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Archive for April, 2010

Dev and Salim are two poor musicians who have the misfortune to witness a murder and are now on the run. With no other options available and the gangsters hot on their heels, they don drag and join a touring all-girl band as Devi and Salma. Hilarity ensues as Dev falls in love with Ritu and Salim fends off the advances of a rich man…all the while trying to stay one step ahead of the bad guys. Will Dev(i) tell Ritu who and what (s)he really is? Will Salim escape with his virtue intact? Will I ever understand why the villains dress in matching outfits?

Yes, it’a Bollywood remake of “Some Like it Hot,” which is itself a remake of “Fanfaren der Liebe.” In other words, it’s about as ridiculous and over-the-top as you might think. And I loved it! I may have giggled so hard I wept. It is quite possibly the silliest movie I have ever seen, and I think I need my own copy. I blame this course of events entirely on Beth’s review. 😀

The merest (alas, unsubtitled) taste:

Source: Netflix

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Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired) has just learned that his brother Bertie has died when the novel opens. Unfortunately, this leads him to answer the door while wearing a floral dressing gown, as well as to show an almost unseemly amount of emotion. Luckily his momentary lapse leads to a friendship with Mrs. Ali, who runs the local shop. Since both Major Pettigrew and Mrs. Ali have lost their spouses years ago, there is nothing improper about their deepening affection for each other, despite how their respective family members and the rest of the village of Edgecombe St. Mary react–they merely share a love of literature, nothing more.

A pair of antique rifles the major wants to reunite (his father split them between the major and his brother), a surly nephew of Mrs. Ali’s who wants to take over her shop (a middle-aged woman simply can’t manage on her own), the major’s clueless yuppie son (complete with American girlfriend), and the local golf club’s annual dance (which has a theme that can’t possibly go wrong) all add unexpected twists and turns to the plot. The novel is charming, witty, and entertaining, and while it’s no surprise how the story ends, it’s a definite pleasure getting there. There are hints of P.G. Wodehouse, although it’s nothing like as silly; there is an underlying social commentary being made as well, but nothing too deep or political. Everyone gets what they deserve in the end, but it never feels too neatly resolved. I only hope that Helen Simonson’s second book proves to be as delightful as her first.

Official site

Source: borrowed from library

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Avery is just your average boy. No super strength or ability to fly, no sir. Nope, he’s not a misfit or freak or anything. Just your average, dull boy.

Except, of course, he’s not. And it’s gotten beyond his ability to control or hide, so people (like, his parents) are starting to notice and wonder. So they pack Avery off to a school for troubled and/or difficult youth, and things just go from bad to worse. This weird girl is stalking him, insisting she knows who and what he is, the rest of the students are all psychopaths, and the teachers don’t care.

But once Avery finally gives in to Darla’s pleading and agrees to meet with her other friends, things get better. He’s not the only freak out there after all! They even manage to do some good with their powers. Except it’s not all sunshine and lollipops–Cherchette, a mysterious woman who seems to have powers of her own is trying to lure Avery and some of his new friends to join her mysterious and possibly sinister team.

Yes, it’s a teen super hero novel. And while it’s not terribly original (but then most super hero novels aren’t) it is a fun read, and has the potential to become a solid series.

Sarah Cross’ official site and blog

Source: review copy from publisher

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I really love these videos. 😀

Hamlet:

“This is Hamlet we’re talking about, ok? HAMLET. There is something rotten in Denmark, and it’s his piss poor attitude.”

Romeo & Juliet:

“I think you’re fourteen and you’re an idiot. You took a roofie from a priest. Look at you life, look at your choices.”

Othello:

“I gave a cough drop to King Lear last week, does that mean I had sex with him? No.”

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Link Roundup

Our Public Library Lifeline Is Fraying. We’ll Be Sorry When it Snaps

Why Neil Gaiman loves libraries

Thank a Library Worker Today and Every Day

It’s only books ’n’ shelves but I like it

The fantastic appeal of fantasy

Top 10 Underrated Fantasy Stories Before 1937

The End of Books

Library of Congress: We’re archiving every tweet ever made

5 Ways The Google Book Settlement Will Change The Future of Reading

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I really enjoyed this book, and it has only fueled my desire to go to India. Which is strange, really, since a goodly portion of this books concerns gangsters, dancing girls, and the Shiv Sena; none of these are particularly tourist-friendly–well, the dancing girls might be, if you’re a male tourist.

My favorite part was the Bollywood section, of course. It was fascinating to read about how a film gets made: how the script develops, how casting is determined, how financing is secured, how the shooting proceeds, and how all of these things can change on very short notice. It was even more interesting because I’d actually seen the film in question (“Mission Kashmir”). I knew a little bit about Sanjay Dutt and his legal troubles, but not to the extent that they were explored here; a lot of the Hrithik Roshan information I already knew because I have read this charmingly silly and rather gossipy book (it also had a description of Preity Zinta and the gangsters, which I need to go back and look at again).

I feel a little bit like I’ve done the Suketu/Vikram trifecta, since I’ve now read Maximum City, seen “Mission Kashmir,” and read Sacred Games (which I should write a *real* review for). It was very interesting to see where they all overlapped and where they diverged. I should point out that I have also read and loved Vikram Chandra’s other two books, that I have seen other Vidhu Vinod Chopra films, and that I’ve read some of Anupama Chopra’s books and articles too, so I’m not a total n00b.

