Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Books and Movies of February

I did a lot better job on reading this month than I did in previous months. Of course, the movies suffered, but that's not really the books' fault, but more the fault of my DVR and all the shows I'm DVRing on a daily basis (Ellen, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Stargate SG-1).

Therefore, this month I'm listing Movies first. There were only two (how pathetic), so it'll be fast and I might even link!


2/3 – Thunder Rock (TCM) 1942 – I have a thing for Michael Redgrave, so I had to DVR this when I saw he was in it. He plays a lighthouse keeper on an island in the middle of Lake Michigan who is visited by the ghosts of a sunken ship. He's avoiding life (I can't remember why), which is why he took the job. Here is a lovely synopsis. The ghosts, in the end, help him realise that he can't avoid life forever. A young James Mason makes an appearance as a pilot – I think the two of them had been in the war together. Ooh, it's showing again this Sunday (3/9) at 8:00 a.m. I think it's worth the effort.

2/3 – The Barefoot Contessa (DVR) – 1954 – Another movie I saw was going to be on, so DVRd it, this time because it was Bogey and one I hadn't seen (which is interesting, because I thought I saw them all a couple of years back). This was actually more about Ava Gardner than Bogey, but I still liked it. Don't watch this one if you're depressed, however. Not exactly what I'd call a happy ending.

And that was it for movies in the month of February. On to the books.


Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: the Yarn Harlot’s Guide to the Land of Knitting
by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee – 218 pages – I read this one very quickly. I picked this up one night after having an issue with whatever project I was working on and had thrown it across the room (actually, I was aiming for "across the room" but only achieved a foot or two – yarn doesn't travel easily), followed by the needles (much more satisfying). This book was hilarious and it was comforting to know that I wasn't the first knitter in the world to swear at her yarn and tried to pitch it to the plate.

Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. – 192 pages – This, I believe, was my 2nd Vonnegut novel (don't remember the first at all, but I remember not liking it) and I appreciated this one far more than the one I read way back when. I borrowed another one from a friend, so I'll be giving that a try soon. Sadly, I know it's not Slaughterhouse-Five which is the one I was supposed to read way back in the tenth grade until the parents pitched a fit and we didn't get to read it.

The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde – 382 pages – This is the 2nd book in the Nursery Crime series. I would have to say that summarising a Jasper Fforde book is not an easy thing to do. They are alternately clever beyond words, quirky, brilliant and funny. This book is obviously a take on the old nursery rhyme, The Three Bears, with a Goldilocks and a whole host of other characters you've never even dreamed of. If you're interested, I would recommend starting with the first in the series (although it's not completely necessary – I'm just anal that way), The Big Over Easy, which dealt with Humpty Dumpty in a way you never imagined.

Detroit Noir, ed. by E.J. Olsen & John C. Hocking – 280 pages – I saw this at Borders and felt the need to buy it. I like film noir and I'd probably like to read the books about the other cities in this series (particularly San Francisco), but I didn't like most of the stories, mostly because they showed Detroit in such a bad light and it's a light we never ever escape. Yes, Detroit has its problems, just like every other major city in this country, but people never even try to see the good here. So, don't read this book because I don't want you thinking Detroit is only these bad things.

Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich – 166 pages – After the Noir book I needed something light and fluffy which definitely describes the Stephanie Plum books by Evanovich. It's a "Between the Numbers" book which means Diesel is back (Stephanie is so hot that she has THREE gorgeous men after her - *eyes rolling*). It was fun, it was worth the read, even if another freaking car got blown up.

Sweet Jesus, I Hate Bill O'Reilly by Joseph Minton Amann and Tom Breuer – 283 pages – I picked this book up while at Borders looking for the Keith Olbermann book for a friend's birthday. I started reading it to see if it was going to be as funny as the title and it was. This was the Saturday after finding out that I wasn't going to have a racing series this year and was quite honestly depressed. This book made me laugh out loud on multiple occasions, on a day I didn't expect to laugh. I literally guffawed and damn near cried from laughing. I finished reading it the next morning. Oh yeah, I actually bought it for the friend, but I did confess to him that I was reading it first.

Thursday Next: First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde – 365 pages – Anything I saw about The Fourth Bear works here, except that it's not part of the Nursery Crime series. First Among Sequels is the fifth book in the Thursday Next series. When I read the first book, I was initially very confused as I didn't realise it took place in 1985 (or thereabouts) and it was just odd, for lack of a better term. I soon caught on, however, and became a dedicated Fforde-ite. I can't imagine how much more I would have liked The Eyre Affair if I had ever actually read Jane Eyre. I highly recommend all of his books.

Movie of the Month: Thunder Rock

Book of the Month: Sweet Jesus, I Hate Bill O'Reilly

I was thinking about the Book of the Month the other day and didn't think I was going to pick the Bill-O book, as it had some stiff company. I think reading two Jasper Fforde's in one month split the end vote and Bill-O snuck through.

