Books: What I Want to Read 2018

Hey my loves,

in today’s post I thought I would share with you my reading list for 2018. I will be updating this along the way this year, but for starters I have a couple of books that made it onto my list for this year.

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I am currently reading “The Night Circus” and I absolutely love it, it feels so different to anything I’ve read so far. Mainly because I usually stick to the thrillers and haven’t read any fantasy lately (except for rereading Harry Potter, duh!).

What is on your reading list for 2018? Tell me in the comments.

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.


TOP 3 – HBO TV SHOWS written by Miriam

HBO has given us amazing entertainment, groundbreaking, shocking, hilarious entertainment. However, this is only a Top 3 list, so I do not have a lot of space to spare, and also I am not basing this list on the number of viewers or prizes (if I did, The Wire wouldn’t even be on this list). I am solely basing this ranking off my personal taste. So I do apologize to those who are missing Game of Thrones, or Curb Your Enthusiasm, or True Detective on this list, because I can only speak for myself and what I have seen. And the three shows I am about to introduce to you are three of the best TV drama series you will ever have the joy of watching.


3. Boardwalk Empire

The Volstead Act, which introduced the Prohibition era to the United States that lasted from 1920 to 1933, was a bad idea, because it did not work the way it had been planned. Boardwalk Empire shows how a group of gangsters became millionaires by smuggling alcohol into the US every which way, killing whoever stood in-between them and the alcohol they wanted to illegally import into the US. The series centers around Nucky Thompson, played by always awesome Steve Buscemi and based on a real-life person. Nucky is the treasurer of Atlantic City, but basically controls the entire city, and when the Volstead Act is officialized, he and a group of politicians and gangsters decide to cash in. The first 3 seasons of this historic TV show are epic and thrilling, with an amazing ensemble cast, including not only good old Steve, but also Michael K. Williams, Michael Shannon, and Daredevil Charlie Cox. The scale of this superbly written drama really reaches epic proportions, considering the producers were unable to shoot scenes on the actual boardwalk in AC, so they built a new one in another city, furnishing it with amazing details from original 1920’s postcards and photos. The wardrobe and cars used in the show are so true to the prohibition era the production costs must have been astronomically high, and it pays off: anyone watching will definitely feel like they were transported right into the year 1920. Add to that the amazing variety of characters and gripping dialogue (as usual for HBO), this show is just fun to watch. It can be quite gory at times, though (there is a scene in season 2 where someone is literally scalped), so it might not be suitable for people with weak stomachs, but that just proves how amazing the special effects make-up is, as well. Characters you hate will die, and characters you love will die, and you just have to know how the story continues. There are several characters involved in the plot who existed in real life, such as Charlie Luciano, Bugsy Segel, and Al Capone (portrayed perfectly by Stephen Graham), which again proves the attention to detail applied to the writing. Season 4 loses some of the show’s excitement and speed, and season 5 seems like a tired, idea-lacking wrap-up that had me quite disappointed, but the first 3 seasons are just plain brilliant TV drama.

“We been on the road for eighteen hours. I need a bath, some chow, and then you and me sit down, and we talk about who dies, eh?”

“F***in’ tough guy, you gonna shoot me for mouthin’ off?” – I wasn’t going to, but you kinda talked me into it.”

“Untie him. Oh, but before you do, put a bullet in his f***ing head.”

2. The Sopranos

This is a TV drama that basically paved the way for all other TV dramas that followed. There would be no Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, or Dexter, without Tony Soprano and his family of thugs. For those of you who have actually never seen it, it is a show about Tony Soprano, New Jersey mobster and capo and later on the boss of the Soprano clan. Officially employed in waste management, he and his underlings are stone-cold killers who make their living with drugs, prostitution, illegal gambling, and collecting debts. At the same time, however, Tony is a loving father of two children and an unfaithful husband. The show explores themes of faith, family, loyalty, friendship, Italian-American intercultural conflicts, and lays down ground rules for storytelling and dialogue that were revolutionary at the time. Also, you will see some of the finest acting ever broadcast, on the small or big screen. Michael Imperioli especially, portraying Christopher Moltisanti, will tear your heart out with his all-in performance, and was awarded with the Emmy for his efforts. Moreover, I believe it was the first TV show to begin the tradition that was later copied by Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead of killing off characters unexpectedly that you were sure would stay until the very end. Some of the deaths you will see coming, some will hit you completely unprepared and make you weep with either glee or (more often) grief. The show stays brilliant throughout its six seasons, but the finale is, well, debatable. Nonetheless, if you love TV dramas, and you liked Goodfellas, Casino, and of course The Godfather, you need to see this. Even Martin Scorsese himself did not want to miss out on the fun and has a very brief cameo in the first season.

