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Amazon’s 2011 Best Books of the Year

 

 

 

Amazon.com has announced its Best Books of the Year for 2011! It’s a Top 100 list, but it’s also broken down into the Top 20, the Top Kindle Singles, Top Mystery and Thrillers, Top Literature and Fiction, Top Nonfiction, Top Debut Fiction, Top Quirky and Strange and Top Jackets and Covers.

I’d like to read all of them, but a few that are definitely on my must-read list are: The Marriage Plot: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides; The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern; 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami; and The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht.

I’ll get around to these eventually!

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Excerpt from Imperial Bedrooms

I’m currently reading Evolve Your Brain by Joe Dispenza and also The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, but before I finish those, I wanted to share an excerpt from the Random House website from Bret Easton Ellis’ new book, Imperial Bedrooms. It is a sequel to Easton Ellis’ novel Less Than Zero, which was also made into a film starring Robert Downey, Jr. I have actually only read one of Easton Ellis’ books: The Rules of Attraction. Anyway, I saw the film version of Less Than Zero but I am curious about this sequel, so I plan to read both books.

Anyway, here is the link. I am already a bit intrigued.

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Mishmash

I’ve been away from the computer for a bit because I lost my WiFi network at home. So I have a few updates all at once.

1. I finished Moon Palace and I still have great things to say about that book, but I also must add that I did not like it as much as I liked The Book of Illusions. I have been reading that Sunset Park, Man in the Dark, and Invisible are among Paul Auster’s better efforts, so I’ll be adding those to my list.

2. I went to the library and checked out Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (somehow I had previously let that one slip by me) and The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. There were others closer to the top of my list, but my neighborhood library is small and I didn’t feel like driving around to other local libraries. So I started reading The Year of Magical Thinking, which is about how Didion deals with the death of her husband. Not the most cheerful subject matter, but I will finish reading it nonetheless.

3. I watched Winter’s Bone, one of the recent Best Picture nominees, and I was impressed by the film, I was impressed by the whole backwoods underworld created, but most of all I was impressed by Jennifer Lawrence. I had never seen her or heard of her before this film was released, but basically, I think she’s the next Charlize Theron. And she’s so young, I’m looking forward to seeing what she does next. Also, she looked ridiculously gorgeous at the Oscars. John Hawkes gave a great performance as well, I like that guy. I stalked him on IMDb a bit after I watched the movie. Since I couldn’t get online after I watched it, I should have jotted down some notes or typed up a Word document so that my impressions and opinions were fresh, but this is what I’m left with. It’ll have to do.

4. Last night, I watched 127 Hours. I was dreading it; when an IMDb synopsis states that “a mountain climber becomes trapped under a boulder…and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive”, it’s not hard to realize what exactly he has to resort to. But because it was also a Best Picture nominee, a Best Actor nominee, Danny Boyle directed it, and it’s based on a true story, I knew I needed to watch it.  Um, wow. Let me just say that it is a very powerful, moving film and the acting and editing is mesmerizing. But that scene that I’d been dreading turned out to be the 2nd-most-difficult thing in cinema to watch after the whipping of Jesus in Passion of the Christ. It wasn’t really about the blood and gore, there have definitely been more graphic scenes on celluloid before. It was just so painful and draining to try to understand how strong the will to live must be and how much courage it would take to break and then cut off your own forearm. Biting down, screaming, and just finding a way to do it without passing out. I couldn’t shut my eyes, the scene is too important, unlike in other films where most violence is just gratuitous. The gory scene of this film is the whole point of the film. It serves to demonstrate how strong the will to survive can be and the amounts of untapped strength that can be summoned when the only other option would be to surrender to death. I had my forearms on my forehead though, tears were streaming down my face, and I started to feel a bit sweaty. And then that film kept me awake after the credits had rolled, and I couldn’t go to sleep. It might be helpful to have someone’s hand to squeeze during this; I watched it by myself. Phew. I definitely recommend it though.

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Why?

Welcome to Heathcliff to Hayworth! I decided to start this blog because:

  1. I’m at work, so as usual, I’d rather be doing anything than what I’m supposed to be doing.
  2. I actually really love books and reading them – always have – and once I got a Kindle for Christmas 2009, I read so many more books in 2010 than I usually do. So blogging will be a way for me to document and keep track of all of the books I read from here on out, as well as my impressions and opinions of them.
  3. Ditto for some select movies.
  4. I’d like to share my opinions with other readers/film lovers and hopefully spark some discussions.
  5. I just like the idea of blogging and would like to see how far I can go with this.

Please please always feel free to give me recommendations for books and movies that you love!

Anyway, here goes nothin’…or somethin’.

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