[TV Watching] Thoughts on Doctor Who, Season 10, Episode 1

DOCTOR WHO, SEASON 10, EPISODE 1

I’m so excited that Doctor Who is back for another season! I’m not sure what I thought of the last season. Despite the fact that people loved the last season, it wasn’t my favourite. I think part of it was Clara — I needed a change in companions! I also felt like Peter Capaldi was very dark in the last season and it seems like he’s lightened up a bit and is kind of fun (well, at least against the scarier parts of this episode).

Now, this isn’t that I didn’t like Clara. I loved her in the beginning, but I felt like she was around a bit too long and she had great mystery in the beginning and I wanted more from her character.

Anyway, I think this is going to be a fantastic season and I’m so excited to see where the Doctor and Bill go! I’m sure I’m not alone, but I feel like the title of this episode is reminiscent of starting fresh … I know we already started again in 2005 with the new series in general, but I feel like this is just another turnaround with “The Pilot.” I saw a few comments from people bashing Stephen Moffat for having a “pilot” episode, where people said that it’s called “The Pilot” — he’s not starting over. But I think with this episode we had an opportunity *to* start fresh. There’s been a lot of really deep themes in the last seasons that it’s nice to start a new season with new eyes.

WHAT I LOVED 

  • Bill! I loved the music when she came into the office and that she’s totally not flattering the Doctor. Plus, she’s so stinkin’ cute! I also like that we get a bit of background with her character. I hope that we continue getting more from her foster mom and her home life – I miss that from the older seasons. I kind of feel the same as the author of this Vulture article on the first episode: “I have not instantly liked a new companion as much since Rose Tyler, and that may be, more than anything else, because she isn’t burdened by the aforementioned character trappings. Bill is allowed to breathe and simply be herself. She’s a wonderful change of pace.”
  • I had a mad craving for fries/chips during this episode! I’m sure glad we didn’t have any in the house. Oh, and a bacon sarnie. What is it with every British show and book having bacon sandwiches?
  • How creepy this whole episode was. I feel like this one is kind of up there with the weeping angels, but not quite … I loved the spookiness of the water following Bill and Heather coming out of the water? So creepy!
  • The Doctor getting the pictures of Bill’s mom … I loved when they were celebrating the holidays together and Bill reminisced on her mom, saying how the pictures really help when someone’s gone and then the Doctor puts photos of her mom in her flat. So sweet!
  • I kind of love that Bill is gay and won’t be falling for the Doctor. I mean, I loved Rose and the Doctor together, but I don’t want every female character falling for him. I mean, he *is* an alien. I still kind of wish that either the Doctor would have a male companion or that the Doctor would be a female, but I’ll take this, too. Bill just seemed slightly needy, throwing herself at Heather whenever she could, but I feel like Heather might have had some kind of magnetic pull for her. Maybe?
  • The bathroom scene when Bill thinks her foster mom is just in the shower – LOVED the creepiness of it! And then when the water follows her into the Doctor’s office and “Heather” just comes up from the water? Brilliant!
  • I loved the Doctor when he and Bill went into the TARDIS and how he was so expectant of a big reaction from her. And the music! When he was talking about the TARDIS and the music was all big and majestic and then Bill compares it to a kitchen, and then again it gets all big and she asks to use the toilet. So funny!
  • Uh, can I get a macaron dispenser in my house?
  • I loved all the visual effects in this episode and the music was fantastic. The music is always great in Doctor Who, but I especially loved this episode – it just seemed so fresh.
  • I’m not sure how I feel about Nardole … I liked him in this episode but I don’t think I want to see him in every episode.

FAVOURITE QUOTES FROM THIS EPISODE

“I’d fatted her.” 

“And how does that, in any way, explain why you could come to my lectures?”
“Yeah, it doesn’t really, does it? I was hoping something would develop.”

“Do you know any sci-fi?”

“This is the gateway to everything that was, and everything that can be.” 
“Can I use the toilet?”

“Oh my god, this isn’t just a room, is it?”
“No, it’s not just a room.” 
“This is a lift!”

“Can I ask you a personal question?”
“No.”
“Can I anyway?”
“Yes.”

“Do you think that your bacon sandwich loves you back?”

“Can I say no, sir?” 
“No!”
“Yes, then … but no, really.”

“Imagine, just imagine, how you would feel if someone did this to you.”

SONG SELECTION

“In the end we’re all looking for someone who’s looking for us.” 

Honestly, this one line had me singing a line from Sarah Slean’s Looking For Someone! A super contemporary song for a sci-fi show.

