My Lover, Audiobooks

I had promised a post every Friday. Actually, I had promised a podcast, but this week seems to have flashed before my eyes and since I have a dinner tomorrow here at home, I decided to postpone the blogcast another week. Or, who knows, maybe it will be only for a few days.

Still, it’s Friday (can we blame the lack of podcast on the 13th, instead of my laziness and lack of planning?), so a post it is. Today I’m bringing you the audiobooks I’ve been listening to.

I have a lot of time to listen to podcasts because, as my work is mostly physical – I’m a cleaning lady, not a sexy dancer, in case you were wondering – I can pretty much get away with working whilst listening to things. I used to have trouble focusing on listening to anything other than music but, with podcasts and radio series, I got used to it and taking the step from those to audiobooks was easy.

Now, there’s a part of me who can’t help but feeling that audiobooks are cheating: I’m not actually reading. Then again, I’m being told a story so I did read that book. In theory. Audiobooks are so fun, though, that I’m leaving the guilt aside and I’m enjoying every bit of them.

Biographies, specifically, are a treat. You’re being told someone else’s life story by the author! The tone they set when they were writing is passed on to you, because they are reading it. It’s fantastic.

So far, these are the biographies I’ve listened to:

Anna Kendrick, Scrappy Little Notebook. It’s quirky, funny, and has just the right ammount of crazy. I first saw Anna on Twilight, I loved her on Pitch Perfect and to discover that she was a child actor, getting to know all of her struggles, the adaptation to living in L.A., and they way she has dealt with relationships and the hollywood bizz is really priceless.

Amy Schummer, The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo. My view of Amy Schumer was a bit ambivalent. I found her funny but I also thought that her humour could sometimes be a bit dry and that she crossed a few boundaries she shouldn’t. After her book I’ve learnt about someone who is just trying to be herself and love herself, who has embraced her flaws and, mostly, someone who knew what she wanted and fought hard to get it. She is hardworking, has no trouble talking about money, has a lot of nerve, and was honest and kind enough to share dramatic life stories, to set an example, to help people. I’m still willing to admit that there are a few things in Schumer’s humour that may bother me, but the book was really funny and, albeit her saying it is not a self-help book, I’d fiercely disagree.

Amy Poehler, Yes Please. It’s almost impossible for me to think of Poehler without envisioning Tina Fey as well. I know they’re not fake twins, but I have this feeling that they complete each other, – at least humour wise – two sides of the same coin, and when I think of one I think of the other. This to say that I have Fey’s biography to listen to next. Eheh. On to Poehler’s book, though: one thing that I have noticed in the biographies I’ve read and listened to, which she points out in the biography as well, is that, as an audience, we have a twisted perception about the timing od fame. Most actors that we suddenly realise are there, have been there for a long time. Years and years of work. They haven’t been in the spotlight, but they’ve been going through nasty jobs whilst building a carreer. This was the case with Amy Poehler. She fell in love with improv at a very young age and then, in and after college, she built up a carreer on improv and comedy. Her book has a lot more to offer than just her life story, though. There are lessons about forgiveness, about relationships, and motherhood, that will make us cry, that will make us feel closer to Amy. We’ll also laugh, a lot. It wouldn’t be Amy Poehler otherwise.

I’m curently listening to Mara Wilson’s Where Am I Now, and I started reading The Gift Of Fear, a book Amy Poehler recommended in her own biography. The Song Of Achilles, that I finished this week, was absolutely amazing.

I ordered three books this month, as per usual, but I’m still waiting for them on the mail. I’ll update it on instagram as soon as they arrive.

As an ending note to this post, I’d like to confide that it is possible to fall in love with two kinds of books at the same time. Audiobooks and printed books both have my heart. And, literally and metaphorically, they both speak to me.

Carina.

Blogcast #4 | Cabin Pressure

Hello!

I’ts Friday again and I’d like first to apologise for the lack of blogcast last week, but it’s been a bit hectic with the holidays, so I thought I’d start again this week.

I’m going to make a few blog posts regarding books and audiobooks in the next couple of days, because I’ve been listening to some great audiobooks. I finished Anna Kendrick’s biography, Scrappy Little Nobody, I listened to Matilda read by Kate Winslet – which is fantastic – and I’m currently listening to The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo, by Amy Schumer. I still haven’t posted about the three books I bought in December, because there’s still one in the mail on its way to me, but as soon as it arrives I’ll post a picture on the blog and on instagram.

The book I am currently reading is The Song Of Achilles. I’ve finished My Lady Jane, which is an hilarious book, on the last day of Decmber and I managed, therefore, to complete my Goodreads challenge of 24 books in 2016. It wasn’t exactly a fantastic amount of books read, I know, but I like to set plausible goals. I started late last year so I’m aiming for 30 books in 2017, but secretly – well, not so secretly anymore – hoping that I’ll break that mark. But if I do thirty I’ll be happy.  We’ll see. I’ll keep you posted about that as well.

