what I’m doing {#2}


Alice's Piano: The Life of Alice Herz-Sommer by Melissa Müller, http://www.amazon.com/dp/1250007410/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_cgr-pb04SESM4

Several things.  (As usual.)  Part of my WWII history course this year involves me reading a certain number of (non-fiction) books set during the time period and then writing a report on each one.  I recently finished reading Alice’s Piano, and while I don’t really care for most non-fiction books, this biography was lovely.  I enjoy reading books where a character has a special skill, especially if that skill is discussed and described at length, so reading about the different pieces Alice played and the techniques she used was great.  

After I finished reading Alice’s Piano, I picked a copy of The Great Escape from the library, was really looking forward to reading it, but had to put it down after just a couple of chapters because of Bad Language.  A disappointment if there ever was one, because the story is amazing and highly entertaining. *sigh*  I’m now in the middle of Mockingbird, a biography (of sorts) of Harper Lee.  Fascinating, especially since I didn’t know much about the background behind TKAM.  The chapter that focuses on the movie adaption was interesting – there were a lot of little bits of trivia sprinkled throughout.

In between reading Deep & Serious books, I sped my way through The Deadly Curse Of Toco Rey by Frank Peretti, and then handed it over to Elisabeth with the very highest of recommendations.  I don’t think she’s started it yet, though, because she’s been busy going through the binder of Combat! fan-fiction I gave her for her birthday.  But I will MAKE HER read it as soon as possible, because I think it helped form my taste for good action/adventure stories.  (Both books and movies.)  Can’t have her miss out on that, can I?


Ah, Roman Holiday.  Watched this for the first time just a couple of days ago, and I fell completely in love with it.  The plot was pretty predictable, so it was the gorgeous setting, scenes that are alternately grin-worthy and poignant, and the charming acting from both Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn that cemented this film in my mind as one of my very favorite old films.  It’s so beautiful.

In between writing that last paragraph and this one, about two hours have elapsed while I took a break from writing (yes, I know, it’s an awful chore, isn’t it?) to watch Charade – another Audrey Hepburn movie, though very different from Roman Holiday.  I read a review of it yesterday (one of those things I randomly stumble on during my Internet browsing hours), and finding that it starred Audrey and that James Coburn (!!!!!!!! – Yes, I know.  Right about now Elisabeth’s rolling her eyes.) was included in the cast list (and that we owned it on DVD), I had to watch it.  The whole thing was much better than expected, even if I still don’t really care for Cary Grant as an actor.

Speaking of movies that star James Coburn, I watched Monsters, Inc. last night.  Um…yes.  Monsters, Inc.  James Coburn voices Waternoose, of all things!  When I saw his name on the cast list, I was pretty much stunned into silence (for about two seconds) because it is SO. WEIRD.  I mean, honestly.  Voicing a monster-villain (well, okay, the villain part isn’t so weird, because he tends to play those a lot, but STILL) who has lines like the ones Waternoose has; I really couldn’t get the mental image out of my head of James Coburn saying all those lines in the recording booth and it was hilarious.

Oh, and I’ve also been watching a few episodes of Wanted: Dead Or Alive, and it’s amazingly good.  So thank you for that, Hamlette.

{listening to}

Elmer Bernstein - The Magnificent Seven

Elmer Bernstein has officially become one of my favorite composers.  His work on The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape is, well, magnificent (and great), and I’ve been listening to the themes for both movies almost non-stop over the course of these past few days.  And when I’m not listening to either one, they run through my head constantly.  It would be annoying, if the music wasn’t so good.  Someone on Youtube has done a smashing, epic music video of clips from The Magnificent Seven set to the theme music – go check it out!

What’ve you been reading/watching/listening to lately?



8 thoughts on “what I’m doing {#2}

  1. You’re an Elmer Bernstein fan. That makes me happy. 🙂 You should look up the music from The Sons of Katie Elder and The Comancheros—I’ve never seen the actual movies all the way through so I can’t say whether they’re good, but the music is certainly wonderful! I think there’s some good suites from both on YouTube.

    We just watched Anne of Green Gables and the sequel last weekend, so I was seized with a desire to re-read the books. I hadn’t read the first book in several years, so it was lovely to get to know it all over again! I’m reading Anne of Avonlea now. Those first two and Rilla of Ingleside are my favorites of the series.

    Roman Holiday is lovely, isn’t it? I hadn’t seen it in years till recently, so I think I appreciated the romance of it and the poignancy of the ending better than I did when I was younger. But I’ve always wished I could have Audrey Hepburn’s outfit; it’s one of my favorite movie costumes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • DUDE! “The Sons of Katie Elder” is my absolute favorite John Wayne movie. It has one bad word in it, and is otherwise splendid. Watch it, please! Both of you!!!

      (“The Comancheros” is pretty good, but I don’t love it dearly. Stuart Whitman’s pretty darn cute in it, though, and you can’t go wrong with Lee Marvin for a bad guy!)


  2. Alice’s Piano sounds really interesting. I seem to like world war two biographies and novels. Don’t ask me why because I always cry when I read them.
    Whenever I hear of Leonard Bernstein and movies, I always think of West Side Story and then On the Waterfront. I did not know that he composed the music for The Magnificent Seven or The Great Escape, which gives an excuse to watch the movies again. 🙂


  3. Okay, Elmer Bernstein is one of my absolute favorite composers. Ever. Go listen to the theme for “The Man with the Golden Arm” and let it blow you away. So yay! You’re a fan too! High five!

    Also, “Charade” is one of my favorite movies. It’s like the best Hitchcock movie that Hitch never made. Love it! Isn’t Coburn chilling in it, though? That scene with the matches! Eek!

    And finally, W:DOA. Isn’t it amazing how they can squish such good stories into less than half an hour? You’re going to see lots of familiar faces pop up as guest stars 🙂 I love ’60s TV and how you get to know the actors who just guest on absolutely everything. Including James Coburn — he’s in 3 eps of W:DOA 😀


    • (Note — the version of the theme from TMWTGA that I linked to leads into a different song too. There are a zillion recordings of TMWTGA and I couldn’t find my favorite one, but that one is good.)


    • That was fantastic! How does he manage to create an entirely new, very unique theme for each and every film he scores? Amazing.

      Yesssss. Very creepy. It was still neat to see him, though. 🙂

      I was pleasantly surprised by how cheap the complete series is on Amazon – Elisabeth and I are considering purchasing it since, come to find out, Youtube doesn’t have all the episodes. I did hunt up one of the ones with James Coburn; seeing him and Steve McQueen together yet again made me grin. 😀


      • Yeah, the whole series is super cheap right now. I picked it up season by season, though even those were only like $12 each. I have no idea why, when other well-known western shows are so crazy expensive, but… I’m not going to whine!


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