Friday, September 27, 2013

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

I also read this as part of R.I.P. VIII.

Goodreads summary:

R is a young man with an existential crisis--he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams.
After experiencing a teenage boy's memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with the victim's human girlfriend. Julie is a blast of color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that surrounds R. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world. 

My Thoughts:

I love me some zombie stories. I do! I love the premise behind this book. A zombie romance and a slight retelling of Romeo & Juliet, sounds like it should be a zombie book made in heaven, right?

I'm sure most people find it a good one. But it was too preachy. I didn't like that. And it just didn't make sense...all this time no zombie has figured out how to come back but take a young, nubile, white, blond woman and a once-white guy in suburban America....sparks fly and they can save the whole human and zombie race!

It had so much potential. And I know I'm nitpicking...but this story didn't speak to me. I'd say more but don't want to give away any spoilers.

Book Vs. Movie:

The movie was completely neutered from the actual book but that actually made me relate to the movie a whole lot more. The movie was more about the romance and love saving the world and more about tolerance. So hands down, the movie for me! Even though it's still only an OK zombie movie ;)

Image Sources: Goodreads.com

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cat Thursday (15)

Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! Hosted by Michelle of The True Book Addict.

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I rounded up a few really funny gifs and pics this week!

1. She just really wanted that red dot!


2.  This kitty had one too many shots of milk...



3. Catnymastics...


4. This is either really dumb or...OK really dumb ;)


5. This one hates strawberries...they're pretty evil...


6. Gotta end with Grumpy Cat!



Pulled images from Why Evolution Is True and he in turn pulled them from various sites that he cites ;)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

One Line Movie Reviews (13)

1. Seven Psychopaths (2012): Tried to be too smart and ended up being a bit of a mess.

Rating: C


2. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012): This one was my favorite!

Rating: B+


3. The Artist (2012): Modern silent movie; well-done!

Rating: B


4. The Impossible (2012): Beautiful story but would also like to hear of the harrowing untold stories of the people who actually lived and worked there.

Rating: A-


5. Gangster Squad (2013): Mediocre gangster movie that got pretty hammy in the end.

Rating: C+


6. The Evil Dead (1981): Cult classic with a few jumps but more than enough unintentioned (yes, I just made up that word...) laughs.

Rating: C


7. TiMER (2009): Cute rom-com but the ending was pretty lackluster.

Rating: B-

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Historian Read-a-long and Midway Check-in



The Estella Society,who's hosting the R.I.P. VIII read-a-long, checks in with us and asks us a few questions:

1. What do you think of the structure of the novel? It’s a story within a story (sort of within a story). We have Professor Rossi’s storyline, Paul’s reflections, and the daughter’s adventures. And letters. There’s a lot going on! 

The structure was really interesting at first, but as the novel goes on, I'm finding the epistolary nature of the story a bit credulous. It's also a bit confusing trying to remember what story we're in and who's talking, which document or letter is being referred to...
2. What are your thoughts on Helen’s characterization? Have you warmed to her?

I liked Helen from the start. I assume Kostova is setting her up to be the mother. She's sassy and interesting. I like strong female characters.
3. What do you think of the peripheral characters? Are their motivations pure? I’m thinking of Turget, Helen’s family members, etc.

I'm trying to be an idealist! So I'm hoping these periphery characters are all on the up and up. I just find it so mysterious that so many people are and have been pursuing Vlad aka Dracula all this time. I guess I'm just not sure on where their motivations lie...Good is what I'm hoping for :)
4. Other thoughts on this book?

It's fascinating, for sure. I'm enjoying the travel from place to place. She really makes me want to travel to the Romanian mountains and Bulgaria and Turkey! Two complaints: The first I made reference to in question 1, but the other complaint is it drags a bit in the middle. But really amazing, overall, that this is her first novel! Just wow.

I'm so curious how it's all going to end!

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Reading Life September 23, 2013

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A Reading Life...hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict, and also inspired by Lisa at Lit and Life--Life: It Goes On...is a meme where we get to talk about other stuff we're doing in our lives along with reading!

Listening To: Not much this week, unfortunately :(

Books finished last week:

Warm Bodies
 by Isaac Marion.

Reading:

  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova for R.I.P. VIII
  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  • Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation by Elissa Stein
  • Finding Flow: The Psychology of Finding Engagement With Everyday Life by Mihaly Csikzsentmihalyi
  • A Skeleton at the Helm: Tales of Ghost Ships, Derelicts, & Hauntings at Sea by John Richard Stevens also for R.I.P. VIII
I have a few that I'll be finishing up here in the next week!

Coming Up:

I still have a lineup of zombie movies in my Netflix queue...28 Days Later just arrived and the original Dawn of the Dead is next in line!

