Monday, May 31, 2010

Movie Mondays


Book, 2008 by John Carlin

After being released from prison and winning South Africa's first free election, Nelson Mandela presided over a country still deeply divided by fifty years of apartheid. His plan was ambitious if not far-fetched: Use the national rugby team, the Springboks-long an embodiment of white supremacist rule-to embody and engage a new South Africa as they prepared to host the 1995 World Cup. The string of wins that followed not only defied the odds, but capped Mandela's miraculous effort to bring South Africans together in a hard-won, enduring bond.

Movie, 2009 directed by Clint Eastwood

Features: Matt Damon, Morgan Freeman

Tagline: His people needed a leader. He gave them a champion.

Awards: Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon were nominated for Oscars and Golden Globes for their roles but they didn't win.

Have you read the book or seen the movie?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday Survey

Has anyone started reading Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim?

5=I love it!
4=I really like it.
3=I like it.
2=It's just okay.
1=I don't like it.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saturday Spotlight

Today's author is Frederick Reiken.

1. He is orginally from Livingston, New Jersey.
2. He attended The Pingry School, Princeton University and the University of California at Irvine.
3. His first novel, The Odd Sea, won the Hackney Literary Award (1998).

4. His second novel, The Lost Legends of New Jersey, was published in 2000.

5. His latest novel is called Day for Night.

6. He is currently the director of the graduate program in writing at Emerson College.

Have you read any of his novels?

Group Picture-Have a Little Faith

Although we discussed Hoarders and the Amish as much as the book, it was still another great meeting!

Can you find Stan?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Meeting Tonight & Member Profile-Linda

We're meeting tonight at 6pm @ Linda's house to discuss Have a Little Faith! Here is a little book info about our hostess this month...

What is your favorite book? The Stand

Who is your favorite author? Stephen King

What is your favorite type of book to read? I like it all! Every once in awhile I even read a harlequin!

Who is your most loved fictional character? Kinsey Millhone from the alphabet books by Sue Grafton--currently reading O is for Outlaw.

She likes small places, she lives in some old guys garage and he’s not nosy, she has an eating & drinking establishment within walking distance AND she is a private detective that gets paid to spy on people...she has a gun too!

If you could force everyone you know to read one book, what would it be? Still Alice by Lisa Genova

What is the most difficult book you've ever read (you had to actually finish it)? In the Woods by Tana French

What's the last book you read? 8th Confession by James Patterson

How many books do you own? 150 and growing and I’m getting rid of them as I’s a disease!

Paperbacks or hardbacks? All my Stephen King are in hardback, everything else is paperback or Kindle for iPhone.

Has any book changed your life? I’d like to think one did…..but nah, I don’t think so.

Feature Fridays

Today's classic is The Prince and the Pauper (1881) by Mark Twain.

Set in sixteenth-century England, Mark Twain's classic "tale for young people of all ages" features two identical-looking boys - a prince and a pauper - who trade clothes and step into each other's lives. While the urchin, Tom Canty, discovers luxury and power, Prince Edward, dressed in rags, roams his kingdom and experiences the cruelties inflicted on the poor by the Tudor monarchy.

You can read The Prince and the Pauper online for free at Page by Page Books.

Did you know? Mark Twain's actual name was Samuel Clemens.

Have you read this classic?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thoughts for Thursday

Have you ever read any how-to books?

I can't think of any off-hand right now, but I have been thinking about getting a how-to book on quilting. I'm just not sure I'll be able to learn from a book. I might need to take a course instead. Has anyone learned a skill like that from a book?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday Wish List

The Other Family by Joanna Trollope

When Richie Rossiter, once a famous pianist, dies unexpectedly, Chrissie knows that she must now tell the truth to their three daughters: their parents were never married. Yet there is one more shock to come when Richie’s will is read. It seems he never forgot the wife and son he left behind years ago—Margaret, who lives a quiet life of routine and work, and Scott, who never knew his famous father. Now two families are left to confront their losses and each other, and none of them will ever be the same.

