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Library Bookshelf

Started by Marilyne, March 29, 2016, 03:20:53 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


Yes, Marilyne.  I posted about "The Dig" either somewhere on here, or over in Senior Learn.  I totally loved the movie, and someone had posted that snarky review by a "reviewer", which I thought was awful.  Sometimes I think reviewers post bad reviews to keep patrons from attending the movie.  Just thankful this was on Netflix.

True the Piggot story was kind of a "do nothing" for the entire movie.  But otherwise, as I said, I loved it.  I don't think the idea of Mrs. Pretty and a "seer" would have added anything to the story/movie. 


Marilyne,   some variation of this sort of "complication" seems to be a given in most contemporary films, t.v. shows, etc.

Tome, I did see your comments about "The Dig" on SeniorLearn - and, instead of saying I "found" the reviews, I should have said I clicked on the link another poster provided.

I enjoy reading the posts in a couple of forums on SeniorLearn but discovered I'm way out of my depth trying to participate in the discussions.  I've never been good at "interpreting" literature or catching on when we're supposed to recognize something about a character by what I consider "vague" references.

An example would be the rather sudden appearance of Mrs. Pretty's sad face as she's being driven to London for the doctor's appointment and her walk along the dismal streets and through the dark tunnel while comments/warnings/farewells about the pending war are all around her.
Took me a while but I finally decided these were all symbols of the personal turmoil she was dealing with.  After the "Aha" moment, I was able to see that her surroundings were also a good way to indicate the times in which the movie was set.

(I'm not describing this very well!)

I agree completely that it was a cut above the usual on Netflix and was easy to watch.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.


I watched it last weekend, too, and agree with everything that's been said here.  It was so interesting to see the Sutton Hoo site and it seems that the movie followed the story of the excavation pretty well.  The side stories of Edith and Robert Pretty and Basil Brown's unusual marriage plus the "romance" of Peggy Piggott and Edith's brother just helped flesh out the movie, I guess.  Over all, I found the movie interesting and enjoyed it very much.  And, I always enjoy watching the work of Ralph Fiennes.  He is a fine actor.

Callie, I was nodding my head at your remarks about SeniorLearn.  I have always loved to read and I do so for entertainment and to be informed.  I get really lost and frustrated when I get in a group who is interested in picking apart and dissecting an author's every motive or every supposed innuendo.     


Phyllis,  I agree that the side stories helped flesh out the movie...plus gave us something to discuss  :) .

I'm glad there's a site like SeniorLearn for more in-depth discussions of books and  I learn a lot from reading the posts.
 However, my reading is like yours - for entertainment and to be informed.  I do enjoy well-researched historical fiction  However, if it's set in an area I know well, I get disgusted if the author takes too many liberties.  ;)

I also enjoy non-fiction - particularly biographies and, sometimes, memoirs.

I'm now reading a "memoir" by Ree Drummond,  the Oklahoma author known as The Pioneer Woman who has cooking shows. I put quotes around memoir because the chapters are more "blogs" about her life and family.  My opinion?  Well, let's just say "The Generation Gap is showing!"  :D 


Callie, I always go to Senior Learn, to see what's new in my favorite forums.  I did try once or twice to involve myself in the book "discussions", but like you, I read for pleasure and enlightenment, and couldn't force myself to sit and dissect each and every nuance or lack thereof.  I do remain in awe of the intellects displayed there. 


February 03, 2021, 05:41:01 PM #2435 Last Edit: February 03, 2021, 05:49:01 PM by Marilyne
I've enjoyed reading all of your comments and opinions on, "The Dig".   I think we are all in agreement, that although it may not be perfect, it's a big cut above the usual fare on Netflix, and Prime.  Looking back over the past couple of years on those channels, I would say there have only been a few other new shows that I liked enough to ever watch again.  "The Crown", comes to mind, as well as a number of excellent documentaries on WWII.   I also liked the documentary/drama on the Russian Revolution, and the downfall of  Czar (Tsar) Nicholas.   A few of the made for Netflix or made for Prime movies have been good, but not many. 

I'm not a member of Senior Learn, but I have looked in, and followed some of the conversations and book discussions over the years.  I remember some of the members from way back in Senior Net.  I've never considered joining, for a number of reasons, but I do like to see what they have to say about books, movies, and TV shows.     


It isn't new but a Netflix movie I enjoyed is "Quartet".  Maggie Smith is an aging classical singer who moves against her will to a Senior Living Center.  She discovers three residents with whom she once performed - including a former beau. After several "plot hitches"  ;) , they give a concert.   
The classical music throughout is great, all the actors are "age-appropriate" and the story is good.

