Monday, September 12, 2016

5,500+ Pages Later:Another Sage Book Whisperer's Book Review

Although,I haven't POSTED a Book Review in some time,I've been READING,Watching Movies & other "Stuff" to bring to YOU! So ...Let's Talk Books!

I've covered some ground with roughly about 5,500+ pages read with a plus beside that number ..why?_because I'm constantly READING the written word. I have this "Theory About Reading".As a child my whole Family were READERS. When a certain sector of PEOPLE were NOT given the opportunity to read,risk their limbs & lives as depicted in this movie_I feel like it is my OBLIGATION to read about something ~EVERYDAY~ 

*The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff_coupled with watching the movie of the same name_this was no Bruce Jenner-Kardashi-nized Money-Making version of a Transgender Human. It was a touching story written by Ebershoff that made me go further to find out more about this incredible and brave Human.That is why on my Fall 2016 Book List,you'll find the REAL story taken from the notes of  Lili Elbe (aka Einar Wegener and his wife Gerda Wegener,both Danish Painters).I can't wait to read "Man Into Woman:The First Sex Change by Lili Elbe. AND...explore the paintings of Gerda & Einar Wegener,since I'm an Art Lover! ~5-Star~

And the movie won Eddie Redmayne an Academy Award nomination & various other Awards..I Love his work!

*Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor _A 1944 romance novel set in 17th-century England.It was made into a film in 1947 by 20th century Fox.But of course,I saw the movie_not exactly like the Book! 

"Forever Amber tells the story of orphaned Amber St. Clare, who makes her way up through the ranks of 17th century English society by sleeping with and/or marrying successively richer and more important men, while keeping her love for the one man she could never have. The novel includes portrayals of Restoration fashion, including the introduction and popularization of tea in English coffeehouses and the homes of the fashionably rich; politics; and public disasters, including the plague and the Great Fire of London." 

Fourteen States (14) "BANNED" the book as Pornography.The FIRST was Massachusetts whose Attorney General cited:
"70 references to sexual intercourse, 39 illegitimate pregnancies, 7 abortions, and "10 descriptions of women undressing in front of men" as reasons for banning the novel " 

The Catholic Church cited it for indecency.In 1945,Australia's Minister of Customs banned it saying: "God did not give people eyes to read this Rubbish".Despite all of that_"Forever Amber" was the Best Selling Novel of the 1940's .The movie was toned down so much,I can't even remember a love scene.~4 Star~ 

*Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel Garcia Marquez .
"In the prologue, García Márquez claims the novel is the fictional representation of a legend the author was told by his grandmother as a child: of a 12-year-old girl who contracts rabies but was believed to be a 'miracle-worker', with long flowing copper hair that continues to grow after death. In this frame-story, it was only after an excavation of tombs that García Márquez is witness to the grave of a similar young girl with long red hair still attached to the skull, that he was inspired to write Of Love and Other Demons ." 

 He alludes to Love as the most terrible Demon of all...oh well...sigh! Very strange to read and follow! ~2-Star~ 

So,to continue on my quest to read several of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's works_this was my next read.

*Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. There are many themes in the book seduction,lovesickness,perversion, 

"García Márquez's main notion is that lovesickness is literally an illness,a disease comparable to cholera.At one point,the main character conflates his physical pain with his amorous pain when he vomits after eating flowers in order to imbibe the scent of his lover.Cholera as it is used in Spanish,can also denote passion or human rage and ire in its feminine form.The title is a pun: cholera as the disease, and cholera as passion, which raises the central question of the book: is love helped or hindered by extreme passion?" 

I had greatly anticipated reading this book as the movie was EXCELLENT! I wasn't disappointed. ~4-Star~ 

The movie tagline..."How Long have I Loved You? 51 years,9 Months & 4 days...that is how long I've loved You! 

*Negroland a memoir by Margo Jefferson. 

