Reading & TV Recommendations – Nov 2020

Been a while…

Craig Johnson’s “As the Crow Flies”

I’ve been slowly working my way through the Walt Longmire series by Craig Johnson and just completed Book 8 “As the Crow Flies” last week. I’ve been listening to them actually, started around 2 years ago I think, and enjoying them so far. The narration is by the excellent George Guidall who really brings all the characters to life. This book and a prior one where Walt’s daughter is injured and he investigates are probably my favourites so far.

I generally don’t do fiction books any more. Not sure why. I tend to gravitate towards non-fiction.

Simon Winchester’s “The Men Who United the States”

I tried this next gave up after 6-7 chapters. It felt too cheesy(?) (not the right choice of word). The author is all rosy-eyed about everything and that didn’t sit well with me; especially after having read “How to Hide an Empire” some months ago which was way more balanced. “The Men Who United the States” in turn feels too romantic. :) The author clearly loves the United States!

Simon Winchester’s “The Professor and the Madman” was awesome in contrast, and that’s one of the reasons why I chose this book. Oh well.

Candice Millard’s “Destiny of the Republic”

This is what I am currently reading. It is about the assassination of President James Garfield and how he survived it but died because of poor medical treatment (or so I think based on the blurb). Not sure how it’s going to be, but I am enjoying it so far. Alexander Graham Bell too is involved somewhere in this book according to the blurb.

“Raised by Wolves”

Good TV show if you want to watch something a bit weird and sci-fi. The ending was weird and left things open for the second season, but I enjoyed it. Usually I hate it when a show leaves things open but I didn’t mind it so much with this one. It started off with a weird vibe and I was up for it.

Amazing opening credits song. Here’s a link to an extended version on YouTube.

Black Narcissus

Currently watching this. A three episode miniseries about a bunch of nuns in a possibly haunted palace in the Himalayas. It’s less scary and more about the psychology I think, so am enjoying it. Good to see Gemma Arterton after a while too! (Update: Finished the show and I quite enjoyed it. I bought the audiobook coz I want to read the book now).

MJF Chat: The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Microsoft Cloud (with Tony Redmond)

A good podcast episode with Tony Redmond, who I first became aware of through his Inside Out books. I like how he talks about Azure become more and more complicated and hence some of the recent outages. I was reminded of the Security Headlines podcast episode with Eijah wherein he talks about how this game he and his team were building got so complicated over time such that no one person knew the entire code and yet it all somehow worked together. I found that fascinating, and Azure is sounding similar to me. A creation that is getting more and more complex such that no one person has the full picture. It’s taken a life of it’s own so to speak… soon it will become sentient. ;o)


Forgot to mention this movie the first time. It’s a weird one and I think I’ll have to watch it a couple more times before I can say more. On first viewing the Physics made no sense to me and I wasn’t as invested in the chracters as I hoped to be; but this one feels more like the Director’s (Christopher Nolan) “The Prestige” than say “Inception”. It’s got the body of the latter you could say, but the soul of the former so the key is not to think this is like “Inception” but to peel the layers a bit and spend more time on it.