For a Hollywood film they are surprisingly realistic about addition. Ben is back for the holidays, but not every family member is supportive of this development.
Probably the nicest is that the few Life Lessons aren’t supported by a swelling soundtrack and slow-motion close ups: they just slip past.
That makes this film frustrating, nerve-wrecking and probably more genuine than many other stories about an addicted family member asking for an umpteenth chance and having to deal with being mistrusted.
It was her idea to tie up the nun.Infinite Country, Patricia Engel, Simon & Schuster 2021
Less than 160 pages and I still walk around with it a couple days after finishing it. I don’t know if I consciously gravitate towards migrant stories and the generations after, but once again it doesn’t disappoint.
What Infinite Country adds is the clear question of “What’s so great about the USA anyway?”. It’s not the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for anyone involved, and the place the family comes from (Colombia) isn’t viewed as a crap shoot essential to escape from.
Combine this with a family literally ripped apart based on their place of birth and there’s something fresh and uncanny about this short story.
That after less than thirty minutes gone I felt like this film was rounding things up probably was a sign that I wasn’t going to particularly enjoy this film.
This film was much too long. I don’t know if the length is for the adults watching, but with it starting uptempo only to crash into a subplot to introduce the villain.. no child will manage to continue. Source: me in the theater surrounded by children running in all directions after forty minutes.
You don’t notice how long a film is if it’s good, but Lightyear is dull. The Life Lessons are laid on thick, the laughs are few. Who is this for, and what is it about?
Even though I didn’t pay for the ticket, it still feels like a waste of money.
His cousin Freddie brought him on the heist one hot night in early June.Harlem Shuffle, Colson Whitehead, Bond Street Books 2021
Maybe it’s because protagonist Carney doesn’t seem to be connected to anything or anyone, even though he has a family he risks because of his illegal actions. Maybe it’s because of the time jumps, or the lack of distress. Carney does only legal things – o, he does illegal things now as well. Okay.
Whitehead’s writing still delivers, it just took me a very long time to focus on following the plot.
For most urban dwellers, Sundays were a day of rest and relaxation.Accidentally Engaged, Farah Heron, Hachette Book Group 2021
First of all: where was the editor? Within two pages letters missing, names being spelled differently? Oof.
Anyway, the best part these days about romantic novels is the build-up and characterisation. After the two get together, especially when it’s a heterosexual couple – my interest fades.
In this case it’s (surprise) food. Reena stress-bakes and cooks, and the descriptions are good albeit overly detailed after a certain amount of pages. Faking an engagement is a fun trope as well, but because we’re only told what Reena isn’t, there’s very little investment or even emotion when things implode (because of course they do).
Maybe I should just stop trying reading romance with the aim of being satisfied.
Once upon a memory, at the far end of the Mediterranean Sea, there lay an island so beautiful and blue that the many travelers, pilgrims, crusaders and merchants who fell in love with it either wanted never to leave or tried to tow it with hemp ropes all the way back to their own countries.The Island of Missing Trees, Elif Shafak, Penguin Random House 2021
There’s just something about Shafak’s writing that turns the big into small and the small into world-impacting. I liked her previous one better – or well, was more stunned and impressed by it, but this one also makes you think and makes you feel.
Because Ada isn’t the first child to lose a parent and having to deal with feeling alienated by the living one, but add Cyprus and suddenly it’s the first story ever told.
I want the best for Ada, eat fresh figs and I want to visit the island.
Ik kan niet koken.Het geroofde kookboek: hoe de nazi’s de bestseller van mijn grootmoeder stalen, Karina Urbach, Ambo|Anthos 2021
Aantrekkelijk schrijven kan ze ook niet echt, maar misschien is dat deels de schuld van de vertaling. Redelijk recent las ik ook over Oliebollen-Nel: ook een kijk op de Tweede Wereldoorlog vanuit een originele hoek. Dit was wild, vervreemdend maar ook gezellig geschreven.
Het geroofde kookboek is clunky. Vreemde, frivole omschrijvingen om een interessant element heen. Had mij meer verteld over hoe Joodse boeken omgekit werden naar Arisch, of was eerlijk geweest dat dit een boek was over de familie Urbach.
Irene passed the mop across the stone floor in smooth, careful strokes, idly admiring the gleam of wet flagstones in the lantern-light.The Invisible Library, Genevieve Cogman, Penguin Random House 2016
Sometimes I wish authors would pass their ideas to better authors or just admit that they wanted to write a TV or film script.
Because The Invisible Library has a nice ideas (book guardians that hop dimensions to collect special books, seemingly all during steampunkish/victorian times), but the landing doesn’t stick. It’s a collection of descriptions with cardboard characters.
I’d watch the series if someone else did the writing, all I’m saying.
Zhongli village lay flattened under the sun like a defeated dog that has given up on finding shade.She Who Became the Sun, Shelley Parker-Chan, Tor 2021
Mulan but not exactly (there is cross-dressing to survive, but it goes much further and Zhu doesn’t need any man/romance, thank you very much). She takes her brother’s fate and decides to do whatever necessary to get to what he’s promised: greatness.
The language used is a bit purple and blown up from time to time, adding the feeling that we’re really deep into ancient texts instead of one just a year old. It means that you might have to invest a little, but if you want a whole different (Asian) myth, it’ll be worth it.
Waarom kunnen Nederlandse romcoms geen dialoog schrijven? Snedige zinnetjes zo af en toe, maar normale gesprekken met welke emotie dan ook veranderen in houten uitingen van geluid die ergens op Nederlands lijken.
En men ook moet eens nadenken over wat voor mannen als hunks worden gepresenteerd.
Enfin. Als je achtergrondgeluid wilt hebben en/of leuk behang kun je hier niet echt een buil mee vallen.