Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2017: Moving Forward

This year has slipped away from me when it came to blogging. 
I have found that both of my blogs have been neglected, but especially this one. 
Which is crazy since I love this one so much and have had so much fun with it. 
So, I realized I need to set a goal for this blog in order to make sure that I keep up with it in 2017. 
I used to have a daily theme but after a few months it was really hard to keep going 5 days a week. 
Then I said I would just post as I felt like it. Obviously that didn't work either. 
So going forward I plan on posting every week. 
On Thursday. 
Each week will have a theme. 
First week of the month: Movies
Second week of the month: Books
Third week of the month: Celebrity whether that be actor, actress, singer, author, YouTube, etc. 
Fourth week of the month: Misc. 
On the occasion of a fifth week I will post another misc. type post that could be anything. 
I hope to, and might, post more than just the once a week post but I figure that if I commit to this I have a goal to work towards to keep me focused but not overwhelmed. 
Let me know, as always, if you have any suggestions for posts or anything you are really interested in me posting about!
I hope you have had a wonderful 2016 and an even better 2017!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Let's Talk About: The Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, John Tiffany, and J.K. Rowling

I was so excited when I heard this play was coming out with the script in book form. 
I got it at Target the Monday after it came out. 
I started reading it as soon as I got home and I finished it within a few hours. 

I had heard mixed reviews so I went into it with low expectations and I was blown away. 
Was it without flaws? No. But it is a script of a play meant to be seen on stage. So I think it is a little unfair to expect it to feel exactly the same as a Harry Potter novel. 
But I wanted to base my opinion on this book on how I felt while I was reading it. 
And I felt happy. 
I think it was a really fun read and I LOVED seeing all of our old friends and a few new ones. 
Scorpius Malfoy was my favorite and I loved that. 

I plan on reading it again very soon and I gave it 5 stars.
I didn't want it to be rated the exact same as the original books but I also liked it enough that I rounded up the 4.5 stars to 5. 
If you have heard bad things and read bad reviews... still read it. 
You may love it. Don't let others influence how you feel about it whether that is to love it or to hate it. It is okay to love things that aren't perfect and that entertain you.
I will never get enough Harry Potter!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Let's talk about: Towers in the Mist by Elizabeth Goudge

"Christ Church, Oxford is the location of this tale of the Leigh family, set in the days of Queen Elizabeth I.
In her notes about the origin of the book Elizabeth Goudge writes: "It is impossible to live in an old city and not ask oneself continually, what was it like in ages gone by? Who were the men, women and children who lived in my home centuries ago, and what were their thoughts and actions as they lived out their lives day by day in the place where I now live mine?" (Goodreads)

I picked up this book at the beginning of the year after hearing about it on YouTube.
I planned on reading it before our trip as I knew that it contained history of Oxford.
But I never got the chance to read it before we went. I took advantage of the read-a-thon week to spend a couple of days devouring it.
And I did devour it.
I LOVED this book.

 "The first gray of dawn stole mysteriously into a dark world, so gradually that it did not seem as though day banished night, it seemed rather that night itself was slowly transfigured into something fresh and new. 
So shall I be changed, whispered a dirty, ragged boy who lay on a pile of dried bracken, two books beneath his head for a pillow, within a gypsy tent, and he sat up and grinned broadly at the queer gray twilight that stood like a friend in the narrow doorway." (first paragraph of the book)

This is the first book I have ever read by Elizabeth Goudge and I am now going to search my library for anything and everything by her. She writes beautifully and weaves the history of Oxford into the life of one particular family and those that surround them so well.
I love the characters although I feel like Oxford is the main character... if that makes sense.
We basically get a look through a window to the past of Oxford and how it came to be, how those who lived there in the 1500's lived, and how they interacted.
She also includes real life figures into the story such as Sir Walter Raleigh, Philip Sidney, and Queen Elizabeth the first.

There were times in this book when I had to re-read a sentence because I loved it so much... like when she was describing the ugly cuteness of one of the characters:

" The Creator, when He thought good to take Faithful out of eternity and cast him upon the earth, had taken him out of the same box as the baby donkeys and the penguins..."

While this book was the longest of the read-a-thon I loved every minute of it and almost wished it was longer.
I think my love of Oxford also helped to nurture my feelings for the book as it was set at Christ Church which was one of the places we explored. As it talked about the history there and about the buildings I could picture it and knew exactly what she was talking about. I loved that. I also loved learning things about Oxford that I didn't know before reading it.
I really can't say enough about this book.
I loved it.

