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Shades of Grey -Jasper Fforde
I love me some Fforde (with the caveat that read too close to each other, books from the same series can get a bit repetitive) and was excited about this latest book, the start of a whole new world! It did not disappoint--while it still had some Fforde silliness, there's a more dystopic creepiness to it than usual, which I totally loved. It's set in a future world, after the mysterious Something That Happened. People can only see certain colours, and your rank in society depends on which colour you can see. Totally cool and interesting--there are two more books planned, and I can't wait!

I Don't Care About Your Band: What I Learned From Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux Sensitive Hipsters, and Other Guys I've Dated -Julie Klausner
Klausner has dated a lot of lame guys, and is hilarious in describing the terribleness. Some of the situations hit pretty close to home for me, and I winced in familiarity several times. Totally fun.

The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters, Vol. 2 -Gordon Dahlquist
More insanity from Dahlquist. This series is bonkers--not great, grand literature, but a totally compellingly readable weird gothic/horror/suspense/erotica/science fiction/mystery concoction. There's hardly a genre not represented!

Naked -David Sedaris
I love listening to Sedaris' essays on NPR, but I haven't read many of his books. I'm trying to atone for that--he's brilliantly funny.

Live The Life You Love -Barbara Sher
I've been off-and-on reading/working through this book for months. She has lots of exercises on how to figure out what you want to do with your life! Suffice to say, I've now been through it and I still don't know. But I do find books like this (similar to something like "The Artist's Way") interesting and fun to read.

The Other Hand -Chris Cleave
This a pretty interesting novel with an annoying marketing campaign: the back cover implores the reader to pass it on to their friends but not to tell anyone what it's about. Huh? Dumb. The editor's note in the front is also hyperbolic about the book's awesomeness, comparing it to Cloud Atlas (one of my all-time favourites.) It's a perfectly good book, but it's certainly no Cloud Atlas. I shall defy the back blurb and just say that it's about a British woman and a Nigerian teenage girl who meet first on a beach in Nigeria, then two years later in Britain, after the girl has spent the two years in a refugee detention centre. Stuff happens. I believe this book was published in the US as "Little Bee".
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Too Much Happiness -Alice Munro
I don't always love short stories, but man, Alice Munro is the master of the genre. Good stuff. Mind you, I read this at the beginning of February, and the details of most of the stories have already long faded from my memory, but I certainly remember liking the book a lot!

Nine -Maury Yeston/Arthur Kopik
I was a tad less than thrilled with the movie of Nine, and to make myself feel better, I re-read the libretto of the original stage musical, which I just love. Reading the script to a musical is always a bit odd--but reading the lyrics of songs without listening to them is kind of nice sometimes--helps me see them in a different way.

Generation X -Douglas Coupland
I read this for Canada Reads--I could hardly believe that I'd never read it! I understand why it's considered a groundbreaking and important book, but I didn't love it. Seemed a bit dated, and none of it really grabbed me. I'm glad I've finally read it, though.

Manhood For Amateurs -Michael Chabon
Good lord, I love Chabon. His fiction is amazing, and this is the second book of personal essays that I've now read. From childhood to fatherhood to comic books to how he learned to love his man-purse. I loved it all!

Juliet, Naked -Nick Hornby
I'm a Hornby fan, but have enjoyed some of his books more than others--this one is great! High Fidelity-ish music obsession, now in middle age. Duncan's obsessed with a reclusive former rock star, Tucker. Duncan's girlfriend, Annie, puts up with it. She also ends up striking up an email friendship Tucker. I found it really fun and compelling.

Last Night In Twisted River -John Irving
Oh, John Irving and your giant books of mayhem. I love them so much! This was epic and twisty and turny and, well, Irving-y as all hell. There's bears, wrestling, avoiding going to Vietnam, occasional shocking violence, moving to Canada. The man finds things he likes and sticks to it! Not that this book is particularly anything like his others specifically. I just laugh sometimes at the little things that are so Irving-y. Heck of a good read.

Blackout -Connie Willis
New Connie Willis!!! Whee! First since 2002. Now--it's sadly only half a novel. I believe she turned in a giant novel that her publisher decided to chop in half and release part now and part in the fall. So the only bad thing about this book is that I want more, more, more! And I have to wait. Boo. But this was great--we're in the same future Oxford as in Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog, and a bunch of time-traveling historians are heading back to WWII. Awesome and dramatic.

