Book number 18

The Late Bloomer's Revolution The Late Bloomer's Revolution by Amy Cohen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Just finished my 18th book of the 2009, The Late Bloomer's Revolution by Amy Cohen. I'd like to read more next year. To do that, I really need to pull myself away from the computer and the TV. They're taking over my life! Now, I'm not making any New Year's resolutions, per sé, just mulling this over in my mind. I have a friend in Georgia who I'd guess averages at least 3 books a month. (Jeanene, do I have that right?) ;o) Not sure I can swing that, but maybe I could manage two/month.

Anyway, about the book. I'd really like to give this 3.5 stars if I could, but Goodreads.com only lets you rate books in full number increments. I enjoyed this memoir by Amy Cohen, a single woman in her mid-thirties trying to find herself after a bad break-up and the death of her mom. I really related to Ms. Cohen and found some hope for myself in her story. I didn't give it a full four stars, or five, because toward the end, it seems like the the author got to a point where she gave up and said, "I need to finish this now." I feel like a couple of chapters in between were missing and the ending felt rushed. Still, I did enjoy it and would recommend it to those who like to laugh while they're reading, yet still be moved by poignant moments. It's a sweet book.

In other news....

I've seen several movies this past week. On Christmas Day, my family and I went to see Up in the Air with George Clooney. Man, he just gets better and better looking! We all enjoyed the movie a lot. Not the ending I was expecting, and that's why I liked it all the more. In the movie, George Clooney's character works for a company who is hired by other companies to come in and fire people. I remember hearing an interview with the director, Jason Reitman, where he mentioned a lot of the extras in the film were folks who'd been recently laid off work. The reactions of these people in the film were so heartbreaking. I found this bit of info from Wikipedia:
While shooting the film in St. Louis and Detroit, Reitman placed an ad in the paper asking if people who recently lost their job wanted to be in a documentary about job loss. He specified documentary in the ad so actors who wanted to be in the production would not answer the ad. Reitman was amazed by how many people of different age, race, and gender were willing to speak frankly about what happened and what a cathartic experience it was for these people. They received a startling amount of responses with 100 responses, 60 people on camera (30 in Detroit and 30 in St. Louis and 22 who made it into the film. They interviewed them for about ten minutes on what it is like to lose their job in this kind of economy and after that they would actually fire them on camera and ask them to either respond the way they did the day they lost their job or if they preferred, the way they wished they had responded.

Also cool: Jason Reitman received a demo tape from someone who'd been laid off and wrote a song about his troubles. The songwriter/singer offered the song for use in the movie, and Reitman did use it during the closing credits.

On Sunday, my sister and I went to see "It's Complicated." I loved the performances of Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin and especially John Krasinski, but there were certain scenes that were over the top and unnecessary--these sort of dragged the story a bit. (For those who've seen it, I'm thinking right now about the kids' reaction to their mom and dad's big news, as well as some of the scenes with the girlfriends. Too much.) I think Meryl Streep's nomination for best actress in a musical or comedy for the Golden Globes is well-deserved (though, if she wins, it should be for Julie and Julia), but the nomination for Best Motion Picture--Musical or Comedy and Best Screenplay are a bit off. (By the way, my pick for winner in the Musical/Comedy category is (500) Days of Summer. The other three nominees in this category are Nine, The Hangover, and Julie and Julia. Too bad Julie and Julia wasn't just about Julia Child--that half movie could've won a best movie award, but as a whole? I don't think so.)

I also finally saw Up! on DVD. Simply delightful! Also watched Paper Heart, which was a lot of fun. I've just adored Michael Cera since his Arrested Development days, and he didn't disappoint.

And last but not least, tonight I watched the 32nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors. The honorees were jazz musician Dave Brubeck, Robert DeNiro, Mel Brooks, Bruce Springsteen and opera singer Grace Bumbry. Sting--whose beard and outfit made him look like he might set off to fight in the Civil War after the show--along with an enormous choir, closed the show with Bruce's The Rising. All the people in the Kennedy Center, including the Obamas, were on their feet singing, clapping and dancing. It was a terrific, rousing ending to a great show.


Jeanene said...

Haha! I do average about 3-4 books a month, but slowed down at the end of the year because I haven't found anything reall good lately. Also, you and I saw almost all the same movies over the break, including Paper Heart. That was adorable, and I completely agree about It's Complicated. I hated the scene with the girlfriends. I still need to see Up in the Air, but will try to do that this weekend.

Valerie said...

Well, let me know if you find something good to read--I'm always looking for page turners, but they're hard to come by.

Oh, and I followed up all those movies with Inglourious Basterds, The Hangover (which I'd already seen), and The Ugly Truth, which was SO predictable, but entertaining enough. I'm just glad I waited for video on that one. I still have "Two Lovers" with Joaquin Phoenix & Gwyneth Paltrow to watch. Oh, and I saw Sherlock Holmes, which was fun. I haven't seen this many movies in a two-week period since I don't know when!