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April Book List - Rebeccafrog
April Book List
Sorry this is a few days late.


Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone
, JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
It struck me, at the World Cup, when they saw the Salem Witches Institute banner, that wizards really don’t get muggles. Anti-muggle security would have been best handled by telling the campground people that they were a convention of some sort of eccentric folk.

The House of the Scorpion, Nancy Farmer
Matt is a clone. In the ordinary course of things, clones are lobotomized. Matt was not. He had no idea he was a clone until he met children from the house. It’s a very good book, though I advise skimming through the bit about the communist orphanage, which comes more or less out of nowhere.

Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden
The storytelling device is that Sayuri is dictating her memoir to the man who later published it. This makes it particularly well-suited to the audiobook format. I’m actually not sure I would like it as much if I were reading it.

My Side of the Mountain, Jean Craighead George
My Side of the Mountain has a lot of the same detailed survival stuff that I loved in Julie of the Wolves, but I'm having a much harder time buying the premise. It's a lot easier to believe that an Inuit girl is running away from an arranged marriage than that a teenager from New York City would be permitted to live alone in the woods for eight months. I have to remind myself that this is before the days of the Department of Social Services swooping down on the parents of truant children. Aside from that, I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Outlander, Diana Gabaldon

Two Plays for Voices, Neil Gaiman
Snow Glass Apples – Snow White from the perspective of the stepmother. Snow White is some sort of evil vampire creature, and Prince Charming is a necrophiliac. Neil Gaiman is severely twisted. A very good take on the story.
Murder Mysteries – Didn’t hold my interest. Had something to do with angels.


Anansi Boys
, Neil Gaiman
This book takes place in the same universe as American Gods. The main character, Fat Charlie Nancy, discovers after his father’s death that his father was none other than the trickster-god Anansi. And he finds out that he has a brother. Sort of. That's when things start to go weird for our poor hero...

Old Man’s War, John Scalzi
I liked this one quite a bit. This book is very conversational in tone, and slightly blog-flavored. It’s a couple hundred years from now. (The timing is only important in that humans have been colonizing space for about two hundred years.) There’s an interplanetary war going on. Seems not all aliens come in peace, or are at all interested in sharing planets with humans. The Colonial Defense Force is waging this war, and the recruits are senior citizens. No one on Earth knows how they do it, but somehow they make people young again. They recruit people at age 65, to join at age 75.


Battlestar Galactica
, 1978
Battlestar Galactica, 2005, Season 2

Blade Runner, 1982
Everyone seems to think this movie is the be-all and end-all of science fiction. Didn’t do much for me.

Boondock Saints, 1999
I actually watched this in March (I watch it every St. Patrick’s Day) but forgot to include it on the March list.

Dune, 2000
This is the William Hurt mini-series.

Jesus Christ Superstar, 2000
The 1973 version is unwatchable (except for Judas), but the 2000 version is really good. It’s my Easter movie.

MacGyver, Season 1, Disc 2
More good clean 1980’s fun. In one of the episodes on this disc, MacGyver’s nemesis is a stampede of ants. They’re normal-sized ants, but there are billions of them, eating everything in their path, including at least two men. Doesn’t make it any less funny that MacGyver has to think of a means of defeating ants.

Mean Girls, 2003
Meh. It’s no Heathers.

Memoirs of a Geisha, 2005
Wow. I’m not surprised that it was amazing, because you would have to have a pretty terrible script to overcome the combined screen presence of Michelle Yeoh, Li Gong, and Zhang Ziyi, and this was not a terrible script.

Nell, 1994
Jodie Foster plays Nell, a woman raised in isolation by a mother with a speech disorder. It’s really an impressive piece. Nell has never seen people other than her mother (who has just died), so she learned to speak the way her mother did.

North by Northwest, 1959
North Dakota isn’t 3000 miles from New York! (For that matter, the direction from New York to North Dakota would more accurately be described as west-northwest. It's certainly not north-northwest. It's 3° north, and 30° west.)

This was on my “to watch” list before Chief Justice Roberts said it was his favorite movie (along with Doctor Zhivago) during his Senate confirmation hearings. Roberts’s recommendation just bumped it up a bit in the queue.

Anyway, it's a very good movie.

