Month: October 2018

A British Shorthair Named Charlie

Charlie’s been my housemate for a few months now, and it’s hard to imagine that I ever lived in my apartment without a cat and a couch that wasn’t shredded. After our old family cat passed away, I was wondering if I’d ever get attached to another pet as strongly, but nope he’s my little treasure alright.

Here are some random facts and observations about Charlie:

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Alien 3 – Film Review

My usual stance on this movie is living in Denialville; lalalalala not listening, Ripley, Newt and Hicks made it back to Earth and lived happily ever after with Jonesy the cat. For whatever reason, recently I felt an urge to revisit this dour and divisive entry in the Alien franchise, maybe because watching Alien: Covenant gave me a new appreciation for the installments that at least attempted to do something different.

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And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie – Book Review

This novel, the world’s best-selling mystery with over 100 million copies, has recently been voted readers’ favourite Agatha Christie novel in a global poll. Though I’d probably struggle to name my own personal favourite Christie novel, I’m not inclined to argue with this honour. The book is a masterpiece of crime fiction whose power hasn’t diminished with years, and it’s said that Christie herself regarded it as her highest achievement.

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BlacKkKlansman – Film Review

I finally made time to catch Spike Lee’s latest. The trailers have been selling it as something like a buddy cop comedy based on an incredible true story, but while the movie is very entertaining and imbued with a great dose of humour, Lee’s ambition goes much further than that.

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A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie – Book Review

This Miss Marple novel has a couple too many convenient coincidences for my liking, but remains one of the most fun Christie mysteries to re-visit.

It surely has one of her best openings. In a small village of Chipping Cleghorn, the locals settle comfortably into reading their favourite local Gazette when they spot a most peculiar notice announcing a murder that’s about to take place that day at 6.30pm, at a place called Little Paddocks. Nobody takes it seriously and all assume that it refers to some sort of murder mystery evening, but all agree that they should definitely show up and find out. The announcement comes as a total surprise to Miss Letitia Blacklock, the owner of Little Paddocks, but being a practical woman she’s resigned to the mob of curious villagers showing up at her doorstep, and prepares drinks and suchlike. Things turn from frivolous to serious when the evening ends with gunshots and death of a stranger.

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Educated by Tara Westover – Book Review

Our latest book club reading was this extraordinary, beautifully written memoir about growing up in rural Idaho in a family of Mormon survivalists.

One frequent comment in the discussions I had was that to many Educated felt like reading fiction rather than a memoir. This is in no way a swipe at its credibility, but rather a compliment to the quality of Westover’s writing, which is a few notches above your typical memoir or autobiography. The impression could also be partly due to the voice of the narrator, which is rather distanced, matter-of-fact and remarkably perceptive. Perhaps it comes from looking back at a life that feels like a different life altogether. In many ways, this memoir is a book about memory and its fragility, and trying to piece together a portrait of the family from the often contradictory recollections.

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