Thursday, September 29, 2016

Summer Rereads

~Anne of Green Gables series
I still love 2 (Anne of Avonlea), 3 (Anne of the Island), and 7 (Rainbow Valley), best I think. 1 (Anne of Green Gables) and 4 (Anne of Windy Poplars) come next with 8 (Rilla of Ingleside) after. I think I really almost dislike 5 (Anne's House of Dreams) and 6 (Anne of Ingleside).

~Emily of New Moon series
I actually only read about 2.5 books; I was so agonized over the last, it gets more painful the more I read it, that I decided not to finish it. I did use my book notebook to write some of my feelings.

~100 Cupboards trilogy (yes, still in love; still consider it N.D. Wilson's best).
Read them. Don't look them up or read the covers just read them all.

~Little Women trilogy (inspired by watching the 1934 Little Men film)
I have always like the allusions to other novels, plays, and etc. in Little Woman and was thrilled when I realized while reading Evelina that that novel had received a mention. So much bookish referencing! Anyway, I have a copy (not my favorite) which contains many footnotes regarding these allusions plus ones I missed, so I am putting together a reading list from them.* I also used my book journal for infuriated remarks over the Laurie and Amy saga. I should probably write about that at some point

~Old Fashioned Girl
I love this book, mainly because of Tom, I love Tom, and Tom and Polly's love story.* I think it is ignominiously overlooked.

~Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom
I greatly enjoy these. They contain so many little hilarious moments, descriptions, and asides which are absolutely essential to me. And team Mac all the way.* I also think these books are overlooked to often.

~The Westing Game (I then decided to read for the first time A Tattooed Potato which is not nearly as good, IMO)
I read this years ago, and I had forgotten enough to make the reread quite fun

~North and South inspired by re-watching the mini-series (and the mini-series is on Amazon Prime) with my sisters. I think I enjoyed the book the most this time around! What a love scene at the end. I absolutely love the faltering intensity.*

*I will have more to say on these subjects.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

How to Steal a Million (1966)

This post contains SPOILERS.


With my accent I have trouble pronouncing "steal" so near to "million" in the same sentence. I want to say, "How to Still a Million." I was somewhat confused as to how I was supposed to pronounce "million." I normally pronounce "steal" as "stEEl" and "million" as "millyen." If you pronounce these differently I would love to know how. I love English dialects, accents, word choices, and language patterns.

I loved this movie. The plot is simple and ridiculous and paired with the personalities and tones makes for a sweet and hilarious romantic comedy. I am just not good at describing it, it is just simply delicious. I don't normally like ridiculous (you know, anything in The Princess Bride line as far as humor or absurd melodrama, e,g, YA romance), but this plot paired with deadpan sarcasm and general wittiness is de-light-ful.

Simon McDermott (O'Toole) is soooo funny (and handsome). I think the chemistry and interaction between Peter O'Toole and Audrey Hepburn perfect and perfectly hilarious. The whole movie is brilliantly quotable as I noticed when reading through a quote list (and the list didn't include everything), too bad I am not a good quoter. And I mean tons of pithy exchanges. But it isn't just the lines, the timing, facial expressions, circumstances, everything makes it so funny.

Watch it. If you have Amazon Prime, Prime video currently offers it free as of 8/23.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Riley Blake Anne of Green Gables Fabric Collection

I was searching for fabric prints by designer, and I saw an Anne of Green Gables Collection by Riley Blake. I don't think most of the colors suit me, but it you love Shabby Chic colors (soft, muted blues, creams, pinks, and greens) and bookish stuff (there are QUOTE print fabrics!), you ought to check this out here. And each print appears to be available in a few colors.

Also, I found out awhile back that Sullivan Entertainment produced an Anne of Green Gables Wedding Dress Pattern, and here it is (you can probably also find it on ebay and etsy from time to time). Now, this is for the movie, not the book, so the wrong time period for book,* but the 1910's had some lovely styles (think of Downton Abbey). 

*What is it with messing with the time period, what was wrong with placing Anne in the correct time period? Her sons fought in WWI; Anne was born about 1965 (the books keep track of her age and Jem's, so you can count back from 1914 to see how old), so Anne of Green Gables occurs in about 1976, which is far earlier than the first miniseries . . . and the new miniseries sets the story . . . why? And oh, my will I have more to say about what I've heard about the miniseries . . . actually, I really need to describe my issues with the first miniseries.

Monday, September 19, 2016

My Birthday

My grandparents always give us $50 plus a small gift (jewelry this time). I made a gift list for the rest of the family because they kept remarking on my pickiness (I like to think of it as selectivity). The movie set included How to Steal a Million (which we of course had to watch that day). I also got Tim Hawkin's newest DVD This is the Worst (which we watched also). I also received the Tangled soundtrack (not pictured).

I made this Angel Food Cake from Alton Brown on for my dessert. I substituted almond and vanilla for orange extract. We ate it with mixed berries and almond flavored whipped cream. Everyone else liked it, but I still want to try another recipe or two. The sponginess was good but I could have used more flavoring and sugar myself.

