Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Books and movies

In anticipation of the book club meeting that was held yesterday I called the library to request a printout listing all the books I checked out last year. I had looked all over my account information online and couldn't find the section where they keep track of my books. Because I couldn't remember all the books I read last year. To be truthful, I can't really remember all the books I've read this month.

It turns out the library doesn't keep track. As soon as you return them the information is erased from your account. Unless you returned them late, then they block you from checking it out again until you pay your fine. You can view all your "blocks" on your account, but none that you returned on time. So you see how being a responsible citizen and returning your books on time and/or paying your fine in a timely manner does you absolutely no good whatsoever.

So I'll try to keep track of them here. A list of books I've read and whether or not I enjoyed them, in no particular order. My only real New Year's Resolution is not to continue reading a book if I'm not enjoying it, so I may not list the ones I don't like, just the ones I finish in 2014. Also movies.

Books that I've managed to remember reading in 2013 and up to this point in January 2014:
The Bartender's Tale, by Ivan Doig. Liked it.
The Whistling Season, by Ivan Doig. Loved it.
Looking for Alaska, by John Green. I find myself thinking about this story quite often, which is not exactly the same as loving it, but still important.
The Winter Sea, by Susanna Kearsley. Loved it. It had a satisfying surprise ending that may not be a surprise for the kind of reader who likes to figure out how the book will end while they're reading. I've never been that kind of reader.
The Story of Beautiful Girl, by Rachel Simon. Loved it.
Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery. Loved it, as I always do.
Welcome to Last Chance, by Cathleen Armstrong. Didn't love it. Two minor characters that I found memorable but didn't appreciate the book as a whole. Predictable romance with no deeper meaning or symbolism.
The Letters, by Suzanne Woods Fisher. Didn't love it. Same kind of book as Welcome to Last Chance although I liked this one better. Not exactly my cup of tea though.
The Light Between Oceans, by W.L. Stedman. Expected to love it but didn't.
Understood Betsy, by Dorothy Canfield Fisher. A children's book, I absolutely loved it.
While We're Far Apart, by Lynn Austin. Liked it.
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte. Loved, as I always do.
Divergent, by Veronica Roth. Liked it.
Insurgent, by Veronica Roth. Liked it okay but not as much as the first in the series.
I Was Told There'd Be Cake, by Sloane Crosley. A book of essays, some of which I enjoyed very much.
I Feel Bad About My Neck, And Other Thoughts On Being A Woman, by Nora Ephron. Another book of essays. Enjoyed it very much.
And the Pursuit of Happiness, by Maira Kalman. Kind of a strange and unexpected format in that it's a picture book for adults, and I found myself sort of outraged when she puts Barack Obama and Martin Luther King in the same league. Interesting tidbits about Abraham Lincoln and democracy and the United States of America though and I liked many parts of it.
Horoscopes for the Dead, by Billy Collins. A book of poetry. I loved it.
Edenbrooke, by Julianne Donaldson. Didn't like it. So predictable. The good guy is always good in every way and always on hand to save the day, and nothing at all redeemable in the bad guy. No growth or maturation or newly found wisdom in the heroine. Move along, there's nothing to see here...
7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, by Jen Hatmaker. Loved it. Made me inspect my lifestyle and character and ethics in a new way.
Star Girl, by Jerry Spinelli. Interesting, intriguing, liked it okay but didn't love it.

It turns out I did read a respectable number of books last year! There are a number of books I started but didn't finish because they didn't hold my attention. I also know there were other books I read but I've forgotten the titles and authors of them.

Movies I've seen lately:
The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey (Saw it in the theater when it came out in 2012, saw it again on TV in December before we went to see the sequel. Liked it much better the second time and it helped me know what was going on in Smaug.)
The Hobbit, The Desolation of Smaug, liked it.
Saving Mr. Banks, loved it.
The Host, on dvd. It was interesting.
The Magic of Belle Isle. On dvd. Loved it.
World War Z. Scary but good.
Monsters U. Okay.
Despicable Me 2. Pretty cute.
Catching Fire. Okay.
Frozen. Awesome.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Loved it. I read the short story before we went the the movie (it's a super short story which I wasn't expecting). The movie has nothing at all to do with the book except that in both cases Walter Mitty daydreams a bit to escape his tedious life.

I will try to list the books as I read them this year, and maybe do a grand finale book review sometime in December. The year 2014 is going to be The Year of Books for me!

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