RS (rainbowstevie) wrote,

2015 Reading List / Movie List

Gonna try keeping a regular book list on LJ again, with the links going to my Goodreads reviews. Mini movie reviews will be added to this post as before. Bold means I loved it, italicized means I really liked it and might buy, plain text indicates good to just okay, and strikethrough means it was awful. * = reread or rewatch

January (13)
1. The Sister Act - Blossom Elfman. 151 pg/1978. [1/4]
2. The F***-It List - Julie Halpern. 256 pg/2013. [1/4]
3. Say What You Will - Cammie McGovern. 343 pg/2014. [1/5]
4. She Is Not Invisible - Marcus Sedgewick. 354 pg/2013. [1/12]
5. The Summer My Life Began - Shannon Greenland. 250 pg/2012. [1/12]
6. OCD, The Dude, and Me - Lauren Roedy Vaughn. 240 pg/2013. [1/13]
7. Once There Were Castles: Lost Mansions and Estates of the Twin Cities [NF] - Larry Millett. 343 pg/2011. [1/15]
8. Attachments - Rainbow Rowell. 323 pg/2011. [1/17]
9. Just One Day - Gayle Forman. 369 pg/2013. [1/20]
10. Pointe - Brandy Colbert. 333 pg/2014. [1/22]
[review moved from Goodreads to here]
(I am officially out of patience for girls who think it is desirable or okay to have a boyfriend/sex prior to high school*, especially an older boyfriend, and grow into teenagers who casually drink and smoke pot and knowingly hook up with guys cheating on their girlfriends. The brief and moderately interesting bits about her ballet class or restricting her food intake, and her knowledge of who her friend's abductor really was, did not make up for all the garbage.
*A point I couldn't articulate on Goodreads: people kept harping on how I phrased that, like I was not aware he was a sexual predator. Of course he was! That doesn't negate that fact that when she was 13, she thought it was okay to have a boyfriend her own age, or even one who was two years older. And that is some dumbassery I can't overlook just because the guy was worse. You can't manipulate someone into sleeping with you if they think having a conversation with you is weird and/or sex is grosser than strangling a puppy**, and her failure to think either of those things is what made me not care about her being hurt.

**again: hormones do not magically override your inherent sense of Acceptable vs. Unacceptable, no matter how hot and bothered you are, and that shouldn't even have been an issue because she shouldn't have stuck around long enough for him to touch her on the shoulder more than once.)

11. Boleto - Alison Hagy. 250 pg/2007. [1/24]
12. Just One Year - Gayle Forman. 323 pg/2013. [1/26]
13. The God of Animals - Aryn Kyle. 2007. [1/29]

February (3)
14. Eleanor and Park - Rainbow Rowell. 325 pg/2013. [2/10]
15. Orphan Train - Christina Baker Kline. 273 pg/2013. [2/12]
16. A Little Something Different - Sandy Hall. 244 pg/2014. [2/17]

March (12)
*17. Black Unicorn - Tanith Lee. 188 pg/1991. [3/7]
18. Little White Lies - Katie Dale. 371 pg/2013. [3/9]
*19. Martha's Secret Wish - Ella Gibson. 172 pg/1962. [3/11]
20. Sexy - Joyce Carol Oates. 263 pg/2005. [3/14]
21. Better than Yesterday - Robyn Schneider. 220 pg/2007. [3/15]
22. Raff: The Story of an English Setter - F.E. Rechnitzer. 246 pg/1948. [3/19]
23. Don't Call Me Baby - Gwendolyn Heasley. 290 pg/2014. [3/20]
24. The Reece Malcolm List - Amy Spalding. 305 pg/2013. [3/22]
25. Someone Else's Life - Katie Dale. 485 pg/2012. [3/25]
26. Love and Other Unknown Variables - Shannon Lee Alexander. 350 pg/2014. [3/26]
*27. The Ark - Margot Benary-Isbert. 246 pg/1953. [3/29]
28. High Challenge - Maria Kirchgessner. 287 pg/1962. [3/30]

April (8)
29. Orleans - Sherri L. Smith. [4/1]
30. A Street Cat Named Bob [NF] - James Bowen. [4/5]
31. Bonny's Boy - F.E. Rechnitzer. 266 pg/1946. [4/7]
32. Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery - Keren David. 339 pg/2011. [4/11]
33. The World According to Bob [NF] - James Bowen. 286 pg/2013. [4/16]
34. A Natural History of Dragons - Marie Brennan [4/21]
35. Once Upon a Flock [NF] - Lauren Scheuer. 256 pg/2013. [4/21]
36. Objects of My Affection - Jill Smolinski. 310 pg/2012. [4/30]

