Libraries

So I've rediscovered the joy of libraries; it's been over 15 years that I've stepped into one and things have changed. For one, I never knew about the online facility of putting holds on books........it's heaven! For example, many of the books I wanted to read kept on showing up as available at central storage. I didn't know what that meant in regard to getting the book, so I just got up and asked the librarian. Lo and behold I can just place a hold and it gets sent to my location. The first thing I did on learning this was place holds on TEN books. The books I've put holds on are as follows:

by L. M. Montgomery

Akin to Anne
A Tangled Web
Along the Shore 
Among the Shadows

by Louisa May Alcott

A Long Fatal Love Chase
Rose in Bloom

Lost Laysen by Margaret Mitchell
Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig
The Twelfth Enchantment by David Liss
The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie

As you can imagine, I'm thrilled. I can put holds on books I want that I haven't been able to read in years - this is making me giddy. I'm especially happy about the L. M. Montgomery's books that I haven't been able to get my hands on in Pakistan. Now that I'm surrounded by books, you can expect a surplus of reviews and posts. Well, I'm off to the library! See you later :D

Anne's House of Dreams

L. M. Montgomery's most beloved creation Anne. I can't say much that hasn't already been said. I love Anne and aspire to be like her; dream like her; love like her; live like her. She has always been one of the most powerful figures in literature for me due to her joyous nature and ever optimistic outlook on life.

Anne's House of Dreams, the fifth novel in The Anne Series, follows Anne on her journey into matrimony and the responsibilities that come with it.. After her marriage, Anne and Gilbert move to Four Winds Point where Gilbert is to take over the practice of his Uncle. Here Anne and Gilbert set up their 'house of dreams'; a place near the sea shore imbued with its mystery and charm. A new place means new 'kindred spirits' and wherever Anne goes, she is sure to attract many. The first of these is an old sailor by the name of Captain Jim.

"The old captain held out sinewy hand to Anne; they smiled at each other and were friends from that moment. Kindred spirit flashed recognition to kindred spirit."

Next we are introduced to Miss Cornelia Bryant. An inveterate man-hater who can never find anything good to say about any man. Somewhat odd (like the Mr. Harrison of previous novels) she is definitely a kindred spirit - or of the race that know Joseph as she calls it. Anne and her new home have begun to grow into a new and dear family.

What about a romance? Well, to start you off, here is one of Montgomery's flawless descriptions which hints at romance to come....

"The girl of the golden hair and sea-blue eyes was sitting on a boulder of the headland, half-hidden by a jutting rock ....... She was bareheaded, and her splendid hair, more than ever like Browning's "gorgeous snake," was bound about her head with a crimson ribbon. She wore a dress of some dark material, very plainly made; but swathed about her waist, outlining its fine curves, was a vivid girdle of red silk. Her hands, clasped over her knee, were brown and somewhat work-hardened; but the skin of her throat and cheeks was as white as cream. A flying gleam of sunset broke through a low-lying western cloud and fell across her hair. For a moment she seemed the spirit of the sea personified -- all its mystery, all its passion, all its elusive charm."

I love quoting Montgomery. Love it.

The novel has its fair share of romance, happy moments, tragedy and laughter. Be ready to shed a few tears and have a few laughs. Pick up a cup of steaming cocoa, wrap yourself in a warm blanket, and open up Anne's House of Dreams. Enjoy.

Footsteps in the Dark

I really enjoyed this book. It was somewhat long, didn't have as much romance as I would have liked and was slow in developing; but despite all this, I enjoyed reading it. Maybe it's because I'm incurably addicted to Heyer and unconditionally love all her books. Or maybe it's because I have started reading after a year and a mystery was just what I needed! Whatever the reason, I finished the book and started another all in the course of one day and find that I have to say something about it.

Margaret, Peter, and Celia come to the Priory: a house they have inherited from a relative. The sisters are captivated by its charming, old-world look and convince Peter, their brother, and Charles, Celia's husband, to stay. It is only later that they discover that the house is supposed to be haunted by a mysterious Monk who randomly appears and scares away any tenants. The story is so popular that no one dares to go near the place and consequently it has remained deserted.

The mystery increases when members of the family begin seeing the Monk themselves and hearing eerie cries around the place. Is it possible that the Priory really is haunted? Celia thinks so when they discover a skeleton which mysteriously falls out of a hidden priest hole.

Peter and Charles are not so convinced. They set out on a hunt to find the human presence they believe is behind the sightings. Someone is trying to scare them away. But why? Lack of any apparent reason trumps them until...........

A nice read. I only wish that Heyer had been more imaginative in the uncovering of the mystery. I would have liked more rational deduction by the characters. What was lacking in the novel were deductible clues; this would have invested readers who like to put their own brain cells to use in uncovering a mystery.

Why haven't they made the movie?!: Cotillion

My last venture into the world of book based movies was The Three Musketeers. I liked it and ever since I've watched the film, I've been on a quest to read all books made into movies. But what I find much more important are those books which aren't turned into movies: classics (in my opinion) and great books that have been looked over for something more 'sellable'. One such looked over author is Georgette Heyer. Her book Cotillion is one of my favorite romance books (Heyer excelled in Regency Romance, a sub-genre adapted from Jane Austen). I decided to re-read it so that I could see how I would cast the main characters! Go here for my review on the book.

Well, first and foremost, the characters in this novel while not ugly,  aren't spectacularly beautiful or dashing beyond measure! Kitty, the heroine of the piece, is a pretty brunette who comes into her beauty when she comes into contact with fashion in London. Her natural beauty shines through, embellished by her simplicity and innocence. Emma Stone is someone that comes to mind as somewhat Kitty-like!

Freddy is not at all the tall, broad shouldered sportsman featured in most Georgette Heyer novels. He is slim, average height, elegant and amiable looking..... But although he isn't the dashing hero we're used to, I find him charming and  just perfect for Kitty.


What would you all think of Shia LeBeouf as Freddy? I'm not too sure, but it has to be someone with a slightly innocent 'air'! Thinking up a good cast for my favorite Heyer novel is harder than I thought!

Laying that aside, the other important character, Jack, is the type that can be easily cast. Just choose one of the many manly hunks from Hollywood and Voila! you have Jack. Only remember, he has to have a ruthless and arrogant look about him or it wouldn't be JACK.

All in all I think the cast is not as important to the success of this fiictitious movie as is the direction. The characters must be as they are in the novel or the humor and subtle beauty would be lost. For example, Kitty can be a blonde or a brunette, but if she doesn't have an innocence coupled with a certain shrewdness, her role would fall flat. Sometimes I think I'm the only one who can direct any book based movie well!! :P........ (Come on. You know it's true).


Eight Cousins

Eight Cousins, along with its sequel Rose in Bloom, is one of my favorite books by Louisa May Alcott. The depiction of family life and hope that is so pervasive in Alcott's novels doesn't fail one here. That one can always change, be better, be healthier and that love can do wonders is the message in most of her stories. I know that whenever I read her novels, despite the somewhat exaggerated goodness, I too see a better world through her eyes.

Eight Cousins centers around Rose; a young, recently orphaned girl who is thrust into a new world with relatives she barely knows. With the fear of a new guardian and seven new cousins, all boys, whom she has never met, Rose has grown to be constantly ill and tired. Will the arrival of the mysterious guardian and the companionship of her cousins help her heal? Those who have read a novel by Alcott must already know the answer. The novel promises a fun voyage through the ups and downs, surprises, and magic of Rose's new family life.........A MUST READ!