Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Help

The Help - DVD (2011)

It was a beautiful book, that even though it was telling a story from the 1960s, it still had the power to shock me, even now.  How after fighting a war in Europe, in Korea all for freedom, that freedom was denied to so many in the US, and how many Aftrican Americans were classed as second class citizens.

I had meant to see this one at the movies, but work and life got in the way, so I was glad to find it had come out on DVD.  I also managed a few tears, which were maybe better witnessed just by the cat, instead of having to hid my sniffles at the cinema.  I was glad that I had read the book first, it made the story somewhat easier to follow.

It was great to see such a strong group of female characters, brave and able to affect change.  There are so few movies, where so many women hold the whole story, and the men are just the eye candy.

4/5 - watch it with your girls.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Music Monday - Saint Etienne "Tonight"

The House at Seas End - Elly Griffiths

The House at Seas End - Elly Griffiths (2011)

I read this one out of order, as I had to order it on the Kindle, as there was a long waiting list at the library.  I was in a hurry, had to read it now, now, now. 

Six bodies are found buried under a cliff, and Harry and Ruth are determined to find out if they are murdered German soldiers, and their association with the deaths of many pensioners in the village.

I was enjoying the story, but then Ruth found herself alone with one of the villans - my pet hate in any such novel.  Please, please, please don't let the main character be kidnapped/tortured/beaten up by the baddies - it seems to me so Famous Five and feels a lazy way to tie up the lose ends of a thriller.  Grrrrr!!

Still worth a 3/5 - and am now waiting for the next Dr Ruth book.

The False Mermaid - Erin Hart

The False Mermaid - Erin Hart (2010)

Maybe I am getting a bit forensic discover/anthropologist/bog/detectived out at the moment, and certainly reading two such novels at a time did not help ease my confusion.

In this book, our Nora returns to the US, to search out her sisters ex husband and murderer.  I found it all a bit convenient, that she just happened to bump into her ex partner, and to run into witnesses, when the murder occurred several years ago.

For me it did drag a bit, and I just wanted Nora to return to the bogs.  2/5

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Shoe Sunday

These are the sweet Madison Harding Women's Chinacat Flat Sandal from Endless.  A very cute addition to your summer wardrobe.  The only problem is that my chubby feet would look crazy in them, and I couldn't wear such super flats.  Ahhh if my feet were only 19 again, I'd buy them in a heartbeat. 

Haunted Ground - Erin Hart

Haunted Ground - Erin Hart (2003)

Oh I have dug up another forensic archaeologist to read, it seems that Kathy Reichs started a trend, that must peak soon.   I liked the main story, the discovery of the head of a red headed girl found in a bog in rural Ireland.  We have Nora and Cormac working on the case, and this main story kept me interested.  The side story of a missing mother and child for me, dragged a bit, I wanted more bog.

Still it was a good 3/5 and I have already reserved a few more of hers, so I can get a good author overload.  Cos that's how I roll folks.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Easy A

Easy A - DVD (2010)

So I guess I am a bit old for the teenage movie genre, but so are some of the actors in the movie.  Twenty plus year olds playing teenagers is a bit creepy (like in Glee), although Emma Stone is pretty awesome and I am sure I have a girl crush.  It is good to have a fiesty and smart chick in the main role - worth seeing for her performance alone, although I like Stanley Tucci too.

So it was an entertaining moral tale about not telling lies, for they can cause trouble and usually come back to bit you in the butt.  3/5

Friday, February 17, 2012

L'Amour Fou

L'Amour Fou - DVD (2011)

I was at the hairdresser getting my grey strands turned blonde, then dunked back to basic brown, and paying half my pay for the privelidge, when I read about this little movie.  It didn't say much but I was intrigued.

I hunted it down at the library, and took it home and watched it last night after an evening shift.  It is a documentry both about the relationship between Yves Saint Laurent and his partner of over fifty years, Pierre Berge, and the breakup of their collection of art and posessions from their Parisian apartment.

With a vast collection of old photos and film, it was beautiful and stylish and made you want to be a model in Paris in the 60s.  So many iconic dresses and outfits that we have seen through shows and magazines, look wonderful in context.

