Book to Movie- Top Ten Adaptations I can’t wait to see!



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke & the Bookish. It’s awesome. Every Tuesday, the lovely ladies over there give us book bloggers wonderful and fun topics to create our lists! Check out what others have posted by going over there!

This week’s topic is-

Top Ten Book to Movie Adaptations I am looking forward to


The Martian

I didn’t get through this book, but I have a feeling Matt Damon can keep my interest.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

I can’t wait to see this movie!


I haven’t read the book yet, but it is on my winter TBR.  I think of curling up on the couch with a blanket and some good books.

Black Mass

I have had a big interest in Whitey Black ever since I saw him (when he was in hiding) at a friend’s wedding.


I really think I read this book, but I am ashamed to say I don’t remember.  The movie looks great.

Me Before You

I made sure to finish the book before I found out anything about the movie.  LOVE Emilia Clark as Louisa!!

A Walk in the Woods

I loved this book.  I kept laughing the whole time I read it!

Burial Rites

My very first audiobook, and I loved it.  I can’t wait to see Jennifer Lawrence as Agnes.

Mockingly Pt 2

Also J Law- love her as Katniss.

Victor Frankenstein

The newest adaptation of this classic is told from the point of view of Igor, played by Daniel Radcliffe.


Bookish (& Not So Bookish) Thoughts

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Bookish & Not So Bookish Thoughts

is a weekly meme hosted by Christine over at Bookishly Boisterous, where we post things that are on our minds.  Head over there and check it out!

1.I was away for way too long this time!  My office had been taken over by a very nice French boy for the past 3 weeks, but I have it back now.  It was such a wonderful experience!  I was a little surprised to learn some of the stereotypes the French have about Americans though.  I hope we showed him a good time- there were big family dinners, a trips into the city to see Chicago, Rockefeller Center (and Top of the Rock), a NY Rangers hockey game, and a trip to a local farm for pumpkin and apple picking.  Whew, I am exhausted.

2.  I am glad to get my office back and get into a routine with my posts and my reading!  I am vowing (to myself) to get a little more serious about it.  That is until the holidays rear their ugly heads in a few weeks.

3.  I decided it was time to start walking my chocolate lab around a lovely pond we have close to home.  Jack decided it was time to remember he is a retriever, and jumped into the pond in a lame attempt to get his paws on one of the gaggle of geese that were relaxing in said pond.  Jack is a jerk.


4.  I love that my hubby is into Stephen King audiobooks!  We are both listening to It now.  The narrator is Stephen Weber, who played Jack Torrence in the TV miniseries of The Shining.  He is SO awesome!!

5.  I finally read Me Before You.  I think I purposely put this off since it was such a big heat and everyone was talking about it.  It has been sitting on my shelf for a long time, and I finally pulled it down.  I will probably write a mini review in a few days, but I will say I loved it.  Also- it was a hard book to put down in the middle of a chapter.  I got very snappish when I had to do that.

6.  My son is playing his LAST high school football game this Saturday afternoon.  While I know it will be bittersweet for him, and he will miss it very much- I CANNOT wait.  He hasn’t played all 4 years, but every game he did play made me die a little inside.  It’s bad enough he is driving and getting ready to go to college.  All the I can take.  But to watch him out there playing football is more than I can stand.  This Saturday, a little after 6, you might hear the biggest sigh of relief ever.

7.  Speaking of going off to college, the application process is awful, but nothing compared to the time between when you submit said application, and when you finally hear back from the college.  Imagine taking a pregnancy test, and having to wait 6-8 weeks for a result.

8.  I am reading an ARC, and it is light, easy, and quick.  I have been reading (and rereading) some tough stuff, so this is very welcome.

9.  I am going to sign up later today for The Harry Potter Read Along hosted at The Estella Society.  I love that it is a “Free Range” read along with flexible dates- 11/1- 1/31.  SO excited!!


10.  Not sure about where you are, but the weather by me has been amazing!  The last few days were in the upper 60s and mid 70s, and it looks like it will continue for a few days more!

