Friday, December 26, 2008

Book TV & More

I watch Book TV.

There, I've admitted it. Book TV bores the pants off most people I know, but I still have a fondness for it. I like listening to some author talk about his book on the Nerve Center . It's interesting to get some of the story from the author's mouth. It's great when the author is Maya Angelou or Chinua Achebe. On January 18th & 19th Barack Obama (taped in 2004) will be featured on Book TV talking about his memoir "Dreams from My Father."

Another stack of cookbooks, and The Wine Bible.

The Wine Bible is mine, and the cookbooks are my S.O's. From this stack, He recommends Land of Plenty by Fuchsia Dunlop, The Middle Eastern cookbook, and any of Keith Floyd's cookbooks.
( Keith Floyd on chip pan fires.)

The Wine Bible is a fun and informative read.

Button Update: (Saw the movie Benjamin Button yesterday) Not much like the short story, but we gave it 4 stars.

When the movie began the teenagers sitting next to me were texting and giggling. They were pretty quiet about it though, so it wasn't very distracting. After fifteen minutes or so they appeared to be mesmerised and had put their cell phones away. At the end, one of them whispered "Wow."

We all enjoyed it a lot, and agreed that time itself was like a character in the film. And speaking of time, no one thought it was too long, which is usually a complaint when a movie runs over two and half hours. It didn't remind any of us of Forest Gump at all even though it is compared to Gump since it was created by the same screenwriter (Eric Roth) and there are a few superficial similarities ( A man's life story, southern accents, a mother who reminds her son that surprises in life are unavoidable. )
It was a very different story, though.

Julia Ormond helps narrate the story of Benjamin's life while sitting in a hospital in New Orleans. Outside, Hurricane Katrina is just getting started.

Cate Blanchette plays Daisy
( a wonderful young lady, later to go through a sort of diva phase, raving about sexual freedom and banned D.H. Lawrence novels to a very reserved Benjamin. Benjamin is not naive or innocent, but has a definite set of values.)

Benjamin is elegant from beginning to end, he's a gentleman even as a little old child sitting and reading Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe. Benjamin is a perceptive, soulful and serious person who is accepted by those around him, no matter what age he is or what he looks like.

Daisy and Benjamin first meet when they are both 7 years old. They read Kipling's Just So Stories together (a book that they'll return to a few more times as they age in opposite directions.) *Jared Harris as Mike, had a great style that reminded me a bit of the late Robert Shaw.

Impeccable art direction and casting, a great fantasy with interesting special effects. I've never been a fan of Brad Pitt until now. Elegance.

Eric Roth on how he felt about adapting an F. Scott Fitzgerald story:

"It was a little daunting because he’s 100 times the writer I could ever be. On the other hand, I did some research on sort of what the story was to him because I didn’t want in any way to mess with his legacy. The best I could tell from talking to his biographers of him is that this was kind of a whimsical piece for him. He just needed some money. It wasn’t something that he took deadly serious. He took the effort to write it up in a magazine. It wasn’t even a short story, it was a magazine article really. A number of other writers had tried to do this in various ways. They had all taken different approaches within the story itself. And so, I felt the freedom to take off with my own imagination. And what was left was still the most important thing, which was his idea through actually Mark Twain."

*Roth was thinking of Jack London's writing when he worked on the scenes that included Jared Harris as Mike.


R.L. Bourges said...

starting to press the 'link' button when I come over here - have to, if I want to keep up with some of the stuff you're posting - don't have the 50 minutes available for the 'Nerve Center ' audio at the moment. Will get back to it.

Looking forward to reading Benjamin Button (got sidetracked last night.)

Thanks for this blog. I'm enjoying it a lot.


Avid Reader said...

RL ~ Thank You. I have to say, Book TV blares while I clean the house. It's a treat when you're scrubbing the floors to be able to listen to Frank McCourt and Dave Barry. (which I did today.)

Megan said...

I wish I could have been at home scrubbing the floors and listening to Book TV!


We are going to see Button tonight.

tut-tut said...

I don't think we receive Book TV. I've been reading very mixed reviews of BB; some love it, some pan it as a vanity piece for BP. Glad you are well pleased to have seen it. We are off to see Milk today.

Avid Reader said...

Well, BP looks pretty dang old in most of the movie, but then as he grows younger he's prettier. he has to be pretty in order for the scenes with Blanchette to work-- her character is kind of vain about her prettiness ) so it works that he looks vibrant as he grows younger and she feels sad.

I've heard nothing but rave reviews of Milk, not one bad review at all.

Anonymous said...

Milk is a good biopic. and so very timely, with prop 8 and all.


My Classic Fiction Book List -Partial List

  • Austen, Jane: (Complete Works)
  • Balzac: Cousin Bette/ Eugenie Grandet / Cousin Pons
  • Best Russian Short Stories
  • Boyle, TC: Short Works
  • Brennan, Maeve : Short Works, 1 Novella
  • Bronte, Emily, Ann, Jane (Complete Works)
  • Brookner, Anita ( Complete Works)
  • Cather, Willa (Complete Works)
  • Chekov: Short Works
  • David Copperfield (Dickens)
  • Dickens:A Tale of Two Cities
  • Dickens:Great Expectations
  • Dickens:Nicholas Nickelby
  • Dickens:Our Mutual Friend
  • Dickens:The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Doyle, Roddy (some novels, memoir)
  • Drabble, Margaret (4 Novels)
  • Drieser, Theodore (Complete Works)
  • Fitzgerald, F.Scott (Most Novels & short works)
  • Hardy, Thomas (Complete Works)
  • Hemingway, Short stories
  • Hemingway: The Old Man in the Sea
  • Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises
  • Hugo: Les Miserables/Hunchback Of ND
  • James, Henry: Daisy Miller
  • James, Henry: In The Cage
  • James, Henry: Portrait of a Lady
  • James, Henry: The Golden Bowl
  • James, Henry: What Maisy Knew
  • James, Henry: Wings of a Dove
  • James, Henry:The Ambassadors
  • James, Henry; The Bostonians
  • Kerouac: Dharma Bums
  • Kerouac: On The Road
  • Kerouac: The Subterraneans
  • Kerouac: Tristessa
  • Lardner,Ring:Short Works
  • Larsen: Quicksand
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Arrowsmith
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Free Air
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Main Street
  • Lewis, Sinclair: The Job
  • MacGill, Patrick (Complete works)
  • Mackin, Walter (novels)
  • Maupassant: Short Works, novels
  • McGahern, John (novels of)
  • McNulty, John (Short Works)
  • Norris, Frank: McTeague
  • O'Brien, Edna (3 Novels)
  • O'Donnell, Paeder : Novels of
  • O. Henry
  • Potok, Chaim (4 novels/1 non fiction)
  • Salinger, JD : Nine Stories
  • Salinger: Franny & Zooey
  • Salinger: Raise High the Roofbeams
  • Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Dodsworth
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Elmer Gantry
  • Sinclair, Upton: King Coal
  • Sinclair, Upton: The Jungle
  • Steinbeck, John: Sweet Thursday
  • Steinbeck: Winter of our Discontent
  • Steinbeck: Cannery Row
  • Steinbeck: East of Eden
  • Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath
  • Theroux, Paul (3 Novels )
  • Toibin, Colm: (Novels of)
  • Tolstoy: Anna Karenina
  • Tolstoy: Short Works
  • Turgenev (2 novels)
  • Twain: T Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi
  • Vonnegut: Early Works (1950s-60s)
  • Wharton, Edith: Novels of/Short Stories
  • Women & Fiction (Edit. Cahill)
  • Zola, Emile ( 10 novels)