Thursday, December 31, 2020

Clink 2021

*! clink !*

H A P P Y

N E W Y E A R !!!

~*~

* image source: vintage new year's card (here)

Wrap Up: Books

This is a wrap up to catch up with books read these past couple months.

The Duke and I
by Julia Quinn
Romance, Regency | Goodreads | my rating: 5
My two-bits: Read this to prepare for Bridgerton. Loved it and going to continue with the series as I want to see how the rest of the Bridgertons fare in love and romance.


The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries
edited by Otto Penzier
Mystery, Christmas | Goodreads
Includes stories by Agatha Christie, Mary Higgins Clark, Ed McBain, Ellis Peters, Ellery Queen, and more
My two-bits: I read a couple stories which I liked. Will continue with this book next year.


Dune
by Frank Herbert
SciFi, Classic, Space Opera | Goodreads| my rating: 5
My two-bits: Good start to the series. But, did not feel the need to continue with series. Again, read this to prepare for the film adaptation.


That Inevitable Victorian Thing
by E.K. Johnston
YA, Historical, LGBTQ, SciFi, Romance | Goodreads| my rating: 4
My two-bits: Fun romp in the Victorian era.


All Systems Red
by Martha Wells
SciFi, Novella | Goodreads| my rating: 5
My two-bits: Fell for the characters and this storyline. Must continue.


Deadly Education
by Naomi Novik
YA, Fantasy, Magic | Goodreads| my rating: 4
My two-bits:Interesting world and magical elements to the story that got me curious and confused.


~*~
* image source: reading

Wrap up: Films


The end of the year is upon us and I have been away from the blog for most of this month.

Holidazing.

So, I thought I would do a little catchup regarding films I watched this month. Most of the films were for the Fall Film challenge (here) that I turned into a self-challenge. I was not able to finish them by today. But I like the picks, so I will continue to watch the rest of them next year.

I got one holiday movie in the mix which I loved :-)

Watched: on Netflix
Irreplaceable You (2018)
Director: Stephanie Laing
Writer: Bess Wohl
Stars: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michiel Huisman, Steve Coogan, Christopher Walken
Comedy, Drama, Romance | imdb | my rating: 2

A couple who have known each other since 8 are destined to be together until death do them apart.

FELT flat.

The Last Laugh (2019)
Director/Writer: Greg Pritikin
Stars: Chevy Chase, Richard Dreyfuss, Andie MacDowell, Chris Parnell
Comedy | imdb | my rating: 2

When retired talent manager Al Hart is reunited with his first client, Buddy Green, a comic who quit show business 50 years ago, he convinces Buddy to escape their retirement community and hit the road for a cross-country comedy tour.

JUST okay funny.

The Little Hours (2017)
Director/Screenplay: Jeff Baena
Based on book: The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
Stars: Alison Brie, Dave Franco, Kate Micucci, Fred Armisen
Comedy, Romance | imdb | my rating: 5

In the Middle Ages, a young servant fleeing from his master takes refuge at a convent full of emotionally unstable nuns. Introduced as a deaf mute man, he must fight to hold his cover as the nuns try to resist temptation.

HILARIOUS. Funny witchery moments.

The Meyerowitz Stories (2017)
Director/Writer: Noah Baumbach
Stars: Adam Sandler, Grace Van Patten, Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller
Comedy, Drama | imdb | my rating: 5

An estranged family gathers together in New York City for an event celebrating the artistic work of their father.

LIKED the individual storylines and relationship growth.

Jingle Jangle (2020)
Director/Writer: David E. Talbert
Stars: Forest Whitaker, Keegan-Michael Key, Madalen Mills
Family, Fantasy, Musical | imdb | my rating: 5

An imaginary world comes to life in a holiday tale of an eccentric toymaker, his adventurous granddaughter, and a magical invention that has the power to change their lives forever.

FUN with steampunk aesthetic. Has become one of my favorite Christmas films.

Sr. Pig (2016)
aka Mr. Pig
Director/Writer: Diego Luna, Augusto Mendoza
Stars: Danny Glover, Maya Rudolph
Drama | imdb | my rating: 4

A beautiful road movie, and a chance to talk about love for Mexico through the eyes of an American.

TOUCHING. Despite the imdb description, the pig is also an integral part of the story.

Other People (2016)
Director/Writer: Chris Kelly
Stars: Jesse Plemons, Molly Shannon, Bradley Whitford
Comedy, Drama | imdb | my rating: 3

A struggling comedy writer, fresh off a breakup and in the midst of the worst year of his life, returns to Sacramento to care for his dying mother.

