Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, February 9, 2020

The Sunday Salon and Snowbound with the Oscars

If the weather wasn't already crazy the past few weeks,  I would have said it was after a 70 degree day, a day of torrential rain that caused massive flooding, and then two days later a real winter snowfall in which I wish I had my Connecticut snow shovel!

It's been a great week to enjoy a good book. First on the front porch in the beautiful warm weather, and then the last half of the week inside and housebound. This is my second winter in South Carolina and I've had some great snow days! And today I've discovered a coveted Southern food called Snow cream! Have you ever heard of it or had it?? Here is the recipe...

8 cups snow, 1 cup milk, 1/3 cup sugar and teaspoon vanilla. Mix well and enjoy!!

Some of my snowbound reading has been Oscar related. I started reading I Heard You Paint Housed by Charles Brandt, which my husband already had on his Kindle. The Irishman is based on this book. I'm always interested in the books that movies are based on if there is one. I like to read the book first if at all possible. First, to read the story as the author has written it, and secondly because I like to imagine my own characters in my head and not necessarily the actors that play the parts. 

Here are a few of the Oscar 2020 contenders that started as books...

The movie is The Irishman, The book is: I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt...  "I heard you paint houses" are the first words Jimmy Hoffa ever spoke to Frank "the Irishman" Sheeran. To paint a house is to kill a man. The paint is the blood that splatters on the walls and floors. In the course of nearly five years of recorded interviews, Frank Sheeran confessed to Charles Brandt that he handled more than twenty-five hits for the mob, and for his friend Hoffa. Sheeran learned to kill in the U.S. Army, where he saw an astonishing 411 days of active combat duty in Italy during World War II. After returning home he became a hustler and hit man, working for legendary crime boss Russell Bufalino. Eventually Sheeran would rise to a position of such prominence that in a RICO suit the US government would name him as one of only two non-Italians in conspiracy with the Commission of La Cosa Nostra, alongside the likes of Anthony "Tony Pro" Provenzano and Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno. When Bufalino ordered Sheeran to kill Hoffa, the Irishman did the deed, knowing that if he had refused he would have been killed himself. Charles Brandt's page-turner has become a true crime classic.

I thought the movie was really good, although a bit long. It is a Martin Scorsese movie, which automatically means LONG, but I wasn't falling asleep because of it either. Although I think 1917 will win the Oscar for the best film this year, I really think that the Irishman (and Parasite, which I absolutely loved and thought was the best film) didn't get much Oscar love for best film. I'm enjoying the book. It's well written. I would recommend it for people who enjoy true crime novels. Originally published by Steerforth in 2004.

The movie is JoJo Rabbit, the book is: Caging Skies by Chistine Leumens... An extraordinary, strikingly original novel that reveals a world of truth and lies both personal and political, Caging Skies is told through the eyes of Johannes Betzler, avid member of the Hitler Youth during World War II. Filled with admiration for the F├╝hrer and Nazi ideals, he is shocked to discover his parents are hiding a Jewish girl named Elsa behind a false wall in their home in Vienna. After he’s disfigured in a raid, Johannes focuses more and more on his connection with the girl behind the wall. His initial horror and revulsion turn to interest—and then obsession. After his parents disappear, Johannes is the only one aware of Elsa’s existence in the house, and he alone is responsible for her fate. Drawing strength from his daydreams about Hitler, Johannes plans for the end of the war and what it might mean for him and Elsa.
I had absolutely no interest in seeing the movie Jojo Rabbit until I read about the book it was based on. From the trailers of the movie, it looked like a farse on Hitler and the Hitler youth, which I really don't think is a very funny subject. BUT, when I read about the book and how it was about a couple hiding a Jewish girl, while living under the pretense of being "loyal" citizens, it brought a whole new perspective to the movie for me. This book is on my wish list. Published by Overlook Press, an imprint of Abrams in 2019.

The movie is Ford V. Ferrari, the book is: Go Like Hell by A.J. Baime... The epic story also told in the film FORD V. FERRARI: By the early 1960s, the Ford Motor Company, built to bring automobile transportation to the masses, was falling behind. Young Henry Ford II, who had taken the reins of his grandfather’s company with little business experience to speak of, knew he had to do something to shake things up. Baby boomers were taking to the road in droves, looking for speed not safety, style not comfort. Meanwhile, Enzo Ferrari, whose cars epitomized style, lorded it over the European racing scene. He crafted beautiful sports cars, "science fiction on wheels," but was also called "the Assassin" because so many drivers perished while racing them.
Go Like Hell tells the remarkable story of how Henry Ford II, with the help of a young visionary named Lee Iacocca and a former racing champion turned engineer, Carroll Shelby, concocted a scheme to reinvent the Ford company. They would enter the high-stakes world of European car racing, where an adventurous few threw safety and sanity to the wind. They would design, build, and race a car that could beat Ferrari at his own game at the most prestigious and brutal race in the world, something no American car had ever done.

