Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts #10

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. This is the place where we can talk about anything that pops into our minds, bookish or otherwise. Your rants (good or bad) are welcome here too. Come and share anything you want with us.

I have been missing in action for a bit again.  This time it is for a good reason though.  I completed my ninth (and hopefully final) chemo session.  Yay!!

I don't know if it was just because I knew it was the last treatment but this time the side effects really threw me for a loop.  Luckily it is past tense now.  In a few weeks' time I will go for tests and we will take it from there.  But for now . . . yay!!!!!  Finished!!!

1.  Bookwise, I finished THE RAPTURE that I spoke of last time and the review is below this post if you want to read about my thoughts. It was one of those books that just had the perfect ending.  The author got it just right.
Next up I started Her Fearful Symmetry by the author of The Time Traveler's Wife but it just got too much about halfway through.   Some parts were fascinating - especially the scenes of one of the characters that has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  But otherwise, I found my mind wandering - always a bad sign.  I might try again at a later stage.
Yesterday morning I started Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves.  Wow, weird does not begin to describe the craziness that is happening on the pages of this book.  I am loving it!  The story starts when the two daughters of the infamous Bonesaw Killer catches an intruder in their bedroom. It is definitely horror as the two sisters give in to their killer instincts but there are also some fantasy with the weird goings-on in town. And I love the cover - just look at it!  Not a book that I found around the blogosphere a lot but this might be a hit with me.

2.  I love quirky movies and loved the absolutely awfulness that was Sharknado.  We laughed so hard at all the cliches - it was wonderful.  This evening SHARKNADO 2 will be unleashed in my house.  Can't wait to watch it!

If you are looking for something to cheer you up, just watch this trailer :) 

I will sign off for today as I have not really been outside this past week and hopefully I have loads to chat about next time.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

{Audiobook}Review: The Rapture

The Rapture
by Liz Jensen
Genre: Apocalyptic Thriller
Date Read:  20 July 2014 
Reading with my ears 
Narrator:  India Fisher   
Unabridged audio - Length: 12 hours 42 minutes

It is a June unlike any other before, with temperatures soaring to asphyxiating heights. All across the world, freak weather patterns—and the life-shattering catastrophes they entail—have become the norm. The twenty-first century has entered a new phase.; But Gabrielle Fox’s main concern is a personal one: to rebuild her life after a devastating car accident that has left her disconnected from the world, a prisoner of her own guilt and grief. Determined to make a fresh start, and shake off memories of her wrecked past, she leaves London for a temporary posting as an art therapist at Oxsmith Adolescent Secure Psychiatric Hospital, home to one hundred of the most dangerous children in the country. Among them: the teenage killer Bethany Krall.Despite two years of therapy, Bethany is in no way rehabilitated and remains militantly nonchalant about the bloody, brutal death she inflicted on her mother. Raised in evangelistic hellfire, the teenager is violent, caustic, unruly, and cruelly intuitive. She is also insistent that her electroshock treatments enable her to foresee natural disasters—a claim which Gabrielle interprets as a symptom of doomsday delusion.
But as Gabrielle delves further into Bethany’s psyche, she begins to note alarming parallels between her patient’s paranoid disaster fantasies and actual incidents of geological and meteorological upheaval—coincidences her professionalism tells her to ignore but that her heart cannot. When a brilliant physicist enters the equation, the disruptive tension mounts—and the stakes multiply. Is the self-proclaimed Nostradamus of the psych ward the ultimate manipulator or a harbinger of global disaster on a scale never seen before? Where does science end and faith begin? And what can love mean in “interesting times”?
With gothic intensity, Liz Jensen conjures the increasingly unnerving relationship between the traumatized therapist and her fascinating, deeply calculating patient. As Bethany’s warnings continue to prove accurate beyond fluke and she begins to offer scientifically precise hints of a final, world-altering cataclysm, Gabrielle is confronted with a series of devastating choices in a world in which belief has become as precious - and as murderous—as life itself.

My thoughts:
The blurb above sounds very attractive, doesn't it?  Unfortunately the main character, Gabrielle Fox, detracted from the story so much that I had to slog through just to get to the end.

That woman needs someone to slap some sense into her.  She has a running inner-monologue throughout the book and all she seems to be grieving for is her lost womanwood because she is paralyzed.  It really gets a bit tedious to have to listen to it very few pages.  Because I had developed such a dislike for Gabrielle, it was difficult for me to keep an open mind but the story still kept me listening. That says a lot for the author.

