Some of you have asked what my days look like, with the kids off to school and Jamie working. Between the watching of soaps and the eating of bon bons, I have been knitting, reading and we've all watched some good movies. Following, are some selections.
On the plane over, The Jane Austen Book Club was showing and while I had just finished the book without liking it much, I decided to watch the movie anyway. I didn't love it either. I didn't think the casting was great and it actually increased my appreciation for the book. Karen Fowler (the author) had also included some interesting material about Jane Austen and some quotes about her from her family and other literary figures, which prompted me to rent Becoming Jane. Starring Anne Hatheway (who was delightful), this glimpse into the life of one of England's most beloved writers was both informative and enjoyable. The movie itself unfolded much like an Austen novel (most of which I've read) and even if only some of the material was accurate, she was a woman ahead of her time and to be admired. The whole family watched (some more willingly than others) and I was pleased when Maddie added it to her "favourite movies" list on her blog profile.
Next up was The Namesake, both the book and then the movie--a moving account of one family's immigration from India to America. The desire to make a "better" life, the wrenching heartache of leaving family and familiarity behind. The struggle to fit in but not lose who you are and to raise children that don't become so westernized that they can't appreciate their heritage. The book was beautifully written by Jhumpa Lahiri and the movie wonderfully directed by Mira Nair(Vanity Fair, Monsoon Wedding, Bend it Like Beckham, Mississippi Masala, all of which we've loved). Of course a movie can never enfold a book in its entirety and there is the power of the written word that stretches your imagination. I must say, I was often hungry while reading, could almost smell the spicy, fragrant currys. So much so that I dropped in to the library to borrow a recipe book on Indian cooking. Grayson and I have been busy in the kitchen perfecting our chicken saag. My mouth is watering even now! Anyway, I recommend both the book, then the movie. Gray and Cole both watched it and it prompted some good conversation.
I've also read Return to Holly Springs by Jan Karon. A little disappointing. I had quite missed my Father Tim (yes, I know he's not real!) who had shepherded me through some difficult times and introduced me to The Book of Common Prayer. Oh well. It was still good to see him again. Every body has off days.
A Travellor's Guide to the History of England was interesting and informative. Being a Queen is never easy. I tell Jamie that constantly.
The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs--also being made into a movie I heard, starring Julia Roberts. These ladies were my first "friends" here in York. A likable bunch. Then I made new friends at a real knitting group I found at a great little shop called "Sheepish".
My Life in France by Julia Child, a Christmas gift from Jamie. He's declared himself not a good gift-giver, but this one hit it right on the nose. Not specifically because it was a good book ( which it was) , but because of the thought that went into it. I'd read Julie and Julia, a hilarious memoir (also being made into a movie) by Julie Powell chronicling her year of mastering Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I loved it. And of late, I've been dabbling more and more into the world of "cookery". That combined with the beautiful love story between Julia and Paul Child promised that, no matter the content, the gift was a treasure. It also didn't hurt that he'd written me a beautiful poem to go with it. That Jamie, he's a keeper.
44 Scotland Street. Another Alexander McCall Smith series, another fun read.
In the movie department, there have been some misses. In preparation for the forthcoming Indiana Jones prequel starring Shia LaBoeuf, we thought we should watch the originals. Our children laughed through the spectacular 80s special affects. The snakes and bugs still freak you out. But how about Kate Capshawe? Was she already married to Steven Spielburg?
Amazing Grace-loved it, loved it. Inspiring, convicting, heart wrenching, educational. Thank God for men like John Newton and William Wilburforce.
The older boys are completely hooked on Lost and are well into season 2. Maddie and I are into season 3 of Gilmore Girls and still loving it. Jack is bitter because there are no good kids shows on BBC and we are constantly ruining his life by depriving him of Sponge Bob.
Northern Exposure has also been added to the rotation. I don't know how I missed this one the first time round.
There you have it. It's amazing that I even have time to eat bon bons.