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Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | Thoughts

   Published : 2021   ||    Format : print   ||    Location : Colombia ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   What was it about the country that kept everyone hostage to its fantasy? The previous month, on its own soil, an American man went to his job at a plant and gunned down fourteen coworkers, and last spring alone there were four different school shootings. A nation at war with itself, yet people still spoke of it as some kind of paradise.. Thoughts : Infinite Country follows two characters - young Talia, who at the beginning of this book, escapes a girl’s reform school in North Colombia so that she can make her previously booked flight to the US. Before she can do that, she needs to travel many miles to reach her father and get her ticket to the rest of her family. As we follow Talia’s treacherous journey south, we learn about how she ended up in the reform school in the first place and why half her family resides in the US. Infinite Country tells the story of her family through the other protagonist, El

The Sunday Salon: On breaking a long-kept rule

The Sunday

When I pick a book to read or a movie to watch, I try not to be too selective about my choice. Of course, there are some genre (romance, westerns, etc) I'll probably never go to, but that's typically because I've never enjoyed those much. Other than that restriction, I try not to not sample a book or movie, even if the subject matter is heavy. With one exception. I absolutely cannot read a book that has a dog on its cover or watch a movie whose main character is a furry four-legged animal. I already know what comes at the end of most of these books/movies - the dog dies. Just as it would in real life but I didn't want to read/watch about it. And I would stick to that through the rest of my life.

("I hate moving! They even
reduced my crate to a rubble. Let me
get my scent on this comforter
 so that they won't move this.")

That is, until two days ago when the husband finally managed to get me to watch Marley and Me. I had never even watched the trailer of this movie (probably because I knew there was no way I was going to watch it) and was quite surprised to see that there was a lot of dog humor in this movie. The trailer sort of tempted me to watch the movie but I was still very anxious. But, finally, I managed to give in to temptation and watch some four legged craziness on the big screen.

("OMG! What is that woman doing
in the kitchen! Let me hide until she
is done with her drama.")

The first three quarters of the movie was a lot of fun to watch. Who doesn't like crazy dogs? Our Rue is nuts - absolutely nuts! When we let her out into our not-yet landscaped yard to do her business, she runs a full fast trot along the edges of the fence all the way to her favorite corner, as if running will loosen her .. umm umm.. When you put your hand on her head, she will immediately plonk her dainty butt on the floor and stretch herself up to be massaged. If you stop before she has decided she is done, she will nudge you hard and make you pet her again and again. Every morning, she takes my dad for a walk, not the other way around. It's hilarious watching the dog walk the man! And it's so hard to get her to eat her food that finally when we succeed, we all hush up and tiptoe around her so that she doesn't get distracted by anything.

Oh, and did I mention that she has been plotting her escape by digging in the yard under the fence?

As I said, nuts.

So while I enjoyed most of the movie, I couldn't watch the last 20 minutes of it. That's when I finally opened the book I was reading (HHhH) and tried to focus on it. Oh boy, if I were watching it alone, I would have bawled out loud but since I wasn't, I had to make do with sniffing. Thankfully the husband was sniffing too, so I decided to tease him before he teased me about it.

("Ah, sun. How I love you so! I need
to get some tan this summer. In time to
meet the handsome one moving next door.")

Anyways, I'm pretty sure Marley and Me is going to be another one of those first and last ever. I loved the movie and appreciated that the plot stayed with the dog rather than stray over to the other characters but I cannot sit through another dog death. Neil Gaiman already broke my heart with his recent blog post about his Cabal. So for now, I'll stick to having fun with Rue and not worry about how it will be when her time comes. :bawl:


rhapsodyinbooks said…
I so agree with so much of what you have said! I have "rules" too and the dog rule is definitely one of them! I long ago decided I would never read Marley and Me! LOL And I have actually put off reading the end of a book if I know I will be crying and my husband is around because he totally ruins the moment by making fun of me! Movies too! And even when HE is crying too! LOL
Awwwwwwww sweet post. What type of dog is she? I can't tell if she's little or big.
That's a very sweet post by Neil too.
Athira / Aths said…
She is a Jack Russell mix. She's kind of medium sized. Comes up to my knee, I think - I need to make sure of that, lol. She's a little bigger than usual Jack Russells though.
Athira / Aths said…
LOL! I actually considered walking out on the movie when I knew the sobby part is beginning, but I was sure I will be teased heavily for that, so I tried hard to focus on the book.
Introverted Jen said…
I feel the same way. I will read vet stories (like James Herriot) because I know there will be sad moments but I hopefully won't be too attached within a chapter. I expect the cute stories to set the tone though. Full books about one animal? No. They are almost always heart-breaking! I was pitched a book about a search-and-rescue dog and before I said yes or no, I asked the publicist, "Is the dog still alive and happy at the end? Because I am not the reviewer for you if she's not." I got a reassuring answer and enjoyed the book. I haven't watched or read Marley and have no intention of doing so.
Oh ok! Jacks are high energy. She's a cutie.
Tina Reed said…
I read books about beloved pets every now and then but they always make me cry. I didn't watch the end of Marley either.
pattismith said…
I haven't seen Marley and Me either...and I'm not going to. Old Yeller and Where the Red Fern Grows still kill me :(
Helen Murdoch said…
You are so funny. I do read those books and watch the movie, and usually at the end as I am bawling, I realize that what I needed was a good cry :-)
Kim Ukura said…
Ever since I got my cat, I cannot deal with dead pets in anything. Before I used to be sad when I'd see a movie like that, but now I just sob. It's tough being a cat mom!
Lisa Sheppard said…
We haven't had a pet for years, until we recently inherited two cats. Even so, I could vividly remember how much they were a part of my family when I was growing up and I've avoided the cat/dog books and movies, too.