Saturday, April 28, 2012

Stop 1: Book. Stop 2: Movie. (or vice versa)

I have a wee obsession.

Okay, yes, fine, i have several wee obsessions – ranging from my inappropriate use of exclamation marks at the end of everything, taking photos of clouds in the sky, the Beckhams and their perfect life, and the use of the very Americanised ‘O.M.G’ and ‘Shut up’ at the beginning of a lot of my sentences!!! -  but let’s just take a look at the one that’s really relevant to this post: My obsession with book to movie conversions!

I LOVE THEM! Yes, yes, blah, blah… some do nothing but rape and pillage what was a frecken awesome book (‘My Sister’s Keeper’ anyone??). So to avoid this, my personal preference is to see the movie first, then move on to the book. Not always possible, but oh so preferable. ‘Why?’ you ask. Well, you probably won’t be disappointed that way. You see, when you read a book… the stage is fully yours… you create your reality of the story in your own head. Whereas with a movie, its someone else’s reality. And mostly, we believe that our reality is the right one… so the movie will probably suck for you.  

So, where is all this coming from… ?? Why, my reading and DVD choices these past few weeks of course! (Side note: As i’m writing this, i’m watching The Notebook, which i adore… did you know that Ryan Gosling wore brown contacts to play the part??)

My very loyal followers (so that’s my mom, sis and a small handful of mates that feel like they have to read this in case i ask them about it!) would have noticed that i haven’t blogged for quite a few weeks. That’s because instead of hanging with you dudes, i headed to Melbourne to help a friend with some filming (oh, yes, my life is just glamour, glamour, glamour!) and it was just kind of crazy after that. So, on Monday night after work and doing some much needed grocery shopping, i flopped onto the couch and popped on ‘Something borrowed’ expecting nothing much at all. Well, well, well… how surprised was i – i thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, i loved it.

It’s the story of Rachel (played by Ginnifer Goodwin – with awesome bangs!), a young attorney living and working in Manhattan. Rachel has always been the consummate good girl---until her thirtieth birthday, when her best friend, Darcy (played by Kate Hudson – in all her blonde gorgeousness!), throws her a party. That night, after too many drinks, Rachel ends up in bed with Darcy's fiancé (the very delicious Colin Egglesfield – not hard to see why they all wanted to marry him!). Although she wakes up determined to put the one-night fling behind her, Rachel is horrified to discover that she has genuine feelings for the one guy she should run from. As the September wedding date nears, Rachel knows she has to make a choice. In doing so, she discovers that the lines between right and wrong can be blurry, endings aren't always neat, and sometimes you have to risk all to win true happiness. Mention does have to be made here of the other great characters too, especially John Krasinski who has some fantastic one liners. And the 'No, I didn't pull my vagina! I just pulled... near my vagina.' scene is classic! 

No surprises though, as with most of my movie favs, it’s been panned for all the reasons i loved it from here to New York review wise – which btw is where the book is based and looks fabbo. Quite typical... my love of escapism, light hearted trash that gives me über warm fuzzies mostly means that my movie choices are more likely to get nominated for Razzies rather than Oscars! Oh, to be an intellectual… not! Seems sooo boring and intense. So, of course, onto Book Depository i jumped and ordered the book (plus the second book ‘Something Blue’... they had a 10% off on all books!). Now i just have to wait and see if it will live up to the hype in my head. Will keep you posted. (I checked out Emily Giffin’s website... i kind of feel like she might be living my life... sigh!)

Which brings me to the book i’ve just finished… ‘OneDay’ by David Nicholls. For some obscure reason – ‘cause i’m yet to see the movie – i had an overwhelming need to read it and had to literally get into the car and drive to Whitcoulls right there and then rather than order it from my usual channels (online or library).

‘I can imagine you at forty,’ she said, a hint of malice in her voice. ‘I can picture it right now.’
He smiled without opening his eyes. ‘Go on then.’

15th July 1988. Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways.
So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that? And every year which follows?

And that is what makes this book so amazing. It’s written to span across about 20 years but each chapter covers only one day  - 15 July - the day they met! That is so, so, so super ingenious and clever, i can just about wet my pants in envy! And then, on pg 385… holy f*ckburgers… well, you’ll need to read it yourself to see what happens. I’ll just say i did NOT expect that. So, now i’ve got to see the movie… and I’m scared… ‘cause reliving that part reminds me why i read escapism trash with vampires rather than real stuff from real life. (Reviews are scathings though... so might not be so bad!) 

