Wisdom brightens a person's face and changes its hard appearance. -Ecclesiatstes 8:1

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A week in 'review'

In starting a new format for the blog, I will (try to) review the books, movies and TV shows I watched throughout the previous week. Or at least mention anything that I thought was of note.

I finally finished a book I started several months ago. It usually doesn't take me that long to read a book, but I struggled to get through this one a) because I haven't really been in a reading mood, b) when I read, I have a tendency to fall asleep after a few pages and c) this book struggled to hold my interest.

From Amazon.com: "Portrait in Sepia, by Isabel Allende is crammed with love, desire, tragedy, and dark family secrets, all played out against the dramatic backdrop of revolutionary Chile. Our heroine Aurora del Valle's mother is a Chilean-Chinese beauty, while her father is a dissolute scion of the wealthy and powerful del Valle family. At the heart of Aurora's slow, painful re-creation of her childhood towers one of Allende's greatest fictional creations, the heroine's grandmother, Paulina del Valle. An "astute, bewigged Amazon with a gluttonous appetite," Paulina holds both the del Valle family and Allende's novel together as she presides over Aurora's adolescence in a haze of pastries, taffeta, and overweening love."

I originally bought this book because the writer is from Peru, as is my husband, and the book concerned some Chilean history about the war with Peru. I thought I could get some ideas of South American history. However, while some history was covered, the writer was just too wordy and the things she described in great detail were of no use in driving the plot. The book was 304 pages, but should have been less than 250. It was actually at about page 250 where I started just skimming the pages for major ideas concerning the main character rather than reading through all the dribble that described unnecessary ideas.

The plot revolved around the life of a young girl who was learning her family history. However, the mysteriousness that should have been there, was never there. The reader new what had happened from the beginning. Had I been less informed in the first part, then I think I would have been more intrigued throughout parts 2 and 3.

Another issue I had with it was that the paragraphs were too long. They sometimes lasted 3 pages. I have never understood why a writer would go on about one particular thing for that long.

I don't recommend this book. Of course, if you are a fan of Jane Austen or even Stephenie Meyer, you might enjoy the lengthiness and unnecessary wordiness.

Being the week of Halloween, I tried to find some cute Halloween movies that I hadn't seen before (not scary). I actually had never seen the Halloweentown series from Disney and noticed it was going to be aired four nights in a row.

I watched each movie in order and enjoyed them for their kid friendly cheesiness. However, the last one, Return to Halloweentown, was not my favorite. It probably had something to do with the change in the lead actress. The new actress was just fine, but after having watched the first three with one girl, the abrupt switch bothered me. Also, the youngest sister was missing in most of the third one and all of the fourth. I found that odd.

I also watched Hocus Pocus, a favorite Halloween movie of mine.

This week's episode of "Glee" was fun because of the Rocky Horror Picture Show theme. However, I hate that the themes are so blatantly adult in a show about high school students.

A new show this season that I am watching and enjoying is "Blue Bloods" starring Donny Wahlberg and Tom Selleck. It is your basic serial crime-solving/cop show that revolves around a Catholic family of lawyers and policeman in NYC. I recommend it if you need something to enjoy on a lazy Sunday afternoon. (It comes on Fridays on CBS.)

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