"Growing up in the 1950s, Margo Jefferson was part of Chicago's black upper class. The daughter of a prominent doctor and his socialite wife, Jefferson inhabited a world of ambition, education and sophistication — a place she calls "Negroland." She describes the social pressures of her upbringing, as well as the sense of separation that it engendered.She and other members of the black elite thought of themselves as a "Third Race, poised between the masses of Negroes and all classes of Caucasians."  

Ultimately, it was the Black Power movement that led Jefferson to question some of the tenets that she had grown up with: "Black Power was really a major challenge to the social privileges and structures of the kind of privilege that I had grown up with," she says. "That whole belief ... that you will only be able to advance if you are perfectly behaved, if you present yourself as what white people would consider an ideal of whiteness ... all of that just began to burst open."  

Jefferson says using the word ~Negro~ was in the spirit of history, in the spirit of historical exactness and irony and respect for the movement of history and the ironies it creates, and also the fact that part of our history is this series of changing names, which says so much about our fluctuating status. ..."Colored" was the term of choice some decades back, then "Negro." ... "Afra American" had a brief fling, "Afro American" in the '60s, then "Africaan," then "black," then "African-American."Noticeably left out was the N-Word..Not something People of Color called themselves at that time! REALLY! A great Read with lots of footnotes to other interesting books on the subject matter.~5~Star~ 

*Clarissa's England by Clarissa Dickson Wright. Fantastic Personal Journey of all of England through the mind's eye of Clarissa.I've always loved her quirky stories that she told on her hit British TV Cooking Show ~ The Two Fat Ladies~! Both of the Host have passed on now_but I enjoy watching my DVD of all the Seasons. 

"Clarissa Dickson Wright was an English celebrity chef, television personality, writer, businesswoman, and former BARRISTER.(She claimed to be the youngest person to be called to the Bar at the time). She was best known as one of the Two Fat Ladies,with Jennifer Paterson in the television cooking programme. She was an accredited cricket umpire and one of only two women to become a Guild Butcher."

What I loved about this book was her well traveled cornucopia of local knowledge.In the front of the book was a map which showed all 34 Counties with the Contents highlighting each County_somewhat like her Cooking Journey's where History is in full bloom...I was in a different county,on a different journey,learning about all sorts of things! Can't wait to read her Autobiography_"Spilling The Beans". Did I say she has a very,very NAUGHTY way of saying things that are Laugh out Loud Moments~What a Journey! ~5+Star~ 

*The Dream of the Celt by Mario Vargas Llosa. This was some mighty fine reading! If you love the "Historical Novel" genre_this is a page turner. For my "Peruvian Birthday Celebration" in 2015,I decided to celebrate my Afro-Peruvian heritage that was shown on my DNA test. So, I researched (as always for my Global Parties) "EVERYTHING PERUVIAN". I was able to acquire a Wooden Puzzle by a Peruvian Artist,Music, the Food,& this book when I goggled Peruvian Writers. This was a GEM.The fact that my heritage also has an Irish bloodline made it even more "Special". My Birthday Party....

(Cover page of Novel)
"In 1916,The Irish Nationalist Roger Casement was hanged by the British government for treason.Casement had dedicated his extraordinary life to improving the plight of oppressed peoples around the world_especially the native populations in the Belgian Congo and the Amazon_but when he dared to draw a parallel between the injustices he witnessed in African and American colonies and those committed by the British in Northern Ireland,he became involved in a cause that led to his imprisonment and execution."  

                                 ~Sir Roger Casement~

The book was based upon Casement's meticulous notes from his Diary kept during those years spent in the Amazon ...especially the Rubber Plantations in Peru.The Scandals,the questioning of his Gender & preference for well-built tanned Native bodies,his bouts of sleeping sickness,his observations of Slavery in Peru since 1854, Mental Breakdowns,Gambling,Sex,Lies,etc.

