Book Club Picks: A Common Life, The Wedding Story

So I have fallen behind with my posts, but as you know I started a book club last year:

Every month we read a book and I do a little post on the book we read and discussed. What can I say, I just love books.

 

There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want. One has chosen to read a few books from The Mitford Years series. So far we had read the first and second books in series. They decided to skip the other books to go to book six, which was written later but is supposed to go between book two, A Light in the Window and three, These High Green Hills.

A Common Life: The Wedding Story (The Mitford Years #6) by Jan Karon

This book is set in the fictional town of Mitford, North Carolina. The last book centered around the Vicar, Father Tim as he is contemplating at age 60 if he should continue or retire. In that year he faces all kinds of changes from a dog adopting him, taking in a child, jewel thieves, a fake antiquities ring, health changes, a new neighbor/love interest, all kinds of secrets being revealed, and more. This town and Father Tim will never be the same.

The second book, Father Tim and Cynthia have become boyfriend and girlfriend. But when their relationship becomes a long distance one, he begins to pull away from her because of his fear of getting hurt. Also, a local widow is trying to catch him, using every ploy and plot to ensnare him. And to top it all off, a relative from Ireland has followed him home and is staying with him, but something about her is not right as she spends all her time in her room.

When Karon was writing the series, she continued the next book, book three they were already married and continued to write about their lives. However, people love a good wedding.

And they wanted to know what Father Tim’s was like. Will Father Tim fall apart when he takes his vows? Will Cynthia make it to the church on time? Who’ll arrange the flowers and bake the wedding cake? And will Uncle Billy’s prayers for a great joke be answered in time for the reception?

This book was so adorable and a total fan service. We got everything we wanted.

Yay!

I loved seeing Father Tim have to go through all the marriage things-planning, counseling, etc. And the little things about money, the wedding night, etc. Here is a 60 year old man who never was married and is going through all this for the first time. But hey, he was careful in finding just the right person.

I loved the part when one of the ladies in the community is hoping to bake the cake for the wedding, but hasn’t heard from the couple asking her to do it. She works herself up into a lather, becoming so angry-but then is asked and is completely speechless-a hilarious scene.

It is such a fun adorable book, that of you loved any of these books in the series you need to check it out.

For more book club picks, go to Book Club Picks: The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II

For more books by Jan Karon, go to Book Club Picks: A Light in the Window

For more in The Mitford Years, go to Book Club Picks: At Home in Mitford

For more weddings, go to Those Aren’t Men They Are the Living Dead: White Zombie (1932)

For more Jane Austen Quotes, go to Most Romantic Moment In Real Life

So I was writing this review I decided it was the perfect time to share my own bit of news. I just got engaged.

I know, right. Its amazing that I AM going to be married. After all, I thought like Marianne Dashwood:

But what can I say, sometimes life takes turns we don’t expect, we meet people who change our way of seeing the world, we fall in love.

We meet in May of last year and started dating five months later. I know he is the right guy for me.

And I’m right for him.

Aw!

We are to be married in two months! Its not a lot of time, but I’ll get it done. The most important thing is we will be together.

I could go on, but:

So I will end on this:

 

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The Accidental Bride

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The Accidental Bride: A Romantic Comedy by Janice Harayda

This book was recommended to me by Goodreads, based on one of the books I have read in the past (I can’t quite remember which one). It sounded interesting: a woman is planning on getting married, but a month before her wedding she starts having second thoughts. Is this really what she wants? As her family and friends are all forcing her hand, she turns to her love of Jane Austen to pull her through. Sounds great right?

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I HATED IT!

Hate YOu

It just was so, urgh the main character was too annoying.

Person hate talking

But let’s wait a moment before we go there. So the book is a Bridget Jones’ Diary style adaption of Pride and Prejudice. The main character is Lily Blair (LB like Lizzie Bennet) who is from an upper class but not old money super wealthy family. Her mother is a meddler (like Mrs. Bennet) who has dreamed of the day her daughter is married off for years (just like Mrs. Bennet). Lily’s fiancé is from an old, established family with a ton of money (third wealthiest in Ohio), and a lawyer (just like in Bridget Jones’ Diary), named Mark (just like BJD) Danforth [M.D like Mr. Darcy].

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There is even a woman after Mark named Caroline, just like in Pride and Prejudice when Caroline Bingley uses every trick she can to get Darcy, but he’s not interested.

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So why did I dislike the book? Two words Lily Blair.

hate her

First of all she has no reason for breaking off the wedding. It’s not that she is unsure she wants to spend the rest of her life with Mark, or that she is unsure if she wants to stay in Ohio, or that she thinks her life is taking her in a new direction away from Mark, or that she has a great job offer, OR ANY OF THOSE THINGS! She just wakes up one morning and says she wants to cancel.

