Sunday, January 31, 2010

January Reads

1. The Jeruselum Diet (audio) - Ted Haggard
2. The White Horse King: The Life of Alfred the Great - Benjamin Merkle
3. Once Upon a Summer (audio) - Jeannette Oke
4. Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure - James Scott Bell
5. The Life and Death of Harriet Frean - May Sinclair
6. The Rats in the Walls (short fiction) - HP Lovecraft
7. Password Incorrect - Nick Name
8. Serial - Blake Crouch, Jack Kilborn
9. The Dunwich Horror - HP Lovecraft
10. The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List - Shelley Mosley

Monday, January 25, 2010

Once Upon a Summer (Seasons of the Heart #1) by Janette Oke

The Year of the Historical
January 2010

Once Upon a Summer (Seasons of the Heart #1) by Janette Oke
Inspirational Historical Fiction – Era 1930’s America

Josh Jones is a 12 years old orphan. He lives on a farm with his Grandfather, his Uncle Charlie and his 18 year old Auntie Lou. Josh is just a regular kid who loves to catch fish at the creek (or crick). His happy days are threatened when he learns his great-grandfather will come to live with them, and even more threatened when he learns that his grandfather and Uncle Charlie are looking to marry off his Auntie Lou, the only mother he’s known.

Josh wants none of it; his only desire is a dog, not an extended family. Life on the farm for a 12 year old is tough, but Josh does his chores and lives life to the fullest. He’s known so much sadness and he gets heaps more in this installment. However, he also gets a lot of happiness, more than he could have hoped for.

Josh learns that sometimes what we wish for is not what we need.

I laughed and cried and was thoroughly entertained by this book. There are 3 more to the series and I will work my way through them.

I usually don’t read historical fiction from this time period and especially books that have a rural setting. This book was recommended to me, and I had it for about a year before I started on it.

I recommend this to anyone who likes inspirational and/or coming of age fiction of a historical nature.

Friday, January 15, 2010

More Interesting Stats

13/365 - Kindle
Originally uploaded by kelsokraft

I keep a detailed spreadsheet of the books I read and movies I watch. The book list consists of title, name, genre, pages, if it is a new or classic book, if it is audio or owned or library, date started, date finished, grade.

I wanted to see the average time it takes me to read a book. It turns out for last year, it took me an average of 7.81 days to read a book. With the lowest number being 0 and the highest being 38 days.

Then I added it to see how many days it took me to read all of these books. That came to 602 days. I thought this was incorrect as that would be about 2 3/4 years, but I then manually added it and it is still 602.

I read more than one book at a time, and that is probably why it is way over 1 year. I wonder if I read them back to back would it take me 2 3/4 years to read them?

I didn't bother to clock audio hours this year, because some of these books like "A Tale of Two Cities" took about 38 hours. All together I listened to approx 209 hours of audo books.

That is RIDUNKULOUS!!!!!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Stats & another foreign movie

Got this idea from ItsjustmeWendy

79 Books read in 2009

44 books were fiction
11 were auto/biography or memoir
23 were non fiction
1 book was a play
I read 20 female authors (with a couple of books by the same author)
13 of these books were about religion or had heavy religious overtones
14 were Classics
5 related to health
11 were audiobooks
11 were on my Kindle
37 were library borrows (hard copies not audio)
16 were owned by me
16 were New releases
2 were over 500 pages
8 were historical fiction
5 Books about Christmas

Fear and Trembling (2003)
Stupeur et Tremblements
107 minutes

In search of a new beginning, Amélie moves from Belgium back to her early-childhood home of Japan, where she starts working full time for a large corporation. But life as a foreigner proves difficult to navigate -- and Eastern office etiquette is nothing like what she's used to. French director helms this Tokyo-based dramedy adapted from the autobiographical novel by Amélie Nothomb.

Amélie gets a job where she does nothing, the Japanese don't trust a westerner. When she is given a task she is not equiped to do, all hell breaks loose. Her immediate supevisor, a beautiful Japanese woman, turns into a major bitch, and her not so immediate supervisors are no bowl of cherries either. How she deals with it, is spot on.

Even if you don't like foreign movies, you can't help but to like this one.