SAD, but opportunity for the characters to bond.

Otherhood (2019)
Director: Cindy Chupack
Screenplay: Mark Andrus, Cindy Chupack
Based on book: Whatever Makes You Happy by William Sutcliffe
Stars: Angela Bassett, Patricia Arquette, Felicity Huffman, Heidi Gardner
Comedy | imdb | my rating: 4

A grounded, soulful, celebratory comedy about three mothers and their adult sons. The film explores the stage after motherhood, Otherhood, when you have to redefine your relationship with your children, friends, spouse, and most importantly, yourself.

INTERESTING exploration of an aspect of motherhood.


Watched: virtual theatre
Ammonite (2020)
Director/Writer: Francis Lee
Stars: Kate Winslet, Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Jones
Biography, Drama, Romance | imdb | my rating: 5
1840s England, acclaimed but overlooked fossil hunter Mary Anning and a young woman sent to convalesce by the sea develop an intense relationship, altering both of their lives forever.

LOVELY and sad take of the times. Beautiful scenes and sights.


~*~
* image source: Netflix screen

Friday, December 25, 2020

Happy Christmas 2020

BE MERRY AND BRIGHT!

~*~

* image source: vintage card (here)

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Verity by Colleen Hoover


Verity
by Colleen Hoover

Published: 2018
Publisher: Independently published
Paperback: 331
Rating: 5
Thriller, Mystery, Romance | Goodreads | Website

First sentence(s):
I hear the crack of his skull before the spattering of blood reaches me.

Zombie sighting:
Most of the time, I cry in my shower and stare at my computer screen like a zombie, wondering how so many other authors can promote their books with so much confidence.
-chapter 4, page 41


Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity's notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn't expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity's recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen's feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife's words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.


My two-bits:

Pleasantly surprised with the way this book played with its characters. I was torn on who to side with. Perfectly creepy and haunting in some parts.

~*~

* part of ibc book club (here)

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Lovely Books and Things - 12.13.20

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update


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

~*~


HAPPY THINGS:

1. Holiday decorating in each room of the apartment.
2. Tasting a variety of Panettone from Rainbow Grocery.
3. Baby abominal snowman in puff jacket in Aritzia's holiday window display

~*~


Library: audiobook
The Duke and I
by Julia Quinn
Romance, Regency | Goodreads

Getting reading for the Netflix release of Bridgerton!

Library:
The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries
edited by Otto Penzier
Mystery, Christmas | Goodreads

Includes stories by Agatha Christie, Mary Higgins Clark, Ed McBain, Ellis Peters, Ellery Queen, and more.

An Ivy Hill Christmas
by Julie Klassen
Romance, Regency, Christmas | Goodreads


~*~

AND watched: on Netflix
Paddleton (2019)
Director/Writer: Alex Lehmann
Writer: Mark Duplass
Stars: Mark Duplass, Ray Romano
Comedy, Drama | imdb | my rating: 4

An unlikely friendship between two misfit neighbors becomes an unexpectedly emotional journey when the younger man is diagnosed with terminal cancer.

LOVELY friendship. note: scene with a jigsaw puzzle

How Do You Know (2010)
Director/Writer: James L. Brooks
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson
Comedy, Drama, Romance | imdb | my rating: 3

After being cut from the U.S.A. softball team and feeling a bit past her prime, Lisa finds herself evaluating her life and in the middle of a love triangle, as a corporate guy in crisis competes with her current, baseball-playing beau.

CUTE romance with baseball theme.

Ibiza (2018)
Director: Alex Richanbach
Screenplay: Lauryn Kahn
Stars: Gillian Jacobs, Michaela Watkins, Vanessa Bayer
Comedy, Romance | imdb | my rating: 2

A young American woman and her two best friends seek out a hot DJ in Spain.

JUST a couple chuckles.

Santa Girl (2019)
Director: Blayne Weaver
Writer: Patricia Harrington
Stars: Barry Bostwick, Jennifer Stone, Devon Werkheiser
Comedy, Romance, Holiday | imdb | my rating: 5

Santa's daughter gets a chance to attend college for one semester in the 'real' world before heading back to the North Pole to fulfill her duties under her father.

FUN take on Santa's daughter.

