Category: Novels

Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, DBE

AgathaDame Agatha Christie is a popular British author; Guinness Book of World Records lists her as the bestselling author of all times.  She had written 66 detective novels, 14 short stories, and even had time to write 6 romantic novels under the pseudonym of Mary Westmacott.  I think she would probably be best known for her creation of the brilliant but rather busy-body Jane Marple and the Belgian Hercule Poirot.

Agatha Christie’s play called The Mousetrap is the longest running show of the modern age.  It opened in the West End in 1952 and it had continued to run eversince.

Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, DBE

I learned that one can never go back, that one should not ever try to go back – that the essence of life is going forward.  Life is really a one – way street.

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Farewell Leonard Nimoy

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One of our Star Trek Commemorative Plates of the man or should I say Spock himself

Being an avid Science Fiction (sci fi)  fan, I have read many novels seen moves and TV and radios  series of the genre.

I prefer to read, watch or listen to sci fi that has potential to become science fact and indeed has happened!

One such TV series is Star Trek. I grew up in the 1960s and there was not much sci fi on TV. I listened with my parents to some sci fi plays such as  the classic ‘Quatermass’ on BBC radio every Sunday evening. When ‘Dr Who’ came along on BBC TV in 1963  (now the longest running continuous sci fi tv series in the world). I was so happy and despite the black & white viewing  and sometimes wobbly stage sets and  minimal primitive special effects (sfx), the excellent actors and stories ultimately enchanted millions of viewers.

With the advent of colour viewing TV in the mid 1960s, more  sci fi  Tv series were produced, many from the USA.

One such was,  of course ‘Star Trek’. Created by Gene Rodenberry, it introduced the crew & their weekly adventures in a faster-than-light travel space ship called the ‘USS Enterprise’.  There were  British sailing ships called HMS Enterprise AKA Enterprize)  in the 1700s and one in 1800s.

In the pilot episode (1964) of Star Trek, one of the crew was referred to as a ‘Vulcanian’ a humanoid from from the Planet Vulcan orbiting the star 40 Eridani  . about 16 light years from earth, Vulcan could reached in a few days in the warp speed Enterprise class star ships. The Vulcanian was called ‘Mr Spock’, as apparently his Vulcan name was unpronounceable to humans!

A new to the scene actor named Leonard Nimoy was chosen to play Spock.

The Vulcan race looked human except for pointed ears, arched eyebrows, distinctive hairstyles, a slight green skin pallor due to green blood.

Vulcans were stronger and faster than humans, due the higher gravity less oxygen rich atmosphere and heat on Vulcan. Vulcans were extremely long lived too 300 years. They exercise extreme control over their emotions as taught by  a venerated philosopher named Surak. as early in their history Vulcans were prone to violence.

My Spock was later described  as being  half human with his father the renowned, statesman like ambassador Sarek (well played by actor Mark Leonard) and human mother Amanda Grayson.

This early Mr Spock looked rather harsh and shouted a lot!

Spock Pilot Star Trek 1964

Spock Pilot Star Trek 1964

 

After the pilot show, Gene Rodenberry was not satisfied and made big cast changes for the series proper in 1966. A new captain of the Enterprise was brought in ( William Shatner as Capt Kirk), A new ships doctor, actor Deforest Kelly as Dr (Bones) McCoy.

Leonard and his distinctive appearance as Spock now known as a Vulcan, was retained and he became the second in command to Kirk.

Spock’s appearance was softened, as was his voice and manner, becoming calmer and most logical as befits a Vulcan.

Spock’s  ‘bantering’ and put downs with Dr McCoy with Kirk as referee were brilliant, but their underlying loyalty and friendship to each other shone through as the series progressed; His Vulcan catchphrase and hand gesture became legendary too!

Off course,  this crew became legendary in TV sci fi  & the motion picture history.

Leonard Nimoy was also known to us in early  ‘Mission Impossible’ TV show fans as ‘Paris’, a master of disguise brought in to the ‘Impossible Mission Force’ 1969-1971.  Mission Impossible was made at the same studios at the classic Star Trek series and so Leonard could swap pointy ears for various disguises!

Leonard was also a guest star in one my favourite detective series ‘Columbo’.  Spock’s logic was no match for Columbo’s detective ability

Mr Spock appeared in the various Star Trek sequels  and movies including the excellent  reboot of the franchise under JJ Abrams

Zachary Quinto’s likeness as the young Spock although in a different time line captures that essence of Nimoy.

