january, february, march 2017: what I’ve been reading & watching

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Ya’ll know how this works, right?  Basically, I just list/discuss noteworthy books and movies that I’ve read and watched in the past three months.  It’s lots of fun (for me, at least) and a good way to keep track of my reactions to the different stories and films I’ve enjoyed recently.  And I want to hear what you’ve been reading and watching, too!  Drop a comment and let me know, if you have the time, ‘kay?

So far this year, I’ve read thirty-eight books and watched fifty-two movies (not counting re-watches).  Here are just a few from both lists.

Books:

The Darkest Hour by Caroline Tung Richmond – I enjoy checking out new books from the library, ones I’ve never heard of before (usually from the YA section) and this one was a winner.  Set during WWII and centered around a fictitious (though historically-inspired) OSS branch, The Darkest Hour has enough thrilling plot twists to rival an Alistair MacLean book.  I just wish it had had a bit of romance to balance all the nail-biting danger and espionage.

Redwall by Brian Jacques – I’ve heard good things about this series for years, but I only recently picked up the first book. (I’d tried reading another one or two before, but they hadn’t really gripped me.)  This is the kind of story that starts slow and finishes strong – I ended up reading it in huge swaths, completely immersing myself in the world of Redwall Abbey.

The Visitation by Frank Peretti – Peretti’s adult novels aren’t always my cup of tea, but The Visitation was pretty great.  Travis was awesome, the story was spellbinding, and…yeah, it all worked together very well.  At first I didn’t like how the POVs switched back and forth from first person to third person, but I got used to it.

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The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel – Non-fiction for the win!  I know that Pureflix is making this into a movie, but I enjoyed The Case for Christ for itself.  The evidence for Jesus’ bodily resurrection was clearly presented, in an entertaining way, and that was only one of the issues Strobel tackled.  A thoroughly fascinating book that I would highly recommend to anyone.

A Series of Unfortunate Events (books 1-9) by Lemony Snicket – This series has been a part of my family’s history for years now, but I could never get past the first few pages of any of the books, for whatever reason.  But when I finally took the plunge, determining to get through the first book at least, I found myself drawn to the characters and pulled in by the books themselves.  I love the Baudelaires, the Quagmires, and Uncle Monty.  And, yes, even though I had no idea I would, I have teared up over certain parts of the series, simply because it’s so SAD sometimes.

Fear is the Key by Alistair MacLean – The plotting skills of this man.  Are incredible.  The story had me flipping pages quicker than I have in a while over any book.  It’s just…wowowowowow.  The characters were good, too, so that’s a nice bonus. (They didn’t get lost in the plot, I guess is what I’m trying to say.)

<3:

Holes by Louis Sacher – Holes is a good story, well told.  I love the old West, so that part of the book was neat, and Zero is my baby, and Stanley is pretty awesome as well.  The setting is unique and, admittedly, it took me a while to settle down and accept the fact that the storyworld is kinda like ours, but kinda not, too. (It weirded me out at first when I watched the movie.  And I watched the movie before reading the book.)  Overall, I’d call this a satisfying book, ’cause that’s exactly what it is.

Movies:

The Emperor’s New Groove (2000) – I’ve heard about this movie for what almost feels like forever, and I finally got it from the library (we now own it on DVD, too) and, yep, it’s hilarious.  Really hilarious.  Even though John Goodman has creeped me out ever since I watched 10 Cloverfield Lane, it was still fun hearing ‘Sully’ voicing Pancha.  It’s not Disney’s best, but it’s an entertaining ride.

I’m Not Ashamed (2016) – One of the only movies that actually lived up to the high expectations I had after watching the trailer.  Inspiring, emotional, and even exhilarating in parts, I’m Not Ashamed is my current favorite Christian movie.  I was really looking forward to seeing Ben Davies in this and he did not disappoint.  And Masey McLain was gold, pure gold as Rachel.

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Beauty and the Beast (1991) – Read my first thoughts here. (They’ve only intensified with the re-watches, by the way.)

Risen (2016) – Best part of Risen?  The main character, Clavius.  I’d watch it again just for him.  It’s an interesting film, for the most part, and while there are a few issues with how they handled the Biblical account of events (as there invariably is in Hollywood movies), Jesus’ resurrection and subsequent appearances were handled with respect.  It’s a good film, the tone of which reminds me quite a lot of Ben-Hur (the Charlton Heston version).