Man--so many great new books from my very favourite authors! Chabon, Hornby, Irving and Willis are all up there in my list of faves. And I just read the latest Jasper Fforde, but that will wait until next month's wrapup. I love books!
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I went to the movies:

I had no particular interest in seeing The Blind Side, but wanted to do as well as I could on my Oscars Death Race. It was ok. I have no particular problem with Sandra Bullock getting the Oscar for it, though it was not my favourite performance. She was good. The movie just seemed so rote Hollywood formula--not that interesting to me. And it features one of the worst kid actors I've seen in a long time. I cringed every time he opened his mouth--eek!

The Messenger *finally* opened in Toronto about a week before the Oscars--yay! I really liked it. I found it compelling and interesting, and Woody Harrelson was excellent in it.

I liked Alice In Wonderland just fine, but I must come down firmly in the anti-3D camp. Annoying all around. Distracting, uncomfortable (glasses on top of glasses=lame) and not that exciting. My life is in 3D. I see 3D all day long. I am perfectly happy to watch my movies in plain old 2D. Also, Johnny Depp was delightful, but it really made me want to see him play an actual normalish person again one day. It feels like it's been a while.

Shutter Island was a pretty fun, twisty movie. I thought I knew where it was going, but was not entirely correct, which was nice. Not the world's greatest movie or anything, but I enjoyed it.

I liked Green Zone quite a bit. Matt Damon:action hero is just fine by me. Any kind of Matt Damon is ok with me, for that matter.

I also watched some movies on DVD:

I tried to see as many of the nominated short films as I could. I saw all 5 animated shorts, and 3 of the live action shorts. I'm not the world's biggest fan of animated movies, so I mostly thought they were just fine, but not exciting. The Wallace and Gromit was my favourite? Maybe? I loved the concept of Logorama but found the plot and writing too juvenile and ridiculous to hold my interest. My favourite of the live action shorts was Instead of Abracadabra, which is strange and hilarious and totally bonkers. Chimay!

Food, Inc was good, but I found it covered a lot of ground that I already knew about, having read things like The Omnivore's Dilemma and Fast Food Nation. Interesting stuff, but I felt like it was preaching to the choir with me!

I LOVED The Secret of Kells. (I downloaded it--shhhh, which I never do, but I really wanted to see it, and it wasn't playing anywhere and isn't on DVD yet.) It's totally gorgeous and stunning and I want to see it again! It reminded me visually a bit of Sita Sings The Blues, which was one of my favourite movies I saw last year.

Après les Oscars, I had a bit of a movie break. Then, when Corey Haim died, I felt I needed to rewatch Lucas. It's so lovely! He had such potential--it's a shame he had such a troubled life.

I watched the US remake of State of Play a month or so after having watched the awesome BBC miniseries. The movie was perfectly good, but kind of paled in comparison. It's hard to stuff 6 hours of awesome into a 2-hour movie. Taken on its own, it's quite good, I think.

Annnnnnnnnd, I watched a couple of seasons of TV on DVD:

Veronica Mars Season 3 was very enjoyable. Maybe not my favourite of the seasons but still super fun. I need to buy these DVDs--high rewatch potential.

Castle Season 1 was also super fun. Nathan Fillion is awesomesauce. I'm not entirely enamoured of the actress playing opposite him--I feel like it's a cool character, but her line readings don't often convince me, especially when she's trying to be sexy. Or super tough. Or...well, often. But it's worth watching just for the awesomeness of the Fillion.
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Why, oh why, does it take me so long to write these up! I do enjoy doing it, yet it sometimes takes me weeks to get around to it. Anyway. I saw stuff in February!

The only in-theatre movie I saw was The Last Station, which I quite enjoyed. It hasn't exactly stayed with me, but I remember really enjoying the performances by Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren, and hot James McAvoy. Also Paul Giamatti and his excellent facial hair.

I went on a serious pre-Oscars DVD binge. this'll get long )
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I just realized that I didn’t finish my post on what I saw in January. I figure I should quickly do it, before it’s suddenly time to talk about my February movies!

