Mixed-Up Monday – 10 signs I have read too many post-apocalyptic novels


10 – When I look in my pantry, the first thing I notice is how few bottled waters I have available.

9 – I’ve planned a back-roads route to my parent’s land in NC in case the interstates are blocked with abandoned cars.

8 – To ensure I maximize fuel efficiency and storage capacity, I have compared cars, SUVs and trucks.  I don’t want to have to stop too often to siphon gas and fill the tank but I want to be able to carry all of my supplies.  (There is actually a list someone has posted for this. )

7 – Making my own penicillin seems like a natural thing to do.

6 – In a sporting goods store, I look around to make a mental shopping list of what I will need for the apocalypse.

5 – In the grocery store, I consider which canned goods I would want to take and if I would need a mask to block the smell of the food that has gone bad.

4 – Even though I’m not in school, a backpack seems like something you have to keep handy for those times you may need to be on the run.

3 – I keep hand sanitizer everywhere.  You never know when that super-flu (a la “The Stand”) is going to be set loose in the world.

2 – I’ve asked all of my family if they have a preparedness plan and I’m pretty sure they are ready to have me committed.

1 – I have to buy printed novels from my favorite authors so that I will have them when the power grid fails.

What do you think?  Maybe I need to read a little more mystery and romance.

Mixed Up Monday – Books vs. Films

When I finished reading World War Z, I was pretty disappointed.  I’m usually the one that always prefers the book to the movie version.  However, in this case I’m thinking the movie might be a little more fun.

As I was thinking about books vs. films, I realized that there are actually several instances where I loved BOTH.

harry potter

Harry Potter (entire series).  J. K. Rowling created a world that so many of us want to visit again and again.  The books are wonderful examples of the YA phenomenon – many adults starting reading YA after Harry Potter.  Some installments are definitely stronger than others but as a whole they are original, exciting, enchanting and emotion-filled.

The movies stand up well to the written word.  While there were some things changed for film, they were able to keep the essence of the story.

I recently ordered the entire book set for my niece’s birthday and may just have to get her all of the DVDs next year.

gone with the wind

Gone With the Wind is a classic book and movie.  While the book is one of my favorites, I may prefer the movie (Clark Gable as Rhett Butler, swoon!)  It is basically a story about war and its’ aftermath.  But, it is the relationships that make it special.  Yes, I love Scarlett and Rhett.  But, truly, I think the heart of the story is the relationship between Scarlett and Melanie.  Scarlett is so blinded by her false love for Ashley that she cannot see how special Melanie has become to her.  It breaks my heart every time I see the goodbye scene when Melanie dies.  Scarlett’s realization of her mistakes with Melanie, Ashley and Rhett is hard to watch.  Is it too little too late?  Margaret Mitchell and the filmmakers leave that up to us.

lion the witch and the wardrobe

As a child, I loved this C.S. Lewis series.  One of my school projects was based around the symbolism found throughout the books.

When The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe came out as a movie a few years ago, I was skeptical.  However, I fell in love with the characters all over again.  I am getting teary right now just thinking about Aslan.

If you haven’t read the series and haven’t seen the movie, you are missing out on something special.

What are your favorite book/film combos?

Mixed Up Monday – Opening Lines

I read an article recently in which Stephen King talked about the importance of opening lines. They can either pull in or push away a potential reader. So, I thought I would check a few opening lines of some of my favorite novels to see how they stack up. Tell me what you think. What is your favorite opening line?

“Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.” Gone With the Wind

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

“Left Munich at 8.35 p.m. on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived 6.46, but train was an hour late.” Dracula

“When she began to stir from her deep slumber, she had no idea she was buried under several feet of moist, dark earth.” Pretty When She Dies

“It wasn’t a very likely place for disappearances, at least at first glance.” Outlander

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” The Gunslinger


Mixed Up Monday – Star Trek Into Darkness

I started this blog because of my love of reading. Hard to believe but I do occasionally do other things. Like watch television or go to the movies.

Saturday, my husband and I saw Star Trek Into Darkness. I’ve always been a fan of Star Trek – the original series/movies, TNG, etc. When JJ Abrams was picked to direct the reboot a few years ago I was more than excited. His work in television included one of my favorite shows – Alias. The first ST installment was action packed and a well thought out re-imagining of the universe. I thought it was ingenious to change Kirk and Spock’s pasts so that he would have more freedom in his storytelling.

STID was a great addition to the series. I’m going to try to stay away from spoilers but forgive me if I give anything away. Kirk is in command of the Enterprise and they are on a mission where they have to be careful about the Prime Directive. He makes a decision that goes against this basic principle and his command is taken away. At the same time, a terrorist blackmails a Star Fleet officer into a bombing. He then coordinates other attacks against Star Fleet. Kirk, along with the rest of his crew must find a way to stop him before it is too late.

Benedict Cumberbatch is mesmerizing as the villain. There were many predictions as to his character and I won’t spoil it here. But, I will say that he is familiar to fans.

Chris Pine shows a darker side to Kirk. His father’s death and then his accelerated path to becoming captain have not allowed him to build the emotional foundation he needs to be successful. As I said to a friend, it’s not surprising that he’s a bit of a jerk. He has the intellect, heart and gut feelings to be the Captain Kirk that we know but he just doesn’t have the experience. I appreciate JJ’s willingness to show that Kirk is a bit of a mess at times. This allows him to grow and come into his own in this new timeline.

Zachary Quinto as Spock is perfect. His casting was probably the most surprisingly successful to me. At first, I just couldn’t picture it but then I saw the bangs, the pointy ears and heard his logical thoughts…I was sold. The expressiveness of his face shows emotion that his words don’t provide.

Some fans of the original may be disappointed. I think this is unavoidable. JJ is making an action movie. Pure and simple. Gene Roddenberry’s original films were about the story. And, he used the films to show us his thoughts on the world. JJ is telling a story but approaches it differently.

There were a few things that I didn’t love. A tribble makes an appearance – why? It was unnecessary and I don’t want these films to be overly campy. One pivotal scene also gave the filmmakers an opportunity to really add a depth of emotion that would have made this film series more special. They kind of chose to take the easy way out and that was a little disappointing. People like to feel some sadness, anticipation and uncertainty. Everything doesn’t have to be tied up with a bow in the end. Leave us with some questions and we will come crawling back for more.

STID is heavily tied into one of the original movies and most of the references worked for me. I liked the twists that they added. But, I do hope that the remaining films in the series stand on their own – not that I don’t want to see some of the characters again but let’s use all new storylines.

Overall, I really liked it. 4/5 stars.