Added 8/14/15. Published in 1985. I watched the film adaptation of this book in July 2015. Movie: "Anywhere But Here" (1999) Stars: Susan Sarandon, NataAdded 8/14/15. Published in 1985. I watched the film adaptation of this book in July 2015. Movie: "Anywhere But Here" (1999) Stars: Susan Sarandon, Natalie Portman http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0149691/?... "A mother and daughter search for success in Beverly Hills."
Wonderful acting and a poignant story.
Netflix description: ============================= "Bored with small-town life, flighty Adele leaves her husband and heads for Hollywood with her daughter, Ann, reluctantly in tow. While Adele dreams of making her daughter a movie star, the grounded Ann marches toward adulthood." http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/26009713... =============================
Amazon description: ============================= "Fleeing small-Town boredom, a restless mother drags her reluctant pre-Teen daughter to beverly hills, where they struggle with a new and difficult life until they finally reach a degree of understanding." https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detai... =============================...more
Added 8/14/15. I tried reading Archer's short stories in his book, "And Thereby Hangs A Tale." I didn't enjoy the stories I read. I found them dry andAdded 8/14/15. I tried reading Archer's short stories in his book, "And Thereby Hangs A Tale." I didn't enjoy the stories I read. I found them dry and too filled with uninteresting twists. In order to reach the "surprise endings", you have to read through too many explanations about the various paths the characters have to enact in order for the reader to reach the surprise ending.
Another reason I didn't enjoy Archer's short stories is that his characters aren't likable. It's no fun reading about dishonest people who get away with their crimes....more
Added 8/8/15. (first published 1962) ("IPCRESS" stands for: "Induction of Psycho-Neuroses by Conditioned Reflex with Stress".) I did not read the bookAdded 8/8/15. (first published 1962) ("IPCRESS" stands for: "Induction of Psycho-Neuroses by Conditioned Reflex with Stress".) I did not read the book but watched the film on the TCM channel in August 2015. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059319/?... http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/The-Ipcr...
In the story, Harry Palmer, the spy (later christened Harry Palmer and played in the movie by Michael Caine), has a mission to find a missing biochemist. He discovers a deadly conspiracy. It was truly scary and suspenseful.
As the GR review says: "The Ipcress File was not only Len Deighton’s first novel, it was his first bestseller and the book that broke the mould of thriller writing."
"The film ... gave Michael Caine one of his first and still most celebrated starring roles, while the novel itself has become a classic."
At IMDb it says that the author, Len Deighton, was "uncredited" in the movie. Imagine that!!!...more
BELOW IS FROM FUNTRIVIA: ================================== This prize-winning book by Robert McCloskey won the Caldecott Medal in 1942. The popularity of McCloskey's book led to the building of a bronze statue in Boston's Public Garden.
McCloskey became inspired to write this book while he was feeding the ducks in the Public Garden. To better illustrate the story, the author brought six ducklings to live in his studio.
Incidentally, former U.S. First Lady, Barbara Bush, gifted former Soviet First Lady, Raisa Gorbachev, with a replica of the Boston statue. ================================
Added 7/19/15. This mystery started out fine but it got impossible to follow after too many characters were introduced. It was ridiculous! I bailed outAdded 7/19/15. This mystery started out fine but it got impossible to follow after too many characters were introduced. It was ridiculous! I bailed out after reading half of the story.
A GR reviewer wrote: ================================== "There are too many characters in this story and some of them had no big impact to the plot that it is obvious they were thrown in the story to be red hearings [sic]. And, because of this, whenever they came up in the novel it was like 'Who cares?' ... Too many characters take away from the story line, and, after awhile, it starts to become a dull read." ABOVE IS FROM: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... ================================== I agree.
I threw the book in the garbage because I didn't want anyone else to waste their time trying to read this book....more
Added 7/7/15. July 2015 - My Life with Cary Grant by Dyan Cannon. A very touching and readable memoir. It reads like a novel and is very compelling.
(viAdded 7/7/15. July 2015 - My Life with Cary Grant by Dyan Cannon. A very touching and readable memoir. It reads like a novel and is very compelling.
