Sunday, December 14, 2014

Bookworm Notes, Mid-December

1. It's December 14 -- Shirley Jackson's birthday.  The next couple of years are looking good for Jackson fans -- a new collection of short stories and a new biography.  I think the biography will be markedly different than the 1980s one by Judy Oppenheimer, but not necessarily better. Still have to read it, though.  I also want to reread Hangsaman and The Sundial.

2. I went to the Busan Book Swap last Sunday.  Brought 10 books. Pulled them out of my bag and set them on the bar.  The guy sitting next to me said, "Don't tell me you read all ten of those books in one month?!"  Since I hadn't read those ten, I said, "Oh, no."  Then I said, "I don't think I could read 10 books in a month."  The guy, the bartender, everyone sitting around grunted assent.  One guy said: "For me, maybe 10 books a year."  I immediately thought: Why did I say that?  Of course I can read 10 books in a month!  I felt bad for a while, then I remembered that Clark Kent and Peter Parker go around dissembling about their superpowers all the time.  Anyway, went with 10 books, came home with 4.  One of them was The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad.  I've read the first paragraph.

3. Right after Emily Dickinson (December 10) and right before Shirley Jackson (see above), I too had a birthday.  Me and Alexander Solzhenitsyn (December 11).  For Merry Birthday and Happy Christmas, I requested a copy of Pioneer Girl, Laura Ingalls Wilder's long-unpublished manuscript.  Thank yous go out to The Spawn for this much-wanted gift.  In a fit of adultish behavior, I told him not to send the book to Korea; he should just wait till he sees me in the spring. Then, to reward myself for my fortitude, I hopped on the Kindle and ordered Lila by Marilynne Robinson.  Ducked into a Starbucks and tucked into some carrot cake and a peppermint mocha.  Started reading right away.  So good.  Everything.

4. 178 books.  That's how many I'm sending home.  The number changes every day.  Goes up and down. Culling is hard work.  I've sold the bookshelves.  On Thursday, they'll be gone, then I'll really have to get serious about sending what I've decided to keep and donating what I think I can give up.

5. What I'm reading right now:  Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (reread) and A Girl From Yamhill by Beverly Cleary.

6. I've also had a DNF this month.  There was a bad guy in the novel, but he bought the farm somewhere in the middle.  Once he was killed off, I was relieved, but didn't feel compelled to continue.

7. I want to buy these two novels: Home by Marilynne Robinson and Euphoria by Lily King.

8. Oops, make that three books:  Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast.

9. I'm making a pile marked "Early 2015".  This pile includes: My Own Two Feet - Beverly Cleary; The Book of Margery Kempe - Margery Kempe; Susan Spray - Sheila Kaye-Smith; The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro; Game of Thrones - George R. R. Martin; and The Mosquito Coast - Paul Theroux.

10. I thought the local bookstore, Kyobo, was gone forever, but it turns out that it's just moved house!  I stumbled onto its new digs today while walking back from the BEL.  I was hungry for Quiznos, and then I saw the sign!  I felt just like that woman from Ace of Base.  This may be a signal from the universe that I should go back to eating sandwiches on a regular basis.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

I'm Sorry, Mr. Korzeniowsky

These past few years, I've been bounding like crazy through 19th and early 20th century novels:

I've read George Eliot (YAY Middlemarch!)
I've read Thomas Hardy
I've read Jane Austen (Persuasion..sigh...)
I've read George Moore
I've read George Gissing
I've read Emile Zola
I've read Henry James (Turn of the Screw was cool, What Maisie Knew -- that hurt my head. After Washington Square, I'm done.)
I've read Edith Wharton (not everything, but I want to)
I've read Virginia Woolf  (I like the essays better than the novels -- sorry, Gin.)
I've read Mark Twain
I've read Stephen Crane
I've read Louisa May Alcott (not her thriller stuff, but I really want to)
I've read Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter, yeah, but still trying to gear up for The Blithedale Romance.)
I've read Herman Melville (Loved Moby-Dick, still annoyed about Pierre, though.)
I've read Charles Dickens
I've read Katherine Mansfield (girl crushing all the way)
I've read D.H. Lawrence
I've read M.E. Braddon
I've read The Brontes (2 Charlotte 1 Anne and the Emily...plan to complete The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Vilette, and The Professor one of these days when I'm feeling the moors)
I've read Tolstoy
I've read Doestoyevsky
I've read Chekov

[Edited to add:  I've read Theodore Dreiser.]

