Saturday, February 28, 2015

Read-along!

Starting tomorrow, I'll be participating in Hamlette's March read-along of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott!  She's hosting it at her other blog, The Edge of the Precipice, and you should all join!  Think how much fun we'll have;)


MEMM Wrap-up

Well, folks, the Middle-earth movies meme is ending for me, today.  I've had a blast!  But I realize that those of you who aren't into LotR are probably rejoicing that I'll finally be posting about other things (and I will, I promise!) ;)

Day 27 prompt:  Favorite end song

Definitely "The Last Goodbye" by Billy Boyd (though "In Dreams" and "May It Be" and "Into the West" all make it very difficult to choose).  Forever and ever.

Day 28 prompt:  Favorite Middle-earth related item you own

This is fun!  I have two things I particularly love:  

~ My Evenstar necklace (my brother got it for me for Christmas:D)



~ My LotR piano songbook



This is a compilation of tunes from LotR, and I love it.  Some of them are relatively easy, some of them slightly harder, and it's great!

Thank you soo much for hosting this party, Hamlette and DKoren!  I had fun:)




Thursday, February 26, 2015

MEMM Days 25 & 26

Day 25 prompt:  Characters you wish you liked more

*writhes*  WHY YOU MAKE ME ANSWER THINGS THAT WILL MAKE EVERYBODY HATE ME?!;)

Okay.  First (and please take this as meant completely seriously), the characters I'll discuss, you must understand, are characters that I love.  But there are three in particular that I really love, but not quite as much as I feel I probably should.  So please DO NOT take this as meaning that I dislike these people.

Okay?  Everybody on the same page?  Cool:D



I like Gimli in the movies, he's just not my favorite.  (In the books he really got on my nerves.)  But he has some killer lines:  "Certainty of death, small chance of success--what are we waiting for?"


I like Legolas, too, but he's a bit of an "ehh" character for me, to be honest.  I love his scenes, and he's a cool guy, but…yeah.

And now for the last one, that will probably make the most people angry.  I apologize in advance.


*ducks*  I know, I'm sorry!  All right, let me just say, I LOVE Aragorn.  I love him more each time I read/watch the trilogy, but I just wish I loved him a little…more.  He's amazing and stupendous, but…he's not quite my favorite, and I don't love him as much as I feel I probably should.


Day 26 prompt:  Favorite one-on-one battle

Umm…

I suppose Éowyn's and the Witch King's battle.




Tuesday, February 24, 2015

MEMM Days 23 & 24

Day 23 prompt:  The Hobbit character you understand the least

Wow.  We're getting deep here, no?;)  All right, before I begin, please understand that I love this character.  I do, I really do.  But you asked, and I've got to answer as truthfully as I know how.

In the book, The Hobbit, the character I least understood was Thorin Oakenshield.

In the movie trilogy, The Hobbit…..it was still Thorin.



Don't hate me, Thorin-lovers!  I'm one of you, really, and I understand that Thorin's story of character development is amazing and beautiful and all that, but…there are still some things about him that I just don't get, namely:  His fanatical obsession with reclaiming the treasure of Erebor.  I understand that his quest to recover the Lost Mountain runs much deeper than the gold, and I understand that he has good reason to be bitter and revengeful, but you have to admit that he is, in the words of our dear Captain Jack Sparrow, "completely obsessed with treasure," at least by The Battle of the Five Armies.


And then there's the little matter of his disregard of his comrades' safety, when his mind is beginning to, um, turn, shall we say.  (I know, I KNOW he changes.  I already specified that I love him, remember?)

Bard comes to try to talk reason into the dwarf.  He is the epitome of reasonability and peace-making, and then Thorin goes and frankly ruins everything.

Bard:  "Will you have peace, or war?"
*dramatic pause*
Thorin:  "I will have WAR!"  

Um…why?!  All you had to do was help the homeless, starving people of Laketown, the rightful inhabitants of Dale.  But I guess the miles-deep mountain of gold couldn't handle any thinning, even for charity's sake, right?

Anyway, I really do understand that Thorin wasn't in total control of his reason at that moment.  I really do understand that it was necessary to make his redemption that much more powerful.  But I really don't understand why he gives himself over to the gold-sickness in the first place.  (Wow…that sounded harsher than I wanted it to.)

But I do love him.  Really, I do.


Day 24 prompt:  Favorite moment/line in The Battle of the Five Armies

So many!  Alfrid's awesome comic relief, the heart-wrenchingly perfect credits, the amazing tie-ins to LotR…

I'll go with this quote, just 'cause reasons.


(There, I have attempted to atone for my answer to Day 23:D  Though, in all honesty, I love this part.)


Monday, February 23, 2015

MEMM Day 22

Prompt:  Costume you most want to wear

Either Arwen's red dress (why do I always call it the red dress??  The majority of it is midnight blue!  Oh, well.  I guess that's what happens when you pair two such dramatic colors together)…



Arwen's mint green dress…



Or Éowyn's emerald gown.


You can't see it very well in that picture, but the colors in that gown are sooo vibrant that I just…*sigh*



Sunday, February 22, 2015

The First Game Hosted By Yours Truly

Guys, I'm gonna take a risk and attempt to hold a small game here.  I've never done this before, so bear with me.

