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.
The Sound of Glory
Mormon Tabernacle Choir with Orchestra at Temple Square
While I enjoy the grandios sound of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, I tend to prefer smaller choral ensembles with a tighter sound. Well this CD is an exception to this rule. I don't know if it's because it's a Telarc recording (and every Telarc CD I own is superb) and thus better captures the sound, if it's the Orchestra at Temple Square lending a magnificent instrumental performance, or if it's the glorious arrangements of Mack Wilberg, Barlow Bradford, and others, or a combination of all, but this CD is probably going to now be my favorite MoTab CD. The choir has a crisp, clean sound. Yes, they still are a choir of grand scale, compared to the smaller ensembles I usually prefer, but their big sound on this recording is exceptional.
Now I'm not knocking the Mormon Tabernacle Choir or other large choirs. I enjoy listening to them. Particularly live, in concert. If you ever have the chance to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in concert, do not pass it up! You will not be disappointed. My personal preference just usually tends toward smaller choral ensembles of twelve to perhaps thirty members.
I have a hard time narrowing down which tracks are my most favorite. I like every one of the Mack Wilberg arrangements. But I also like Barlow Bradford's arrangement of All Creatures of Our God and King. In fact, that track brought goose chills to my skin as I listened to it for the first time on the 4th of July, 2003, while riding in my brother's car up to Pine Valley, Utah. Even over the road noise, on a car audio system that is nothing to rave about, the music had power and depth.
It is interesting that this CD compilation has so many selections similar to the BYU Men's Chorus CD, Awake My Soul, particularly a prevalance of Mack Wilberg arrangements. This is not a bad thing. In fact, it's a wonderful thing. I own both CDs and I love 'em both.
I'm going to have to give this one a 4.5 out of 5 rating. It just sounds so good. Maybe it's my new Klipsch THX computer speakers I play it on while working at the keyboard... Nah, it's just an excellent recording of excellent performers giving a stunning performance. It's good.
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.