Room for One More (1952) – Let me just say that if continue watching more serious Cary Grant movies (the other one I’ve seen so far being People Will Talk – 1951) I might have to revise my earlier, unfavorable opinion of him.  I dunno, there’s just something about guys who normally play comedic roles suddenly doing serious ones that gets me right in the heart. (That probably sounds weird, but I hope you can understand at least a little of what I mean.)  Room for One More does have its moments of humor, but it’s quite a serious film, too, and I’d recommend it to just about anyone.

101 Dalmatians (1961) – Another Disney classic that I only recently caught up to!  I tell myself I don’t like dogs, but I adored this film and Lady and the Tramp, soooo…I don’t know what to make of all that.  It’s a charming story with lovely dogs and human characters alike.  So sweet.

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How many of these books have you read?  How many of these films have you watched?  And what’ve you been reading and watching lately?  Can’t wait to hear what all you have to say. 🙂

Eva

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16 thoughts on “january, february, march 2017: what I’ve been reading & watching

  1. I’ve read Holes, I probably need to reread that. I read the first of A Series of Unfortunate Events, but I didn’t care for it. I might have to give those another go, but its not high priority.

    I prefer Cary Grant in humorous roles, and I don’t care for him at all otherwise (An Affair to Remember . . . vomit). He is not my favorite old Hollywood leading man (I like Peter O’Toole, Gregory Peck, Jimmy Stewart, and Dana Andrews), but he is the one I’ve seen most! I haven’t seen that one though.

    I think that overall The Emperor’s New Groove is a bit lame (in plot), but there are some truly hilarious lines (“Let me guess, you must have a great personality”) and Kuzco’s brattiness and cowardice are pretty fun.

    I’ve read about 20 new books and a few re-reads and watched about 16 new to me movies. I’m going to do my recaps over the next few days and weeks (probably should start working on that; it would help if I used my movie and book journals more). I’ve read a couple more Rosemary Sutcliff novels, and Daddy Long-Legs. I’ve Dear Enemy waiting for me to start today; I cannot wait, I loved Daddy Long-Legs.

    I’ve been trying to work on watching more classic Hollywood, so I’ve watched To Catch a Thief (meh), The Thin Man, Holiday Inn, Laura, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and Funny Face.

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    • Oh, I’ve seen An Affair To Remember and I wasn’t toooooo impressed with him there. I might like it better on a re-watch, though. I like/love all those old Hollywood actors you mentioned! 🙂

      YES to Kuzco being pretty fun. 😀

      Can I get the link to your blog, please – I think I’d really enjoy checking it out.

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  2. Ah such a fun post! I have read the first Redwall book, ages ago. And ohhh my gooooodness how I ADORE the Series of Unfortunate Events and basically any book written by Lemony Snicket. We are such huge readers of the whole Lemony Snicket life, if you know what I mean. I’m very glad you liked it! And, I, too have cried at parts of those sad books!
    I have watched Emperor’s New Groove, a wonderful classic in our house, often quoted by us all, Beauty and the Beast, on of the best movies in the world, and 101 Dalmations just once.
    Again, this was a great post!

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  3. The only movies I’ve seen here are “Beauty and the Beast” and “101 Dalmatians,” and I haven’t even seen *all* of those 2. Just parts. *shakes head*

    So, the last few movies I watched were “Meet the Robinsons,” “Lilo and Stitch,” and “Beauty and the Beast” [live-action], in that order. “Meet the Robinsons” was very fun and quirky–not exactly my type of movie, but I did enjoy it. “Lilo and Stitch” was AMAZING . . . one of my new favorite animated films. That ending montage with “Burning Love” playing in the background is pure gold. So good.

    And as for the new “Beauty and the Beast” movie . . .

    GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

    Basically.

    It was so, so beautiful.

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    • Oh, you watched Meet the Robinsons?! Wonderful. 🙂

      I don’t really care much about the new BatB, truth be told. (Which is good, ’cause my parents don’t want me watching it anyway.) Just my opinion, though.

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  4. Wow, you’re way ahead of me on books for this year! I’ve finished 17 and am currently reading 3, haha. I haven’t re-read Holes in years but it was one of my favorites as a pre-teen.

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