Watching:

Still watching zombie and horror movies. :)

Making:

I made stew, bread, apple butter, grilled corn, and mulled some wine to bring in the Fall season on Sunday. I shared it with some friends and it was amazing!


I will also be making Tuscan Tortellini later this week. My devoted hubby is headed off on a work trip for 3 weeks and leaving me alone with the little guy for a bit. So my friend Stacie has agreed to "adopt" us throughout the 3 weeks and I've decided to make her and her family this wonderful hearty Fall soup :)

Grateful For:

The cool nights, Fall, and great family and friends to share it with.

Looking forward to:

World War Z was quite good and scary in 3D!

I'm not looking forward to my hubby being gone for 3 weeks but am looking forward to fun times with friends that are planning some extra things with Gabe and me :)

Picture:

Our fun day :)

We visited a local place that has huge gardens, a lake, waterfalls, and fish today with friends. It's getting close to closing time for outdoor places like this. So it was nice to get out and enjoy the mild sunny weather and run around!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

One Line Movie Reviews (12)

1. Wonders of the Solar System (2010): Beautiful and informative; all about our son, and our planet, and the planets in our solar system.

Rating: A+

2. Oblivion (2013): Interesting concept but the ending was a bit far-fetched.

Rating: B

3. Admission (2013): Love Tina Fey but this was only a so-so comedy.

Rating: B-

4. Wonders of the Universe (2011): Brian Cox takes us to the Universe and thrills us with all its wonders!

Rating: A+

5. Pulp Fiction (1994): Such a weird and crazy show; but that's to be expected from Tarantino.

Rating: B

6. Iron Jawed Angels (2004): A dramatized account of what women had to go through to get the right to vote in the United States; gut-wrenching and proud of these beautiful women.

Rating: A+

7. Struck By Lightning (2012): Very cute and funny and light and heavy and a bit depressing all at the same time!

Rating: B+

8. Despicable Me 2 (2013): Loved the minions but the contrived love story for Gru was pretty ho-hum and disappointing.

Rating: B-

9. Along Came a Spider (2001): Fun but nothing special.

Rating: C+

10. Now You See Me (2013): So wanted to love this but it got really contrived at the end and that put the damper on the whole movie for me.

Rating: C-



Monday, September 16, 2013

A Reading Life (2)

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A Reading Life...hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict, and also inspired by Lisa at Lit and Life--Life: It Goes On...is a meme where we get to talk about other stuff we're doing in our lives along with reading!

Listening To: RadioLab was excellent this last week. Talking about the brain, it's disorders and how far do those disorders deflect blame on ourselves when we mess up? Kind of blew my mind.

Books finished last week:

The Violinist's Thumb
 by Sam Kean. Will review this week :)

Reading:

  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova for R.I.P. VIII
  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  • Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation by Elissa Stein
  • Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
  • A Skeleton at the Helm: Tales of Ghost Ships, Derelicts, & Hauntings at Sea by John Richard Stevens also for R.I.P. VIII


Coming Up:

Lots of zombie movies :) Watching Evil Dead this weekend! Also planning a craft night so I can get some Fall crafts done before October :)

Watching:

Eureka. So funny and informative!

Making:

Homemade pizza. I will be preparing the pizza dough as soon as I'm done with this post :)

Grateful For:

The Internet. I really don't know how people existed without it for eons and eons....

Looking forward to:

Some 3D movies I'm ordering this weekend! Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness....

Picture:

Gabe's first soccer game tonight!

Enjoying Gabe playing soccer for the first time! He really enjoys it :)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

R.I.P. VIII--Jaws (Film Review)

Jaws (1975)



I watched Jaws as part of my R.I.P. VIII challenge. Tis the season and all.





I think I saw Jaws back when I was a kid but I didn't remember much. This came out before there was a PG-13 rating...it was pretty bloody. But that's to be expected for a creature feature. I kind of felt bad for the shark....He was just tryin' to eat and then all these humans start swimming out there in the ocean and crazy killings commence. They never quite explain why this shark became so intelligent as to actually hunt humans by overturning their boats, etc. Some kind of mutant from damage to our oceans? I like that one. Payback's a bitch...

It had some great jumpy parts and the music was done so well. But I do not fear sharks more than usual and I'm not afraid to go into the ocean! Glad I saw it but I was expecting a bit more on the scares. I think modern movies have desensitized me...


Saturday, September 14, 2013

FrightFall Read-a-thon!



More exciting read-a-thons as Halloween and Fall fall upon us :) Michelle at The True Book Addict is hosting FrightFall Read-a-thon from September 30-October 6! Since I'm already doing R.I.P VIII, I figured I would just add this one on and hang on for the ride :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cat Thursday (14)

Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! Hosted by Michelle of The True Book Addict.

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I'm very excited for Fall; it's just around the corner so I thought I'd share some images of Fall kittehs!

