Thursday, January 21, 2010

Books and Movies and Stuff

Posted by MANDI at 1:58 PM
I'll get to the book bit in a minute but before that... I saw the new George Clooney movie last night. Let me be completely and utterly up-front about my deep and abiding love for George before we go any further! George, if you ever stumble across my blog please know that I adore you. Hubby is aware of this and appears to be fine with it. In fact he says if you land your helicopter in the back yard and beg me to run away with you he'll completely understand and let me go if it makes me happy. He's good like that.

So anyway. The movie was Up In The Air and I loved it. I thought the casting was great - George is, of course, wonderful as Ryan Bingham - self absorbed, cynical and emotionally detached from everyone. Vera Farmiga is wonderful as the love interest who shares Ryan's business traveller lifestyle and Anna Kendrick just about steals the show as Natalie, the young efficiency expert who is threatening Ryan's way of life. The scene with Natalie and Farmiga's Alex discussing what they look for in a man is perfect, and achingly truthful for two business women of different ages. Also some of Natalie's lines in it are priceless - you'll know them when you hear them. While there are laughs along the way this is quite a dark film dealing with large-scale company layoffs and a man who finds himself reassessing his way of life. The twist, when it comes, wasn't entirely unexpected but still twisty enough to be satisfying. I loved the ending but won't give it away here. Others might not find it entirely satisfying but, for me, it was perfect.

And onto the book part of the post. I've read a couple this week but the one I liked was a cookbook. I missed Jamie Oliver's Jamie's Ministry of Food when it was first released but found it at the library last week. What a fantastic book! I've read it though cover-to-cover and have found a bundle of things to try. Sometime this week I'll be attempting the Chicken Korma Curry - I'm not a big curry person but this sounds like something I can both manage to cook and might enjoy eating.

A book I read a while ago and have recommended to a bunch of people is Lisa Genova's Still Alice. It's about a 50 year old academic who, after realising she is suffering from memory problems, is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimers. It's written in third person narrative but from Alice's perspective so as the disease progresses the language used changes to reflect this. I did find it a little slow at the beginning but once I was in I was hooked. It's beautifully written and really touching. I cried my way through the last couple of chapters but them again, I'm a wuss.

So how's your reading list going? Are you keeping track? It doesn't matter how much you're reading, whether they're high-faluting, arty-farty or airport trash, if you finish them in a day or take a month to read them, just keep reading. What have you liked lately? Any authors you've discovered and enjoyed? Share please. I'm in need of more reading material.


Chantalle said...

I'm sure you've already discovered the Millennium novels by Stieg Larsson? I'm about halfway through The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - yeah, I came a bit late to it, but I'm quite intrigued, it's violent, dark, disturbing...hooray!
And now we start the year-long tug-o-war between school "have-to" reading and my "want to" reading. I always lose!

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Iris Flavia on January 23, 2010 at 8:32 PM said...

I´ve read about Alzheimer, too. The man was in his 40´s, it´s frightening to know it can hit us like right now and that we don´t realize how much work we then are for our loved ones!
I can´t remember the title, but it had funny lines in there as well. My Grandma had Alzeimers...

If you´re into novels, I loved "The Ghost" by Danielle Steel. A love story.

Way of All Flesh: A Celebration of Decay by Midas Dekkers was amazing, too.

Red Dirt Mummy on January 23, 2010 at 10:08 PM said...

I haven't read them yet Chantalle. I was a bit put off when the first one came out but I'll give them another try.

Thanks for the suggstions, Iris. I'll look out for them.


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