Monday, January 18, 2010

A movie and a book

I got books for Christmas.

Glory, glory hallelujah.

I was in serious need of some new books to read, let me tell you.

And with nursing time + time holding Maddy while she's sleeping, I've actually had time to read!

More glory, glory hallelujah!

Also...Redbox. The final glory, glory hallelujah is inspired by this one word.

It just so happened that I watched a Redbox movie AND finished a book this weekend. Whoa. you want the good news or the bad news first?

I don't know who would want the good news first. Ending on a bad note? That doesn't really make sense to me.

So, the bad news first. The movie.

Man, I was hopeful for this movie. I remember wanting to see it when it first came out, after I saw the preview. And I feel like I've heard a lot of good things about it from several different people. So when I was the annoying person at the Redbox machine who had no idea what movie I was getting, I saw this one and went for it.

Not what I was expecting. Depressing. Oh, so depressing.

For those of you who don't know, The Soloist is about an LA Times reporter, who, desperate for a story, writes about a homeless man he hears playing the violin on the street. Turns out, Nathaniel (the homeless man) had attended Julliard for showing amazing promise on the cello, but fell behind and eventually dropped out because he started having serious mental issues. The reporter's articles about Nathaniel open LA's eyes to what life is like for the homeless in their city.

Unfortunately, I felt like the movie focused way too much on the negative. By the time we were supposed to be getting something even remotely inspiring or uplifting, I was too depressed. The messages didn't really balance each other out anyway; the positive aspect of the reporter's sort of change of heart (even though he never really seemed like a jerk or anything) was not enough to offset the thousands of homeless, troubled souls.

In short, I felt like no one really changed, and nothing was really accomplished. Is that reality? Maybe. But it does not make a good movie. In my humble

And now for some good news! I finished this book this weekend:

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke.

Yes. Yes, yes, yes.

I realize that any avid readers out there have very likely already read this book, since it got all kinds of acclamation and stuff when it came out a few years ago, but you know what? I just barely read it. So lay off me and let me give you a brief summary of why I think this book is composed of awesomeness. I love the idea of bullet points here. Let's roll with it:
  • Extremely well written. No trite phrases (*cough*TWILIGHT*cough*). 800+ pages seemed like much fewer.
  • Clever! Written like a mock history, complete with footnotes.
  • Original. Puts a mature spin on the "magician" thing.
  • 100% clean. Let's face it...that's not too common these days.
  • Just a little bit eerie. Not in an "I'm horrified and need to sleep with the lights on for a week" kind of way, but more of like a "Whoa that's kind of creepy in a mystical sort of way" way. More Harry Potter book 6 than Stephen King. That's a good thing, I think.
It was really just all around enjoyable to read! I highly recommend it. Yes, it is pretty long...but I wouldn't let that deter you! Like I said, it goes by fast. And you'll feel oh so accomplished at the end.

So, up next for me is Stockett's The Help. I'm anxious to see what all the hype is about on this one. Don't worry, I'll be sure to let you know what I think of it...just in case you, you know, care.

So...what have you read/watched lately, hm?


  1. I'm always looking for a good book. Thanks

  2. I just finished Uncle Tom's Cabin (because I read Gone with the Wind over the summer and felt the need to balance my literary education in slavery). I'm on to Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov next as well as my Autobiography class texts.
    I recommend Eats, Shoots, and Leaves for you because it always makes me happy when I pick it up.
    Actually, thanks for the reminder. I need to do another "Rebekah Reads" post.
    Love you, SKatie.

  3. I have Eats, Shoots, and Leaves but have never read it. Shame on me (Sorry, responding to Rebekah here). I am so glad you posted about a good book, because I trust your educated opinion :) Actually, I have no idea if we have the same taste in books, but let's give it a try. You should make an ongoing list on your right sidebar of good reads, just my selfish request.

    Also, I had a great time chatting with you last night.

  4. I liked the Soloist maybe because I had never heard of it thus no expectations. I was so impressed with the acting of the two main characters. It was just an eye opener for me of how fast one can end up homeless.

    I loved "The Help" for many reasons. I'll be curious if your generation likes it though. I can't wait for your review. I'll be aksing you.

  5. Thanks for the book recommendation! I'm always looking for clean, well written books, and I've not heard of this one! I totally agree with you on The Soloist. The story just sort of fell flat, even though the acting was so good! Thanks again!


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