I'll call this the "First Line Game"-- I'll list the first lines of a number of books, and see how well-read you all are. *winkwink*

I'll try to mix up the difficulty level--some fairly well-known books, and some less-talked about books.  

*in Capricorn's voice*  Let's give it a whirl.

#1:  "In that pleasant district of merry England which is watered by the river Don, there extended in ancient times a large forest, covering the greater part of the beautiful hills and valleys which lie between Sheffield and the pleasant town of Doncaster."

#2.  "There was no possibility of taking a walk that day."

#3.  "First the colors.  Then the humans." (Okay, for that one I did the first two lines,  because--well, for obvious reasons.)

#4.  "All children, except one, grow up."

#5.  "This story begins within the walls of a castle, with the birth of a mouse."

#6.  "In the year 1815 Monseigneur Charles-François-Bienvenu Myriel was Bishop of Digne."

#7.  "The year that [blank] was born, the most beautiful woman in the world was a French scullery maid named Annette."

#8.  "London.  Michaelmas term lately over, and The Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln's Inn Hall."  (Same issue as with #3.)

#9.  "The morning sun shone brightly on the canvas of the covered wagon, promising an unseasonably warm day for mid-October."

#10.  "When he was thirteen, my brother [blank] got his arm badly broken at the elbow."

Hope you guys like it and will participate!

MEMM Days 20 & 21

Day 20 prompt:  Favorite moment/line in The Desolation of Smaug

To be honest, I've only watched DOS once, and I was rather severely underwhelmed, so...I couldn't really say.  I'll have to read everyone else's answers to remember a couple scenes.

I guess I found it funny when Kili is teasing Tauriel with his rune-stone:D  That part was kinda sweet, personal opinions on their relationship aside.




Day 21 prompt:  Favorite couple

Hands down, without a doubt, almost easily, Faramir and Éowyn.




I love this pair so. much.  You can see a little of my obsession with them here and here.

And now, a couple very, very long snippets detailing exactly why I love their relationship so much (prepare yourself).

The Lord Faramir was walking alone in the garden of the Houses of Healing, and the sunlight warmed him, and he felt life run new in his veins; but his heart was heavy, and he looked out over the walls eastward…He looked at [Éowyn], and being a man whom pity deeply stirred, it seemed to him that her loveliness amid her grief would pierce his heart.

...

"It may be that only a few days are left ere darkness falls upon our world, and when it comes I hope to face it steadily; but it would ease my heart, if while the Sun yet shines, I could see you still.  For you and I have both passed under the wings of the Shadow, and the same hand drew us back."

...

And so they stood on the walls of the City of Gondor, and a great wind rose and blew, and their hair, raven and golden, streamed out mingling in the air.  And the Shadow departed, and the Sun was unveiled, and light leaped forth.

...

"Éowyn, do you not love me, or will you not?"  "I wished to be loved by another," she answered.  "But I desire no man's pity."  "That I know," he [Faramir] said.  "You desired to have the love of the Lord Aragorn.  Because he was high and puissant, and you wished to have renown and glory and to be lifted far above the mean things that crawl on the earth.  And as a great captain may to a young soldier he seemed to you admirable.  For so he is, a lord among me, the greatest that now is.  But when he gave you only understanding and pity, then you desired to have nothing, unless a brave death in battle. Look at me, Éowyn!" And Éowyn looked at Faramir long and steadily; and Faramir said:  "Do not score pity that is the gift of a gentle heart, Éowyn!  But I do not offer you my pity.  For you are a lady high and valiant and have yourself won renown that shall not be forgotten; and you are a lady beautiful, I deem, beyond even the words of the Elven-tongue to tell.  And I love you.  Once I pitied your sorrow.  But now, were you sorrowless, without fear or any lack, were you the blissful Queen of Gondor, still I would love you.  Éowyn, do you not love me?"  Then the heart of Éowyn changed, or else at last she understood it.  And suddenly her winter passed, and the sun shone on her.


Your Opinion Is Greatly Needed

Howdy, lovely people.

As you may have noticed, I rather drastically changed my blog's look.  What do you think?  Is it too stark?  Is the background with the books too weird/nerdy?  Let me know your thoughts, please!  I'd hate to have a look that y'all didn't like, so please do give me feedback.  (But, as a warning, I'm pretty fond of my new header, so I'm not sure if I'll change it, even if you guys don't like it.  Muhaahaha.)

I await your comments on pins and needles!

Friday, February 20, 2015

MEMM Days 18 & 19

Day 18 prompt:  The Hobbit character you relate to the most

To be honest, I think I might relate to hobbits more than any other race in Middle-earth (other than humans, of course).  How fond they are of home, how wary of adventures, how they love their creature comforts…I can empathize with all of that.  So I'm gonna go with Bilbo, just for those reasons, not his heroism.  I hope I'm heroic, but as I haven't yet been tested, I couldn't really say;)

His speech at the end of AUJ kind of sums up why I think I relate to him the most:  "I miss my books.  And my armchair, and my garden.  See, that's where I belong--that's home…I will help you take [your stolen home] back, if I can."


Day 19 prompt:  A location you never want to visit

Hehe, Mordor.  (Though I would totally go as close as Ithilien, because Ithilien.)  Or Osgiliath.  Nope.  