Another one that's "age appropriate" is "Our Souls At Night" with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda.  It's based on the novel by Kent Haruf.  The blurb with the e-book reads:

In the familiar setting of Holt, Colorado, home to all of Kent Haruf's inimitable fiction, Addie Moore pays an unexpected visit to a neighbor, Louis Waters. Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town they naturally have known of each other for decades; in fact, Addie was quite fond of Louis's wife. His daughter lives hours away, her son even farther, and Addie and Louis have long been living alone in empty houses, the nights so terribly lonely, especially with no one to talk with. But maybe that could change? As Addie and Louis come to know each other better—their pleasures and their difficulties—a beautiful story of second chances unfolds, making Our Souls at Night the perfect final installment to this beloved writer's enduring contribution to American literature.

I'd read the book before the movie came out and, although the story line was the same, the two stars looked a bit too sophisticated compared to the other residents, who were dressed more appropriately for the area (IMO  :) ).

Had a nice conversation with a friend today. Told her about the Ree Drummond book and she suggested I read RD's autobiography "Frontier Follies".  So I've checked out the e-book.

Happy Reading, Bookbuddies.


I see that Amazon has discontinued the Kindle Lending Library so I don't get my once a month free read. A lot of the writers I like to read have gone moved over to the Kindle Unlimited plan. While there are a lot of books listed in their free Prime Reading section, I usually don't see much I am interested in. That all just means I have more time to read the offerings through the Free Library of Philadelphia and catch up on all those downloads I haven't gotten to yet.

Right now I am reading an adventure/romance Scifi that is a bit underwhelming, but I am reading it anyway. Once again I run into the misuse of the pronoun I when me is needed. Sigh! Have the schools changed the rules or are the students just not getting good teaching these days? The one outstanding (dare I say egregious?) misuse of words in this book is the use of gambol when gamble is needed. One does not gambol at the gaming tables, one gambles. An young antelope or a bunch of baby bunnies might gambol (frolic, cavort, prance) though.


I am always appalled at the awful grammar when I read the posts on my Next Door account.  I think they quit teaching Grammar in schools about 1980 or so.  That goes for Spelling too. 

I read Kent Haruf's "Our Souls At Night", and I have watched the movie twice.  Was not quite sure what I felt the first time I watched, except how old Redford looks, and maybe Fonda didn't look old enough! 

Yes, Callie, I have watched "Quartet" several times.  Love that one too.  Have any of you ever seen "Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont"?  That is a lovely movie.  I can think of several others, that are several years old, that are "age appropriate" for us. Getting the titles from my brain to my lips is a bit of a problem, some days.  I am always saying to myself "there will be a 10 second time delay while the memory chip upgrades".  Sometimes it is more than 10 seconds, but you know what I mean.

Have a lovely day, all!


It's nice to see all this "activity" here today.  
   I watched The Dig just a couple nights ago.  It was nice to know that it was from a true event.  I like to look those up and read a little of the background story.   It was  a good story though I have to follow along with the action and catch a word here and there to know what's being said.   I turned the volume up higher but it didn't seem to clear up the words much.   Debby keeps telling me I have a hearing problem but I'm in denial.  ::) Mostly I can hear everything, even some noises that I don't want to hear!!
   A few days ago there was another newer movie on Netflix call Penguin Bloom.   It was a good little family story set in Australia.
   Speakiing of books written from historical facts,  I have a newer one on my Kindle just now called West With Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge.    The background story is of a pair of giraffes that were to be the first at the San Diego Zoo and their trip across the country.   This was in the '30s and the ship that they came to the East coast was caught up in a hurricane and so the story goes from there.   I haven't read the book yet but can't wait to get going as soon as I finish One For the Blackbird.....
   I'm happy to see that there are others here who regard some of the book discussions as I do.   I really read for pleasure and learn about so many things that way.
   It's a beautiful sunny day here in WNY.  The snow hasn't melted off yet but the temperature is in the high 30's and feels so nice after the teens and 20's.  We'll enjoy it because there is more wintry weather on it's way.  :)
  Oh and yes Callie and Tomereader,   Out Souls At Night is a good one to  watch again and even reread it.  Kent Haruf has a few books that I've enjoyed.   Does anyone remember an old movie called Queen of the Stardust Ballroom starring Maureen Stapleton and Charles Durning?   It was another of the good movies of older people in it's day.   I may try to find it again.
Mary C


