My Top Ten Everything! Mood:
cheeky Topic: Random Thoughts
Every year, I try to come up with the top list of the most interesting entertainment stories but everyone does that nowadays! So, I decided to come up with the top ten entertainment and pop cultural things I discovered! (Or, maybe rediscovered.) What new thing did you discover in the 2011?
a. Representing Ireland: Colin Farrell after seeing a very well done remake of Fright Night.
b. Representing Australia: Hugh Jackman after seeing the surprisingly entertainingReal Steel and his even better one man show--Hugh Jackman: Back On Broadway.
c. Representing Ireland via Germany: Indie-film hottie, Michael Fassbender, who starred in no less than four films in 2011. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve seen 3 out of 4 with plans to see A Dangerous Method before 2012. (Speaking of shame, you must see Michael Fassbender as a tightly-wound sex addict in Shame--a role for which he was recently nominated for a Golden Globe. I smell Oscar-nod.)
d. Honorable mentions goes to the two Scots--Ewen McGregor (for Beginners) and James McAvoy (X-Men First Class).
2. I have to thank the supreme writing talents of one Ms. Edwidge Danticat for helping me to rediscover the wonderful escapism of romance novels and the Harlequin brand. Ms. Danticat’s Breath, Eyes, Memory was so beautiful, haunting and painful that it reopened some personal wounds that I am still exploring in therapy ten months later. I also realized that any other capital L literature would only pale in comparison so I decided to go the genre I knew would always make me feel good--romance. (I got so entrenched in the genre that I went to the Romance Writers of America’s Librarian Day conference in New York this past year.)
3. I discovered that African-American romance novels are not like what I thought they would be. (Yes, the librarian was judging books by the their covers. lol.) I have to thankGwyneth Bolton, who wrote the hot and dramatic Kimani Romance (a Harlequin imprint)Sizzling Seduction (which is about a fireman trying to woo the heart of a bitter divorcee). When I met her at a 2011 Book Expo of America book signing, all I could stutter was “fireman hot” like a super fan girl.
4. I discovered the next hot and sexy Young Adult paranormal romance trend is Angels/Demons after reading Personal Demons. A hot angel and a super demon fight for the soul of a corrupted-Catholic girl named Mary. Talk about your love triangles. Take that Bella, Jacob and Edward.
6. I discovered that I like technology. I won an iPad 2 and a Clarisonic Plus. The iPad has made surfing the net and personal organization fun for me. Each day I discover a new trick that it can do. The Clarisonic Plus has transformed my skin! I use it only about two times a week, but after a month I saw a difference. My face felt smoother; looked less dull; and my pores appear smaller. The netbook I received as a Mother’s Day gift is like having a personal diary. I whip it out and bang out a story whenever I want.
7. And speaking of writing, I've rediscovered my joy of writing. So far, I've written an erotic short story and a few poems. I also have another short story in progress. I might have to pull out my romance writers’ phrase guide book to help me with that one.
8. I have been listening to the podcasts of Adam Carolla, Kevin Smith and Larry Miller for a little over a year but it was really this year when I discovered that I can’t go a day without listening to one of Adam’s trademark rants. Why? Because he makes so much damn sense! He yells, complains, and theorises about the same things I want to rant about it to a public audience.
9. I discovered the TV show Breaking Bad. My husband has watched it from the beginning, but I’ve only started watching with this past season. I’d sit on the arm of the couch next my husband like a bird on a hippo’s back, and quietly absorbed the brilliant intensity of that show. After each episode, I would turn to my husband and whisper “Wow, that was intense.” He would just nod and say “That wasn’t even the illest part.”
Serena is a small town Texas librarian who is falling behind on her bills because the recession has caused the town to the library's budget and hence Serena's salary. Jarred Riddell is Serena Higgens' long time friend and crush. When Jarred offers Serena money to teach him charms lessons in order to attract the town's society girl, Serena can hardly refuse the offer. In a sweet and predictable manner, Jarred soon starts to realize that Serena is the woman he needs and wants in his life not VIctoria Snow. Serena definitely wants him, but how long will it take for Jarred to come around and confess his feelings before Serena writes him is the true conflict of the story.
