Monday, November 26, 2012

A perfect long weekend

It’s not often we get long weekends like these. Since the Engineer worked from home Wednesday, it felt like a 5-day weekend for us. It was enough time to do everything: run errands, do chores, spend a day cooking for Thanksgiving (post to come), go see a movie, spend extra time together, lounge around and do nothing, plus make some major headway into a small home renovation project.

I’d like to mention how wonderful the movie Life of Pi is (we saw it last Friday). I had read the book a year or two after it came out, and the Engineer read it last year. The book is great, but we were aware that it was nearly un-adaptable for the big screen, so we couldn’t help being a little apprehensive about it. It turns out that Ang Lee is a genius! This movie had wonderful special effects (while I normally dislike 3D movies, this was totally worth it), but more importantly, the story was told coherently and as faithfully as one could hope, in a way that kept the viewers’ attention. I loved the actors, and there’s even a scene that made me unexpectedly homesick for Montreal. [I forgot to mention that we got such a craving for Indian food that we had dinner at India Oven the following night.] I really recommend this movie!

As long as I’m recommending stuff, here’s what I’ve been reading this fall. There were two books about dogs: The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein, and A Dog’s Purpose, by W. Bruce Cameron. Both are written from the point of view of a dog, though in the first case, the dog has a human-like understanding of what goes on around him, while in the second case, the dog processes things like you’d expect a dog to do. Both books were excellent, though I had a preference for A Dog’s Purpose. It should come with a box of tissues, too – I can read a book about the Holocaust without shedding a tear, but if the dog dies, I’m just sobbing like it was my own dog.

On a happier note, I also read the hilarious Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, by Jenny Lawson, better known as The Bloggess. This autobiography is probably most interesting to people who are fans of her blog; I know the Engineer stopped reading after a chapter because he couldn’t keep up with her thought process (I’m not sure what it says about me that I enjoy it). And then there was Wild, by Cheryl Strayed. She’s the author of Dear Sugar, of which I’m already a big fan (I talked about it here; and here’s a link to column #87 as an example). Wild is the story of the summer she spent hiking the Pacific Crest Trail by herself at the age of 26; it was a fascinating read, both funny and poignant, and extremely well written. I heard via Twitter that it will be made into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon; as much as I like her, I was picturing Sonya Walger or Anna Torv to play Cheryl Strayed. Anyway… I also read The Truth About Style, by Stacy London. I’ve always loved her on What Not To Wear, and when I found a bookstore that sold autographed copies online, I couldn’t resist. In this book, she opens up about many of her insecurities, then relates to other women and explains how style can help them overcome their difficulties. Anyone who’s a fan of the show will enjoy this, but it’s also a good read for neophytes. [And here’s a feature on Stacy London and her closet on The Coveteur.]

I’m currently reading The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain. It’s a fictional account of Ernest Hemmingway’s relationship with his first wife, Hadley Richardson, and their years in Paris in the 1920s. I’m only halfway through, but I’m really enjoying this novel!

[Note that the books I talk about here are available in my Amazon store, so if you want to buy them online, I’d appreciate it if you could use that link, as I would get a small percentage of the proceeds. Not that I have anyone really using the store yet.]

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