Miscellaneous Monday – 3-22-10

Misc. Monday is back.  I make no promises about the coming weeks, but it’s back for today.

Today’s random topic — what I’ve been playing on my iPod, what I’ve been reading, and what I’ve been watching.

1.  What’s on my iPod —  Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of laid-back music:  Amos Lee, Hem, Joe Purdy, JJ Heller, The Weepies.  I’ve also added some Snow Patrol, some Ray LaMontagne, and some Iron & Wine.  And then there are the days when I just want to listen to the old standbys, Billy Joel and James Taylor.

2.  What I’ve been reading —  Recently, I’ve read a couple good books by Elin Hilderbrand, Barefoot and A Summer Affair.  Her characters are so rich, three-dimensional, flawed, complex.  It’s not easy to put them in a box of “good person” or “bad person.”  Her books entertain me yet engage my mind.  They are marketed as escape books or beach reads, but I find them much more than that.  I think her characters are wrestling with deep topics like identity and the meaning of love and forgiveness and consequences of our decisions and life purpose and juggling motherhood and one’s own ambitions.  Elin Hilderbrand’s books make me wish I were in a book group so I could read with friends and talk about all those topics.

3.  What I’ve been watching —  I’ve seen a few movies lately.  I really liked Did You Hear About The Morgans? I appreciate Hugh Grant’s dry wit and some of the physical comedy he and Sarah Jessica Parker show off in this movie.  Mary Steenburgen and Sam Elliott do a great job playing a small-town, down-home, long-married couple.  The movie made me laugh, but I also appreciate its message about marriage and forgiveness.

I didn’t especially love Up In The Air with George Clooney.  Some of it made me laugh, but it was fairly depressing. (Spoiler:)  I really was hopeful his character would undergo a big transformation, and it was disappointing that he sorted of ended in the same place he started, with an empty backpack.  I felt as fooled and taken advantage of as he did by Alex, the woman he met on his travels.  My husband pegged her story fairly early on, but I told him he was cynical and skeptical.  I was disappointed that he was right.  Again, though, I think the overall message about life and love and relationships and the pain and emptiness of his lifestyle was a good message.  I think the movie did a pretty good job of showing consequences to decisions and actions.

So, how about you?  What are you listening to, reading, and watching?  Tell us about it.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Miscellaneous Monday – 3-22-10

  1. G-mama

    I recently read “Noah’s Compass” by Anne Tyler (can’t figure how to do bold, italics or underline, so “…” will have to do). I have enjoyed reading her books, but found this one somewhat disappointing. I didn’t have that “a ha” moment when everything came together. The ending left me hanging, wanting more closure. I don’t always expect “happy ever after” endings.

    I also read Maeve Binchy’s “Heart and Soul.” This was a good read with typical Binchy characters.
    I am about to finish Barbara Delinsky’s “Not My Daughter” which looks at the “pact” mentality of three teenage girls who get pregnant and the resulting consequences on themselves and their families, particularly their mothers.

    I just want to mentioned another book “The Stubborn Twig” by Lauren Kessler, an account of three generations of a Japanese family in Oregon. I love ethnic history and this account tells of the ingenuity of the original man who came from Japan in the late 1800’s and history of this family, through the internment of the Japanese in WWII and later.

    I don’t watch many movies but do want to buy “Blindside.”

    My music also depends on my mood which can be anything from classical to bluegrass. I am looking forward to a concert on April 9, which features music of “The Crooked Road Music Trail” that follows VA Route 58 from Clintwood, VA, to Floyd, VA. Those involved in this music include Ralph Stanley and the Carter family.

  2. Shannon

    1. The only music I ever listen to is Go Fish. In addition to the fact that I don’t have an iPod, I am extremely lazy to the point that I can’t even be bothered to change the CD in the car – so we have been listening to “Splash” for quite a long time.

    2. My reading has been very sporadic as of late. I did read “The Hobbit” recently when Bryan and Brendan were reading it together. I would like to eventually finish reading “Shepherding a Child’s Heart.” And the kids and I are starting back into the Chronicles of Narnia – we started “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” and then stopped after a few chapters, but are picking it back up again.

    3. I finally got to see Julie & Julia and I really liked it. Bryan and I are watching Lost which is in its last season, but other than that, we have no idea about which movies are out since we don’t ever get to see previews. Very sheltered.

  3. 1. I pretty much either listen to all of the Hillsong Kids music that David has had me download, the Petra Praise: The Rock Cries Out album that I just downloaded after my birthday (I kept singing the songs and my CD seems to have vanished…) and lots of tobyMac. Oh, and we’ve also been playing the kids’ choir CD over and over and over again…thank goodness that the songs are catchy!

    2. Reading: I just finished reading Karen Kingsbury’s latest book in her Above the Line series and Liz Curtis Higgs’ new book, Here Burns My Candle. I’ve also read the Song of Albion trilogy by Stephen Lawhead (just finished reading The Endless Knot)–it’s a genre that I typically don’t lean toward, but I really enjoyed these books. I’m always reading something to the boys, but those are what I have been diving into as of late. Another book I’ve picked up is Jack Hayford’s Grounds for Living. We’ll see how long it takes me to get through that one…

    3. Movies – I really haven’t seen anything lately; however, Rob and I did just plow through seasons 1 and 2 of Big Bang Theory (and watched all of the episodes of season 3 to be caught up with where the show is currently), and we regularly watch Castle.

  4. Saw your comment about the Oxford Christian Writers class at Stuff Christians Like — I took the same class! With Dr. Ives at Messiah, right? 🙂

  5. Gina, actually my class was at King College in TN. But very cool that you took a similar class at Messiah.

  6. kj

    I’m currently reading In The Woods by Tana French. It won an Edgar Award in 2007. Very fun to read.

    Last movie I watched was Seraphine about the life of the French artist Seraphine. (creative title, don’t you think?)

    And music … I’m not listening to anything right now. In the car I’m listening to David McCullough’s John Adams.

    :-} kj

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