In this new blog segment I recently came up with around three-forty in the morning after stubbing my toe on a pile of books on my way into the kitchen for a large glass of my beloved orange juice…(deep breath)…I’ll be talking about all the new books, movies, bands, etc that I’ve been wanting to read, watch, and listen to! Essentially this will be a monthly update on my current preferences in regards to..well—everything. As noted before, this idea came to me at a peculiar time and I’m typing it up at an even odder hour of the night. I hope you enjoy!
B O O K S
When is my #TBR not stock full of books? Never. It never is.
Currently I’m making my way through a few books at once, but it’s been a struggle to stick to one story with my awful work schedule, wayward friends, and recently moved into new home. My top three books of the month are strange in their own unique ways, but that’s exactly how I love my books.
1. Before the Feast by Saša Stanišić is a German book that was recently translated to English. After work one day I was browsing through the literature section with one of my coworkers when we both spotted this beautiful book cover and grabbed two copies off the shelf. We wound up both buying them, although I believe he has already finished the book while I’m only a few chapters in. Regardless, this is definitely not your average novel.
Goodreads Synopsis: It’s the night before the feast in the village of Fürstenfelde (population: an odd number). The village is asleep. Except for the ferryman – he’s dead. And Mrs Kranz, the night-blind painter, who wants to depict her village for the first time at night. A bell-ringer and his apprentice want to ring the bells – the only problem is that the bells have gone. A vixen is looking for eggs for her young, and Mr Schramm is discovering more reasons to quit life than smoking.
Someone has opened the doors to the Village Archive, but what drives the sleepless out of their houses is not that which was stolen, but that which has escaped. Old stories, myths and fairy tales are wandering about the streets with the people. They come together in a novel about a long night, a mosaic of village life, in which the long-established and newcomers, the dead and the living, craftsmen, pensioners and noble robbers in football shirts bump into each other. They all want to bring something to a close, in this night before the feast.
2. The Architect’s Apprentice by Elif Shafak reminds me of a few books I’ve read and loved, yet also sounds unlike most of the things I read. It was a win-win situation.
Goodreads Synopsis: In her latest novel, Turkey’s preeminent female writer spins an epic tale spanning nearly a century in the life of the Ottoman Empire. In 1540, twelve-year-old Jahan arrives in Istanbul. As an animal tamer in the sultan’s menagerie, he looks after the exceptionally smart elephant Chota and befriends (and falls for) the sultan’s beautiful daughter, Princess Mihrimah. A palace education leads Jahan to Mimar Sinan, the empire’s chief architect, who takes Jahan under his wing as they construct (with Chota’s help) some of the most magnificent buildings in history.
Yet even as they build Sinan’s triumphant masterpieces—the incredible Suleymaniye and Selimiye mosques—dangerous undercurrents begin to emerge, with jealousy erupting among Sinan’s four apprentices. A memorable story of artistic freedom, creativity, and the clash between science and fundamentalism, Shafak’s intricate novel brims with vibrant characters, intriguing adventure, and the lavish backdrop of the Ottoman court, where love and loyalty are no match for raw power.
3. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman. Pratchett’s hilarity mixed with Gaiman’s weirdness couldn’t have birthed a more Tim Burton-esuq type of novel. This sounds incredible, and unique (esepcially when it comes to what I often read…which isn’t this, but how could I have resisted such a synopsis?)
Goodreads Synopsis: According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world’s only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.
So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth’s mortals since
The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.
M U S I C
My music taste is a mix between indie, alternative, and folk. Recently I’ve been listening to bands like Cold War Kids, Lord Huron, and Wild Nothing. Yu can find all of my playlists on 8tracks under the username: SeelieKnight. For now, check out these songs that have helped me get through this hectic month of July!
Cold War Kid: Miracle Mile
Lord Huron: Meet Me In the Woods
Wild Nothing: Summer Holiday
M O V I E S — T V
Queuing on my Netflix is the recently acclaimed short series Stranger Things. One of my coworkers mentioned this show to me a week ago and told me he believed I would like it because I also enjoy American Horror Story and generally anything involving an eerie, somewhat ambiguous plot. He and I would often rave about Game of Thrones (still not over this seasons finale) and so he told me I needed to watch Stranger Things so that we could obsess over another show to pass time at work. I promised him I would look into it…but naturally I forgot about the show an hour later. It wasn’t until Maggie Stiefvater, author of The Raven Cycle, started tweeting about it that I remembered what my friend had said. And to top it off, the following week I hung out with a very asocial friend of mine who doesn’t typically like mainstream things but was exuberant about this new Netflix series. Okay. All those things sold me. I had to see what the hype was about…and damn, was it worth it. I freaking love this show! I’m currently on episode three, but I can tell it’s going to be amazing just from a cinematography view point alone. (Bonus: Winona Ryder plays the mother!)
Stranger Things Synopsis: When a young boy disappears, his mother, a police chief, and his friends must confront terrifying forces in order to get him back.
Another film that I’m interested in seeing is Captain Fantastic. First, just look up this movie and watch one of the trailers (preferably on the IMDB website). It certainly does look fantastic—especially since it takes place in the Pacific Northwest, where—if you’ve been following me on twitter or somehow visiting my dreams—is the #1 place in the entire world I want to visit the most. Forget saving up for a new car, I’m saving up for gas money to haul my crapy Honda across the US to get tho the PNW and see sequoia trees for the first time.
This movie looks very nostalgic, melancholy, and witty. The cinematography from the trailer alone seems spot on, and I love the casting choices. This somewhat reminds me of a Wes Anderson type of movie: aesthetically pleasing, uplifting, yet uses humor and whit to disguise pain and suffering.
Captain Fantastic Synopsis: In the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education is forced to leave his paradise and enter the world, challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent.
F O O D
Suddenly I really love avocado? 10/10 would recommend. (Oh, and if you ever find yourself in NYC and you also happen to love avocado, try the Australian brunch restaurant Bluestone Lane! Everything on that menu has some avocado in it.)
That’s it for this month! I’ll have another FF up near the end of August!