Down time, General

My suggested novels and shows for the break!

It’s finally here! Our holiday break! Now that classes are over and it’s officially too cold to go outside without hoping to immediately find a way back in, we’ve got about 3 weeks of staying indoors and binging Netflix or novels that aren’t found on a syllabus. To celebrate this occasion, I’ve compiled a list of suggestions; my 5-star-rating-on-good-reads novels, and some of my favourite tv series on Netflix, see them below!

 

  1. My Brilliant Friend // Elena Ferrante.
the front novel cover of Elena Ferrante's "My Brilliant Friend" featuring a man and a woman sporting wedding attire walking away, trailed by three young girls

Here’s the cover of my brilliant friend!

I read the entire quartet of the Neapolitan collection by Ferrante and then consumed all her other works immediately afterward. If ever I was certain of the absolute talent of an author, it is with Ferrante. The series follows the life stages of two captivating Italian women who grow up alongside each other, sharing a complex and heart stopping relationship. The novel is beautifully written and paints a very detailed picture of the culture found in the city of Naples which is its setting. 100% read it. Right now. Go.

  1. The Girl Who Was Saturday Night // Heather O’Neill

the cover for "The Girl Who Was Saturday Night" featuring a woman in a red jumpsuit

O’Neill’s breathtaking talent with words makes prose sound so close to poetry it almost slides into magic realism. Narrating the chaotic lives of two Québécois twins who’s father is a famous musician, the story is interesting for it’s ability to highlight the psychological effects of growing up under the limelight and in the shadow of a parent who never grew up themselves.

 

  1. Lord of The Flies // William Golding

The book cover of Lord Of the Flies, featuring a collection of butterflies and flowers in a bundle in black pen

You’ve probably heard of this book before, or had to read it for a class. I know some people find this novel boring, but I have no idea how. I read this during my year off and finished it in one day. The plot (a group of school boys get stranded on an uninhabited island and deteriorate into madness) is completely engrossing and teaches you a few lessons about the effects of group mentality and social power along the way.

 

  1. Rule of The Bone // Russell Banks

the book cover of Rule of The Bone, featuring a sketch of two bones crossed with each other

Oh this book! It gets me every time! Fair warning this one is pretty heartbreaking- okay, incredibly so. If you can get passed the grammar and misery, this coming-of-age story about a 14 year old victim of domestic abuse who drops out of high school and eventually moves to Jamaica is a touching tail of the resiliency of the human spirit and the power of empathy. I don’t know what it is about it that makes me so emotional- Chappie a.k.a. Bone has a heart of gold and he deserves all the good things in the world.

 

Now onto Tv shows!

 

  1. Black Mirror
A meme about black mirror with the following text: me: *finishes black mirror* phone: beep, me: (photo of a woman panicking)

everybody loves a good meme

Okay, I wont lie, I binged the entirety of this show and now I’m nervous about any and all technological advancements- don’t get me started about robots. This anthology series (meaning each episode is a new story) is a satirical view on common themes in modern society- specifically new technology. Chilling, intriguing and with incredible cinematography- I suggest watching the 3rd season because by public vote it is unanimously the best one. Also I just found out the new season is coming out on the 29th !!

  1. Please Like Me

A man in sunglasses saying "I just really think that if I got to sing Hakuna Matata to a real meerkat, that would cheer me up"

Probably the most lighthearted media in this blog post, Please Like Me catalogs the life of a fresh-out-the-closet socially awkward Australian and his close friends as they get themselves into all kinds of ridiculous and uncomfortable situations. I like it because it addresses stressful life situations in an optimistic perspective, and even this group of adults who have been adults for longer than me are afraid of being adults, so it’s relatable. Also, the characters are endearing and hilarious and the aesthetic is pretty. If you’re having a bad day, the opening song will immediately lift your spirits.

 

  1. Stranger Things

A poster for the netflix series Stranger Things featuring all the main characters

 

I mean, do I even have to say anything here? With all the hype surrounding this series lately, everyone seems to have an opinion about it- you either LOVE it or you couldn’t care less. If you’re not familiar with it however; it’s a science fiction-horror series set in the 1980’s involving a little kid with super-powers, alien/monsters, and the never-ending power of friendship. If you’ve never seen it, definitely give it a chance. My favourite character is Dustin, he’s adorable as heck.

 

  1. Atypical

Sam, Atypical's protagonist, saying "Sometimes, I wish I was normal"

Last but not least on my list, this show is hilarious and sweet in many ways, and gives viewers a more thorough understanding of what it means to exist on the spectrum. Sam is a high school senior with autism who’s attempts at fitting in and finding romantic love lead to both heartwarming and heartbreaking moments. I highly suggest watching if you’re looking for an emotionally fulfilling 8 hours.

That’s it from me for now, I hope you all have a fantastic holiday break! Eat lots of chocolate and stay warm.