Showing posts from May, 2013

May Movies

Iron Man 3:  I really really liked this one. Not quite a much as I loved Avengers.  Tony Stark becomes a person you might actually want to know and Pepper kicks some ass.  a 6.

LIfe of Pi: hmmm, so we should believe in God because it's a nice story?  I don't think the Christian story is so nice.  And certainly what people do in the name of religion is very not nice.  Setting all that aside, I liked the movie in general.  The kid Pi was a fine actor and the movie was very pretty.  a 5

The Great Gatsby:  well, i liked the movie a hell of a lot more than i liked the book.  3D really brought those parties and the excess to life.  I actually liked Gatsby and Nick this time around, though I don't see why Daisy's so great.  another very very pretty movie though.  a 5.

Star Trek: Into Darkness:  ok, here's one that I quite liked as I was watching it but afterward my brain kept picking it apart...Cumberbatch is amazing, action was fun, overall acting was good but I just wish…

Code Name Verity is AMAZING!!

It's been a stellar reading year so far, quality-wise at least.  Looking back over the past 5 months, throwing out rereads, I've rated 12 books as a 6 and 8 books as a 7.  That's pretty good for me; the same time period last year gave me 8 6's and just a single 7.  

This one blows them all awayCode Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein is the best book I've read this year.  Set during WW2, Julie is a British (well, Scottish) spy captured in Occupied France.  She writes her confession, which is what we're reading, of how she, and the pilot Maddie, met, became friends, were trained for the war effort, and came to be in France.  It is a story that is just amazing.  

It's twisty and touching and wonderful!!  Watching as the relationship develops between the two women is great.  Julie is charming and funny and brave and so damn smart while Maddie is also smart on completely different subjects, and loyal and strong. I will say that even though the text is written as a…

I'm finishing things too quickly!

Yoko Ogawa is a new favorite of mine.  I finished The Housekeeper and the Professor. It's about a man, the Professor, who is a math genius and who was injured in a car accident in 1975 and can only remember the last 80 minutes and the Housekeeper, a young single mom who helps take care of him.  Every morning, the Housekeeper has to introduce herself to the Professor, who pins notes to his suit so that he can remember things.  When he finds out the Housekeeper has a 10 year old son who's home alone, the Professor has her bring the son with her.  The son gets nicknamed Root and the rest of the novel is about the interactions between these three people.  It's a beautifully written, lyrical book that is sweet and sad.  I jotted down a few notes about the math to look up later then spent a few hours reading up on Wikipedia on the numbers and theories.  It is really a book I can't recommend too highly.  a 7.

I also read a graphic novel,Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon by

Speak and Looking for Alaska

Yesterday I read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.  Wow.  I knew basically what the book was about (girl raped at party, deals with it over the course of the school year) but hadn't expected it to move me so much.  Is it because of the (too many) high profile cases we've heard about over the last year?  Or because the main character goes by Mel? or just because i'm a human being and the book is so good?  probably a combo of all of the above.  You absolutely should read this one.  a 7.

Today I read Looking for Alaska by John Green.  An unexpected Wow.  I did not know anything about this one, which I think made it all the better.  It's about a boy who goes off to spend his last 2 years of high school at a boarding school in Alabama, in search of life and what he calls The Great Perhaps.  And stuff happens.  The build up, the events and the fallout all occur naturally.  Green is a great writer.  Another must read 7!

I read both of these for my upcoming YA Lit class.  There…

I finish a Doctor Who novel

I picked upDoctor Who: Shroud of Sorrow by Tommy Donbavand on a whim.  I had to go buy a kid's magazine and saw a stack of Doctor Who books on an endcap and plucked one up.  I mean, the cover looks fun.

So, The Doctor and Clara find themselves in Dallas the day after JFK was shot, which also happens to be the first day Doctor Who aired on TV.  An alien race called the Shroud become attracted to the nations grief and appears to various people in the form of faces of their dead relatives.  After getting a hold on a person, the Shroud takes the form of a woman in a veil and begins sucking the life from people.  The Doctor and Clara get a crew together and stop them.  

 I think the book definitely has the feel of an episode of the show.  It has some very slapstick moments and plenty of Doctor-speak.  It has some touching sequences which I would not at all have understood if I hadn't been watching some of the old episodes.  It was a very very fast read though, almost too fast.  I do …

So Instead of working on a school book

I read Green River Killer: A True Detective Story by Jeff Jensen and Jonathan Case.  It is a big graphic novel; the story of Jeff Jensen's (he writes for Entertainment Weekly and I loved his LOST recaps) dad Thomas Jensen.  Thomas Jensen was a police detective who spent years hunting the Green River Killer in Seattle, WA.  They finally caught him in 2001 due to new techniques to analyze DNA evidence.  The story is told in black and white, very well done and I don't know if I could have handled color murder scenes.  It goes back and forth in time as well, contrasting the interrogation with Jensen's early career.  It is quite compelling reading a glimpse into the mind of a killer and the man whose career is dedicated to finding him.  a 6.

Vacation Books!

Last night, we got back from our vacation to Vermont.  B's cousin got married and we had a good visit with family.  I got to meet several people who'd been unable to make it to TN for our wedding last summer which was nice.  The weather was fine but got really cold (to me) the last couple days we were up there.  The flights were fine too.  I have to give big kudos to Southwest.  B left his wallet on the very last flight and not only did they find it and return it to us, they got our luggage out so fast that we missed the announcement and had to come back to the airport (a 15 minute drive from our house).  Thanks so much Southwest!!!  

I packed way too many books.
I completed 2 and started Master and Commander.  I also bought Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein while I was in VT and started that as well; I have to read it for my summer class.

The Diamond Age, or The Young Lady's Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson: I am slowly working my way through Neal Stephenson's wor…

The Madness Underneath

I've been reading this YA series by Maureen Johnson.  I read the first book,The Name of the Star in January and got the second, The Madness Underneath, from the library.  It was really quite disappointing.  The story picks up a few weeks after the end of the first book. Rory is living with her parents in Bristol, recovering from her injuries and the trauma.  But how can she recover mentally when she can't tell anyone what happened?  She ends up back at school at Wexford and is determined to meet with her ghost-busting friends.  Their division is on a bit of a hiatus as the powers-that-be try to decide what to do with them.  After about 75% of the book is over, we finally get a bit of a plot and there's a cliffhanger going into book 3.

I guess the main disappointment is in relation to the first book.  It was self-contained and a full story, even if there were obvious things that would be left for the further novels.  This one felt like there was a whole book written, then it…