Literary Movie News: Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper in the Movie Adaptation of Ron Rash’s Serena

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper are reuniting to star in Ron Rash’s Serena, and the only thing I am worried about is that I haven’t read the book yet. The trailer makes it look all kinds of angsty and dramatic, it’s also period piece to boost, ya’ll. The goal will be to read it before I see the movie, and my motivation to do this is doubled by the fact that I’ve read some of  Nothing Gold Can StayRash’s powerful and moving collection of short stories.

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel, Simon Vance (Narrator)  Audiobook Review

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Labor Day by Joyce Maynard – Movie/Book Club

Stack of books

Stack of books

Readers react with mixed emotion when they hear that a book they’ve read is being made into a movie, especially a favorite one. I confess that I’m no different. I try to judge by the attached director, approve or seethe over the casting choices, and find either affirmation or more trepidation upon viewing the first trailers and stills from the movie.  When I heard that a movie was being made of Labor Day, Joyce Maynard’s 2009 novel about the unlikely romance between an escaped convict and the housewife he takes hostage (along with her son), I was intrigued because I remembered enjoying it when it was initially published.

My book club was fortunate enough to receive copies of the paperback movie tie-in version of the novel and passes for a screening of the film, which we plan to attend next month. I was really taken with Labor Day when I first read it back in 2009. The premise of the novel stretches credulity a bit in terms of whether a romance like this could have occurred, but the love story is a sumptuous one, and I loved these characters. They were rich and real and I loved seeing the way they developed in the aftermath of a weekend that proved a critical turning point in all their lives. I was really excited to hear what my book club would have to say about, and I am especially looking forward to the discussion after we have all seen the movie.

So far, the feedback upon reading the book has been mixed – with a slight majority enjoying the book. I’ve found that this is the sign of a great book club book. There has never been all that much discussion at my clubs over books that are universally adored. Usually with those books we say we loved it and then get on with the good work of drinking wine and eating great food.

Everyone was curious about the pie-making scene and thought it was a pivotal point in the book. So we are all waiting for that. One of the members had a hard time getting through the book but thought that the trailer makes the movies seem a lot more interesting  than the book.  Those of us who loved it were just as interested in the themes of trauma, empowerment and hope. One our member had this high praise for Labor Day: “This story is about coming ALIVE, re-birth; honesty; goodheartedness; going with the flow; following dreams.”

Labor Day opens in wide-release today. I’ll report back when we’ve seen the movie.

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 BOOK CLUB   Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung

Oh, and Happy New Year. -p

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Interview Alert: The Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales (Book) & Sofia Coppola (Film)

The Bling Ring The-Bling-Ring-Official-Movie-Trailer2

I was searching around for a movie to add to my rental queue this weekend, and stumbled across Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, about a group of Hollywood youths spending time their time robbing the houses of celebrities. In a moment of synchronicity this morning, Caroline Leavitt (author of Is This Tomorrow) posted a fascinating piece where she interviews Nancy Jo Sales about the article that turned into the movie, which Sales then turned into the book, The Bling Ring. Let me know if you have read/watched the book/movie/ article. I mean to get to them all eventually, especially after reading this conversation.

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel, Simon Vance (Narrator)  Audiobook Review

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Oz the Great and Powerful (Movie Trailer)

Oh internet, where have I been? This is what happens when you don’t have a television and you skip all the ads online. In the five seconds I was waiting to skip an ad on YouTube, I saw that there was a trailer for an Oz movie, which okay, I had heard vague rumbling about. I thought it was coming out next year, but it is out today, and I have just spent my morning (thus far, it is only 6:30 now) watching all the trailers and promo.

I think it looks fabulous. Of course, the fascinating part about all of this is that we know who this dude becomes. When Dorothy finds him, however many years down the road, he has become a prisoner to his own hype and image – hiding out from his people, and behind a lot of smoke and mirrors, to hold onto his power. Now we see him as he started out; ambitious, frustrated by the limitations of life in a small town, and surprised by an opportunity to be a big man in a troubled city. This is one instance where I love knowing the end.

Oh yeah, brought to you by the post I mercilessly bumped to talk about Oz this morning. You’ll see that post on Sunday.

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Master of Love by Catherine LaRoche   Book Review

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Watching TV – The Vampire Diaries, Scandal, & Downton Abbey

Watching TVI watch TV sporadically, and when I do I always want to write about it.  What I watch changes from week to week changes and sometimes I don’t watch it at all, so think of these posts as little surprises. Who knows when they will pop up or what I will have watched! If you a sporadic watcher too, feel free to grab the button and talk about what you’ve been watching. I’ll so a round-up at the end of the month if you have posts to share.

The Vampire Diaries

Believe it or not I am actually up to date on this one, in spite of approaching the point when I have become rather “meh” about the whole thing. The vampire mythology totally mystifies me now – it has gotten too convoluted! With this episode, I was wondering why Tyler had to turn because Rebekah wanted him to? I thought he had broken his sire bond, or does that only work between him and Klaus? Confused now on that point. Or maybe she compelled him? Does anyone know? I am not the most careful viewer of this show so it is quite probable that I have missed something.

