Saturday, December 26, 2020

Mini-Reviews: As You Like It, Lorna Doone, Waitress

As You Like It
I'm rather confused as to why they decided to set this in feudal Japan... it is barely important in the overall look or feel of the movie, and really doesn't seem to serve any purpose. The music is absolutely gorgeous though, and fits absolutely perfectly with how the rest of the adaptation has been done. It uses Shakespearean English, and is overall good. If you like other Ken Brannagh adaptations, it definitely fits his style, and I would recommend it. If you're not a particular fan of his work, then I don't think this one is anything to write home about. It passed the time.

Lorna Doone (1990)
I almost stopped watching this more than once, but decided to power through. Honestly, I just couldn't get into it. I love Sean Bean, but have never really cared for Clive Owen, and this movie did nothing to change that. It felt very slow, and I really didn't get the point of it much. The plot was fine, and I do plan to watch another adaptation in the future, but this really didn't catch my interest.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Musical Identity Book Tag

I decided to make a new tag! I created this one a long time ago, but just hadn't written in my own answers. If you love musicals as much as I do, then I hope you'll answer these questions as well. And if not, perhaps you'll have fun reading my answers anyway!


What was the first musical you saw (whether on stage, or on film)?

The King and I! It was the first one I saw, actually both on stage and on film, so it has a very special place in my heart.

What musical were you most surprised impacted you as strongly as it did?

Rent! I thought for the longest time that it was probably this super hyped-up musical that it was popular to like because it was edgy. And yes, I think that that is absolutely the case for some people - but I also think it's brilliant. (Now, will I ever understand the appeal of the song "Over the Moon?" No, no I won't).

What is the most original musical you've ever seen?

I think that depends, a bit. I'm tempted to say Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, simply because of the variety of musical styles running through it. Otherwise, Godspell has a really unique structure to it.

It might be silly, odd, or cheesy, but what musical do you have a soft spot for anyway?

Gigi. It's a musical that a lot of people probably don't know about, and it has definitely some elements that might not look the best to modern audiences, but I fell in love with it as a little girl (thank heavens! ;) ) and still love it very much go this day.


What's your favourite classic musical?

Probably The Phantom of the Opera!

What's your favourite contemporary musical?

Maybe Dear Evan Hansen? I tend to be a bit of an oldie where musicals are concerned, but I really enjoy the music from this one. Otherwise, if it counts, Rent. But I'm not sure that's considered "current" enough.

Musical movies - not necessarily a musical, but what's one you love?

Lili (1953) is one of my favourite movies of all time. It has a few musical numbers, but I wouldn't exactly refer to it as a musical. (With both Gigi and Lili on this list...can you tell I love Leslie Caron?)

What's a musical you just don't understand the appeal of?

There are actually several I just don't get the appeal of, but the first one that comes to mind is Shrek: the Musical. I don't personally like the Shrek movies in the first place, and I don't understand how this would make an appealing musical either...but that's just me!

The Specifics

Who are you most like from Rent, and why?

Mark. Absolutely Mark. I adore him completely, and connected with him right away. I do have elements of Roger and Mimi as well, but just listen to the song Hallowe'en, and you will see how I feel.

If you could play any part in Hamilton, which would you choose?

Angelica Schuler for sure. Although I would get so tongue tied trying to get the lyrics out that quickly!

Should Christine have ended up with The Phantom in the original musical?

Yes. I know, I know...that might be terrible of me, but in some ways I still wish they ended up together. And I have seen Love Never Dies, but that doesn't fit in the same way for me. 

Do you consider classic Disney movies to be musicals?

I personally don't, but I have no issues with people referring to them as such. I mean, they contain a lot of music, and this is used to tell the story and express feelings exactly in the same way that musicals are, but to me they feel different because they are animated. By definition, I guess they are "Disney animated musicals" but I think of them as a category unto themselves.

Monday, September 28, 2020

September 2020 Update

Wow has it ever been a while since I've done an update! This one isn't going to follow the normal format, but my goal for the past bit has been to just try blogging again - regardless of if my posts are perfect. It's hard to keep faithful to that though - I want them to be my best work, and I have to remind myself that I am not at my best, so it's okay if my posts aren't either.

