Friday, July 24, 2009

Bookish for Kids: Escape Under the Forever Sky

Escape Under The Forever Sky is a story of an American girl living in Africa with her ambassador mother. Lucy has friends and likes where she lives but she deaires freedom. Her mother is very worried about her safety, and thus puts serious restrictions on where she can go and what she can do. Of course Lucy decides to rebel against this, but she quickly learns her lesson the hard way when she is kidnapped. She decides she must escape from her kidnappers and find her way home, even though she is far from the city and does not know exactly where they have taken her. Her adventure as she escapes is exciting, though I thought it was over a bit too quickly. Of course, this is written for a young audience and perhaps the author was anticipating short attention spans. Not bad, overall.

PS-I liked the cover on the ARC better than the final cover. Just FYI.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cookish: What's for dinner?

Tasty Broccoli Quiche

Adapted from


2 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, minced (you can use more if you like)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups chopped fresh broccoli
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or your choice)
4 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Parmesean cheese

If you buy pie dough not already in the pan, place it in a pie plate and crimp the edges.Aww, it's pretty. Preheat your oven to 350. Chop up your onions, garlic, and broccoli. Saute in the butter til tender. Meanwhile, mix up the eggs, milk, salt, black pepper, and melted butter.Add the sauteed veggies to the pie crust and sprinkle the cheddar on top.
Pour on the egg mixture and sprinkle some parmesean on top, just for good measure. Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the center is set and the top is golden and delicious.

Eat it up. Yum!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bookish movie: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The 6th Harry Potter book is one of my favorites, so I was really looking forward to this movie. I made two mistakes:

1. I re-read the book right before going to see the movie. This makes all of the changes and discrepancies all the more obvious, and I knew I was going to regret it, but I couldn't help myself.

2. My hopes were too high. For some reason, I was thinking the movie would be very true to the book, even though none of the movies really have been since Chris Columbus left the project.

So, the special effects were great; there were a number of laughs; the girl playing Lavender was spot-on. It was an enjoyable movie. The kids are really growing up, and it's very cute to see.

Problems: Changes. The beginning was different--I could get over that. There's lots of little plot changes, too that I could look past, even though I do think the way Ginny and Harry get together in the book is infinitely better than in the movie. Then, they insert a scene at The Burrow that has no basis in the books. It was a big scene, too, and just seemed out of place and weird. I might have been able to get over that, but then they left out the big battle at the end! WTH! So, the invented Burrow scene took its place? That just does not work and was the biggest disappointment to me. I liked the movie more until that happened and since it is right at the end of the movie, it pretty well spoiled it.

They also left out major important plot points that are necessary for the 7th book, so I am not sure how they are going to work that out. The battle is pretty freaking important. Fenrir Greyback? Completely unexplained. Fleur and Bill? Wait, who? Percy? Not even a mention. Kreacher being inherited by Harry? Nope. There's a new Minister of Magic? No hint of that in the movie. Voldemort's parents? No flashback. The other objects that might be Horcruxes? No clue. Some of that probably could have been left out, but all of it? Yikes. I'm not sure how much sense the movie will make to those who haven't read the book. Probably most of the meaning will come through, but some things will seem very abrupt, I think.

So, I am SOOO glad they are splitting the 7th book into 2 movies because they have so much to fit in. The movie was good, don't get me wrong, but it could have been so much better. Seeing it at the opening showing (yes, I went at midnight and still got up for work in the morning) added to the atmosphere and was quite fun.

I will go see it again on IMAX, and being a little further removed from reading the book might make it more enjoyable.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bookish Review: The Footprints of God

The Footprints of God is a strange story for Greg Iles...a bit more philosophical/theological than his usual fare. The book focuses on the question of whether a computer can be built to match the processing capability of the human brain, whether artificial inteligence is possible. In this case, an elite team of scientists have been gathered by the government not to create artificial intelligence, but to build a supercomputer that can capture human intelligence. An advanced MRI provides a complete map of a human's brain, including all of that person's memories, emotions, and motives. They are striving to build a computer that can bring this map to life--creating a human consciousness that will never die. But once it is created, can it be stopped?

The book is entertaining and interesting, if a little strange. It does bring about a lot of questions about God, humanity, and how far science should go. Set in North Carolina (Iles tapping into his Southern roots yet again) and New Mexico, as well as Israel.