I like Rebekah, and I enjoyed seeing her put the screws to that trio (Caroline, Elena, Stefan). I can’t wait for Klaus to find out that little sister has been un-daggered, and that she ain’t happy. They had pretty much de-clawed Rebekah, and it was nice to see her pull them out and slash folks up. It’s one thing to show a vulnerable side to a “bad” character, but they had taken it to the extreme, an I had forgotten how vengeful and bad-ass she could be. Hear her roar.

Truth or Dare was genius.  I loved it and I loved what Elena had to say. The band-aid was ripped off in their little session, and I was glad that Elena got to see just where Caroline’s loyalties lie in addition to setting the record straight with Stefan. I have never really been a fan of Stefan. The goodness and the righteousness are a little too much for me. I have preferred him bad, but it looks like he is about to add a whole other level to it. But last night was the epitome of just why I don’t like him. Damon has sat on the side and watched all manner of things go down between Stefan and Elena and he and to grin, bear it, and try to be the better man, and he has because he loves her too. The minute Stefan’s heart is broken, he is the vengeful asshole, plotting and planning against EVERYONE. Poor baby, except I feel no sympathy for him at all. Go as fast as you can to Damon, Elena. I think if it would be interesting if Klaus could compel Stefan to remember her and how he felt about her. I wondered why Rebekah didn’t do it herself. It would be fun to see how Stefan would react to loving more than just Elena.

Please let Bonnie wake the hell up and do her own investigation into expression, instead of taking the word of the man she doesn’t know from Adam.  Her aspect of the story is snoozeville because I have a hard time with how gullible she’s being. Shane is creepy. Why aren’t alarm bells going off? Also, don’t Stefan and Damon know how bad expression is? They found out when they went to New Orleans. Seems like someone would have informed Bonnie, the good a righteous, just how much she is playing with fire

I like seeing Matt. Even though they have dragged him out if obscurity to play Jeremy’s vampire trainer. I was hoping that the would pair him with Rebekah so that he would have something, anything to do/take care of/ be involved with. But now that Stefan and Rebekah have formed an unholy alliance, I guess that is that. Boo.


I like this show against so much good sense. It is beyond out there, but yet, I watch it anyway. I was so happy when Cy and James adopted the baby. Aww. James has wanted this for so long. I hope it works out for more than a minute. Hmm.

I like Scandal and I watch it, but why do they have to strain credulity to the max? Huck getting played (and twice!) is just too much for me. Too much! He is smart, super assassin, who thinks of everything and this happens? Sigh. The first time he was all “in lurve”, but homegirl had almost killed the president and he is talking into cell phones? I think real Huck would have handled things more securely and not lost his family?

Liv in bed with the hospital bed with the prez. Smh. It looks like her thing with the congressman/senator, whoever he is, is done. Put I don’t want her with Fitz. Let them move on. There is nothing attractive about their relationship.  I have to watch the last half of the last episode. Hope my head doesn’t explode.

Oh, and why couldn’t she take the small olive branch that Mellie offered? They have had some rough times, but i was hoping. She sent them both back to business as usual.

Downton Abbey

I am generally late to the party in watching TV shows. This is no exception, but I am glad that I finally sat and watched the first three episodes. The show is pretty much like crack, and so soapy! I think I was expecting a drama that was really staid and I think I got more of that with the first episode, and can I tell you that I agonized over Bates and whether he would get to stay on as valet. I was so happy to see his relationship with Anna develop and that he slowly starts to fit in with the staff. The episode with his leg was hard to watch. Reminds me of something that would have happened on an episode of Little House on the Prairie. I am loving all the characters, but I am anxious to learn more about O’Brien and Thomas because their constant unhappiness and scheming keep me on the edge. The whole entail situation is rather galling, but at the same time, I like the family that stands to benefit, and it seems as if Matthew will be more into having Mary as a wife as he thought. Things changed quickly from the first episode to the second.

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Out of Twenty: Lenore Appelhans, Author of Level 2, Answers Eleven Questions

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1Q84 by Haruki Murakami – Book Trailer

The trailer for Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 is as mysterious as the book itself. I about 100 or so pages in and slowly making my way through this tome (925+ pages depending on the edition you choose). True to Murakami’s style, the things that happen are very strange, and sometimes pretty far-fetched, but his lyrical writing has a way of hooking you into wanting to know what will happen next. There is a meditative quality in reading his work that is very odd. Sort of like being lulled into accepting his alternate version of the world.

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Dare Me by Megan Abbott  + Columbus High School Cheerleading Routine

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The Woman In Black – Movie Trailer

 Just about two years ago I read Susan Hill’s novella The Man In the Picture. I had some issues with the novella format, and though the story was creepy, I wanted more detail and resolution in the plot. The soon to be released The Woman In Black  is based on a novella  by Susan Hill and this trailer conveys all the creepiness that was promised in my reading of The Man In The Picture. In years past, I’m not sure I’ve been satisfied with the explanations of events offered in most horror movies I’ve seen, but I hope that this one won’t disappoint. The trailer is amazing in that it features all the scary images known to terrify me in childhood – clowns, old gothic looking houses, and scary looking dolls. This is definitely not a picture I plan to see alone!

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 The Rook, by Daniel O Malley   Book Review

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