Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer Reading: Twitterature (June 2014 Edition)

We've been slowly settling into Summer around here. The first week off from school I could tell that although the kids were mostly freed from obligations and routine, there was some slight agitation adjusting to the summer schedule. It's now mid-June already and we're just now starting to enjoy a little more relaxed schedule. It's the time for sitting on the deck late into the evening reading a good book. It's time for lemonade and strawberry shortcake. It's time for swimming and going out for ice cream at night.

I have some major house plans for the summer and I also have plans to shake up the kids' bedrooms again. Last year, I moved the four youngest into one big bedroom for a lot of reasons. We have a smallish house for seven people, but the biggest issue is the gender imbalance. I have four boys and one girl. My daughter, Tess didn't want to be alone in her own room anymore and I wanted my oldest son to have his own space as he was transitioning from homeschooling to being a high school freshman. I have three bedrooms for five kids and I really wanted to keep one of those rooms as a guest room. Well, I won't get to keep that guest room. Four kids in one room really didn't work out very well at all. It turns out that the twins just need to be separated. Tess and James are going to share a room and Sam and Liam are going to share as well. Luke, the lucky one, will continue to keep his own space. Moving kids around isn't easy. It's a super big pain, but I'm putting this chore off until early July!

I always get super ambitious about Summer reading as well. Honestly, I don't read any differently than I do during the rest of the year, but you know, Summer feels different. I always want to sink my teeth into a good beach read. I usually start to gravitate towards books with oceans and water and beaches on the cover. This year, though, I want to do this:

I heard about Reading Bingo on the Books on the Nightstand Podscast. They have their own Bingo Card.  It's going to be great fun. Doesn't a summer reading game sound delightful?

Well, I realized that most of what I have been reading is currently being adapted to the screen. There's something fun about reading the book knowing the movie version is coming to theaters.

If I stay// Gayle Forman


Life changes in an instant for Mia after a horrible car crash. An out of body experience helps her to decide her own fate. I'm not quite done with this one, but it seems I'm on a trend with dark and sad YA.

August:Osage County// Tracy Letts

Stifling claustrophobic family dysfunction. Deeply sad and tragic with flickering moments of dark humor. I saw the movie before I read the play. This is the first play I've read probably since high school.

The Best of Me// Nicholas Sparks


I can't find a movie poster for this one yet. So, I will settle for a movie still. Okay. Good grief. I'm SO not a fan of Nicholas Sparks. If you've read one of his novels, you've kind of read them all. I, however, find Sparks an easy audio book listen when I'm working around the house. This is one is no exception. It's generic even for Sparks.

This is Where I Leave You//Jonathan Tropper

I just started reading this one last night. I'm pretty sure I'm only reading it because both Tina Fey and Jason Bateman are starring in the film adaptation. It looks like more family dysfunction.

The Fault in Our Stars//John Green

I've read this one again recently in anticipation of the movie. I saw the movie last week and it's a truly faithful and wonderful adaption of Green's fine YA novel.

After reading the novel, I get to experience the story all over again at the movies. With popcorn!

 The Hurricane Sisters// Dorothea Benton Frank

Unlike the rest of the books I'm reading right now, The Hurricane Sisters doesn't seem to have a movie adaptation coming out anytime soon. I haven't actually  started this one yet, but I think this will qualify as my Summer beach read. It has does have the required beach on the cover!

Happy Summer Reading and do check out Modern Mrs. Darcy's Summer Reads as well.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Carpe Diem

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

25 Years! It's been 25 years since Dead Poets Society was released in theaters. Actually, I'm a little overdue with this post. Dead Poets Society made its official theatrical debut on 9 June 1989. I was just about to finish my junior year in high school when I went to see this movie. This is the movie that made me fall in love with New England (even though it was filmed in Delaware. Is Delaware even considered part of New England?). I already loved prep school literature having read A Separate Peace in my sophomore year. I wanted Mr. Keating to teach at my high school. I wanted to be inspired like that. Those boys got an adventure in their English class and I craved that adventure into words too. I will always remember the film's tag line:
                       He was their inspiration. He made their lives extraordinary.

I still watch DPS almost every year and I still find it very poignant even though, now that I'm 25 years older, I see some minor flaws in its theme and it's unnecessarily tragic and yet, Dead Poets Society still ranks in my top ten favorite movies. I am, however, still very disappointed to this day that DPS wasn't based on an actual novel. I was given a novelization of the screenplay as a consolation, but that only made me more disappointed that there was no novel to go read to experience the whole story all over again.

                               Well, it's time to seize the day and watch it again!

O, Captain! My Captain!