I can’t believe the Summer is already HALFWAY over! How is it August already? I am secretly kind of excited, because as you guys know Fall is hands down my favorite season.
July was such a busy, whirlwind month.. with SO much going on. I’ve kept you guys pretty updated with all the blogs about my Best Friend Julia’s Wedding, as well as trips to the Island.. and my Sister’s Engagement Party! If you haven’t checked those out yet, make sure to click to the home-screen, and have a lurk <3
The fact I managed to get anything read at all this month, is a miracle. The weather has been so beautiful lately, and we live right across from the beach. I love to lay around the house when I’m not working, and read for hours. I figured this month, if I’m going to be laying around reading, I might as well do it at the beach. As a result of this, I’ve been getting so lost in these books, and loving the ocean breeze so much.. that I end up sitting out there for like five hours at a time! The upside of this, is that for once in my life (with the brief exception of my Mexico adventures) I have an actual real TAN! It’s the most tanned I think I’ve ever been in my entire life haha.
I hope you are all having a great Summer so far, and I can’t wait to fill you in on all the Books, T.V, Movies, and other amazing things I’ve discovered this past month. Grab a cup of coffee, or a big glass of wine.. and settle in, because this is going to be a long one.
1.) “Alone Together”
Season 2 is FINALLY here! They released the first 4 episodes of the second season on HULU, and we binge watched them all in one sitting.
I feel like I must have 100% recommended Season 1 to you guys before, because I loved it so much.. and I’ve been telling everyone I know to watch this show. I can’t even put into words how hilarious this is. The dynamic between these two characters Esther and Benji.. is so brilliantly awkward/deeply funny. Esther and Benji (which are their actual real life names), actually created this show together, along with producer Andy Samberg. This series is basically about these two best friends who are trying to navigate their lives in L.A… work, dating, etc. What is so funny about this show is the intense and AWKWARD way they manage to completely fail and destroy everything in their path. It’s very reminiscent of “Curb your Enthusiasm” in a way.. in a much younger more “millennial” way ( I hate that word, but you catch the drift). There is a lot of talk about Instagram, social media stalking, etc etc. Also SO many amazing Comedians have cameo’s, as well as the hilarious Comedian Chris D’elia plays Benji’s older brother (and he’s so so funny). I love this show so much, if you haven’t seen it yet, you really must.
2.) “CNN: The 2000’s”
The most Nostalgic Mini-Series EVER
CNN describes their new Mini-Series as “From executive producers Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman and Mark Herzog, CNN’s Original Series “The 2000s” explores the decade that gave us Facebook, the iPhone and other cultural and political milestones.”.. and while that is pretty much exactly what it’s about.. it’s really SO much more than that.
Ryan and I were just channel surfing around, and I put this on as background noise while I was working on editing photos for a client.. but within two minutes I was immediately HOOKED. The first episode was about all thing’s “2000’s Television”… and I can’t even tell you how intense the NOSTALGIA was. Clips from “The Sopranos”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Breaking Bad”, “Survivor”, “The Bachelor”…. etc etc. A huge part was dedicated to the “birth of reality T.V” as well, which was so fascinating. It showed clips from all of these old show’s, and Ryan and I immediately wanted to watch them ALL over again from the very beginning. The next episodes focus on all things Politics, the birth of the iPhone and Social Media! This was such a gripping mini-series, and I highly suggest it. Trust me, this is a good one.
3.) “Sharp Objects”
HBO Mini-Series, Based on the best-selling book by Gillian Flynn
As you guys know Gillian Flynn is one of my “Top 5 Fav Authors”, and “Sharp Objects” was the one show coming out this year.. that I was anticipating the most. I was also slightly terrified, because seeing a book you love so much come to life on screen, can be a huge gamble. Sometimes it can go horribly wrong.. like with a bad casting choice, too many changes, poorly filmed etc. However, as soon as I saw HBO was doing this adaptation, I had complete faith in it turning out amazing. I was right. This. Show. Is. PERFECT.
I have a million things I want to say about this, and I should probably wait until the show is completely over.. to go into great detail about all my thoughts, but I will let you know how I feel about the first four episodes.
