My reading hasn’t quite picked up its momentum from last month, but I did have more literary gems thrown in here for which I’m grateful.
In total I read 15 books in July:
I unexpectedly sat dawn to watch the Netflix film To the Bone in one sitting.
Trigger warning: eating disorder.
I’ve been putting off watching this particular film for a while now because of the potential triggers it may cause. In the end I decided to give it a chance based on this Buzzfeed article featuring the poem “Courage” by Anne Sexton. I was curious to then experience the written piece on screen to see if it would hold a different punch/ impact once spoken out loud instead of in your head. I was mainly thinking about how Hannah Baker’s poem in 13 Reasons Why felt like a visceral change from reading it alone.
Speaking of the later, the post linked below is a crucial one to consider:
So I was still hesitant for the first ten minutes of To the Bone, fearing the usage of grotesque and triggering images to tell Ellen’s tale. But I gradually leaned into the unraveling and development of the story when I realized that this film is focused mainly on the recovery of the character as she battles anorexia, rather than having an hour focused on the triggering bits and then ten minutes of recovery in a montage-esque bit, as many media pieces (books and movies) have done in the past. So the entire premise being set around joining Dr. William Beckham’s inpatient program on the road to recovery felt like the weight of the world was removed off my shoulders. Side note: I did end up having to avert my eyes off the screen a handful of times, but compared to what I was initially expecting, I felt out of the woods by the end of it.
I was then consequently won over by the utterly phenomenal characters introduced into Ellen’s life. From the honest and sage adviser Dr. William Beckham, played by Keanu Reeves, to the upbeat ballet dancer, Luke, always ready to act as a moral cheerleader (and a complete show stealer) for those in need, to the five additional women and girls being treated alongside Ellen. Each brings with them a shattering and unflinching clarity to the screen.
However, To the Bone had me so essentially enraptured in all the characters thanks to its ability to capture the moments that go by unnoticed but end up meaning so very much to the overarching theme. There’s meaningful intention behind every little gesture and glance exchanged between the different characters, and getting to experience and take notice of it from the sidelines felt pretty groundbreaking.
Another thing I would like to highlight was the downright amazing and vibrant performance made by Lily Collins, who plays the main character Ellen. After having read and reviewed her book of essays earlier this year, I was more than curious to see her take on such a personal role. It’s needless to say that she was more than resounding and full of magnitude.
The film is equal parts dynamic, honest, goofy, dark, and whimsy with a noteworthy ending. Plus, the soundtrack left me with a resounding yes and an unparalleled need to hear every song over and over.
That was my July wrap-up, thank you for reading!
I’ve had my eye on Loryn Brantz’s work before when Feminist Baby was released earlier this year, so I was ecstatic to give her new book a go. These brightly colored, adorable comics find the humor in the awkwardness of simply existing, separated into five different sections: grooming and habit maintenance, life ambitions, mating habits, self-care, and social conduct.
I was anticipating for Lady Stuff to be the perfect fun and quick thing to read in one sitting, but unfortunately nothing quite original was said in here. A lot of stuff has been written and done before, especially if you’re familiar with Sarah Andersen online, like the eyeliner bit where you touch upon one eye then the other until you end up looking like a panda, or the same thing but with shaping your eyebrows. There were less than a handful of standouts in here, which I found to be incredibly unfortunate.
Nevertheless, I would still like to highlight the comics that I enjoyed a bit more than others:
The above was legit the only comic to make me laugh out loud.
Though things didn’t really pan out the way I had planned or expected, I’m still grateful to have read this swift collection of comics.
ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Expected publication: September 26th, 2017
Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Lady Stuff, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!
My reading this month was a bit on the slower side for me compared to past wrap ups. I thankfully got to complete some great comics and graphic novels I’ve been looking forward to for ages. But with the novels I had a little trouble finding the right pick.
In total I read 15 books in June:
I watched a revolutionary film called Dangal.
Dangal is an Indian Hindi-language biographical film, spanning multiple decades as former wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat and his two wrestler daughters struggle towards glory at the Commonwealth Games in the face of societal oppression.
I went into this film not really knowing what to expect, but quickly came to realize that something unusually remarkable about it compelled me to propel through, minute by minute. It’s been ages since I’ve been this lost inside a movie.
Not only was it refreshing to experience my first Bollywood film with feminist undertones, breaking records (and barriers) left and right, the addition of strong and supporting female relationships, kickass music, and complex characters with their own arcs had me all the more enamoured.
I also, as I mentioned at the start, cherished that the time skipping that occurred from decade to decade didn’t feel rushed at all because we spent a good time in each one to feel fleshed out. Speaking of which, getting to watch from the sidelines as our main hero, Geeta Phogat, succeeded and grew into her talent was sensational to experience.
I got a surge of adrenaline from watching her amazing fighting skills.
Another point I loved was the complex familial relationships. The whole film is set solely around exploring and expanding the detailed and complex characters in the Phogat family. With time they all get to grow into fully fleshed, inspirational characters, thanks to the the writing being strong enough that the whole story just breezed by.
And further drove the point home by showing the story unfold amidst the beautiful scenery. A+ cinematography skills.
I had so many epiphanies and realizations while watching Dangal. It was a revolutionary time. I want to watch a hundred more like it.
And here’s the trailer in case you’re intrigued:
Ultimately, I’d highly, highly recommend Dangal to anyone looking for an inspiring, heartfelt film with the addition of many comical moments to lighten the mood.
That was my June wrap-up, thank you for reading!