This Week in TV & Film
I watched Jeopardy! almost every night this week. I have to follow the saga of James Holzhauer, who broke the record for most money won in a single game. In fact, he’s broken that record ($77,000 — held by Roger Craig) five times. Ken Jennings won $2.5 million in 74 episodes; James Holzhauer has won $850,000 is 12 games! This is historic Jeopardy!, people!
Although I had heard Russian Doll on Netflix is good, the trailer reminded me too much of the 2017 film Happy Death Day, which reminded me too much of Groundhog Day. Whereas the point of the aforementioned films are clear (in Happy Death Day she has to find out who keeps murdering her, and in Groundhog Day he needs to learn to be a decent person), it’s not clear why Nadia keeps dying in random situations.
I didn’t care for the first two episodes, which is a trend I’ve noticed on Netflix original shows. But that third episode is when she meets a man who also keeps dying. There are some unique efforts in Russian Doll that you’ll notice if you pay attention, and it’s a great mystery that also says something about suicide, mental illness, and the holocaust. I finished the whole season, which has a satisfactory ending, suggesting there won’t be a Season 2. Of course, people are speculating, but I think it would be tacky to beat a dead horse like they did in Happy Death Day 2U.
This Week in Reading: Finished Books
Technically, I finished By the Sword, a mercenary adventure stand-alone novel by Mercedes Lackey that is part of the Valdemar series, last week, but the review went up this week. Excellent fun; glad it was added it to the schedule. I chose to DNF An Untamed State by Roxane Gay at 41% but still reviewed the novel and discussed reasons I quit. It was trauma on paper; no need to inflict that on readers. Gay’s novel was my “oldest book I own” for April.
This Week in Reading: Books in Progress
I need to write a post about why I’m reading so many books at the same time, but it is the reason I only finish a book a week. Here’s what’s up with my stories:
Currently, Diane just entered the scene and Spud is declared the best of men in Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh. In Winds of Fate by Mercedes Lackey, Princess Elspeth is about to leave to find a mage, and Darkwind finds a cat-person. Winds of Fate is part of #ReadingValdemar. Teen-age Margo has paddled away on her boat in Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell and decided to live with a man who is almost forty. In case you’re wondering, Campbell’s book is one I’m reading aloud to my husband and cat (snicker all you want; she sits with us for reading time and must be read to even if Nick is not home, or she goes feral).
Teen-age John realizes his father is not the influential church man he once was and is likely just a bully in Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin. Then there is Elyse, a baker and one of five sisters in A.M. Blair’s novel A Case of First Impression, who goes to court to follow the trial that pertains to her sister’s experience as a victim of human trafficking. Blair’s novel is the “newest book I own” for April.
Next Week in Reading:
Next week takes me to the end of the month, so my goal is to finish the five books listed above. If I’m lucky, I’ll started the 2019 memoir Sounds Like Titanic by Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman. As someone who played violin for years, I cannot wait to get into this true story about a concert violinist who lands a gig with an orchestra that fake plays. EXCITED!
Side Note: lately, I’ve really stuck to not buying books that are available at my library. I almost bought three books from Barnes & Noble this weekend, but did not when I found them on the card catalog. I did buy a brand-new copy of a book not at my library by a Mexican American person who is part of the LGBTQ community. I ordered it through a new indie book store in my town that is trying to make a difference — she only stocks children’s and young adult novels from minority communities — and picked it up there. Easy peasy! Two supports with one purchase.