Apparently five essays in January was one essay too many.
It’s 1/4 of the way through February and I haven’t written any of these reviews. I’m going to do them now and I’m going to make them short.
Read for Kenton Book Group
Loved it! Funny! Really crappy ending, but the rest was so delightful Zadie Smith is forgiven. Also funny in a way you can read it on the train without people looking at you like you are a crazy person. It is more of a “snort to yourself” rather than a “cackle out loud.”
Jodi Lynn Anderson
I got this because I loved the writing in the author’s Tiger Lily and I wanted to see if this had similar writing. Alas it did not. It was a solid good female friendship book, but not much else to write home about.
A New Dress A Day
Interesting. I think I will never do anything she does in this book, but I was curious to see how she transformed things.
I don’t so much read novels by Michael Chabon as I immerse myself in words. His novels are made up of a lot of words and this one is no different. There were so many words, I couldn’t finish them all in a three-week period and had to return the book and request it again.
If you don’t mind immersing yourself in words, this book is a joy to read. It’s full of interesting characters of many different generations, set in an interesting place and comes complete with an interesting plot.
Started and didn’t finish
I wanted to like this book, but the whole thing felt rather padded. There were all sorts of digressions which were kind of interesting, but not really. I probably would have eventually ambled to the end of the book, but it was called back to the library.
Our job: read 10 YA novels, get together and discuss and vote one novel the winner. Above you see my top three choices.
We initially talked about the novels in small groups, voted and then gathered in a big group. The results of our small group voting were:
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
We then had a large group discussion and voted again. I was happy that some of the biggest champions for Code Name Verity (ahem, I was one of them) were persuasive in our arguments. The results were:
Code Name Verity
Fault in Our Stars
With Code Name Verity the winner, we knocked out the winner as well as the books that had no votes and voted again for an Honor book. Results:
Fault in Our Stars (53)
Tiger Lily (22)
The 2013 winners? Click here. Note that one of our choices was an honor book. None of the rest of the winners were on our list.
Be aware! This here essay is rife with spoilers. So if you want to keep the plot of the Notebook undiscovered, stop reading. But if you have seen it, or you plan on never seeing it, read on to discover why this is not a sweet, romantic film, it is C-R-E-E-P-Y!
okay? Is the potential date’s need not just for the date but for a loud proclamation of the desire to date the man in question okay? I hope you have come to the same conclusion as me, but just in case, I will say it straight: no it is not okay, it is rather disturbing.
beard during all the big reunion scenes? No ma’am, it did not work for me.
knowing who she is or who the nice man reading the story to her is, wouldn’t it be more loving and caring to just let things be? But no! Let’s have the five
minutes of recognition followed by the potent drug cocktail. It’s completely worth it.
The film ends when Noah sneaks into Allie’s room, she “comes back” and mentions how nice it would be if their love can “take them away together.” So they hold hands, fall asleep and die at the same time. I’m sorry, but dying at
the same time as your spouse falls into the creepy category, not the “oh how
romantic” category. Noah’s got three children and two grandchildren whom he clearly adores and instead of just letting things be, and hanging out with his family, he goes off and dies at the same time as his wife. Several women
have said they think this is sweet and maybe if I hadn’t just watched 122 minutes of creepy behavior it would be sweet, but, alas, I had watched 122 minutes of obsession and that puts dying together into that same “ew” category.
I hadn’t seen this movie, a favorite movie of many fans of the romance genre, and I wondered why. I like both the actors (Rachael McAdams is A-okay in my book, and I like Ryan Gosling just fine) and since I liked Dear John much more than I thought I would and this movie is also based on a Nicholas Sparks book, why not? Well, it turns out I was not a fan, so much so that I wrote 1500 words on why this movie is not romantic, it is creepy.
Where watched: at home
Cost: Free from library.
On second viewing (I brought the boyfriend along this time; he liked it) I can say that I really enjoyed the speeches by Jennifer Lawrence’s character when I could tell she’d been through a lot of therapy: “Let’s talk about that…” I also enjoyed how clearly and succinctly the family dynamics came through. This held up quite well through a second viewing and I can still recommend it.
Where watched: Regal City Center 12.
Cost: Free, thanks to passes.
This is a movie with excellent acting,* an interesting plot, as well as wonderful set design and costumes. Alas, it is a grand example of really excellent pieces failing to come together into a very good, or even a good movie. I found it to be overly long and boring repetitive experience of speeches made by whatever character was in the middle of the frame followed by the John Williams music swelling to let us know how to feel.**
Where watched: Regal Fox Tower
Cost: Free thanks to passes from Kelly. If I’m going to sit through a so-so movie, it’s best that it be a free so-so movie. (Also note that this movie was mostly my pick, so double thanks Kelly)
*Please note that there was excellent acting by Sally Field, but she is twenty years too old (I looked it up) to be Mary Todd Lincoln and that was incredibly distracting from the overall whole of the movie and her performance in specific. There is no way that Sally Field looks like the mother of Tad Lincoln who was 12 at the time of the movie.*** Also please note that seemingly every male character actor in Hollywood is in this movie and thus it was very hard for me to pay attention as I was constantly trying to figure out where I had seen that fellow before.
**Check back in 15 years, I suspect this film won’t age well.
On Monday, the Oregonian ran a commentary* by Peter Laufer, in which he attempts to convince the reader to join the “slow news” movement. Mr. Laufer, I am happy to say I am already a member, as evidenced by the fact I read your column on Wednesday, two days after it was published.
I read the paper; also the aforementioned cooking dinner hour with NPR. Unless some national tragedy is occurring, I can wait to wade into the details.
me. For the entire period the sniper was active, all our local news—morning, noon, evening, late night—spent a substantial amount of time reporting about something that was happening on the other side of the country. Given that
most days there was no new news and given that few non-governmental events occurring in our nation’s capital are local it was a colossal waste of time.
is often inaccurate. Agreed. I would
also add that it tends to be quite hysterical. When the shootings at Columbine High School
occurred, I recall thinking, “I can’t wait until someone writes a book about
this.” I had to wait a decade, but the
book was worth the wait, as it carefully and completely proved that pretty much
everything we “knew” about Columbine after the shootings was not accurate.
*If you want to read the original column, it is titled “It’s OK to read yesterday’s news tomorrow.” and is available, for a time, by clicking here.
**If I had more time, I would also read a weekly news magazine and also renew my subscription to Harpers and the Atlantic Monthly. If I had more time and cable, I would watch the Daily Show and the Cobert Report.
But yes, I’m always happy for more details.