Life Updates: May

Game of Thrones, Florence + The Machine, Mad Max: Fury Road, and The Goldfinch: here are my recommendation for May!

TV shows I watched
I've been obsessively watching Game of Thrones as soon as it's released every week, however am starting to feel somewhat disillusioned by it, particularly given Sansa’s storyline and the treatment of sexual violence in the show as a whole. I’m a huge fan of the books, and it’s so frustrating to see such appalling things on screen that never happened in the books that serve very little purpose other than to inspire controversy. Having said that, the most recent episode with Jon Snow being an absolute badass helped rekindle my love. It's a complicated relationship.

Silicon Valley continues to be perhaps the funniest show currently on air, each episode has me in stiches and I wish it was more well known amongst the general population.

And just to out myself over here – I’m a bit of a not-so-secret fan of Australia’s Next Top Model, which recently started back up again. I know, I know, it’s shallow and some of the girls are awful (Alex needs to GTFO) but the photoshoots are always so pretty and I get invested way too easily.

Music I listened to
May was a great month for music for me - I saw two of my favourite artists live: alt-J and Courtney Barnett. Both were incredible concerts, although very different experiences. alt-J performed at a huge arena, which surprisingly worked quite well for them, while Courtney Barnett played at perhaps the best live music venue in Melbourne, The Forum. This particular concert was quite special, as Courtney Barnett is from Melbourne and has very Melbourne-specific references in her music. It was an incredible show and I felt very lucky to see such a raw performance in her home town.

In other music news, I've loved Florence + The Machine's new album - it's very similar to their usual sound, but really fantastic to hear some new music from them. Other new music I’ve been listening to regularly is ‘Go’ by The Chemical Brothers, ‘Evie’ by Last Dinosaurs and ‘Everyday’ by A$AP Rocky.

Courtney Barnett, The Forum Melbourne

Films I watched
May was ALLLL about Mad Max: Fury Road. Have you seen it? Please tell me you have, it’s absolutely amazing and deserves to be seen in a cinema! It’s so good to see a bunch of familiar Australian actors in the film, and equally gratifying that the story stayed true to the original. As many film critics have mentioned, the female characters were so amazing and kickass, I was totally in awe of Charlize Theron!

Taxi Driver got a rewatch thanks to a couple of friends who hadn’t seen it yet – man that movie is incredible! Again, please see this if you haven’t, it’s a classic and for good reason. It’s really an arthouse film at its core, which I think a lot of people forget given its popularity. Definitely one of Martine Scorsese’s best film ever.

I only watched a couple of film for work this month: Spring and Labyrinth of Lies. Spring is a horror/romance (strange combination, I know) about a young guy in a personal tailspin who flees the US to Italy, where he sparks up a romance with a woman harboring a dark, primordial secret. I won’t give anything away, but it’s basically a monster film if that’s your thing! Meanwhile, Labyrinth of Lies is a German film about a young prosecutor in postwar West Germany investigating a massive conspiracy to cover up the Nazi pasts of prominent public figures. It was really intriguing and shone a light on a period of time in Germany (the 1950’s) that I didn’t know too much about. Definitely recommend checking this one out when it comes out in cinemas!

Books I read
I read three books in May, and one has shot straight to the top of my favourite book list. The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt is the story of Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, who miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art. I don’t know if this synopsis will particularly grab you, but it is SUCH a great read, and her writing is so atmospheric and evocative. Really loved this one, although it’s not the quickest read.

I also read The Year Of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. It’s a memoir of a period in her life filled with intense grief: several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion saw their only daughter, Quintana, fall ill. At first they thought it was flu, then pneumonia, then complete sceptic shock. She was put into an induced coma and placed on life support. Days later - the night before New Year's Eve - the Dunnes were just sitting down to dinner after visiting the hospital when John suffered a massive and fatal coronary. It’s a very interesting insight to the way people cope with grief, and a really interesting read.

Finally, a good old spooky story: The Winter People. West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara's farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace. Searching for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea's diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother's bedroom. As Ruthie gets sucked deeper into the mystery of Sara's fate, she discovers that she's not the only person who's desperately looking for someone that they've lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself. I absolutely devoured this book, it was delightfully creepy and an easy read.

Clothes I wore
Brace yourself Melbourne – winter has come. We’ve been thrown into it in May, with temperatures as low as four degrees when I’m leaving for work in the morning. Fortunately, that means I can now wear enormous scarves, warm knitted jumpers, jackets, and woolly tights. I’ve basically been living in my American Apparel knitted jumpers, as they’re so warm and keep the cold out remarkably well.

What did you love in May? Let me know in the comments!

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