Saturday, December 9, 2017

Lovely Books and Things - 12.9.17

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Stacking the Shelves (details)
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)


Been spending time holiday making and watching films moreso than reading these days. Just not in the mood. Also, I am finding it hard to carve out some quiet moments to just sit and read. Thus, so sorry to say that I am behind on some reviews. ACK!

NOTE TO SELF: do not accept requested book reviews due in November and December

Current happy things:

1. Eggslut's Fairfax Breakfast Sandwich (here) - used Sir Kensington's Sriracha Mayonnaise which was just as good - YUM

2. Holiday/christmas movies. I am going through this writer/book themed list created by Entertainment Weekly (here):

A Christmas Cruise (ION, Dec. 16)
an aspiring novelist finds love at sea

The Mistletoe Inn (Hallmark, Nov. 23)
a romance novelist attends a writing retreat in Vermont

A Joyous Christmas (HMM, Nov. 26)
a best-selling author returns to her hometown for a book event

Snowed Inn Christmas (Lifetime, Dec. 16)
centers on two online journalists given a holiday writing assignment

The Christmas Train (Hallmark, Nov. 25)
tracks a journalist who encounters an ex on a cross-country train ride

Christmas Getaway (Hallmark, Dec. 23)
focuses on a freshly single travel writer who has to share a cabin with a toothsome widower.

3. Everyday is Christmas! by Sia on YouTube. I like how they are original songs that are pretty catchy. The corresponding videos are a hoot too!



JOURNALS with writing prompts have captured my attention for inspiration on leading a more creative life. No Goal Was Met Without A Little Sweat is a guided fitness journal | Amazon. Experience Passport: 45 Ways to Broaden Your Horizon suggests ways to explore the world around you. | Amazon.

For Review:

by Helena Hunting
-New Adult, Romance
courtesy of Romance Read-of-the-Month Club -Thanks!
BarnesNoble | Amazon | Goodreads

OTHER things (kinda book-related):

Book Blogger Hop
features a book related question
Sponsored by The Coffee Addicted Writer (details)

This week's prompt: If you celebrate Christmas, do you feel the need to stop reading anything but Christmas-themed romances as the holiday season starts?
(submitted by Maria @ A Night's Dream of Books)

THIS is something I have wanted to do, but because of requested reviews (in the past) and holiday festivities and outings I have not had a chance to actually do holiday reading. I do have a stack of holiday romance novels on my nightstand in case I get some free time. I seem to get at least one to add to the stack each year - such festive covers.

AND watched: in theatre

Lady Bird (2017)
Director/Writer: Greta Gerwig
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, Odeya Rush
-Comedy, Drama | imdb | my rating: 4

In the early 2000s, an artistically-inclined seventeen year-old comes of age in Sacramento, California.

LOVELY coming of age story based in the town of Sacramento which is a portrayed as a character as well.

Alice in Wonderland (2017)
Director: Christopher Wheeldon
Based on book by: Lewis Carroll
Stars: Lauren Cuthbertson, Steven McRae, Federico Bonelli, Laura Morera, Christopher Saunders, James Hay
-Drama, Fantasy, Music, Ballet | imdb | my rating: 5

Follow Alice down the rabbit hole in choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s exuberant ballet, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s much-loved book. At a garden party on a sunny afternoon, Alice is surprised to see her parents’ friend Lewis Carroll transform into a white rabbit. When she follows him down a rabbit hole events become curiouser and curiouser…. As Alice (Lauren Cuthbertson) journeys through Wonderland, she encounters countless strange creatures. She’s swept off her feet by the charming Knave of Hearts (Federico Bonelli), who’s on the run for stealing the tarts. Confusion piles upon confusion. Then Alice wakes with a start. Was it all a daydream? Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland first burst onto the stage in 2011 in an explosion of color, stage magic and inventive, sophisticated choreography. Joby Talbot’s score combines contemporary sound worlds with sweeping melodies that gesture to ballet scores of the 19th century. Bob Crowley’s wildly imaginative, eye-popping designs draw on everything from puppetry to projections to make Wonderland wonderfully real. This production, to be recorded live in 2017, shows The Royal Ballet at its best, bringing together world-class dance with enchanting family entertainment.

