Fright Night (1985)

Blogging for a Good Book

frightA horror film fan believes his new neighbor is a vampire in Fright Night, director Tom Holland’s entertaining homage to vampire films.

Life is relatively uneventful for high school student Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale). When he’s not spending time with his girlfriend Amy (Amanda Bearse), or best friend “Evil” Ed (Stephen Geoffreys), he’s watching horror films. He’s particularly enamored of a late night horror film series called Fright Night, hosted by Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall), a one-time star of Hammer-style vampire films.

Charley’s routine life is interrupted when the Victorian mansion next door is purchased by a man named Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon). Although Charley’s mother insists Jerry bought the mansion because he restores houses for a living, odd incidents around the house convince Charley that Jerry may be a vampire. One night, Charley sees Jerry and his housemate Billy Cole (Jonathan Stark) carrying what looks like a…

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The Game (1997)

Blogging for a Good Book

gameA wealthy investment banker receives an unusual birthday gift in David Fincher’s 1997 thriller The Game.

Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas) enjoys a prosperous career as a banker with all the trappings of success; however, he has few personal connections and is estranged from his former wife Elizabeth and younger brother Conrad (Sean Penn). On Nicholas’ 48th birthday, Conrad pays him a surprise visit and gives him a voucher from a company called Consumer Recreation Services (CRS). If Nicholas redeems this voucher, he will receive a virtual reality game custom designed for him. Conrad refuses to describe the game in detail, but insists that it is a life-changing experience.

Intrigued, Nicholas visits CRS and meets with a man named Jim Feingold (James Rebhorn). Like Conrad, he offers few specifics about the game, telling Nicholas that it’s like an “experiential Book-of the-Month club.” Nicholas decides to fill out a lengthy…

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Our ethical bankruptcy is going to kill us, not a virus.

The Order of Turbulence

Johann_Melchior_Füssli_(1677–1736),_Sketch_of_a_Cordovan-leather-clad_doctor_of_Marseilles

The United States has the most capable health infrastructure and the most capable doctors in the world, bar none,” Lisa Monaco, President Obama’s senior counter-terrorism adviser, said at a White House briefing. (“US Ebola outbreak ‘extraordinarily unlikely’, White House officials insist.” The Guardian)

You might wonder what a ‘counter-terrorism’ adviser is doing vouching for the quality of the US health system. It is an indication of just how badly this issue has been framed since the first report of the latest Ebola outbreak, which began in March of this year. Nor is it helpful that the current head of the CDC keeps insisting that an Ebola outbreak couldn’t happen in the US. And even more laughably, there’s a DA in Texas who looking into pressing charges against Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian who fell sick in Dallas.  Let’s hope he lives long enough for that to…

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5 Ways To Generate Blog Post Ideas

101 Books

This marks my 954th post on 101 Books.

Four years ago, I would’ve laughed if you told me I would publish that many posts on this blog. How could I possibly write 954 posts about a list of books?

But you’d be surprised at how relatively easy it is to come up with topics once you make a habit out of coming up with topics. I’ve figured out a few ways to build brainstorming into my everyday life, without taking up a chunk of time I don’t have.

That’s really helped me generate new ideas for the blog, so I thought I’d share a few of my tips with you guys. If you have a blog, maybe you might find one or two worth your time.

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Fright Fest Week 4

Cheap Thrills

This read-along is about all those scary books you read as a kid but haven’t looked at in years; check out the Fright Fest Kick Off post for more details.

'90s Nostalgia Fright Fest Read-AlongThis week I read…

As I mentioned last week, Saturday was the Dewey Read-a-Thon, and I read The Confession, Killer’s Kiss, All-Night Party, and The Rich Girl. I finally started getting into some that I hadn’t read when they were first released… but I also confused myself because, based on the publication dates, I probably didn’t read The Rich Girl back then, but it felt more familiar than the other new-to-me books. Maybe I once read something with a similar concept?

Fear Street

Also, while they don’t have quite the same “fright” factor, I read some Nancy Drew as well. I’ve discovered that Dewey is a great opportunity for me to revisit these nostalgic reads, and I tried…

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Is This The End Of Amazon?

Dysfunctional Literacy

Maybe... but probably not (image via Wikimedia) Maybe… but probably not (image via Wikimedia)

It must suck trying to compete with Amazon.  You spend 24 hours every day perfecting a business model that allows you to provide a service to the public and make a little money at the same time.  Then, just when you start to turn a profit, Amazon comes along and destroys you.

Amazon isn’t just big.  It has a secret weapon, one that’s unavailable to most business owners.  Their weapon?  A bunch of investors who don’t seem to care if Amazon doesn’t make a profit.  You can’t compete with a monolithic business that doesn’t care if it loses money.

But what if… just what if… shareholders cared if Amazon made a profit?

Last week Amazon announced that it might lose money in the fourth quarter this year. This happened the same week that its shares dropped more than expected.  Investors aren’t always known…

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The Birds (1963)

Blogging for a Good Book

BirdsHalloween is on Friday, and this week I’m reviewing five films that provide plenty of horror, mystery and suspense. Today’s film is Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 horror classic The Birds.

Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) is a wealthy and free-spirited socialite living in San Francisco. One afternoon she visits a pet shop, where she meets a man named Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) who’s looking for a pair of lovebirds for his younger sister Cathy (Veronica Cartwright). Mitch has met Melanie before, but she does not recognize him. Knowing her propensity for practical jokes, Mitch decides to play one of his own and pretends to mistake her for a sales clerk. Melanie’s anger at Mitch over his joke quickly turns to interest. She makes a few inquiries and discovers he lives in Bodega Bay with Cathy and his widowed mother Lydia (Jessica Tandy). Determined to see him again, Melanie purchases lovebirds as…

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