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Archive for the ‘Rotten Tomatoes’ Category

Book Club 2010

It has been a good ‘reading’ year for me. I managed to read a little over 1 novel a month. Good improvement from the year 2009, in which I only managed to read 9 books. Here is the list of books I’ve read throughout the year 2010…

1. The Lovely Bones by Alice Seabold

2. Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult

3. If You Could See Me Now by Cecelia Aherns

4. Ford County Stories by John Grisham

5. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

6. First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung

7. Lucky Child: A Daughter of Cambodia Reunites with the Sister She Left Behind by Loung Ung

8. One for My Baby by Tony Parson

9. Mercy by Jodi Picoult

10. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

11. Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult

12. You Gotta Have Balls by Lily Brett

13. The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult

14. Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

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In my attempt to reduce the amount of time spent on FB, watching videos, anime and serials, I decided to rekindle my love for reading. This plan kick-started sometime middle of last year and so far, I have managed to keep it up, to a certain extent.

Just for self-satisfaction, I would like to list the books I’ve read so far as a continuation from those listed in this post.

2009

1. Playing for Pizza by John Grisham

2. Misconceptions by Terry McGee

3. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

4. The Pact by Jodi Picoult

5. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

6. Where Rainbow Ends by Cecelia Aherns

7. Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult

8. Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult

9. The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

2010

1. The Lovely Bones by Alice Seabold

2. Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult

3. If You Could See Me Now by Cecelia Aherns

4. Ford County Stories by John Grisham

5. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

6. First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung

7. Lucky Child: A Daughter of Cambodia Reunites with the Sister She Left Behind by Loung Ung

===

So I guess I’ve been able to read an average of 1 book per month. Not bad indeed. Heh.

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I’ve been having writer’s block or should it be called blogger’s block for quite a long time. Perhaps it should be renamed as “depression”. Work’s been bad the past few months. Overworked, underpaid, the usual shit. Guess after moping around and showering myself with tons of self-pity, I’ve finally decided to stop, pick up my life and start writing again. Hopefully.

Anyway, it’s not that I’ve been doing absolutely nothing these past few months. Infact, I’ve read quite a handful of novels since June. Let me list them out for my own sense of satisfaction..

1. Playing for Pizza by John Grisham

2. Misconceptions by Terry McGee

3. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

4. The Pact by Jodi Picoult

5. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

6. Where Rainbow Ends by Cecelia Aherns

7. Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult

There you go. A great accomplishment since my attempt to regain the skills of “light reading”.

And yes, I think I’m starting to be a fan of Jodi Picoult’s works.

And slowly converting Cindy too.

Haha.

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When I was much younger, i.e. secondary school days, I could finish a novel in 1 1/2 hours or 2 hours max. Sweet Valley High, Famous Five, Hardy Boys, are just some of the many series I used to read. Then I moved on to more grown up authors, such as John Grisham, Michael Crichton etc. Ranging from 300-500 page per book, reading used to be such a leisurely thing.

Until now. Medical school spoilt my reading habits and skills. Not to mention working life.

I’ve been trying to read this book I bought in Australia 2 years ago entitled Misconceptions by Terry McGee. A wonderful and gripping storyline about medical malpractice  and a messed up family and social life; except the fact that I’ve been reading it for the past say, 2 weeks, and have yet to finish the 462 pages in that book. Not to mention the 3 weeks I took to finish reading Playing for Pizza by John Grisham.

My attention span has currently been reduced to 5 minutes per session. I have to keep re-reading the same lines each time I restart, because I can barely remember where I last stopped. Sometimes, I even forget the first half of the story by the time I reach the middle of the book.

A comment by my colleague sort of enlightened me recently. Actually it was an observation from her friend as she was more into non-fiction and spiritual books so when her friend lent her a novel, she took forever to read it, and never even finished it. According to her friend, you’re not supposed to read every single word in the novel. Just skim past the storyline, stop and read in detail the interesting parts, and skim through the rest. Simple.

That got me thinking. Perhaps when I was younger, I was happily “skimming” through the books I read, but after med school where every word matters and all that crap, I can no longer read a novel as a leisurely thing, and because I am trying to read every single word in the novel and process it like a studying material, it has made reading so so slow for me, and also taken the joy out of cramming in a novel just before bedtime.

Anyway, I am trying to regain my skills of light reading, and hopefully, I’ll be able to get back in form or at least something near it in the near future. Haha.

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State of Fear

I bought this book (State of Fear) by Michael Crichton at least a year ago, or perhaps longer. Always wanted to read the book, but never really got down to reading it. He is one of my favourite authors and his books have always been a page turner. I used to be able to finish his book in about 2 nights. However, this time round, things were slightly different. I’m not sure if it was the story that was not as gripping, or the fact that my concentration sucked after 5 years of med school.

