Thursday, December 13, 2007

Stuff for a Winter's Night

I got out of performing at a doctor's office Christmas pajama party tonight (wha?) and I'm also an LSFWW (Law School Finals Week Widow), so I put my sweatpants on and I have Dove chocolates with caramel and The Carpenters to keep me company. And it's currently snowing. Can you say COZY? Okay, now let's dish about books and movies.


I am almost finished reading Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Oh. My. Why I am so fascinated with post-apocalyptic subject matter I will never know, but I love this book. I just can't stop thinking about it. I also can't stop thinking about how grateful I am for heat and power and running water and the sun! And my healthy, well-fed children. If you read it, you will know what I'm talking about. Then there is the rumored news that Viggo Mortenson will be playing the lead character in the movie version. So great.


Speaking of rumors, supposedly Ryan Gosling was supposed to star in the film version of Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones, directed by Peter Jackson, but when he showed up for the first day of shooting, he was fired for being overweight! So Mark Wahlberg got the part instead. Cruel Hollywood. I'm pretty sure it's a true rumor, too, because my friend Chris hung out with one Mandy Gosling in New York. Who happens to be Mormon AND an RM, and who also happens to be her brother's manager. (Awesome job, by the way.) I started reading The Lovely Bones recently and I have to admit, I'm hooked. Which is refreshing since I have not been hooked by some other books I have been reading recently. But Mark Wahlberg? Poor Ryan.


Speaking of Ryan, have you seen Lars and the Real Girl yet? It has been my favorite movie of this whole year and maybe last year as well since I don't see many movies. I laughed and I cried, then I laughed until I cried. The acting was A-MA-ZING all around. Emily Mortimer had one monologue that made me cry just because it was that good. Basically, it had everything that I could ever want out of a movie.


A movie with a similar title is Dan in Real Life. This movie was also very good, although I like Lars better. But Steve Carell is awesome, and I like that when I read interviews with him, he is a normal dad guy, not some crazy-ha-ha-in-your-face comedy guy. I like to think that I am that kind of comedian and so I like people like that. He shows up to work, does his job (which happens to be making the funny) then goes home to his family. I would not call the movie a romantic comedy because that would be insulting it. I would prefer to call it a family dramedy, a la The Family Stone.

Remember The Family Stone? And remember that Rachel McAdams was really great in that? She is set to play the lead role in The Time Traveler's Wife, opposite Eric Bana (remember Eric Bana's biceps in Troy?) I hope The Time Traveler's Wife is a good movie because, I have to confess, when I was talking earlier about books that have not had me hooked, this was one of them. It got kind of boring, and the language bugged me. I have issues with language. And they are not Mormony issues. More like childhood scarred-for-life issues. So I stopped reading it. Another book I can't seem to get through is The Amber Spyglass. The Golden Compass was charming enough, and I made my way through The Subtle Knife, but now, with Spyglass, I'm just sort of not into it. And I'm somewhat confused about whose side I'm supposed to be on as a reader, and that annoys me. I'm going to give it another shot, though. I refuse to mention the title of third book that I'm not that into because I'm having sort of an identity crisis about why I can't just be like the rest of the world and root for a lackluster heroine with no hobbies or interests, whose only thoughts are of a gorgeous guy who is manipulative and could potentially harm and/or kill her. But now I've said too much. (Please don't hate me.)


So, um, speaking of The Golden Compass, my mom and I went to see it last week and I liked it. I was expecting not to, because of the horrible reviews, but the girl who played Lyra was perfectly cast, Nicole Kidman was perfectly gorgeous, and I actually understood a couple things more clearly that I didn't fully get while reading the book. And I assume they plan on making the rest of the movies in the trilogy because, if not, that was the lamest excuse for an ending of a movie that I have seen in a LONG time. Other fantasies that I have yet to see? Stardust and Enchanted, both of which look really good.


