Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff – This was my work book club book for July, and I absolutely loved it. I have to admit it was a slow-moving book, and although it took me a while to properly get into it, the characters were richly developed and there was a bit of a twist in the story that kept me interested. This was beautifully written, and if you’ve got the time to invest in a heavy story I’d recommend picking it up.
Every Last Secret by A.R. Torre – I saw this pop up on Goodreads and it was receiving some good reviews from friends so I thought I would pick it up. I have read and enjoyed some of A.R. Torre’s work before, and was keen to see whether I enjoyed this as much as I did her ‘The Girl in 6E’ series. I liked this because it was an easy read and a lot of fun, and I always enjoy the fact A.R. Torre is comfortable writing ‘unlikeable’ characters.
Atonement – I had forgotten how utterly breath-taking this film was, until re-watching it this month. I also found that knowing what the “twist” of the story was made this all the more beautiful to watch. Although having said that, I highly recommend watching this if you’ve never seen it, and go in blind because it really is magical to see the story play out the way it does.
Transformers – I don’t know why I was in the mood to re-watch this awful movie, but I was, and I loved every second of it. I think I’ll go ahead and watch the entire film series over the course of the next few months, just for some mindless entertainment.
Fear Street Part One 1994 – Okay, this Fear Street Trilogy made my July. What a fun idea, and an awesome lil set of films. This was a blast from the past in full 90s mode, and I loved it. I am really loving the revival of the old slasher genre, and having this tie in with a book series I read as a kid made it all the more fun for me.
The Sound of Music – This is one of those classic movies I re-watch every year or two, because it brings comforting nostalgia vibes. This was the perfect movie to watch on a sick day at home.
Book Club – If you’re in the mood for something cheesy but light-hearted and with a couple of genuine laughs, this is a great option. The cast in this movie was outstanding, and it was wonderful to watch a film with older women unapologetically living their lives to the full.
Fear Street Part Two 1978 – Why are horror movies set in the 70s always top tier? I really loved this continuation in the Fear Street Trilogy, and enjoyed it more than the first. It had everything I love in a slasher movie, which really is just that it was set at a stayaway camp. I can’t wait to watch part three.
Bo Burnham: Inside – I’ve heard so many songs from this comedy special be featured on Tik Tok that I felt like I really needed to watch the entire thing to see what all the fuss was about. This was a really interesting special, I didn’t know much about Bo Burnham going into it, but a lot of the songs are catchy and have stuck in my head ever since (Jeffrey… Jeffrey Bezos)
Fantasy Island – South Australia went into lock down in the second last week of the month, and I decided to try and make the most of a bad situation, but watching a movie a day throughout lockdown. This was the first movie I decided to watch, and although it was cheesy and mindless it was also… pretty terrible.
National Treasure – This was Sebastian’s pick for our second lockdown movie, because it’s one of his favourites and I was keen for some more mindless entertainment. This was a lot of fun from start to finish, I love the conspiracy theory element and Nicolas Cage was as terrible and amazing as always.
Knives Out – This was the best movie I’ve seen in a while, and might just end up being my favourite movie of 2021. It had an outstanding cast, was beautifully shot, and kept me guessing from start to finish. This felt like the return of a good old fashioned murder mystery, and I loved every second of it.
The Stand – I’ve been wanting to read ‘The Stand’ for a very long time, but because it’s so massive I’ve never been able to find the time to get properly stuck into it. This TV adaptation of the book was a lot of fun. The theme of a fast-spreading virus was slightly too close to home, but it was still an enjoyable watch and we binged it over the course of a week or so. Alexander Skarsgard was perfection as Randall Flagg, and I would LOVE to see something (anything) in the future featuring Alexander as Flagg and his brother Bill as Pennywise. Make it happen, universe.
Clarkson’s Farm – This was exactly the kind of stupid, light-hearted entertainment I was needing this month and I absolutely adored it. Watching Jeremy Clarkson learn about farming, beginning to love it, and also somehow learning some important life lessons along the way was pretty much what I expected from this show and it was a delight to watch.
James May Oh Cook! – Watching Jeremy Clarkson’s special put us in an old-school Top Gear mood, so when we saw this pop up on Amazon we decided to give it a go. This was another silly and light-hearted show that was a bit of a comfort to turn on at the end of a long day. I don’t think I’ll be rushing to cook anything we saw on the show, but it was still enjoyable to watch.
The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It – This was a great way to kick off my June month of movie watching, as The Conjuring is one of my favourite movie series and I get super excited when a new film in this cinematic universe is released. This was probably my least favourite Conjuring film so far, as I didn’t find it particularly scary, but I did enjoy the true crime element that was weaved into the story, and I enjoyed the exorcism/demon vibes as always. Despite any plot holes I do truly believe that any film that allows me to look at Patrick Wilson for an hour and a half is incredible, so I enjoyed this a lot.
The Bone Collector – I’ve seen this film before, but it was long enough ago that I forgot most of the plot, the twist, and most importantly who the killer was. I really enjoyed this, and it was interesting to see a younger Angelina Jolie on screen. Denzel Washington was perfection as always.
Two Hands – I always feel bittersweet when I watch a Heath Ledger film. This was one of his earlier pieces of work, an Australian film with lots of twists and turns and more than a couple of ‘what the fuck did I just watch’ moments (including the opening credit sequence and the entirety of Rose Byrne’s acting throughout). It was a lot of fun though, and kept me entertained throughout.
Little Children – Speaking of movies that are worth watching for Patrick Wilson, this is another. I am a huge fan of Tom Perrotta’s writing, so was excited to watch this (although I didn’t know anything about this book before viewing), and it definitely had his feel to it. Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson were perfection, and the ending, although somewhat bleak, left me feeling satisfied.
End of Watch – This movie is a bit of a rollercoaster ride. It starts out feeling relatively funny and light-hearted, but by the end of it I was on the edge of my seat holding my breath with fight-or-flight response well and truly triggered. Jake Gyllenhaal is one of those actors that I feel like I’ll be distracted by the celebrity of him, but I always find myself lost in the character he plays. This was a great movie, that took me on an emotional ride from start to finish.
Erotic Stories For Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal – I picked this book up a long time ago, after seeing it as one of the recommendations for Reese Witherspoon’s book club. I had high hopes for this, and although it was an okay read it unfortunately drove me into a bit of a reading slump. I enjoyed elements of the book, it was fun to explore the world of the widows, and their lives, but the mystery elements that were weaved into the story fell flat for me.
Girl A by Abigail Dean – This was the main book I read during June’s Read Your Face Off weekend, and it was the first book in a very long time that I’ve managed to read in one day. This book included so many of my favourite elements, and I loved it. Warning – it involves themes like child abuse/children locked up inside their own house (and I blame reading Flowers in the Attic at a young age for my fascination with this sort of plot), so reader beware.