Mordor and Osgiliath, respectively.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Literary Heroine Blog Party

I'm participating in two blog events at once!  Whaaat.  So, anyway, Kellie Falconer is hosting her (apparently annual) Literary Heroine Blog Party at Accordion To Kellie:D

It was so hard to choose from the buttons she provided!!

I was alerted to the fact that this fun little shindig was going on over at Naomi's blog (read her answers to the questionnaire here).  I'm thrilled to be participating!

Here are my answers to the questions Kellie is asking:

(Oh, and a note:  I'm going to try my very best to refrain from mentioning LotR people in the character questions.  Aren't you proud of me?)

1.  Introduce yourself!  Divulge your life's vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random!  Okie dokie!  Hi, I'd love it if you called me Arwen (Arwen is a perfectly elegant name xD ).  I'm a girl totally and completely in love with stories in any form.  I'm also -- infinitely more important -- a Christian, muddling through life with an unfailingly patient and loving Guide!;)  As I said, stories in any way--particularly historical fiction, legends, and a little bit of fantasy.  Dislikes?  Hmm.  I have very strong words to say to certain fictional characters, I guess you could say.  Random:  The desktop picture on our family computer is Robert Duvall playing Prentice Ritter from Broken Trail…a movie with which I happen to be hopelessly in love.  

2.  What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine?  Well, as Naomi mentioned, having a heart that's "in the right place" is paramount.  Also, I'd say, a heroine is not perfect (did you hear that, Martha Finley?  Ha.  We'll get to you later)--she is flawed, but she recognizes her mistakes and strives to right them.  Also, a certain independence of spirit would be desirable.  

3.  Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to.  Sheesh.  Okay, I'll try.  Rebecca from Ivanhoe, Molly Gibson from Wives and Daughters, Rose Campell from Rose in Bloom, and Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre.  There are many, many others, needless to say, but these are a few that I particularly admire.  Rebecca because…Rebecca.  I mean, talk about strength of will and courage!  Whew.  Molly Gibson is special to me because she's such a sweetheart, but she's not a wimp, and she doesn't let people walk all over her, like some *ahem* heroines I could mention.  Plus, I have an inkling that I'm a little like her in some ways, which makes me beyond happy:D  Rose is just a lovely role model--she makes mistakes, but she learns from them.  I think she's probably the most relatable for most of us Christian young women.  And then, Jane, because…again, strength.  If I were to try to sum up her character in two words, they'd probably be "quietly indomitable."  I could go into that more, but at the moment I'm not going to, for time's sake.

4.  Five of your favorite historical novels?  Ivanhoe, Hattie Big SkyLittle Women, The Book Thief, and Bleak House.  Whew.  That was tough.  At least the question was, "five OF your favorite…"  If it had been, "your concrete five favorite historical novels"…we'd be here for a while, with me trying to narrow it down!:)

5.  Out of those five books who is your favorite major character and why?  That's tough…I'd have to go with either Hattie Brooks or Rudy Steiner *SOB*

6.  Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why?  Perhaps Chase Mueller, from Hattie Big Sky.  I love Chase; he's so adorable:D  

7.  If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there?  There's this cabin that we've visited once before, and that was quite enjoyable.  It was a bit big to be classified as a cabin, but the idea was the same;)  I might choose to go back there for a while, and explore some of the surrounding area.  If we're talking internationally…New Zealand.  (Oops, I brought up LotR!)  Alaska would be fun to visit, as well.  I'd absolutely love to see the Northern Lights.  Oh, and Prince Edward Island, of course!

8.  What is your favorite time period and culture to read about?  I think that'd be late 1700's to middle 1800's.  I'm also beginning to return to an old love of medieval tales.  Robin Hood!  Ivanoe!  All the feels!;)

9.  You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert.  Singing, comedy, recitation, tap dancing…What is your act comprised of?  I'd like to do something in a group, most likely--probably singing, comedy, or acting.  Perhaps the piano.  I'd just have to see:D

10.  If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent?  Probably Molly Gibson.

11.  Favorite author(s)?  I'm so very glad you asked;)  C. S. Lewis, Louisa May Alcott, Elizabeth Gaskell, J. R. R. Tolkien (what?  I can't help it; she did ask!), and Sir Walter Scott (granted, I've only read Ivanhoe, but I really, REALLY want to read "The Lady of the Lake").  Also, John R. Erickson and Brian Jacques, for old times' sake.

12.  In which century were most of the books you read written?  I think the majority of the books I read were written either in the 19th or the early 20th centuries.

13.  In your opinion, the ultimate hero in all literature is… *Arwen's fingers itch to type out the name, but she restrains herself*  Since I've said I won't bring LotR characters into this, I'll have to think on it for a while.  *chews imaginary pencil*  I love, as you all know, John Thornton, but is he quite the ultimate hero in my opinion?  Hmm.  I can't decide, but I'll mention a few candidates:
~ Rudy Steiner
~ Mac Campbell
~ Allan Woodcourt
~ Jace Buckley 

14.  In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is… Ha.  Ha, ha.  Horace Dinsmore, Jr. (don't even get me started…), those people in Ivanhoe (NOT Brian Bois-Guilbert), Roger Chillingworth (I kind of like him, but he is pretty dastardly), etc. and so on…Oh, OH!  Madame Defarge.  I. Hate. That. Woman.

