Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A note from the culture desk

Here are some quick notes about books, movies and music that I've enjoyed recently:

Music: Rodrigo y Gabriela's eponymous album features some mind-blowing acoustic guitar work. If you like salsa, flamenco, or fast-paced fingerstyle guitar this is highly recommended! (YouTube videos of the lads here)

The new Decemberists CD is beautiful (and I was pleased to see the national attention they got via the Colbert Report green-screen challenge Guitarmageddon thing. Check out the video on Comedy Central if you know not of which I speak - it's worth it).

Books: A while back I finished reading The way we eat, which I'd recommend if you enjoyed The Omnivore's Dilemma and want to know more about what we eat and the impact our choices have on the world.

I really enjoyed John Moe's Conservatize Me - he has a light, fluid writing style and the book is chock-full of humour (I chuckled or laughed out aloud on almost every page).

Now I've moved on to something completely different: The Island of the Sequined Love Nun. Christopher Moore has a deliciously twisted mind (a cross between Douglas Adams and Kurt Vonnegut). So far I'm enjoying this - it's a bit pulpy and definitely an easy read, but the writing is decent and the plot is original (to say the least).

Movies: If you are an extremely patient moviegoer or have an unnatural fascination for the CIA, you'll like The Good Shepherd. It's directed by Robert de Niro (who also plays a small role in the film), and is an interesting look at the foundation of the CIA (and the Order of the Skull and Bones). A K pointed out, it would have been nice to see more of what the main character, Edward, does. Being the head of the counter-surveilance department at the CIA probably requires more than shuffling aound with a stoney expression all day, ignoring your wife, and making ships in bottles.

For some info on the real person that the movie is based on, see this Wikipedia page.

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