Other books that I bought at Costco today for myself? The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I am looking forward to reading the first two and I already read Tale, but it was my sister's copy and I wanted to have one of my own. It is a must-read if you have ever loved a book by a Bronte sister and/or have twins in your life. I devoured it when I was pregnant with the girls. But I devoured a lot in that time of my life...

Sorry if any of this was hard to follow. Those of you who know me know I have no qualms about talking a lot and changing subjects as quickly as the thoughts enter into my mind, sometimes even before. That's why it's good no one can interrupt me on my blog. I would love to hear your recommendations of other books and movies. Or gossip. Well, this was fun! Maybe next time we (meaning I) can talk about TV! Oh. Now I just remembered the writer's strike and I'm going to go cry myself to sleep.

18 comments:

Bek said...

I have to check out a few of those movies...

We managed to see both Enchanted AND Stardust and they are ones that our kids would love, but we really enjoyed. You will like them....

Some day we need to meet in real life. Whenever I talk to LVC she is either AT your house, just COMING from your house or you are just coming over to hers.... one of these days our paths are bound to cross....

Kelly said...

OOH. I missed book club this month. I need some book chat. I took notes on your post so I can comment effectively, because, yes, I AM that bigga nerd.

Loved the writing in the road. Beautiful. The story didn't have me 100%. My Mom read it three times without stopping, though.

Liked Lovely Bones, too. Family Stone was so great. Laughed and cried at same time, a la Steel Magnolias.

LOVED Time Traveler's Wife, though cannot reccommend it to anyone because of aforementioned foul-mouthed characters. Am seriously considering taking a sharpie to a copy and then passing it out to friends. But then I'll probly get sued and shut down like family flix.

Kite Runner is great, too. But also do not reccommend to friends because of one horrific scene, which I tried to skip. Didn't enjoy his second book, Splendid Suns, nearly so well.

I just finished The Book Thief. There is lots of German cussing, but it was worth it to me. 5 stars.

I will go see Lars and real girl ASAP.

Whew.

Kelly said...

Oh. And about THAT book to which you are not referring. They are like a bag of chocolate chips in your nightstand. Not really that great, and probly not worth your time or calories. But yet I keep at em til they are gone. I read em all. And I feel a little sick.

Ron, Annette & Girls said...

I enjoyed The Road and can totally imagine Viggo as the dad. If you like The Road you should read "The Last Town on Earth" by Thomas Mullen. I need to get "The Thirteenth Tale." Right now I'm trying to get through "Wicked." I'm not a huge fan so far although I love the music and it's my #1 wanna see musical.

As for the book(s) you are dissing, I do have to agree that the "heroine" is pretty dull and just slightly obsessed but after reading some pretty heavy books these were a nice no-thoughts-needed diversion.

Thanks for the movie recommendations! Maybe it won't cost a fortune in Pennsylvania to actually go to the movies!!

Hailey said...

Kelly- I love nerdy people that take notes so they can comment more effectively, because I love their comments! I love the idea of Time Traveler's Wife, so I think I would really like the movie if it was well done. Thanks for the recommendation of The Book Thief.

Annette- Wicked was another book I couldn't get through, and it was a little naughty--I was surprised, but I hear the book is completely different than the musical.

As for THAT book, I must acknowledge that the book critic in me is the one that wrote what I did on my blog. I just felt like it needed a little opposition because it wasn't getting ANY anywhere I was looking. That said, the part of me that watches America's Next Top Model totally is going to finish reading the book some day and will not really care about the things that are bothersome. Let's be honest.

Hailey said...

Oh, and Annette, I forgot to say thanks for the recommendation of The Last Town on Earth. That sounds like it will quench my postapocalyptic thirst perfectly!

Jenni said...

Ok, I haven't read an entire book in I don't know how long...I have a few sitting around that I"ll bring with us on our trip next week for the car ride. Maybe I'll get through some! That movie with Ryan Gosling looks good--I've never heard of it. I'm on the lookout for it now!

