madam secretary

13
Oct
2019

READ

Passing Strange – Ellen Kloges

A short little book about witches living in New Orleans that preserve themselves in artwork.


Writers: Their Lives and Works – James Naughtie

A brief overview of several different authors, including some I was not aware of

National Geographic July 2019

Eye to Eye – Frans Lanting

This is such a beautiful book of photography from Frans Lanting. I particularly love his photos of elephants and the different wild cats.

Moscow: An Illustrated History – Kathleen Berton Murrell

This was an interesting short history (with black and white illustrations) of how the capital city of Moscow came to be.

Monster, She Wrote – Lisa Kroger and Melanie R Andersen

This is an absolutely fascinating book about all the pioneering (and a lot of forgotten) female writers of horror, ghost stories and speculative fiction. A lot of these women were sometimes the first in their fields, predating men who are often considered the pioneers.

WATCHED

Madam Secretary

4×15 The Unnamed – Well this had shades of Aung San Suu Kyi and the Rohingya.

4×16 My Funny Valentine – Puppies!

4×17 Phase Two

4×18 The Friendship Game

4×19 Thin Ice

4×20 The Things We Get to Say

The Originals (Parent’s First Watch)

3×05 The Axeman’s Letter – They completely agree Aurora is nuts

3×06 Beautiful Mistake – They loved Freya breaking the necks of all the Strix

3×07 Out of the Easy – They thought the Thanksgiving decorations and dinner were excellent, and were most approving of Freya breaking Aurora’s neck.

3×08 The Other Girl in New Orleans – They got quite the shock when they saw Finn! 

3×09 Savior – They loved the Christmas decorations. Totally didn’t see the ending with Cami’s death coming. They also were quite shocked at Elijah having to dagger Rebekah!

3×10 A Ghost Along the Mississippi – Dad says this show has some of the best scriptwriting ever. They totally didn’t see Cami pulling the switch with Aurora and locking Tristan in the box coming!

Joanna Lumley’s Silk Road Adventure

1×01 Venice, Albania and Turkey – Utterly stunning scenery and fascinating information

NCIS

16×02 Love Thy Neighbour – This show is getting good again. So glad Maria Bello is in it. And this was an excellent piece of character development for Torres

The Team

2×05 I’m glad Tarek and Rasha are okay.

2×06 Seriously Nelly and Gregor? Did we HAVE to? Also, it’s like no one can kill the maniac birdwatcher!

2×07

2×08 I’m glad someone finally got the maniac birdwatcher. He was nuts!

Elementary

1×03 Child Predator – This episode was so good. Such twists!

The Blacklist

5×03 Miss Rebecca Thrall (No 76) – This show has lost something along the way. The writing is not as tight, and the characters are acting out of character.

06
Oct
2019

READ

My dog Rosie with the book Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers by Sady Doyle
Rosie with Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers by Sady Doyle

Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers – Sady Doyle

An interesting read on the tropes and different ways women have been portrayed in popular culture. The theory on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is fascinating.

Border Line – Mishell Baker

A book with a disabled, mentally ill protagonist is a rare find indeed. I just wish the ending was better.

A Room Of One’s Own – Adrian Mourby

A romp through the different places most identified with particular writers

Final Chapters – Jim Bernhard

How writers lived their last days – with the interesting addition of the individual writers’ thoughts on death.

WATCHED

Madam Secretary

4×10 Women Transform the World

4×11 Mitya – Here we go, Stevie’s parents are wrong, again. She’s adult and can date who she likes.

4×12 Sound and Fury

4×13 Reading the Signs

4×14 Refuge

Elementary

1×02 While You Were Sleeping – First Marcus episode

The Originals 

2×21 Fire With Fire – Figured Klaus was going to be cranky

2×22 Ashes to Ashes – Great episode all around

3×01 For the Next Millennium – Don’t like Lucien. They were confused over why Aurora was in the Buddhist Temple

3×02 You Hung the Moon – Well we agree Davina’s making bad choices. Were surprised at Lucien’s little werewolf venom cure and agree that Aurora and Tristan are creepy

3×03 I’ll See You In Hell or New Orleans

3×04 A Walk on the Wild Side – They loved Freya punching Alexis

The Blacklist

5×02 Greyson Blaise (No 37).-Better than 5×01 but still lacking…something

The Flash

3×21 Cause and Effect – One of the funniest episodes we’ve had in a while.

