Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Classics that I want to read.

Lately I've been itching to read more classics. I haven't actually read any recently, because I've been working through a stack of library books. (I think this possibly the first time that I've read every single book that I checked out before they were due back!)
I'll admit that sometimes it's hard for me to get through classics. But most of the time they pleasantly surprise me. After all, most of my favorite books are classics: Pride and Prejudice, the Chronicles of Narnia, Jane Eyre, Persuasion, To Kill a Mockingbird, Emma, etc.
Going through my shelves, I realized that I own quite a few classics that I want to read. By the way, in this post, I'm referring to classics from the 1800s and "modern classics" from the 1900s. Here's a peek at them!

-Under the Lilacs and Eight Cousins, by Louisa May Alcott. The only Alcott book I've read so far is Little Women, but I really enjoyed it so I'm always hoping to read more from her! The only reason why I own these two in particular is because they were old, pretty editions that I came across in a thrift store. :)

-The Three Musketeers, by Alexandre Dumas. Yeah, not too sure about this one. :) I don't really have a lot of experience with this story...I've only seen the 1948 adaptation, and I pretty much only saw it for Gene Kelly. (I love him.) It was okay. I'm getting the 2011 adaptation/loosely based film through Netflix this week, so we'll see how it is. (Matthew Macfadyen! *ahem*) Anyway, I got this copy at a used bookstore several years ago, so maybe I'll read it eventually.

-A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens. I want to like Dickens. I love the BBC adaptations of his books (Bleak House and Little Dorrit in particular). But so far I've only read one of his novels: Bleak House. It was good, but oh so long and overwhelming. I want to read more of his books, but seriously...so many pages. I'm a wimp.

-Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I love Sherlock (BBC Sherlock and the 80s-90s adaptations), but I've only read a couple of the original stories. I own this edition that includes 37 of the short stories and one of the novels (The Hound of the Baskervilles), and I'd like to read them all!

-The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I need to read this now! I love reading about this era, and this book is so tiny that I feel really silly admitting that I haven't it yet!

-Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell. I've read Cranford and North and South and really enjoyed them both, and I love all three of these BBC mini-series. This book is just so big! (This seems to be a recurring theme with classics.)

-Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibbons. I've seen the film and liked it okay, but I felt like I was missing out on a lot. I've heard that the book is absolutely hilarious, so I'm excited to read it.

-The Adventures of Robin Hood, by Roger Lancelyn Green. This is one of the prettiest books that I own. That's mostly why I bought it. :) But I want to read it! Love the 1938 film, and I want to see the newer film and the BBC series sometime.

-Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo. This book is so long and intimidating. The fact that my edition is split into two volumes (with tiny print) doesn't help matters...

-A Farewell to Arms and For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway. I have a love-hate relationship with Hemingway. I feel a connection to him since I've visited his lovely former home in Key West. (And if I was going to live in a warm, tropical-ish environment, that house would be my dream home.) I love his writing style and how he can make me want to read about things I have no interest in (The Old Man and the Sea!). But in the case of To Have and Have Not, he wrote a depressing, heartless tale that included too much profanity and other content issues for my taste. I have these two beautiful old editions that I'd like to read, to give him another chance. :)

-The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Emmuska Orczy. I've heard lots of good things about this one!

-I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith. This book sounds so good and I've been wanting to read it for the longest time now.

-The Inimitable Jeeves, by P.G. Wodehouse. I've heard that the Jeeves books are hilarious, and this seemed like a good place to start! The gorgeous cover didn't hurt, either. :)

And now for a few children's classics:

-A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L'Engle. Technically, I'm 99% sure that I read this book in elementary school, but I don't remember anything about it. I want to read the whole series.

-The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain. Goodness, I absolutely love these editions. Is this a sequel to Tom Sawyer? If so, I guess I need to read that one first. :)

-The Anne of Green Gables series, by L.M. Montgomery. Don't hate me for this, but I've only read the first book in this series! I don't know what's wrong with me. :) I do own the first four, plus another related book, and I plan on reading the entire series this year.

-Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan, by E.B. White. I may have read these in elementary school, but I'm not sure. I love Charlotte's Web, so I want to read them.

Also, I forgot to include it in the pictures, but I also want to read The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne...I was given a really beautiful edition of that one. Others I forgot: Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell and Goodbye, Mr. Chips, by James Hilton.

And here are a few classics that I want to read that I don't actually own, in no particular order:

-1984, by George Orwell
-Tess of the D'Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy
-Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh
-The Blue Castle, by L.M. Montgomery
-Lark Rise to Candleford, by Flora Thompson
-A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway
-Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier
-An Old-Fashioned Girl, by Lousia May Alcott
-How Green Was My Valley, by Richard Llewellyn
-Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
-East of Eden, by John Steinbeck

Whew. I've got a lot of reading to do. :)

Do you like reading classics? What are some of your favorites, or some that you'd like to read?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Winter wish.

It feels so bizarre to look at these pictures now. They were taken a week and a half ago, on that Wednesday when we had more snow than we've had in a long time. I'm sure we had snows this deep when I was younger, because I remember home videos of my dad and uncle building a huge snowman in our yard, and me and my brother were so small that we could hardly trudge through it all. But close to a foot of snow...we haven't had anything close to that in years.

I wished for one big snow before spring, so I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it from inside: sitting by the window and reading, with a warm cat snuggled in my lap. :) I ventured out on a walk once, the day I took these pictures. There was a layer of ice on top, so it wasn't fluffy, soft snow that's fun to walk in. I barely made it to the creek before I felt like I'd been walking for miles. :)

Today, a little more than a week later, it's sunny and probably 70 degrees, and these photos seem so long ago! I have two windows open, and each window has a cat in it, sniffing at the fresh air like they had almost forgotten what it was like. I'm curled up on my bed with a good book. I'm always hesitant to say that I missed the sun and the breeze and blue skies, because I don't look forward to 90 degree humid summer days. And I don't want anyone to accuse me of longing for summer when I'm complaining about it later. :) But the truth is that while I'm a fall and winter person all the way, I do love open-window weather. It makes me want to sew more and listen to the Avett Brothers nonstop (even more so than usual) and read classics set in England. I don't know why. :) And it makes me want to watch lots and lots of old movies. {Last week when it was so cold and snowy, I wanted nothing more than to watch 90s romantic comedies. Don't ask me why I associate classic movies so much with spring!}

I know the blog has been a little quiet over the past couple of weeks. I'm not sure why...I have ideas for posts, but I just haven't started them. I'm hoping to get back in the groove of things soon. :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

In which I discuss literary heroines.

It's that time of year again...Kellie is hosting her annual Literary Heroine Blog Party! I never miss a chance to talk about books, and there's a pretty amazing giveaway going on, too. This is my third or fourth time participating, so forgive me if some of the answers seem familiar. I tried to change things up a bit, but some of the answers never seem to change. :)

 The Questions
1. Introduce yourself!  Divulge your life's vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random!
I'm Kristin. I'm a twenty-two year old bookworm and classic movie enthusiast. I'm also a fan of Doctor Who and Sherlock (I know that will probably be important to some of you :), and tons of other BBC shows and mini-series. I love being creative: I sew, embroider, knit, spin, and dye yarn. You can read more about me here.
2. What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine? 
A true heroine is godly, kind, clever, humble, loving, and honest. But goodness, she can't be too perfect or we won't be able to stand her! :) She has to have some flaws that I can relate to, but she should be able to recognize them and hopefully work past them.
3. Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to.

a) Jane Eyre. When I reread this book last year, I was struck by how much I felt like I knew Jane. She's such a wonderful character! (See question number 5 below.) Not only that, but I could relate to her in a lot of ways: I tend to keep my emotions to myself instead of speaking them or showing them outwardly, I'm a people pleaser, etc.

b) Elinor Dashwood. Out of all of Austen's heroines, Elinor is my true kindred spirit. We're both quiet introverts who need to open up with other people a little more. We end up listening more than we talk. She's wiser than I am, though. :)
c) Anne Elliot. I'm quite stubborn about my opinion when it comes to important matters. But in trivial matters, I sometimes find myself being swayed by a seemingly good argument. Then I'll suddenly realize how ridiculous it is and think to myself: don't be like Anne Elliot! :) Honestly, though, Anne is a lovely character. She allowed people to mislead her in the past, but she ends up being stronger and more confident in her own decisions. Also, even though her dad and sisters are completely awful, she still treats them in a loving, respectful way and she's very patient and long-suffering.
4. Five of your favorite historical novels? 

1. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
2. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
3. Persuasion, by Jane Austen
4. Emma, by Jane Austen
5. The Tutor's Daughter, by Julie Klassen (I guess this counts, because while it was published last year, it's historical fiction in a very Austenish setting. It seems like this list never changes much, so I decided to add in a newer book. I absolutely loved this one! You can read my review here.)
5. Out of those five books who is your favorite major character and why? 

Last year I said Elizabeth Bennet. This year I'll go with Jane Eyre. With the way the book is written, you really get inside Jane's head and understand her. I love the passionate nature that's hiding beneath her quiet and calm façade, how she really just wants to be loved, the fact that she's rather plain instead of gorgeous, how smart she is, and how she's strong enough to do the right thing. She was able to move past a horrific childhood and become a wonderful person. Basically, Jane is awesome.
6. Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why? 

My answer to this question never changes: Mr. Collins. He's ridiculous, awful, awkward, tactless, and prideful. And hilarious. :)
7. If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there? 

My dream vacation, if money and time were no object, would be a tour of Europe. Most of the time would be spent in England, but I'd stop in France, Scotland, and Ireland, too. Most of my favorite books and favorite authors are English. So I would visit all of the places associated with them. The country estates where my favorite Austen adaptations were filmed, Jane Austen's house, the pub where C.S. Lewis and the Inklings met, Platform 9 3/4, Beatrix Potter's home, etc. I would shop for books in London and find the TARDIS and 221B Baker Street. I would wander through the Yorkshire moors, see the Loch Ness monster, read in an English garden, tour ancient castles, and probably cry when I saw the Eiffel Tower.  
8.  What is your favorite time period and culture to read about? 

I love to read about just about any time period and culture! I am a bit obsessed with murder mysteries set in 1930s England. :) In general, I love reading stories that take place in the years between 1920 and 1960. As far as classics or historical fiction go, I like to read Regency era and ones set in late 1800s-early 1900s America.
9. You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation - what is your act comprised of? 

None of the above. I'd rather work behind the scenes. :) I can't carry a tune in a bucket and I'm so awful in front of groups of people that I would immediately forget my recitation. I would possibly provide a comedic moment when I fainted and had to be carried from the stage...
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 Elinor Dashwood.
11.  What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate? 

It is my one weakness. *ahem* (Name that period drama!) I love it too much.
12.  Favorite author(s)? 

Absolute favorites are Jane Austen and C.S. Lewis. Roald Dahl, Shannon Hale, Gail Carson Levine, Julie Klassen, Kate Dicamillo, and Deeanne Gist are some other authors whose books I have read most of (or all of) and enjoyed.
13. Besides essentials, what would you take on a visiting voyage to a foreign land? 

My journal, a camera, books, and my knitting. :)
14. In which century were most of the books you read written? 

Probably the twentieth century. Followed by the 21st century, and then the 19th century. I don't think I've read any books written before then (except the Bible).
15. In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is… 

Mr. Darcy would be a classic answer, because Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book and I really do love his character. But in real life, I think I would prefer a Mr. Knightley type. He's kind and loyal and always there. He's not blind to your faults and when necessary, he'll correct you. But that's probably the best part: he sees your flaws and loves you in spite of them. :)
16. Describe your ideal dwelling place. 

