January 27th, 2007


Same old same old

My life lately is pretty much "I worked," "I got groceries," "I did laundry", "I read," or "I saw."

This week was the NYT book sale, and I was fairly restrained, getting 5 books Wednesday and going in for a special trip today (when it's 50% off) to get 10 more, for a total of $36 which goes to charity. I brought lists of books I have (exported from librarything) and books I want (ongoing since 1971), and almost all the books I got were from the want list. So not bad, except I still have hundreds of unread books, so I didn't exactly need to buy more.

I read:

"A Cast of Thousands" by Steve Shagan. I kept getting it confused with the 2 other showbiz novels I was reading. It's the story of a "Producers"-like stock scam where unscrupulous movie company execs hire an unstable creative team in an attempt to make a colossal flop about the Spanish Civil War, except (SPOILER!) it turns out to be a masterpiece. The book was not a masterpiece.

"The Ballad of T. Rantula" by Kit Reed. It's supposed to be YA, but it's VERY dark, about a kid whose parents are separating and whose friends are changing before his eyes. I didn't like it at all.

I was much happier with "Prep" by Curtis Sittenfeld. I didn't go to boarding school, but this seemed genuine. The main character was not that distinctive or endearing, but this trip through 4 years at the fictional Ault school held my interest.

"Singletini" by Amanda Trimble got bumped to the top of the To Be Read list because someone on BookCrossing wanted it. It's the story of a Chicago "wingwoman" (I'd never heard of this job, which is basically a matchmaker) and her friends, one of whom is a bridezilla (e.g., her wedding planners ask if it's possible for the female guests not to wear makeup so the bride can look better). A hoot.

I haven't been too diligent about seeing Spirit Awards nominees, but did watch:

"Old Joy": A camping trip, a dog, some drug use (or at least smoking) - hard for me to relate. There wasn't much plot, and I couldn't wait for the 2 guys to get back home and the movie to end.

"The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros": a gay coming-of-age story from the Philippines. Very foreign, with a certain sweetness.

Not foreign at all was "Capturing the Friedmans," which I've had for a while and finally watched. Even more than "51 Birch Street" I TOTALLY knew the setting. My sister's friend lived down the block from the Friedmans on Piccadilly Road. The movie is very thought-provoking, and I've added the bonus disk to the top of my queue.