Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Itty bitty book review: "The Sisters Brothers"

"The Sisters Brothers" by Patrick deWitt

Well, a "western" didn't really interest me but I felt I had to give it a try given all the publicity, being nominated for four major prizes and winning two of them. I must say I did enjoy it and felt it lived up to its billing. I'm a sucker for black humour but it's more than that although liberal doses of that thrown in. Not surprised that the film rights have already been
sold to actor John C. Reilly's production company in a major deal, with Reilly to play one of the brothers. One look at Reilly's mug and you can certainly see why he would be able to play one of the brothers...guess he'll probably play the "good" one but maybe not.

And I learned about something new...book trailers. Seems like a good idea except that if I saw the book trailer to The Sisters Brothers I think it would have turned me against reading the book! Probably an author reading from the book would be the biggest hook for me especially if the author answered a few typical audience questions.

"Book Trailers

The newest way to promote your book is with video! These videos are called Book Trailers. They are similar to a movie trailer, in that they are designed to build interest in an upcoming or current novel and to encourage people to buy the book that they are based on.

The main difference is that a movie trailer already has visual images to work with - clips from the film. With a book trailer, the maker (either the author themselves or a professional videographer) has to convert the written words into visual images. The trick is to convey a sense of what the book is about without giving anything away - and without really clearly defining what the characters look like, as most readers prefer to visualize what they are reading about as they imagine it themselves.

Most book trailers run from one to three minutes. They can be anything from the author reading a passage from the book, to an elaborate mini-movie."

Book trailer for "The Sisters Brothers"

Monday, November 28, 2011

CityHub Victoria

I'm not quite sure how I learned of this site but I really like the concept and enjoy exploring services in Victoria in this way. I think it's quite new.

CityHub Victoria

Sunday, November 27, 2011

More Buddies Toys...

What I liked about these "toys" is that one is geared to boys and one to girls even though girls are more likely to want to make cupcakes. Great the boys are encouraged with the pirate theme. Richard was so crazy about pirates at some point that he would have done anything that had that theme.

Groovy Girls
I wasn't a doll person but I think I would have loved these. They also seem much better than the Barbie option

Boysterous Boys
Action figures for boys that aren't all about guns and stuff...great!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Birthday Post Nov 19 has some new photos

John did manage to fix up a some of the photos so they are now posted along with the others. Thanks, John, I know you didn't have much to work with!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Itty bitty book review: "In the Woods"

"In the Woods" by Tana French

Yeah...a new mystery writer that has some promise. Thanks to Claire for the recommendation. This is a debut novel and at 500 odd pages rather long. It was still pretty good and I look forward to more and hope subsequent novels are edited more. It did drag a bit in places...not good for a mystery.

I also was thrilled when the new Laurie R. King Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes novel came available from my holds. Unfortunately a disappointment and didn't finish it. Perhaps this series has run out of steam. Great thing about King is she writes the Kate Marinelli series and then just writes thriller type books that don't fit any series. Great idea not to be locked into a detective forever....smart lady! The best thing about the book was the cover...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Buddies Toys

I love our local toyshop "Buddies Toys" and always enjoy getting their Christmas flyer.

"Interactive World Globe. Touch the wireless pen to play games and explore amazing facts about the world in four languages." I would have loved this!

"No more time spent thinking up good charades." Gee, I thought THAT was part of the fun...

Sno-baller. "Makes perfect snowballs every time. Eliminates cold wet hands. No more soggy mittens!" Give me a break...you'd have to be a complete wimp to want to use this! One other item was a "Sno-Brick Maker"...ideal for all neighbourhood snow fort and igloo building endeavours." Now, that was something I could have used.

"Contains a whoopee cushion, magic ink, nail through finger, snappy chewing gum, pet poop, and squirt ring." Darn, I've already bought Don's present!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Moonlight on the Grove...

Patty and I were out for lunch the other day and she brought me a couple of these lovely teas. We had been talking about teas and discovered that the ingredient I really like but didn't know what it was is "bergamote"...who knew? And that afternoon I sat in my sunroom basked in the sun, read a good mystery, and sipped Moonlight on the Grove. Wonderful!

Thanks, chere amie!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

And now, "Ian the 5 year old wonder" predicts the future....

"I predict that in the Year 2011 when I turn 70 years old I will have a birthday party with a Mr. Bean cake...yes...yes...you don't know who Mr. Bean is but you will....trust my predictive powers!"

Thanks Monique, Tim and Mary for joining us last night to celebrate Ian's birthday and for the great presents and cards. A special thanks to Kate who made the Mr. Bean cake...it is really the only photo that turned out! (I have asked John to see if he can perform miracles on the dreadful photos I took so more photo may be coming...)

Ian and Jim looking at some old family photos before the guests arrive.

The cake!

Ian and Monique

Mary and Tim

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy 70th Birthday, Ian!

All the best, Ian, on this milestone birthday and looking forward to celebrating tonight!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Christmas treat for lovers of mysteries and Jane Austen

'I thought it would be enjoyable to revisit the characters in Pride and Prejudice and to create a really original, exciting, credible detective story at the same time'
P.D. James

Good on P.D.! I can't wait to read it. It's being released Dec 6 and you can pre-order on Amazon.ca

Set six years after the conclusion of Pride and Prejudice, the novel finds Elizabeth and Darcy happily ensconced at Pemberley: tending to the estate and its tenants, delighting in their two young sons, deeply in love. Jane and Bingley live just 30 miles away, Mrs Bennet remains at a conveniently inconvenient distance, and all is highly felicitous – until the night when a carriage careens out of the wind-lashed darkness and disgorges Elizabeth's wayward sister, Lydia, screaming that her husband, the nefarious Wickham, is dead. The result is a murder trial in which the Darcys find themselves inextricably entangled and which threatens their present happiness and future security.

