October 2017 Reading Update

October 2017 Update

Books, Movies, Reading

October was a busy and exciting month.

The month began with Holly’s dad’s visit. Because he was here the very end of September into October, I wrote about that in my September update.

Each year since we’ve been in Philadelphia, Holly and I take time off for a Staycation. The last few years, we took our Staycation at the same time as the Philadelphia Film Festival. Since it was such a busy week, I wrote a separate post about it over at This Creative Midlife since I took a lot of photos and have been posting about my photography over there. It also would be too much to include in these monthly updates.

The other big news of the month is that my story, A Telling Silence, was published in The Penmen Review.

Books Read

After finishing only one book in September, I got back on track by reading 3 in October. Two of the books, Shanthi Sekaran’s Lucky Boy, and Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation were ebooks I got from the library. I’ve been enjoying getting ebook from the library, although I need to do a better job of managing my hold since I haven’t had time to read all the books I’ve gotten during the loan period.

Lucky Boy is one of those books I don’t recall why I was interested in, especially interested in enough to place a hold on it since there’s a limit to how many holds you can have at any one time. As it turned out, I am glad I read it. It was compelling from the start with two very different storyline (Solimar fleeing Mexico & Kavya struggling with her inability to become pregnant). It was unclear for the first part of the book how these stories were going to intersect. But Solimar’s unplanned pregnancy brings them together in a moving way.

Annihilation was a real mood swing being a science fiction tale about the twelfth expedition into the mysterious Area X. It’s really hard to say much about it since the exploration of the area is what makes the book fascinating. Any summary would take away from that. Annihilation is the first of a three book series, and I am definitely interested in continuing.

Finally, I finished the Summer 2017 issue of Ploughshares. As always with a collection of various writing, there are some works I like more than others. My favorites short stories from this issue are Michael Byers’s Fair Seed-Time, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum’s Julia and Sunny, Christine Hodgen’s The Candidate, and Meghan O’Gieblyn’s essay Contemporaries.

Books Read in October

  • Lucky Boy
  • Annihilation
  • Ploughshares Summer 2017

Books Read in 2017

  • A Gambler’s Anatomy (library book)
  • The Princess Diarist (library book)
  • The Best American Essays 2016
  • Moonglow (library book)
  • Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell (ebook)
  • Ploughshares Winter 2017-2018
  • The Good Soldier (ebook)
  • Lost Stars (ebook)
  • Binti (ebook)
  • In Farleigh Field (ebook)
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • The Thrawn Trilogy (ebook)
  • Ploughshares Spring 2017
  • Every Day Is for the Thief (library book)
  • Star Wars, Vol. 1: Skywalker Strikes (ebook)
  • Madame Bovary (library book)
  • Saga, Volume 7
  • Henry and June (ebook)
  • Star Wars, Vol. 2: Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon (ebook)
  • The Golden Secrets of Lettering
  • A Visit from the Goon Squad
  • Star Wars: Darth Vader, Vol. 1: Vader (ebook)
  • Lost Horizon (ebook)
  • Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel (ebook)
  • A Confederacy of Dunces (ebook)
  • The Razor’s Edge (ebook)
  • A Wrinkle in Time (ebook)
  • Exit West (ebook)
  • Swing Time (library book)
  • Lucky Boy (ebook)
  • Annihilation (ebook)
  • Ploughshares Summer 2017

Movies Watched

Most of the movies I saw in October were at the 26th Philadelphia Film Festival.

After watching the HBO documentary, Spielberg, I felt compelled to re-watch Jaws. I’m happy to report that it holds up well.

I also re-watched Jacques Tourneur’s Cat People. I had seen this a long time ago and wanted to watch it again when I first subscribed to FilmStruck. I didn’t get to it before it unceremoniously disappeared, but I made a point of watching it when it rotated back on. I wish Filmstruck was more clear about how long titles will be available to help me prioritize.

It was just a matter of circumstance that I watched Jaws and Cat People back-to-back. They make interesting companion pieces since both suffered from the inability Jaws (technical issues) and Cat People (low budget) to show their creatures. Both ingeniously worked around this problem by making great use of suggestion. In both films, what we don’t see is creepier than anything they could have shown.