March will definitely be better movie-wise. I've already watched 7 movies this month – that's what happens when you're home sick for three straight days!

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At Wednesday, 05 March, 2008, Blogger Heather said...

Collin just recently picked up two Jasper Fforde books - I can't wait to read them.

The Michael Redgrave movie sounds great! I'll have to Tivo that! :)

Did you hear I'm officially an aunt now? :D

At Wednesday, 05 March, 2008, Blogger Ben O. said...

Love Mother Night. He has such a way of mixing up who is the hero and why and in the end you sort of feel like you have been tricked a little.

Great book

Ben O.

(Try Bluebeard)

At Wednesday, 05 March, 2008, Blogger Sal said...

you apologize for not watching more movies??? I wish I could get over my TV, Tivo, Paid Movie Channel, and Netflix addictions.

At Wednesday, 05 March, 2008, Blogger Kathleen said...

Heather - NO! Derek & Heather? Congratulations! I think you'll like the Jasper Fforde books - I hope you have the right order, because they really need to be read in the proper order.

Ben - I liked it a lot, too. I think I have Cat's Cradle at home, so that'd probably be next. But I'll keep Bluebeard in mind.

Sal - I DVR so many tv shows I just don't have time my Netflix movies (and my queue has close to 400 movies on it). *sigh*

At Wednesday, 05 March, 2008, Blogger LL said...

Take heart Kath... you'll be back to your lazy movie watching self in no time now that you won't be venturing off to Champ car races this summer.

Wha? What'd I say? Wha? :P

At Wednesday, 05 March, 2008, Blogger Kathleen said...

Lord Loser - You actually made me laugh with that statement...

At Wednesday, 05 March, 2008, Blogger historymike said...

I stumbled across your blog, and our paths must have also crossed at BBHS. I was class of 1982, and I deduce that you were in the same class.

I can recall only one "Kat," and I think I remember who the author of this blog is. Then again, years of lifestyle-related abuse have taken their toll on my neurons...

At Wednesday, 05 March, 2008, Blogger Kathleen said...

HistoryMike - Hmmm, I don't remember mentioning Borgess recently, if ever. So, how did you find me? I think I found you in wikipedia, recently, however. I believe there was only one Kat in our class.

At Wednesday, 05 March, 2008, Blogger historymike said...

You have the #2 Google result for the words Czarny and Borgess - it's a loooong story why I was searching that combination.

As far as Wikipedia, the site can be addictive, and I urge anyone with an IQ above, say, 50 to stay away. I have a complusion to fix every page I visit, making Wikipedia quite the sucker of time for me.

At Wednesday, 05 March, 2008, Blogger Kathleen said...

Holy crap! How long ago did I blog about Mr. Czarny? One day you'll have to tell me the loooong story about why you were googling Czarny & Borgess.

I trust you fixed your own entry at Wikipedia. ;-) I actually do, generally, pick the option other than wikipedia when I google something, but sometimes it's handy.

Hmm, maybe I should see what google has to say about Champ Car and the IRL. I'm pretty sure that needs to be fixed BY ME!

At Wednesday, 05 March, 2008, Blogger Kathleen said...

Mike - Crap, you're right. I am the second google to that combination. I just hope nobody else is googling that. Or my old spanish teacher's name since I was a bit scathing in that post.

At Thursday, 06 March, 2008, Anonymous The Zombieslayer said...

I can't stand Bill O'Reilley either, but the author and I probably hate him for different reasons. Still, if it could make you laugh, maybe it's worth a gander.

Never read Mother Night although Vonnegut I list as one of my faves.

At Thursday, 06 March, 2008, Blogger mr. schprock said...

I caught the last part of The Barefoot Contessa the other day. I had never seen it before either. What a selfish jerk that rich Italian guy was. And I like how movie studio danced around his war wound, not exactly calling it what it was, sort of like The Sun Also Rises.

At Thursday, 06 March, 2008, Blogger Kathleen said...

ZS - Yeah, I'm not sure that we hate him for the same reason. Read a few pages at the bookstore before buying, just in case.

Schprockie - How lovely of you to visit! It feels like it's been forever! Yeah, the Italian guy needed to be slapped hard. I just watched a M*A*S*H episode that also dealt with that particular war wound quite delicately.

At Saturday, 08 March, 2008, Blogger Jorge said...

I only have one question. Where do you find the time?

I'm lucky to read for an hour a day at lunch, and then I feel guilty for not sutdying. And movies? I've almost forgotten what those are.

If you've got some spare time I'd appreciate the loan of some. I could use a few more hours ina day.

At Saturday, 08 March, 2008, Blogger Jorge said...

I also feel guilty for not studying.

Give me a break, it's 2 AM

At Monday, 10 March, 2008, Blogger Kathleen said...

Jorge - I'm not taking classes...back when I was in school, I saw no movies and read nothing that wasn't related to class, so I feel your pain.


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