Monday, May 06, 2013

reading listening watching

icicle-cousins
Time for another brainfood dump, accompanied (as always) by a random assortment of completely unrelated abstract photos I've taken recently.

My Reading

  • Wonderstruck -- not as good as The Invention of Hugo Cabret, but still beautifully done
  • The Underwater Welder -- another incredible graphic novel from Jeff Lemire
  • Maus is an amazing graphic novel series about the Holocaust
  • The Cello Suites: J. S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for a Baroque Masterpiece was a wonderful read, best experienced while listening to the suites corresponding to each section of the book.
  • wet-grass
  • I forgot to include Pinboy in my last post -- George Bowering's coming-of-age-in-the-Okanagan memoir. I got a great kick out it.
  • The Antidote:  Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking
  • The World Until Yesterday -- heavy-duty anthropology, very engaging.

Reading With the Girls

    spring-willow
  • Greyhound of a Girl -- fascinating ghost story, beautifully written
  • The Humming Room -- Ella and I loved this one; very off-kilter and rich.
  • Ruby's Holler -- Yet another orphan story, but this one felt different. Not great, but nice.
  • Winterling-- We probably should have given up on this one. Clunky, clunky, clunky.
  • Ghost Knight -- Another ghost story that was a bit gory for bedtime reading, but also a lot of fun, with a nice almost-romantic sub-plot that was just right for the girls.
  • Princess Academy-- I pitched this one based on it having the absolute worst cover and title of any book we've seen. It couldn't possibly be as bad as it looks, and our first session was promising.

reaching-grasses
Reading With Ezra
  • I'm still doing occasional picture books with Ez, but we're mostly blending chapter books with him reading his early-reader books to me (Sunshine Books, Tadpole Books)
  • We dug into the Lighthouse Family series gain when the newest one (The Octopus) finally came into the library -- wonderful, warm, fun books.
  • Revisited favourite Far-Flung Adventures Fergus Crane and Corby Flood
  • The girls always enjoyed The Dragon of Lonely Island, so it was fun to introduce Ezra to it over the last couple of weeks.

new-grassheads
Listening

  • It's always nice with SxSW rolls around, because suddenly there are hundreds of mp3s from bands floating around.
  • Japandroids remind me why I still love rock
  • We probably burned out on the new Tegan & Sara a bit
  • I've been geeking out on Scandanavian folk music, courtesy of an obscure compilation album I found at the library called Nordic Roots
  • Sarah Neufeld Hero Brother
  • A mashup of Call Me Maybe and Head Like a Hole should be terrible, but I loved this: Call Me a Hole  And then someone did the inverse, which is fascinating, if not quite as well done:
  • Call You a Hole
  • babys-breath-drops
  • This live video from Winnipeg band Imaginary Cities is pretty astounding. High-end performance -- not many bands can pull of their sound live like that.
  • Federal Lights -- I See Love  -- My old friend Jean Guy is making some great music -- looking forward to the album.
  • I'm not a hip-hop fan, but every since If Rap Gets Jealous I've followed K'naan and enjoyed some of it. Really enjoyed this confessional article from him, about the difficulty of staying true to himself:
  • Censoring Myself for Success

Watching

  • grass-needs-hug
    Lost in Translation -- I guess I had heard of Scarlett Johansson before, but had never seen a movie with her in it. Like Liv Tyler in Stealing Beauty, I found her mesmerizing -- every half-smile and averted gaze was amazing somehow. And Bill Murray is unreal. I think I this was recommended by Angelo years ago, and somehow I came across the positive Rotten Tomatoes page that prompted me to finally pick it up.
  • Brave -- we hit this one at the second-run theater and I liked it more than I should have.
  • Ponyo -- I was super disappointed the first time I saw this, but enjoyed it more the second time around.
  • Porco Rosso and The Cat Returns -- I had forgotten how excellent these less-popular Miyazaki films are.
  • Moonrise Kingdom -- Ivy joined me for this movie as a double-daddy-daughter date with Hannah and Andrew -- thumbs up from the dads, thumbs down from the daughters.
  • Kung Fu Panda 1 & 2 -- I love these disproportionately
  • The Hobbit -- wow, crappy movie. I was pretty excited to see it, but...jeez, just stick to the bloody story already.
  • Samsara-- amazing cinematography, very similar to previous films.

new-leaves waxwing