Tuesday, June 26, 2007

This and That

I'm getting increasingly excited for The Simpsons movie to come out on July 27. Their website has launched. Here's the trailer:

As if I didn't want to go to London badly enough, Ricky Gervais and Mackenzie Crook are going to be preforming Free Love Freeway at a concert for Princess Diana on July 1. Here's the clip from the show:

I had a pretty good weekend. I took Friday off and Rusty and I were supposed to go hiking, but I got hives from my meds again (including on the bottom of my feet), so that pretty much ruled out hiking and I had to make a doctor's appointment at 8 AM anyway. I'm all roided up and doing well; this round of hives wasn't one millionth as bad as the last time. I went to the Amish farmer's market with Rusty and her parents in the afternoon and then L., Rusty, and I saw Knocked Up and went out to dinner.

On Saturday we went to a baseball game. York decided it was a good idea to kick people out of their homes and waste taxpayer money to build a stadium; thus the York Revolution was born. We left around 11 PM at the end of the 10th inning and my dad turned on the radio in the car while they were in the bottom of the 12th. Apparently we scored one run to win it at the bottom of the 13th inning. It was a long game.

Sunday was a leisurely day spent reading and relaxing. I finished Keeping the House, the book I was sent for the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. It comes out July 10, and while I wouldn't necessarily pay the $25 list price for it, I would check it out at the library or a used book store. Here's my review:

Keeping the House, Ellen Baker's first novel, intricately weaves the stories of two families, the Mickelsons and the Magnusons, before allowing them to collide. The story takes place over a period of time from the late 19th century until 1950, spanning several generations. Baker has a knack for story-telling and her background in American Studies and as the curator of a World War II museum helps to add authenticity to the story.

When Byron and Dolly Magnuson move to a small town in the mid-west, Dolly has trouble adapting. She admires a grand but dilapidated house on a hill and hears stories from the town gossips about the Michelson family who once inhabited it. She secretly enters the house to fix it up, hoping that her husband will buy it for her, thus solving all of their problems, only to be discovered by one of the family members who gives her a more accurate, if not entirely truthful version of his family's story. It is said that the house puts a curse on one's love life, and Dolly finds her marriage unraveling in a self-fulfilling prophecy as other relationships did before hers.

Some of the characters in this novel are a little wooden, but this could be due in part to the expected submission of women of the time. The story becomes a little soap opera-esque at the end with everything wrapping up in a somewhat unrealistic manner; that said, this novel is a solid first effort by Ms. Baker.

That's pretty much it. I hope everyone had a good weekend. A photo journal of Rusty's and my trip to Centralia will hopefully be up soon!

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Blogger Sticky Keys said...

Lovely review! I'd heard of that book and was wondering what people thought of it, I may have to give it a go. Very well written as well.

I'm actually looking forward to the Simpsons' movie, seems like great fun.

6/26/2007 9:39 PM  
Blogger Funky Smith said...

Nice to hear from you again!

I like your review. Must have felt cool to read a book knowing you were going to have to write a review about it.

Looking forward to your photoblog!

6/26/2007 9:56 PM  
Blogger j said...

I'm very psyched for the Simpsons movie--my son wants that to be part of his birthday celebration. When we were in London in April, we were about a week too early for Ricky Gervais's live show that was about to open--his face was plastered around town.

I must admit--I wish we could've seen him.


6/26/2007 11:56 PM  
Blogger B. said...

Great review! Could you write a similar one for Knocked Up? :)

6/27/2007 6:19 AM  
Blogger N.F. said...

My friend LOVES The Simpsons. I just bought him some Homer pajama pants. I can't wait to give them to him. :)

6/29/2007 1:13 AM  
Blogger Jenny G said...

Sticky: Thanks! You should check it out.

Funky: It was pretty cool.

J: Let me know what your son thinks. Does it come out July 27 in Canada?

B: Thanks!

Noelle: Where did you get the pants? I love Homer!

7/01/2007 8:42 PM  

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