Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sunday Snapshot

Sofielicious (so delicious)
Currently reading:

The Art Forger by BA Shapiro: Some pretty dodgy history going on in this book.

The Witch's Market by Mingmei Yip: I'm only a chapter in, but so far I am not impressed. At all.

How to Steal the Mona Lisa and Six Other World-Famous Treasures by Taylor Bayouth: If this is humor, it's pretty dry.


My recommendations on where to start with Agatha Christie. I don't actually consider myself a "fan" of Christie's (I mean, I can appreciate her writing and see why she was so popular, but I'm not going to go out of my way to read her entire oeuvre any time soon), but that's why I think these books are perfect for Christie newbies: they're solid, entertaining reads no matter what kind of books you enjoy.

Movies watched:

Pet sitting this past week, so lots of movies!

spinning plates doc
Spinning Plates, directed by Joseph Levy

This documentary looks at three different restaurants and their owners: the haute cuisine Alinea in Chicago; classic diner Breitbach's Country Dining in Balltown, Iowa; and Mexican family restaurant La Cocina de Gabby in Tucson, Arizona.

Honestly, I thought this doc was pretty boring. The only restaurant I had any interest in was Alinea, just because the food was so weird. Stopped watching about a half hour in.

tracks movie
Tracks, starring Mia Wasikowska

Based on the National Geographic story and memoir of Robyn Davidson, who in 1977 got it into her head that she was going to go on a walkabout across the Australian desert with her dog and three (four?) camels. It took a bit of time for this movie to get going, but once it did it totally sucked me in. I also really enjoyed Adam Driver's character, I'm not sure exactly why, and loved the scenery of the Outback.

That said, I'm still pretty bitter about the dog death.

crimson peak
Crimson Peak, starring Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, and Jessica Chastain

A part of me wanted to see this because of Hiddles McGriddles, the living embodiment of Prince Charming. But another part of me didn't want to see it because the plot summary made me come down with a massive case of eye roll. However, Anachronist convinced me it might not be so bad, so I decided to give it a try.

I have to say, I LOVED this movie! Yes, the plot is your typical, cheesy Gothic fare, but in the hands of excellent actors, directed by Guillermo del Toro, and with insanely gorgeous sets and cinematography, it's elevated into something spectacular and super entertaining. It reminded me of Hitchcock's Rebecca, it was such a deliciously perfect balance of fairy tale and horror. I enjoyed the hell out of this movie and would watch it again in a heartbeat. Highly recommend!

when marnie was there
When Marnie Was There, Studio Ghibli

Anna, in grips of the terrible twelves (something I can sympathize with), is sent to a tiny seaside town to visit some distant relatives. There she becomes fascinated by an abandoned mansion on the edge of a marsh. But is it really abandoned? Because Anna makes friends with Marnie, who claims to live there and only appears at night. Hm...

I mostly enjoyed this movie. There were two things I thought were very successful: one, I liked how Anna looked asexual, almost boyish, and only ever hovered at the edge of appearing "girly." It underscored how she was hovering between childhood and womanhood, and gave her relationship with Marnie an interesting nuance. I also enjoyed how the story was a classic YA Gothic, yet set in contemporary Japan.

That said, I could have done without the wrap-up at the very end, which felt way too convenient and unnecessary. Overall still a movie worth checking out though, I think.

frequently asked questions about time travel
Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, starring Chris O'Dowd, Marc Wootton, and Dean Lennox Kelly

After getting fired from his stupid job at an amusement park, Ray goes to the pub with friends to get pissed. There he meets a young woman who claims to be a time traveler. He thinks his friends are putting one on him, but then strange things start to happen after a trip to the loo and they begin believe time travel might be possible after all.

Uhg. Why did I waste an hour and a half watching this? I enjoyed parts of this movie, especially the sci-fi references, but it never came together enough to manage even stupid entertainment value. If given the choice between Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and this movie, I'd say go with Bill and Ted's.

This week in heidenkindom:

The past few weeks have been crazy busy, because everything always happens at once. Just some highlights:

  • Pet sitting
  • Hair appointment (I shave the sides of my head. It's kind of hard to see, but I really like it.)
  • Working at the store
  • Tons of things to write
  • Took a moped out for a test drive because my tax refund came in. Was all set to buy, but then...
  • My Mac finally kicked the bucket for good this time and I had to spend all the money I was going to use to buy a moped to purchase a new computer, instead. I still haven't been able to boot up the old Mac to the point where I can erase the hard drive. I'm thinking of applying a chainsaw to it.
  • Knife skills class!
 I also finished a pretty good historical mystery this week called Lady in the Smoke. It had some problems, but for the most part it was enjoyable.


chase me giveaway

The Book Bloggers International community newsletter is running a giveaway for Laura Florand's new novel, Chase Me, through April. I loved this book and think you should all read it! Just click on link in the newsletter to enter.

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