Witty, intelligent, and insightful, The Other Family is a story of modern family life from one of our most beloved authors of domestic fiction.

The Other Family is on the Indie Bound May 2010 Indie Next List.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays (started on Should Be Reading) asks you to:

Grab your current read (or a book on your shelf that you've read or been wanting to read). Let the book fall open to a random page. Share two (or a few) teaser sentences from that page. Don't forget to share the title and author of the book in case someone is teased into reading. Please avoid spoilers!

I've posted my teaser below. Post yours in the comment section if you'd like to share as well!

The opacity of everyday metaphors is also apparent in inadvertently tasteless expressions (such as the radio psychotherapist who said, "For some patients, cancer can be a growth experience"), ambiguous headlines (CHEF THROWS HIS HEART INTO HELPING FEED NEEDY), Goldwynisms ("An oral agreement isn't worth the paper it's written on"), and entry into the club called AWFUL--Americans Who Figuratively Use "Literally." The character member was Rabbi Baruch Korff, a defender of Richard Nixon during his Watergate ordeal, who at one point protested, "The American press has literally emasculated President Nixon."

from The Stuff of Thought by Steven Pinker

Monday, May 24, 2010

Movie Mondays

The Basketball Diaries

Book, 1978 by Jim Carroll

The Basketball Diaries chronicles Jim Carroll's alternatively hilarious and horrifying urban coming-of-age from twelve to fifteen. The excerpts published in The Paris Review in the 1970s created a sensation-a response that continues to this day. Here is Carroll prowling the streets of New York-playing basketball, hustling, stealing, getting high, getting hooked, and searching for something pure.

Movie, 1995 directed by Scott Kalvert

Features: Leonardo DiCaprio, Lorraine Bracco, James Madio and Mark Wahlberg

Tagline: Every punk on the block says it's not going to happen to them... but it does.

Did you know? The film was involved in a lawsuit pertaining to the Heath High School shooting.

Have you read the memoir or seen the movie?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Survey

Less than a week left to finish Have a Little Faith!

5=I love it!
4=I really like it.
3=I like it.
2=It's just okay.
1=I don't like it.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday Spotlight

Today's author is Marina Endicott.

1. She was born in Golden, British Columbia in 1958.
2. She grew up in various places including Halifax and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and Toronto, Ontario.
3. She chose acting as her first career.
4. She later became a writer and her first novel, Open Arms, was published in 2001.

5. Her second novel, Good to a Fault, was published in 2008; it was a finalist for the 2008 Giller Prize and won the 2009 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Canada and the Caribbean.

Have you read either of her books?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Feature Fridays

Today's classic is Gulliver's Travels (1726) by Jonathan Swift.

'Thus, gentle Reader, I have given thee a faithful History of my Travels for Sixteen Years, and above Seven Months; wherein I have not been so studious of Ornament as of Truth.' In these words Gulliver represents himself as a reliable reporter of the fantastic adventures he has just set down; but how far can we rely on a narrator whose identity is elusive and whoses inventiveness is self-evident? Gulliver's Travels purports to be a travel book, and describes Gulliver's encounters with the inhabitants of four extraordinary places: Lilliput, Brobdingnag, Laputa, and the country of the Houyhnhnms. A consummately skilful blend of fantasy and realism makes Gulliver's Travels by turns hilarious, frightening, and profound. Swift plays tricks on us, and delivers one of the world's most disturbing satires of the human condition.

You can read Gulliver's Travels online for free at The Literature Page.

Did you know? The official title is Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of several Ships.

Have you read this classic?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thoughts for Thursday

What's the most disturbing book you've read?

For me, it has to be Push by Sapphire. I can't explain it, you just have to read it to understand. But, read at your own risk.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday Wish List

The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman

A true story as powerful as Schindler's List in which the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands.

