Take It Or Leave It

books * places * music * movies * people * ideas


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So you want to give that film or music buff something that he hasn’t heard off recently, or that book worm to try a new author for a change, why not give the latest DVD to complete any collector’s stash, here are the Season’s Best, Love it or Leave it!


Ian Mc Ewan

If you have read his prior work, Amsterdam, you probably are a fan already of McEwan. This heart-tugging masterpiece set in England prior to the break of the war, has the author pull out his best writing and candid wit to make the novel’s young heroine, Briony Tallis come out real for the readers.

Lovely Bones
Alice Sebold

This has been a personal childhood thought, whether our loved ones can “still see us from heaven?” Susie Salmon, the novel’s focal heroine, narrates from heaven as she sees her family evolve after her murder. Her unique heavenly transformation is undergone despite being denied a physical growing up by her murderers. Susie learns to let go of the world while the author provides readers a great study on family, loss and desire.

This is a debut novel and we hope that it doesn’t turn out to be a flash-in the pan.

Other great gifts:

Warrior of the Light by Paolo Coelho, Michael Crichton’s Prey, Scott Turow’s Reversible Errors, while these two maybe available in hardcover, there are also paperback new releases worthy of your moolah: Isabel Allende’s, Portrait in Sepia, while Sandra Cisneros’ Caramelo will give you a memory jog with her previous masterpiece The House on Mango Street. Take note of the opening of both books.


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Get in your favorite record store and you get a feeling of being thrown back to the 70s. What with anthology albums of Fleetwood Mac (The Best of ), Rolling Stones (Forty Licks), Boston (Corporate America), Eric Clapton (One More Car), Rod Stewart, Tony Bennett, David Bowie, Santana (Shaman) and yes even those who passed away, George Harrison and Elvis the King and Johnny Cash. No, Cash is not yet dead, but Depeche Mode fans would rather he be after covering DMode’s Personal Jesus. Ugh.

For Papa, My choice is a toss up between Fleetwood Mac and yes, Joni Mitchell with her Travelogue. Joni’s 2-cd is a love it or leave it one as she remakes her own masterpieces and puts some twists into them. I love it.

Then there are those 80s groups, such as Everything But the Girl (like the deserts miss the rain), Roxette (The Ballad Hits), U2 (the best of 1990-2000) and yes, Bon Jovi.

For Tito or Ninong My choice here is obviously 2 groups with a long name as well as the one with the shortest name.


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Don’t forget that if you have an older sister or mom who was a Whitney Houston fan, she has a new album (produced by Bobby Brown (weren’t they estranged?)), but Toni Braxton’s steals the cake with a better album than the other R&B solo artists who are returning to the music scene. Miss Braxton shows her flexibility and her more expansive repertoire than new albums of Christina Aguilera, Sinead O Connor (she’s not R&B) or that of Missy Elliot, and J-Lo who is so love smitten that she even has a track in her new album for her new husband, Ben. You can’t miss with Tracy Chapman’s Let it Rain or snotty and snobbish Manila-guest, Diana Krall’s Live in Paris

For your Mama, don’t get her a CD. Sometimes a card is enough.


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Ate might like Justin Timberlake (Justified) or Robbie Williams’s Escapology who tops co-Englishmen Phil Collins (Testify) and Craig David (Slicker than Average) . Whatever your flava is, you get a good one with any of the 4.

But if you have to get one male solo artist’s CD, it must be Andrea Boccelli’s Sentimento.

Get your now-necktied-dati-rati-Rocker Kuya Pearl Jam’s Riot Act or if he likes new old artists, it must be David Gray’s A New Day at Midnight. You will get a kiss for sure.


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For you, you wont have much left, so just go to Kazaa and download for free or yes watch out for local bands such as Barbie’s Cradle to release their new albums early 2003.

(DVDs to have is following soon - but if you must, don’t get DVDs for the meantime, I’m telling you, the ultra mega super golden release has yet to come)

and for movies, save those precious bucks for December 18.