Thursday, July 02, 2009

Happy Canada Day (plus One)

Sorry to abandon you all so abruptly (especially you, LL, I know how much you appreciate Catblogging), but Thursday was spent packing and downloading pictures to my computer (from the February Vegas trip) and then putting 2007 pictures on disk to save up room on the computer hard drive. I left early on Friday from work for Baltimore where I was until Tuesday. I was visiting my friend Rebecca and her family, and on Sunday I got to visit with my friend LT and his family, including my beloved Tyler.



Apparently, Boris doesn't just love boxes, but anything of a particular beige color. How can you not love catblogging, LL???

Wouldn't it be crazy if I listed June's books and movies early in July instead of waiting until August or September, as I seem to be doing of late?

I did really well book-wise.

Books

21. Wicked Prey by John Sandford - 402 pages - John Sandford is one of those authors whose books I buy as soon as I see it's available (and then lend it to a friend, after I read it). His books can include some violence, but I find them enthralling and I read them pretty quickly. You don't really need to read the Prey books in order, so you can pick this one up w/o worrying about really missing anything, but I think you'll want to read them all once you start.

22. Fables: Legends in Exile #1 by Bill Willingham, et al - 125 pages - My friends Katie and Dan own Green Brain Comics and since I like to support my friends in their businesses, I asked Katie to recommend some comics/graphic novels that I would enjoy. I have never been much of a fan of short stories, which is kind of how I view comics, but I love fairy tales and I loved The Sandman series way back when, so I was willing to try something different. Fables' main theme is that the fairy tales characters were chased out of their own lands by something called The Nemesis (I think) and are now living in New York City. In this volume, someone seems to have killed Rose Red and Snow White puts the Wolf (who looks human for some reason - which is interesting since all the other animals are still animals) on the case to find out who did it. I thought it was quite well done, although I'm still in novel mode as I don't always remember that I'm supposed to look at the pictures. DUH.

23. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway - 213 pages - A friend from work bought me this book after she had told me about it and I thought it sounded really interesting, especially since I was reading Shakespeare and Company already (only at night, so while I started it before the Hemingway book, I finished it afterward). Both are about Paris in the 20s and about all the ex-pats, mostly writers, who lived there.

24. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - 312 pages - I love Neil Gaiman and this book is no exception. While it might sound gruesome, it was really a very sweet story about a boy whose entire family is killed one night (he was supposed to be as well), but he had crawled out of his crib and found himself in a graveyard where the "ghosts" of the inhabitants took him in and kept the assassin from getting to him.

25. Serenity: Those Left Behind by Joss Whedon - 87 pages - This is volume #2 in the Serenity graphic novel series. I'm enjoying these and I think the artists have done a great job in capturing everybody's likeness - some better than other, but still, enough to make me happy - old guy love and all.

26. Shakespeare & Company by Sylvia Beach - 220 pages - I liked this book better than the Hemingway book even though it was about the same period. I didn't know anything about the Paris bookstore when I bought this book, but it sounded quite interesting. Sylvia Beach owned the English-language bookstore in Paris until WWII. It was also a lending library for people who couldn't afford to buy books. She was also the first publisher of James Joyce's Ulysses which was banned in the U.S. and Great Britain. She also supported (it seems) Joyce, money-wise, but she didn't seem to mind, even though it seemed to me that he took advantage.

27. Fables: Animal Farm #2 by Bill Willingham, et al - 127 pages - The animals, save the Wolf as I've already mentioned, from fairy tales are stuck living on The Farm because, I guess, talking animals living in New York City would freak regular non-fable people out. Anyway, the animals revolt lead by two of the three pigs (a tad reminiscent of Orwell). It was quite good. I'm proud of myself for branching out into comic books, even if I am limiting it, so far, to Fables and Serenity.

28. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling - 111 pages - I think J.K. Rowling is awfully clever to write fairy tales for witches. Maybe I'm easily impressed, but these are the stories she mentioned in the Harry Potter books. And if you go to that link, you can even hear her read one of the tales.

29. The Sorcerer's Companion by Allan Zola Kronzek & Elizabeth Kronzek - 274 pages - This was written in an encyclopedic way, but I read it in order. It was interesting, and was well-researched, I thought. For example, it discussed dragons and how they were scary in Europe, but considered good luck in Asia - with a bit more information than that. ;-)

30. Things I Learned About Knitting...Whether I Wanted To or Not by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka The Yarn Harlot - 160 pages - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is an absolutely hysterical writer of knitting books. If you're not a knitter, you might not appreciate her writing fully, but omigod, I laughed out loud a lot while reading this book.

31. Facing the Extreme: One Woman's Story Of True Courage And Death-Defying Survival In The Eye Of Mt. McKinley's Worst Storm Ever by Ruth Anne Kocour with Michael Hodgson - 273 pages - I needed a book to take to Baltimore with me and this one won out because it was small enough to fit in my purse. I read it Tuesday and it proved to me that while I love reading mountaineering books, I have no desire ever to climb a mountain, especially one where it snows. It wasn't the best mountaineering book I've ever had, but it was pretty good.

Book of the Month - The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Movies

27. - 6/6 - The Paradine Case (TCM) - 1947 - This movie was unavailable for a while on DVD, so when it came up on TCM (last June 26 - yeah, it was on my DVR for damn near a year), I DVRd it. After watching it a second time, I realised that this is a Hitchcock film I don't need to own. It's not that it's bad. It's just not a very happy film and it makes me sad to see Gregory Peck so pathetic.

