Category: Mini Reviews

If You Love Movies

You will like this montage.

Thanks to a friend for sending it in.

Netflix and Prime Reviews

We haven’t watched TV for 10 years because it all seemed to be crap. Opportunities for distraction have been greatly reduced on Prison Planet (formerly called Earth), so we have been forced back to network television. Much to our surprise, there is some pretty decent programming.

MadMen, Breaking Bad and The Good Wife are all stellar – very well written and superb casting.

Mind Hunters was gripping, as were some of the Black Mirror episodes. Dirty John was a fascinating study of a psychopath with a woman in his thrall. After Life with Ricky Gervais was a mix of deep emotional pain and belly laughs.

Very British Problems on Prime was original and funny. And every night we end with Jeopardy to gloat about how smart we are (and wish our friends were in the room to know it too).

It is risky to recommend shows and movies because of differing tolerances for violence, language, and the pointless graphic and gratuitous sex scenes which seem to be in everything except Downton Abbey. Which is still, in my mind, the best show ever written for television. A close second is MI-5, also known as Spooks.

All The Light We Cannot See

A few years ago, I was in a lovely book shop in Cobourg. I always like to ask book store owners about their favourite books. The owner took one from the shelf and pressed it into my hands. One look at the thickness, and I knew it wasn’t for me.

I like thin books, and that one was about 500 pages long. When I resisted she grabbed my arm and implored me to read it. “You must.” she said.

I still refused.

At the cabin this year, I had long stretches of time while the builders fixed the foundation piers and stairs. So I took a chance and got the book from the library.

Unbelievably brilliant. I couldn’t put it down. My royal consort loved it too.

Advice From A Failure

Is the title of a book considered by many to be one of the best self-help books ever written.

Here is an excerpt from the section on friendship:

“I was introduced recently to a man who is an editor, playwright, cat-fancier, and amateur sculptor. We had everything in common, except any great liking for each other. Having eagerly arranged such introductions myself any number of times, with sometimes neutral and occasionally disastrous results, it finally struck me that the secret to having people meet who will like each other is to introduce a close friend of mine, not to someone who resembles him, but to someone who resembles me. This is not conceit but realism in that, if my friend has chosen me, I am the sort of person he is drawn to; his friends are not people like him, they are people like me. With this discovery of the obvious, I have subsequently had better luck with my pairings.”

jo coudert

I have highlighted pearls of wisdom on almost every page of my copy of her book.

I Made a Mistake

There are several websites that I have subscriptions to, like Zen Habits, Quillette, The Greanville Post and Lonerwolf. The investment of time to read them is reasonable.

Then I heard about, and I subscribed. What a mistake. Not because there’s anything wrong with The problem is it’s too good. I could spend my life reading the articles. Most of them are well written and every category is so darn interesting.

This is from their masthead:

Medium taps into the brains of the world’s most insightful writers, thinkers, and storytellers to bring you the smartest takes on topics that matter. So whatever your interest, you can always find fresh thinking and unique perspectives.

What are we actually learning if all we do is scroll through Facebook updates and Instagram feeds? Do we agree with John Erskine who claimed we have a moral obligation to be intelligent? We might want to rethink our screen addiction and think about how dull life could be in the future if erudite conversation dies.

You might know him

But I hadn’t heard of him until last year. He is Seth Godin, one of the world’s most popular bloggers.

Here’s a sample:

“Instead of sorting people by nationality or religion or economics, sort them by Kindness, Expertise, Attitude, Emotional Availability, Honesty, Generosity, Gratitude, Loyalty, Self Care, Awareness, Openness, etc.”

I haven’t read his books yet, but I subscribe to his daily blog, and there is almost always something worthwhile. They are short, so he never wastes your time.

Here is the link if you want to check him out.

Tsundoku (informal)

The act of leaving a book unread after buying it, typically piled up together with other such unread books.

No book review today.

Damn tsundoku.

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