Thursday, March 29, 2012

I Blame Hugh Jackman

I love Hugh Jackman. Love him, love him, love him.

Hugh is currently filming a movie version of Les Miserables. A musical one.  WITH Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Helena Bonham Carter.  I started investigating this last night during a random "surf the internet on my phone until I drop it on my face because I am too tired to hold it up and need to go to sleep" session.  (Everyone else does that too, right?)  I was creeping on Hugh's Twitter account which led to detailed Les Mis searching which ended with You Tube clips of Hugh singing.  Yes, this is how I spend my nights.  Be jealous.  This is how I roll.  

Fast-forward to this morning.  I was creating new book displays at work and decided I needed some music to motivate me.  (FYI this was before we opened to the public.) Since Les Mis was still on my brain, I decided to check out Pandora's Broadway/Musicals channel.  It was pretty awesome.  There I was, coffee in hand, pulling books off the shelves, singing my brains out.  Camelot, West Side Story, Evita, Moulin Rouge (*sigh* Ewan).... It was all going so well until a song from Sweeney Todd came on.  I am not a big Sweeney Todd fan.  I like pie and well... So I skipped the song.  Two songs later: another Sweeney Todd song.  Skipped it.  Pretty soon, I kid you not, every other song was from Sweeney Todd, and Pandora only lets you skip so many songs before they cut you off.

I really started to get a complex.  Ok fine!  I'll stop eating pie!  I'll buy the Sweeney Todd soundtrack!  I'll have t-shirts made that say: I <3 Sondheim!  Why am I even listening to this in the first place?  How did I get here?  Someone will pay for this...  Where did this all begin?  Oh!  That's right -- Hugh.  I blame Hugh Jackman.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Snappy Name Change with a Side of Book Review

So I decided to change my blog address from expeditionofexpression to dontcallmemarian.  Obviously expedition of expression was me trying to be all intellectual and philosophical, which I CAN be from time to time, but frankly don't call me marian is a heck of a lot easier to remember.  Also it's already my snappy blog title (yes, I said snappy), so it might as well be my snappy web address too, right?

ANYWAY, I have been on another one of my infamous reading binges, and thought it might be a good time for a good ole' book review from yours truly.  Tuesday night I was up past 2:00 AM.  Part of this was due to a special bout of midnight insomnia, but the rest was due to being wrapped up in the book I picked up when the insomnia hit.

Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton stood out from the very first page because it is written in second person narrative.  The narrator, Grace, is telling the story to her husband.  Second person is probably the most uncommon narrative mode, and was a bit distracting at first, but once I really got into the story I hardly noticed it.  In the book, Grace and her daughter Jenny have both been seriously injured in a fire that burned down the private school attended by Grace's son, Adam.  Grace and Jenny are both in the hospital unconscious, but they are both having out of body experiences.  They can communicate with one another, but not with anyone else.   Adam hasn't spoken since the fire and the police are fingering him (at age 8) as the arsonist.  While she and Jenny remain in a limbo-like state Grace follows the investigation into the fire trying to figure out who is really responsible.  Was it an accident, arson, or attempted murder?

While Afterwards started out a little slow, once it picked up the pace I couldn't put it down.  Lupton does an excellent job of navigating the twists and turns throughout the story.  Just when you as reader think you've figured it out, she throws you another curveball.  The author also brings up some interesting commentary on motherhood that develops with the various maternal characters in the book.  Regardless of whether this is intentional or not, it made me think.  Some might have an issue with the out of body experience aspect, but don't let that put you off.  The supernatural stuff was really pretty minimal and worked well with the story.  I did find it ironic that the only major issue I had with the book was the character of Grace.  I felt like she was a little whiny, insecure, and self-defeating.  Usually you want a main character you can root for, and I just didn't feel like I could do that with Grace.  I actually found her sister-in-law Sarah much more appealing.

Afterwards was published in the UK in August 2011 and is due for release in the US on April 24th.  If you like murder mysteries/suspense in general, I think you will like this book.  I also think fans of The Lovely Bones or The Time Travelers Wife will enjoy it as well.  I just put Rosamund Lupton's other book Sister on hold on my library's eBook lending service.  After reading this book, I definitely want to check out her first book to see if I like it as well.  Thanks to NetGalley and Crown Publishing Group (a division of Random House) for letting me read a galley copy of the book.

(BTW, none of these people know me or gave me coffee to read the book.  I just read it and liked it and wanted to share.  :D )

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Road to Blogging is Paved With Good Intentions



It has been 11 months since I have blogged here.  I should have warned you this would happen.  The way I look at it, a blog is a lot like a diary or a journal and I have something that I must confess to you right here and now:

I am a horrible journal keeper.

There I said it.  Recoil in horror if you must, but I have lost count of the number of notebooks I have started journals in and then never written in again.  OR notebooks that I purchased to use as journals that still sit empty. OR blogs that I started, posted on for two or three months and then never looked at for another year. Okay so that last one is really only one, but you know what I mean...

I am really pretty good at finishing other things that I start... eventually.  (I am a chronic procrastinator, but that is another blog post for another time. (See even now I am procrastinating!))  So I guess the point of this whole post is to say that I want to be better.  I am going to try to be better.  A lot of stuff has happened in 11 months.  Highlights include:

1) I mastered knitting!  Mostly.  I mean I TOTALLY created a yarn stash. Any knitter worth their needles will tell you this is one of the essential components of knitting.

2) I discovered the wonders of Michael Fassbender.  (If you just said who, we need to speak privately.)

3) I quit smoking! Two weeks ago, but still, I quit.

4) My baby started Kindergarten.  I can say no more.

5)  George Clooney started dating Stacy Keibler after I told him I could never leave Nebraska for Lake Como.

See!  Stuff!  Important stuff!  Let's pick this up tomorrow, shall we?  Possibly the next day.  A week from now at the VERY latest.  Okay, let's just stick with tomorrow.  Right.


Not Marian