Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Book or Movie? Woman In Black

Which version is best - book or movie?

After reading The Woman In Black by Susan Hill last week (check out the review here), the Semi-BFF and I finally went to see the movie version.  The movie is WAY different than the book.  Same characters, same general idea, but completely different execution of plot.

I found the movie to have more of a scare factor (I may have almost dropped my popcorn once or twice, which would have brought tears to my eyes), but obviously it's a lot easier to jolt someone watching a movie than when reading.  And the ending of the movie got a little .. hokey.

So, the verdict - while the jolts of fear during the movie were welcomed, the story itself was much more chilling on paper.  This one goes to the book version!

Did you see the movie, read the book or both?  What did you think?

Thursday, 23 February 2012

What's Next? Outpost by Adam Baker

I've been reading so many Chick Lit titles lately, and I'm not sure why.  Don't get me wrong, I love romances, happy endings (both in books and in ... life.  Thought I was gonna go there, didn't you?), sexy heroes and realistic, ballsy, sarcastic heroines.

But sometimes a girl just needs a good World Is Ending is book, and sometimes the urge for a good Zombie book is so strong that it eclipses everything else around it.  Outpost by Adam Baker has been staring at me for weeks, begging me to devour it.

That's where I am in my life right now - a stranger in a new city, overwhelmed and under prepared, and in dire need of zombies to take my mind off of everything.  No wonder my therapist charges so much.

The last zombie book I read was Rihannon Frater's The First Days, and it blew my mind (Seriously.  Mind still blown), and may have ruined any chance of other books in the genre coming even close to leaving a lasting impression.

My fingers are crossed for you, Outpost.  My fingers are crossed.

They took the job to escape the world
                                          They didn't expect the world to end.

Kasker Rampart: a derelict refinery platform moored in the Arctic Ocean. A skeleton crew of fifteen fight boredom and despair as they wait for a relief ship to take them home. But the world beyond their frozen wasteland has gone to hell. Cities lie ravaged by a global pandemic. One by one TV channels die, replaced by silent wavebands. The Rampart crew are marooned. They must survive the long Arctic winter, then make their way home alone. They battle starvation and hypothermia, unaware that the deadly contagion that has devastated the world is heading their way..

Review: The Woman In Black (book) - Susan Hill

Published by Vintage
Originally published in 1983

It's hard for me to find a book or movie that will actually scare me.  I guess when you catch your husband naked, with a naked woman you've never seen before, and subsequently have to spend the winter in a cabin in the woods miles from civilization (I'm only slightly exaggerating, but I'll let you ponder which part), not much can match the jolt of fear I've already experienced.

The Woman in Black was originally published in 1983, but as you probably know, has been made into a movie with Daniel Radcliffe (You can check out the trailer in my pre-review here).   At only 160 pages, the book is more novella than novel, and I'm interested to see how they extend the story for the movie.

The writing in this book had a lyrical, soothing quality to it, which was a fantastic balance to a creepy story that unfolded slowly.  The setting was described perfectly, and was almost a story in itself - which is rare for me to say, because I'm usually all about the plot itself, and tend to hate drawn out setting details (The Night Circus, I'm looking at you!).

The story was creepy, and sad, but unfortunately, it didn't give me the actual scare that I was looking for (cut me some slack, I have no life, I need to get my thrills from somewhere other than drunkenly posting on Craigslist).  Not to give anything away, but the part with the dog in the marsh?  That part scared me the most, in more than one way!

I found the ending to be a little predictable, but all in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Even though it was missing the scare-the-crap-out-of-me factor I was looking for, it was still a haunting and emotional read that stayed with me long after I devoured it's few pages.

I can definitely see why it was made into a movie, and I can't wait to see if it's as chilling as the original story.

Speaking of chilling, it's Shamrock Shake season.  Just thought I'd put that out there.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Fixing Yourself Without Whiskey #1 - VOTING

Let's be honest - we all at least browse the 'Self Help' section once in awhile, don't we?  While I don't usually read any of the books (I prefer to self medicate with sarcasm, bitterness and whiskey - which means  I'm clearly perfectly fine), some of the titles look interesting.  Some even look ... helpful.  Huh.  Whoddathunk it?

While browsing the section recently, and making snarky inner comments about the book in my hand (I can't remember what it was, but it might have been The Secret), I realized that what the Self Help section (actually called "Relationships & Well Being" now, to make us feel less broken, I'm sure) needs is someone to tell you if it's bullshit or not.

I'm about as broken as they come - I'm not even divorced yet, I'm in my thirties, I miss my no-good ex husband, I eat too much Taco Bell, I just spent the last eight months living on my parents pull out couch, and I don't understand why I can't just drown my sorrows by either drinking too much Jack or sleeping with too many Jacks.  I, my friends, am the Relationship & Well Being prime demographic.  

Welcome to the newest monthly feature of Whiskey and Books - Fixing Yourself Without Whiskey.

I've narrowed the choices for the March pick down to three titles.  You need to VOTE for which one you want me to be the guinea pig for!  I'll spend March reading it, while giving weekly updates, and an overall experience review at the end of the month.  Voting ends in only a week, and only votes on the soon to be posted widget on the side of the blog or comments on this post count.  


