Tag Archives: Mary Ann Shaffer

Top 10 Tuesday — From Page to Screen

14 May

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday is a Page to Screen freebie. I was surprised I could actually come up with a halfway decent post since I am notoriously against watching movies that have been made from books. They are almost always disappointing. I really didn’t want my whole post to be negative, but I was surprised that I could come up with more movies that got it right than those that got it wrong. This is probably due to my motto — don’t watch movies that have been adapted from beloved books. Anyway, I hope you find a movie to watch or a book to read from my list.

For more Page to Screen posts, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

From Page To Screen

 

Movies that got it right!

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I like Samantha Morton almost as much as Ciaran Hinds (see Persuasion below), and her portrayal of Jane is spot-on. For some brooding Bronte, this movie is a great start.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I recently went to a flashback cinema screening of the iconic Gregory Peck movie. I noticed a few things that were different from the novel, but not enough to make a real impression or to throw me off. Both book and movie are classics.

Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen. Widely known as the Colin Firth adaptation, the BBC 6-episode mini-series got everything right. But if all books were treated to 6+ hours of screen time, they might all be winners. Anyway, I love this movie and the book.

Persuasion by Jane Austen. While only the standard 2-ish hours long, the movie with Ciaran Hinds is very faithful to the novel. This is my favorite Austen book and my favorite Austen movie.

Movies that got it mostly right.

The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. My book club screened this movie when it finally released on Netflix last summer. There were some things we hated that they changed, but I think they got the spirit of the movie mostly right. And book Dawsy and movie Dawsy are both wonderful!

Bride And Prejudice loosely adapted from Jane Austen. I admit this movie is not faithful to the book, but OMG is it fun! The over-the-top Bollywood look at Austen’s classic will have even the purest of purists tapping their toes and humming along. If you haven’t seen this movie, you need to. 😉

 

Movies that got it oh-so wrong!

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I was so excited to watch my very favorite book in all the world as a movie. It started out really well and I was singing its praises . . .  until the end. They changed the end!! Don’t watch the movie. Read. The. Book!

“A piece of perfect storytelling.” — Robert Louis Stevenson. First published in 1844, The Count of Monte Cristo remains one of literature’s greatest adventures. Based on actual events, this sweeping historical romance, considered to be Dumas’ finest work, recounts the story of Edmond Dantès, a gallant young sailor whose life takes a bitter turn when, during the final days of Napoleon’s reign, he is falsely accused of treason and condemned to lifelong imprisonment. After languishing for many years in a fetid dungeon, he makes his dramatic escape. In a labyrinthine tale plump with themes of justice, vengeance, lost love, and mercy and forgiveness, Dantès is now free to play out his elaborate plans of revenge on those who betrayed him.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Because its my list, and so many movies have been made from this book, I can include it in all 3 categories. If you only have one choice: watch the movie with Greer Garson and Sir Laurance Olivier or read the book —  Read. The. Book! This movie got everything wrong. From the costumes to the portrayal of Lady Catherine De Bourgh — wrong, wrong, wrong!

Pride and Prejudice is a novel of manners by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of the British Regency. Elizabeth is the second of five daughters of a country gentleman living near the fictional town of Meryton in Hertfordshire, near London. Though Austen set the story at the turn of the 19th century, it retains a fascination for modern readers, continuing near the top of lists of “most loved books.”

The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin. I have to confess that I did not watch this movie. I was waiting for friends to see it and tell me if it would rival the greatness of the book. No such luck. One of my friends said the only things similar were the title and the place crash. Such a shame, because the book is a must-read.

On a stormy winter night, two strangers wait for a flight at the Salt Lake City airport.  Ashley Knox is an attractive, successful writer, who is flying East for her much anticipated wedding.  Dr. Ben Payne has just wrapped up a medical conference and is also eager to get back East for a slate of surgeries he has scheduled for the following day.   When the last outgoing flight is cancelled due to a broken de-icer and a forthcoming storm, Ben finds a charter plane that can take him around the storm and drop him in Denver to catch a connection.   And when the pilot says the single engine prop plane can fit one more, if barely, Ben offers the seat to Ashley knowing that she needs to get back just as urgently.   And then the unthinkable happens.  The pilot has a heart attack mid-flight and the plane crashes into the High Uintas Wilderness– one of the largest stretches of harsh and remote land in the United States.