A typical old southern farmhouse. The house is two stories, with a wrap-around porch and a tin roof. There's a little orchard off to one side (I just love that most old farmhouses had an orchard), and a tire swing hanging from a tree in the front yard. Plenty of huge, ancient trees on the property. Inside, all of the walls are painted lovely colors, and they display a hodgepodge of embroidery, photos, and quirky artwork and prints. There would be a yellow and green kitchen with one of those gorgeous 50s dinette sets. All of the furniture is sort of old and mismatched, and there's a record player in the living room. And there's a library that is every bookworm's dream: wall to wall built-in bookcases, complete with a rolling ladder.
17. Sum up your fashion style in a short sentence. 

I don't know that I have a fashion style, but here goes: Comfy, natural, handmade, and sort of Penelope-inspired, but with a bit more of a vintage feel. :)
18. Have you ever wanted to change a character’s name? 

Maybe Klaus, the brother in The Series of Unfortunate Events. I like the sisters' names (Violet and Sunny) and their last name. But Klaus...it reminds me of Santa.
19. In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is... 

I don't know. I don't exactly read a lot of books full of dastardly villains. :)
20. Three favorite nonfiction books? 

1. My Life in France, by Julia Child
2. Paperdoll, by Natalie Lloyd
3. Boy, by Roald Dahl
21. Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon? 

Reading, watching a favorite movie, knitting, and enjoying some ice cream.  
22. Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat - in such a way as will best portray your true character. 

I like cloches, but not on me. I desperately want to be a hat person, but so far I don't actually wear them often. Except to keep my head warm during winter walks...
23. Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year. 

I became an aunt! My sweet little niece Stella was born back in October. :) And much more insignificant, but still exciting, was the fact that I got a spinning wheel last May.
24. Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently.

 I think this is the same one that I chose last year...but it still applies. :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


I fell in love with Jane Austen's novels when I was fourteen. I read Pride and Prejudice, then watched the 2005 film (still my favorite film to this day), and then saw the 1995 mini-series. (I wrote about it all here.) Since then I've read all of her novels at least once, most of them several times, and seen countless film adaptations. I'm not a purist or the sort of fan who has Regency clothes in her closet (though I would probably dress up in them at least once in my life, given the chance :), but I love the stories and the characters and the humor, and I consider Jane Austen to be one of my favorite authors.

I read Austenland a couple of years after I became an Austen fan. I reread it in 2011 and really enjoyed it much more the second time around. I read Shannon Hale's blog, and when she first posted about Austenland becoming a film, I was really excited. My excitement only grew with all of the behind-the-scenes peeks that came later. But unfortunately the film was in limited release and the closest theater to me was about three hours away, so I didn't get to see it in theaters.

I usually don't buy new release movies that I haven't seen in theaters. They're just so expensive, and I don't want to take the chance of spending $20 on a movie that I might not like. But with Austenland, I really, really wanted to see it and didn't want to wait until I could get it through Netflix. So I bought it, wondering whether I would regret it or not.

I watched Austenland last night, and oh my goodness, I absolutely loved it. :)

I honestly think I had a goofy grin on my face the entire time I was watching this film, from the first few moments (Keri Russell as a teenage Jane, wearing braces and drinking from a teacup) to the swoon-worthy ending. Seriously, it was just so much fun. I didn't want to pause it for any reason, and I could hardly bring myself to knit during it because I didn't want to look away. And as soon as it was over, I wanted to immediately watch it again. It was late, so I didn't, but I'll admit that I'm planning on watching Austenland at least two more times this week (and because of Valentine's Day, I will feel no shame in consoling myself with homemade chocolate chip cookies and repeated viewings of this movie :).

It wasn't the most faithful book-to-film adaptation, but that didn't really bother me. The important things are still there, as is the general spirit of the book. Plus, Shannon Hale (the author) also co-wrote the screenplay and was an associate producer, so I feel like if she was okay with the changes, I can't really fuss about them too much.