Hawaii 5-0

Kapu – Look at little Andy Lawrence all grown up!

Inspector Rex

2×1 – Silent Screams – love Rex helping the little girl

Arrow

5×21 Honor Thy Fathers  – Not as good as the last episode – clearly what happens when there is not enough focus on Felicity

29
Sep
2019

Adding in the extra Saturday from last week.

READ

National Geographic History – July/August 2019

National Geographic – August 2019

Fascinating look at migration and how it affects the world.

National Geographic – September 2019

This was a really interesting issue not he Arctic, and how it is melting during climate change. It also had a fascinating article on the dangers of the permafrost melting.

WATCHED

Madam Secretary

4×06 Loophole

4×07 North to the Future – Kat Sandoval looks so smart in her suit.

4×08 The Fourth Estate

4×09 Minefield – I think Stevie would be an awesome President. Kat Sandoval is awesome.

The Team

2×02

2×03 – Is it really necessary for Gregor to hit on every woman he encounters? Also, I hope Helle did kill Morten because he is a creepy psycho Nazi

2×04 – So sad. Psycho Nazi lived.

The Originals

2×16 Save My Soul – Mum and Dad’s reaction to Vincent saying Eva was his ex-wife was hilarious

2×17 Exquisite Corpse –  So huge grins and thumbs up when Freya breaks out of the magic binding chains and snaps Klaus’ neck. They also enjoyed her killing Esther, too.

2×18 Night Has a Thousand Eyes – They thought Dahlia was great fun and they were both glad to see the end of Mikael.

2×19 When the Levee Breaks – They weren’t particularly pleased with Dahlia when Aiden died, but boy did they get a huge shock when Klaus got daggered!

2×20 City Beneath the SeaThey both agreed that now that Klaus is awake, he’s going to be a tad cranky.

Inspector Rex

1×15 Under the Streets of Vienna

Arrow

5×20 Underneath – One of the best episodes they’ve done in a while! See, Arrow, this is what happens when you focus on the ladies.

NCIS

16×01 Destiny’s Child – Kayla Vance is awesome. And Jack laughing as Hakim ranted was hilarious.

21
Sep
2019

Read and Watched 15-20 September

Shorter one this week, because I’ll be on a plane tomorrow. 

READ

National Geographic History September/October 2019: I really enjoyed the article on Boudica.

A picture of my dog Rosie in a pink bow, with the book Writers Tools by Roy Peter Clark
Rosie with “Writing Tools” by Roy Peter Clark

Writer’s Tools – Roy Peter Clark – This was an interesting book that contained 55 different rules to help writers, which were expanded on in about two or three pages each. Having the expanded explanation, plus examples of how the tools can be used, was really informative.

WATCHED

Elementary

1×01 Pilot: Watching this show from the start again because I absolutely love it. I had actually forgotten that Marcus wasn’t in the pilot.

The Originals

5×02 One Wrong Turn on Bourbon – So wonderful seeing Freya and Keelin reunite, and then, as this show is very good at, they ripped them apart again. I wish they’d included the deleted scene with Vincent comforting Freya.

5×03 Ne Me Quitte Pas – Oh Elijah, I don’t even know where to start with you.

5×04 Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea – I like Ivy. And I feel sorry for Freya.

5×05 Don’t It Just Break Your Heart – I love Jaime Murray, but Antoinette is just annoying. It’s so weird to see Elijah this way, although it is an interesting technique by the writers because you wonder if he would have been like this without his family.

5×06 What, Will, I, Have, Left – Well that episode was painful. I cried. Again. 

5×07 God’s Gonna Trouble the Water – And I kept crying. Honestly, what is this show doing to me? The one bright spark was Keelin returning to be with Freya.

5×08 The Kindness of Strangers – Well, Elijah just broke my heart. Also poor Freya. She’s really getting dumped on.

5×09 We Have Not Long To Love – Now that was a proposal. Freelin are adorable. Also, Josh is totally right about Marcel and Emmett. That being said, I’d really like someone to kill Emmett now.