From the publisher:

Discover the thirty-day -ing Equation to sharpen your intuitive senses and activate untapped inspirations!
Lots of people are selling "happiness" these days, but in her hip self-transformation book, Add More -ing to Your Life, motivational speaker and life coach Gabrielle Bernstein truly shows you how to make happiness a way of life by accessing your -ing—your Inner Guide. In her thirty-day -ing Equation, Gabrielle will show you how to bulldoze negative thought patterns and create personal change through positive affirmations, physical activity, and visualization meditations. Get prepared to change your life by accessing a state of "flow" to help you connect with your -ing. You'll release your negativity and choose happiness!

(I'm already rolling my eyes at the Ing gimmick)

From the publisher:
You've heard the expression, "It's the little things that count." Research has shown that little daily practices can change the way your brain works, too. This book offers simple brain-training practices you can do every day to protect against stress, lift your mood, and find greater emotional resilience. Just One Thing is a treasure chest of over fifty practices created specifically to deepen your sense of well-being and unconditional happiness. Just one practice each day can help you: Be good to yourself - Enjoy life as it is - Build on your strengths - Be more effective at home and work - Make peace with your emotions.

(Do I need to mention what other "one thing" helps?  There's actually a few.  Sex.  Whiskey.  Snark. )

From the publisher:

In many areas women have earned the equality we’ve been fighting for. We’ve broken through glass ceilings and achieved great success. We’ve shown that we can prosper by our own means. And we’ve become influential, respected leaders. Yet many of us find ourselves unhappy, anxious, overwhelmed. Where’s the pot of gold at the end of our “I can do it just like a man” rainbow?

The problem is that while we can be as successful as a man, we don’t get there through a masculine approach. Being a “damsel in distress” is not the way to make your dreams come true, but neither is being the hyper-aggressive Alpha Bitch.In this groundbreaking book, transformation leaders Christy Whitman and Rebecca Grado reveal how when women try to claim power through a forceful “take no prisoners” approach it ultimately works against us and undermines our best efforts to create the life of our dreams. In fact, wielding Alpha Bitch force is ironically disempowering, because it introduces conflict, struggle, and competition into our personal and professional relationships, blocking women from creating the life we desire.How do you change from being a controlling, competitive, and disruptive Alpha Bitch to being an Empowered Female who is allowing, collaborative, and balanced? 
Enter the Laws of the Universe: 
The Law of Attraction
The Law of Allowing
The Law of Pure Potentiality
The Law of Oneness
The Law of Balance and Harmony
The Law of Sufficiency and Abundance
Taming Your Alpha Bitch will show you how to use these laws to create freedom, joy, and abundance in your life. By using this knowledge, you put yourself in the ideal position for attracting those things you want with ease and effortlessness, not struggle and pain.

(I'm what I liked to call an introverted Alpha.  Figure that one out)

So - what'll it be, folks?  Remember to comment to this post or vote on the widget to the side, and HURRY UP because voting on how to fix my issues ends next Wednesday February 22.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

What's Next? The Woman In Back by Susan Hill

Since I've been talking a lot lately about What Comes First: The Book, The movie, Or My Ex-Husband, I thought I'd keep on going in that direction with the next pick.

It's Valentine's Day, or, as I renamed it this year, Whiskey Day. Also known as the day before the good chocolate goes to half price, also known as the week before the good chocolate goes to 75% off, also known as the day I watched 5 horror movies in a row, ate taco bell, and passed out while watching The Bodyguard and crying my eyes out into my fries supreme.

The Woman In Black by Susan Hill (first published in the early 80's, I do believe) is being released on the big screen this week, starring none other than a very grown up Daniel Radcliffe. Luckily for me, I never watched any of the Harry Potter movies, so seeing him as a different and much more serious character won't be that much of a shock. It's almost like I'll be able to judge him without any HP bias.

Here's the thing with horror movies - most of them disappoint the crap out of me. I guess when you live in a cabin in the woods in the middle of nowhere your imagination has already run pretty rampant at every little noise and creak in the dark woods surrounding you, and someone else's idea of scary doesn;t come close to the real thing.

So, what do you think? Will the book scare me? Will the movie? Will I finally understand the obsession with Daniel after seeing him in this movie?

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Coffee & Conversation

I try really, really hard to read the book before I see the movie. If I've just realized it was a book as the movie was being released (Looking at you, Stephanie Plum!), I'll usually force myself to power-read the book before heading to the theatre.

One For The Money was released a few weeks ago, and although I had read the book just in time for the movie, between moving and work and then unpacking, I haven't had a chance to catch the film.  Was it as funny as the book?

What about you - do you have to read the book version first, or does it matter what comes first?

(Just had to refrain myself from making a tasteless and sarcastic joke over that last phrase, but I'm trying to be an adult.  I will, however, tell you that the joke involved my ex husband.  It's not like many ex-husbands are good for anything other than tasteless jokes, amIright?  And learning experiences, of course, they're good for that.  Like learning not to marry the guy that cheats on you.  Or the guy that doesn't pay attention to you, or whose family hates you, or the guy who comes first. )


Tuesday, 7 February 2012

I'm not dead - I moved.

And of course, I can't find my laptop that had my two latest reviews on it.  Seriously.  How does someone lose a laptop?

I promise I'll have things back to "normal" soon.  Once I find my laptop.  And my second iPhone charger.  And my tv remote.  Oh, and let's not talk about the issues I'm having getting this Ikea bed together - here's a hint:  I've been here one week and am so far only on step 10 of 41 in the stick figure directions.

I've also made no friends as of yet, but that's probably because my dog got into a fight with the neighbours dog, and then I got the buildings free cable cut off.  Whoops.

In the meantime, while I attempt to put my sanity together over here, watch this super cute video of a snoring hibernating mouse.