"It is the dreams that are died for that live."

I highly recommend this book to anyone.

Read-a-Thon Wrap Up!

I loved doing the Scones and Crackers read-a-thon last week. I hope that any of you that joined in enjoyed it as well. 
I plan on trying to do another one around the beginning of 2017. 
So keep that in mind and I will announce that sometime in December or January. 

I was able to get a lot of reading done last week! I picked quite a few shorter books that only took a couple hours to read so I was able to get done even more than I thought I could. 

I will briefly share what I read but I will go into more detail about each book in individual reviews to come! I will link each one to the reviews as they are posted.

I was able to mark off each of the challenges: 

1) A book by one of your favorite British authors: 


For this one I read Stancliffe's Hotel by Charlotte Bronte. 
2) A non-fiction book:

For my non-fiction category I read C. S. Lewis' autobiography, Surprised by Joy.
3) A book of poetry: 

I read The Golden Store, an illustrated selection of poetry by William Wordsworth. 

4) A play:

I read Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare. 
5) A book that takes place in your favorite British location: 
 Towers in the Mist by Elizabeth Goudge takes place in Oxford which was one of my very favorite places we visited in England. 
6) Extras:  
I still had a couple of days left and so I was able to read two more books. 
First I read Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher. It was a bit longer but it was a really easy read so only took a couple of days. 

I had one more C.S. Lewis book and another Jane Austen book that I was hoping to get to but we ended up having a really busy weekend where I didn't get very much reading done. 
I had a little time on Saturday and Sunday so I grabbed Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen adapted into a graphic novel by Nancy Butler and Sunny Liew. 
Because it as a graphic novel it only took a couple of hours. 

Overall it was a great reading week. There weren't any that I hated and only two that I didn't love. 
More to come!

What did you read?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Read-a-thon TBR

It's time!
Next week is my Read-a-thon. 
For a reminder, what do I do during the British Read-a-thon?
I read books that are written by or about British people or have British locations. 
It can be pretty much anything. 
This year I want to add some more fun to it in the way of challenges. 
You can choose to do one, none, or all of them!
I am setting five challenges for the books. 


                                                1) A book by your favorite British author
                                                2) A non fiction book
                                                3) A play
                                                4) A book of Poetry
                                                5) A book that takes place in your favorite British location. 

That's it!
I am setting myself an extra goal of reading 7 books because that is how many books I was able to read during my first experience doing Ariel Bisset's booktubeathon this summer. I have a few very short books that shouldn't take long to read so I am hoping to reach that goal or even more!

I will also be doing a photo challenge on Instagram every day. 
I will post my picture every morning with the theme and if you are on Instagram and want to participate you can use the hashtags I will include so we can all see the pictures! 
It should be really fun!

I will wait to tell you which book I am reading for which challenge and why until my Read-a-thon recap but I will share the picture of my To Be Read list: 

There it is! My seven books I hope to read next week! 
Let me know in the comments if you plan on reading along and if you want to- share your TBR pile on Instagram, the comments here, or your own blog!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Let's talk about: On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher

"A love story like no other, this is the debut novel from Carrie Hope Fletcher, author of the Sunday Times No. 1 bestseller All I Know Now.

Evie Snow is eighty-two when she quietly passes away in her sleep, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. It's the way most people wish to leave the world but when Evie reaches the door of her own private heaven, she finds that she's become her twenty-seven-year-old self and the door won't open.

Evie's soul must be light enough to pass through so she needs to get rid of whatever is making her soul heavy. For Evie, this means unburdening herself of the three secrets that have weighed her down for over fifty years, so she must find a way to reveal them before it's too late. As Evie begins the journey of a lifetime, she learns more about life and love than she ever thought possible, and somehow , some way, she may also find her way back to her long lost love . .
" (Goodreads)

