This movie is sweet and hilarious, has a brilliant cast and a lovely reference to the original Jumanji and of course the wonderful Robin Williams.

Let's start with Jack Black, him pretending to be a self-absorbed teenage girl is the funniest thing I have watched in a really long time. When Bethany picks 'Shelly' the 'Curvy Genius' to be her avatar she does not expect to end up with the body of Jack Black and the knowledge of a cartographer. Similarly, nerdy Spencer doesn't expect the body of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, and shy Martha doesn't expect to be badass Ruby Roundhouse who among other things is skilled in dance fighting (whatever that is). The other main character in the film is Fridge (which I assume is a nickname) who is played by Kevin Hart. I don't think I've ever seen a film with Kevin Hart that hasn't been hilarious - and this is no different. He is a stand-out actor who you can't help be drawn to and to love!
Who else has cake as a weakness?!

Now the plot ... I can imagine how hard it was after the success of the first Jumanji to try and write a script that matched up to people's expectations. I think they did a good job. Basically the board game transforms itself into video game (I mean it is magic after all) and the players after choosing their avatars get sucked into the world of Jumanji (where Alan Parrish went in the original film).

What else do I have to say?! Well, there's some nice character development (if the stars are high schoolers there really has to be some kind of epiphany for them about what life is really about - it's kind of a given) and a touch of romance (although there is one scene that makes me cringe a bit). There's also a throwback to Alan Parrish - Nick Jonas' character lives in Alan's jungle home for the twenty years (yes TWENTY YEARS) he is stuck in Jumanji before the other characters arrive.

Take a look at the film and let me know! It's a funny family film that I would definitely recommend! Let me know what you think!

Have a wonderful week,
Isabelle

(Also quite confusingly Dwayne Johnson is in TWO movies called Welcome to the Jungle so when you pick up the DVD make sure you get the right one)!

Pictures:
http://www.denofgeek.com/uk/movies/jumanji-welcome-to-the-jungle/53917/jumanji-welcome-to-the-jungle-review

With lots of reading to do for my course it's been tricky to find time to do any other reading but I loved this book and I am so glad I've read it!

Apparently there is an increase in books about compassion and kindness known as 'up lit' and this is one of those books. The story by Gail Honeyman is about a woman called Eleanor Oliphant who has had a difficult past but wants to change he future. She tries to change herself and learn to live properly. She makes friends with Raymond (perhaps a bit reluctantly)and it it this friendship that really makes the book for me.

The book is funny, it is moving and it is a joy to read. It is split into two sections 'Good Days' and 'Bad Days' - I fell in love with Eleanor a little bit, I rooted for her and I wanted to succeed. She's a character who has clearly struggle so much and continues to struggle. She struggles with 'Mummy' who rings her every Wednesday evening - a woman shrouded in mystery who has committed a heinous crime, and she struggles with alcohol and she struggles with the people around her. I may be making this book seem really depressing but it is not the case at all, it is an uplifting book.

So I've said how much I love it, but what actually happens to Eleanor in the book? Well she goes to a concert and meets the love of her life (well she doesn't exactly meet him) and she decides to make some changes in her life, sometimes with the help of Raymond, to become the kind of person she can see this man, this love of her life, falling for. Without wishing to give anything away - things don't exactly go to plan!

It's been a long time since I've read a book so quirky and joyful and with so much heart (I know I'm verging into book reviewing cliches but I can't help it)!

Have a wonderful week,
Isabelle

Post Comment Love
Pictures: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-5455181/Reading-Group-Eleanor-Oliphant-Completely-Fine-Gail-Honeyman.html
I watched this movie again just before writing the post to remind me what goes on. I think Knocked Up is probably one of Katherine Heigl most famous films, and Judd Apatow's - why? Well let's take a look...

Firstly, it's got got all the key elements of a romantic comedy - two slightly (well not-so-slightly in this case) messed up characters who dislike each other and are pushed together, in this case by Allison, Heigl's character, getting accidentally 'knocked up'. 

Secondly, because it is genuinely funny, most of the time. I like this film, but it's not my favourite of her comedies (I think 'Life as We Know It' is probably my favourite). Getting back to the point though, Knocked Up really does have some funny moments, and some moments that anyone watching will relate to - I think this is a good sign for any movie!
What else to say? Well, I love Leslie Mann - she is super funny (as a side note she is a very funny crier - I don't think any actress cries as well as Leslie Mann). She's a sort of secondary character in this movie but she plays the 'mum got-it-together-some-of-the-time' figure really well (she is the main character in Knocked Up's sort of sequel This is 40). 

My other favourite moment (and don't read if you don't want spoilers, but to be honest as soon as the movie happens you can probably guess this) is when Seth Rogan (who I think in every movie he's in smokes drugs - at least that's my perception) 'grows up' and begins to mature as a person. 

Anyway, the movie is currently on Netflix UK so take a look!!