“Who do you think you are?” – “I’m the person who says how things go, that’s who I think I am.”

“You don’t think that human beings possess free will?” – “How come I’m not making f***ing pots in Peru? You’re born to this sh*t. You are what you are.”

“You’re being set up! He’s lying to you, whoever he is!” – “Wouldn’t make any difference.” – “What do you mean, it wouldn’t make any difference?!” – “He wants you dead.”

1. The Wire

Once denoted the “best show that nobody watches,” The Wire is possibly the best TV drama ever created, and still, if you research how many awards the show has received, you will be appalled, and rightly so. Even though it was supposedly suffering from continuously low ratings, luckily the creators managed to produce five whole seasons, and they are a gift to anyone who loves watching high-quality TV drama. At first glance, it seems to be a cop show, but it cannot be compared to Law and Order and the likes thanks to HBO’s liberty to give it a gritty sort of realism, which is what the show is praised for and owes largely to its creators, who are an ex-cop and a journalist, respectively, and know how the real world of crime and punishment works in Baltimore, Maryland. Using their background to thoroughly investigate and tell the story of life in Baltimore from as many angles as possible, the show aims to portray a new point of view in every season. While the first season begins with introducing the police in Baltimore and kicks off the amazing plot by starting the investigation of the Barksdale clan, a drug-dealing organization operating on the streets, the second season introduces the struggles of the dockworkers on the Port of Baltimore. The third season focuses more heavily on Baltimore’s politicians, showing a white councilman’s attempt to become mayor in a predominantly black city. In the fourth season, we enter the school system of Baltimore, while the fifth season places us in the newsroom of a big Baltimore newspaper. The fascinating thing about this multi-faceted way of portraying Baltimore is that we not only learn more and more about the city and how its institutions have an effect on the individual, but that the plot manages to outline not only the stark differences, but also the striking parallels between all these milieus. Giving every character, from the lowest street thug to the richest politician, their moment to shine, we see how every system is built on greed and deception to achieve its goals of surviving and persevering. The Wire is also the only TV drama I can think of that stays equally strong and brilliant in its casting, acting, and storytelling from the first episode to the very last one. If anything, the series finale is the best episode of them all, because it manages to wrap up the story of the entire show by demonstrating how everything always changes and yet stays the same. There is a reason why it has been termed a literary show. It is beautiful, skillfully crafted, and yet still entertaining enough for people who prefer less demanding entertainment, through awesome and funny characters such as Omar, the gay gunman who robs drug dealers for a living. The Wire is my favorite TV show of all time and will always be an example of how to do it right.

“You come at the king, you best not miss.”

“Does this sh*t look like money, motherf***er? Money be green!”

“You heroic mother***ers. Fighting the war on drugs, one brutality case at a time.” – “Girl, you can’t even call this sh*t a war.” – “Why not?” – “Wars end.”


Chris Carter – The Crucifix Killer – Review

Hey my loves,

today I am going to review a book I recently finished reading and fell in love with. It’s ‘The Crucifix Killer’ by Chris Carter! If you are a big fan of the thriller genre then keep on reading:


So let me tell you a bit about the story: It’s about the hunt for a psychotic killer whose name is ‘The Crucifix Killer’. It’s the first book of a series about the Homicide Detective Robert Hunter. Detective Hunter and his partner are trying to find out who this serial killer is and enter a hunt that is gripping, dangerous and definitely not for people who cannot handle distress. I don’t want to give to much away, so I think that is all you need to know about this book.