There's some people I haven't gotten to yet and it is my sincere intention to read at least one of their books:

I want to read Mrs. Gaskell  (Not sure which one...taking recommendations)
I want to read Theodor Fontane (Effi Briest)
I want to read Honore de Balzac (Cousin Bette)
I want to read Thomas Mann (Not sure about which one here, either)
I want to read James Joyce (Truthfully, just Dubliners, then I'll see how I feel)

By now, one name that's missing should be sticking up like a sore thumb, like a thumb with the biggest paper cut in the world.


Joseph Conrad.  I haven't read him, not a single word.  I don't want to read him.  I don't know why, but when I think of reading him, I feel distaste at best and a mild panic at the worst.

This aversion to Conrad has been going on since my university days, and has gotten worse over the years.  Why do I dislike the thought of reading Joseph Conrad?  He never did anything to me.

I tried to beat it several years ago when Pablo told me Nostromo was "a cracking read".  I couldn't get past the cover.

 I have bought and discarded several paperback copies of Heart of Darkness.  There's a copy on my Kindle, but it's in the cloud, where it can't reproach me.

I thought I could get things going with The Secret Agent after reading a description a while back, but nothing came of it.

This repugnance and avoidance baffles me and makes me feel ashamed, and a sham.  I'm not a real English major if I haven't read Conrad.  I'm also not a real EFL teacher, either -- Polish was Conrad's first language; English but one of his second languages.

But I've got this block.  Do psychoanalysts address literary sorts of things?

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

November: Reading and Writing Cage Match

So, November was National Novel Writing Month.  Reading was to take a back seat, or perhaps get out of the car and take a bus.  But you know what? Reading did not go quietly.  When Reading saw an opportunity to triumph over writing, Reading was not shy about pressing the advantage. Here are the highlights:

1. Hangover Square - Patrick Hamilton.  Hamilton had me jumping every which way in this black comedy that's sort of like Mr. Hyde and Mr. Hyde.  George Harvey Bone, the main character, is an oversized alcoholic who idly spends his days at the cinema waiting to drink again in London with a particularly nasty bunch who barely tolerate his presence. His chief attraction to this group is Netta, a would-be actress whose beauty is only just skin-deep.  George Harvey Bone is also mad. With a click, he goes into "dead moods" in which he realizes how badly he's being treated by Netta and makes meticulous plans to kill her.  I didn't know which way to turn! Part of me wanted George to stay in his dead mood and finish off the despicable Netta and her equally horrible friends, and the other part of me wanted him drop that crowd and go towards the few people who appreciated him.  This unease about the character is heightened by the setting of the novel:  England is but months from war with Germany.  Neville Chamberlain has just made the "Peace in our time" speech.  Hamilton's writing is freakish and brilliant.  I couldn't leave this book alone till I finished it, NaNo or no.

2. Friends with Boys - Faith Erin Hicks.  YA Graphic novel.  Maggie, a homeschooled young girl in maritime Canada with three older brothers enters high school.  With all the awkwardness of starting high school and public school, she also is haunted by the ghost of a 19th century sea captain's widow. I love Hicks' art, that very clean looking black and white ink style.  I loved the family dynamics. I loved their Canadian-ness.  I loved that I had a library I could walk to and get away from my computer and NaNo.

3. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up - Marie Kondo.  The Japanese decluttering expert has a system for ridding one's life of clutter: Make categories (clothes, books, etc.) and individually handle each item asking: "Does this spark joy?"  If it doesn't, throw it out.  Sounds weird, but it works. Kondo herself has a weird sort of OCD charm.  Her favorite book is Alice in Wonderland.  It shows.  Oddly relaxing, like lying back with a cool cloth on my forehead after spewing words hour after hour after hour during NaNo.

4. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath - Sylvia Plath.  What a pair we made, Sylvia and I.  Running away from NaNo and my writing block, I fell upon the futon and started reading about SP's writer's block which seemed to leave her when she journalled. She always had plenty of words to beat herself up about not writing.  And this, always this as a refrain: "Learn German."  The only time she seemed quiet(er) in her mind was when she was observing something in nature. Maybe being a scientist would have saved her, although that is a preposterous thing to say 50 years on.

5. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up - Marie Kondo.  At this point NaNo was going reasonably well, but I still felt the need.  The need for read!  Especially on the subway.  So I read this again and basked in the idea of having so few belongings and so much space that things could be stored vertically. Even folded things like shirts and socks and underwear.  Then I would get off the subway and fly into a tidying frenzy. Even as I write this, I want to get up and start tidying now. This book is strange, and sometimes a little cheesy, but it got under my skin. Worth the Kindle price of $9.99.

6. The Slaves of Solitude - Patrick Hamilton.  In this novel, the war is on and rationing is making its painfully pinching self felt. Miss Roach has moved into a boarding house in a small town near London to escape the Blitz. Life is a series of small aggravations growing larger and larger, like the pompous old boarder with whom she has to eat dinner each night who has decided that she's fair game for his hateful remarks. There's also the American Lieutenant who sees all of England as his very own pub and brothel, and may or may not be Miss Roach's sweetheart.  Then there's Miss Roach's acquaintance, the German-born Vicki, who becomes the very definition of "frenemy".  As in Hangover Square, there is lots and lots of drinking, except with rationing, whiskey is in short supply, so it's mostly gin served up every conceivable way.

7. How Koreans Talk - Sang-Hun Choe and Christopher Torchia.  I was using this as a reference during NaNo since that project is set in Korea, but when the writing was going slowly, I ended up reading huge chunks and eventually finished it.

Still working on:
Insomnia by Stephen King.  I dipped into this novel at intervals, trying to absorb King's storytelling technique.  Trying to figure out how he avoids adverbs, only to find them cropping up here and there.  I was reassured.  More often than not, after a session with Uncle Stevie, I felt like I could NaNo again.

Monday, November 17, 2014

In the Middle of Everything

Still doing NaNoWriMo, but feeling less frenzied.  One thing about this experience: I sleep soundly at night.  After I empty out all my words, I fall into bed (onto futon, to be exact) at midnight or one a.m, read for ten minutes, conk out and I don't know a thing until the alarm goes off at 8:02 the next morning.  After this is over, maybe I should keep a novel on the go all the time.  Nah.

Predictably, my reading has taken a hit.  I'm now in the middle of six books, and can't seem to finish a single one.  I just drift like a tumbleweed from book to book to book then stall.  The list includes:

1. Insomnia - Stephen King.  I'm mad at myself for this.  I should be reading King.  I would absorb his aversion to adverbs by osmosis.

2. Van Gogh biography.  He was driving me absolutely nuts, so what did I do??  I picked up...

3. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath. She spends pages and pages and pages castigating herself for her writer's block.  It was too much of an echo of my own life these days.  I got that Van Gogh feeling, but pressed on. She really annoyed me when she dealt with her writer's block by breezing through three or four Henry James novels in a week while working full-time teaching at Smith.  I liked her dream about meeting Marilyn Monroe, though and how so much of her journal ends up in The Bell Jar, but still. Had to give up.

4. The Slaves of Solitude - Patrick Hamilton.  I don't know.  I love post WWII fiction, I love England, I love Hamilton, I love his prose -- but I froze up and couldn't finish.

5. How To Get A University Job in South Korea - Jackie Bolen.  It's important for me to finish this one and get a review up on this blog.  My Korean adventure is nearly over, but maybe someone else's is beginning.

6. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing - Marie Kondo.  This is my current subway read.  I wish I could hire Kondo to fly from Tokyo to Busan and we could sort out my possessions "in one go", as she blithely puts it. I could use someone to hold my hand during this process.  Now that I just wrote that sentence, I'm annoyed with myself for writing it. Aren't I an International Woman of Mystery?  Pooh.  A true IWOM would never have picked up so much stuff in the first place.