The cast was really awesome. Keri Russell is such a sweet, long-suffering Jane. Even though she comes across as a bit wishy-washy at times (between the two guys she likes), she is so likable. I felt so bad for her when she was treated as inferior to the other guests because she had bought the least expensive trip package! The only thing that bugged me was that she spent her life savings on the trip to Austenland, instead of it being left to her by a great-aunt who hopes it will get the Austen obsession out of Jane's system (that's how it happened in the book). That made Jane seem a little too frivolous. Jennifer Coolidge was hilarious as Elizabeth Charming, a wealthy fellow guest who frequently shouts "Tally ho!" in an awful fake British accent, doesn't even know what Pride and Prejudice is, and who is mostly there for the attractive men. :) While she is the source of a lot of the crass humor in the film, I loved the more subtle parts. Like when she's embroidering and stitches her glove to her work, or when they're decorating hats and (I believe) the other girls are using needle and thread, but she's using a hot glue gun to attach feathers and such. :) The other guest, Lady Amelia, is played by Georgia King. Here, she is hilariously different from the other very mild roles I'd seen her in so far: in the Jane Eyre mini-series and Little Dorrit.

As for the male characters...I don't want to spoil anything. But I knew the ending and thought I would be predisposed to dislike the guy who ends up being a jerk (and let me say, he appears to be even more of a scumbag in the movie than he was in the book!), but I sort of fell for his charms just like Jane did. So I can't blame her. :) Both of the male leads are really handsome: the chauffeur/gardener/stable man/servant in general, Martin, and the Mr. Darcy type, Mr. Henry Nobley. But goodness...JJ Feild! Be still my heart! :) He has the most wonderful voice, and he did an amazing job of pulling off the seemingly arrogant and reserved, but still kind and respectful type. Now I really need to watch Northanger Abbey again (in which he plays another charming Henry: Mr. Tilney).

Austenland is so over-the-top and while it spoofs Jane Austen and the Regency era, it does so in such a loving way. You get the feeling that all of the people involved were having so much fun with it. There are beautiful settings and costumes that look familiar from other period dramas. (And with good reason. The house where it was filmed has been in quite a few period drama films and mini-series, and I think JJ Feild actually wears some of the clothes that Colin Firth wore in the 1995 Pride and Prejudice.) But it's a bit brighter and cheesier and more modern, and not quite accurate, because of course the whole story is about modern people pretending to be in the Regency era.

You know how some lesser-known (should I call them independent?) movies tend to have a certain look and feel? It's hard to explain, but there's a charm about them. They're not glossy or perfect, but they feel so homey and bright and quirky. Penelope is a good example, and that's also true of this movie. I love that.

I'm not saying that this movie is going to be every Austen fan's cup of tea (if you'll pardon the pun :). It's not a gentle, authentic Regency film. It's cheesy and silly and awkward, but it's just ridiculously fun! I would have preferred for some of the humor to be wittier, but I can't deny that I laughed a lot during this movie. And for me, personally, it hit (almost) all of the right notes and became an instant favorite.

My only qualm with the film is that there are suggestive comments scattered throughout. It's rated PG-13, for "some suggestive content and innuendo." There are only two, maybe three at the most, swear words in the movie, but there are quite a few crass lines. Honestly, I think some of them went over my head (ha, I can be pretty naïve for a nearly twenty-three year old :), but there was still too many for my taste. Obviously it wasn't enough to overshadow my affection for the film, but the movie would have been pretty much perfect without the coarse innuendo.

So yeah, I loved Austenland so much more than I expected to. If you're an Austen fan, I recommend at least checking it out...you might be pleasantly surprised. :) It really is a hilarious romantic comedy that doesn't take itself too seriously, as well as a sweet tribute to those of us who dream of our own Mr. Darcy or Mr. Knightley, or whoever your favorite Austen hero is. I can't wait to watch it again.

Have you seen Austenland, or are you looking forward to seeing it? What did you think?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What I Read: January

Since I'm trying to make my blog more bookish this year, I thought I would start doing wrap-ups of the books I read each month. If you follow me on Goodreads, you've probably already seen some of these. :) I'll try to keep these posts brief, but each title will be linked to my review on Goodreads in case you want to read more of my thoughts.

January was a good reading month for me! It was a nice way to start of the new year. :) I read 11 books, with no rereads, so they were all new to me. And there wasn't a single one that I didn't enjoy! It's very unusual for me to read this many books in a month, but I flew through a five-book children's series that bumped my number up quite a bit.

The Headmistress of Rosemere, by Sarah E. Ladd. I loved this one! I really related to the main character and though I liked the first book in the series, I enjoyed the sequel even more. I posted a review of this one here.

The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, by Roald Dahl. Just a super short, charming story.

The Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum. This book had been sitting unread on my shelf for about ten years. It was pretty good!

A Snicker of Magic, by Natalie Lloyd. I really, really loved this book. I think you probably got that from my review. :) Seriously...just read this book. As soon as possible!

The Secret Series, by Pseudonymous Bosch. A pretty good series (with hilarious titles). My least favorite was the second book, and my favorites were the third and fourth ones. Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Princess Ever After, by Rachel Hauck. A lovely modern day princess story! Again, I think I enjoyed this one even more than the first in the series. I also reviewed this one on the blog.

Everything on a Waffle, by Polly Horvath. This was such an unusual little book. I didn't know if I would like it at first, but it was strangely endearing and funny, and I found myself really enjoying it!

Yes, I realize that only two of these books are actual "grown up" novels...the rest are children's books or middle grade. And I'm okay with that. :)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Peter Pan {1953}

{Animated Disney Film #14 of 52}

It's been nearly three months since the last entry in my animated Disney film series! Three months! I'm looking forward to getting back into this series, and I hope you guys are, too. :)

This week I'm going to be talking about Peter Pan.

Like I mentioned with Alice in Wonderland, I feel like Disney's adaptation of Peter Pan is how most people were introduced to the story. I know that was the case for me. I grew up watching the movie. When I was a teenager, I read the book and was drawn to newer adaptations of the story: the 2003 live action film and Finding Neverland (in that instance, it definitely didn't hurt that I had a teenage crush on Johnny Depp :). I could definitely relate to the not wanting-to-grow-up thing around that time when I was thinking about what I was going to do after high school.

Basically, I love this movie. It is an Americanized version of the story. But it's also completely classic Disney, with the added bonus that it's generally more appealing to boys as well as girls (compared to the more princessy movies).

I have to say something about this right at the start. Mr. and Mrs. Darling are going to leave their young children at home alone while they go to a fancy party? With presumably no one there to watch them except Nana the dog, who has been exiled outside to her dog house? How is this okay?? I can't believe that out of all of the times I've watched Peter Pan (the most recent of which was last year), I just now noticed that.

Also, something else that has always bugged me...why is Tinkerbell such a popular Disney character? She's actually pretty awful for most of the film. She's vain and selfish and is nearly responsible for the death of several people. I know she comes around towards the end, but still. She does not deserve her own sequels and spin off franchise. She's one of the worst possible Disney characters to use as a role model! I just don't understand it. Whew, glad I finally got that off my chest. :)

The animation and colors are so gorgeous in Peter Pan. It's one of the films (like Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland) that seems to have a lot of Mary Blair's influence, which I love. This was actually the last Disney film she did concept art for...she resigned from the company shortly after it was finished. One of my favorite parts is the animation when they're flying through the clouds over London. It's so lovely!

{Speaking of flying, if I could have one superpower, it would totally be flying. How awesome would that be? I had a dream once, several years ago, that I could fly and I still remember it vividly because it felt so real. I could feel the wind on my face. Is that weird? :) Anyway, it was the best dream I've ever had. And I tend to associate it with Peter Pan because I dreamt it the night after I watched the 2003 adaptation for the first time.}

I also love the music. Whenever I hear the choruses (like the one at the very beginning), it instantly reminds me of classic Disney films. All of the music in this movie feels very 40s/early 50s to me. I guess what I mean is that I usually find Disney music pretty timeless, but here it feels firmly in its time period. I like that, though, because of course I'm obsessed with oldies music.

