Friday, December 2, 2011

Not Just Hiking - November 2011

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick de Witt
Finally. A book nominated for an award* that I thought was truly worth it. Original and offbeat. It is funny/strange in a modernized western noir sort of way. Yet it had a warmth and depth I haven't seen lately. It is WELL written. The characters were worth my time. Even the one-eyed horse was compelling. I picked it up and didn't put it down until it was finished and then I wanted to read more.
*shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize

Blue Nights by Joan Didion
There are those readers who don't like Didion and those who do. I am in the "do" group. I have always enjoyed her fiction and her family and her life. I loved The Year of Magical Thinking and liked this book even more. "Yet there is no day in her life on which I do not see her." How I understand this line. Too well.
See NY Review of Books article.

The Lost Hero and The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
J wanted me to read these. This series is not as good as his Percy Jackson series, but I enjoyed the couple of days reading I spent on them. Not wasted.

The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern
This book was as visual an enjoyment for me as it was anything else. There are no pictures except those that you create as you read it; and it was beautiful and transcendent. Although about the only thing they have in common is a focus on magic, I was often reminded of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, another of my favorites from earlier this year.

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkein
The second part of the The Lord of the Rings Trilogy was a much easier read for me, and I think it was because I was already invested in the story. Now I can't wait to begin and finish the third.

The Fellowship of The Ring
Really one of the few movies I have ever seen that can stand up to the scrutiny of and add to the reading of a book. I am very glad I took on the first part of Peter Jackson's trilogy after reading the first part of Tolkein's. I feel more prepared and I might even say excited to read on. (And I am glad I could fast forward through the scary parts - since I knew what would happen. I am a movie wimp. I just don't like ugly scenes.) I was brought to tears. BRAVO Mr. Jackson.

The Two Towers
While I loved the book this was based on, I did not enjoy this movie nearly as much as I did the first one in the (movie) trilogy. I have to admit that I watched this one on fast forward. While it was as well made as the first, I did not think it added as much to the reading of the book. I was troubled by the end of the movie which did not quite match the book.

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