Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wednesday Roundup: Bookworms unite!

It's time for the Wednesday roundup, where I discuss the pop culture I'm currently obsessing over.

Now that the holidays are over and things are settling into their normal routine, I'm taking a bit of a breather before plunging back into writing next week. This means I've spent tons of time reading and very little time behind my computer. So no music or video game comments this week. This time around, it's strictly books, books, a movie, and a bit of TV.

Books


I was really on the fence about reading this book. I've read a lot of praise for it, but I also know some people felt like the book's message was kind of heavy handed. I'm glad I ultimately decided to read it, because I loved it.

I didn't find the message too heavy handed because I felt it was simply part of Katsa's character, and I understood where Katsa was coming from and what it was about her psychology that made her feel the way she did. Still, I can see why some people don't take to her. I thought she was a pretty unconventional character who could be very abrasive at times.

I'm not a huge reader of fantasy, but this book drew me into the world, probably because it was mostly about Katsa and her relationships with others. I love Po and thought he was a wonderful love interest--I'm not going to deny that I developed a pretty mad crush on him myself.


I'm not yet done with this book--around 60% through it. I picked it up immediately after Graceling, but I don't like it as much as Graceling, though I think it's starting to get better. As unlikable as she could be at times, I liked Katsa a lot more than I like Fire. I get Fire's dilemma, but she feels kind of whiny to me at times.

I also don't like the setting of this one as much. The monsters are kind of interesting, but I feel like they take up too much page time. I liked that Graceling focused more on people, and I like this book better when it does as well.

I don't like Archer very much at all. I'm not impressed with a love interest who blames the female main character for his own shortcomings.


Movies

I went to see Les Misérables with my husband over the weekend, and I loved it. I've seen the stage show several times, so it probably goes without saying that I'm a fan. While I did really like the movie, it loses a little something when you see it on a flat screen versus being performed on a stage. Still, it made me cry buckets. I haven't felt that many emotions at a movie in ages. I thought Anne Hathaway was the best Fantine I've ever seen--it was like I could just feel her every emotion when she was singing I Dreamed a Dream. And though Hugh Jackman's voice was not quite as powerful as Valjean's should be, he was amazing in that role. My husband said he didn't even recognize him at first. Russel Crowe was also good though, again, his singing was a little weak. In general, the whole cast was wonderful, and I liked the technique of having the actors actually sing as they were performing a scene, though it admittedly did make it hard to hear some of the lyrics at times. If you haven't seen it yet, go, but be sure to bring a LOT of tissue with you.

TV

I'm now on season five of Bones, and I'm a little uneasy with Temperence at times. She seems to be coming off as more obnoxious than she has in a while, as if her edges suddenly became as sharp as they were in season one. It makes me a little wary of her character. I got really nervous when Wendell lost his scholarship because I was convinced for most of the episode that Temperence wasn't going to do anything about it. I still like her, but she's a little much at times. I also like Booth, and it's interesting to see some different facets of his character.  I like what they're doing with Arastoo--and boy did he look nice in that suit in Booth's dream episode! I sometimes miss Zack, but I think that Sweets was a nice addition. He's adorable, but it frustrates me how rudely Booth and Brennan brush him off--and he's always right!

So that's my roundup for the week. I'm bummed because two of my favorite TV shows--Fringe and Leverage--are no more, so I'm going to be looking for some good, new TV shows to watch. I like high-concept shows and I'm hoping there might be some good mid-season options.