Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Awards #3

I love getting awards, and I think it's such a great concept. To stop and blog about some of the million blogs we read every day and appreciate them with a cute little graphic. I have just seen I've won a Beautiful Blogger Award (one I don't think I've won before) from Book Junkie, a wonderful blogger who herself has indeed deserved this award. Make sure you check her blog out!

Now, here's the rules: I am to list 7 things you might not now about me and then pass it onto 15 other bloggers and notify them of it. Here goes.

7 Things You Might Not Have Known About Me

  1. I love TV shows and am always following at least one. My heart belongs to Sex and the City and Queer as Folk, but also Desperate Housewives, True Blood, Gilmore Girls, Brothers & Sisters, ALIAS, and many more!
  2. I am a bona fide movie buff. My interests are endless, and some of my favorite movies include RENT, Amelie, Atonement, Love and Other Disasters, Dangerous Liaisons and many I can't recall right now.
  3. I need coffee. Every day.
  4. I am able to surf book blogs 24/7.
  5. I hate intolerance, ignorance and judging.
  6. If I see new comments on my blog in the morning, it kinda makes my day.
  7. My favorite music includes Madonna, Rufus Wainwright, Scissor Sisters, Idina Menzel and Lady Gaga.
  8. I sometimes judge blogs by their design. So sue me.
  9. I've never participated in a readathon, but I hope to do it this year.
  10. I love traveling, and there is a pretty good chance I'll spend my next school year in America. Wanna meet up?

Now's the time to nominate fantastic blogs for this prestigious award (in no particular order). And the award goes to...
  1. eclectic/eccentric
  2. Queen of Happy Endings
  3. The Zen Leaf
  4. A Guy's Moleskin Notebook
  5. Melissa's World
  6. Reading Nook
  7. Book Journey
  8. Wordsmithonia
  9. It's Just Me, Wendy
  10. Serendipity
  11. Book Bound
  12. Michelle's Bookshelf
  13. Book Blab
  14. Jenny Loves to Read
  15. My Tea Time is Book Time

Of course, there's many others I've failed to mention, but as soon as I get another award, I'll let you know about them as well. 15 wasn't too much at all, which was definitely not my first thought reading the award rules. Again, thanks for reading and thanks for writing such beautiful blogs!

Wish List Wednesdays #4

The latest book that has made its appearance on my wish list was Ian McEwan' The Comfort of Strangers. I have recently seen the film (starring Rupert Everett, Natasha Richardson, Helen Mirren and Christopher Walken) and found it contemplative and cathartic. I would love to get to read this book, and also Ian McEwan's other books (Atonement, for example).

As their holiday unfolds, Colin and Maria are locked into their own intimacy. They groom themselves meticulously, as though someone is waiting for them who cares deeply about how they appear. When they meet a man with a disturbing story to tell, they become drawn into a fantasy of violence and obsession.

What's on your wishlist?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Win a Sony PRS600

This post is to let you know that the amazing book blogger Diane is celebrating her first blogoversary, over at her blog The Book Resort. In order to celebrate, she is giving away one amazing SONY PRS600 E-Reader! You can enter the giveaway here.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

In My Mailbox #3

Since I have not posted about my new books in a while, I thought maybe I should post about a selection of them - all these books I'm excited to read and can't wait to review. Coming soon to the blog near you!

Tony Parsons is an author I always liked and I've read most of his novels (Man and Boy is exceptional!). Starting Over (what you see in the picture is a Serbian translation) sounds fantastic and I was so glad when someone got me this. Don't you love it when people nail the presents they get you?

The second book you see in the picture is the ARC of Elise Blackwell's upcoming book, An Unfinished Score. I was proud to receive an ARC from such an acclaimed author. I am in the process of reading it and I love it! Review coming very soon.

Then, we have Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, another review copy. This one I'm gonna review soon as well, since it's been a while since I received it. I don't want the author to think I forgot about her!

Richard Ellmann's biography of the one and only Oscar Wilde was a present from a very dear friend. It is one of those books you simply cannot wait to sink your teeth in, but keep waiting for the perfect moment. I do not want to rush this book, instead I want to read it at a slow pace when I have less obligations.

Finally, here we have Without you: A Memoir of Love, Loss and the Musical RENT. Any good friend of mine knows of my love for the musical RENT, and here is a memoir by Anthony Rapp, one of the original Broadway actors. This is another one I cannot wait to read.

What's in your mailbox?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Book to Movie Review: New Moon

If you remember my review on the Twilight saga's second installment, New Moon, then you may expect how I felt before seeing this movie. I expected a disaster, of course, but some small part of me actually hoped that it was either Robert Pattinson or Catherine Hardwicke, who added much needed depth to the first movie adaptation, would save this one.

