Jessica Day George

Monday, August 15, 2005

Jessica STRONGLY recommends. . . .

The Dogs of Babel, by Carolyn Parkhurst. Although not for the more tender-hearted dog-lovers. My sister, the Dog Whisperer, for instance. It's a wonderful book, though, the story of a linguistics professor who, after the sudden death of his tempestuous wife, tries to teach their dog to talk. The dog is the only witness to Lexy's death, and Paul is determined to find out if it was suicide or an accident. As he works with the dog, Lorelei, he reflects back on the heart-breaking and heart-warming milestones in his marriage: how they met, their first date, first fights, everyday moments. But he also runs afoul of other people who want to teach dogs to talk, and their methods are vastly different from Paul's encouraging and treat-giving ways. This is where it gets a bit harrowing, but the ending was wonderful. Well, as wonderful as a book about death and grieving and depression can be. I really recommend this one, though.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Thackery T. Lambshead

Have just started reading the hysterically funny : Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases. My personal favorite: Bone Leprosy. Also started The Dogs of Babel, by Carolyn Parkhurst, and I can't put that down either. I have a book in each hand, basically.

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Manchurian Candidate

An enjoyable film. Denzel Washington got over his inherent Denzel Washington-ness. And Liev Schrieber was excellent. But I still prefer the good ol' Frank Sinatra-Angela Lansbury version. Raymond, why don't you play a game of solitaire?

Monday, August 1, 2005

Jessica recommends:

". . . And Ladies of the Club" the title deeply irritates my husband, because of the punctuation. I can look beyond those things, to what is one of the finest novels I had read in a long time. It's a wonderful story of a small town over four generations (and 1400 pages). Also, I really like to say the author's name: Helen Hooven Santmyer. It's the 'Hooven' that gets me.

I also recommend Sarah Vowell's "Take the Cannoli". Vowell was the voice of Violet in "The Incredibles" and is an NPR music reviewer. She has a sly, dry wit and is hilarious. Rather like a female Dave Sedaris.

And in movies: Constantine was wonderful. Beyond the Sea was great for Spacey's singing, but rather confusing narration-wise. And Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was simply sublime. "Daddy, I want another pony."