The Longest Movie Ever Made and How It Made Me Feel Dead Inside

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I actually don’t know how accurate my assumption is, but I’m just putting it out there and I seriously can’t be bothered fact checking right now – Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice was the longest mofo of a movie in the history of movies.

In all honesty, my expectations of the movie before I walked into the cinema was this: A film that looks amazing, has a whole lot of buildings being destroyed for no real reason and Henry Cavill looking mighty fine (as per usual).

So nowhere in my list of small expectations did I expect an amazing plot, great character development or even some great one-liners. If Zack Snyder didn’t make his movies look so damn good, would I have even bothered going to a real cinema to watch this movie? Nope. I would have waited to watch it on Netflix. Unfortunately, this movie made me feel nothing. I felt emotionless watching this movie and for that reason alone I won’t even bother re-watching Batman Vs Superman on Netflix one rainy day.

The best things about this movie was Jesse Eisenberg playing Lex Luther and Gal Gadot playing Wonder Woman. Now THAT was some good casting. But it wasn’t enough to make up for the rest of the movie, in my very humble opinion.

In saying that, I will go and give Zack Snyder one last chance and buy a ticket to see Wonder Woman when that comes out. I just hope and pray to mighty Chris-Hemsworth-Thor that he makes it a good one.

I know this negative blog post isn’t my usual “Hey! You should read/watch/buy this!” but I really just want to save someone the 2 and a half hours of their life so they can do something worthwhile with it. Like, I don’t know, maybe they could work towards ending world hunger with that time, because I’m rather sure that the amount of money spent on making this film could have done exactly that three times over.

I know I’ve been AWOL lately…

Just wanted to give a quick update on any readers of this blog still sticking around! I’m still here, still alive and (most importantly) still reading.

I’ve had to get used to a new job this year and haven’t had the time or inspiration to sit down and write like I did last year. I’m feeling more settled now, so no doubt the blog posts should come a lot easier soon.

I’ve been smashing my reading goal for 2016 – I’m currently on 31 books so far, Goodreads tells me I’m 6 books ahead of schedule. It feels like I’ve read more than 31 books though! I’m starting to read a lot more books but finding that I’m really picky and abandoning a lot of them. Maybe I just know what I like and have less patience for crappy books these days. But in all seriousness, life is too short to read a bad book (or even just a mediocre one), so I’m not feeling bad about my Did-Not-Finish pile.

What’s everyone else reading? How’s the first quarter of the year treated you all so far?

Review: “The Lifestyle” by Melissa Giovanna

The Lifestyle is a book that is designed to help you, by shifting your thoughts, words and behaviours through value-based action. Don’t worry, value-based actions aren’t anything scary or overwhelming – it’s as simple as acting on what you value (think kindness, patience and gratitude) and practicing these values consciously in your day-to-day actions until they become habits. We’ve all heard the saying that “Willpower is like a muscle; the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes” – this is the same principle for action-based values. The Lifestyle will guide you through recommended value-based actions over a four-week cycle and bring you that much closer to developing and achieving full potential, that is, becoming your “actualised-self”.

I know that this book isn’t meant to be read cover to cover in one sitting, since the idea of it is to work through the “Days of Action” and only read ahead for the next couple of days at a time. But let’s just say I took one for the team and read it in one go anyway.

I’m not one for that fluffy, motivational stuff, (so I don’t say this lightly) but this book was inspirational and gave me goosebumps at the thought of all of the amazing ways it could (and will) change my life.

What I found absolutely enchanting and hypnotic was each example of the “admissions from your actualised-self”. These were great, beautifully written examples of how to incorporate the specific value-based action for that particular day into your everyday life. It also helped to highlight how much your life, and the lives of those around you, will benefit in the long run when these value-based actions become habits and you reach self-actualisation.

I’ll be honest – I haven’t yet embarked on my conscious quest for self-actualisation and followed the Days of Action, but from reading through The Lifestyle, I know a couple of things for certain:

  1. I don’t have anything to lose and so much to gain from exercising these value-based actions as outlined in The Lifestyle.
  2. I am absolutely going to rock it.

Overall, The Lifestyle is a book which will help you live a better way of life and become a better human. So if you need a bit of hand-holding to get you through a rough patch, or you’re not quite sure what it is that you need to do to become a better person right now, you need to buy this book (or at the very least, visit the website for more information).

