TTT: Thankful.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday (TTT) brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish.

November 22: Thanksgiving freebie — tell us what you are thankful for! Books you are thankful for!

I want to keep this list bookish this week, but I will start off by saying two personal things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving:

  1. My family. Every day, I feel so blessed to be married to my wonderful husband and be the mother of my two beautiful, healthy boys. Each and every day they provide me with a new reason to be thankful, and I am grateful. And we are all thankful for our little dog Oscar.
  2. My sweet Bailey. Almost two months ago, we lost a very important member of our family, our dog Bailey. We got her in 2001, when she was just four months old. I am so thankful we got to have over 15 wonderful years with her. She was the sweetest, most loyal companion I could have ever asked for. We all miss her very much.

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Now…back to books!

There are so many things to be thankful for when it comes to books. I’m going to narrow it down this week to…

Top Ten Characters I’m Thankful For

ttt_thankfulcharacters

Nancy Drew | Fred & George Weasley | AliceMaisie DobbsWinnie the Pooh
Willowdean Dickson | Chet the Dog | Don Tillman | Sherlock Holmes | Melrose Plant

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What about you? What are you thankful for this week? (Bookish thankfulness or otherwise.) Sign off in the comments below and link up to your own TTT if you’ve got one.

Happy Thanksgiving!

As You Wish: A mini review.

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

By Cary Elwes

Rating: 5/5 Stairs

asyouwishSometimes on these book reviews I like to tell you where I sit before I tell you where I stand. If you saw my recent TTT (best films of the 1980’s), you already know that The Princess Bride is my number two all time favorite film. We watch this movie A LOT at my house. And we quote it probably daily. (Case in point: Every time I leave the house I yell “Bye, bye, boys! Have fun storming the castle!” And my boys always answer back with “Think it will work? It would take a miracle. Bye!”) So a memoir based on the filming of The Princess Bride? Right up my alley. The only thing better might be a Carrie Fisher written memoir on the making of Star Wars. Hmmmm…I wonder if that’s a thing?

Anyway…

As You Wish. I received this book almost two years ago for Christmas, and fully planned on reading it right away. But as you know, life (and other books) get in the way, and I just never got around to picking it up. Then I found out that Cary Elwes narrated the audio book. SOLD. I love it when an author narrates their own book, especially when it’s a memoir.

What did I love about this book?

Everything. From Cary Elwes narration to the on-set stories, the whole package was fantastic. He takes the reader from his informal audition (in a hotel room in Germany) through to the film’s successful 25th anniversary screening. Some of the information I had heard before, and other pieces were completely new to me.

Throughout the book, other people involved in the film contributed small asides to add to Mr. Elwes’ story. The majority of these contributors read their sections in the audio book. (Robin Wright, Rob Reiner, Fred Savage, Christopher Guest, the list goes on and on. The ones from Wallace Shawn [Vizzini] might have been my favorite.)

This book was also unusual in that my boys could listen to it with me as well, and they enjoyed hearing the tales just as much as I did. Just like the film, Mr. Elwes keeps it family friendly. It almost feels like a companion piece that works hand in hand with the film. Of course, we sat together and watched The Princess Bride again when the book was finished.

What didn’t work for me?

Truly, I can’t think of a single thing. Except that the book ended. Really a fun memoir, and I’m so glad I listened to the audio version.

TTT: Best Films of the 1980’s

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday (TTT) brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish.

November 15: Movie Freebie — top ten all time favorite movies, top ten foreign films, top ten rom-coms, top ten 90’s movies, top ten action flicks, top ten tear-jerkers, top ten movies your favorite actor/actress is in, top ten movies with PoC leads, etc. etc.)

Oh my gosh if there is one thing I love (almost) as much as books, it’s movies. I love to watch movies. So what to do this week? Try to pick my all time top ten favorites? Select ten different categories and pick one favorite for each? Pick a specific genre or actor? I’ve already done one on Book to Film adaptations. So many ways this post could go…

I’m going to take a trip down memory lane this week with…

My top ten films from the 1980’s.

I love 80’s flicks, especially the comedies. To make this list, I typed out my favorite movies and then sorted by year. I’ve picked my favorite film for each year, and have a few honorable mentions thrown in. (Apparently, I really liked 1985.)

Continue reading

Let love trump hate.

Hello, America. Another election year has come and gone. We do this every four years. We watch some debates. We listen to the news. We research the candidates. We vote. Sometimes my guy wins. Sometimes your guy wins. We move on.

This year feels different.

This election was intense. Divided. Full of hate. We immersed ourselves in it. Lived in this election for months on end, constantly disbelieving the next twist and turn. And now we’re here.

I’ve seen a lot of posts on social media this morning. A lot of anger. Sadness. Disbelief. Celebration. The emotions of our country are running wild.

I’ve also seen the question, “What do I tell my children?” That’s an important one. Because the election is done, but the hate is not. From both sides. What do we tell them?

We don’t tell them anything. We show them. We quit feeding the fuel of this hate fire with love.

Show them how to love your neighbor. And I don’t just mean your neighbor right next door. Anyone and everyone you encounter during the day. Give them a smile. Spread a little kindness. Hold a door open. Say thank you.

Show them that everyone deserves to be treated with kindness. Teach them that we are all part of this great big mixing pot that makes up the United States of America. Everyone is different, but deserves to be treated equally.

Over the next four years, let’s stand together. We need to continue the fight for the rights of equality for all. Let’s not budge even a millimeter backwards in our rights as human beings. Stand up for minorities, LBGTQ+, women, the disabled, the elderly, our children. Let your voice be heard.

Spread love. Spread kindness. Lead by example. Start today.

Love trumps hate. Now more than ever.

dumbledore

This image is not mine, I got it from a MuggleNet facebook post.

Ready Player One. A Mini Review.

Ready Player One

by Earnest Cline

Rating: 5/5 Stairs

readyplayeroneSet in 2045, Ready Player One embraces 1980’s pop culture as gamers across the globe try to find the Easter egg left behind by the late Halliday and win his fortune. I happened to pick up the audio book for this one thanks to a recommendation from Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog. (Thanks Grace!) The book is narrated by Wil Wheaton, and he is the perfect person to bring Wade Watts (aka Parzival) to life.

I should probably take a moment to let you all know that in real life, I am NOT a gamer. I just don’t have that skill set. I was never able to save poor Princess Zelda from her fate, those cute turtles always got the best of me in Super Mario Brothers, and let’s face it – I probably never made it past level two on Pac Man. I’m so bad, I can’t even remember. As far as modern day gaming, I am decent at Wii Bowling, and I did play my boys Lego Harry Potter game for about three hours. Once.

Why am I telling you this? To let you know you don’t have to be a gamer to enjoy this book. Yes, the plot centers around playing video games set in a virtual reality. But really it’s more about the quest and adventure in searching for Halliday’s Easter Egg. For me, the 1980’s references didn’t hurt either.

Teenage Wade Watts lives in a trailer stack (you read that right) with his aunt, just months away from finishing up high school. He does his best to stay out of her way, keep out of trouble, and attend classes in his (virtual) high school. And in his spare time, he’s a gunter (egg-hunter, get it?), having searched for years for Halliday’s first clue to his Easter Egg.

Really, I don’t want to say much more about the plot than that. I went into this book knowing absolutely nothing (except it was a great book narrated by Wil Wheaton), and I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.

The writing was excellent, the story interesting and fast paced. Wade is a character you can get behind and root for. I never felt lost in the gaming aspect of the book. I highly recommend Ready Player One, and if you can, listen to the audio. Wil Wheaton is a fantastic narrator.