5×10 There In The Disappearing Light – And my wish is granted! Thank you, Hope.

5×11 Till the Day I Die – That wedding was perfect. Kind of mad at Vincent though – if Elijah was able to make it effort, Vincent should have done it too. Freya’s face when they both disappointed her was heartbreaking. As was the scene with Rebekah when she was afraid of being a danger to her own child. But the wedding was perfect. And I loved that Elijah gave Keelin and Freya the lake house that he and Hayley would have bought.

5×12 The Tale of Two Wolves – I love that Hayley told Hope to remind Elijah of their dance. It made my Helijah heart sing. And Hope is a beautiful wolf. Not ashamed to say I cried in that episode – Klaus looked so proud.

5×13 When The Saints Go Marching In – Oh wow. Well I was just in constant tears. Great finish to a great show. One of the few shows that as soon as you finish an episode, you HAVE to watch the next one.

Parents Watching The Originals

Mum and Dad have started watching The Originals and I’m enjoying their reactions. So far it’s been “When’s Rebekah getting back into her own body?” and “when does (insert character here) die?” Last night’s episode was:

2×12 Sanctuary: They both love Freya – especially when she killed the Kindred, Cassie and then told Rebekah to tell their brothers they better be on their best behaviour.

2×13 The Devil Is Damned  Mum and Dad really enjoyed Finn getting blown up. I haven’t told them yet that Freya brings him back to life. 

Madam Secretary

4×02 Off the Record

4×03 The Essentials – I will miss Nadine. Bebe Neuwirth is a class act.

4×04 Shutdown – Good, no more Jareth. He was getting on my nerves

4×05 Persona Non Grata – Confirmed no more Jareth. Hallelujah! 

The Blacklist

5×01 Smokey Putnam (No.30) – Yes to Samar and Aram. No to the rest.

The Team

1×07 – ALICIA CHECK YOUR PHONE!!!

1×08 – How appropriate that they find Marius hiding with the trash.

The Flash

3×20 I Know Who You Are – Sometimes I just want to hug Cisco. Also Anne Dudek will forever be Cut Throat Bitch (House) to me.

Hawaii 5-0

3×11 Kahu – Loved Catherine kicking that guy’s ass!

Kommisar (Inspector) Rex

1×12 The Old Lady Murders – Man I love Rex. He’s adorable.

08
Sep
2019

Read and Watched September 1- September 7

READ

Big Data – Timandra Harkness

This was a great look at what Big Data is and how it relates to real life. It’s a great introduction and quite an easy read.

My dog Rosie, wearing a bow, with the book "Crushing It" by Gary Vaynerchuk
Rosie with “Crushing It” by Gary Vaynerchuk

Crushing It – Gary Vaynerchuk

This is a follow-up of sorts to a previous book of his which I haven’t read. It has some very relevant points, especially on how to use social media for your personal brand.

WATCHED

Madam Secretary

3×12 The Detour

3×13 The Beautiful Game – I loved the scene where the Irani and Israeli players hugged each other after one team scored.

3×14 Labor of Love

3×15 Break In Diplomacy

3×16 Swept AwayI really loved the sand painting that the monks did.

3×17 Convergence – Becker, how dare you. Rhinos are awesome.

The Originals

3×09 Saviour: Loved that this was a Christmas episode. Also pleased to see Jackson saving Freya’s life.

3×10 A Ghost Along the Mississippi – Oh, the Strix is in trouble now. Mad Hayley AND mad Klaus? They should run

3×11 Wild At Heart – I’m looking forward to getting rid of Aya. She’s more than a tad irritating

3×12 Dead Angels – I’m so offended that Aurora had Hope’s favourite toy whittled down into nothing but bullets. That’s so rude!

3×13 Heart Shaped Box – I’m so glad that Klaus is making Hope a new wooden knight.

3×14 A Streetcar Named Desire – Love Freya and how she is totally done with Lucien. And a fitting end for Aurora

3×15 An Old Friend Calls – Love Freya and Kol doing magic together.

3×16 Alone with Everybody – that Helijah scene was heartbreaking, especially seeing how upset Elijah was. And how dare Lucien kidnap Freya!