Review: “Sisters and Lies” by Bernice Barrington

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One hot August night, Rachel Power gets the call everyone fears. It’s the police. Her younger sister Evie’s had a car crash, she’s in a coma. Can Rachel fly to London right away? With Evie injured and comatose, Rachel is left to pick up the pieces of her sister’s life. But it’s hard fitting them together, especially when she really doesn’t like what she sees. Why was Evie driving when she doesn’t even own a licence? Who is the man living in her flat and claiming Evie is his girlfriend? How come she has never heard of him? The more mysteries Rachel uncovers the more she starts asking herself how well she ever really knew her sister. And then she begins to wonder if the crash was really the accident everybody says it is. Back in hospital, Evie, trapped inside an unresponsive body, is desperately trying to wake up. Because she’s got an urgent message for Rachel – a warning which could just save both their lives . . .

I really started this year off with a bang, reading-wise. This was the first book I read in the New Year as I trudged from my door to the train to work and repeated the same miserable exercise during peak hour to come home to an empty apartment. My fiancé was away for two weeks, so I had minimal distractions from reading but when it came to bed time and going to sleep – EVERYTHING was a distraction. I’m pretty sure I had convinced myself every single night that someone was breaking into my apartment. Reading a novel so full of suspense like “Sisters and Lies” did NOT help my paranoia either.

Just from reading the blurb, I knew I was going to like this book. Set in London, the two protagonists/narrators are sisters AND there’s a whodunnit element to the novel? You had me from the very start, Ms Barrington. I loved this novel and it kept me guessing until the very end. Usually I’m a bit hesitant to jump into novels where the narrators switch every so often and I think it may be because some writers out there just have difficulty keeping the momentum and pacing right with each turn. From what I can tell, this is Bernice Barrington’s debut novel (if i’m wrong, please feel free to correct me in the comments) but this book is so well written and unputdownable that I definitely would not have guessed it was a debut. I strongly recommend this one and I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review!

Welcome to 2016!

I hope everyone had a great time ringing in the New Year. I know I did – a binge watch of Making a Murderer with a couple of my friends over drinks was perhaps the BEST spontaneous New Years Eve plans ever. (If you have watched the show, please let me know in the comments section. I need to debrief.)

Reflecting on the year that was 2015, I was really proud of my blogging efforts. Real life got in the way, for good and bad, so my posts were rather sporadic. This year my aim is to read a lot more books and make sure I continue making content for this blog as a record of my reading life, and also to provide recommendations for other readers.

As I do every year, I’ve made a goal on Goodreads to read 100 books this year. I’m yet to reach that number. In 2015 I read 66 books. Which is to say that I actually finished 66 books. I don’t finish every book I start – I probably only finish one in every five books I start because life is way to short for bad or medicare books.

So let me know in the comments if you have any New Year’s resolutions, whether it be reading goals or just general life goals. And if you’ve watched Making a Murderer, please, please, please let me know. I need to talk about it.

Review: “Whispers Through A Megaphone” by Rachel Elliott

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From Goodreads:

Miriam hasn’t left her house in three years, and cannot raise her voice above a whisper. But today she has had enough, and is finally ready to rejoin the outside world.

Meanwhile, Ralph has made the mistake of opening a closet door, only to discover with a shock that his wife Sadie doesn’t love him, and never has. And so he decides to run away.

Miriam and Ralph’s chance meeting in a wood during stormy weather marks the beginning of an amusing, restorative friendship, while Sadie takes a break from Twitter to embark on an intriguing adventure of her own. As their collective story unfolds, each of them seeks to better understand the objects of their affection, and their own hearts, timidly refusing to stand still and accept the chaos life throws at them. Filled with wit and sparkling prose, Whispers Through a Megaphone explores our attempts to meaningfully connect with ourselves and others, in an often deafening world – when sometimes all we need is a bit of silence.

This book kind of reminded me of “A Visit From the Goon Squad” – I can’t put my finger on it, other than the fact that both of them are contemporary fiction, but I make the comparison in the nicest way possible.

The characters are all flawed (some incredibly so) and have their own regrets/crises that they need to deal with throughout the novel. Some are resolved, some are left for the reader to think about, but I suppose this isn’t the type of novel where we need happy, complete endings to each of the characters’ trials and tribulations. The irony is definitely not lost on the psychotherapist that needs to “get lost in the woods” to “find himself”.

Personally, my favourite (and teeny, tiny) character in the novel is Alfie Delaney, who dresses like The Doctor (Matt Smith’s incarnation) and carries a little Amy Pond doll. I may be biased though, since I am myself a freshly recruited Whovian.

I know that this book won’t be for everyone, but if you do like contemporary fiction about people dealing with mid-life crises and some rather disturbing childhood trauma manifesting itself in adulthood agoraphobia, then I say you should definitely give this one a go.

Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review!