Ben, who has broken ribs and Ashley, who suffers a terrible leg fracture, along with the pilot’s dog, are faced with an incredibly harrowing battle to survive.   Fortunately, Ben is a medical professional and avid climber (and in a lucky break, has his gear from a climb earlier in the week).  With little hope for rescue, he must nurse Ashley back to health and figure out how they are going to get off the mountain, where the temperature hovers in the teens.   Meanwhile, Ashley soon realizes that the very private Ben has some serious emotional wounds to heal as well.  He explains to Ashley that he is separated from his beloved wife, but in a long standing tradition, he faithfully records messages for her on his voice recorder reflecting on their love affair.  As Ashley eavesdrops on Ben’s tender words to his estranged wife she comes to fear that when it comes to her own love story, she’s just settling.  And what’s more: she begins to realize that the man she is really attracted to, the man she may love, is Ben.

As the days on the mountains become weeks, their survival become increasingly perilous.  How will they make it out of the wilderness and if they do, how will this experience change them forever?

Both a tender and page-turning read, The Mountain Between Us will reaffirm your belief in the power of love to sustain us.

 

Which movie adaptation did you love (or love to hate)?

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Outstanding Audiobooks

26 Mar

I listen to audiobooks while I walk in the mornings. I find it helps engage my mind while I automatically traverse the very familiar roads in my neighborhood. Because I pack my reading schedule with review books, I rarely read a book just because. Audiobooks help fulfill that need. My list today, Outstanding Audiobooks, consists of the most recent books I have listened to and loved. A variety of genres are represented, so there should be something on the list for just about everyone. They were excellent choices, both for content and the reader’s excellent portrayal of the characters. I don’t hesitate to recommend them to other audiobook fans.

To find more great audiobooks, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top 10 Outstanding Audiobooks

 

Falling for You by Becky Wade

The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar

Long Way Gone by Charles Martin

The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers

No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert

The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn by Lori Benton

A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

A Time to Stand by Robert Whitlow

Why The Sky Is Blue by Susan Meissner

Top 10 Tuesday — Book Buzz

31 Jul

All over the social media world you can find book buzz on FB pages/groups, book blogs, the tweeterverse, bookstagram, etc. So do books stand up to all the hype? I have a list of 10 recent reads that not only lived up to all the hoopla, but exceeded it.  I highly recommend the following books; they are the Real Deal!

Find out what other bloggers are saying at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Books That Exceeded Their Buzz

 

Before I Saw You by Amy K. Sorrells

The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Just Let Go by Courtney Walsh

Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar

The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers 

The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright

A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof

Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Best of 2018, Part 2

10 Jul

A couple of months ago, I took advantage of a TTT Freebie week to post the best books I had read so far this year. (Check out that list HERE.) But that’s okay, because I have another 10 novels to add to the list. 2018 has been a great reading year! The books on my list vary in genre and include new-to-me authors as well as time-tested favorites. What about you? What are some your favs from this year?

Head over to That Artsy Reader Girl to discover other bloggers’ favorite books.

 

Top 10 Favorite Books of 2018, Part 2!

 

The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer

Just Let Go by Courtney Walsh

Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar

The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers

A Rebel Heart by Beth White

A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof

A Vast And Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter

Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

What are some favorite books you have read this year?

Audiobook Review: The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society

25 May

January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb. . . .

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

Mary Ann Shaffer who passed away in February 2008, worked as an editor, librarian, and in bookshops. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was her first novel.

Annie Barrows was born in 1962 in San Diego, California, but quickly moved to a small town called San Anselmo in the San Francisco Bay Area. She spent most of her childhood at the library. She wouldn’t leave, so they hired her to shelve books at the age of twelve.

Annie attended UC Berkeley and received a B. A. in Medieval History. She knows more than the average person about 3rd century saints. Under the impression that a career in publishing meant she’d get to read a lot, Annie became a proofreader at an art magazine and later an editor at a textbook publishing company. In 1988, Chronicle Books hired Annie as an editorial assistant, from which platform she became successively assistant editor, managing editor, Editor, and Senior Editor. Somewhere in this trajectory, she acquired Griffin & Sabine, Chronicle’s first New York Times best seller.

In 1996, Annie received her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Mills College and had a baby, a confluence of events that persuaded her to leave editorial work and move into writing. She wrote several non-fiction books on topics ranging from fortune-telling to opera before turning her attention to children’s books. In 2006, the first book in her children’s series, Ivy + Bean was published. This title, an ALA Notable Book for 2007, was followed by nine others. The Ivy + Bean series appears with some regularity on the New York Times best-seller list and a number of other national best-seller lists. The Ivy + Bean books have been translated into fourteen languages; in 2013 Ivy + Bean: The Musical premiered in the San Francisco Bay Area. A novel for older children, The Magic Half, was published by BloomsburyUSA in 2008. Its sequel, Magic in the Mix, came out in 2014.