Unfortunately, Robbie is gone for the majority of the movie, and the movie itself is directed by probably my most loathed director, Chris Weitz. Mr. Weitz is responsible for his adaptation of Philip Pullman's epic book Northern Lights (aka The Golden Compass in America), the result of which was a complete travesty. Here, he manages to not only disregard the fact that the paper thin story of New Moon could be improved greatly on screen, but he completely runs the film into the ground.

As for the (non-existent) plot: Edward is no longer the cool, smart vamp-boy he was in the first installment - rather, he is an immature wuss. After he leaves Bella with a ridiculous excuse (and after we see she is stupid enough to buy it), Bella gets friendly with the young, steroid-popping Native American. His name is Jacob and he is a werewolf. He also supplies Bella with means of getting into situations of mortal danger, 'cause that's when visions of Edward start happening. Nothing much happens for a really long time, until Bella finally goes to Italy (?!), gets to meet a far superior actress in the form of Dakota Fanning and kinda save Edward's life (what happened there is still a bit unclear to me). That's it, folks.

Let's get done with the good points already, so I can keep on trashing this film as much as it deserves. Robert Pattinson really is a good actor. Ashley Greene (who plays Alice) is really kinda cool. OK, I'm done.

When it comes to the bad stuff, special effects are really substandard. It's hard to believe that New Moon came out in 2009. The visions Bella has of Edward are best described as holograms and the werewolves are probably the worst CGI creatures I have seen lately. After finally getting an appropriate idea of what a werewolf should look like in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, it's sad to see we're back at the start.

I am sure people who loved the book will love this film, but seriously, it might be damaging to one's IQ. Hardwicke's version of Twilight was all about subtlety, sneaking up on the viewer and tapping into his long-forgotten ideas of innocence and romance. Here, no reference is uttered less than three times, so the silly audience can get it (Romeo & Juliet, anyone?). Unlike Twilight, New Moon taps into a viewer's love for cineplexes. I'm actually surprised it's not in 3D.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Review: Rage - Gay Crusader

I don't have much reading experience when it comes to graphic novels, so I was excited to read this one as part of my LGBT Reading Challenge. This month's mini challenge is to read a graphic novel containing GLBT themes, so I picked Rage - Gay Crusader.

Rage is a spin off comic book from the hit TV show Queer as Folk. Its plot alludes to some first season plot points and the characters are drawn based on their TV counterparts. The comic book actually plays an important part in the show, so it was fun to actually get to read it.

Rage is a superhero, living with his faithful sidekick in the city of Gayopolis (one of the many campy details featured in the book). His good looks often help him solve problems on the streets, which is not surprising, since he is based on the actor Gale Harold, who plays the show's protagonist. There is not much to the story, really - he saves a teen from a brutal gay bashing and then beds him. However, the imagery was simply beautiful. Black and white, detailed, nostalgic of the show.

There is not really much to say about this, but I am sure this mini graphic novel will be enjoyed even by people who never watched the show (shame on you!). All in all, it is a fun little graphic novel that doesn't take itself too seriously. Recommended.
This book counts toward my GLBT challenge.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Review: Desperate Housewives - Behind Closed Doors

Back in 2004, one show came out of nowhere, only to become the most talked about thing on television, almost singlehandedly putting the ABC network back on the radar. The hit show was Desperate Housewives, which is now still going strong, currently in its six season.

Behind Closed Doors is a companion coffee-table book to the first season of the show. It takes a look back on the conception of this cult phenomenon, the five actresses whose careers were salvaged by their roles as housewives and finally, the many characters, plots and every minor detail imaginable, as long as it deals with the lives of Bree, Lynette, Susan and Gabby.

The first thing that pops off the page is how impeccably the book is designed. There are plenty of high quality pictures both from the show and from behind the scenes, the treasure throve of information this book provides is organized clearly and aesthetically - it's really a book to put on your favorite coffee table. The best part is probably the styles of each housewives - how they're dressed for the show, why they're dressed like that and finally, how the wardrobe reflects the characters. There is also a very interesting and detailed insight into each episode of the first season.

Obviously, this book will be bought exclusively by the people who already love the show. However, it can also be useful to anyone who is has come late to the party that is Desperate Housewives. I highly recommend this book.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sing Me to Sleep Giveaway Winners

Again, it's been a while. I feel like a very, very bad blogger. My immune system is really fighting to get better and again, I've been sick... So I am sorry to everyone who was anticipating the results of the Sing Me to Sleep giveaway!

So, here's the winner! Congratulations to Kelly Amanda!

And of course, do not forget to visit the author's site!