Now, on to this week’s blogcast! I bring you Cabin Pressure!

TRJ Blogcast #4 (Youtube)

TRJ Blogcast #4 (Soundcloud)

Carina.

It’s Christmas!

Hello, hello!

Another Christmas under the tree! Mine is going to be spent at friends’ house, then I’ll call my family back in Portugal and… there’s presents!

Yesterday I made a Wooden Overcoats inspired song, and I thought I’d share it with you since I talked about the podcast series before, on my blogcast, here.

Eric Chapman Always Saves The Day (Youtube)

Eric Chapman Always Saves The Day (Soundcloud)

I hope you enjoy it and… Merry Christmas!

Carina.

Blogcast #3 | John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme

After last week’s introduction to radio shows on the blogcast, when I spoke about Wooden Overcoats, it’s time to start talking about John Finnemore.

First, and because series six is coming to BBC Radio 4 next week, I bring you John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme.

Here, have a listen, and I hope you enjoy it!

TRJ Blogcast #3 (Youtube)

TRJ Blogcast #3 (Soundloud)

You can join me on twitter on the 27th to listen to series 6, here.

Carina.

*

Here are the links to all of John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme social media:

Writer/Actor

John Finnemore: twitter*blog

Actors

Carrie Quinlan: twitter*site

Lawry Lewin: twitter*site

Margaret Cabourn-Smith: twitter*site

Simon Kane: twitter*blog

Producer

Ed Morrish: twitter*site

Blogcast #2 | Wooden Overcoats

Radio is one of those things which accompany us throughout life. One of my first memories as a child is of a raspy-voiced Bryan Adams singing Everything I do I do it for you blaring from our old radio back at home. None of my parents was a music geek because none of them was weird about enjoying music, although my mother was a huge Júlio Iglesias fan and my father did have a collection of vinyls and a record player that became an entertainment to me, until the day I broke it and was no longer able to listen to Stevie Wonder calling just to say I love you.

It wasn’t until I moved to Belgium, though, that I actually realised the worth of a good radio station. I’m not trying to lecture Belgian radio stations on how to run themselves – yes I am – but they do suck. You get news every half an hour (seriously, news don’t change that often, specially when the main subjects are the weather and fries), and getting trafic news every twenty minutes is a bit of an overreaction; then there’s some advertising in between, some prattle between the hosts, and only then, if you’re lucky – mostly, you aren’t – good music. Are Portuguese radio stations better than this? Yes, they are, though we lack the diversity of British radio stations – which is the whole point of this article, so I may as well get to it.

Before moving to Belgium I had no regular internet access – talk to my parents about it – so when I got here and suddenly had a whole world of wideweb, it was heaven. I started to realise the possibilities of surfing on the internet (do they even use this expression nowadays?), although mostly I understood procrastination on a deep level. Still, I ended up on tumblr; I was a fan of BBC Sherlock even before that – I didn’t have internet access back home but I DID own a TV, thanks for asking (I do not own one now, though) – and for a Sherlock fan, tumblr is a bit like a place for cult meetings. People who actually like the same thing as you and are willing to discuss it??? In the same weird way as you??? Sign me up! So I did.

The beauty of the internet – and its biggest flaw sometimes – is that it is very often a spiral of information. Who hasn’t researched Finding Nemo on wikipedia, ending up knowing more about conspiracy theories than about Nemo itself? It was a simmilar situation that got me into radio shows.

The name John Finnemore appeared on my dash because Benedict Cumberbatch (a.k.a. Sherlock) was on one of the shows he wrote for radio. I was curious, so I checked that Cabin Pressure show out. A happy accident. In the end, I couldn’t really care less if Cumberbatch was or not on the show: everything Finnemore wrote was too good on its own. Not only Cabin Pressure, either, but EVERYTHING. From then on I started looking for more things to listen to: comedy and audio drama, podcasts, even audiobooks.

So, this is an article about radio shows. I never knew that a bunch of people being dramatic on radio could be so entertaining, yet now I get as excited for a new promising radio show as I get for a new book (plus, Sherlock only airs every two years and I need to while away the time in between).

This said – well, written – in this second blogcast I begin a series of episodes about my favourite radio dramas/comedies and about podcasts, in more detail. I hope you enjoy it.

You can listen to it on these links:

TRJ Blogcast #2 (Youtube)

TRJ Blogcast #2 (Soundcloud)

Carina.


Now look here are the links to all of Wooden Overcoats’ social media!

