Saturday, June 30, 2012

Book List - June 2012

Books I've read in June.

19. Mr. Darcy's Dream by Elizabeth Aston. I'm a sucker for P&P sequels. This one, the story of Georginia Darcy's daughter Phoebe, was rather dull. The title refers to Mr. Dary's ambition to create a large glass house (greenhouse) at Pemberly. There is a misunderstanding between Phoebe and the man she loves. Much focus is on reputations but it all works out in the end.

20. The Red Book by Deborah Copaken Kogan - This a book about four women who attended their 20th college reunion. The title comes from a type of Who's Who that is printed every five years for Harvard alumni. There is a lot of affairs and deaths but it's main focus is that even the lives of graduates of Harvard don't go the way they're planned.

21. The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts. This author's trilogies are great summer reads. Three characters each have their own book to discover love. And there is always a happy ending.

22. The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay. Unfortunately this book had absolutely no plot and as a result was boring. In the 1860s Paris neighborhoods were being distroyed to make room for large bouelvards. One woman, a widow in her 60s, refuses to leave her house and insteads hides in the basement writing leters to her dead husband about what has happened over the last 10 years since he died. The person from People magazine who called the book "mesmerizing" must have also spend hours watching goldfish in a glass bowl.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Heather's Movie Viewing Trivia

(Today’s blog was inspired by questions this week’s Entertainment Weekly asked actress Emma Stone, with my answers.)

The First Movie I Remember Watching
Disney’s Cinderella (1950). Of course, this was a re-release. I remember thinking it took a really long time to drive to the movie theater.

The Movie Character I Wanted to Be
Samantha Baker (Molly Ringwald) from Sixteen Candles (1984) because (SPOILER ALERT) she gets really, really cute Jake at the end.

The First R-Rated Drama I Ever Saw
My mom took me to see The Breakfast Club (1985). After the movie, Mom (who had gone to an all-girls Catholic high school in the 50s) said that high school wasn’t really like that. I told her that it was.

The Scariest Movie I Ever Saw
I never got frightened by most horror movies. To me the blood and guts were kind of boring and overall the movies were so stupid they were funny. The one exception was The Blair Witch Project (1999). That movie TOTALLY freaked me out. Haven’t been camping since.

The Last Movie I Bought
The Dark Knight (2008). I thought Heath Leger was brilliant in this movie and totally deserved his Oscar (even thought it was sadly given posthumously).

The Movie Musical I Know Every Word To
No brainer, Grease (1978).

The Movie I Can’t Turn Off When It Comes on the Television
This is a really hard one. Pretty much any movie based on a Jane Austen novel, or stars John Cusack or Colin Firth, or John Hughes movie from the 80s, or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (As Ferris said, Life move’s pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you can miss it.).

The Movie I’ve Seen More Times Than I Can Count
Again, this is really hard. There are so, so many. But if I had to choose just one I’d probably say Real Genius (1985) with Val Kilmer. It's hokey but I still love it.

My First Movie Star Crush
Christopher Atkins but not in Blue Lagoon (I didn’t see that until years after it came out), in The Pirate Movie (1982). This was a cult favorite with my friends and I in high school. If you’ve never seen it, it’s an extremely cheeky 80s version of the musical, The Pirates of Penzance.

The Last Movie That Made Me Cry
I don’t normally cry at movies. I may shed a tear or two but I cannot honestly remember the last time I did that so I’m going to answer this with the movie I cried the most at, Finding Neverland (2004). I was sobbing at the end of the movie when the credits were rolling. I was still sobbing as we left the theater, as we walked through the parking lot and didn’t finish sobbing until we were driving away. So, so sad.

The Movie I’m Always Telling People to See
Sliding Doors (1998) with Gwyneth Paltrow. For a long time I’ve been tired of Hollywood producing so many re-makes of movies and (mostly bad) television shows and movies based on children’s games. This movie has one of the MOST original stories I’ve ever seen. Serious, its super good with a great ending (LOVED the ending)!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

God Save the Queen!

I love everything British. I’ve been lucky enough to have visited England on four occasions and, if I could, I would love to live and work there, so I am excited about all the celebrations surrounding Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th anniversary on the throne. She’s 86 years old and while the last 60 years haven’t been perfect, it is generally acknowledged that she’s done a pretty good job as Queen.

A lot of people don’t understand the duties of the monarch or think that there is even a need for a monarchy. While the Queen can technically dissolve the British Parliament and get rid of the Prime Minister (she has reigned through the terms of 12 prime ministers), it will probably never happen. Basically the purpose of the monarchy is the promote unity (and is that a bad thing?). While most of the Queen’s duties (she attends more than 370 events every year) are symbolic, she is the Queen of State in 16 Commonwealth which includes 53 countries. Queen Elizabeth has various official, ceremonial, diplomatic, and representational duties, and she is a patron of 620 charities.

So while she may not have a lot of political power (although she meets with the Prime Minister ever week and serves as a counselor – she has enough life experience) she does have a purpose. And Queen Elizabeth is the longest living monarch and has the second longest reign (after Queen Victoria who reigned 64 years).

Whether you think the monarch should continue or not you have to give Queen Elizabeth some credit. For 60 years she was dedicated her life to her country, probably sometimes over her own family. I don’t think you can say that about any American political leader.