Movie: The Death of Stalin (2017)

Posted 10 August, 2018 by Lianne in Entertainment / 0 Comments

Follows the Soviet dictator’s last days and depicts the chaos of the regime after his death.

source

I love The Thick of It and In the Loop (review) so when I found out that Armando Iannucci made a movie about Soviet Russia–and you know me, I studied Soviet Russian history and all–I just had to watch it.

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Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Posted 8 August, 2018 by Lianne in Miscellaneous / 2 Comments

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).

  1. I hope that heat wave we experienced last weekend is the last of the season. I’m so done with summer, you guys!
  2. So all I’ve been doing recently is working. Working, working, working. So much so that even some of my patients were beginning to wonder if I had any time for myself, lol. I did…the last two days, lol. It’s been so busy and heavy at work lately, and fairly short-staffed on top of it so you’re doing overtime and whatnot. Trying to think of it as travel money, but yeah, it’s exhausting. I am however planning on taking a week off later this month just to relax though.
  3. Last month was our admin clerk’s retirement party. It was a lot of fun–most of us turned out, particularly us part-timers (we all ended up at the same table as we’re the ones who work together the most)–but at the same time it was pretty sad because she’s so nice and she’s just such a fixture at the unit. It’ll be so different without her at the desk. But she deserves it.
  4. Us part-timers had so much fun that in fact we’re doing a get-together next week lol 😀
  5. Meanwhile I may have splurged quite a bit in the past month. Finally ordered from Baum Kuchen; no regrets, their stuff is beautiful and very well-made. My travel TN is all set for the next adventure 😉 Bought the stuff under the guise of an early EARLY birthday present but anyway…
  6. I also bought an Anello knapsack and shoulder bag after eyeing it for quite some time (and no knowing the name of the brand until recently). It looks great and light and I can see how it’s set up to fit a lot of stuff. Of course now I’m also eyeing Gaston Luga for a travel knapsack. This just never ends, does it? lol
  7. Books I’m currently reading: finishing up Justin Cronin’s The Passage (it’s so slow ;_;), slowly reading through John English’s Just Watch Me: the Life of Pierre Elliot Trudeau, 1968 – 2000 (it’s a chunkster of a book), and Oliver Pötzsch’s The Ludwig Conspiracy (I’m not wholly familiar with German history, believe it or not, so this is a bit of an eye-opener alongside the historical thriller aspect).
  8. Another bummer about just working non-stop lately: all of my side projects fell by the wayside. My poetry book (so close to being completed), going through photos from my trip to post here, other stuff…
  9. School stuff also got pushed aside a bit as I have transfer credits and student card to apply for. I attended the orientation for my programme last week and surprisingly it wasn’t as overwhelming as I thought it would be. Brownie points for this programme, it might not be so bad after all.
  10. My blog’s been acting up a bit, I’m not sure if you guys are experiencing it whenever you’re on it (pages not loading, hence why it takes longer for me to schedule stuff). But in other news I FINALLY added a My Books section for my poetry books 🙂

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And that’s it from me! How have you been? 🙂

Review: Eligible

Posted 6 August, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Eligible
By: Curtis Sittenfeld
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase

This version of the Bennet family and Mr. Darcy is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.

Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.

Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend, neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy, reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . . And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.

I’ve been fairly wary of retellings of familiar classics like Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice but I’ve heard fairly good reviews of this book and the modernisation in this retelling sounds intriguing so I picked it up.

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Review: The Pigeon Tunnel

Posted 3 August, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 1 Comment

The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories From My Life
By: John le Carre
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

“Out of the secret world I once knew, I have tried to make a theatre for the larger worlds we inhabit. First comes the imagining, then the search for reality. Then back to the imagining, and to the desk where I’m sitting now.”

From his years serving in British Intelligence during the Cold War, to a career as a writer that took him from war-torn Cambodia to Beirut on the cusp of the 1982 Israeli invasion to Russia before and after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, le Carré has always written from the heart of modern times. In this, his first memoir, le Carré is as funny as he is incisive, reading into the events he witnesses the same moral ambiguity with which he imbues his novels. Whether he’s writing about the parrot at a Beirut hotel that could perfectly mimic machine gun fire or the opening bars of Beethoven’s Fifth, visiting Rwanda’s museums of the unburied dead in the aftermath of the genocide, celebrating New Year’s Eve 1982 with Yasser Arafat and his high command, interviewing a German woman terrorist in her desert prison in the Negev, listening to the wisdoms of the great physicist, dissident, and Nobel Prize winner Andrei Sakharov, meeting with two former heads of the KGB, watching Alec Guinness prepare for his role as George Smiley in the legendary BBC TV adaptations, or describing the female aid worker who inspired the main character in The Constant Gardener, le Carré endows each happening with vividness and humor, now making us laugh out loud, now inviting us to think anew about events and people we believed we understood.

Best of all, le Carré gives us a glimpse of a writer’s journey over more than six decades, and his own hunt for the human spark that has given so much life and heart to his fictional characters.

From the books I’ve read so far by John le Carre, I’ve really enjoyed them, so I was really curious when he released a book about his own experiences and impressions. The book went on sale a few years ago so I snatched it up but then it stayed on my TBR pile for some time–like many of my other books–until a few months ago when I just had the urge to start this book.

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Review: Before the Fall

Posted 1 August, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 1 Comment

Before the Fall
By: Noah Hawley
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

On a foggy summer night, eleven people–ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter–depart Martha’s Vineyard headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the passengers disappear into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs–the painter–and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of a wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the tragedy and the backstories of the passengers and crew members–including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot–the mystery surrounding the crash heightens. As the passengers’ intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy: Was it merely dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations–all while the reader draws closer and closer to uncovering the truth.

The fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.

Sort of picked this book up and started reading before I went on holiday; this was the time when I was in a book slump and nothing was piquing my interesting so after the first chapter or so I had put this book back down. After sort of overcoming my book slump upon returning from holiday, I picked this book back up again to finish it 🙂

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