When Germany invaded Poland, Stuka bombers devastated Warsaw and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into empty cages. Another dozen "guests" hid inside the Zabinskis' villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing, and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts. Jan, active in the Polish resistance, kept ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashed explosives in the animal hospital. Meanwhile, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its animal inhabitants otters, a badger, hyena pups, lynxes.

With her exuberant prose and exquisite sensitivity to the natural world, Diane Ackerman engages us viscerally in the lives of the zoo animals, their keepers, and their hidden visitors. She shows us how Antonina refused to give in to the penetrating fear of discovery, keeping alive an atmosphere of play and innocence even as Europe crumbled around her.

For The Zookeeper's Wife, she won the 2008 Orion Book Award, which is conferred annually to a book that "deepens our connection to the natural world, presents new ideas about our relationship with nature, and achieves excellence in writing."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays (started on Should Be Reading) asks you to:

Grab your current read (or a book on your shelf that you've read or been wanting to read). Let the book fall open to a random page. Share two (or a few) teaser sentences from that page. Don't forget to share the title and author of the book in case someone is teased into reading. Please avoid spoilers!

I've posted my teaser below. Post yours in the comment section if you'd like to share as well!

I rose and went into the bathroon to rinse my fear away. Avoiding the mirror, I looked instead at my hands in the water, but the sight filled me with horror.

from The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Monday, May 17, 2010

Movie Mondays

The Golden Compass

Book, 1995 by Philip Pullman

Some books improve with age--the age of the reader, that is. Such is certainly the case with Philip Pullman's heroic, at times heart-wrenching novel, The Golden Compass, a story ostensibly for children but one perhaps even better appreciated by adults. The protagonist of this complex fantasy is young Lyra Belacqua, a precocious orphan growing up within the precincts of Oxford University. But it quickly becomes clear that Lyra's Oxford is not precisely like our own--nor is her world. For one thing, people there each have a personal dæmon, the manifestation of their soul in animal form. For another, hers is a universe in which science, theology, and magic are closely allied:
As for what experimental theology was, Lyra had no more idea than the urchins. She had formed the notion that it was concerned with magic, with the movements of the stars and planets, with tiny particles of matter, but that was guesswork, really. Probably the stars had dæmons just as humans did, and experimental theology involved talking to them.
Not that Lyra spends much time worrying about it; what she likes best is "clambering over the College roofs with Roger the kitchen boy who was her particular friend, to spit plum stones on the heads of passing Scholars or to hoot like owls outside a window where a tutorial was going on, or racing through the narrow streets, or stealing apples from the market, or waging war." But Lyra's carefree existence changes forever when she and her dæmon, Pantalaimon, first prevent an assassination attempt against her uncle, the powerful Lord Asriel, and then overhear a secret discussion about a mysterious entity known as Dust. Soon she and Pan are swept up in a dangerous game involving disappearing children, a beautiful woman with a golden monkey dæmon, a trip to the far north, and a set of allies ranging from "gyptians" to witches to an armor-clad polar bear.

In The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman has written a masterpiece that transcends genre. It is a children's book that will appeal to adults, a fantasy novel that will charm even the most hardened realist. Best of all, the author doesn't speak down to his audience, nor does he pull his punches; there is genuine terror in this book, and heartbreak, betrayal, and loss. There is also love, loyalty, and an abiding morality that infuses the story but never overwhelms it. This is one of those rare novels that one wishes would never end.

The Golden Compass is the first book in the trilogoy of His Dark Materials.

Movie, 2007 directed by Chris Weitz

Features: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Dakota Blue Richards

Tagline: There are worlds beyond our own - the compass will show the way.

Awards: It was nominated for 2 Oscars and won 1: Best Achievement in Visual Effects.

As of now, the plans to adapt the next 2 books in the trilogy into movies have been put on hold.

Have you read the book or seen the movie?

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