Books Are Life

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New COVID Reading, post-Expanse:

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The New Emma

Mr. Knightley is the best. He has always been the best.

Standing in line at the concession stand on a Thursday night for the first Palo Alto screening of the new Emma, self got into spirited discussion with two young women about thoughts of different Emma iterations. “Oh! The Winona Ryder version, so under-rated!”

Self had to think a moment before saying “Christian Bale, right?” Ooh, that was good casting!

“The most under-rated Mr. Knightley is still Paul Rudd,” said a young woman.

That’s right! How could self forget! Clueless! Paul Rudd, what a dreamboat!

“I want Paul Rudd’s skin-care routine,” said another young woman.

“Me, too!” self put in, enthusiastic. “Mr. Knightley’s supposed to have a nude scene in this one.”

“The problem is when they make him too old,” said the young woman.

“Well, remember Johnny Lee Miller? He was GREAT. And THIS one’s a rock singer, too.”

“BBC, right?”

“Right! Romola Garai as Emma!”

That is the most fun self has had in a movie concession stand, EVER.

As to the movie itself. The reason self was madly rushing to the movie, despite her front lawn looking like this:

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was Sheila O’Malley’s review.

After seeing the movie, self doesn’t think Johnny Flynn unseats Johnny Lee Miller. Or Paul Rudd.

Since this is the first time she’s ever seen Johnny Flynn, she can’t tell if he always speaks in that languid drawl, or if he just speaks that way because he’s playing Mr. Knightley. But his eyes speak volumes!

Nevertheless, self was vastly put off by those great, bushy sideburns. And decided forthwith that sideburns are just — a mood-killer.

And the starched cravats slicing into Flynn’s cheekbones, what!

And she was completely shocked that there was no build-up to the nude scene. But was happy to see the actor was slender — i.e., not buff. Which would have been a real slap in the face to Mr. Knightley if he were, in self’s humble opinion.

Stay tuned.

 

Mary Yellan, Jem Merlyn: JAMAICA INN, Ch. 9

He whistled as he approached her and flung a small package at her feet. “A Happy Christmas to you,” he said. “I had a silver piece in my pocket yesterday and it burnt a hole. There’s a new handkerchief for your head.”

She had meant to be curt and silent on meeting him, but his introduction made it difficult for her. “That’s very kind of you,” she said. “I’m afraid you’ve wasted your money all the same.”

“That doesn’t worry me, I’m used to it,” he told her, and he looked her up and down in the cool offensive way of his, and whistled a tuneless song.

Jamaica Inn continues dee-lish.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Movie # 7: FIFTY SHADES FREED

Self has liked the other movies in this franchise. But this one — well, let her list the ways:

  • The lack of chemistry between the two leads is never more apparent.
  • Dakota Johnson’s flat, affectless voice, while perfect for the role, is really annoying once she gets everything her heart desires. And, oh wow, someone is stalking her but she’s sooo ready for flirting. And sex. And romance!
  • There is no ending.
  • What is with Christian Grey’s brother’s affair? It’s a red herring.

Pluses:

  • Marcia Gay Harden has a small scene.
  • clothes, Anastasia’s
  • lipstick, Anastasia’s
  • Self didn’t hate it enough to walk out.

Stay tuned.

 

CLOCKWORK PRINCE: Jaw Drop Time, pp. xxx – xxx

SPOILERS, ALL MANNER OF SPOILERS

At this point in Clockwork Prince, Tessa Gray and Will Herondale are still at the stage of making goo-goo eyes at each other, but Jem Carstairs, the skinnier male of The Infernal Devices love triangle (All right, yeah, self knows. This is a love triangle. So? Paranormal love triangles are THE BEST!), has the temerity to punch Will Herondale in the face (If you had broken Will’s nose, Jem, self would never have forgiven you. Never. Never. EVER), plays wild violin music that is sure to get Tessa Gray’s attention — after she’s already changed into her nightgown and everyone else is in bed; how convenient is that, that Tessa’s room is right across the hall from Jem’s and no one else seems to be awake — and they nearly DO THE DEED? IN HIS BEDROOM? With Will Herondale (presumably) passed out from being punched in the face?

Self kept praying, during the whole of that scene, that something would happen to interrupt. Something like mebbe Will Herondale (Self loves writing his full name, she knows not why) walking in and saying “Uh-oh!”

But Will never puts in an appearance. Oh, where is that poetry and drama-spouting boy when you need him? Instead, it’s off-with-the-nightgown time and —

What?

What?

What?

What is the matter with you, Jem? You and Will are supposed to be parabatai. Able to read each other’s hearts, etc etc. You do not, self repeats NOT:

a) Punch your parabatai in the face, thereby causing him to bleed;

b) Play wild, discordant violin music that lures Tessa Gray to your bedroom in the middle of the night;

c) Sleep with your parabatai‘s love.

Never mind if Will never actually professed his love, and keeps pulling the Heathcliff act on Tessa Gray. Jem should be able to tell that Will is in love with Tessa. Isn’t that the point of being parabatai — that you can read each other’s hearts and minds?

Oh, the horror.

Stay tuned.

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