Saturday, September 09, 2006

"The Dogs of Babel" by Carolyn Parkhurst

I am absolutely smitten with this book. Honestly, the best book I've read in a very long time.

The story is deeply moving. Paul's wife Lexy has fallen from a tree to her death, and the only witness is their dog, Lorelei. Paul is consumed with grief and confusion. Did Lexy commit suicide, or was her death an accident? Why was she in the tree? There seem to be clues everywhere, with no way of adding them up. So Paul, a linguistics professor, decides to try to teach Lorelei to speak in order to share the answers he desperately seeks.

Obviously, you'll have to suspend your disbelief, but I promise, it won't be a huge stretch. Yes, there are a couple of odd twists, including a telephone psychic. However, the richness of the story, the poetry of the tale, will hold you fast to the end. This book has earned a permanent spot on my bookshelves.

5 stars

Saturday, September 02, 2006

My boss highly encouraged me to read this book, so I gave it the old college try.

Cinematherapy lists and categorizes movies according to women's moods. For example, if your mother has done something to once again annoy you, you consult Chapter 4's "I Know She's My Mom, But She's Driving Me Nuts: Mother-Issue Movies." From there you'll know to check out the video store for such titles as The Glass Menagerie, Mommie Dearest, and that old classic Drop Dead Fred.

Speaking of classics.... The majority of the movies listed are from the '30s thru the '50s. Personally, not really interested in tons of movies from back then. But perhaps you are.

Also includes Ten Top Bodice-Ripping Lines, Stupid Guy Quotes, and a Handy Hunk Chart. Funny, though it all seems a little out of date at this point. Perhaps I should try their 2004 book, Cinematherapy for Lovers: The Girl's Guide to Finding True Love One Movie at a Time.

I have only two major gripes about this book:
1) Bridget Jones's Diary isn't mentioned even once. Of course, I then realized that the book came out before the movie, so maybe there's hope that it'll show up in one of their later books.
2) In a section called "Prepubescent Power Pics: Getting in Touch with Your Inner Grrrrl," the writers, describing Anne of Green Gables, say that orphaned Anne is taken in by "Marilla Cuthbert and her husband," meaning dear, sweet Matthew. What the? Everyone who has ever read the book or seen the movie knows that Marilla and Matthew are brother and sister! Appalling! Hmph. Makes me wonder what else these self-proclaimed film fanatics got wrong.

3.75 stars