I love a good thriller and this definitely is one of the best ones I’ve read in my life so far! I absolutely love the storyline and the characters! It’s super intense and I even cringed a few times about a some things in the story and that says a lot, because I don’t cringe easy! But that only made the book even more fantastic! You fall in love with the characters and root for them and the end, oh my god, the best part ever! You had absolutely no clue who the killer was and when it all unravelled you were left shocked, excited and completely overwhelmed! I love the detailed storyline and immediately bought the second installment of the series.


If you love thrillers and a good detective story and aren’t of the squeamish kind you will fall for this book very hard! I would recommend this book to all the thriller lovers out there!

Have you read any of the ‘Robert Hunter Series’ books by Chris Carter? Let me know in the comments below. I hope you enjoyed this entry and if you did make sure to give it a thumbs up. I would really appreciate it!

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.


Gillian Flynn – Sharp Objects – Review – 2016

Hey my loves,

today I want to give you a review of the New York Times Besteller “Sharp Objects” by Gillian Flynn. As I told you earlier this month I wanted to read more this year and this book was the first one of my New Year’s resolution. And I loved this book! I read in about a week I think, probably would have finished it earlier, but I was busy with other things so I only read in the evening for about 30 min. or more. This is what the cover looks like:


I loved this book so much it was dark, twisted, thrilling and fascinating at the same time. You had moments where you literally sat there and was like “WTF?? How? Why? Isn’t she a bit to young?” I was so sucked into the world of the main character – Camille Preaker – and my imagination played wild during reading. I would like to see this made into a movie, it was so compelling and the potrayal of the individual characters was so original. I just have to recommend this book for you if you like this sort of stuff – the dark, psychological, thriller ones – because I surely do, and this book might just be one of the best in that genre that I have read. Chapeau to Gillian Flynn, for her incredible work.


I don’t want to give too much away from the storyline, so here is what’s written on the back of my paperback copy:

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: She must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie group on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims – a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story – and survive this homecoming.


Have you read this book? If you did, tell me in the comments what you think of it. If you haven’t read it and were thinking about reading it, definetely do so. It’s absolutely amazing and was the best book I good start of my year with.

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Halloween Movie Night

It’s Halloween in a few days, and most people like to celebrate this day in some way or other. There’s of course a variety of things to do, but mainly you have two options: you can do a party, or you can watch movies. And just in case you decide on the latter, here’s a list of suggestions for you.


Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

An absolute all-time classic, not just for horror fans. Sure, nowadays it does not hold the same shock value it had fifty years ago, but this movie is still great. Suspenseful, dark, creepy, superbly acted, and the score alone is haunting enough, even without the bizarre dream sequence in which Rosemary conceives her hellish offspring.

The Exorcist (1973)

Once considered the most scary movie ever, horror fans will not be shocked as much now, but this movie is undeniably a true piece of horror that made a lasting impression on all occult horror flicks that came later. I still cannot watch it at night, or alone.

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

It is not the first zombie movie ever (that credit goes to “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” from 1920), but it is considered the one that laid down the ground rules for all zombie flicks to boot, and it led to the five subsequent movies George Romero made, which were remade and inspired more than one generation. It is not really scary, but then, most zombie films are not, and if you are a genre lover, you have to see it. Also, as far as I know, it was the first movie ever to cast a white woman and a black man as the two lead actors.

The Shining (1980)

One of my all-time favorites. Even watching it for the 20th time, you can still get a kick out of Jack Nicholson’s acting. From the haunting score, to the kid actor that is ridiculously good for a 7-year-old, to the rotting corpse in the bath tub, to the chase through the icy labyrinth, everything about this Stephen King adaption is perfect. One of the best scenes in movie history is the scene in the bathroom where Delbert Grady cleans Jack Torrance’s jacket. Oh, and the bloody elevators. And the twins in the hallway. The horror that Kubrick managed to create with such limited means is still awe-inducing.


Halloween (1978)

Could have been placed in the Classics section, since it is the mother of all slashers, laying down ground rules like the final girl and the masked killer. I guess I was too old (21) when I finally saw it, because it did not make much of an impression on me. But I will not deny that it is a good movie, and perfect for a Halloween movie night.

