Sunday, May 10, 2009

Review time!

The weather isn't quite nice enough to garden every night after work yet (sunny, but we get these late afternoon winds that are crazy blustery) so I have been doing some reading. I've got a pile of books people have recommended to me and I am trying to make a dent.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - I could not put this book down. It is beautifully written, as a series of letters from a woman in post-war London to a group of people on the island of Guernsey. Guernsey was occupied by the Germans in WWII and the letters become the story of the occupation and the heroic people on the island, as well as the story of the woman in London coming to Guernsey and falling in love with the island and the people. It is so vivid and a joy to read, I have to recommend it very highly. I read my mom's copy and had to go buy my own, as I am sure I will be reading it over and over.

My Life In France - I have always been fond of Julia Child, and this just made me love her more. It is the story of her time in France learning to cook and writing Mastering The Art Of French Cooking and I love how interested she is in getting all her recipes just right and how The Book just kept getting bigger and bigger... it's a great portrait of how times have changed - everyone wanted to cook easy stuff and not spend time in the kitchen and the publishers wanted quick and easy. She loved how the French cooked and ate and she was so methodical about everything being fresh and done by hand. It is just a fun, light read (although a lot of the recipes do sound kind of crazy when you think about it). Also, now I can't wait for the movie of Julie and Julia, partially based on this book and with Meryl Streep as Julia Child. Talk about awesome casting!

Storm Front - Jim Butcher writes mysteries, but they are in the fantasy section at the bookstore. I like a good mystery, but these are a bit much. It's fun froth, but no real substance. I think I'll get the rest of them from the library.

Down With Love - This is still an adorable movie. Fluff at it's finest, with fantastic costumes and Ewan MacGregor doing his best Cary Grant. Renee Zellweger pulls off the banter and costumes beautifully and isn't even too squinty-faced (aah, the good old days). The supporting cast is fantastic (yay Sarah Paulson and double yay David Hyde Pierce), and I love Tony Randall.

Middle Cyclone - Neko Case's newest album, at first I was a little bit "eh", but I kept listening to it and now I am definitely a fan. There are a couple of tunes I skip, but apparently those are both covers so I am not holding them against her quite so much. I have trouble not listening to certain songs over and over and over...


Anonymous said...

Wow - quite the reader there Annie! In that case I have to recommend my two favourite authors; Erik Larson and Wally Lamb.

EL writes about history, but always wind in a parallell story about people living in that time whch makes for awesome stories! I particularly recommend "Devil in the White City" which more or less "forced" me to go to Chicago :).

WL has, as far as I know, only written two books, but they're both fantastic. "She's come undone" was the first one - a bit odd, but good, and then "I know this much is true" which I could not put down when I was reading it (bloogy flunked my genetics exam in uni because of it...).

There's also the very popular Millenium trilogy by Swedish author Stieg Larson. I think the first book is called "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" in English. Stupid name, in Swedish it's called "Men Who Hate Women".

Kerry said...

Don't read too many of those Butcher books in a row--I did and eventually really, really wanted to slap Harry Dresden into next week. Whiney sad sack emo boy. The tv version was better, and you can watch it on Hulu. If you like urban fantasy, try Rob Thurman--she's got a neat way of twisting old tropes and a lot of sharp, self-depreciating humor, but her characters change over the course of 4 books. She has a new series starting in September.