Say What

Yeah. With no thought to how this will affect her fiancé, family, or the fact that a ton of money has been spent. And the worst thing is that she doesn’t even feel remorse for this! She’s just like, “women don’t need to be married to be happy.” “Most marriages end in divorce anyway.” Where was this attitude months ago? How can you just do that to your fiancé without feeling bad or sorry or anything???!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I mean come on, that’s cruel, horrible, selfish, and immature.

And there is no reason to dump him. He’s kind, sweet, considerate, understanding, dependable, handsome…i.e:

Perfect Boyfriend

I mean it’s like when Meg Ryan dumped Bill Pullman in Sleepless in Seattle. Why would you? Bull Pullman’s such an amazingly sweet guy. It just makes no sense! And at least in Sleepless in Seattle, Meg Ryan felt bad about it. In here, Lily cares zip for how this affects anyone.

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And then Lily starts complaining about her life. Her newspaper in New York was being downsized so she moved home, got a job there, an apartment, but oh no woe is me! I had to move home! I have to live in a “small town”. I have a rich, perfect, boyfriend. I come from a family with money. Life is so hard.

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Come on,

Girl Please

Get over yourself. So what if New York didn’t turn out how you wanted it. Life is pretty amazing. I know plenty who would love that life. I would love that life.

So you see, she was just so darn annoying that I found the book a total dud.

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Ugh!

And Mark deserves way better than Lily.

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For more works based on Jane Austen, go to The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay & Diaries

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Fall For You

For more on Sleepless in Seattle, go to Part VIII: The Little Movie Line List

To Edward or Not to Edward?

So when we last left off in Sense and Sensibility things were going haywire.

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Yep. Fanny Dashwood didn’t even wait for the body of Mr. Dashwood to cool before she moved in the home and claimed it as her own.

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I hate that woman.

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I mean

Girl Please

Just calm yourself down and wait.

Anyways, Fanny’s brother also came to visit.

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And was such a pleasant surprise to everyone in his kindness. In fact Elinor finds him incredibly charming.

In fact she is the one that pushes her family to spend time with him and see him as his own sweet person instead of evil incarnated like Fanny.

“I think you will like him’, said Elinor, ‘when you know more of him.”

In fact Mrs. Dashwood does grow to like him as she seems him as tender, sweet, and the perfect match for Elinor…not to mention he’s also rich and could take care of them all.

perfect plan

And that’s when Mrs. Dashwood starts planning their match, really taking a card from Mrs. Bennet in assuming something without any real proof of it’s existince. Yep, she thinks that Elinor and Edward are headed down the aisle.

“In a few months, my dear Marianne,’ said she [Mrs. Dashwood], ‘Elinor will, in all probability be settled for life. We shall miss her, but she will be happy.”

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Yeah mom, you probably should have talked to Edward and Elinor before announcing or planning it.

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Now there are two people who are not happy with this. Marianne, the first, doesn’t want Elinor to marry Edward. Now some of you might think that she doesn’t want to lose her sister, which is part of the reason, but her biggest issue with Edward is that she thinks he is boring.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

Edward as a romantic hero? Marianne says:

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Here is a list of Edward’s shortcomings according to Marianne

  • He’s not handsome enough
  • Doesn’t have the right airs or manners.
  • He is tame with no fire in his eyes (i.e. too much of a nice guy)
  • No taste in music
  • Doesn’t know anything about art
  • He’s not exciting

Yep, to Marianne nice, secure, sweet is not really what she wants. She’s after a guy from a romance novel who is dashing, charming, has a heart of gold, who loves music and poetry and will focus on that instead of being sweet or secure. Yep Marianne is just like you.

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And the other person who is not happy about this closeness…well (as I’m sure you all guessed) that person is Fanny.

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She is not about that at all:

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But more on that later as well.

So To Edward or not to Edward is the question for Elinor, of which we will read the answer in an upcoming post.

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For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to The Eye of the Storm

For more on Elinor & Marianne, go to Sisterly Roles

For more on the fiendish Fanny Dashwood, go to Promises Were Made to Be Broken

A Tender Toll-Booth Token: While You Were Sleeping (1995)

Romantic Moment #3

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While You Were Sleeping (1995)

Lucy (Sandra Bullock) works at a toll booth collecting tokens for the Chicago Transit Authority. Everyday she watches people come and go, developing a crush on Peter (Peter Gallagher), who in my opinion is not attractive at all but whatever. Anyways, everyday seems to be the same, boring thing.

One day while she is working, Peter passes, as usual, but is mugged, knocked out, and left out on the train tracks. Lucy sees a train coming and manages to use all her strength and wit to roll him out of harm’s way. After she calls an ambulance she goes down to the hospital as well to see how he’s doing. When she gets there she talks to herself about how she would have liked to marry him and is subsequently mistaken to be Peter’s fiance. With Peter in a coma, the family reaches out to her to join them for Christmas.

