Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Reading and Watching

I have been fortunate to finish up a couple of really good books lately and watch a couple of good movies (not at the same time, however).

The fourth in Anne Bishop's The Others series, it leaves you begging for more and rereading the first three books.  Marked In Flesh shows the escalation of anti-nonhuman terrorism and how the Others react to save themselves and their world.  Humans may think they are the dominate and rightful species, but there are things that go bump in the night and then eat you out there.  Meg, Simon and the rest must figure out how to save themselves, their friends and the world from the Elders.

The next book takes place in this world and back several decades...

When you hear the name Georgia O'Keeffe, it brings to mind a white-haired woman and large pictures of flowers and the desert.  But that was O'Keeffe's later life.  

Author Dawn Tripp pulls from extensive biographies and letters to create a novel of Georgia's earlier life, before New Mexico.

Expertly woven, Tripp delves into Georgia's life with Stieglitz.  What I hadn't realized was how much influence he had on her and how she struggled against his 'guidance' as she was discovering herself as an artist.  It was also interesting to realize the time frame she was living in and the fact she was, at one point, living with a married man.  And one who took nude photos of her and displayed them.

A very compelling read and one which helps to round out the picture of a woman and artist.

Putting the books down, I watched (and knitted) the following two movies.

Taking place in 1960 and the early cold war years, Tom Hanks gives a masterful performance as James Donovan, the lawyer who defended Rudolph Able and then negotiated the exchange of two Americans for Able with the East Germans and Soviets.  Bridge of Spies captures the tension of that era very well.  No car chases, no buff bodies, but a solid performance and riveting story.

And finally, The Martian, directed by Ridley Scott and starring  Matt Damon, is a fascinating space rescue story.

Stranded on Mars, Watney (played by Matt Damon) struggles to 'science the hell out of it' and stay alive.  Believe  me, you will never look at potatoes the same way.  

I am not a Matt Damon follower, but in this movie, I really like his performance.  His drive for survival is recorded and the conversations he has with himself is great.  It was convenient he was the botanist aboard the mission, so had knowledge to grow food, but other than that, when faced with a problem, he put his head down and tried to figure out a way to make it work with the materials at hand.

The movie is also filled with disco.  It seems the commander of the mission loved disco and that was the only music he had to play to fill time and space.

A great week of reading and watching.  I wish it happened more often.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read either of the books but I did see and enjoy both movies


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