Monday, November 29, 2010

Movie Mondays

Up in the Air

Book, 2001 by Walter Kirn

Ryan Bingham’s job as a Career Transition Counselor–he fires people–has kept him airborne for years. Although he has come to despise his line of work, he has come to love the culture of what he calls “Airworld,” finding contentment within pressurized cabins, anonymous hotel rooms, and a wardrobe of wrinkle-free slacks. With a letter of resignation sitting on his boss’s desk, and the hope of a job with a mysterious consulting firm, Ryan Bingham is agonizingly close to his ultimate goal, his Holy Grail: one million frequent flier miles. But before he achieves this long-desired freedom, conditions begin to deteriorate.

With perception, wit, and wisdom, Up in the Air combines brilliant social observation with an acute sense of the psychic costs of our rootless existence, and confirms Walter Kirn as one of the most savvy chroniclers of American life.

Movie, 2009 directed by Jason Reitman

Features: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick

Tagline: The story of a man ready to make a connection.

Awards: It was nominated for 6 Oscars, including Best Picture, but won none.

Did you know? Everything that George Clooney wears in the movie actually fits into a carry-on bag.

Have you read the book or seen the movie? Did you know anyone that played an extra in the film (since a lot was filmed in St. Louis)?

I saw the movie and liked it, but I think all the hype surrounding it made me enjoy it less in the end. I knew 2 people that were extras. One was in an elevator scene and the other in a restaurant.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Survey

Don't wait too long to start reading The Help! It's a thick one.

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, November 27, 2010

Weekend Review

My first review is coming soon! The Weekend Review will take the place of the Saturday Spotlight. Depending on how much reading I do, it might be a bi-monthly feature.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Feature Fridays

Today's classic is Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (1947).

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl is one of the most moving and eloquent accounts of the Holocaust, read by tens of millions of people around the world since its publication in 1947.

Describing the lives of eight people hiding from the Nazis in a concealed storage attic, The Diary of Anne Frank captures the claustrophobic realities of their daily existence their fear, their hope, their laughter, their grief. Each day of these two dark years, Anne's voice shines through: "When I write I shake off all my cares. But I want to achieve more than that. I want to be useful and bring enjoyment to all people, even those I've never met. I want to go on living even after my death."

The Diary of Anne Frank is the story of a remarkable Jewish girl whose triumphant humanity in the face of unfathomable deprivation and fear has made the book one of the most enduring documents of our time.

You can explore the secret annex, where Anne and her family stayed in hiding for two years, online.

Have you read this amazing story? Did you read it in school?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thoughts for Thursday

Happy Thanksgiving!

What book are you thankful to have read this year?

I'm so glad the book club decided to read To Kill A Mockingbird this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary! Even though we've all read it before, I think it was even better the second (or third) time around. It was our favorite book of the year!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday Wish List

My Abandonement by Peter Rock

A thirteen-year-old girl and her father live in Forest Park, the enormous nature preserve in Portland,Oregon. They inhabit an elaborate cave shelter, wash in a nearby creek, store perishables at the water's edge, use a makeshift septic system, tend a garden, even keep a library of sorts. Once a week, they go to the city to buy groceries, attend church, and otherwise merge with the civilized world. But one small mistake allows a backcountry jogger to discover them, which derails their entire existence, ultimately provoking a deeper flight.

My Abandonment, inspired by a true story and told through the startlingly sincere voice of his young protagonist, Caroline, is an eerie and mesmerizing book of survival and hope, and a completely original novel of a remarkable and triumphant transformation.

I think I might have to order this one for my Kindle today!

Tuesday, November 23, 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!

Peggy Paula has a kidney-shaped scar on her lower back from falling out an open window backwards at a disco. She was there to meet men, but all the men at this disco seemed more interested in each other, though she couldn’t be sure, she found a place by a window so she could see the men coming and going, moving her feet side to side, the disco just a warehouse with walls of windows and colored lights with roving beams, a purple lightbeam getting her right in the eyes and Peggy Paula holding her clutch up to her eyes and backing away from it and right out the window, the music so loud and the lights so frantic that nobody noticed.

from Three Things You Should Know about Peggy Paula (52 stories) by Lindsay Hunter

Monday, November 22, 2010

Movie Mondays

A Map of the World

Book, 1994 by Jane Hamilton

One unremarkable June morning, Alice Goodwin is, as usual, trying to keep in check both her temper and her tendency to blame herself for her family's shortcomings. When the Goodwins took over the last dairy farm in the small Midwestern town of Prairie Center, they envisioned their home a self-made paradise. But these days, as Alice is all too aware, her elder daughter Emma is prone to inexplicable fits of rage, her husband Howard distrusts her maternal competence, and Prairie Center's tight-knit suburban community shows no signs of warming to "those hippies who think they can run a farm."

A loner by nature, Alice is torn between a yearning for solitude coupled with a deep need to be at the center of a perfect family. On this particular day, Emma has started the morning with a violent tantrum, her little sister Claire is eating pennies, and it is Alice's turn to watch her neighbor's two small girls as well as her own. She absentmindedly steals a minute alone that quickly becomes ten: time enough for a devastating accident to occur. Her neighbor's daughter Lizzy drowns in the farm's pond, and Alice - whose own volatility and unmasked directness keep her on the outskirts of acceptance - becomes the perfect scapegoat. At the same time, a seemingly trivial incident from Alice's past resurfaces and takes on gigantic proportions, leading the Goodwins far from Lizzy's death into a maze of guilt and doubt culminating in a harrowing court trial and the family's shattering downfall.

The book was an Oprah's Book Club selection in 1999.

Movie, 1999 directed by Scott Elliott

Features: Sigourney Weaver, Julianne Moore

Tagline: A story about the amazing places life can take you.

Awards: Sigourney Weaver was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama (lost to Hilary Swank for Boys Don't Cry).

Have you read the book or seen the movie?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

BCS Recap

These are the 36 books we will choose from next year!
Can't believe we can only pick 12...they all seem so good!

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