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Read and Watched October 6th-12th

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.

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Read and Watched September 29 – October 5

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

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Read and Watched 15-20 September

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.

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What I Read and Watched This Week – July 27th to August 3rd

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.

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What I Read and Watched 7-13 July

Read

Daily Rituals – Mason Curry

This is a great book that looks at all the daily rituals from some of the most creative people. This includes writer, artists, composers, philosophers and more. I really enjoyed reading it – it is something that you can use to discover what would help you in your own creative pursuits – whether it is a rigid schedule, or a peculiar one.

The Soul of an Octopus – Sy Montgomery

Not knowing much about octopuses, I found this an intriguing read. These creatures are so intelligent that in aquariums they are given complex puzzles and Lego’s to play with so they don’t get bored. I was shocked to find they only live four or five years – a male dies directly after copulation and a female dies when her eggs are hatched. 

1, 342 QI Facts

Picture of my dog Rosie with the book 1,342 QI Facts
Rosie with 1,342 QI Facts

I love fact lists and the geeky researcher in me loves that in these QI books they are all backed up by actual information you can access yourself. I only wish they’d done more of these books!

Watched

Inspector Soneri: Fog and Crimes 3 – Hard Times: The introduction of the little girl is a new twist. I’m also intrigued by Soneri’s new love interest, because a) Angela annoyed me and b) this one might give him a run for his money, but he was just a tad forward with her – seriously, going to kiss her in the elevator – take a woman to dinner first!

Grimm

6×06 Breakfast in Bed

6×07 Blind Love – Hank was HILARIOUS in this episode.

6×08 The Son Also Rises

Arrow 5×17 Kapiushon

Wynonna Earp 2×09 Forever Mine, Nevermind

Legends of Tomorrow

2×15 Fellowship of the Spear –  Ray cackling in the German’s cannon and spinning around to make it face them was just GOLD. I hope they are all going to be nice to my boy Rory now – he’s one of our favourite characters!

Rizzoli and Isles

7×11 Stiffed – As the series comes to an end, I’m finding myself missing the earlier seasons. Something has shifted and although I love the Frankie/Nina stories, I miss those old seasons.

Kommisar (Inspector) Rex

1×03 The Body at Schonbrunn: As someone who has been to Schonbrunn in the middle of winter – NOT MY IDEA – I almost didn’t recognise the place without it being covered in snow.

Elementary – 6×03 Pushing Buttons

The Blacklist 4×20 The Debt Collector (No.46)

The Flash 

3×18 Abra Kadabra: Ah, Barry? Travelling through time never ends well with you. I feel this is a monumentally bad decision

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What I Read and Watched – 23 June to 6 July

Double shot this week because I had a migraine last week.

Read

When Everything Changed – Gail Collins

A picture of my poodle Rosie looking at the book "Everything Changed" by Gail Collins
Rosie and Everything Changed by Gail Collins

A fascinating look at the way women’s rights have changed over the years.

Drop Dead Healthy – AJ Jacobs

This was an interesting read, but it’s hard to find any relevancy when you have chronic illness. Chronic illness makes it difficult to do any of the things recommended.

Pachinko – Min Jin Lee

This book was interesting, because it kept you engrossed even though it was not a happy story. 

Watched

Grimm

5×15 Skin Deep: It was like watching an episode of Botched. Also, Eve turning into Renard was beyond creepy

5×16 The Believer

5×17 Inugami

5×18 Good to the Bone

5×19 The Taming of the Wu

5×20 Bad Night

5×21 Beginning of the End Part 1

5×22 The Beginning of the End Part 2

6×01 Fugitive

6×02 Trust Me Knot

6×03 Oh Captain, My Captain

6×04 El Cuegle

6×05 The Seven Year Itch

Elementary 

6×01 An Infinite Capacity for Taking Pains

6×02 Once You’ve Ruled Out God: I love this show. And their episode titles

The Blacklist

4×18 Philomena (no.61)

4×19 Dr Bogdan Krylov (No.29)

The Flash

3×16 Into the Speed Force

3×17 Duet: I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this episode and how much I didn’t expect to. Cisco can sing! Loved “Dads” Martin and Joe. Also, why is Kara awesome in every show except her own?

Inspector Soneri Fog and Crimes 3 – The Secret Room

NCIS

15×22 Two Steps Back

15×23 Fallout: I love Kasie.

Hawaii 5-0 

3×03 Lan I Ka Moana

3×04 Popilikia: Steve’s mum gives me the creeps.


Arrow
5×16 Checkmate

Wynonna Earp 2×08 No Future in the Past

David Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur

Legends of Tomorrow 2×14 Moonshot

Rizzoli and Isles 7×10 For Richer or Poorer

Kommisar (Inspector) Rex 1×2

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What I Read and Watched June 10th to June 16th

Read

A black poodle Rosie, in red and grey stripped pajamas sitting next to the book "Born to Drum"
Rosie with Born to Drum by Tony Barrell

Born to Drum – Tony Barrell: I LOVE to drum. I learnt in high school and I was quite good – I won two competitions  and I was able to learn things by listening to them. Unfortunately fibromyalgia means that drumming is now very painful, but I still like to read about it and listen to other drummers play.

