What I Read: Sept ’15

The Wet Nurse’s Tale by Erica Eisdorfer: This had been on my to-read list for so long, I can’t remember why I put it on there. I really enjoyed this piece of historical fiction, especially as it was set Victorian England that wasn’t about those living ‘upstairs’ but rather a working class woman. Susan Rose is strong willed and determined to make her own way in the world and I was glad to go with her on this journey.

What I Watched: A Walk in the Woods, The Master of Disguise, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Season Three (this is a MUST WATCH), Sleepy Hollow

What I Read: August ’15

The Man of the Forest by Zane Grey: This was a pretty fast read. While I don’t normally read this style of writing, it was interesting to read, even if it did end a little predictably.

The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells: Another classic I’m crossing off the list! It really enjoyed it and was surprised by how short it was! Really inventive for the time and a great fundamental part of modern sci-fi.

The Child of Odin; The Book of Northern Myths: I downloaded this as I knew it would be a bunch of short stories and would be easy to read on the plane when my attention span was shorter. Really cool to read a bit about where some of the Avengers mythos comes from.

What I Watched: Home (this is such a good movie!), Kingsmen, St. Vincent, The Longest Ride, Tomorrowland, Far From the Madding Crowd,

What I Read: July ’15

Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny by Holly Madison: I read this whole book in one night! I could not put it down – Holly tells her story with such honesty and in such an affable tone, it is hard to look away. While there were plenty of sordid details, she really focuses on her journey and how life at the Mansion affected her. I remember watching The Girls Next Door and it was really fascinating to see behind the curtain.

Just one book this month, but I have a looong flight coming up in August so hope to correct this soon!

What I Watched: Trainwreck, The Babadook, In Search in General Tso

What I Read: April ’15

The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss: I borrowed by sister’s Kindle for our trip to Hawaii and this was one of the books she had on there. It was a brisk read but I did find the first two thirds where they recount how perfectly they all get along and how diligent and prodigious they are in making a new life on the island they are marooned on a bit exhausting. But the end was such a pleasant surprise as it was such a change of pace and tone. I’d love to read some criticism on this novel and see where it fits into the social and political time from whence it comes.

The Perks Of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: Another book on her Kindle 🙂 I haven’t ever read this before and found the narrative style to be both refreshing and draining. I love that Chbosky did something different by choosing to tell this story via letters but I found myself wanting the story to be more fleshed out / rounded out with details. I’ll have to check out the movie now!

What I Watched: Into the Woods, Kung Fu Panda, Waitress, Annie (2014), Napoleon Dynamite, The Princess and the Frog, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, The Giver, The Honorable Woman Season 1, Practical Magic, Groundhog Day

What I Read: Jan ’15

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genvieve Valentine: Set in the 1920’s, this story follows 12 sisters who are locked up like birds in their incredibly wealthy father’s mansion. Each night they sneak out to dance in the speakeasies of Manhattan until he decides it’s time to marry them off. I really enjoyed this book, while not all the scenes were home runs (especially the earlier dance halls scenes felt forced). I’m glad I read it but I’m not sure I’ll seek out any other of Valentine’s novels.

Red Azalea by Achee Min: This was quite the haunting memoir of powerlessness in Mao’s Communist China. I was most surprised by exactly how obsessed the state is with controlling sex and intimacy. I enjoyed this personal peak into this period of history, particularly that it was from a woman’s voice and flew through this short memoir.

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier: I picked this up at the library because I loved Girl with a Pearl Earring but boy oh boy was this a slog! I love historical fiction (this is the second one I read this month) and really value that someone is telling the story of these two women scientists, who were discounted and overlooked explicitly due to their gender. I did not enjoy the obsession with class, while probably a player in the historical record, and it left me feeling sort of sad. We have so far to come.

What I Watched: Noah, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Under the Skin, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Interview, Zodiac, Sky Captain the World of Tomorrow, I, Frankenstein

2014: Year in Review

Whew! What a year 2014 has been! I know that everyone says that but seriously how did the year go by so incredibly quickly? Here’s a look at the year that was…

Let’s start with books, shall we?
Book count: 37

Most moving book – I Shall be Near to You

Most recommended book – tie between Mr. Penumbra’s 24 hr Book Store and Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

Most Reread: Harry Potter series – SO glad I did this this year!

And now for movies…
Movie count: 129

Film wise, this was the year of the SWINTON, at least for me. I realized halfway through Snowpiercer that she can literally be anything, anyone. She is magic.

My top films of the year are…
1- Only Lovers Left Alive
2- The Grand Budapest Hotel
3- Snowpiercer
4- The Imitation Game
5- The Lego Movie
6- The One I Love
7- Maleficient

family vacation 2014~thecomynspace.com

Life wise, this was our first full year of living in Ohio. Last January, we went to Minnesota for cross country skiing and family time. It also brought a seasonal lay off M and a new car for our family. Spring was job hunting and hunkering down in the insane polar vortex. We started our journey to hit up all the Columbus Metro Parks, one we’re still working on! April meant a return to outdoor education for M. June brought a work trip to Atlanta for me. My favorite time of the year -SUMMER- brought the 4th of July was spent at an awesome party at my parents, with a walk down to Whetstone Park for fireworks. My older sister came up for the State Fair in August and then M and I headed up to the South Shore of Lake Superior to his family’s cabin to see his parents, sister & her family and his aunt. Fall brought both of us busy seasons at work but we snuck away for my birthday to Pittsburgh, our first trip alone in over two years. We’re wrapping up a busy holiday season with eyes on 2015. I’m going to do a ‘one little word’ for 2015, for the first time, so I’ll be sharing more on that soon too.

pittsburgh~the comyn space

Beasts of the Southern Wild

I don’t know where to begin with this movie. What I do know is that I am just one of the few shouting praises for Beasts of the Southern Wild, though. The NY Times and the Boston Globe are much more apt reviewers than I am.

Beasts of the Southern Wild follows a 6 year old named Hushpuppy and her community as it threatened by change and challenge. Set on the wrong side of the levy, those of the Bathtub are able to eek out their own vibrant and independent lives directly from the land and sea.

I found it be incredibly visual and beautiful. What I loved most was how successfully Zeitlin created a sense of place for the Bathtub. I could practically feel the dirty growing under my nails as the movie progressed. The shaky camera style did get a little tiring; however, I did feel that it was necessary to make the viewer feel like they were seeing this world thru Hushpuppy’s eyes.

I literally cannot say enough good things about this film. You have to see it.

-S

Moonrise Kingdom

I am not a movie person. Or, at the very least, I wasn’t a movie person. My family didn’t really go to the movies as a kid and it was the site of so many awkward middle school dates.

M LOVES movies. He would go see one every single weekend if we could. I started listening to FilmSpotting and I finally felt like I finally had a vocabulary to discuss movies. Plus seeing high quality movies instead of fluffy chick flicks helped too!

We saw Moonrise Kingdom last weekend and the more I think about it-the more I liked it. It was such a sweet story about two kids breaking out of the boxes built for them to express themselves and do their own thing. What I found more moving is the reaction by the community to the youths running away.

I love Wes Anderson’s work and I love this fictional world he has created. I think his warm color palettes and the unashamed obsession with the sixities.

Plus there is always Wes Anderson bingo.