Thursday, September 20, 2007

Where is Laura?

Sorry, I've been SUPER busy with work and haven't had a chance to keep up my blog lately. I need to write about "The Painted Veil," Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich and The Gatecrasher by Madeleine Wickham. I probably won't be able to catch up until this weekend or next week, depending on when I get my project done. Happy reading!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I heard about the movie Breach on NPR when it came out on DVD in June and thought it would be a good movie to check out from the library. I guess it came out sometime this past spring, but since I never seem to watch live TV and hardly get to go the movie theatre, I didn't hear about it!

Breach is the true story of the capture of the worst traitor in US history, Robert Hanssen (Chris Cooper), in 2001. Hansseen had worked for the FBI for 25 years, but was also selling secrets to the Russians during the past 20 years. The story is told through the prospective of Eric O'Neil (Ryan Phillippe), a young agent in training, who helps to bring the man down. Although we know how the story is going to end, it is still riviting and nail bitting at times. Robert Hanssen is a pillar of the community, a devout Catholic, and very strait laced at work. Eric finds himself admiring the man. The perfect facade though hids a sexual deviant and traitor to his nation, whose motivation is not money, but to prove that he can do it. In other words, he wasn't such a good Catholic after all! Eric's life starts to unravel as Hanssen brings himself more into his personal life and wants Eric's wife to become Catholic. Eric can't tell his wife about the secret investigation and she gets fed up with the secrets and his overbearing boss.

Overall, it was a very good movie. I highly recommend it. It's a good suspense movie as well as a good way to learn a bit about modern U.S. history. I seemed to have missed this case in 2001. But then again, I was still at Michigan Tech and my daily news came from the Daily Mining Gazette, so it would have been easy to miss it!

Heroes 1st Season Finale

I know - I'm a bit behind on my TV watching. Ben and I have too many shows to watch and not enough time together to watch them. That's what happens when you work part-time from home and need to work whenever your spouse is home!

Ben and I finally caught up on Heroes and have been having a marathon since we've been home the last couple of weekends. Our goal was to get it watched before Season 2 started and we were able to make our goal!

I think Heroes overall is a good and very entertaining show. I like it's comic book format, and how there are certain goals that the characters set out to achieve and they achieve them. I also like that it is a character driven show. The characters are all very interesting in their unque ways.

As for the season finale, Ben and I watched it Monday night and both agreed on Tuesday that although it was good, it wasn't quite as exciting as we expected. Yes, the exploding man was stopped as promised, but not really in a spectacular way. Anyone else out there watch Heroes and want to disagree with us?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter

My reading of Jane Austen spin-offs continues. I finished Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter last night.

This novel is set in present day New York City, where Emily Albright works in a bookstore in New York City and dreams of meeting Mr. Darcy. Her only dates all are losers who do not show the common curtisies that a Mr. Darcy would extend. Forced with spending New Year's Eve alone or on a 18-30 vacation in Mexico with her best friend, Emily rashly decides to go on a literature lovers tour of Jane Austen's England. While in England she meets Mr. Darcy and Spike Hargreaves, a reporter on the trip writing an article on why Mr. Darcy has won the title of the Man Most Women Would Love to Date. Spike and Emily don't get along and have a story that parallels that of Elizabeth and Darcy in P&P.

I thought this novel was mediocre at best. The secondary characters were not well flushed out and I was very confused on Emily's meetings with Mr. Darcy. Were they real or imaginary? I never really felt it was resolved at the end. I didn't think her meetings with him were that great either. The book could have actually done without them. I much prefered Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict to this book.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

This may have been the third or fourth time I've read Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding. It is the Kewaunee Mom's Club book club pick for September and I thought I'd read it early rather than last minute like last time. The book was my suggestion as something light hearted after reading Stephen King last month.

Bridget Jones's Diary was the first of the "chick lit" genre as we know it. It's a good book and also a good movie. Bridget is a thirty-something "singleton" that keeps a journal starting with the new year and her hilarious resolutions, which include "I will not fall for any of the following: alcoholics, workaholics, commitment phobics, people with girlfriends or wives, misogynist, megalomanics, chavinists, emotional f**kwits or freeloaders, or perverts." Bridget has a great group of friends, some crazy relations, and definitely some romance problems. She starts off the year in love with her boss, Daniel Cleaver, who is also quite the cad. She is very annoyed with Mark Darcy, whom she meats at the New Year's Turkey Curry party, as he seems quite standoffish. Will Bridget find true love? You'll have to read the book to find out.

This book parallels Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, while it's sequel, Bridget Jones and the Edge of Reason parallels Austen's Persuasion. The sequel is worth a read, but don't bother with the movie. I thought it was quite terrible and seemed to have missed the whole Persuasion theme of the book. If you want to read something truely terrible, click here for Bridget Jones Returns, postings of a column that Fielding has been writing in Great Britain. I was very annoyed by where she has taken the story with this column. SPOILERS AHEAD: Bridget has a baby (good for her!), but the father is DANIEL CLEAVER!! ARGH! I thought we got rid of him as a cad in books 1 and 2. Once again ARGH!

Overall Bridget Jones's Diary is a good book and fun to read. I must admit though, as I read it this time, I realized I've become a "smug married." When I first read the book while I was single, I related much more deeply to Bridget. Now that I'm married, it's still funny, but doesn't hit home as much. Ah!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich

Two for the Dough is the second in Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, about a woman bounty hunter tracking down crimals in "The Burg," New Jersey. I enjoyed this book as much as I enjoyed the first one. It made me laugh out loud a lot - which made Ben give me questioning looks:-)

In this novel, Stephanie is tracking down Kenny Mancuso, Joe Morelli's cousin, who shot a high school friend in the knee, and then disappeared after Stephanie's cousin Vincent Plum posted bond. After the friend ends up dead, body parts from the neighborhood funeral home ( that happens to be run by Spiro, Kenny's other high school friend) happen to start showing up to warn people off the case. Stephanie has her car stolen once again and gets to drive Grandma Mazur's indestructable powder blue 1953 Buick. Morelli and Plum team up once again to solve the crime, sparks fly, and much hilarity ensues.

I love the supporting cast of characters, especially Grandma Mazur. She cracks me up! All of Evanovich's characters are well rounded and add well to the story.

If you are looking for a funny, sexy, mystery series - I highly recommend! I'm glad Jenn recommended them to me!

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

I actually finished this book last Friday, but I'm a bit behind on my blog! It was a quick and easy read, and the best of the Jane Austen "fan fiction" (for lack of a better term that I've read lately.

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict centers on Courtney Stone, a young Los Angeles "singleton" who has just found out that her fiance was cheating on her and her best friend knew and didn't tell her. She falls asleep reading Jane Austen novels to get away from it all - and awakens in 1813 England as Jane Mansfield. Much hilarity ensues as Courtney tries to convince herself that she's just dreaming and then tries to tame her modern California self into an 1813 lady of quality. There are of course balls, romance, a bossy mother, and a great best friend. My only points of annoyance were when Courtney didn't know some basic etiquette and whatnot for the time. If she were as a big of a Jane Austen fan as she says she is . .. it seems like she would have picked this up in her multiple readings.

It was a pleasant read and had a good ending. I recommend it for other fellow Jane Austen Addicts!