Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday Snapshot: Boo

glory of venice exhibit the denver art museum

Currently reading:

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne: Hilarious & hot. If this book isn't made into a movie, I just know about you, Hollywood.

The Heir by Kiera Cass: The princess is a bitch... but in, like, a good way.


I'm sharing a few excellent places to visit in Japan for book lovers over on Book Riot.


love and friendship movie
Love and Friendship, starring Kate Beckinsale

Imagine Jane Austen writing Les Liaisons Dangereuses and you have an idea of what this movie is like. Lady Susan, a young widow, plots and schemes her way through England's upper class, expertly manipulating people for her own ends.

I actually watched this movie on the plane ride to Japan, then forgot about it. Which should tell you a lot about it. It's one of those movies where people just stand around talking and nothing much happens. Fortunately, the dialog is pretty clever, and it's hard to dislike Lady Susan even though she is everything society tells a woman she SHOULDN'T be (but maybe that's part of her appeal). I laughed a few times. Probably skippable for most people, but worth watching if you're an Austenite.

This week in heidenkindom:

I spent most of week madly trying to catch up on writing assignments, but I did get to see the Glory of Venice exhibit at the Denver Art Museum this weekend with my mom. It was a small but pretty cool exhibit! The gallery was decorated to look like Venice, with Venetian archways and photographic murals of the lagoon and city on the walls.

venice prisma filter
Ahhh, Venice.

The story of the exhibit focused on Northern Europe's influence on Venetian art over the course of the Renaissance, a topic I hadn't seen covered in any detail before. There were even paintings that visually quoted Albrecht Dรผrer! Most of the work was by obscure artists, but there were several early Titians and works by Giorgione, Bellini, and Carpaccio.

fortune/melancholy by carpaccio
Fortune/Melancholy by Giovanni Carpaccio
virgin and child carlo crivelli
Love the expressive fingers on the Madonna

Fortunately for me and my mom and our night owl tendencies, we got to the museum pretty late, which meant that we happened upon the docent training sessions for the exhibit. So we got to follow the head docents around and hear all the stories and symbolism behind the paintings, which made it a lot more interesting.

Christ carrying the cross by giorgione
This piece by (probably) Giorgione, for example, is said to work miracles. If you look closely at the man opposite Christ, you'll see that his head looks a little bare. That's because people believed if they rubbed the top of his head they would be blessed. Side note: don't try that at the DAM. Seriously. Don't.
Crucifixion and Apotheosis of the Ten Thousand Martyrs of Mt. Ararat by Carpaccio
My mom captioned this photo with, "What a mess!" (Crucifixion and Apotheosis of the Ten Thousand Martyrs of Mt. Ararat by Carpaccio, incidentally)

If you're in Denver while The Glory of Venice is up, I definitely recommend checking it out.

I was going to share some of my favorite foods from Japan this week, but I feel like this post is already too long, so I'll save that for next week.


book bloggers who cook month book bloggers international

I'm putting together a blogging food festival at Book Bloggers International for this December! If you want to share a recipe, review a favorite foodie book, put together a food-related holiday gift guide, or write anything else food-related, let me know here or by email.

Have a great week, everyone!

Discus this post with me on Twitter, FaceBook, Google+ or in the comments below.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday Snapshot is Back from Japan! Also: Readathon Wrap-Up

Currently Reading:

The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman: Finally making something of a dent in this one.

The Heir by Kiera Cass: Only just started this one on audiobook.


Whilst I was away, several of my posts mysteriously popped up on the webbernets:

  • I guest-posted for Sherlock Month over at Tif Talks Books, with a list of books that naturally assume Sherlock Holmes is not a fictional creation of Conan Doyle, but in fact a real person.
  • Do you read in your dreams? If you do, congratulations–scientists say it's impossible.
  • As some of you might know, A Short History of Dante Alighieri and The Divine Comedy in Art is one this blog's most popular posts. Recently, I got to write about The Divine Comedy some more thanks to an exhibit of Salvador Dali's Comedy illustrations at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.
  • Ever wanted to try a wine subscription box? I break down some of the pros and cons of the top services here.


the accountant
The Accountant, starring Ben Affleck and Anna Kendrick

Chris Wolff is an autistic accountant who uncooks the books for criminal organizations. Ironically, it's only when he takes a "legit" job that he runs across real danger and has to protect fellow numbers nerd Dana from nasty assassins.