Spock and then other characters live on in the Star Trek novels I enjoy reading.

Leonard  Nimoy crafted and evolved Spock into one of the most popular, recognisable & iconic characters in entertainment.

Where ever you are now in that ‘undiscovered country’ Leonard  “Live Long And Prosper“…

Spock LLAP

 

Classic  original crew of the EnterpriseClassic original crew of the Enterprise

 

 

Spock,_resurrected Zachory Quinot young spock

Spock in his second Century                             A young Spock (Zachary Quinto)

paris Leoanard Nimoy& Peter Falk in Columbo

Paris in Mission Impossible                 A baddie in Columbo

Farewell Leonard Nimoy

 

50 Shades of Red

50 shades of plaid

 50 Shades of Red

We may be familiar with Chicago’s St Valentine’s Day massacre, well  some new Valentine violence occurred at a cinema in Glasgow, Scotland this 14 February I suppose 50 Shades of Red!

To us Brits, Glasgow is known as Scotland’s most violent places and is legendary for introducing the so called ‘Glasgow Kiss’, which is a headbutt to the face!

Many years ago, a Scottish colleague/friend said that when there was a tense situation in a Glasgow pub, one of the protagonist’s would say to the other ” Pick a window you’re leavin’.”

The Glasgow cinema was showing the eagerly and hotly anticipated movie version of the British best seller ’50 Shades of Grey’ on St Valentine’s Day.

Three women were arrested for attacking a  man who apparently asked them to make less noise, as they were part of a group of ladies who were screaming during the screening!

The cinema theatre also sells alcohol, which appears to have fuelled the females flames of passion.

I guess this should not be too unexpected getting a group of Glasgow Gals together to check out and ogle the well ripped & fit Jamie Dornan 😉

We wonder if the man, the poor victim, did not produce 50 shades of sh*t (could also perhaps describe what many viewers & critics think of the movie),  when surrounded by a rampant hormonal horde 🙂

Leo Tolstoy Philosophy

Leo Tolstoy www.historytoday.com

Leo Tolstoy
www.historytoday.com

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (9 September 1828 – 20 November 1910), also known as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russianwriter, philosopher and political thinker who primarily wrote novels and short stories.

Today is Leo Tolstoy’s 186th birth anniversary.
(9 Sept 2014)

Tolstoy’s War and Peace is such a long read that it has entered the dictionary to mean, something long and laborious to read.

But having said that War and Peace is a true classic for everyone’s bucket list (book to read before dying). 😉

I always write in the morning.  In the morning one’s head is particularly fresh.
– L Tolstoy
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Leo Tolstoy Philosophy

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

– Leo Tolstoy
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It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.
~Leo Tolstoy
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No one who has not sat in prison knows what the State is like.
– Leo Tolstoy

When you feel the desire for power, you should stay in solitude for some time.
– Leo Tolstoy
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Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

cervantesMiguel de Cervantes Saavedra better known as Cervantes was a Spanish novelist, poet and playwright.  His magnum opus, Don Quixote is considered as the first modern European novel and many regard it as one of the best novels ever written.

 

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As Quoted by Cervantes:

All beauty does not inspire love; some please the sight without captivating the affections. If all beauties were to enamour and captivate, the hearts of mankind would be in a continual state of perplexity and confusion—for beautiful objects being infinite, the sentiments they inspire should also be infinite.
…….
Among the attributes of God, although they are all equal, mercy shines with even more brilliancy than justice.
—Cervantes
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Beauty in a modest woman is like fire or a sharp sword at a distance; neither doth the one burn nor the other wound those that come not too near them.

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Can we ever have too much of a good thing?
– Cervantes

Drink moderately, for drunkenness neither keeps a secret, nor observers a promise.
– Cervantes
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Everyone is as God made him and oftentimes a good deal worse.
– Cerantes
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Fortune always leaves some door open in misfortune.
– Cervantes
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Fear is sharp-sighted, and can see things under ground, and much more in the skies.
– Cervantes
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God bears with the wicked, but not forever.
– Cervantes

