Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Movie Review- Love and Friendship

For the 2016 Period Drama Film Challenge and because as an avid Jane Austen enthusiast I consider it my duty to, I will be reviewing the film Love and Friendship.
Synopsis from IMDB: Lady Susan Vernon takes up temporary residence at her in-laws' estate and, while there, is determined to be a matchmaker for her daughter Frederica -- and herself too, naturally.
Love and Friendship is based off of Jane Austen's epistolary novella Lady Susan but actually uses the title from a novel she wrote as a juvenile.

The film kept pretty closely to the book with a few minor deviations that I do not think detracted from the story and some of them were rather humorous. Since Austen's actual story was written in the form of letters, most of the dialogue was not hers as she really didn't have any. The screenwriter though did an excellent job, I thought, with dialogue and it had me laughing several times. The main character being less than reputable is quite a contrast to Austen's other works, so one has to reconcile themselves to that. I think though there are plenty of reputable characters in the story to make up for Lady Susan. My mother commented that she felt that Lady Susan was like Becky Sharpe of Vanity Fair, which I would somewhat agree with. Lady Susan is a far more sophisticated Becky Sharpe and I feel that Jane Austen wrote a nicer, as in more polite, novel than Vanity Fair was. It's interesting to contrast though. I did feel like they made Lord Vernon too dense, which annoyed me. Also, in the book, Reginald de Courcy breaks it off himself with Lady Susan as he truly sees through her.  However, in the film she breaks it off with him in the pretense of him accusing her falsely and not wanting to be in a relationship where trust was no paramount. With breaking it off with him though she planned to use that to make herself look innocent and hopefully get back together with him, which in the end she does not do. I just felt like it made Reginald seem more gullible then he really was. That all made me think of Edmund Bertram and Mary Crawford in Mansfield Park and I think there are some parallels to draw there as well, though Mary Crawford with all of her faults was not as immoral as Lady Susan. Besides those couple instances the slight deviation were not irksome, at least to me.

There were a few actors I was familiar with. Kate Beckinsale, who plays Lady Susan herself, is Emma in the 1996 version of Emma. Stephen Fry, who has a minor role as Mr. Johnson, is well known to us as Jeeves from Jeeves and Wooster. Jemma Redgrave, who plays Lady de Courcy, I know from Doctor Who where she plays Kate Stewart.

When it comes to the appropriateness of the film as far as anything shown it was entirely appropriate. However, Lady Susan is basically a loose woman. She's conniving and manipulative. She uses her talents as a flirt and her knowledge of men to get what she wants in life. Therefore there are those themes throughout the film.

The fashion was lovely. I preferred Lady Susan's gowns overall. Here's a few samples. :)

This is my favorite! 
Overall I enjoyed Lady Susan and thought it was a delightful addition to anyone's collection of Jane Austen films.

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

It's Monday! Joy!

I'm still majorly slacking on blogging right now but I am trying to keep up with reading. I started watching the TV show Castle recently and I'm already on the third season, which goes to show how obsessed I am with watching it. Needless to say my time is a little consumed with that instead of reading. Nathan Fillion is SO HILARIOUS though!!!
I have really been enjoying life recently though. My brother and sister-in-law found out they are having a girl, which is what I was rooting for. I'm now even more excitedly working on the christening gown for the sweet baby girl. The break from work while I was on the mission trip was refreshing and I was able to go back with renewed energy. Life is good. :)

Currently Reading

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (re-read)
  • The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien (re-read)
  • Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens 

Finished this Past Week

  • Hornblower and the Atropos by C.S. Forester 
  • The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum 

Coming Soon

  • Waverley by Sir Walter Scott
  • Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes 

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Monday, June 13, 2016

It's Monday! Behind

I made it back from Nebraska on Saturday. It was an incredible trip and one hard to summarize. Hopefully I'll have a full recap of it some post soon. On that point, I know I've been terribly lax with posting recently and even reading for that matter as of late. I'm going to try and spend more time on writing some blog posts soon so hopefully that will be remedied. Reading is just slower right now and I'm okay with that. I don't want to push myself to read too much or else I won't be enjoying it and reading is enjoyment for myself and I don't want to spoil that.

Currently Reading

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (re-read)- I kept up with the read-along while I was in Nebraska and now that I'm back hopefully I can be more involved in the discussions. 
  • Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
  • Hornblower and the Atropos by C.S. Forester
  • The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien

Finished this Week

  • none

Coming Soon

  • Waverley by Sir Walter Scott
  • Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes- My Classics Club spin pick! 