I pre-ordered this book through Book Depository months ago so that I wouldn't have to wait for it to be released in the United States. 
As I have mentioned before, Carrie Hope Fletcher is one of my favorite YouTubers. She is adorable, talented, and seems like a very nice person. I read her non fiction book for teenagers, All I Know Now, last year and enjoyed it. You can read all of my thoughts on it here.
I wasn't sure what to expect from her debut fiction novel. 
First of all, the book is beautiful. The dust jacket is beautiful and the hard cover underneath it is just as pretty. I love a pretty book. 
I gave it four stars on Goodreads but really it was more of a 3.5 star review for me (when are they going to start having half stars!?) and there were moments in the book that would have only been three stars. But there were also four star (and more) moments for me as I found it to be very unique and engaging. I thought about it when I wasn't reading and I really enjoyed the story. 
It is strong on the magical realism which I didn't realize going in so that caught me off guard at first and there were times when I had a hard time with staying engaged through the "magical" elements. 
I compared it to Alice in Wonderland meets Somewhere in Time mainly because there were times when reading Alice that I asked myself, "What the?" and I did the same with this book. And there were things that reminded me of Somewhere in Time that I won't go into because... spoilers. 
If you are looking for diversity/ representation in a book this is a good one to go to. There are three characters that are LGBTQ+ (one bisexual, one pansexual, and one gay). 
I think that, just like her first book, this story will really appeal to her teenage and early twenties audience but it really is for all ages.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story. I think that Carrie is a strong writer and I think she will only improve over time. 
3.5 stars ***

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Let's talk about: Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Before this year I had never read a novel by Virginia Woolf but I really wanted to. So this year I picked Mrs. Dalloway for one of my choices for my book club. 
I bought my copy at the Shakespeare and Company book store in Paris, France while I was on my trip to Europe and started reading it on a train through Switzerland. 
That may have something to do with my romantic feelings toward this book....
or maybe it is just a darn good book.

I was worried before reading Mrs. Dalloway as I found out that it is written in the stream of conciousness style which I loathed when I read The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner a few years ago. 
But this was immediately different. I felt like she wrote how we actually think. 
I could follow it and the characters felt and sounded different to me for the most part. 
I actually enjoyed the seamless transitions from character to character. 
There were no chapters and it would focus on one thing from one character's point of view and then slip into the mind of another person seeing the same thing. 

Her writing is beautiful and her talent just shines in this book. 

I had my pencil close by at all times to underline passages. These were some of my favorite: 

"The compensation of growing old, Peter Walsh thought, coming out of Regent's Park, and holding his hat in his hand, was simply this; that the passions remain as strong as ever, but one has gained- at last!- the power which adds the supreme flavour to existence- the power of taking hold of experience, of turning it round, slowly, in the light."

"for what can one know even of the people one lives with every day?."

"Despairing of human relationships (people were so difficult), she often went into her garden and got from her flowers a peace which men and women never gave her."

There are so many more!
 I highly recommend this book. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Read-a-thon announcement

Hey everyone!

It's almost time for another British read-a-thon!
Right now I am planning on doing a read-a-thon the week of August 21st-28th. 
This is the week after my kids go back to school so I figured it would be a good week to gift myself with permission to read as much as possible!
As a reminder for the British read-a-thon I read books that are written by or about British authors/ people and/or take place in the U.K.
I have already started mentally preparing my To Be Read list. 
I hope that some of you will decided to join in!
I will post again a few days before the read-a-thon begins to let you know what my TBR list is going to be and maybe come up with some fun challenges for anyone wanting to join in!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Queen's College Library

We visited Queen's College Library while in Oxford and it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. 
To read all about it go here.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Let's Talk About: Secrets of Chatsworth

After visiting Chatsworth in England I watched the documentary Secrets of Chatsworth on Netflix. 
I found it to be so interesting. 
I tried to look it up on there again and it looks like they have taken it off but you can watch it on YouTube. 
I highly recommend checking it out!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Giveaway Announcement

It is July 1st and I promised I would announce the winner of my blog birthday giveaway today!

I had Madeline help me with picking the name out of a bowl. 
And the winner for the birthday giveaway is.....

Marcia (The Kings)

Congratulations! I will get the package to you soon!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle is beautiful. 
If you are a fan of Downton Abbey, I am sure it is on your bucket list should you ever find yourself in England. 
So of course when I was there we had to visit it. 

Highclere Castle was designed by Sir Charles Barry in 1842. He also designed the Houses of Parliament in London and you can see the similar styles. 
You have to get tickets from their website and they offer limited tours throughout the year. Sometimes they do special parties and events and other times it is just a time that you are allowed to come tour. You can tour just the house and gardens, just the gardens, or also add on the Egyptian Exhibit. 

When you tour the house you get to see the Library which was absolutely beautiful. It was a dream come true to walk through that library. 
You also tour the Music Room, the Drawing Room, The Saloon, The Dining Room and you walk around looking into the bedrooms as well. 

The gardens are extensive and you could spend hours on them alone. 

