Wednesday, November 03, 2010

What I'm reading-watching-listening to this week

I've had this biography of mother and daughter Alva and Consuelo Vanderbilt on my "to read" list for a while now. I found it at the used bookstore last week and started it right away. A slow, but not unpromising start. Lots of interesting tidbits along the way. I've read tons and tons about the Churchills--Consuelo of course marries to heir of the Duke of Marlborough [aka Sunny, Marquess of Blandford--a Chuchill of the same generation as Sir Winston.] Social history is among my favorite reading topics, so I know I'll stick with this one.

I was right to be a bit leery of this one--The Queen. Not, thank goodness, quite as bad as the made-for-tv Chuck & Di love story movies, but close. Worth it to see the wonderful Simon Williams as Tommy Lascelles, but that's about it. In middle age the Queen seems like a suburban housewife--too fat to be married to Philip and not terribly bright. But it was the portrayal of the "Iron Lady," Margaret Thatcher that was worst of all. Thatcher as a simpering little lady??? Spare me! Other problems--for several scenes I assumed the overweight bald guy was an equerry only to discover he was supposed to be Prince Philip! Worse to come! The last guy to play Prince Charles looked more like one of Bobby Kennedy's sons than a scion of the House of Windsor! Those teeth! And all that hair! The beginning was decent, the last part [poor casting aside] was not terrible. Princess Anne's heroic fight with her would-be kidnapper was good. Skip the rest--except for the archival footage which is well worth it. Overall this thing should have been a real documentary--skip the "dramatizations."

In the car I'm listening to more of the Anne of Green Gables books since 'm still stuck in a holding pattern, waiting for book 5 of the Stephanie Plum series. These are delightful, although I had to just skim thru the one before this--it wasn't available on cd and I didn't want to bother with an interlibrary loan from out of the area. This series was out-of-style when I was the "right age" for them back in the mid 70s. I'm thoroughly enjoying them now though! I loved the tv series with Megan Follows and thought Anne and idiot not to marry Morgan Harris--the rich guy. Now I knew all along that Gilbert was her destiny and in this book I see that he really is the ONLY man for Anne. Who wouldn't want to marry solid Republican [or "Tory"] Gilbert! I actually cried over the first baby's birth! And, of course, was relieved and happy to hear Captain Jim's cat stayed with Anne. These are just such wonderful books! Exactly what I need right now!


A Dusty Frame said...

I love Anne!

Susan said...

You are cracking me up with the royal family talk - I agree; I've watched some royal films where it took me quite awhile to recognize an actor as Charles or Prince Philip :)

And yes, interesting thought that the "Anne" books weren't "in" when we were that age. They were never on my radar in childhood either, but I love them now. Actually, I've only ever read the first, but loved the PBS mini series. I'll have to read more of them!