Firstly, Amy Adams is electric as Camille Preaker. She is such an amazing Actress, and she is a very well known Actress as well. Sometimes this can be a bad thing, because you find it hard to get lost in the immersion, and you find yourself thinking “oh it’s Amy Adams” over and over. That was not the case with “Sharp Objects”. Amy does such a heartbreaking and REAL interpretation of this character.. and she is SO good, that I didn’t even think about her being “Amy Adams” once. She is Camille Preaker fully, and what a job she does. The character of Camille is not an easy one to play. She’s very troubled, and her story-line is incredibly dark.. and actually very hard to watch. She makes it feel so real, that some of the very harrowing scenes are almost physically uncomfortable to watch (which is a good thing).
The atmosphere of this show is very eerie, and desolate. The director does a great job of conveying the abandoned feeling of this small town in the middle of nowhere. Every actor in this is brilliant. I love seeing Sophia Ellis playing young Camille, she’s such a talented young actress ( I loved her as Beverly in “IT”).
I can’t wait to see the next episodes!
IMDB Plot Summary (It’s brief, which is good.. because you should really go into this one blind). “A reporter confronts the psychological demons from her past when she returns to her hometown to cover a violent murder.”
1.) “Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again”
The MOST fun ever!
Oh I just loved every minute of this. My Dad is a huge ABBA fan, and as a family we have always loved watching the first movie, going to see the Musical, and listening to all the songs over and over. This movie was part sequel, and actually part prequel. It was all about Donna’s life when she was young.. and how she met all three of those potential baby-daddy’s. It was so much fun, the music was fantastic, and Lily James was so captivating as young Donna. I loved her so much. Also my #1 celeb crush Colin Firth was in it, so honestly I would have loved it for that simple fact alone haha.
If you liked the first film, or if you love ABBA.. there is no way you won’t enjoy this. Also CHER was in it!
2.) “I Kill Giants”
Based on the Graphic Novel
I don’t know how I hadn’t heard about this amazing film before.. or the Graphic Novel! It came out not too long ago, and I just randomly came across this a few nights ago. The stunning movie poster grabbed me right away, and as soon as I watched the Trailer.. I had that “feeling”. You know the feeling you get when you can tell you’ve just stumbled upon something great? That was this feeling.
From the opening scene of this film, until the last frame… I was riveted. This is definitely a movie for a younger audience, and I worry it has been marketed in the wrong way. Some people looking for a fun adventure movie for their kids to watch, will probably be misled. While there is a major fantastical “Hunting Giants” theme (with some incredible graphics of some amazing CGI Giants), the actual movie is about a young girl dealing with some major trauma and grief. She is dealing with her grief, and in in such a state of denial about her reality.. that she’s got some pretty serious problems in her social/family life. It’s actually a very dark movie, and it was very sad. While there is a lot of fun Giant myths and lore discussed, the “Giants” are more of a metaphor for something much darker and deeper. None of this is a spoiler, you see this all in the trailer.
I also thought Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy), who plays Barbara’s therapist, was really great in this. Also her Sister played by the Actress Imogen Poots (I also have a huge crush on), so that was a thrill as well haha.
The young Actress Madison Wolfe, who plays Barbara.. absolutely blew me away with her talent. She was so charismatic and she commands the screen. I think we will be seeing a lot more from her to come. I will absolutely be checking out this Graphic Novel.
Written by Diablo Cody (Juno)
This movie is the latest from writer Diablo Cody, who has written some of my fav movies (Juno & Young Adult). She has once again teamed up with Charlize Theron & Director Jason Rietman (after joining them both for “Young Adult”), and her latest is just as amazing. “Young Adult” is still my top fav, but this is a close second.
This movie is the story of a woman with two kids, who has just had her third child. To say she is stressed, overworked, and exhausted is an understatement. This movie doesn’t really start off being “about” anything specific.. it’s more of an intimate look into this woman’s life. The way it’s Directed is so perfectly simplistic, that you almost forget you are watching a movie, and it feels like you are a fly on the wall in this woman’s chaotic home.
