Archive for November, 2012

October 50/50 Stats

Books read:

  • Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach. I read this because it had been recommended to me, and it looked interesting. It wasn’t a bad story, although parts of it were rather unbelievable, but for a book about painting, I was often frustrated with the descriptions. Nowhere near as good as Perfume or The Bells, both of which had magnificent descriptions.
  • Monster Mash illustrated by David Catrow. The best part was seeing the Cinderella Skeleton’s cameo. Otherwise I just ended up with the chunk of the song I knew playing in an endless loop in my head.
  • Boot & Shoe written and illustrated by Marla Frazee. I liked the idea of this much better than the execution–some of the illustrations were humorous, but the story overall was a little forced.
  • This is Not My Hat written and illustrated by Jon Klassen. Hilarious and sly! Very much a companion in spirit to I Want My Hat Back, even though it’s in no way a sequel. I will need to acquire the two Hats for my personal library.
  • Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters written and illustrated by K. G. Campbell. The sweaters are truly dreadful, and the text is clearly written for adults to enjoy as much as for children. The illustrations come down *just* on the not-creepy side of the line, but there is a certain whiff of macabre in the atmosphere.
  • Marrying Up: A Right Royal Romantic Comedy by Wendy Holden. A very fluffy and predictable story, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I don’t think I’m going to immediately rush out and read Holden’s backlist, but I’ll certainly keep her in mind for when I need an undemanding yet satisfying read.
  • The Elephant’s Friend and Other Tales from Ancient India written and illustrated by Marcia Williams. The retellings often felt quite truncated, usually because it seemed that the author was trying to make them all be a similar length. Not a bad introduction to Indian folk tales, but there are better collections out there.
  • Small and Tall Tales of Extinct Animals written and illustrated by Helene Rajcak  and Damien Laverdunt. I would be interested to read the original French version of this book, as the English translations sometimes seemed rather odd. But it was an interesting survey of extinct animals, with both the familiar and the exotic represented. The most depressing part were the recent entries to the list.
  • Olivia and the Fairy Princess written and illustrated by Ian Falconer. I love Olivia! She’s up to her usual sassy antics in this decidedly un-pink edition of her adventures. And she raises a very good point: little girls have been brainwashed into thinking that being a princess is the best, when there are clearly so many other options worth exploring.
  • Giants Beware! written by Jorge Aguirre and illustrated by Rafel Rosado. Claudette, Marie, and Gaston set off to slay a baby-eating giant and in the process learn valuable lessons about friendship. But their adventure is so much better than any bland summary can possibly convey. This was a treat to read, and the illustrations were excellent. I like Claudette’s fire, Marie’s cleverness, and Gaston’s unrelenting positivity. Very much a favorite.

Movies Watched:

  • “Quantum of Solace” I did not like this Bond movie as much. It was actually kind of boring. I did want to see the production of the opera that was going on in the background though.
  • “The Bride of Frankenstein” Not what I was expecting. I assumed there would be more Bride and less Talking Monster. Nowhere near as good as “Frankenstein,” but probably better than a lot of the other classic movie monster sequels.
  • “Enchanted” Adorable! I loved it. Cute story, good songs, and my gosh Amy Adams does a good job of being a real live Disney princess! And clearly no one had any fun at all making this movie, oh no.
  • “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” I saw a preview for this and thought that it would either be very funny or absolutely terrible–it looked to be one of those odd British films that doesn’t lend itself to previews. It was hilarious! I did not realize it was based on the Pirates! books, but I have now read the first of that series; I’ll get to the rest eventually.
  • “Cold Comfort Farm” I loved this too–so very funny, and yet so very clear what it was making fun of. The casting was marvelous, and it was clearly another project that no one involved with had any fun at all. Although they may have seen something nasty in the woodshed…
  • “A Knight’s Tale” This was ridiculous. It was actually pretty dire, but since it made absolutely no pretense of taking itself at all seriously, it ended up being quite fun. And just in case things were going too well accuracy-wise, Jocelyn would show up in a completely outrageous ensemble from outer space. Good lord.

Grand Totals:

  • Books: 44/50
  • Movies: 42/50

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