Have a wonderful week, 
Isabelle
Aren't Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann's children the sweetest in this movie?
So I'm British and I'm going to make a very controversial statement (probably not that controversial) - I really like the American version of Ricky Gervais' The Office. I don't normally like American versions - I mean why oh why can they not just watch our programmes? We watch theirs, and our shows are brilliant (I must stop myself now or else this post will just become me lamenting on American's remaking our stuff)!

I really love this show. The first few episodes it struggles to find it's feet a little bit, Steve Carell's Michael (the boss) is a bit slapstick, a bit weird, but by the second season everything has settled and the writers have really got into the swing of things. I really got involved in the character's lives - their ups, their downs, and each character from Kevin, to Angela, to Michael to Pam got their moments. The jokes and pranks are hilarious, even the second or third time you watch the episodes, but what really makes this show special is how the people of Dunder Mifflin (the paper company they all work for) become a little bit like family.

Now I don't want to spoil anything but this show has some of the best romantic moments of any show - it makes me think that anyone however strange, or unusual can find love. Whilst Jim and Pam might be the couple of the show, Michael's constant search for love is such a rollercoaster (see the episode Dinner Party for a particularly crazy point in his search for a lady).

The Office is quite unusual because it is a mockumentary and they film it as if there really is a camera crew in the office. This is interesting, but it can be a bit of an adjustment as sometimes shots are obstructed by things (as the characters are trying to have a private moment and the cameras are trying  to capture it).

The other thing I have to mention is the brilliant Mindy Kaling! She wrote some of the best episodes - like Niagara (which she got nominated for an Emmy for), and she plays the very funny Kelly (who may be actually insane) - her romance with B.J. Novak's character Ryan Howard (who is the worst by the way) is hilarious (seriously look up Kelly Kapoor on Pinterest...enjoy)!





I'd love to know what your favourite episodes are! Let me know!
Have a wonderful week,

Isabelle


No. of episodes: 201 episodes (9 seasons)
My favourite episode: I mean there are 9 brilliant seasons - there is no way I could choose! 
Favourite character: I love Jim, but for comedy purposes my favourite has to be Dwight
Ending: I have seen the final episode about 3 times and I cry every time (but it is happy)
Available: for Brits it's available on DVD

I have heard there is supposed to be a reboot. I hope they don't because they ended it in such a good place - what else can they achieve? 


Pictures: 
https://www.narcity.com/entertainment/the-office-is-finally-getting-a-reboot-but-theres-one-catch
https://www.altpress.com/news/entry/jenna_fischer_the_office_revival_2018
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/236368680420274363/
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/610026712000102167/
This week my word has to be:

It was very hard to pick a word this week, it was my birthday at the beginning of the week so I've had lots of celebrations for that, including going out to see Blockers at the local Cineworld. I've also been lucky enough to get some new shoes (so shoes was a definite possibility for word of the week)!

However, I had to go with summer in the end, because despite the fact that as I write this it is cloudy and raining, overall this week has just been so lovely and summery. I've been able to wear summer dresses, and walk in the sunbeams! With the daffodils still out from Spring everything has been so bright and yellow and warm - I love it, doesn't summer just make everyone feel happier?

Another thing that has been making me feel happy this week is sitting in the sun reading a beautiful book by Lucy Mangan called 'Bookworm' all about all of those books I read as a child - where my love of reading all began!

As it's been sunny this week I have been updating my makeup look - adding a bit more lovely bronzer, shimmery eyeshadow and using a glow stick called 'Beach Babe' (I'm not sure at all what a glow stick is, or what it does, or how to use it, but I'm giving it a go)!

Picture featuring my curtains and wash cloth (just like those instagrammers do it)!

Hope you have all had a lovely summery week,

Isabelle
The Reading Residence
What with my birthday, coming back to uni, and getting back to work it's been a bit busy and I'm ready for a bit of a relax this evening, so I'm going to sit down and watch The Job Lot on Netflix.

I came across this programme quite by accident on Netflix and decided to watch it as I recognised Sarah Hadland in the photo as Stevie from Miranda. I wasn't expecting much from The Job Lot but I've actually really enjoyed it. It's been the first programme in a long time that has actually made me laugh out loud. 

The Job Lot is set in a job centre in Brownall and revolves around the people who work there such as the very neurotic and funny Trish (Hadland), the slightly crazy cat-loving hater-of-people Angela, the funny Karl, the lovely Natalie and all the other staff and job seekers at Brownall job centre. I would describe the series as a toned down version of The Office.

While some of the episodes have predictable plot lines overall they are very good, the writers are brilliant at playing various characters off each other. One of my favourite moments in the series is in First Impressions (S2 E2) where due to a misunderstanding Angela (who hates everyone, particularly Trish) becomes Trish's PA, hilarity ensues.

Definitely take a look, it's funny, it's sweet and the characters are overall just very nice (some nice romantic moments too)!

