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.
Dave at Night
Gail Carson Levine
I ran across this book at my parents' home. It came highly recommended to me by my mother and sister, whose opinions I so often agree with. And since it was written by the author of the immensely fun Cinderella retelling, "Ella Enchanted," I had to read it.
It's the story of always-in-trouble Dave, whose father dies and who is left by his step-mother at the Hebrew Home for Boys, where strict rules and a battering bully of a headmaster make life miserable. Dave, at night, escapes to Harlem (in the 1920s) where adventures ensue.
This is a must have.
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 Man Who Knew Too Little
This is another Bill Murray laugh fest! While not quite as funny as 'Groundhog Day', it nevertheless delivered a good chuckle rather often.
On DVD the soundtrack is incredible. I love the title background music a lot. I admit, this was only the sixth DVD to enter my meager collection, so maybe I'm still just not used to the clarity of DVD Dolby AC-3 5.1 sound. This was the first DVD (or movie for that matter) that I purchased over the Internet from Reel.com (of course!).
[Since I first wrote the above paragraph in 1998, my collection has grown and can no longer be called "meager" and I'm not nearly so enamoured with the clarity of Dolby Digital sound that I rave over it. In fact, I've since become rather jaded to it and wouldn't mind improved audio since the compression AC-3 uses is not perfect and is not quite CD quality. I still like the opening credits theme song, though.]
I give this move a 3 1/2. It is worth owning. I will certainly watch it again. And again.