                      Roger Casement with Putumayo Tribes people in Amazon 

However the most notable events of his resume was his first hand accounts of the systematic tortures inflicted on the Natives of Peru & the Congo by "European Commercial "concerns and the Lies told that the Natives were prospering....not unlike today!More information about the Rubber Barons & Plantations in the Amazon can be found by a search of Rubber Barons in Peru.  

For his work he attained a BRITISH KNIGHTHOOD for Humanitarian endeavors. THEN...because he liken the  Irish people's quest for freedom as a State of Slavery_he was transformed into a radical fighter for Irish Independence_collaborated with the German military,participated in the bloody "EASTER RISING" insurrection in Ireland during Easter Week ,April 1916 : he was arrested,prosecuted,and convicted for treason by the British and revelations of  history of his homosexual activities per his secret diaries,his EXECUTION was by hanging! Now on the hunt a good price for a book that was even more Autobiographical than this one called...  Peter Singleton-Gates & Maurice Girodias (1959). I simply LOVED this much so, for the History I might read it again_not often I say that! The Author of "The Dream of the Celts" Mario Vargas Llosa  won the Noble Prize in Literature in 2010 ~5+++~STAR~ 

*Last But Not Less....
*The Book Series by Diana Gabaldon called "Outlander. Of course,I have the DVDS as well!!!  I have read #1 Outlander & #2 Dragonfly in Amber. My plan is to read them all. 

Let's just say my NEW Name is Sassenach...

I can NOT do it justice here on this Book Review_it shall be forthcoming!

I am on several different "Reading Journey's"...on my Fall Reading List 2016 _M.C.Beaton's Agatha Raisin Murder Mysteries,Outlander's Series,followups to personal Autobiographers of Lili  Elbe & Roger Casement,Porgy(of Porgy & Bess),Negro History as it was called back then,etc... Enjoy,I'll be Back! 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

ALL Roads lead to Downton Abbey REHAB!

I think I'm on the ROAD to Recovery! Downton Abbey was my favorite Sunday evening past time on PBS...DA Cabernet Sauvignon uncorked & ready to be poured,no phone calls...just Me and the DA Crew....

Thomas says it well...I'm getting stronger! But it's hard after 52 glorious Episodes and Six Seasons from 1-9-2011 to 3-6-2016_What's a girl to do? I know !Order More Wine! Keep the Six Packs coming... 
         My Favorite.... 

NOT sure if I follow all those Rules...well,at less I use a Wine Aerator! My greatest Wine discovery from this show was "Claret"....very nice glass of Wine....Coppola Wines makes a good one~bottled enclosed in gold wiring. 

This brings me back to my REHAB...just doesn't seem fair now with DA Series forever! Without DA on Sunday evening,I'm questioning...

Be That As It May...I started to ponder about other Series in which I had the same sentiment.Some of YOU will NOT remember these but here goes my all time favorites of TV Land.

Peyton Place is an American prime-time soap opera which aired on ABC in half-hour episodes from 9-15-1964 to 6-2-1969...I was 15 years old when it first aired!!

Based upon the 1956 novel of the same name by Grace Metalious,the series was preceded by a 1957 film adaptation.A total of 514 Episodes were broadcast in black & white from 1964 to 1966 and in color from 1966 to 1969.At the show's peak,ABC ran three episodes a week.A number of guest stars appeared in the series for extended periods,among them Dan Duryea,Susan Oliver,Leslie Nelson,Gena Rowlands and Lee Grant(won an Emmy).The series served a s a springboard for Mia Farrow,Ryan O'Neal,Barbara Parkins,Lana Woods. 

The 1957 Film preview:

The 1964 TV preview:
That was one Damn good TV Series...I read all of her books,Peyton Place,Return To Peyton Place,Tight White Collar & No Adam For Eve,purchased the 1957 Film & followup film_"Return to Peyton Place" & was able to find 94 DVD Disc online for the TV Series of 1964,visited all the towns that the book was based upon(Gilmanton,Laconia,Alton & Manchester,NH where Grace was born)_when we lived in New Hampshire! A Fan or WHAT????

