Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1981
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, 1984
Director: Steven Spielberg; Producer: George Lucas
Cast: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Kate Capshaw
Meet the frontier bad men—like Leo Carver—a man so hated that everyone in the town of Canyon Gap planned to turn up for his hanging. Then meet those who dared to challenge them—like Marshal Lou Morgan, who tried to save his citizens from a goldmine swindler, only to learn that his own code of honesty made him the biggest sucker in town. There's champion rodeo rider Marty Mahan, called a coward because he was afraid of the bronc Ghost Maker—until he showed them the true color of his courage. Here are classic tales of the West from the storyteller who brings to vivid life the brave men of women who settled the North American frontier.
"This, the third and last part, will tell of the opposing strategies of Gandalf and Sauron, until the final catastrophe and the end of the great darkness. We return first to the fortunes of battle in the West." pg. xii
This second part, The Two Towers, now tells how each of the members of the Fellowship of the Ring fared, after the breaking of their fellowship, until the coming of the great Darkness and the outbreak of the War of the Ring, which is to be recounted in the third and last part. pg. x
Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power except one -- the One Ring that rules them all -- which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins. Young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task when Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.
Whisked away from his comfortable, unambitious life in his hobbit-hole by Gandalf the wizard and a company of dwarves, Bilbo Baggins finds himself caught up in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon.
"What's the point of identifying the top 20 most annoying book reviewer clichés unless you can have a bit o' fun with them?
"Keeping a running tally as you read through the week's reviews/book jackets/gushing publicity sheets of the number of times books are referred to as a "tour de force" or "compelling" or "readable" (shudder) is certainly one source of amusement. It's a well that just won't run dry.
"Playing Bingo with those clichés, however, ups the ante into realms of, hithero, untrod delight.
"Just because I'm a sucker for you guys, I've taken all the work out of it: you'll find, below, eight Bingo cards specially designed for the cliché-intolerant among us. I even gave you a freebie -- see the middle square? It's the "Cliché -free" zone."
Rebecca Wells' wonderful third book in her Ya-Ya trilogy, which includes Little Altars Everywhere and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, is sure to provide reading that makes you laugh and cry, a book that will break your heart and mend it again.
Ya-Yas in Bloom reveals the roots of the Ya-Yas' friendship in the 1930s, following Vivi, Teensy, Caro and Necie through sixty years of marriage, child-raising, and hair-raising family secrets. When four-year-old Teensy Whitman prisses one time too many and stuffs a big old pecan up her nose, she sets off the chain of events that lead Vivi, Teensy, Caro, and Necie to become true sister-friends. Using as narration the alternating voices of Vivi and the Petite Ya-Yas, Siddalee and Baylor Walker, as well as other denizens of Thornton, Louisiana, Wells show us the Ya-Yas in love and at war with convention. Through crises of faith and hilarious lapses of parenting skills, brushes with alcoholism and glimpses of the dark reality of racial bigotry, the Ya-Ya values of unconditional loyalty, high style, and Louisiana sass shine through.
Ya-Yas in Bloom is really more of a collection of additional stories and is not as focused as the earlier two books, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Little Altars Everywhere. It starts out strong and then sort of meanders around. I can see where that might put some readers off, but, as a fan of the Ya-Yas, I basically enjoyed it. It really felt like Wells was a friend who was just telling me some family stories during a visit. (And I'll be the first to admit that I have an uncle who played duck call Christmas carols during family Christmas get-togethers, so that phenomenon is not just found in Louisiana.) But this third Ya-Yas book is not as good as the first two books and does come across as an afterthought of additional stories that didn't make it into the other books. It has been several years since I read the first two Ya-Yas books. Perhaps that explains why I enjoyed Ya-Yas in Bloom enough that I was going to be pretty generous in my recommendation for fans to read it - until I read an interview with Rebecca Wells that ticked me off. I'm going to rise above that and Recommend it - for die hard fans.