28. - 6/7 - Bell, Book and Candle (TCM) - 1958 - I remembered seeing this movie many many years ago and wanted to see it again as I remembered liking it. Tastes change as we get older, I've discovered. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't extraordinarily fabulous. I wasn't in love with Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart together in Vertigo, and it didn't work for me here either.

29. - 6/7 - The Last Metro (N) - 1980 - This is about a famous Jewish French play director during WWII who goes into hiding (supposedly left the country), while his wife, Catherine Deneuve, continues to run the theater with a very young Gerard Depardieu as leading man in the new play. It was told as a true story...no clue if it is. It helped keep me in my WWI/Nazi theme of the past couple months. *sigh* So uplifting.

30. - 6/26 - Flushed Away (RR) - 2006 - When you visit friends with a 5-year-old you end up watching animated films - not that I'm complaining, because I love animated films, and I got to see two (see #32) new ones (okay, new to me). I love Aardman and this came from them. It was very cute. Premise: Roddy is a pet rat who gets flushed down the toilet by a pretty disgusting rat and he spends the movie trying to get back to his cushy life as a pet. He meets up with the usual cast of characters - bad guys with an evil plan, normal rats living their lives, love interest, etc. And, of course, learns what is actually important in life.

31. - 6/26 - After The Thin Man (K) - 1936 - I had sent my DVD excel spreadsheet to my friend Rebecca on Thursday to see if there were any movies she wanted me to bring and she asked for a Thin Man movie. The first one is lent to a friend from work, so I brought the 2nd one. I love the Nick and Nora movies and this one has a very young James Stewart. If you haven't ever seen one, please do yourself a favor and watch them. They are quite clever and what is funnier than a police detective getting all angry and swearing heartily by saying "Phooey."

32. - 6/27 - Robots (RR) - 2005 - This was my second children's movie of the weekend (and better than my other option of Madagascar 2 which I had seen and wasn't overly fond of). I quite liked this...I thought the main character robot was cute and it was a lovely story appealing to my socialist heart. ;-)

Movie of the Month - The Last Metro (although I'm more likely to watch Flushed Away again, as it was a tad happier)

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12 Comments:

At Friday, 03 July, 2009, Blogger Red said...

yea, cat's like the brown paper bags but we found out tonight that kittens like garbage that smells like chicken wrapper and pork shoulder. GRRR. inches of their lives if I have a mess when I get up! There is no room in the outside trash to tie up the kitchen bag and take it out! GRRR.

 
At Friday, 03 July, 2009, Blogger Kathleen said...

Red - I never have to worry about that as I'm a vegetarian. Although I don't think I'd have to worry anyway, as Boris and Igor are only into their own food, Igor especially. He thinks I'm poisoning him whenever I offer him a treat. Crazy kids.

 
At Friday, 03 July, 2009, Blogger Dr Jenn said...

i am learning every day. Doc said last night that it insults a cat to have the litter box in a "public area" and that he even had one cat who had issues if you had the nerve to walk in the room when it was using the covered litter box.

Fickle creatures
-Red (i just changed my name to josh Doc)

 
At Friday, 03 July, 2009, Blogger Beth said...

OK, I totally need the Serenity Graphic novels. Just re-watched all of Firefly, then Serenity.

Loved the Graveyard Book enough to buy it and not re-sell it.

 
At Saturday, 04 July, 2009, Blogger Kathleen said...

Dr. Jenn - It's interesting that the Dr. says that because I've thought, on occasion, that it looks like Boris gets embarrassed when I come into the room when he's doing his business.

Beth - You should check out the Yarn Harlot's books...they really are hysterical. There are only two of the Serenity graphic novels, sadly. Don't know if there's another one in the works or not, but we can hope. I want to re-watch them so badly, but have so much to watch. And now that the Tour has started it definitely won't happen in July.

 
At Saturday, 04 July, 2009, Blogger fermicat said...

Boris likes beige stuff? How odd.

As usual, your book list is enviable. I'm still only getting through one or two per month.

 
At Saturday, 04 July, 2009, Blogger dr sardonicus said...

Sho 'nuff, cats like their privacy when they use the bathroom. Just like you do.

Boris looks cute as always.

 
At Sunday, 05 July, 2009, Blogger LL said...

Good gadfry...

 
At Sunday, 05 July, 2009, Blogger Fantasy Writer Guy said...

Happy 4th of July Plus One!!

R

 
At Sunday, 05 July, 2009, Blogger Kathleen said...

Ferni - Cardboard boxes, paper bags, and apparently paper of the same hue. I did much better last month reading than of late, so I was happy.

Dr - Hmm, then why don't they understand that when I want to go the bathroom. ;-)

LL - Just for you.

FWG - Why, thank you, kind sir.

 
At Sunday, 05 July, 2009, Blogger dr sardonicus said...

Because, as cats, their right to know what is going on in their home overrules your right to privacy.

:)

 
At Wednesday, 08 July, 2009, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

I'm surprised you don't like short stories. They're all I read now. Almost never read novels any more. It's nothing against novels, I just read non-fiction only now. I know. Boring (or lame), but that's how I fly.

I love fairy tales. As I've read every HP book and read HP5, 6, and 7 the very first days they came out (actually going to the local bookstore's HP parties, buying them, immediately going home and staying up until they're done), I'll have to read that fairy tale one she wrote. I think Rowling is a damn good writer. I don't care what anyone says. She is.

And I need to kick myself but I still have yet to read a Neil Gaiman book. As much as I used to love Tori Amos (I love her first three albums but I think like Metallica, she's "lost it"), I should really read Gaiman, as they were really close friends when her first 3 albums came out. Plus, this world needs more, not less fantasy. I love fantasy.

I should really read the Whedon book too as I loved the Serenity movie.

 

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