2 Movies, 2 Books & 1 New Mantra

As part of my attempt to live a more balanced life in 2013, I have given myself the assignment to watch 2 movies and to read 2 books each month.  This is more difficult for me to do than you might imagine, but I’m giving it my best shot.  Here is my January report.

2 Movies

Hachi, A Dog’s Tale – Delightful.  The story of a college professor, the stray dog he found on a train platform and loyalty that goes on forever.  Highly recommended if you like Richard Gere, fables and house porn.  {have tissues nearby}

The Queen of Versailles – Compelling & whacked.  This is a documentary about a ditzy woman and her billionaire husband who set out to build the largest residence in USA.  Can you say conspicuous consumption?  Can you say bad judgement?  Can you say slobs?  Highly recommended because, well– Whiskey Tango Foxtrot— you’ve never seen anything like this.

2 Books

13, rue Thérèse – Fascinating.  On the surface, this is a novel about a college professor who finds a box filled with letter, photos and personal objects.  He decides to document each item and to research the timeframe from which the objects came.  What makes this novel so unique is that the author, Elena Maui Shapiro, who lived in an apartment building in Paris when she was a girl, inherited the objects when an older woman in the building died.  Using these objects as a starting point, the author wrote this novel.  Recommended if you like history and the idea that nothing is quite as it seems.

The Buddha Walks Into A Bar – Informative.  It’s been a long time since I read a book about religion.  This one, written by Lodro Rinzler, is quietly funny, well-researched and difficult to put down.  I hesitate to call it personal development, but I suppose that’s the genre it fits in.  I read it more as a refresher course on Buddhism than a how-to guide.  Recommended if you’re feeling the need to think about life from a different point of view and be mindful.

1 New Mantra

A friend’s second grade daughter came home from school with a long, involved story about playground intrigue.  My friend, who was making dinner as she listened to the story, said that she wasn’t absorbing the details.  Instead, she was listening to the tone-of-voice.  Eventually her daughter stopped talking and my friend realized that she needed to say something Mom-like.  So she asked her daughter what she thought about all that had happened and her daughter, with a sigh, summed it up with: “People are silly.”

No truer words, my little one.  And a perfect mantra about relationships, if you ask me.

19 thoughts on “2 Movies, 2 Books & 1 New Mantra

  1. Great post, I love recommendations and to find out what other people are thinking about. Don’t think the first film is for me but I will search out The Queen of Versailles and 13, Rue Therese. I’m intrigued by that one. Will this be a regular post? I’d love to find out what catches your eye each month.


    • Polly, thanks for the encouragement. It’ll be a regular feature because that’s the best way [only way?] to hold me accountable to my goal of 2 movies + 2 books per month.

      Let me know what you think about the movie and the book. Both are different, but in a good way.


  2. I watched an odd movie this weekend called To Rome With Love. We thought it would be neat to see the places we visited this spring, and it was, but the movie was just, well, silly. 🙂 Good luck on your life balance.


    • Cheri, I’ve never heard of that movie which isn’s surprising because I see so few movies. I can understand why you watched it, though. From what I can tell there are about 3 million bad movies out there– and 30 good ones!


  3. Hachi was a surprisingly beautiful movie. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting – I suppose I thought it’d be something like The Incredible Journey. Thanks for the other recommendations. Do you ever watch HGTV? I’ve taken to turning it on late at night and shows like House Hunters and Million Dollar Rooms give me that WTF reaction. People are indeed silly.


    • Zazzy, I agree about Hachi. I thought it might be sentimental twaddle, but it was heart-felt and beautifully filmed.

      I watch HGTV to see the first time buyer show and those cousin guys that remodel kitchens. I didn’t know about the Million Dollar Rooms show, but it sounds as whacked out as the movie.


    • robin, I am by nature more of a journalist than a movie/book critic. I have no interest in deconstructing anything, so short & sweet is the only way I know how to write a review. Glad that you enjoyed them.


  4. Just like others, I hope this is a regular feature. One of my obsessions is asking what people are watching and reading – what a great way to keep yourself accountable! I highly recommend the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi and the movie Battle Royale (the Japanese movie that was what I think the inspiration behind the Hunger Games, if you like that kind of thing – note it’s quite violent but really good). As far as books, I can recommend 2 I just finished, Yoga B**ch and Martha, Inc. Okay just looking at those 4 choices – what an odd grouping! 🙂


    • Kristen, thanks for the suggestions. I just read about Jiro Dreams of Sushi over the weekend. Never heard of the others that you mention. I think that the oddness of the groupings is what makes anyone’s movie &/or book lists interesting.

      You know, I hesitated to post this because I thought no one would care, but I’m seeing that is not the case. Thanks for you support.


    • julochka, that’s exactly what I thought when my friend told me her story about her pragmatic daughter. In fact, we both now say “people are silly” to each other when either one of us is beginning to take situations too seriously.


  5. Hey- can someone make a “People are silly” logo? (Your daughter deserves the honor?)
    That’s one logo that should be shared all year long – simply perfect for the year – what the world really needs!
    The first book sound excellent – nice concept. The second one looks to offer some positive messages and insight with a light touch – sounds god. Thanks


    • “People are silly” explains so much, doesn’t it?

      The first book interested me on many levels. I learned about WWI and life in Paris. I learned about how to take ideas from your own life and turn them into a story. I even recognized a few French words as I went along. Bet that you like it.

      The second book wasn’t what I expected but I did enjoy it. Buddhism presented with a modern perspective made me smile. Which, I do believe, would make Buddha happy.


  6. Pingback: Silliness of it all. « Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

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