May (9)
37. Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things [NF] - Randy Frost & Gail Steketee. 290 pg/2010. [5/1]
38. Dirty Secret: A Daughter Comes Clean About Her Mother's Compulsive Hoarding [NF] - Jessie Scholl. 308 pg/2010. [5/1]
39. You Can't Take Twenty Dogs on a Date - Betty Cavanna. 189 pg/1977. [5/2]
40. A Cold Legacy - Megan Shepherd. 390 pg/2015. [5/2]
41. The Impossible Knife of Memory - Laurie Halse Anderson. 391 pg/2014. [5/5]
42. I Was Here - Gayle Forman. 270 pg/2015. [5/5]
43. The Ghost in the Swing - Janet Patton Smith. 185 pg/1973. [5/24]
44. Faking Faith - Josie Bloss. 231 pg/2011. [5/25]
45. Minnesota's Own: Preserving Our Grand Homes - Larry Millet. 320 pg/2014. [5/28]

June (10)
46. Six Feet Over It - Jennifer Longo. 352 pg/2014. [6/7]
47. Edge of Nowhere - John Smelcer. 150 pg/2010. [6/13]
*48. The Girl Next Door - Selene Castrovilla. 237 pg/2010. [6/14]
49. Six Months Later - Natalie D. Richards. 323 pg/2013. [6/14]
50. When Reason Breaks - Cindy Rodriguez. 291 pg/2015. [6/14]
51. Rain Cloud the Wild Mustang - Margaret Kraenzell.  144 pg/1962. [6/16]
52. An Innocent Soldier - Josef Holub. 240 pg/2002. [6/17]
53. Whale Talk - Chris Crutcher. 220 pg/2001. [6/18]
54. Ransom - Lois Duncan. 176 pg/1966. [6/20]
55. Going Vintage - Lindsay Leavitt. 320 pg/2013. [6/27]

July (5)
56. That Time I Joined the Circus - J.J. Howard. 259 pg/2013. [7/3]
57. Summer of the Wolves - Polly Carlson-Voiles. 352 pg/2012. [7/6]
58. Mending Horses - M.P. Barker. 390 pg/2014. [7/8]
59. Sight Hound - Pam Houston. 352 pg/2004. [7/12]
60. I'll Trade You An Elk [NF] - Charles A. Goodrum. 1967. [7/20]

August (10)
61. Home to the Island - Mabel Esther Allan. 159 pg/1961. [8/4]
62. Saint Anything - Sarah Dessen. 417 pg/2015. [8/7]
63. Anything Could Happen - Will Walton. 288 pg/2015. [8/12]
64. Threatened - Eliot Schrefer. 278 pg/2014. [8/19]
65. Red Thread Sisters - Carol Antoinette Peacock. 240 pg/2012. [8/22]
66. Ever By My Side: A Memoir in Eight Acts Pets [NF] - Nick Trout. 320 pg/2011. [8/22]
67. Nobody's Horses: The Dramatic Rescue of the Wild Herd of White Sands [NF] - Don Hoglund. 272 pg/2006. [8/24]
68. Identity Theft - Anna Davies. 250 pg/2013. [8/27]
69. The Winter Horses - Phillip Kerr. 278 pg/2014. [8/27]
70. Bone Gap - Laura Ruby. 345 pg/2015. [8/30]

September (11)
71. No Parking at the End Times - Bryan Bliss. 267 pg/2015. [9/1]
72. Mestengo [NF] - Melinda Roth. 232 pg/2013. [9/3]
73. 52 Reasons to Hate My Father - Jessica Brody. 340 pg/2012. [9/7]
74. Life Is But A Dream - Brian James. 234 pg/2012. [9/8]
75. Allegra - Shelley Hrdlitschka. 280 pg/2013. [9/11]
76. Rescue Me - Catherine Mann. 276 pg/2015. [9/16]
77. Vivian Apple at the End of the World - Katie Coyle. 262 pg/2014. [9/20]
78. The West Winds of Wyoming - Caroline Fyffe. 310 pg/2014. [9/20]
79. Inherit Midnight - Kate Kae Myers. 390 pg/2015. [9/25]
80. The Tenderness of Thieves - Donna Freitas. 348 pg/2015. [9/27]
81. Girl Underwater - Claire Kells. 291 pg/2015. [9/29]