Everything about this movie felt so authentic. From her Marriage, to her dealing with her kid’s Principal.. etc, it all felt real. Like something a real woman would deal with. It’ wasn’t glamorized at all, in fact it was probably the opposite. About the 1/2 mark into the movie we are introduced to “Tully” who is a night nurse hired to help out with the baby at night. The friendship that begins between her and Charlize’s character Marlo, was fascinating. I really enjoyed this movie, and it felt like a slice of life. It wasn’t the “Hollywood” version of motherhood, it felt like something a lot more real. Which is the genius of Diablo Cody’s work.
Broadway Across Canada
The BEST Night of My Life
OMG, it finally happened! I’ve been waiting with so much desperate anticipation for the “Broadway Across Canada” production of Les Misérables, that came to Vancouver July 10th! Ryan and I got tickets, and we had the most amazing little date night out. I watched the movie the night before in preparation, and blasted the soundtrack all day. By the time five pm rolled around I was waiting at the front door ready to roll.
We had the most delicious dinner Downtown, and then headed to Queen Elizabeth Theater for the show. Ryan is so cute and he bought me the collectible Les Misérables hoodie, and normally I never wear the concert merch I get.. but I’ve been wearing this every night (even though it’s boiling hot out).
The show was perfect, down to the last detail. I’ve seen Les Misérables live a few times, and this was hands down the most amazing. The lead actor who played Jean Valjean, was played by Nick Cartell. Nick Cartell has the most beautiful voice I have ever heard, maybe in my entire life. When he sang the haunting song “Bring Him Home”, every single person in the theater got on their feet for a standing ovation as soon as he hit that final note. Wow. Seriously wow. Best night ever.
1.) “Tin Man”
By: Sarah Winman
“And I wonder what the sound of a heart breaking might be. And I think it might be quiet, unperceptively so, and not dramatic at all. Like the sound of an exhausted swallow falling gently to earth.”
This little book, is one of the most beautifully written things I’ve ever read. I must have underlined over 100 quotes. I read the entire thing in one sitting. It’s such a heartbreaking and deeply relateable story about first loves. It’s so atmospheric and heavy with emotion. I really loved this. It reminded me quite a bit of “Call me by your Name”, which I read earlier this year, and loved as well. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this book, since I read that final page. One of the best of the year so far.
“There’s something about first love, isn’t there? she said. It’s untouchable to those who played no part in it. But it’s the measure of all that follows.”
(Good-Reads Plot Summary)
4 hours, 33 minutes
(This is almost a love story.
Ellis and Michael are twelve when they first become friends, and for a long time it is just the two of them, cycling the streets of Oxford, teaching themselves how to swim, discovering poetry, and dodging the fists of overbearing fathers. And then one day this closest of friendships grows into something more.)
“It was still a world of shyness and fear, and those shared moments were everything: my loneliness masquerading as sexual desire. But it was my humanness that led me to seek, that’s all. Led us all to seek. A simple need to belong somewhere.”
2.) “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”
The Outstanding, Ground-Breaking Memoir
By: Jean-Dominique Bauby
“I need to feel strongly, to love and admire, just as desperately as I need to breathe.”
This book is unlike anything I have ever read. This is a memoir, written by a man who has suffered a severe stroke, and is now stuck in something called “locked-in syndrome”. He is completely paralyzed, without any speech ability, and can only very very minimally move his facial features… but his mind is completely functional. He is quite literally, trapped inside his head. He wrote this stunning work of literary genius… all by blinking his one working eye. Wikipedia can explain how this worked better than me, and I don’t want to risk getting anything factually inaccurate.
Despite his condition, he wrote the book The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by blinking when the correct letter was reached by a person slowly reciting the alphabet over and over again using a system called partner-assisted scanning. Bauby composed and edited the book entirely in his head, and dictated it one letter at a time. To make dictation more efficient, Bauby’s interlocutor, Claude Mendibil, listed the letters in accordance with their frequency in the French language.
