What are you up to/What have you been up to this weekend? I am finally having a relatively quiet weekend, which is nice! The week ahead is pretty busy though…
Here is some book stuff, TV stuff and music stuff that has been keeping me busy!
I am reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It was one of the books on my 2022 all-ebook TBR. It’s been living on my Kindle for a while, ever since I picked it up for like 99p or something. I have read a couple of Neil Gaiman books and thought I’d give this one a go, because it sounded so weird. We have tried to watch the Netflix show, but never got past the first episode. Mainly because I had no idea what was going on. I am just over halfway in the book and I still have no idea what’s going on. I think I am enjoying it. It does take quite a bit of reading for me. You know how you sometimes fly through the pages of a book? This is not one of those for me. I have to read it quite consciously. Maybe that’s a good thing. I am not sure, but it makes it quite slow going. The book is almost 675 pages long, so I hope there is a pay-off in the end. However it ends, I think I will be glad to tick this one off my TBR.
Have you read American Gods? What did you think?
The only other book I am reading at the moment is Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees by Roger Deakin. I have this one in a lovely Penguin paperback, but I decided to listen to it on audio, which I think was the right decision. The narrator is doing a great job and I am enjoying the subject and the way the author chooses to talk about these trees. It’s very much part travel writing and nature writing, which I love. I find nature based books like this very relaxing to listen to.
Incidentally, both American Gods and Wildwood have an average rating of 4.11 on Goodreads.
I am already looking at what I might be reading next and I think I may pick up The Reader by Bernhard Schlink. I picked that one up from a charity shop at some point and I think I may be in the mood for it. That may change though… We’ll see…
The other options is a big fantasy book, but I am reading a big fantasy-type book now, so I feel like I need to read something different inbetween. Though American Gods mainly has a contemporary setting and is kind of more magical realism feel I guess.
As for my next audio book when I get to it – I hope this week – I think I may actually take a deep breath and dive into Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I have always been really scared of Dickens, but I found a version narrated by Matt Lucas and I think he would do a good job.
TV & FILM
What have I been watching? I have not watched many movies at all. The only movie I watched was Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which is a French movie and it was a gorgeously shot slow movie. I liked it a lot. It reminded me of Call Me By Your Name in the way the natural sounds was utilized. It is set in 19th century France I think. I enjoyed it a lot.
Series wise, we have recently finished a few. We watched The Time Traveler’s Wife, which both me and my husband enjoyed quite a bit. I haven’t read the book and I don’t think I have any interest to, but the series was a fun time.
We also finished watching Obi-Wan Kenobi. We both enjoyed it a lot. I thought Ewan McGregor was great as Obi-Wan again. I love him so much as an actor. I though the focus of the series was interesting and the actress that plays little Princess Leia was fantastic!
We still have one episode to go of Stranger Things, I think, and we just watched the first episode of The Umbrella Academy.
If you can recommend some series that are on Prime, Netflix or HBO please let me know!
I went to three gigs during June and they definitely guided what I listened to these past few weeks.
The first one I saw was Arooj Aftab. I saw her in beautiful venue in Amsterdam, which used to be a catholic church, but is no longer functioning as such. She was amazing. She had one guy with her who played double bass and a lady who played the electric harp, who was suitably electric!
Then I saw two gigs in a row and both happened to be Belgian musicians. The first was a young Belgian guy called Tamino. He was absolutely fantastic – so so good. It was the first time seeing him in live and I already bought tickets to see him in the autumn. He was incredible live, as was his band, which includes Radiohead’s Colin Greenwood. I was going to put a live video here, but they are all quite old, as he only just appeared from the Covid abyss again. Instead I will stick in the video for one of his new songs – and a beautiful video it is too!
Finally I saw Belgian band Balthazar for the third time this year. I never meant to see them three times, but it just ended up that way. It looks like they will go on an extended break after the summer so despite three times being a bit overkill, I enjoyed every single time, as they are just such a fun time live. I always come away feeling completely destressed and happy. Afterwards me and my friend ended up sitting outside in a square for a couple of hours just having some cocktails, snacks and chatting. It was a late night, but a fun one! Always good when you combine live music with time spent with good friends.
I also binged quite a lot of the Glastonbury and Pinkpop Festival content.
Here are some of my favourites from that:
Phoebe Bridgers with Arlo Parks
Inhaler (who I saw live a month or two ago)
I will leave things here for now. These were the cultural things I needed to get of my chest!
Is there anything you want to share? Music you have been listening to? Books you think everyone should read? A series or movie you really enjoyed?