Okay, not going to blog on family stuff. I feel the need to go through the books / movies I’ve read / watched since my last media update. OCD, that’s me.
These are in no particular order since I rearranged my office and cleaned up my shelves, so I have no idea what’s been moved where.
Hatchet – Gary Paulsen. Young Adult Adventure classic. Can’t believe I never read this as a kid, but I can’t wait to hand it off to Reece and Lorelai
Stephen King – The Dark Tower (Book 7 of the Dark Tower Series). Okay, I didn’t just read this one, I read the whole series. And it’s a long series. Took me over two years to read it all, not like I’ve been busy or anything. A couple of the books were real grinds to get through, and I do remember skipping four or five pages of fluff at one point, I think it was in book 6. But the end of book 7, and especially the author’s notes, hit me hard, and really made me examine why I read, and why I write. “The man in black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed.” I will never forget that line, and hopefully the lessons learned from it. There should be college courses taught about the Dark Tower.
The First Five Pages – Noah Lukeman – A must read for any budding or starving author. I will re-read this one a few times. Even Lisa read this one and liked it because it helps her to provide me with good feedback after she reads one of my stories.
A Writer’s Guide to Fiction – Elizabeth Lyon – I’ve been trying to improve my writing, and this book gave me some good ideas, and reinforced a lot of what Lukeman talked about in TFFP. I’d recommend it for writers, even as just a reference book to flip open every once in a while and try to pull some point from the pages.
The Scourge of God – SM Stirling – Fourth Book in ‘The Change Series’. This series and SM Stirling’s Nantucket Series are probably the one set of books I’ve read in the last few years that I can give the most credit to for getting me back into the writer’s chair. This one isn’t as good as the rest of the series, but oddly enough, after reading the Dark Tower series, and learning from it, I think I appreciate this series more, and in particular, Stirling’s great descriptive passages. There were a lot of negative reviews for this book from loyal fans, and a few months ago, I would have panned it too, but if you take a step back, and enjoy the journey of the reading, instead of just rushing through it to get to the end, it is an enjoyable tale.
Ender’s Shadow – Orson Scott Card – Great Book, probably as good as Ender’s Game. Must-read science fiction
Lucifer’s Hammer – Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. second time I’ve read this one. Last time was in college. Not as good this time around. I don’t reread books very often (Patriot Games and Lost in the Barrens being the only two I can recall that I’ve read more than twice). I remembered this as being a great book. I was a little disappointed.
The Road – Cormac McCarthy – I was wary of this book because Oprah liked it, and it was very prosy. But again, reading the Dark Tower made me stop and pay attention, and enjoy it. And I couldn’t put it down and read it in two days.
Flipping Out & The Rabbit Factory – Marshall Karp – Good, quick, entertaining reads. Don’t let the size of the books fool you. You can read one of these in a weekend, even if you have a cold and the kids are hanging off you.
Sword Song – Bernard Cornwell – Another in the Uhtred of Bebanburg Vikings in 800 AD stories. Nobody tells these like Cornwell, and I always seem to have another of his on my shelf.
That’s the books (I think).
Traitor – Guy flick. Nothing spectacular. Ridiculous ending. 1/4 stars
Shake Hands with the Devil – Documentary about General Romeo Dallaire and the 1994 Rwandan Genocide – Pretty Good, with some hard to watch footage. But not as good as the book. 3/4 stars
Up – Not a little kids animated movie. Adult stuff in here. Funny at times. Amazing how we start to take CGI for granted. Show this to someone from 1995, and they’d be in shock. 2/4 stars
State Of Play – Better than average thriller. Russell Crowe helped this movie. Affleck did not. 2/4 stars
Gone With the Wind – I’d never seen this before, and it was on my bucket list. Pretty amazing considering when it was made. Good thing Scarlet wasn’t whiny the whole time, or frankly, I wouldn’t have given a damn about the ending either. 3/4 stars
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – best of the Potter series. 4/4 stars
Angels and Demons – Tom Hanks, not the right person for this role. He’s too… big for it. 2/4 stars
The Proposal – Silly chick flick, but not as bad as it could have been 2/4 stars
Appaloosa – Yikes. Bad. 1/4 stars
Get Smart – About what you’d expect. 2/4 stars
I Love You, Man – A cover your eyes, it’s kinda a guy movie with bathroom humor. I laughed more than Lisa did. – 1/4 stars
The Godfather Parts 1&2 – Great Movies. Glad I watched them. Godfather 3 has been sitting on out shelf since October. We’re scared it will ruin the rest. 4/4 stars
X-Men Origins – Wolverine – bad. bad. bad. 1/4 stars
Saving Grace – British humor. Barely. 1/4 stars
I’ll stop there. Most people probably stopped earlier, and are cursing me, and asking me, where the hell are the kids?
Soon. I promise.
Thanks for the plug, JB. And if the twins are hanging on to you when you're reading Flipping Out, give them The Rabbit Factory to play with. It's hundred of pages that are as much fun to munch on as they are to read.Write on.
Marshall, Thanks so much for stopping by. My wife suggested I read your books, and I'm glad she did. Not sure if you ever make it up to Seattle, but if you do, drop me a note, and I'd love to buy you a cup of coffee! It'd be great to have you come to the PNWA Conference in July as well!