October (7)
82. The Infinite Moment of Us - Lauren Myracle. 316 pg/2013. [10/1]
83. Kissing in America - Margot Rabb. 386 pg/2015. [10/4]
84. Hit - Lorie Ann Grover. 215 pg/2014. [10/16]
85. Get Happy - Mary Amato. 226 pg/2014. [10/18]
86. Just Breathe - Susan Wiggs. 471 pg/2008. [10/27]
87. The Museum of Intangible Things - Wendy Wunder. 292 pg/2014. [10/29]
88. The Haunting of Sunshine Girl - Paige McKenzie/Alyssa B. Sheinmel. 294 pg/2015. [10/31]

November (12)
89. The Bunker Diary - Kevin Brooks. 257 pg/2013. [11/2]
90. What You Left Behind - Jessica Verdi. 358 pg/2015. [11/8]
91. Twilight - Stephenie Meyer. 498 pg/2005. [11/11]
92. The Dogs of Winter - Bobbi Pyron. 303 pg/2012. [11/11]
93. Driving Heat - Richard Castle. 329 pg/2015. [11/17]
94. The Boy on the Bridge - Natalie Standiford. 248 pg/2013. [11/19]
95. Fourmile - Watt Key. 228 pg/2012. [11/20]
96. Edgewater - Courtney Sheinmel. 317 pg/2015. [11/21]
97. The Shelf: From LEQ to LES [NF] -  Phyllis Rose. 260 pg/2014. [11/22]
98. Howards End is On the Landing [NF] - Susan Hill. 236 pg/2009. [11/26]
99. New Moon - Stephenie Meyer. 563 pg/2006. [11/26]
100. Eclipse - Stephenie Meyer. 629 pg/2007. [11/30]

101. The Horse Lover: A Cowboy's Quest to Save the Wild Mustangs [NF] - H. Alan Day. 243 pg/2014. [12/8]
102. Why Not Me? [NF] - Mindy Kaling. 240 pg/2015. [12/10]
103. Z for Zachariah - Robert O'Brien. 250 pg/1974. [12/11]
104. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly - Stephanie Oakes. 400 pg/2015. [12/11]
105. Since You've Been Gone - Morgan Matson. 458 pg/2014. [12/21]
106. The Teashop Girls - Laura Schaefer. [12/23]
107. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner - Stephenie Meyer. 177 pg/2012. [12/23]
108. Hippolyte's Island - Barbara Hodgson. 282 pg/2001. [12/25]
109. Whipporwill - Joseph Monniger. 288pg/2015. [12/29]
110. Breaking Dawn - Stephenie Meyer. 756 pg/2008. [12/30]


1. Begin Again, 2013, R, 1:44 [1/1]
A wonderful, feel-good movie, no 11th hour Conflicts, with 100% amazing music and cast members.

2. The Lone Ranger, 2013, PG-13, 2:29 [1/8]
That was everything I hoped it would be: Johnny Depp being delightful, bizarre bad guys, Native American mysticism (mostly made up by a broken mind), lots of Bruckheimery explosions, and otherwise basically PotC in the Wild West. Minus a compelling central romance but plus an amazing horse, which is a more than fair trade. And I SUPER did not expect the Day At The Fair Museum frame for the storyline, which totally enhanced it.

3. Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the Tomb, 2014, PG [1/25]
Recaptured pretty much all the magic of the first film. Definitely needs to be seen on the big screen the first time.

4. The Purge: Anarchy, 2014, R [1/25]
Definitely better than the first movie, with bonus Adorable Zach Gilford. Not quite as graphic as I feared, yet not sure if relieved or disappointed. High concept horror, though.

5. Fly Away Home, 1996, PG, 1:47 [2/23]
Still not sure if I've seen this before or not -- I always thought I had -- but it was as sweet and wholesome as I expected, if a bit excessive with the flight scenes.

*6. Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, 2001, PG-13, 3+ hours [3/1]
Still as good as I remember. What an epic.

7. August: Osage County [4/4]
A wonderful collection of actors (plus Bendysnaps Cucumber) assembled into a joyless family drama about why adultery, incest and secrets are bad.

8. The Dovekeepers, 2015, roughly 3 hours, roughly PG-13 [4/5]
Powerful. Cote de Pablo shines especially well.

9. Seeking a Friend For the End of the World [4/5]
I only agreed to watch this because it was heavily implied there would be no romance between the leads, which made sense on account of the total lack of chemistry between them. LIES! There was great potential in this script, but not once you hired Steve Carell's gross face.

10. Laggies, 2014 [4/12]
Some secondhand embarrassment, but also a lot of recognizable stuff. Great script, and not ruined by bad actors this time.