When I was very young, my parents took me to see Le Mans in the movies. Actually they didn't take me to see it as much as taking me along so they could see it, since they didn't believe in leaving me with a baby sitter. I vaguely rememeber the excitement of the cars racing around the streets. But that excitement and this book is what the movie Ford v Ferrari is based on and sounds so interesting. On my wishlist. Published by Mariner in 2010.

No Oscar knods for this movie, but the movie is The Good Liar and the book is: The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle... When Roy meets a wealthy widow online, he can hardly believe his luck. Just like Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley, Roy is a man who lives to deceive—and everything about Betty suggests she’s an easy mark. He’s confident that his scheme to swindle her will be a success. After all, he’s done this before. Sure enough, Betty soon lets Roy move into her beautiful home, seemingly blind to the web of lies he’s woven around her. But who is Roy, really? Spanning almost a century, this stunning and suspenseful feat of storytelling interweaves the present with the past. As the clock turns back and the years fall away, long-hidden secrets are forced into the light. Some things can never be forgotten. Or forgiven.

One of the movies I recently got to see was The Good Liar starring Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen. The trailer just piqued my interest and I had to see it. I can't believe it did not get one Oscar nomination! It was a really good movie! The cat and mouse game between Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen was just so well done, and both actors did a great job. And even though I was guessing through out the movie what the catch was, because there just had to be a little something else besides Ian McKellen fleecing Helen Mirren out of all her money, I could never have guessed the twist at the end. I definitely want to read the book, even though I think I would have enjoyed reading the twist ending more if I hadn't seen the movie. The Good Liar is on my wish list. Published by Harper originally in 2016.

Do You Like to Read the Book Before You See the Movie?

The movie, It's a beautiful Day in the Neighborhood starring Tom Hanks is based on an Esquire Article...

The Joker was based on the graphic novel, Batman: The Killing Joke written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Brian Bolland. I read this and really enjoyed it. The movie changed a few key things, but I still think the movie worked really well to show the human side of The Joker. Here is the link to my review of Batman: The Killing Joke.

Watching the Oscars tonight? I'm not really a TV kind of girl, but I do love movies and since I've seen quite a few of these Oscar nominees, I'm going to watch to see who wins and root my favorites on! 

Week in Review...
Memoir Monday highlighted a memoir written by our new United Stated poet Laureate, Joy Harjo called Crazy Brave. Written back in 2012, she shares her beginnings and how she blossomed into a poet. 

First Lines Friday highlighted a bit of time traveling fiction called Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore

Well that about does it for this week. The snow is melting now, but it's still good reading in front of the fire weather. That's what I'll be doing today. What are your plans? What good books are you reading now?! Share them right here so we can all read them!

Happy reading... Suzanne


Kerry said...

...Or A TV series. Every time I watch Inspector Lynley (UK series) I think "you're supposed to be blond!"

Kerry said...

...Or A TV series. Every time I watch Inspector Lynley (UK series) I think "you're supposed to be blond!"

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I recently saw Two Popes and I'd give a big thumbs up to it. It's not based on a book, though. Sadly.

I'll never forget reading the Esquire article that the Mister Rogers movie is based upon. I was completely taken with Mister Rogers as a human being. He appeared to be so good that it was almost unbelievable. I hope Tom Hanks wins a little something tonight.

Thanks for sharing the origins of many of the nominated movies. Fascinating information.

pussreboots said...

I have made snow cream --- Christmas break of 1992. It was a rare snow storm in the southern California mountains. Usually the snow starts in January. My weekly update

shelleyrae @ book'd out said...

Our weather has been similarly insane.
I’ve been watching an older tv series called Vicious starring Ian McKellan, it’s hilarious.
I don’t actually watch a lot of movies, I generally prefer tv shows.

Wishing you a great reading week

Jinjer said...

Thanks for telling us what Jo Jo Rabbit is about. I was clueless and the clips I've seen just look weird. LOL I will see it as soon as it comes to a streaming service near me. Ha ha.

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