Friday the 13th (1980)

Tried to hop on the train that “Halloween” (1978) started. I have to admit that I have not seen it, but Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide gave it only 1 ½ stars out of four, calling it a cardboard thriller. However, it has developed into a cult classic, and it has brought to the genre the idea of a secluded camp area that has been copied a million times.

Scream (1996)

This one could have also been placed in the Classics section, since it revived the genre and defined its tropes, as well. Never say you’ll be right back! Not scary after watching it 20 times, but that is the one downside to slashers—they usually only work once. However, this first installment in a (too prolonged) series is at times exciting, sexy, hilarious, and just enjoyable.

You’re Next (2011)

A fairly new movie that is surprisingly fantastic. It is an independent project with no known names, but I was completely thrown by how good it is. The action starts suddenly, and brutally, and when the suspense starts picking up, your heart rate will definitely rise. Its solution is not really a surprise, but that hardly matters, nor do any potential plot holes, because the movie artfully plays with the genre tropes, spinning and twisting them without ever breaking any rules, turning the slashers into the slashed.


Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Another one for the Classics. Not actually a spoof of “Dawn of the Dead”, a misconception that must stem from the title. This brilliantly intelligent British production is a zombie film that just happens to also be extremely funny. Dozens of shout-outs at classics of the genre and other pop culture phenomena, as well as dialogues sprinkled with hints at the entire plot that you only catch if you pay really close attention, make this a pure pleasure to watch. Look out for Michael Smiley’s two-second-cameo as a zombie.

Zombieland (2009)

Wonderful comedy with big names like Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone that gives us a quite realistic view of what the life post-zombie apocalypse might look like. Like, for instance, the fat ones die first because they cannot run that fast. The characters are relatable, and also this movie has one of the best cameos ever. Of course, most people are already spoiled, but I will not mention it.

Wyrmwood (2014)

This Australian production might just be the best zombie film I have ever seen. Gory, yes, of course, but also very funny, and sad, and shocking, and with so many new ideas to the genre it makes your head spin. I saw it at the Fantasy Filmfest without having seen any trailers or reviews, which is a true blessing because you will not get the full experience if you do not watch it completely ignorantly. No, seriously, do not watch the trailer. It tells you everything.

Deathgasm (2015)

Outrageous production from New Zealand about a teenaged boy who founds a band with his pals and then they inadvertently play a song that brings hell to earth. While the idea is not new, the variety of weapons the survivors choose to employ to fight off the zombies surely has not been seen like this before. And the humor is so rudely, incorrectly, gut-wrenchingly funny that you just have to fall in love with it. Also probably the most gory flick I have ever seen. An absolute must for genre fans.

Creature horror

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

Very funny, but also really creepy movie with Oscar-winning make-up effects that were unbelievable back then and still are today. I watched it when I was way too young and was absolutely terrified. I am certain it would not have as much of an effect on me now, but it is perfect for a nice scary movie night.

Ginger Snaps (2000)

Exciting, slightly scary movie about two sisters, one of which gets bitten by a wolf. The movie is not surprising, but well acted, and the characters are relatable. There is a significant amount of tension created as we watch Ginger slowly change, starting with her personality and the fact that she suddenly has very hairy legs.

Cursed (2005)

Also a werewolf flick, with Christina Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg as siblings that both get bitten and go through some interesting changes as a consequence. Funny, fairly suspenseful and with a nice twist in the end.

Black Sheep (2006)

Completely absurd and extremely hilarious creature horror from New Zealand in which crazy scientists try crossing human DNA with sheep DNA and inadvertently create genetically modified sheep that crave for human flesh and bite people who then slowly turn into sheep themselves. And the hero, of course, has an extreme sheep phobia. Very gory and brutal, but the effects are handmade, which makes the whole thing very likeable and just plain awesome.

Haunted House

Poltergeist (1982)

Another one for the Classics, and, to my knowledge, one of the first movies ever to display such a clear example of the Haunted House motif. I admit I have not seen it. I am not made for this genre because of my vivid imagination. However, there is nothing but praise to be found for this horror flick that was cowritten and coproduced by Steven Spielberg (!). If you are a fan of the genre, I guess you need to see it.