#2 DALLAS TV Series 
Dallas is an American prime-time television soap opera that aired from April 2,1978 to May 3,1991 with 357 Episodes and 14 Seasons.The series revolves around a wealthy and feuding Texas family_The Ewing's_who own the independent oil company Ewing Oil and the cattle-ranching land of Southfork.The series originally focused on the marriage of Bobby Ewing and Pamela Barnes,whose families were sworn enemies with each other. As the series progressed,oil tycoon J.R.Ewing grew to be the show's main character,whose schemes and dirty business became the show's trademark.When the show ended in May 1991,J.R. was the only character to have appeared in every episode.The show was famous for its cliffhangers,including the "Who Shot J.R.?mystery.

Dallas Season 1 1978 preview..
Aired first on Saturday nights,moved to Sunday then Friday Nights until 1991. A couple of Reunion TV  Shows also aired.

#3 DYNASTY TV Series 
Dynasty is an American prime-time television soap opera that aired from 1-12-1981 to 5-11-1989.Created by Richard & Esther Shapiro and Produced by Aaron Spelling,the show revolved around the Carringtons_a wealthy family residing in Denver ,Colorado.It was the competitor to DALLAS. John Forsythe was Oil Magnate Blake & Linda Evans was his new wife Krystle.The Fun starts when his Ex-Wife Joan Collins(Alexis) arrives! By 1985 Dynasty was the #1 show in the United States. Other cast members included Pamela Sue Martin,Heather Locklear,Diahann Carroll,Emma Samms,Rock Hudson,etc. It was one of the first shows that highlighted  the subject of homosexuality...Stephen(Blake's son) was a closet gay at the time. 
Undoubtedly,the most famous Dynasty cliffhanger is the so-called "Moldavian Massacre" during the May 15,1985 5th season finale! A Royal Wedding is interrupted by terrorists during a Military coup in Moldavia...60 million viewed. Then of course the rivalry between Alexis & Krystle with many catfights_especially "THE LILY POND" brawl.....that was good!
 There were many extra television events and a Spin-off called "The Colby's".Nolan Miller (Costume Designer) created by DEMAND from Viewers a women's clothing line~The Dynasty Collection~ and books were written influenced by the popularity of the series.

The Nolan Miller~Dynasty Collection~ inspired many  young & older women to wear SHOULDER PADS...tooo funny! 

Here's How they Compare...
Peyton Place_514 Episodes_5 Seasons_1964 to 1969
Dallas_357 Episodes_14 Seasons_1978 to 1991 
Dynasty_220 Episodes_9 Seasons_1981 to 1989
Downton Abbey_52 Episodes_6 Seasons_2011 to 2016 

NOTE: When Peyton Place aired on TV in 1964_ABC hoped to bring the Soap Opera to America like England's successful "Coronation Street" soap.Thus...PEYTON PLACE marked the birth of Prime-Time American Soap Operas! 

With all this THERAPY & Wine at the plush Downton Abbey's  REHAB (undisclosed location)...I still miss the waging Tale..... 

Hats off to Julian Fellows for writing such a beautiful and captivating story line. 

I fell in love with him when I saw him in "Monarch of the Glen" where he played Kilwillie! I still laugh just thinking about that role. Between Seasons of Monarch he started writing Downton Abbey! His works are awesome to name a few...Gosford Park,The Young Victoria.....AND,Drum Roll...he's working on "The Gilded Age"

Hats Off to the Actors that made it happen...I will survive!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Whoa...I'm NOT talking NBC's ~The Voice~ NOPE! First off,I love all of the Judges...well maybe not CeeLo Green & Christina Aguilera so much_but the others have been Awesome! Especially, MY Secret Boyfriend Blake Shelton! Shhh,my husband doesn't know just yet. 

Love_his Charming demeanor,good looks and personality. 

