Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Note to All

Just poking my head back in here to say that I'm sorry for not posting more. I'm in the midst of a really busy week...I believe I've mentioned that I'm spending this summer working with Child Evangelism Fellowship. Well, this week, four other teens and I are teaching four 5-Day Clubs a day. So I'm away from home most of the day, and have enough to do trying to keep up with email. :P So this is my excuse. Next week I don't think I have any clubs, so you can expect more posts then. Oh, and prayer would be greatly, between the four clubs, we reached 86 kids. Some of the clubs are really huge. So thanks.

But for now...well, I'll just say, there are some great posts coming. That includes two interviews, two giveaways (!), and lots more reviews. I will catch-up...but right now I'm not reading or watching much either, for obvious reasons.

Also, I'm not doing much blog reading right now, so if you aren't seeing many (any) comments from me, that's why.
So, until later!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Spotlight: Peter Pevensie

Peter Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia)

Played by William Moseley.

Peter appeared in all three of the Narnia movies that are currently out. His role in the third one was very small.

Jewel of Persia

Author: Roseanna M. White
Genre: Life (but it's hard to say!)
My rating on a 1-10 scale: 9.5
Type: Historical fiction
Number of pages: 346 (small type, long pages --- hooray!)
Time period: Bible times (around 480 b.c.)
Main characters: Kasia, Xerxes I, Esther, Mordecai
Passage from book: The river called to Kasia before she saw it, the voice of its sweet waters promising a moment of unbridled sensation. Kasia cast a glance over her shoulder at her young friend. She ought not to go. Abba forbade it -- rarely enough to keep her away, but today she was not alone. Still, Esther was not opposed to adventure, once one overcame her initial reservation.
My overall opinion: I loved this book. It's the story of Esther, but Esther is not the main character. Sound intriguing? It is. :) I should mention that this book, well, you know Xerxes had a big harem. A lot of wives and concubines. So there is some mention of his sleeping with various people. There was no description and overall I can't think of a way in which it could have been better handled. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical/biblical fiction! This book was amazing and I enjoyed it a ton. Definitely a new favorite!
Check out my need to read post on Jewel of Persia!  

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Song: Bridge Over Troubled Waters

My rating on a 1-10 scale: 9
Singer: Charlotte Church
Type of music: Opera? Calming.
Length: 4:15
Lyrics: When you're weary, feeling small // When tears are in your eyes, // I will dry them all // I'm on your side. // When times get rough // and friends just can't be found // Like a bridge over troubled water, // I will lay me down...
My overall opinion: The one on the CD is better. And I don't like her dress...otherwise.

Spotlight: Aslan

He was voiced by Liam Neeson. Oh, btw, I realize he's a bit unusual for a spotlight...but forgive me. :) He is very nice looking. :)

Mr. Knightley's Diary

Author: Amanda Grange
Genre: Journal
Series: I don't believe it's technically a series, but there are a number of other Austen hero diaries by her.
My rating on a 1-10 scale: 9
Type: Fiction
Number of pages: 294
Time period: 1800's
Main characters: Mr. Knightley, Emma, Harriet, Elton
My overall opinion: It's essentially the book "Emma" by Jane Austen from Mr. Knightley's view. If you like that story, you'll enjoy this one too. :) It stuck very close to "Emma" and I found it really interesting. I don't think it was quite factual...Mr. Knightley didn't fall in love with Emma (or at least realize that he had) until well into the book, when I think in "Emma" he was fell in love early on, but I'm drawing that from memory, so I'm not certian.
I notice that Amanda Grange has also written a variety of other diaries, including ones for Mr. Darcy, Edmund Bertram, Colonel Brandon, and Captain Wentworth. I will definitely be reading more!

Al Capone Does My Shirts

Author: Gennifer Choldenko
Genre: Growing up
My rating on a 1-10 scale: 7
Type: Fiction
Number of pages: 225
Time period: 1930's
Main characters: A boy (can't recall his name), a girl (can't recall her name) and another girl
Exciting events: Living right up there by the Alcatraz prison out by California!
My overall opinion: It was okay.