~*~

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

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Lovely Books and Things - 11.29.20

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update


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

~*~


HAPPY THINGS:

1. Thanksgiving leftovers with friends
2. Along with books, finding puzzles in the Free Little Library box
3. Pretty outdoor dining parklets popping up in town

~*~


Library:
The Grand Budapest Hotel:
The Illustrated Screenplay

by Wes Anderson
Film tie-in, Historical, Comedy | Goodreads


Library: audiobook
Dune
by Frank Herbert
SciFi, Classic, Space Opera | Goodreads


Freebies: from Free Little Library

The Hardy Boys:
The Tower Treasure

by Franklin W. Dixon
Mystery, Classic, YA | Goodreads


The Complete Stories
by Flannery O'Connor
Short Stories, Literary, Classics, Southern Gothic | Goodreads



~*~

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

Kant's Little Prussian Head and Other Reasons Why I Write:
An Autobiography in Essays

by Claire Messud
Essays, Memoir | Goodreads


~*~

AND watched: on Netflix
Over The Moon (2020)
Directors: Glen Keane, John Kahrs
Screenplay: Audrey Wells, Jennifer Yee McDevitt, Alice Wu
Stars: Cathy Ann, John Cho
Animation, Adventure, Comedy, China | imdb | my rating: 5

In this animated musical, a girl builds a rocket ship and blasts off, hoping to meet a mythical moon goddess.

LOVED learning about the story behind mooncakes.

AND watched: in virtual theatre
Beasts Clawing at Straws (2020)
Beasts That Cling to the Straw (original title)
Director/Screenplay: Yong-Hoon Kim
Screenplay: Keisuke Sone
Stars: Do-yeon Jeon, Woo-sung Jung, Sung-Woo Bae
Crime, Drama, Thriller, South Korean | imdb | my rating: 5

A struggling restaurant owner, caring for his sick mom, finds a bag of cash in a sauna locker, while a customs officer gets into trouble when his girlfriend runs off with money he borrowed from a loan shark.

LOVED how the "bag of cash" trope gets played in this tale.

Mascots (2016)
Director/Writer: Christopher Guest
Screenplay: Jim Piddock
Stars: Zach Woods, Wayne Wilderson, Sarah Baker
Comedy | imdb | my rating: 4

A look into the world of competitive mascots.

AMUSING. Who knew this existed?

AND watched: virtual theatre for Film|Neu Festival (here)

Lovemobil (2019)
Director: Elke Lehrenkrauss
Stars:
Documentary, Germany | imdb | my rating: 4

Picture this: on the side of the road, at the edge of the forest, mere steps from the speeding cars, the four-wheeled shelters are motionless, stationary. It is night-time, and neon letters and Christmas lights flash intermittently. Inside, women are waiting for someone to stop, alone. Some are lying on a bed, others are just bored, displaying themselves on the passenger seat.

On the remote countryside roads of Germany, the “mobile homes of love” serviced by newly arrived East European or African women are aplenty. We meet a few of them. One is putting make-up on, another is petting a dog, a third one is smoking. One thing binds them together: the wait.

Take Milena and Rita, for instance, respectively from Bulgaria and Nigeria. They wait to be able to put money aside, to find the courage to open up to a friend, to reunite with a brother, to find some peace. Their lives are in stasis, trapped in a vehicle that will not start, crushed by the vices of their clients, the abuse, the protectors, the fear of being beaten – perhaps even killed –, but also by the need to earn money, and the fear to lead a normal life, far from the only role they were ever given.

And then there is Uschi, a time-worn woman who smokes too much. Surrounded by her dogs, sporting extravagant clothes, she is the one who rents the mobile homes to the girls. Profiteer? Confidante? Or maybe she is a warning, a sign of how the girls will end up if they watch time go by like the cars, while others take decisions for them.


SAD and chilling. Felt like a sort of horror tale.

~*~

* Cassava pic by Aber NT
* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

*** THANKS to essential workers during these times ***
Shelter In Place - Day 258, Week 38, Month 8

Stay healthy! Be safe!

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Monday, November 23, 2020

The Remaking by Clay McLeod Chapman


The Remaking
by Clay McLeod Chapman

Published: 2019
Publisher: Quirk Books
Hardback: 320
Rating: 4
Horror, Witches, Ghosts | Goodreads | Website

First sentence(s):
These woods whisper.

Zombie sighting:
Did anyone hear that? Her tummy? It must have sounded like a monster to everyone else, like a zombie clawing its way out from the ground.
-chapter 4, page 58


Inspired by a true story, this supernatural thriller for fans of horror and true crime follows a tale as it evolves every twenty years—with terrifying results.

