Wednesday, 24 July 2013

life post: back from holiday

Sorry for my absence over the last few weeks I've been on holiday! I meant to make a post before I left but between moving back home and getting ready to leave things got a little manic and I ran out of time.

The holiday itself was wonderful! I went with my family on a cruise around the Mediterranean; we started in Venice and over 12 days travelled to various ports in Italy, Croatia, mainland Greece, the Greek islands and Turkey. I'd not been to any of these countries before and although we were never in one place for more than a day it was great to get to see so many landscapes and cultures in quick succession. I'd definitely like to go back to many of the places we saw - Dubrovnik, Venice, Rome and Santorini were particularly beautiful and I'd really like to explore more of them. Not only were the locations very aesthetically pleasing but they're so full of fascinating history. I haven't studied ancient history since I was about 12 and it's not a period of history that I'm usually very drawn to but wandering around Rome and Athens and in particular Ephesus it's hard not to be drawn in by these histories which are at once so very distant and yet so present.

Between all the sightseeing, the family time (we did the trivia quiz everyday and my years of indulging in pop culture finally paid off when we won the entertainment trivia!) and the eating (the food was AMAZING!) I didn't get as much reading done as I thought I would - I only finished 3 books but I did learn to crochet! I'm hoping to have a granny square blanket for this winter!

I have a couple of posts in the pipeline - in the next week or so I'm hoping to review the books I read while I was away and post my monthly round-up and I'm also planning to make a post about reading fiction as a historical source - but I have 25,000 words to write before the end of August so it might be a little over-optimistic to expect much more than that! When I'm writing I find it difficult to concentrate on fiction so I'm hoping to use any downtime over the next few weeks to reread a few of my favourite series that I haven't revisited in a while starting with the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series (I've been meaning to do it for a while and being in the Greek islands only made the urge stronger!) I probably won't be posting about the books individually but I might do a re-read round-up in the autumn.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

top ten tuesday: favourite movies based on books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

top ten best/worst movie adaptations favourite movies based on books

I'm cheating terribly with this week's TTT - it turns out that although many of my favourite movies are based on books I've never read the source material so I can't really comment as to the quality of the adaptation! Instead, here are 10 of my favourite films which are based (sometimes very loosely) on novels. Titles marked with an asterisk are those which I've actually read. (Yes, it's true that I've never finished P&P!)

Casino Royale (2006)
Casino Royale by Roger Fleming
Little Women (1994)
Little Women & Good Wives by Louisa M. Alcott*
A Little Princess (1995)
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
101 Dalmations (1961)
The Hundred and One Dalmations by Dodie Smith*
Pride and Prejudice (2005)
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Atonement (2007) 
Atonement by Ian McEwan*
Life of Pi (2012)
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) 
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Hugo (2011)
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznik
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 by J. K. Rowling*

Monday, 1 July 2013

monthly roundup: june 2013

My dissertation has continued to kick my ass this month but fortunately June was a good enough month pop culture-wise to make up for it. The books I read this month ranged from the 'more-readable-than-I-thought-they-would-be' modern classics I'm reading for my dissertation to the !!!!!!!!!!!!!-inducingly wonderful Rose Under Fire. While none of the movies I watched quite made it to a 5* rating, I really really liked all of them: like good rom-coms should both When Harry Met Sally and Populaire left me feeling all warm and fuzzy;  I loved the first half of Man of Steel so much that even the last act's violence fest didn't entirely turn me off and although Before Midnight didn't make for the most comfortable viewing, the writing was so great (both in terms of its honesty and its snappiness) that I could quite happily have sat watching them for another half hour!

Coming up in July: more books and some movies for my dissertation (up next: Evelyn Waugh and D. H. Lawrence), kids movies (Despicable Me 2 and Monsters University) and my holiday!

books read

Connie Willis - Doomsday Book (6/10)
Katie McGarry - Pushing the Limits (6/10)
Elizabeth Wein - Rose Under Fire (9/10)
Ford Madox Ford - The Good Soldier (6/10)
W. Somerset Maugham - The Painted Veil (6/10)
Rainbow Rowell - Eleanor & Park (8/10)

new movies watched

When Harry Met Sally (8/10)
Populaire^ (8/10)
Man of Steel^ (8/10)
Much Ado About Nothing^ (7/10)
Before Midnight^  (8/10)



Happy - Pharrell Williams
This Head I Hold (Rudi Zygadlo Remix) - Electric Guest
Pony Come Back (Ginuwine x Kill Paris x Daft Punk) - BootOX
Undressed (Oliver Nelson Remix) - Kim Cesarion
Cold Front - Laura Welsh
Cosmic Shadow (KT Tunstall x Florence & the Machine x Seven Lions) - ElectroSound
What You Know About Staying Awake? (Two Door Cinema Club x Ellie Goulding) - Flipboitamidles
Say Yr Name (Destiny's Child x Slow Magic) - The Hood Internet
Warm Water - Banks