Thursday, August 6, 2009

Smart People

Even though I have a dry sense of humor, I get a little nervous before watching these types of movies because I normally only like 50% of the ones I watch (for instance didn't so much like the Squid and the Whale). But Smart People was highy entertaining, funny as hell, and a well crafted story. It was also easy to relate to the professor protagonist, played by Dennis Quaid, because he reminded me of a couple professors I've had at San Diego State. You know, those arrogant professors you can tell just HATE life and take it out on their students. Ellen Page, from Juno, plays his daughter and she is great. However, after Juno, I think Page will forever be the same witty and dry character that Indie fans have come to love...meaning her part in this movie was almost a replica of her part in Juno. Anyways, the premise of the story begins when Quaid has his license suspended for 6 months and his adopted, out of work, brother moves in to drive him around. The brother character is great as well, very funny, plays the part excellently.
The movie is basically about the main character (who is widowed) becoming involved with his doctor (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) and how he must learn to crawl out of his depression, stop being so pretentious and pompous...and move on to a happier being.

4 stars: recommended.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Rex Pickett's debut novel was like my very own wine manual, however entertaining. Two buddies go spend a week in wine country to have one exciting "bachelor party." They quickly meet a pair of girlies, and some sexual encounters, as well as tensions, ensue. This was basically your coming of age story, with the protagonist going through his midlife crisis. What impressed me the most about this story was how Miles, the main character, was crafted to relate to all readers. I never thought I would be able to relate to a guy in his mid-forties. Even Jack, his best friend, is a likeable character...though he makes some morally bad decisions. The pair of these dudes are a hilarious bunch, the way the interact with each other is very real life, and comical.

WARNING: Must have a glass of wine on handy when reading, I'm serious. Pickett describes all the wine in the book with mouthwatering much that you will begin to crave some good ole vino.

4 Stars: Yes I definitely recommend this book!

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Well ever since I read Pygmy I have made it my mission to seek out and read every one of Chuck Palahniuk's works. For my latest adventure I dove into Snuff.
The book takes place entirely in one day and follows the making of a porno film. Cassie Wright, porn queen, is about to make her last movie...and to go out with a "bang" she decides to partake in a massive gangbang setting a world record of 600 men. The book comes from the perspective of 4 different characters and is thoroughly amusing. However, after finishing the book I thought "ehh, hm what should I read next?"

I really didn't like the ending what-so-ever...I won't give it away but its a bit far-fetched. The characters were boring, un-likable, and so on.
It basically had no lasting effect on me, but entertaining all the same.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Back Roads

This book by Tawni O'Dell is a raw account of real-life emotion based on losing parental care.
The stories protagonist, Harley, must take care of his three younger sisters after his mother goes to jail for killing his father. Harley develops an obsession for a neighborhood housewife and the story revolves around this affair.
I enjoyed this fast-paced book, the last 1/3 of the book I read straight through. I even read while cooking I just could not stop...I had to know what would happen next.
WARNING: ooo some incestuous moments....
4 Stars!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

White Rose Movement

I'm so obsessed with this band right now. They are AWESOME! Sounds like a new-age Depeche Mode mixed with the Faint. Trust me, turn on "Girls in the Back" or "Love is a Number" and you will not stop dancing. The vocalist, Finn Vine, just grabs at your ears...I wanna listen to him all day. There newest album is from 2006, but since I've just started listening to them I'm hoping they release a new one soon. Geez, I hope they are even still a band...pretty sure, I googled them and they are playing some shows in London. I don't know why but every band I'm listening to these days are from the UK. I guess I'm being Britishly invaded.

Get this album!

The Memory Keeper's Daughter

God this book is awful. I guess I can't make a decision for everyone, however, since I only got halfway through the book. I'm trying this new thing where if I don't like the book 100 pages in, I STOP reading. Before, I always just finished it out hoping it would get better. Truth is, it never does.
Premise: Newly-weds have a baby. Except when giving birth, its not just one but two babies. The husband (who is doing the delivering...takes place in 1960s) realizes that one of the babies has Down's so he gives the little girl to the nurse and tells her to take the baby to an institution. Such a selfish bastard...only wants the "normal" baby. Anyways, the newlywed's lives start to downward spiral. Meanwhile, the nurse actually runs away with the baby and raises her. So I'm sure the plot would have developed but I'm sure only moving forward in a very boring manner.

The mother character in this book, Norah, sucked. I couldn't even stand reading about her because she got on my nerves so badly. When I stopped reading, it had been 5-6 years since the birth and this chick just COULD NOT get over it. I just wanted to scream...MOVE ON already. Your wasting your life obsessing over this tragic event. Maybe I am being too insensitive. I've never been prego...or even close so I guess I don't know what it feels like to become attached to something growing inside of you. But my things is: Norah didn't even know she was having twins! So the baby she fell in love with for 9 months...well she has him! Finds out OH My GA! there was another one in there too but didn't survive...well she never had a chance to become emotionally attached to this little girl so why after 6 freaking years is she still being all gloomy!

One thing you can learn from this book...if you don't let things go, if you just cannot manage to move forward than your life is gonna be one hell of a hole.
Norah needs to see a therapist or something.


Well I'm reading faster than I'm updating reviews. Seriously, down to at least 2 books a week. Guess that's because I'm stuck in the middle of nowhere for the summer with nothing else to do.

Well after reading Pygmy I decided to check out another one of Chuck Palahniuk's books from the library...surprisingly the smallest library in the world (well maybe not) has 4 of Chucky's books. P.S. I feel like Chuck and I are on a first name basis.

OK, I can't decide if I like Choke or Pygmy better. Choke was full of symbolism and all those other literary techniques that I use to (hate) study(ing) in school. One of those books that I think about constantly when I'm done reading. I'm think the main theme of this book is something like if you can't forget your past you'll never have a future. Of course the theme was showcased much more poetically than I can put it.

So this troubled young med-school dropout has to put his "crazy" mom into a care home that is draining him of all his money. So to fund the expenses he fakes choking in restaurants as he realizes his "heroes" will automatically take on a maternal role in his life and care for him, monetarily. This probably wouldn't happen in real life. If I gave someone the heimlich I wouldn't feel obligated to send him/her money in the future to help pay his/her bills, if I saved your life YOU should be sending me money. heehee. But it was still a funny idea for a book. Thank god books aren't real life.
Well anyway, this same man is a sex addict...or he at least tells himself that he is. The book is basically an account of his escapades...but told in a crafted manner.
OH, and I LOVE his friend with all his rocks...more symbolism there.

5 stars - gotta read this one! I can't wait to watch the movie.

P.S. I've decided to make it my goal to read all Chuck's novels....I'm starting Snuff today!