Reading Roundup September 2008

Books

Children of the Promise by Dean Hughes

I've read this series (5 books) a few times now, but it's one I like to pull out every now and then for some "comfort reading". Even though I consider it "light" reading, it really isn't all that "light" in content or quality. I love historical fiction and I really like these books because they deal with the past just as easily as they deal with our normal human emotions and impulses. The characters and their conflicts manage to seem relevant to today even though they are placed in the past.

Hearts of the Children by Dean Hughes

The follow-up to the first series, this one follows some of the second generation through the issues of the 1960s. In this series I really admire Hughes' ability to tackle tough issues like Vietnam and the civil rights movement and still get published by Deseret Book. These books are surprisingly intense and complicated. My only complaint with this series is that sometimes the books feel a little dialogue heavy, especially the last few. Also, you really have to read them all in order to get a sense of what's going on (and there were some annoying typos in the last few books). Other than that, I highly recommend this series for some thoughtful, enjoyable reading. I especially like the storyline about LDS members in East Germany because that is a time and place I know little about.

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

I've heard such wonderful things about this book from a number of people that I'm afraid I could only be disappointed by it. It was a decent read, but fell short of my expectations. I also have read very few crime novels, so the tone and characterization was not what I was expecting. It was a good book, but I don't think it's really my style.

Movies

Brokeback Mountain

I've seen this a few times already, but after watching Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight we decided that we wanted to see it again. And then we remembered that it's really, really sad. It's a good movie, just don't expect a happy ending.

Stranger Than Fiction

This movie was better than I thought it would be (sometimes Will Farrell bugs me too much). The post-modern premise actually worked and we really enjoyed it.

American Dreamz

I actually enjoyed this one up until the ending. Hugh Grant is surprisingly acerbic, and the rest of the actors do a good job too. Several reviews I read talked about the fact that it doesn't quite work as satire, and I agree, but there are some funny moments in this movie.

Comments

Jenny said…
I'm glad you liked Stranger than Fiction. I think it's one of my favorite movies right now.
I liked Stranger Than Fiction very well myself. I think Emma Thompson is so excellent. Will Farrell's character is so average, but at the end of the day, he decides that giving up his life is worth it to save another. Anyone can be a hero. And, as Thompson's character says at the end, those are the kind of people we need to keep around.

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