Reading Roundup: December 2008

The Mother in Me: Real-World Reflections on Growing into Motherhood Ed. Kathryn Lynard Soper

I have long been a fan of personal essay and
Segullah is one of my new favorite sources for inspiration. Even though I'd already read some of the essays and poems in this book before, I was still eager to get my hands on it and read it all the way through. I wasn't disappointed--there's some beautiful writing in here that left me feeling genuinely uplifted. Now if only I could figure out how to write so well...

Will in the World: How Shakespeare became Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblatt

I probably did not have the best timing for reading this book and so I was left with mixed feelings. I just spent a quarter studying Shakespeare, but from an approach that is more or less the opposite of Greenblatt's. Plus I took a class on literary theory in which we studied some of Greenblatt's more scholarly writings. Reading this book, which he wrote for a non-scholarly audience, was a little difficult after that. It's definitely not the same as many of his other writings, and I'm particularly curious about what his opinions are about some of Shakespeare's plays besides the few more well-known ones he uses in the book. One of my main complaints is that a book that purports to link Shakespeare's life to his work seems to shrink his work down to a small group of less than ten plays. I also had a hard time with the first few chapters because they seemed to be filled with phrases like "could have", "perhaps", "possibly", and so on. I know that any attempt to discuss Shakespeare's life will be mostly speculation, but the abundance of qualifiers gave me a headache. I think I would have preferred the information in this book packaged as a presentation on life in Elizabethan England rather than an attempt to line up Shakespeare's work with events in his life.

Movies (including some from Oct and Nov)

Michael Clayton

This was a great movie; it pulls off a neo-noir scenario in which you spend most of the movie wondering what is going on, only to be rewarded at the end when suddenly everything makes sense. George Clooney works well in the movie, and the denouement is just perfect.

Shrek (

We liked all of these movies and laughed our heads off, but both agree that the second one is our favorite. I love all the silly little jokes and references, and I think the creation of Far, Far Away is just perfect. Not sure when I'll let my kids see these, but we got a big kick out of them.


I thought this movie was a lot of fun too, especially the twists on the all the fairy tale tropes. It seemed more like a grown-up movie than a kid one to me, but a well-done one and quite a lot of fun to watch.


Th. said…

If Will had been marketed that way, it never would have sold as well.

I agree thought that all the possiblys got old.

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