15.  Describe your ideal dwelling place.  I'm not that particular…but nice cottage are, of course, wonderful:D  I mean, the kinds that are old-fashioned on the outside, but renovated with certain modern conveniences, like electricity.

16.  Sum up your fashion style in a short sentence.  Give me comfort, or give me death!  Ha, no, not quite that extreme, but to be honest, my first concern with clothing (other than ensuring that it's modest, of course) is comfort and wearability.

17.  Three favorite Non-fiction books?  Other than the Bible, I assume?  Mere Christianity, Perfectly Unique, and The Hiding Place, I suppose.

18.  Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer day?  Reading, catching up with the blogosphere, movies/tv show…maybe going outside for a little walkabout.  Maybe shopping.

19.  Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat - in such a way as will best portray your true character.  I'm not at the pleasure of understanding you a bit confused, but…I like beanie hats, truthfully;)

20.  Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year.  A couple different events, but they are of such a nature that I should rather not disclose them here.  For security reasons, and such.  Oh, but I made my blog public!  That was big, and it's opened doors for me to meet so many wonderful peeps. *smiles and hugs all the Internet buddies*  

21.  Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently.  Verses about God's faithfulness and protection; Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 34; etc.


Well, that was quite fun!  Thanks, Kellie, for hosting!:D






Tuesday, February 17, 2015

MEMM Days 16 & 17

Day 16 prompt:  Favorite song sung by a character(s) in the films

Hmm.  "Edge of Night"?  "Misty Mountains"?  Aragorn's song that Frodo catches him singing?  Decisions, decisions…

I'm going to have to go with "Edge of Night," sung by Pippin (Billy Boyd) in front of that worm who Shall Not Be Mentioned At This Time.

Seriously, though, I love this scene, even though Certain Things make me want to tear my hair out.  Because, really?  It says a lot about a person when they can't even eat a tomato properly.  I'm just sayin'.  But anywho, this scene is wonderful--a montage that switches seamlessly (what?  I can gush about the movies if I so desire!) between Faramir's suicidal charge --grrrr-- and Pippin's mourning.

I shall even provide a video for you all, because I'm just that magnanimous;)




Day 17 prompt:  Scenes/things you cry at

Okay.  So, I don't actually physically cry in the movies.  That is to say, I haven't yet, but it is entirely possible that someday soon I will.  I'm fighting tears in several parts, however, and during said parts, LP is sobbing buckets.

~ Boromir's death Just. no.
~ Sam wading into the river to catch up with Frodo  "'Course you are!  And I'm coming with you!"
~ The final battle  When Sauron's fortress starts to crumble.  Enough said.
~ The Gray Havens  THE PAIN!
~ Fili's, Kili's, and Thorin's deaths  *sobs and screams and just why*
~ The credits for The Battle of the Five Armies Because that's it.  It's our last Middle-earth film, and the ending is so good, but the CREDITS are PERFECT.  THE. SONG.






Sunday, February 15, 2015

MEMM Day 15

Prompt:  Favorite moment/line in An Unexpected Journey

Favorite moment:


 When Bilbo does "the whimper."


Oh, and when Thorin rolls his eyes and  kicks the dwarves when he realizes what Bilbo's trying to do.



Favorite line:

Bilbo's speech at the end:

"Look, I know you doubt me.  I know you always have.  And you're right, I often think of Bag End.  I miss my books.  And my armchair, and my garden.  See, that's where I belong--that's home.  And that's why I came back, because…you don't have one.  A home.  It was taken from you.  But I will help you take it back, if I can."

And Gandalf's little soliloquy:

"Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found.  I have found it's in the small things--everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.  Simple acts of kindness, and love.  Why Bilbo Baggins?  Perhaps it is because I am afraid--and he gives me courage."

Saturday, February 14, 2015

MEMM Days 13 & 14

Day 13 prompt:  Favorite battle

The last one.  The culminating battle for Middle-earth, fought on the plains of Mordor under the shadow of Barad-dûr.

Its beauty is breathtaking.  I love all of it so completely - the acting, the dialogue, the music, the emotion - everything.




Day 14 prompt:  Lord of the Rings character you understand the least

Oh, boy, oh, boy…

Should I really go into it?  The volcanic anger will spew…

No.  I can talk about this little worm in a rational, controlled way.  I can.  Really.

The character from LotR whom I least understand is without a doubt Denethor.  The prodigious idiocy of his mind and the warped, twisted nature of his heart will forever be mysteries to me - mysteries of which depths I have no desire to plumb.


P.S. Happy Valentine's Day, one and all!:D







Friday, February 13, 2015

I'm Kidnapping What Naomi Has Rightfully Stolen

Yup.  I am.  She did a splendiferous post about books, books, and more books, and I've stolen it to answer here (I did warn her, though XD ).


1.  Favorite childhood book?  Ha.  What?  I'm afraid I couldn't answer that, m'dear;)

2.  What are you reading right now?  I'm currently rereading North and South.

3.  What books do you have on request at the library?  Well…I have the second book in a fantasy series on hold for my brother.

