Aaron's PicksBooks, Music, and Movies
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Welcome to Aaron's Picks!
This is my chance to share some of the things I enjoy with the rest of the world, books I love to read and reread, music I enjoy listening to, and movies I love to watch.
There are three sections to this page. I highlight one item from each category. If you want to browse all the items in a category (books, music, or movies), scroll down to the category and click in the link right above the highlighted selection.
Since this web page is generated dynamically from a database, each time you visit, a selection from each category is randomly chosen as the highlighted item.
The Stainless Steel Rat Joins the Circus
The latest Stainless Steel Rat book keeps up the spirit of the other nine. Chronologically, it follows The Stainless Stell Rat Goes to Hell and involves the entire DiGriz family, Slippery Jim and his lovely wife Angelina, and their two sons, James and Bolivar.
While no one will ever accuse this book (or any other in the series) of even pretending to approach high literature, when you're in the mood for a light, fast, action-packed sci-fi adventure where the criminal is the good guy, look no farther. Just like the other books, this one is full of fun and makes me laugh aloud.
Just as an FYI, here is the list of Stainless Steel Rat books in chronological order (not the order they were written in, but in order of the stories' chronology):
This latest in the series earns a rating of 3 1/2. It's a fun, quick read, well worth the trouble.
Heart of the Heartland
I first heard the name Peter Ostroushko while conversing on the telephone with my wonderfully talented mother. She was excited about a new CD she had just received, "Heart of the Heartland". She let me sample a bit over the telephone. It was a little bit like listening to a 33,600 bps. RealAudio stream with additional background noise. That is to say, it was horrible sound quality. (Can you tell that I despise modem-speed sound streaming technologies for listening to music? Give me a 128 bit MP3 (or even better, a VBR OGG Vorbis (see http://www.vorbis.com) audio file I can download then listen to anytime!) Even so, I heard enough to intrigue me!
A week or more later, as I departed from a visit to my parents' house, I snagged the CD from the kitchen table and asked if I could borrow it. Once home, I popped into my CD player and cranked up the volume. Delicious! I liked it instantly. I knew that I would be buying this CD. I especially like track 3, "Puppy Belly Dance", a lively fiddle of a song!
Sure enough, I did buy it. Over the Internet, of course! (It isn't often that the local music stores have what I want in stock at a good price these days.) Don't tell Amazon.com this, but I bought it at Music Boulevard (which subsequently merged with CDNOW). The prices were the same at Amazon.com and at Music Boulevard, but Music Boulvard`'s shipping blew Amazon.com's away.
So what's the low-down overall? Buy it! You'll love it! (Unless your tastes are different than mine, of course. *grin*)
The Sound of Music
Julie Andrews & Christopher Plummer
You cannot imagine my wonder and delight as I first watched the THX digitally masterd DVD edition of Rodgers and Hammerstein's masterpiece, The Sound of Music. The music I've loved since a child was magnificent, from the first instrumental opening followed by Julie Andrews' superb performance of title track The Sound of Music, to one of my favorites, Favorite Things. The DVD edition brought clarity and color to the small screen that made it seem much larger.
Yes, I love this musical. And yes, I'm a sucker for good musicals. Still, this movie has a story and spirit behind it that works in synergy with the powerful music. It is moving. It is marvelous. I love it. What more can I say? It gets the top rating, a 5.