Ah, and it was library day this week… really i just go there, pick up some random and big glossy picture books for me and the man, come home and flip through them for the next 6 weeks. Heavenly! Love the library. It's one of my happy places. 

v  Images of war : World War One : a photographic record of New Zealanders at war 1914-1918 / Glyn Harper and Queen Elizabeth II Army Memorial Museum.

v  Legendary sites of the ancient world : an illustrated guide to over 80 major archaeological discoveries, with expert commentary and more than 350 photographs and maps / Paul Bahn.

v  Eyewitness to history : from ancient times to the modern era / Stephen G. Hyslop, Bob Somerville and John Thompson ; foreword by James Reston, Jr.

v  Modern vintage style / Emily Chalmers ; words by Ali Hanan ; photography by Debi Treloar.

v  Hunting for a hobby / Trevor Paul Bentley.

v  The fashion file : advice, tips, and inspiration from the costume designer of Mad men / Janie Bryant with Monica Corcoran Harel ; foreword by January Jones ; illustrations by Robert Best

v  New York : flying high / [photograhs, Michael Yamashita ; text, Elizabeth Bibb].

v  The blood type diet cookbook / Karen Vago & Lucy Degrémont.

v  Maximise your health with the blood type diet : a revolutionary plan to achieve optimum wellness / James L. D'Adamo ; with Allan Richards.

v  The story of forgetting : a novel / Stefan Merrill Block.

v  Noble purpose : igniting extraordinary passion for life and work / Barry Heermann.

v  A space of my own : inspirational ideas for home offices, craft rooms, and studies / Caroline Clifton-Mogg.

v  Moments : the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs : a visual chronicle of our time / Hal Buell ; foreword by David Halberstam.

v  A matter of style : intimate portraits of 10 women who changed fashion / [text by Paola Saltari ; preface by Anna Molinari ; text translation by Alan Goldwater].

Ok, that's me out...

Kiss kiss love love


Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter eggs and Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver Trilogy

Ah, Easter! One of my favourite times of year where it’s not only encouraged, but completely expected that you eat non-stop chocolate until you vomit… or at least feel overwhelmingly nauseous! And if you don’t… well, then, you’re simply not doing it right and need to try harder.

(Totally unrelated note – as i write this, the man is completely absorbed watching The Masters (i know, that’s a whole other blog!). It’s got incredibly dramatic theme music… every time i hear it; i think it’s the opening bars of the latest big James Cameron blockbuster! It’s so USA! USA! USA!).

And, swiftly-moving-on…

Even more reason to love Easter is that there’s not one, but TWO public holidays nicely bookended with a weekend in between to honour this most wonderful of wonderful chocolate eating celebrations. Of course, me and the man didn’t have to be asked twice before we raced up to the in-laws ‘cute-as-a-button’ bach in sleepy Northland for the weekend. So it was here, in Mangonui, ensconced in my idea of nirvana, surrounded by chocolate bunnies, cups of tea, freshly battered fish, chilled wine, hot cakes and even more chocolate bunnies that i finished the last book in Maggie Stiefvater’s stunning ‘Shiver Trilogy’.

Once upon a time, i never read a book more than once. And i also never paid for books either. Now, i treasure my growing library and with my penchant for Trilogies, Fourlogies, Fivelogies and Sevenlogies, i often have to reread books to remember the finer details before i can launch into the new stuff. But luckily, with writers like Maggie Stiefvater, it’s nothing but a pleasure to re-read lines that are so heart stoppinly beautiful and lyrically exquisite that you could read them again and again and again…

Take this paragraph….

‘…Then i picked my book up again and stroked her hair and read to the soundtrack of her breaths. The weight of her pinned my fleeting thoughts to the ground, and in that moment, i was more in the world than I’d ever been.’

See? See? Pretty awesome, huh?

But i’m getting ahead of myself. You don’t even know what it’s all about and i’m expecting you to ooohhh and ahhhh. So, here we go… Shiver Trilogy 101:

'For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.'

The saga starts with Shiver, moves onto Linger and finishes off with Forever, and as if the writing and story ain’t amazeballs enough, the cover artwork for all three books is totally da’ bomb.

As i read and read and read, i had no idea where Maggie was going with it all - or even how I wanted her to go - but there were definitely parts that i held my breath through, too scared to anticipate the outcome or how brave Ms Stiefvater was going to be with her characters.

I won’t say much more, i’ll instead let you experience it all for yourself – glorious chapter by glorious chapter. But i will say this: i miss Sam, Grace, Isabel and Cole… and that to me is the mark of a totally kick arse book (and writer)… it’s when you’re genuinely sad to no longer be part of their worlds, and find yourself wishing that there were some words left to read that still made them part of yours.

Kiss kiss love love


Sunday, April 1, 2012

So, the thing is...

….i’m really inquisitive. Some may call it nosy. Or prying. I like to call it simply interested. I know, i know, i can practically hear the gasps of surprise (not!) but the truth is that i’m in various stages of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) for most of the average day.