4.  Bad book habit?  Mustn't ask us, precious!  Not its business! :D

5.  What do you currently have checked out at the library?  I unfortunately have not really been checking out actual books from the library recently.  I stick with those readily available to me, since, what with school and such, I haven't as much leisure for reading as I'd wish *sob*.  

6.  Do you have an e-reader?  I have Goodreads, and sometimes I read classics on there if they're available and if I'm "in a bind."

7.  Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?  Technically, I'm usually reading several at once:  a devotional (as well as the Bible, of course), my assigned school reading, and a pleasure-read.

8.  Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?  Maybe…my to-read list may have grown, I'm not exactly sure:)

9.  Least favorite book you read so far this year?  Ha.  Ahaha.  Robinson Crusoe.  We shouldn't go into it…

10.  Favorite book you've read this year?  As in…this actual year, 2015?  The Princess Bride by William Goldman.  Definitely a new favorite; it did not disappoint:)  "How are you?"  "I am in something very close to agony, but we can talk about that later."

11.  How often do you read out of your comfort zone?  I pretty much stick with my few and favored genres; occasionally I'll be assigned a book in schoolwork that I'm not thrilled about, but it generally falls under my genres anyway.

12.  What is your reading comfort zone?  Mainly historical fiction, devotionals, a little fantasy, and legend-type books (like Ivanhoe).  

13.  Can you read in the car?  The stinkin' laws of motion sickness make me nauseous when I try to read in the car, and thank you so very much for bringing up such a painful memory.  While you're at it, why don't you give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice on it? ;)

14.  Favorite place to read?  Curled up in a cushioned armchair or on the couch:)

15.  What is your policy on book-lending?  Pretty lax…as long as I can be sure of getting it back when needed:D

16.  Do you ever dog-ear books?  Not really.

17.  Do you ever write in the margins of your books?  Nope, I tend to highlight more often.

18.  Do you break/crack the spine of your book?  Unfortunately…yes:-/

19.  What is your favorite language to read in?  Merry olde English!

20.  What makes you love a book?  Excellent writing style, humor or pathos (as the story may be), well-developed characters and a fleshed-out plot line.  (Though that's just a general set of guidelines - sometimes I like a book that doesn't fulfill all of those, and vice versa.)

21.  What will inspire you to recommend a book?  If it inspired me;)  As a matter of fact, I recommend books a bit too easily.

22.  Favorite genre?  Historical fiction!  Though I use that broadly - including Middle-Ages kinds of tales.

23.  Genre [author] you rarely read but wish you did?  Um…dare I say it?  Jane Austen.  I'm sorry, I'm sorry!

24.  Favorite biography?  Hmm…I'm sure I have one but I can't place it just now.

25.  Have you ever read a self-help book?  No, not strictly a self-help book, though I've read lots of devotionals, and those were certainly therapeutic!

26.  Favorite cookbook?  Um…

27.  Most inspirational book you've read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?  Probably Mere Christianity by my beloved C. S. Lewis:D

28.  Favorite reading snack?  Lunch;)

29.  Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.  So. many. times.  Let's see here…Robinson Crusoe, The Hunger Games and Divergent (though to be fair I really just skimmed through those two), Jane Austen in general…

30.  How often do you agree with critics about a book?  Critics and I don't really have the same views, shall we say, in regard to most things;)

31.  How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?  I don't think I'd write a blog review of a book if I really hated it…but when discussing it with my co-op class - that's a whole other issue.

32.  If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose?  I can read a little in Latin, but I'd love to be able to read in French!

33.  Favorite poet?  I suppose people would start telling me such silly folly-rot as, "He doesn't count," if I were to respond with J. R. R. Tolkien (to which I would say, "Go read his poetry in The Lord of the Rings), so…I'll say that I'd like to read the poetry of John Keats, Mrs. Hemans, and Sir Walter Scott.

34.  How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?  See my answer to question number 5:(

35.  How often have you returned books to the library unread?  A fair number of times, couldn't give an exact estimate.

36.  Favorite fictional character?  *chokes*  Excuse me?  Prepare yourself for quite a list:  Faramir, Frodo Baggins, John Thornton, Margaret Hale, Molly Gibson, Aslan, Westley, Mac Campbell, Rose Campell, Dustfinger, Elinor (from Inkheart), Rebecca of York (I think that's her name), James Hook (yes), Gandalf, Galadriel, Rudy Steiner, Liesel Meminger, Jace Buckley, Coral Kendall…I could go on, if you wish:D

37.  Favorite fictional villain?  James Hook.  Or Brian Bois-Guilbert.

38.  The longest you've gone without reading?  I guess…whenever I've been really sick, I probably haven't read that much.

39.  Name a book that you could not/would not finish.  Hmm.  I know there have been those cases…Northanger Abbey (I will read it eventually!), The Hunger Games, Divergent, A Passage to India…etc.

40.  What distracts you easily when you're reading?  Noise, hehe.

41.  Favorite film adaptation of a novel?  Need I answer this?  I think you guys know;)

42.  Most disappointing film adaptation?  Probably Ella Enchanted.  I mean, the heck.  Okay, okay, sometimes I like it, but it's really nothing like the book, and the book is, overall, so much better.