The past few months have been...well, a lot. And I know it's been that way for most of us. I'm not going to go into too great detail there, because well, it is not only too painful, but I am also trying my best to move forwards. So, although I will spend a moment on this all, this will focus on what I have been reading and watching in the past while. That being said, I would like to give a trigger warning for terminal illness for the first heading in this post ("What's Happened"). Feel free to skip past and onto future sections.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Would You Rather Book Tag

I've been having a hard time blogging for many months, so I want to focus on some fun and light content hopefully for the next little while until I get back into the swing of things...and what's more fun than a tag? These questions are provided by Greg @ Book Haven!

1) Would you rather read or watch Netflix for an entire year?

In truth, read, although I unfortunately haven't had much mental space for it lately. But reading will always be one of my favourite things to do, regardless of if I am actively able to do it!

2) Would you rather read all new releases or used/ backlist books for a year

Backlist books! I have such an extensive backlist of things that I truly want to read (and in a lot of cases, also own). I would love to clear these shelves down a bit!

3) Would you rather have pizza or Chinese food?

Well, Greg has decided to torture me with this question. I eat a fair amount of pizza, so I guess I would likely have to pick that...but I truly, truly love Chinese food, especially Szechuan.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Blog-Along: Little Women (2019)

There couldn't possibly be more spoilers in one of my posts than there are in this one! I've done this blog-along with a lot more detail than past ones. No, unfortunately it doesn't have time stamps (I watched it on my television DVD player rather than my computer), but as this is a story that many people are familiar with by now, I figured that would be okay.

Now, if you know anything about me, my opinions on Little Women are, well...pretty strong. I have watched so many adaptations of it, and it has always been a part of my life. So when a new version of it comes out, I am going to go over it with a fine tooth comb. Want to know my thoughts about the most recent adaptation (2019 - Saorise Ronan, Timothée Chalamet)? Read on! Don't want spoilers? Maybe wait until you've seen it.



Tuesday, August 4, 2020

TTT: Colourful Classics

I'm back doing a Top Ten Tuesday for the first time in who knows how long! This week's topic is "Books with colours in the titles" but I have decided to take it a few steps further and do classics...and I am going to try doing at least one for each colour of the rainbow, and then a few others. So...wish me luck? Thank you as always to Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl for such a fun series.


The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane


A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess


Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley


Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Mini-Reviews: Call Me By Your Name, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Jane Austen Book Club

Welcome once again to the portion of the blog where I talk about some movies I've been watching! Some movies I simply don't feel motivated to write a full review on (or life gets busy!) but I still want to share my thoughts with you. So, here are a few things I've seen lately and how I felt about them!

Call Me By Your Name
Wow. I put off watching this one for a while because I thought it might have been popular because of the cast or subject matter rather than its own merit. Well, I was wrong. No, it's not perfect, but I definitely found it had a real impact on me to the point that I actually cried at one scene. My only previous experience with Timothée Chalamet had been in Lady Bird, and I hadn't watched anything with Armie Hammer in it, so this was a great way to get to know them better as actors. I would definitely recommend this one. It isn't overwhelmingly dramatic, and there isn't a lot going on in terms of action, but it's lovely nonetheless. I did have one or two moments where I wasn't really a fan of how they shot things/the content, but as far as I am aware they were true to the book for these things, so it's not really a fault of the film.

Monday, May 11, 2020

April 2020 Update

Well, I'm definitely not guaranteeing a post per week like I was doing before, but I've got a few posts lined up, so I'm hoping to get more than one done a month now! 

Started Watching:

Fleabag- season 1started and finished
I didn't know a thing about this show until it got award buzz...and then when it won everything, I knew I had to at least look into it. I got it out from the library just before isolation started, and I'm so glad that I did. It's definitely crude, but I rather love that. It's fresh and real and from a woman's perspective - she is neither a complete trainwreck, nor is she perfection itself, and I really appreciated that. It's not going to be for everyone, but I think if you've lived a bit of life already, you'll find some things you can really relate to. Oh, and if you love characters breaking the fourth wall as much as I do - this is a must. Excited for when I can get my hands on season 2!