3×17 Beyond the Black Horizon – Honestly, Lucien just becomes more arrogant as time goes on. I also cried when Finn died, which surprised me because I honestly wasn’t that invested in him.

3×18 The Devil Comes Here and Sighs – Interesting that Kol can’t leave New Orleans. The Ancestors REALLY don’t like him. Also, I’m reasonably sure the Ancestors are nuts.

3×19 No More Heartbreaks – Okay, I admit it, I cried when Cami died. This was a stellar episode from the cast, especially Leah Pipes

3×20 Where Nothing Stays Buried – Wow. Don’t really care about Davina, but just wow. Freya seems really upset at the whole thing and this team-up between Marcel and Vincent is worrying. Klaus talking with Hayley about Helijah was awesome. And so relieved we’ve gotten rid of Lucien.

3×21 Give ‘Em Hell Kid: Glad the link to the Ancestors is gone. Still don’t really care about Davina. Glad that Helijah is back on.

3×22 The Bloody Crown – Wow. This is another one of those episodes that has just got you saying wow. That scene with Hayley where she is left in the room while they are all put into their magical slumber was heartbreaking. I love where Freya put them all in the end. It was just a hugely powerful episode.

Captain America: The First Avenger – Doing a rewatch of these with Mum, so started with the first one in chronological order. This is a great movie – Chris Evans is excellent in this role.

Mindhunter

2×8 – I am finding Holden just gets on more nerves constantly. I’m not pleased to see them pull Wendy out of the field – she is good at it. 

01
Sep
2019

READ

The Rise – The Originals Novel

Interesting look at one of what is probably many untold stories about the Mikaelson’s through the years.

The Loss – The Originals Novel

Frankly, they just needed Freya alive in this one. This would have solved all the problems.

Wordslut – Amanda Montell

Rosie, wearing a pink bow, with the book Wordslut by Amanda Montell
Rosie with Wordslut by Amanda Montell

I really loved this book and the way it looks at language. It follows the traits of language that are more commonly ascribed to women, including uptalk and valley girl talking. I also like the way it investigates words that are often used to denigrate women and it is interesting to see that many of them started out as meaning quite different things.

WATCHED

Madam Secretary

3×02 The Linchpin

3×03 South China Sea

3×04 The Dissent Memo

3×05 The French Revolution

3×06 The Statement

3×07 Tectonic Shift

3×08 Breakout Capacity

3×09 Snap Back

3×10 The Race 

Mindhunter

2×3 – Love the new character of Jim Barney. He’s great at interviews. And Olivia’s going on a date!

2×4 

2×5 – Not 100% sure about Kaye… I hope she’s not going to hurt Wendy.

The Originals

2×15 They All Asked For You – Freya! And Rebekah is apparently going nuts…

2×16 Save My Soul – Still love Freya. Still dislike Jackson

2×17 Exquisite Corpse –  Go Freya!

2×18 Night has a Thousand Eyes – Dahlia is terrifying, but Claudia Black is so fabulous at this role. I felt sorry for Freya at the end of the episode. Her last connection with someone who knew her before Dahlia took her is gone.

2×19 When the Levee Breaks

2×20 City Beneath the Sea

2×21 Fire With Fire – Not sure Elijah will ever forgive Klaus for what he’s done to Gia and Hayley

2×22 Ashes to Ashes – Loved this episode. Still love Freya, and glad that Klaus trusts her now. That scene of Freya saving her siblings was great.

3×01 For the Next Millennium – Love Freya. I can already tell I’m going to hate Lucien

3×02 You Hung the Moon – Hayley! Let’s not hit Freya. She’s trying to help. Loved the moment with Elijah’s confession. His devotion to Hayley is beautiful. I also surprisingly enjoyed Elijah and Jackson working together against Lucien.

3×03 I’ll See You In Hell or New Orleans – And Tristan is just as bad as Lucien

3×04 A Walk on the Wild Side – Loved seeing Elijah and Hayley dancing together.

3×05 The Axeman’s Letter – Well, Aurora is completely nuts

3×06 Beautiful Mistake – Love Freya just astral projecting in and snapping the necks of the Strix. As you do.