Ron, Annette & Girls said...

I am having the dilemma of whether or not to finish Wicked. It's a lot naughty. I am in shock that it was Linnea Pugmire's favorite book and she'd read it a bunch of times. Remember Linnea from our old ward? She was 14 at the time! But, I'm half way through and I keep thinking to myself "surely it will get better." Probably not but now I will probably have to finish it to satisfy my curiosity. I'm definitely going to skip any more naughty parts. Hopefully there aren't any more. I'm glad the musical is a lot more mild. My mom saw it in NYC and said you can take kids to it it's that clean. In talking with her there are major differences between the book and the play. Thank goodness!

Now that I've had some time away from THAT book I can safely say that if one of my girls was that obsessed with a boy I would lock her in her room and throw away the key until she was 30.

Sorry for the novel...no pun intended!!

Ron, Annette & Girls said...

Oh, and The Last Town on Earth is actually about a fictional town in the early 1900's that self-imposes a quarantine to keep the flu epidemic out. There are a lot of interesting social and moral dilemmas that would apply today too. Mostly it's pretty clean but right in the middle of the book there's one chapter with some loggers that aren't main characters and they love to use a certain 4-letter word.

Catherine Elizabeth said...

I didn't love The Lovely Bones like so many people did - I loved A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb which has a slightly similar angle.
Also, for teen series, I always recommend Uglies by Scott Westerfeld over Twilight (although I can't stop reading those books either) - the heroine is much more of a go-getter.
I really love dystopia novels as well. You've got to read Life as We Knew it by Susan Beth Pfeffer it's fantastic! Also The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer (or really, anything by Nancy Farmer).
Hmmm, can you tell I'm avoiding working on my final? Library school can be tough...

Elly said...

I have a nice long list to take to the library now, thanks! I can already hear my husband groaning...

Hailey said...

Thanks, Catherine! I'm honored to get recommendations from such an expert as yourself!

Kristen said...

Stardust was really good. You should see it. This is one of those rare cases though that the movie is better than the book, so I wouldn't bother with the book.
So, you naughty girl you...didn't you get that email about Golden Compass, you atheist you. ;) I still wanted to see the movie though, it looks sweet. Was it all hype? I mean they say that in the last book the author tries to have God killed. Just curious. Loved Dan in Real Life...a must see for everyone.

Kelly said...

Oh, 3 more post- apocolyptic books I liked: A Canticle for Liebowitz, and The Postman (can't remember much about it. Never saw the Kevin Costner movie). Also, Oryx and Crake, which I might have saved out of the DI pile for you. Lots of language. I think I liked Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale better, though.

Hailey said...

Ooh, did you read Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace? I've been wanting to read Handmaid's Tale.

Kristen said...

Oryx and Crake is very hard to stomach w/ the language and pornography details...I don't know if you could handle it Hailey if you are sensitive to that. I didn't relish it but it was a very good book. Definitely a mind blower. The Handmaid's Tale is also sick and twisted but not as graphic as Oryx and Crake. I guess it is the Law and Order SVU fan in me that is drawn to morbid stories. I don't know why.

Christa M. said...

Wow, this was a popular post! But I feel a little left out... what is the mystery book? 'Cause I'm such a nerd, all I can think of, based on your description, is Gone With the Wind. Lovely Bones gets an A+ and The Time Traveler's Wife an A. (I love Jesus, but I curse a little, so it didn't bother me too much...) Kite Runner also an A. Wicked: C-. All that political religious stuff made for a very dense read.

The best dystopian novel ever is Feed. You have to read it!

Hannah S said...

Hailey-
Hi. I hope you don't mind me reading your blog--I came across it on Facebook. I like to read it because you make me laugh. But I think I can guess what book you're reading now....Twilight? Maybe I am way off...anyway, those are entertaining and not the most well written books. I loved the movie Stardust too. I just saw it last night. I loved it!