Since I didn't really finish any shows this month (although I am still working my way through the Chinese drama Unrequited Love), I figured I'd share some of the other things I've been watching:

Destination Wedding - DNF'd 
It's pretty uncommon for me to dislike a movie so much that I don't finish it. I usually force myself through it, and say at the end "Yeah, well I tried" and know I gave it a fair shot to judge it. The exceptions to this are movies I stop watching within the first 15 ish minutes because the style is clearly not what I expected, or movies on television that I was sort of flipping through and therefore not something I consciously chose. So why did this one make the list? Honestly, I got through at least half of it (although I think I was maybe 2/3 of the way through), and I simply didn't care. I love Winona Ryder generally, but the relationship between these characters was just a little too unrealistically odd for me to handle.

Carrie Pilby
Carrie Pilby is based on a book by Originally I wasn't enjoying this movie. I haven't had the most patience during isolation - if I have to put in too much effort to like it, it's not happening. I had also recently tried watching Destination I nearly turned it off. I'm glad I didn't though. If you can through the awkward and stereotypical-feeling beginning, it becomes a sweet movie. It's not saccharine, nor is it going to likely wow you, but I really enjoyed it as a nice time passer. Change isn't a bad thing - it reminds you of that, especially when you are in a moment that you feel a bit lost. Oh, and the cast is great!

It's been a more productive month for sure, and I'm starting to feel more like myself than I have in the past bit, so that helps. Trying to keep things lighter, and am hoping to blog more. We're at two for the month already now, so that's a promising start!

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

The Cement Garden (Ian McEwan)

This post will essentially be Spoiler Free (except where marked in the "Where it disappoints" section), however comments by other users may possibly contain information that spoils portions of the plot, so read at them your own risk.

What it's about:

After the long illness of their mother leaves them orphans, four siblings fear for their separation, and decide to hide her death. Yet, this also means hiding her body, which they choose to bury in cement in the cellar. Each of them deals with this drastic change in their lives in very different ways, and to varying degrees of success - Julie takes over the household, Jack stops bathing, Sue spends hours reading and writing in her diary, and Tom starts to wear dresses. But what happens when the precarious balance they have developed in disturbed once again?

Saturday, April 11, 2020

February/March 2020 Update

The funny thing about being in isolation during a think you would blog more, right? Nope. It's been very hard to find motivation. So, here's me trying - it's just a little late!

Started Watching:

Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir - season 2 & 3, started and finished
I love this show. I would be lying if I said I didn't. They released the next seasons on Netflix, and I watched multiple a day every day until I finished it. I barely paced myself. Yes, I do regret that now...but it was also totally worth it. It's cute and it makes me happy.
Maid-Sama! - started and finished
This one was cute. It took a little bit to get into, but I ended up finding it really fun, and overall relaxing. It switches between two animation styles a lot throughout the whole thing (the regular style, and the chibi style), which is effective in certain areas, but felt a little overdone to me.There were a few episodes that were a bit disjointed (and I was watching those while also playing on my phone), but overall well done. I got through the whole thing in a few days. The best part are the random fourth wall breaks, haha.
Outlander - season 5
I started the fifth season, but I really wasn't feeling it. I missed one episode and all of my motivation left. I have some of them recorded, so I will likely just have a day where I blast through these, but I'm not sure. I might also just wait until it comes out on DVD. There's nothing wrong with the season (from what I saw...although my friend is further than me, and would disagree!), but I haven't read the book this season is based on, and I don't really care about this period in American history, so it's a double "meh" from me.
Unrequited Love
The Chinese dramas are back! I'm about ten episodes into this, I think? So a little under halfway, and have really liked it. We're getting into rocky territory though, so if it gets too depressing, I'll need to take a break during quarantine! Overall, it's been good though (even if it has brought up some past feelings!)

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Library Life: Do We Judge You?

The short answer is no.
But the long answer...?

- Sometimes I notice what you check out, sometimes I don't. The longer you take to be prepared, more I notice about your books. If you are embarrassed about what you are checking out, I would suggest having your card ready before you come to the counter (or use a self-checkout option if it is available to you). I have had people comment on their items, and then I actually have to look at them to understand why they are commenting, haha.

