Top Ten Tuesday – First Ten Books I Reviewed

Today’s Topic: (First Ten) Books I Reviewed (These do not have to be formal reviews. A small sentence on a retailer site or Goodreads counts, too!

Hosted by: That Artsy Reader Girl

Sadly, I was never in the habit of doing book reviews before I started my blog two and a half years ago. Major apologies to all the authors I’ve been reading all these years. I still don’t do a lot of reviews on sites like Amazon and Goodreads, and when I do, they are generally brief.

But in preparing for today’s prompt I realized how much I enjoyed going back to read my thoughts on the books I first reviewed for my own site. Which means, I really want to get better at recording my thoughts on the books I read in the future. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday – First Ten Books I Reviewed”

William Holden Blogathon – Meet the Stewarts (1942)

Last year I had the honor of participating in the William Holden Third Golden Boy Blogathon. Although Holden has never been a personal favorite of mine, I’m so glad I did, because I discovered Dear Ruth, which is a delightful, lesser known rom-com. With such great luck, I decided to join in again this year, and chose another one of Holden’s lesser known comedies, Meet the Stewarts.

SUMMARY

Although he is in love, Michael Stewart is reluctant to marry Candace Goodwin. You see, Candy comes from a wealthy family and Michael is strictly middle class. He worries about their financial compatibility and has real doubts as to whether Candy can stick to a budget. But Candy is insistent, so they marry only after her father vows to cut her off without a dime.

The Stewarts are blissfully happy, but challenges quickly arise when they must furnish their house. They go over-budget, but Candy assures Michael they can economize elsewhere. Little does he know that this is the beginning of a pattern in their marriage. Not only does Candy have no concept of how to manage money, but she has no practical house skills either. After a disastrous joint dinner with both of their families, it is also clear that neither family has much faith in their ability to make the marriage work. When the strains of real life finally catch up and overwhelm them, will they be able to stay together? Continue reading “William Holden Blogathon – Meet the Stewarts (1942)”

Top Ten Tuesday – Recommendations for Rainy Day Reads

Today’s Topic: Rainy Day Reads

Hosted by:That Artsy Reader Girl

Well this is an interesting category. I’m not entirely sure how to interpret and correctly apply this week’s prompt. I kind of feel like rainy day reads should be cozy. But sometimes rainy days feel broody and mysterious. So, my list consists of mixture of both. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday – Recommendations for Rainy Day Reads”

March 2019 Quickie Film Reviews

This month I actually made it to the theater for a new release. Of the thirty two films I watched in March, seven of those were re-watches, six were modern movies, three starred Marion Davies, two with Frederic March, two silents one documentary and one foreign film.

I really loved revisiting some great classics likes Design for Living, The Bitter Tea of General Yen and Valley of the Kings. My three favorite discoveries this month were the comedies The Reluctant Debutante with Sandra Dee and Rex Harrison and Bedtime Story with Loretta Young and Frederic March. I also fell hard for the western Kit Carson. Continue reading “March 2019 Quickie Film Reviews”

Top Ten Tuesday – Cover Love

Today’s Topic: Outrageous Things I’ve Done for the Love of Books (i.e. skip meals, camped outside a bookstore, broke up with someone because they don’t like books, etc.

Hosted by: That Artsy Reader Girl

Even though I’m a book lover and voracious reader, I’ve never done anything crazy for the love of books. I’m a bit too practical for that. So, I decided to go a different route for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday list.

I am someone who is always drawn to a book which has a stunning cover. It’s been a long time since I did a cover love post. I figured it’s time for another. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday – Cover Love”

Classic Film Review – The Quiet Man (1952)

John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara are one of the under-rated screen couples of classic cinema. Together they made five films, three of those with legendary director John Ford. One would think that three such stubborn, opinionated and temperamental people might find it hard to create such a charming, sentimental picture like The Quiet Man. But that is exactly what they accomplished.

SUMMARY

After decades of living in the America, Sean Thornton is returning to his birthplace in the little villiage of Innisfree, Ireland. Most of the villagers are happy to welcome home a member of the Thornton family, with the exception of Will Danaher, the local squire.  Sean and Danaher get off on the wrong foot after Sean purchases the little cottage where he was born out from under Danaher. Making matters worse, Sean also takes a liking to Danaher’s fiery-tempered sister Mary-Kate.

While the villagers welcome him, Sean must adjust to the Irish customs and traditions honored in Innisfree. Nowhere is this culture shock felt more than in his courtship of Mary Kate. Of course, Danaher refuses to make it easy for him. And Mary Kate runs hot and cold. But Sean is assisted by the local matchmaker Michaeleen Flynn, Father Lonergan and the Reverend Playfair in adapting to his home country and in winning Mary Kate’s hand.