My Favorite Cowboy had all my favorite elements for a paperback romance novel:
* a cowboy who works on a ranch * a librarian as a heroine * friends-to-lovers scenario * a hero or heroine whose family has a strong presence and also acts as the Greek Chorus, humor, or the voice of reason
and * a hero and a heroine who banter
I loved this book. I'm glad I bought it, and that I'm recent road trip allowed me to have a good 8 hours alone with it. It is a sweet and tender story without being sappy or devoid of sexuality. Definitely a romance novel I wouldn't mind my daughter finding when she is 12 years old and curious
I put aside my negativity about Jane Austen and all the hoopla surrounding her works (including Pride and Prejudice) to check out Wickham's Diary, which seemed like it might be a delightful piece of fluff that would include ingredients from Gossip Girl, Edith Wharton, and American Psycho. I was sadly disappointed that it turned out to be a bit of a flat read that didn't allow me to connect with Wickham. All the elements were there (i.e. envy, scheming, overbearing mum) but they didn't gel.
Imagine if Maid Marian was locked in a love triangle with Robin Hood of Locksley and Will--the cold Sheriff of Nottingham? Throw in a dash of courtly intrigue and steamy encounters and you have this novel. It's entertaining to see the old folktale imagined this way, but it isn't the most stunning tale.
This spare book is bright, colorful, and fun. It is perfect for read-alouds for children 2 and up, who can get the humor of it. My daughters love it and I love looking at because the colors are so hypnotic. Dinosaur vs. the Library by Bob Shea My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I love the Dinosaur vs. series and I find them funny to read aloud. I also like reading them to myself. However this current Dinosaur incarnation doesn't seem as good as the others. The Dinosaur is bringing animals to the library for all of them to make noise at the library. I thought perhaps the plot would be Dinosaur "attacking" different parts of the library until he is tamed by story time.
Pants in Review Mood:
a-ok Topic: Fashion Thoughts
Just My Size has just made my perfect pants. I thought I had gained weight because all of my pants were fitting tight around the waist. (I hadn't gained weight it just shifted.) As a woman who dresses casually for work, I thought the best decision I could make about my wardrobe was to go the legging and tunic route until I saw these pants!! Although they have an elastic waistband, they fit just like slacks. The skim over my thighs, bottom and legs, and flatter just like a pair of slacks. They are comfortable without pinching. It also versatile. It can be worn with flats, heels, boots, blouses, tunics or sweaters. I feel womanly, put together, and a little sexy when I wear these pants. I have them in black and herringbone. I wish they came in more colors!
Fists of Steel, Heart of Blood Mood:
energetic Now Playing: Real Steel Topic: Movie Reviews
Let's get a few things out of the way first before I lodge into my review of the latest Hugh Jackman flick “Real Steel.” If you are a regular reader of this blog or of anything I ever posted on the internet over the past ten years, then you know that I love Hugh Jackman. Although there's a 50-50 chance that a Hugh Jackman film will be good, Hugh, himself is always charismatic and fun to watch on film. He never phones it in. Second, yes “Real Steel” is reminiscent of the 1980s toy "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots," which I desperately wanted to own.
Thirdly, lets acknowledge that we are all in the electronic artificial intelligence age and that we are more slaves to our computers than ever, and that we are selling humankind up a mechanic river filled with chips, metal, and plastic.
Finally, let’s also acknowledge that we are bloodthirsty creatures. From the ancient times, we liked gladiator matches. We, as humans, like watching UFC, football, boxin, WWE, etc. We like watching a good beat down, which is probably why people pull out there phones to video record fights before they call the police. “Real Steel” doesn’t acknowledge any of those personality quirks of humankind, because it isn’t that type of movie. “Real Steel” is not a morality play about humans becoming as cold as the technology we carry or why we enjoy blood sport. It is a feel good movie that both older children, teens, and parents can enjoy together. It is a family film where we root for the underdog.
Charlie (Hugh Jackman) is a washed up human boxer turned robot boxer, who trolls scrap yards looking for pieces to create a great robot boxer to pull him out of his poverty-ridden existence. Even when Charlie discovers he has an 11-year-old son, Max, he still chases after the dollar with horrible circumstances until Max discovers an old robot that can take a ticking and keep on licking. Even better, it can be taught to fight because it shadows the moves of anything in front of it. From this point, the movie begins its upward trajectory. The junkyard dog robot Max discovers, Atom, moves up the ranks until it is given a championship match. Charlie and Max bond over boxing, cans of Dr. Pepper, and training Atom. You know where this story is going (actually not all of it because the ending is a bit of a surprise), and it is a pleasing ride.
The robot animatronics is awesome. Whoever worked on the robotics on this movie should takeover the Transformers franchise. They made the most clunky robot boxer graceful and light on their 2 ton feet. The boxing matches are engaging. The audience I saw it with was as hooked as I was. They were shouting at the screen; mirroring the punches; grimacing with each body blow; and clapping after each victory. Even better, Hugh Jackman and Dakota Goyo (who plays Max) are just engaging on screen as their metal counterparts. The little boy has attitude, moxie, street smarts, and just enough moppet to not him appear as a pint-size asshole. The same could be said for Jackman. His character is a totally jerk, but he gives him just enough tenderness that we forgive him for being an absentee dad.
The kinetic and mostly urban soundtrack add to making the audience hyper. Tracks by Timbaland, 50-Cent, and Eminem feature prominently in the movie and adds to the grittiness of underground robot boxing as well as underscoring the hungriness of Charlie, Max and Atom to win.
You will not waste your money seeing this crowd-pleaser especially if you go with your tween-age kids or younger. (There was a little boy in my audience, no more than 4 years old, who shouted out that he wanted to be a robot. Too cute.)
Tuesday Teaser Mood:
not sure Now Playing: You Against Me by Jenny Downham Topic: Book Reviews
Dad slammed his for down. 'That's enough!' A spatter of gravy flew across the table and landed on the clother. 'If you can't be civil, then you go to your room. What the hell's got into you, Eleanor?' --page 257, You Against Me by Jenny Downham
Tie One On Mood:
caffeinated Topic: Fashion Thoughts
After about two weeks serious balmy weather in New York City, we are finally getting some Autumn like weather. As much as I like fall weather, it can be a bit bi-polar: really cold in the morning and warm in the afternoon. So, I've taken to wearing a scarf over my blazer each morning so I'm not too warm in the afternoon nor too cold in the morning. Woman's Day magazine had a nice little video on a new way to tie your scarf so it stays put. Click this link to check it out. I'm going to try it tomorrow.
What The Librarian Is Reading Mood:
flirty Topic: Book Reviews
What Am I Reading?
Your Man is Wonderful: How to Appreciate Your Partner, Romance Your Differences, and Love the One You've Got by Noelle C. Nelson
Practical Widow to Passionate Mistress by Louise Allen
Love in the Mountains by Janet Burnham Haywood
The Hot Spot by Niobia Bryant: An extra steamy novel about a 42-year-old divorcee's romance with a super-sexy 20-something diary farmer who wants to start a family. The problem? Her kids are grown and she doesn't want to be anybody's wife anymore. Or will her new boyfriend change her mind?
What Will I Read?
Secret Weapon by Opal Carew
Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1) by Simone Elkeles
Ask the Dust by John Fante
What Did I Just Read or Started-but-Stopped Reading?
Penguin by Polly Dunbar
Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
The World of King Arthur and His Court by Kevin Crossley-Holland: Great non fiction book about the mythical king and his court. It blends truth, folklore, and poetry to teach King Arthur fans about the time in which he lived. I only wished there was more about Arthur's background, heritage and rise to power.