I have read most of Bryson’s books and followed his career for the last 15 years or so. I enjoy this writing and I find it gets even funnier and more amusing as he gets older. In this book, he is hilariously curmudgeony and cantankerous throughout it. All the while still being warm, perceptive, and pleasant.
There were definitely a couple of laugh out loud moments from the book and found the read fun and lovely all around. The deadpan and snarky humor writing does notwork for everyone, but it was right up my alley.
I share Bryson’s love of Great Britain and I have been to a few places mentioned in the books. Like him, I can be both frustrated and charmed by the British. He really captures the spirit of the culture and people.
Recommended for anglophiles.
First started in January 2016, but had to return to the library after about 25 pages. Picked up again June 16-20, 2016.
I think that if I ever tried vegetarianism, the meat I would miss the most would be pork. I come from a pork loving culture to the point that growing up, we would have pork and seafood almost every day. I have consumed more parts of a pig than the average Westerner as a result. My grandmother was a pig farmer and I remembered as kid spending weekends at her place watching her big sow and little piglets.
My love of pork is not all consuming as there is a little bit of guilt. Not just of factory farming, but on the whole, pigs are really intelligent and wonderful animals. I learned a lot about pigs in this book and it was really fun especially the historical, anthropological and evolutionary history of the pig and humans. I also learned that of all the meat that I eat, the pig is the only who would eat me back if given the chance.
I found this book fascinating and fun as it married my love of history, food, and evolutionary biology too. I highly recommend if you enjoy these same topics.
Read June 1-5, 2016.
The Night Manager (20-23 04 16) – You watch this mini series for two reasons: the scenery/cinematography and the actors. Hiddleston, Laurie, and Coleman are the stars. I think Coleman is the best actor, but Hiddleston and Laurie are excellent. Hiddles is just pretty. The story and writing have issues. It’s not something to write home about, but this is a pretty, pretty series.
Daredevil Season 2 (last week of May) – I think the first season of Daredevil was so excellent and so good in terms of being distinct. I loved the actions in S1 more. I find S2 hit or miss for me. The law drama aspect did not work. I liked the Punisher. I didn’t really care for the Hand stuff. I really liked Elecktra and Matt’s chemistry. I did feel that Matt got very annoying most of S2 as he kept lieing to everyone and himself. I look forward to Elecktra’s return, but I’m not sure Matt’s character development is moving at a good pace.
Jessica Jones (last week of May into first couple of days of June) – As a followup to Daredevil, I finally watched the first season of this show. It was good. I do adore David Tennant and he was chilling in this. I really liked the writing, but I did feel that the search for Kilgrave could have been cut short by one or two episodes. Still, a very strong start.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin (03 05 2016) – I’m long overdue to watch this, but I do not like Apatow humor most of the time. I do like Steve Carell and Paul Rudd. Carell works for me because there is such a sweetness to him that works really well here. I did not find a lot of the humor funny, but I think the actors did well.
Hackers (07 05 2016) – So 90s. This is movie is only 21 years old and I remember 1995, but it feels even older than movies I’ve seen from the 80s or before. The fact that it heavily features technology and that the lead actors involved do not even look that old makes it feel oddly removed. The technology is so out dated compared to what we have now. Angelina Jolie looked like an elf. I’ve adored Johnny Lee Miller for years so he was cute in this too. I was a bit bored during some parts of the movie though since it got overly campy at times.
Deadpool (10 05 2016) – There was so much hype and good reviews about this that I was expecting more. Since I followed the media around it, I felt I had seen most of the movie already. Some of the humor was so-so for me, but I liked the fourth wall breaks and the meta jokes. Plot was formulaic. I do think Ryan Reynolds is meant for this role. I liked the soundtrack too.
Brooklyn (13 05 2016) – I enjoyed the book and as predicted, I liked this movie. With Nick Hornby adapting and starring Saorise Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson. I like the whole cast and loved the setting. The ending is more satisfying too.
Crimson Peak (15 05 2016) – Not enough Hiddlesbum. I do not really like horror, but I like Guillermo del Torro’s style. Good cast and everything was super creepy and stylistic. Plot was alright. It was nice seeing Charlie Hunman in a role where he’s a hero without really being the typical Hot Guy physical though.
Walk in the Woods (28 05 2016) – As someone who is a fan of Bryon’s writing, I wanted to watch this for him and the book, but also this cast. Robert Redford, Emma Thomspon, Nick Nolte, and Mary Steenburger are all in it. I do not think you see Redford in these quiet kind of roles anymore. Even though this movie has a lot of humor and talking, it is very much a “quiet” movie where not much actually happens and the pace is slow. You could almost say Thompson was wasted, but she is lovely in anything. Her and Redford had lovely chemistry too. I laughed a coupe of times, but this kind of movie is not for everyone. I think Bryson lovers will appreciate some of it. The book was funnier in other ways though.
Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure or Fanny Hill by John Cleland is considered the first pornography in novel form. This book was widely banned, illegally published, and denounced by its author. It is definitely a classic in an infamous way at least. But is it a good novel?
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