In the Egyptian Exhibition you get to learn a lot about the 5th Earl of Carnarvon and his discoveries. He, along with his partner Howard Carter, discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun in 1922. It was extremely interesting to see this exhibit. 

You can eat in the house as well and they have a little gift shop around back. 
I was a little disappointed in the gift shop as their collection of Downton Abbey themed items was very small. But they still had a lot of beautiful items and I was able to get some Highclere specific things. 

It was a wonderful experience and I highly recommend a visit to Highclere!
To read more about our visit go here.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Canterbury Cathedral

This is a great video on the history of Canterbury Cathedral....

To read about my visit to this Cathedral go here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Jane Austen's Home

"...each of them was busy in arranging their particular concerns and endeavoring, by placing them around them their books and other possessions, to form themselves a home."

Jane Austen lived in this home in Chawton, England with her mother and her sister Cassandra from 1809 until 1817. 
It was in this home that she wrote Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion as well as another novel that she never finished because of her illness. 
She revised Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Northanger Abbey here as they had yet to be published. 
She left her home in Chawton to go to Winchester before her death. 
Cassandra and her mother lived here for the rest of their lives. 

When Cassandra died in 1845, the cottage was split into three dwellings for the labourers that worked there and remained this way until 1947 when it was put up for sale. 
Mr. T.E. Carpenter bought the house and turned it into a museum dedicated to Jane Austen. 

To read about our visit to Jane Austen's home go here. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Update on the giveaway

If you read my other blog you will know that I just announced we are buying a house. 
So we are moving some time in the next two weeks and my time has been crazy!
So I haven't had time to go back through the comment and pick a winner for the birthday giveaway. 
I have decided to extend the giveaway. 
It will now be through the end of June and I will announce the winner on July 1st instead. 
That will give any of you that want to enter a little more time to comment and I will be able to really focus on it by then!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Winchester, England

We visited the Winchester Cathedral and the Great Hall in Winchester, England. 
To see more of the cathedral watch this video on the Cathedral's website HERE.

To read more about our time in Winchester go here.


 We have all heard of Stonehenge. 
It is one of those places that pop up all of the time. We see pictures of it. We hear the myths and theories about what it is. 
But I never thought I would actually go there. 

Stonehenge is in Wiltshire, England very close to Amesbury. 
It is believed to have been built from 3000 to 2000 BC. 
While I don't think anyone knows for sure the exact reason for Stonehenge, many believe it could have been an ancient burial ground. In 2013 Mike Pearson led a group of archaeologists in excavating upwards of 50,000 cremated bones of approximately 63 people buried at Stonehenge.  These had been moved in 1920 when William Hawley found them and re-interred them into one hole as he considered the discovery unimportant. 

The five central trilithons (a structure consisting of two large vertical stones supporting a third stone set horizontally across the top), the heel stone, and the embanked avenue are aligned to the sunset of the winter solstice and the sunrise of the summer solstice. 
There are theories of it being simply a place to tell the time of year, that it was a place of healing, that it was a place to celebrate deceased ancestors, and even that a giant helped Merlin to build Stonehenge.

(the heelstone)

The Heel Stone is a large stone set apart from the main stone circle. 
There is a folk tale attributed to Geoffrey of Monmouth about the heel stone: 

"The Devil bought the stones from a woman in Ireland, wrapped them up, and brought them to Salisbury plain. One of the stones fell into the Avon, the rest were carried to the plain. The Devil then cried out, 'No one will ever find out how these stones came here!' A friar replied, 'That's what you think!', whereupon the Devil threw one of the stones at him and struck him on the heel. The stone stuck in the ground and is still there."

Whatever the reason for Stonehenge, there is a very distinct, quiet feeling there. 
You know that whatever it was built and used for anciently, those that built it did something incredible. The stones are huge and it is crazy to think about what it would have taken to create it. 

In 1977 it was roped off to no longer let visitors walk throughout and touch the stones but you can still get into the stones and off the pathway through special tours and solstice celebrations. 
I highly recommend a visit to Stonehenge if you are ever in England. 

See more pictures of our visit on Gingham Owl here.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bath, England

To read about the rest of our time in Bath and our hotel check out the Gingham Owl post here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Roman Baths and Sally Lunn's

To read all about our trip to the Roman Baths in Bath, England 
and our visit to Sally Lunn's to try the famous Sally Lunn bun, 
go here. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey was the first European Cathedral that my mom and I visited and it blew us away with its size and beauty. 