The Courtesan by Alexandra Curry

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The Courtesan

by Alexandra Curry

published by Dutton

September 2015

I received and advance review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

My Review

I was eager to read this book because it was based on the famous courtesan Sai Jinhua.  One of my favorite books is Memoirs of a Geisha, which while not based on a real person, was an impressive depiction of the lives of these intriguing women.  The Courtesan takes place in China during the late Qing dynasty.  The story is steeped in history- the weak emperor, the threat of Western Imperialism, the Boxer Rebellion.  I felt the need to break out my old books from college, especially the class I took in Chinese history.  Jinhua is a pampered child of a courtesan who is adored by her father, but barely tolerated by his first wife.  When the father is executed by order of the emperor, the wife sells the child to a brothel and enters a convent.

At the brothel, Jinhua finds a friend in the maid Suyin, who tries to protect her the best she can.  Their relationship is the only good thing in her life, as she suffers the pain of foot binding, and an education in “bed business”.  When she is old enough, her virginity is sold to the highest bidder.  For some years, she must suffer the humiliation of living and working in the brothel, until she is sold to a wealth diplomat as his courtesan.  With him, she travels to Europe and is amazed at the amount of freedom women have there.  She realizes she cannot life forever hidden away.

While I enjoyed much of this book, Jinhua never felt like a real character.  I understand how difficult it must be to write about a actual person, but I think the author made Sunyin a more interesting character and would have liked to have had the story include her more.  While some parts of Jinhua’s life was passed over- like how she left the diplomat- I thought the author did wonderful job of portraying China and her people during this turbulent time.




The Courtesan is an astonishing tale inspired by the real life of a woman who lived and loved in the extraordinary twilight decades of the Qing dynasty. To this day, Sai Jinhua is a legend in her native land of China, and this is her story, told the way it might have been.

The year is 1881. Seven-year-old Jinhua is left an orphan, alone and unprotected after her mandarin father’s summary execution for the crime of speaking the truth. For seven silver coins, she is sold to a brothel-keeper and subjected to the worst of human nature. Will the private ritual that is her father’s legacy and the wise friendship of the crippled brothel maid be enough to sustain her? 

When an elegant but troubled scholar takes Jinhua as his concubine, she enters the close world of his jealous first wife. Yet it is Jinhua who accompanies him–as Emissary to the foreign devil nations of Prussia, Austro-Hungary, and Russia–on an exotic journey to Vienna. As he struggles to play his part in China’s early, blundering diplomatic engagement with the western world, Jinhua’s eyes and heart are opened to the irresistible possibilities of a place that is mesmerizing and strange, where she will struggle against the constraints of tradition and her husband’s authority and seek to find “Great Love.”

Sai Jinhua is an altered woman when she returns to a changed and changing China, where a dangerous clash of cultures pits East against West. The moment arrives when Jinhua’s western sympathies will threaten not only her own survival, but the survival of those who are most dear to her. 

Bookish (& Not So Bookish) Thoughts



Bookish & Not So Bookish Thoughts

is a weekly meme hosted by Christine over at Bookishly Boisterous, where we post things that are on our minds.  Head over there and check it out!

  1. My daughter is taking part in a French Immersion program, so we are getting set to host our french student- who it turns out is a boy.  He comes to stay with us on Sunday and will be here 2 weeks.  Now I have to figure out what to do with him.  Suggestions??

2.  I am rereading The Hot Zone by Richard Preston for our upcoming school bookclub hosted by a science teacher!  I am so excited!!

3.  I can’t get my husband to read, but he will listen to audio books.  I got him The Shining, because though I love the movie, the book is SO much better.  So that’s why Jack starts going crazy? Yessss!  Bonus- I am listening to it also!

4.  I had to give up my office for the french boy, so I have my computer jammed not a small writing desk, with the keyboard and mouse in a small snack table.  Like I needed another excuse to not work and just go watch The Office instead?

5.  I am backing up on reviews.  What’s your opinion of mini reviews?  Good or bad?

6.  I just finished The Swans of Fifth Avenue in 1 day.  I kept stopping to google all of theses fabulous people I had never heard of.

7.  The leaves are changing and the days are getting cooler and shorter.  I love winter, but it can seem so long.

Tell me- what have you beed reading lately?  I need some good suggestions!

Bookish (& Not So Bookish) Thoughts

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Bookish & Not So Bookish Thoughts

is a weekly meme hosted by Christine over at Bookishly Boisterous, where we post things that are on our minds.  Head over there and check it out!

1.Happy Autumnal Equinox! (yesterday)  I love the fall and it seems like it is actually here.  The highs are mid 70s but the lows at night are pretty chilly.  Can’t wait for the first fire of the year!