Let me know what you think,
Isabelle



No. of episodes: 18 (3 series)
My favourite episode: Workshop (S2 E6)
Favourite character: Trish (you gotta love her)
Ending: The show has ended (sadly)
Available: Netflix 

Photos: https://www.comedy.co.uk/tv/the_job_lot/
http://keithduffyexperience.co.uk/the-job-lot/4590309563
Today my blog turns three years old - can you believe it?! I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped me, I've learned so much and it's been a crazy journey! Thank you to all my friends, family and readers!

To celebrate the occasion I thought I'd share some of my favourite posts and moments from the last three years!

1. Interviewing Janet Evanovich
I sent an email to this New York Times Bestselling author and to be honest I never thought I'd hear back, so you can imagine my surprise when she agreed to answer some of my questions! I love her books, they are fun, imaginative and witty!

2. The Durrells
After settling into university I started blogging every day and after a little while I got disheartened, my blog wasn't achieving what I wanted it to achieve. Then I did a little tweet about The Durrells and everything went crazy! I got shared and retweeted and I don't think I've ever been so happy looking at my blog's stats page!


3. Meeting Margaret Atwood
I met Margaret Atwood at Ely Cathedral when she was on her 'Hag-Seed' book tour. She was such a great speaker - super inspiring! After her speech and after she had read out some excerpts from 'Hag-Seed' there was time for questions. I knew I would kick myself if I didn't ask her a question! The person in front of me asked pretty much the question I was going to ask so I had to very quickly come up with something different - I couldn't miss out on the chance to speak to this world famous author!

I have so many plans and ideas for my blog so stay tuned!

Have a wonderful week,

Isabelle


Photo: http://www.lovethispic.com/image/148577/happy-birthday-im
I recently read an article about this show, loosely based on a true story,  that slammed it for using nerd/geek/loser stereotypes. OK, so it may have problems, but here's why I think you should give it a try.

Firstly,  I can't think of one show which has 'nerdy' characters that has not been criticised at some point for making the characters too stereotypical, including The Big Bang Theory, and what a tiny unsuccessful show we know that to be! To be honest I like the characters, overall (although Happy can be at times a bit irritating). Toby has to be my favourite character, he is the genius psychiatrist who 'reads' people - he has some great lines.

Secondly it's an enjoyable watch. It's primarily a drama but it has some brilliant comedy moments. I would liken the programme to a crime show although the problems are varied and unusual and are based all around the world. Each episode revolves around a problem (which usually ends up much bigger than they initially thought), and the genius team have to solve it.

Thirdly - who can beat a bit of romance? I don't want to give away too much, but this show has some very good romantic moments!

I really like this show, there are some very funny moments amidst all the drama and chaos. I'd give it a look! Let me know what you think!

Have a wonderful week,
Isabelle

No. of episodes: 93 (4 seasons as of 16th April 2018)
My favourite episode: Either 'White Out' (S2 E13) or 'It Isn't The Fall That Kills You' (S3 E3)
Favourite character: Toby
Ending: The show is ongoing...
Available: Netflix, but at the time of writing only the first 3 seasons were on there

Photos: http://www.tvguide.com/news/scorpion-season-2/
https://cupcake-literario.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/andei-assistindo-scorpion.html
This week my word is:



This month my book of the month is: Casino Royale!

I think most people, particularly British people, will have watched a James Bond film at some point in their lives but how many have read the books? Well, I decided to get back to the original and take a look at the first book in the series - Casino Royale.

The book is much shorter than I thought it would be, only about 200 pages or so. It is quick to the action - immediately James Bond is in a casino. Within a couple of chapters he's in a high stakes game with the very bad Le Chiffre who does not like losing! Now I don't want to say too much about the plot but I can promise you twists and turns, glamour and mystery - everything you expect from a classic James Bond.

Having watched the 2006 film adaptation starring Daniel Craig, I knew about his relationship with Vesper. The general relationship remains the same, but the details change. As the book was written in the 1950s you can imagine that the relationship portrayed in the book is a little out of date but it didn't detract too much from the overall storyline and I still really enjoyed it.

I do have a question though - weren't his drinks 'shaken not stirred'?! Throughout the whole book I do not think there was one mention of 'shaken not stirred'. He did however invent a drink, which he names 'The Vesper' which I'd really like to try. It's a martini and the recipe is: "Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel." Served in a deep champagne goblet - fancy! 

I'd definitely recommend taking a look at the book! Have you read/watched any James Bond - I'd love to know what you think!

Have a wonderful week, 
Isabelle 

P.S. You might like to take a look at last month's 'Book of the Month' here: https://bit.ly/2GXqzzO

Pictures: https://www.joe.ie/movies-tv/007-days-of-bond-7-actors-who-would-make-a-great-james-bond-515866
http://gurutotheoutdoors.com/james-bond-vesper-martini/



PoCoLo