43.  The most money [you've] ever spent in the bookstore at one time?  Somewhere between $20 and $30, I think.

44.  How often do you skip a book before reading it?  *cough cough*  Ahem.  About that.

45.  What would cause you to stop reading a book halfway through?  If it bored me.  Or if I felt that I really shouldn't continue, ya know, for moral reasons, whatever they might be.

46.  Do you like to keep your books organized?  Yup!  Though there are usually a few lying around my room, instead of in my book case/chest, where they belong.

47.  Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you've read them?  Keep.  Unless, of course, I didn't like it, and know of someone else who might enjoy it more than I did.

48.  Are there any books you've been avoiding?  Oh, dear.  How many times must I use the smallest print to conceal the shameful fact?  Jane Austen, again.  With the exception of the wonderful Pride and Prejudice, of course.  

49.  Name a book that made you very angry.  Ohhh, darlin', trust me - you do not want to go there.

50.  A book that you didn't expect to like but did?  Let's see.  Beowulf, perhaps?

51.  A book you expected to like but didn't?  Robinson Crusoe.

53.  Favorite guilt-free pleasure reading?  I assume you mean books you still read from childhood?  One Hundred and One Dalmatians, by Dodie Smith.  Totes adorbs;)

That tag was way too much fun.  Thanks for letting me steal borrow, borrow it without permission, Naomi!:D



Thursday, February 12, 2015

"Broken Trail" movie review

Wow.  This movie.  I first watched it about a month ago, and loved it.  I finished it for the second time last night after showing it to my parents.  (It was even better the second time around.)

Wow, just…wow.  It is amazing.  Truly, though, it is.

I'll probably just be gushing about Tom the awesome characters for this entire review, but…stay with me.

The story is about a semi-estranged uncle and nephew, Prentice (Print) Ritter, played by Robert Duvall, and Tom Harte (Thomas Haden Church).  On route to deliver a herd of horses, the two (and a friend they meet along the way, Heck Gilpin) encounter a sleazy slime ball (sorry.  that was just way too much fun to resist) who's been recruited to deliver five Chinese girls to a saloon in Idaho.  "Through a series of circumstances," as Tom says, they take the guardianship of these abused girls upon themselves, while still trying to carry through for their client.  Unbeknownst (for most of the movie) to them, another sinister man has been recruited by the same lady who "bought" the "Orientals" to track them down, as they are long past due.  (Oh, back track:  they actually pass through the town in Idaho - a harrowing scene, by the way - and on their speedy way back out another person is added to their little party - Nola Johns, a middle-aged prostitute trying to escape said sinister man, who had abused her in the past, and whom she had given up to the police.  Whew!  Okay, okay, I know I'm not good at explaining movies, but it's a bit complicated.)

Cast and Characters:


The one and only Robert Duvall as Print Ritter

Print is wonderful (when has Robert Duvall played a not-wonderful character, though?  Except for in Lonesome Dove.  I didn't really like him in that one, though to be fair I haven't finished that movie.  But really?  In Broken Trail, he refuses to touch those trapped in prostitution, and in Lonesome Dove, he literally can't stop talking and thinking about them.  Ugh).  I love Print's optimism, and his relationship with "little number 5" is adorable.  I don't know how I feel about the whole Print/Nola thing, so to be honest that aspect of the ending is still a little…I can't decide.  I mean, it's bittersweet in some ways, but in others…everything that absolutely had to happen in that ending did;)  Also, Print's trying to "right some family wrongs" is admirable.  And he's protective and brave and doesn't flinch when Ed Bywaters is threatening to - um…do unkind things.  When he almost spits out the Lord's Prayer at him…I love it.  'T'is great.  

Favorite Print lines:
~ "Never use money to measure wealth, son."
~ "Ain't nobody made it out here with out some divine luck attached."
~ Tom:  "Her name's Sun Fu."  Print:  "I know what her name is!"
~ "I didn't ride in on a turnip-wagon, mister!"
~ "Nephew…"
~ "We're all travelers in this world…birth 'til death, we travel between the eternities."


Thomas Haden Church as Tom Harte


*sigh*  Tom.  I love Tom.  He's awesome (be prepared - that word will be excessively overused in connection with this movie in general).  I'd seen Thomas Haden Church in We Bought a Zoo, and loved him in that (because, really?  "I have arrived at a thought."), but when I first watched Broken Trail, I was a little apprehensive at first about whether or not I was going to like him.  I think it's the way he talks - in a bit of a monotone.  You get used to it after a while, and it even gets humorous, but at first it's a little off-putting.  About a fourth of the way into the first part (in comes in two parts, so do not freak out when the first segment ends.  There's another one, I promise), he had completely won me over.  I think it was when he's sitting up all night with Mai Ling (Number 2) when she's *SPOILERS* dying of "tick fever" *END OF SPOILERS*  How he's just sitting there, holding her hand and generally being sweet and awesome.  *ahem*  He's pretty hard, emotionally walled up, and a bit impatient, but he has reasons for his walls.  And those rare moments when you can glimpse his wry sense of humor are great:D

Favorite Tom lines:
~ "I'd like to hear him play the fiddle."
~ "I say ["Bolshevik"  Whew!  That was close!  (If you get that reference, you're pretty awesome.)]"
~ "That's the second rope I've lost to some worthless                         ."
~ "Her name's Sun Fu."



