Friday, May 22, 2015

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride

21412202Goodreads Says:    From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.

The Princess Bride has been a family favorite for close to three decades. Ranked by the American Film Institute as one of the top 100 Greatest Love Stories and by the Writers Guild of America as one of the top 100 screenplays of all time, The Princess Bride will continue to resonate with audiences for years to come.

Cary Elwes was inspired to share his memories and give fans an unprecedented look into the creation of the film while participating in the twenty-fifth anniversary cast reunion. In As You Wish he has created an enchanting experience; in addition to never-before seen photos and interviews with his fellow cast mates, there are plenty of set secrets, backstage stories, and answers to lingering questions about off-screen romances that have plagued fans for years!

With a foreword by Rob Reiner and a limited edition original poster by acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey, As You Wish is a must-have for all fans of this beloved film.

My Thoughts:

-    I grew up with great movies like The Princess Bride. I remember watching this countless times with my family, and of course we like to quote it A LOT! It was such a treat to read this book! It was like strolling down memory lane with an old friend while learning amazing new things.

-    There were plenty of great and hilarious stories about different cast members.

-    Reading this made me love and appreciate the movie even more than I already did.

-    I wish more actors would write books like this. I would love Warwick Davies to write about Willow or Michael J. Fox write about Back to the Future. How awesome would it be if Harrison Ford wrote about making the Indiana Jones movies!?

-    A lot of the cast members were spotlighted in the book, but I felt like there was an overall homage to Andre the Giant. I would love to meet this gentle giant. He seemed like an amazing and fun person. Anytime Cary spoke about Andre in the book, it was with deep respect and reverence. The book, in a way, is almost a memoriam to Andre. At least that is how I felt.

-    The entire book is very tender and heart-felt. I could almost feel the love Cary and the rest of the cast had for this movie, for each other, and for fans.

-    I cried a little towards the end. I felt so privileged to read this and learn all these behind the scenes stories. The way Cary talked about fans of the movie, I felt like he was talking directly to me. 

-    Wonderful wonderful book! Every Princess Bride fan needs to read this! 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Little Brown Animal + Giveaway

I received this book from the author for my honest opinion.

Goodreads Synopsis:    All alone and a little bit scared, a little brown animal lives in the deep forest. He thinks he is the ugliest creature of all. Wandering alone in the meadows and in secret hidden places, he discovers just how special he really is. He could never have foreseen what happens next!

My Thoughts:

-    This was a sweet story about being unique.

-    The animals were very endearing, and my daughter and I enjoyed all the fun and cute illustrations.

-    The ending is a bit weird. I'm not exactly sure how everything happened. It was sad, but it was happy and confusing.

-    I wonder if this is based on an old legend/tale of some sort. It has that legend kind of feel to it. 

Gnome's Thoughts: (Since this is a children's book, I thought you might want to know what my 5 year old thought. These are her thoughts word for word when I asked her about the book.)

-    I liked it.

-    I liked how he told the children stories.

-    I liked how he turned into a Golden Griffin at the end.


Prizes = Signed copy of The Little Brown Animal + $10 Amazon Gift Card!

To enter please leave a comment about your favorite childhood book or favorite book to read to your child and why it is/was your favorite!

US Residents only please!

Giveaway ends on Wednesday, May 27th @ Midnight!
I'll announce the winner next Thursday!

Thanks and good luck!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Imitation Game

My Thoughts:

-    This was a good movie. It was well done and had a lot going for it.

-    The casting was great! Benedict Cumberbatch delivered a stunning performance. It was a different kind a role for him, and he was amazing as usual.

-    I'm not a Keira Knightley fan, but she didn't bug me so much in this one. There was a moment when she jutted her pointy chin forward and talked through her teeth. But overall, I didn't mind her in the film.

-    I loved the two guys from Downton Abbey! It is always fun to see Downton cast in anything.

-    This movie really made me think. It boggled the brain a little. I didn't know the English cracked the German code earlier in the war. I can't imagine having to make to make the choices they did. I question whether they had the right to do it, whether it was ethical, and if it was necessary. Only can God can judge that I think. 

-    I love that the German's hailing Hitler is what brought them down. Oh the irony! 

-    I felt so bad for Alan. He had so much going against him. I really wish he had been treated differently. I can't believe the doctors and government used to treat people like that. It is really sad. 