You see, i’m petrified of one day waking up in my own version of ‘About Schmidt’ (Note to reader: If you want to depress the hell out of yourself, but still see a good movie, this one’s for you! Jack is, as always, amazing!). And sadly, I don’t think that this outcome is as rare as we’d like to believe since there’s a whole bunch of us out there that are sleep walking through their lives.

And i just don’t want to be one of them.

So i try stuff, read about stuff and talk to people about stuff that might make my life just that little bit more amazeballs or interesting than it already is. And sometimes, that just means reading some really good gossip!

So here’s my list of a few books and websites that have resonated with/amused me/delighted me/’more words along that vein’ me and become firm favourites:


‘You can heal your life’ and ‘The Power is within you’ by Louise Hay
I read ‘You can heal your life’ cover to cover, and then went in for more with ‘The Power is within you’. I simply adored them and still check in with both fairly regularly. It’s easy since they both sit permanently in the pile next to my bed.

‘Being happy’ by Andrew Matthews
So easy. So simple. And a delight to read… even on the second, sixth or tenth go.

‘The Power’ by Rhonda Byrne
I wasn’t a massive fan of The Secret and would not have bought this book for myself. But, alas, life is a funny old thing and it was instead given to me as a gift. Guess what? I loved it… for exactly that reason – it was all about the power of love, and how that gets you what you heart truly desires.

‘The Red Book’ by Sera Beak
Wow! What red hot passion for life does this girl have! I’m totally buying whatever she’s peddling ‘cause this sassy lady talks my lingo. Her ‘Red Book of Chakras’ is also very interesting.

‘The Goddess Guide’ and ‘The Goddess Experience’ by Gisele Scanlon
Oh, to have such a fancy pants name and such beautiful books against it. If i didn’t like her so damn much, I’d probably hate her. Some beautifully escapist stuff here. And the imagery – AMAZE!

‘Conversations with God’ -Book 1,2 and 3’ and ‘The little soul and the sun’ by Neale Donald Walsch
I’ve covered of how if feel about these in an earlier post but will add that, boy oh boy, these puppies get you thinking!

‘Crazy Sexy Diet’ by Kris Carr
So not what it sounds like so buckle up, baby, ‘cause i can assure you that you will never look at the things you are putting into your mouth quite the same way again.

‘Italian Joy’, ‘Paris Tango’ and ‘Chasing a dream’ by Carla Coulson
This girl just did it; she picked up her life and followed her desire. All with camera in-hand. My French Life by Vicki Archer was also photographed by Carla… STUNNING!

‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert
The hype hadn’t hit New Zealand yet, and the movie wasn’t made either when i picked up this gem in New York on my honeymoon in 2008. I was on the Sex and the City tour (oh, how i miss thee, Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte – I own all the picture books of this epic show too!), munching a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery while browsing the book store across the road (also seen in an episode with Miranda). And there it was, nestled on the table, humbly declaring itself a #1 New York Times bestseller. It soon found itself on my best seller list too. Again, it’s the sassy gals ‘just doing it’ that find a place in my heart.

‘Complete self-help for your nerves’ by Dr Claire Weekes
I’m sure most have you have worked out that i’m a bit of an over thinker. What happens with that is that you freak yourself out, but keep pushing, keep forcing while totally ignoring all the signs that your body is giving you to slow-the-f*ck-down. And then something snaps… and BOOM – its Panic Attack central. This book was the first real life raft that made me feel like there was a chance I might actually, just maybe, one day feel like myself again. For any of you out there experiencing this… know that there is hope, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t give up moving towards it. x


You’ll notice that these are A LOT more light-hearted than the reading material. They give me the simplest of life’s gifts easily – JOY! - oh where, oh where, oh where would i be without the joys of book depository! Um, free shipping… ‘nuff said. (Actually, one more thing, when i found these guys from a referral, i was so impressed that i emailed them. And I got a reply from one of the head honchos. To me, that’s impressive sh*t). – she’s an absolute bi-atch. I love her. - I love how this supports the little man to do what he loves and make a bit of $$ from it. There aren’t enough beautiful and unique things left in the world anymore thanks to ‘The Corporation’. Also quite like  – New Zealand’s own version. And  of course, because we don’t need everything new all the frecken time. - there is some cool sh*t on the world wide web… this is like the bestest place to keep it all. Yes, yes, yes – I know, big brother – it’s nigh impossible to avoid him these days. If only it wasn’t all so addictive. - more ‘cool sh*t’ sharing, I just love it all so damn much. - love this girl, also talks my lingo. - why stick with one, when you can have two – literally. - this is my dream job, right here… i want to be a cool hunter too! - more cool, so effortlessly cool it hurts my eyes.

Kiss kiss love love