FUN, beautiful and romantic rendition of the Alice story. The music was wonderful.

AND watched: on Netflix

Big Eyes (2014)
Director: Tim Burton
Writers: Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski
Stars: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Danny Huston
-Biography, Crime, Drama | imdb | my rating: 5

A drama about the awakening of painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.

COOL kitschy pop art story. Amazing woman. Makes me want to revisit Keane Eye's art gallery at Ghirardelli square.

A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
Directors: Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban, Brett Sullivan
Writers: Jason Filiatrault, Sarah Larsen, Doug Taylor, Pascal Trottier
Stars: William Shatner, George Buza, Rob Archer
-Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Christmas | imdb | my rating: 5

Interwoven stories that take place on Christmas Eve, as told by one festive radio host: A family brings home more than a Christmas tree, a student documentary becomes a living nightmare, a Christmas spirit terrorizes, Santa slays evil.

GOOD amount of Christmas and horror with bits of folktale, ghosts, Santa and contemporary elements. Loved Shatner.

AND watched: online

The Mistletoe Inn (2017)
Director: Alex Wright
Writer: Richard Paul Evans (based on a book by)
Stars: Alicia Witt, David Alpay, Lucie Guest
-Comedy, Drama, Romance, Christmas | imdb | my rating: 5

Kim Ross (Witt), an aspiring romance novelist, finds herself unceremoniously dumped by her soon-to-be-published romance novelist boyfriend, Garth. She decides to take a leap and signs up for a romance writing retreat at a quaint Vermont Inn shortly before Christmas. There, a top romance novelist is scheduled to attend. Shortly after Kim's arrival she meets Zeke, whom she finds to be intrusive. As luck would have it, he ends up being her assignment partner and worse yet, the ex-boyfriend is also at the retreat. Despite various bumps Kim manages to step outside her comfort zone, surprising herself. Even more surprising is the unstoppable attraction that seems to be building between her and Zeke, that will change her life in ways she never imagined.

I read this book in 2015 and loved it back then. I love this movie version as well.

AND watched: on DVD

Creed (2015)
Director/Screenplay: Ryan Coogler
Screenplay: Aaron Covington,
Based on characters created by: Sylvester Stallone
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson
-Drama, Sport | imdb | my rating: 5

The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.

For post-Fall Film challenge bonus round: fifteen. outlander. Graham McTavish

GREAT hero coming into his own with a formidable mentor.

In the Line of Fire (1993)
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Writer: Jeff Maguire
Stars: Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo
-Action, Crime, Drama | imdb | my rating: 4

Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan couldn't save Kennedy, but he's determined not to let a clever assassin take out this president.

For post-Fall Film challenge bonus round: twenty-two. veep. Gary Cole

INTERESTING perspective of the president's secret service team with romance thrown in.

Brideshead Revisited (2008)
Director: Julian Jarrold
Writers: Andrew Davies, Jeremy Brock
Based on the novel by: Evelyn Waugh
Stars: Matthew Goode, Patrick Malahide, Hayley Atwell
-Drama, Romance | imdb | my rating: 4

A poignant story of forbidden love and the loss of innocence set in England prior to the Second World War.

For post-Fall Film challenge bonus round: three. the crown. Anna Madeley

I haven't seen the 1981 tv series. So can't compare. I enjoyed this sad tale with its updated look. The scenes and costumes were beautiful. Great cast.

Paterson (2016)
Director/Writer: Jim Jarmusch
Poems by: William Carlos Williams, Ron Padgett
Stars: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Nellie
-Comedy, Drama, Romance | imdb | my rating: 5

A quiet observation of the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details.

For post-Fall Film challenge bonus round: five. elementary. Chasten Harmon

Beautiful, quiet and poetic film. Makes me want to read some William Carlos Williams.