Just imagine if you knew someone that was accurately predicting disasters and then started predicating the apocalypse.   Would you believe them?  And what would you do with that information?  

I will not comment on the ending except to say that it was perfect.  When I was getting near to the end of the mp3 file, I was getting nervous that so much still needed to be said but Liz Jensen just nailed it.  As I said . . . perfect.

If you are able to keep from wanting to kill Gabrielle, you will love this book.  It is definitely a different way to see the end of the world . . .  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

{Movie}Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune -- all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent.

My thoughts:
What a crazy fun movie!  And filled with so many famous stars.

I loved it and there are many scenes where my husband and I just looked at each other and burst out laughing.  Truly an unique, quirky movie.  The only downside was that the ending kind of sneaked up on us. Suddenly it was just over . . . we were enjoying the story and then in a few minutes we were just told what happened to the characters.

But still a very enjoyable movie!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts #9

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. This is the place where we can talk about anything that pops into our minds, bookish or otherwise. Your rants (good or bad) are welcome here too. Come and share anything you want with us today.

1.   I previously talked about getting out my beading boxes from storage and dusting them off.  Well, this past Sunday I decided to try something new while looking through my stash.
I really love how this beaded rivoli came out!  I am definitely going to be trying more this coming weekend.

Not so fond of this second one and will most probably be destroying  it soon so that I can use the beads again (wow, beads are sooooo expensive!).  Since making these two brooches, I have gone on an online shopping spree.  I am so glad that internet shopping was invented.  There is absolutely nothing like browsing shops in your favourite comfy chair and buying . . . and buying . . . . and buying . . .

2.  Due to human error *cough cough* I lost my place in my IT (by Stephen King) listening experience . . .  as soon as I get my SD card back, I will search for my place again :)  While I wait, I have started listening to THE RAPTURE, an earlier novel by Liz Jensen (of The Uninvited-fame). Goodreads link

I am really enjoying the story but I want to seriously slap some sense into the main character, Gabrielle Fox.  She is paralyzed from the waist and it feels like every few minutes we have to listen to her inner-monologue about not being a woman because she cannot use her legs.  It gets a bit tedious in the long run but I am trying to slog through as the premise of the story is fascinating.  What would you do if you believed that someone could accurately predict disasters before they happen?  What if they are predicting the end of the world . . .

3.  This song is beautiful and such a wonderful message . . .

4.  Life has been a runaway car this past week - I have hardly taken a breath . . . so I apologize for this short update this week.  I will try to get my ducks in a row . . .

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts #8

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. This is the place where we can talk about anything that pops into our minds, bookish or otherwise.  Your rants (good or bad) are welcome here too.  Come and share anything you want with us today.

1. I am not a big soccer fan. But since it is the World Cup, I have been watching the last few matches and will be watching the final as well (Go Netherlands!). *writing this post before the start of the semi final*  One thing that really works on my nerves though, is everyone falling over when someone just breathes in their direction . . . really??!! . . .   So I wanted to share this little video with you . . . sure to make you smile :)

2.   Can I also just say a very heartfelt . . . poor, poor Brazil.  I felt so bad for them loosing in such a humiliating way.

3.  I don't understand how clothing line suppliers/purchasers/shoppers think?  This morning when I went to the post office (at about 10am), it was still only 5 °C.  I had the car heater on!  We are smack in the middle of winter with two months to go before spring will even consider making an appearance and the shops are full of skimpy summer clothes.  Why????  I am looking for a thick sweater!  Oh my goodness, I am so grumpy today :)

4.  I am still working through IT by Stephen King.  Am enjoying it a lot with about 38 hours to go (I did not get much listening time while I was in bed recovering for the chemo this past weekend/week.  I just want to lie and forget everything - praying for the time to pass).   I am happy to report that Beverley discovered a little bit of her fighting spirit but I was disappointed in how little she did.  I know this book was written in the 80's and I am sure for that time, it was a big and brave stand but nowadays we are used to our women "fighting like a girl" - I wanted him to SUFFER.

LoL - look at that, grumpy and evil!  :)

5.  I reviewed the movie version of 1408 this past Sunday and wanted to find the original short story as I have never read it.  Luckily it was an easy find, so I am currently listening to it inbetween other books.  I am really enjoying the narrator.  His flat tone is perfect for this story . . . although I have a strong feeling to slap Mike upside the head!

