Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Two with Four Stars

You may have noticed that I have two items on my blog page regarding my watching and reading habits.  I am not sure why I originally added these, but I keep both up to date.

I can tell you that I will not list a book or a movie that I did not enjoy.  Why let someone think it was worth their time if it wasn't worth mine?

I do not usually comment on either the books or the movies.  But now I have one of each I would like to recommend.

First, the movie, which will take two hours of your time.  The movie is 'Departures'.  It is the 2008 winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.  If you do not speak Japanese, you will have to read the subtitles, which means you cannot play WordswithFriends at the same time.

But it is well worth the two hours of your attention.  I thought when I read the description on Netflix that I would not enjoy it, but I put it on my list because of the Oscar.  I am so glad I did.  It was one of those movies where I found a tear or two rolling down my cheek.  It was a beautifully done film and I am sure if you enjoy this blog, you will love the movie.

Next, the book.  I had not heard of the book at all when it was published last year but found it while shopping the bookstore on my Kindle Fire.  The book is 'Destiny of the Republic' by Candice Millard.

It is 'a tale of madness, medicine, and the murder of a President'.  The President in question is James A. Garfield.  Prior to beginning this book all I knew was that Garfield was a President and he was assassinated.  I did not know which state he came from (Ohio), which party he belonged to (Republican), or who assassinated him (Charles Guiteau).  I'm obviously not a political junkie.

I learned a lot about Garfield.  He seems like someone you would want to actually sit down and have coffee with, unlike many other Presidents I can think of.  The book also gives a fascinating insight into the mind of the assassin.  In an era when thoughts were committed to paper and actually saved (no delete button) it all makes for a great if unfortunate tale.

I do not know why the author chose this subject, but I am very glad that she did.  It is a well-written history that reads like a good book of fiction.  Try it.

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