Archive for February, 2010|Monthly archive page

Book Review: Charlaine Harris: Dead Until Dark

In Books on February 27, 2010 at 10:30 am

I never read Anne Rice’s vampire series but I’m glad I picked up this particular stack. This is how the small Louisiana town of Bon Temps finds things start to happen when vampires move in – as a newly accepted part of society. The first in the seven-part series, it re-introduced me (I’ve watched True Blood) to the main character, Sookie Stackhouse, and gave me a more intimate look into her personality. In the HBO production, I’ve learned that she can hear people’s thoughts but I didn’t really know what she was thinking at times. Sookie smiles when she’s nervous and you would never have explained that behavior accurately unless you read the book. The plot is seriously heart-breaking, with Sookie’s co-workers, grandmother, uncle, and cat all dying around her.

Be that as it may, Harris does not dwell too long on the heartbreak of these losses, although when she does it is brutally honest and painful. I’d still say this is an interestingly light (and fast) read. I like that a writer doesn’t prove his/her writing competence by using big words. I just had to grasp some of the Louisiana slang by way of context. If it were not for the explicit vampire-human sex and suggestive cover, I’d think 12-year-olds can read this book.

The conclusion was not predictable to me, not until the very last few pages of the book so it does have that page-turner quality. A few surprises along the way distracts you from the main story, but these were interesting (and probably necessary) surprises to build on as the story progresses.

This book is simple, [not so clean] fun – an easy and entertaining read. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who thinks vampires need to pay taxes if they do come out of hiding and live with us.

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Of unripe bananas and glass blowing

In Television on February 26, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Since Kris Allen won Idol last season, it truly put the show on a different light for me. I realized that sometimes the dark horse does win. In the past I have rooted for unlikely winners based on their uniqueness, talent, and just because no one expects them to win. I’ve always been disappointed. I guess I don’t really think like most people. So with that warning, I give you my early Idol favorites. Hoping they live up to my own quirky expectations.

Alex Lambert. According to my research, he is not related to last season’s over-the-top performer Adam Lambert. Now that we have that tiny detail ironed out, he could use a bit of Adam’s endless supply of confidence or – as Simon says – self-belief. Of course, the next Idol should have just the right amount of conceit. What I like most about this guy (boy, more like) is the tone and quality of his voice. He doesn’t sound like any of the other 23 (now only 19 after elimination round) people in the competition. I like James Morrison, and I hope he stays for all our sakes.

Siobhan Magnus. Maybe it’s the name and the profession (glass blowing) that makes Siobhan an interesting person and performer. Her haunting rendition of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game was classy and, well, haunting. I couldn’t stop humming the song after I watched that performance. So she must have done something good, right? I can see why it seemed a bit dark and depressing for some people on the judging table. Simon considered this fact, saying “But then again, maybe you’re a dark person”. I’m all for seeing more sun from the girl who blows (glass, people, glass).

Lily Scott. Singing for change on the streets and living in her car must have geared Lily to look cool and confident on the Idol stage. Experience is Lily’s best asset as well as raw, natural talent. She reminds me of Courtney Love which gives me an impression that she’s just going to do her thing and won’t care what the judges think. I truly hope I am mistaken. To survive on Idol means you have to care what the four people with the Coke cups think. Even if people watching at home liked your performance, it’s these four people behind the desk who gets to speak their mind and have the power to embarrass even the most seasoned performers and , most importantly, influence the way home viewers think (and vote). Oh, and I like her feather earrings.

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