The location of the Abbey has been the site of Christian worship for over a thousand years. 
It was first a monastery from 757AD until it was destroyed by Norman conquerors who then built a Norman cathedral in 1090. By the late 15th century this cathedral was in ruins and the present Abbey was built beginning in 1499 after the Bishop, Oliver King said that he had a dream where angels descended from and and ascended to heaven inspiring him to build the new Abbey church. 
It would be the last great medieval cathedral to be built in England. 

The first King of England, King Edgar was crowned on this site in 973. 

In 1539, the dissolution of the monasteries by orer of King Henry the 8th led to the Abbey being in ruins for over 70 years. On January 27, 1539 Prior Holloway and 18 monks surrendered the Priory to the officials sent from the King and signed the Deed of Dissolution. The Abbey, other buildings, and the land were then sold. 

In 1560, Edmund Colthurst asked the City Corporation to consider using the Abbey as a parish church. It was still in ruins with walls fallen in and no roof on the nave. In 1574 Queen Elizabeth the first granted them permission to fundraise for the Abbey. 
The restoration was completed in 1611. It then began to be used as a parish church. 

Through the years improvements were made, things were added and changed.

The Bath Blitz occured on April 25-27th in 1942. 400 people were killed in the city and 872 wounded. The Great East window and all of the Abbey's north side windows were blown out. 
In 1948 they began to raise money to repair the damage. It took many years to raise the funds and complete.

You can feel all of this history as you walk around the Abbey and there are so many more stories and history to learn when you visit. 
Check out their website here.
And check out the post on Gingham Owl about our visit to Bath Abbey here

Hotel Hilton Paddington and Paddington Station

I was planning on writing about my trip through the UK on this blog.. but since I am writing the whole thing on my personal blog I didn't think I would want to copy it word for word over here. 
So, to see my post about our stay at the Paddington Hotel Hilton and Paddington Station go check it out by following the link below: 


I will link all the UK related posts here as I post them over there. 
If you are a Scones and Crackers reader and comment over on Gingham Owl, let me know below and I will add two entries into the S&C birthday giveaway!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Let's talk about: Becoming Jane

I just watched Becoming Jane starring Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen and James McAvoy as Tom Lefroy.
Having recently read a biography about Jane, I felt like I knew a little more about what was being depicted in the film. I noticed where they embellished or changed things from the general opinion of how they actually were. But I still felt like they did a good job. 
The problem is, I don't know that much about Jane Austen. 
Even after reading the biography, I feel like I have so much more research to do to really know her. 
I think we get a good feel for her humor and interests through her books and letters but it is hard to really make a movie about a love story that no one really knows that much about. 
We know that he spoke of having loved Jane Austen when he was older. 
But as far as I can tell, most of the movie's interactions between the two are fiction. 
Having said that, I still really enjoyed the film. 
I am already a fan of both of these leading actors and I felt like they brought a lot to their characters. 
Anne fit the idea of Jane that I have in my head. Maybe not as much in looks as in spirit and fire.

And James... well James McAvoy can pretty much charm me in every movie he is in. 
But even more so when he is in period clothing and dancing. 

This movie makes you really wish that they had ended up together which then opens up all sorts of discussion questions. 
Such as: Do you think if Jane had married and had children and lived the "normal" life of a woman of that time period that she would have written the novels that she did?
How would that kind of life have affected her? 
Would we even know who she is?
I would like to think that she could have been a happily married wife and mother and still given the world her books, but that is something we will never know. 

If you are looking for a good period romance, I think you will really enjoy this movie. 

Here is the original trailer: 

Friday, May 6, 2016

I'm back! And Happy birthday Scones and Crackers!

We are back from our three week adventure in Europe, most of that time spent in England. 
I am so excited to share some of our adventures with you here on Scones and Crackers. 
We had an amazing time. 
England was just as beautiful as I imagined, and even more so. 

While I was away my little blog hit a milestone. 
My first blog post was April 12, 2015.

I can't believe this blog is over one year old now. 
I wanted to celebrate its birthday but since I was away, it had to wait until now. 
I have some English goodies to send out to one of you. 
I am going to extend this giveaway through the month of May. 
For every comment made today through May 31st you will get one entry. 
(This counts for past posts too as long as the comment is written from today onward!)
On June 1st I will announce the winner!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Let's talk about: Northanger Abbey

I have to admit something. 
I have never read Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. 
And until recently I had never seen a movie adaptation of it either. 
When I saw the cover of this adaptation at the library I had to pick it up and watch it. Mainly because of the cast: Felicity Jones, Carey Mulligan, and JJ Feild. 

