOW)

  • The plot is a bit slow going at first, but once it caught a rhythm I couldn’t bring my eyes off the screen, so much so that the mere act of blinking actually hurt after awhile.
  • The autumn aesthetic is strong here. Plus, the attention paid to detail in each shot is mind-boggling.
  • We’re introduced to Lucas Sinclair’s family, and I was living for his sister’s one-liners:

The true star of this show.

  • We have so many new character dynamics I wasn’t even prepared to love: Chief Jim Hopper and Eleven, Dustin and Steve Harrington… Speaking of the latter, Dustin is my sun and stars and my love for him knows no bounds.
  • On a more grim note, we get to see Eleven visit her mother, Terry Ives, and finally find out the truth about her history. I can only say that the backstory is chillingly terrifying. But it just goes to show the brilliant masterminds that are behind Stranger Things.

Sunflower, 3 to the Right, 4 to the Left, Rainbow

The thought put behind the words the mother repeated left me shaking. Truly one of the most intricately thought-out backstories.

  • Last but not least, I have to mention my favorite build-up finally happening between Nancy and Jonathan… And let me just say that the anticipation leading up to their moment was DELICIOUS:

I can live on happily now.

Overall, I can say without a doubt that Stranger Things delivered so much with its newest season. It was the little things like I mentioned above that make the series feel much more real to me. Simply put, season two was Bitchin’.


That was my October wrap-up, thank you for reading!

Advertisements

September 2017 Reading Wrap Up

My reading picked up a lot more steam this month, compared to August that left me in quite a slump, thanks to many exciting September releases. I’m ecstatic to see what’s to come in the next reading season.
In total I read 10 books this month:

Honorable Mention:
Season four of Broad City was released earlier this month, so I finally decided to cave in and give it a go on a whim, thanks to Rosh Hashanah. I had seen the start of the pilot years ago, but quickly made my exit when I realized the introducing scene wasn’t my cup of tea. I then became convinced that the whole show must be on the same level of raunchiness as said scene and that, consequently, the comedy relied solely on showing non-stop sex scenes. I WAS WRONG, OF COURSE.

The series was created by and stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson as two Jewish American best friends who navigate everyday life in New York City. And I have to say that the direction the writers and actors took this show from season to season truly impressed me at every turn. I can’t believe my past-self thought Broad City would be overrated or overhyped, this is the one show that truly lives up to its reputation and continues to rise over and actively raise the bar of expectations.

Funnily enough, when I made the choice to give the series a go this month, I started from the season four premiere, which was unknowingly the best decision, because in it we have the origin story of Abbi and Ilana’s friendship back in 2011. I ended up binge-watching the show in just two days in reverse chronological order. Which I’m frankly glad to have done because the later episodes are one of my favorites.

Plus, having read I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn, Allison Raskin, who share a very similar dynamic to Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, couldn’t have been more perfect right before watching the series. My fellow Jewish women are on top of their game, and I feel like a proud mother. Broad City is really the most taken back I’ve been by a TV show in ages. I’m pretty sure the last time I was this surprised was with Skam back in December.

So now is when I let the art speak for itself because I couldn’t even begin to encompass the brilliancy that goes on in the minds of those that deliver the iconic Broad City scenes time after time. The comedic timing is utterly and completely unique.

Ilana Wexler is honestly unlike anyone I’ve ever encountered about before. And I’m obsessed.

I feel rejuvenated.

I was floored by this whole episode season.

I’ll end with sharing THE BEST dialogue I got to experience and then non-stop quoting in head:

This show has no boundaries as to where it will go, and I am so here for it. To be honest, it was a whirlwind of a binge-watch, but Broad City has without a doubt made a new fan out of me.

Favorite current episodes include: The Lockout” (1X04), “Hurricane Wanda” (1X07), “In Heat” (2X01), “Kirk Steele” (2X08), “Coat Check” (2X09), the entirety of season three (not even kidding), “Sliding Doors” (4X01).


That was my September wrap-up, thank you for reading!

July 2017 Reading Wrap Up

My reading hasn’t quite picked up its momentum from last month, but I did have more literary gems thrown in here for which I’m grateful.
In total I read 15 books in July:

Honorable Mention:
I unexpectedly sat dawn to watch the Netflix film To the Bone in one sitting.

Trigger warning: eating disorder.

I’ve been putting off watching this particular film for a while now because of the potential triggers it may cause. In the end I decided to give it a chance based on this Buzzfeed article featuring the poem “Courage” by Anne Sexton. I was curious to then experience the written piece on screen to see if it would hold a different punch/ impact once spoken out loud instead of in your head. I was mainly thinking about how Hannah Baker’s poem in 13 Reasons Why felt like a visceral change from reading it alone.

Speaking of the later, the post linked below is a crucial one to consider:

So I was still hesitant for the first ten minutes of To the Bone, fearing the usage of grotesque and triggering images to tell Ellen’s tale. But I gradually leaned into the unraveling and development of the story when I realized that this film is focused mainly on the recovery of the character as she battles anorexia, rather than having an hour focused on the triggering bits and then ten minutes of recovery in a montage-esque bit, as many media pieces (books and movies) have done in the past. So the entire premise being set around joining Dr. William Beckham’s inpatient program on the road to recovery felt like the weight of the world was removed off my shoulders. Side note: I did end up having to avert my eyes off the screen a handful of times, but compared to what I was initially expecting, I felt out of the woods by the end of it.

I was then consequently won over by the utterly phenomenal characters introduced into Ellen’s life. From the honest and sage adviser Dr. William Beckham, played by Keanu Reeves, to the upbeat ballet dancer, Luke, always ready to act as a moral cheerleader (and a complete show stealer) for those in need, to the five additional women and girls being treated alongside Ellen. Each brings with them a shattering and unflinching clarity to the screen.

However, To the Bone had me so essentially enraptured in all the characters thanks to its ability to capture the moments that go by unnoticed but end up meaning so very much to the overarching theme. There’s meaningful intention behind every little gesture and glance exchanged between the different characters, and getting to experience and take notice of it from the sidelines felt pretty groundbreaking.

Another thing I would like to highlight was the downright amazing and vibrant performance made by Lily Collins, who plays the main character Ellen. After having read and reviewed her book of essays earlier this year, I was more than curious to see her take on such a personal role. It’s needless to say that she was more than resounding and full of magnitude.

The film is equal parts dynamic, honest, goofy, dark, and whimsy with a noteworthy ending. Plus, the soundtrack left me with a resounding yes and an unparalleled need to hear every song over and over.


That was my July wrap-up, thank you for reading!