Saturday, 1 February 2014

Monthly Media Mash - January

I wanted to start doing some book reviews to try and stay motivated for my 'read more' aim.  If I tell you what I'm reading then I have to keep going, right?!  But then I had the idea of combining it with other things I've enjoyed and lo, the Monthly Media Mash was born.

So, here's what I've been spending my time this month reading/watching/enjoying...

Books

My first book of the year was The Contortionist's Handbook by Craig Clevenger.

Image from Amazon

I'd read a lot of good reviews for TCH and I know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but the glowing praise from Chuck Palahniuk and Irvine Welsh sold it to me.  Wikipedia (it was Google's first offering) summarises it thus: 


John Dolan Vincent is a talented young forger with a proclivity for mathematics and drug addiction. In the face of his impending institutionalization, he continually reinvents himself to escape the legal and mental health authorities and to save himself from a life of incarceration. But running turns out to be costly. Vincent's clients in the L.A. underworld lose patience, the hospital evaluator may not be fooled by his story, and the only person in as much danger as himself is the woman who knows his real name.

I was grabbed from the beginning and its fast pace moved the story along well, as we learn little by little about the protagonist's past and what has led him to his current situation.  About two thirds of the way through I felt as though it started to lose its way a little and become a bit repetitive.  Sometimes I was confused as to who people were due to the many aliases John Dolan Vincent has had.  I was looking forward to the 'shock ending', but didn't even realise when I'd got there.  I thought it was the end of a chapter and turned the page, only to discover that it was actually the end of the story.  I was pretty puzzled and went back and forth for a while to check it really was the end.  It was abrupt and unsatisfying to say the least.  I was so perplexed by it that I googled "Contortionist's Handbook ending" to see if I could find any answers.  Perhaps I missed something when I zoned out halfway through the book, I don't know, but yeah...it started out so well and ended disappointingly.  It is quite a short book and I felt that so much more could have been explored, both in the plot and characters.  On the whole I did enjoy it and would give it 3/5.

I am now reading The Great Gatsby. I'll save the review for next month, as I'm only half way through so far.


TV

I very rarely watch actual TV, but I love me a good series to sink my teeth and time into.  I think I much prefer series to films because of the depth of character and story that can be developed.  I am currently watching Chuck, which is a comedy-drama about an everyday guy who works in an electronics store and accidentally gets a top secret CIA database downloaded into his brain.  Danger, adventure and hilarity ensue.  I wasn't sure about it at first, as there are way too many gratuitous female underwear scenes at times.  It's all pretty lighthearted, but it really annoys me.  If you can ignore that it's well worth persevering with as there are lots of laugh-out-loud moments and the characters are really likeable.  Ooh, and I always sofa-dance to the theme tune.  There are five seasons and it's all on Netflix, hoorah!  


Via gizmodo.com.au

Other weekly guilty pleasures are: 

  • Pretty Little Liars.  *SPOILER ALERT*  I really hope this Ezra thing is a huge double bluff - I don't want him to be evil!  They are really going to town on it though.
  • Girls.  I don't understand why I watch this show - I hate all the characters so much, but for some reason it's compulsive viewing!


Movies

Erm...I don't think I've watched any this month!  Must rectify!  Recommend your favourites!


Internet's finest

Someone shared this Budweiser advert earlier and oh lawd, it sucked me right in.  Puppies?  Horsey friend?  Love torn apart?  My heart strings were well and truly tugged.  Well played, marketing folk, well played.  (Don't worry, there's a happy ending.)




If you use Twitter, you may have seen or even retweeted this story, to help find 'Mike', the man who stopped a stranger - Jonny Benjamin - leaping to his death from Waterloo Bridge six years ago.  You can read a bit more about it here.  The campaign was successful, they found Mike, whose name turned out to be Neil, and the two men were reunited.  This story makes me really happy (the video made me cry) and it's a wonderful reminder of how great social media can be - it can be so much more than just cyber-bullying and trolls.  GOOD WORK, TEAM! 





And finally! I just about squealed when I saw this little guy on Tumblr.  A teeny tiny hamster in an even teenier, tinier sweater! 


tinygreycat.tumblr.com

That's about it for this first edition of Monthly Media Mash.  I'll try to pay more attention so I have a better selection of things to share next month!

xx


All images used are taken by and are the property of Tiny Grey Cat, unless otherwise credited. The use of any image from this blog without express permission is strictly prohibited.

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