My Favourite Movies of 2011

December 29, 2011 § 2 Comments

I just got the chance to see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo this afternoon, and after confirming that it was in fact as fantastic as it looked, I can post my last Best Of List for 2011! So here we go, in no official order, my favourite movies of 2011:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Fantastic, dark, intelligent and appropriately violent! David Fincher did a great job turning this book into a movie. He makes the lead character, Lisbeth Salander, more instantly likable than the books did and cut out some of the unnecessary meanderings of the novels. I hope he makes the other two. Until then, I’ll be waiting anxiously.

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2

My favourite book-to-movie series every, the 10-year Harry Potter movie theatre reign came to a bittersweet end this year. Bittersweet because the last two movies were great, but now there’s no more to look forward to! However, I did take solace in knowing they were all made well and that I never lost interest. Thanks for everything, Harry!

Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen’s love letter to Paris in the form of a film was the final push Nick and I needed to decide to visit the city this summer. The movie tells a funny and unique story while at the same time showcasing legendary writers and featuring gorgeous Parisian landmarks. What’s not to like?

Beginners

Funny, sad, and beautiful all at the same time.

Bridesmaids

Just plain funny.

Bill Cunningham: New York

A must-see documentary for any lover of New York or fashion. The 82 year-old New York Times fashion photographer leads a simple, yet full life specializing in candid and street photography and scoots around Manhattan on his bicycle.

What was your favourite movie this year? Did I miss anything great?

See also:

My Favourite Records of 2011

My Favourite Books of 2011

My Favourite TV Shows of 2011

My Favourite Books of 2011

December 16, 2011 § 3 Comments

The year-end best of lists continue with My Favourite Books of 2011. Sure, most of these books didn’t come out this year, but these are the best books I’ve read the past 12 months.

In The Woods – Tana French

I almost picked up this book so many times, just because of the cover art, but didn’t actually read it until last month when someone from my favourite book store recommended it. Great Irish mystery, impressive character development, and not at all cheesy. Now I’m reading the second book in the set, The Likeness.

Bossypants – Tina Fey

Tina Fey is a comical genius. I mean, her sense of humour is perfect! While reading this book, I felt like I was hanging out with her and she was regaling me with the funny stories of her life. The only problem: it’s not long enough. Fingers crossed for a second book!

Just Kids – Patti Smith

Patti Smith’s memoir “Just Kids” was my favorite Summer read.  I’d sit on my balcony with a beer or glass of wine, and imagine what it would be like to come to New York with nothing in the ’60s then end up meeting and befriending some of the most influential musicians, artists, and poets in America at the time, possibly of all time. Now it’s becoming a movie!

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series – Stieg Larsson

Initially, I wrote off this novel series because I thought it was just silly airport reading. Now I know that sometimes books are popular for a reason! Although it takes a minute to get into the story and it’s often times hard to keep all the characters straight, it’s a heavy, entertaining, dark read. My favourite book was definitely the second, The Girl Who Played With Fire.

The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown

Again, many book snobs would snicker at a Dan Brown novel, but this book was great. My husband’s a big fan and convinced me to read it after he enjoyed it. Great story, and you gotta love Robert Langdon (or as we all know we picture in our heads now, Tom Hanks).

What was your favourite read of 2011? I need some recommendations for 2012!

Rainy Day Comfort

November 16, 2011 § 2 Comments

On a rainy day like today in Brooklyn, I love to work with the windows open. I alternate between listening to moody music like Radiohead and Hayden and just listening to the rain. I also usually feel like either watching one of my favourite movies (maybe Harry Potter or Lost in Translation) or reading on the couch.

Wouldn’t it be nice to do one or the other wrapped up in this Wrap Hoodie Robe while wearing these Cashmere Slippers?

Both from Journelle.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

October 21, 2011 § 4 Comments

After reading her funny quips on Twitter and her hilarious recent New Yorker article, I have a feeling that Mindy Kaling’s new book will be the solution to “Bossypants” being too short.

Here’s the description:

Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”

Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

What do you guys think? I love me a good slightly-neurotic, sarcastic, and funny read, especially when it’s by a lady! Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) will be released November 1.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

September 23, 2011 § 2 Comments

Have you read any of what I like to call “The Girl with the stuff” books? I was hesitant to read them at first – the way you sometimes avoid books you only see for sale at magazine stands in airports – but I started borrowing them from my Mom and am now reading the third and final novel. They’re actually very well-told, incredibly-detailed stories with a great foreign twist. The second book, The Girl who Played with Fire, was my favourite. I read all 700+ pages over the course of our European vacation.

Now, there’s an American version of the first book directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara. (Rooney played Mark Zuckerberg‘s girlfriend in the beginning of The Social Network – I barely recognized her!) Another tie to Fincher’s last film is that the soundtrack is once again composed by Trent Reznor.

