Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Yes. I read another book. And watched another movie.

So, are you confused?

Is this not supposed to be a blog following my 101 List accomplisments? Why does it look so much like a book/movie review blog?

Are these questions you're asking yourself?

I know. Enough with the books and movies already, right?!

But that's all I seem to be doing on the 101 Adventure these days. Watching movies and reading books. What a wild ride, eh?

I swear. Summer is here, and I'm going to start doing some more "adventurous" things. Maybe zip-lining? I'd like to go to High Falls. Hoping to wiggle in a trip to T.O. some weekend, and might even go by train. Camping? Boat ride? Spider dogs? All possibilities in the months to come.

So stay tuned.

But for now, I'm going to tell you all how much I love love loved Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen, the eighth book crossed off for #19 - Read 10 books in one year.

I missed out on seeing the flick while it was still in theatres, so I decided I'd better read the book before the movie came out on DVD. My local library got the book in a few weeks ago, and I just happened to be there the day it arrived. The librarian offered me first crack at it, and I'm so glad I took it.

It was one of those books. It swallowed me up and I became totally engrossed with the story. It was a completely different time, a completely different world, and I was entirely intrigued by it.

The story begins at the height of the Great Depression, with young Jacob Jankowski receiving the biggest jolt of his life: the untimely and tragic death of his parents, only days before he's to write his finals at Cornell University, where he is about to graduate as a veterinarian. After discovering that his father, also a vet, had no savings and was mortgaging his home in order to pay for his son's education, Jacob realizes he is completely lost and alone. Caught in a whirlwind of pain, he runs away and jumps a train in an attempt to escape his misery.

Jacob discovers very quickly he has landed on the train of the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. He has literally, though unintentionally, run away with the circus. Jacob survives the first few uncertain days as several kind-hearted members of the Flying Squadron take him under their wings, but when the owner of the traveling circus catches wind that he's a university-trained veterinarian, Jacob's stock goes up, and he's offered full employment with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

Jacob then meets Marlena, the star of the Equestrian Show, and her husband, August, the animal trainer with a mean streak. Throw in a temperamental elephant named Rosie, a dwarf named Walter, a dog named Queenie, and an old cripple named Camel... and then the adventures really begin for Jacob.

I seriously couldn't put it down. I'm usually a "chapter before bedtime" reader, but I was forgoing television for this book. That's big. It also helped that I got to picture Rob Pattinson as Jacob, and Reese Witherspoon as Marlena. Now I really can't wait to see the movie!

I also got one of those tricky letters crossed off my list for #30 - Watch 26 movies I've never seen before starting with each letter of the alphabet. On Friday night, Lindsay, Ryan, and I ignored the Great Flood of 2011 and went to see X-Men: First Class in theatres.

I know. I don't look like an X-Men kind of girl, right? The truth is, I'm not. Usually. But I bought the first three movies on DVD during the most crazy part of my James Marsden phase. (He plays Cyclops.)


So when Lindsay suggested going to see First Class, I jumped. Find out how the mutants originally began? Sure. Why not.

It was entertaining. The whole plot was tied in with the Cuban Missile Crisis, so it was a neat way to integrate history into the fictional story, which is the prequel of the battle between 'good' mutants and 'bad' mutants. The origin of the relationship between Professor Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Erik Lensherr (Magneto) is discovered, as well as some of the mutant characters we become familiar with in the trilogy. We also find out the reason Professor X is in a wheelchair. ( And probably a ton of other little bits and pieces that X-Men diehards would pick up on that I did not).

I enjoyed it. A little disappointed that Cyclops didn't play a role in it, but a fun movie nonetheless. And very happy to get the "X" movie crossed off, because how many other movies could possibly begin with the letter X?!

Highly recommend both Water for Elephants and X-Men: First Class!!


Majid Ali said...

Please for Christ sake help this poor boy from Haiti

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