So it’s the end of August which means summer is ending, college is already consuming my life, and there is a new favorites post. I haven’t posted a favorites list for the last two months since I was traveling most of the time, but I am back to regularly posting. Enjoy!
- Cloud Atlas (David Mitchell)– A sweeping book, spanning time and space. The novel focuses on multiple stories set in different eras, from the 1800s to the 70’s to an apocalyptic world. Some may say the plot is too contrived and the way Mitchell set the book up is too pretentious, but I disagree. I loved the way he wrote, and how he transitioned from genre to genre so smoothly and efficiently. I also thought the message was beautiful; that our actions affect more than just ourselves, they have consequences for years to come and that our souls live on in other things, other places, other people.
- The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy)– Wow, this book tore me up in ways I can’t really explain. First of all the writing is incredible, absolutely a work of art. Roy is an artist with words and the way she crafts the plot is masterful. The story itself is intriguing, heartbreaking and beautiful; the message as well is important and powerful. Please read this book!
- Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Benjamin Alire Saenz)– I picked this up at the library with apprehension. For starters, it’s in the YA category which I’m not always a fan of, and the plot seemed a little cheesy. But I was definitely wrong; those great things I was hearing about the novel were in fact true. This was one of my favorite YA novels, maybe even my favorite one. The story was touching, funny and beautifully insightful. There really wasn’t an actual plot; it focused on a boy dealing with anger and sadness he can’t understand, and how a new friend opened up something significant inside of him. I found Saenz’s writing style refreshing for YA as it wasn’t dumbed down or trying too hard; it was simple but impactful. An incredible book.
- Heroes (Peter Gabriel)– I love David Bowie’s original and it has always been one of my favorite songs, but this version really struck a chord in me too. I heard it on Stranger Things, and thought it was an interesting take on the song.
2. Sing Street soundtrack– I recently saw John Carney’s most recent film Sing Street; I’m a huge fan of his work, which includes two of my favorite films of all time, Once and Begin Again. His films are always music related and typically focus on singers and whatnot. The original soundtracks to both Once and Begin Again are great, although Once will be my favorite film soundtrack. Sing Street’s is 80’s themed, since the film is set in 1980’s Dublin, and is pretty awesome. Here are a couple of my favorite songs from the film, Drive it like you stole it, and Up.
3. Song for Zula (Phosphorescent)– I heard this on the trailer for Captain Fantastic,a while ago (a little indie flick I still need to see) and now I’ve listened to it more than I should; it’s actually quite depressing when you listen to the lyrics and made me cry the first couple of times I listened to it. First love is tough, heartbreak is hard to get over, and the sound of the singer’s voice in the song achingly conveys this pain of wanting to let go but not being able to.
- Stranger Things– Ok, can we just talk about this show for a second. Netflix really hit the jackpot with this one. I am not a sci fi person and yet this show became my new obsession. The style, the characters, the writing and soundtrack are all incredible; Stephen King, Spielberg and Wes craven had a baby and this was it. Incredibly addicting and I suggest you go watch it when you’re done reading this post.
- The Killing– another show on Netflix (originally AMC) that I started bingeing recently and I just finished all four seasons. This is my type of crime show; a slow burner, more focus on character than flashy plotlines, and intriguing story. The atmosphere is very dark and moody, and the chemistry between the two leads is unreal. What I liked most though, was how normal the actors looked and acted. None of the characters were incredibly gorgeous, no one was perfect, there were no black and white actions. It was realistic with flawed characters, a strong female lead and normal looking people doing the best they can (most of the time)
- Sing Street– another good film by John Carney, although Once will always be my favorite by him. This one takes place in 1980’s Dublin, focusing on a boy’s experiences growing up and forming a band to attract the attention of a mysterious girl he meets. It’s funny, poignant, heartbreaking at times and accompanied by great original songs. Not as serious as Once or Begin Again, and with a bit of a happier ending too.
- Black Mirror– an obscure little british show, one season long, and weird as hell. A bit like the Twilight Zone, but darker and really creepy. Each episode is a different story, and revolves around technology/media in relation to society. They are futuristic, some more than others, but all show scenarios in wich technology, social media, etc. has gone awry. There are some interesting concepts and definitely intriguing plotlines, albeit quite strange.