(view spoiler)[Evidently, Cary Grant wasn't easy to live with. He was fine before they married but he changed afterward. When Diane came home from the hospital with their new baby, she found that Grant had given away her beloved dog without consulting her. She never saw the dog again. He said he was worried about the baby being harmed by the dog who might be jealous. I will always feel different about Cary Grant after reading this book, even though Dyan Cannon said many nice things about him. But she also told of the dark side of his personality. A sad story. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
The first part of the book is filled with gossip about their ancestors. I'm not interested in who slept with whom back in the 1700s and 1800s. All those fancy titles of English nobility make my eyes glaze over. They are all strangers to me. I don't care a whit about them. Maybe the rest of the book will be more interesting since it will deal with persons I'm familiar with.
It's interesting to read the statistics of how the Brits feel about all this. It's also interesting to read how the media has treated the issues.
IMO, now matter how nice a person Camilla turns out to be, many of us can never forget the pain which Diana went through, pain which was caused by Camilla's relationship with Prince Charles.
Of course, the kids, William and Harry, are caught in the middle. They have to go along with what has happened, just as the Queen must go along at this point. The future awaits...
It will be interesting to see how all this turns out.
PS-I get the feeling that the author of this book tried his best to tell both sides of the story. It seems a pretty fair accounting. As one of my GR group members said: "Diana never had a chance." In other words, all the circumstances were stacked against her....more
Added 6/15/15. I read part of this coming-of-age" novel but wasn't enjoying it enough to finish it.
I've tried other books by Laura Moriarty but so farAdded 6/15/15. I read part of this coming-of-age" novel but wasn't enjoying it enough to finish it.
I've tried other books by Laura Moriarty but so far, the only one I really enjoyed was her book, The Chaperone. This one has possibilities. It is told from the point of view of a young girl and includes her telling of her endless experiences as an adolescent and a young adult.
After a while, I got tired of the tone of the book, told by an adolescent girl, detailing all her adolescent observations in the writing style of an adolescent. It's cute but after a while, it palls.
See Clif's GR review of this book at: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Included in Clif's review is the following description of this book: ============================== "A coming-of-age story for girls that charmed critics and readers’ groups. Evelyn is a high schooler who lives with her mother in rural Kansas, struggling to survive in poverty and realizing that her brains may be her ticket out. The book is a tender portrait of mother and daughter that Anna Quindlen called “authentic and intelligent” and that reminded USA Today of To Kill a Mockingbird." ---from the 2007 PageADay Books Lover's Calendar ===============================...more
Added 6/15/15 - I read to page 62 of this book but didn't read further because I found the story too depressing. The story concerns a daughter who fatAdded 6/15/15 - I read to page 62 of this book but didn't read further because I found the story too depressing. The story concerns a daughter who fatally hit a pedestrian while driving. I don't enjoy reading about the terrible things which happen to people but I suppose that's the stuff of novels. The book seems to wallow in depressing situations. Here's a sample from page 61 & 62: ================================ "...Leigh had woken up with her pillow and sheets covered in her own vomit. Waking up to the smell of it had made her vomit again, and then it was in her hair , on her blanket but she was too weak to stand up and get away." =============================== I bailed out after that. I don't need to read that kind of writing. For me the story has a value of only one star. The book seemed to "wallow" in the depressing situations. It wasn't the theme of the story so much as the "wallowing". There's just too much concentration on descriptions of the sad happenings and their effects. It seems to be indulgence to an immoderate degree, over and over, just wallowing in sadness.
PS-I found some good use of words on page 45 of this book: "... a kind of heightened conciousness, a heightened sensitivity to truth." To me the words refer to seeing or realizing the reality of a situation for the first time.
PPS-I originally chose this book because I had enjoyed reading Moriarty's The Chaperone. I didn't find that depressing. ...more
Added 6/14/15. I read this book in June 2015. I found it very interesting. Too bad he died so young (at about the age 50). He was a very adventuresomeAdded 6/14/15. I read this book in June 2015. I found it very interesting. Too bad he died so young (at about the age 50). He was a very adventuresome man....more
Added 6/12/15. I didn't read this book but I watched the film which this book inspired. I posted the following at my GR group: ========================Added 6/12/15. I didn't read this book but I watched the film which this book inspired. I posted the following at my GR group: =================================== 6/11/15 Tonight I enjoyed a terrific movie! I had no idea what it was about and I'm glad I didn't because it was all such a wonderful surprise! (All I knew was that it starred Judi Dench.) This movie has it all... music, drama, comedy and much more. It was inspired by true events. Netflix has the DVD but I streamed it via Amazon. FIVE STARS! "Mrs Henderson Presents" (2005) starring Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0413015/?... http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Mrs.-Hen... http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009... "Recently widowed well-to-do Laura Henderson is at a bit of a loose end in inter-war London. On a whim she buys the derelict Windmill theatre in the West End and persuades impresario Vivian Van Damm to run it."