Finally, I had a dream that all my book blogging buddies -- The Relentless Reader, Bookfool, Sam from Book Chase, Michelle from A Reader's Respite, Susan from You Can Never Have Too Many Books, Susan from Pages Turned, Sandy from You've Gotta Read This! and Unruly Reader -- got together and came to Korea to visit me.  Except they got the wrong city.  They came to Gumi instead of Busan, then they realized their mistake and headed towards Seoul!  NO!!!  I had just caught up with them as the dream ended.  Wondering what it means.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Why Did I Ever?

Day 6:
Why did I ever NaNoWriMo?  An orangutan fingerpainting the kitchen baseboards with grape jam could accomplish so much more.  It's supposed to be write, write, write... and I'm all, edit, edit, edit, write, edit...

This peculiar sort of misery is even more interesting than the novel itself.

Here's my theme song:

On the bright side, turns out that nothing can stop me from reading.  My newest literary obsession is Patrick Hamilton.  I was so impressed with Hangover Square that I went right to The Slaves of Solitude.  I want to read Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky, but it's not out on Kindle.  What a great title.  In fact, with a title like that, who needs the accompanying book?

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Bybee's Booktober

October was very much Booktober for me!  I started the month feeling oh-so-nonfictiony, but when I got to the middle, I went on a novel reading binge that still seems insatiable.

My "bridge book" that took me out of October and into November is a novel I've been wanting to read for several years, Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton.  Now that I've gotten past that ponderous spoiler of an introduction by J.B. Priestley, I'm enjoying Hamilton's precise, slightly chilly prose.

I'm stalled with the van Gogh biography. Vincent practically jumps off the page as presented by his biographers, Naifeh and Smith, but to modern eyes, it's obvious that he was bipolar and it's painful to watch him crash through life. I needed a rest.

 I'm also experiencing slow engagement with Stephen King's Insomnia, although I have no complaints about his writing.  It's not you, Uncle Stevie.  It's me.

Getting all caught up in the Kathleen Hale brouhaha that broke out full-force the weekend of the Readathon, I noticed on Goodreads that the author she cited as her main influence was Louise Fitzhugh.  I got all excited and was primed to break out my copy of Harriet the Spy and do a line by line reading which would "explain" Hale.  Luckily for you, I took a deep breath and the feeling passed.

I've committed myself to doing NaNoWriMo.  If I don't try to write a novel at this time in my life when I have almost no distractions, I don't know if I ever will.  I've built up a lot of anxiety about this and I hope I can use that energy to be productive.  If done properly, my reading for the month should go down considerably. Maybe not, though. I'll still keep my subway commute time and pre-sleep time for reading.

So, anyway.  Here's what I read in Booktober.  Got off to a rocky start, then things improved like crazy:

1. You Are What You Wear - Jennifer Baumgartner. Nonfiction.  Initially, I was pretty harsh about this book. I wanted it to be another Lost Art of Dress or Alison Lurie's The Language of Clothes and was disappointed when it wasn't.  Lesson learned: Don't go overboard with reading expectations. Still, for it to have been written by a Ph.D., it seems awfully slight.

2. At Home with Madame Chic - Jennifer L. Scott. Nonfiction.  I first discovered Jennifer L. Scott on YouTube through my love of minimalism and admiration of the French way of living.  I liked it that she edited her videos tightly until the last "um" was bleached out, and seemed to be able to stick with a chosen topic. Her first book, Lessons From Madame Chic is about how her 6 months as an exchange student in Paris living with a French family changed her life.  In the latest book, Scott builds from that foundation and discusses how to live a high-quality life at home, no matter what your income level. She has many helpful examples and suggestions that can be adapted to one's own lifestyle. A generosity of spirit  and intelligent, clear thinking pervades these pages. My favorite part is where Scott and her husband have a knee-jerk reaction that they must move after having children and accumulating more stuff, even though they had perceived that location as their dream home only a few short years before.  Thoughtfully and carefully, they sit down and figure out a way to fall in love with their current home all over again. Since Scott has young children, this book is geared towards young mothers, but older readers such as myself will find things to love about At Home with Madame Chic.