11. Life Partners, 2014, R, 1:33 [4/26]
On the one hand, more lesbian relationships than I've ever seen in one place and none of them interesting. On the other hand, one of the world's most relatable best-friendship stories plus an A-level straight pairing.

12. Mama, 2013, PG-13, 1:38 [5/24]
WHAT A GOOD HORROR MOVIE. Creepy cabin in the woods, children both creepy and adorable, a historic connection, a fearsome ghost, an intense plot, scary jump-cuts, and a Hot Stand-In Dad. It's basically everything a scary movie should ever be, like all the good parts of Sleepy Hollow minus the superfluous relationship conflicts.

13. Pitch Perfect 2, 2015, PG-13, 1:55 [5/27, 6/4]
A worthy follow-up to its sequel, with tons of awesome music and girl-bonding, albeit with a 100% unnecessary Bumper/Amy subplot and NOWHERE NEAR AN ACCEPTABLE AMOUNT of Jesse/Becca. Except for that last thing, though, I liked it more than the original so I saw it twice.

*14. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, 2002, 3+ hours [5/31]
Still uber-delighted by Wargs, Brego and other horses, Arwen/Aragorn, and Legolas; still incredibly bored by Ents, The Battle of Helm's Deep, Gollum and Sam/Frodo on their own, but decidedly more fond of Super Pretty Eowyn this time around.

*15. Pitch Perfect, 2012, PG-13, 1:59 [6/8]
Not quite as good the sequel but my epic love for the music and Jesse(/Beca) is making this more than worthy of a rewatch.

16. R.I.P.D. [6/10]
So awful and dumb and full of bad CGI. Not even stupid enough to be funny (although Jeff Bridges did good work with what he was given).

17. The Other Woman, 2014, PG-13 [6/11]
A very cute and fun gal-pal comedy.

18. Jurassic World, 2015, PG-13, 2:04 [6/14]
It starts a little slow but then OH MAN. SO MANY DINOSAURS. EATING SO MANY PEOPLE. Also, I finally vaguely get the appeal of Buff New Chris Pratt when he's alternately training raptors like pet wolves and heroically punching bad dudes out/rescuing women and children.

19. Up in the Air, 2009, R [6/21]
A movie in which nothing of great interest happens (how did Vera Farmiga get nominated for acting in this?), but Smartly Suited Young Professional Anna Kendrick is a national treasure, even if her meltdowns and crying were so bad I couldn't tell if they were supposed to be that way.

20. The Oranges, 2012, R, 1:30 [6/22]
You do realize you can't throw adultery in with all the other wrong-bad tropes if you want me to support Hugh Laurie/His Daughter's Former Best Friend, right? It's that one or all the other ones. Also I do not support any of this movie's messages. But even so, a magnificent collection of actors plus some much-needed humor made this eminently watchable.


21. Unfriended, 2015, R, 1:22 [8/9]
The longest 82 minutes of my life, featuring basically non-stop hysterical screaming/sobbing and swearing, broken up with a few gross parts, some of which were moderately scary. Restricting it to the SUPER OBNOXIOUS viewpoint of a computer screen/webcams made it worse.

22. The Bling Ring, 2013, R, 1:30 [8/12]
Fun, but maybe more fun to create than watch. I felt like the quasi-documentary parts really dragged down the excitement. It never felt like we were really in the moment, fabulous as it was to view the celebrity closets and furnishings and fantasize about doing it yourself WHO SAID THAT.

23. Annabelle, 2014, R, 1:38 [8/16]
It didn't feel so much like a horror movie as a 70s period piece about a young couple & their baby, spiced up with intermittent terror. I will say, though, was not expecting to see that backstory for how the doll became a conduit!

*24. Miss Congeniality, 2000, PG, 1:48 [8/16]
Yep, definitely one of my favorite movies of all time. Feels genuinely timeless except for the cars and phones.

*25. Enchanted, 2007, PG [8/18]
My actual favorite movie of all time. It just gets all the casting and romance EXACTLY right. (see #2 in this post)

*26. The Mummy Returns, 2001, PG-13 [8/26]
I love every single second of this movie no matter how many times I watch it.

27. Freaky Deaky, 2013, R, 1:34 [9/19]
That was some truly glorious ridiculousness. Sex, drugs & dynamite: the campiest potrayal of a hardboiled 70s detective novel anyone has ever made, featuring a sardonic detective with Horatio Caine swagger dividing his time between outsmarting low-lifes and protecting the pretty young blonde who came to him for help. It's super awful when either he or Donnell is not in a scene, but luckily one or the other is in almost all of them.

* 28. Red Riding Hood, 2011, PG-13, 1:39 [10/1]
This time around I had way less patience for the crappy YA novel romance that was apparently the point of the whole movie. But I still liked everything else!