This book is simply beautiful. If you think about how immensely difficult it was for Jean to get any of his words and thoughts on paper, you begin to realize that every single word in this memoir has meaning. Nothing is there for “filler”, it is all so important, so crucial. The book is separated into several chapters, all focusing on different aspects of his current state of life, his family, his memories, his hopes and dreams. It is a very difficult read, and is honestly probably the most heartbreaking story I’ve ever read (other than Elie Wiesel’s “Night”). This man is a complete inspiration, and I feel so honored to have had a chance to read this story.
Despite the horrific conditions he found himself in, he finds a way to make every story so hopeful. The sheer power of his words blew me away. This book is so selfless, and every single one of you should get a copy of this. My mind is blown. One of the most pure things I’ve ever read.
“I am fading away. Slowly but surely. Like the sailor who watches his home shore gradually disappear, I watch my past recede. My old life still burns within me, but more and more of it is reduced to the ashes of memory.”
(‘Locked-in syndrome: paralyzed from head to toe, the patient, his mind intact, is imprisoned inside his own body, unable to speak or move. In my case, blinking my left eyelid is my only means of communication.’
In December 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor-in-chief of French ‘Elle’ and the father of two young children, suffered a massive stroke and found himself paralysed and speechless, but entirely conscious, trapped by what doctors call ‘locked-in syndrome’. Using his only functioning muscle – his left eyelid – he began dictating this remarkable story, painstakingly spelling it out letter by letter.
His book offers a haunting, harrowing look inside the cruel prison of locked-in syndrome, but it is also a triumph of the human spirit.)
“Far from such din, when blessed silence returns, I can listen to the butterflies that flutter inside my head. To hear them, one must be calm and pay close attention, for their wingbeats are barely audible. Loud breathing is enough to drown them out. This is astonishing: my hearing does not improve, yet I hear them better and better. I must have butterfly hearing.”
3.) “Fully Functioning Human (Almost)
Part Memoir/Part Life-Guide From You-Tuber
By: Melanie Murphy
Melanie Murphy is an Irish You-Tuber, who I have been following for quite some time. I absolutely love her, and all of her content. She’s so beautiful, funny, and so inspiring. She makes all kinds of videos about body-image, dating, sex, travel vlog’s, and more! When I saw she had her own book out, I HAD to have it.
This book is great, and she goes into so much depth about so many important issues she has struggled with, like eating disorders, coming out as bi-sexual, social media hate, etc. She talks a lot about mental health and anxiety, and I found a lot of her tips very helpful. I really loved this one, and if you have never checked out Melanie’s You-Tube channel, you totally should.
By: Amy Reed
“I wonder if anybody else feels this way, if anyone in here is as scared as I am. Are they as sad and angry and confused and ashamed? Is that even possible? Is it even possible for one building to hold all that pain?”
This book is about a group of teenagers, who are all at a treatment center for Drugs & Alcohol. The story is told from multiple P.O.V’S, and it was pretty good. There was a lot that I liked about it, and a lot that I thought they got somewhat “right”.. but I feel like the book went out of it’s way to be “shocking”, in a bad way. It got a bit ridiculous towards the middle, and they kept sort of trying to like “one-up” another with some new disturbing secret. I understand that for lots of people serious trauma is a reality, but this was handled so badly and just thrown around with no resolution. Nobody got any help with these confessions, or had any resolution.. it just left me feeling a bit annoyed.
It wasn’t awful though, and I did enjoy reading it. I wouldn’t really recommend it. Very serious trigger warnings for drug & alcohol abuse, eating disordered behavior, sexual assault, and trauma (mainly because of how poorly all of these issues are handled).
(Good-Reads Plot Summary)
(Olivia, Kelly, Christopher, Jason, and Eva have one thing in common: They’re addicts. Addicts who have hit rock bottom and been stuck together in rehab to face their problems, face sobriety, and face themselves. None of them wants to be there. None of them wants to confront the truths about their pasts. And they certainly don’t want to share their darkest secrets and most desperate fears with a room of strangers. But they’ll all have to deal with themselves—and one another—if they want to learn how to live. Because when you get that high, there’s nowhere to go but down, down, down.)
