Category Archives: movies

WWW Wednesday (May 24)

www-wednesdayWWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Here is what you have to do to participate:

Answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments section the host page for others to look at.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading:

I’m currently reading the above three books, which are:

  1. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. One of my book challenges this month is to read a book that was made into a movie. I bought this one round about the time the movie came out, but am only getting around to reading it now. Once I’m finished it I’ll try to check out the movie.
  2. Are You Seeing Me? by Darren Groth. This is one of three books I received from LibraryThing for review, so I need to get on with this one as well.
  3. Grounded: Finding God in the World. A Spiritual Revolution by Diana Butler Bass. I started this one last year and never got it finished. Now that I’m back to it again I’m really enjoying it and should be finished it soon.

Recently Finished:

I finished the above two books during the past week:

  1. You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris. I borrowed this little book from the library. It was written by the husband of one of the women killed in the Bataclan Theatre terrorist attack in Paris in late 2015 and is his account of the days following the loss of his wife, and how he will not let what happened cause either himself or their 17 month old son to hate. It was a fairly emotional read, but well worth reading.
  2. Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science by Mike McHargue. This was one I had been looking forward to reading for a while and it did not disappoint me. I’ve been listening to a couple of podcasts that Mike is on – ‘Ask Science Mike’ and ‘The Liturgists Podcast’ – for a while now and it was great to finally be able to listen to his story.

Up Next:

I have a couple of review books to get to, as well as a graphic novel I borrowed from the library, so it could be any of them. I’d also like to get into Richard Rohr’s The Divine Dance. So many books and not enough time!

Bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts (May 11)


‘Bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts’ is hosted by Christine at Bookishly Boisterous. It’s just a round-up of bookish and other things from the previous week. Share a link there if you want to participate.

1. Although I only finished a couple of books in the last week, I did a lot more reading than I have in a long time. Although I seem to be enjoying reading again, the downside is knowing what to read next – my TBR pile just grows and grows. Summer is coming, sticio hopefully I’ll get more down time to be able to attack that pile.

2. I participated in a Kairos Blanket Exercise this week, organized by our local Ministerial Association. It’s the second one I’ve participated in and it was a very moving experience. If you ever get the opportunity to participate in one then do so. The more people that are able to do this, the more hope there is for real change to take place.

3. We managed to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2 last weekend. It’s a great movie and every bit as good as the first one, maybe even with some deeper themes running through it. I had to watch the first one again the night before going to see the second one, as it had been almost three years since I saw it and my memory isn’t as good as it used to be.

4. My latest favourite thing to make is mushrooms that taste like bacon bits. They’re easy to make and addictive. Also, they are probably a lot better for you than bacon, which I haven’t had for over 8 years now anyway.

5. I’m looking for something new to binge watch on Netflix after last week’s disappointing experience with the unavailability of Better Call Saul. I only have two more episodes of Father Brown to watch and I’m caught up again. I’m open to any suggestions anyone might have to offer.

6. We’re trying to work out a visit this summer to our favourite used bookstore, Bearly Used Books, in Parry Sound. When we lived up north we used to pass through there more often, but no it’s a little out of our way. It’s worth visiting and we still have a fair bit of store credit to use up there. You never know what you are going to find and I’ve picked up some great bargains there over the years.

7. I had to buy a new copy of 1984 today as my old, well-read copy is starting to fall apart. Our daughter borrowed it for school, but it was in such poor shape that I thought I’d better get another one.

8. U2’s Joshua Tree Tour 2017 kicks off tomorrow night in Vancouver, which means it’s only 43 days until we get to see them in Toronto. I’m interested to see what their set is tomorrow night and also what the stage set-up looks like.

WWW Wednesday – May 10

www-wednesdayWWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Here is what you have to do to participate:

Answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments section the host page for others to look at.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I was doing well for a little while there, but it’s almost two months since I did one of these posts. So it’s time to get started again! Here are my answers for the past week:

Currently Reading:

Three books that I have on the go at the moment are:

  1. How to be Here by Rob Bell. I’d wanted to read this one for a while, but only picked it up last month. It’s a great read so far.
  2. Are You Seeing Me? by Darren Groth. I received a review copy of this from LibraryThing early reviewers and am hoping to get it read soon. It’s been pretty good up to this point.
  3. Liturgy of the Ordinary by Trish Harrison Warren. I got a little behind in my reading for the Renovaré Book Club, but I’m almost caught up now and should be finished this one soon.

