Jane Eyre (2006)

Jane Eyre Masterpiece TheatreThis is at least the fifth adaptation of Jane Eyre that I have seen. In 2005, I saw almost every major JE adaptation including the BBC version with Samantha Morton and Ciarin Hinds, the 1940s Orson Welles version, the 1983 TV version with Timothy Dalton, and the Franco Zeffirelli version with William Hurt. The only other notable JE adaptations I have not seen are the 1973 TV version and the 1970 film version. Clearly, I love the book. Before watching this Masterpiece Theatre version, one of my favourite versions was the 1983 Timothy Dalton TV version. Yes, he is too conventionally handsome to be Mr Rochester, and the production values were practically nil, but my goodness was he good in it. He made it for me. I’m delighted to say that I love this Masterpiece version even more because it had good acting, better production values, and I found the adapted screenplay had just the right length. They cut just enough, and added the details to Jane and Mr Rochester’s relationship that I often felt lacking in other adaptations. I only remembered after that Toby Stephens was the Bond villain in Die Another Day, and he was Duke Orisno in Twelfth Night. I also completely forgot that his mother is Dame Maggie Smith. There are only fifty actors in Britain, and they tend to be related and star in Doctor Who or Harry Potter movies. I found it hard to remember TS’s roles because he was very much the part. He and Ruth Wilson had great chemistry, and it was romantic enough that I didn’t roll my eyes (though, I don’t think I would for this story). Wilson could be too pretty to be called plain, and she bears a striking resemblance to a friend of mine especially with her hair down. All in all, a very good adaptation, but I’ve come to expect good things from Masterpiece Theatre.

Booking Through Thursday – Desperation

What’s the most desperate thing you’ve read because it was the only available reading material?

If it was longer than a cereal box or an advertisement, did it turn out to be worth your while? – Booking Through Thursday

I once read a Scientology booklet. I think that’s the worse of it. It was not worth my while. I’ve read bibles in hotel rooms, but I don’t find reading the bible all that bad because I’ve studied it. But I do like reading labels and ingredients in food.  Most of the time, if there is reading material near by, I’ll read it when I’m waiting or bored. It’s not often worth it, but it’s not that bad either.

Book Meme: 100 books

Having just ate lunch, I think I’ll do a book meme. I found this over at Nymeth’s blog.

In the following list of a hundred books, bold the ones you’ve read, mark in blue the ones you want to read, mark in red the ones you don’t want to read, italicize the ones you’ve never heard of, and… well, don’t do anything with the ones you feel indifferent towards, I guess, or that you wouldn’t mind reading but aren’t dying to.

As for my results, I’ve actually heard of all these books and authors. Not that I know the plots of the books. For the most part, I want to read most of the books even if I hadn’t put them in blue. The couple that I have put in red are due to lackluster experiences with the author. For someone who loves Arthurian legends, I have never been able to finish Mists of Avalon.

Read More

The Best American Travel Writing series

Best American Travel WritingHoughton Miffllin publishes annual installments to this series and other ones on genre writing such as mystery, poetry, short stories, science and nature, and others (complete list). The travel writing series began in 2000, and I started reading them a couple years later. I’ve read every single book in this series, and there are always a few gems. Since I do not have the chance to buy and read periodicals and magazines, I find the anthology refreshing. I have read a fair amount of travel writing, and the series always brings out the reasons why I like the stories. There are adventures, food, history, trivia, and most of all, stories and articles about people and characters. In this 2006 edition, I read about a Ukrainian giant, opulent Dubai, Hawaiian water parks and resorts, quiet bourgeois Zurich, and Ian Frazier’s coming of age road trip across America.

I also finished The Road by Cormac McCarthy yesterday. It’s one of those rare books that I don’t really know how to approach with a review or commentary unless I reread and study it in depth.

I heart my library

Library Love

On my weekly trip to the library yesterday, I saw and bought this bag which goes to the public library foundation. It’s one of those Bring Your Own Bag iniatives that encourage the use of recyclable and reusable bags in place of plastic bags. I’m really glad to have bought it since the money goes directly to the library and up to this point, I’ve been using one of my purses or a plastic bags (namely the ones I have from the LCBO; the government-controlled alcohol chain in Ontario) to carry my books to and fro every week. I often carry a lot of items from the library and normal plastic bags are ineffective any way.

I love my public library; I spent summers there as a child, and I have been going every week for years. I often take out way more than I can handle which is sad and rather addictive. Right now, I’m on a particularly lending streak as I have 36 items separated into four piles in my house. The pile above on the right is all twelve of the books for the Book Awards Challenge, some of them are the library’s, a couple are mine and a couple are a friend’s.

