Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What I've been reading and watching (or not watching) lately

So, I finished War and Peace awhile back . . . or did I? Well, it is quite frustrating. You see, the story was done. The characters gone. The 1200 pages traversed. The tale finished. . . . And yet . . . there was more . . . 30 pages more. What's 30 pages after 1200, you ask? Oh nothing. I know. I have to finish or I may as well have just stuck with only ever having read the abridged version. It is just that before, when Tolstoy would leave off the story to philosophize about wars and the whys and wherefores (in a "which came first -- the chicken or the egg" fashion), there was always the pull of needing to get back to the story to get me through it. But to end the story and then expect me to read 30 more pages of tiny print? Sigh. I must . . . but I am not the intellectual some of you might be and while I recognize the value in much of what he says and have learned a great deal about Napoleon and war itself, I have to force myself to read it and in truth, I don't enjoy it. Still, I'll do it, but may I just say, that I think War and Peace is a great great book with amazing people and a great story . . . SOOO, despite my own embarrassment at having previously read only the abridged version, it now occurs to me that I would most likely recommend the abridged to anyone wanting to just have a really good book. There you will find all of the story line with fewer of the breaks.

But, while I have been putting off reading the rest of those pages, I read Princess Academy by Shannon Hale. She wrote The Goose Girl -- which I've heard of but never read. Anyway, it is a quick young reader type of book, but just a fun and happy thing to read. Thanks Marnie for lending it to me (when it wasn't even yours to rightfully lend).


Next, I read Watership Down by Richard Adams. My mom read us this book when I was probably 10 or 11. I didn't remember the story line though -- just that I'd liked it. Anyway, its about rabbits. I know, I know, you are thinking it couldn't possibly be good or worth your while. "Rabbits!!?" you are thinking, "That's a good one!" I don't mean "about rabbits" as in "a book telling you about rabbits." I mean that the characters are indeed rabbits, but seriously, it is such a great story. I think Abe and Daisy would love me to read it to them, but some of it is a little violent so I will probably wait, but honestly, I spent the last half of the book "on the edge of my seat" so to speak -- biting my nails and thinking they would never make it. It really is quite a great tale. I think Mike would have liked it too, but I knew I was too impatient to read it out loud to him because then I could only read it when he is home (and since we have been reading a book for the past two years together, I knew what waiting to read it with him would mean).

As for watching -- I don't watch much anymore. In WA, all the shows came on at 8 or 9 pm when my kids were asleep, so Mike and I sometimes liked to watch something or other. Here they all start at like 7 pm! As if that would ever work. We still watch LOST and as much as I hate saying I love something that everyone says they love, I do like it, and I think all of you should get the first season and starting watching right away if you think you would never like LOST. Anyway, LOST isn't on right now so I really don't watch TV.

But, the other night I happened to turn the TV on one of the public broadcasting stations to find a little show called "From Lark to Castleford" coming on. It only lasted an hour and was as charming and good as most any English countryside show I've ever watched, but I wasn't sure if I'd just seen the end of a mini series or what. I looked it up and it turns out it is an entire BBC series. It has already had two seasons. I was so excited to watch them every now and then, so I looked on Amazon only to discover they were priced in "pounds" equivalent to about 46 bucks in American money. And that, just for one season! To add insult to injury, it said that the discs wouldn't work in most US DVD players. What?? Do we have different DVD players than the Britts? What is going on here? Since when are good English shows made exclusively for the English? I was so happy thinking of myself cozying up on my couch at night to watch an episode or two. Mike would be with me -- and while I might let him have the laptop handy to peruse classifieds when bored, he would mostly enjoy them with me. What has this world come to? Somehow I really can't accept that there can be NO "From Lark to Castleford" for me.
Anywho, there is the run down on my recent media experiences. Are books media?

8 comments:

Liz said...

burg11
If you liked Princess Academy then Goose Girl is a must. Meg and I have read all of the Shannon Hale books. Although I have to say the sequel to Goose girl wasn't my favorite- Enna Burning is a little violent. I can't believe Mike will sit and watch a good english period film with you! Who is your husband anyway!?! Jay would never! I might have to look into that series.

Tia Juana said...

First of all, I LOVE Shannon Hale books - all of them. Second of all my older kids LOVE "Lost" but I have never gotten on the band wagon. Perhaps now that you tell me I should like it, I will. Time will tell.

PS I'm reading Harry Potter 6 because the movie is almost out and I need a refresher to what I am about to see....

Kelly said...

I love your media post. You rock. I love Lost. We were recording this season's to watch it together in the summer in like a major marathon but sadly our DVR crashed so we have to wait until the DVDs come out. Right now our Book Club is reading Les Miserables, it is sooo good. Why don't you come sometime?

jami said...

i'm with the others - that shannon hale is great - and goose girl, to me, is her very best.

how fun to see all you've been reading and seeing. :) there's nothing that says summer more than books and movies. :)

Marzee Dyer said...

Have you read "Pride and Prejudice"? Have you seen the A&E version of it? You must! Then - after you do those things - PLEASE oh PLEASE see "Lost in Austen". It is my new favorite movie!!! I can't get enough of it! It was a series done for British television - like the A&E version of P&P - but is only three hours long. It is so great!

Marzee Dyer said...

Oh - and then you can read "Austenland" by Shannon Hale. It's a light, fun, quick read.

Perla said...

please find that series on a disc that can be played here and for a less expensive price so that i can watch it with you sometime.

rebecca said...

I LOVE "Lark Rise to Candleford." I have all the episodes recorded except the first one, and I'm very sad that one got deleted.

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