He who loses wealth loses much; he who loses a friend loses more; but he that loses his courage loses all.
— Cervantes
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History is the depository of great actions, the witness of what is past, the example and instructor of the present, and monitor to the future.
—Cervantes
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Honor and virtue are ornaments of the soul, without which the body, though it be really beautiful, ought not to be thought so.
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Hunger is the best sauce in the world. ~
Cervantes
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I find my familiarity with thee has bred contempt.
– Cervantes
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Ill-luck, you know, seldom comes alone.
– Cervantes
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I never thrust my nose into other men’s porridge. It is no bread and butter of mine; every man for himself, and God for us all.
– Cervantes
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It is a true saying that a man must eat a peck of salt with his friend before he knows him.
– Cervantes
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Let me leap out of the frying-pan into the fire; or, out of God’s blessing into the warm sun.
– Cervantes
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Let the worst come to the worst.
– Cervantes
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Let every man mind his own business.
– Cervantes
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Let him who is deceived complain.
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Let him to whom faith is broken despair.
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Murder will out.
– Cervantes
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Much time is necessary to know people thoroughly.

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No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this self-deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.
– Cervantes
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Out of the frying-pan into the fire.
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One man is no more than another, only inasmuch as he does more than another.
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Plain as the nose on a man’s face.[
– Cervantes
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She who loves none can make none jealous, and sincerity ought not to pass for disdain.
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Sing away sorrow, cast away care.
– Cervantes
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Sometimes we look for one thing and find another.
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Self-praise depreciates.
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THE beauty of some women has days and seasons, depending upon accidents which diminish or increase it; nay, the very passions of the mind naturally improve or impair it, and very often utterly destroy it.
– Cervantes.
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The guts carry the feet, not the feet the guts.
– Cervantes

True love cannot be divided, and must be voluntary and unconstrained.
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The viper deserves no blame for its sting, although it be mortal—because it is the gift of Nature.
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There is no remembrance which time does not obliterate, nor pain which death does not terminate.
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Thank you for nothing.
– Cervantes
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The brave man carves out his fortune, and every man is the son of his own works.
– Cervantes
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Under a bad cloak there is often a good drinker.
– Cervantes

We are sure of nothing in this life.

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Why do you lead me a wild-goose chase?
– Cervantes
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Which I have earned with the sweat of my brows.
– Cervantes
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Nancy Mitford – Original “It” Girl

Nancy Mitford

Nancy Mitford

Nancy Freeman-Mitford CBE (28 November 1904 – 30 June 1973), known as Nancy Mitford, was an English novelist, biographer and journalist.
Nancy was one of the famous Mitford sisters and considered one of the Bright Young Things in the early 1900s.

 

Nancy Mitford:  The Wit & Quips of an “IT” girl

An aristocracy in a republic is like a chicken whose head has been cut off: it may run about in a lively way, but in fact it is dead.

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I have only ever read one book in my life, and that is White Fang.  It’s so frightfully good I’ve never bothered to read another.

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I have just heard on the wireless that there’s no point in writing books any more because the electric brain can do it better.  I’m all for it so long as I don’t have to read the Brain’s effusios, don’t feel they are made for me.

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Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) – Jose P Rizal

Ampalaya 064

I read this book in high-school as part of the school curriculum. I seemed to have forgotten most of the plot but I remember it was very good. 🙂

I saw this book still prominently displayed at the National Bookstore in Manila last year and I thought I buy it and reread it once again and perhaps get a better perspective of what the story was about after all it does need a bit of special attention, it being one of the books that propelled and inspired Filipino ancestors from the 18th/19th century to take up arms and fight for independence against the 333 years of Spanish tyrannical colonisation of the Philippines.

This Noli Me Tangere version is in Tagalog. I must admit, having gotten used to thinking, speaking, watching and reading English all the time, this version  takes getting used to reading pure Tagalog once again. And this Tagalog version is the old fashion kind. As I said it takes getting used to it again. I kept stopping almost in every sentence to admire and mentally practise saying words that have become archaic in my everyday vocabulary. It is a nice feeling going over each word.

I think it was Jose Rizal himself who said:

Ang hindi magmahal sa sariling wika ay daig pa ang malansang isda.

The english literal tanslation is “Those who do not love their own language are worse than rotten fish!

No Siree I do not really want to be one of those rotten fish! LOL

Hermione Loves Harry Not Ron?!!!

potterWhat?!!!

Hermione Loves Harry Not Ron?!!!

Apparently J K Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series has always known that Hermione belongs with Harry. Hermione and Row were wrong.

This controversial sentiment was told to Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger in Harry Potter. Emma was a guest columnist for the Wonderland magazine where this interview with J K Rowling is slated to appear!

