Cultural Catch Up

It’s been fairly quiet on here for a while although it’s been far from quiet behind the scenes!

Novel writing

I’ve taken a break from blog tours for the time being as I made the decision to really get cracking on with my crime novel. I am happy to report that I’ve been making good progress so far and am currently past the 30k mark (roughly half way through). This is the first in a series of which I have outlined the first three books. I’ve been getting lots of advice and encouragement from my writer friends which has been very helpful as I’ve been progressing. My deadline for a good rough first draft is by Christmas, so wish me luck!

Reads

Of course, my insomnia means that I have been reading lots too as usual. I’ve enjoyed My Friend Anna: The true story of the fake heiress of New York City by Rachel De Loach Williams and The Furies by Katie Lowe which reminded me of The Craft in the theme it has of witches and 1990’s setting (apart from the fact that it is set in an English school). I’ve also been impressed by the true crime book Savage Appetites: Four True Stories of Women, Crime, and Obsession by Rachel Monroe which examines womens’ relationship to true crime through four key figures.

I’m looking forward to reading the big new releases, The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and the new Philip Pullman book The Secret Commonwealth: The Book of Dust Volume Two as well as the new Hilary Mantel which comes out next year.

Films

As for film, the most recent films I’ve seen are Aladdin Live Action 2019 [DVD], Disney’s The Lion King [DVD] [2019]Us (Blu-ray) [2019] [Region Free] and a brilliant remastered re-release of Notorious [1946] (Alfred Hitchcock) [DVD]

I also saw two NT live performances. One was All About Eve, which was excellent and the other was All My Sons which was incredibly well acted. There are bound to be some new NT live productions coming up this season which will be worth a watch. These productions are great for those of us who live far away from London and I’ve never been disappointed with any that I’ve seen.

TV

I have a to be watched list for TV shows that’s about as long as my arm! Of course, Autumn is dominated by Strictly and that’s no real bad thing in my book, talking of books here is the annual; Official Strictly Come Dancing Annual 2020. I’ve watched Strictly since it began and always like to guess who will win, though it’s very hard to tell at the beginning, of course! I recently watched the last series of Poldark: The Complete Collection – Series 1 to 5 [DVD] [2019], which was a return to form and a dramatic conclusion to a much loved series. I’ve also started to watch Sanditon [DVD] [2019] and have enjoyed what I’ve seen so far. Pose series two starts on BBC in October and I was impressed with series one, so will probably add this to my TBW pile.

During a bout of flu, I did manage to watch the recent Fosse/Verdon series which was excellent and is based on this book: Fosse: The Biography.  I knew a little about Bob Fosse after watching Chicago [DVD] [2003], Cabaret – Special Edition [DVD] and All That Jazz [1979] [DVD]. Fosse/Verdon introduced me to Gwen Verdon who I’d never heard of before and Michelle Williams really brings her to life in this show. The overall story shows just how much Fosse’s legacy was owed to Verdon and explored their volatile relationship and the reasons why they were such complicated and in Fosse’s case self-destructive figures.

So that’s it for the time being, a quick cultural catch up! Let me know if you’ve enjoyed any of the same or would recommend that I read / watch any others I’ve missed.