The trailer looks great to me! Will you see it? Will you read the book first?

[via Metal Sucks]

It’s almost time

August 17, 2011 § 2 Comments

One week til Europe! What have I done to prepare, you may ask? I bought a few Paris guidebooks and read one cover to cover. I highlighted all the things and places that sounded interesting and once I was finished the book, I went back and put all my markers into a Word document, sorted by neighborhood (or arrondissement). Then I created a day to day schedule and put the most interesting must-sees into the time we had available. The result is a realistic, but adventure-filled week in Paris!

I will surely have much more detail for you once I experience it firsthand, but here are a few things I’m looking forward to.

The Eiffel Tower – open daily 9:00am – 12:45am. We plan on visiting somewhere between sunset and nighttime.

Champs de Mars – the gorgeous public park by the Eiffel Tower.

Louvre – We already have an entire day set aside to spend at one of the world’s largest, most incredible museums. Nick is ready to nerd out, Da Vinci Code style.

Les Deux Magots Cafe – a famous cafe in St-Germain where the intellectual and artistic legends of yore used to meet. Among them, Hemingway and Picasso.

{image source}

Deyrolle – “The strangest shop in all of Paris” sounds like a taxidermy zoo!

Grande Galerie de l’Evolution – The story of evolution told with real stuffed animals. Yes, we love animals, alive or dead.

Panthéon – An important architectural icon built slowly throughout the late 1700s.

{image source}

Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore – Established by a woman from New Jersey in 1919, this bookstore was a gathering place for writers like James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, and William S. Burroughs. Just looking at this picture sends me to a happy place.

Auberge Nicolas Flamel – His name will sound familiar to my fellow Harry Potter fans, but maybe like me, you didn’t think he was real. Wrong – Flamel was the most successful of European chemists and, as legend has it, he created the Philosopher’s Stone, which turns lead into gold and can grant immortality. His house is the oldest in Paris, built in 1407, and is now a restaurant.

Hôtels particuliers (mansions) – Apparently Le Marais is full of beautiful old mansions, bursting with history. We will find them!

I have many more items on my agenda, but I won’t give them all away just yet. Stay tuned for full coverage upon my return in September!

Have you ever been to Paris? What were your favorite things to do or see?

{photos above from Pinterest, unless stated otherwise}

Just Kids

August 16, 2011 § 1 Comment

Patti Smith’s memoir “Just Kids” has been my favorite Summer read. I’ve been taking my time with it, reading it on nights that I have nothing planned or Nick isn’t home. I sit on my balcony with a beer or glass of wine, and imagine what it would be like to come to New York with nothing in the ’60s then end up meeting and befriending some of the most influential musicians, artists, and poets in America at the time, possibly of all time.

Although I must admit I’m not a big Patti Smith fan musically, she seems like such a wonderful, adventurous, and genuine person through her book. A true bohemian. That’s why I was intrigued to hear this morning that she has begun to work with Tony award winning playwright John Logan on a film adaptation of “Just Kids”. If the casting is done well, I think it could be a great film. Just please don’t let them cast Kristen Stewart as Patti!

What’s your favorite read this Summer?

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

August 10, 2011 § 2 Comments

A favourite among readers since it was released in 2005, Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has been made into a movie and now even has a release date! It’ll have a limited run in theatres on December 25, 2011 and will start showing nation-wide on January 20, 2012. The movie stars big names like Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, and John Goodman and coincidentally (or maybe not so much) will be released just in time to be considered for the next Academy Awards.

Although it’s been a few years now since I’ve read the book, I remember loving it. Set in New York following September 11th, Oskar Schell – an incredibly endearing nine year-old – is convinced that his father who died in the attacks left a message for him hidden somewhere in the city, after finding a mysterious key.

I’ll definitely be re-reading it before the movie comes out. What about you?

[First image from the movie, above: Collider]

Goodnight Keith Moon

August 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

Who doesn’t remember the sweet, simple children’s book Goodnight Moon? Well, apparently we’re all grown up and ready for the creepier, rock & roll version of the classic – Goodnight Keith Moon.

The parody hits the nail right on the head with the illustrations and prose, but with a few major differences. Mainly, that the story is centered around the deceased former drummer of The Who.

What do you think? Would you read it to your kids to teach them about classic rock while at the same time, warning against the hazards of drugs & alcohol? It could end up being more educational than the original book.

Read the entire book here and if you like it, it’s in stores now!

Rockstars who look like Wizards

August 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

Rolling Stone Magazine has a hilarious piece on their website right now entitled “Rockstars who look like Wizards” in which a variety of famous musicians are photoshopped into Harry Potter characters. The similarities are amazing, minus a few who may have just been included to stay relevant *cough* Gaga, Bieber *cough*.

See the rest here.

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