If some of the voices in Peter Pan sound familiar, that's because they are. Kathryn Beaumont is the voice of Wendy, and she was also the voice of Alice in Alice in Wonderland. Also, Bill Thompson voices Mr. Smee, Hook's bumbling assistant. He also had a part in AiW, as the White Rabbit. (He did voices in the next two Disney films as well, but I'll mention that in those posts.) I know that Walt Disney liked to use the same voice actors and actresses quite often, but I'm a bit surprised that he used the same ones for such prominent roles in two films in a row.

I love the fact that Captain Hook and Mr. Darling are voiced by the same person. They carried that over from the original play, where the same actor played both parts. I think that's awesome because Hook is obviously the villain in Neverland, and Mr. Darling is basically the villain in London, since he's the one who doesn't believe in Peter Pan and who orders that Wendy has to leave the nursery and "grow up."

One more bit of random trivia: Disney loved the story of Peter Pan and wanted it to be his second full length film. But because of problems with the rights and then WWII (and the years of nothing but the dreaded package films, ha), it ended up being his fourteenth film.

So yes...I love Peter Pan. I love the story and the music and the animation. It's just a great adventure story. Up next in the series is another favorite of mine, even though I'm someone who doesn't usually like "animal stories"...Lady and the Tramp!

Do you like Peter Pan? Have you read the book or seen any other films inspired by it?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk {Music Monday 25}

It's been several weeks since my last Music Monday. But that's okay...I've come to terms with the fact that this feature just won't happen every single week. Because if it did, you guys would probably get sick of hearing about The Avett Brothers. :)

But it's happening today because I've got some lovely new music to share!

It seems a lot harder (for me, anyway) to find new music that you'll like than to find new books or films. And then if you find something you think you'll like, you have to take the time to actually listen to it to decide. It's not like you're usually drawn in with pretty album art like you are with a pretty book cover. But that's sort of how I found this group. :)

When NoiseTrade sent out their weekly email, I skimmed it, like I always do. Then I saw this really pretty album cover. Seriously, this is one of the loveliest album covers I've ever seen! Everything about it appeals to me and what I like in art. And then there's the name of the group: Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk. How could I not click on that and check out their music?

Thankfully, the music definitely lived up to my expectations from the CD cover and the awesome name. :) NoiseTrade recommends it for fans of Eisley. I am an Eisley fan, but I can't say that this album reminds me too much of their music. I don't know who it sounds similar to. It's just a really pleasant, upbeat, enjoyable album...a bit pop-sounding with a folksy feel. But not too much banjo or twang, just in case that's not your thing.

Did I mention that this CD is absolutely free on NoiseTrade? Yes, free. But there's no guarantee as to how long it will be on there, so download it now if you want it. (It seems like lately NoiseTrade hasn't been leaving music on the site for as long as they used to. I've gone to find CDs and they've been taken down.)

This is probably my current favorite song from the album: the title song. I could only find a live video of it online, and it sounds a bit more rock than it does on the album, but that's okay. I love how all of the band members are pretty much staying in one spot, maybe swaying a bit, except for that one guy who is just totally doing his own thing. It makes me smile. :)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Snowy day.

I love snow. It's so magical and sparkling. I love watching it fall and stomping through the woods when the ground is white, but my favorite part is that peculiar kind of quiet that only comes with snow. We don't get much here (some of you might argue that's why I romanticize it :), so I'm thankful for even an inch or two. I love winter in general, honestly. I know most people don't because cold weather is harder on everyone: the danger of slipping and sliding, freezing pipes, having to break the ice in the animals' water troughs, etc.

But our summer is so incredibly humid and hot, complete with snakes, ticks, and mosquitoes, that I much prefer this cold, cozy season. Besides, I love being able to wear wool socks and knitted cowls and mitts all the time. My knitting hobby isn't very practical in the summer. :)

{P.S. Do you remember when I embroidered the To Kill a Mockingbird book cover several years ago? The wonderfully talented artist who designed that cover, Sarah J. Coleman, (it's my favorite cover for one of my favorite books) featured my piece on her blog! You can check it out here.}