‘The Man In The High Castle’ – Book Review

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Last night I finished the book ‘The Man In The High Castle‘, written by the (late) acclaimed science-fiction author Philip K. Dick.

I first heard about this book when I stumbled upon the TV show of the same name. Being on Amazon, I have yet to see any of it, but the idea immediately intrigued me.

The novel differs greatly from the series – which has been renewed for a second season – but is a great place to introduce yourself to this upside-down world.

Without going into too much detail, the novel is set in an alternative universe where the Germans and Japanese won World War Two, with America split approximately 2/3 and 1/3 respectively. The book follows several character groups that manage to intertwine. One such way in which this occurs is through a novel-inside-a-novel. Despite being a forbidden book, almost every character talks of reading ‘The Grasshopper Lies Heavy’, in which author Abendson postulates a world in which the Allies had been victorious.

The book contains many twists and turns, brilliantly exploring the ways in which humans can understand the world around them, and how we can justify anything in order to continue to survive.

You might have trouble finding the book in bookstores (it’s quite old now, but might come back in popularity due to the series), but I found a copy at the library. There are only 249 pages, so it’s a quite read.

Enjoy and let me know what you think of it!

Oscars 2016 – Academy Awards

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With the Golden Globes done and dusted for the year, we have the Oscars (Academy Awards) to look forward to.

Here is the list of nominees, and my guesses.

Please note, most of these are not the films I want to win, and are merely who I think will win.

Best Actor

Nominees: Bryan Cranston (Trumbo), Matt Damon (The Martian), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)

My Prediction: Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)

Best Actress

Nominees: Cate Blanchett (Carol), Brie Larson (Room), Jennifer Lawrence (Joy), Charlotte Rampling (45 Years), Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)

My Prediction: Jennifer Lawrence (Joy)

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Christian Bale (The Big Short), Tom Hardy (The Revenant), Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight), Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

My Prediction: Tom Hardy (The Revenant)

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Rooney Mara (Carol), Rachel McAdams (Spotlight), Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl), Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)

My Prediction: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

Directing

Nominees: Adam McKay (The Big Short), George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road), Alejandro G Inarritu (The Revenant), Lenny Abrahamson (Room), Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)

My Prediction: Alejandro G Inarritu (The Revenant)

Film Editing

Nominees: The Big Short, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Spotlight

My Prediction: The Revenant

Foreign Language Film

Nominees: Embrace of the Serpent, Mustang, Son of Saul, Theeb, A War

My Prediction: No guess

Original Score

Nominees: Bridge of Spies, Carol, The Hateful Eight, Sicario, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

My Prediction: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Picture

Nominees: The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Room, Spotlight

My Prediction: The Martian or The Revenant

Production Design

Nominees: Bridge of Spies, The Danish Girl, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant

My Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road

Visual Effects

Nominees: Ex Machina, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

My Prediction: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Adapted Screenplay

Nominees: The Big Short, Brooklyn, Carol, The Martian, Room

My Prediction: The Martian

Original Screenplay

Nominees: Bridge of Spies, Ex Machina, Inside Out, Spotlight, Straight Outta Compton

My Prediction: Straight Outta Compton

Animated Feature Film

Nominees: Anomalisa, Inside Out, Shaun the Sheep, Boy and the Wild, When Marnie Was There

My Prediction: Inside Out

Cinematography

Nominees: Carol, The Hateful EightMad Max: Fury RoadThe RevenantSicario

My Prediction: The Hateful Eight or The Revenant

Costume Design

Nominees: Carol, Cinderella, The Danish Girl, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant

My Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road or The Revenant

Documentary Feature

Nominees: Amy, Cartel Land, The Look of Silence, What Happened Miss Simone?, Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

My Prediction: No guess

Documentary Short Subject

Nominees: Body Team 12, Chau Beyond the Lines, Claude Lanzmann, A Girl in the River, Last Day of Freedom

My Prediction: No guess

Makeup and Hairstyling

Nominees: Mad Max: Fury Road, The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, The Revenant

My Prediction: Either Mad Max: Fury Road or The Revenant

Original Song

Nominees: Earned It (50 Shades of Grey), Til It Happens To You (The Hunting Ground), Writings On The Wall (Spectre), Manta Ray (Racing Extinction), Simple Song 3 (Youth)

My Prediction: Writings On The Wall (Spectre)

Animated Short Film

Nominees: Bear Story, Prologue, Sanjay’s Superteam, We Can’t Live Without Cosmos, World of Tomorrow

My Prediction: No guess

Live Action Short Film

Nominees: Ava Maria, Day One, Everything Will Be Okay, Shok, Stutterer

My Prediction: No guess

Sound Editing

Nominees: Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Sicario, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

My Prediction: The Revenant

Sound Mixing

Nominees: Bridge of Spies, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

My Prediction: The Revenant

 

Bindi

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Photo found on Bindi’s Instagram

We met her as the adorable little girl dressed in khaki, smiling broadly with her father and talking about animals.

Nowadays Bindi Irwin is a world-wide known name. She has grown to be a beautiful young woman, and is constantly surprising us with everything she can do.

This year she was part of American’s Dancing with the Stars. Not only did she make Australia proud, not only did she get numerous perfect scores, but she also won the entire season.

I’m not someone who cares a lot about national pride, but it does make me feel proud to see a young Australian female taking on the world stage. Despite all the sadness in her life (the most obvious one the death of her father Steve Irwin), she has persevered. Mother Terri Irwin has raised both Bindi and her little brother Robert to be intelligent and caring people. I can’t wait to see what Robert gets up to.

What do you think of Bindi? Leave a comment below.