I imagine the pitch sentence for this movie was, "A Beautiful Mind meets Jason Bourne," and if that sounds like it doesn't make sense, well. It doesn't. How Wolff evolved from an autistic child into a highly sophisticated criminal/badass assassin is about as plausible as a superhero origin story. The script also lacks focus and spends too much time on some questions–Ray King's history, for example–and completely forgets to explain other things, like how both brothers became assassins.

Aside from that, though, it does have entertaining moments. Affleck is actually pretty charming, and I liked the chemistry between him and Kendrick. Just leave your brain at the door.

sing street
Sing Street, starring Ferdia Walsh Peelo and Lucy Boynton

Dublin teen Conor hates his awful school and his home life sucks. His one escape is music. But it isn't until he meets the beautiful Raphina that he gets the idea to start a band a discovers he has a talent for writing songs.

If you like '80s music, particularly that of Duran Duran and the New Romantics, then I think it's practically guaranteed you'll enjoy this movie. It walks a fine line between comedy and seriousness, and finds the perfect balance. Plus the songs are really fantastic. Yes, the funniest scene is also the first, and the ending's completely unrealistic, but overall I'd definitely recommend searching this one out.

now you see me 2
Now You See Me 2, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, and Daniel Radcliffe

Really dumb. I mean, I expected it to be pretty dumb, and it totally exceeded my expectations. Great movie if you want to go to sleep.

central intelligence
Central Intelligence, starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Kevin Hart

Calvin's life is not turning out how he expected. Sure, he has a decent job and a beautiful wife, but feels like he's stagnating. Then he accepts a Facebook friend request from a goofy weirdo he barely knew in high school, and suddenly Calvin's thrust into a world of spies, assassins, and danger.

The main reason to watch this movie is just to see Kevin Hart flipping out and Dwayne Johnson wearing a fanny pack, which doesn't sound like much but is honestly enough to justify this movie's existence. Otherwise it's pretty meh. I don't remember laughing a lot but I certainly didn't hate it.

These weeks in heidenkindom:

I'm baaaaaaack! I spent the last few weeks in Japan, with layovers in Los Angeles. We visited Tokyo, Hakone (a hot springs resort area near Mt. Fuji), Kyoto, and Osaka. Hakone was the highlight for me, but the entire country was lovely. People went out of their way to help us and it was an amazing trip. Here are some pictures:

Mastodon skeleton at La Brea Tar Pits, LA
Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood
My foot is larger than John Wayne's!
Doing magic at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Alohomora!
Inside Hogwarts

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ   ✈️   ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต
First night in Tokyo!
Kabuki-Cho, one of Tokyo's most famous nightlife districts.
Shinjuku-Gyoen National Gardens

The "Book Clock" in Ginza

Entrance of our awesome hotel in Hakone, the Fujiya.

View from the extensive and gorgeous hotel gardens.
Hakone Open-Air Museum

Owakudani, volcanic fissures
Pirate ship you can take across Lake Ashi
On the lake
Visiting temples in Kyoto
Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto

Jishu Shrine, for luck in love

Buddhist cemetery in Kyoto
Nijo Castle, with nightingale floors meant to creak at every movement to prevent ninja attacks!
Grounds surrounding Nijo

View of Kyoto from the castle walls

Manga Museum in Kyoto
Castle moat
Osaka view from my hotel room
Famous takoyaki place in Osaka. Aka octopus balls!

At the Osaka Aquarium

Largest ferris wheel in the world

View of Osaka from the ferris wheel

Pet a shark! Just not its mouth.

Yummy ramen <3 <3
 ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต  ✈️  ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
Manhattan Beach in LA

That was a whirlwind trip!

I also participated in the Readathon this Saturday. As usual I finished ONE book. This was kind of a frustrating Readathon, TBH, because I kept getting interrupted and I'm still tired from jet lag. But at least I did finish that one book.

Hope you all have a great week and I'm happy to be back and visiting blogs again!

Discus this post with me on Twitter, FaceBook, Google+ or in the comments below.


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