Official Site 

Twitter

Instagram

Tumblr

Writer 

David K. Barnes: site * twitter

Producers/Directors 

Andy Goddard: twitter

John Wakefield: site*twitter

Actors

Beth Eyre: twitter*site*instagram

Ciara Baxendale: site*twitter*instagram

Felix Trench: site*twitter*instagram

Tom Crowley: site*twitter*instagram*tumblr

 

 

 

How About A Blogcast?

Hello!

It’s Friday again and with it comes another blog post. And a new idea. But first things first.

It’s not like we need an excuse to buy ourselves a present but, in need of one, Christmas seems a good a reason as any. If we can help charity while treating ourselves, it seems too perfect to be truth, right? It isn’t.

Humble Bundle has joined forces with Neil Gaiman, to present us with a bundle of rare and /or no longer edited books by the author, in a pay what you want approach. If you go to the link bellow you can get 8 books for as little as $1, 20 books for $8 or, – go wild! – 25 books for $15 or more, two of which are audio books and you get Gaiman himself reading for you. What’s best: the money goes to charity. So, not only are you getting e-books (PDF/Epub/Mobi) for your own entertainment, you’re actually doing a good deed to free your soul from sin – all at a bargain.

Here is the link to buy it:

https://www.humblebundle.com/books/neil-gaiman-book-bundle

Now, on to the blog. I’ve decided to change the blog format or, rather, add something different to it. From now on, alongside the writing, I’ll publish a blogcast. Basically, an audio version of this blog. That will allow me to have some fun, use my recorder and do two of the things I like the most: talking, and talking about things I love.

Here is the link to the first… hum, episode?

TRJ Blogcast #1 (Soundcloud)

TRJ Blogcast #1 (Youtube)

I hope you enjoy it and I’ll write again next Friday!

Carina.

So, Where Was I?

December is already here!

November was quite a good month, bookly speaking. On top of the three books I bought at the fair in Eindhoven, I purchased three more books at Book Depository. Here they are:

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Since I read The Girl On The Train, I’ve been meaning to buy Gone Girl. I can’t really say it is comparable – The Girl On The Train got me a lot more anxious about knowing what was going on – but Gone Girl has screwed me over and over again, and its end really got me questioning life. It’s a great read, it took me about three days to finish the book but, as I posted on instagram, the book played me like a cheap pianola. Note to self: never trust narrators who speak in the first person. Bastards.

I started reading The Paris Bookshop which has a very nice rythm to it. I can sense the Paris spirit in it, as it should be. Good Omens and The Silent Wife were very good. Fortunately, The Milk is a nice, albeit short, story for kids.

I’ve found out Audible when I was searching for audiobooks and, since they offer the subscription for the first month, I got The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman, read by him too. It’s really, really good. Gaiman is a fantastic storyteller, as well as a fantastic writer. Listening to The Graveyard Book on youtube made me certain of that, so when I had to choose a book on audible I didn’t even consider any other narrator.

I still don’t know which books I’ll buy in December. I want them to be special, because it’s my Christmas gift to myself, but I am also planning on buying a tablet that I can carry around with me, see if that makes me write more, so I really have to check my finances before I make any decision. I’m thinking about completing my Diary Of A Wimpy Kid collection – I’m missing the three last books – but I’ll keep you posted.

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On another note, I intent to make regular updates here, so I will start by posting once a week, every Friday. I think that having a day to post things, rather than doing it “whenever” might lead me to create a habit and, therefore, to actually write and update the blog instead of this ramble here, ramble there, followed by months of silence.

I’m a fan of radio comedy/drama and I’ve recently discovered the pleasure of listening to audiobooks, so I’ll be posting about my favourite podcasts.

This year i’m engaging again on a Christmas fic exchange, for the Cabin Pressure fandom. If all goes according to what I am planning, I’ll be writing my first Wooden Overcoats fic! I have a plot already, I just need to put it all to paper. If nothing goes according to plan, I’ll be writing this fic anyway, I’m not discarding my plot. (The exchange is for the Cabin Pressure fandom but other podcasts are accepted, we’re a very open fandom).

I’ve bought nearly all of my Christmas gifts for this year. Those I haven’t bought online, I already know what I want to offer so I’m taking care of most of them today. It’s not a lot of things, mostly just chocolates and sweets. I’m spending Christmas as it’s usual for these last fice years, at friends’ place.

I thought I was going to have a bit of a pickle over New Year. I usually spend it with the same friends from Christmas but my ex is going to be around for New Year and he is going to spend it with them. I didn’t want to start my year with him – the past is in the past, don’t mingle it, and all that jazz – so I had two options: ask around to see if any friends would be here for New Year (most of my friends come from abroad), or spend it by myself which is not as bad as it may sound. Luckily, a friend of mine is having a party at her place, so I’ll have dinner with them and then I’ll stay the night. I’m actually looking forward to it, I think it’s going to be fun!

So, now I’m heading off to the stores and I’ll see you next Friday!

