Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June 2009 Books and Movies

Living Next Door to Alice
Melissa Mackle

Another author find from the About Town short stories, this time from the Irish one. I have to say, not so good. The characters were pretty one dimensional and the writer used the same expressions over and over again, so thumbs down for writer creativity. Especially overused was the phrase "going down a treat" when eating or drinking. It was used at least 10 times. It wasn't so bad that I put it down without finishing, but not great enough to pursue other Mackle titles.


This was a lovely film, made even better by digital 3D. Poignant and funny, I thoroughly enjoyed the strange and wonderful world created by Disney and Pixar. The characters were well drawn (both literally and figuratively) and the story was really imaginative. Loved Russell, he had some of the best lines. The Pixar short at the beginning was so cute. Go see it, tell your friends, then see it again, preferably in 3D, the glasses aren't that bad. :)

Late Night Shopping
Carmen Reid

This was a piece of chicklit that I found from mining the Girls About Town Short Stories Books. Carmen Reid is from the Scottish one. She is a good writer, and I would read her other books. The trouble with this one was, I hated the main character. She was really annoying (read irresponsible and selfish) ala Becky Bloomwood, to the point I was yelling at her. In the book. Seriously, that's over involvement. Annie is a personal shopper who wants to start her own business, but is sacrificing time with her family and partner while doing so. There was enough plot to keep me reading, but it was so ho hum, and the really interesting characters never were fully explored. There was the requisite gay best friend, so pretty run of the mill. I'm up for another turn, but give Late Night Shopping a miss.

Update: Just found out it was a sequel to a book called The Personal Shopper, but that just makes it even more like the Shopaholic series. Will read it and report back.

My Life in Ruins

Cute little rom com, great writing, beautiful cinematography and very funny. I like Nia Vardalos (great dead pans), and the supporting cast were pretty good too, especially Richard Dreyfuss. Of course, there were quite a few cliches but forgivable as the rest of the film was solid. I'm not sure I know any men who would enjoy this, but it's a good girls afternoon out. I predict there are going to be a lot of haters, but it's worth a go see. I'm definitely renting it when it comes out on DVD, for the outtakes. They're bound to be hilarious.

Scottish Girls About Town

This is the first time I've ever ordered a book for the TPL. That was pretty cool. Since they already had Irish and American Girls About Town they accepted my suggestion to order the above, and I was first on the list to get it. I didn't discover as many good authors as in the other anthologies, but a few (Isla Dewar, Carmen Reid, Katie Agnew, Julia Hamilton) really stood out. I'm looking forward to reading more from them.

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