A life in writing: PD James | Culture | The Guardian:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A wonderful November day...

What an absolutely gorgeous day again and can't resist one last photo of the stunning leaves. Swimming and lunch at the Grand Pacific with the sunshine streaming in. One of the head honchos at the hotel came by to chat and looked longingly at our red wine and pizza (we began with calamari...our signature dish everywhere). Yes...life is good.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Itty bitty book review: "Snowdrops"

Snowdrops" by A.D. Miller

A first novel by someone who studied literature at Cambridge and Princeton and who writes for The Economist. He was the magazine's Moscow correspondent from 2004-2007, travelling widely across Russia and the former Soviet Union.

While it has been called a "thriller" it's really more of a subtle slow moving mystery where the reader gets a wonderful picture of modern Russia with all its decadence and corruption. Quite fascinating.

And I did love an old babusha's comment that "while she minded that the people in charge spent half their time stealing, there was no real point in putting new people in the Kremlin, because they'd just start stealing all over again. And at least the ones in there now were already rich, so they could afford to think about other things too sometimes."

A good read.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Vis a Vis :: Wine & Charcuterie Bar :

We went to Vis a Vis with Chris and Susan Friday and had a great time. No tables were ready but it was fun to sit at the bar and watch the action. Then we got the table Tony Parsons and his wife were sitting at. He was all dressed up looking like he was ready to read the news..

Vis �Vis :: Wine & Charcuterie Bar :: Menus

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembrance Day

Vimy Ridge Memorial

"But the freedom that they fought for, and the country grand they wrought for, Is their monument to-day, and for aye." -Thomas Dunn English

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Taken on the way to the mailbox with my iphone

This is really an amazing time of year and even more amazing than usual. Colours are brighter because of the sunshine, less rain, and cooler temperatures coming quickly according to a recent newspaper article. So, I wasn't just imagining that the colours were brighter this year!

New Zealand Toyota Ad....very funny!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Yeah....Esi Edugyan won!

I was delighted that Half-Blood Blues won...congratulations to Esi Edugyan and it was great that Nelly Furtado introduced her.

However, ...we were treated to absolute garbage in terms of quality and quantity of commercials then Esi Edugyan was cut off in her acceptance speech which obviously wasn't going to be long. This program was a complete disgrace and not worthy of anything, let alone honouring? some of our great Canadian writers.

I have watched the Giller's in the past and what I remember is the authors and their ideas were presented in a much more detailed and intelligent manner than idiotic print prefaces to their remarks and them standing looking foolish with their book in hand. Also, each novel had a thoughtful and well done dramatised scene with competent Canadian actors. I don't remember many commercials.

I've never heard of CBC Bold and hope it will disappear completely from the face of the earth if this is what it has to offer....shame on you. I'll read about the Giller winner in the next day's paper next year and won't chance on being disgusted and offended.

Giller Prize tonight

Giller Prize being broadcast tonight 6pm PST on CBC Bold (Channel 96) I hope Esi Edugyan wins for "Half Blood Blues" since she's an up and coming writer but I also did love Michael Ondaatje's "The Cat's Table".

Church leaders accuse bankers of losing their 'moral moorings' - Telegraph

I find the involvement of the Church of England rather interesting. Something of worth seems to be going on in London.
Church leaders accuse bankers of losing their 'moral moorings' - Telegraph

Monday, November 07, 2011

Itty bitty book review: "The Cat's Table"

"The Cat's Table" by Michael Ondaatje

This novel did not disappoint...every line was wonderful! Ondaatje is really on top of his form in this one. Great concept of a ship's voyage and all the fascinating people seen by youngsters and also moving back and forth in the past and present.

Carrots, Eggs or Coffee Beans Movie

A clever little movie about reacting to adversity.

Carrots, Eggs or Coffee Beans Movie: All of us at one time or another have experienced a difficult situation, had setbacks, or dealt with our share of disappointment. Most things that happen to us on a daily basis we can't control and I can honestly say (with conviction) that it is not what happens to us that matters but rather, how we choose to respond.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

I got a real laugh out of this...from the Telegraph

Readers autumn pictures

Dominic Lowis photographed these tipsy pumpkins that were carved by his student son, "I wonder where the inspiration came from?" he asks.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Children's Art

Christine had Claire and I over for lunch yesterday and it was just great to see all her four grandchildren's artwork all over the place. She's running out of wall space so may have to start using the ceiling...well, Michelangelo did it. It could be called the "Christine Chapel"...

Friday, November 04, 2011

Family Photos

Uncle Doug.

Uncle Billy and his cats.

John's grandmother, my Auntie Florence and Uncle Doug (John's parents)

John and Carol had us over for lunch Sunday before we left for home in Victoria and we were looking at a couple of books John made from old photos of his family and Carol's family. He did a wonderful job of touching up the photos and enlarging them as most were small and pretty old.

A lot were taken by his Uncle Billy who had quite an eye for photography and gave John his first camera. John ended up being a professional photographer. The West Vancouver Archives were really happy to get the photos and I can see why because so many really are a snapshot of the times....the TV, the kitchen, scones...great stuff!

Uncle Billy was John's Dad's brother...my Uncle Doug.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Murals in Victoria

I was downtown yesterday and I don't believe I had seen these murals before. They really brought back memories of the 50's and my parents. My Dad always wore a hat like that and an overcoat and my mom had hats like the woman is wearing.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

We're all in this economy together

re: Occupy Movement

A rant from a talk show host seems to be making the rounds. It has a certain cleverness but I think a more thoughtful response such as the following is more helpful.

We're all in this economy together