1. Lars & the Real Girl
2. Across The Universe
3. Martian Child
4. Fred Claus
6. Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium
7. Love In the Time of Cholera
9. Gone Baby Gone
11. Alvin & The Chipmunks (I know. I don't care.)
Let me know if you've see any of these and whether you liked them (please don't spoil the ending). And now for the surprise...the long awaited Ask The Readers #2! Beowulf. Do I see it or not? Why?
When I was born -- Eye of the Tiger by Survivor (yes, I'm aware of the awesomeness.)
When I graduated from high school -- Maria, Maria by Santana
When I turned 18 -- Doesn't Really Matter by Janet Jackson (she can shut it)
When I turned 21 -- Crazy In Love by Beyonce (I can't tell you how awesome I think this is)
When I graduated from college -- Yeah by Usher (ft. Lil Jon & Ludacris)
- A Room with a View by E.M. Forster (N) $2
- The Stranger by Albert Camus
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
- Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
- The Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson
- My Antonia by Willa Cather*
- Don Quixote by Cervantes
- Isben: Four Major Plays
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
- This Present Darkness by Frank E. Peretti
- Piercing The Darkness by Frank E. Peretti
- Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
- Dubliners by James Joyce*
- A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
- East Of Eden by John Steinback
- History Of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters by Julian Barnes* $3
- Murder In the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot
- Best American Short Stories of the Century (Anthology)* $5
- White Oleander by Janet Fitch (HB) $3
- Basic Theology by Charles Ryrie (HB, N) $5
- Jesus & the Gospels by Craig Blomberg (HB)* $3 (no dust jacket)
- Shadow Of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot
Normally, I would make a picture like this smaller, but I needed the blurb of text at the bottom to be readable, as I am using it as a starting point for my (quasi) review. I'm refraining from a brief plot overview because it's now also a movie, and anyone can easily find out the plot. Suffice it to say that Tom Ripley is a murderous sociopath. What is most interesting about this novel for me is the character of Ripley, who The Daily Telegraph describes as amoral, hedonistic, and charming. As the narration (3rd limited) follows him, the reader receives everything he or she needs to know without being told explicitly. Show rather than tell, you see.
What is more, the reveal of the true nature of Tom, mentally disturbed, unfeeling, completely self-centered, is rather subtle in places. For instance, Highsmith (the author) establishes in various places the depth of hatred Tom has for others around him (and perhaps more importantly, the lack of love for any person). And certainly, his admiration of, love for, and obsession with material possessions is evident on each page. Indeed, at one point Tom even explicitly considers his love for possessions. What is refreshing is the author's restraint in connecting the dots; rather, she trusts the reader to put 2 and 2 together.
All in all, The Talented Mr. Ripley is a fascinating, albeit imperfect, account of the depravity of a disturbed yet talented individual. He is charming but cannot abide the company of others for long for fear of being found out. He fantasizes about murder. He may very well be a clinically determined "serial killer," though I'm inclined to doubt that characterization (he usually gains from the murders, so there is always a direct motive for the killings beyond simply the urge to kill). Though it's obviously not for everyone, if this review has interested you, I would recommend giving it a whirl. I found it to be a quick, easy read, and I enjoyed the novel.
*As this stands to become a recurring format on my blog, I would like to state for the record that none of these reviews will be professional. I will not discuss ad nauseum the strengths and weaknesses of each book I read. In fact, I will only promise 3 things: I will not reveal the ending unless the novel in question is over 100 years old; I will discuss whatever interested me about the book, even if that means that I discuss how uninteresting it was; I will say whether I liked it or not.
- The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith
- Life of Pi, Yann Martel
- The Good Husband, Gail Godwin
- Atonement, Ian McEwan
- Notes On a Scandal: What Was She Thinking?, Zoe Heller
- The Hours, Michael Cunningham
- The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
- Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Patrick Suskind
- The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri
- The Shipping News, E. Annie Proulx (this was the used hardback)
- Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
- Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
So, if you've read and enjoyed any of these, let me know what you think. I'm currently about halfway through The Talented Mr. Ripley. I'll most likely post a quasi-review of each after I finish them, mostly to make myself read in a timely manner.
Bohemian Like You – The Dandy Warhols
Lollipop – Mika
Best Days – Matt White
She Is Beautiful – Andrew W.K.
