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[sticky post] Reading List / Movie List 2018

Standard rules apply: Bold means I loved it, italicized means I really liked it, plain text indicates good to just okay, and strikethrough means it was awful. Titles link to my Goodreads reviews.

* = reread or rewatch. [NF] =nonfiction

January (8)
1. These Shallow Graves - Jennifer Donnelly. 488 pg/2015. [1/1]
2. Junk: Digging Through America's Love Affair with Stuff [NF] - Alison Stewart. 304 pg/2016. [1/2]
3. Snow Bound - Harry Fox Mazer. 144 pg/1973. [1/18]
4. The House - Christina Lauren. 384 pg/2015. [1/23]
5. True Valor - Dee Henderson. 352 pg/2002. [1/26]
6. The Masked Truth - Kelley Armstrong. 341 pg/2015. [1/26]
7. Things I'm Seeing Without You - Peter Bognanni. 332 pg/2017. [1/27]
8. The Cloud Chamber - Joyce Maynard. 274 pg/2005. [1/30]

9. Even When You Lie to Me - Jessica Alcott. 352 pg/2015. [2/11]
10. Terror at Bottle Creek - Watt Key. 224 pg/2016. [2/17]
11. These Healing Hills - Ann H. Gabhart. 361 pg/2017. [2/17]
12. Shane - Jack Schaefer. 150 pg/1949. [2/18]
13. Swampfire - Patricia Cecil Haas. 187 pg/1973. [2/18]
14. Too Shattered for Mending - Peter Brown Hoffmeister. 384 pg/2017. [2/20]
15. The Lake House - Kate Morton. 495 pg/2015. [2/21]

1. Empire State, 2013, R, 1:34 [1/19]
Did not realize it was based on a true story; way less zany action stakes than expected and more spotlight on grubby people who hang w/ gang members, but a serviceable vehicle through which to admire Liam Hemsworth's handsome face in the role of an upstanding young gentleman who just wants to provide for his hardworking parents.

2. The Shallows, 2016, PG-13, 1:26 [1/19]
Good for what it is: mainly a vehicle for admiring Blake Lively's natural beauty, with a side of hurt/comfort where you admire the girl for having to provide all her own care and comfort (also she helps an injured seagull, so that's awesome). It's even believable until the shark goes completely insane and become bent on eating a metal buoy to get to her. And very prettily shot.

3. El Orfanato (The Orphanage), 2007, R, 1:37 [1/19]
The historic manor and grounds are beautiful, and while I came here to be terrified (and at times I was -- spooky ghost child! in clownish sack mask), I ultimately came away from this overflowing with a sense of "My emotions! My! Emotions!"

4. The Case for Christ, 2017, PG, 1:53
Imagine being such a tool that you're threatened by the very notion of your wife finding peace and comfort in religion instead of being a Sensible Atheist. But bless Mike Vogel for being in this. I am pretty sure you don't agree to star in a "Pure Flix" production without being on roughly the same side, and bad wig and all, I very much enjoyed every second of his face as well as the overall triumph of religion in the end, even if theirs veers a bit to the treacly, over-showy evangelical side.

5. Money Monster, 2016, R for some odd reason, 1:38 [2/17]
Decent action movie with some adrenaline spikes and a nice cast, but there's really only so much you can do with a hostage situation, you know? Even if you take it to the streets. This looks like a movie that was maybe more fun to be in than watch. The best parts were the dancers on the title show and Julia Roberts doing anything.

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February 2018


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