7.24.2015

Butterfly by Kathryn Harvey

Butterfly (Butterfly Trilogy, #1)Butterfly by Kathryn Harvey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I just finished reading Butterfly for, I think, the 3rd time. I first read it in the early 90s and again a few years later. It became my favorite "trashy" novel. I started recommending it to friends after all the hubbub over Fifty Shades of Grey (which I loathed) because this book is SO much better--it's actually well written, and it has a great revenge plot line as well as some good sex scenes. I decided to pick it up again now in 2015 to see if it still holds up, and it does! There are a lot of references from the 1980s that might be a little outdated, but they don't affect enjoyment of the story. And now that I'm 20+ years older than the first time I read it, I wouldn't even call it "trashy" anymore. It's just a good, fun read.


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6.27.2015

Dope (the movie)

I saw Dope yesterday...I wanted to see it strictly based on a poster I'd seen for it:


I had no idea what it was about. Before I went into the theater, I sent a text to my sister to let her know I'd be out of touch for a while. She asked "Which movie is that?" and I wrote, "I don't know what happens exactly, but it's about black kids in the 80s."

Well, I was WAY off on that.

First of all, not all of the kids are Black. Second, it actually takes place in current times. However, the three characters in the poster define themselves as 90s (not 80s) "hip-hop geeks," hence the main character's high-top fade and the kids' style of dress. There's a lot going on, but essentially, the kids get into some shenanigans after a drug deal gone wrong. It's clever and a fun movie to watch. Zoe Kravitz is in it and looks JUST like her mom, Lisa Bonet. Little too much use of the N-word in this movie. (It's used in the familiar way ending with -a versus -er, the way they do in hip-hop culture, but it was still too much. I'm also possibly just a little sensitive about it right now in the wake of all that's going on after Charleston.) Still, it's an enjoyable movie that I do recommend. Stay for the dance moves during the credits.

6.07.2015

The LItigators by John Grisham

The LitigatorsThe Litigators by John Grisham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I hadn't read John Grisham in a long, long time, but had this on my shelf and decided to give it a go.  I really enjoyed it.  There's a lot of humor in it that I don't recall from anything I'd read previously (The Firm, A Time to Kill, Runaway Jury, The Client, etc.).  Though it wasn't a quick-paced thriller, like the others, it was a fun read and I found that I still enjoy Grisham's writing.

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5.29.2015

Lose Yourself

I posted this on Facebook earlier today and have watched it 4 times now.  I love it.




I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before how much I love the musical, "Rent." One of my favorite performances--besides the first one we saw on Broadway with the original cast--was the one we saw at Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA.  There were sign language interpreters, one male, one female, and they were just so mesmerizing and fluid and beautiful.  I'll always remember that, and this video of "Lose Yourself" reminded me of that performance.


5.28.2015

Tooting my own horn, a bit.

I was searching for something on my blog and came across this post I wrote in 2010.  It was fun to re-read and I must say, I'm kind of proud of it.

http://leisurepursuit.blogspot.com/2010/09/books-books-and-more-books.html

That was five years ago and not much has changed in my reading habits.  I just told my friend Kerri about Butterfly earlier today.  At the time I wrote the post, it had a 5-star rating with 97 reviews on Amazon.com.  Today it still has a 5-star rating with 210 reviews!  I need to read it again soon.

5.26.2015

Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir by Eddie Huang

Fresh Off the Boat: A MemoirFresh Off the Boat: A Memoir by Eddie Huang

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I'd really give this a 2.5 stars if I could.

I enjoy the ABC TV show based on this book, and decided to read it after seeing Eddie Huang in an interview and hearing about his disdain for the show. He was likeable enough on TV, and I was curious.

He should stick to the TV interviews because in the book, he's not really likeable at all and he definitely has a huge chip on his shoulder. His writing and the organization of the memoir is choppy and disjointed. He goes back and forth between passages heavily laden with street slang (much of which I didn't understand but didn't necessarily mind), to some really thoughtful and philosophical writing about his observations on being a minority in America. I admired those moments, but they seemed out of place with the rest of the text. He should have picked one tone and stuck with it.

P.S. I'm not sure what Eddie Huang thought would happen when he sold the rights to his story to ABC, which is owned by Disney. Of course the show isn't the same as his book. He needed to hold out for HBO or Netflix if he wanted to see his true story reflected.


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5.20.2015

Marley (A World Premiere Musical)

On Saturday, my family and I headed to Center Stage in Baltimore to see Marley (A World Premiere Musical). It was so good. This was my 3rd time at the theater and they do such a nice job of setting the scene for the show. In this case, they transformed the lobby into a Jamaican village, complete with a sand floor. From the Center Stage website:
After surviving an assassination attempt in 1976, Marley left Jamaica for London, where he spent nearly two years in self-imposed exile. Chronicling the events surrounding this earth-shaking moment, Marley tells the story of a man transformed into one of the 20th Century’s most important cultural figures. Set in the soundscape of an era, this new musical weaves together the life and music of a man who, to heal himself, first healed his homeland.

5.17.2015

Mad Men Finale

This is a quick post.

Although I'm so sad to see Mad Men go, I was completely satisfied with tonight's finale.  Perfect, clever ending.  I wonder how anyone born after the 70s will react though. 


5.11.2015

It finally happened

Last weekend I saw Cinderella and While We're Young.  I really enjoyed both.  Both have been out for a while, and I saw them at odd times.  (Cinderella was on Friday at 11:30am, and While We're Young was at 10:30am on Saturday.) 

When I was waiting for Cinderella to start, I thought I might have the whole theater to myself, but nooooo...some guy came in right after the previews.  That always happens! 

BUT, on Saturday, I was alone in the theater, the previews ended, and no one came in.  After all this time, I saw a movie with the WHOLE theater to myself.  It's a little creepy, I admit, but it was also pretty cool.  And it was a good movie to boot!


4.29.2015

Give a girl a hint!

If I had known that Boris Kodjoe would eventually show up on Last Man on Earth, I would've kept watching.  I gave up after the 3rd episode or so because 1) it wasn't all that funny once the man was no longer alone and 2) even though I like her as a commentator on The Daily Show, Kristen Schaal is a lot to take--her voice is grating, and her character on the show was so annoying.  I couldn't take it.  But tonight, I'm watching New Girl on Fox, and see a commercial for Last Man on Earth, and I see this gorgeous face....



Yeah, I would've kept watching for that if someone told me what was up.

In other news, I saw this headline today: 

Revenge Cancelled by ABC

One word:  FINALLY.