Get Out (2017)
Director/Writer: Jordan Peele
Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams
-Horror, Mystery, Thriller | imdb | my rating: 5

It's time for a young African American to meet with his white girlfriend's parents for a weekend in their secluded estate in the woods, but before long, the friendly and polite ambience will give way to a nightmare.

PERFECTLY smart, creepy and twisty-like.


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



  1. Creed! I love that movie. I thought it was really good.

    I still haven't watched any Holiday/christmas movies, I know, what!
    Oh no! I did, last week I watched (with my students) a clip of Mr. Bean at Christmas dinner or something... It was a lot of fun. But that doesn't count, does it? ;)

  2. Get Out was my favorite movie this year! That Horror Christmas movie was also great with Shatner. I love those random surprise reads and watches. I can't wait to see that new Alice movie and Lady Bird, I've heard, is one of the best of 2017.

    I do love this time of year and put up a tree and do the whole thing but I don't like holiday-themed books. Most are romances or cozy mysteries and I can do a cozy mystery but I don't do romance unless it's really "dirty." But I do have one cozy mystery that I've started that's holiday-themed. It's pretty good so far! Enjoy your holidays!

  3. I hope you enjoy Pucked. Been hearing lots of great things about the book. It’s ok to enjoy other things when you don’t feel like reading or life gets in the way and gives you zero time to read. It’s actually refreshing to take a break. I did it sometimes. It made reading even more enjoyable afterward. Have a wonderful week. ❤️😁

  4. I like your list of happy things! Sriracha mayo has me curious, I must say. Sounds yummy. And those holiday movies sound fun too, it's nice just to relax around the holidays and not have to worry about reviews. My reading has been light this week also.

  5. I keep telling myself to take less reviews at this time of the year, too. ;)

    Oh cool! I need to watch Lady Bird b/c I grew up in Sacto.

    I like the idea of those writing prompt journals.

    Looks like you've been doing some neat stuff.

  6. We should always make a list of happy things. There's always a silver lining. :) You watched so many great films this week. I'm dying to watch Get Out - love creepy horror films.

    Wishes of a great week & Happy readings! ;)
    Tânia @MyLovelySecret

  7. I watched 2 Hallmark movies last night after Royals fell asleep, the later kept me up until after 2 am...I am dragging today. I love watching them.

  8. I re-watched The Polar Express, but I haven’t seen any other Christmas movies. I did really like Get Out, though. Have a great week!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  9. I am glad that I didn't accept any review books for December. I did accept a couple for November...and have several in January, but spread out a bit.

    I've been enjoying those Hallmark Christmas movies...and I loved Ladybird. I could see that Sacramento felt like a character, too, which was great for me, as I loved living there, back when I was younger.

    Enjoy your week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

  10. I really want to watch Big Eyes, Lady Bird and Paterson as well! I'm glad you enjoyed them! Have a wonderful week and happy reading and watching!

  11. I like "your note to self." :)

    ENJOY your week.

  12. I need to look up The Mistletoe Inn - sounds fun.

  13. We've been watching Christmas movies and enjoying Christmas music here to get in the spirit. We're hopefully decorating this weekend. It's been a busy month of moving.

  14. I've fallen behind on reading, too. The holiday season is so busy!

  15. I agree with your 'Note to Self.' It's so busy this time of year that I'm having a very difficult time keeping up with my reviews.

  16. I'm behind on my reviews too. I guess it's a tough time of year to be reviewing. Hope you have a great week!

  17. I have so many reviews to write for books that I have read and so many books yet to read. I guess it is a good problem. You have fit in a lot of movies. We watched Wonder Woman and Gifted and enjoyed both. Have a great week!

  18. I like that writer/book themed list too. Your "Note to Self" is wise. I am behind but most of them are TBRs or NetGalley that aren't exactly scheduled.
    Hope you have a great week filled with Happy Reading!

  19. Man, there is a whole lot in this post for me to consider...I definitely need to watch some more holiday themed movies yet this year (I'm doing alright with the reading of holiday themed books so far at least.)

    Have a great week. - Katie


Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu