I was disappointed by two movies and a novel this weekend.
I wish I could say that I loved "Lincoln," but I didn't. I mean, I liked it, but I found it a little boring. And I thought DDL was overacting a wee bit, although I know that's heresy. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for a historical movie. I did think it was interesting to learn how the Thirteenth Amendment got passed, though.
I also liked but didn't love "Zero Dark Thirty," although for different reasons. I found the torture scenes upsetting and almost unwatchable (I know, that was the point). The rest of it was exciting and interesting, but I couldn't help feeling that Maya shouldn't have said she was 100% certain that Bin Laden was in that compound, because she really wasn't. She very much wanted it to be true (and it turned out to be true), but she sent those guys in there based mostly on a very well-educated guess.
But both movies were a whole lot better than Love Is a Canoe by Ben Schrank. This book got great reviews, and I honestly can't figure out why. It tells the story of Peter Herman, a guy in his sixties who wrote a folksy best-seller called Marriage Is a Canoe when he was in his twenties, based on what he learned from his grandfather when he was twelve and his parents were on the brink of divorce. The grandfather's pearls of wisdom are unbearably sappy and made me roll my eyes so hard I almost hurt myself. Anyhow, the action of the novel takes place in the current day. The book's publisher, in an effort to jump-start sales, organizes a contest where the winners will be a married couple that needs counseling, and they will get to spend a day with Peter Herman doing just that. The main problem of this book was that not a single character made any sense to me. I get that people are complex and unpredictable, but these characters just weren't real. I had no idea what made any of them tick, and just when I'd think I was getting somewhere with one of them, they'd do something that didn't work. Finally, I found the writing to be just plain lazy, as well as the editing. There were sentences that I had to read three times to get the meaning of. The only saving grace is that I bought it used from Better World Books and will donate it this spring to the high school book fair for double-karmic retribution. (A Twitter pal scolded me when I complained about it last night: "No offense, but the title is 'Love is a Canoe.' Never read a book called 'Love is a Canoe.'" She's right.)