J.R.R. Tolkien Blog Party 2016

I am linking up HERE. I guess I need to start reading!!!

The Tolkien Tag 2016

1.  How many books by J.R.R. Tolkien have you read?
I've read the trilogy and The Hobbit. And The Silmarillion. We have two more sets of stories, edited by Christopher Tolkien, I think, that I need to read this time around.

2.  Have you seen any movies based on them?
I've seen all The Hobbit movies (not the extended versions yet), and all the extended versions of the trilogy.

3.  Are there any scenes/moments that make you cry?
I'm a hard-hearted non-crier usually, and I haven't seen the trilogy in many years (I'm more likely to cry in movies or listening to audio than reading, I think). But some of the saddest moments that I can are Kili and Fili's deaths. And when Eomer (my favorite character) finds Eowyn.

4.  Are there any scenes/moments that make you laugh?
Merry and Pippin. Need I say more. They are constantly being mischievous in the beginning of The Fellowship. And Aragorn's reaction to their obsession with food.

5.  Have you ever chosen a Middle Earth name for yourself?  If so, what is it?
I have put my name in many of those Elven name sites, and I've gotten a multitude of variations. Here is one: Tamuríl Anwarünya.

6.  Who would you want to party with/marry/fight to the death? (pick three characters)
I'd probably party with Merry and Pippin or the wood elves. I'd marry Eomer (duh). I'd fight Wormtongue (I just wrote Wormtail, well there are so many slimy traitors with names beginning with "Worm") to the death.

7.  When was the last time you visited Middle Earth, via books or movies?
When I read The Hobbit and watched the last movie a couple years ago.

8.  Do you consider Gollum to be a villain?  Why or why not?
Yes, I think he was HORRIBLE ever since he got the ring (and I always avoided watching that part; we weren't allowed originally, and I kept it up). He had the worst obtainment of the ring, and he turned bad, very bad, more quickly than any other ring-holder.

9.  How would you sum up what Tolkien's stories mean to you in one word?

10. List up to ten of your favorite lines/quotes from the books or movies.
Well, I haven't read the books or watched the movies in awhile, so I may update this after I have. I enjoy the poetry and songs.

Friday, September 16, 2016

A Few More "Silver Screen" Movies

I had a brief period of Amazon Prime in the summer, so I watched some old films from my list.

A Penny Serenade (1941)
Boring, especially for the length.

His Girl Friday (1940)
-Both leading characters were hysterical . . . and that poor goof of a fiancé
-I felt that the ending failed miserably-as a romance anyway-I guess if you looked at the film as purely comedy (I didn't . . . maybe I was supposed to?), the ending was funny.
-This is the role that I like to watch Cary Grant portray. Rom-com. Not pure romance as in Penny Serenade. He is not my favorite (and Bogart falls lower than him, horrors) old Hollywood leading man even if he was supposedly the most popular. I prefer real Americans (jk, sort of).

The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952)
-I did not love this film, but Gregory Peck was in it so that covers a multitude of boring aspects.
-I believe that I read the short story, and this considerably changed the tone making Peck's character much nicer than the story character; he doesn't strike me as a villain, but his wife was a whiny, selfish, insecure, cowardly, childish weakling. I did not find him at fault in that situation or not much. But her! She is awful (but she did feel some guilt). Still, I love that he wanted to her back; I loved his faithfulness.
-And that ludicrous old Hollywood happy ending. Total opposite of the book.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Blogtember Challenge: The Biggest Adventure I've Been On in My Life

I am linking up here. I just went on my biggest adventure this year. My mom, four sisters and I (we actually didn't fight too much, lol) spent two weeks road-tripping across the West and Midwest to San Diego and back. This was a flyby trip except San Diego, we stayed a couple days there.

I could go back to all those places, but I especially would like to go back to San Diego and Albuquerque and to see more of Colorado than the mountains from the road! I have seen the Atlantic (only once in my memory, Jekyll Island; if I visited when tiny I don't remember it), the Gulf multiple times, and the Pacific twice (the first time was the San Francisco Bay area . . . in January), and the beaches and water in San Diego are the most beautiful that I have seen; I enjoyed the water too even though it was May, and the curving waves that came at different curves and angles were quite interesting.

Here are my posts, the middle ones are more photo heavy.

Part 1 Oklahoma
Part 2 Texas
Part 3 New Mexico
Part 4 Grand Canyon
Part 5 San Diego
Part 6 San Diego Zoo Part 1
Part 7 San Diego Zoo Part 2
Part 8 Last of San Diego
Part 9 Utah
Part 10 Colorado and Kansas

And I was able to buy some goodies (NOT touristy things either)
Travel Treasures

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

2016 Anne of Green Gables Challenge: Rilla of Ingleside

Here is the last post for the Anne of Green Gables reading challenge: Rilla of Ingleside. The questions are here.