But what I really identified with is the adolescent Suketu’s move from then-Bombay to New York, and his struggle, upon returning years later to Mumbai, to find his lost childhood. You can’t go back, no matter how much as you might want to. All you can do is hope that things haven’t changed so much that you’re hopelessly lost while also harboring a nagging suspicion that you *ought* to know this place and just…don’t. It’s hard to explain if you haven’t experienced it, but read this book to get an inkling. (We won’t even dwell on the agonies of what it’s like to move to an entirely different country where you don’t speak the language and generally stick out like a sort thumb, but needless to say, he nails that too.)

It’s big, it’s sprawling, it covers both the sacred and the profane–it’s just like Mumbai, in other words. And I want to go there some day.

Suketu Mehta’s site

Source: borrowed from library

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What’s Your Number?

Top 100 children’s books; bold the ones you’ve read.

100. The Egypt Game – Snyder (1967)
99. The Indian in the Cupboard – Banks (1980)
98. Children of Green Knowe – Boston (1954)
97. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane – DiCamillo (2006)
96. The Witches – Dahl (1983)
95. Pippi Longstocking – Lindgren (1950)
94. Swallows and Amazons – Ransome (1930)
93. Caddie Woodlawn – Brink (1935)
92. Ella Enchanted – Levine (1997)

91. Sideways Stories from Wayside School – Sachar (1978)
90. Sarah, Plain and Tall – MacLachlan (1985)
89. Ramona and Her Father – Cleary (1977)
88. The High King – Alexander (1968)

87. The View from Saturday – Konigsburg (1996)
86. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Rowling (1999)
85. On the Banks of Plum Creek – Wilder (1937)

84. The Little White Horse – Goudge (1946)
83. The Thief – Turner (1997)
82. The Book of Three – Alexander (1964)
81. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon – Lin (2009)
80. The Graveyard Book – Gaiman (2008)
79. All-of-a-Kind-Family – Taylor (1951)
78. Johnny Tremain – Forbes (1943)

77. The City of Ember – DuPrau (2003)
76. Out of the Dust – Hesse (1997)
75. Love That Dog – Creech (2001)
74. The Borrowers – Norton (1953)
73. My Side of the Mountain – George (1959)
72. My Father’s Dragon – Gannett (1948)
71. The Bad Beginning – Snicket (1999)
70. Betsy-Tacy – Lovelae (1940)
69. The Mysterious Benedict Society – Stewart (2007)

68. Walk Two Moons – Creech (1994)
67. Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher – Coville (1991)
66. Henry Huggins – Cleary (1950)
65. Ballet Shoes – Stratfeild (1936)

64. A Long Way from Chicago – Peck (1998)
63. Gone-Away Lake – Enright (1957)
62. The Secret of the Old Clock – Keene (1959)
61. Stargirl – Spinelli (2000)
60. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle – Avi (1990)
59. Inkheart – Funke (2003)

58. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase – Aiken (1962)
57. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 – Cleary (1981)
56. Number the Stars – Lowry (1989)

55. The Great Gilly Hopkins – Paterson (1978)
54. The BFG – Dahl (1982)
53. Wind in the Willows – Grahame (1908)

52. The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007)
51. The Saturdays – Enright (1941)
50. Island of the Blue Dolphins – O’Dell (1960)

49. Frindle – Clements (1996)
48. The Penderwicks – Birdsall (2005)
47. Bud, Not Buddy – Curtis (1999)
46. Where the Red Fern Grows – Rawls (1961)
45. The Golden Compass – Pullman (1995)
44. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing – Blume (1972)
43. Ramona the Pest – Cleary (1968)
42. Little House on the Prairie – Wilder (1935)
41. The Witch of Blackbird Pond – Speare (1958)
40. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – Baum (1900)
39. When You Reach Me – Stead (2009)
38. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – Rowling (2003)

37. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry – Taylor (1976)
36. Are You there, God? It’s Me, Margaret – Blume (1970)
35. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Rowling (2000)
34. The Watson’s Go to Birmingham 1963 – Curtis (1995)

33. James and the Giant Peach – Dahl (1961)
32. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH – O’Brian (1971)
31. Half Magic – Eager (1954)
30. Winnie-the-Pooh – Milne (1926)
29. The Dark Is Rising – Cooper (1973)
28. A Little Princess – Burnett (1905)
27. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass – Carroll (1865/72)
26. Hatchet – Paulsen (1989)
25. Little Women – Alcott (1868/9)
24. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Rowling (2007)
23. Little House in the Big Woods – Wilder (1932)
22. The Tale of Despereaux – DiCamillo (2003)
21. The Lightening Thief – Riordan (2005)
20. Tuck Everlasting – Babbitt (1975)
19. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Dahl (1964)
18. Matilda – Dahl (1988)

17. Maniac Magee – Spinelli (1990)
16. Harriet the Spy – Fitzhugh (1964)
15. Because of Winn-Dixie – DiCamillo (2000)
14. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Rowling (1999)
13. Bridge to Terabithia – Paterson (1977)
12. The Hobbit – Tolkien (1938)

11. The Westing Game – Raskin (1978)
10. The Phantom Tollbooth – Juster (1961)
9. Anne of Green Gables – Montgomery (1908)
8. The Secret Garden – Burnett (1911)
7. The Giver – Lowry (1993)
6. Holes – Sachar (1998)
5. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – Koningsburg (1967)
4. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – Lewis (1950)
3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – Rowling (1997)
2. A Wrinkle in Time – L’Engle (1962)
1. Charlotte’s Web – White (1952)

70/100 and for the most part, I really did read them as a child, although there are a handful I read in library school. There are some on the list I’d like to read though, like Hugo Cabret.

via Liz B and Abby (the) Librarian

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