12:51 – The Strokes
Everybody Got Their Something – Nikka Costa
Don’t Let’s Start – Common Rotation
Fat-Bottomed Girls – Queen
I Like It – Sammy
Together Forever In Love – Go Sailor
American Music – The Violent Femmes
To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High) – Ryan Adams
Can’t Get Next to You – The Temptations
Ready To Go – Republica
What I Got – Sublime
Take Me Anywhere – Tegan and Sara
Canned Heat – Jamiroquai
Bohemian Rhapsody -- Queen
Keep It Loose
Paint the Silence – South
I Found a Reason – Cat Power
A Love That Will Never Grow Old – Emmylou Harris
One Headlight – The Wallflowers
Not Ready To Make Nice – The Dixie Chicks
I Know, I Know, I Know – Tegan and Sara
Shelter – Ray LaMontagne
I Can’t Take My Eyes off You – Melanie Doane
In My Life – The Beatles
In The Sun – Joseph Arthur
Nobody Loved You – Manic Street Preachers
Fade Into You – Mazzy Star
Float On – Ben Lee
Glass Vase Cello Case – Tattle Tale
Love Song for a Vampire – Annie Lennox
Honey and the Moon – Joseph Arthur
I Will Follow You into the Dark – Death Cab for Cutie
Nightswimming – R.E.M.
What happens after the matches are posted?
You have 4 weeks to make a mix; the deadline for having your CDs in the mail (or your playlists uploaded) is Sept. 12. Your partner will appreciate you emailing when your mix is in the mail. If you can, give him or her an estimate of how long it will take to arrive.
How much does it cost?
You will most likely need blank CDs and postage, but there are alternatives to those costs. Regarding postage, there is no suggested method. You can spring for delivery confirmation, but in general the cheapest option will do.
Do I need to put my mix in a padded envelope?
Yes. The CD will also need to be in a case.
Postage is a problem this round/I'm running out of time/I'm interested in alternatives to burning and mailing a CD:
You are welcome to upload music to a private website or a place like YouSendIt, either .zip-ped or individually linked, or in a folder – doesn't matter, but please do the following: type up a playlist for your partner's reference, and please post the link in a private email to your partner, not on this blog.
Are a playlist, liner notes, and cover art required?
Only a playlist is required. Liner notes are optional, but fantastic – this is your chance to tell your partner why you love the music you are sharing. But if you are short on time, liner notes and cover art are definitely optional. Additional details in the playlist beyond artist and song title are excellent, particularly if you are promoting lesser known artists. You might consider including the album title and release year, but of course that is optional as well.
What kind of music should I put on my mix?
Whatever you like! There are no rules for the actual mixes. Just put in whatever you're feeling at the moment and what you think people should know about. You are welcome to browse your partner's website (if applicable) for ideas. You can also do a themed mix at any time (more on this later). But the primary purpose of the mix trade is to share your tastes and your creativity. As such, everybody might not like each song on his/her mix, but everyone will have been exposed to new music. Hopefully, each person will discover someone new they enjoy, too!
Can I specify the type of music I'd like to receive? As a general rule, no. See above. If you are genuinely worried that you might receive something offensive, however, email me and we'll discuss your concern, involving your partner if necessary.
How long should the mix be?
You should aim to fill up as much of your chosen media as possible. If you're sending a 74 minute CD-R, for example, you should try to fill up as much of that 74 minutes as possible.
Yay! My mix has arrived! Should I thank my partner? Yes, that would be nice. And your mother would encourage you to do so as well, and you know it. Emails are fine for this.
What if I don't receive my mix by the deadline? It could just be that the mail is slow. If you have not heard from your partner that your mix was sent, try contacting him/her again, and let me know. If you still do not hear back, I will try to get an answer for you. Hopefully it was either the mail's fault or Real Life intervened, and you can still get your mix from your original partner. But...
What if my partner flakes?
If it's three or four days past the deadline and no one's heard hide nor hair of your partner, either I or a volunteer from the group will send you a mix for this round. Don't let it sour you on the process. It happens to the best of us.
Hey, themed mixes sound legendary. What kind of themes are we talking about?
Creativity knows no limits here. One mix CD that a friend of mine made for someone was songs about the sun-moon cycle of a day. As in, the songs started with sunrise and went to moonlight. It was awesome music too. If you want some suggestions, though, here you go:
Songs To RAGE To
Songs You Love That Make Your Friends Roll Your Eyes
Songs For Driving
Songs For Rainy Sundays In Bed
Songs That Make You Swoon
Songs That Remind You of High School/College
Songs that have a name in them (e.g., "Levon," "Mandy," etc.)
Well, that should clear up any confusion and let everyone know what is expected. Any further questions should definitely be emailed to me, or you could post them in a comment. Please don't hesitate.
Matches will be announced August 15!