The girls were all acted extremely well.  Even those who didn't have a big role in the film took their part seriously, and that's cool.  Your heart breaks for these girls several times over the course of the movie, but especially for Ye Fung (Number 4). *groan* (But, okay, isn't it a leetle unrealistic that she was the one constantly singled out to be raped?  I mean, I'm glad the others weren't, but sometimes you were just sitting there thinking, "How many times must this happen to this poor, precious child?!")  My favorite of the girls is probably either Mai Ling, Gin Wa (little number 5), or Sun Fu.

Other stuff:

I think this would be a good place to insert a warning.  This is a Western, and most Westerns are brutal in some way, but this one has a good bit of sexual brutality in it.  So watch with care.  It isn't rated, but I have a feeling that if it were, it might be R.  It isn't a very pretty film.  But honestly, one of the things I appreciate about this movie is the tough honesty.  It deals with human trafficking, and it doesn't mince words or sugarcoat anything, and I mean anything.  (Well, there is that one "merciful break" with Ed and Nola, but other than that, I mean…)  The filmmakers portray human trafficking for what it is - inhuman, terrifying, and brutal.  The opening scene is basically a brothel, with a prospective buyer (the sleazy slime ball - his name is Billy Fender) selecting five girls (above picture).  There is some female nudity in that scene, as well as implied inspection of the girls' bodies.  There is a rape scene in the movie, and while it is interrupted (Heck and Tom to the rescue!), that doesn't happen until after you see that Ye Fung is being assaulted over and over.  As a matter of fact, though, that's one of my favorite scenes, because it's Tom at his best, in my opinion.  (When he comes and shoots the guy's thumbs off - I know, I know, that sounds awful, but you'd have to see it in perspective - I love it, actually.)  Another amazing scene is the one on the ranch when Ed and his gang show up, and Tom rides in and rescues everyone.  *angel chorus*  

Oh, OH, but guys, WE MUST TALK ABOUT TOM AND SUN FU.  WHAT. EVEN.

I. LOVE. THIS. SCENE. SO. MUCH.

Seriously, though.  Their relationship.  How she slowly breaks him out of his years of fortifying his emotions…*teenage fangirly sigh*  That scene picture above - okay, for a couple minutes there (I wasn't scared!  Well, maybe I was a little bit concerned, but it's not the same thing)…whew.  I'm glad they got that right.  If they hadn't…this might have been a very different review.  *SPOILERS*  I was so scared she was actually going to leave.  And he was actually letting her!  Tom!  Wake up!  Thankfully, though, she stayed.  And how we can see just the hint of a smile when he sees her…oh my goodness… *END OF SPOILERS*

About the ending:

First off, it's not sad.  It's not.  It's even happy in many ways.  But it's not completely satisfactory.  It's real, though.  I just don't want to give everyone the impression that it's a sunshine-and-roses ending.  Some of it is (Tom and Sun Fu!!!) , but some of it isn't.  It's great, and I liked it better the second time around, but…depending on your view of a couple things, you might be dissatisfied.  But you should watch it anyway.  Anywho.

Also, quite a few main(ish) characters die over the course of the story.  I mean, you won't be completely devastated (well…unless a certain person is your favorite…), but it is heartbreaking in certain ways.

Okay, I need to stop rambling.  

My bottom line is, I loved this movie.  And you should watch it.  It's brutal, but it's also beautiful.  


MEMM Day 12

Prompt:  Least-favorite costumes

Ummm…

I don't know…

Okay, I'll try.  Let's see here…I guess just the armor in general.  I mean…it's a bit bland (except for Aragorn's armor and the Elves' armor).  But then again, it's supposed to be, so…yeah.

Sorry.  I'm not really sure how to answer this one since I haven't really thought about it;)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

MEMM Day 11

Prompt:  Favorite moment/line in The Return of the King

Surprisingly, this is almost easy for me.




Hearts forever and ever, amen.


Another favorite part is…



And, of course, the Last Battle of Such Incredible Magnificence.  Seriously.  I love that last battle so. much.  






Tuesday, February 10, 2015

MEMM Days 9 & 10

Day 9 prompt:  Things/scenes you laugh at


Ha.  What?  You want me to go through and list everything that makes me laugh?  All right, well, you asked for it;)

I laugh whenever Merry and Pippin come onscreen, like

when Treebeard is walking with them, and he informs them

that he will now serenade them with another exhaustive

chant about the Ents' history, and Pippin just rolls his eyes

ever so slightly, then adjust himself to try and listen as

politely as possible.  I laugh when, in BOTFA, Bilbo's gone

to "parlay" with Thranduil and Bard, bargaining with the

Archenstone and all, and Thranduil says, "If I'm not

mistaken, this is the halfling who stole [x number] of barrels from under my guards' noses."  Bilbo does this adorable, awkward little pause and nose-wrinkle, then mumbles, "Er, yes.  Sorry 'bout that."

I laugh when this awesomeness happens:  "Alfrid."  *Alfrid turns*  "Your slip is showing."

I laugh when Aragorn runs up and bear-hugs Haldir, who's quite discomfited by such an action [it seems the Elves are slightly British in that regard.  They only show affection to dogs and horses.  (If you understood that reference…we should talk about your awesomeness.)].