5.) “Almost Love”
By: Louise O’Neill
“Love was holding your breath until they texted you. Love was waiting for them to decide that you’re good enough.”
I just recently finished reading Louise O’Neill’s re-telling of “The Little Mermaid”, called “The Surface Breaks”, and I loved it. Louise O’Neill also wrote “Only Ever Yours”, which is another of my favorite books from last year. When I saw she had a new book, that wasn’t a “YA” novel, I immediately jumped on it. I had to order it online from The U.K again, and it came from the same book-shop Blackwell’s!
This is the story of a young artist named Sarah, and her very dark and problematic relationship with a much older man. It jumps back and forth with the timeline, from the present, where she is happy in a new relationship (but still thinking about her ex)… to the past, where we learn all about this awful ex.
I really enjoyed the way the Art world was represented in this book, and I found all the talk about painting, and immersing yourself in the work, fascinating. I did enjoy reading all about the scandalous relationship.. but I had one pretty major flaw with it. I really really HATED Sarah the main character. She was fine, and I was sympathetic with her of course… but she was so angry, and mean.. and just SO selfish and un-appreciative. It made me so mad haha.
Louise O’Neill is an amazing author, and I will read anything she ever writes. This was like I said a really really good book.. I just didn’t love the character. I would still recommend! She might not annoy you guys as much as she annoyed me, haha.
(Good-Reads Plot Summary)
(If it doesn’t hurt, it’s not love: the gripping new novel from the bestselling author of Asking for It. Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes and Jodi Picoult.
When Sarah falls for Matthew, she falls hard.
So it doesn’t matter that he’s twenty years older. That he sees her only in secret. That, slowly but surely, she’s sacrificing everything else in her life to be with him.
Sarah’s friends are worried. Her father can’t understand how she could allow herself to be used like this. And she’s on the verge of losing her job.
But Sarah can’t help it. She is addicted to being desired by Matthew.
And love is supposed to hurt.
6.) “Snot Girl: Volume 2”
Written By: Bryan Lee O’Malley & Illustrated By: Leslie Hung
This series has kind of a gross name, but I’m still just as obsessed with it as ever. I loved the first Volume of this Series so much. I think the fact I’m a Blogger, makes me relate to it so much. It’s very much a satire, and I love reading it and being able to laugh at myself, and just the at-times ridiculous nature of social media.
Lottie is a hilarious character, so self absorbed and funny. Also the ART in this series is visually stunning. There is also a lurking underbelly of mystery, and I’m genuinely curious how it’s going to all play out.
(Good-Reads Plot Summary)
(From the creator of SCOTT PILGRIM! Lottie Person is a glamorous fashion blogger living her best life in L.A. — at least that’s what she wants you to think. CALIFORNIA SCREAMING finds Lottie putting the past behind her and trying to make the best of a bad situation — her life! Lottie’s new bestie is an emotional roller coaster: first she died, and then she killed someone. Who will Caroline hurt next, and what is her brother Virgil doing here? What secret is Detective John Cho seeking in the desert? Why did Cutegirl ghost her sister? Is Normgirl really going to marry Ashley? And what in god’s name did Sunny ever see in Charlene? These questions and many others may possibly be answered in SNOTGIRL, VOL. 2: CALIFORNIA SCREAMING! IGN calls SNOTGIRL “Fresh and different!” and says “its sheer weirdness, creativity and heart will appeal to fans of SCOTT PILGRIM and SECONDS!” Collects SNOTGIRL #6-10.)
Shopping for Paige’s Wedding Dress
My little Sister said “YES” to the Dress! It was the most wonderful day, and honestly she looked stunning in every gown she tried on. I took some exciting photos, but I assure you.. the dress she bought was not photographed. That will remain a surprise, until next August <3
Other Random Snapshots from July,
Thanks so much for reading you guys,
See you soon with some more exciting Summer content!
(All Photography @Carly Ingram Photography 2018) *With the exception of the T.V & Movie Photos, Courtesy of Google Images 2018 *