Anyway—I did the movies I saw in the theatre. Now on to DVD:

The only movie I actually watched on DVD in January was Inglourious Basterds, which I had avoided in the theatre because I’m not a giant Tarentino fan. I really liked it, though, much more than I anticipated. Christoph Waltz is well worthy of all the praise and awards he’s up for. Fantastic. I think going in, I only really knew about the Brad Pitt Nazi-hunters plot, which was fun, but I really liked a lof of the other subplots more. Good movie!

Rach and I like to watch TV on DVD on the rare evenings that we’re both at home. We gave True Blood Season 1 a try, but had to admit by about two thirds of the way through that neither of us cared or were very interested in what was happening. So we punted it! Well, actually, we watched the last few episodes on fast forward, because there was one little thing we wanted to see resolved—the rest of it, we really couldn’t be bothered with. Life’s too short!

Bones Season 2, on the other hand, continued to be fun and awesome. I like this show! I’m glad there are more seasons to catch up on—hooray!

I went to real live theatre a few times in January! I wish I could afford to go ALL THE TIME. Seriously—If I could go to a play or musical once a week or something, it would bring me great joy. I’m pretty good at finding discounts, but still—it adds up.

Rent was popping through town with a few original cast members: Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, and Gwen Stewart. I saw Rent in New York in 1997 when the original cast was still in, but Adam and Anthony were both off that night—so I definitely wanted to check them out, even though they’re now too old to believably be in this show! Anyway. It was awesome. We tried for the front row lottery, and got it! Fun! Anthony was amazing. Adam was hot, but kind of can’t sing much anymore. I think he blew out his voice from years of misuse, so now he has this weird nasal, almost adenoidal sounding tone. Quite odd. So glad I went, though—fun!

Just East of Broadway is a Fringe show that was getting a little remount. A friend of mine was in it, which is always fun. I liked it! I enjoy seeing new musicals. I really should try writing one myself—I think I could!

The Light In The Piazza is a gorgeous, lovely show that doesn’t get performed a ton, so I was excited to finally get to see it live after admiring the score for ages and seeing a taped performance of the Broadway cast on PBS a few years ago. This was a great production—lovely set and costumes, and great performances. I’m so glad to live in a city with so much cool theatre! (I saw more fun stuff in February—post to come soon!)
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I went to lots of movies in January--got to catch up on the 2009 movies that I didn't get to yet...

Sherlock Holmes is big and loud and quippy and ridiculous and full of HoYay! and I enjoyed the heck out of it. It was a little too obviously set up to start a franchise, but I could watch RDJr and Jude's silly mustache banter back and forth for hours. I wish that Rachel McAdams had had more to do, but other than that--good stuff!

I liked It’s Complicated more than I thought I would--I thought that, even with the groovy cast, it still might suck, but I really liked it. Meryl Streep is delightful, and Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin are both hilarious. I also really enjoyed John Krasinksi as Meryl's son-in-law--he had some great lines. I also covet Meryl's character's house/kitchen beyond all covetting--gorgeous! And I want to live in her bakery. Everything was so damned pretty!

And speaking of pretty: Holy crap, A Single Man. Fantastic looking film. Good film, and excellent, hearbreaking performance by Colin Firth, but I mostly just couldn't get over how great the film *looked*. Directed by a fashion designer, indeed. I'm annoyed it didn't get nominated for cinematography or art direction (or whatever the job is that made it look so amazing--I don't really know...)

Invictus is a perfectly good biopic. I didn't love it, but I found it mediumly compelling. I'd say I liked it somewhat more than I thought I would. Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon were both very strong. There were more long scenes of rugby playing than I cared for, but there were a few very good scenes and overall--good.

Ooh, my first actual 2010 movie: Youth In Revolt. I'm undecided as to how I felt about this movie. I do love me some Michael Cera, but I'm not sure I dug him in this. His "bad" alter ego was odd, and I didn't find his regular nerd persona that appealing this time, either. Some funny bits, for sure, and some creative directing moments. Not actually bad, but not stunning either, is my ambivalent review.

Crazy Heart was great. I really loved it! The praise and awards heaped on Jeff Bridges are justified--I thought he was brilliant and gave a really fabulous, lived-in performance. Maggie Gyllenhaal was subtle and enjoyable--I was surprised to hear her name called on Oscar nomination morning, but glad. She's lovely. And the main song, "The Weary Kind" is excellent, and sure to win the Oscar.

