28 October 2021

October Recap

1. Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella

I read this book as a distraction for myself this month. It's one of the few Shopaholic books I haven't read, and I don't plan on reviewing it properly for the blog because there's nothing really to review lol. It's a cute little fluff novel but I have to say it's my least favourite of the franchise so far. The Brandons travel to California for Luke's work and I realized being in the UK was part of the series' charm. If you like these, read it, it won't take very long. If you've never read one of these, start with the original and work in chronological order. - MG

Isla Fischer as Becky Bloomwood in the adaptation of the original Confessions of a Shopaholic (I wish they had adapted the rest)

2. City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

This is Elizabeth Gilbert's most recent fiction novel and it was on the blog earlier this month. I have sort of mixed feelings about it. You can check out the full review here. - MG

3. Broken People by Sam Lansky 

This was the book I reviewed for the blog this month - even though it was one I read in late summer. I have been in a big fiction-only mood lately, and this was another new author I wanted to try out. You can read my thoughts on it here. - MH

4. Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen 

I can't have this October Recap go up without mentioning that I am currently reading the new Jonathan Franzen book!! It came out on October 5th, and went to Indigo to pick it up immediately after work. So far so good, but I am still very early in. Review to come! - MH

1. No Time to Die

Scott and I went to see the new James Bond, No Time to Die in theatres over Thanksgiving and it was our first cinema experience since 2019, which feels insane. It was pretty fun but I think we are drive-in people now. The movie itself was awesome. Action movies are really growing on me. I'm personally a Pierce Brosnan Bond girl but I do love Daniel Craig as well and think this is definitely worth the near 3 hour run time (something you'll rarely hear me say). - MG

2. Slasher Films

For movie club this month we are doing six slasher films (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Black Christmas, Friday the 13th, The Slumber Party Massacre, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Child's Play). If I had to recommend any of these for your pre-Halloween viewing, it would definitely be The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) which was terrifying and made me want to puke. BUT, I would also highly recommend A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) which I found both unsettling and entertaining. Freddy just has such a passion for killing, it's hard not to admire. - MH

a still from A Nightmare on Elm Street and quite possibly one of the scariest pics I've ever seen

3. Lamb

The other movie I would recommend checking out was one Ben and I were lucky enough to see in theatres. We went to Halifax over the long weekend and got to see an Icelandic movie called Lamb. It stars Noomi Rapace (from the Swedish Girl With a Dragon Tattoo series, and Prometheus). It is very weird, but the scenery is beautiful and the story is intriguing. Definitely a bit grim though, so maybe don't want as your last Sunday night movie. - MH  

1. Squid Game

When I originally heard about Squid Game I assumed it was a movie. I was surprised to hear it was a South Korean TV show and decided to give it a go shortly after Meg did. I really enjoyed it and found it so unique. I love Lee Jung-jae and found him so funny/expressive. I'd like to check out anything else he is in. You don't need to watch this show with a significant other because everyone at work, gym, etc., will be talking about it. Episode five made me cry :( -MH

a still from Midnight Mass

2. Midnight Mass

Mike Flanagan's Midnight Mass will almost certainly make my top ten TV shows of 2021. It is a great option if you are a bit of a scaredy-cat but want something in line with Halloween. It's about a small community and the events that transpire after a new priest comes to town. The show deals with death, forgiveness, fanaticism, AA (my fav), and some other heavy topics. Ben and I watched this together in one weekend. - MH 

3. Scenes from a Marriage

This isn't for the easily bored or faint of heart but it is worth watching if you love complex relationships and it's all out now on Crave + HBO. Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain make easily one of the most beautiful on-screen couples of all time in this re-make of the 1973 Ingmar Bergman series. It's only 5 episodes (but it feels like 10) and I found it all very slow and drawn out unless they were fighting, in which case it's completely captivating. The series shows a marriage as it sort of twists and turns over the course of many years. - MG

4. The Great Canadian Baking Show

There is no show with comparable relaxation power as this one, and season 4 is brand new on Netflix! The cameras pan across the baking tent and I am basically at a day spa. I love how nice the Canadians are to each other. I love how sweet they are to try and dedicate every single little cannoli roll to someone they know from home. I love how they are so amped to win star baker every week even though there's no prize, and I love the judge's blazing french accent when he says "show stopper". If you need a pick me up look no further. I don't even care about baking at all. - MG

1. The Deep Dive

I started listening to this in the summer on recommendation from mine and Meg's favourite Instagram account (things I bought and liked- don't ask it's unhealthy). It took me a while to get into it but now the hosts (June Diane Raphael and Jessica St. Clair) feel like friends that I miss hanging with if I'm late to get to listen to their show one week. Their group would be my first pick for celebrity friend groups to be a part of and I laugh through their entire ~1 hr weekly show. They have friends on to discuss things like motherhood, grief, friendship, etc. They are a bit too into astronomy for my liking but I am happy to ignore those bits to enjoy the rest. - MG

2. Blank Check

I have to recommend my all-time favourite podcast (mentioned frequently on this blog) Blank Check. It is hosted by Griffin and David and they do miniseries on directors. The last few weeks have been centered on John Carpenter (The Thing, Halloween, Christine, etc.) Carpenter is an amazing filmmaker and his movies are perfect for October. Blank Check gives you so much gossip, research, and insight into the director, cast, and production. I will potentially die happy after I listen to the three-hour episode on Halloween with guest ALEX ROSS PERRY <3 - MH

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