The other non-festival film I saw in October was Lone Scherfig’s fabulous Their Finest. I have enjoyed a few of her other movies (Italian for Beginners, Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself, and An Education) so I was looking forward to her latest film. Gemma Arterton gives a great performance as Catrin Cole, a secretary who gets employed as a writer for propaganda films during World War II. I would rank this among the best films of 2016.

This year’s Philadelphia Film Fest was good but not great. I didn’t see anything that I would rave about, but I did see a number of very good movies including Naomi Kawase’s Radiance, Shady Srour’s Holy Air, Ana Asensio’s Most Beautiful Island, Philippe Van Leeuw’s In Syria, Joachim Trier’s Thelma, and Laurent Cantet’s The Workshop.

Movies Watched in October

  • Jaws
  • Cat People
  • Their Finest
  • A Ciambra
  • Radiance
  • Jane
  • Bloody Milk
  • Lady Bird
  • Holy Air
  • Most Beautiful Island
  • In Syria
  • Thelma
  • The Workshop
  • Montparnasse Bienvenue
  • Marlina the Murderer
  • Souvenir
  • 11/8/16

Movies Watched in 2017

  • Hell or High Water
  • 13th
  • Mountains May Depart
  • Hitchcock/Truffaut
  • The Long Good Friday
  • The Witch
  • Patterson (in theater)
  • Swiss Army Man
  • The World of Jacques Demy
  • A Bigger Splash
  • Decline of Western Civilization
  • In the Mood for Love
  • La La Land (in theater)
  • Wayne’s World (in theater)
  • Hail, Caesar
  • Stranger than Paradise
  • Down by Law
  • Mystery Train
  • Night on Earth
  • The World of Henry Orient
  • The Heartbreak Kid
  • Hidden Figures (in theater)
  • Girlfriends
  • I Am Not Your Negro (in theater)
  • Embrace of the Serpent
  • Arrival
  • Something Wild
  • Stop Making Sense (in theater)
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Singles (in theater)
  • The Fits
  • Toni Erdmann
  • Paterson
  • Swingers
  • Elle
  • The Trip
  • The Trip to Italy
  • Puzzle of a Downfall Child
  • Cemetery of Splendor
  • A Woman Under the Influence
  • Right Now Wrong Then
  • The Handmaiden
  • Good Neighbor Sam
  • Things to Come
  • Wonder Woman (in theater)
  • Most Dangerous Game
  • I Vitteloni
  • Cameraperson
  • A Face in the Crowd
  • 3-Iron
  • Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring
  • Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
  • A United Kingdom
  • Safety Last
  • Blow Out
  • Frieda
  • It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
  • Okja
  • Wanda
  • Something Wild
  • The Razor’s Edge (1946)
  • Nosferatu
  • The Kid
  • The Idle Class
  • Catch Me if You Can
  • The In-Laws
  • The Trip to Spain (in theater)
  • The Last Laugh
  • Rogue One
  • The Lost City of Z
  • Sherlock Jr.
  • The Freshman
  • Get Out
  • Tabloid
  • The Friends of Eddie Coyle
  • The Phenix City Story
  • Jaws
  • Cat People
  • Their Finest
  • A Ciambra (in theater)
  • Radiance (in theater)
  • Jane (in theater)
  • Bloody Milk (in theater)
  • Lady Bird (in theater)
  • Holy Air (in theater)
  • Most Beautiful Island (in theater)
  • In Syria (in theater)
  • Thelma (in theater)
  • The Workshop (in theater)
  • Montparnasse Bienvenue (in theater)
  • Marlina the Murderer (in theater)
  • Souvenir (in theater)
  • 11/8/16 (in theater)

Blog Posts

On Being and Formulating in October

On Being and Formulating in 2017

On Educational Media Reviews Online in 2017

On SuperPlus Eats in 2017

On This Creative Midlife in October

On This Creative Midlife in 2017

Photos in the Wild

Photos in the Wild in October

Photos in the Wild in 2017


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