Recently Finished:

wenjackThe only book I finished in the last week was Wenjack by Joseph Boyden. It’s a sad little book based on the true story of Chanie ‘Charlie’ Wenjack, an Ojibwe boy runs away from a North Ontario Indian School, not realizing just how far away home is. He never made it home. It’s a book every Canadian should consider reading, in order to educate ourselves about the dark aspects of our history that should never be allowed to happen again. I also recently read the graphic novel Secret Path, by Good Downie and Jeff Lemire,  that is another adaptation of the life of Chanie Wenjack. It’s worth checking out as well.

Up Next:

I’d like to get into any of the following books next:

  1. Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science by Mike McHargue. This one has been on my TBR for a while. I got it for my birthday last mont and am looking forward to reading it soon.
  2. Silence by Shusaku Endo. I had stared this one, but got sidetracked. I’d like to get back to it as one of my book challenges for this month is to read a book that has been adapted into a movie. Once i’ve read it I’ll try to see the movie, as it has just been released on DVD.
  3. The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation by Richard Rohr with Mike Morrell. I just picked this one up and really want to read it soon.

Catching Up

It has been an unusual year so far and it still has over a month to go. We started off the year living in half a house, as we were still undergoing renovations. Finally, in mid-April we were able to do most of our unpacking, almost ten months after we got here. We still haven’t got any of our pictures up yet, but I’m working on it. Besides all of this, we also had a lot of visitors (family and friends) visit this year, which was great. We never had many visitors during our 14 years in Elliot Lake, but now that we are in St Marys we are more accessible. It’s always great catching up with family and friends, so we’re just thankful that the house was in more of a state of readiness by the time they all visited.

When we moved here last year I had hoped to blog more regularly, but with all that was happening and things we had to unexpectedly deal with, I just got out of the habit and just didn’t feel like it at the time. However, that has changed and I now feel in more of a better place to post more stuff here again. A lot of it will probably be book or movie related as I enjoy taking part in some of the memes that go around a number of the blogs that I follow. Plus reading and watching movies are two of my favourite things to do in my spare time, so it’s kind of natural for me to want to blog about them.

My reading did kind of suffer there for a while as well. There were times when I couldn’t focus or just had trouble remembering what I had just read. Thankfully I am getting back to enjoying reading again, but I won’t reach my target of 75 books for this year, although I will still probably be close to 50. Fifty is a fitting number for this year as well, because I turned 50 in April, which hardly seems possible, but is true nonetheless.

At 50 I think I’m in better shape than I was at 40, but I’m finding it harder to keep off the weight these days. Once all the rush of Christmas is past, Pamela and I are considering signing up for Forks Over Knives. If you are wondering what that’s about click on the link or watch their movie, which is available on Netflix.

Getting back to my reading, my habits have started to change again, although one thing that hasn’t changed is that I buy more books than I read. I’m seriously thinking of giving up my participation in The Classics Club as I haven’t been able to keep up with it. I also have found that I’ve not been enjoying some of the books as much as I expected to. I’ll make a decision on it soon. One unusual thing that has happened is that I have discovered that I enjoy the odd romantic novel. During the summer I received a free romance in a giveaway, read it, and discovered it was a good escape for me. I’ve read a few more since then and they haven’t been all that bad. It’s only a certain kind that I enjoy, mainly contemporary, inspired, suspense, and sci-fi. The other categories don’t really appeal that much to me at all. I’ve found that I can get a lot of what I like for free or cheap on the Kindle or Kobo apps, so that has given me enough to read. Also, on the reading front, I joined the Renovaré Book Club this year again after taking last year off. The four books chosen for this year look like great reads and I’m enjoying being a part of it again so far.

For my 50th birthday my family gave me a turntable, so I now have something to play my vinyl on again. I now have to work out how to get my collection of vinyl that is still in Orkney over here. Now I spend some of my spare time checking out thrift stores for records. I’ve found some good deals there so far. Also, there’s a great vinyl store in Stratford, which is only 20 minutes away.

One other thing that happened this year is that we have TV again. For the past few years we’ve been relying on Netflix, DVDs, and the internet for our occasional viewing, but a few months ago we discovered that we could get a good deal with Rogers for their basic TV and signed up for it. We had been with Bell for our internet and home phone, but their prices were getting ridiculous. Being fed up with this, we shopped around and discovered that Rogers offered phone, internet, and TV for less than the two services we had with Bell. So, we changed to Rogers and haven’t looked back. We also gained unlimited bandwidth with Rogers internet, so we don’t have to worry about going over our limit like we had to do with Bell. We’re still not watching much TV, but we are enjoying the on-demand feature, which is something new to us.

Well I think that’s enough catching up for now. Hopefully I’ll keep up more with the blogging now and make keeping this site up worthwhile.

Top Ten Tuesday – Movies (Nov 15)

It’s been ages since I did one of these. In fact it’s been ages since I posted anything here at all. So, I need to get back to posting here more regularly again.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a different topic is posted inviting the participants to come up with a list of ten things to do with the topic.

toptentuesdayThis week’s topic is ‘Movie Freebie — top ten all time favorite movies, top ten foreign films, top ten rom-coms, top ten 90’s movies, top ten action flicks, top ten tear-jerkers, top ten movies your favorite actor/actress is in, top ten movies with PoC leads, etc. etc.’ I think I’ll go for my all-time favourites.

This actually proved to be harder than I thought it would be. There are others I may have included on another day, but these are the ten I thought of today:

  1. Cinema Paradiso – a classic; wonderful story, great characters and performances, along with one of my favourite Ennio Morricone soundtracks. It’s worth watching over and over again, but has to be watched in the original language with English subtitles.
  2. The Mission – one of the few movies that make me cry every time I watch it. The story captivated me right from the moment I first saw it. Also, another great Morricone soundtrack.
  3. Babette’s Feast – a wonderful story of grace. It’s another one that has to be watched in the original language with English subtitles.
  4. O Brother, Where Art Thou? – this is my go to comedy. It’s my kind of humour and the music is great, too. I also love the outlandish characters.
  5. Once Upon a Time in the West – without a doubt, this is the best Western ever. It’s an epic, with some great performances, especially Henry Fonda as a bad guy. The soundtrack, once more, is a great one by Ennio Morricone.
  6. The Blues Brothers – this is another one I can watch again and again – great story, awesome soundtrack, innumerable big stars (including lots of great cameos).
  7. A Beautiful Mind – this was the first DVD I ever bought and is still one of my favourites. I think it is probably Russell Crowe’s finest performance. I find it to be such a moving story and one that is also well worth watching again and again.
  8. The Deer Hunter – another very moving one, with some very tragic moments. Some of the actors gave their best performances in this one and Christopher Walked was very worthy of his Oscar win.
  9. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb – this is probably one of the most under-rated movies on my list. I think that, in all the different characters he plays, this is Peter Sellers best movie. I like all the Pink Panther movies he did, but this is his finest moment.
  10. A Christmas Carol (1951) – this is a must watch every year at Christmas, but it has to be the Alastair Sim version. I never grow tired of this and if I had to have one Christmas movie on my list, then this had to be it.

As I said before, there are other movies that may have made this list on another day, but for now this is my top ten. None of the Marvel movies made the list as it is hard to pick one, although I think that Doctor Strange may become my favourite of these. Also, none of the Star Wars movies made the cut, although if I had to choose one it would have to be The Empire Strikes Back. Other movies that just failed to get into my top ten include West Side StoryInceptionOnce Upon a Time in AmericaGladiator, and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, to name a few.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Brooklyn (August 5)

For this week’s Friday meme combo I have chosen Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn. I have seen the movie a couple of times and enjoyed it, but I really wanted to read the book as well. I bought it a couple of months ago, so it’s time to get it read. GoodReads has the following description:

brooklyn.jpgEilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the hard years following World War Two. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America, she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind.

Eilis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street, and when she least expects it, finds love. Tony, who loves the Dodgers and his big Italian family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

bb-buttonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of Brooklyn:

Eilis Lacey, sitting at the window of the upstairs living room in the house on Friary Street noticed her sister walking briskly from work. She watched Rose crossing the street from sunlight into shade, carrying the new leather handbag that she had bought in Clerys in Dublin in the sale.

There’s not much happening here yet, but I guess it’s just setting the scene for what will follow.

friday-562.jpgThe Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of Brooklyn:

On Sundays, Mrs. Kehoe had a rule that she did not appear and it was up to the girls to cook, making sure to leave no mess behind them. Mrs. Kehoe went to early mass on Sundays, she told Eilis, and then had friends around in the evening for an old-fashioned and serious poker game. She made the poker game, Eilis noted in a letter home, sound as though it was another form of Sunday duty that she performed only because it was in the rules.

I’d like to think that I can get into this book over the weekend, but time will tell. I am looking forward to reading it, though, because I want to see how the movie measured up to it.

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