11th December 2017 by - No comments

I find life far too serious at times. Especially around this time of the year when we are so busy trying to get everything done. I find myself thinking far too much about things that are really out of my control.

The best way to let all those negative thoughts go and to just sit back and enjoy the ride is to read a good book that makes you laugh, think and appreciate life! After all laughter is the best medicine for anything in life. Laughter, love and understanding. Sometimes even when the subject matter of books is serious, a little laughter here and there can make it all bearable.

You can always count of Sophie Kinsella to make you laugh out loud, and ever since reading the Shopaholic series of books, I have been a mega fan of her books!

The Book –

Audrey can’t leave the house. She can’t even take off her dark glasses inside the house.

Then her brother’s friend Linus stumbles into her life. With his friendly orange-slice smile, and his funny notes, he starts to entice Audrey out again – well, Starbucks is a start. And with Linus at her side, Audrey feels like she can do things she’d thought were too scary.

Suddenly, finding her way back to the real world seems achievable.

Be prepared to laugh, dream and hope with Audrey as she learns that even when you think you have lost yourself, love can still find you . . .

Verdict –

Now, this book is a little different from Sophie Kinsella’s normal novels, but different in a good and enlightening sort of way. It is not just about the fun things in life, but about a family who have issues and problems, which can be overcome.

It is a book aimed towards the ‘Young Adult’ market, so teenagers and above. The storyline touches all realms of subject matters in the subtle lovely way only a fantastic author like Sophie Kinsella could do – bullying, mental health. I am not a teenager but enjoyed it very much.

Audrey is such a lovable character, although she has problems, the story takes us through how things can change and we watch her blossom. She suffers from Social Anxiety Disorder, has been bullied, which has driven her to stay at home all the time. But with the help of Linus she learns to break free.

I think this book would be a perfect gift for those with teenage girls or preteen daughters. It is a wonderful story of getting better.

Available on Amazon uk and in all bookstores Nationwide. Find out more on Sophie Kinsella’s lovely website –

www.sophiekinsella.com

4th December 2017 by - No comments

As the nights grow longer and the weather grows colder, there is nothing I enjoy more than snuggling on the sofa with a cosy blanket to watch the latest period drama mini series on the television.

I don’t know what it is I love most about period dramas, but for me they are just pure indulgent pleasure. They take me back to an era where there was no technology; no televisions, iPads and wifi. To a time where great big homes were filled with the sounds of piano music and chatter.

I love seeing the costumes, the ladies dressed in there long petticoated dresses, the gentlemen dressed as smartly as all gentlemen of that era should be, in top hats and formal wear.

Downton Abbey has always been a favourite of mine. The grand home filled with traditional customs and formalities. The amazing costumes and the storylines are always so entertaining, you are at the edge of your seat waiting to see whatever happens next.

Howard End –

The current favourite period drama is Howards End, a dramatisation of the famous book by E.M. Forester. A story about how different classes can become intertwined in love, lies and death. The rich Wilcoxes, the gentle Schlegels, and the lower middle class Basts.

It is wonderful to see how stories are weaved together and how the characters are formed by very famous authors to form an unforgettable story which works wonderfully on the pages of a book, and is just as attractive on the television screen.

Howards End is frequently said to be E. M. Forester’s finest work. I have not seen the previous dramatisations of the book, but this one is very good.

Matthew Macfadyen, who you may remember from the series Spooks, makes a fine Mr. Wilcox, extremely manly and head of his family. After the death of his beloved wife, he falls for the beautiful and very fair Miss Schlegel.

I love movies of course, but there is such a fun anticipation in awaiting these mini dramas.

Howard End ended with its final episode yesterday on BBC1. It was a four part drama, each episode took us through the lives of these three families whose stories intertwined as one.

If you have missed it I strongly recommend watching it soon, maybe get it on catch up tv, or on iTunes, and devour it all in one sitting with a big steaming cup of hot chocolate.

27th November 2017 by - No comments

I have always enjoyed a good murder mystery, be it a movie or a book I cannot put down until the very end, when we find out who did it.

Agatha Christie’s unforgettable detectives Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot have been a part of my life since I was about ten. I remember how exciting it was sitting in our cosy family home living room, the fire buring and us all eagerly anticipating the notoriously intelligent Hercule Poirot to solve the murder mystery.

So when I saw one of my favourite Agatha Christie novels was coming back to the big screen remade with a whole cast of wonderful actors, I could not wait to see it.

The Movie –

A lavish trip through Europe quickly unfolds into a race against time to solve a murder aboard a train.

When an avalanche stops the Orient Express dead in its tracks, the world’s greatest detective — Hercule Poirot — arrives to interrogate all passengers and search for clues before the killer can strike again.

Verdict –

The first thing I must ask is, have you been lucky enough to see the original version of this movie?

The one starring Albert Finney as the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.

Well if you haven’t I believe you will find this version quite pleasing as naturally you will have nothing to compare it to, and you will not know anything about the twists and turns in the storyline.

But, if you have seen the original, I think you might be slightly disappointed. Sadly even with special effects and the high tech filming stamdards of today, the original wins hands down for me.

It is still definately watchable and entertaining though. The cast is a strong one, with Dame Judy Dench and Johnny Depp making memorable appearances. Kenneth Branagh’s Poirot however takes a little more time to get used to.

In one word I found him a bit ‘annoying,’ although he was clever and witty, as Ms. Christie wanted him to be, he is also too overly clever, making others upset along the way.

So all in all a movie that can entertain as the story is of the best quality, in a style only Agatha Christie can write. But if you have seen the original wait, and watch it on dvd.