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Monday, June 6, 2016

It's Monday! Absent

Remember how I mentioned that I was going to be a chaperone on my church's youth mission trip? Well it's come! Currently I'm in Nebraska with the team witnessing on an Indian reservation. So yes this is a scheduled post. Don't expect replies to comments or that many posts this week because everything that does come out will be schedule. Actually, I've been really bad about replying to comments in general recently. Sorry! I do read them.
I've also been slacking with reading and writing reviews. Oh well. It will happen when it happens. :)

Currently Reading

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (re-read)
  • Hornblower and the Atropos by C.S. Forester
  • The Pickwick Papers by Charle Dickens
  • The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien (re-read)

Finished this Past Week

  • none

Coming Soon

  • Waverley by Sir Walter Scott
  • The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

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Saturday, June 4, 2016

Classics Club Spin- June 2016

It's time for another Classics Club spin!
Here's the rules. :)
  • Go to your blog.
  • Pick twenty books that you’ve got left to read from your Classics Club List.
  • Try to challenge yourself: list five you are dreading/hesitant to read, five you can’t WAIT to read, five you are neutral about, and five free choice (favorite author, rereads, ancients — whatever you choose.)
  • Post that list, numbered 1-20, on your blog by next Monday.
  • Monday morning, we’ll announce a number from 1-20. Go to the list of twenty books you posted, and select the book that corresponds to the number we announce.
  • The challenge is to read that book by August 1, even if it’s an icky one you dread reading! (No fair not listing any scary ones!)
It's always fun to participate in the Classic Club's spins. Sometimes it gets me to read one of the books I was putting off. 

Can't Wait to Read! 
1) The 39 Steps by John Buchan
2) Waverley by Sir Walter Scott
3) Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
4) The Mark of Zorro by Johnston McCulley
5) The Once and Future King by T.H. White

Dreading Reading
6) East of Eden by John Steinbeck 
7) The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James 
8) Moby Dick by Herman Melville 
9) The Divine Comedy by Dante 
10) Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand 

Feeling Neutral About
11) Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand 
12) Kim by Rudyard Kipling
13) Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson 
14) Dracula by Bram Stoker
15) Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes 

16) The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare 
17) Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare 
18) The Tempest by William Shakespeare 
19) Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare 
20) Richard III by William Shakespeare 

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday- Beach Reads

I'm not going anywhere near a beach this summer (Hello! I live in Kansas!) but I do like to kickback with a book and pretend I'm on a beach. ;) Therefore, here's my list of books I want to kickback with this summer and read for pure enjoyment. No hefty non-fiction on this list. :)

First Time Reads

  1. Waverley by Sir Walter Scott
  2. Stranger from the Tonto by Zane Grey
  3. The Once and Future King by T.H. White
  4. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  5. The Wolf and the Warden King by Andrew Peterson 
  1. The Jeeves and Wooster series by P.G. Wodehouse
  2. Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
  3. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  4. Heidi by Johanna Spyri 
  5. The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill 
Here's to pure summer bliss. :)

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Monday, May 30, 2016

It's Monday! Book Sale!

This past weekend I hit up a book sale, adding to the piles of books overflowing on my desk currently. I'm out of room on my bookshelves again. I went to a library book sale a few weeks ago and that's when the overflowing began. Now I just added to it. And I'm not sorry one bit. ;) This bookshelf problem just keeps getting worse and worse though and I really need to find a permanent solution instead of stealing other people's shelves and stacking them on my desk. Unfortunately I don't currently have space for another bookshelf at home. :( I'd get rid of the crib in my room to make room but since my niece (don't actually know for sure yet but I'm hoping!) is coming soon that's not really an option. I might love babies more than books. ;)
Last week I said I was almost done with a lot of my books and indeed I did finish them last week. So here's what's up in my reading world.

Finished this past week 

  • All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
  • The Sovereignty of God by Arthur W. Pink
  • The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien (re-read) (audiobook)

Currently Reading

  • The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien (re-read) (audiobook)
  • The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

Coming Soon

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (re-read)- Read-along started yesterday!!!! 
  • The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang
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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Book Review- Lieutenant Hornblower