I remember reading the first few chapters many moons ago and never finishing the book. So this time around, I had to restart from chapter 1 and it took be about 6 weeks to reach page 100. Only after that did the story pick up and my reading momentum returned. Anyway, I finally finished reading the book, and I must say, it is a good book. This time Crichton attacks the issue of environmental catastrophes i.e global warming, hurricanes and tsunamis.

One thing about his books are that the story tend to seems so real, or rather, the things he talks about sound like they may happen in the near future such as the breakout of a virus from a fallen satellite in the Andromeda Strain, or as in this book, human beings trying to be God by manipulating the weather for their own gain. The interesting thing is, he always includes references to the facts he brings up in the story.

Anyway, I’m glad that I’ve finished at least 1 book during this holidays. It is an accomplishment as I can’t really recall when was the last time I last finished reading a novel…

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Goong

I finally finished watching 24 episodes of Princess Hours (Goong in Korean). It was shown on 8Tv sometime last month or so but I thought it was a silly series with sissy looking guys. Besides, I was too busy at that time, with the finals and all. However, tons of people were recommending the show, including my hair stylist, so I thought, what the heck, since I have nothing much to do anyway.

Even from episode 1, I was hooked. It was actually quite entertaining, as well as being the typical tear-jerker as most Korean series tend to be. In fact, the only two previous Korean series I’ve watched i.e. Autumn in My Heart and Winter Sonata were somewhat tear-inducing as far as I can remember. However, I must say I did not cry over this series unlike the other two.

The crown prince was kinda cute, though still a little sissy in my opinion, but the other prince was worse. Sometimes, from the rear view, I was not too sure if he was a girl or a guy. I opted for the vocals to be in Korean as it sounded more authentic, unlike the Mandarin dubbed version on Tv in which all the girls sounded high-pitched and squealy.

Anyway, one thing that I couldn’t stand was that the whole story moved at the pace of a snail. The characters would pause long and hard before each sentence and countless minutes were spent watching them just sitting around the room, starring into space while the same theme song played over and over again. Even worse was when Boy gave Girl a present, in which Boy took 5 minutes to extend his hand with the present, and Girl took another 5 minutes to just stare dumbfounded at the present, and subsequently took another 5 minutes to receive and open it. ARGGH! Kill me someone.

But yet, I was hooked…

Hooked to the end…

Sigh…

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Movie marathon

I have watched 6 movies in the last 8 days. 3 of which was watched in the cinema while the others were downloaded.

1. TMNT

2. American Tail (Fievel Goes West)

3. Some weird korean movie

4. The Marine

5. Tornado

6. The Shooter

TMNT was quite alright. I always liked Leonardo during my childhood days when I used to play TMNT on the videogame. However, during the ending scene and the one in the trailer where the turtles hop around the roofs of the city, I felt that they looked a little like frogs, green and all.

I downloaded An American Tail because I liked the song “Somewhere Out There”. One of my friends thought me how to play that song on the piano, and I loved it ever since. Since I’ve been bumming around with nothing much to do, it suddenly dawned upon me that I’ve never seen the movie so I decided to look for it. Little did I know that there were a few sequels to the original movie and this one was the sequel where Fievel the mouse, goes West. Duh.

I will not comment about the Korean movie. As for The Marine…it was actioned packed and a little terminator-like. One thing I would like to say is that the hero never seems to be injured, regardless whether he falls from a height, gets blasted etc. Hey, be more realistic la…

Tornado was like something out of National Geographics. There was literally no storyline, just tornado after tornado and devastating destruction. 10 minutes into the movie, I noticed that the conversation and the lip movements were not in synchrony. Then it hit me. The German movie was dubbed to English. No wonder the voices did not really fit the characters and the graphics looked rather old. Lesson learnt from this movie is, always research a little about the movie before watching it at the cinema. Good thing I still had my student card with me, and it only cost me 6 bucks. If I had paid the full price, I would have hit the roof.

Finally, I was torn between watching The Shooter or Wild Hogs. Deciding that I did not fancy John Travolta much, I decided that Mark Wahlberg was a better option. Being a Wednesday, it was also 6 bucks, and I figured that anything would be better than Tornado, so what the heck. Turns out that The Shooter was simply A-W-E-S-O-M-E! It was so Prison Break-ish and the action packed scenes made me feel like getting my hands on Counterstrike to deliver a few head shots meself. Let’s not go into the details about the morale behind the story, ethics and taking justice into one’s own hands. After all, it is indeed, just a movie.

Then again, let’s observe a period of silence for the victims of the Virginia Tech Shooting. Just for the record, I do not agree with taking justice into one’s hand and simply shooting people.

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