Thursday, 28 June 2012

Seen & heard: June 2012


1. I'm a fan of both Joseph Gordon-Levitt (although to me, he will always be the adorable kid from 10 Things I Hate About You) and Seth Rogen.  While both play very much to type here, with Gordon-Levitt as a winsome, sensitive guy and Rogen as his crude best buddy, I enjoyed this 'cancer comedy' very much.
2. I should have loved this film - cool indie soundtrack, two of my favourite actors (the aforementioned JGL and the wonderful Zooey Deschanel) - but it just grated on me.  A real disappointment.
3. I went to see 2 Days In New York yesterday and, although I didn't like it as much as 2 Days In Paris, it was still an enjoyable film, especially Chris Rock's performance as the put-upon boyfriend of Julie Delpy's main character.

1. I've already written about how much I loved this book, so I won't repeat myself except to say READ IT NOW!
2. I've been looking forward to the Writing Britain exhibition at the British Library since I saw it advertised back in January, but felt a bit let down.  Not a patch on some of their recent exhibitions.
3. I'm a passionate and vocal fan of Wolf Hall, pressing copies upon unsuspecting friends and family members with regularity.  So I was always likely to find the sequel, Bring Up The Bodies, an anti-climax.  I did enjoy Mantel's retelling of the fall of Anne Boleyn, just not quite as much as I did the first novel in the series.

1. I recently read a fabulous post on Thoughts From The Hearthfire - a (mostly YA fiction) book review blog - about female masturbation in YA novels.  Not a topic I've ever devoted too much energy to, but it was a really thought-provoking read, and made me hunt out my copy of Judy Blume's Deenie for a long overdue re-read.
2. Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series - about a soulless heroine married to a werewolf in an alternate-reality Victorian-era London - is a guilty pleasure of mine.  I know that the summary sounds awful, and really the books are cheesy as hell, but they have more than enough humour and steampunkish flair to keep me entertained.  I was sad to learn that Timeless was the last in the series.
3. I'm quite embarrassed to say that I enjoyed Eat Pray Love.  It just doesn't feel like a book I should have liked - too much banging on about God and finding yourself and so much Western privilige - but Elizabeth Gilbert writes in a very winning style, funny and touching and honest.


1. With a lead singer whose distinctive voice is definitely an acquired taste, Alt-J won't be everyone's bag.  But so far I am liking their debut album, An Awesome Wave, a lot.  Sometimes electronica, sometimes folk, sometimes alt-pop (and often all three at once), it's well worth a listen.
2. Fiona Apple is back (finally!) with another album with an unweildy title: The Idler Wheel...  I've only give it one cheeky listen on Spotify prior to buying a copy this weekend, but so far I love it.


  1. I was so surprised to enjoy 50/50; I couldn't see how a cancer comedy could be anything but tasteless or overly sentimental, but I thought it was absolutely lovely.

    I also liked 500 Days of Summer, mind you, but if I'd been in anything other than a whimsical mood the first time I saw it it would probably have grated on me.

  2. I absolutely love 500 Days of Summer and could watch it again and again (I also love the soundtrack...) - although perhaps Sarah is right about being in the right mood...

    50/50... I was 50/50 on! To be fair, I watched it on a plane, so I'm sure I fully absorbed it as I should.

    Alt J's album is excellent! Cannot get enough - have you seen the video of them singing Tesselate live with a choir?

    - B

  3. I was so surprised that I felt lukewarm towards 500 Days..., it has everything I should like in a film but I just wasn't feeling it. Obviously not in the right mood.

    1. I think i enjoyed 500 days when i saw it but now i cringe a bit when i think about it! Zooey is just so mean in it! I did really enjoy 50/50 and generally love anything Joseph G-L is in.

  4. I couldn't agree with you more about [500] Days of Summer. It should have been excellent, but fell flat.
    Both Alt-J and Fiona Apple are on my 'to listen to' list (along with the new Metric album).

    1. I heard the new Metric single on 6 Music and was underwhelmed.