My reading was severely neglected last week because I was reading fanfiction. Sometimes, it comes over me especially now that I’m rereading Harry Potter. Speaking of which, the pile on the left has Books 3 and 4. I’m listening to the audiobook for 3 now, but I’ll mostly read it after I do some knitting and patterns browsing.

Lots of books must be read this week especially since I start summer school next week.

Link: Hot Library Smut – Completely and utterly work safe.

Friday’s Feast 149

Appetizer – Name a funny habit you have.

I like to keep my hands warm and close to my body, so I often have one of my hands resting on my stomach for no reason.

Soup – If you could instantly know how to play a musical instrument, which one would you pick?

The two instruments I have tried and failed: the piano and the violin. Since I have the latter, it gets priority.

Salad – How long is your hair?

Half way down my back.

Main Course – When was the last time you forgave someone, and who was it?

I find that I sometimes need to forgive myself. I have to forgive my parents once in awhile.

Dessert – What is your favorite kitchen appliance?

Don’t make me choose. I guess the fridge and the oven don’t count? I like the microwave. If I had a stand mixer, I would love it very much.

From fridaysfeast.com

Wool Hat for Dad

Wool Hat for Dad

Wool Hat for Dad, started June 17th, 2007, finished June 20th, 2007
Pattern: New York: A Guy’s Wool Hat
Yarn: Patons Classic Merino Wool in Navy 0026 – less than one skein
Needles: US#6/4.0mm 16″ circulars and DPNs
Cost of Project: $6 for circ + $6 yarn = $12
Pattern Notes and Comments: My father has wanted me to knit him a hat since I started knitting a year ago. This is my third attempt at making a winter hat for him. The first was too big and not really serious effort. The second was a bulky hat from Stitch and Bitch which was way too big for some reason even though I used the recommended needles. Just in case, I swatched for this hat and found my tension was perfect. I knit a lot of this on the road on Monday. It’s very easy since it’s a lot of stockinette and some ribbing. There is nothing difficult about this hat. It’s a great beginner project, and I was attracted to it because I wanted something simple and warm for Dad. This fit him even if he said it could have been tighter (see how persnickety my parents are?). The hat fits me as well because I have a bigger than average female head so one could modify it easily to be tighter or shorter for anyone. All in all, Dad gets his wish as a late Father’s Day present.
Would I knit it again? Yes. It’s simple, quick, stretchy, modifable and looks nice. I would probably use an alpaca mix if I get the chance since I’m not quite convinced this would be warm enough for longer periods of time.

Booking Through Thursday – School Days

Since school is out for the summer (in most places, at least), here’s a school-themed question for the week:

1. Do you have any old school books? Did you keep yours from college? Old textbooks from garage sales? Old workbooks from classes gone by?
2. How about your old notes, exams, papers? Do you save them? Or have they long since gone to the great Locker-in-the-sky? – Booking Through Thursday

I am in school so I have a lot of my textbooks around. Also, some of my textbooks from previous years are not sold yet. I also have a lot coursepacks. I have intentionally kept some philosophy books from my first year of university. Other than that, I don’t really want most of my textbooks. I have almost all my old notes from my current program, but I usually throw out old exams and papers or I don’t pick them up. Once I graduate, I dump all the notes though just as I did when I was in high school unless the notes are truly exceptional or interesting. This is rare thing indeed. I also rarely take notes now because I’ve reached that point where some of my classes are rehashes of what I’ve done previously.

This would have been up much earlier, but my domain was down for a few hours.

Hot Fuzz

Hot FuzzBrilliant. Having liked Shaun of the Dead, I was looking forward to this and had notions that it would be good. Stylistically, I love the writing, humor, and the mix of comedy and drama that Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright showcase in these two movies. Respectively, I find Pegg smart, funny, and everyman attractive on screen presence. I like Wright’s choices in rapid fire editing and almost surreal storytelling. The film is homage with spoofish qualities to action and cop movies. I’ve watched and enjoyed a number of action blockbuster movies myself. Parts of the movie, especially the editing and reminded me of CSI. The cast was fabulous. Having mentioned Pegg, his chemistry with Nick Frost is as good as ever. I always like Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, and I adore Timothy Dalton. It’s really great to see him in mainstream films again, especially in a funny action movie. As with all action/cop movies, they are guy and buddy movies, but this film is damn funny that just as with SotD, girls will enjoy it if they get the sense of humor. I am one of these girls, and I also like a gun filled action movie once in awhile. Definitely going to the feel-good rewatch collection.