Inspector Rex

1×10 Amok

1×11 Escape to Death

Hawaii 5-0

Huaka’i Kula: I love Melanie. Seriously, she’s fantastic.

Lucy – Well, that movie was a trip. Brought up a lot of interesting questions – particularly about what would happen about using 100% of our brain capacity, and would we really want to? I do wonder about the fact that you would be aware of the subconscious things your brain does – such as filtering out the sound of your eyeballs moving, and things like that.

18
Aug
2019

Read

Picture of my dog Rosie in her coat with the book Uncommon Grounds
Rosie and the book Uncommon Grounds

Uncommon Grounds – Mark Pendergast Loved this book and the history of coffee. As well as the history of how coffee made its way around the world, it also includes the history of the advertising that accompanied it and it’s interesting to see it and how unacceptable some of it would be now.

Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies – Scarlett Curtis Great little book of essays from famous people on feminism. Particular favourite was Karen Gillan’s story of her mum protecting the little redhead with pale skin – been there!

Grimm: The Icy Touch – John Shirley Better than the last one, but still not up to the standards of the show.

The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu – Charlie English It was amazing to read about not only the people that saved the ancient manuscripts from destruction, but the history of traveling to the area.

Griffith Review 64 – The New Disruptors

Watched

The Originals

1×13 Crescent City

1×14 Long Way Back Home

1×15 Le Grand Guignol

1×16 Farewell to Storyville

1×17 Moon Over Bourbon Street

1×18 The Big Uneasy: I hate Genevieve. On so many different levels.

1×19 An Unblinking Death

1×20 A Closer Walk With Thee Helijah. Genevieve improved on me momentarily. Also, Oliver is evil.

1×21 The Battle of New Orleans More Helijah. I feel we’re being spoilt so something will stop this soon, I am sure of it.

1×22 From a Cradle to a Grave What a bloodbath! But so pleased Genevieve is gone. Not so pleased that Oliver still lives…but give it time.

2×01 Rebirth Finally got rid of Francesca. FINALLY. And I knew the Helijah was too good to last. I love that the actors ship this too.

2×02 Alive and Kicking Seriously, if everyone stopped keeping secrets (Hello, Elijah), half this stuff wouldn’t happen

Madam Secretary

2×08 Lights Out

2×09 Russian Roulette

2×10 The Greater Good

2×11 Unity Node

2×12 The Middle Way

2×13 Invasive Species

2×14 Left of the Boom

2×15 Right of the Boom

2×16 Hijriyyah A much better job for Henry. Honestly, does no one think of the children?

2×17 Higher Learning

Legends of Tomorrow

2×17 Aruba

Inspector Rex

1×8 Bring Me Beethoven’s Head: I cannot believe the number of people who want to steal Beethoven’s head!

Mindhunter

2×01 Olivia Dunham is back (yes, that is what we now call her in everything) and she’s eying a lady bartender. All is right with the world. As long as she and Tench can keep Holden in line.

11
Aug
2019

Read

The Killing Time – Tim Waggoner: This is one of the books based on the television show Grimm which I really enjoyed. Unfortunately, the book did not live up to the writing of the show.

A picture of my dog Rosie wearing her purple pajamas with the book "The Killer Across the Table"
Rosie with the book The Killer Across the Table

The Killer Across the Table – John Douglas and Mark Olshaker: I really love the books these two bring out because they are so interesting. This included a lot of cases I had never heard of but it involved a much more in-depth look at the way the behavioural science unit worked.

Once and Future – Amy Rose Capeton: A gender-bending LGBTQ take on the King Arthur tale.

Born Standing Up – Steve Martin: I found this very slim pickings about his life and how he got to where he is.

Watched

Madam Secretary

1×19 Spartan Figures

1×20 The Necessary Art

1×21 The Kill List

1×22 There But For The Grace of God

2×01 The Show Must Go On

2×02 The Doability Doctrine: I love that Madeline Albright and the other secretaries of state do lunch. I’d love to be a guest at one of those lunches! Also, I would personally have quit after the President went back on his word. I could never trust someone who did that.

2×03 The Rusalka: Some dodgy behaviour on behalf of Dr McCord here

2×04 Waiting for Taleju: I KNEW we’d get a slutshaming storyline at some point, and here it is.

