Posts Tagged ‘drama’

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Yesterday, I finished reading a book that can only be described as disappointing for me. The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy is one of those books that I can certainly see the merit for, but can’t fully grasp.

After reading Conroy’s latest novel, South of Broad, I was intrigued to go furthur with the author. His expertise in writing exceeded many authors I had read before and he really knew how to drag me into the story. As for The Water is Wide, I was only dragged slightly and tried to escape several times.

The book is a memoir. It’s a look back on a year’s worth of teaching Conroy did on a small island called Yamacraw. All the children he meets when he gets to the island are so cut off from the outside world that he must teach them simple things just to give them a broad understanding of life. Some of the children don’t even know how to read; many cannot write.

Throughout the book, there are a lot of political issues that arise between the schoolboard officials, Conroy, and the other parents and teachers on the island. In fact, I’d say most of the book deals with those issues. Of course, one of the main areas of focus is the racial difference between whites and blacks. At first, most of the parents and teachers on the island are leary of a white schoolteacher, but then they eventually grow comfortable with Conroy.

I wished he would have spent more time on his dealings with the students instead of the political situation on the island. The occasions that he did talk about the children were too few, but very entertaining. Over the course of his year there, he was able to take the children off the island at least three times and expose them to the world. It was interesting to hear about their reactions.

Overall, this book is definitely a must read for anyone who wants to be a teacher. I can understand why so many college professors often use this book in their classes. It gives you a different view of teaching, lent to the fact that Conroy taught in such an extreme environment with children who had no previous exposure to much of the real world.

But as for me, it was too longwinded. Maybe the next Conroy novel I read will be better?

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

What’s my latest guilty pleasure? Well, that’d have to be Dexter, the wonderfully grotesque Showtime drama about a forensics expert who doubles as a serial killer while no one is watching.

I can’t lie to you — because it’s winter, I am going into hibernation mode. While I am camped out in my warm winter den (aka my bedroom), I have spent much time watching the show. But I have merely been catching up…I just started watching it three weeks ago.

The show has been grabbing the attention of some Hollywood related people as well. Today, Michael C. Hall, our loveable serial killer, received a Golden Globe for best actor in a tv drama. Also, John Lithgow was awarded a Golden Globe for best supporting actor in the show.

According to the Associated Press, Lithgow said, “”I’ve had the most wonderful time creeping out the entire country for the last six months.”

Indeed, the show is creepy. Some people may find themselves grossed out, but unable to look away, while others may find the show’s concept utterly disgusting and refuse to watch. I’m in the first category….and looking forward to season 5 of the serial killer everyone loves.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Today I am going to post a blog about one of my guilty pleasures. So don’t judge me, okay?

The third book in the Inheritance Cycle is the best yet! Photo from alagaesia.com.

The third book in the Inheritance Cycle is the best yet! Photo from alagaesia.com.

I have read the first two books in the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. I am just about to finish the third. You may know each individual books by their true names: Eragon, Eldest, and Brisingr.

If you’re thinking of the movie Eragon right now, STOP IT. It was horrible and didn’t live up to the book at all. Seriously guys, read the book. You’ll be hooked on this stuff. It’s technically a children’s literature adventure series, but, like Harry Potter, many adults are now reading it.

Paolini weaves a web of a distant land called Alagaesia, in which dwarves, elves, and humans all live together in sometimes not-so-perfect harmony. Of course, all this comes after the main character, Eragon, finds a dragon egg in the middle of the forest. Little does he know, it holds his destiny. 

So now, three books later, I’m still just as engrossed as I was in the first novel. There are intense battle scenes, colorful characters, and a fantasy world that has sucked me in. Sometimes I even daydream of riding on a dragon…

But here is my beef. The fourth and final book in the series does not have a release date. It doesn’t even have a title or book cover yet. So what I’m thinking is that it won’t come out until some time next year when all the information I’ve read has been lost inside my jumbled brain.

Come on Chris, chop chop! I need to know what happens at the end of the series! The only consolation is that he usually provides you with a little synopsis at the beginning of each novel to let you know what already happened in previous books. Looks like I’m going to have to rely on that!

The most interesting that about the series is that Paolini might well be a genius. He finished writing the first book, Eragon, when he was only fifteen years old. So young for a 760 page book. Kudos, Chris.

You can find out information about the series, the author, and what is to come at Alagaesia.com. But keep in mind that they’re not giving away too much about the series. Brisingr!

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Every time I see a commercial for Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie, Inglourious Basterds, they make a point of showing the same thing: Brad Pitt and ‘killin’ nazis.’ Well, if that doesn’t spark interest, then I don’t know what does.

Brad Pitt addresses his troops in Inglourious Basterds. Photo from sanfranciscosentinel.com.

Brad Pitt addresses his troops in Inglourious Basterds. Photo from sanfranciscosentinel.com.

The movie will open in theaters this week (August 21 to be exact) and I have a feeling that audiences won’t be let down. The cast of this movie, let alone the director, will draw in large crowds for sure.

Brad Pitt. He’s manly, dirty, and wants to kill nazis. It seems to be his whole reason for living — judging from the trailers I’ve watched.  Nonetheless, whatever this actor does always turns out big. He has the incredible talent to pull this off with ease, as he does in many of his other serious roles. At first, I was a little unsure of how he might fit into this movie, but after seeing a little bit more of the previews, my mind has changed.

Mike Myers. Okay, he’s not really suited for such a serious role, is he? He plays a British general. We’ll just have to wait and see how that one turns out.

And of course, anything directed by Quentin Tarantino really gets people to the movie theaters. He’s got such a way of looking at his movies through a camera that many directors lack. He may act like an inglourious basterd sometimes, but the man has talent.

Watch a behind the scenes video “How to Become a Basterd” and meet the cast.

That should hold you over until Friday.

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