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6 Things That Have My Attention This Week

What has my attention this week?

6 Things That Have My Attention This Week

Book: Deephaven by Sarah Orne Jewett

I was debating reading this book (Jewett was on my list of classic authors to pursue), since I couldn’t quite make out from the descriptions if it was a novel. I went ahead with it, and I think we can safely say it’s a fictionalized series of essays. Still, it’s quite enjoyable, in a meandering, plotless sort of way. It reminds me of L.M. Montgomery in its presentation of turn-of-the-century seaside life and its warm and interesting characters. Jewett’s writing absolutely bounds off the page. The images of the characters and the places, as I’m reading, are breathtakingly vivid.

6 Things That Have My Attention This Week

Movie: Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World directed by Peter Weir

Last week, I spoke of my love of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin book series. Well, this is the movie that started it all. Every time I read one of the books, I always end up wanting to re-watch the movie. Ironically, I didn’t like either the movie or the books that much the first time I encountered them. It took repeated viewings/readings for me get into the groove of what this is all about and really appreciate the slow and steady mastery of both. The more of the books I read, the more I appreciate the complexity and the devotion that director Peter Weir shows in this adaptation. It is truly an adaptation of the series as a whole, and it is done so remarkably well and with such obvious love that I just want to give Weir a thirteen-gun salute every time I think about it!

movie

Music: The Rise & Fall of Ruby Woo by The Puppini Sisters

I love the music of the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s. So naturally I love Michael Bublé–and his Christmas album was where I discovered the Puppini Sisters. First of all, how can you not like a band with that name? Second of all, they’re just a lot of fun. They do a fair number of covers of the old stuff, but also their own songs in the style of, say, the Andrews sisters. Their harmony is fabulous and everything they do is energetic and unique.

music

Food: Café La Llave

I love this coffee. Let me say that again: I love, love, love this coffee. It’s the only coffee my brother-in-law (who formerly adamantly disliked coffee) will drink, and I totally get why. It’s deep, dark, with an insanely hearty flavor. First time I drank it, I sighed, “Now this is coffee!” And the best part? It’s criminally cheap. Only $6 a pop.

coffee

Gadget: NUBoard Dry-Erase Notebook

Ever since I started up the Story Structure Database, I’ve been taking lots of notes when watching movies and reading books. I hate wasting paper on something I’m inevitably just going to throw away. Originally, I went looking for one of those magnetic boards from when I was a kid (you know, the ones where you pull up the transparent outer sheet and everything gets erased), but I couldn’t remember what they were called. Probably all for the better, since this cute little dry-erase notebook is by far the more adult-friendly version. Only problem is I keep running the pens out of ink.

Board

Cute Animal I Want This Week

 

6 Things That Have My Attention This Week

Photo Credit: Freeimages.com/Roger Heykoop

Let’s chat! What are you reading this week and how many stars does it get? Tell me in the comments!

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24 Comments

  1. I finished reading Witches Of Darkroot (book 1) this morning. It gets 4 stars, because while it had great characters and an interesting world, it never really built up to anything. It was peaceful, enjoyable, but there was no crescendo. It was more like relaxing with old friends and chatting over tea. It needs a bigger, more satisfying climax to get that extra star, for me at least.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Books like that are fun sometimes. Books can get away with it a little better than movies, I think, since, if the writing is luscious, it’s kind of its own reward.

  2. My new kitten, Midnight, is more than enough right now! I am currently reading “Hell Is Empty,” a thriller mystery detailing a sheriff, past his prime, trailing a genius sociopath up the frigid Big Horn Mountains, for the sake of two hostages. It echoes Dante’s Inferno ( copy of which found its way into the sheriff’s backpack). Native American mysticism, moral challenges, and humor. Towards the end, the sheriff and his Crow guide, Virgil White Buffalo, argue which of them is dead and the spirit guide of the other. The TV series Longmire is based on this series of books.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      It’s got a great title! I haven’t seen Longmire, but I hear great things about it. Kind of like Justified, is it?

  3. I’ll take credit for the coffee one since we spent half of the week talking coffee! 😉

  4. Lorna G. Poston says:

    Read:
    For One More Day, by Mitch Albom. Five stars
    Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom. Three stars

    Re-read (second time for both):
    Freefall by Kristen Heitzmann. Five stars
    Halos by Christen Heitzmann: Five stars

    Haven’t seen that coffee in stores, but I’ll look for it. And that’s a very cute kitten.

  5. Chandra R says:

    I find it interesting that you didn’t love the Aubrey books or the movie on first encounter. I have had so many people (now including you!) tell me about how very extra wonderful they are, and I tried each (but only once) and just couldn’t.

    I now feel I perhaps ought to give the books another go.

    This week I am reading Helen Wecker’s “The Golem and the Jinni” and it is so very, very beautiful.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      I am so grateful to the people who told me to keep reading O’Brian. It took me until the third book to really appreciate what he was doing–and now he’s my favorite author!

  6. Judging by your review, I would really love to read Deephaven someday. I enjoy the stories that focus on one aspect of the craft more than others. They tend to be good lessons for me.
    I am currently reading Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. For being such an epitome of a novel, it is really good in keeping my interest up. The author has done a splendid job, judging by the fact that I am still reading it after doing it for more than a week (I have a really short attention span and get tired of anything really quick).
    There was the finale of the TV serial this week I mentioned last time. It was too happy ending that it made me cry. I didn’t cry actually, it’s really hard for fiction to make me do that. But I did had a whole two days of hangover. And now, being in the field I am. I am trying to figure out what made that story resonate with me so much.
    And of course, NaNo preps are in full bloom for me as well. So you can say it had been a great week.
    P.S, just made two new resolutions. Learn a new language in every couple of years, and read a thorough commentary of our holy book from a different scholars perspective every year. Learn and grow slowly and steadily ;). Just thought it would be cool to share that here, before my new year resolution post in my blog that is. 😀

  7. Sold by P. McCormick (no relation) – stars… hmm. Four. Tough subject, interesting writing style. It’s marketed as YA but the subject matter is dark and heavy – not typical YA.

    ~Kat

    PS – Cafe La Llave — I am a fan of this, too. I tried it out of desperation when I ran out of espresso and this was the only kind on the shelf at Walmart. It won me over. 🙂

  8. Agreed about Master and Commander – it’s an unappreciated masterwork. (Two things that keep popping to mind: the ‘weevil’ pun and the look of wistful longing for a pretty island girl. In a lesser movie that would have been a torrid sexual affair. As a passing glance of unrequited need it carried a far greater impact. Any great campaign will have a corresponding cost and that was a quiet moment of great insight that I really dug.)

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      I agree! And both instances reflect back on the book series as well: where Jack has penchant for bad puns (which he thinks are terribly witty) and also an almost innocent inability to rein in his wandering eye. I particularly like the way the movie returns to the weevil pun in the darkly reflective scene after Worley’s death, in which Stephen tries to encourage Jack be reminding him he had to choose the lesser of two evils, and Jack wryly corrects him, “Weevils.” The subtext in that scene is lovely.

  9. I told my husband I was interested in reading “Master and Commander,” and he really surprised me by buying me the whole set, set into five volumes. I’m so excited, and have a great husband. I’m working on the first book right now. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  10. “Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur…. happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr… purr… PURR!” 🙂

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