I had been kind of scared to go see Precious, thinking it would destroy my soul or something. But it didn't! I mean, it was heartbreaking, and some scenes were certainly hard to watch, but there were also more uplifting moments, and I thought it was a very well made, and moving movie. I'm glad I went! Mo'nique is fantastic and will justly walk away with the big gold prize. Wow. Gabby Sidibe is also excellent, and I hope she goes on to do lots more stuff!

And finally, with a sigh, I went to see Avatar. I had enough points for a free ticket. I knew I had to see it eventually, on my quest to see all the nominated movies. And I tried to go in with an open mind, but I just didn't see what all the fuss was about. Yes, the 3D was a lot better than it used to be, but I still found things blurry around the edges and not as seamless as I was expecting. (Plus, side note--wearing 3D glasses over real glasses is annoying and uncomfortable. Grumble.) But sure, it was visually pretty stunning. But omigod, the story! The dialogue! The ridiculous clichéd-ness of it all! Oy. To quote Liz Lemon from a while ago, "I want you to pay close attention to the following over-the-top eye roll: Ohhhhh, brrrrrother!"
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Yarn Harlot -Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

I enjoyed these little stories and anecdotes about knitting--makes me want to knit more! I'm currently in the middle of a giant project, but once it's done, I have so many more things I want to make!

Company -Stephen Sondheim and George Furth

On my 35th birthday, I thought I should re-read the libretto of Company, now that I'm the age of the main character! God, I adore this musical. Even just reading it off the page was cool.

Good To A Fault -Marina Endicott

I'm starting to read the five shortlisted books for Canada Reads this year. I really enjoyed this book, in the end, but it took a while to get going. Really interesting premise--a woman causes a minor traffic accident, then ends up taking care of the family she hit. Very well-written and compelling.

Nikolski -Nicolas Dickner

Another Canada Reads title, a Quebecois novel in translation. While I was reading it, I totally adored it, but it hasn't stayed with me much. Three different quirky main characters, in alternating chapters, all distantly connected, though not aware of it. Dickner spins some great yarns, weaving in and out of the different stories--geography, identity, pirates, fish, books--good times!

The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters -Gordon Dahlquist

Let's see how I described this book to [ profile] starfishchick the other day:

"I've also just read a crazy fun book that you might like: "The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters" by Gordon Dahlquist. I hadn't heard of it, or him, but some friends in Sweeney Todd picked it for a loosey goosey book club we sort of have. It's a fat, juicy rollicking page turner--I don't even know how I'd describe it...a gothic Victorian melodrama/suspense with elements of science fiction/steampunk and some sexy/kinky bits! Truly strange and silly, and a darned fun read. And I was delighted to learn that there are two more in the series!"

The Jade Peony -Wayson Choy

More Canada Reads reading. I'd heard amazing things about this book from people, so maybe I was expecting to be blown away, but I admit I wasn't. It was interesting, and readable, but it's probably my least favourite of the three CR titles I've read so far. It's told through the eyes of three siblings in a Chinese-Canadian family in Vancouver in the 1930s and 40s. There are great descriptions of Chinatown and Chinese culture of the time, and I found the third section, told by the youngest brother, quite compelling, but overall, it didn't leave a huge impression on me.
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I am so not a meme-y person, but [ profile] listersgirl told me about this, and once I saw [ profile] starfishchick's, I thought it sounded like fun!

-Answer each of the questions/categories below using the Flickr search engine.
-Choose a photo from the first three pages.
-Copy the URL of your favorite photos here.
-Then share.

collage-y goodness )
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Better late than never? This will (finally) get me up to date with posting my lists from 2009--just in time to write up my books/movies/theatre posts for January 2010! Oh well.

I saw 21 live theatre productions in 2009--not bad. (Genre breakdown--15 musicals, 6 plays.) I'd like to go to shows every damn night, but it can get a little pricey!

How to choose favourites? From Broadway musicals to national tours to productions starring good friends to high school shows! I love theatre--any and all! In fact, when I tried to make a top five, it turned out to include many different types of show—Broadway, touring, co-op and Fringe. Yay!

Top 5:

In The Heights (Broadway)
Hair (Broadway revival)
August: Osage County (National Tour)
Catgut String Violin (Fringe Festival)
Songs For A New World (Equity Co-op)

All of those shows were absolutely breathtaking and fantastic. Yay!

