Top Ten Tuesday -Hating on the Classics

Hosted by: The Broke and the Bookish

Today’s Topic : Ten Books I Struggled to Get Into But Ended Up Loving or Ten Books That Were A Chore To Get Through or Ten Books I’ve Most Recently Put DownSo, as usual I have interpreted today’s prompt to suit myself.  There are very few books that I don’t end up finishing. I hate giving up on a story even when it doesn’t resonate with me. Plus, I always want to promote good stories and authors. I have no desire to draw negative attention to books I don’t enjoy, because one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right?

In pondering this week’s topic, I finally decided to highlight a genre which I don’t particularly love. I totally understand the need and value of the classics, but for the most part, I find them dull, overly wordy, depressing and just boring. In my opinion, real life gives enough hard knock lessons without needing them preached to me by my entertainment choices. I can and do appreciate stories of tragedy, but overall I prefer those which promote encouraging messages and hope. And I love a happy ending, so sue me. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Hating on the Classics”

Classic Director Spotlight -Clarence Brown

Clarence Brown is an American director from the classic film era. He was highly intelligent and graduated from the University of Tennessee at the age of twenty with two engineering degrees. He worked for and eventually owned his own automobile dealership. He also served in WWI as a flight instructor and pilot before making his way into the motion picture industry.

Continue reading “Classic Director Spotlight -Clarence Brown”

Film Review -Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

SUMMARY

In Much Ado About Nothing Prince Don Pedro and his men are returning from battle. On their way home they stop at the home of Leonato.

Claudio is enamored of Leonato’s beautiful, innocent daughter Hero and desires to marry her. His compatriot Benedick has sworn off marriage. He becomes engaged instead in a battle of wit and will against Hero’s cousin Beatrice. Don Pedro manages to arrange a wedding between Claudio and Hero. Feeling confident of his skills he proclaims to his men that he will play matchmaker for the combative Benedick and Beatrice.

With a little help from his men and Beatrice’s family the two are tricked into believing they both truly love each other. In the meantime Don Pedro’s malicious brother Don John plots to stop the marriage between Claudio and Hero as a means of revenge. Continue reading “Film Review -Much Ado About Nothing (1993)”

Book Review -My Unexpected Hope

SUMMARY

A year after her divorce is finalized Laila Richardson is finally ready to move on from her ex and her past. She is dating a new man, is looking to quit her long term bartending job and move away from her home town. But when her childhood sweetheart hears of her plans, he returns to town, determined to salvage their marriage.

Chad Richardson has loved Laila his whole life. He only left because he realized his drug addicted lifestyle was putting her in danger. But now, he’s been clean for several months and he’s willing to do anything to prove to Laila that he still loves her.

But their shared past is just as much a hindrance to their future as Laila’s broken trust in Chad. Has he really changed? Can her heart be mended enough to give him a second chance? Continue reading “Book Review -My Unexpected Hope”

Book Review – Then There Was You

sUMMARY

Paige McAllister has simply been existing since a tragedy which claimed her brother’s life. When she finally becomes aware of this fact, she turns her life upside down. Paige breaks up with her boyfriend, quits her job and moves halfway across the world to Sydney, Australia. She hopes that major change will be a catalyst for a better quality of life.

Josh Tyler has two unfortunate run-ins with this American stranger on his way back home after a long worship concert tour. His parents just happen to pastor one of the largest churches in Australia. He has learned to be cautious thanks to his family’s prominence. When his mother hires Paige to be the temporary event coordinator for the church, Josh is predisposed to distrust Paige despite the attraction he fights towards her.

When Josh and Paige are force to work together, neither one is happy about it. Their judgments about each other are colored by their own past traumas. Will they be able to overcome not only their prejudices, but their pasts which still haunt them? Continue reading “Book Review – Then There Was You”

Film Review -The Making of a Lady (2012)

Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote stories familiar and beloved to many, including Little Lord Fauntleroy, A Little Princess and The Secret Garden. All of these have been adapted for the screen. Not nearly as many are familiar with Burnett’s novel The Making of a Marchioness and its’ sequel The Methods of Lady Walderhurst. The former was adapted as a television film by ITV under the name The Making of a Lady.

SUMMARY

The Making of a Lady stars Lydia Wilson as the impoverished but genteel Emily Fox-Seton. Orphaned at a young age, she has been forced to make her own way in the world. Gifted an education by her relatives, her options remain few. She has a difficult time maintaining steady employment to pay her rooming fare at a run-down but respectable boarding house. After being let go from her temporary job as a secretary to Lady Maria Byrne, she receives an unexpected offer from the Lady’s nephew, Lord Walderhurst.

