God knows that there are literally thousands of movies on my 'to see' list not to mention the numerous TV series that I could dive head first into right now but as I said, that does mean a lot of screen time, and when you are already average around 5 films a week, you need to have other outlets.
Thankfully, I also like nothing better on a cold winter's day than curling up with a good book. I like to listen to audio books and I also like to sit and relax with a good old fashioned print novel as well, I will take my books in any form and I try to get through at least a couple of books a month, regardless of the weather.
During this particularly frigid spat of weather that we are experiencing in Western Victoria right now and the lockdown restrictions keeping everyone at home for most of the time, it's good to have something lovely to do. Reading for me, is one of those lovely things. A great book, a big cuppa and a comfy couch...hmmm, simply heaven and a terrific way to pass a few lockdown hours away on the weekend.
So what would I recommend for a good, cosy Winter read? Well, I have made a list of the 10 best books to read yourself and the 10 best audio books that I have listened to on Audible in the last 2 years for you to consider. All of the ones to read to yourself are also probably available in audio format if you like to read on the go, the choice of how to digest the material is of course completely up to you.
All of these books are excellent and will provide you with a fabulous distraction from any lockdown annoyances, happy reading/listening!
READ TO YOURSELF:
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delta Owens
- Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty
- Honeybee by Craig Silvey
- Circe by Madeline Miller
- Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
- Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe
- Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
- Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton
- Educated by Tara Westover
- Modern Love by Aziz Ansari
- Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Narrated by Frankie Corzo)
- Working Class Boy by Jimmy Barnes (Narrated by Jimmy Barnes on Audible)
- Bunny by Mona Awad (Narrated by Sophie Amos)
- Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (Narrated by Neil Gaiman on Audible)
- So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson (Narrated by Jon Ronson on Audible)
- The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (Narrated by Maggie Gyllenhaal on Audible)
- Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jnr. (Narrated by James Franco on Audible)
- The Rules of Backyard Cricket by Jock Serong (Narrated by Rupert Degas on Audible)
- Teresa Raquin by Emilie Zola (Narrated by Kate Winslet on Audible)
- Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Various Narrators on Audible)
Release Date: 2004
Running Time: 119 mins
Produced by Studio Ghibli, this Japanese fantasy animation was scripted and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and is based on the novel of the same name by British writer Diana Wynne Jones. After its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, Howl's Moving Castle went onto become one of the most financially successful Japanese films of all time, and it is easy to see why, this film is truly a delicate and beautiful piece of children's cinema.
Sophie, a young hat maker, encounters a powerful and extremely odd wizard named Howl. Unbeknownst to Sophie, Howl is being pursued by the evil Witch of the Waste, who puts a spell on Sophie after she refuses her service due to her rudeness. Sophie is transformed into a ninety year old woman and must travel through the Wastes, to seek a cure for her transformation.
Howl's Moving Castle is a sophisticated children's film, with lots of adult emotions and concepts and at the heart of it all, it is essentially a romance tale. Christian Bale does a fabulous job of voicing Howl, and Lauren Bacall is the perfect choice for the voice of the Witch of the Waste. There is something here for children and adults and alike, and although I didn't like it as much as Spirited Away, it was an enjoyable watch and definitely a good family viewing experience.
FINAL SAY: A heart's a heavy burden.
3.5 Chilli Peppers