Here's the full list: )
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Man, if I don't get my year-end lists done by the end of January, that's just sad.

Here then, are the movies I saw on DVD last year, arranged by varying degrees of "good"-ness, according to whatever I can remember about them, considering it's been many months since I watched most of them:

List! Yay! )
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Time for another nerdy list:

Movies Seen In Theatres:45

Not from 2009: 9 (7 from 2008, 1 from 1979, 1 from 1964)
Documentaries: 6
Animated: 5
Ummm...I don't know how else to nerdily categorize them, except by comedy/drama/etc, but I don't feel like it.

Top 5 favourites: (This could change at any given moment)

An Education
Up In The Air
(500) Days of Summer
In The Loop
Fantastic Mr. Fox
oh, ok Top 6: Sita Sings The Blues

It's so hard to pick favourites! There were hardly any I saw that I didn't like quite a bit.

Here's the list, by month: )
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Total Read: 54 (including 2 re-reads)

Fiction: 30 (Novels: 21, YA: 5, Short Story Collections: 4)

Non-Fiction: 24 (Memoir/essays: 8, Arts: 5, Science: 5, Language: 3, Religion: 2, Self-Help: 1

By Women: 22
By Men: 32

Favourite Fiction

The Believers -Zoe Heller
The Book of Negroes -Lawrence Hill
My Year of Meats -Ruth L. Ozeki
The Post-Birthday World -Lionel Shriver
Olive Kitteridge -Elizabeth Strout

Favourite Non-Fiction

Body Piercing Saved My Life: Inside The Phenomenon of Christian Rock -Andrew Beaujon
The Secret Lives of Saints -Daphne Bramham
Pictures At A Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood -Mark Harris
The Guinea Pig Diaries -AJ Jacobs
In The Land of Invented Languages -Arika Okrent

Le Grand List, by month )

In conclusion, yay books!!

My 2010 readolutions are to read at least 50 books, and to read all five Canada Reads shortlisted books before March.
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Maps and Legends: Reading and Writing Along the Borderlands -Michael Chabon
I love Chabon's fiction, and this collection of essays about writing, reading, genre fiction, and nostalgia was excellent. I can't wait to read his new collection!

Miracle and other Christmas Stories -Connie Willis
Willis is one of my faves (she has a new book coming out in February--squeee!) but I'd never read this collection of stories--it seemed seasonally appropriate! As with many books of short stories, I like some more than others. A fun read, overall.

In The Land of Invented Languages -Arika Okrent
I loved this nerdy and awesome book. Esperanto, Klingon, and all sorts of weird and hilarious points in between. Some people invent languages for specific uses; some genuinely try to create a universal language that they think everyone will learn! Most of them (the latter, especially) are obsessive nuts. I found this book totally fascinating.

Olive Kitteridge -Elizabeth Strout
This won the Pulitzer last year--man, it was good. A gorgeously written collection of linked short stories about the inhabitants of a small town. Retired teacher Olive Kitteridge is featured in all of them, but often only as a bit player. So good.

Escape From Fire Island -James H English
What's this? Just a Choose Your Own Gay Adventure novel about escaping from zombie drag queens, that's all! And awesome and ridiculous Christmas gift from [ profile] listersgirl--thanks, roomie!

A Prayer For Owen Meany -John Irving
I had an urge to re-read the Christmas pageant section, but then thought I was due to read the whole thing--it's been a few years, and it's one of my very favourites. I still laugh out loud at parts, and cry buckets at parts, even on my fifth-or-so reading.
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Oh, Oscar season, how I love you. I went to tons of movies last month--so many to seeeeee!

Brothers was great. I haven't seen the Danish original, but now I really want to. I thought the performances were really strong, especially the child actress who played the older daughter. She's a force to be reckoned with.

Where The Wild Things Are was really sad and lovely and cool and interesting. Well done!

Fantastic Mr. Fox was omigod so cool. Awesome, awesome, awesome. Really cool stop motion animation, great voice acting. All around excellence.

I enjoyed The Young Victoria very much, especially Emily Blunt's performance--she is excellent. The film made me realize that all I know of Queen Victoria (not much!) is from her post-Albert sad times. I liked learning about her upbringing and the early days of her reign.