February 04, 2021, 05:03:30 PM #2440 Last Edit: February 04, 2021, 05:06:19 PM by Marilyne
Callie - "Our Souls At Night", was one of my favorite Kent Haruf novels, and I liked the Netflix movie version as well. Of course Jane Fonda, did not look the right age for the part, although she actually was.  Her upper arms, in those sleeveless blouses, did not look like the arms of a woman in her 70's, which she was supposed to be.  JF admits to multiple cosmetic surgeries over the years, so I guess getting rid of the baggy saggy arm flesh, was one of them.  ::)  In spite of those little annoyances, I thought it was a a very good movie, and they both did a good job with the characters.    I don't know how I missed, "Quartet", but I'll
definitely watch it.  Anything with Maggie Smith, is bound to be good.

MarsGal and Tome - I'm sorry to say that the state of the English language, has been in a steady decline for the past couple of generations.  As you both said, it's apparent in newspapers, online, and even in published books by well known authors!  Don't they have editors and proofreaders anymore?  Apparently not!  The written word gets printed, as is, and nobody seems to care about grammar, spelling, punctuation or sentence structure.    Some of the sentences that writers cobble together in articles and news stories, are barely readable.  As you said Tome, reading Next Door, is appalling.  The adults who post in my ND, are mostly in their 30's through 50's, and are well educated and making incredible amounts of money in High Tech jobs!  Yet they can't put a sentence together.  The sad part, is that nobody cares.

Mary -  I'm glad you also enjoyed "The Dig".   Definitely quality television.  A suggestion for you, so you can "hear" the  dialogue better . . . try setting  your closed captions, and see if that makes a difference.    We now keep them on all the time, except for live programming like the news.  Captions are available on all movies, as well as Netflix and Amazon Prime, HBO, etc.  Yes . . .  I remember,  "The Queen of the Stardust Ballroom", and I loved it!   I was much younger then, but still, the basic storyline was not lost on me.  That was the first time I ever saw Charles Durning, and I remember liking him, and predicting, (to myself), that he would be featured in many more productions over the years . . . which he was.


Oh, yes Mary.  Do put on your Closed Captions.  There are very few movies that do not have it.  I use mine all the time, but especially when I'm watching my British Mystery shows.  Have you noticed how fast the newscasters are speaking nowadays?  The closed Captions cannot even keep up with them!!  That started a couple years back, and has been getting worse.  I guess they talk faster so that can get in more commercials!


February 05, 2021, 09:23:37 AM #2442 Last Edit: February 05, 2021, 09:27:37 AM by phyllis
It seems to me that EVERYONE talks faster now, Tome.  I've frequently asked people on the phone at medical offices, etc., if they would please speak more slowly so I could understand them.  They try for a few sentences but then quickly revert to rapid speech again.  It is so frustrating.

I watched "Quartette" again last night.  What a collection of talented actors!  I enjoyed it just as much the second time as I did the first time.

I couldn't watch TV without the captioning.  Even turning the volume up high doesn't help with the clarity of speech.  But, sometimes, the way the captioning "translates" the words is hilarious.

Marilyne, where I live is often referred to as "Silicon Valley East".  We have the same type of population that you have.  High salaried/high tech but, I just shake my head when I read some of the posts on Next Door.  I cannot believe that so many of these people cannot know even the most basic rules of English grammar.  Grammar was not my favorite subject in school and I'm often guilty of "lazy speech" but.....well.


I've been thinking about the passing of Christopher Plummer, this past week, and wanted to say a few words about how much I've enjoyed his many films over the years.  What a great career he had, and what a versatile actor he was!  The first movie I saw him in was, "The Sound of Music",  in 1965.   I liked it then, and I still watch it whenever it plays on TV.  Another of my favorites is the historical drama, "The Last Station",  about the final years of Leo Tolstoy's life.  Helen Mirren plays his wife. I think it's available on some of the streaming channels.  I highly recommend it.

Max Von Sydow, another one  of the older generation of actors, passed away about six months ago.  He was also one who played in dozen of films, and was a long time favorite of mine.   The first movie I saw of his, was "Hawaii", in 1966.  I was so impressed with him them, and have seen him in countless movies since.  He starred in a number of Ingmar Bergman movies back in 60's, that are still fascinating to watch, even after all these years.  Most recently he played the Holocaust survivor grandfather, in  "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close". 
Both Plummer and Von Sydow, were 91, and were born in 1929.   