29. The Conjuring, 2013, R, 1:52 [10/31]
They hired some real bland people to play the Warrens, and the mom really did not fit the chemistry of the rest of the adorable family, but I am so here for creepy ghosts and Old House With Secret Spaces and Abandoned Antique Items porn that simultaneously warns me why I shouldn't buy a cheap old house of unknown history. Better than Annabelle.

30. Fright Night, 2011, R, 1:41 [10/31]
Even when they're scary, vampires are stupid. And this movie was so dreadfully dull and dumb. The only reason I'm not striking it out is because I got to cackle at David Tennant chewing the scenery harder than anyone has ever masticated scenery before, and occasionally doing it in leather pants and no shirt.

31. Twilight, 2008, PG-13, 2:02 [11/1]
That was better than the above and far from terrible. Not only was it star-studded and beautifully shot, it was half comedy (***STARING INTENSIFIES***) and also, whoa, nobody ever told me about a) the trio of awesome killer vampires or b) pretty much anything that happened in this installment after Bella and Edward started dating, unless I've just forgotten.

32. Godzilla, 2014, PG-13, 2:03 [11/16]
Um, what was The Internet even whining about last year; that was FULL of awesome giant monsters awesomely smashing things (plus, bonus shots of Abandoned Urbania), and featured a super detailed Godzilla being an unexpected hero, what! I wish I had seen it on the big screen.

33. Twilight: New Moon, 2009, PG-13, 2:10 [11/22]
The werewolves are AWESOME and once Bella and I picked ourselves up off the floor of abandonment-related despair, I too got pretty fond of that Jacob kid, despite his haircut. Jury is out on the Volturi, except that they are way lamer than Victoria & Co.

34. Winter's Tale, 2014, PG-13, 1:58 [12/6]
The beginning was desperately confusing and the evil characters were laughably OTT, but the rest was SO GORGEOUS on both a visual and storytelling level, and it had so much more to say about life and its purpose than just romantic love, and by the end I was hardcore sobbing like that "it's so beautiful" gif.

35. The Longest Ride, 2015, PG-13, 2:08 [12/6]
I closed my eyes to the gross parts (thank you musical montages), and the 1940s guy was real unattractive of face, but I otherwise liked both stories. But mostly the modern day. Hello awesome ladies and the perfect epitome of cowboy fantasy!

36. Darkness, 2004, PG-13, 1:42 [12/15]
I checked this out of the library, then learned it is one of the worst-rated films of all time, but stubbornly decided to watch it anyway. Yeah, it's...pretty boring and weird, as foreign films often are. There are some ominously spooky ghost kids who stare, and at the very end they try to spring an interesting blood cult backstory, but there's not enough time for it to go anywhere. Mostly it's like LOOK AT THIS DRAMATIC CLOSE UP OF A FAUCET.

37. Maleficent, 2014, PG-13, 1:37 [12/17]
After this year in ship-ruining TV, I am basically the title character. No wonder I dug this movie so much.

38. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, 2015, PG-13, 2:15 [12/18]
Overall quality is irrelevant because thou hast betrayed me, fiend. (spoiler alert!)

39. Dead Man Down, 2013, R, 1:58 [12/20]
Oh, you know, just your basic action movie featuring Colin Farrel getting revenge for his dead wife and daughter one dead guy after another, whilst also romancing (in a very PG way) a new chick with a scarred face and an inevitable need to be rescued from the bad guys he's taking down. It's all very satisfying thanks to the Aggressive Protective Male factor.

40. Eclipse, 2010, PG-13, 2:04 [12/23]
Jacob's gross entitlement is even worse than in the book, but at least Edward's control issues only last about 20 minutes. The Victoria recasting is tragic. But the war with the vampire army is AWESOME.

41. Love and Mercy, 2015, PG-13, 2:01 [12/27]

* 42. Did You Hear About the Morgans?, 2009, PG-13 [12/28]
THE MOST DARLING ROM-COM OF ALL. And also the world's most satisfying resolution to a couple separating over cheating.

43. Taken 3, 2015, PG-13 [12/28]
He does almost as much damage to the LAPD as the bad guys, honestly, but it wasn't bad way to pass the time. The father/daughter bond was the best part, though.

* 44. Ondine, 2009, PG-13, 1:43 [12/30]
Still as pretty as I remember it.

* 45. Extraordinary Measures [12/31]

46. The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death [12/31]
That very easily equaled the spookiness of the first film and was just brilliant about making connections to it.

Tags: movie list, reading list

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