Thursday, October 18, 2007

Media Roundup

I keep thinking of various books, movies, or TV shows I've wanted to comment on, so today you get the hodge-podge.

In homeschool today we finished reading The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare, which is my favorite book so far this year. It is the story of a 12-year old Matt who is left in his new cabin in the wilderness of Maine while his father goes to bring the rest of the family to their new settlement. Matt has to overcome many obstacles while surviving alone, and becomes friends with some local Indians. Much time passes, and Matt's family is long overdue to arrive. Winter is setting in, and we have no idea what has happened to Matt's family, and what his fate will be. There is a lot of neat information woven into the book about how survival can happen without guns or metal tools, and there are a lot of things to talk about with your children all along the way. The ending of this book was just what I love about so many of the books in the Sonlight curriculum. I was all choked up crying toward the end--it was really a moving, emotional end to the story. I highly recommend it.

Anybody else here been reading the Twlight series by Stephenie Meyer? I finally got ahold of Eclipse (the third book in the series, and last one available while we wait for the next two) and gobbled it up within a few days. If you haven't read it yet and don't want a spoiler, skip the rest of this paragraph. I finished the book with the opinion that I think the story is good, but I don't think Meyer is a very good writer. She fails to give the reader the visual cues that would help the story come alive in the imagination, and she fails to make her main premise of the story (that Bella and Edward can't live without each other) believable. However, the story has several interesting twists, turns, and layers that I enjoyed. (I love a book that can surprise me...usually) I finished the book in tears, bitterly disappointed that Bella would not leave Edward and go be with Jacob instead. Vampire life is boring and pointless, and I no longer believe that Edward and Bella need each other as much as we're supposed to believe. Jacob has so much more to offer Bella, and it's only because she's young and stupid that she has chosen Edward. Sucker. I'm hoping this travesty might be corrected in a future book, but I'm not counting on it.

If you've already read Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and need a little something to take that idealistic edge off of your thoughts, go read The $64 Tomato. What a funny, witty book! I'm not finished with it yet, but I'm loving it.

I missed commenting on the new season of TV shows. Although we don't have TV service here, I do manage to watch some (many) shows online thanks to ABC and the like. I need fewer Netflix, since I can watch many of my favorite shows at my whim from the computer.

Although I was thoroughly annoyed by Andy and the last shmucky season of The Bachelor, it's like a car wreck--I just can't take my eyes off of it. This season's bachelor is less annoying than Andy, but I still find myself puzzled about the mindset of these young women. I had no idea that so many beautiful, educated, employed young women were so desperate as to go on national TV with the hopes of falling in love and getting married. These girls are so into the "Pick Me!!" mentality that it seems they haven't even considered that they might not be interested in picking this guy. What. On. Earth?! Do they really think that they are going to learn anything important about this guy under the nonsense circumstances they are living in? Don't these gals know that there is more to marriage than "I just want someone to love me"? I don't understand this. Absolutely ridiculous. And, honestly, girls....WHY ON EARTH would you want to be with a guy that doesn't know for sure that he wants to be with YOU? I would NOT want to end up with a guy that had to go off and cry and get special counsel from his best friend in order to decide between me and some other girls. If you don't know you want me, you don't want me enough, bub. (Insert everything else I said about how aggravating I found The Bachelor last season) My suspicion is that Brad and Jenny have the best connection, and it would be nice to see a clear front runner emerge solidly and have him just send all the others home. Playing that show out to the end is just....gross. (but I'll be watching every week)

The new show Pushing Daisies is very interesting and worth a look-see if you like quirky and fresh shows. It's got an interesting premise, is visually fun, and I like the actors. I think it has potential.

Private Practice is the new spin-off show from Grey's Anatomy. Addison Sheppard has a new life in LA, and aren't we all so glad that she's not moaning about McDreamy anymore and getting a real life? I hadn't planned to watch this show, but gave it a shot and like it. The medical practice that she works in is very interesting, since they take a more holistic approach to the patients. The combination of high-tech medical, mind-body connection, midwifery, surgery, psychology, etc. makes for an interesting and entertaining show. It's much more interesting than the usual medical/hospital drama. And the characters are evolving in an interesting way as well. Check it out!

Brothers and Sisters is one of my favorites. The combination of a big, close-knit family, the political issues (on all sides of the spectrum), current events, and various issues is interesting. And with the exception of one actress (the one that plays Rebecca--ugh. Unless, of course, Rebecca is meant to be so annoying, in which case she's a brilliant actress!) they are excellent and convincing. Many more adult issues in this show, so some of you may not appreciate it as much as I do.

That's all I've got time for today. What have you been reading/watching?


Mimi said...

I just recommended Stephanie Meyer's books to my mom - I've not read them, but they are so up her alley. I'm glad you enjoyed.

I keep predicting major plot points on Private Practice, I'm not sure if I like it yet or not...

TaunaLen said...

I like Pushing Daisies, and The Practice. My DVR is too full of programs this season, It's hard to keep up with Dancing With the Stars, Criminal Minds, House, The Unit, Grey's Anatomy, Smallville, Bionic Woman, and my new favorite is on ABC, wednesday nights at 8 -- Kid Nation. Great show!