16 Books - July Books & Movies
Happy last day of July, everybody! Sorry about no post last week, but we had a funeral to attend which brought the LB to town, so Saturday was spent watching le Tour and then heading to Grandma's condo for a big family get together. It was nice. I got to see some cousins that I haven't seen in quite awhile and aunts and uncles.
I enjoyed the heck out of the Tour de France this year, especially since it's the last sport I truly enjoy, sadly it only lasts three weeks. I wish Versus would show the Vuelta a Espana.
Here are the books and movies I read and watched in July.
32. Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling - 870 pages - 2005 - I wanted to re-read book 6 before I saw the movie and thought it would be smart to re-read the fifth book, before the sixth one.
33. Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling - 652 pages - 2007 - Ditto.
34. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling - 759 pages - Well, after I had re-read the previous two, I had to finish the series, didn't I?
35. Fade by Kyle Mills - 344 pages - 2005 - I had read Kyle Mills' previous books and this had been out for a while (as you can see), but I finally picked it up. If you haven't discovered Kyle Mills yet and you like thrillers you are missing out. His books are meticulously researched and his characters are flawed but likable. In this one the title character, Fade, is an Arab-American who had been a Navy SEAL and ended up injured on a mission. The US government wouldn't pay for the very complicated surgery he needed and he ended up angry and embittered. However, the government now needs his special skills, but he won't play ball.
36. The Second Horseman by Kyle Mills - 339 pages - 2006 - In this one, a career thief, Brandon Vale, is busted out of jail by the person who put him there (for a crime he hadn't done), because he needs Brandon's special talents. There are WMDs, millions of dollars, behind-the-scene string pulling, and Israel-Arab tensions.
37. A Darker Place by Jack Higgins - 337 pages - 2009 - I've been a Jack Higgins fan since The Eagle Has Landed. I've read everything I've been able to find. It seems he's phasing out Sean Dillon (it's about time, he's got to be at least 65 by now) and Charles Ferguson (he's got to be at least 85), but I'm waiting to see where he's going with it. In this one, we had a Russian defector who wasn't quite what he seemed. It was less formulaic that I thought his previous few had been. He's still a classic thriller writer.
38. Darkness Falls by Kyle Mills - 299 pages - 2007 - This was very much a doomsday type scenario book. It scared the ever-livin' shit out of me. Again, the research done by Kyle Mills was extraordinary, this time into oil wells, production, fields, etc. I was especially happy to see that he had brought back Mark Beamon (from his first few books). Previously he was an FBI agent, in Darkness Falls he's the head of the energy department of Homeland Security, and he needs to find out why some major oil wells have stopped producing.
39. Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich - 308 pages - 2009 - This might have been the one that pushes me over the edge on reading anymore of these. She blew up at least four cars in this one. I don't know why Ms. Evanovich think it's necessary for her plot line to blow up cars so regularly, but I'm really over it. The YS has bought the last two books, so at least I'm not wasting my money on these.
33. (500) Days of Summer (Theatre) - 2009 - I loved this movie. I had wanted to see it after I had gotten my VSL newsletter. I laughed out loud a lot, as did most of the crowd at the Detroit "premiere." My friend Katie had free passes and asked me to go when she watched the trailer and saw the lead actor wearing a Joy Division t-shirt. When she asked, I said, "Oh yes, I've been wanting to see that movie." The best part of the movie was that he wore THREE Joy Division t-shirts in it. Two were Unknown Pleasures but one when he was a teenager and another as an adult, along with a Love Will Tear Us Apart t-shirt.
34. Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix (K) - 2007 - I had to rewatch the movie before seeing the sixth movie. It sucked just as much as it did the first time around. Read the books, people, they're so much better than the movies.
35. Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince (Theatre) - 2009 - I already gave my opinion on this movie at Zombieslayer's place. I have to agree with ZS's assessment that the director sucked. It's the same director as Order of the Phoenix and when a certain character dies and I don't cry...that's a problem...same as in the fifth when another major character had died. I sobbed my way through the end of the book (every time I read it), but the movie was so badly done, I didn't cry. I'm highly annoyed. We won't even discuss the bizarre addition of the burning of The Burrows. WTF was up with that???
36. The Children's Hour (N) - 1961 - Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine own an all-girl's school and are working hard to keep it going. There's a mean, vindictive girl there who spreads a story about them because she had been disciplined. All the parents take the girls out of the school and the women are destroyed. It was friggin' depressing, but it was really well done.
37. Momma's Man (N) - 2008 - I thought this was going to be a comedy and watched it after I watched The Children's Hour thinking it would cheer me up. Yeah, not so much. This was another recommendation from VSL, but I have to say that I did not love it. In fact, I would say that it fights with HP & the Order of the Phoenix for last place in Movie of the Month.
Book of the Month: Fade by Kyle Mills (it was hard since I had read three Kyle Mills and they were all great, but I loved Fade most). Please give him a chance. if you don't want to spend money, go to the library. He really is a brilliant writer and super nice as he responds to every e-mail - I've written to him twice now (last time after I had finished Smoke Screen a good 3-4 years ago and this time after Fade).
Movie of the Month: (500) Days of Summer - There's a line in this movie that is so worth watching. It made giggle for a good five minutes after it was said. It might have been a little juvenile, but it was still stinking funny.
Rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Sixteen books you've read that will always stick with you. First sixteen you can recall in no more than 16 minutes. Tag 16 friends, including me because I'm interested in seeing what books my friends choose. (A friend tagged me on Facebook, but I figured what the heck I'd share with you kids, too.)
As this took me over a week to do, I'm obviously not big on rules.
1. The Eight by Katherine Neville
2. Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity by Bruce Bawer
3. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
4. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
5. The Sewing Circles of Herat by Christina Lamb
6. Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis by Jimmy Carter
7. Sweet Jesus, I Hate Bill O'Reilly by Joseph Minton Amann & Tom Breuer
8. Alex Zanardi: My Sweetest Victory: A Memoir of Racing Success, Adversity & Courage by Alex Zanardi, Gian Luca Gasparini & Mario Andretti
9. The Eagle Has Landed by Jack Higgins
10. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
11. Aztec by Gary Jennings
12. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
13. The Dante Club by Arturo Perez-Reverte
14. The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell & Dustin Thomason
15. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
16. Torn Apart: The Life of Ian Curtis by Mick Middles & Lindsay Reade