Monthly Archives: July 2014


Movie: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

Posted 28 July, 2014 by Lianne in Entertainment / 4 Comments

A day-dreamer escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, he takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.

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I posted the trailer here on my blog last year; I forgot how this movie came to my attention but the trailer blew me away both visually and story-wise, so I was really keeping a lookout for this movie. Finally got my hands on a copy recently so I was really excited to watch it 🙂

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Movie: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Posted 27 July, 2014 by Lianne in Entertainment / 6 Comments

The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.

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Oh, man, I’ve been wanting to watch this movie ever since I saw the first trailer for it. It just looked funny and crazy and the typical Wes Anderson style of filmmaking. I don’t watch Wes Anderson’s movies enough, but I do enjoy his quirky storytelling and filmmaking style. So the minute it hit DVD, I snatched it up 😀 May contain some minor spoilers ahead?

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Review: The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes

Posted 25 July, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes
By: Anonymous
Format/Source: eBook

Spain has produced two books that changed world literature: Don Quixote and Lazarillo de Tormes, the first picaresque novel ever written and the inspired precursor to works as various as Vanity Fair and Huckleberry Finn. Banned by the Spanish Inquisition after publication in 1554, Lazarillo was soon translated throughout Europe, where it was widely copied. The book is a favorite to this day for its vigorous colloquial style and the earthy realism with which it exposes human hypocrisy.

The bastard son of a prostitute, Lazarillo goes to work for a blind beggar, who beats and starves him, while teaching him some very useful dirty tricks. The boy then drifts in and out of the service of a succession of masters, each vividly sketched and together revealing the corrupt world of imperial Spain. Its miseries are made all the more apparent by the candor and surprising good cheer with which young Lazarillo recounts his ever more curious fate.

The author of Lazarillo de Tormes is unknown.

I added this book to my wishlist sometime last year after going through the selection of titles published by the New York Review Books but it came to my attention earlier this year when another blogger read it for a reading challenge I am currently hosting. I decided to search for a copy on Gutenberg and it was only recently that I got around to reading it 🙂

This book is part of the Everything Espana Reading Challenge 2014 that I am participating in.

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DNF: The Fortune Hunter

Posted 25 July, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Fortune Hunter
By: Daisy Goodwin
Format/Source: galley courtesy of St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley

Empress Elizabeth of Austria, known as “Sisi,” is the Princess Diana of nineteenth-century Europe. Famously beautiful, as captured in a portrait with diamond stars in her hair, she is unfulfilled in her marriage to the older Emperor Franz Joseph. Sisi has spent years evading the stifling formality of royal life on her private train or yacht or, whenever she can, on the back of a horse.

Captain Bay Middleton is dashing, young, and the finest horseman in England. He is also impoverished, with no hope of buying the horse needed to win the Grand National—until he meets Charlotte Baird. A clever, plainspoken heiress whose money gives her a choice among suitors, Charlotte falls in love with Bay, the first man to really notice her, for his vulnerability as well as his glamour. When Sisi joins the legendary hunt organized by Earl Spencer in England, Bay is asked to guide her on the treacherous course. Their shared passion for riding leads to an infatuation that threatens the growing bond between Bay and Charlotte, and all of their futures.

I first heard of this novel in passing I believe in a list of “books to watch out for in 2014.” So when I saw the book on NetGalley, I had to check it out. Ever since I went to Austria a few years ago, I’ve been curious about the Austrian monarchy and Sisi; she’s not really mentioned much in the general European history courses and from what I saw at the Schonbrunn exhibit, she was quite the fashionable monarch of her time with a very interesting life. So I was quite happy when I was approved a copy of this novel to read.

Unfortunately after several chapters, I had to put it down. I wasn’t quite sure what was going on exactly; it felt like a parade of characters, I didn’t find Captain Bay Middleton very interesting, and it was like moving through the busy pump rooms of the 19th century. The opening chapter did not grab my attention enough to carry on and subsequent chapters left me feeling equally indifferent. Given this and the stack of books on my to-read pile that are also waiting to be read, I sadly had to put it down. I may change my mind in the future and pick this book up again, but for now it’s left as a DNF for me.

This book will be available on 10 July 2014.

Visit the author’s official website || Order this book from the Book Depository

Review: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Posted 24 July, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 12 Comments

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
By: Winifred Watson
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Miss Pettigrew, an approaching-middle-age governess, was accustomed to a household of unruly English children. When her employment agency sends her to the wrong address, her life takes an unexpected turn. The alluring nightclub singer, Delysia LaFosse, becomes her new employer, and Miss Pettigrew encounters a kind of glamour that she had only met before at the movies. Over the course of a single day, both women are changed forever.

I first read this novel some 4 years ago. I had watched the movie adaptation before that, starring Amy Adams and Frances McDormand, and was positively charmed by the movei, so I wanted to read the book. I think I was working on something for grad school because I never got around to writing a review for it here. I was in the mood for something lighter to read recently and decided that a re-read was in order 🙂

This book is part of the A Year in Re-Reading: a 2014 Reading Challenge that I am participating in.

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