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As the holidays draw to an end ever so quickly, and before I take off for a couple of weeks to recharge, it’s time to take stock and wrap up for the summer of 2010.

After watching 56 films in two months as a previewer for an upcoming international film festival, I don’t miss the cineplex for this summer’s offering. Yes, I’ve seen Inception.  And no, I didn’t dream that I saw it… although I remember waking up a couple of times. Anyway, its effect on me is quite similar to Avatar‘s, something I wouldn’t rave about except just say: ‘Been there, done that’.  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo may well be the best summer movies in my opinion.

As for books, I’ve read a few, not a long list, but enough to keep me busy, relaxed, informed, and inspired. I’m glad I’ve discovered Tim Keller, pastor of the vibrant Redeemer Presbyterian Church of Manhattan.  His Reason For God has restored hope in me that it’s possible to embrace both faith and reason.  Seldom have I come across such an intellectual and sensible approach to the seeming dichotomy.

I must also mention Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity In North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home by Laura and Lisa Ling.  The book is a riveting account of journalist Laura Ling’s harrowing ordeal as a captive of the North Korean regime, and her remarkable release back to freedom together with her translator Euna Lee.  A testament of hope, resilience, the power of love, and the humanity we all share. An absorbing read, well told inside out.

Also, Bellezza’s Japanese Literature Challenge 4 has really done its job.  For it was a challenge indeed reading Kenzaburo Oe’s Rouse Up O Young Men of the New Age! Another more leisurely but no less intense work is Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. I’ve purposely delayed posting about it until I’ve seen its movie adaptation coming out in September.  I’m looking forward to the film version, with Carey Mulligan as Kathy, Keira Knightly as Ruth, and Andrew Garfield (our new Spider-Man) as Tommy.  That would be for my commitment to C. B. James’s Read the Book/See the Movie Challenge over at Ready When You Are, C.B.

So now, my two weeks of late summer hiatus.  Just for fun, here’s Arti’s Cryptic Challenge… some hints as to where I’ll be in the next little while …  and most likely what you’ll see posted on Ripple Effects comes September.

1.  Don’t mind the gap:  risky when boarding, but good pointer for parenting.

2.  “I am not yet so much changed…”  Upon this re-visit, I don’t expect much change either, for it has kept quite the same for hundreds of years.

3.  From “Lost Generation” to “Beat Generation”, Beach to Whitman, it has much to offer other than curb appeal.

4.  And finally, this little clip on YouTube is my best prep:

Enjoy what’s left of your summer.  I’ll be happy to hear from you about your summer reads, movies, and wrap-up.  Feel free to leave your comments here and I’ll try to read and reply them whenever I find a free WiFi hot spot.

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