Sunday, July 06, 2008

A

Thoughts on the "A" works I chose for the Library A to Z gimmick:

Books:

I'm a Believer by Jessica Adams
303 pages... but I only read 72.
Last word - blur. (For whatever reason, after I finish a book, Harper always asks, "What was the last word?" So, I'm going to include the final word from all the books I mention from here on out.)

This book was about a science teacher in England whose live-in girlfriend dies in a car accident, and how he copes with life after that. Things get complicated when he begins to see her spirit showing up in his flat, and at work, etc. You know, what with him being all skeptical of the afterlife and all.
It wasn't that this book was bad - quite the opposite, in fact. It's just that I am extremely picky, and keeping my interest can sometimes be a chore.

Fortunately, I had a second A book chosen.
Which brings me to...
Flight by Sherman Alexie
181 pages
Last word - (It's kinda a spoiler, so highlight to view it)Michael
This book was written with folks with ADD in mind. The writing style is minimalist, easy to follow, and extremely brisk. The plot is basically this: A 15 year-old half-Indian, half-Irish orphan named "Zits" winds up having his own version of Quantum Leap, wherein after making a really bad choice involving some guns, he finds himself moving around in time and in different people.
Despite being a 'simple' story, it was actually quite moving, and there were several ideas that were eloquent in their simplicity, if that makes sense.
The entire book can be consumed in a day - several hours, really - and I think it'll stick with you if you read it. So, I recommend it.

Music:

We Can Breathe Under Alcohol by An Angle
Holy. Crap. This was bad.
Well, the first part was decent. Except that each song mentioned drinking, which, okay, sorta to be expected given the title of the album and all. And I've got nothing wrong with theme discs or even if all your bands songs are about the same thing - heck, look at Bad Religion. All their songs are the exact same. But by about song 4, it started to wear a little thin.
Then came track 6.
Track 6 went on. And on. And on. And on.
And I think that they were drunk when they were composing it.
The next couple of songs were almost as bad.
Track 9 was okay, and probably the only one on the whole disc I'd consider downloading. (I didn't, though.)
Overall, An Angle = Epic Fail.

However!

In Stitches by The Actual
This was good!
I'm really quite surprised that The Actual is not on the radio. They're better than, say, oh, I don't know. Pick some random-interchangeable manufactured alt-rock band on the air now. Plain White Ts or Seether. Or at least just as good. [shrug] I mean, they somehow manage to make lyrics like:

So keep me safe in your pocket like a kangaroo,
And I will keep you in the back of my thoughts like a bill that's six months overdue,

work! I mean, that sounds cheesy as hell, but when you hear it in the song, you're like, "Yeah! Six months overdue!"
Anyway, I'm glad that I picked out two discs because one of them worked out, the other not so much.

Movies:

American Dreamz
That's Dreamz with a z. (Heh.) No, this movie wasn't about that Survivor contestant from a few seasons back.
It was, however, actually a very funny movie. It's a great little flick to escape an hour and a half with. The songs are amusing, the characters are all quirky enough to keep your interest (and sympathies, for the most part - even the unsympathic ones), and a lot of the dialog is very LOL-worthy. So, good pick there.

As for the "B"s - we went to the Clark County Library today, and I picked out:
Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow [book]
23 by Blonde Redhead [CD]
and two movies:
Blackboard Jungle and Book of Days. We'll have to see how those pan out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have an old album somewhere (yes vinyl) of David Bowie singing Bertold Brecht. (Mack the Knife composer) That would definitely meet some "B" requirements. Good luck with the Bs and thanks for the reviewage.

I actually don't have plans anywhere this noble for the summer. I'll listen to whatever my kids are listening to and I'm re-reading the Diana Gabaldon Outlander series...SciFi Historical Romance. Lots of bosom heaving and throbbing members but the history part is interesting and my brain can't handle anything more complicated at the moment.

I did go see Get Smart at the theater on the 4th. And, because I'm a 16 year old boy in disguise, I laughed my ass off.