Monday, October 31, 2011

October 2011 Books and Movies

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Mark Haddon

I read Mark Haddon's sequel (A Spot of Bother) before this, his debut. It is absolutely hilarious, and give you a bird's eye view of what it's like to be an autistic teenager. I found it helpful as a teacher, as well as a really great page turner. A definite must read!

The Help

Really worth the price of admission and more. The acting was superb, especially from Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer. The subject material is hard core. It punches you in the stomach and makes you question everything you ever knew about race relations. How can people have been this way? And how come it's still going on???? A while ago, I reviewed Prom Night Mississippi, produced by Morgan Freeman about a small town's first integrated prom. I watched in disbelief as antiquated views were being expressed by modern day people. The violence was not shown on screen, but still significant, proof that you don't have to do things with blood and gore to get your point gauge where we were, in the hopes to never repeat it again. I cried buckets at the end. A definite must see!

Dragons in the Bath
Cat Wheeler

I bought this book in an Ubud Bookstore just before I left Bali. Vignette after vignette of wonderful stories about a Canadian writer transplanted. Wheeler is a great writer, comedic and light sometimes, serious and earnest at others. Some of the stories nearly made me fall off my chair laughing. There's a bunch of those sound bite reviews in the front, and I completely agree with one of them, reading this book was like eating one delicious chocolate after another. I read it really slowly because I didn't want it to end! I really hope she produces another volume, this was such a great read.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Herbie Hancock

I'm so glad we decided to spring for last minute tickets to see this concert. Even the uppermost gallery of Massey Hall sounds fantastic. All the Toronto scene players were there, making up the concert orchestra, including John Johnson (doing some impressive doubling, first on clarinet and then on alto) and Al Kay. I even spotted some ex Glen Gould strings in there. Herbie was fantastic playing Rhapsody in Blue in the first half and delighting the crowd with Cantaloupe Island, Maiden Voyage and Dolphin Dance in the second half. Well worth the price of admission and at 76, who knows how many times he'll be back in town. :)