Landwhale – Jes Baker: Really great book. Very personal story but lots of things resonate

1,339 QI Facts

Watched

Grimm

4×21 Headache

4×22 Cry Havoc: Points to Trubel for finally knocking Juliette off

5×01 The Grimm Identity:Adalind has become remarkably less annoying as time goes on.

5×02 Clear and Wesen Danger

5×03 Lost Boys

5×04 Maiden

5×05 Rat King

5×06 Wesen Nacht – Oh hello, platinum blonde assassin Juliette

The Blacklist

4×16 Dembe Zuma (No. 10)

4×17 Requiem – Are we to assume that Kate’s version of the fire is the real version?

Elementary 

5×22 Moving Targets

5×23 Scrambled

5×24 Hurt Me, Hurt You That reveal that the woman that has been kind of stalking Sherlock is all in his head was such a huge twist that I never saw coming. These writers constantly hit it out of the park!

Blue Bloods 1×01 Pilot

The Flash 3×15 The Wrath of Savitar

NCIS 15×21 One Step Forward

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What I Read and Watched This Week – May 12th to 18th

Apologies for the lack of Wednesday post – I had ankle surgery and I am still recovering. I hope to get back to regular blog posts soon.

Read

National Geographic

  • April 2017
  • July 1978
  • December 1937
  • June 1964

April 2017 had a lot of interesting things about the future of human beings and the way technology can help correct problems such as colour blindness. 

National Geographic History – July/August 2018

Singled Out – Bella DePaulo: Really enjoyed reading this. It’s nice to see other points of view especially when we live in a culture that prefers marriage and children over singlehood.

Watched

Grimm

3×17 Synchronicity – loved that Nick had to hold back Juliette as she went for Adalind. That whole scene was really well done.

3×18 The Law of Sacrifice

3×19 Nobody Knows The Trubel I’ve Seen – not sure they really need a new character at this point, but okay.

3×20 My Fair Wesen – still don’t really care about Trubel, but looks like we’re stuck with her for now.

Vera

I cannot tell you how much I love this show. It’s been fantastic since the beginning, but ever since they added Aiden to the show, it has just gotten better. I love watching it and I can’t wait to see more of it!

8×1 Blood and Bone

8×2 Black Ice

8×3 Home

8×4 Dark Water

NCIS LA

9×3 Assets

9×4 Plain Sight – This episode just confirmed I want to keep Harley and get rid of Mosley

9×5 Mountebank -There was one scene in this episode that just ruined it for me, and when Arkady is involved, it is very difficult to ruin an episode. But Callen’s inference that Nell had told Mosley about his alias being compromised was just insulting, to both Nell and to the audience who all KNEW Nell would never share that kind of information with Mosley. Do better, Callen. And apologise.

Black Lightning

1×13 Shadow of Death: The Book of War – well that was a season finale! So glad Jennifer decided to start using her powers – she’s so much more interesting.

Elementary 

5×20 The Art of Sleights and Deception

5×21 Fly Into a Rage, Make a Bad Landing – This show is honestly one of the best in terms of character progression I have ever seen. In earlier seasons, Sherlock would NEVER have said anything about Bell being a better man, and that in fact, being a better man was more important than a better detective. We also wouldn’t have seen the apology from Bell either. I am so sorry this show is ending with Season 7 because it’s just a gem that has no equal on television.

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What I Read and Watched This Week – April 14-20

Read:  

National Geographic:

  • October, 1930
  • July, 1977
  • June 1977
  • February 1977
  • March, 1976
  • February 2019
  • January 2019
  • December 2014
  • September 1951

I realised my National Geographic pile was getting out of hand, so I thought I better start and tackle that. Strictly speaking, all my “to read” piles were getting out of hand, but I had a migraine earlier this week and for some reason the only thing I can read is magazines – so National Geographic it was.

I really enjoyed the January 2019 issue because it was about the Future of Medicine. As someone with various chronic illnesses, it was interesting to see where medicine is going. Naturally the high-tech medicine is something we are already seeing, but I was particularly interested in the possibility of tailoring treatments to an individual’s DNA.

Revolutionary Ride by Lois Price:

This was an interesting book, in the style of Dervla Murphy, of a woman who rode her motorcycle through Iran (published in 2017).

Watched:

We’ve been watching Grimm at lunchtime – getting kind of sick of the “I can’t remember you” drama, but I do love Monroe and Rosalee. Also saw a movie this week – Shazam was awesome!

Shazam

Grimm:

2×10 The Hour of Death

2×11 To Protect and Serve Man

2×12 Season of the Hexenbiest (getting really sick of the relationship drama here!)

2×13 Face Off

2×14 Natural Born Wesen

2×15 Mr Sandman (the entirely most gross episode I’ve seen so far)

2×16 Nameless

Elementary: 5×19 High Heat (Love this show. So sad it’s ending in Season 7)

Rizzoli and Isles 7×6 There Be Ghosts

NCISLA:

8×06: Home Is Where the Heart Is

  8×07: Crazy Train

  8×08: Parallel Resistors

Criminal Minds:

13×19 Ex Parte: Tara was so good in this episode – really quick off her feet

13×20 All You Can Eat: Nice to finally meet some of Garcia’s family

13×21 Mixed Signals: Again, we get more backstory on Tara and how awesome she is.

Inspector Soneri: Fog and Crimes 2: Doll House