http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Cross-Cr... "Based on the protagonist's real-life memoirs, frustrated newspaper reporter Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (Mary Steenburgen) abandons her career and moves to a Florida bayou to concentrate on writing fiction. Here, Marjorie's life is changed by a devoted servant (Alfre Woodard) who befriends her, a local businessman (Peter Coyote) who becomes her lover and the backwoods father (Rip Torn) and his daughter (Dana Hill) who become her greatest inspiration."
Here's a good summary from a Netflix reviewer: ----------------------------------- "The story of a Northern women who buys an orange grove sight unseen and retreats to a Florida creek to write gothic novels. There, a small community watches over one another and she becomes an important part of that community. Her publisher rejects her novels, but encourages her to write about that community, as her descriptions of it in her letters to him are much more genuine and interesting than her novels." ------------------------------------
I didn't enjoy this movie at all. Didn't interest me. Too slow-paced and too maudlin. I didn't like the atmosphere of the Florida backwoods swamp country.
Although most of the Netflix user reviews were positive, the following excerpts from negative Netflix reviews of this movie echoed my thoughts: ------------------------------------ "Out of Africa meets Huckleberry Finn, this Disneyesque movie is a series of disjointed vignettes with absolutely no depth. ... We never really get into the protagonist's thoughts or emotions and instead get scene after scene of strange folk and silly goings-on." ----------------------------------- "I kept waiting for this movie to get better and it never did. It was so slow that I almost hit the fast forward button to skip a few scenes." ----------------------------------- "I just never really could figure out what the big deal was about Mary Steenburgen. Is she so natural that you don't know she's acting or is she acting with so little spark that she may as well be reading a cornbread recipe to you?" ----------------------------------- "Steenburgen's attempts at imitating Rawlings make her performance little more than wooden and emotionless, which also make her completely unlikeable as a character. Moreover, the film is very slow-moving, about 30 minutes too long." ----------------------------------- "the movie was unrealistic and too long." ----------------------------------- "Maudlin, soapy, silly and unrealistic, all summarize this poor movie. As a widely published writer and a peer of many others, I dispute this poorly manufactured portrait of a fine writer who found herself and her craft. ... This flick is so much baloney. Hollywood can't seem to tell it like it is." ----------------------------------- "The script and acting are so melodramatic - yet flat - that I was yawning from beginning to end." ----------------------------------- "The most boring movie ever made. But the scenery is beautiful! I really like the actors in this film and hoped it would be good. But it was slow, plodding, and by the end I was fast-forwarding..." ----------------------------------- "Mary Steenburgen's insipid style (this seems to run through all her roles) is irritating at best." ---------------------------------- "This sure felt like a Made for TV movie with the syrupy soundtrack, uninspired performances and painfully obvious plot-line. ... We managed to finish watching the film and then breathed a sigh of relief that it was finally over. At least the scenery was pretty :)." ---------------------------------- "... it is a yawner. a movie on the life of the woman who wrote the yearling? can you think of anything more boring. nothing exciting happens. it's all the same ole same we see in movies all the time. I love to watch movies set in the south, but I hate when the film maker uses that soft golden glow effect." -----------------------------------
The excerpts above said it better than I could. But, as I mentioned, most of the other Netflix reviews were favorable. One man's meat is another man's poison!...more
Added 5/30/15. I read this author's, In the Bleak Midwinter, and thought it was a good mystery, one that I could understand. :) So maybe I'll like thisAdded 5/30/15. I read this author's, In the Bleak Midwinter, and thought it was a good mystery, one that I could understand. :) So maybe I'll like this second one in the series. The author, Julia Spencer-Fleming, is going to speak at our public library on June 10, 2015. She is a NY Times best-selling mystery writer....more
Added 5/26/15. Added May 2015. I thought I would like this book because I enjoyed the author's other novel, The Believers. However, I didn't find the fAdded 5/26/15. Added May 2015. I thought I would like this book because I enjoyed the author's other novel, The Believers. However, I didn't find the first pages interesting, especially because the book includes parts of a diary written by a child. I'm not interested in reading a child's diary. It turned me off....more