Saturday, May 30, 2015

Dune

104From Goodreads:    Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Muad'Dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family--and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what it undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.






My Thoughts:

-    Okay Goodreads! That is a really lame synopsis for this book. There is a whole lot of stuff that goes down in this book!

-    My brothers love this book, and they used to watch the 80s movie a lot. I wasn't sure if I would ever read Dune or not, but Jenni forced coerced helped persuade me to finally give it a shot, and I'm glad she did. 

-    The book starts off pretty darn slow. There is a lot of talking and politics, and then there is more talking and more politics. It is really boring, but it is all important for later.

-    The story picks up after about 120 pages. It has more slow parts, but there are intriguing parts as well. 

-    It was a bit confusing. I read a little on Sparknotes, and the glossary, and I asked Jenni a lot of questions. All were extremely helpful.

-    Paul's lack of emotion bugged me. There wasn't a lot of emotion from any of the characters really. I didn't feel a connection or attachment to anyone.

-    The ending was very anticlimactic. I was a bit disappointed. The Baron needed a more horrible death. The fighting was too short was lacking in epicness. 

-    I think this is one of those books where the more you read it, the more you'll appreciate and love it. There is a lot of complicated info! 

-    I did love the world building, and I can appreciate everything this book has to offer. Overall, I think it is a good read, but it definitely isn't for everyone, and you have to be in the right mood for it. 


Dune Discussion Posts:

Friday, May 29, 2015

Anne of Ingleside

77391Goodreads Synopsis:    Anne is the mother of five, with never a dull moment in her lively home. And now with a new baby on the way and insufferable Aunt Mary visiting - and wearing out her welcome - Anne's life is full to bursting.

Still, Mrs Doctor can't think of any place she'd rather be than her own beloved Ingleside. Until the day she begins to worry that her adored Gilbert doesn't love her anymore. How could that be? She may be a little older, but she's still the same irrepressible, irreplaceable redhead - the wonderful Anne of Green Gables, all grown up... She's ready to make her cherished husband fall in love with her all over again!





My Thoughts:

-    I loved going down memory lane with Anne and Diana. I felt like I was reminiscing with old friends.

-    The way the flowers and trees are described makes me want to go outside and admire all of nature's beauty.

-    Aunt Mary Maria is a pain! They should have made her go sooner!

-    I love how each of Anne's children get their own story and spotlight. I also love how each child has a bit of Anne in them.

-    The story about Jem and the dog was very touching.

-    Anne makes motherhood sound so pleasant and happy all the time. I can only hope to be a mother like Anne.

-    As a doctor, Gilbert has to work a lot, and you never know when he is going to be called on to help someone. That would be so hard. But I love how devoted Anne and Gilbert are to each other. I love their relationship! 

Previous Anne of Green Gables Book
(Click on the cover to see my thoughts)

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Giveaway Winner

25480173

The winner of a signed copy of The Little Brown Animal & $10 Amazon gift card is. . .

Pages Unbound

Congrats!

I'll be contacting you soon! You have 48 hours to respond or I'll choose another winner!
Thank you!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Bourne Legacy




My Thoughts:

-    Yes! I only watched this because Renner is my new celebrity crush. I was not disappointed. There were lots of great Renner moments to ooh and aah and enjoy.

-    The whole story is a little confusing. I feel like the movie expected the audience to know a lot of things before watching this. It was like the middle of a story.

-    The monkey cam was annoying!

-    The action was awesome! Loved all the fighting and chasing and running across roof tops. There were some intense scenes that had me clutching the blanket on my lap.

-    While Renner is the main attraction of this film, the rest of the cast was good as well. I especially liked the leading lady. I felt scared and sorry for her.

-    The ending was really abrupt. Is there going to be another one? Were the characters safe in the end? 

-   Despite the setbacks, there was a lot to admire in this movie. It is my favorite in the Bourne series. ;)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Beach Reads


Top Ten Books I Plan to Have in My Beach Bag This Summer or Ten Books I Think Make Great Beach Reads

Since I wouldn't take any book to the beach, cause I'm afraid of the water and sand damage, I'm going to go with ten books I want to read outside this summer.


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18705209 77395
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18525657 7027735
18077928 17731926

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Age of Adaline



My Thoughts:

-    I had the pleasure of seeing this with Jenni, Suey, and Tori. Movies are always more fun with friends. 

-    I really enjoyed this. It spoke to me. I don't know why.

-    The narrator was a little weird but it worked. 

-    I loved the cast! They were perfect. Blake Lively is so elegant and lovely. Her portrayal of the character was perfect. I love how sophisticated and smart Adaline was because of her life's experiences.

-    I loved seeing Harrison Ford! He is so old now, but when he smiles you can see that glimmer of his younger self, and I love it. They cast the perfect guy to play Ford's younger self. His mannerisms, his voice, his looks, and especially his smile were spot on! I almost believed that was young Harrison Ford.

-    I saw this a while ago, but I often think about it still. It has stayed with me since I watched it.

-    I wish Ellis had been cuter, but he had a charming personality. He was a winner.

-    I loved the relationship Adaline had with her daughter. It was fun to see those moments.

-    The whole science behind this idea is totally bogus, but I liked the concept anyway.

-    The costumes were really great. Blake Lively looked amazing in everything she wore. I liked seeing the different clothes and hairstyles for different time periods.

-    Great date night movie!

Spoiler: (I cried and couldn't stop sniffling and crying when her dog died. It was SO sad!)

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

25480173
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.

Giveaway

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
5282027

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!

Announcements:

Twitter chat TONIGHT @ 9:00 PM MDT
#DuneRAL

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!

Questions:

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

Interstellar




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
17352960
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
25453558
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
11043618
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
17333322
Pages Read:    453
Total Books Read:    1
Total Pages Read:    453
My Thoughts:    My first day was successful!