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A Peek Inside My TBR Stack

A Peek Inside My TBR Stack

January 20, 2015 – 12:41 am | 6 Comments

As I was perusing the opening passages of books I’ll be reading over the next month or so, for myself and for Shelf Awareness, I thought it’d be fun to share them with you. We …

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Thoughts on Oscar Nominations 2015

January 15, 2015 – 10:56 am | 6 Comments

Since the Oscar nominations were announced at dark o’clock this morning, many articles have appeared griping about the snubs. I’m surprised, too, that certain frontrunners weren’t nominated—Gillian Flynn being ignored for Gone Girl‘s screenplay is most confounding—but there were also some wonderful surprise nominations, which I’d rather discuss.

american_sniperThough Bradley Cooper had been ignored by virtually all awards organizations, I was telling Mr. PCN last night I’d look for his name among best-actor nominees for his work in American Sniper. I think because his performance is subtle instead of showy, its award-worthiness wasn’t obvious, but his underplaying of Chris Kyle’s PTSD is what makes it so affecting and memorable.

I’m thrilled to see Marion Cotillard nominated for Two Days, One Night. Her performance as Sandra, a woman suffering from depression who has to go door to door begging her coworkers for their support so that she can get her job back, is painful to watch. The radiant actress completely disappears in the vanity-free role of a woman on the verge of giving up who slowly finds her strength again.

Laura Dern as "Bobbi" in WILD.I whooped when I saw Laura Dern’s name in the supporting actress category. She was the best thing in Wild and I couldn’t understand why she’d been ignored by everyone else. So happy she made the Academy’s list. Voters must’ve read my reviews for Sniper and Wild :) . (Her mom, Diane Ladd, taking out full-page ads in the trades to implore voters to see and vote for Dern probably helped, too.)

In the documentary feature category, I was very heartened to see Rory Kennedy’s Last Days in Vietnam. I am still talking about this movie with family and friends, and it’ll be even more timely come April.

Probably my favorite song from any movie I saw last year was “Lost Stars” from Begin Again. I could not stop humming and singing that song for at least a week afterward. I guess it became an earworm for Academy voters, too, because it got a nomination for best song. Since both Adam Levine and Keira Knightley performed it in the movie, I hope they’ll do a duet for the Oscars broadcast. Check out the video of Knightley singing it below. I thought her version was sweeter.

Which nominations were you most excited about? See the complete list here.

Thoughts on the Golden Globes 2015

January 12, 2015 – 12:15 am | 3 Comments
Thoughts on the Golden Globes 2015

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, in their third and final outing as hosts, were my main reason for watching, and they landed some good jokes, though the show seemed less funny this year than it …

Postertext Giveaway

December 17, 2014 – 8:46 pm | 13 Comments
Postertext Giveaway

Since many of us here are readers and have book lovers in our lives, we’re probably all scrambling for unique bookish gift ideas. This is why I’m excited to host this giveaway from Postertext. According …

Gift Book Reviews: THE MAKING OF GONE WITH THE WIND and STYLING THE STARS

December 11, 2014 – 8:24 pm | One Comment
Gift Book Reviews: THE MAKING OF GONE WITH THE WIND and STYLING THE STARS

Every year for Shelf Awareness for Readers, I review a couple of coffee-table books for the holidays. I received two beautiful ones this year that I think movie lovers on your gift list would appreciate. …

Nerdy Special List 2014 Favorites Edition

December 7, 2014 – 9:00 pm | 4 Comments
Nerdy Special List 2014 Favorites Edition

Hope you’re enjoying the season and not getting stressed out by all the things you have to do to be ready for the holidays. I live in denial and then do everything the night before …

Book Review: DEADLINE by John Sandford

October 23, 2014 – 4:36 pm | 5 Comments
Book Review: DEADLINE by John Sandford

This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers and is reprinted here with permission.
As a favor for a friend, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent Virgil Flowers looks into multiple dognappings that have occurred …

Nerdy Special List October 2014

October 8, 2014 – 9:44 pm | 4 Comments
Nerdy Special List October 2014

We have books to recommend this month! So, just sit back with your cider and throw blanket and…oh, who am I kidding? I’m running the A/C right now because it’s hotter than Colin Firth in …

Movie Review: LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM

October 4, 2014 – 4:25 pm | 6 Comments
Movie Review: LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM

As I headed out to see Rory Kennedy’s latest documentary, I stuffed a few tissues in my pocket, preparing for a “sit and sob,” my term for moving cinematic experiences. I was correct about the …

Fall 2014 TV Shows I’ve Seen So Far, Pt. 1

September 22, 2014 – 11:36 pm | 2 Comments
Fall 2014 TV Shows I’ve Seen So Far, Pt. 1

Fall is officially here and so’s the fall network TV season. I enjoy sampling all the new shows, even if I end up faithfully watching only two of them. Below are my first impressions of …

Book Review: THE DISTANCE by Helen Giltrow

September 16, 2014 – 10:39 pm | One Comment
Book Review: THE DISTANCE by Helen Giltrow

This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers and is reprinted here with permission.
Charlotte Alton may seem like a well-bred London socialite, but her alter ego, Karla, operates in the shadows, gathering information that …

Book Giveaway: WE ARE NOT OURSELVES by Matthew Thomas

September 8, 2014 – 8:43 pm | 7 Comments
Book Giveaway: WE ARE NOT OURSELVES by Matthew Thomas

If you’re a big reader and frequent a lot of bookish sites, you may not have been able to avoid hearing about one of the buzziest books this year—Matthew Thomas’s debut novel, We Are Not …

Book Review: THE FURIES by Natalie Haynes

September 3, 2014 – 10:08 pm | One Comment
Book Review: THE FURIES by Natalie Haynes

This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers and is reprinted here with permission.

Grieving after the violent death of her fiancé, theater director Alex Morris leaves London for Edinburgh to take a job …

Book Review: THE STORIED LIFE OF A. J. FIKRY by Gabrielle Zevin

August 24, 2014 – 9:37 pm | 2 Comments
Book Review: THE STORIED LIFE OF A. J. FIKRY by Gabrielle Zevin

I haven’t written much in the last two weeks because the books and movies I consumed were either sadly bland or outright annoying. The curse was broken when I read Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life …

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