On the negative side, we ran into seven traffic jams, due to roadwork, on the way home. I'm here to tell you, folks: there is a virtual orgy of roadwork going on between Virginia Beach and Richmond. In all the confusion, I missed a few exits. Therefore, Murphy -- who rules my universe -- dictated that the GPS would stop working. A 3.5 hour drive took 7 hours.
Otherwise, it's been a fairly ordinary week, though I didn't have time to do nearly as much reading or movie viewing as I would have liked.
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, and it's a good chance to blog about books I've read and movies I've watched throughout the week, to touch base with other bookish bloggers, and to find out what other people are reading.
Movies Watched this Week (Links Lead to Our Reviews):
Thor -- I didn't see this, but my daughter watched and reviewed it. In her typical tongue-in-cheek style, she wrote "I'm pleased to report, despite my apprehension -- and, dare I say it, pretensions -- Thor exceeded my expectations considerably. Yes, there was dewy-eyed romance, bazillion-dollar special effects, and perfectly physiqued A-listers (all the things I hate in a movie -- bah Humbug!) It's actually one of the first big-budget action/adventure movies I've really enjoyed in a long time."
Raising Arizona -- I re-watched this movie because my husband wanted to see it. I am a huge fan of Joel and Ethan Coen's films, but I disliked Raising Arizona the first time I saw it. I often have trouble warming up to screwball comedies. Maybe I have to be in just the right mood for that sort of thing. Also, I dislike Nicholas Cage. I don't really know why -- I just do.
I did find the movie much funnier the second time around, though. My favorite performance, by far, was by by John Goodman. He is a wonderful and under-rated comedic actor. Casting him in so many of the Coen films was sheer genius.
Boy A -- The best role -- by far -- in which I've seen Andrew Garfield. I gave this movie a very positive review, partly because I've found the story and characters difficult to get out of my system.
The Producers (1968) -- Though I'd seen the remake, with Nathan Lane, I'd never seen the original. Dick Shawn was insanely funny in this.
Books (Link Leads to My Review):
A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read -- I do love discovering a new mystery series!
22 Memorable Movie Sociopaths -- I loved the comment/discussion thread on this blog post! As is often the case, it was better than my original post. :-)
Some of My Favorite Posts, by Other Bloggers, This Week (In No Particular Order):
- Chris at Movies & Songs 365 wrote a thought-provoking post, which sparked a great discussion, titled Should a Director Explain Their Film? He wrote: "I hate to admit it, I actually love director explanations of ambiguous films. The question is, does it ruin the mystery and ongoing discussion, if for example we got all the answers to why the Mona Lisa is smiling?"
- I have to confess that sometimes I love a scathing review of a really bad movie, and Rodders's Review of Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star made me laugh out loud.
- Marcela at Best of the Past wrote a wonderful article on the media's changing perception of female beauty and how it impacts women's self-esteem: 50 Shades of Beauty.
- Margaret wrote a wonderful Review of Carrie at Cinematic Corner. I was fascinated by her detailed analysis of the movie's themes and the way cinematography was expertly used to make the movie chilling and compelling.
- I am fascinated by history and historical fiction. I was really intrigued by this guest post by David LeRoy, author of The Siren of Paris, shared by Naida at ...the bookworm... This article reveals how passionate the author of a historical novel becomes about his subject and the tremendous amount of research that goes into creating historical fiction.
- I also loved another article by LeRoy, titled Who Is the Siren of Paris? shared at Cheryl's Book Nook.It looks at the flip side of the French Resistance to the Nazis. What prompted French citizens to turn members of the resistance over to the Nazis? Was it simply greed and cowardice? Or did they have other motives? It's important to remember that while their actions aren't justified, they didn't have the benefit of hindsight. To many citizens, the Nazis didn't seem any worse that various other threats they saw around them. When thinking about those who betrayed their fellow citizens to the Germans, it's also worth remembering that theirs is also a tragic story.
- I was thoroughly excited about Ana's post on All Things Firefly at things mean a lot.
First of all, Firefly is just the best damn television show in the 'verse. And Ana is a deep thinker and eloquent writer who always helps me look at things from different angles. The discussion in the comments section is also terrific.
Dracula by Bram Stoker (Nook) -- Because the classic Dracula is awesome. Not some angsty douchebag who sparkles.
Probably Reading Next:
Boy A by Jonathan Trigell (on Kindle) -- I'm looking forward to reading the novel and comparing it to the film adaptation.
Entertainment Weekly Review: Jonathan Trigell's haunting debut (loosely based on a real 1990s case) follows a nine-year-old who commits a gruesome murder and gets dubbed by politicians and news-papers ''The Evilest Boy in Britain.'' Fifteen years later, Boy A - a.k.a. Jack Burridge, an alias chosen to hide his identity from the still-outraged public - wins release from prison and re-immerses himself in a world that's unforgiving but strangely tantalizing in Boy A. He discovers the opposite sex (''a new species: of legs, of lips, of breasts, of hips, of eyes, of thighs''), while still tormented by violent urges and the fear that his past will be discovered. Trigell masterfully builds sympathy for Jack, the story's ending leaves a bittersweet ache for more.
The Crazy School by Cornelia Read (#2 in the Madeline Dare series)
from Goodreads: From the acclaimed author of A FIELD OF DARKNESS comes another compelling novel featuring the acerbic and memorable voice of ex-debutante Madeline Dare.
Madeline Dare has finally escaped rust-belt Syracuse, New York, for the lush Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts. After her husband's job offer falls through, Maddie signs on as a teacher at the Santangelo Academy, a boarding school for disturbed teenagers. Behind the academy's ornate gates, she discovers a disturbing realm where students and teachers alike must submit to the founder's bizarre therapeutic regimen. From day one, Maddie feels uneasy about smooth-talking Dr. Santangelo but when she questions his methods, she's appalled to find that her fellow teachers would rather turn on each other than stand up for themselves, much less protect the students in their care. A chilling event confirms Maddie's worst suspicions, then hints at an even darker secret history, one that twines through the academy's very heart. Cut off from the outside world, Maddie must join forces with a small band of the school's most violently rebellious students-kids whose troubled grip on reality may well prove to be her only chance of salvation.