4/5 stars.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The White Horse King: The Life of Alfred the Great

The White Horse King: The Life of Alfred the Great by Benjamin Merkle

Alfred the Great was one of the greatest monarchs in English history. This book goes into some detail about the rise of this remarkable king and how he changed England forever. Merkle cites a lot of material from other sources, it seems to give this book a feel of a compilation. However, it is a pleasant and riveting read.

Merkle delves into Alfred’s formative years and goes through the years as he becomes king. He explains how he merged the Anglo-Saxons against the Vikings who were very brutal. We could feel Alfred the Great's love for God and his struggle to help others feel the same love. He knew his faith would get him through any hurdle he would encounter. He succeeded in reforming the legal system, helped his fellow countrymen become more literate and restored Christianity during a war torn time in English history.

This was a fast paced book that read like a novel, but will want you leaving more. What a different world we might have if there were no Alfred the Great. I think anyone who enjoys biographies, ancient history and books about war will love this one.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Foreign Movie Review

Originally uploaded by kelsokraft

Don't bother with the photo, it has nothing to do with the post. But as I can only post from flicker, I needed to find a picture, and one that at least will have something to do with what I'm talking about. LOL!

Actually I was going to talk about Foreign films. I mentioned in an earlier post that I would like to watch more this year. In 2009, I only watched 3, that is pathetic, I usually watch more, in 2008 I watched 14 and in 2007 I watched 21.

This will be the year of the foreign film, at least until I need a break. I will make an effort to watch at least 1 a month, that would give me 12 by the end of the year. This year so far I've watched 2, and 2 very good ones.

La Strada (1954)

This is a Federico Fellini film starring his wife Giulietta Masina. I've seen other Fellini films that didn't have Masina in it, and I didn't like them. This film also stars Anthony Quinn.

The story follows the plight of gentle Gelsomina, who's sold by her mother to a bullying circus performer, only to have a clown win her heart and ignite a doomed love triangle.

The synopsis sounds pretty plain, but the movie is so cerebrial. And Masina was just such a great actress. Another movie I would recommend by her and directed by Fellini is "Nights of Cabiria" (1957) "Le notti di Cabiria" in Italian. That is another gem.

Another movie I saw was entitled "Black Girl" (1966) "La Noire De..."(French).

This is a short film, lasting less than an hour, but the story it tells in that time will leave an impression.

Working as a governess for a wealthy French family, a young Senegalese woman accompanies her charges on a vacation to the French Riviera, where her white mistress suddenly expects her to do the work of a common maid.

The maid never talks to her employer during this movie. Her point of view is strictly voice over. We can hear her inner thoughts, and they aren't nice. This movie is tragic and haunting.

I hope to watch at least 2 more this weekend, I want to have 10 under my belt by the end of January.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year Everyone. I trust everyone partied hard and rested!!??
I just rested, I was asleep when the ball dropped, but the people in the streets near me were screaming "Happy New Year" and blowing their horns. It wasn't long lasting, so I went right back to sleep.

I just read through my below posts, I posted those months ago to post on New Years Eve. Looking at them now, it is rather sad. I know I left out some recent losses such as Brittnay Murphy and Jennifer Jones (who was one of my daughter's favorite actresses), I wish I had thought to include them.

Hopefully this year will be filled with lots of reading and watching. Sometimes with the movies I do theme months. January is Foreign Movie Month. I will watch more Foreign flicks this month, but it won't totally be foreign. I realized I only watched 3 foreign films last year, which is a drop from previous years. tsk tsk.

Last night, my daughter (10) and I watched "Paranormal Activity".


I was geared up to be scared. We turned off the lights, and put the surround sound on. Not only was most of the film boring, the scary parts were not scary. My mother saw it and she said it wasn't scary, a friend at work said it was really scary, but then again he's 23.

I don't recommend it.

Today I plan to go see Sherlock Holmes (Downey Jr....mmmmmm).

I am also going to attempt, once again, to do PROJECT 365 on Flickr. Twice I attempted and twice I faded. It is tough taking a picture a day for a year. But I'm sure I'll finish.

Everyone enjoy the New Year!