The Year of the Grizzly

Author: Brock and Bodie Thoene
Genre: Adventure, romance
Series: Saga of the Sierras
Number in series: 6th
My rating on a 1-10 scale: 7.5
Type: Fiction
Number of pages: 189
Time period: 1800's
Main characters: Will, Francesca, Peter
Exciting events: Absolutely packed with them
My overall opinion: It was a good book. :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Wives of Henry VIII

Author: Antonia Fraser
Genre: Ummm...biography.
My rating on a 1-10 scale: 8
Type: Non-fiction
Number of pages: 479 (smallish print. Yeah, big book)
Time period: 1500's
Main characters: King Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anna of Cleves, Katherine Howard, Catherine Parr
My overall opinion: I found it to be a very interesting book. If you have either a little or else no interest in King Henry VIII and his wives, you will find this book very boring. I will admit, even I skimmed parts of it and it's one of the parts of history I find most riveting! But overall, I enjoyed it and learned SO much about them. I can now keep them apart. :) I recommend you try it. But be's a huge book.


Author: Gary D. Schmidt
Genre: Life
My rating on a 1-10 scale: 7
Type: Fiction
Number of pages: 297
Time period: Present
Main characters: Henry, Chay, Sanborn
Exciting events: It's a whole book of mystery
My overall opinion: Another book that was okay. Not great, not awful.

Spotlight: Adam Cartwright

Adam Cartwright (Bonanza)

Played by Pernell Roberts.

Adam's mother was from Boston.

{{on the right top}}

Part way through Bonanza, Adam moved to Australia and wasn't heard from again.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Extra Details

Okay. So it's going to be a while before I'm back to posting normally. I went to Christian Youth In Action training, which (obviously) trains Christian teens to teach the gospel to kids in 5-Day Clubs and VBS's. So much of my summer is going to be taken up with that. Therefore, we'll see how many posts I'll be getting up here.

Also, you probably noticed that during the two weeks I was gone, I jumped from 37 followers to 46! WOW! Thank you, everyone! This is proof that Melody and Miss Elizabeth are great posters. ;) And I promised you a giveaway when I reached 45 followers. That giveaway will be up as soon as I have the time to get it posted!

So please, bear with me here as I get everything back in order. :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Home Again!

Yes, I, Charity, am once again home. :) Thank you SO much to Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Melody for posting while I was gone! I had a great time reading the posts they wrote. Let me encourage you again to check out their blogs, Elegance of Fashion (which has a fabulous new design) and Regency Delight ~Jane Austen, etc~. They're both awesome. :)

So thanks, ladies!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sense and Sensibility Comparison: Part 4

The conclusion of the Sense and Sensibility Comparison by Miss Elizabeth Bennet from Elegance of Fashion and Melody from Regency Delight ~ Jane Austen, etc.

1995 Scenery
Miss Bennet: Georgous scenery! Both the outdoor and indoor scenes were wonderful to look at. There were a lot of colors used and everything looked great!
Melody: I like scenery, but I don’t notice it as much as other people do. It was very pretty, and there were big hills to climb, slip on, and sprain one’s ankle so some dashing fellow can carry you back… Oh yes, the cottage. I liked the cottage.
2008 Scenery
Melody: I really didn’t notice much about the scenery except that Barton Cottage is right next to a cliff with an ocean. And the house that was Barton Park was the same as Donwell Abbey in Emma from 2009.
Miss Bennet: The scenery was still nice and when there was nice weather the colors were really nice, but some of the time, there were really dreary colors. I could understand why they would do that if Sense and Sensibility had a very serious tone to it, but it doesn't. Granted, Sense and Sensibility is a more serious book than Pride and Prejudice and Emma (both of which I loved), but I wouldn't say that it had the same tone as a book such as Wuthering Heights (which I didn't care for). It would have helped illustrate the tone of the book more if less drearly colors were used.
Miss Bennet: 1995, definately. The scenery and sets really captured the tone that was present in the book.
Melody: I think I like 1995’s scenery better. I liked all the houses better, too.