I am a self-confessed Hermione and Ron’s number one fan.

Putting Hermione and Harry together would have been like a carbon copy of Harry’s parents’ love affair.  And we knew what happened to that!  They were really not that happily married. Gasp!!! Harry’s dad was rather feckless.  Mrs Potter should have had the love affair with Severus Snape; he was more trustworthy and loved her to the death.  He was also looking after Harry in a very subtle way.

I am sure Hermione and Ron would love one another tenderly.

Perhaps JK Rowling is after a rewrite of the whole Harry Potter saga, a reboot if you like which is becoming popular with most classic stories, novels, television programs and films ala Pride and Prejudice and the Zombies!!! LOL

Are we likely to see a Harry Potter & Hermione Granger love affair in a parallel universe? Does Rowling want more money? Perhaps not as she has more than enough, probably it is more the fame and attention that she craves, after all her other novels had failed to rock the world like the Harry Potter novels can.  Mind you she did have a bestseller a year ago under a pseudonym.

Vince Vaughn, Perfect Jack Reacher

Vince Vaughn, Perfect Jack Reacher

There was an interview with Vince Vaughn in Metro, UK’s tube and buses commuters’ free newspaper, where he said that he was tired of being the Goofball King, he was tired of comedy.

This reminded me immediately that he was my first choice (second was Liev Schreiber) of who should play Jack Reacher, Lee Child’s superhero. Vince would have been perfect to play Reacher. At 6ft5inches in height, he embodies was Reacher was about.

Jack Reacher is tall and immense that people tend to stay out of his way and off his radar. This very height also made him to be rather standoffish and be able to go about his business with minimal fuss as no one sane would stand in his way.  Reacher having been a soldier has that look of having seen it all and certainly experience it all, what I mean is that he has that rugged good looks.

Tom Cruise, though he did his best to make Reacher his own, rather failed in his attempt. Tom is just too tiny and rather too pretty. Sorry Tom, you are no Reacher.

It was sad that Lee Child sold out easily to the highest bidder. I guess money makes the world of Jack Reacher go round which is ironic as Reacher does not go for possession. Everything he’s got in the world is in his pocket and in his being where he stands.

If there is any justice in showbiz world, Tom should stand aside and let the real Jack Reacher be upstanding. LOL

Oh My G-D!!! Mark Darcy has gone ….

Why would Helen Fielding kill Mark Darcy?!!!  This is exactly  like Karin Slaughter killing off Jeffrey Tolliver in her books.  I have not read her books since.

What is the reason for killing Mark?  Why should Bridget Jones to be forever a singleton?  Fat, middle age, single mother who still keeps and write a diary?  Probably she blogs!

Nope, I refuse to be a part of Bridget’s sad, chaotic life.  It has got to stop!

 

Jean

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29 September 2013 Last updated at 12:57

Bridget Jones’ fans horror at death of Mark Darcy

Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones in The Edge of Reason
Zellweger was nominated for an Oscar for the role of Bridget
Bridget Jones fans have taken to social networking to voice their horror at the news that author Helen Fielding has killed off Mark Darcy.

In extracts from her new book, Mad About The Boy, published in the Sunday Times magazine, Bridget reveals that Darcy – her husband and father to her two children, died five years earlier.

Darcy was played by Colin Firth in the Bridget Jones movies.

Chloe Helen Lemmon wrote on Twitter: “One word for Helen Fielding: why?!”

Becky Milborrow asked: “What the hell is helen fielding playing at in the next bridget jones book!?

Fielding is due to speak at next month’s Cheltenham Literature Festival.

In the published extracts, Bridget is revealed to have two children Mabel and Billy and a 30-year-old toyboy called Roxster.

Writing on Twitter, Mairi Thomson said: “Saw the news about the Bridget jones sequel, it comes out on my birthday and Mark Darcy is DEAD!!!! Awful news #birthdayruined”.

Fielding’s first book Bridget Jones’s Diary was published in 1996 and a sequel Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason was released three years later.

Written in the form of a personal diary, the novels chronicle the life of a 30-something single working woman living in London.

In 2001, a film adaptation starring American actress Renee Zellweger, with Hugh Grant as womanising Daniel Cleaver and Colin Firth as Darcy, was released.

Zellweger was Oscar-nominated for the role and, in 2004, the sequel was released, although it was not as critically well received.

Mad About The Boy is out on 10 October.

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