-    I feel like the ending was a little weird. The bit of text at the end made me feel like it was making the movie all about Gay rights, but the movie was so much more than that. Yes, there is the message of equality and such, but there was SO much more going on in the movie as well: friendship, choices, knowledge, hope, etc. I don't feel like it was fair to wrap up the whole movie with one point. 

-    The young Alan was amazing as well. He really captured the mannerisms and everything of Benedict Cumberbatch. I wonder if they worked together to get the character down. 

-    Overall it is a great movie, and I'd definitely watch it again. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Bout of Books Wrap Up

Bout of Books

This was probably the most successful read-a-thon I've had!

Final Count:

Books Finished:    8
17333322 11043618 25453558
104 25167356 18964718
17352960 11594337

Pages Read:    1,816

I wasn't able to finish, but I'm in the middle of

I don't know how many hours I read, but I'm going to keep track of that next time.
Thanks Bout of Book hosts!! It was fun!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Dune Read Along: Book 3 Discussion

Can you believe we finished? WAHOO!
Give yourself a pat on the back and do a happy dance!


Twitter chat TONIGHT @ 9:00 PM MDT

We will be hosting a Watch Along on May 29 @ 6:00 PM MDT.
We will be watching the Dune mini-series. Let us know if you'd like to come over, we'll get you info. If you live too far away, get the series and watch with us! We'll be tweeting along!


1.  What are your overall thoughts? Did you like it?

It had a lot of slow parts, but there were a lot of interesting parts as well. As a whole, I think I liked it.

2.  Do you think you could ride a giant worm?

No! I would not be able to climb the rope onto one. I would be afraid of getting anywhere near a worm. I would get eaten. I also feel a little sad that they had to expose a wound to ride the worms. 

3.  Paul's relationship with his mom, Jessica, dramatically changed and evolved over the course of the book. How did their relationship change and why do you think it did?

At the beginning of the book, I think Paul looked towards Jessica for guidance, especially since she was teaching him the Bene Gesserit ways. After the Duke was killed, Paul stepped up and took the leadership role. Paul continued to develop into more leadership roles, and Jessica was more of a support. I think their relationship evolved out of necessity. 

4.  What do you think about Paul's lack of emotion?

He is like a zombie. He didn't cry for his father or any of the other Atreides people that died. He didn't even cry for his son! He even told Chani they could have more sons! That really bugged me. As a mom, I can have more kids, but no child could replace the one I already have. I would be devastated if my gnome was killed. I don't see how he can claim to cherish Chani when he has no emotions! 

5.  Now that I've finished, I feel like I'd pick up on a lot more of the details and things if I read it again. Do you think you'll reread Dune? If this is a reread, did you catch different things this time around?

I will probably read this again in a few years. I think it would interesting and fun to pick up on more things. 

6.  How do you feel about the political arrangement at the end? Do you feel bad for Princess Irulan or Chani?

I feel bad for the princess. She is basically a slave to her fate, and no one will care that she is going to be super lonely for the rest of her life. Maybe she'll get a male concubine?

I think Chani got the shaft as well. She is just going to be his play thing because I don't think Paul has the capacity to love. 

Dune - Stilgar by ilya-b7.  Will you read the rest of the series?

I don't know. I'm undecided.

8.  Favorite character and why?

Kynes died and didn't do much in the end anyway, so I'd have to go with Stilgar. I liked how he was always concerned for the Fremen people. He was always looking for a better future.

9.  What did you think about the quotes at the beginning of each chapter? Did you read them? Were they interesting? Were they helpful?

I read them, but I didn't understand a lot of them. I don't know why they are there. 

10.  Did you have fun during the Read Along? Was there anything we could have done better? Would you have read this book if you hadn't joined?

I always fun with our read alongs. I admit, I probably wouldn't have read Dune if Jenni had pushed so hard for the read along and reading it for book club. I'm glad I read it though!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Dead Poets Society

My Thoughts:

-    I can't believe I've never watched this until now.

-    After what happened to Robin Williams, this movie is pretty darn sad. When I think of Robin and his life and his tragic death, I just keep asking why? He was amazing. It is SO sad! When he says things about seizing the day and living life to the fullest, it kills me!

-    I liked the movie. I don't know if I'd buy it, but I liked it. 

-    The boys looked too much alike. I couldn't tell who was who sometimes.

-    The ending is tragic and so so sad. I thought this was an supposed to be an inspirational movie, but it is SAD!

-    I loved Robin William's acting. He is a joy to watch.