“But there’s got to be one face and one pair of eyes
That’ll light me on fire, when they’re looking in mine
Oh, I’m looking for someone … who’s looking for me.”

Did you watch last week’s episode of Doctor Who? What did you think? 

Romance Book Club Night!

This past while, since becoming a mom and trying to get back into reading and having fun with reading, I have LONGED for a fun book club! I love the idea of the library book club, but I find that the same old recycled book club kits can get so boring. As much as I try, I am not a literary fiction reader. I can read the odd one once in a while, but it has to be one of my choosing. The books I’ve read at previous library book clubs have been boring, or depressing, or just too long and dense, and since I don’t have a ton of reading time available to me, I want to ENJOY what I’m reading!

So, when I saw that one of the libraries in my area, the Morinville Public Library, was having a romance book club night, I was so on board. Instantly, I fell in love with a few things, based on the poster alone:

  1. That we BOUGHT the book. It wasn’t just a used book from the book club kit, but a new one for my shelf.
  2. That it was a FUN book! I love a good historical romance and you NEVER see these in book clubs!
  3. That it was an EVENT. It wasn’t just sitting in a room with maybe some tea and just a discussion of printed off questions, but instead it was in a fun, decorated room (seriously, rose petals were everywhere!), and there were themed snacks and drinks (champagne!) and that the discussion wouldn’t be led from a printed sheet of questions.

So yeah, sign me up!

I went in the week before and signed up, getting book #14 of 15, and looked forward to reading it. It was Julia London’s Sinful Scottish Laird, the second book in her Highland Grooms series. Before I signed up, I made sure to read the first book just to get a taste of the writing since I really hadn’t read much of Julia London, and I loved it, so I really looked forward to this book.

And thank goodness for reminder phone calls because I thought this book club was on a Friday, but it was actually on the WEDNESDAY. Oops! They phoned me on Tuesday to remind me of the book night and I promptly dropped what I was reading and dove into the book.

Here’s my brief review:

I loved how easy this book was to get into. I loved both Caelin and Daisy (as well as Caelin’s comment about Daisy’s ridiculous name). I thought Belinda was hilarious in the beginning about the heathen, animal Scots, thinking they were only there to rob them. I loved to hate Rob and, frankly, thought he was a complete and utter asshole. I loved Ellis and how much he opened up in the Highlands. I thought it was a little weird to read this story and see that the couple in the first book are now the PARENTS of the main character in this book. Normally it’s sisters, or brothers, or friends, who take up a trilogy of romance books, but this one started with the parents, then to their son and the next one will be their other son. Still, even though it was weird to see my previous favourite couple so old, it was a great book! I started it halfway through naptime on Tuesday and finished it the next morning before the kids got up.

Now the book night for this was fantastic! Initially, it was super awkward because I got there early and went into the very obvious room where the book night was (obvious because it was decorated in rose petals, and plaid, and candlesticks) and apparently there was some serious meeting going on. It was kind of funny because the ladies sitting there were talking about a guy named Rob, so I thought they were talking about the book. And apparently they weren’t! Oops! I felt so embarrassed after they left the room that I seriously debated leaving. 

But then, the lady running the book night came in and, oh my goodness, she was fantastic! For the life of me, I can’t remember her name, but she was so friendly, and quirky, and welcoming. She had such a great personality and instantly I wanted to be her best friend (not really, but yes really). We chatted about books (fantasy books are her bag, she said) and it was just so refreshing! I don’t have a lot of reader friends in real life so it was so much fun to chat with someone other than my husband (who thought I was crazy to be going somewhere to talk about a book). The discussion with the other ladies (who were all around my age for the most part) was lively and hilarious. The word “cock” was uttered in the first thirty seconds before the champagne was even poured and right then and there I knew this was the book club for me! It was scheduled for an hour but we all stayed for two and enjoyed our snacks (the chocolate covered strawberries were delicious!) and champagne.

The next meetings were discussed, too. As this was the inaugural book night at the library, they had just wanted to see how things went and how many people attended before making it a regular thing. I’m so happy that they will be doing a regular night of it, from the sounds of it every few months. The lady running it said they plan on a YA night (for adults who read YA), a mystery night (we discussed scotch as the drink), a fantasy night, a Christian romance night (for the holidays), and she’s even planning a Halloween horror book night for next October. I am beyond excited to attend these in the future! The ladies were fun and interesting, even though I think I was the only one who really liked the book. This library might be slightly out of the way for me, but it was so worth it to go!

