Movie Review: Persepolis

persepolis
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Originally released: 2007

What it’s about: Illustrator Satrapi’s childhood in and out of Iran during and just after the revolution.

What made me pick it up: I had read Persepolis and Persepolis 2, graphic novels by Satrapi, and was curious to see how they had been turned into a film.

My favorite parts: This was a very faithful retelling of Satrapi’s graphic novels, with pieces moved around in just the right way to tell it visually without it being dryly chronological. I actually think her illustrations work better as animations so I highly enjoyed the movie. It is in French as well (with English subtitles), so Francophiles can rejoice!

Who it’s great for: Readers of Satrapi’s books. Anyone interested in Iran, especially during the revolution and its aftermath.

Erica’s rating: four-shells


Get a copy of this movie on Amazon or from your local library.


 

Charlottesville

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Image created by beloved Charlottesville store Rock Paper Scissors. Learn more at: https://www.thinkrpscville.com/

As we all begin to move forward after the horrendous Charlottesville violence of August 12, Abby and I thought we would share some books that might make for good reading to further inform on issues of racial and social justice.

Books We Have Reviewed Before
Miss Crandall’s School for Young Ladies and Little Misses of Color by Marilyn Nelson
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Freedom Over Me by Ashley Bryan
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham
Stamped From The Beginning by Ibram Kendi
March (series) by John Lewis

Other Titles We Recommend
The Youngest Marcher by Cynthia Levinson
Voice of Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford
The Crunk Feminist Collection by Brittney Cooper
Hidden Figures by Margot Slatterly
Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Homegoing by Yaa Gayasi
Tears We Cannot Stop by Michael Eric Dyson
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America by Kiese Laymon

Enjoy these books and pursue other reading that opens you up to new ideas and the experience of people different than you. Most importantly going forward, treat each other with understanding, kindness, and love.

What Erica Has On Hold

To Download

Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper because I had someone tell me they were his favorites from childhood and I’d never heard of them.
To Provence with Love by T.A. Williams because I am all about everything France.
Swing Time by Zadie Smith because a coworker told me she thought I’d identify strongly with it.
Second Star to the Right by Mary Alice Monroe because Peter Pan.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho because my friend said she loved it and I haven’t read it.
The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande because I’m all about lists.
Give and Take by Adam Grant because it’s about giving and I’m a huge fan of Grant.
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue because Oprah said so.
My Life With Bob by Pamela Paul because book about books.
The Radium Girls by Kate Moore because women in science.
The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace because female empowerment.
The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn because Jane Austen and sci-fi.
The Liberal Redneck Manifesto by Trae Crowder because I’m curious.
The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan because I grew up a stone’s throw from Ontario and I wish we cared for these amazing ecosystems as we should.
The Rules Do No Apply by Ariel Levy
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon because movie and good press and I read The Sun Is Almost a Star and it was pretty good.
Word by Word by Kory Stamper because words.
Blockade Billy by Stephen King because it’s short and about baseball and I’ve never actually read it.

In Print

Beartown by Fredrik Backman because I like his other stuff.
Whereas by Layli Long Soldier because Native American poetry.
White Working Class by Joan C. Williams because I read White Trash and am just on a jaunt on that subject.

Picture books Blue Sky White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus, The Banana-leaf Ball by Katie Milway, This is Edinburgh by Miroslav Sasek, and Sea Otter Heroes by Patricia Newman because they looked interesting and also ‘merica, play, otters, and Scotland.

LeVar Burton Reads

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Originally published in:  2017

What it’s about: A brand new podcast featuring LeVar Burton reading short fiction.

What made me tune in: This is basically Reading Rainbow for the adults who grew up with it.

My favorite things: Primarily featuring science fiction and fantasy, Burton’s enthusiasm for the stories he reads is contagious. The voices and sound effects used in each episode are engaging and fit the stories so well that they almost go unnoticed. I love the way he takes the time to explain why he chose each story and what aspects of it he likes the best. So far, each episode has been under an hour and fits nicely into a day’s commute.

Who it’s great for: Anyone who grew up on Reading Rainbow. Fans of audiobooks looking for something shorter to try.