The Amityville Horror (2005)

There is a long history of movies centering around the same story that I was not aware of. This installment is the only one I have seen and that is enough for me. Again, classic Haunted House, but with a striking resemblance to “The Shining” (1980) at times, just with a slightly different ending.

Paranormal Activity (2007)

I have not seen this one either. All I know is I watched a few snippets of it and then had to sleep with the lights on that night. This film (that is also a classic example of the found-footage-genre) represents the epitome of why the Haunted House motive is so scary—because it is an invasion by an offender you cannot fight against, in an environment where you are supposed to be safe. If you can watch that kind of thing, this is your movie.

Insidious (2011)

There are those who found it boring, and then there are those who were a complete mess after watching. I have to admit I belong to the latter group. Starts out as classic Haunted House, until it turns out it is not the house that is being haunted. A mean ending, and well-acted with a lot of jump scares and a very sinister atmosphere.

Miri – @OriginalSGreenD

Tell us in the comments what you’re favorite movie is to watch for Halloween!


Still Alice – A Review – @OriginalSGreenD

This year, Julianne Moore won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal in the movie “Still Alice”. When I went to see the movie at the theater with my mother, we didn’t yet know it was based on a book by the same name. My mother found the book by accident and immediately bought it because she thought, if the book is just half as good as the movie that was made from it, I need to have it. And she was right.

Now, if you haven’t read the book, it’s alright. The movie is an excellent adaption, the differences in content between the two mediums are marginal. Also, if you haven’t seen the movie either, no worries, you can read this entry anyways, because, logically thinking, there are no spoilers for this story. Alice is a woman who finds out she has Alzheimer’s disease, and once you learn this – which is very early on in the story – you know what’s going to happen. This is not a feel-good movie with a happy ending. Alzheimer’s is not curable, and its symptoms can only get worse as the disease progresses. Hence, you already know the starting and the ending point before you have even opened the book: the story begins with Alice showing symptoms like short-term memory loss and difficulty finding the right words, and it ends with Alice not remembering who and where she is. However, it’s not the ending that counts so much as the how she got there.

It begins with Alice Howland, renowned professor at Harvard with a PhD in Psychology (in the movie she is a linguist, while in the book she is a psychologist also researching in the field of linguistics and psycholinguistics; I guess for the movie they changed it for simplicity’s sake), holding a speech in front of hundreds of students, something she does every week, and suddenly missing the word “lexicon”. It will not come to her, no matter how hard she tries remembering. She ends up paraphrasing it and moving on without paying it much mind, but these kinds of issues start occurring more and more often. At one point she goes on a run around Harvard square, where she lives with her husband and has been working for the last 25 years, and suddenly loses orientation, not knowing where she is. A while later she forgets to visit a conference in Chicago that she had been preparing for extensively. Alice knows something is up, and she goes to see a doctor, and she is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease at only 50 years old.

From that point on, Alice’s symptoms grow steadily worse. And for Alice, losing her mind means losing herself. For someone who has defined their entire life and being by their intelligence, as a Harvard professor probably does, losing their memory means losing everything. Alice knows she will forget who her children are, and who her husband is, and to prevent that, she writes herself a list of questions, like “where do you live?” and “when is your oldest daughter’s birthday?”, and she says to herself, when I cannot answer these questions anymore, I will kill myself. The novel shows Alice’s progressing deterioration by letting her answer these questions frequently, and every time she gives these answers to herself, we see that every time a small piece of information is missing, right to the point near the ending when the answers are only fragmentary or downright wrong. But when Alice tries to kill herself, she is already too far gone and just forgets before she can go through with it.

This novel is very hard to read. Not because it is overly complicated, or because its style is poor, but because you read it and you feel it, you can understand and perfectly relate to anything Alice goes through, until the ending when Alice doesn’t recognize her family anymore, gives them nicknames like “the nice man” or “the actress”. You cannot help but get involved in the story, and it hurts. If a story can achieve this, it’s fantastic. “Still Alice” is a fantastic story, brilliantly structured, well written. I’m not sure if I’ll ever read it again, but if you haven’t yet, you should do so.


Follow Miri on her Twitter: @OriginalSGreenD