Woolvs in the Sitee is a super brief graphic novel about the world gone dark and ominous. It's pages of creepy drawings with writing scrawled over them by someone whose trying to make sense of what's happening. However, it felt only a third done. The thing is so brief that it more annoyed than entertained. 3/10.
Jul 31, 2011
Jul 30, 2011
Never Let Me Go broke my fool heart in spite of the fact that I'd already read (and loved) the book. Carey Mulligan is so good in it, and I adored the washed-out look of the movie. It follows three boarding school students who grow up to realize that they tragically aren't like most of the world. I got seriously teared up at the end. 8/10.
Jul 26, 2011
The Piper's Son was such a good read! It follows Tom, a bit of a lost soul. He's lost touch with his high school crowd after graduation, isn't on speaking terms with his parents, and has no real direction. It also follows his aunt Georgie whose in the midst of a very complicated relationship.
I don't want to tell too much, but this book both made me laugh and broke my heart. The author does a great job laying out this family's dynamics - the good and the bad. She's also pretty adept at the relationships between young adults. I am picking up another of her books and soon! 8/10.
Jul 25, 2011
What an obnoxious movie. The only thing going for this one is breathtaking countryside and the fact that the lead actress is stunning.
Tamara Drewe is about a local girl who turns back up in a small English village after some cosmetic surgery. Hilarity (supposedly) ensues.
I kind of hated all the characters in this film - maybe not the cows. And maybe not the two bratty teenage girls who cause loads of trouble. Still only a 2/10.
Jul 24, 2011
I'm so fucking tired on shoe manufacturers that seem to display no actual knowledge of what their shoes are used for. Feet go in them! So when I see bazillions of ballerina flats with no actual insole or support built into them, I want to go throw those shoes at the designers. Yet they are cute, yes I love a good ballerina, but how hard can it be to build these designs around a comfortable shoe?
And then they want to charge $80 for the shell of a shoe. Gar!
And then they want to charge $80 for the shell of a shoe. Gar!
Jul 20, 2011
Jul 19, 2011
I borrowed Broadcast News from the library not knowing what to expect at all other than a lot of people like it. Now I do too. It follows three people in the tv news industry - a producer and two reporters - one on his way up and the other decidedly not so. The dialogue in this is witty. I loved the relationships - they reminded me a bit of When Harry Met Sally. And I've always been a Holly Hunter fan. 7/10.
Jul 18, 2011
I think I am now officially a Stewart O'Nan fan. Emily, Alone is a novel about an elderly widow. Her children live far away, and her only regular company is her sister-in-law and the weekly cleaning lady. The story is told in brief chapters that confront her loneliness, her preparations for her death, and her surprising strength. It's a lovely read. One of the things I particularly enjoyed was that it takes place in Pittsburgh - a city I've spent a good amount of time in. The city's features get a lot of mentions throughout the book.
I think that novels about the elderly are becoming a habit for me. As long as they are half as good as this one, I won't complain. 8.5/10.
Jul 17, 2011
Fido is a ridiculous little zombie movie where everyone who dies becomes a zombie automatically. Society decided to put the walking dead to use as servants. And it all takes place in the 50's.
I picked this up in order to get my zombie fix, and it came across as cutesy. I just have such a lingering bad taste in my mouth about the neighbor and his zombie "girlfriend." 3/10.
Jul 16, 2011
The City of Saints and Madmen isn't like anything else I've read before. It's a variety of works by one author all about the fantastical city of Ambergris. The city is home to a violent festival celebrating squids, mushroom dwellers, warring factions divided by their love or hatred of a prominent artist. It's a dark and scary place and so well imagined. The book contains short stories, historical publications, interviews from a madhouse, and advertisements.
Spurred by an impending due date at the library, I raced through the second half. I think the book would be better served by a slow read - dipping in and out of this world now and then.
I am thoroughly amazed by the techniques and creativity. I only wish that the characters were more well-rounded. 5.55 / 10.
Jul 13, 2011
TiMER was queued up on one bored evening at home with the boy. It's a romantic comedy with a sci fi twist. In this version of society, the majority of people have a timer implanted into their wrist that counts down to the day that they will meet their soul mate. The timer only starts counting once both people get their implants though.
The movie follows a character who is extraordinarily frustrated because her timer still isn't counting down. It's cute and quirky and has an actor who looks very very like a young Eddie Vedder (highly appreciated). The scenario has tons of holes in it, but if you can let all that go, it's a fun watch. 5/10.
Jul 12, 2011
Mother, Come Home is a nonfiction graphic novel about the authors parents. It's seriously tragic so be warned going into it. It's hard to believe that a little kid had to deal with this kind of thing growing up (sorry to be vague but I refuse to spoil). 5/10.
Jul 11, 2011
I picked up Wonderland because of the artwork and a deeply help love of the Alice tales. It's a take on MaryAnn, the maid for the white rabbit. This graphic novel didn't really do it for me. The story just felt a bit disjointed and the generally beloved characters felt a bit flat. Too bad. 3/10.
Jul 10, 2011
This book was such a good read! Read Hard is a collection of essays published in The Believer. The eassays cover a wide range of subjects from public aquariums to Charles Dickens to self-help books on writing to Paul Anka to a trans gender music festival. I didn't read every essay (music criticism is a bit of a yawn to me) but I read a great deal of them - many above average on the interesting scale and a handful that were fucking awesome. I think I need to finally send in for a subscription to the magazine. 8/10.
I've always been a fan of dark beers (well at least since my junior year of college after I graduated from Boones Farms wine and Bud Ice beer. But we all go through awful phases like that in the beginning, right?).
Summer beer is problematic. I love a good summer ale, but nothing matches up to the lovely stouts that are generally just too damn thick to drink when its hot. Well, I've found a delicious dark beer that I'm drinking in July.
21st Amendment Brewery's Back in Black. Yum.
My other new fave is Breckenridge's Vanilla Porter. Pretty heavy but so dessert-like with that vanilla finish to it.
Both so good that they had to be shared! And available year-round!
Jul 8, 2011
Tales from Earthsea is a kind of a let down as far as Studio Ghibli films go. On paper, it should be good. Two misfit teens with strange powers. Two magicians - one providing protection and the other hunting them. Dragons! The animation was gorgeous. The song in the middle - beautiful. The story? Weird and confusing. Did not love it so much. Wish there were way more dragons and a plot that was more compelling. 3/10.
Jul 7, 2011
The Internet is a Playground had me at times snickering out loud and at other times feeling awful for his victims (particularly when they were powerless customer service types). The author has loads of funny bits - mostly emails with various people - internet scammers, the new guy in his apartment building, his kid's teacher, etc. I loved the bit with the pie charts, but felt crummy about other bits. Nonfic humor is a tricky line to walk. 5/10.
Jul 6, 2011
I read this book after hearing about it on the Double X Podcast (which I lurve!). Cinderella Ate My Daughter takes a hard look at the many many things that have made me an uncomfortable auntie over the years. Make-up and hair dye on 10 years olds. "Princess" scrawled on every other t-shirt. The fucking prevelance of the Disney princess mania! Gar!
The book left me in a feminist rage - not super hard to do some days. It made me worry about future generations of women and promise myself extra hard to be a better role model to any girl loony enough to look up to me. I know that things are tough in their own way for any generation, but it's worth paying attention to.
The book may have been a little too much panic and a little too less answers, but I kinda think that noticing and paying attention is 3/4ths of the battle so I give it a pass on that.
My only real complaint is that as an avid listener to Double X, many of these stories weren't all that new to me. Still - good read! 6.5/10.