At first she doesn’t tell the family as she is in embarrassed, and when she learns of the grandmother’s terrible heart condition it scares her into silence. As she spends more and more time with the family, she quickly grows to love them all and wants to be a part of their family.

She also meets Peter brother Jack, played by the very handsome Bill Pullman. At first he doesn’t believe that Peter would be dating Lucy as she seems too nice to be his type. Jack and Lucy start spending tons of time together and Jack finds himself falling for Lucy. Unbeknownst to Jack, Lucy finds herself falling for him as well…while engaged to his brother.

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Peter wakes up from his coma and remembers everything…everything except having a fiancé named Lucy. Everyone thinks it is amnesia, with Lucy knowing the truth. This leaves Lucy in an even more tangled web.

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********Most Romantic Moment********

So after Peter wakes up he decides to “move up” the wedding from never to immediately. Everyone rushes to prepare, but at the ceremony Lucy can’t go through it. She tells everyone the truth and how she fell in love with the family, not Peter. Peter’s ex-fiancé, who is still married (yikes), crashes the scene as well, airing all his dirty laundry. Lucy slips out and goes back to her old life.

Now the most romantic moment happens when Lucy is back to her old life. She’s at the toll booth, collecting tokens. Ho-hum, you know. When suddenly a diamond ring gets dropped through.

Say What

Jack went after Lucy to propose!

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Perfect!

Perfect!

And he not only comes to propose, but brings the whole family with him. He knows how much she wants a family and decides to share this special moment of her life with them. This also shows her that the family holds no ill will for what happened before, but love her and want her to be a part of their family too.

Perfect!

Perfect!

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To start Romance is in the Air: Part III from the beginning, go to I Can See Your Beauty: The Breakfast Club (1985)

For the previous post, go to Shall We Dance?: What Happens in Vegas (2008)

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For more on While You Were Sleeping, go to 25 Films of Christmas

It’s Alive, it’s ALIVE!: Frankenstein (1931)

Look! It’s moving. It’s alive. It’s alive… It’s alive, it’s moving, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE!

What horror movie countdown would be complete without the film Frankenstein

Frankenstein is an amazing film that tells the story of when one man tries to be more than he is; he tries to be God. It is based on the novel, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley (FYI: A much better writer than her husband)

Edward Van Sloan: How do you do? Mr. Carl Laemmle feels it would be a little unkind to present this picture without just a word of friendly warning. We’re about to unfold the story of Frankenstein, a man of science who sought to create a man after his own image without reckoning upon God. It is one of the strangest tales ever told. It deals with the two great mysteries of creation: life and death. I think it will thrill you. It may shock you. It might even horrify you. So if any of you feel that you do not care to subject your nerves to such a strain, now is your chance to, uh… Well, we’ve warned you. 

I have always loved this film, but I think The Bride of Frankenstein is much better. I will get more into why that is later.

This movie is terrifying as we see a Frankenstein becomes consumed with creating this being. He won’t listen to anyone else and his behavior frightening his friends, family, and fiancé.

Henry Frankenstein: Crazy, am I? We’ll see whether I’m crazy or not.

Let me just clarify for everyone out there that the name Frankenstein alludes to Victor Frankenstein, the mad doctor who creates the Monster. For some reason they changed his name to Henry in this film. In the film his best friend’s name is Victor, while in the book it is Henry. Go figure. The Monster is never called by a name other than Monster, Creature, or something similar. It’s like  The Creature from the Black Lagoon or The Thing from Another World, no proper names are given.

Anyways, he is helped out by a hunchback named Fritz

Not Igor, FRITZ!

The hunchback named Igor who helps mad scientists isn’t from the original Frankenstein, but comes from one of the sequels, Son of Frankenstein, where his name was Ygor; later translated to Igor.

Anyways, Fritz is the one who makes the mistake of stealing the criminal brain.

My Bad

 

So Frankenstein starts getting ready to bring his monster to life. In the novel, Shelley never tells us how it is done; Frankenstein never wanted to share the details of the experiment for fear that someone would create their own living dead. With nothing to go off of, the writers and directors decided to use lightening, and therefore changeing film culture and film history as this is referenced and parodied in so many films and TV shows.

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“Henry Frankenstein: Look! It’s moving. It’s alive. It’s alive… It’s alive, it’s moving, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE!
Victor Moritz: Henry – In the name of God!
Henry Frankenstein: Oh, in the name of God! Now I know what it feels like to be God!”

Frankenstein is so intent on proving everyone wrong, so focused on completing everything that he never stops to think whether he should do this. This is an interesting question posed; how far is too far?