-    That one boy's (I don't remember his name) parents made me so mad! They couldn't see what they were doing to their own child! What control freaks! And of course they blamed others!!! IDIOTS!

-    Lots of emotions while watching this movie! 

-    Good show! If you haven't seen it, you should. . . even though it's sad.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


My Thoughts:

-    Another movie that didn't live up to the hype.

-    I knew I shouldn't have watched this, but I was outvoted on movie night.

-    The robot made me laugh every time it moved around. Why didn't it just roll around all the time?

-    The cast was good. I liked Michael Caine. McConaughey looked super thin, almost sickly. Jenni said it was because of a previous role. 

-    The majority of the movie was really slow and boring. It had its moments, but not enough of them.

-    The ending was cheesy and dumb. Wow! Humans are so amazing that we can save ourselves from extinction! Wahoo!

-    Thought above was sarcasm in case some of you didn't get that.

-    I liked the real interviews from people from a drought. That was cool. 

-    I didn't find this as thought provoking as people led me to believe. It was slow and boring, and the ending was corny. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Bout of Books Progress

Bout of Books

Day 6:
May 16

Books Read:    1
Pages Read:    304
Total Books Read:    7
Total Pages Read:    1,447
My Thoughts:   I did much better than Day 5! Woo! I'm hoping to fit one more book into this Read-a-Thon!

Day 5:
May 15

Books Read:    0 
Pages Read:    51
Total Books Read:    6
Total Pages Read:    1,143
My Thoughts:   It wasn't a very good day for reading. I'm hoping for more to time to read on Saturday.

Day 4:
May 14

Books Read:    3
104 25167356 18964718
Pages Read:    309
Total Books Read:    6
Total Pages Read:    1,092
My Thoughts:   Woo! I've read over a thousand pages! I wanted to read 200 pages, and I went above and beyond! Yay!

Day 3:
May 13

Books Read:    1
Pages Read:    138
Total Books Read:    3
Total Pages Read:    783
My Thoughts:    I seem to be reading less every day. I'm going to aim for 200 pages for Day 4.

Day 2:
May 12

Books Read:    1
Pages Read:    192
Total Books Read:    2
Total Pages Read:    645
My Thoughts:    It wasn't as good as Day 1, but still good!

Day 1:
May 11

Books Read:    1
Pages Read:    453
Total Books Read:    1
Total Pages Read:    453
My Thoughts:    My first day was successful!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Bout of Books Starting Line

Bout of Books

Let's get this party started!!

Here are the books I'd like to plow through this week:

1137151 16130758 18705209
5282027 13570639 17333322
11043618 16109664 17352960

Ambitious? Yes!
I'm so excited! Let's get rockin'!

Saturday, May 9, 2015


22323658From Goodreads:    Murder, kidnapping, and forbidden romance abound in this thrilling sequel to Sara B. Larson's acclaimed YA debut, DEFY.

Alexa continues to harbor a secret love for the newly crowned King Damian, yet she remains by his side as his guard and ever committed to helping him rebuild Antion and reclaim the hope of Antion's people. However, when a new threat to Damian and his kingdom emerges, and blame is cast on the once friendly nation of Blevon, Alexa knows things are not what they seem. Once again the fate of her country hangs in the balance. Will Alexa be able to protect her king and uncover the true enemy -- before it's too late?

My Thoughts:

-    It has been a while, and I didn't take notes. I hope I can remember how I felt about this.

-    Overall, I liked it a lot. 

-    The Alexa/Rylan/Damian triangle thingy still bugs. I wish Rylan was just a good friend. Alexa doesn't even consider him an option.

-    I liked the fighting and action. I love reading about how Alexa beats everyone.

-    I felt bad for Alexa and her insecurities. I'm sure any woman would be sensitive over her face getting burned, and I liked how the author portrayed Alexa dealing with that. I liked seeing how others could overlook her scars. It was a bigger deal to Alexa than it was to anyone else, and I'm sure that is so true for a lot of things in life.

-    I hated Alexa keeping secrets and things from Damian. Their relationship seemed a tad immature in this book. Although there were plenty of tension moments.

-    I love the different cultures and seeing them through Alexa's POV.

-    Again, I felt like the romantic relationships overpowered the actual story. I wish more focus had been on the conflict. There was a lot going on with the politics and stuff.

-    Despite the minor setbacks, I'm eager to read the final book! 

Previous Book
(cover is linked)