77040For the Mount TBR pile challenge I read C.S. Forster's novel Lieutenant Hornblower.
Synopsis from Goodreads: In this gripping tale of turmoil and triumph on the high seas, Horatio Hornblower emerges from his apprenticeship as midshipman to face new responsibilities thrust upon him by the fortunes of war between Napoleon and Spain. Enduring near-mutiny, bloody hand-to-hand combat with Spanish seamen, deck-splintering sea battles, and the violence and horror of life on the fighting ships of the Napoleonic Wars, the young lieutenant distinguishes himself in his first independent command. He also faces an adventure unique in his experience: Maria.
I actually this second installment in the Horatio Hornblower series more than the first. While the first was several individual stories this book focused on one story. It was also interesting in how it was told from the perspective of Lieutenant Bush and what he observed in Hornblower. The stakes seem higher in this story as well and you really see Hornblower's brilliancy play out as he keeps his head and plans his way through each incident. Seeing him through an outside perspective was intriguing and while I think an odd choice for the narrative I also think it was an excellent one. Lieutenant Bush was one of my favorite characters. It was actually interesting to look at all of the different Lieutenants and see how each of them handled themselves in the same situations. It showed that just because someone had been a Lieutenant the longest and therefore would get promoted first did not mean they were the better Lieutenant.
The Captain was crazy. It doesn't take me being a nurse to figure out that he had a mental condition. It was a pretty interesting situation that played out and it seemed like everyone kept their cool a lot better than I could have. I was a 100% done with the Captain by the end of the first chapter.
Overall I enjoyed this book a lot and I felt it taught a lot about integrity and being a man.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ten Books I Feel Differently About After Time has Passed

I haven't done a Top Ten Tuesday post in a while as none of the topics have intrigued me. This week though I'll be joining in. The theme is ten books I feel differently about after time has passed. Some are books that I used to hate but now love and others are ones I used to love that I'm now not quite so fond of.
  1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien- When I first read LOTR as a child I was only reading it so I could watch the movies in theaters because that was my dad's rule. I scarcely remembered what I read and I re-read it a few years later and just wasn't crazy about it. However, when I was a teenager I re-read them again and fell in love and since them I've been re-reading them over and over again and loving them even more each time. LOTR is currently my second favorite book and I'm so glad I changed my mind about it. :) 
  2. Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott- I was pretty neutral about it the first time I read it but now I love it! 
  3. Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw- Not a fan of it as a child but loved it when I re-read it this year. 
  4. Emma by Jane Austen- This was always my least favorite of Jane Austen's novels, though I did enjoy it. When I re-read it last year though I saw so much more to it then I originally had I love it just as much as the others now. 
  5. Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery- I've always adored the Anne of Green Gables series but Anne of the Island was my least favorite as Anne irked me incessantly in it. When I re-read it last year though I really appreciated it a lot more and now it is actually one of my favorites of the series. Anne still irks me a little in it but she ends up with Gilbert in the end so it's all good. ;) 
  6. Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers- I re-read it a couple years ago and I really enjoyed it as opposed to when I read it as a child. I thought it was so boring as a kid but when re-reading it I saw so much more of the wit and humor in it and loved it! 
  7. Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham- I scarcely remembered anything about this book when I re-read it a couple years ago but I knew I hadn't been that fond of it as a child and I thought it was boring. This re-read though totally changed my mind. This is one of the most beautiful books I've ever read and well worth the read! 
  8. The Homeschool Detective series by John Bibee- This was one of my favorite series as a child because the idea of kids that were homeschooled like me solving mysteries could not help but intrigue me! I re-read this series a few years ago and I was shattered to realize that the writing in the series is really kind of subpar. While they're still enjoyable in their own right they do leave a lot to be desired in other areas. 
  9. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift- With my re-read last year I really disliked it. I don't remember being crazy about it the first time I read it but I definitely did NOT like it this time around. 
  10. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (and the rest of the series)- I always really enjoyed these books as a kid but when I read them last year they came off as moralistic and preachy to me and I didn't like the philosophy. So overall while they're okay I just didn't enjoy them as I had as a kid. 

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Monday, May 23, 2016

It's Monday! Dense Reading

Another slower week for reading. While I didn't finish any books I did make significant progress in All the King's Men and I'm now almost done with it. The Sovereignty of God is excellent but it's quite dense so reading is slow. I'm also almost done with The Two Towers just a few more chapters left. Since the Pickwick Papers is an over year read-along it will take me a while obviously.
I think I'm going to do some lighter reading once I finish these up as it's all been heavier recently.

Currently Reading

  • All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
  • The Sovereignty of God by Arthur W. Pink
  • The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien (audiobook) (re-read)
  • The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

Coming Soon

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (re-read)- Hamlette's read-along is coming up soon! Check it out HERE
  • Stranger from the Tonto by Zane Grey
  • The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang (re-read)
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pierce (Once I'm done with Sovereignty of God... I think I can only handle one theology book at a time.) 
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