Het geroofde kookboek

Ik kan niet koken.

Het geroofde kookboek: hoe de nazi’s de bestseller van mijn grootmoeder stalen, Karina Urbach, Ambo|Anthos 2021

Aantrekkelijk schrijven kan ze ook niet echt, maar misschien is dat deels de schuld van de vertaling. Redelijk recent las ik ook over Oliebollen-Nel: ook een kijk op de Tweede Wereldoorlog vanuit een originele hoek. Dit was wild, vervreemdend maar ook gezellig geschreven.

Het geroofde kookboek is clunky. Vreemde, frivole omschrijvingen om een interessant element heen. Had mij meer verteld over hoe Joodse boeken omgekit werden naar Arisch, of was eerlijk geweest dat dit een boek was over de familie Urbach.

Fuck de liefde 2

92 min.

Waarom kunnen Nederlandse romcoms geen dialoog schrijven? Snedige zinnetjes zo af en toe, maar normale gesprekken met welke emotie dan ook veranderen in houten uitingen van geluid die ergens op Nederlands lijken.

En men ook moet eens nadenken over wat voor mannen als hunks worden gepresenteerd.

Enfin. Als je achtergrondgeluid wilt hebben en/of leuk behang kun je hier niet echt een buil mee vallen.

Ace of Spades

First-day-back assemblies are the most pointless practice ever.

Ace of Spades, Faridah Abíké-Íyímídé, MacMillan 2021

YA closer to The Hate You Give than Gossip Girl, even though it starts out as the latter. And points for originality in the reason behind British terms being used at an American school.

Anyway, two students with no other connection than their skin colour are targeted by anonymous texts. Not just some light cyber bullying (read sarcasm here), but subjects shared that could ruin their health and futures.

It’s all so much that the Life Lessons don’t even club you over the head in usual YA-style, but slowly choke you instead. A demonstration of what YA can be.

Best of 2021

Of books

The Trickster trilogy // The City We Became // Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life // Mijn konijn van vaderskant // Hench // Interior Chinatown // 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World // Greenwood // The Patriots

It’s not necessarily that I read so much crap, just that I wouldn’t recommend a lot of them.

Of films

Pieces of a Woman // Cosmos Laundromat // Shoplifters // The Hater // Bulado

Mismatched

6 x 35 min.

Can’t remember the last time I so enjoyed a YA romance, on telly or otherwise. I think that this would have had another To All The Boys-hype level if the majority of it wouldn’t have been in another language than English (I think it’s Hindi).

It has plenty of tropes, plenty of tempo and a tight grip on the plot. I don’t know the original material – YA novel When Dimple meets Rishi – so I can’t compare, but the series delivers everything you might need from a YA romance. Rishi is a romantic, Dimple wants to break free.. side characters that carry their clichés in an honest way, and a surroundings that makes you wish that there’d be a temporary ban on the UK and USA high school as decor.

It’s a slice of teenage life but with amped up volume and technicolour added. And for the romance part: you might not even straight-away know who she ends up with! There’s even replay value! So, I hope for two things: a sequel, and that more people will watch it so we can discuss.

Best of 2020

It’s that time of the year.

What did I read and watch in 2020 and was any of it worthy of my time? Looking back.. yes, of course. It’s what you make of it. The year started slowly when it came to good, satisfying books, but in the end I still had to make cuts to end with five I’d definitely recommend to any curious reader.

Aria,, The Animators,, Conversations of Shadows,, Moord op de moestuin,, Notes from a Young Black Chef

TV, then? The one I keep telling myself I have to review more often? I did.. ten, this year. I’m not even going to check if that’s more or less (I’m doing that in a minute).

Castlevania,, Feel Good,, Giri/Haji,, Russian Doll,, Queen Sugar

With film I’m pleased to see that I (subconsciously?) went for pictures that had a (heavy) female cast and that my taste continues to be all over the place. See also: recently watched. I watched and reviewed some good films this year.

Bumblebee,, Colossal,, Edge of Seventeen,, De laatste dagen van Emma Blank,, Dirty God,, Rafiki,, Wolf

Sometimes I’m bored of this blog and thinking about how to put something down in writing that hasn’t been done a gazillion times before. Other times it’s almost like letting a sore bleed: a relief and others can deal with the mess. Hello, 2021!

Little Sister

As if Netflix doesn’t offer you enough yet, there’s other streaming options out there (duh). Through my library (thanks, Ottawa!) I can use Kanopy, where I found Little Sister.

The thing I might like most about this film is that it shows that there can be insights without huge changes following. Sometimes we just need to improve what we’re doing, instead of do something else.

Colleen is a young (future) nun, her brother is an ex-soldier who got hurt in the Iraqi war, her mother survived a suicide attempt; good luck keeping this family together. The father and the girlfriend of the brother try, especially when the brother is released from the hospital. Colleen is invited to welcome him home; her brother just isn’t very welcoming.

The summary calls this film a dark comedy and for once I don’t feel like fighting when a media product calls itself comedy. Because this is funny, in regular and awkward and sad ways.

A third point in their favour is that it’s not very long, and/but still feels complete.

This being ‘indie’ might make it harder to find, but consider a Kanopy subscription, or other ways for an original comedy that is definitely dark (and not just because of the hair dye used).

2019

Last year I made quite a pretty post about the year. This year I’ll … make an attempt.

According to Goodreads I read 75 books; according to my own list I’m on 83 – I don’t review every book but I also like to pace my reviews. I read a lot for school this year as well.

Best book read in 2019? Fictional it’s Het achtste leven (voor Brilka), no doubt. I didn’t read as much as non-fiction as I would have liked; maybe something to turn into a resolution. For 2019 it’s definitely The Woo-Woo, even though I’m always weary about memoirs. Growth!

I reviewed 35 films, I’m sure I watched many more because of Pathé Unlimited and home-work travel. Best of the ones reviewed? Parasite, Roma, Sweet Bean, Can You Ever Forgive Me? and The Favourite.

Then, to telly. I’ve reviewed ten (Netflix)shows, if you include some documentaries. Netflix will probably be an independent category soon. Most impressive documentary/non-series? Hannah Gadsby: Nanette. How comedy can hurt and educate, wow.
Rather stick to binge-able fiction? Derry Girls. Plenty of nineties nostalgia with a sprinkling of Irish history and teen girl madness. Delicious.

So, for 2020? 2019 was a pretty good year in books read: of the 83 I can remember the majority and I didn’t quit on too many of them. To be honest: all of this looks pretty good to me, so I’m just going to keep carrying on. Carry on.