In addition to her children’s books, Annie is the co-author, with her aunt Mary Ann Shaffer, of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which was published by The Dial Press in 2008. A New York Times best-seller, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society has been published in thirty-seven countries and thirty-two languages.

Annie lives in Northern California with her husband and two daughters.

 

My Impressions:

The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society was an immediate success, becoming a world-wide bestseller. Ten years after its publication it is still going strong, especially with the release of the movie this summer. My book club, Page Turners, selected it for our May discussion. Well, due to traveling members and other obligations, our meeting had a sparse attendance. And the two others besides me that were there hadn’t yet finished the book. But that certainly didn’t keep me from talking about this excellent book. Told completely in letters, the novel unfolds the story of Guernsey, a little thought of island in the English Channel. I was fascinated by the background of the story and the setting. But it was the characters that emerged and their resilience and courage in the face of enemy occupation that captured my heart. The two others that attended our meeting found the epistolary style hard to connect with. I think that by listening to the audiobook, that obstacle was removed for me. I immediately connected with Juliet, Dawsey, Isola, Elizabeth, and the others that had their voices heard through their and others’ letters. The book has some wonderfully funny parts, but poignancy as well. I felt myself part of the Guernsey community as they faced privation and uncertainty, yet never lost hope that their release from the the German occupation would come. Besides being a wonderful look into a place and time unknown to me, I felt the book was relevant for my life today.

I highly recommend The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society. It quickly captured my imagination and has stayed with me long after the final page.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(I bought the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Bookish Baby Names

22 May

Do you ever click on the FB links that promise adorable, unique, vintage, or clever baby names. Yeah, me neither 😉 . Well, maybe sometimes, once in a while, always. I love those click-bait posts and always hope for the best. This week Top 10 Tuesday is talking bookish names, so I came up with my top picks for baby names you just have to use. Most are very unusual and won’t occur ten times on your kids class roll. I have tried to find the meaning of each name; in some cases it is very subjective. Let me know what you think of my picks.

Make sure to head over to That Artsy Reader Girl to discover more great bookish names.

 

Top 10 Names You Need To Give Your Baby!

Girls

Adisa (the clear one) from A Time to Stand by Robert Whitlow

Anniston (resurrection) from How Sweet The Sound by Amy K. Sorrells

Aurelie (golden) from Lady Jane Disappears by Joanna Politano Davidson

Fairlight (the fair light of Christ) from Christy by Catherine Marshall

Isola (island) from The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Kaine (tribute) from The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

Keturah (fragrance or sacrifice) from Keturah by Lisa T. Bergren

Pearl (gem of the sea) from A Cup of Dust by Susie Finkbeiner

Persomi (no meaning found) from Child of The River by Irma Joubert

Vienne (life) from A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

 

Boys

Ace (unity) from Out of Circulation by Heather Day Gilbert

Aldric (wise ruler) from A Loyal Heart by Jody Hedlund

Boone (blessing) from Beneath Copper Falls by Colleen Coble (Boone is the name of my niece’s youngest son)

Dawsey (sweet or pleasant) from The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Noble (illustrious) from Lead Me Home by Amy K. Sorrells

Qwill (scribe)  from Gathering The Threads by Cindy Woodsmall

Race (clean shaven) from Ghost Heart by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry

Roman (a citizen of Rome) from The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers

Ryland (island meadow) from Life on The Porcelain Edge by C. E. Hilbert

Zane (gift from God) from Undercut by Heather Day Gilbert

 

Which one would you choose for your baby?

 

May Book Club Selections

1 May

May is looking like an excellent reading month! Both my book clubs are active again, and we have chosen two great books. By The Book is reading If I Live by Terri Blackstock, the last in the series and a highly anticipated novel for my group’s members. Page Turners, after a few months hiatus, is reading The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Have you read either of these books? We would love to know your thoughts.

THE HUNT IS ALMOST OVER.

Casey Cox is still on the run after being indicted for murder. The hunt that began with her bloody footprints escalates, and she’s running out of places to hide. Her face is all over the news, and her disguises are no longer enough. It’s only a matter of time before someone recognizes her.

Dylan Roberts, the investigator who once hunted her, is now her only hope. Terrifying attempts on Dylan’s life could force Casey out of hiding. The clock is ticking on both their lives, but exposing the real killers is more complicated than they knew. Amassing the evidence to convict their enemies draws Dylan and Casey together, but their relationship has consequences. Will one life have to be sacrificed to protect the other?

With If I Live, Terri Blackstock takes us on one more heart-stopping chase in the sensational conclusion to the If I Run series.

 

January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb . . . .

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society — born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island — boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.