1995 Costumes
Miss Bennet: Pretty much typical Regency era fashions are used in this Sense and Sensibility. From the looks of it, it looks like early Regeny Fashions are used: the pelisse/robe that Elinor and Marianne wear often (particularly during the picnic scene) were popular around 1795, which would be the beginning of Regency fashion (the Regency Era didn't really start until 1811, but what is known as Regency Fashion started in 1795). Although, in one scene, you can see that Marianne is wearing drawers, which would date the movie to at least 1806.
Melody: I liked most of the costumes on here; I wish the dinner dresses would have had a higher neckline, and I didn’t particularly like all the hats, but that’s about it.
2008 Presentation
Melody: There were a few I liked; but some of them had too low of a waistline to be the proper Regency style. It was like they were 10 or 15 years old. And then Mrs. Jennings’ dress and hair looked quite 1700s. Really, I was not satisfied with the costuming in this movie. Though most of the time, the necklines were not as low as they sometimes are on Jane Austen movies; except at the end where Marianne is wearing a very ‘low’ dress (which they had to choose for the front cover…)
Miss Bennet: A tad confusing. Some gowns are very obviously Regency (in fact, Elinor wears a robe/pelisse that looks like the same pattern from the 1995 robes/pelisses, but in dark purple). Other times, a lot of Georgian fashion is used. I could understand Georgian fashion on Mrs. Jennings and Mrs. Ferrars since they're older (although they are both rich, so you would think they could afford/want the latest fashions), but older styled clothes on Elinor and Marianne? Not that their gowns were Georgian, but for a couple of their gowns, it looked like the waist lines were really low (as opposed to Regency waist lines which were really high). I did like some of the fabrics that were used on the dresses, though.
Miss Bennet: The 1995 costuming was probably the best: accurate, pretty, and wonderful to look at! I did like the 2008's costumes, but it brought up a lot of questions.
Melody: I definitely like 1995 better.
Accuracy to Book
Miss Bennet: Okay, a lot was taken out of the movie that was in the book. Characters such as Anne Steele and the Middleton children were excluded entirely; Lady Middleton was deceased, and Mrs. Ferrars was only mentioned and never seen. Some short scenes were invented to develop Edward, Margaret, and Colonel Brandon. Some scenes were also changed, such as Marianne walking five miles from Cleveland to Combe Magna in the rain, she passes out, and Colonel Brandon carries her back to Cleveland.
Melody: I think that the general feel/mood of this movie is accurate to the book; most of the characters were portrayed well, but their problem was that too many characters were left out. There was no Miss Steele (Lucy’s sister), there was no Lady Middleton and children (Sir John Middleton was a widower in this movie), there was not Mrs. Farrars…and an interesting character she is, too. (Humph.) John and Fanny Dashwood had no son. Willoughby did not come talk to Elinor as he did in the book, while Marianne was recovering, to apologize – or, as close to an apology as such a selfish creature will do. But without all that, they still stayed faithful to the book and didn’t do anything strange.
Melody: Much closer to the book in many respects; all the things I mentioned above were included in this version. However, there is the infamous first scene (which I always skip) to consider. Jane Austen would never approve of such a thing; and what is mentioned in the book is done so discreetly that I may not have understood it if I hadn’t seen the movie(s) first. There is, opposite to the 1995 version, a darker feeling which I did not like, and some of the characters weren’t represented quite as I think they should be.
Miss Bennet: The 2008 miniseries included the characters that were left out of the 1995 version, though the Middleton children were not as crazy as they were in the book. The problem with the 2008 version was that they added a lot of scenes: Edward's wood-chopping scene, Colonel Brandon at the ball in London (and glaring at Willoughby), among others. Intrestingly enough, they nearly replicated the 1995 movie scene with Marianne walking to Combe Magna (except this time she was just walking around and not to Combe Magna). On a side note, the first scene of the miniseries is one of the added scenes and, due to content, it may be best to skip it over.
Miss Bennet: The 2008 version was more accurate to the plot line: though they did add a lot of scenes, they took out less than the 1995 movie.
Melody: Well, the 2008 version, all in all, is more accurate to the book, I suppose. I just don’t recommend watching the first scene; you won’t be missing anything, the credits don’t even come up until afterwards.