Abby’s rating: five-shells


Find it for free wherever you access your podcasts.


 

Whatever Happened to Interracial Love by Kathleen Collins

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Originally published in: 2016

What it’s about: A previously unpublished collection of stories by the multitalented late writer Kathleen Collins on love, family, and relationships.

What made me pick it up: I’d heard good things about the collection and it was nice and short so I knew I could get through it quickly and easily.

My favorite things: Collins seamlessly moves through different voices and perspectives, lending each an air of honesty and authenticity. Her stories sometimes heart-wrenching, sometimes mundane, but always moving

Who it’s great for: Readers looking for stories about love and relationships that don’t ignore the complexities of race, gender, class, and sexuality.

Abby’s rating: four-shells


Pick up a copy of this book at Amazon (affiliate link) or in your local library.


Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky

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Originally published in: 2016

What it’s about: Notable female scientists throughout history.

What made me pick it up: I think I saw it on Twitter. It was about women scientists and I placed a hold immediately because I immensely enjoyed Lab Girl and Headstrong. 

My favorite things: This book is like a good mixed drink: smooth, flavorful, and designed to be sipped slowly. I only read a few pages a day so I could savor the unique illustrations and layouts as well as the mostly new-to-me knowledge of these amazing scientists. The message is empowering for girls of any age and the colors are fabulous. It’d make a great gift for any young devotee of STEM in your life.

Who it’s great for: Those interested in women’s contributions to science. Readers of all ages. Fans of great illustrations. Graphic novel readers who want a nonfiction book. Girls, girls, girls.

Erica’s rating: four-and-a-half-shells


Pick up copies of the books mentioned above at Amazon using our affiliate links: Lab Girl; Headstrong; Women in Science or look for them in your local library.


 

Movie Review: A Man Called Ove

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Originally premiered in: 2016

What it’s about: A curmudgeonly old man tries to move on after losing his wife and his job in quick succession.

What made me watch it: A woman in my book club mentioned it was as good as any huge fan of the book could hope (and I am one!). When the library got a copy I checked it out.

How it stacks up to the book: This was nicely done. It was missing some of the humor that comes from the ability to hear(read) a character’s inner monologue, but still had its moments. Some plot points were rearranged and timelines were condensed, which is to be expected. Overall the characters and relationships are as crisp and powerful as they are in the book and the tugs on your heartstrings just as pronounced. I could watch it over again.

Who it’s great for: Fans of the book. Lovers of foreign films (it’s in Swedish). Viewers looking for a heartfelt story and a sincere and masterful translation from page to screen.

Erica’s rating: four-shells


Get the film or the book from Amazon (affiliate links) or check for them in your local library.


What Erica Has on Hold

To Download

And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer by Fredrik Backman because I love everything he writes.
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor because John Green recommended its sequel on Twitter.
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney because it is well reviewed.
Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosen. I don’t even remember why, but the cover is engaging.
The Nowhere Man by Greg Hurwitz which was recommended on Twitter.
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison because Junot Diaz said it was required reading.
Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life by Helen Czerski because I enjoyed Seven Brief Lessons on Physics but on audio because it turns out it’s long and this might be the only way I get through it.
Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver because it’s lovely and I didn’t finish it before my first check out expired.
You Can’t Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson because I’m on a racism reading tear.

In Print

Am I Alone Here: Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live by Peter Orner because reading.
Books for Living by Will Schwalbe because I enjoyed The End of Your Life Book Club immensely.
Go Figure: Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know from The Economist because I enjoy economics-explains-the-world books like Freakonomics.
The Private Life of Mrs Sharma by Ratika Kapur because it’s short.
Super Sushi Ramen Express by Michael Booth because I enjoyed a similar book about China.
Teacup by Rebecca Young because it was on a list of books for children about refugees.

The Liebster Award

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Thanks for the nomination, Reads & Reels. We had a lot of fun talking this out and coming up with our answers!

The Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and answer the 11 questions they’ve written for you.
  • Nominate 11 people and give them 11 different questions to answer.