For the full review, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.

 

 

 

 

Doris Day Blogathon – It Happened to Jane (1959)

Blonde romantic-comediennes are a staple in Hollywood films. Names like Reese Witherspoon, Meg Ryan, Goldie Hawn, Carole Lombard and Jean Harlow immediately come to mind. And every single one of them is a talent with many popular rom-coms under their belts. However, perhaps none is so affiliated with this genre as Doris Day. She had what might be the best comedic run of any actress in film history beginning with her first romantic comedy It Happened to Jane in 1959 running  through her last onscreen appearance in With Six You Get Eggroll in 1968.

I grew up watching the Rock Hudson and Doris Day trio of rom-coms.  I absolutely adored them and still never get tired of watching them. Then I discovered her one outing with Cary Grant (who is a personal favorite) in That Touch of Mink. Next I fell in love with The Glass Bottom Boat, with co-star Rod Taylor, which I reviewed for last year’s Doris Day Blogathon.

Continue reading “Doris Day Blogathon – It Happened to Jane (1959)”

Series Review – Anna Karenina (2013)

SUMMARY

Though the source novel is long and much more complex, most adaptations, focus on the character of Anna Karenina herself. Anna is married to the much older Count Karenin. She is content in her marriage until she meets the dashing bachelor and ladies man Count Vronsky. He is immediately smitten, but for the sake of her young son and her standing in society, Anna resists his overtures.

However, Vronsky’s attentions in the face of her husband’s neglect encourage Anna to believe that she is in love with Vronsky. Defying convention, the two run away together. Though they are very much in love, their romance comes at great cost to Anna. Not only is she isolated from her beloved son, but she is also shunned by most of society. The disparity in society’s reactions reveals their hypocrisy. Doors are closed to her but Vronsky meets less judgment and resistance. Anna becomes more and more desperate to hold on to Vronsky. Her doubt and jealousy drives a wedge in their relationship.

Unlike other adaptations, this version also includes the parallel story line of Konstantin Levin and Anna’s family friend Princess Kitty. Levin is in love with Kitty, but she has eyes for Vronsky and refuses his marriage proposal. Heartbroken he returns to his country estate and Kitty travels abroad. Kitty eventually matures and accepts Levin’s second proposal. But her prior rejection creates a wall between them in their marriage. Kitty learns to love her new husband, but he is wary of being too vulnerable with her.

These two couples navigate the complexities of their relationships and provide a opposing portraits of passion and love.

For the full review, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Books Featuring Musicians

Today’s Topic: Audio Freebie (Any audio goes: audiobooks, music, podcasts, you name it.)

Hosted by: That Artsy Reader Girl

Well, I almost didn’t participate in this week’s Top Ten post. I’ve only listened to one audiobook and never listed to podcasts. So, I was stumped. But then I decided to think outside the box a bit. Since music is an audial experience, I thought it would be fun to list books that feature musicians; those who sing and those who play.

The characters in these books are not all necessarily professional or career  musicians. Some just have a personal passion for it. So without further ado…

Rose in Three-Quarter Time – This one has been on a lot of my lists lately, mainly because it is so good. But this time it is because both of the main characters are musicians. Oliver is now a conductor and Rose is a violinist with an orchestra in Vienna.

Love’s Reckoning – Silas Ballantyne may be a blacksmith’s apprentice, but his true passion is the family violin which he has brought with him from Scotland.

Infinity + One – Bonnie Rae Shelby is a famous singer in hiding who finds herself on a cross-country road trip with a stranger.

The Whys Have It – A tragic accident brings together the orphaned Samantha with pop superstar Cory Minor.

Then There Was You – This delightful rom-com set in Australia has a male protagonist who is not only the son of internationally known pastors, but also the lead in their very popular touring worship band.

Nocturne for a Widow – What happens when a sassy actress butts head’s with her dead husband’s arrogant son who is running from his past as an acclaimed violinist? Sparks, that’s what. I love this gothic-lite/comedy mashup set in the Hudson River Valley area.

The Butterfly and the Violin – This heartbreaking, well-written time-slip novel features a talented Jewish violinist who finds herself alleviating the tragedy of her interment in Auschwitz.

A Light in the Darkness – One of my favorite YA stories. I just love the main characters Tish and Sebastian so much. Tish is the sole female in a male rock band and Sebastian is the tortured newcomer.

One Night With a Rockstar – This modern re-telling of the biblical story of Esther is one of my favorites.

All She Wanted – Charlie is a pianist with a scholarship to a prestigious music school.

What are some books featuring musicians that you would recommend?