10.28.2011

{Insert profound subject line here}

I just noticed that this is my 800th post.  800 posts in exactly six years and four months.  I went back and read my very first post, from June 27, 2005.  I was reminded of a trip to NYC with my sister where we saw the crew from the Da Ali G Show filming something in Central Park.  Of course I realize now, that we were watching Sacha Baron Cohen's character, Borat.  It's interesting to go back and read the older posts to see what was happening in the entertainment world, and where my thoughts were.  I don't get too many comments these days, so I don't even know who's reading, but whoever you are, I hope you enjoy the blog as much as I enjoy writing it.

Now, that out of the way, here's what I really came to write about.  I saw this question posted on Twitter:

Link to Christy Lemire's list
I got to thinking about this and came up with my own Top 5.

10.23.2011

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A Novel by Tom Franklin

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A NovelCrooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A Novel by Tom Franklin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is another of those "liked it, but didn't love it" books.  The story is about Larry and Silas, who first meet as kids in the 1970s in rural Mississippi. (Larry is white, Silas is black.) The two bonded for a short period of time, but then had a falling out. Then, Larry takes a girl on a date, and she's never heard from again. Her body was never found, and Larry never confessed. The people in town believed he was responsible and ostracized him.

The story jumps back and forth (rather haphazardly!) between the 70s and present day, when Larry is suspected in the disappearance of another young woman. This time, Silas is a police officer and becomes involved in the investigation.

The book is described as a murder mystery, but there wasn't too much mysterious about it. It was actually very predictable. What kept me reading, however, was the excellent writing and character development of Larry and Silas. I was curious how their relationship would evolve.

It was a quick read and cost only $2.99 for the Kindle. I guess I got my money's worth. I'm not sure I'd recommend this to anyone though, unless it's someone who's more into language and character development than they are plot.


View all my reviews

10.19.2011

American Horror Story

I decided to tune in to American Horror Story simply because Connie Britton and Dylan McDermott star (it was mostly because of Connie Britton).  The show, essentially is about a haunted house and the family that moves in.

Now, generally, I'm not a big fan of the horror genre.  I don't like to feel scared. But, I thought maybe it would be campy like True Blood, which I love.  I should've known better.  I mean, just the commercials for the show were pretty creepy.

I went ahead and watched the pilot episode and, holy shit.  It freaked me the F out!  It was almost too scary to be watching by myself.  It makes me think that the mind of Ryan Murphy might be slightly demented.  And I couldn't help but wonder how that mind got from Glee to AHS.

10.13.2011

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan

MaineMaine by J. Courtney Sullivan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

*Sigh*

I wanted to love this book. One review I read said to make it your final summer read. I'm a little beyond summer, but that's neither here nor there.  I was expecting something fun and light, but there was nothing fun about this book. Once I realized it wasn't the light read I thought it was going to be, I just went with it. The story is told from the points of view of four women who cover three generations: Alice, the matriarch; Kathleen, her daughter; Ann Marie, her daughter-in-law, and Maggie, Kathleen's daughter. None of these women is likable. Alice is a racist piece of work. But despite that, at least Alice had an interesting back story involving the death of her sister years before. I would've preferred the whole book was about Alice. I enjoyed the writing, but the plot was very slow. There's a LOT of buildup to these women finally coming together at the family's summer beach home (2/3 of the book), and then....not much happened. I felt let down and then just plowed through to finish. If it weren't for the pathetic ending, I might've given it three stars just for the writing, but the ending was so rushed, I just felt annoyed that I read the whole thing.


View all my reviews

'Nuff Said.


That's a tweet from Tim Goodman at The Hollywood Reporter. He's become my favorite TV reviewer.

10.12.2011

TV Roundup

Some observations after catching up on Tivo.

  1. I love, love, LOVE Parenthood so much.

  2. Homeland is going to be a great show.  So much happened in the first two episodes.  If you haven't seen it yet, try to do so.

  3. Amazing Race - the snowboarders HAVE to win.

  4.  Amazing Race - Cindy has GOTS to go!

10.10.2011

iPod Top 15 - October 2011 edition

It's been awhile, but today I listened to my "Top 25 Most Played" playlist on the iPod. I always find it interesting to see what I've been listening to the most. I can't remember when I last reset the count...I'm guessing it's been almost a year. Below are my Top 15 Most Played. (No need to do all 25.)
  1. Rolling In the Deep, Adele (123 times)
  2. Rumour Has It, Adele (110)
  3. Love On Top, Beyoncé (109)
  4. Turning Tables, Adele (102)
  5. Price Tag (feat. B.o.B), Jessie J (100)
  6. Don't You Remember, Adele (96)
  7. Man Down, Rihanna (96)
  8. Party Rock Anthem (feat. Lauren Bennett & GoonRock), LMFAO (93)
  9. Set Fire to the Rain, Adele (90)
  10. Empire State of Mind (feat. Alicia Keys), Jay-Z (90)
  11. He Won't Go, Adele (88)
  12. Fool of Me, Me'Shell Ndegéocello (85)
  13. Free, Zac Brown Band (84)
  14. My Body, Young the Giant (82)
  15. Teach Me How to Dougie, Cali Swag District (81)
Interesting combination. Where'd that country song come from? Clearly I love Adele's 21 album. I'm resetting the play count now, and if I actually remember to do so, will report back in a couple of months.

