Category Archives: Film

Bad friends

I spent a lovely evening out on Tuesday with some friends. A few glasses of wine and the conversation turned, as it tends to with me, to books and my favourite authors. I was asked to recommend some new authors which you would think I’d be happy to do.
However despite my obsession with all things crime literary, I find it is one of those questions that sends me into a state of panic. Mark Billingham of course is one of the first names that always slips willingly off the tongue but I find after that I get stuck. There are so many authors I love that having to pick one or two is like having to choose between chocolate or biscuits.
There is of course also the fact that I have a shocking memory, so the first author that always springs to mind is the one I’m currently reading. That’s fine at the moment for example as I’m reading Val McDermid therefore that’s would be a very good recommendation for anyone wishing to try crime novels. However sometimes I can be reading something not quite so good or something that just doesn’t go with my image of me. The crime reading heavy metal fan admitting to reading a Mills and Boon would just ruin my street cred (not that I have ever read Mills and Boon of course and to be honest I suspect I’ve always had very little street cred anyway!)
The other problem with recommending books is that I think it’s a huge responsibility. If you tell someone they should read a book and they don’t like it, well it is an awful situation for everyone. They have to tell you they don’t like the book, and that’s like a personal criticism. You then feel bad for putting them in that situation, its a vicious circle. A bad recomendation can suddenly create bad friends!
I think books are even harder to recommend for people than films. A film is usually quite short so even if it’s awful its only two hours of your life thats been taken up. Often the popcorn is worth the outing alone. Whereas books take much more effort. To read a book can take hours and hours (or in my Dad’s case years and still counting) so you have to really invest the time and energy into it. Often people don’t want to spend time doing something like reading a book, when they can get the same story in a two hour sitting.
So it means that the pressure when recommending books really is a serious business and not to be taken lightly. Fingers crossed my friends on Tuesday enjoy Mark!

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Filed under Film, Reading

If looks could kill

This weekend I watched the film the ‘Iron Lady’. Now regardless of your political standpoint I think you would be hard pushed to say this wasn’t a good film. A story of a woman who becomes the first female prime minister in the UK, her eventual downfall, and throughout it all her enduring relationship with her husband (Let’s forget the bit where she practically forgets about her children whilst she’s busy following her political ambitions, ignore the fact the film seems to gloss over much of the politics and the actual issues during her leadership, and not dwell on the fact she didn’t actually employ any other women in her cabinet, other than those who cleaned it) – the bit the film does include is pretty inspiring stuff!

This ‘story’ had a female lead character who women everywhere could be proud of. Right from the point that she gets engaged she is clear about what she wants. She isn’t interested in being someone who chooses to stay at home whilst expecting her husband to look after her. She’s going to look after herself and she wants to make a difference in the world not just in her own life. One of my favourite quotes was,

‘It used to be that people wanted to do something, now people want to be someone’

Completely true! The world is so self centred that very few of us do things purely for the sake of helping others or being proud of ourselves, its always about what you get out of it or how you look to other people. People spend more time worrying about what they look like, and what they can put on their status rather than taking any action about things. Another result of the facebook brainwash if you ask me!

If you picked up Margaret Thatcher and put her in a crime novel (again I hasten to add, go with me and ignore the politics!) she would be the kind of protagonist I would like. She wouldn’t wait around for a white knight on horseback to come and save her from the deranged serial killer, she’d have swung her handbag, glared at them and given them a lecture on how serial killers should pay the same poll tax as shop lifters.

That’s one of the things I like about Lisa Gardner books. In the one I am currently reading there are three main women involved, and all of them could to turn American ‘kick ass’. I’m always drawn to books by female writers in the hope they are going to have smart, clever, independent women, rather than poor defenceless victims. Give me a Chelsea Cain novel over a Mills and Boon anyday. To me a powerful female serial killer just seems much more exciting than a ‘lady of the house falls in love with the stable boy’ type of story.

However we all know that one women’s feminist icon can be another women’s serial murderer. It takes all sorts to make the world go round, and just as it would make life very dull if everyone had the same opinion over Margaret Thatcher and politics, it wouldn’t be much fun if we all read the same books!

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Filed under blogging, Feminist, Film