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Happy almost Fall!!!!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Reading Life! September 8, 2013 (1)

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A Reading Life...hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict, and also inspired by Lisa at Lit and Life--Life: It Goes On...is a meme where we get to talk about other stuff we're doing in our lives along with reading!

Listening To: Lots of podcasts. I just got a new app on my android that allows me to download all my podcasts and will then automatically erase them after I'm done! So fantastic. Star Talk Radio, RadioLab, and Skeptics Guide to the Universe are a few of my favorites!

Books finished last week:

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson.

Reading:

  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova for R.I.P. VIII
  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  • The Violinist's Thumb by Sam Kean


Coming Up:

I'm planning on getting into some more zombie books as Halloween and the R.I.P. challenge are upon me :). Probably Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, Dust and Ashes by Jonathon Maberry. Movies...zombie horror flicks, of course!

Watching:

Portlandia and I just finished up Orange is the New Black! So intense; I can't wait for the second season. And we just got a 3D blu ray player so we're watching some 3D stuff :)

Making:

I'm getting really excited for Fall. Pumpkin and mulled everything. But that's still a few weeks away. So I've been making a lot of chai tea and green smoothies. I'm sure this will be more interesting soon...

Grateful For:

For glue stitches instead of actual stitches for my 4-year-old. I don't know if I could have taken the trauma of an actual sewn in stitch....

Looking forward to:

Fall splendor
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Fall. Fall colors, mulling ciders and wines. Baking pumpkin breads, hot chocolate, and pumpkin spice everything at the coffee shops. Halloween and reading all the scary books this month and next!








Picture:

Gabe being a trooper after the glued stitch :)

First non-stitch! They glued it! Such a trooper.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

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I wondered whether or not I should tackle this one. I'm going through my own intense grief right now and wasn't sure if I should read a book about death and grief.

The first 1/3 of the book, I just wasn't sure. The writing was scattered. The characters were odd and situations and her world were a bit unrealistic. Each chapter begins with Lennie's poetry fragments. They somehow fly around the city to be found by others...so odd.

Also, Lennie. She's a literary and music genius. I believe in geniuses, I do but her genius wasn't drawing me in. It confused me.

But it's raw and in your face grief. I get that. I'm getting it. And as the story progressed it all started to make sense. Len's little poetry fragments, her grief over the death of her sister. Her pulling away. Her making out with and almost sleeping with her dead sister's boyfriend...raw.

Lennie has hid behind her sister. She's been her shadow, her sidekick. Now Bailey is gone. Who is she? Who was Bailey? 

"But what if I'm a shell-less turtle now, demented and devastated in equal measure, an unfreakingbelievable mess of a girl, who wants to turn the air into colors with her clarinet, and what if somewhere inside I prefer this? What if as much as I fear having death as a shadow, I'm beginning to like how it quickens the pulse, not only mine, but the pulse of the whole world..."


"My sister will die over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn't go away; it becomes part of you, step for step, breath for breath. I will never stop grieving Bailey because I will never stop loving her. That's just how it is. Grief and love are conjoined, you don't get one without the other. All I can do is love her, and love the world, emulate her by living with daring and spirit and joy."


Yup, a millions time over. Not everyone's grief is the same nor should it be. No one person has the market of what's the proper grief for someone else. Some may get through it and not feel this way but I know so many who are this quote. Me. It's what makes life so precious knowing that it's so fleeting and comes eventually to everyone.

I love the journies Lennie, her sister's boyfriend Toby, her grandmother, and her uncle embark on. Grief shapes their lives; death has forever altered who they will be. Such a beautiful and poetic ending.

The thing that helped turn this around for me was the magical realism elements. She spliced fantasy elements throughout. The fateful notes. Her mother's spells and rituals; cooking and love and wine. It wasn't apparent at first which made me sputter a bit the first 1/3 but I got it in the end. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

RIP VIII!

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril the VIII starts today!!!! Hosted by Carl over at Stainless Steel Droppings. I participated a few years ago but haven't been able to for awhile so I'm happy to be participating this year. This runs from Sept. 1-Oct. 31st!



They have a group read as well--The Historian by Elizabeth Kostava. I've been meaning to read this every year for Halloween and well, it's time!



Basically, we can read anything that's scary, suspenseful, horror, etc. May favorites are zombies. There is just something about them that speaks to my proverbial soul! So definitely zombie books. Definitely an anthology of short horror stories. Definitely The Historian. Definitely lots of scary zombie movies and cheesy classic horrors!!!

I accept these challenges! And if I do not finish may the zombies eat my brains and the brains of my child ;)


Read 4 books!1

Read a few short stories!2


Watch some perilous movies!


Read The Historian!
May the scary times begin!

1-1. World War Z
2. Dust and Bones
3. Romeo & Juliet and Vampires
4. The Historian


2-I'm thinking some Edgar Allen Poe short stories!

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