Monthly Favourites – January 2020

January has come to an end, so it’s time for the first edition of my monthly favourites of 2020! As I’ve mentioned in my bookish resolutions for this year, from now on these overviews will also start including my favourite blog posts and YouTube videos from each month. This month, they are accompanied by a book, a TV series and a film.

The book I enjoyed the most was The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. It’s an enthralling mystery and family drama that explores the difficulties faced by women in the 20th century. Laura Chase, Iris’s sister, drove a car off a bridge ten days after the end of the Second World War. What was the real reason behind Laura’s fate? The answer is confirmed at the end of this great novel, which consists of a first-person narration by Iris, various news pieces and a short book written by Laura. Although it is occasionally too slow paced, I highly recommend it.

I also spent a great couple of hours watching Dracula on Netflix (I believe it was originally created by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat for the BBC). It’s one of those series that I’ll certainly re-watch many times to discover new details. Claes Bang is perfect as Count Dracula. The first episode is terrifying, and the second is strangely compelling, considering that it’s set in such a confined space. The third episode has a completely different feeling from the others. It reminded me of Sherlock at times, not only because it’s set in modern-day England, but also because the interactions between Dracula and Van Helsing resembled those of Moriarty and Sherlock. Despite being my least favourite of the episodes, I still highly enjoyed it. I liked how it tries to come up with an answer to why Dracula fears certain objects.

Joker has been immensely praised since its premiere, but I’ve only managed to watch it now. I liked it far more than I was expecting to, thanks to Joaquin Phoenix’s amazing performance. I’m usually not a fan of superhero films, but I enjoyed The Dark Knight because of Heath Ledger’s performance as Joker, so I had to watch this film about the origin of the character.

I’ve read many great blog posts throughout January. One that stood out was Emma’s review of Something Will Happen, You’ll See by Christos Ikonòmou. I immediately added this collection of short stories to my wish list. This paragraph sold the book to me:

“The people we meet here are breathless, holding their breath for what is yet to come or trying to catch their breath after another fortnight without wages. Their fear of tomorrow suffocates them. Some are hungry. A lot are nostalgic of the past. Most of them underwent forced changes in their lives: they had to move out of their house, to change of neighborhood, to accept a job only to make ends meet and pay the bills.”

Last but not least, the favourite video that I watched on YouTube was the one that Simon, from the channel SavidgeReads, filmed with his mother about their opinions on some of the books that won the Women’s Prize. I love when Simon has his mother on the channel. She seems so nice and is so articulate when expressing her thoughts on books.

These are my favourites from January! Which are yours? Tell me in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Monthly Favourites – January 2020

  1. Emma says:

    Thanks for the mention.
    I’ll be very interested to read your thoughts about the Ikomòmou.
    I kept thinking about how Greece and Portugal reacted differently in similar situations. The countries got rid of their dictators at the same time but, seen from abroad, the Portuguese revolution led to a better state system, probably because the people who did the revolution didn’t stay in power. (if I understood Lidia Jorge properly)
    Then the 2008 crisis was a violent hit for both countries and it seems that Portugal did better to take actions and recover from it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susana_S_F says:

      I don’t know enough about Greece’s history and political system to make a fair comparison, to be honest.
      But it seems to me that we have different healthcare systems, for example. If I remember correctly, in your review you mentioned that in one of the stories a woman didn’t get proper treatment because they didn’t know if she had insurance. I don’t think that would ever happen in Portugal, as we have a national health service, which is similar to the English one. We don’t need insurance, and everyone who lives here is eligible to use it.

      Like

  2. Diana says:

    I am glad you enjoyed Joker. I also enjoyed it, even though I felt the film relied too heavily on the performance from one actor, disregarding almost everything else, which is also not right. Have you see the film Parasite (2019)? I consider it the best film of 2019 and I highly recommend it. I was in total disbelief, laughed, almost cried – it was incredible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susana_S_F says:

      I agree with you that Joker relied almost only on the main actor’s performance. I wouldn’t have liked it half as much if he wasn’t so good.
      I haven’t watched Parasite yet. I’ve just added it to my list!

      Like

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