Monday, November 21, 2016

The Scarlet Pimpernel Book Review(Short)

I read this book for The Monthly Classics Challenge because so many people I know/follow-on-the-internet had read and loved it.

It was a good book. Sir Percy was brilliant, and the ending blew my mind.

Sadly, I'd expected a different layout than what I found. For whatever reason, I'd envisioned little episode-styled plots and then one big culminating "bang" at the end. In reality, it was one long thread of narrative that pretty much started on page 30-something and didn't stop till page-the-last. The story lagged, started, and then rushed with no time to breathe and no mini-resolutions into a startling halt.

Once again my strange expectations get in the way of enjoying a good book.

The book was inventive and light and I really like the twist on a classic romance format where a married, distant couple comes to love each other over the course of the book.

I think I'll enjoy it much better as a re-read.

Have you read The Scarlet Pimpernel? What did you think? 

What Sort of Posts Would You Like To See Around Here?

The title, says it all: what things do you want to read when you're here?

I 'm very behind on book reviews, so you'll probably(hopefully) see a bunch of those come through before the end of the year, but I'd like to write posts of other varieties as well.

Sometimes I write book-themed lists, sometimes, I write little life-updates, sometimes I publish guest posts, and sometimes I write meditative(for lack of a better word) reflections. What do you like? Do you prefer my writings to stick with a book/movie/tv show theme, or do you prefer less nerdy things on occasion? Anything new I should try?

 Public Domain Images – Clouds Sky Mountain Blue

Oh, and in that vein, I realize I am quite behind on blog tags, so add that to the list of what you should see coming in torrents soon. In fact, if you've tagged me for something I haven't filled out yet, would you be willing to leave the link in the comments? Much obliged. ;)


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Explaining(i.e. Excusing) My Absence

So you may have noticed that I've been a little hard to find lately. :) Sorry about that.

It comes down to school, a broken computer, procrastination, and general busyness.

But I will start replying to comments soon-- excepting the spam one about a dating website; I think I'll stay single for a few more years, thank you. :D

And I need to catch up on tags and book reviews and general posts. Hopefully soon.

For now please know that I do mean to reply to your comment and start posting again, for better or for worse. ;)

Have a nice week!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Cheerfulness Vs. Authenticity

(very cheesy-- just as a warning ;D)

I want to be a cheerful person.

 Like Lily James's Cinderella who can shake off adversity and "have courage and be kind".

I want to be like Lady Rose from Downton Abbey whose parents were un-ideal and whose father-in-law was often unkind, and whose first fiance was basically forced into rejecting her because of unfortunate societal standards and who smiled despite of it.

I want to be like Beth from Little Women and Sam from Lord of the Rings and Cos from Singing in the Rain. Like Jane from Pride and Prejudice and Cosette from Les Miserables.

I want to be a blogger who posts happy things and talks unceasingly about the awesome parts of my life.

Like the smiling people who can laugh at tribulations and rave about their blessings.  

I also want to be authentic. 

I don't want to hide behind a crusty mask of cheerfulness. I don't want you to think that I live the life of a movie star. 

The truth is that I am an incredibly blessed person. Blessed to be a Christian, blessed to live in a Christian home, blessed to experience religious freedom, blessed with daily provisions, blessed with friends, blessed with internet, blessed with this blog, blessed with the people I've met through Blogger, blessed with access to all 6 Downton Abbey seasons, blessed with a dog, and blessed with bookshelves full of books to consume. 

But that doesn't mean I don't have struggles in my life. Many of them are self-induced, some of them aren't. They'd all probably be more bearable with a cheerful attitude. 

So where do I draw the line? Where do I find a distinction between "grumbling and complaining", which is condemned in the Bible, and being cheerful to the point of dishonesty? 

I don't want my readers to think that I live in a Jell-O castle with some "bad things"-proof fence around it. 

Maybe the answer requires the motives of cheerfulness or so-called "authenticity". Why do I write/act cheerfully? 

Is it due to the joy of the gospel which shines through me? Is it because I want you to like me? Is it because I want you to follow my blog? Is it because I want to make myself happier?  

The trouble is that I think the answer is more "yes" to the three last questions than to first. 

Why might I want to be "authentic" on my blog(or in real life, for that matter)? 

