Monday, February 23, 2015
As usual, skip it if you wanna.
1. Chestnut Street, by Maeve Binchy. Short stories, published posthumously. I'm a big fan of Maeve Binchy, but her style - following the lives of several characters over a span of decades - isn't really compatible with the short story form.
2. Movie review! Life Itself is a doc about the movie reviewer Roger Ebert, who died of cancer. The hospital scenes were tough to watch, but Mr. Ebert himself was fascinating. Very good.
3. Holy Ghost Girl by Donna Johnson. Memoir about growing up in the inner circle of an evangelical faith healer. Interesting.
4. Movie review! Rich Hill is a documentary about poor kids in Rich Hill, Missouri. Depressing, but interesting. So much of a kid's future depends upon what his parents do or fail to do.
5. With or Without You by Domenica Ruta - Memoir about growing up with a drug-addicted mother. The recounting seemed a little clinical and detached, but I have nothing but respect for someone who went through that and came out in one piece.
6. Movie time! The Imitation Game is about Alan Turing, who cracked Germany's Enigma code machine in WWII. Benedict Cumberbatch and Kiera Knightley are very good. Good movie with a sad ending. But! I have a question about one of the plot points, so if somebody's seen it, please let me know.
7. The World According to Bob by James Bowen - A sequel of sorts to A Street Cat Named Bob, which was a charming memoir about a recovering addict and his cat. Ultimately, The World According to Bob is more of a rehash, covering the same ground over again. Read one or the other, but don't bother with both.
8. On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon by Kaye Gibbons - Novel about a wealthy Southern woman during the Civil War. Well-written but detached; I never really got involved with any of the characters.
9. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. We all know the scenario: Blogger gets book deal, promptly quits blogging. But in Ms. Brosh's case, it wasn't because fame went to her head, it was because she evidently had a breakdown. If you're familiar with her blog, you know how insanely talented and funny she is, and the book (told in cartoon style) is great. It's just too bad that it precipitated her disappearance from the scene.
side note: Until alarmingly recently, I thought that "Hyperbole" was pronounced "Hyper-bowl". hahahaha yep I'm a dipsh*t.
10. Summer Lightning by Judith Richards. Novel about a little boy growing up in the Everglades just prior to WWII. A little implausible - the boy was precocious, to say the least - but still a good, lighthearted read. Recommended.
11. One more movie - Boyhood. About, well, a boy growing up. It was just fascinating to watch all the characters age, and the movie itself was very good. I was surprised that it didn't win Best Picture last night after all the hype; now I'll have to rent Birdman, to see if it really was the better pic.
So! That's what I'm reading and watching. How about you?