Saturday, March 31, 2012

Book Review: The Night Circus

By Erin Morgenstern

This richly imaginative fable is full of beautiful language and sumptuous settings. The circus of Morgenstern’s imagination is very graphic and very elegant. The characters are richly imaginative, the magic unusual.

The well-crafted story of Le Cirque des Reves is told in vignettes that follow the characters through many years. As the story switches from character to character, it was easy to forget how each person fit into the puzzle, partly because the connections weren’t all revealed in the beginning. For a time I thought there were too many characters, but in the middle of the book, when all the characters had been introduced, it became more clear who each character was. I still believe the story would have benefitted from at least two less characters.

This book was such a treat, and I hope the movie is no less a feast for the eyes. I highly recommend this book.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What's Your Number?

Thirty Five. That’s my number.

No, I’m not referring to how many sexual partners I’ve had. It’s actually the number of books I’ve read from the 1001 books you should read before you die list.

I don’t necessarily agree with the list, so it’s not a major goal of mine to increase my number. Shakespeare’s absence from the list is a huge oversight. He’s too integral to the English literature that has been written since his time.

So, anyway, what’s your number? 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Time My Heart Swelled with Pride

Design Mom Gabrielle Blair posed an interesting question on her blog today. She asked what was the sweetest thing I’ve ever done for a stranger.

What immediately came to mind wasn’t something I’d done, but something I saw my husband do.

In May 2009, we stood waiting in line at the Las Vegas Stratosphere McDonald’s* as a disheveled man dug through a small pile of coins looking for the change he needed to pay for his meal. It became quickly obvious that he didn’t have enough money, and a palpable tension emerged in the room. I quietly watched my husband reach into his wallet and discreetly slip a $10 bill to the man.

With that seemingly little action, I felt an enormous wave of love for Nick and pride that he was mine.

There have been many moments since then when I’ve been able to witness Nick doing something equally sweet for someone, but this will always stand out to me because it was one of the first. 

*I know what you’re thinking. With all the wonderful food in Las Vegas, we chose McDonald’s! I wanted an iced coffee. Shut up!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Book Review: Aleph

By Paulo Coehlo

Because of my great love for Isabel Allende, suggested that I give Paulo Coehlo a try. I planned to read The Alchemist or Veronika Decides to Die, but I happened upon this book on the “New Books” shelf at the front of the library.

This book was hard to enjoy. I had to force myself to like it. For about the first half, I thought it was a supernatural memoir. Then I noticed the back cover said Fiction, but according to a New York Times interview with Coehlo from September 2011, this was his experience on a train across Siberia in 2006. I can’t put into words how sad this made me. Viewing it as fictional was the only thing that got me through the book.

The story itself is interesting, if viewed in the context of being purely fictional. The writing was a bit boring and lacked true style and eloquence. That contributed to my difficulties reading the book.

I would not recommend this book, but it wasn’t bad enough that I’d never read his other works.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Other Things I Watched in February

Super 8
Written & Directed by J.J. Abrams

I wasn't sure what to expect with this movie. That was, of course, the point as it always is with Abrams works. Let's just say, I really liked it. I recommend this to anyone particularly people who enjoy Abrams other works.

Written & Directed by Jay & Mark Duplass

This movie was, in my opinion, terrible. I napped through the middle of it. My recommendation is to not waste your time unless you've been suffering from a bout of insomnia.

Cowboys and Aliens
Directed by Jon Favreau

I really liked this movie. I was a little surprised by how much I liked it because my initial impression wasn't favorable. I'm not quite sure why I couldn't get behind the concept when I love to watch Ancient Aliens on History.


I LOVE this show. It's so amazing. Watch it!

What I'm Looking Forward to Watching

The return of Community is nigh!

Monday, March 12, 2012


That's the sound I made when I finally got a chance to sit down last night. (Incidentally, it's also the sound a puppie makes according to Claire.)

Our house is on the market after a long week of work. We have a few more small things to do, but we were able to breathe freely last night. Or at least a little more freely. We did start to apply for some jobs last week. That process will undoubtedly become more stressful as the days pass.

The blog will be a bit quiet for the next few weeks, but I will have a book review sometime this week.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Book Review: SPOOK

By Mary Roach

This is the second book I’ve read by Mary Roach. My first foray into her writing was almost two years ago when I read Stiff. I thoroughly enjoyed Stiff, and I was excited to go on another research excursion with Roach. An excursion is really what these two books were right down to Roach traveling to various locations for work.

This book was not a disappointment at all. Roach applied her branch of research to science’s quest for answers regarding the afterlife, and I thoroughly enjoyed being along for the ride.

The book covers everything from reincarnations in India to how much a soul weights and séances and ectoplasm to medium research. AND (all caps are necessary to indicate my high level of excitement) she got to meet the real Allison DuBois! If you don’t know who this is, then I probably don’t like you but here’s a clue:

Allison DuBois with Allison Dubois
Roach is also funny. I’m not sure how she manages it when writing about science. It’s a miracle, I tell ya!

I highly recommend this book and Stiff (if you can stomach cadaver talk).