Do you prefer to read or watch? to listen or portray?, do you like your books thick? Do you prefer your movies long? How about crying? Not in the movie or the book, but you crying while reading/watching the piece of fiction you’ve decided to incorporate into your life for the amount of time it takes you to fully experience the adventure? What about a good belly laugh? Maybe only an inside chuckle? Intentionally pick literature that spurs your inner demon or inspires your political awareness until you feel you must act? What do you like?

My norm, such as it is, lends to suspense/cop books, sci-fi, or fantasy, on occasion I pick a romance and have been caught with a memoir before. I truly enjoy a good comedy in my movie choices, drawing the line at stupid juvenile utterly ridiculous, and will admit to actually picking a chick flick from time to time. While at work I constantly listen to books-on-tape/mp3 and most often some sort of murder or Save the World YA book. This week, with my life in a topsy turvy sort of way and not at all my usual, I picked the first book immediately available for download to my Samsung galaxy S android phone that would play through the libraries overdrive program. What’s the title? Glad you asked.  BOO, by Rene Gutteridge.

Compared to what I’ve picked up lately, Boo was a refreshing inspirational well written entertaining novel about a writer named Wolfe Boone, Boo. Boo writes horror novels and lives in the town of Scarey Indiana. He’s a recluse and though he’s lived there for years, sorry, don’t remember how many, he barely knowns any of the people who live in town. When Boo finds GOD, he decides he can no longer write horror novels and changes his life. He steps out of his comfort zone (see last weeks post) and begins to live. He falls in love with the town saint, sort of speak. Okay, he’s been in love with her forever. She’s very religious and he’s always felt out of his league because of what he writes.  Meet the town folk who believe their livelihood as a tourist attraction is solely linked to Boo living in their town. A few of them panic when he gives up writing horror novels and conspire to keep him from his love hoping that he will return to his writing.

It was a good listen, I’m sure it would be a good read too. There was no drugs, sex, obscene language, only one murder that turned out to be…. not telling, and it was suspenseful. Unlike some Christian books I’ve read/listened to, this book wasn’t overly preachy, nor did it constantly speak about praying to God, but it did remind us in a gentle way.  The author did a wonderful job of crafting a book with elements everyone can identify with. A good clean escape from what is my reality. Still not the first book I’d pick up for myself, I intend to read the next book in the series.

Today I took myself out on a date. I am after all my own best friend and I happen to like the same movies as I like so it seemed the prudent thing to do. What movie? Larry Crowne. Tom Hanks is one of my favorite actors (As is Billy Crystal) and he is pretty much a guaranteed good movie. Funny I was the youngest person in the theatre, does that mean I’m getting old? Even so.

Larry Crowne is a recently divorced person, about two years though they never specify. In the divorce he bought out his ex-wife for her share of the house. A retired Navy man, he is working for your local ‘mart’ store and from outside appearances, enjoys it. Bam, economic hardship  has his employer firing the man who made employee of the month eight times in a row, stating that he has no upward potential because he has never attended college. He spends the next days looking for a job, older male with no college education whose been fired, he doesn’t find one and decides to go to college. There he is befriended by a very vivacious young woman and goes through major life changes. What changes? Watch the movie. He signs up for interpersonal communication (don’t remember the actual name of the class, but that’s what it amounts to) and economics. Julia Roberts plays his teacher for the communication class. Mercy (Julia) is a disheartened teacher married to a jerk, paraphrasing, who turns to drink to cope. The odd thing in the movie is the second class Larry takes, economics taught by professor M (long oriental type name) played by George Takei. The character is just plane weird, but is instrumental in teaching Larry how to survive in his new life. As if you couldn’t see it coming, Larry starts to like the married teacher. See where this is going.

This is about growth, it’s about change, it’s about life crisis that force you to re-evaluate your existence and it’s about finding your footing again. The movie was out right funny at times and hit a little close to home at other times. (anyone who reads the paper knows what changes are going on in the postal system and I like many of my co-workers worry where our jobs might go.)

I definitely recommend Boo and Larry Crowne if you’re looking to feel good and be entertained at the same time.