Just realised that my posts for July and August have been sitting as drafts for ages without being published. So, this is what I have been up to apart from going to visit my friends and family in the UK and Spain over the summer:
Small Island & The Long Song (Andrea Levy) : the best kid of historical fiction as I learnt about Jamaica through great characters and storytelling
Let The Great World Spin (Colum McCann) : my favourite book so far this year which really captures New York
The Tiger’s Wife (Tea Obreht) : magical mix of superstition, tigers and civilian suffering during wars
Conversations with Myself (Nelson Mandela) : the great man in his own words
The Heart of Haiku (Jane Hirshfield) : everything I wanted to know about haiku and more
Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky) : who knew ballet could be so scary
The Fighter (David O’Russell) : ever since watching this film I have become much better at keeping my hands up and defending myself when boxing
Saw the two films above on my plane flights and the ballerinas turned out to be just as tough as the boxers
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (David Yates) : my favourite book in the series and the film lived up to my expectations
Another Earth (Mike Cahill) : interesting and original concept which stays in your mind – a duplicate Earth appears in the sky and scientists discover it is exactly the same as ours, even with the same people. Does this give you a second chance at life ?
Senna (Asif Kapadia) : best sports documentary I have seen. I idolised Ayrton Senna so the film made my cry all over again despite the fact I knew exactly what was going to happen
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Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day in the US. I have a lot to be thankful for as my family are happy and healthy but these are a few of the smaller things I have been grateful for this week :
– having a lie in at the weekend,
– arriving on a subway platform just as the train pulls in;
– meeting up with my book club;
– surviving a two-hour training session;
– JK Rowling : I really enjoyed the latest Harry Potter movie as the last book is my favourite in the series. I am so glad she got to finish them all and to introduce so many kids to the joy of reading.
Thanksgiving is the quintessential US holiday so I was surprised to learn this year that it wasn’t declared a national holiday until 1863. The New York Times has an interesting story on how this came about in the wake of the Civil War:
“As national disunion loomed that Thanksgiving, so did hunger and misery for many Americans. Still rickety from the depression of 1857, the stock market had begun to collapse almost immediately after Abraham Lincoln’s election; Wall Street worried that debts owed by Southern planters – many of them mortgaged up to their eyebrows – would become uncollectable. Northern textile mills, fearing a disruption in cotton shipments from the South, began laying off workers by the thousands.”
The mood seems eerily similiar today and I am thankful not to be one of the many millions who is hungry so many years later.
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