Books and TV – What I’ve been reading and watching this year

I’m trying again, as I usually do, to read 24 books this year. I don’t think I’ve ever quite made it, but this year so far I’ve already read Watching The English by Kate Fox, Die 101 wichtigsten Fragen: Japan, The Xenophobe’s Guide to the Japanese and The Xenophobe’s Guide to the Spanish. I’ve also started a book called Making Sense of Japanese which has been interesting and entertaining so far. So I’m still behind, but it’s going quite well. The Xenophobe’s Guide is cheating, of course, because those books are rather short, but they certainly keep me motivated by raising the book count!

As for TV, we’ve been making our way through about two seasons and a half of United States Of Tara, which I quite liked for Toni Colette’s acting ability. However, after season 1 it became a little less good and most of the characters aren’t really very likeable. I’m looking forward to the end of season 3, which is the end of the show as well, to hopefully get to a conclusion of the show and make time for something new.
I’ve also been watching the first season and a bit of Breaking Bad, which I’m also enjoying. I don’t particularly like the weird mix of a serious show with very silly scenes (the scene with the talking pillow, or really anything that has the DEA agent in it), but I do like the main character for the most part or am at least interested in his journey.
I’ve watched the first episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the new show written and produced by Tina Fey, and while I thought 30 Rock was pretty hilarious, that one was a bit lame. Of course I’ve gone against my own rule, “Never judge a show by its pilot”, but with so much stuff out there to be watched, I just can’t be bothered to give that show another chance.

I also watched Clear and Present Danger for the first time last week – a 1994 movie with Harrison Ford and Willem Dafoe – and thought it was quite hilarious how they had state-of-the-art technology, such as personal computers with monochrome green screens, fax machines, satellite telephones. Their computers did hilarious unlikely things and their computer specialist hacked into someone’s account by figuring out the password was someone’s date of birth. I wonder if today’s youth would even understand this film today, considering they don’t even know how to send text messages with rotary telephones.