Monthly Archives: July 2014


Review: The Reprisal

Posted 16 July, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Reprisal
By: Laudomia Bonanni, Susan Stewart (Translation), Sara Teardo (Translation)
Format/Source: eBook; free download from the University of Chicago Press

In the bitterly cold winter of 1943, the Italian countryside is torn apart by violence as partisans wage a guerilla war against the occupying German army and their local fascist allies. In the midst of this conflict, a ragtag group of fascist supporters captures a woman in the late stages of pregnancy. Suspecting her of being in league with the partisans, they hastily put her on “trial” by improvising a war tribunal one night in the choir stalls of the abandoned monastery that serves as their hide-out. This sham court convicts the woman and sentences her to die—but not until her child has been born. When a young seminarian visits the monastery and tries to dissuade the fascist band from executing their sentence, the absurd tragedy of the woman’s fate is cast in stark relief. The child’s birth approaches, an unnerving anticipation unfolds, and tension mounts ominously among the characters and within their individual psyches.

Based on a number of incidents that took place in Abruzzo during the war, Laudomia Bonanni’s compact and tragic novel explores the overwhelming conflicts between ideology and community, justice and vengeance. The story is embedded in the cruel reality of Italian fascism, but its themes of revenge, sacrifice, and violence emerge as universal, delivered in prose that is at once lyrical and brutal.In her native Italy, Bonanni, a writer of journalism and critical prose as well as fiction, is hailed as one of the strongest proponents of post-war realism, and this is the first of her novels to be made available to Anglophone readers. Translators Susan Stewart and Sara Teardo render Bonanni’s singular style—both sparse and emotive, frank and poetic—into readable, evocative English.

I received an email informing me that this novel was the free eBook featured for the month of July. It sounded interesting–I’m always up for a novel written by an Italian author–so I decided to check it out 🙂

Read More

Review: Killer Rumors

Posted 16 July, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Killer Rumors
By: Antonello Fiore
Format/Source: eBook at the request of the author

Father D’Angelo and Bakeman, two devoted priests were brutally murdered while going on one of their nightly walks. Detective Frank Rinelli is called to the case- not only due to his close friendship with the priests, but with his expertise of tracking psychotic killers. Rinelli suddenly discovers these murders were based on a scandal that occurred several years ago at the same Church where the two murdered priests preached. And it doesn’t stop there. The list of people being murdered in connection with the scandal continues to grow until the killer has his ultimate vengeance- and the truth released.

I received a free eBook copy of this novel as part of a promotion by the author and reviewed it at the request of the author. But for some reason, I never got around to posting the review, so oops, this is actually coming up pretty late (thank goodness I saved notes on my thoughts). Anyway, I thought the premise of the story sounded interesting, and rather timely given headlines in recent years regarding scandal cases emerging. As I also placed in a note, I was also coming off reading some rather hefty titles at the time taht this title popped up and was looking for a mystery novel for a shake-up.

Read More

Movie: Pacific Rim (2013)

Posted 15 July, 2014 by Lianne in Entertainment / 8 Comments

As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.

source

I’ve been pretty interested in watching this movie ever since I saw the trailer. Not only was it rather different from a lot of the action movies that have been coming out recently–hence probably the amount of fanfare that went with this movie–but also it was reminiscent to a lot of the anime I watched growing up: Gundam Wing, Vision of Escaflowne, Neon Genesis Evangelion, shades of Power Rangers…Plus, it looked pretty epic. Anyway, hurray, finally got around to watching it recently 😉

Read More

Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 15 July, 2014 by Lianne in Meme / 26 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week’s topic: Let’s talk about other types of stories! Top Ten Favorite Movies or TV Shows!

Hehe, I’m going to answer both questions this week and split the list up (or at least do my best in answering it!) 😉 To start with: 5 Favourite Television Shows (barring book-to-tv adaptations and miniseries or else this list will be filled with BBC titles 😉 Suffice to say I love those too (North & South, Persuasion, Our Mutual Friend, etc.))