It wasn't my favorite Austen but I really liked it and watching this made me want to read it soon. 
I think the cast was so good, as expected. 
JJ Feild and Felicity Jones made this film. 

The sass that was JJ Feild as Henry Tilney was so fabulous that he made me giggle quite often. 
I just loved everything about him.

And Felicity Jones did a great job as the innocent, curious, and bookish Catherine Morland. 

I loved the glimpses into her imagination and definitely related to the idea of a book being so exciting you are always thinking about it. 

Overall I really enjoyed this movie and will watch it again!

Here is the trailer...

Friday, April 8, 2016

Let's talk about: Jane Austen, A Life by Claire Tomalin

Oh boy. I hate giving bad reviews but I can't give a completely good one for this book. 
While I think Claire Tomalin can be a good writer and she definitely did a ton of research, there is just not enough Jane in this book. 
I assume after reading this that we don't know too much about Jane. We don't even really know what she looks like as there are so many different descriptions of her and this one picture drawn by her sister was apparently not accurate, and yet we use it to depict her. 
The book was pretty long and most of the info in it was about Jane's relatives or neighbors. 
While it did have some very interesting information in it, I just found it slightly tedious and I really feel like it could have been half as long and there were a lot of things that could have been left out, especially speculation. 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Let's talk about: Lady Catherine, The Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey by The Countess of Carnarvon

I recently picked up the second book about Highclere Castle's history written by the current Lady Carnarvon.  This book follows the life of Lady Catherine, the 6th Countess of Carnarvon. 
Catherine was American and moved to England with her mother and siblings after the death of her father. There she eventually met and married Lord Porchester ("Porchy"), the son of Lady Almina (from the last book). 
I found this book to be so interesting. Lady Catherine has a really cool background with ties to the Lee family of Virginia among others. I loved reading about her family and where they came from. 
The crazy thing about this book was how I felt about her husband. 
I gather that he was a charming man but I disliked him very much. Maybe he wasn't that different from other men of the time and station based on some of the other stories but I didn't think he was nearly good enough for Lady Catherine, whom I loved. I really liked both of his parents and his sister so that made me a bit disappointed. 
But, the great things about this book were plenty. Lady Catherine herself was great and I really liked their children as well. I loved all of the history given in the book. Just like with the first book, I learned things I didn't know and I felt a lot of it come alive through "knowing" the people involved. 
It was a great read. I can't wait to visit Highclere Castle next weekend. 
These books have brought the castle alive to me in so many more ways than it's being Downton Abbey. Now I want to visit it for Downton Abbey's sake but also it's own.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Let's talk about: Pride and Prejudice.... again

After watching the longer 1995 version I decided to watch the shorter 2005 version again as well. 
In just a very short time I will be visiting a few of the places from this film (Chatsworth house, Stanadge Edge, etc) and really was in the mood to see it again. 
It seems to me that most Pride and Prejudice lovers have very strong opinions about the respective adaptations. They seem to love one of the versions and hate the other. 
I do not feel that way. 
I take the unpopular opinion of liking both equally but in different ways. 
I will always love Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy the most. 
And I will always love the fact that the longer version allows for more exploration of the novel. 
But here are some of the things I like more about the 2005 version. 

Lizzie's sass!
She is fantastic in the older version as well but I actually really like Keira Knightly as Lizzie and there are so many "Oh Snap!" moments in this film. 

I think the Jane in the older version is good but she is not what I pictured while reading the book.
Rosamund Pike however, made my perfect Jane. 
She is stunningly beautiful and embodies Jane's modesty and calm manner very well. 

I think this version does a really good job of portraying the familial bond between the family. They feel like a real family to me. They seem close even when they annoy each other and when they are being crazy. 

I especially noticed this in the relationships between Lizzie and Jane, the mom and dad, and Lizzie and her dad. 
I love the scene when Lizzie is telling her father what Darcy has done and he realizes how much she really loves Darcy. I think Donald Sutherland captures the emotion perfectly to show how we feel when our children are truly happy. They really let us see how close these two are.

The cinematography and music. 
They do this so right in this movie. 
The scenes are beautiful.  This movie is beautiful.

and lastly, I love that when I am in the mood for some Lizzie and Darcy I can choose to either take a whole day or weekend to watch the longer one but can also take just one evening to watch this one. 

What about you? 
Do you have a favorite? 

Here is the trailer for this adaptation: