Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Spotlight: Jane Bennet

Spotlight: Jane Bennet (Pride and Prejudice 2005)

Much as I do love the 1995 Jane Bennet (and I did a Spotlight on her!), I admit that I really like this one too! She was played by Rosamund Pike.

(Yes, that's just the actress. So pretty!)

(With her sisters.)

I heart that scene below. It's my favorite in all of that movie.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Unquiet Bones

Author: Melvin R. Starr
Genre: Mystery, adventure
Series: Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon
Number in series: 1st
My rating on a 1-10 scale: 8
Type: Fiction
Number of pages: 256
Time period: 1500’s (?)
My overall opinion: In all my reading, I have never before read a medieval mystery! And that is exactly what this one is. :) It was interesting and exciting – not to mention that I learned stuff about medieval things from it! I didn’t love it, but it was an interesting one time read.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Guest Post: Sense & Sensibility (1995) Soundtrack by Miss Laurie

CD: Sense and Sensibility (1995)
This soundtrack isn't anything new, in fact it's probably a favorite for a lot of you as it is for me, but it's still so beautiful.
The music was composed by Patrick Doyle especially for Sense and Sensibility (1995) and is some of the prettiest music in a period drama. 

1. Weep You No More Sad Fountains
2. A Particular Sum
3. My Father's Favourite
4. Preying Penniless Woman
5. Devonshire
6. Not A Beau For Miles
7. All The Better For Her
8. Felicity
9. Patience
10. Grant Me An Interview
11. All the Delights of the Season
12. Steam Engine
13. Willoughby
14. Miss Grey
15. Excellent Notion
16. Leaving London
17. Combe Magna
18. To Die For Love
19. There is Nothing Lost
20. Throw The Coins
21. The Dreame

All of the music on this soundtrack is amazingly written and orchestrated. It carries you away on a sea of emotion from the very first note! The tracks Weep You No More Sad Fountains and The Dreame are songs Marianne Dashwood sings in the film but on the soundtrack they are sung by opera singer Jane Eaglen. Also the song My Father's Favorite is one that Marianne plays toward the beginning of the film. Steam Engine, Willoughby and Miss Grey are all dancing tunes that were dance to in the film.
One of my favorite tracks is Excellent Notion because it is played by a harp and is just so pretty! It's also one that's fun to play on the piano. My second favorite track is A Particular Sum because it's a bright and happy tune but still very beautiful.

Some of the above track titles are linked to YouTube clips of complete songs for you to enjoy. Here's a music video I made with photos from the film and clips of A Particular Sum, Devonshire, Excellent Notion, Preying Penniless Woman and The is Nothing Lost.

Sense & Sensibility (1995) - Short Themes

I highly recommend this soundtrack because of it's stunning music. It's lovely to listen to especially while you're reading, writing or crafting. It can be found at most local libraries or you can buy your own copy on Amazon.

Very Truly Your's,
Miss Laurie

Old-Fashioned Charm
Miss Laurie is the author of Old-Fashioned Charm where she blogs about Jane Austen, period dramas, classic literature and everything old-fashioned under the sun.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Genre: Life
Series: The Homeward Trilogy
Number in series: 1st
My rating on a 1-10 scale: 9
Type: Fiction
Number of pages: 400
Time period: 1800’s
My overall opinion: The library kindly got me this whole trilogy so I can expand the number of books by Lisa Bergren that I’ve read! I must confess, this one did not disappoint. Each book follows one of three siblings especially. This book was Odessa’s. Yes, the names are a little strange, I though: Odessa, Moira, and Dominic (generally known as Nic). However, having finished the books, I wouldn’t have them any other way! Anyway, Odessa has consumption (now known as tuberculosis). It was very interesting to read her story! There was a bit of romance, and some really exciting parts too – as in, shooting, escape, capture, hostage, and other key words like that…it’s exciting. If you loved the River of Time series, you’ll definitely enjoy these books!
Oh, as with the other Bergren’s I’ve read, these were published by David C. Cook. The reason that’s awesome is because DCC puts a little “After Words” at the ends of their books: discussion questions, notes from the author, an interview with the author, etc. As they say, it’s like the dessert after a wonderful meal! I love that, and wish all publishers did it.

Birthday: Jackie Kennedy

Jackie Kennedy

Birth: July 28, 1929
Death: May 19, 1994
It’s her 83rd  birthday!
You know her because – she’s one of the best-known presidents’ wives. Especially known for her clothes. This is not a woman I “like” or emulate, but she had some really neat outfits!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Cover Focus: The Inheritance

The Inheritance by Tamera Alexander


Book blurb from goodreads.com : McKenna Ashford moves west with her rebellious younger brother Robert. U.S. Marshall Wyatt Caradon's well-meant attempt to help Robert brings him face-to-face with the one situation he never wanted to encounter--and the one woman who holds the key to helping him find his future.”
Why I like this cover: I guess I’d better tell you up front that this isn’t one of my favorite covers. But the more I look at it, the more I like it! McKenna looks quite like a Western girl, with the dark tan she has, and her rather messy dark hair. I think the dress looks about right (though maybe a little elaborate) for being out in the middle of nowhere. But the thing about this cover that interests me (other than her smile) is the man behind her! I assume he’s probably Wyatt. He really looks Western, with that hat, and the way he’s standing, and his clothes, and of course, the gun. Finally, the landscape is beautiful! The brown grass, green trees, towering gray mountains, and then the dusty blue sky over all…and the cabin. It’s all pretty much just right! I can’t wait to read this book.

