Books

I really liked Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. The varied and relatable characters, the up and down emotions, the strained relationships – it all worked in this novel. Recommended.

 

While I don’t embrace everything Wolf claims, I still think that Vagina: A New Biography is worth reading. The science may be dodgy in places, and the mysticism is too strong for me in other places, but overall it presents some information that was new to me, and certainly is a good starting point for discussion or for direction for further learning.

 

When Mockingbirds Sing (by Billy Coffey) is another plot-driven “Christian” novel whose characters have to be a certain way to tell a certain message. Don’t bother.

 

The writing in Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl is good, and gripping enough that I couldn’t just walk away from the book even when I realized that would be the best idea. Instead, I had to stay with these quite twisted characters, who were not likeable (excepting Go). The story ended without any resolution or justice or redemption.

 

I didn’t enjoy A Year of Biblical Womanhood as much as Rachel’s previous book, perhaps because I found the information kind of old-hat, and perhaps because the presentation felt more like a blog and less like a book. There are a number of important conclusions from Rachel’s year, such as “…engaging with the Bible can never mean that we simply extract meaning from it, but also that we read meaning into it” and “…there are times when the most instructive question to bring to the text is not what does it say? but what am I looking for?” (If your interest lies in this area, I would suggest Scot McKnight’s The Blue Parakeet instead of or in addition to this book.)

 

Apparently I was expecting more from Rebooting My Brain: how a freak aneurysm reframed my life by Maria Ross. I’m sure her experience was incredible, but the book wasn’t very interesting.

 

The Sisters Brothers has great cover art and a memorable title, but my enthusiasm could not extend to the story itself.  There is just no reason to read this book.

 

I identified more with the last half of Enuma Okoro’s Reluctant Pilgrim than its beginning.  I should’ve done further research on the author before I purchased the book.

 

Moving Pictures

We re-watched and enjoyed Catch Me If You Can, one of the few Leonardo DiCaprio movies that I will watch; he is not a favorite of mine.

 

We also watched all the episodes of Firefly again, and then Serenity, although I always have to steel myself to watch the movie because I know who dies in it.  It certainly isn’t a perfect creation, but there is so much humor and basic goodness included that I am always glad to see it and sorry that it had so short a run.

 

We rented The Identity Thief but couldn’t even get halfway through watching it due to vulgarity and complete lack of humor.

 

Those hilarious minions were back in good form in Despicable Me 2, which all three of us enjoyed. It was entertaining and we laughed.

 

Man of Steel was quite a lot more violent than I expected.

 

I’m certainly not the target audience for Wreck It Ralph, but it was clever and somewhat amusing. My favorite character was the zombie, who unfortunately was only present for the Bad-Anon meetings. Best casting: Jane Lynch

 

The Proposal is a perfectly fine brains-off entertainment-only romantic comedy.

 

Links

Dustin Hoffman, on how society brainwashes us on how to see women

 

What it’s like to have an autistic brother

 

We all should have screen rules! Most of these are great.

If you don’t like the person you are, change yourself for real; don’t invent a new you online.

 

Focus on the growing heap, not the one coin


In my ears

Danny Michel
Sweet Alibi
Gavin DeGraw
Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Quotes

Mother Teresa:

As a rule, when we are suffering, we are so focused on ourselves, we have no time for others.

 

Phil Cousineau:

Listening closely is nearly a lost art, but a retrievable one.  Listen as though your life depends on it. It does.

 

 Billy Coffey:

It’s hard to talk about a wound right after it is received. Right after, all you can do is feel it.

 

Enuma Okoro:

…reminded me how much I ached for community and how much it didn’t seem like I had much, if any.  Although I had wonderful individual friends, I lacked a community of people who knew and cared for one another and were intent on bearing one another’s burdens and calling forth growth….

 

Vanessa Martin:

It’s much easier holding on to our crippling stories than it is trying to narrate new ones.  At least I know who to be, how to define myself, and what feelings to expect. If I let go, what will be my story?

 

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