Thursday, June 21, 2007

Bridget Jones's Diary

Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

Description: (From Books in Print)
Meet Bridget Jones-a 30-something Singleton who is certain she would have all the answers if she could: a. lose 7 pounds b. stop smoking c. develop Inner Poise "129 lbs. (how is it possible to put on 4 pounds in the middle of the night? Could flesh have somehow solidified becoming denser and heavier? Repulsive, horrifying notion), alcohol units 4 (excellent), cigarettes 21 (poor but will give up totally tomorrow), number of correct lottery numbers 2 (better, but nevertheless useless)..." Bridget Jones's Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud daily chronicle of Bridget's permanent, doomed quest for self-improvement-a year in which she resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult-and learn to program the VCR. Over the course of the year, Bridget loses a total of 72 pounds but gains a total of 74. She remains, however, optimistic. Through it all, Bridget will have you helpless with laughter, and-like millions of readers the world round-you'll find yourself shouting, "Bridget Jones is me!"

Review: After hearing so many good things about this book, I had to check it out for myself. I guess I am still feeling a little divided as to how I really felt about his book. I mean, I found it enjoyable; however, I feel it was hyped up a bit too much. The story is basically Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen modernized. Yes, there were parts of the book that made me laugh out loud, but all in all I think it was just okay.

Score: 3.5 out of 5

Movie Connection: Sharon Maguire brought this book to the big screen in 2001. I thought the movie was really cute and definityly worth a look at. A funny little tidbit is that in the book, there is some comparison of the character Mark Darcy to Mr. Darcy (from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice). This movie stars Colin Firth as Mark Darcy and he also played Mr. Darcy in the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice.

Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 1

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 1 by Alan Moore

Description: (Back of Book) London, 1898. The Victorina Era draws to a close and the twentieth century approaches. Its is a time of great change and an age of stagnation, a period of chaste order and ignoble chaoes. It is an era in need of champions.

Allan Quartermain, Captain Nemo, Hawley Griffin, Dr. Henry Jekyll, Mr. Edward Hyde, and Mina Murray are those champions and together they compromise the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Recruited by the enigmatic Campion Bond, under orders from the mysterious "M," these six adventurers are pressed into service by their empire in its time of need. Now they must face the nefarious Doctor and his vile plan for world domination. But things are not entirely as they seem; other factors, cryptic and corpuscular, are also at play. A remarkable drama ensues.

Review: After seeing the movie, I discovered that the story was actually a graphic novel. I finally got my hands on a copy. As usual, I liked the original material much better. I really enjoyed the novel and thought the story was very interesting. I also like the concept of different literary figures coming together to help solve a mystery. This is an adult novel, with adult concepts, so I would not recommend it to younger readers. If the story sounds interesting and you definitely should pick up a copy.

Score: 4 out of 5

Movie Connections: Stephen Norrington brought the story to the big screen. The main story was somewhat altered a bit, but was still entertaining. After reading the novel, I am not sure I like the adaptation as much as I did before. But that is more of a problem with the screenplay than the movie itself. The movie itself was okay but nothing mindblowing.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)

Case Closed, Volume 1

Case Closed, Volume 1 by Gosho Aoyama

Description: Precocious high school student Jimmy Kudo uses his keen powers of observation and astute intuition to solve mysteries that have left law enforcement officials baffled. Hot on the trail of a suspect, Jimmy is accosted from behind and fed a strange chemical which physically transforms him into a grade schooler! Taking on the pseudonym Conan Edogawa, he attempts to track down the people who did this to him. But until he finds a cure for his bizarre condition, Jimmy continues to help the police solve their toughest cases.

Review: What a great combination of mysteries and Manga. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will continue to read the rest of the series. I really liked the illustrations as well. If you want to get into reading some Manga, I would recommend this series.

Score: 4 out of 5

Movie Connections: Well, actually TV connections. There is an anime that I originally saw that got me interested in reading the series. Its called Meitantei Conan (1996). I really enjoyed it and if you are really interested in the story, you should definitely check it out.

The Outlandish Companion

The Outlandish Companion by Diana Gabaldon

Description: (Book Sleeve) Now Diana Gabaldon has written the ultimate companion guide to her bestselling series, the book only she could write - a beautifully illustrated compendium of all things Outlandish. As a special bonus for those who are eagerly awaiting the next appearance of Jamie and Claire, she includes never-before-published excerpts from upcoming works in the series. And there's lots more in this lavish keepsake volume for the many devoted fans who yearn to learn the stories behind the stories.

Review: Perhaps you have to be a hardcore fan to really appreciate this tome. I did find some of the information interesting, but just skimmed the majority of the book. Part of the problem for me is that I've actually seen and met Gabaldon so I already knew much of this information. Also, it only covers part of the series, so now some of it is null and void. It was really great of her to put this together. If you really want to get into her mind, this is the book for you. I think she should have waiting until she was done with the entire series before putting something like this out. However, if you are just like to read her books but aren't a hardcore Outlander fan, this book is really not for you.

Score: 3 out of 5

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


300 by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley

Description: (Back of Book) The army of Persia - a force so vast it shakes the earth with its march - is poised to crush Greece, an island of reason and freedom in a sea of mysticism and tyranny.
Standing between Greece and this tidal wave of destruction is a tiny detachment of but three hundred warriors.

But these warriors are more than men... they are SPARTANS.

Review: What a beautifully violent book. The images inside are just awesome. Granted there isn't much to read, but so much more to look at. I was just blown away by the imagery. Very well done indeed.

Score: 4.5 out of 5

Movie Connection: Zack Snyder (a fellow Wisconsinite) brought this graphic novel to life on the big screen in 2006. It is such an awesome and visually stunning movie. After viewing the movie repeatedly (hey, its a favorite of mine), I decided to get a copy of the book. What I find to be so interesting is how the movie is literally a moving picture of the book. Most of the scenes from the book are brought to life. I thought it was very well done.