Saturday, February 28, 2009

February 2009 Books and Movies

New Moon
Stephanie Myers

Warning, spoilers!

Ok, so I'm actually enjoying reading these books, even though they clearly are not very literary. They're a great distraction, easy to read (although they could be much shorter if Myers just cut out all the useless moaning and groaning about how tortured love is, I mean really, the chapters that contained one word (the month) were just ridiculous!) and underneath it all have a fairly likable, if not predictable, plot. I had really started to like Edward's character in the last one, so I was pretty disappointed that he didn't figure in this book too much. Jacob was good substitute, so it was again annoying when he left the story. Now I'm just waiting to find out when Bella will turn, and if they will have a kid (can vampires sire children with humans in Meyers fantasy world?) after they marry. We'll see how Eclipse goes.

Neil Gaimain

Absolutely great read. Interesting, creepy, heroic, heartwarming, visually stimulating, just great. Coraline is an interesting main character and the Beldam (love that it's an anagram of the word bedlam) is freaky scary. Looking forward to the movie version. I love Neil Gaiman, his is definitely a brain that should be donated to science so that they can study it. What an imagination!

Do What I Say: Ms. Behavior's Guide to Gay and Lesbian Etiquette
Meryl Cohn

Although mostly humorous, this book did have some interesting information. Ms. Behavior has a sly wit, is brutally honest and definitely has a lot to say. Whatever your orientation, give it a read, it'll make you smile, if not laugh out loud.

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
Malcolm Gladwell

This was a really interesting look at the way epidemics start, spread and die. I found a number of concepts clearly explained the phenomenon. Mavens and Connectors, the rule of 150 and stickyness were all applied to concrete examples, creating a very plausible argument. The writing was somewhat simplistic at times, with the author completing the circle a little two neatly with his authoritative voice. Sometimes I just didn't buy what he was selling, because of this. On the whole though, I enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in sociology.

Stephanie Meyers

This book was much much better than the movie, which is what I fully expected. For a book targeted at teenagers, it was well written and interesting. The story progressed in a way that made me keep reading, 500 pages in a week! The vampire lore was a bit strange, definite different than any other vampire stories I've ever read or seen. A friend of mine, who has a weird sense of humour, got a t-shirt made up that read "And then, Buffy staked Edward...the end." I laughed and laughed! I'm sure grade 6 girls won't find it funny, but that's ok. :) I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Slumdog Millionaire

Absolutely fabulous! Interesting plot, great storytelling device, incredible cinematography, wonderful acting, this is a definite must see. It was gripping, at times violent, heart wrenching, suspenseful, touching. The characters are flawlessly drawn and extremely likable, even when they do bad things. I really liked the way they used the "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" questions as jumping off points to explain how it was that a poor boy could know the answers, to drive the movie forward. I was a bit shocked that the two main characters kissed at the end, a move surely executed for the benefit of the film's American release. As far as I know Bollywood movies don't allow kissing. Even in joint ventures, such as Bride and Prejudice, the couple never kisses. Go see this, you'll be glad you did.

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