6.  Got my laptop back and slowly but surely I am working through finding all that was lost.  Hopefully I will be back to normal by this weekend.  I am so behind with my reviews!

That is all for now - have a great weekend! 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

{Movie}Review: 1408

1408 (2007):
Starring: John Cusak, Samuel J Jackson

The cynical and skeptical writer Mike Enslin writes books evaluating supernatural phenomena in hotels, graveyards and other haunted places, usually debunking the mystery. While writing his latest book, he travels from Los Angeles to New York to spend one night in the Dolphin Hotel's evil room 1408, which is permanently unavailable for guests. The reluctant manager Mr. Gerald Olin objects to his request and offers an upgrade, expensive booze and finally relates the death of more than fifty guests over decades in the cursed room. However Mike threatens Mr. Olin, promising to sue the hotel, and is finally allowed to check into the room. Later in the night, he finds that guests of room 1408, once they have checked in, might never leave the room alive.

My thoughts:
Stephen King has not been very successful when it comes to movies made from his books but this one is a little gem.  You are not so much shown the horror as given little glimpses to make you feel the suspense - this is psychological horror at it's best. 

John Cusak is an expert at playing a tortured hero and in 1408 he becomes the cynical cult story writer trying to show that this hotel and it's ghost is just a scam.  I am hesitant to say anymore - you don't want to be robbed of all the shocking, scary moments.   

Also watch out for the alternative ending . . . I am not sure which one I prefer . . .

I really need to find the novella as I have not read the original pages.   I have heard that the movie is very close to the short story.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts #7

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. This is the place where we can talk about anything that pops into our minds, bookish or otherwise. Your rants (good or bad) are welcome here too. Come and share anything you want with us today.

1.  I  finally watched 2001:  A Space Odyssey from beginning to end.  Previously I have only seen pieces at a time.  Now I have to admit, I am totally lost as to why this movie has received so many accolades.   I found it long and drawn out . . . and worst of all, I could not find what the movie was trying to say.
I always thought the movie was actually about HAL (the onboard computer) that went crazy but this was only about 10 minutes of the entire movie (my husband disagrees with me on this and says that HAL was in fact trying to save humanity by preventing the astronauts from reaching Jupiter).   
If anyone has any insight into this movie, I would love to hear what you think.

2.  I am not good with technology but I had a Blackberry phone for a few years and when it was time to upgrade, I chose a Blackberry again.  What a mistake!  I hate my Blackberry Z10!  What were they thinking, this phone is the worse!  And I have to wait another year before it is time for a upgrade again!  Maybe I should just buy a cheap android in the meantime, it can't be worse than this phone!

3.  Unfortunately Annihilation (that I mentioned last week) was not that great - average at best although I am going to look out for the sequel.  I started reading Before I go to sleep also as I decided last week and am about halfway.  I am not sure what to think yet.  It is a strange story so far. I needed a new audiobook and decided to re-read (re-listen) IT by Stephen King.

I read it about 20 years ago and can remember only the barest outlines of the story.  But my Audio-Bookclub (on Goodreads) was discussing what a brilliant narrator Steven Weber is, so I went in search.  I found the book and immediately started listening.  I have only just started (42 hours to go!) and in one of the first few chapters we are introduced to Beverley.  She is in an abusive (physically and verbally) relationship - married to Tom.   The chapter is told from the husband's point of view and I am finding it very hard to listen to.  I have had to stop a few times - just to catch my breath.  It is difficult to listen to his thoughts about tactical moves to push his control onto her.  How he enjoys seeing the fear in her face. . . and he has just taken out a leather belt that he has made especially for "disciplining" her.   I know this is reality in many relationships but it is still difficult to read.  As Beverley is one of the main characters, I am hoping that she is able to get out of this explosive situation in their bedroom soon.

4.   My laptop is sick and I am waiting for the experts to find the problem and hopefully fix it all.  I am going to be so disappointed if it means a "formatting exercise".  I can just see myself searching for all my old programs and passwords.  It is scary how reliant I have become on my little laptop.  I miss him terribly.   

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Call the doctor!!

Just a note to let you guys know that my laptop had gotten sick and needs a doctor!  I am currently using an old laptop that is very shaky, so I am not able to post as I would like to.

Hope you see you online soon!