10.05.2011

Yay! Another list for me to cross things off of.

Jeff O'Neal at Book Riot came up with a list of The 100 Greatest American Novels (1891-1991).  (Check that link to read about his methodology.)  As soon as I saw the list, I knew I'd have to see how many of the books I've read.  I'm crossing off those books that I read in their entirety.  If I only read a portion, it's marked with asterisks.  Just for kicks I've also noted the books I already own.  One of these days I'll knock those out and then get to the rest of the list.

  1. The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1892) 
  2. Maggie, Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane (1893)
  3. The Country of Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett (1896) 
  4. The Awakening by Kate Chopin (1899) 
  5. The Call of the Wild by Jack London (1903) 
  6. The Golden Bowl by Henry James (1904) 
  7. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (1905) 
  8. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (1906) 
  9. Three Lives by Gertrude Stein (1909) 
  10. My Antonia by Willa Cather (1918) 
  11. The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington (1918) 
  12. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson (1919) 
  13. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis (1920) 
  14. Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man by James Weldon Johnson (1921) 
  15. Cane by Jean Toomer (1923)
  16. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925) 
  17. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dresier (1925)
  18. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (1926) 
  19. The Bridge of the San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder (1927) 
  20. Home to Harlem by Claude McKay (1928) 
  21. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (1929) 
  22. Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe (1929) 
  23. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (1930) 
  24. Flowering Judas and Other Stories by Katherine Porter (1930) 
  25. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (1931) 
  26. Call It Sleep by Henry Roth (1934) 
  27. The Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller (1934) 
  28. Appointment in Samarra by John O’Hara (1934) 
  29. The USA Trilogy by John Dos Passos (1936)
  30. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (1936) 
  31. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1937) 
  32. Day of the Locust by Nathaniel West (1939) 
  33. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (1939) 
  34. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (1939) 
  35. Native Son by Richard Wright (1940) 
  36. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (1940) 
  37. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (1943) 
  38. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (1943)  [own]
  39. All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren (1946) 
  40. Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener (1947) 
  41. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer (1948) 
  42. The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles (1948) 
  43. The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson (1949)
  44. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (1951) 
  45. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (1952) 
  46. Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin (1953) 
  47. The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow (1953) 
  48. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953) ** (assigned in high school; couldn't finish, got by on Cliff Notes)
  49. Andersonville by MacKinley Kantor (1955) 
  50. On the Road by Jack Keroauc (1957) 
  51. Gimpel the Fool by Isaac Bashevis Singer (1957) 
  52. The Wapshot Chronicle by John Cheever (1957)
  53. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (1958) 
  54. The Magic Barrel by Bernard Malamud (1958) 
  55. Goodbye, Columbus by Philip Roth (1959) 
  56. Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs (1959) 
  57. The Little Disturbances of Man by Grace Paley (1959) 
  58. Browngirl, Brownstones by Paule Marshall (1959)
  59. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960) 
  60. Rabbit, Run by John Updike (1960) 
  61. The Sot-Weed Factor by John Barth (1960) 
  62. The Moviegoer by Walker Percy (1961) 
  63. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1961)  [own]
  64. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates (1961)
  65. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey (1962) 
  66. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (1963)  [own]
  67. A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter (1967) 
  68. The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron (1967) 
  69. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By Philip K. Dick (1968)
  70. Slaughterhouse-5 by Kurt Vonnegut (1969) 
  71. House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday (1969) 
  72. them by Joyce Carol Oates (1969) 
  73. The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford (1969) 
  74. Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion (1970) 
  75. The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor (1971) 
  76. Mumbo Jumbo by Ishmael Reed (1972) 
  77. Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner (1972) 
  78. Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (1973)
  79. Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow (1975) 
  80. JR by William Gaddis (1976)
  81. Roots by Alex Haley (1976) 
  82. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko (1977)
  83. The World According to Garp by John Irving (1978) 
  84. Airships by Barry Hannah (1978) 
  85. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson (1980) 
  86. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (1980)  [own]
  87. The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty (1982)
  88. The Color Purple by Alice Walker (1982) 
  89. Cathedral by Raymond Carver (1983) 
  90. Love Medicine by Lousie Erdrich (1984) 
  91. Neuromancer by William Gibson (1984) 
  92. White Noise by Don Delillo (1985) 
  93. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy (1985)
  94. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry (1985) 
  95. City of Glass by Paul Auster (1985)
  96. Beloved by Toni Morrison (1987)
  97. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (1989) 
  98. The Shawl  by Cynthia Ozick (1989) 
  99. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (1990)
  100. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez (1991)
So, I've read 17/100.  Not great, but I am curious about a lot of these titles (many of which I've never heard of) and look forward to crossing them off some day.

10.03.2011

Just random

Here's what's on my mind:

  • 50/50 starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen - I loved it. Go see it.

  • The Sing-Off - I'm loving Urban Method and Afro Blue (who are from Howard U. I wanna root for the local kids, and they make it easy to do because they're awesome.)

  • 2 Broke Girls - I'm gonna drop it. I just can't stand the laugh track. The show is just not that funny.

  • 60 Minutes - I enjoyed Morley Safer's interview with Andy Rooney, as well as Andy's last bit. But what was really amazing was the kid who climbs cliffs WITH NO ROPES. Holy crap. I was on the edge of my seat.


See? Random.