1995 Music
Miss Bennet: There are a lot of songs and a lot of lovely songs! The music can vary greatly between tones: some of the music is more happier and sweeter than some of the others, while others are more serious and sadder. All the music is very lovely! It is a little disappointing that on the CD, they don't include the songs that Kate Winslet sung (and she sung them beautifully!).
Melody: One of my favorite CDs is the soundtrack for this movie. It’s so lovely! I like all the songs (well, in most cases I skip the mournful songs from when Marianne is suffering/sick) and in particular (3) “My Father’s Favourite”, (5) “Devonshire”, (9) “Patience” and the dance songs (12, 13, and 14).

Melody: I thought the music from this one was sort of hit and miss. I liked a few of the songs; the song Col. Brandon gave to Marianne to play on the piano (which I can play!) and the sort of slow, sentimental song (that plays when Margaret hangs seashells, if that triggers your memory, and other scenes at the cottage). Some of the other music, though, was rather irritating to me.
Miss Bennet: A smaller set of songs. They're a good set of songs, but they're much more serious then the 1995 version. It kind of matches up to the scenery for this version.
Miss Bennet: I love the 1995 sound track the best! There are a lot of songs that can be played over and over again!
Melody: Can you guess? I much prefer the music from the 1995 movie. I thought it sounded a lot more old-fashioned, too.

Videos done by Miss Laurie from Old-Fashioned Charm

Miss Bennet: I like both versions very much, but I like each version for different reasons. The 1995 version got the tone of the novel right even though there were some differences between the book and the movie, and the 2008 version got most of the plot in the miniseries, but they added a lot of scenes, some of which were unnecessary. Taking everything into consideration, I'm still partial to the 1995 movie: even though there were things they could have included but didn't, they got the overall tone of Sense and Sensibility right.
Melody: It’s a hard decision to try and make out which one I like best. I like them both in different ways. However, I do believe I draw the most enjoyment from the 1995 Columbia Film. I like the feel (music, lighting, etc.) of it better than the other one. And is has so many delightful quotes! =)

This marks the end of our comparison. Thank you for reading! But don't take our word for it: watch these adaptations for yourself! Here are some trailers and clips!

1995 Trailer

2008 Trailer
1995 Clip (Contains Spoilers!)

2008 Clip

Navigate to the Different Parts of the Sense and Sensibility Comparison!
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Thursday, June 16, 2011

TV Series: Lark Rise to Candleford - Series 1

My rating on a 1-10 scale: 10
Main characters: Laura Timmins, Dorcas Lane, Sir Timothy Midwinter, Lady Adelaide, Pearl and Ruby Pratt, Robert and Emma Timmins, Thomas Brown, and many more!
Genre: Drama
Recognizable actors: Julia Sawalha, Claudie Blakeley, Ben Miles, Linda Bassett, Brenden Coyle, Dawn French, Victoria Hamilton
Length: 10 episodes, each 1 hour long
Based on: Lark Rise to Candleford, a series of books by Flora Thompson
Time period: 1890's
Year it came out: 2008
Story: When Emma Timmins give birth to another daughter, she sends her eldest daughter, Laura, to work in the post office under her cousin Dorcas Lane. The episodes revolve around the happenings of Lark Rise, a farming hamlet, and Candleford, a bustling town.
My overall opinion: Definite favorite of mine! It's a fairly clean series and it's very interesting to watch! Series 1 is my favorite (the other seasons aren't as great), but still highly recommended!

Sir Timothy and Lady Adelaide
Dorcas Lane and Laura Timmins
Ruby and Pearl Pratt, the dressmakers

Dorcas Lane played by Julia Sawalha