Greetings! And a very Happy 2015 to us all! I know I am not alone in being rather pleased to kick 2014 to the curb. I don’t know of a single person who didn’t have a hard time of it this past year, whether it was health, monetary or professional issues and in some sad cases a bit of it all. So all I am asking for is a better year. It doesn’t have to be a stellar one, though that would certainly be lovely. I am only asking for better. This weekend also brings us the first full moon of the year. This moon is known as the Wolf Moon. Apparently this was because wolves would howl outside villages in hunger. So let’s show some kindness People! See a wolf this weekend? Throw it a bone won’t you, preferably a nice meaty one. This week we have England, Brooklyn, Dystopia, and of course The Playlist! New Year! New Playlist!
Let us begin!
Amanda took my advice and watched Small Island. “I decided to watch this because I’m a fan of Benedict Cumberbath (hello, Sherlock!). Quickly I changed course as I got pulled into the struggles of two Jamaican immigrants to England around WW2. They were taught that England was a kind and gracious mother who loved all her children. They arrive with high expectations, but are met with scorn, racism, and violence. Meanwhile, their landlady struggles with having her dreams clipped by circumstances that led to a cold marriage. The two couples’ lives are headed towards a major collision. I’m easily led to tears and this one left me weeping. This miniseries is based off an award-winning novel that The Guardian selected as a defining book of the decade. I also suspect that Cumberbatch’s socially awkward portrayal of Bernard led to his BBC Sherlock role. I highly recommend Small Island for history buffs. “
Barbara M has just finished reading a book that has proven to be a favorite with all who pick it up. I’ll let her explain. “I recently read a children’s fiction book, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson which is neither only for children nor truly fictional. This poignant fictionalized memoir written in verse describes Woodson’s childhood first in the south during the Civil Rights Movement and later in Brooklyn as her passion for writing blossomed. Woodson’s free verse poetry is easily accessible and flows effortlessly. This is a beautifully written book that touched me deeply. “
I spent my Christmas break playing Book Catch-Up. This time of year is tragic for new books and I usually spend it tackling the To Be Read Pile of books that have already been published that I have missed. So, on the advice of some of my Librarian Friends (I am looking at you Sue B and Mary C!) I picked up Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. Now please understand that this book had to be practically shoved into my hands. I am not a fan of Science Fiction or Dystopian Lit. But they were so passionate and so insistent that I acquiesced to them and I am happy to report that I could not imagine a better use of two days off. When the world as we know it vanishes in the blink of an eye due to a virus that kills in the matter of hours, what’s left? Art is what is left. Art and a nostalgia for everything that we take for granted. Which sounds odd I know, but trust me on this: you want to pick this one up and savor it.
DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here with our first playlist of the year. What’s good Pats? “This week I am on the road. We took to the road after the holidays to visit friends and family. NYC was dressed in all her holiday finery and we enjoyed a lovely dinner in CT with friends that overflowed with laughter. Thank you Christine & Peter! Currently we are with the east coast cousins in MA. We will hike around the Acton Arboretum, sit in front of a big fire, swap stories and laugh like you do with the best of friends. There are few people whom we enjoy more than these folks and it’s both the perfect way to end and begin a new year. It’s been a rough year and I think we can all say that we’re looking forward to better days. Wishing you better days in 2015! “
DL BETTER DAZE 2015