In need of an heir, the older Marquess proposes a marriage of convenience. With very few options and despite wanting to marry for love, Emily accepts his proposal. Walderhurst soon introduces her as the mistress of his country home, where she is met by a less than hospitable staff.

Just as Emily and Walderhurst begin to grow closer, he decides to re-enlist in his old regiment and return to India. He instructs his dour but trusted butler, Mr Litton to look out for his new wife.

Shortly after his departure, Walderhurst’s cousin Alec Osborne and his Indian born wife Hester arrive with a letter from the Marquess requesting they also keep keep an eye on Emily. Despite prior inferences from both her husband and Lady Byrne about Alec’s character, Emily is thrilled to have some pleasant, young relatives around to keep her company and moves them into the house. But strange things begin occurring and Alec’s behavior becomes erratic. Is he a threat or is Emily imagining things?

To read my full review, please head over to The Silver Petticoat Review.

Top Ten Tuesday -Back to School with History

Well, it’s that time of year when all the children and educators head back to school. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is a back to school freebie.

I will confess, I’m a bit of a nerd. I always enjoyed learning in the classroom. My favorite subject was history and I was often chided for reading ahead in my textbook. Many of my friends complained that history was dull, full of names and dates which meant very little to them. To counter that opinion I am sharing my favorite novels set during various times with stories that make make history come alive. For more information on the titles, clicking on each link will give you a description of the story. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Back to School with History”

Behind the Persona -Three Books About the Man Named Cary Grant

I have been a faithful fan of Cary Grant the actor for over twenty years. In that time I have read every book I could find about him to learn more about the man behind one of the most famous personas in cinematic history.

I have always been interested in biographies. I have read  biographies about many of my favorite film  stars. Over time, I have realized that I prefer the ones that focus on the individual’s personal background. While it is always interesting to learn about an actor’s career, who he worked with, why he chose certain projects, etc. I prefer it when those facts don’t overwhelm their actual story.

So, having done all the work of reading numerous books about Cary Grant, I am now sharing with you my three of my favorites.

Continue reading “Behind the Persona -Three Books About the Man Named Cary Grant”

Foreign Film Friday -My Love Eun-dong (2015)

SUMMARY

As young teenagers, reckless behavior on his part brings Hyun-soo and Eun Dong together. After Eun-dong’s lie spares him a criminal sentence, Hyun-soo determines to repay his debt by looking out for her. His debt of gratitude quickly turns into one of friendship, and Eun-dong challenges him to live a better life. Their strong connection is shattered when they are unexpectedly separated and lose touch for a decade.

Neither Eun-dong nor Hyun-soo forget each other and eventually another random meeting brings them back together. This time their friendship deepens into something much more. After falling in love they are once more accidentally separated. But Hyun-soo holds fast to his promise to wait for Eun-dong and never gives up hope they will be reunited.

Another ten years passes and Hyun-soo is now known as the famous actor Eun-ho. He decides to use his fame to search for his lost love by publishing their love story.  His manager hires young wife and mother Jung-eun to ghost-write the book. Jung-eun finds herself utterly charmed and moved by Eun-ho’s memories of Eun-dong, but also finds them strangely familiar.

Meanwhile, Eun-ho is being stalked by a powerful, beautiful woman who wants him for herself and will use any means to achieve her goal. Continue reading “Foreign Film Friday -My Love Eun-dong (2015)”

Film Review -Tommy’s Honour (2016)

History is a treasure trove full of inspirational stories of real life people and I love seeing these stories brought to wider attention on the screen.

SUMMARY

Tommy’ s Honour is the tale of the father and son who are considered the founders of modern golf and is based on a book by Kevin Cook. Old Tom Morris’ is a champion golfer whose glory days are passing but he’s still well respected as the greens keeper and professional at St. Andrews. He and his son Tommy Jr. act as caddies to the local gentlemen golfers of the St. Andrews club while also running their shop selling golf equipment.

As a teenager, Tommy soon begins to surpass his father’s fame with his own advanced skills earning him respect. This leads to Tommy being chosen in place of his father in challenger games. These games are set up by the titled and wealthy who put up the money to stake the game, betting their choice of a player against a challenger from another course. The winner receives whatever profits the organizers decide to share with him.

Of course, Tommy wins many of these matches and then begins winning professional golf tournaments. But Tommy’s modern ideas both in how to play the game and also his belief in his own equality with the upper class who sponsor him, clash with his father’s more traditional views. And when he falls in love with an older woman with a tainted past, he alienates his mother.

To read my full review of this underrated film, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.