In no particular order:

  1. Babylon 5 (10 Reasons Why…) — My number one television show ever (I never thought DS9 would be dethroned, but then this show came into my life when I was 13 😛 ). I don’t know what I can say about this show that isn’t listed in that link I included, it’s just so epic and wonderful with fantastic characters and just a really great storyline…If you’re into sci-fi shows, I cannot recommend this show enough 🙂
  2. Doctor Who (100 Things) — I don’t know why I didn’t get into this show sooner (seeing as I love sci-fi and I love the time travel element), but it was only a few years ago that I finally sat down and watched the Doctor and his many adventures. I especially enjoyed series 1 – 4 of new Who and the way it balanced adventure with character stories 🙂
  3. The Thick of It — I only started watching this show–late last year?–after I found out that Peter Capaldi was going to be the new Doctor. I had heard this title floating around for years but never got around to it either, and I like a good noir comedy/satire about politics. It’s not for everyone but I especially enjoy it, from Malcolm Tucker going off the rails and ripping everyone’s heads off to the all-too-real blunders that happens in office. Perhaps I will make a proper post about it one of these days…
  4. Orphan Black (show tag) — This was my favourite new television show last year. If you haven’t watched it or you’ve never heard of it, you need to fix that immediate 😛 It’s a fairly quick-paced show with lots of twists and turns and questions; it’s mostly a sci-fi focusing on genetics, but it’s whole lot of other things too. And Tatiana Maslany is just utterly amazing.
  5. Broadchurch (review) — My new favourite show from this year, I can see why everyone in the UK was glued to it last year. I love the soundtrack, the way it was filmed, the character analysis; it was like a book, only you’re watching the events unfold, not reading it 😉 Olivia Colman was brilliant and it was interesting to see David Tennant play such a gruff and wary individual.

+++

And now, 5 Favourite Movies (ever) (barring book-to-movie adaptations because you know I’m going to mention LOTR, Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, Howl’s Moving Castle, etc. 😉 )

  1. Le fabuleux destine du Amelie Poulain — Guh, this movie just resonated with me on so many levels. I could totally relate to Amelie, and the treasure hunt-like story around Paris was magical and wonderful. The music and art direction were also wonderful 🙂
  2. Gladiator — The historian in me dies a little with all of the historical inaccuracies but my gosh was this a good movie: the cinematography, the music…it’s also immensely quotable. I used to be able to quote quite a bit out of this movie, I re-watched it as often as LOTR in high school 😛
  3. The Fountain (review) — What a stunning, intriguing, and ultimately heartfelt movie this was about love and death (with a sci-fi twist!). Plus, the soundtrack is absolutely amazing, hands down my favourite *nods*
  4. The Fall (review) — Another stunning movie. Visually this movie was like art–the vibrant colours, the cinematography–and the fact that they filmed this movie on location around the world made it even more amazing. I love how the story Roy was telling weaved into real-life happenings that Roy and Alexandria experienced.
  5. Death at a Funeral (the UK original) — This movie made me laugh so hard (and it’s a feat if a movie can do that; I’m not one to laugh out loud very often), this was such a zany movie. I checked it out years ago because Matthew MacFadyen and Keeley Hawes were in this, but other notable actors like Rupert Graves, Peter Dinklage, and Alan Tudyk are in this as well. And no, I never watched the North American remake.

+++

And that’s my list for this week! What television shows and/or movies made your list this week?

Review: The Archbishop in Andalusia

Posted 14 July, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Archbishop in Andalusia: A Blackie Ryan Novel
By: Andrew M. Greeley
Format/Source: Mass bound paperback; my copy

Ostensibly “Blackie” is in the historic city of Seville to attend a conference on American philosophy, but a far more critical assignment also requires his attention. The local cardinal has summoned the wily archbishop to Spain in hopes that Blackie can avert a murder before it happens.

The threat of violence hangs ominously over the regal palace of a family of wealthy Spanish aristocrats. Dona Teresa, a pious widow whose exotic beauty unsettles even Blackie, finds herself beset by avaricious relatives determined to control her life and fortune. A tangled web of obligations, traditions, and frustrated sexual desires binds the family together even as they bitterly contend against one another. With three generations of passionate nobility sharing the same roof, it seems only a matter of time before pride, greed, and lust leads to bloodshed.

But while the archbishop attempts to forestall a modern-day Spanish tragedy, dramatic events back in Chicago conspire to change his life forever. ..

Whoo-hoo, I’ve finally gotten around to reading this book! I’ve been eyeing this book ever since I picked up and read one of the other books in this series, The Bishop Goes to the University (review) because it was set in Spain 😀 This book is part of the Everything Espana Reading Challenge 2014 that I am participating in.

Read More