I laugh when Tauriel is tending Kili in Laketown.  (Sorry, but I do.  A little, that is.  I mean, really?)

I laugh when Gandalf catches Sam and thunders, "Samwise Gamgee, have you been eavesdropping?!"  And then Sam is looking up at him, terrified:  "Please, sir, I haven't been droppin' no eaves.  I was just tendin' the hedgerow!"  "Did you hear anything?"  "No, leastwise, nothing important.  That is, I heard something about a Ring and a Dark Lord and something about the end of the world." 

I laugh when Bilbo does this:  "I am a Baggins - *whimper* - of Bag End."

I laugh when Gandalf laughs at the end of The Return of the King just because his laugh is so joyful and infectious and mischievous.  

Get the idea?:D


Day 10 prompt:  Lord of the Rings character you relate to the most

Hmm.  Good thought.

Obviously, I'd love to be identified with Arwen, but I'm not sure how much like her I actually am.  

It's really strange, but I think I'm a strange conglomeration of the four hobbits in the Fellowship.



I think I have character traits from each of them, like Merry's mother-henning (he's sort of mother-hens his friends at times), Sam's goal to remain optimistic no matter what, Frodo's fear (though I'm by no means saying that that's his only trait), and Pippin's naiveté.  

I know.  Weird.  But that's just what I'm thinking.  My friends and family could tell you more accurately;)

Dawww, look at them little selves!  Yes, they will always be little to me.  Always.





Monday, February 9, 2015

The Lines We Quote

Enough's enough.  I'm gonna go ahead and steal this marvelous idea from the numerous other blogs which have done it.

I got to demonstrate a little bit of the movie line jargon my family throws about with abandon in day 7 of the Middle Earth Movies Meme, but I'd like to share some of the lines we use from other sources than my dear LOTR.

So!

From MOVIES:
~ "Saints above, Pauline, will you keep out of this?!"
~ "Not up there, girl, you'll brain me!"
~ "That's not Christian!  That's simply not Christian!"
~ "That piano isn't meant to be played!"
~ "I said drrrenched and I meant drrrenched."
~ "Oh, Pauline.  Pauline, now you've done it." (One of our favorites)
~ "He has no compassion on my poor nerves!"
~ "Oh, well, what do we live for, but to make sport for our neighbors and laugh at them in our turn?"
~ "We're Americans; we don't think, we do!"
~ "Let it go, let it go..."
~ "Feast your eyes!"  (Yes, unfortunately, we use this one.  But not as it's used in the movie.  No.  Indeed not)
~ "ReSPECT Evelyn!"
~ "She can hear you!"
~ "Science!"
~ "Just don't kill 'em, Hub."
~ "JUST GET IN THE CAR!"
~ "Grabbies!"
~ "The Phaaaaantom of the opera is heeeere, inside my miiiind....DUNNNHH, dunn dunn dunn dunn DUNNNHH!"
~ "He's here, the Phantom of the opera!"
~ "I'm glad to go, I cannot tell a lie..."
~ "Adieu, adieu, to you and you and you!"
~ "But I'm a child, I like toys!"
~ "Tell me every delicious detail."
~ "The riverbed's changed!"
~ "But have you read it? *hiccup*"
~ "Oh, we're going to talk about me, are we?  Goody."

From COMEDIANS:
~ "It's just so stupid."
~ "Did I ever tell you about the time..."
~ "I'm just being serious."
~ "Did you enjoy that, Captain Pervert?  I hope you did."
~ "Yeah, like the dog's out there going, 'Oh, my bad, my bad...'"
~ "Have you ever been so thirsty..."
~ "There's no grapes!  There's no nuts!"
~ "Did you hear what I just said? *taps imaginary microphone*"
~ "Folks, if you ever come across a group of polar bears...run."
~ "That's, uh, my power-step."

From AUDIOBOOKS:
~ "What, what, what?"
~ "You should have seen her this morning - loop de loop, graceful as you please, straight into the jolly old ditch on her snout."
~ "Drover..."
~ "Go ahead, ask me anything."
~ "Ilsa says..."
~ "mmHiiii, Hannky..."
~ "Get 'im, Hanky, get 'im!"

From VARIOUS OTHER SOURCES:
~ "Is this tacky?"
~ "I'm so glad I don't live in the real world..."
~ "Eww, she didn't use Duke's mayonnaise!"
~ "When this is over, we gonn' have us a long talk."
~ "They got [whatever] on sale up at the Walmart."

Yeah...it's kind of a lot...


MEMM Day 8

So for this one, I think I'll just list a few people whose wardrobes I particularly admire (I'm sure it'll be really, really hard to predict which ones I'll choose =D ).

Arwen's


(You can read my in-depth analysis here.)

Eowyn's

Whoever drew this is ridiculously talented...


Galadriel's



Thranduil's


Rather effeminate for a male elf, but *ahem* we won't go into that *cough, cough*  They're awesome nonetheless.

Aragorn's


I like the red accents in his outfits.  They're a nice touch.


Bilbo's


(That picture unfortunately doesn't include his blue coat, which is probably my favorite, but…oh, well, you work with what you get.)