It's been good books, brutal TV, Harry Potter and good folk music around here lately. Last week I downloaded The Time Traveler's Wife from audible.com after seeing a movie preview when we went to Transformers 2 (I think they were targeting the "payback date" crossover demographic). Right now it's going to be really tough to finish the book before going to the movie, because if the movie is even half as good as the book it'll be the best film we see this year. Wow - this is some novel I'm hearing as I run/drive/work around the house. Highly recommended.
I finished So Brave, Young and Handsome by Leif Enger last week, and if you haven't tried Enger's work yet, you're also missing a treat. His debut novel was Peace Like A River, and I'd put him in the same realm as Marilynne Robinson or Norman Maclean - northern U.S. writers who compose somewhat episodic, really well-written prose that draws heavily on character. Enger's second novel, like his first, is a journey novel - one hopes that he'll stay put sometime in the future, but we'll just have to wait and see.
In preparation for the season premiere of Sons of Anarchy, I've been watching last season on DVR to refresh myself on what happened, especially the first couple of episodes, which I missed the first time around. This is some good television, even if it's violent, vulgar, and certainly not for anyone too young to vote. If you haven't seen the commercials for the season premiere, you should watch for it - one of the most terrifying commercials I've ever seen. Let's just say that Ron Perlman is a lot scarier as the leader of a motorcycle gang than he ever hoped to be as Hellboy.
And in a few weeks, lots of folks will be headed 'up north' for Storyhill Fest Midwest. Unfortunately, we'll miss the event - the first few weeks of the semester are too valuable for campus ministry for me to take even a weekend away. But if you like camping, folk music and hanging out with laid-back, fun folks, you should definitely take a look at heading to this festival. Also, for those of you in the Twin Cities neighborhood, Storyhill will be performing at the Great Minnesota Get-together, the State Fair, September 2-3 (I think).
Last week, while enjoying our first overnight getaway without the girls, we watched the movie "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." Let's just say that as funny as Judd Apatow's "40 Year-Old Virgin" and "Knocked Up" might have been, "FSM" is just not a date movie. It was, frankly, more uncomfortable than humorous, and this might be our last Apatow flick for a while, even if it was written and directed by others. Just not our style, frankly; take that for what you think it's worth.
Beloved is trying hard to understand Harry Potter better without reading the books. Dyslexia means that several thousand pages of reading just isn't an option, unfortunately, nor is audiobooks as she's rarely in a spot where she can listen (and she's not interested in purchasing any kind of iPod or mp3 player). So, we've been spending our evenings watching the movies. Tonight we start "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" - should be fun all over again. Maybe we'll just have to go see "Half-Blood Prince" again when it hits the cheap theater!
That's the roundup this week.
Grace & peace,