Thursday, February 28, 2013

February Reading and Movies


3. Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult. This was an interesting book, the premise about a 7 year old girl, Faith, and after her parents separate and divorce she starts to see and speak with "God". Slowly the world starts to become interested in this Jewish child who seems to have visions of god, can heal, and experiences the stigmata. It called into question how you view religion and faith, and whether it is really something that chooses you. Whether you are brought up with beliefs or not, God and the power of his influence can still find you. Not sure if I believe any of this, but it made it an interesting read.

4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I had never read this in high school, and this was another great book that I really enjoyed. The author really was able to write the novel from the eyes of a 7/8 year old young girl, who wanted to hear and know everything, but really didn't most of the time. Or heard things that just didn't make sense until later on upon reflection. The story has a bunch of things going on, the family dynamic of Jem, Scout and their father Atticus. The race tension of the south in Alabama, the social tensions between the different classes of people, the hysteria of people and how gossip and prejudism always plays a card in opinions and judgments no matter how "fair" and "equal" we may try to make them. This was a sad story, but a triumph as it shows the potential for people to learn from the mistakes of others and educate themselves to be better.

5. Game of Thrones by George Martin. Loved this book. I mean I watched the HBO series so reading the book was basically like re-watching the the series. The show is almost word for word what happens in the book. So I of course loved this. So many characters and plots going on, but personally my favorites are Arya and Jon Snow. (The chick with the dragons, Daenarys or however you spell it, shes pretty awesome too)

6. Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks. This book had its moments. I liked the main character, Katie and her plot line as the woman from an abusive relationship that finally runs away. The love story was pretty cheesy, like most of Nicholas Sparks books. A little too gooey for me, but the story overall was cute and interesting. The way her past was revealed kept me hooked. However, the last two chapters of the book really ruined it for me. I liked the book up until that point, and the ending just made me mad.


3. Trouble With The Curve I like all the actors in this movie so I enjoyed it. The plot was very honest, about the troubled relationship between a father and daughter, and older man loosing his place in the modern world, and what we have to cling to in our lives that matter. I thought this was heartfelt and nice, and Amy Adams was great.

4. 21 and Over This movie was hilarious. It was extreme and ridiculous and I loved it. Plot is 2 friends go to visit their friend JeffChang who has finally turned 21. This movie had elements of The Hangover, Beerfest, Eurotrip, Old School, and any other hilarious comedy involving drinking and making poor decisions. I recommend as an extremely funny movie.

Monday, January 28, 2013

New Year, Same Challenge.

Alright so last year I kinda fell behind on blogging and reading. I hit 50 movies, but on the book front, I only got to 24. So this year I am going to be more on top of it, and keep my blogs short because I think I was overthinking it. So as its basically the end of January I will recap what I have done so far this month:


1. Looper - So I watched this movie. Not really a fan. It was too weird and it ended without really explaining itself, and nothing bothers me more than that. I love all the actors in this movie though, Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and even Emily Blunt. But not too strong of a plot for me.

2. Zero Dark Thirty - Bradley basically dragged me to this movie. I was not looking to see it, its another movie cashing in on the 9/11 situation. It had an interesting story, but still it was more sad to see how we torture each other, all people, and I still don't feel like it has mad much of a difference.


1. The Falls of Giants - Loved this book! It made historical fiction fun to read! The plot at times seemed to be too coincidental for the characters to keep running into each others, but it didn't bother me too much to take away from the overall story. Very epically long, but I liked it. As I read it made me reflect back to my high school History class and the events that led up to World War I.

2. Cloud Atlas - One of the oddest books I have ever read. I think the main thing you are supposed to take away from this is that coporations will lead to the world's demise if we don't reign in control. The different stories that came up did not seem to make sense nor tie in to one another, until you finally get halfway through the book. Then it slightly makes more sense, but I would not recommend it, to be honest. I felt I had to finish the book to make sense of it all, but I didn't want to. And I still don't feel that I have a strong grasp on what the heck it was I read.

Friday, November 30, 2012

20. Bossypants by Tina Fey

This book was pretty funny. I mean, it was written by Tina Fey, who wrote skits for SNL and Mean Girls, of course it was hilarious. The novel is told as the back story to how Tina Fey got to where she was. Random moments of her life, the jobs she had, how she got the gig of a lifetime on 30 Rock. It was all uber sarcastic and with great references, it made me literally laugh to myself many times, which is a sign of comic genius.

