Monday, August 25, 2008

The Choice - Nicholas Sparks

I read this whole book yesterday! I couldn't put it down, it was that good!

Travis and Gabby are fated with a life-altering decision, but only he has the power to make the choice that will change their lives for better or for worse.

This book was so wonderful in part one and then in part two things sped up and my stomach went into knots over the choice that Travis had to make. It was so sad and so sweet and so hard to figure out what he would do, and I felt so much of the emotion that Travis was feeling. Nicholas Sparks did such a great job of making the story come alive with love, and I really felt like I connected with the characters.

The ending was wonderful, but I wish that there had been more dialogue at the conclusion after the choice was made so that there would be some kind of resolve between the characters. That's the only thing that I would change, but it was still so great. I guess the ending was realistic the way Sparks wrote it. It was still so good! I hope they make this book into a movie, too!!

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

This movie is just a breath of fresh air! A feel-good, rags-to-riches romantic comedy - the best kind in my opinion! I love Frances McDormand (Fargo). I love Amy Adams (Enchanted). I love Ciaran Hinds (Persuasion). I love, love, love Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies). I love them all, and I love this movie! Fantastic cast, fantastic plot, fantastic love story! Great music, great setting, great costumes, great humor! The story is just too sweet! True love can find you at any age and when you least expect it, and this movie is proof that one person can change your whole life for the better in just one day!

I will definitely be buying this later. Highly recommended!

Heather, you would love this!!!

A Month by the Lake

My first instinct was to turn the DVD off after the first 20 minutes, but I didn't go with it. Cute premise, but this ended up being just another waste of my time. Yes, the scenery was beautiful, but the scenes were choppy, the storyline was too forced, and the movie just didn't flow. Uma Thurman was mostly bearable as the nanny...I actually couldn't stand her at times, and I'm an Uma fan! Vanessa Redgrave is still beautiful in her senior years, but her acting was only so-so. I couldn't stand her over-the-top open-mouth moments. Edward Fox was just not appealing in any way, and that made it hard for me to like his character. I wouldn't recommend this.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sundays at Tiffany's - James Patterson

Awesome quick read! Angel, I'm sending this one to you when Josh comes back that way. I read it while we were on the road, and it only took like 4 hours from start to finish. I love the whole imaginary friend idea, and James Patterson did a good job of making it not creepy - the guy started out as her imaginary friend when she was little, and then they fell in love when they were older. Sneaky little twist near the end. Fun characters. I totally imagined Glenn Close as the mother b/c she acts alot like the Devil Wears Prada lady. Funny to me that the cover has a brunette girl and looks kind of foreign, and the girl in the book is blonde. Oh well.

Read this one when you want a short break from something else.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Year of Books!

We've decided to read one book together each month for a year. If all goes well after 12 months, we might try it again. Most of our picks will probably be pulled from general fiction and modern literature. We'll take turns posting about each read so feel free to read along with us in your own time and post comments.
Book selections are listed on the left side of this blog. Suggestions are welcome for months which have no selection as of yet.

Happy Reading!!!

The Girl From Paris

I watched this movie a few weeks ago and forgot to post about it. I thought it would be a touching, feel-good story, and it mostly was but some of it left me hanging. It's about a young girl who decides to leave the fast pace of city life to take up farming. She buys this old man's farm, and he lives at the farm for a while to help the girl while things transition. They slowly form a friendship, but then things take an odd turn. It was a good idea for a story, but there were just too many parts of it that went unexplained - Who was the mystery parasailing guy? What happened to the old man? What about the girl's boyfriend? Too many loose ends for my taste, and I was dissatisfied.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Goya's Ghosts

I thought this movie was supposed to be a truly great film about art and religious history in a time of war, but it was barely that and just ended up being flat and boring. There was so much left to the imagination, too. There wasn't enough time given for proper character development of any of the characters except Brother Lorenzo's, and all I got was that he was a selfish, lying pervert. Natalie Portman's crazy lady portrayal was pretty good, but I didn't get why she even had to still be alive after 15 years in prison. She played two characters, a mother and her own daughter. If they had killed her off as the mother and then just brought in her daughter to rouse things with Lorenzo after his character changed then I think it would have led to a more interesting, dramatic story and ending. And actually, the amount of time they focus on Goya seems to be correct, but I didn't get much from Stellan Skarsgard's acting. I didn't feel the emotion and intensity that I think he should have possessed, that went into his art.

