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Archive for April, 2009

princessdiaries

Even before Meg Cabot’s book The Princess Diaries was available to read, Disney had purchased the rights to make a film adaptation out of it.

I’m guessing that they saw something they liked.

The book and the filmed version have many similarities, but many differences too. In the book, Mia lives in New York, her father (The Prince of Genovia) is alive, her mother is an artist who ends up dating her Algebra teacher, and her grandmother (the Dowager Princess of Genovia) is a selfish, mean sort of person. In the film, Mia lives in San Francisco, her father (the King of Genovia) is dead, her mother is an artist who ends up dating her speech and debate teacher, and her grandmother (The Queen of Genovia) is the lovely, thoughtful Julie Andrews. In both cases, Mia had no idea that she was royal until she was told.

Really, it ends up feeling like the book and the film are two versions of a similar story. I liked both. The second film, The Princess Diaries 2, is more of a continuation of the first film than an adaptation of a further book. I enjoyed that one too. Maybe it’s just my whole princess fixation. Who knows?

Have you read the books or seen the films? What did you think?

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When I  first read Jane Austen , it was  a little bit of a struggle, but I grew to really enjoy  her books .  I liked the language , the rules, and the glimpse into another time.  ( A time I’m not so sure I’d want to live in). 

 I love Pride and Prejudice.  I’ve read it a number of times.  I’ve seen a number of movie adaptations (the BBC version with Colin Firth is my favorite,but Bride and Prejudice , a bollywood adaptation of the book was pretty good, too. ). I have to admit that I haven’t read any of the prequels/sequels or spin- offs…Until Now. 

I was  given  a copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies for my birthday.  Yes, author Seth Grahame-Smith has added ‘ultraviolent zombie  mayhem’ to P&P.  And it is really  funny .  And a little gross.  It is somewhat disconcerting to be reading a very proper comedy of manners and then zombies ( known  as unmentionables in the book ) rudely interrupt the ball.   Happily, Elizabeth and her sisters are very good at dispatching  zombies. 

The First line made the book absolutely  irresistible to  me:

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possesion of brains must be in want of more brains.

I suggest jumping on the waiting list for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. If zombies aren’t your thing, a reread of the original could be nice … and a movie might be nice, too.

images

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gardener

The Gardener by Sarah Stewart and David Small is a picture book that holds several awards, including a Caldecott Honor. It is the Depression-era story of a young girl by the name of Lydia Grace who has to go live in the city with her uncle until her father finds a new job. Told in a series of letters that Lydia Grace writes to various members of her family, we learn about her love of plants and her plan to make her uncle smile. Her presence brightens the lives of folks who live near her uncle’s bakery, as she fills every space that she can with plants. This earns her the nickname, “The Gardener.” The pictures that David Small provides are very well realized and period appropriate. They support the storyline perfectly, and are at least half the fun of this book. The Gardener is a cute story that my Grandpa Leon would have wholeheartedly approved of. He could make anything grow, you see.

One small warning: this book will make you want to go work in your garden. Now, where to start my compost heap?

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good_thing_octopus_jacketHave you ever wished, even just for a minute, that you could be someone else, anyone else but you? Julie Markes’ delightfully funny book, Good Thing You’re Not an Octopus!, has a valuable lesson to communicate about self-acceptance. Maggie Smith’s corresondingly humorous drawings illustrate the different problems you might encounter if you were say…an octopus or a caterpillar. It’s great for kids or anyone really who has a tendancy to think the grass is always greener. “You don’t like to eat your lunch? It’s a good thing you’re not a bird,” quips the text, while the illustrations show a little boy hiding from his spaghetti. Flip the page and find out why. “If you were a bird, you would have to eat worms for lunch!” Talk about learning to count your blessings–

Place a hold here.

Dog Eared by Amanda Harvey

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Ears are Beautiful

dog_eared_jacketOtis is a happy dog. He goes for walks with Lucy, plays with his friend Max, chases the neighborhood cat, and eats treats by the basketful — okay, maybe not so many treats — but the point is, life is good. Otis is happy. At least until, as he’s walking home one afternoon, some big bully dog pushes into him and calls him big ears. Big ears? Now Otis does have big ears; but is that really such a bad thing? Otis has never really thought about it before, but now he thinks that, yeah, maybe it is. Will Otis ever feel good about himself again? With Dog Eared, Amanda Harvey has given us a lovely and gently humorous reminder that what others say about us really doesn’t matter, it’s how we feel about ourselves, on the inside, that makes all the difference in the world.

Place a hold here.

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A Rose By Any Other Name

Veronica Lake

Veronica Lake

Robert Taylor

Robert Taylor

Rita Hayworth

Rita Hayworth

For the most part, movie stars today don’t change their names as dramatically as they (or usually the studio they worked for) did in the days when a star’s image was carefully and in some cases, unscrupulously, cultivated and controlled. Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet or is the name the thing? See what you think as you take a look at some movie stars real names.

John Wayne: Marion Michael Morrison
Cary Grant: Archibald Leach
Gene Wilder: Jerome Silberman
Robert Taylor: Spangler Arlington Brugh
Fred Astaire: Frederick Austerlitz
Eve Arden: Eunice Quedens
Sandra Dee: Alexandra Zuck
Tom Cruise: Thomas Mapother IV
Ginger Rogers: Virginia McMath
Judy Garland: Frances Gumm
Rita Moreno: Rosita Alverio
Sophia Loren: Sophia Scicoloni
Veronica Lake: Constance Ockleman
Rita Hayworth: Margarita Cansino
Greta Garbo: Greta Gustafsson
Tony Curtis: Bernard Schwartz
Cher: Cherilyn Sarkisian
Cid Charisse: Tula Ellice Finklea
Jack Benny: Benjamin Kubelsky
Natalie Wood: Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko

Natalie Wood

Natalie Wood

Greta Garbo

Greta Garbo

Cyd Charisse

Cyd Charisse

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thursdaybanner16

Thursday Thirteen #65

Some of them are long, some short. Some of them are obscure, some common. Thirteen words that I like (and a short definition.)

13 Words:
1. defenestrate – to throw someone (or something) out of a window

2. obfuscate – make obscure or unclear

3. callipygian – having beautiful buttocks

4. sesquipedalian – given to the use of long words

5. octothorpe – the symbol # (also known as pound, hash, or sharp)

6. omphaloskepsis – the contemplation of one’s own navel to induce a mental trance or philosophic calm

7. persiflage – frivolous bantering talk

8. kef – a state of dreamy tranquility

9. dungarees – Heavy denim pants or overalls, worn especially as work clothing

10. davenport – a large sofa

11. bumbershoot – A whimsical term for an umbrella (also, an annual arts festival in Seattle, WA)

12. Egad! – A mild exclamation

13. foible – idiosyncrasy

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