2. The Mix CD Swap. It will be loads of fun. Hurry-- you only have till the 14th to sign up.
3. This movie. I loved the book.
4. The Really Good, Really Big, Really Cheap Annual Book Sale. Mmm. Books.
5. The probable beginning of Tiny Pumpkin Season.
6. Back to school shopping-- I miss buying school supplies, y'all!
7. My learning that my favorite perfume ever has NOT been discontinued. There is so much joy there. Oh, Hugo for Women. Just you wait.
Oh, and if you join the swap, please link back to this entry from your own blog/website. The more, the merrier, yes?
I'm giving the sign up round two weeks. So, hurry...you only have until August 14th to sign up.
I wish more and more people loved Joseph Arthur. Probably lots of you know one or two of his songs, like "Honey and the Moon" or "In The Sun." But, let me just tell you-- he is really good. Sometimes, guys with guitars who do a lot of mid to slow tempo music bore me, unless I'm resting in my room or something. Not Joseph Arthur. Heather, I feel confident in telling you that you're going to like him. I'll be sending you some stuff in the mail soon to soonish. Anyway, this album is called Come To Where I'm From, and I highly recommend it. Also, check out Arthur's website over there on the sidebar.
As you may or may not have seen on TV or in the mail that they send you, like LOOK AT US PLEASE, Pier 1 is having a large summer sale. A lot of the stuff I went for was gone when I got to the store near Haywood Mall, but I'm sure that there will be more items for sale when I go back. I picked up 3 of these votive holders, which were not on sale. That is okay, however, since their everyday price is $1. ONE dollar. You probably have a hundred and six or seven (what is the sales tax now?) pennies in your house somewhere. These are good quality candle holders too. Thick enough glass, and the votives I purchased from Pier 1 didn't stick to the sides after they were all used up. I let the wax harden back up, and it just kind of popped up from the holder. That probably has more to do with the actual candles, though.
So, that's what I'm loving. You? What products do we all need to know about?
2. This article from McSweeney's. Very funny.
3. Dresses. I have suddenly become this girl who loves to wear dresses or at least skirts. Don't ask-- I have no idea how it happened either.
4. West Elm. Pretty, pretty.
5. Overheard In The Office & Overheard At The Beach. The original link in this chain was Overheard In New York, which is still funny and updated quite frequently. They have also added Celebrity Wit and Overheard Everywhere. Recently, though, my favorites are the office and the beach. So, if you eavesdrop, submit some particularly funny/ridiculous conversations. I need more reading material!
I also want to go here. I love water parks so so much. I've never been to this one, but I know that I shall spend lots of time in the lazy river. Sure, it's not going to be a huge water park, but it will do, especially for the price. Long and short of it, I'm tremendously excited about the vacay at home (sorta). Lots of lounging in store, let me tell you. Has anyone else ever done the vacation at home? How'd it work out for you?
1. "Make Your Own Kind of Music," Mama Cass
2. "New Shoes," Paolo Nutini
3. "Rollerskate Skinny," Old 97s
4. "Girlfriend," Avril Lavigne
5. "Fidelity," Regina Spektor
6. "In The Sun," Joseph Arthur
7. "Goodnight and Go," Imogen Heap
8. "Float On," Ben Lee (a cover of the Modest Mouse song)
9. "Every Little Thing (He Does Is Magic)," MYMP (yep, a cover of The Police song)
10. "To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)." Ryan Adams
Of course, for the first month, everything is 50% off. So, it would have been $2.74. For a new release and two kids' movies (five day rental for the kids and a two day rental for the new release). Older releases? Rent for five days for either $1 or 50 cents. They are open from 10 a.m. to midnight 365 days a year, like Blockbuster. Yeah, like Blockbuster, except better.
Also, we did go to the circus. We did get a dog. He's a red heeler, a type of Australian cattle dog, and we named him Ringo Starr. He tries to herd us. We went on a weekend trip to Gatlinburg. I also got engaged and bought a wedding dress. I am planning a motherload of picture posts soon.
How are you doing?
After the puppy picking (heh), the four of us are going to see the circus! Again, Kenn and the boys have all been before. I have not. I'm probably the most excited. We have 9th row seats, which aren't too shabby. The seats are mid-price range, but we had a coupon and everything. An hour before the show starts, any ticketholder can come into the arena and meet the elephants, clowns, and other circus folk, as well try on oversized circus costumes. I'll try to post pictures afterwards.
I feel very soccer mom-ish...Weird.
I enjoyed my snow day break. Now that I'm back at work, though, I keep thinking of things I'd wish I'd done. Not things like play in the snow, have a snowball fight, etc. I did those things. What I really mean is that I keep thinking of movies I own and can watch over and over (Love Actually, Mean Girls, Wedding Crashers). I'm all like, "I should have watched that!" Eh, I'll watch 'em soon. This section has no point.
Rambling. I'll end it here (mercifully).