3. The Storm in the Barn - Matt Phelan. Graphic novel. A young boy growing up in the Dust Bowl America of the 1930s struggles to make sense (largely through myth) of the land's desolation and find his place on a farm where there are no crops and no chores. The use of dull dirt colors and empty panels will make readers feel choked and parched and hopeless. The jackrabbit hunt is bloody and graphic, but Phelan imposes a control on the violence that makes the event seem even more shocking.  I thought it was interesting that Dad looks like Henry Fonda as Tom Joad.

4. That Was Then, This is Now - S.E. Hinton.  YA novel. If this novel were to be written today, I believe Mark would be the POV character, and rightfully so. He's much more interesting than his lifelong friend and foster brother Bryon, who narrates That Was Then.... Mark is edgy and flawed, and the only thing about this novel that doesn't seem dated.  I keep thinking of the iconic quote from Hinton's first novel, The Outsiders, "Stay gold...". In That Was Then... much is made of Mark's golden aura -- his hair, his eyes, his easy manner, but his gold is corrupt, tainted, tarnished. I don't know if Hinton intended to extend her gold metaphor, or if fans have perceived it continuing from the first book to the second book, but it is there and I'm sure more than one reader has been left with a feeling of uneasiness although they may not know exactly why.

5. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks - E. Lockhart. YA novel.  I love how E. Lockhart took the formulaic stories of a boarding school girl, a high achiever, Cinderella year, brains and beauty, popular boyfriend and shook them all up and slammed them down on their ears.  Frankie, who at 15, has just grown from gawky adolescent to stunner has a boyfriend who is in a secret fraternity, but she can't join because she's a girl. Annoyed beyond reason (her father was in the fraternity, so she could have been a legacy), but with marvelous precision to her method and madness, she finds a window of opportunity to anonymously take over and shows the guys, whose legendary hoaxes were actually quite lame, how it's really done.  I love the feminist subtext, but even better, Frankie is such a great evil genius.

6. A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1940 - Victoria Wilson. Biography.  I understand that a biographical subject doesn't exist in a vacuum; they were part of a larger world. But I also think there's a recent trend in biography to cast the net too wide.  It doesn't come across as the author being learned; it comes across as the author not wanting to waste any of his or her research. I enjoyed reading about Barbara Stanwyck (a lifelong bookworm! A book a day!) and her world: Brooklyn, Broadway and finally, Hollywood.  I even enjoyed the in-depth looks at her directors and co-stars, husbands and lovers. The transition from pre-Code to Code pictures was interesting, as well as filmmakers' attempts to circumvent the Code.  I understand that Stanwyck had strong beliefs about politics, but the pages and pages (and pages) about American politics got to be mind-numbing. That's not why I picked up this book.  In spite of the tendency of this project to be a tad overstuffed, I am very much looking forward to the next volume of Stanwyck's biography.

7. Dispatches From the Edge - Anderson Cooper. Memoir.  Cooper writes movingly about losing his father and then his older brother at an early age.  He also discusses his struggle to outdistance his pain by always traveling and looking for news to cover in places of suffering like Sri Lanka after the 2004 tsunami, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and war and famine in Somalia.  A short memoir, but even though it's brief, it packs a lot of punch.

8. The Homesman - Glendon Swarthout. Novel.  Set in 1800s Nebraska, a small community has had several incidents of pioneer women losing their minds over a variety of arduous conditions.  The circuit minister has set up a system for helping these women by appointing a "homesman" to escort them across the Missouri River to Iowa, where they can be sent farther on home to their families. When the current group of husbands prove to be unwilling or unfit to take the women back east, lone female homesteader Mary Bee Cuddy steps up and volunteers for the job. She soon realizes that she can't manage the women and the danger alone, and finds a dubious assistant in the unlikeliest of places. Entertaining read and a slightly different take on the western genre. The movie version of this movie is going to be released soon.  I. CANNOT. WAIT.

9. Stoner - John Edward Williams. Novel.  In a novel that spans the first half of the 20th century, William Stoner goes to the University of Missouri to study agriculture with his father's encouragement and somehow finds his destiny as a literature professor while bumbling through a required freshman English class. His life, both in and out of work is constantly going wrong, and the girl he marries without really getting to know her is all of the battiest females in 20th century literature all rolled up into one. Depressing, but beautifully written. Extra points for recognizable Missouri landmarks.

