Continuing my review of 2018, here are the books I most enjoyed and ticket stub reviews of the movies and plays I saw.
Because I was so sick for so long, I didn't read as many books as I usually do - only 29 this year (about half my normal amount) - but I read more non-fiction than I normally do. Of those 29 books, only a handful got 3 1/2 or more stars from me. I rate them on a scale of 5 stars for the best and 0 stars for the ones that are so bad I can't even finish them. It almost never happens that I can't finish a book because it's just that awful, but I do occasionally start a book, get distracted and forget to finish it. I have two books in that category - Fear by Bob Woodward, and Snape... A Definitive Reading by Lorrie Kim. Both are Kindle downloads which are easier to forget about than a physical book - at least for me. I'll get them read, though.
Of the 29 books I finished, I gave five stars to four of them, and 4.5 stars to one - all of those books are by the same author who happens to be my favorite author, so no surprises there.
***** - The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
****1/2 - Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien
Two books got four stars - a novel about an unusual boy, and a memoir.
**** - Be Frank with Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson, A Higher Loyalty: Truth Lies and Leadership by James Comey
The last of the above average books consisted of a Phryne Fisher mystery, a rather odd novel about a young girl's bond with her grandmother, a Mitford book, and a biography of Queen Victoria that was pretty long but quite interesting.
***1/2 - Raisins & Almonds by Kerry Greenwood, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman, Come Rain or Come Shine by Jan Karon, Victoria the Queen by Julia Baird
Whenever I see a movie or play, instead of giving it star ratings, I write a tiny review on the ticket stub and put the stub in an envelope which I keep in the back of my journal. I saw seventeen movies this year, again, less than normal due to illness. Here are my ticket stub reviews of the movies I made it to in 2018.
Jumanji WTTJ – Lots of laughs. Lighter than the original.
Darkest Hour – Excellent!
Black Panther – WOW!
Avengers Infinity War – Enjoyable, but enough Thanos already!
Solo – Enjoyed the backstory, especially meeting Chewy.
Incredibles 2 – Lots of fun & lots of ego issues.
Ant Man & the Wasp – Another non-stop action adventure.
Ocean’s Eight - I remember laughing, but not why.
Christopher Robin – Nostalgic. Gently Humorous.
The Spy Who Dumped Me – So funny! Balzac… LOL
Won’t You Be My Neighbor – Touching – interesting – nostalgic
House with a Clock in the Wall – Cute! Enjoyed Jack Black and Glen Close.
First Man – Good, but tried too hard to be Apollo 13.
Hocus Pocus – Cool to see on the Big Screen. Teri jumped!
Bohemian Rhapsody – Touching – sometimes hard to watch. (for personal reasons)
Fantastic Beasts 2 – Fantastically confusing
Ralph Breaks the Internet – Fun but forced
And finally, I saw two stage plays this year. There were a few others I wanted to see, but didn't make it to the playhouse for various reasons.
Nana’s Naughty Knickers – Cute
Calendar Girls – Sister date for Donna
Next up will be my favorite photos that I took last year. Same old disclaimer - didn't take as many as usual - yada, yada, yada.