2×05 The Long Shot

2×06 Catch and Release

2×07 You Say You Want a Revolution

Inspector Rex

1×5 Deadly Teddies

1×6 Dance on the Volcano

1×7 First Prize

The Originals

1×01 Always and Forever

1×02 House of the Rising Son

1×03 Tangled Up in Blue

1×04 Girl in New Orleans

1×05 Sinners and Saints

1×06 Fruit of the Poisoned Tree

1×07 Bloodletting

1×08 The River in Reverse

1×09 Reigning Pain in New Orleans

1×10 The Casket Girls: Helijah love.

1×11 Apres Moi, Le Deluge: I seriously thought that Harvest would work. But now Celeste is on a rampage. Can’t wait till she comes face to face with Elijah

1×12 Dance Back from the Grave: Papa Tunde is creepy and as much as I don’t like snakes, throwing one on a bonfire while it is alive is rude

Carlo and Malik

1×04 Una Notte Senza Stelle

1×05 Sorelle

1×06 Per Amore: Not going to watch this show anymore. It’s really getting a little melodramatic

Arrow

5×19 Dangerous Liaisons: Oh Felicity, I feel you have made a grave error with Helix. I don’t trust these hackers. Especially Alena. She’s shifty

04
Aug
2019

READ

Shockingly nothing in this section this week, because I spent a lot of time starting random books and finding they didn’t grab my interest. Hopefully I’ll have better luck next week.

WATCHED

Madam Secretary

1×11 Game On

1×12 Standoff

1×13 Chains of Command

1×14 Whisper of the Ax – I love Gordon and I love that he just sits on all the chairs like he belongs

1×15 The Ninth Circle

1×16 Tamerlane

1×17 Face the Nation

1×18 The Time is At Hand

Elementary

6×3 Our Time Is Up – Joan’s sister Lin is hilarious and such a great addition to the show

Hawaii 5-0

3×7 Ohuna

3×8 Wahine’inoloa Steve’s mother is terrifying

3×9 Ha-awe Make Loa – was this a filler episode or something? It seemed like one.

The Flash

3×19 The Once and Future Flash – I know it was for dramatic effect, but I really couldn’t see a world where Barry Allen abandoned everyone – especially Joe – particularly after he’d made that promise to Iris.

Carlo and Malik

1×1 L’apparenza Inganna Prima Parte

1×2 L’apparenza Inganna Seconda Parte – this is a lot lighter and funnier than most Italian cop dramas, so I look forward to watching more of it.

Inspector Soneri: Fog and Crimes 3

Off Season – this was a wonderful ending to this series. It showed awesome character progression – from the earlier seasons with Angela where he had to be literally forced to go on vacation, to now with Chiara, where he is the one suggesting it. Great finish to the show.

28
Jul
2019

Read

An Edited Life – Anna Newton

This is a really interesting look at getting your life streamlined and everything in a manageable way so that you can perform at your best. I found quite a few useful tips in it, as well as some ideas I had not thought of before.

A picture of my dog Rosie with the book "An Edited Life"
Rosie with An Edited Life by Anna Newton

Watched

Madam Secretary

1×05 Blame Canada

1×06 The Call

1×07 Passage

1×08 Need to Know

1×09 So It Goes

1×10 Collateral Damage

Arrow 5×18 Disbanded

Shazam! 

I love this movie. Not just for the concept of found family, which is something I love seeing in popular culture, but because one of the leading characters has a disability. A double whammy of awesome!

Wynonna Earp: 2×12 I Hope You Dance

Legends of Tomorrow: 2×16 Doomworld

Rizzoli and Isles: 7×12 Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

The Blacklist

4×21 Mr Kaplan (No.4)

4×21 Mr Kaplan (No.4) Conclusion: Holy cow, Ressler killed Laurel Hitchens! I did not see that coming. Also, the Samar and Aram scenes were very cute and they are adorable together.

Black Lightening 2×03 – The Book of Consequences: Chapter Three: Master Lowry

Kommisar (Inspector) Rex 

1×04 A Perfect Murder: I absolutely loved this episode. Rex taking Moser to the pet shop and choosing out all the things he needs, including a lot of toys and naturally a giant bone to chew on.