Update On Life

I haven’t been very productive lately, especially in what concerns to updating this blog. There’s still a lot of things I want to finish – stories, reviews – but I’m in a place in life where I don’t seem to have the motivation to finish things which ask a lot of concentration out of me. One step at a time, I’ll get there. It’s been a year – on November 1st to be more exact – that I moved to this small flat and that I’ve been living on my own, which I still love. I love it here, I’m really happy in this place, both physical and emotionally.

I started meditating on a regular basis – as in everyday – first with the app Calm, which is really helpful but, unfortunately, the free sample ends after the seven days try out and I really can’t be paying monthly for this sort of thing. So, I moved on to another app called Headspace, which fits me better than Calm, and I won’t deny that having been reviewd by Emma Watson might have led me to download it first and foremost.

Calm was really good but it won’t allow your mind to wander. Headspace is a bit more flexible about that, which makes it all easy, specially for someone who can be a bit restless, like me. It isn’t easy to shut my mind completely off.

In other news, and since we are talking about life changes – however small – I also tried out a new app in order to be able to work out often, since I can’t get a gym subscription for now. It’s called c25k and it promises to turn you from a couch potato into an active 5-miles-runner after a few months. Today I did the first half hour and it was not bad: you get a 5 minute warm up, then you alternate between a 60 seconds’ run and a 60 seconds’ walk for 20 minutes, and at the end you get another 5 minute walk to cool off. It’s not heavy and I guess it will help me build up a constant workout pace. I’ve downloaded a yoga app, see if I can go back to practise it on a daily basis. We’ll see how it goes.

(If you haven’t noticed yet, I bought a new phone which has allowed me to download all these apps, my old one wouldn’t. I’m quite content with it, I’ve been using it in helpful ways to make my life easier.)

Yesterday I went to a book fair in Eindhoven. Mostly the books were in Dutch and my Dutch isn’t fluent enough to be able to enjoy a book in that language – a shame, there were some wonderful Agatha Christie collections there – but the Engish section was quite decent. I didn’t feel too attracted to most of the books though, because I didn’t recognise the authors or the titles, but I did find a Neil Gaiman’s book, Fortunately The Milk, which was more than I could have expected. I also bought one book because it contained a review by Erin Morgenstern – who wrote The Night Circus – on the back. This book has a sequel, though, so I’ll have to buy the sequel before reading this one, as they advise on Goodreads. The other book was The Silent Wife, which I recall hearing about somewhere, and seemed promising.

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I just finished reading Saramago’s Blindness – which was raw and cruel but, altogether, it is a fantastic piece of literature – and I have started reading Good Omens, by Gaiman. I’ve been longing to read it since I’ve heard its BBCRadio4 dramatization, which is spectacular and I’ve listened to four times already.

I set a goal for myself of buying at least three books a month, and I do have an ever-growing wish list at The Book Depository. Last month – the month I actually set this goal – I bought Girl With A Pearl Earring, The Graveyard Book – I have read both books before but I didn’t own them; now I do – and Good Omens. I still don’t know for sure which books I’ll buy this month, but I’ll keep you posted. I did create a bullet journal for my books because of that.

Now it’s time to get some headspace, read a bit, and get some rest. Tomorrow I’ll have a free afternoon so I’ll be grocery shopping and, hopefully, running as well. Friday is a holiday so I am really looking forward to the end of this week.

Also, if you want to follow me on instagram or/and goodreads, just click on the links!

tvgj.

Returned From The Dead

Well, not quite.

I was away from Belgium – and from the interweb – for most of September. As it’s already usual every year, I take two and a half weeks off work to visit my family in Portugal. I can’t really call it vacations, because I am busier then than the rest of the year, running from one place to the other to see the friends and family I missed for a whole year, so I always take a few days after my return home to be able to actually relax, with no commitments to go anywhere. This is to say that I am back and, hopefully, I will be able to update the blog more often.

I suppose the upside of having no internet connection at my parents place – where I crash on my old bed for the whole of the vacation – is that I end up using my free time to read more. I also visited Lisbon for two days (I used to live up North) and met some friends I only spoke to online.

Now, I came across the term bulletin journal on one of the blogs I follow, here and the idea seems quite intersting and neat. I’ve been keeping diaries since I was nine and the only resolution I made for New Year was to go back to riting journals on a regular basis, a whim I have obliged so far. I am now on my third journal.

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Now I still have the weekend to enjoy – going out with friends tonight – and Monday it’s back to work. I still feel quite content. After almost a month away from home it’s good to be back and to spend some time on my own.

Oh, speaking of diaries: I watched Bridget Jone’s Baby and it’s so good old Bridget, it felt like I went back fifteen years. Can’t wait for it to be realeased on DVD.

Also, I dyed the tips of my hair blue – it ended up fading to green after a few days. I still like how it looks. 🙂

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tvgj.