The Princess and the Frog is a fun, if fairly by-the-book, Disney princess movie. Props for finally having an African-American heroine, and I dug Randy Newman's jazzy score and the Creole firefly.

Nine, oh Nine. I have this problem with movie musicals if I know the stage show too well--I can't just watch it an appreciate it as a movie. I thought it was pretty good, but I was annoyed that they cut some of my favourite songs, and didn't especially like most of the new songs. Great performances, though, and it's fun and flashy. One other quibble--I wish directors of movie musicals would stop being so scared of making an actual *musical*. I want to see a musical where the people sing and dance in their actual scenes--not just up on stage or in someone's imagination. People sing in musicals-that's the whole point!

Up In The Air is just great. Fantastic. Funny, sad, quirky, awesome. George Clooney and Vera Farmiga have smoking hot chemisty. Anna Kendrick (a child stage actress--second-youngest Tony nominee ever, back when she was 12!) is so good. I loved this movie to bits. I should go see it again!

Broken Embraces was...odd. Maybe I was too tired? I have enjoyed other Almadovar films, but this one just was a big meh for me. Penelope Cruz was great, and the movie looked wonderful, but the plot didn't add up to much, and some of big reveals were really underwhelming. Unless I just didn't get it, which is entirely possible. Maybe I should see this one again, too, as all the reviews I've read have been glowing, and...I don't get it.

Among all the moviegoing, I also went to a musical! I was intrigued to see a musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol by Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens. The score was fun, but not super memorable. I can see it getting done by more groups, though--yay for seasonal musicals!
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Slam -Nick Hornby
I enjoyed Hornby's first foray into YA. A charming novel about teen pregnancy and a talking Tony Hawk poster, among other things.

Eating The Dinosaur -Chuck Klosterman
I picked Klosterman's latest collection of essays up as soon as it came out. He's awesome!! This one isn't my favourite, but he's always worth a read.

Downtown Owl -Chuck Klosterman
I realized that I hadn't read Chuckie's novel, only his non-fic, so I checked this out. I liked it a lot--same Klosterman feel, interesting story. The end was a bit out-of-the-blue nutso, but it drew me in. Quite compelling.

Free-Range Kids:Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts With Worry -Lenore Skenazy
I don't, you know, have kids or anything, but a book club that I'm kinda-sorta in was reading this, and it sounded intriguing. It was! I hope that when I do have kids I can keep them safe without being a hovering, overprotective parent who doesn't let their kids do anything for themselves.

Witches Abroad -Terry Pratchett
I am slowly and randomly poking my way through Pratchett. Always fun. I like the witches!
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Hey all-

I'm thinking of starting another blog (I'll still post here, not that I even post much now!) and am trying to figure out what platform to use. Anyone have any thoughts re: blogspot vs. wordpress? Are there other free ones that are any good?

I'm thinking of having this separate blog be just my book/movie/theatre posts. (Not that I post much else on here!) I thought it would be nice to have them all collected together. Perhaps I'll call it Caitlin's Culture Consumption, or some other such cheesy name... still pondering the details...

Anyway--if anyone has advice, sock it to me!
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Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex –Mary Roach
Yay for Mary Roach and her entertaining and informative science books. I love her first book, “Stiff”, about human cadavers, and her latest is also awesome. (I still need to find “Spook”, about scientific studies about ghosts.) Any author who has sex inside an MRI machine in the name of science, is ok by me!

The Braindead Megaphone –George Saunders
Interesting collection of essays. As is often the case with such books, I like some essays more then others, but generally—enjoyable! I’ll seek out some of Saunders’ fiction, which I’ve heard is good.

The Importance of Music to Girls –Lavinia Greenlaw
This memoir sounded like it would be great—maybe a true-life High Fidelity for girls. Sadly, I found it kind of underwhelming. It’s a short book, but I found it to be a bit of a slog.

The End of the Alphabet –CS Richardson
I loved this quirky little novella about a dying man and his wife, who decide to travel around the world, from A-Z, before he dies. Romantic and sad. A blurb on the back jacket says that it’s a book that’s destined to be mailed between lovers—and, indeed, when I finished it I totally wanted to send it to my boyfriend!

The Guinea Pig Diaries –AJ Jacobs
I love Jacobs’ big silly experiments and the books he writes about them. It makes me want to find something to do for a year and then write about it! Now, if I could only think of a project…
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