As the spring sun is getting bright enough for me to start regretting that my apartment does not have curtains, it's time to close the door on winter and look back at all the things I've been watching and reading.
Despite this being an incredibly busy period in my life, I've been cramming in lots of literature and TV, luckily. I think I've started rewarding myself more by being more productive during the day, then handing myself over fully to my book, being able to enjoy it guilt free.
So let's take a look at all the stuff I've been rewarding myself with!
#1 Call the Midwife series 7 (and intermittently also rewatching series 3)
God, this truly deserves to be the number one on my list. I would like to refrain from spoilers but I doubt I'll even be able to when I properly start being all mushy about this show. Because series 7 was a wild ride from start to finish, one of the most emotionally taxing shows ever. I think it's so particularly odd that even the BBC introduces this show every Sunday by claiming it's a nostalgic look back at the 60s. Well, pardon me? Series 7 was real and painful and beautiful in a thoroughly heart-wrenching way. We meet new characters and say goodbye to the dearest people.
What I love so much about Call the Midwife is that it does not take kindness and compassion for granted - in fact, this show is about everybody learning that compassion is a good and a beautiful thing. As someone who's on the warpath to achieve a kinder world, this appeals a lot to me.
#2 The Power - Naomi Alderman
I picked this book up quite by accident. A colleague had left it lying around, and after flipping through it for about two seconds, I was hooked. I read 80 pages in one go at work, and then afterwards I couldn't wait to get my own copy.
In this book we get to experience what it would be like if women started getting the upper hand in society. One day, all girls get The Power, and with that they're able to give electric shocks and even kill people. We follow this reversed world order along as it slowly starts to unravel and get out of hand.
While this book is certainly flawed, it is a compelling novel that you can never put down. It is obviously quite well thought out, and perhaps its most compelling aspect is that the ending is not even that weird or apocalypse-sci-fi-plot twist-ish, because the slow lead up is just portrayed so realistically! It's a definite recommendation!
#3 The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
After the trailer for the upcoming film came out earlier this month, how could I not reread this classic. I read it about four years ago for the first time and fell in love with the format, the characters and the overall feeling of the novel. This time I was back at it again within seconds. I just love this book to bits, and I figure it is one of those books that I'll be able to read and reread a hundred times.
Right after the Second World War columnist Juliet is struggling for a new subject for a book - that is, until she receives a letter from someone who tells her about the Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society, a book club that inhabitants of the island Guernsey established accidentally, which grows into a way for the islanders to cope with the German occupation.
It is such a beautiful book about love and survival and healing from pain. I am definitely looking forward to the movie coming out soon!
#4 Pride and Prejudice (1995)
During the last week, I've been busy writing an essay on marriage in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice for a non-classics related gender course. It was lovely to write and it was nice to close-read the novel a little more, but what was even nicer was to have the 1995 series playing in the background. While the 2005 version is obviously way better on the aesthetics, I feel that the 1995 show has captured the novel perfectly. I love the casting and the music and the scenery. It's amazing. I could start again this minute. But perhaps after so much Pride and Prejudice, I should maybe switch to Persuasion for tonight's Austen screening. Now we're on that topic: Persuasion 1995 or 2007? THE big question ;)
#5 Outlander: The Fiery Cross & A Breath of Snow and Ashes - Diana Gabaldon
It is no secret that I love me a good saga. We've seen it often enough before: Hornblower, Poldark, the Bridgertons. I was amazingly happy when, this summer, I finally decided that Outlander was worth another try. Of course then I had to read all the books. I have a lot of time at work to read (I work during the day and there's hardly anyone around at those hours), so I can devour these novels pretty quickly. I love them even if they are a bit heavy-handed and overly descriptive sometimes. I can't stay away from them. The characters and the writing fascinate me in a way that I always NEED to know what is going to happen next.
#6 The Midwife's Daughter - Patricia Ferguson
Though I eventually felt a bit conflicted about this novel - simply because it was a bit too ambitious, tackling way too many subjects in too short a time period -, I still really enjoyed it. We follow Violet, one of the last local women who help in childbirth. It's 1900 and the world is changing fast. Violet's twin sister, Bea, works at a foundling hospital. One day, Violet's eye spots a little child who looks just like her own deceased daughter... only the girl is black. After this, we follow the girl, Grace, as she tries to make her way in the world.
The story was nice, but, as I said, a little bit much. Perhaps it would have been better as a series. But still if you like a historical novel, this is a good one!
#7 The Frankenstein Chronicles
I discovered this recently with my boyfriend and we got really into it when I was recovering from wisdom teeth removal surgery. It's quite loosely based on Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein. Somewhere at the end of the 1820s, Sean Bean's character finds a body washed up on the shore. Except, it's not just one body, but it's different body parts of different children sewn together. Sean Bean's character is charged to find the perpetrator, and we follow him on a gritty journey through even grittier London. There's poverty, there's syphilis, there are creepy pimps, and body snatchers. There's handsome doctors, creepy doctors, zombie-ish galvanism, and what not. So what's not to love?
Of course it's only a short version of everything I read and watched, but these are the books and shows that stood out to me most! I have also been watching lots of movies in the cinema (perks, I know), but perhaps I'll be making a separate post about them!
I immensely enjoyed my dosage of TV and literature these past few months and I hope that the next have even better stuff in store for me. I know Poldark is due to start again somewhere near the summer... ;)
Tell me what you've been watching and reading!
My name is Vera. I am a twenty-one year old student and catlady.