Birthday: Hilaire Belloc

Hilaire Belloc


Birth: July 27, 1870
Death: July 16, 1953
It’s his 142nd birthday!
You know him because – he wrote some very interesting poems. If you haven’t heard of him, that’s not too shocking. See one of his poems below. It’s more of a nice poem than the one I was thinking of – check out Matilda.

The Yak by Hilaire Belloc
As a friend to children, commend me the Yak;
You will find it exactly the thing;
It will carry and fetch, you can ride on its back,
Or lead it about with a string.
The Tartar who dwells on the plains of Thibet
(A desolate region of snow),
Has for centuries made it a nursery pet,
And surely the Tartar should know!
Then  tell your papa where the Yak can be got,
And if he is awfully rich,
He will buy you the creature – or else he will not
(I cannot be positive which).

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tag: Emma

Since I am into making tags, Emma, one of my favorite Jane Austen's, seemed a good choice of topic! Here we go. :) Feel free to "steal" for your own blog!

Have you read Emma? What did you think? I have, several times – once aloud to myself! It’s one of my favorite books, has dozens of amazing quotable passages, and is altogether a delightful read. If you haven’t read it yet, you really must!

Have you seen any of the movie versions? If so, which ones? Yes, I've seen three. The 1996 Kate Beckinsale version (she’s the one with brown hair), the 1996 Gwyneth Paltrow version, and the 2009 Romola Garai version. Of the them, the 2009 one is my favorite, but the GP version is a close runner up. The 2009 one is about four hours long…and worth every minute. Garai is the perfect Emma! (Check out my comparisons: Post 1 and Post 2). (Wish the two below had starred together...)

Are you more like Emma or Mr. Knightley? I’m like both, in some ways. I plan other people’s lives, whether or not they want me to…that’s somewhat like Emma. But I’m not quite so forward as she is, and rather more shy. As to Mr. Knightley, I think I’m more rational, so to speak, like he is. Neither Emma nor Mr. Knightley is an exact copy of me, far from it, but I have a little of both. J

Tell us your thoughts about Frank Churchill. I dislike him. He’s much too flirtatious with Emma (though it’s true that she didn’t exactly deter him). He didn’t love his father enough to come sooner, for I’m sure he could have if he’d actually wanted to. Of course, it’s good that he cared for his aunt like he did. But none-the-less.

Would YOU have still married Churchill like Jane did? I’m afraid not. After seeing him flirt with Emma like he did? After he teased me about Mr. Dixon in such a shameless manner? After sending the un-thoughtful gift of a piano (when there really wasn’t room for it)? Nope.

Do you find Miss Bates or Jane Fairfax more annoying? Miss Bates. Like Emma, I would probably become tired of her sooner than I ought to. Frustrated with her. She talks too much, and is way too gossipy. But she is certainly a woman with a kind heart. Jane is somewhat annoying too…rather too cool and collected, I guess. But overall, I’d be more frustrated with Miss Bates.

What, in your opinion, is Emma’s largest fault? Oh, that’s hard. Maybe the fact that at times (as Mr. Knightley pointed out) she’s quite insensitive to others’ feelings. I’m specifically thinking of that day on Box Hill with Frank Churchill and Miss Bates. There she was unkind to Miss Bates merely to impress (or at least to make laugh) Frank primarily, and the rest of the group in general.

What’s Harriet’s biggest fault? Much too easy to influence. Spineless people are annoying, and Harriet is quite spineless, and too easily wowed and influenced by Emma.

What kind of mother do you think Emma would be? Since I made this tag, I must admit that this is something I’ve wondered more than once! I think she would be very fun…but other than that? I’m really not sure. What do you think?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Shadow Within

Author: Karen Hancock
Genre: Fantasy (and according to the publisher, allegory)
Series: Legends of the Guardian King
Number in series: 2nd
My rating on a 1-10 scale: 8
Type: Fiction
Number of pages: 445
My overall opinion: I enjoyed it! More than Light of Eidon, the first book in the series. I’m glad I decided to keep reading despite not loving that one. This one had plenty of excitement, and either the creatures were better explained, or the first book laid enough foundation for figuring out what they were, cause it wasn’t so confusing. I’m looking forward to finishing this series at some point.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Presenting Miss Jane Austen

Author: May Lamberton Becker
Genre: Life
My rating on a 1-10 scale: 8
Type: Biography
Number of pages: 204
Time period: 1800’s
My overall opinion: I enjoyed it! It was one of those biographies that you occasionally come across where it’s quite short, but well-written and interesting. I found it interesting how they kind of underplayed Jane’s liking for Tom Lefroy. It very much implied that she never really loved anyone – but according to other biographies I’ve read, she liked him a lot! So that was interesting. Other than that, I enjoyed it a lot!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Into the Deep