- I know my regular's hold slip codes. That doesn't mean I check what you have on hold, only that I know you have holds because I had to interfile other holds nearby.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Library Life: Community or Quiet?

Whether you are a frequent visitor of your local library, or or haven't been in one since you were little, I'm sure you have a distinct picture in your mind of what they are like. Are they quiet places of study and refuge, with people who shush you, a musty smell, and books in pristine condition? Are they maybe centres filled with the sounds of storytimes and children running around, media centres to explore technology, and a nice little cafe on the main floor?

Whatever your opinions are, most of them currently fall somewhere in the middle. Unfortunately, as wonderful as this balance is, it comes with some sacrifices. How can you have a quiet study space but also allow for multimedia use? How do you keep the books clean and without damage, but also allow in food? You can't. But, there are ways to protect both of these environments to get the best of both worlds.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Mini-Reviews: Black Narcissus, Cheerful Weather For the Wedding, Laggies

Movies, movies and more movies! I definitely love to watch a lot of them in the winter. I'm spending quite a bit of time watching things I had meant to see years ago, and occasionally re-watching some comforting old favourites. So, here's what I've been watching recently!

Black Narcissus
I remember watching this movie as a teen, and remembered liking it...but I didn't really recall all that much about it, and kept mixing it up with A Nun's Story. I watched it again recently, and oh Honestly, I was totally in love with it. Now yes, there are a few things where it is clearly a product of its time (such as some racist depictions - although nowhere near the worst I've seen), but the storyline, cinematography, and mood are incredible. It sort of has a similar feeling to Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca to me, so if you like the feeling of that story, I was check this one out. It is based on a book, but I've never read it.

Monday, February 3, 2020

January 2020 Update

I'm getting my groove back! I'm feeling a lot better in general now, and getting back into watching television and movies, and reading. Not to say that some days I don't want to do anything...but I'm definitely on the right track to being in a better place mentally and emotionally. So...what did I watch?

Started Watching:

Sanditon - season 1
This started airing in Canada a few weeks ago, and I started watching it right away. I had already been watching clips of it on YouTube because it had been out in the UK (so yes, I know spoilers). It's based on an unfinished Jane Austen story, and although I haven't read it yet, I knew I wanted to watch it. Apparently her writing only covers the first episode or two of the series, but I'm interested to see where the showrunners take it. I'm definitely enjoying it so far, and will probably read the original sooner than otherwise planned. If you need a selling point other than a period drama by PBS based on an Austen work, it also has Theo James in it (Four in Divergent, Mr. Pamuk in Downton Abbey).

Howard's End
Some people may be very shocked to hear I am watching this. Others will be confused why I wouldn't want to, considering I love period dramas and Hayley Atwell. Well, I remember watching the 1992 film with Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins...and I despised the ending so much that it ruined the whole thing for me (we can chat about this in the comments if you'd like, but I'm trying to avoid spoilers!). Seeing this fresh adaptation, I thought it might be worth giving it another try - perhaps I just found that version didn't work for me. I'm a good chunk of the way through it now - there's only an episode or two left - and although I am really enjoying parts of it, other aspects seem to be a bit, well, all over the place. Except, I don't get the feeling that that is any fault of the actors or director, and simply a fault of the original work (I haven't read it though). A few of the characters (especially Ms. Schlegel's brother) are absolutely insufferable, and I can't stand their scenes. Hayley is wonderful though, and I am enjoying Matthew McFadyen and Philippa Coulthard in their roles as well. We'll see how I react to the ending this time...

Outlander - season 1 (rewatch)
I needed something swoon-worthy. Honestly, one day I just didn't feel overly motivated and wanted to watch something that would just make me happy, and I went for Outlander. I've watched about 3/4 of the first season, and I might finish it, or I might not. I'm not worried - I've seen it more than once, and read the book. But it is just as good this time around.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

TMST: Winter Reads

It's been a while since I've participated in a Tell Me Something Tuesday! This is a great feature run by Heidi @ Rainy Day Ramblings, where we get to share our opinions about a variety of topics! This week's question is: What type of books do you like to cuddle up with in winter?

