Monday, January 6, 2014
My Five Favorite Books & Five Favorite Movies of 2013
Regarding the books: I found all five well-written, original, and captivating. I’d received the first three from Shelf-Awareness, the fourth from Net Galley, and the fifth I bought. I’ll read any book Donna Tartt writes.
1. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer is an engrossing novel about a group of young people whose friendships go back to their camp days. Their relationships take many twists and turns over the years.
2. An American Bride in Kabul: a Memoir by Phyllis Chesler I remember Phyllis Chelser from the 70’s as an outspoken feminist. I found her memoir truly astounding. As a 20-year-old Jewish girl from Brooklyn, she travels abroad with her new husband and ends up living in his family home in Kabul, where she’s expected to follow traditions she finds alien and abhorrent. Though her passport’s been taken from her, she manages to make her way back to the United States.
3. The Silent Wife by A. S. A. Harrison Jodi and Todd’s story is a mesmerizing read with a powerful ending. I’m sorry the author died before she could enjoy the success of her book .
4. Mrs. Poe by Lyn Cullen I don’t care if the love story told here about poetess Frances Osgood and Edgar Allan Poe is true or imagined. I loved reading about the New York literary scene in the mid-nineteen hundreds. Suspenseful, beautifully written, and thoroughly enjoyable.
5. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt 13-year-old Theo and his mother are in the Metropolitan Museum when she and many others are killed in a terrorist attack. He escapes, taking a valuable painting. The Goldfinch becomes an albatross he keeps with him through his tumultuous life. I’m still reading this amazing adventure.
The movies I enjoyed most this year all have wonderful actors, an interesting story line, and depth.
1. “The Royal Affair” A memorable love story that takes place in Eighteenth century Denmark between Queen Caroline Mathilde and her husband’s physician as they set about bringing the Reformation to the Danish people. .
2. “The Way Way Back” is an exceptional summer coming-of-age story with pathos and humor and memorable characters.
3. “Philomena” Based on a true story, an Irish woman sets out to find her son, who was taken from her fifty years ago. Probably my favorite film of 2013. Not to be missed!
4. “The Sessions” A quadriplegic young man who spends most of his day in an iron lung wants to experience sex. He does, and finds love along the way. Based on a true story. Oddly enough, not prurient.
5. “The Attack” A respected Palestinian physician who lives in Tel Aviv is shocked to discover his wife is responsible for a suicide bombing. Unable to comprehend why she has done this, he returns to his Palestine village where he finds some answers.