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 Book of Three
I don't recall how I was introduced to Lloyd Alexander's The Book of Three, the first of the five books comprising the Chronicles of Prydain. I was in my teens. The magic that enthralled me then is still there every time I reread this or any of the other books in the series.
Don't let the fact that this book or the others in the series are categorized as "Young Adult" or "Juvenile Fiction" turn you away. I think too many adults make this mistake, missing out on some very delightful reading.
Each of the books in the series can stand alone as a complete adventure. This first book introduces us to the cast of characters that inhabit the magical world of Prydain.
This book and the series rates a full five stars! That means you need it in your library.
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*)
I missed this one when it was out in theaters. I probably wouldn't have seen it so soon after it came out on video if it wasn't for a friend of mine bringing it over one evening. So we watched it with some other friends.
Prior to my seeing The Kid my sister, whose opinion I value and trust when it comes to things of the cinema, told me that yes, it was a good movie, but she and her friend had fixated on the music soundtrack all through the movie and so described the music as distracting, the "circuis-like" music never seeming (or very rarely) to stop.
So I had mixed expectations that evening. What a pleasant and delightful surprise, then, to discover that this was indeed a good movie, a funny movie. I liked it. A lot more than I thought I would. The music wasn't distracting to me at all. Sure, like many Turteltaub movies (While You Were Sleeping comes to mind), the music is a bit much, but not unpleasantly so in the least. Not every movie can will find the balance of background music that I thought God's Army (see http://www.zionfilms.com/) found.
This is a good show. A good family film. As I watched, I knew I would have to add it to my DVD collection. I haven't yet (as of this writing), but I expect to buy it this very evening. I give this show a very enjoyable 3 1/2 rating.