2.  I have decided to try to read some of the books on the short list for the Booker Man prize, so I got A Little Life and A Spool of Blue Thread from the library.  A Little Life is not a little book, it’s over 700 pages (not large print by the way) long!  And not a fast read- but I am loving it!

3.  There are bears where I live, and I know this.  They frequently walk through my yard, and that is their right.  I do have a very real fear that my stupid chocolate Lab will try to chase a cub off, only to have Momma attack him.

4.  I watched The Muppets Show last night.  It was funny, in a creepy and disturbing way.

5.  I saw this on Buzzfeed and now I am dying to own it.


I can’t believe a 17 year old made this.  Unfortunately, it is a part of a book of these maps that goes on sale today, but not yet available to purchase as a print.  I want to buy the print, and then hang it right behind my desk so I can turn around and look at it whenever I want.

6.  I  am nervous about my upcoming run in NYC this weekend, but am thankful it is after the Pope has left.

7.  Banned Books week starts on Monday and I am hoping to slip in a reading of a banned book.  What is your favorite Banned Book?

Guess I am out of interesting thought for now

What’s on my fall TBR? A Top Ten List



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke & the Bookish. It’s awesome. Every Tuesday, the lovely ladies over there give us book bloggers wonderful and fun topics to create our lists! Check out what others have posted by going over there!

This week’s topic is-

Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR List

1.This Little Life by Hanya Yanighara

One of the books on the Booker Man short list.

2.  The Lake House by Kate Morton

Love the author!

3. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

I am loving this series.

4. Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

Still on the TBR

5. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

I am actually a little afraid to tackle this- maybe a better winter book?

6. The Hot Zone by Richard Preston

This was the book club pick at the school my kids go to.  Should be interesting since the host is a science teacher.

7. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

I still haven’t read this!

8.  She’s Not There by P.J. Parrish

I just read a review and it looks fun.

9.  A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

-another Booker Man short list book

10. East of Eden by John Steinbeck

(this seems to be eternally on my TBR)

The Murderer’s Daughter by Jonathan Kellerman

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The Murderer’s Daughter

by Jonathan Kellerman

published by Ballantine Books

August 18, 2015

I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

My Review

Psychologist Grace Blades treat patients that have suffered extreme trauma.  As a child, she witnessed the murder-suicide of her parents and had to suffer through many difficult situations in foster care.  Now she helps people through the hardest parts of their lives, while keeping her own life sealed off from relationships.  When a new patient is murdered, Grace feels she must solve the crime herself.

I am sure I have read other books by Jonathan Kellerman in the past, but I honestly don’t remember them.  I was excited to read this book, because it wasn’t a part in a series, like many of his are.  While I enjoyed the book, I didn’t love it. The story is in alternating times- the past and present of the main character.  It did keep me absorbed for about 3/4 of it, but I began to feel the parts with the adult Grace were a lot less  interesting than those with young Grace.  I think that a reason for this is that young Grace, despite such a difficult childhood, still had the potential to become a happy person.  Adult Grace simply has not, but instead has crafted a very lonely life.  The murder mystery was pretty cool- I love anything to do with cults- but the idea of this beautiful, smart psychologist running around in disguise and breaking the law herself just didn’t seem that believable.




A brilliant, deeply dedicated psychologist, Grace Blades has a gift for treating troubled souls and tormented psyches—perhaps because she bears her own invisible scars: Only five years old when she witnessed her parents’ deaths in a bloody murder-suicide, Grace took refuge in her fierce intellect and found comfort in the loving couple who adopted her. But even as an adult with an accomplished professional life, Grace still has a dark, secret side. When her two worlds shockingly converge, Grace’s harrowing past returns with a vengeance.
Both Grace and her newest patient are stunned when they recognize each other from a recent encounter. Haunted by his bleak past, mild-mannered Andrew Toner is desperate for Grace’s renowned therapeutic expertise and more than willing to ignore their connection. And while Grace is tempted to explore his case, which seems to eerily echo her grim early years, she refuses—a decision she regrets when a homicide detective appears on her doorstep.
An evil she thought she’d outrun has reared its head again, but Grace fears that a police inquiry will expose her double life. Launching her own personal investigation leads her to a murderously manipulative foe, one whose warped craving for power forces Grace back into the chaos and madness she’d long ago fled.