Ella Louise has lived in the woods surrounding Pilot’s Creek, Virginia, for nearly a decade. Publicly, she and her daughter Jessica are shunned by their upper-crust family and the Pilot’s Creek residents. Privately, desperate townspeople visit her apothecary for a cure to what ails them—until Ella Louise is blamed for the death of a prominent customer. Accused of witchcraft, both mother and daughter are burned at the stake in the middle of the night. Ella Louise’s burial site is never found, but the little girl has the most famous grave in the South: a steel-reinforced coffin surrounded by a fence of interconnected white crosses.

Their story will take the shape of an urban legend as it’s told around a campfire by a man forever marked by his boyhood encounters with Jessica. Decades later, a boy at that campfire will cast Amber Pendleton as Jessica in a ’70s horror movie inspired by the Witch Girl of Pilot’s Creek. Amber’s experiences on that set and its meta-remake in the ’90s will ripple through pop culture, ruining her life and career after she becomes the target of a witch hunt. Amber’s best chance to break the cycle of horror comes when a true-crime investigator tracks her down to interview her for his popular podcast. But will this final act of storytelling redeem her—or will it bring the story full circle, ready to be told once again? And again. And again…


My two-bits:

Loved the elements of films, film-making and podcasts facilitating this horror story of witches and ghosts.

The story within a story within a story also draws you in.

~*~

* part of Fraterfest (here)

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Lovely Books and Things - 11.22.20

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update


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

~*~


HAPPY THINGS:

1. Took a two week blog break to rest, reflect and refresh.
2. Noir film reviews from Cine Gratia Cinema for #Noirvember (here) - plan on watching Phantom Lady
3. Puzzle with a whimsical theme - UFO Victorian Ladies by eeBoo - celebrating November SciFi month at There's Always Room for One More... (here)

~*~


Library: audiobook
That Inevitable Victorian Thing
by E.K. Johnston
YA, Historical, LGBTQ, SciFi, Romance | Goodreads


Library:
All Systems Red
by Martha Wells
SciFi, Novella | Goodreads


Freebies: from Free Little Library
The Cracked Spine
Scottish Bookshop Mystery #1
by Paige Shelton
Mystery, Cozy, Scotland | Goodreads


~*~

Virtual Author event: hosted by Love's Sweet Arrow
Listen to archive of this and check out their calendar for future free author events (here)

A Match Made for Thanksgiving
by Jackie Lau
Romance, Holiday, Novella | Goodreads


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

The Book of Lost Light
by Ron Nyren
Literary | Goodreads


Virtual Author event: hosted by Green Apple Books
Check out their calendar for future free author events (here)
Nights When Nothing Happened
by Simon Han
Literay, Asian American | Goodreads


~*~

AND watched: on Netflix
Queen's Gambit (2020)
tv mini-series
Creators: Scott Frank, Allan Scott
Stars: Anya Taylor-Joy, Chloe Pirrie, Bill Camp
Based on book by: Walter Tevis
Drama | imdb | my rating: 5

Orphaned at the tender age of nine, prodigious introvert Beth Harmon discovers and masters the game of chess in 1960s USA. But child stardom comes at a price.

TERRIFIC. Loved how this was visually done.

AND watched: in virtual theatre
Uncle Frank (2020)
Director/Writer: Alan Ball
Stars: Paul Bettany, Sophia Lillis, Peter Macdissi
Drama, LGBTQ | imdb | my rating: 4

In 1973, when Frank Bledsoe and his 18-year-old niece Beth take a road trip from Manhattan to Creekville, South Carolina for the family patriarch's funeral, they're unexpectedly joined by Frank's lover Walid.

NICELY done portrayal of a coming out story set in the 70s with southern flare.

AND watched: HBO Max

Veneno (2020)
tv mini-series, Episode 1
Creators: Javier Ambrossi, Javier Calvo
Stars: Lola Rodríguez, Isabel Torres, Paca la Piraña
Based on book by: Valeria Vegas
Biography, Drama, LGBTQ, Spain | imdb | my rating: 5

A biographical story of La Veneno, Cristina Ortiz Rodriguez, transgender icon and TV personality, and those who surrounded her.

SPECTACULAR. Based on this first episode (preview screening), I became hooked. I want to learn more about these empowered and inspiring characters.

~*~

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

*** THANKS to all essential workers during these times ***
Shelter In Place - Day 251, Week 37, Month 8


Stay healthy! Be safe!

Thanks for stopping by :-)

 
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