Books

The Emperor’s Soul is a great story, and as usual Sanderson is terrific at creating an alternate world. I wish he would have expanded this to a full book, not just a novella – it ended too soon.

Christian fiction that doesn’t whack you over the head! While I was reading Offworld, I was dreading the arrival of the preachy part that makes it Christian fiction, but I was delighted that it never came. Instead, it is simply some science fiction from a writer who happens (I assume) to be a believer. The writing is pretty good; I may look for more books from Robin Parrish.

Not Alone (Stories Of Living With Depression) may be useful for someone who does not have depression and wants a glimpse into what it can be like. As a person who is depressed, on the whole I did not find it helpful. There were perhaps three sentences in the book that resounded in me, but honestly I don’t feel any less alone.

While I don’t have problems with Judy Alexander’s Desert Medicine, I also can’t really think of much to recommend it. The writing is satisfactory, and I don’t mind that it doesn’t wrap up neatly at the end. I just can’t think of any particular reason to be enthusiastic about it.

David Gregory’s The Last Christian was preachy fiction, although the difference was that the author is preaching to the converted, to make them into better Christians. Although the premise was slightly interesting, the writing was just passable. The most interesting aspects were the issues around whether someone “without a human spirit” can still connect with God; it could’ve been a better story if he had explored that more.

The line between truth and exaggeration is blurry in Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.  While entertaining, I can’t think of anyone to recommend this memoir to because of the pervasive cussing.

I wanted to like Chris Cleave’s Little Bee but in the end I didn’t.  Although the character of Little Bee was intriguing, the story as a whole didn’t hold together for me, and most of the other characters were flat.

 

  Television

I keep hearing fervor for Downton Abbey and The Walking Dead so I made a point of trying them online this month.  I only watched one episode of DA and was  bored; I found the main characters thoroughly unlikeable. TWD seems to celebrate gore more than necessary, and honestly I keep comparing it to the book The Passage and TWD isn’t winning.

 

Movies

The Odd Life of Timothy Green was a sweet story, and a tearjerker. CJ Adams is a good actor (note to Lucas: it is possible to find good child actors… Jake Lloyd was awful). I also laughed, so it isn’t JUST a tearjerker.

Jack the Giant Slayer was okay but nothing special. We both felt that it should’ve been Isabelle wearing Erik’s crown at the end, not Jack.

Tuck Everlasting was pleasant enough, if a bit slow-moving. It considers immortality and death, which is a bit unusual for a Disney film.

 Quotes

Ashley Garrett:

The path of grief is not a straight line.  You don’t start off in the deepest slough then climb up each step to get back to peaceful.  Grief moves forward, but in a looping line.  You’re going along, making progress then you hit a loop and your stomach lurches and everything is flipped upside down and you land right back where you were a few weeks or months ago.  Eventually, the loops get smaller and spread farther apart, but they’re still there to…well, to throw you for a loop.

Richard Beck:

To be shamed, then, for being normal, average, good enough or a failure is to be shamed by a fear-based illusion. Basically, you are being shamed for being what you are–a human being. That’s the tragedy of modern life: You are not allowed to be a human being. You have to be better, something more. A god. Otherwise you’re a failure.

Ty Wenger:

A good marriage is a bit like a pet boa constrictor: either you feed it every day or bad things happen.