Vivi, January 1994
My name is Viviane Abbott Walker. Age sixty-eight, but I can pass for forty-nine. And I do. I altered my driver's license and kept that gorgeous picture of me when my hair was still thick and I looked like Jessica Lange, and glued it onto every new license I've had since 1975. And not one officer has said a word to me about it. opening
As Ya-Yas, we've grown up, raised our kids--the Petites Ya-Yas--and welcomed our grandchildren, the Très Petites, into this sweet, crazy world. We've helped one another stay glued together through most any life event you can imagine. pg. 1-2
Oh, there is pain in my life, but it is harder to put a name to it. Sometimes I lie in bed and wonder if there was a typhoid booster or dental checkup that I forgot to give Sidda, Little Shep, Lulu, or Baylor. Something I missed and should have done. Sometimes I lie in bed and wish I had just asked the kids what would have made them feel more loved. But I do not dwell, thank you very much. I follow Necie's words of wisdom: "Just think pretty pink and blue thoughts." pg. 4
In the beginning was the word. And the word was pecan. Or was it nostril? pg. 13
As they walked from the bank to the doctor's office, Teensy called out to each person they passed, "I stuck a pecan up my nose!" she pointed to her nose. "And nobody in town can get it out!" pg 14
"And try to contemplate that God sent us here to love him and worship him and venerate the mother of his Blessed Son. Also keep in mind that He is a generous God who does not expect perfection but does expect reverence. God needs good little girls. But sometimes He also needs busy little gophers." pg 32-33
If we are lucky and God is good to us, Little Shep and me will grow old together. We'll sit out on the porch and tell stories about how when we were children, about how he was the kind of little boy who'd knock himself out cold for something as beautiful and rare as snow. pg. 93
I have stolen other things though. Haven't we all? There are no stones to throw here. I have no stones in my hand. pg. 202
One young woman to take care of four-year-old boy. Must be cheerful, enthusiastic and selfless—bordering on masochistic. Must relish sixteen-hour shifts with a deliberately nap-deprived preschooler. Must love getting thrown up on, literally and figuratively, by everyone in his family. Must enjoy the delicious anticipation of ridiculously erratic pay. Mostly, must love being treated like fungus found growing out of employers Hermès bag. Those who take it personally need not apply.
Who wouldn’t want this job? Struggling to graduate from NYU and afford her microscopic studio apartment, Nanny takes a position caring for the only son of the wealthy X family. She rapidly learns the insane amount of juggling involved to ensure that a Park Avenue wife who doesn’t work, cook, clean, or raise her own child has a smooth day. When the Xs marriage begins to disintegrate, Nanny ends up involved way beyond the bounds of human decency or good taste. Her tenure with the X family becomes a nearly impossible mission to maintain the mental health of their four-year-old, her own integrity and, most importantly, her sense of humor. Over nine tense months, Mrs. X and Nanny perform the age-old dance of decorum and power as they test the limits of modern-day servitude.
Stefan Fatsis, a Wall Street Journal reporter and National Public Radio regular, recounts his remarkable rise through the ranks of elite Scrabble players while exploring the game's strange, potent hold over them — and him.
Scrabble might truly be called America's game. More than two million sets are sold every year and at least thirty million American homes have one. But the game's most talented competitors inhabit a sphere far removed from the masses of "living room players." Theirs is a surprisingly diverse subculture.... [Fatsis'] curiosity soon morphs into compulsion, as he sets about memorizing thousands of obscure words and fills his evenings with solo Scrabble played on his living room floor. Before long he finds himself at tournaments socializing — and competing — with Scrabble's elite.
But this book is about more than hardcore Scrabblers, for the game yields insights into realms as disparate as linguistics, psychology, and mathematics. WORD FREAK extends its reach even further, pondering the light Scrabble throws on such notions as brilliance, memory, competition, failure, and hope. It is a geography of obsession that celebrates the uncanny powers locked in all of us.
Tennis has been Willy Novinsky's one love ever since she first picked up a racquet at the age of four. A middle-ranked pro at twenty-three, she's met her match in Eric Oberdorf, a low-ranked, untested Princeton grad who also intends to make his mark on the international tennis circuit. Eric becomes Willy's first passion off the court, and eventually they marry. But while wedded life begins well, full-tilt competition soon puts a strain on their relationship—and an unexpected accident sends driven and gifted Willy sliding irrevocably toward resentment, tragedy, and despair.
From acclaimed author Lionel Shriver comes a brilliant and unflinching novel about the devastating cost of prizing achievement over love.
In an alternative future Japan, junior high students are forced to fight to the death.
Koushun Takami's notorious high-octane thriller envisions a nightmare scenario: a class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill until only one survivor is left standing. Criticized as violent exploitation when first published in Japan—where it then proceeded to become a runaway bestseller—Battle Royale is a Lord of the Flies for the 21st century, a potent allegory of what it means to be young and (barely) alive in a dog-eat-dog world.