Sunday, July 5, 2020

Lovely Books and Things - 7.5.20

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)



1. Strawberry Drop Biscuits from NYT cooking (here) - added chocolate chips for extra yummy

2. Hadestown musical - performed pieces on NPR Tiny Desk Concert (here) - hope this show goes on tour with a stop in San Francisco

3. Honey Bear Scavenger Hunt by artist fnnch - something fun to look for on my walks about town



Don’t Send Flowers
by Martin Solares
Mystery, Crime, Mexico | Goodreads

The Nickel Boys
by Colson Whitehead
Historical, Pulitzer Prize 2020 | Goodreads

Library: audiobook

The Night Watchman
by Louise Erdrich
narrated by author
-Historical, North Dakota | Goodreads

Freebies: from Free Little Library

Stamboul Train
by Graham Greene
Classics, Mystery, British lit, train travel | Goodreads

Don't have this cover version, but cover love this one.

For Review:

Falling for Provence
by Paulita Kincer
courtesy of France Book Tours -Thanks!
Women's Fiction, France | Goodreads


Virtual Author event: hosted by Booksmith
Listen to archive of this and check out their calendar for future free author events (here)
Tune in Tuesdays 11am pst VIRTUAL: ZYZZYVA & The Booksmith Present: Lockdown Lit @ Lunch

A conversation with:
Why We Swim by Bonnie Tsui
Nonfiction, Swimming | Goodreads
The Firsts: The Women Who Shook Capitol Hill by Jennifer Steinhauer
Feminism, Politics, History | Goodreads

A conversation with:
Nothing Is Wrong and Here Is Why by Alexandra Petri
Essay, Politics, Humor | Goodreads
You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washingtonby Alexis Coe
History, Biography, Politics | Goodreads

We Want Our Bodies Back: Poems
by Jessica Care Moore
Poetry, Feminism | Goodreads

Virtual Author event: hosted by Politics and Prose Bookstore
Listen to archive of this and check out their calendar for future free author events (here)

The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump
by Mary C. Jordan
Biography, Politics | Goodreads

Virtual Author event: hosted by Book Passages
Listen to archive of this and check out their calendar for future free author events (here)

Rebel Chef: In Search of What Matters
by Dominique Crenn, Emma Brockes
Memoir, Food | Goodreads


AND watched: on YouTube

Sanditon (2019)
The Musical 200 Years Later
Creator: Chris Brindle
Based on book by: Jane Austen, Anna Lefroy
Stars: William Hastings, Rebecca Huish
Musical, Jane Austen-theme | my rating: 4

In 1817 Jane Austen left an unfinished novel full of characters, issues and situations for posterity to finish sometime in the future. After she had inherited the manuscript in 1845 her niece Anna Lefroy added a continuation, similarly unfinished. In 2014 Chris Brindle put both fragments together and finished them as a play whilst also filming a documentary in Hampshire and Berkshire about the rivalry between niece Anna and nephew James Edward to honour and build the literary reputation of their late aunt. To mark the bicentenary of the death of Austen and the writing of 'Sanditon' Chris wrote and filmed two versions of 'Song For Jane Austen' and then kept on writing songs for all the characters in the book. Gradually the Play became a Musical with assistance of the recording studio of guitarist David Edward Booth in Bedfield Suffolk, and the piano genius of Vicky Clubb in Colchester. Finally with the assistance of Angie Diggens the whole thing was reduced to a show that could be premiered on the small stage of the Studio at 'The Other Palace' in Victoria, London on July 26th 2019. This filmed version is the work of more genius from Steve Dorrington, Tristan Syrett and Roger Allen at Colchester film-makers Aura Films.

AND currently binge-ing:

on Netflix:
Schitt's Creek, season 5
Marcella, season 1
Breaking Bad, season 5

on Crunchyroll:
Zombie Land Saga (Japanese anime)


Happy July the 4th weekend


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently
* Shelter In Place - Day 111, Week 17
Thanks for stopping by :-)

Friday, July 3, 2020

Witches and a Phantom in France

Witches, wine, and revenge set in early 20th century France...
The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith | Goodreads
The Glamourist by Luanne G. Smith | Goodreads
The Conjurer by Luanne G. Smith | Goodreads | Release date: January 2021

For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.

Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.


Phantom doings...

The Phantom of the Opera
by Gaston Leroux
Classics, Horror, France | Goodreads

First published in French as a serial in 1909, The Phantom of the Opera is a riveting story that revolves around the young, Swedish Christine Daaé. Her father, a famous musician, dies, and she is raised in the Paris Opera House with his dying promise of a protective angel of music to guide her. After a time at the opera house, she begins hearing a voice, who eventually teaches her how to sing beautifully. All goes well until Christine's childhood friend Raoul comes to visit his parents, who are patrons of the opera, and he sees Christine when she begins successfully singing on the stage. The voice, who is the deformed, murderous 'ghost' of the opera house named Erik, however, grows violent in his terrible jealousy, until Christine suddenly disappears. The phantom is in love, but it can only spell disaster.

Leroux's work, with characters ranging from the spoiled prima donna Carlotta to the mysterious Persian from Erik's past, has been immortalized by memorable adaptations. Despite this, it remains a remarkable piece of Gothic horror literature in and of itself, deeper and darker than any version that follows.

For Love of the Phantom by Davyne DeSye | Goodreads
Skeletons in the Closet by Davyne DeSye | Goodreads
Phantom Rising by Davyne DeSye | Goodreads

This sequel to Gaston Leroux's Phantom of the Opera begins just after Christine and Raoul leave the Phantom in his lair in the basement of the Opera House. After faking his own death to escape the authorities, the Phantom sets out to find Christine again, eventually following her to London. With a detective after the Phantom and Christine endangered when Jack the Ripper begins his killing spree not far from Christine's home, the Phantom must put his life at risk for his love.

Will Christine -- desperate for song (which her husband, Raoul, has forbidden in his jealousy) -- finally open her heart to the Phantom, as he desires?

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Paris in July 2020

Paris in July
hosted by Thyme for Tea
(details & signup)

Paris in July is an international blogging event that brings together lovers of Paris and all things French, for a Virtual visit to Paris through literature, film, theater, art, music, food, wine and memories.


by Edward Rutherford
-Historical, France, Paris | Goodreads

LISTEN: Audiobooks

The Little Bookshop on the Seine
by Rebecca Raisin
Chick-lit, Christmas, Paris | Goodreads

PARTICIPATE: France Book Tours

Falling for Provence tour
July 20-31 (details)

Witches and a Phantom

LISTEN: Spotify - Paris Cafe Jazz

FYI: this post will be updated with more posts listed in MISC throughout the month

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Weeping Waters by Karin Brynard

Weeping Waters
by Karin Brynard
translated by Maya Fowler and Isobel Dixon

Published: 2018
Publisher: Europa
Genre: Mystery, South Africa
Paperback: 507
Rating: 5
Goodreads | Website

Inspector Albertus Markus Beeslaar series:
Weeping Waters
Homeland - translation tba

First sentence(s):
The call came through just after two.

Inspector Albertus Markus Beeslaar is a traumatized cop who has abandoned tough city policing and a broken relationship in Johannesburg for a backwater post on the edge of the Kalahari Desert. But his dream of rural peace is soon shattered by the repeated attacks of a brutally efficient crime syndicate, as he struggles to train and connect with rookie local cops, Ghaap and Pyl, who resent his brusqueness and his old-school ways.

Along with Ghaap and Pyl, Beeslaar is plunged into the intrigue and racial tensions of the community and finds that violence knows no geographical or ethnic boundaries.


My two-bits:

Art, land, racism, greed intermingle in the first of this mystery series set in a small town in South Africa.

I liked getting to know the inspector and new team formed for future detective cases.


* part of Books, Inc. Foreign Intrigue Book Club (here)

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Lovely Books and Things - 6.28.20

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)



1. Comfort food: Korean Soft Tofu Dumpling Soup - medium spicy (with plenty of banchan)

2. Exercise: trying the gentle movements of Qi Gong practice on YouTube

3. Personal scavenger hunt for misspelled street names in San Francisco - Lombard Street


Freebies: from Free Little Library

Camino Winds
by John Grisham
Mystery | Goodreads

Library: audiobook

Had to pick this up before reading Camino Winds.