This Blog Post is about a recent Event I attended_of which at some point I just "Excused Myself" to give my ears a Rest. Honestly, I really thought the Days Of Paris Hilton,Brittany Spears_"SPEAK" had disappeared. Boy,was I wrong.I'm Talkin'_ 

It was Non-Stop,Ebb & Flow Decibels,Octaves at  a FREQUENCY of 440 Hz with the Highest Note above 880 Hz+...Annoying! I thought those VOICES  had faded with the 80's as in FAD. Picture this_small room in a basement of an 101 year old Hotel for a Wedding Reception filled with Late Twenty somethings into Early Thirty somethings Women.At one point,I just wanted to be totally CRAY-CRAY,stand up & Shout above the Noise_ Just Stop! 

It was like Mariah Carey Highest Octave on Steroids"x 20+ people talking at the same time  greater than the highest vocal Octave known to Man_10!!


I realized that these Young Women came up during the 80's Era of...
                                 BARBIE SYNDROME 

                                  BRITTANY SPEARS

                                        PARIS HILTON

At some point, I morphed into that ValleySpeak in my head! I Kept repeating to myself...

Honestly, I have not been around this age group_ (THANK GOD)_ for any period of time. Maybe this is the way Young Women speak_ I rationalized. These are all EDUCATED Young Women of all ETHNIC GROUPS,University Graduate,Successful,etc.

I shared my experience with a good friend_she started laughing because_she'd been invited to a Bridal Shower the SAME weekend,encountered the same_"VOICE"_& excused herself shortly thereafter as well. NOTE: I do NOT believe that all Young Women talk like's only a certain sector of the population!They have been in Training since the 80's  & can NOT change_as they are "Vested in that VOICE"! 

So,I started to google on this "Valley Speak Syndrome".Urban Dictionary is not so KIND in their definition _A spoiled, idiotic adolescent female from the Southwestern part of the United States, typically rich and white, whose language is insulting to human intelligence. Proof that the San Andreas fault needs to hurry up with sinking California back into the Pacific Ocean.Just watch the "Clueless" movie or TV show to see a good example of what a valley girl is.

Here are a few examples of "The VOICE": 
Seems, The height of the "Valley Girl" period was during 1982-83, with several films, shows and music of the New Wave Era embodying the "Valley" atmosphere of the San Fernando Valley during that time. In 1982, composer Frank Zappa released the single "Valley Girl", with his 14-year-old daughter Moon Unit speaking typical "Valley Girl" phrases. Zappa intended to lampoon the image, but after the song's release there was a significant increase in the "Valspeak" slang usage, whether ironically spoken or not.The 1982-83 CBS TV show Square Pegs featured Tracy Nelson playing Jennifer DeNuccio, a popular Valley Girl at the high school.The 1983 film Valley Girl starring Nicolas Cage centered on a group of "Valley Girl" characters and featured several characterizations associated with their lifestyle (such as going shopping at the mall or"Galleria" suntanning at the beach, and going to parties).The protagonist of the 1995 film Clueless has been described as a caricature of 1990s "Valley Girls," though she is actually from nearby Beverly Hills. 

Then there's this...The high rising terminal (HRT), also known as upspeak, uptalk, rising inflection, or high rising intonation (HRI), is a feature of some accents of English where declarative sentences are uttered with rising-pitch intonation. 


AT 2:58 ...she says _"It INQUIRES...I think she meant REQUIRES? NOT my recollection of what a  Kentwood,Louisana a rural town in Tangipahoa Parish,Louisiana near the Mississippi border, population was 2,205 at the 2000 census sounds like. This is toned down from earlier days. 

Bottom line,this drove me INSANE!  

It was a Memorable experience that will linger in my Memory...."just sayin". Pray tell me NOT every young Educated Woman  or Man has the "VALLEY SPEAK  Syndrome" in 2015 ??? 
Recuperating Nicely...