Is it because I want to preserve honesty or not make people unduly jealous? Or is it because I want people to feel sorry for me and "know the things I suffer"? Or because I think being authentic will elevate me to a new level of spirituality and relevancy? 

I don't know. I think I have mixed motives. Unpure motives for a not wholly bad thing. 

Hmmm. *insert awkward pause for me to collect my thoughts* I'm going to try to still be cheerful, I think, but I don't want you to think I live in some sort of protected, super-life. None of us do. 

Maybe I should end this jumble like so: 

Don't think my life is perfect just because I  try to avoid complaining. In my life too, there are things that sometimes compromise my smile; circumstances that can aggravate good spirits; frustrations to cry over in the shower. 

But I am a hugely blessed individual and while I can reflect the grace of God in cheerfulness and make this blog a happier place, I think I will. 

So what do you think, readers? Where do you "draw the line"? Do you think it's possible to be both cheerful and authentic? 

Sorry...that was cheesy, I know. But can we take a moment to appreciate that I got through a whole post without mentioning politics? :D 

It's A Wonderful Life Movie Review

Warning: Includes Mild Spoilers

Ahhhh, I love this movie so much. I've seen it 9 or 10 times and likely will sit through a few dozen more watches before I die. So again, this will be a very biased review. But I also mean to persuade you in its favor in case you haven't yet had the good fortune to watch this movie.

George Bailey is your typical, big idea-driven character who's stuck in a small, traditional community. He's also an all-around lovable guy and played by Jimmy Stewart who is perfect. We even named our dog "Bailey" after him. But I digress.

He has big ideas, and he has big plans, but circumstances and a woman named Mary keep him from ever launching into his dream big world.

He eventually marries, settles down, and has four children. One beautiful aspect of the story is his positive influence on everyone he meets. He may be one of the most important people in the town, but he's too humble to realize it.

The plot comes to its crux when, due to a banking accident, George considers taking his own life. This triggers an emotionally powerful but subtly humorous sequence in which an unconventional angel descends from Heaven to help him.

The WWII historical references and the funny situational side comedies add an old fashioned feel which complements the music and B&W so nicely.

 Another virtue of this movie is its hilarious characters. They're just so funny. And quirky, and real, and this movie is just the best, okay?

Moral of this Review: Watch It's A Wonderful Life this Christmas. You may not love it as much as I do, but give it a try; there's a very good chance it could become your new favorite Christmas movie. :D

Have you seen It's A Wonderful Life? Isn't it the best? Don't be afraid to answer if you didn't like it-- I won't bite. :) 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

3 Reasons To Watch The Wizard of Oz(1939)

Well, it's the last day of Rose's Classic Hollywood party and I am finally getting around to those reviews! Whew, and I thought I wasn't a procrastinator. I'll be posting a review of It's A Wonderful Life later today, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Image result for the wizard of oz
Before I begin, a small disclaimer: this was my favorite movie as a four or five year-old, so I'm rather biased towards it. You very well may not enjoy it half as much as I did. :D

Or perhaps you will! In fact, I am here to convince you that you will or that at least you should give this movie a try.

And, as a writer unskilled at nice paragraphed reviews, we're using a list format today. :) Without further ado, three reasons to watch The Wizard of Oz:

1). Its Vintage Feel

The Wizard of Oz was based off L. Frank Baum's book of the same name. (I was also a big fan of the book) In 1939 when it was released, the movie met popularity and has been a favorite since. Yada yada.

What I love is it's old, vintage-y feel. You get to see young Judy Garland and maybe pick up on a few references which had previously gone over your head. Although to some the story or acting are boring, watch it for the vinatge-y stuff. :)

 Image result for the wizard of oz

2). The Music

Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue...

There was a point in my childhood when not only did I have most of the book memorized, but most of the musical numbers. They're rather catchy and will likely stick in your head. Apologies from me in advance. ;)
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3). The Story

There's something magical about the story. Maybe I just say that because of its nostalgic associations for me, but I think even first-time viewers could agree.

Well, that was my sort-of review. I'm sorry it was so jumbled together. XD

Have you seen The Wizard of Oz? What are your thoughts? Do tell! 
Image result for the wizard of oz