Camino Island
by John Grisham
Mystery | Goodreads

A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a secure vault deep below Princeton University’s Firestone Library. Their loot is priceless, but Princeton has insured it for twenty-five million dollars.

Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts.

Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer’s block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable’s circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets.


Virtual Author event: hosted by Alta Magazine
Check out their calendar for future free author events (here)
Tune in Wednesdays 12:30pm pst Alta Asks

The Companions
by Katie M. Flynn
Dystopia, Pandemic-related | Goodreads

Virtual Author event: hosted by Booksmith
Check out their calendar for future free author events (here)
Tune in Tuesdays 11am pst VIRTUAL: ZYZZYVA & The Booksmith Present: Lockdown Lit @ Lunch

Good Morning, Destroyer of Men's Souls:
A Memoir of Women, Addiction, and Love
by Nina Renata Aron
Memoir, Feminism | Goodreads

Between The Records
by Julian Tepper
Literary, Jewish | Goodreads

Virtual Author event: hosted by Green Apple Books
Check out their calendar for future free author events (here)

Essay collections:

The Inner Coast: Essays by Donovan Hohn
Essays | Goodreads

Thin Places: Essays from In Between by Jordan Kisner
Essays, Memoir | Goodreads

Of Color by Jaswinder Bolina
Essays | Goodreads

Virtual Author event: hosted by Book Passages
Register and listen to the archive of this or to future Book Passages author talks for free (here)
A conversation between Elizabeth George and Jacqueline Winspear

Mastering the Process:
From Idea to Novel
by Elizabeth George
Writing | Goodreads

A conversation between Jason Rosenthal and Paris Rosenthal

My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me by Jason Rosenthal
Memoir | Goodreads

Dear Boy, by Paris Rosenthal, Jason Rosenthal
Children, Picture Book | Goodreads


AND watched: part of Frameline44 - LGBTQ Film Festival (here)

Ema (2019)
Director: Pablo Larraín
Writers: Guillermo Calderón, Pablo Larraín, Alejandro Moreno
Stars: Mariana Di Girolamo, Gael García Bernal, Santiago Cabrera
Drama, Music, LGBTQ | imdb | my rating: 4

In the latest from visionary filmmaker Pablo Larraín, director of Jackie and producer of the Oscar-winning A Fantastic Woman, newcomer Mariana Di Girolamo electrifies the screen in the titular role of Ema, a young, unhinged, bisexual dancer who embarks on a difficult journey to regain custody of her adopted son.

When their eight-year-old sets fire to the family home, Ema and her choreographer husband Gastón (Gael García Bernal) reluctantly return the boy to child services. This act places a scarlet letter on Ema in their town of Valparaíso, whose residents already frowned upon the erotically-charged performances of the couple’s dance troupe—mainly comprised of sexually liberated queer women and men. With audacious cinematography and jaw-dropping dance sequences—accompanied by a mesmerizing ambient/reggaeton score from musical wunderkind Nicolás Jaar—Ema finds its feverish heroine striving to clear her conscience, while setting ablaze sexual, gender, marital, paternal, and societal roles and expectations in her path.

WONDERFUL meld of movement with dance, sex, explosive conversations.

AND watched: online virtual theatre

Shirley (2020)
Director: Josephine Decker
Screenplay: Sarah Gubbins
Based on book by: Susan Scarf Merrell
Stars: Elisabeth Moss, Odessa Young, Michael Stuhlbarg
Biography, Drama, Thriller | imdb | my rating: 5

A famous horror writer finds inspiration for her next book after she and her husband take in a young couple.

HEAD spinning and still has me wondering what was real?


Happy Pride Month
LGBTQ Honey Bears by fnnch


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

*** THANKS to those on the front line during these times ***
Shelter In Place - Day 104, Week 16

Stay healthy! Be safe!

Thanks for stopping by :-)
Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu