Thursday, October 26, 2017

Book, movie, movie, new, old, old

Once upon a time, I read a lot. Recently, not so much, for lots of reasons that seemed good at the time. Maybe things are picking up again on that front, for I've just finished a new book the old school way. Hardcover, actually bought in a book store.

A History of Canada in Ten Maps by Adam Shoalts. The maps part caught my attention. Maps are fascinating. It doesn't matter if a book is fiction or non-fiction, if it has a map that's the first thing I'll look at. Often I'l refer back to the map as the book goes along. That's what pissed me off with a particularly bad fantasy novel. The idiot-hero had to go from A to B along one side of a triangle, and for no good reason went via C which happened to be the bad guy's castle of ultimate darkness or something like. Bah.

Many people, but not all, know the first Europeans in what is now North America were the Norse. The book starts there. Along the way we visit Cabot, Champlain, Bellin, Pond, Hearne, Mackenzie, Thompson, and Franklin.

If you remember your grade school Canadian geography these will be familiar names. There's a bit more background, and the maps, of course. I gobbled it all up quickly, and only then realized in a lot of ways it was pretty superficial, an easy read. Big on the various privations suffered by almost all involved, some of what drove them off the map, but light on the maps. Seeing the historical map is interesting, but it would have been better with the various journey's placed on an actual modern map as best as possible. The maps are on different paper in the middle of the book, leading to a lot of flipping back and forth. Plus some of the maps are spread across two pages, making it hard to look at the middle of the map. A fold out page would have been better.

Was it worth the price? I had a few enjoyable evenings reading it, but I'm not likely to pick it up again. Anyone want the gift of a book?

We like getting movies from the library. The price is right, as in free, though some days I wonder what other people are doing with the discs to get them looking like that. One appeared to have been smeared with peanut butter, and given to a small dog to chew.

I picked up American Graffiti on a wave of nostalgia. I saw when it first came out, and maybe again when it was re-released a few years later, and not since. Now it's been remastered to blue ray, and looks fabulous. It's fun looking at the old cars, and the young version of what are now old stars. There are a bunch of extras about the making of. All in all a delightful evening.

The flip side is a 1971 version of MacBeth. I'd seen a version in high school, and it nearly put me to sleep. This one got a bit tedious and bloody in places, which wasn't a surprise. It's been remastered as well, and looks pretty good. Still, it's culture, with a capital K, so I suppose it's good for me or something.

Somehow I missed putting this photo on the blog, though some of you may have seen it on Instagram. I love the soft orange and green blur in the background, with the remains of the mint blossom in focus. Exactly what I had intended.

Swim still sucks, but after 1.5 hrs of my massage therapist working on my shoulder it feels better. Run and bike are feeling pretty good, for those that want to know.

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