Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Summer Reading 2012

I decided to make another summer reading list this year. Currently, I'm reading Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy, and that's put me in the mood to read other classics that I've always meant to but haven't gotten around to reading yet.

1. A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway. I've been meaning to read this since watching the film Midnight in Paris. Plus, I haven't read much Hemingway, so I figured it's about time I did so.
2. Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell
3. Middlemarch, by George Eliot
4. Little Dorrit, by Charles Dickens
5. The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton
6. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I've decided to read this again because the new movie is coming out soon, and it looks amazing! Past adaptations have never come close to living up to the book, but I'm really excited about this one. This book was the reason I decided to study English in college. It's one of my favorite stories, and it's time I read it again.

I'm also going to read a few graphic novels this summer:

1. Sweet Tooth, by Jeff Lemire. My brother got me interested in reading this one. I like to read what he's reading, so we can talk about it. Plus it just looks really quirky and fun.
2. Blankets, by Craig Thompson
3. The Complete Maus, by Art Spiegelman
4. V for Vendetta, by Alan Moore. I saw this movie on a plane once, but I was so jet-lagged, I don't remember much of it. So I decided before I watch the movie again, I'm going to read the graphic novel.

Addition to blog made 5/30/2012: I decided to make some additions to my summer reading list because I found a couple Doctor Who and comic related books that seem quirky and fun.

1. Doctor Who and Philosophy: Bigger on the Inside, edited and compiled by Courtland Lewis and Paula Smithka
2. Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It, by Lynne Thomas
3. Chicks Dig Comics: A Celebration of Comic Books by the Women Who Love Them, also by Lynne Thomas

That's all I've got, so far! I hope everyone is gearing up for a good summer of great reads!! :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Over the weekend, I noticed the Paramount Theater was playing Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and got really excited about it! I wanted to see it on it's first run, but it had a really limited release, and the small town I live in doesn't usually get limited release films. So when it finally came to Kankakee, I jumped on the chance to see it! And I'm glad I did. It was a wonderfully sweet film that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is exactly what it sounds like it would be. It's a film about a branch of the British government that attempts to bring the sport of Salmon Fishing to the Yemen. Of course, there are many obsticles to overcome: a hot, dry climate and civil unrest to only name a couple. But what struck me about the story, was not all the fishing. What I was drawn to was the budding romance between the two leads.

Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor give outstanding performances as the two government officials who are teamed up--rather reluctantly, at first--on this seemingly impossible fishing project. But as they slowly get to know one another, they realize what a wonderful team they make, and of course they begin to form an attachment.

The film is beautifully filmed and made me want to travel to the Yemen. (Of course, almost everytime I see a movie that takes place overseas, I immediately want to visit that place.) I wanted to put on a pair of khakis and a light linen shirt, and go out into the desert.

So if you're in the mood for a sweet, feel good film about determination and hope, see Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Classics: Shakespeare and Dickens

Over the past few days, I've had the chance to watch a couple of excellent new adaptations of two of my favorite stories. Shakespeare's Hamlet and Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens. I loved them so much, I wanted to write a little something about them both, and recommend them to whoever might be reading this.

I finally watched the latest version of Hamlet (I believe it's the latest) over the weekend, and I was enthralled! I don't know what it is about Shakespeare that keeps me coming back for more, but I can watch his plays over and over again, and never grow tired of them. Especially, Hamlet. I was drawn to this version because Hamlet was played by David Tennant and Claudius by Patrick Stewart. The first thought that went through my head was, The Doctor and Captain Picard starring in a production of Hamlet!? I have to see this! And so I did, and it was wonderful! I've loved David Tennant ever since he captured my heart in Doctor Who, and now I love him even more! I mean, how awesome is it that right after he finishes out his time as The Doctor, he turns around and plays Hamlet with the Royal Shakespeare Company?? That's pretty amazing.

Great Expectations
Last night, I took home the latest Masterpiece Classic mini-series of Great Expectations and watched all three episodes! I couldn't stop once I'd started. It is beautiful. I'm not sure how else to describe what they accomplished with this new version. Everything from the costumes, to the houses, to the tiny forge were beautifully crafted and beautifully filmed. Gillian Anderson played the insane, broken-hearted Miss Havisham, and did a wonderful job. Her performance was perfection. And of course, the rest of the cast was also spectacular! Especially, Douglas Booth as Pip. Like Shakespeare, the stories of Charles Dickens never get old. I get swept away in them every time I read one or watch a film adaption.

So I hope you have a chance to watch one or both of these because they are both timeless classics!