Sunday, March 07, 2010

A Sunday Review

TV this week:

  • Who Do You Think You Are?: "Sarah Jessica Parker" - An ancestor who was a '49er and an ancestress who was accused of being a witch during the Salem hysteria. Not a bad start to this series in the United States. It actually made my husband kind of want to look into his family's past. My own family's past is constantly getting revealed thanks to the patient work of my sister. I can see that I'm really going to love this show.
I actually have a few more shows on the DVR to watch, but I'm still over-TVed from the Olympics, so I haven't been keeping up. I should have a little more in two weeks (don't expect a review next week, I'll be at the Con).

Here are reviews of the DCBS comic book shipment that arrived this week, of books originally released February 17th and 24th:
  • Green Lantern #51 - A tiny bit more of Mera, and even Aquaman and Tempest. Nothing special, though. I'm looking forward to the end of this crossover.
  • Green Lantern Corps #45 - Guy is raging, Mogo is deus ex machina, whatever.
  • Power Girl #9 - I really am surprised at how much I'm enjoying this book. The subplots are fun, the cast is cool, and the enemies are amusing and yet still threatening. It's just a good book all around.
  • Justice League of America #42 - A bit confusing, until I remembered that this is set after Blackest Night. Then I recalled a little of what happened in the last issue and I think I followed it from there.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold #14 - A bit of a standard story, if one exists for this version of Batman. Aquaman fan-art in the letter column.
  • Tiny Titans #25 - Not enough Aqualad. *sigh* Funny take on the Lantern Rings, though.
  • Incredibles #5 - Yay! Edna!
  • The Tick: New Series #2 - um. right. Maybe I'll stop mentioning this one, since it's only very mildly funny, and not really my thing.

  • Blackest Night #7 - Not at all what I was expecting to see happen. Not even close. I would say "oops" but that just doesn't cover it. As for Mera... Lex? Eeeuuuwwww.
  • Blackest Night: JSA #3 - Bittersweet, particularly Jesse's role. Hey, at least New York is safe...
  • Justice Society of America #36 - Attack of the Nazi-wannabes? I don't much like the framing sequence, just for its implications.
  • Northlanders #25 - Everything about this book is brutal. It's good, don't get me wrong, but very brutal.
  • Marvelous Land of Oz #4 - The origin of the Wogglebug! I'd forgotten that was in this story. Funny stuff.
  • Usagi Yojimbo #126 - Wow, perfect solution to an unhappy situation!

My library book this week was Stones into Schools by Greg Mortenson. I read Three Cups of Tea a couple of weeks ago, and immediately put this book in for a hold. It is both better written and slightly more compelling in many ways than the first book. True, the first book lays the groundwork for what we see in this one, but in this book there is a definite sense of how Greg empowers the people in Afghanistan and Pakistan to pull themselves back together and rebuild their world. There were plenty of moments that I found myself gasping or giggling at the sheer absurdity of the situation, and many many more where I wanted to rush in with a hammer and package of nails to help. And more than a few moments when I felt rage that the Taliban has been allowed to destroy a peaceful religion in the eyes of the rest of the world. One very different thing in this book from the last is how Greg learns to respect members of the US military who are genuinely concerned with helping pull Afghanistan out of despair by rebuilding instead of bombing and how he starts to work alongside them, though not ever with them directly, to push schools into highly dangerous areas that have asked for help. I won't pretend to understand Pakistan and Afghanistan, but these books have given me an insight into cultures and beliefs that I wish every American had. Highly recommended. Go on, get 'em and read 'em.

Agatha Christie this week was A Pocket Full of Rye from 1953. I put it in for inter-library loan, and the system decided to buy new copies, so I got to read a brand-new paperback. This mystery concerns a businessman poisoned in his office and found with a pocket full of rye. Miss Marple doesn't come into the story until 12 chapters have passed, but she immediately seizes on the nursery rhyme and eventually gets the entire thing figured out in detail. Aa usual, I didn't figure everything out, although I hit a couple of notes. I think the fact that the reader is always allowed to figure out a couple of the lesser mysteries is why Christie's writing is considered brilliant and not aggravating. Ah well, on to the next!


David Oakes said...

Sarah Jessica Parker is a witch? Hands up anyone who wants to feign suprise.

Did you catch the Henry Lois Gates Jr show on PBS? ("Faces of America"?) A really interesting cross-section of celebrities, and Yo-yo Ma's backstory is just... wow.