I was reading today that Chris Plummer wasn't really sick but that he had a fall and hurt his head.  He was on a talk show last year and did not look in his 90s. Was married to a really young blond women years and years younger I believe.
I never heard of that Movie "Extremely Loud and incredibly close"


JeanneP - So good to see you!  :hello: It's been a long time since you've posted in any of the discussions.  So glad you're back with us!

"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close", is a story that takes place in New  York City, right after 9/11.  It tells the story of a boy and his mother (Sandra Bullock), dealing with the loss of their husband and father, who was killed when the World Trade Center collapsed.  It's a sad but uplifting movie.   I liked it, and I think you'd like it too.   


My reading still isn't back up to usual, but I have started Iain M. Banks' Consider Plebas which is the first of his Culture Wars series and sporadically listen to The Politically Incorrect History of the British Empire.

I have yet to see Extremely Loud and Incredible Close though it is one I would like to see at some point. The last movie that I saw that Christopher Plummer was in was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. While I might have seen him in some of the very early (1950's) TV shows, the first movie I remember seeing him in was Night of the Generals.

Regarding Max von Sydow, I think Hawaii was the first time he came to my attention, too. The Quiller Memorandum came out the same year, but I think I saw that later. The last of his was Never Say Never Again


Hello everyone this snowy day in the N.East.   JeanneP,  It's so good to see you back here.   I hope you haven't been away due to illness.  We've missed you!!

  Finally I finished One for the Blackbird....  Such a good story and lots of after thoughts about the characters and their situation.    Yesterday I started West with Giraffes.   It was a quick start and I'm already anxious to see what happens next.

   I must have missed the passing of Christopher Plummer.  There surely has been a rash of the older stars leaving the scene recently.   Cloris Leachman's death set me to looking for some of her movies and they weren't hard to locate.  I've enjoyed watching some of the oldies.
Mary C


Greetings, how is everyone doing today? What if anything are you all reading now?

MaryC, did you like West with Giraffes? What is it about?

Now that everything has settled down for what passes as normal around here, I have gotten back to my reading/listening. I just finished listening to The Politically Incorrect Guide to the British Empire which I enjoyed very much. The audio book on Medieval history I started a while back is almost done; I expect to finish it in the next day or two.

Having finished Iain M. Banks' Consider Phlebas, I skipped the second in series (which has to do with games) and am now reading Use of Weapons. These are part of his Culture Wars series. They are separate stories set in the same universe. They are a little difficult to describe without a long description, but the best short explanation is that the Culture Wars are a clash between the humanists who do not believe or want to be part of a culture that is made up of "Minds" and people who have uploaded their conscious's to what amounts to a virtual reality universe as opposed to the physical universe.

My sister, of all people is now reading the third of Elizabeth Moon's Vattas's War SciFi series and enjoying it.


Is anyone using a Kobo Ereader? The battery on my almost six year old Kindle Paperwhite is not holding charge like it used to. I am thinking of trying a Kobo, partly because it is less resitrictive than the Kindle products. Also, Kindle does not support .epub. Believe it or not, there are a few books out there that use .epub but not Kindles proprietary .azw, etc. Oh, and the price is right.


Marsgal,  YES I did like West with Giraffes.   It is from a true news story in the mid 1930's.   The San Diego zoo had arranged to get two giraffes from Africa.  They arrived in New York amidst an historic hurricane and had to be transported to San Diego by truck/trailer.  The story has a couple of stories intertwined which adds to the interest.  The human/animal connection is so touching throughout and the stories behind and along with the people makes for great reading.   I highly recommend it.
Mary C


MarsGal - I remember that you mentioned  The Politically Incorrect Guide to the British Empire,  once before, and it sounded like a book I would enjoy.  This time, I'll remember to  put it on my library list.   The Culture Wars series, sounds very complicated to me - virtual reality universe, as opposed to the physical universe.  Interesting to contemplate such a thing, and I can see that there would be conflict!  :o   

The only thing I have read of interest lately, is Elizabeth Berg's newest book,  I'll Be Seeing You,  which is a memoir.   It's mainly about her mother and father, and their life together and long term marriage, but includes lots of interaction with Elizabeth and her siblings.   Mainly, it's focused on her parent's transition from their family home, to a small apartment in a  senior community.   I liked it, and could definitely relate to some of the problems with the parents and other family members .  Highly recommended!  :thumbup:

maryc - West With Giraffes, sounds very good!  I'm going to add that one to my library list as well.