Each month I share my impressions of the movies and watch and books I read (or listen too.) Unless otherwise noted, I listen to an audiobook version of the books I review. This post will eventually contain affiliate links. All reviews are my own.
Goodbye Christopher Robin
I watched this movie on the flight home from Paris. Even on the tiny seat-back screen, I enjoyed the beautiful cinematography and period setting. The film tells the story of A.A. Milne, the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh, how he was inspired by his son to write an incredibly popular children’s book, yet struggled to connect with him. It’s a sad story in many ways. It portrays strained relationships strained even more by fame. I came away vowing never to put fame and money above family. Still, there are moments of hope and beauty and I would recommend viewing this movie if you like period dramas or biopics.
The Riot and the Dance
I saw this nature documentary at a one-night theater release. It was well-crafted, interesting and beautifully filmed. As a Christian, I appreciated the world-view of the writer and narrator celebrating God’s handiwork. Yet, the quality of the film was never sacrificed for the message and the producer let the beautiful cinematography speak for itself.
The Adventures of Sally
PG Wodehouse is my go-to when I need laughter and an escape from the day. When Sally inherits a fortune, she decides to travel to France to enjoy herself before coming back to New York to settle down and marry her beau. Well, nothing turns out as planned! I was laughing out loud in the scene where Sally listens to a red haired young man praise her looks right beside her, believing she couldn’t understand English. Of course, they get stuck on an elevator together that very night. Yes, Sally’s adventures border on the ridiculous, but contain plenty of pluck, heart, wit and humour. And she finds true love in the end.
The Little Paris Bookshop
I started this novel because of my trip to Paris. It is the story of a bookseller who can heal wounded hearts by prescribing just the right book, but needs to find the way to heal his own broken heart. It ended up being too modern in its style and worldview for my tastes. There were elements of beauty and sadness that I think would appeal to many. Maybe I’ll check it out again someday.
Murder on the Orient Express
I was captivated by Kenneth Branagh’s beautiful film version last winter and finally got around to reading the original classic. I already knew the outcome of the murder from watching the movie, but it was still enjoyable to hear the author’s own words, compare the slight deviations and reflect on the brilliancy of creating a plot where thirteen people are stuck together on a train car and one must be a murderer.
The Phantom of the Opera
I read this in the print version on the plane to and from Paris! It is the story of a lovely young opera singer and the handsome noble and the deformed genius who both love her. All the elements of the famous musical are found here with a few extra details. The wording, translated from the French, was a bit strange sometimes. Well, the whole story is strange. I think the music is the reason I tolerate the stage version! I wasn’t drawn into the characters as portrayed in the novel, but it was fun to see where the musical came from.
I have loved Jane Eyre for years, but this was the first time I tried another novel by Charlotte Bronte. This is the only one of her novel’s from a male perspective, and it draws on her personal experiences teaching in a Belgium school. The main character works for his mean brother until he finally quits and travels to Belgium to start afresh. There, he is hired as an English teacher at both a boys school and then a girls school. Soon, both the directress of the girls school and one of his pupils attract his attention and admiration. There is not much action or excitement, but I found the peak into the life of professional women in the mid 1800s very interesting. I came away inspired to cultivate good character, a good work ethic, patience and the ability to stand on my own two feet. According to Bronte, that is how one will eventually get somewhere in life.