I fast-forwarded through a lot of the boring parts which there were a lot of, and it was bearable. The ending reassured me that I officially wasted my time. Unless you are a die hard fan of Javier Bardem or Natalie Portman, don't see it.

Me and Mr. Darcy - Alexandra Potter

The writing was not the best, but the story wasn't horrible even though it was completely predictable. I think it would be fun to go on a literary tour like Emily did. I would love to see all the places that Jane Austen visited, wrote about and was inspired by. Meeting Mr. Darcy would freak me out a little at first, but, if I was Emily, I would probably have jumped him and not taken 'no' for an answer.

One thing that bothered me was that Emily seemed to be more of a teenager than someone who's almost 30. She didn't sound anything like an experienced woman of 29 who was supposedly the manager of a retail business and had read all kinds of books. And she lived in New York and had never heard of a personal shopper? I found that hard to believe. The author didn't give her main character enough brains in my opinion. The way she composed herself in awkward situations and the things she said made her sound more like 19 than 29...and she sounded more British than American. I think the author wasn't paying enough attention to her character.

Maybe I'm being too harsh here. It is classic chick lit so I knew it would be a bit fluffy when I started reading. It was a light and fun romantic romp with Mr. Darcy. Although, I didn't appreciate the way the author compared Mr. Darcy to modern men, but I know she only did it to prove a point about setting realistic standards instead of searching for a fantasy. She could have made him seem a little less fussy at least.

I liked the other characters and Spike was OK, but I wouldn't want a messy guy myself. The ending was cute. I suppose this would be an entertaining beach read.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bones - Season 1

I read one of Kathy Reichs's books and liked it a lot. That led to my interest in seeing the TV show, Bones, that is based on Kathy Reichs's life as a forensic anthropologist. The show features Temperance Brennan, the main character in the series book that I read. Emily Deschanel stars as Temperance and David Boreanaz plays FBI Agent Seeley Booth - I think the tension and chemistry between the two main characters is fantastic and really helps to drive the show forward. I also love the dialogue; the witty banter between them is very entertaining.

Unlike other crimes solving-type shows I've watched, the scientific stuff on this show is actually interesting to me, and I feel engaged in all the cases the whole way through each episode. I actually feel like I'm solving the crimes with the characters instead of just watching them do it. It's fun to guess who is guilty and who isn't.

I love the "squints", too. All of the supporting cast is great...T.J. Thyne is so nerdy hot as Hodgins! I think he and Angela, played by Micheala Conlin, hook up later. They are so cute. I hope they do end up together.

I'm officially addicted to the show, and I definitely want to own this series. I absolutely love and can't get enough of it! It just sucked me in - the science, the murders, mysteries, the romance. It's all so good!!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Eyes Wide Shut

I like movies that make light of real occurrences and issues that are out there in the world and not usually seen or talked about, but this was too over-the-top. Yes, there probably are these elite groups of people who have secret lives and temptations and freaky clubs, etc., but this seemed too big and twisted to be believable even for a movie. Maybe that is the point, though, to make people wonder and question themselves and others....I don't know. I don't even think I'm sure I know what I'm talking about now. I didn't like it.

Meet the Robinsons

This movie was very sweet and lots of fun. I liked all the crazy inventions and characters. It kind of reminded me of Back to the Future only this was animated and the characters don't faint when they meet themselves in other time dimensions which didn't make sense to me because I thought that always happened when time travel was involved. But it was just a movie, so I guess it doesn't matter. I liked it. Good family flick.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Death Du Jour - Kathy Reichs

This was a pretty good mystery. Great for people who like A LOT of details. Tons and tons and tons of details. The murders are pretty messed up so that makes it scary. I was reading once in my car at night waiting for a friend to meet me, and I kept getting scared someone was going to attack me.

I liked all the different possible suspects. I had no idea who the main person was until the end.

Good book. Check it out.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Happy 5th Anniversary

to Josh and Heather!!!!!

Sixteen Candles

Oooohhh, sexy girrrrrlfrieeennnd!!!!

A cute blast from the past. This high-school romantic comedy had it all - cute leading man, Molly Ringwald, bad hair, fashion overkill, teenage angst, geeks, preps, parties and great 80s tunes...all good in my book. Some of the movie was a bit over the top, but what wasn't over the top in the 80s?!

Watch it for kicks when you have nothing better to do but reminisce.