Comfort books. It's really as simple as that. I know a lot of people favour short, cute reads over the summer, but that's when I'm more likely to pick up something dense. I find that the dreariness of the season (I live in Canada, so let's not even get started talking about our winters, haha) can really affect me, so I want things that make me happy and are soothing.

I often during this time will pick up books I have read before and loved. It's not an uncommon sight to see me sitting on the floor in front of my bookshelf, reading something unintentionally. I'll have started browsing through my books, flip through to read a single passage, and end up there for 45 minutes pouring over the whole book until I realize my back has cramped up.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Library Life: Colonoscopy

Now, if that title didn't get your attention, I really don't know what will. It's a little bit of click-bait, but honestly... it was prompted by something that happened recently.

Spending so much time working in a public place, you get to not only see a lot of people, but some of them you see so often that you inadvertently learn a lot about them...or sometimes they tell you far too much. For example, I know that Patti* loves to look up facts about country music on the computer, and Stephen will automatically spell his whole name to you over the phone instead of saying "Stephen with a 'ph'," and Elizabeth will remind you she is legally blind every single time she can.

These interactions are what you just get used to, and you try to shape your conversations around this information. And then, there are these moments, where people tell you things they probably shouldn't, and that you definitely can't "unhear":

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Mini-Reviews: The Sun is Also a Star, Austenland, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

With all of the craziness going on in my life the past few months, I'm having the best time being able to sit down and just watch movies!  So over the next while, I'll probably be pumping out a bunch of mini-reviews. If there's something specific you would like to see reviewed, or that you would like to hear more in-depth about, let me know!

The Sun is Also a Star
I had been rather interested in this one for a while, but I've never read the book. The concept was one that I thought was probably a little far-fetched, but it looked cute enough that I figured it was worth a shot. Also, having a Hollywood-unconventional couple as the stars was a big plus. Now, right from the start I thought Charles Melton was going to have to convince me to like him as well as Yara Shahidi...and he didn't really succeed. I thought he was fine but I couldn't get as behind their romance as I wanted to. Yara, I think, did quite well. The movie was a decent distraction for an evening, and I liked the ending, but overall I sort of found it to be incredibly stereotypical and predictable...even for a Young Adult movie.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

2019 TBR Challenge - Wrap-Up

Now that 2019 has come to a close, I want to update you all on how I did on my TBR Challenge for the year. This challenge is held by Adam @ Roof Beam Reader, and although I didn't do the best in the world this year, it's helped me out a lot.

What am I talking about? Here's the link to my original post about the challenge, which includes a list of all of the books I hoped to get through, and links to the related reviews.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

October to December 2019 Update

Although I watched several movies over the past few months, I didn't end up watching a lot of television! I decided to combine everything from October through December into one big post to share what I have been watching. Look out for some mini-reviews about the movies later on.

Started Watching:
Poldark - season 2, 3, 4 (started and finished all)
I whipped through watching the series for a second time - watching most of three seasons in about a month. I continued watching season 5 as it aired each week. I really enjoyed this series, especially the first three seasons, and will absolutely be recommending it to people (you all included!)
Frontier - season 3
I'm so glad this season is finally on Netflix! Basically, I watched the first two seasons on Netflix after being unable to catch them on television (I didn't know when they were airing). When I finished them, I had to wait a little while for season three to air. I ended up barely missing it...literally missed an episode or two, so I waited the whole time for it to show up on Netflix, and mildly lost my mind. BUT, I finally am getting to watch it. I'm about halfway through, so it shouldn't take me too long to finish it. It doesn't seem quite as good so far, but still enjoying it.
Anne with an E - randomly/season 3
Being rather a book purist, I find television adaptations of books are usually very difficult for me to get into. This show was no exception. Although I've never read Anne of Green Gables, I was always in love with the mini-series from the 1980s, and didn't handle very well anything that didn't invoke the same feelings. I didn't enjoy this at first. I watched random clips here and there, and couldn't really connect with it. Eventually I ended up watching random bits of season 2. It was, *shrug,* okay. Yet, I started watching clips of season 3 on YouTube...and then I started watching it on TV...and I got weirdly invested in it. Unfortunately it looks like they won't be returning for a fourth season...but at least I got the satisfaction from the last episode that I wanted - one positive!