The Outsiders, 1983
This movie was even better than I remembered, which makes me all kinds of happy. Some of the cinematography (ok, quite a lot of it) is just beautiful. Also, it’s an entertaining game of “find the baby celebirties.” Pretty much all of the Greasers went on to become big stars.

The author of the book, S.E. Hinton, had a bit part as a nurse. I had no idea the author was female. The S is for Susie.

The Recruit, 2003
I’ve seen this movie three times now, and each time, I’m surprised by just how good it is. First, I worship the ground Al Pacino walks on. He’s a really amazing actor. What really gets me is his ability with non-verbal acting. There’s a scene towards the end where you can just see an unpleasant truth hit the character. Colin Farrell is also quite impressive.

Sideways, 2004
These are not terribly sensible people. As I mentioned last month with respect to Rent, there are some behaviors that are understandable and even almost expected from undergrads, but just kind of pathetic from someone pushing 40.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 1
Star Trek: Enterprise, Season 3

The West Wing, Seasons 2 – 5
I love this show. I really do. Also, since my knee flared up, I spent much of the last two weeks on the couch.

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11 comments or Leave a comment
chanda From: chanda Date: May 3rd, 2006 05:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I adore The West Wing. I think I've seen every episode of the Sorkin seasons at least twice, and possibly much more.

I did enjoy reading Memoirs quite a lot, but I would find it impossible to say whether I liked the book or the movie better. Each was beautiful, but had different strengths. I would watch Zhang Ziyi read the phone book, I think. :)

I saw Rent a few days ago and loved it, though I thought several of the songs were more powerful in the cast recording.

My opinion on Blade Runner is pretty much a resounding "Meh." :)

I would like to read and watch The Outsiders - unfortunately, I'm still not finished with Reading Lolita. I may need to adopt the audiobook myself, soon. :)

I miss hanging out with you guys, and would love to do so again in the not-too-distant future. Things have been kind of odd, and Brigand isn't doing terribly well right now - which makes planning things hard - but I do check in on your journal and I'm mapping out my next dinner gathering in my head off and on, which makes me happy. And my back is much better now, which makes dealing with the weirdness easier. :)
baliset From: baliset Date: May 3rd, 2006 05:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
D'oh! I forgot to unlock mine. Thanks for reminding me. :P

Whad did you think of the William Hurt Dune miniseries? I loved it, and thought it was much better than the 1980s movie that David Lynch directed.
rebeccafrog From: rebeccafrog Date: May 3rd, 2006 07:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Agreed. The William Hurt mini-series was very good, and featured so many exciting hats! :)
baliset From: baliset Date: May 4th, 2006 12:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Did you watch "Children of Dune" also? If not, you should put it on your list, it was just as good.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 6th, 2006 06:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Yarr! I saw CoD about a year ago, I think. (Dune was recently $7.50 at Target, so I picked it up.)
mcsassypants From: mcsassypants Date: May 3rd, 2006 08:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I slept through most of the 1980s movie. But I liked the more recent miniseries.
baliset From: baliset Date: May 4th, 2006 12:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
David Lynch was so unhappy with the 1980 movie that it was released as directed by "Alan Smithee" instead of Lynch using his own name. Even Patrick Stewart couldn't save it. :P
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 6th, 2006 01:42 am (UTC) (Link)

(From Candi, not really anonymous)

Susie Hinton came to a writing workshop at my high school in the mid '80s. Nobody realized it was going to be *that* Hinton, because we all mistakenly assumed it was written by a guy. We were beyond thrilled when we realized who she was. She was fantastic...made each of us feel like we were special. She was only 16 when she wrote The Outsiders, which is probably why it rings so true when you're a teenager reading it for the first time. My daughter just read the book for the first time and fell in love with it.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 6th, 2006 06:27 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: (From Candi, not really anonymous)

Wow! You got to meet her?! That's so awesome! I also read it for the first time as a teenager, though you might be interested to know that Michelle (you may remember her as Blue Man's Keeper) read it for the first time less than a year ago, and it resonated just as deeply with her.

Do you still keep a blog somewhere?
rebeccafrog From: rebeccafrog Date: May 6th, 2006 01:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: (From Candi, not really anonymous)

And that was me, not realizing I wasn't logged in.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 9th, 2007 11:37 am (UTC) (Link)

10 the most interesting things that you can get free

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