August in Review

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Books Acquired:
The Blue Guitar by John Banville
The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham
The Chrysalids by John Wyndham
Small Gods: A Discworld Graphic Novel by Terry Pratchett
Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb
The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince by Robin Hobb
Back, Sack & Crack (& Brain) by Robert Wells
The Gastronomical Me by M.F.K. Fisher
The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark
The Girls Of Slender Means by Muriel Spark
The Sellout by Paul Beatty
Tetris: The Games People Play by Box Brown
Travels With My Aunt by Graham Greene
The Paintings That Revolutionized Art by Claudia Stauble
The Innocence and Wisdom of Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton

Books Read:
Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens by Eddie Izzard

This was a bit of a weird month. I spent the entirety of August reading Douglas Coupland’s Microserfs incredible slowly, still not finished, and the only thing I actually got through was an audiobook, Eddie Izzard’s memoir (which was great). You might think from the above list that I spent all the time I should have been reading spending money in bookstores, and you would be correct.

The first six books are from local shops here, mostly used and a little birthday gift to myself, and the rest are from various bookstores around London. We spent a week there on holiday, with a day in Brighton, and we made a point to do a bit of a book crawl. Of the seven or eight shops we visited, I’d say my top three were Daunt Books, the London Review Bookshop, and Foyles. The London Review Bookshop was small but had a fantastic selection. I came out of there with the Muriel Spark books. Daunt Books, my favourite, was a great little shop that had everything categorized by country, containing both authors from the country and books set there. Foyles was like a little Powell’s Books, which is a very positive thing.

London book haul! Partly the fault of @SavidgeReads. Thanks for the bookshop recommendations!

A post shared by Rob McMillan (@mcmillan) on

We also loved @foylesforbooks. It reminded us a lot of @powellsbooks, which is always a plus.

A post shared by Rob McMillan (@mcmillan) on

Pork and black pudding scotch egg from #boroughmarket. Delicious!

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As you can see from the book haul photo above, I also bought my first two Folio Society editions, both used for a pretty good price. I don’t really want to get into collecting those books, as that path leads to a diet of instant ramen, but I’ll always keep an eye out for well-priced copies. Both Travels With My Aunt and the Father Brown Stories have been on my mental to-read list for a while now.

It was a fun little trip. We visited the Tate Modern, which I hadn’t been to and really enjoyed. I’d also never been to Brighton before, and was pleasantly surprised. What a cool little town. I turned the ripe old age of thirty-five just before the trip, so it was nice to get out of the country and start the second half of my thirties off well.

Movies watched:
Kong: Skull Island (2017) – Every movie I watched this month was on an airplane. That’s my excuse. This was kind of a train wreck. It had such a weird tone, and maybe it was the sleep deprivation, but I couldn’t tell if it was intentional or not. It felt like a parody, but it wasn’t. Or was it? So bizarre.

Power Rangers (2017) – I watched this mainly because it was filmed in my hometown, and seeing it get destroyed by giant alien robots was very exciting for me. This was another one with a weird tone. A Power Ranger movie that opens with a very oddly placed bestiality joke? The young actors in this were actually really good, but the writing wasn’t really on their side. Overall, this was actually better than I expected it to be.

Snatched (2017) – This also wasn’t great, but I did find some of it funny. I give it a strong meh.

TV watched:
Departures: Season 3 (2010) – I love this series and was sorry to see it end. Half the team went on to film a scuba diving focused travel program, so we might seek that out soon.

Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later: Season 1 (2017) – This was just as good as the last Wet Hot American Summer series. These just crack me up. I love how they start off as basic goofy comedies and just get more and more surreal as the season goes on.

Games played:
PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS (2017 pre-release) (PC) – I think I’m getting worse at this game, but it’s still fun.

Pyre (2017) (PC) – I’m still not finished, but this is the latest from one of my favourite game developers, Supergiant Games. Beautiful art and music, although it is dragging a bit in the second half.

Mario Kart 8 (2018) (Switch) – Lee-Ann bought me a Nintendo Switch for my birthday! She’s the best. We’ve mainly been playing Mario Kart, which is both fun and infuriating.

What have you been reading/watching/playing this month?

4 thoughts on “August in Review

  1. Ruthiella

    Happy belated birthday!

    Those folio society books are beautiful. I only have one (The Name of the Rose) which was a gift because yes, they are pricey.

    Sounds like you had a great month! Thanks for sharing the pictures of your trip.

    I have been reading a lot this year, more than normal. Maybe because I am trying really hard to read books I own already. That said, the best book I read in August was a library book! It was Golden Hill by Francis Spufford. First rate historical fiction, I thought it was pretty near perfect.

    Reply
    1. Rob Post author

      Thank you!

      I’ve never heard of Golden Hill, actually. I’ve been meaning to read more historical fiction, so I’ll definitely check that one out, especially with such high praise.

      Reply
  2. Geoff W

    I love stumbling across artists I know/enjoy in random museums. I often feel like I should probably pre-research, but it takes a lot of the fun out of it.

    YAY Mariokart! I’m almost through the game again (three stars, etc) and am really enjoying the Switch. I haven’t committed to Zelda, but I’m definitely looking forward to Skyrim in the winter.

    I’m not sure I’ll read Izzard’s memoir, but I loved hearing him talk about it on one of the NPR shows!

    And last but not least, I agree with you that I rather enjoyed Power Rangers more than I thought I would. I’ll probably see the next one.

    Hope September is going swimmingly now I’m finally around to commenting on August wrap-ups.

    Reply
    1. Rob Post author

      It is really fun finding art you know. I didn’t think it would happen in a modern art museum, except for like Picasso or something, so that was pretty cool.

      The Switch is great. Was very handy for on the plane too.

      September is going quite well, although not so much for bookish stuff. Hoping to get back into the swing of things by the end of the month.

      Reply

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