A sweet and tender love story is shown too, how they both worked and lived together from when they first met when YSL was a shy young 21 year old promising designer until his death.  Another great movie for the fashionistas in the family - 3/5.

Wrapped Up In You - Carole Matthews

Wrapped Up In You - Carole Matthews (2011)

My book mountain is always threatening to bury me in my sleep (iti is perched on my bedside table), and this week with the edition of three DVDs and 70 programmes on my DVR I have felt a bit overwelmed by media.  So I still managed to be enticed by this one, which was just teasing me on the library bookshelves.

Janie is a hairdresser, who  after a failed relationship is wondering if her future is to be her and the cat on the couch forever.  After a client suggests a break away, she heads off to Safari - will she find true love, will she live forever with her cat?

Slightly predictable, like most chicky lit books, but still I enjoyed her writing and it did make me smile quite often.  A worthy 3/5

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bad Teacher

Bad Teacher - DVD (2011)

Bad Teacher is a bad movie - sure it has it's moments, it's snigger worthy bits of fun.  I did find most of it just a vechile for Cameron Diaz who of course is the bad Teacher of the title, trying to raise money for a boob job, realises that if she gets her classes scores up in the state test, she can earn around seven thousand bucks.


Monday, February 13, 2012

127 Hours

127 Hours - DVD (2010)

I read the book when it came out.  The story of Aron Ralston is one that everybody knows.  Out enjoying the great outdoor, jumping around and exploring canyons in Utah in 2003, he slips and ends up with his arm trapped under a bolder. 

By himself, with nobody knowing where he was or due back, he realises that after several days that there is only one way to escape.  His arm, trapped for several days, has turned black and with a blunt knife, he amputates in order to be able to leave his rocky prison.

I am glad I didn't see this one at the cinema, as I would have been a bit wormy squirmy and wouldn't have been able to stand the last twenty minutes.  It was hard to watch in my living room.

Still it is an amazing story, one that the young daredevils should take notice of, but I am sure won't.  3/5

Music Monday - Gin Wigmore Black Sheep

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Poison Tree - Erin Kelly

The Poison Tree - Erin Kelly (2010)

So I spied this one in the depths of blogland reading and thought I would give it a go.  College student meets new friends, at the end of the summer two people end up dead.

I know that all novels are made up, but this for me seemed a bit cliched and made up, and I felt that I was dragged through the story waiting for something to happen.  I didn't really like the main character, which seemed the main issue, she was a bit boring, and the best friend and her brother seemed to lack any sparkle also.

It didn't really hold any surprises, as you knew that somebody was going to die, it wasn't hard to figure out who might go.

I wanted to like it more, so I'm going to have to go with a 2/5.

Shoe Sunday

These are Dome boots, in the Lila colourway from El Naturalista.  They could be bordering on being far too high for me, and far too purple, but they sure are pretty.

I can't wear heels, but I don't like super flat either, and it is sooooo hard to find something stylish and comfortable.  Please shoe designers, please listen to me - I can't be the only one.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Friends With Benefits

Friends with Benefits  - DVD (2011)

Wow, in a world of dreary rom coms that seem to have written by a seventy year old headmaster, out pops a smart funny well written comedy that actually has a couple of actors with a bit of chemistry.

Mila Kunis is sweet and smart without being turned into a two dimensional cheesy girlfriend, and Justin Timberlake is both charming and cute and sporting a great six pack. 

There is a fair bit of sex in this one, although you don't see much, it is designed for the over 16 year olds (and for some over forties like me).


The Wilder Life - Wendy McClure

The Wilder Life - Wendy McClure (2011)

Like most girls my age I grew up reading the Little House on the Prarie books, and watching the TV series.  Even in far off New Zealand, prarie life in calico dresses, boots and bonnets was appealing.

In her mid twenties, Wendy with help from her boyfriend sets out to find what remains of the prarie life that Laura Ingalls Wilder described.  For me, it was interesting to discover that the books are a combination of autobiographical fact and novel.   She travels around various sites, trying out pioneer living, scoping out sites of various Ingalls family  homes, churning butter and buying sunbonnets.

In the end, it somehow ends up a bit unsatisfying for her and us, is that she never finds the Laura world she is looking for.  Woods have disappeared and log cabins are long gone, and dusty museums are filled with 1970s lunchboxes.