Author: Colleen Coble
Genre: Mystery, adventure, life
Series: A Rock Harbor Mystery
Number in series: 3rd
My rating on a 1-10 scale: 9 (actually, 9.25 :)
Type: Fiction
Number of pages: 291
Time period: Present
My overall opinion: I really enjoyed this book! More than the first two. Everything about it was exciting and fun. Great read!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

In Harm’s Way

Author: Irene Hannon
Genre: Suspense, romance
Series: Heroes of Quantico
Number in series: 3rd
My rating on a 1-10 scale: 9
Type: Fiction
Number of pages: 324
Time period: Present
My overall opinion: This one was different from any Hannon I’d read before. You see, there’s this Raggedy Ann doll that belongs to a kidnapped baby. A certain woman finds it in a parking lot, but as soon as she touches it, she exhibits all the signs of a severe panic attack. This continues every time she touches it. So that “psychic” twist was interesting! I enjoyed it. The story had several very surprising turns. A great read!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Roses for Mama

Author: Janette Oke
Genre: Life, romance
My rating on a 1-10 scale: 9
Type: Fiction
Number of pages: 222
Time period: 1800’s
My overall opinion: This is one of Janette Oke’s really sweet books. Angela is a wonderful “heroine,” and the title fits the book perfectly, although you don’t realize it until you reach the end of the book. Great book, and one of my favorites by Janette Oke!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Cover Focus: Sweeter Than Birdsong

Sweeter Than Birdsong by Rosslyn Elliot


Book blurb from goodreads.com : Music offers Kate sweet refuge from her troubles...but real freedom is sweeter."

In Westerville, Ohio, 1855, Kate Winter's dreams are almost within reach. As the first woman to graduate from Otterbein College, she'll be guaranteed her deepest wish: escape from the dark secret haunting her family. But with her mother determined to marry her off to a wealthy man, Kate must face reality. She has to run. Now. And she has the perfect plan. Join the upcoming musical performance--and use it to mask her flight.

Ben Hanby, Otterbein College's musical genius, sees Kate Winter as an enigmatic creature, notable for her beauty, yet painfully shy. Then he hears her sing-and the glory of her voice moves him as never before. He determines to cast her in his musical and uncover the mystery that is Kate. Still, he must keep his own secret to himself. Not even this intriguing woman can know that his passionate faith is driving him to aid fugitives on the Underground Railroad.

A terrifying accident brings Kate and Ben together, but threatens to shatter both their secrets and their dreams. Kate can no longer deny the need to find her courage-and her voice-if she is to sing a new song for their future. “

Why I like this cover: I want a dress like that… :) Yes, I really do. Not for all the time, just for dress-up and photoshoots. :) That big skirt and the lace around the short sleeves at the top combine to make it a pretty dress, though the color and material strike me as slightly boring. One interesting thing about this cover is that you can’t see Kate or Ben’s faces. Most covers you see someone’s face – that makes this one stand out. You can see her silhouette though. Speaking of which, don’t you love the way the light is falling on Kate? Actually, now that I think about it, I don’t think that light is coming through the window…but maybe I’m being too nit-picky. All the red elements are wonderful – the curtain and the red seat in front of the window. Another thing that adds a different touch to this cover is the violinist over on the right side…you can’t see most of him. Neat touch. :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Birthday: John Newbery

John Newbery


Birth: July 19, 1713
Death: December 22, 1767
It’s his 245th birthday!
You know him because – he was the one that the Newberry award is named after! He’s beloved because he was the first publisher and seller of children’s books. The Newberry Award is given to exceptional children’s books. (not sure if above picture is him...but I think so)

Movie: North and South

My rating on a 1-10 scale: 8.5 (which is exactly a one point rise from what I previously would have rated it)
Genre: Romance, classic
Primary actors: Richard Armitage, Daniela Denby-Ashe
Length: A little over three hours (four episodes, each 50 minutes)
Based on: North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
Time period: 1800’s
Year it came out: 2004
My overall opinion: I liked it better than last time, but still don’t absolutely love it. Yes, Mr. Thornton is handsome. And Margaret is also quite nice. But it’s SO gray! I thought that maybe that wouldn’t stand out to me so much after seeing and loving Little Dorrit, but it still felt very oppressive, almost. I think that some of the reason I like LD better is because of the extreme characters. Oh, there are certainly some very extreme characters here, but not in the same way. As usual, I found the mill scenes intensely interesting – factories have long fascinated me.
You know, this story could also have been called Pride and  Prejudice. Both characters suffer from both problems. And Mr. Thornton and Margaret have so many mis-understandings! It’s quite amazing. Practically every time they’re together, they have some mis-understanding.
I’m glad I watched it again, but it’s not a new favorite period drama. However, I have friends who absolutely love it, not to mention all the bloggers I know who love it, so by all means – if you haven’t seen it yet, give it a try! I do recommend that you read about it on IMDb or some other blogs first for a full list of things that might be objectionable – I don’t feel like tackling that right now. :P