Monday, August 4, 2014

A Montana Book Roundup and Guardians of the Galaxy

From Thursday to Saturday, I went up to Billings for my grandma's birthday. Since Billings has the best thrift stores in the land (in both Montana and East Idaho), I was on the hunt for some more books. Yes, I do realize I have a problem. Take a gander at my compilation of physical books, known simply as the-pile on Goodreads. It's both magnificent and deeply disturbing.

I also went to see the movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, and will have a brief review at the end of this post.

You'll notice I put a fingernail clipper in front of one book, Big Sky ******. No, it doesn't have a naughty word- I bought it as a gift for my mother, the only relative who knows about my blog. I can't let her know what it is until Christmas, so there'll be some choice blurring on the cover. Those of you with Goodreads, feel free to look it up.

The purple one was supposed to be last, but I've had camera issues today.
I completed my Freedom's Landing collection by buying the last two for $1.29 each. I really enjoyed the first, but I've read some interesting reviews about the second two, and am withholding judgement until I read them. The premise is that a gal from Earth is abducted (essentially by aliens), and then sent to colonize an alien planet.
Freedom's Choice: 327 pages
Freedom's Challenge: 303 pages

I finally found Moloka'i, the book that's usually on the home page for Goodreads before you sign in, next to Memoirs of a Geisha. I paid a steep price for it ($2.99, the most of any book I bought in MT), but I've never read historical fiction from Hawai'i, so it should be interesting.
384 pages

Cheri and the Last of Cheri ($1.59) is some of Colette's work I haven't yet read. Colette's writing is lyrical, sometimes melancholy, and sometimes just plain strange, but I love it, so this should be an easy read.
296 pages

I almost always buy books written by Lisa See from the thrift store if they're cheap enough, mostly because I have a China addiction- the culture fascinates me. Then again, anything diverse is on my buy list recently. Peony in Love is set in 17th century China, and is about a girl named Peony, in love.
273 pages

This is a book that technically won't be added to my pile, but is worth a glance at since this is a Montana Book Roundup, and this is the only book based in Montana. My mom was looking for more of these certain tales from Montana, so this will make an excellent $1.99 Christmas gift.
135 pages

Total Books: 6
Total Pages: 1718
Total Cost: $10.74 (no sales tax in MT [except for resort tax in Red Lodge and Big Sky])

Guardians of the Galaxy (In 3D)

A Brief Movie Critique

I rarely go to movies at the theatre anymore- it's so expensive, and if my book haul has shown you anything, it's that I'm very frugal, but since I was invited to go with my brother to this Sci-Fi flick, I decided to cough up the money. It actually cost more to go to the movie (for roughly 2 hours at $13.50) than buy all those books (which provide weeks of enjoyment).

The Premise:
A young boy's mother dies of cancer, and in his grief he runs outside the hospital and is shortly abducted by aliens. His father has been described by his mother as "a being composed of pure light", but no one else seems to know who he is. The young boy (Peter Quill) grows up, and becomes (self-described) Star-Lord, a space outlaw. Later in the movie, we find out that that is what his mother sometimes called him.

The beginning of the movie almost made me cry, and I wasn't sure what to expect of the rest of it (would it even be a little funny?). But it quickly grew more light-hearted, with the Star-Lord dancing to 70's and 80's music from his Walkman (cassette player). He has a mixtape (audio cassette with a bunch of random songs from different artists), given to him by his deceased mother, that he listens to all the time. He will get into goofy situations because of said mixtape. The mixtape is an important element in the movie.

The Other (Alien) Characters:
Gamora is the girl with the green skin (played by Zoe Saldana [Uhura in the new Star Trek]). She wants an orb that Star-Lord has taken from an abandoned planet. She's technically working for the villain in this film.

Drax the Destroyer is the 'roid rage buff alien who takes everything literally. He is looking to avenge his family's death (they were killed by Ronan, one of the villains Gamora is working for).

Groot is a tree-being who can do many things- except speak more than "I am Groot". He is partnered with Rocket. I spent the movie trying to figure out who was Groot, and was surprised to hear it was Vin Diesel.

Rocket is a cyborg raccoon with super-tech abilities. He is also a bit of a kleptomaniac, except he asks for other people to get things for him.

Overall I really liked this movie- it was funny, sad, and good fun all in one package. If you're a fan of the new Star Trek movies, you'll probably also like this film. I have never read the comic this movie is based on, so I'm not sure how it compares to the film, but I thought it did a good job familiarizing me with the characters.

The 3D
I know 3D is really in right now, but this film didn't wow me much with its use of 3D, unlike Star Trek: Into Darkness which used the 3D very well. You don't need to see this film in 3D to enjoy it.

Until Tomorrow,

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