The whole drive home I thought about how much I loved to read and to talk to people about books and reading. I thought about how much I love FUN book clubs and how much fun the night was. I thought about blogging and how I want to get back into doing more fun posts and not just writing reviews. I want to socialize with other bloggers! I want to get my readership up! I want to gush about books! I want to gush about authors! I want to go to the library more! I want to read more! I want to read ALL the books!

Seriously. Best night!

[Thinking About] Audiobooks & Burning Out

At the beginning of this year, I had a goal to catch up on my owned TBR books. Over the years I have gone CRAZY when it comes to buying books and I think a lot of that came from when I started really blogging back in 2011 and I thought I had to buy a LOT of books to be a book blogger. I’ve gotten better over the past few years, but I still have to get it in my head to buy LESS books and actually read what I have.

How I’ve been accomplishing a lot of my TBR reading this year has been through audiobooks from the library, since Overdrive has a GREAT selection of them.

However … I am starting to feel burned out on the audiobook listening.

Don’t get me wrong, audiobooks are FANTASTIC. I love that I can multitask while listening and actually “read” a book when I can’t physically read a book.

(As a sidenote, my husband is constantly debating with me about whether or not listening to an audiobook is actually reading. He says it’s cheating. I say he’s wrong.)

But now, as we’re in the fourth month of the year, I am feeling like I want to slow down with my reading and try to read maybe 1 to 2 books at a time, instead of the nearly 4 at a time I’ve been doing with incorporating audiobooks into my reading.

Now, I do retain what I’m reading but listening to audiobooks at 2x the speed means I’m flying through them and finishing a book in a day or two and then moving on to the next one. I mean, nothing wrong with that, but lately I’ve been reading my physical books slower and taking days to finish them. I loved that I took 8 whole days to read Brent Weeks’ book The Black Prism. I didn’t have issues diving back in day after day and I loved the story more for going slowly at it.

Personally, I feel like audiobook listening, while great, is taking away from me really appreciating a story. Some of that has to do with flying through them so quickly, sometimes it’s to do with the narrator, who can really make or break a story (The Wrath and the Dawn is one that I’m going to try again by actually reading the physical copy – I just couldn’t get into the audiobook and actually removed the book from my TBR because of that).

As I write this post, I’m currently reading Vicious by V. E. Schwab and loving it – and I’ve been reading it since Friday. I’ve been on such a kick about getting my TBR down that I’ve read OVER 100 books so far this year and normally I’d be itching to just finish the book since it’s been 4 days now of reading, but I now don’t really mind that it’s taking time. I mean, it’s not a long book, just 364 pages, but taking my time means that I take in the details more than I would with the audiobook, and I actually look forward to reading more of it. Plus, I love looking at the cover of it when I pick it up AND feeling it in my hands as I read. You don’t get that with the audiobook!

Obviously I’m not giving up audiobooks, but out of the 104 books I’ve read, 49 of them have been audiobooks … in 3.5 months. That’s a LOT of audiobooks! Listening to nearly 3-4 of them a week is definitely exhausting and my plan is to just slow down. Listen to music, watch a TV show, or just have silence. Audiobook listening whenever I have the time means that there’s not a lot of quiet since I’m always doing something.

So, after this post, and 49 audiobooks, I plan to still listen, but I’m going to only listen to certain books and certain authors (like books where I’m already enjoying the audiobooks for the series, or non-fiction books), and I’m going to only listen when I’m driving, or doing housework, and NOT as a means to just fill quiet. Personally, I love quiet. I love listening to my kids, to the wind outside, to the birds, to the hum of the fridge, or just to the quiet in my head. There’s really nothing wrong with quiet!

And when I think about it, the memories I have of reading certain books, like reading The Old Man and the Sea when my mother in law was in the hospital, or Omens when I was going into labour with my son, or Leave Me while on vacation in the mountains, all of those times I can physically remember reading a book was when I was taking my time and not overdoing it with reading too much at once. These are books I savoured and didn’t rush through just to get my reading list down.

And in the end, you know what I think this stems from? All of the books I want to read! Can you believe how many books there are in this world? I see recommendations daily and my list of what I want to read grows daily and I am constantly feeling like I need to read things quickly to get to the next book, rather than savour what I am reading and stop to think about what I read after.

Have you ever felt burned out by listening to audiobooks? When do you find the time to listen and how do you keep from getting tired of audiobooks? Are there certain stories or authors you prefer to read in physical book form? Or authors you prefer to read via audiobook? And is my husband right? Is listening to audiobooks “cheating?”