One of the girls in my book club actually had the book on CD which when I thought about it was brilliant. As no one can deliver those lines like she can. I pictured her doing a monologue as I read the novel. The discussion of her looking identical to Sarah Palin and the sketches, too good. It was a fun read, nothing too deep or serious and just really made you laugh about the moments of life you look back on to see how you made it here.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

19. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III

I actually really did not like this book. It took my a while to get through it, even though it was not a very long book at all. I did not feel very sympathetic to either of the main character. The woman who's house was taken through a mistake by the state I felt bad for at first. But then she was very rude and ignorant about the other family that moved into her home. It was just a very weird story, and it ends terribly as well. Everyone is basically screwed in the end, and I felt the book was a waste of my time. To me the book just showed how everyone has their own prejudices, the persian family was stuck in their old ways, not assimilating well into America, and the father made decisions without consulting the wife or even explaining situations to her so she could understand. Kathy, the American whose house was taken from her wrongly, she had every right to be angry and frustrated with the situation, but she allowed herself to be dragged into a far worse situation, and went into a downward spiral without being honest about her situation to her family. There is too much for me to hate on, so I will just leave it there.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

18. A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

This was probably one of the weirdest books I have ever read. It was entertaining and kept me hooked to keep reading, but unfortunately the end of the book felt like a big let down. The plot was about the main character becoming a hand of death, where he helps souls move from one person to the next through inanimate objects. It did entertain me, the writing was funny, filled with sarcasm, but it was a book from start to finish you knew it was completely fantastical and not real.

Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy fantasy novels with magic or vampires and other such craziness, but I like to read novels and stories like that where it can almost convince me it could really happen. That such a world could be existing right under our noses. This book was just soooo over the top and ridiculous that it was unbelievable. I hope that makes sense. I wouldn't recommend this book personally, I have mentioned it to people as so odd and ridiculous but not to bother reading it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

17. A Sweethaven Summer by Courtney Walsh

The story unfolds about a girl who's mother died and left her with a lot of questions about her own history and her mother's. Who is her father? Who are these women her mother wrote letters to, but never mentioned to her? What is Sweethaven and why does it seem to contain a piece of her mother that she never knew about?

This was a cute novel. It was a little too cut and dry for me, pretty much it ends with the happy ending, everyone reaches a crisis and moves on with a better hold on their life, and all because of this one meeting up in Sweethaven. It had parts that I really liked, but also parts I really found cheesy and predictable. Overall I enjoyed it, it was a short quick read compared to the other books I have been reading.

The romance thread between the main girl and the local son of .... kept me hooked. But other than that there wasn't too much to this story to recommend it to anyone. 

End of Summer Movie Time

43. My Sister's Keeper - Okay this was on lifetime and I decided to DVR the movie, as I heard it was terrible, and completely different than the book. And oh my was it. I did actually like this book, but hated the ending. Which is what they changed in the movie, which kinda makes me laugh because I hated the movie version of events. I think what makes me mad is if you are going to adapt a book to film, at least make the key parts the same. DO NOT CHANGE THE CRUX OF THE BOOK IN THE MOVIE! Not only will the book fans hate you, most of the time the movie isn't as powerfully charged. (And I absolutely hated the mom character in the movie, played by Cameron Diaz. Just a rando factoid.

44. Pitch Perfect  - Totally loved this movie! I am a sucker for any movie with music and singing (my boyfriend can painstakingly agree to this) and this one did not disappoint. I dragged Bradley with me, as I got free advanced movie passes, and from start to finish the movie had me hooked. Anna Kendrik is amazing, I knew she could sing as I watched a gem of a movie called "Camp" back in the day, and I am pretty sure that was her first movie role. Girl has some pipes on her. The lead actor starred on the broadway stage in "Spring Awakening" and tons of other great cast members. All in all a fun movie with some great music.

45. The Words  - This movie pulled me in. I went to see it at Cinepolis, which is a fancy movie theater in which they serve you dinner and drinks to your recliner chair seats. (I kid you not) But I digress the movie itself was really powerful and a great visual piece. The movie was a story within a story within a story. Dennis Quad is an author that is reading aloud excerpts from his novel about an author (Bradley Cooper) who was struggling along trying to become a big hit, and he finds an old manuscript that is an amazing story, and he ends up passing it off as his own. And then the story flips back and forth between the characters in the story and Dennis Quad. I can't say more, but watch it I think its worth it. 

46. Without A Paddle - Eh, this movie had its moments but I think I would have survived without ever watching it. Semi ridiculous at times, had some funny/stupid elements. It was no Beerfest or Eurotrip, so I would say its fine to live without. 

47. Monte Carlo - Not gonna lie, kinda liked this movie. It was so the same idea as tons of other movies come and gone, there is the look alike, one of the group looks just like some famous singer, actor, and then they get to pretend to live the great life. I like Selena Gomez and Leighton Meester so overall it was cute but nothing special.

48. Cobu - I can't say much as this is not a movie that is released and I saw an advanced screening for the movie. It was interesting, not the best or worst movie, had some sweet dancing scenes so I enjoyed it.

49. 10 Years - I love reunion movies, especially as next year will be my 10 year reunion. This movie had an awesome cast, Channing Tatum, his wife in real life (sorry Jenna Tatum I think?) Justin Long, Rosario Dawson, Chris Pratt, etc. There are many great moments and I loved the the awkwardness of rekindled friendships and people you just never got along with.