Still lots of it made me smile, and I can picture my ten year old self riding across the praries in a wagon.  3/5

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Four Kitchens - Lauren Shockey

Four Kitchens - Lauren Stockey (2011)

Lauren Stockey is in her early twenties, and she has trained the Culinary Institute in New York.  Not sure of what to do next, she spends a year traveling between four restuarants in New York, Hanoi, Tel Aviv and Paris where she gains experience in four different style kitchens. 

If you ever thought you wanted to be a chef, it is worth taking a read, as it shows the not so glamorous life of starting at the bottom in a kitchen.  Six hours taking the meat out of crabs, chopping chives and onions is how you do it.  There is no cooking master chef style meals in a big kitchen, unless you are the boss.  Sixteen hour days and unsociable hours are the norm.

I think with Master chef, all the cooking programmes and celebrity chefs we are given such a glamour side to being a chef, but the reality of cooking is far from pretty.  I was shocked at the New York salaries, and wondered how you would survive in such a city.  Best you just play Master Chef at home.  3/5

Monday, February 06, 2012

A Room Full of Bones - Elly Griffiths

A Room Full of Bones - Elly Griffiths (2012)

Somehow I missed the third book about Ruth Galloway, but don't worry - Kindle to the rescue.  The library seemed to have a long waiting list for the only copy, and it was a large print again.  Instead I started this one, the forth of the series, which was fine as the storyline is easy to follow and it is recapped.

I wasn't as impressed with this outing of Dr Ruth.  Racing isn't something I am interested in, and it seemed to me that the author had a couple of ok ideas - Old Aborigine heads, a rich racing family and a dead Bishop.  I like following the Harry/Ruth story that seemed to tie ups some lose ends in this book, but the reappearance of Cathbad is just getting a bit annoying for me.  At least in this one Ruth wasn't being chased by the scary murderer - boy do I hate that.

So a 3/5 - it was nice to curl up and read on this cold and cloudy long weekend and I already wait their next adventure.

Music Monday - Opshop

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Shoe Sunday

I had a look on the Anthropogie website and found these sweet shoes.  They are called Ocean Atmosphere Sandals, and I like the sweet blue/grey leather, and the fact that the wedge looks wearable, just a nice little height.   They are $178 (US),  which is a bit spensive for me.  The good thing is if you can afford them, is that they ship to little old NZ.

 You can buy them here http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=22967202&catId=SHOES-SANDALS&pushId=SHOES-SANDALS&popId=SHOES&navCount=84&color=040&isProduct=true&fromCategoryPage=true&templateType=B1

Friday, February 03, 2012

The Gendarme - Mark T. Mustian

The Gendarme -  Mark T. Mustian (2010)

Emmett Conn is diagnosed with a brain tumour, and along with the confusion he is beginning to have dreams.  Dreams of being a Turkish guard, on a forced death march of Armenians across Turkey to Syria.  He is both brutal and then disgusted with the treatment of the men, women and children in his care, and becomes protective of one beautiful young girl Ataxie, who he tries to protect.

In the daylight hours he has no memories of this past, instead only remembering his service in Gallipoli, where injured he was taken to the UK, where he met his wife to be, and they both went to the US.  There he finds himself an immigrant, where he suffers his own discrimination.  Then as his tumour progresses, he begins to question his past, and searches for answers.

I am so glad I picked up this book, I had a pile of seven reserves and should have read them first, but this book called to me, and I was glad to curl up in bed and read it.  4/5

Gabby - Gabrielle Giffords & Mark Kelly

Gabby - Gabrielle Giffords & Mark Kelly (2011)

I had been reading the odd page of this one at the bookshop for a while, when I thought I should just give in and get it out from the library.  Oddly, there was only a large print edition, which felt strange to read at first.

Gabrielle Giffords was an Arizona Congresswoman who was shot at a meeting she was holding, with another six people killed and many more injured.  Her story is told by her husband, Mark Kelly an astronaut who has a team to take up in space not long after her injury.

Gabby has made a remarkable recovery, with 95% of most head injury patients dying, to see her walking and talking now shows how much the rehab has helped to bring her back to a new normal.  It certainly helps to put your own bad day into perspective.