So Frankenstein is able to create his monster:

Played by the very amazing Boris Karloff; extraordinary actor. He almost didn’t play this part as they originally offered it to Bela Lugosi who turned it down. I’m glad it was Karloff, because as much as I love Lugosi, no one could have done this better.

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The green makeup that is such a part of the Frankenstein figure was used because it gave Karloff a deadlike pallor of skin. Now it has become such a strong part of culture, we see the green-skinned, bolted monster every October.

After the Monster is created, we see this innocentlike creature. He is afraid of fire and tries to attack Fritz who brings a torch by him. All bystanders fear for their lives and chain the Creature up in the dungeon. Frankenstein and his friend Victor leave and discuss the best way to euthanize him. Unbeknownst to them Fritz is stupidly taunting the creature with a torch; causing the Monster to reach out and kill him.

When Victor and Frankenstein return; they see Fritz’s dead body on the floor, and have to run away from the Monster as it tries to attack them too. Frankenstein prepares a shot to kill him, and Victor gives it him. With all his problems solved, Frankenstein leaves to prepare for his wedding, and Victor begins to dissect the Creature. Unfortunately, the Monster didn’t die; but was only knocked out. He kills Victor and then escapes, running amuck in the countryside.

He runs into a little girl, who is nice and shows him the flowers she is picking up.

She shows him how flowers float in the river, which Frankenstein ultimately does to the little girl. Thinking that if he tosses the girl in the water she will float; he ends up ultimately drowning her.

Little Maria: See how mine floats.
[the Monster picks her up]
Little Maria: No, you’re hurting me! No!”

The farmer finds his daughter’s floating corpse and goes to pieces. He starts hunting down the monster; searching everywhere to find the fiend.

Frankenstein, happily preapering for his wedding is brought news of Victor’s death. He goes out searching for the monster along with the peasants who have their torches and pitchforks at the ready.

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

Eventually Frankenstein tracks the monster down and is prepared to destroy him.

However the Monster knocks him out and carries him off to the windmill where he throws him off. Luckily, Frankenstein is caught by a vane and saved from death. There some peasants carry him home while others destroy the mill and kill the monster. Or do they?

Frankenstein gets home, where we see that he is safe and sound and in the arms of his Elizabeth dear.

After I watched the film a gazillion times, I read the novel and found it to be much more horrifying than the movie. In the book Frankenstein isn’t this bumbling creature, completely innocent and doesn’t understand things; but a criminal mastermind. Having learned to read and talk before he died; he is able to after some time remember how to do this and begins becoming more “human”. The one thing that he never regains is compassion, kindness, etc; all the caring emotions that make us who we are. He has no empathy or sympathy, believing that he was shown nothing but hatred and cruelty so he must show this to all.

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What they take from this and use in the sequel, The Bride of Frankenstein, is his want of a mate; his desire to have one like him to spend his life with. He threatens to destroy everyone that Frankenstein holds dear if he does give in to his demands. Frankenstein goes through a constant struggle with himself; knowing that he cannot risk creating another creature being made and mating along with the first. He realizes his mistakes at creating such a thing far too late. The monster doesn’t like hearing no and kills all Frankenstein loves. There is no sweet guy, accidentally killing someone like Lenny in Of Mice and Men, but this is a true psychopath fully aware of the crimes he is committing. Not only is the creature a serial killer, but he has become so intelligent that he is able to plant evidence so that people think someone else is the murderer. He kills Frankenstein’s brother William, and plants a locket on William’s nanny so that she is also killed. Then he kills Henry, Frankenstein’s friend, planting evidence so Frankenstein is arrested. He also kills Elizabeth, Frankenstein’s wife, making it seem once again that Frankenstein is the killer. With all those that he loves dead, Baron Frankenstein dies as well.   After everything is gone from him; Frankenstein devotes his life to hunting down what he created and destroying it.

It’s a great book, I suggest reading it and watching the film.

There’s a classic terror for your Tuesday! More to come!

I almost forgot to mention this. Unlike The Mummy, Dracula, or The Wolfman; Frankenstein has never had a major motion, globally shown, sent to all theaters, remake. However that is all about to change as Guillermo del Toro is planning one, and hoping that it will be coming out soon. To read more up on it go here. We shall have to wait and see what happens and how it turns out.

Here’s poster I made for my cover page on facebook in honor or Halloween. Hope ya love it.

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To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World

For the previous post, go to When Potatoes Go Bad

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For more on Frankenstein, go to A Monster Race

For more on Boris Karloff, go to Eternal Punishment for Anyone Who Opens This Casket

For more films based on books, go to The Only Thing That Matters is the Ending

For more on Jurassic Park, go to Life Finds a Way

For more on the living dead, go to A Tale So Strange It Must Be True

For more on mad scientists, go to A Very Scary Story

For more universal films, go to Universal’s Classic Monster Movies

For more of my fav quotes, go to Insults