First, I'd like to answer the questions I posed a few posts ago about blogging and reading habits. My reading habits are always crazy in flux and blogging has had an impact on that. I've read a wider variety of books and I've noticed a definite increase in the amount of non-fiction that I've read. I attribute that to the fact that blogging is a non-fiction writing medium. I read less than I did in high school, but more than I did in college. Most of it happens on the weekends, unless I happen to have a 30 Rock marathon or something.
The Adoration of Jenna Fox, by Mary E. Pearson
Jenna wakes up after being in a coma for a year with no memories of her past. Slowly, she pieces together the details of her life-changing accident and how it impacts her future. Reading this book made me ponder so many things about the nature of life and ethics. The medical elements were sci-fi, but the emotion from Jenna is applicable to any teenage girl. Her progression in life and relationships and social settings is masterful. I loved how the book started out with short, staccato sentences and slowly evolved into longer, more thought-provoking passages. Word on the street is that it was optioned for a movie, but I don't see how anything can compare to the book.
Wow, that was it for this week. (Remember what I said about a 30 Rock marathon? Yeah.)
Perfect Symmetry, by Keane
Listen, I love Keane. Hopes and Fears was way too good for a debut album. Under The Iron Sea? Not as good, but still dang great. Perfect Symmetry is the weakest of the three. It has its good moments, to be sure, but I can't get behind the fake 80s-ness and lack of pure piano pop. "You Haven't Told Me Anything" sounds exactly like The Killers' "Somebody Told Me." Been there, done that. Also disappointing: The cover art is not perfectly symmetrical. (On a happier note, have you heard their cover/mash-up called Dirrtylicious? It's amazing.)
Alright, Still, by Lily Allen
It's disconcerting to really listen to the lyrics of Lily Allen's songs, because you're all, "Wait, is this twee-voiced, British-accented, darling girl actually saying those things?" (Much like Sarah Silverman, except Sarah's Jewish.) This is a totally kick-awesome album, all sunny riffs and girl power and purpose. She's everything The Spice Girls wished they could be.
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
Remember how I had mixed feelings about the book? I liked the book better than the movie. Michael Cera and Kat Dennings were perfect to play Nick and Norah, but I hated the liberties the movie took with the story. The novel had more direction and did a better job at portraying the complicated difference between teenage lust and love. Okay, this is making is sound like I hated the movie. I didn't hate it, I just didn't love it like I thought I would. I was sad to realize I'm not hip enough to relate to the characters anymore, but I am still hip enough to like and recognize the music.
City of Ember
Yet another movie based off a young adult book...yay for themes! City of Ember is the exact opposite of Nick and Norah, as I loved the book and I loved the movie. Saoirse Ronan, who has to have one of the most unpronounceable names in show biz, is sprightly and hopeful as Lena Mayfleet. Harry Treadaway, as Doon Harroway, is the right amount of brooding and determined. Also, he's going to be insanely hot when he grows up. Just sayin'... (Edit: JB pointed out that he's actually 24. I feel better about liking him now.) Bill Murray's character is paunchy and smarmy, which doesn't make his character much different from his real-life self. It's a sweet kid's movie that also has that ability to charm adults. The book does a better job with showing the intracacies of the society, but otherwise it was a wonderful adaption. I don't get to say that enough about movies made from books.
30 Rock, Season One
I was devoted to Tina Fey long before 30 Rock, but this show cemented my love. This is the funniest show on tv today and you all know how I feel about The Office. 30 Rock has that elusive whip-smart quality that is lacking on so many shows. Every week, the social commentary and political jokes are nailed. The best part is that it will still be funny in ten years and fifty years. The knowledge that I'm a young Liz Lemon is both horrifying and thrilling. I've also picked up mannerisms and catchphrases from her, such as Blerg! By the hammer of Thor! Everything is the worst! The dialogue is polished and much of the throwaway humor is only caught upon the second or third viewing. The attention to detail on the show is absolutely stunning. Like Dwight said to the man who didn't watch Battlestar Galatica, if you're not watching this, then you're an idiot. (Warning: This probably isn't the last I'll talk about it before the premiere next week.)