Reads & Reels’ Questions:

  1. Favourite literary character, living or dead?
    Erica: Lizzie Bennett. Although Jo March is a strong runner up. I like a sassy female lead who can’t help herself and sort of doesn’t fit into society of her time. But with a happy ending.
    Abby: Okay, starting off with a tough one. There are a ton of great characters I want to list who are well written and strong and witty and that I’d definitely want on my team in the post-apocalypse. But if I’m totally honest I think there’s only one real answer: Neville Longbottom.
  2. What is your favourite book to film adaptation?
    Erica: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
    Abby: The first Hunger Games movie.
  3. Which one do you consider the worst?
    Erica: Jack Reacher. Listen, it didn’t matter who you cast, that dude needed to be 6’5” and built like a Mack Truck. They are perfectly acceptable action movies that shouldn’t have branded themselves with such a distinctive character name. I’m looking at you Tom Cruise.
    Abby: Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy. Look, this book was short and mostly fun. The movies were not. Related: I loved his Lord of the Rings adaptation.what-have-we-done-gif
  4. Any celebrity crushes? Can be a celebrity or a role or character.
    Erica: Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy (in either role) is my go-to for character. If you make me pick a celebrity it’s honestly a split between Matt Damon and Stephen Colbert.colin-firth
    Abby: John Oliver as himself. Taylor Kitsch as Tim Riggins and Michael B. Jordan as Vince Howard. Also Connie Britton as Tami Taylor. Actually, the entire Friday Night Lights cast.
  5. Favourite animated feature?
    Erica: Shrek. There are so many good ones. I especially enjoy them now that they’re adding adult humor.
    Abby: Up was so good.
  6. If you could turn any book into a videogame which one would you pick?
    Erica: Jack Reacher series or Jason Bourne series
    Abby: Maybe the Martian? It would be like those annoying farming games on Facebook a few years ago but in space and with higher stakes.
  7. Is there a film that wasn’t nominated for an oscar that you feel should have been?
    Erica: Nope.
    Abby: Nope. But I didn’t actually see any movies in theaters last year, so I’m kind of out of touch.
  8. Favourite author and/or director?
    Erica: For author, I’d have to say my favorite fiction writer is Jane Austen. For nonfiction I’d go with Malcolm Gladwell. For director I’d say Paul Greengrass.
    Abby: Margaret Atwood is probably my top pick for a favorite author. But I love Isabel Greenberg for her graphic novels. I’m not sure that I have a favorite director.
  9. Do you read entirely on an electronic device or are you a purist and love that new or old book smell?
    Erica: A little of both. I listen to books and read them on my computer (oh hey, browser streaming), have them on my phone, and also read print versions. Occasionally I’ll put them on my tablet.
    Abby: I like to mix it up. I try to keep an ebook and an audiobook on my phone at all times in case I need something to read STAT, but I definitely read more in print. I have to say, the smell of an old library book is not always the most pleasant.
  10. If you could be any member of the Justice League, who would you pick?
    Erica: Wonder Woman
    Abby: Element Girl. Full disclosure: I didn’t know who she was until Erica read the Justice League wikipedia page out loud to me. Something about using faces as ashtrays really sealed the deal.
  11. Is blogging/ writing your full-time gig or do you have a day job?
    We are both librarians full-time and blog on the side.

Our Questions:

  1. What is your favorite classic book?
  2. What is a book you started and never finished?
  3. Which book do you think should be made into a movie but hasn’t been yet?
  4. Which book did you read as a child and still list among your favorites today?
  5. Favorite book with an animal in it?
  6. What is your favorite genre and which book would you recommend from it?
  7. Is there a book that you consider required reading but haven’t read yet?
  8. Be honest, do you ever judge (or choose) a book by its cover?
  9. What is your favorite book to give as a gift or your favorite book that you’ve received as a gift?
  10. Why did you decide to become a book blogger?
  11. When was the last time you went to the library?

We Nominate:

That Wild Soul

Kelly’s Ramblings

Book Nerd Momo

Pureaders

Zezee With Books

Beverly Has Read

One Bookish Girl

Beaucoup Books Blog

Her Paper Adventure

Hiraethforthepages

Books Long Coffee Strong

 

Can’t wait to hear what you have to say!