10. The Girls - Lori Lansens. Novel.  What really struck me about this novel was not that it was about cojoined twins, but the Canadian-ness of it. I liked The Girls a lot more than I thought I would. Lori Lansens is like Miriam Toews, but with more substance.

11. Best American Comics 2012 - Francoise Mouly, editor. Graphic novel anthology.  Francoise Mouly should edit this series every year. Her turn as guest editor produced the sharpest, most attractive volume ever.

12. Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma - Kerry Hudson. Novel. Gritty novel about growing up in council housing in and around Aberdeen, Scotland. Hudson makes an interesting narrative choice is having Janie Ryan narrate what she observes around her from the very moment she emerges from the womb.  According to Janie, who is descended from fishwives, the first words she hears are part of a profanity-laden, end-of-labor invective.  Hudson's writing is compelling and a little rough around the edges. Certain sections of the novel seem less developed than others, and a good deal of energy leaves the book when Janie's ma is not present.  But I would absolutely and emphatically hate it if these flaws were removed; I don't think the novel would have the same power and impact.  I can't wait to read Kerry Hudson's follow up novel, Thirst. If you're a fan of The Barrytown Trilogy by Roddy Doyle, you'll appreciate Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-Cream Float...

13. Lost Memory of Skin - Russell Banks. Novel.  The Kid's story is a sad one, with generous helpings of absurdity. A novel that dares to pose the uncomfortable question: Where can registered sex offenders make their homes if they can't live within a certain radius of children, schools or any other place where there might be minors? Are justice and common sense sometimes in conflict?  What is the line that must be crossed for a person to be truly declared a sex offender?  Fans of The Sweet Hereafter will be pleased to see Delores Driscoll make an appearance in this book.

14. The Sweet Hereafter - Russell Banks. Novel.  Banks' 1991 novel about a small community in upstate New York that is changed forever when a school bus accident kills several children. Different characters take turns with the narrative. Banks is brilliant, but bleak. Two of his novels in a row made me want to hide under my desk with a blanket over me. The movie based on this book is supposed to be even better than the novel.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Bookworm in Busan: Gukdo Art Cinema

When I'm not reading, I enjoy watching a movie, which is actually another form of reading, isn't it?

One of my favorite places in Busan is the Gukdo Art Cinema.  It was difficult to find, (the map is unsatisfactory; I got lost several times and asked a half-dozen people) but well worth it.  GAC is a hidden gem for those who crave something other than big-budget action movies.  Every week, GAC brings in several films from different countries and usually shows one right after another.

Here are some directions I hope will be easy to understand.  (I've got some accompanying pictures, but am having trouble uploading them.  When I get them uploaded, I'll add them to this post.)

Directions to Gukdo Art Cinema:

1. Go out of Exit 3 at Dayeon station.  Immediately do a 180, walk a few steps and follow the sidewalk to your left, around the corner.

2. Stay on this sidewalk, walking for about 5 minutes.  You'll pass a lot of restaurants and a couple of hotels and a PC room.  The last thing you'll see is a big tire shop.

3. You will come to a huge intersection where you will see the U.N. Memorial statue.  Cross at the crosswalk.

4. Veering slightly to your right, cross at the next crosswalk.  It looks like a narrow red road framed in crosswalk/zebra crossing lines.

5. Walk along the sidewalk.  The sidewalk curves around the big parking lot of the Busan Museum. The U.N. Memorial statue should be on your right side.

6. Follow the curving sidewalk on around until you get to a crosswalk.  Cross here.

7. When you are on the other side, turn and go to your left.  Walk until you run out of sidewalk.  You will see a Hankook car repair place.

8. Turn right, and stay on the same side of the street, opposite the Busan Cultural Center.  Walk down until you see a coffee shop called MOZART.

9. Turn right at MOZART.  Make sure you are on the same side of the street as MOZART.

10.  After MOZART, you'll see a bricked archway.  That's not it.  Right after that, there's another entrance with  ART HALL written over it.  That's the place.  Go down the steps and into the small cinema lobby.