Monday, July 31, 2006

July 2006 Books

Chandra's Secret
Allan Stratton

I know this author personally and have some of his other work, especially the young adult novels in the same vein. A very real and heartwrenching look at the AIDS crisis in Africa told through the eyes of a 16 year old girl living in a fictional African nation. As a teacher, I see immesurate possibilites for study in a grade 8,9, 10 and 11 classroom. As a reader, I couldn't put it down. Currently, Allan is working on a sequel to Chandra's story, I'm looking forward to it coming out.

Nurse Jane Goes to Hawaii - A comedy in two acts
Allan Stratton

Very funny! A bit retro (it was written in the 80s) but not too dated. I would love to see it produced, as reading a play is only the tip of the iceberg. It's a farce so if you aren't familiar with this type of playwriting it may be confusing. I'm amazed at how prolific a writer Alan is, and how many things he has written.

The Penultimate Peril
Lemony Snicket

I'm reading the series of unfortunate events because most of the kids I teach or know have read or are reading them and I like to keep up with new children's literature. This latest installment is even more confusing than the last. It doesn't help that I read the other 11 books quite some time ago, with the Grimm Grotto last summer. I just don't remember everything that happens. It's interesting that there are only 13 books in the series and they have to tie up everything in the next book. I've also heard that this is a series that was written years ago, and has been re-published but the copywright has been changed to now. Does anyone know? Is this just a rumour? Thanks!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Restless Summer Nights

I am definitely falling into a pattern this summer. I stay up late and sleep late. I have toooo much time to think! I am trying to get stuff done, but to be honest I am a little bored of myself. I do lots of things with other people, but still spend a lot of time on my own. We'll see how this week goes.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


The Davinci Code

So I read the book then saw the movie. Ummmm, not horrible, but not great. Tom Hanks was not the Robert Langdon I had envisioned. Audrey Tautou needs to stick to acting in French. Oh, and on that note, the French was not the same as the English subtitles! Ian McKellan was great, as was Jean Reno and Alfred Molina. I wonder if it would have been more confusing without having read the book. They changed a bunch of things which was too bad as they were better left unchanged.

The Devil Wears Prada

Really fun! I didn't read the book before hand, because I didn't want to compare it and be disappointed. I love Glen Close, and Anne Hathaway and Stanley Tucci were great too. The boyfriend story line was a little lame. The fashions were fantastic, made me want to go shopping. I would definitely see it again.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Reading Reading

Made you Look - How Advertising Works and Why You Should Know
Shari Graydon

Another book from Amy's list.

Targeted at kids and teenagers, it's a good grounding in how advertising words. Being an adult and reasonably intelligent, the book didn't really tell me anything I didn't know before. We are constantly being manipulated by advertisers who are quickly running out of new ideas to capture our ever fragmented and fleeting attention. The best thing about this book is the web links to different Canadian and U.S. watchdog groups. Graydon herself is a former president of MediaWatch.

Here are some of the sites I've found interesting.

It's very troubling to think that things aren't changing but what's worse is that people aren't changing. How many times have I bought into the sterotype that makes me feel inadequate as a woman? How many times have I spent money on something I don't need? Sometimes I feel very vulnerable being in the target age range 18 - 35.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Viva Italia!

Had a fun World Cup Sunday!

This would be the first time in a long time that I can remember when a team I was rooting for in an important game actually won...

Went to Betty's Bar for the game then walked in Little Italy afterwards. It was madness! But so fun. I went home via Yonge Street, which was not so fun, there were a lot of French supporters there. They yelled not so nice things.

Now I am very tired, so I'm glad to be home.

Viva Italia!

Forza Italia!!!

On the eve of the World Cup Final, I thought it fitting to proclaim my choice! The game tomorrow should be a real edge of the seater. You'll most likely find me at Betty's watching the game.

Went to Summerlicious at Barootes tonight. It was good, but not fantastic. The best things I ate were the sticky chicken and the caramel sauce on the creme caramel. The best thing I drank was Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cabernet Sauvignon (2002).

Also went to Pirates 2, which I had trouble following for the a little while because I couldn't remember what had happened in the first movie! I recommend renting the first one again before seeing it. It was good, and the end makes you want to see the third movie. Make sure you stay for the credits, there's a little bit at the end.

Go Italy Go!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

So many books!

I can't believe how many books I have out from the library right now. I'm actually off to collect some more after this blog because the library called again!

In Your Face - the Culture of Beauty and You
Shari Graydon

This was recommended by Amy so some of my comments are the same. Written for a younger audience, who really are the ones who will benefit most from this book, Graydon really gets to the point. You are as beautiful as you think and feel you are, and the more attention you pay to the way the media potrays people the less you feel you measure up. I was amazed to learn that there is actually something called Centerfold Syndrome, where young men who have been over exposed to unrealistic potrayals of women in the media are unable to form real relationships with real women. All in all a good read.

The Davinci Code
Dan Brown

Originally I didn't want to read this. I don't tend to like books that are universally liked by the masses. But when the movie came out starring Audrey Tautou, I knew I wanted to see it. I loved her in Amelie and really wanted to see her in an English language film. I heard that the movie was better if you read the book because of the detail laden plot, so I borrowed a copy and read it. It was really interesting! I liked the pace, and the theories purported were odd and fascinating at the same time. So now I'm off to the film, and hopefully I won't be too disappointed. Already though, the picture I have of Robert Langdon in my head does not match Tom Hanks. He's just too old!