What do you think of Rilla? Is she like her parents? How is she different?
Rilla is much more selfish and shallow than both of her parents. She does grow considerably though I still don't find her super-likable although I can probably relate more to her.

After returning to Ingleside, Jem tells Rilla that Walter wasn’t scared at the front. Even though Walter was sickened by the thought of war, Jem said that he turned out to be a courageous hero. Why do you think that was? Anticipating a situation and actually being in the moment can be totally different experiences and sometimes bring out surprising reactions. Can you remember a time when this has happened to you? 
I frequently dread things, and sometimes that dread is justifiable, sometimes proper planning does away with it, sometimes it makes the situation worse, and sometimes it turns out to be a waste of energy. Walter, like his father said, had an active imagination. He knew far more of what is would really be like than Jem and Jerry (although that would not have stopped them). But he possessed moral courage in the actual face of wrong-doing and duty.

There wasn’t much to Rilla’s relationship with Kenneth Ford in terms of time spent together. How do we know that their relationship is going to last?
Well, Rilla has been in love with Ken since she was little, and she waited for him. Ken is quite honorable, he wasn't just playing at being in love with a much younger girl.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

2016 Anne of Green Gables Reading Challenge: Rainbow Valley

I am behind on these. Here is the link to the questions.

This book was totally centered around the Blythe small fry and their friends. Reading about their adventures in Rainbow Valley made me think of Anne’s days with the the Echo Lodge crew in Anne of Avonlea. It also made me think of Camp Laurence from Little Women, as well as sweet Betsy-Tacy moments. The innocence of childhood play is so lovely to read. Do you have any favorite Rainbow Valley moments? Did they remind you of other childhood moments from any other books?
I loved when the boys all stood up for the girls. I love the comradeship between the two families, and the clannishness (like between characters in books like The Penderwicks; their "clan" of friends, family, and neighbors). Una is my least favorite Meredith, but I love when she set things right between her father and Rosemary (I like Mr. Meredith and his dreamy ways; I think other people should've been more forthright about his abstraction and not leave it to the vulgar, horrible people).

Montgomery likes writing about romance lost (Captain Jim and Lost Margaret) or almost lost forever (Mr. Irving and Miss Lavender). What would you have done in Rosemary’s place? Would you have kept your promise to your sister and refused John Meredith despite loving him?
I would not have made such a promise, not because I am so wise, but because I would not have wanted to keep it, and I think the swearing part might've brought be to my senses if I had gotten that far; that was so incredibly controlling. I also don't think promise keeping should be like oath-swearing (which is what Ellen made Rosemary do). This was such an ethical dilemma, but I think that Rosemary should have told him why she refused him, I think she owed him that much, that much of the oath should've been broken because she was hurting someone else badly. Ellen is so manipulative, selfish, and evil.

We’ve said goodbye to Anne’s childhood long ago. This book is a farewell to the sweet childhood of the Blythe clan. This always makes me sad. While being an adult is a wonderful thing in so many ways, childhood always calls to us in one way or another. What do you miss about childhood? 
The relative simplicity, the clean slate, the fresh world.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Blog-tember Day 12: Read, Reading, To-Be Read

I have been following along and finding new blogs to read through Love Bailey's Blog-tember challenge, but I never really considered linking up until today. Reading is definitely my thing, so yeah. Here is the think for today.

I just finished reading S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders as preparation for watching the film. Wow, I think I must just be into heart-breakers recently (I mean, All the Light You Cannot See; that can really take it out of you!). I read the story all in one day as it was rather short and easy (on the brain . . . on the emotions, not so much).

I just started Charles Dickens' Dombey and Son, but I often take awhile to get into Dickens novels, so I will probably be reading other books too. Who am I kidding, I do that anyway.

I brought up The Fellowship of the Ring after scouring our basement for books (I've read most, the library is usually my source, but I've been on a re-reading kick lately), so that may be next/in conjunction with Dombey and Son. Hamlette at Hamlette's Soliloquy is hosting a Tolkien's Party this month, and I've been meaning to reread The Lord of the Rings for years. I still have several hoards of library books spread around my room. Technically, I also have two other books started: The Saltwater Frontier and The Barbarous Years. Non-fiction takes a lot more brain and will power though.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Little Men (1934)

I love Nat and Dan, especially Dan, and since this film focused on these two characters and portrayed them well, I really enjoyed it, despite inaccuracies elsewhere.  I do not expect anything other than stylized acting in early films, and that is what all these actors provided. The film was quite short, and the novel Little Men takes place over several years, so naturally this film could not capture everything and what it did felt rushed, but as I mentioned before, the film developed certain characters well and the spirit of the movie matched the book except in one significant particular.

Professor Bhaer was AWFUL. For one thing, the age difference is noticeable (exaggerated?), and he is creepy. And he is not large in heart and mercy as he was in the book, he is not even just. The film accurately portrays Nat's punishment for lying, but this is totally out of character with the film's overall depiction of the professor.