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Reading, Listening, Watching 18

If you weren't aware it's currently the Easter holidays for the kids which means I have them both at home with me and have to find something to entertain them. Of course with a teen in college he has plenty to occupy his mind but my youngest, at 12 years old, needs things to do. We're in the final stretch of the holidays and they'll be back to school and college on Monday, so I thought I'd share with you what we've been reading, listening to, and watching over the last month. 




Reading


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After taking a break from the John Locke books to read Midnight Sun I'm back with John Locke again. I finished the third and fourth books in the Western series - Emmett & Gentry and Goodbye, Enorma - and started book four - Rag Soup - which I'm almost finished with. I know I've said it before but the John Locke books are great for renewing your faith in reading because they're a quick read. It feels good to read so many books, even if I'm not a huge fan of the Western theme.


I do have to say, while I'm enjoying reading so many books I think a good long break from the genre will be nice. I have a few books on my 'to read' list and want to get on to them soon.




Listening


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I haven't listened to much music lately, I've spent most of my time working downstairs with the kids being at home. That means I have less time for music and podcasts but I have had Columbo on while working some of the time. Columbo is one of those series the Hubby and I go back to time and again because it's an easy watch/listen while working and it's funny - even if it's old. Columbo is one of my all-time favourite TV detectives.




Watching


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Watching TV series and movies is what we enjoy most so you'll always find a huge selection of things in this list. The Hubby and I watch things together every evening and we save Saturday evening for family movie night. Sometimes we watch two movies in one night. It's a great way to make sure we spend time together and gives us a chance to teach the kids about all the epic movies they haven't seen.


TV Series


Over the last few weeks we've been trying out new series and I have to say it's been good. First of all we tried Santa Clarita Diet and had no idea what to think. It was one of those series where you're not sure you're enjoying it, but you keep watching anyway. I don't know how to describe it, but I would recommend giving it a try. It can be a little gory at times but the funny one-liners and the whole family setting is amusing. You can find find Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix.


Next was something we've seen advertised a lot and I wasn't optimistic. When Cobra Kai was first released I refused to watch it because I didn't want to see another fantastic movie from the 80s destroyed. I remember watching Daniel LaRusso make the amazing kick at the end of Karate Kid and I have fond memories of the 80s. To watch something that claimed to be connected, even with all the old characters, felt wrong. But with three series and a fourth maybe on the way next year I had to admit that I was curious. So Hubby and I gave it a go and it wasn't bad. In fact I'd go so far to say it was good - better than good. I started with doubt, but the more we watched the more I enjoyed it and am now looking forward to the next series. I like what they did with the characters, I liked where the story went, and I look forward to seeing what they do with it in the future. If you want to give it a go it's available on Netflix.


Another Netflix series we've been trying out is The Good Place. Again it's one that was advertised a lot and a few of the short previews made us laugh so we thought we'd give it a go. This series is strange, the first season is good and everything makes sense, but as the series continues the episodes seem to be stand alone sagas and don't really make a lot of sense. I'm not saying it was a bad series, the episodes are good and entertaining, but I don't think it'll make it onto our re-watch list.



Movies


We really enjoy our movie nights and getting the kids to watch thing they wouldn't choose to watch themselves is really good. Over the last few weeks we've watched Sixth Sense, Hackers, 21, The Invention of Lying, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.  All great movies, and all ones the kids had no idea about. The youngest spent ages talking about Sixth Sense when we finished. He understood the storyline and everything that happened, even the surprise twist at the end, but he wanted to know what happened to characters after they left the world. It was so funny listening him ask about the little girl from under the bed, and what happened to her stepmother. It's the mark of a good movie when your kids think of the characters as real people.


The movie 21, starring Kevin Spacey, was interesting because both my boys like maths and this movie covers a lot of maths. They both enjoyed it and liked the Vegas part of it too. If you haven't seen it 21 is about a college professor who trains students to count cards, then takes them to Las Vegas to make lots of money. There's suspense, excitement, and violence - definitely one to watch.


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, starring Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey, is one of those movies that doesn't really have a genre. It's about a character who erases someone from their memory, only to be reunited with them later. It's weird, disconcerting at times, and romantic in a strange way. The characters played by Winslet and Carrey are compelling and relatable. It's another movie the kids would never have chosen to watch themselves but they enjoyed it.



So there you have it, TV, movies, and other recommendations for you. I hope you find something interesting. Happy viewing.

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