Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Perks of Being a Wallflower... THE MOVIE!

So the other day I was looking up how to spell Stephen Chbosky's last name.  The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of my favourite books, but I can't for the life of me remeber how to spell that name because I always feel like there is something missing...

So anyway, I look it up on "the Googler"and what comes up?  Movie information! Oh my friggin god.

So here is the link to the movie info on IMDB.  The most exciting things are:

1 - It is being directed by the author.  I don't think I have ever seen this with any books I have read and enjoyed.

2 - It is coming out next year.

3 - It actually has some actors I recognize (Emma Watson, Paul Rudd, Melanie Lynskey, Kate Walsh)

No trailer yet that I can see.  SOOO excited about this!

Review: Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden

NOTE: May contain **SPOILERS**

Another great one from my Canadian Literature class!  This book gave me a deeper appreciation of what natives went through in residential schools and how they were treated by colonists.  This is something I was admittedly ignorant of.

The story takes place over three days and slides back and forth with past and present events.  I have decided to stop giving too much of a synopsis of the books I read, and instead share my opinion of the book so that you might be more interested in reading it.  To give you a brief summary, a young man returns from the war quite damaged and over the course of the three day road with his aunt back to his home in the woods, you learn about his experience overseas and the awful consequences of participating in the war.

For someone who doesn't read or seek out war books, this is the second one in a row that I have read and  enjoyed.  It is less about the war and more about native issues, but a lot of the story takes place while two young native men are stationed overseas in the trenches.  I felt that the paralells it pointed out between serving in the military and living in residential schools frightening.  I don't know much about residential schools, but I have no illusions about them being good places.

My favourite part of this book is the regular reference to the lore of the Windigo and how it relates to certain people in the war.  There is something so disturbing about actual canibalism, but when you start to see the similarities that Boyden is showing between actual canibalism and bahivours during the war it is distressing.

I liked this book a lot and recommend it (as I did with Generals) to anyone who might normally hesitate to pick up a war novel like I would but enjoys a good story.   

Title: Three Day Road
Author: Joseph Boyden
Year of publication: 2005
Publisher: Penguin
Rating: 4/5

Holiday Reading List 2012

With a nice long holiday break from school reading and no midterm exam, I am free to read what I want for the next 5 weeks.  I am sharing with you below a few of the books I am hoping to read over the holidays.  The list is probably a little TOO ambitious, but oh well. 

I have put some Canada Reads books on here (The Tiger and Prisoner of Tehran) but not all of them because I don't think I can read non-fiction for 5 straight weeks.

So here are the books I hope to read over the holidays.  Feel free to share your opinions, reviews, etc.  And happy holiday reading!

The Antagonist - Lynn Coady

I am currently reading this book and enjoying it. It was a finalist for the Giller this year.

A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

This is the cover of the original 1843 edition (obviously not what I am reading).  I have wanted to read this book every Christmas for a few years and think that this year I might finally do it.

Foundation - Isaac Aminov

I recently found The Hamilton Book Club Meetup Group and this is their book for January.  I am hoping to join this group and would like to participate in January.

Klee Wyck - Emily Carr

 This is the first book I have to read next semester for Can Lit, so I would like to get a head start over the holidays.

Pursuasion - Arlene Dickinson

 I don't read a lot of business books, but I love Arlene Dickinson from Dragon's Den.  She represents everything that I think a good business person should be.

The Tiger - John Vaillant

 This is one of the two Canada Reads 2012 books that I plan to read over the holidays.  This year all of the books are non-fiction.

Prisoner of Tehran - Marina Nemat

This is the second Canada Reads 2012 books that I plan to read over the holidays.


The Sense of An Ending - Julian Barnes

This is the winner of the Man Booker Prize 2011. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Movie Trailer: Hunger Games!!!

And since all of you already know what a psycho I am for anything Hunger Games, here is the first full trailer for the movie (which is releasing March 23rd, 2012):

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Review: Generals Die in Bed by Charles Yale Harrison

   I normally don't read war books and would have never picked this up if it hadn't been for my Canadian Literature course.  Now that I have read it, I am happy that it is part of the readings because it is an awesome book.  It also allows me to forgive my professor (only slightly) for leaving Atwood off the reading list.

   It takes place during World War I.  The narrator has no name and is both the "every-man" and the author (Harrison) who served as a machine gunner himself during that same war.  The book goes through the experience of life in the trenches and is an open critique of war and the military.  The imagery is pretty horrifying.  **SPOILER** At one point the reader gets the awful descriptive experience of having a bayonet stuck in between an opposing soldier's ribs.  Without going through all the gory details, the book is filled with horrors like this that inexperienced young soldiers were forced to go through during the war.  At no point do you feel coerced into believing that these descriptions are over the top or exagerated.  The book feels honest, and that makes it so much sadder.

   This book is a good fictional read, but also feels like a documentary about the hell that is war.  Harrison  removes the "other" that is often present in stories that glorify and romanticize war, putting all men forced to fight for their country in the same boat.  As a soldier and an author, Harrison extends sympathy to his ground "enemies" and instead confronts the real enemies in war;  those at the top of the chain of command, lice, and God.

   Even if you are not a fan of war books, I would recommend this book to you for its thought provoking political commentary and great storytelling.  Generals Die in Bed is a book that should be taught in schools and read by book clubs.  It is an important glimpse at history and an all around good read.

Book Information
Title: Generals Die in Bed
Author: Charles Yale Harrison
Year of publication: Originally published as newspaper sectionals, circa 1929?
Publisher: Annick Press
Pages: 168
Rating: 5/5