A Little About A Lot

I was on vacation last week, which means I read a lot of books and watched quite a few movies. Some of them were amazingly bad, world record breakingly horrid, some were good, and one was absolutely wonderful (Proof - more about that before it opens on the sixteenth). We'll take a look at a couple that I liked and we’ll ignore the rest. I've got some bits of other news for you also, including a very nice announcement regarding the temporary return of the much beloved comic strip Calvin and Hobbes.

School of Rock is a charming film. Jack Black plays Dewey Finn, a rocker who cares about nothing but music and himself. Kicked out of his own band and suddenly faced with having to start paying his own way through life, Dewey takes on the identity of his roommate and becomes a substitute teacher. He plans to sleep through class for a couple of weeks, collect the paycheck and move on but his plans change when he realizes his class of bright, well behaved kids are also talented musicians. Now he wants to turn them into a rock band and win the battle of the bands, a cash prize and get revenge on his old band for kicking him out. Joan Cusack is lovely as the beleaguered principal and Jack Black is in his element at the smooth talking loudmouth rocker.

Amanda Quick is the pseudonym of writer Jayne Ann Krentz. In general she writes her contemporary romances under her real name and her historical romances under her Quick name. She's a delight no matter what name she is using. Reckless is the tale of Phoebe Layton, a headstrong young lady struggling against the bonds of her well meaning but smothering family. Believing that she has caused the death of her rejected suitor, she seeks out a man named Gabriel and tries to strike a deal with him. An inept highwayman interrupts their midnight rendezvous and from that moment on nothing goes quite according to Phoebe's plans. Amanda Quick has a flair for creating characters that are quirky, real, and endearing. Her mysteries are satisfying and her romance sizzles.

If you're a Bridget Jones fan and you like books with young heroines you will love On the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God by Louise Rennison. Written in diary style, with entries sometimes only three minutes apart, this hilarious look at the life of a fourteen-year-old girl called Georgia who lives in the UK is fabbity fab fab. Cursed with a mad grandfather, a dog chasing cat, a pooey baby sister, a mother who just doesn't understand, and a father who wants to move the whole family to New Zealand, Georgia's fight to fit in and keep her "Sex God" boyfriend is uproarious and touching.

Calvin and Hobbes is returning to the comics page in a newspaper near you, for a limited run. Don't get too excited, the comics are reruns, but still it will be very nice to see them back where they belong after a ten-year absence. The groundbreaking and influential comic, about a boy and his stuffed tiger, will run through December 31st. The revival is in support of a three volume hardcover collection debuting on October 4th. It's rather dear, priced at $150, but it's got 3,160 comics, clocking at less than five cents each.

Do you remember the fuss over the new Harry Potter book and how people in Canada who bought the book early were forbidden by law to read it or discuss it? Well writer Terry Pratchett is taking no chances with the release of his new book, called Thud!. According to Ansible, he had this to say about the release: "Now that the bound proof copies of Thud! are out, and will no doubt be winging their way to an e-bay near you, I would like to say that ANYONE WHO READS A WORD OF IT before publication day will be MADE TO SIT IN THE CORNER and their ENTIRE COUNTRY will be given DOUBLE DETENTION until every single person SAYS SORRY!!!!!" Now that's keeping control of your book.