Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Movie Review: The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman, directed by Michael Gracey and written by Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon, was a wonderfully made movie about the life of P. T. Barnum, and how he began his circus. Barnum was played by Hugh Jackman who did a great job depicting his character. Barnum didn't have an easy road of it, as the movie shows, starting out as the poor son of a tailor. Despite his struggles, Barnum doesn't forget his dream and works toward it, despite the troubles and obstacles he still has to overcome as the movie progresses.

I loved the movie, personally. The acting was wonderful, and the songs were very stirring. I think my favorite character was the bearded lady played by actress Keala Settle. She had such strength and personality. And the song she sang, "This is Me" was my favorite song of the movie, though all of them were terrific.

The Greatest Showman is rated PG. It does have some mild swearing it, and a few scenes of minor violence and peril. So parents would want to keep that in mind when taking their children. In my opinion, it is a very good family movie that parents and children can enjoy together. Plus, it is an excellent look at one man's ability to overcome difficulty and make something wonderful that brought joy to others.

Greatest Showman, The (c) 2017 directed by Michael Gracey
That's always a good thing.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Far World: Air Keep by J. Scott Savage

Far World Air Keep (c) 2014 by J. Scott Savage
 Far World: Air Keep  is the third book in the four book Far World series by J. Scott Savage. In this third book, Marcus and Kyja need to find and secure the help of the air elementals in their quest to save Far World and Earth from the destructive influence of The Dark Circle. The problem is, they're not sure how to get there. Until Mr. Z comes along to help them on a... racing snail.

And of course, the story gets weirder (in a good way) from there. Air elementals are flighty and capricious, and the story reflects their humor and whimsy. But all the way through it, at the same time, is a thread of tension because of what Marcus experienced in the Was, Is, Will Be, and Never Was. If that doesn't make much sense, it will when you read the book, which I highly recommend to people who enjoy fantasy adventure!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Treasure Island (c) 1883 by Robert Louis Stevenson
I recently finished another fun, classical book, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. It was first published as a book in 1883.

Jim Hawkins, the main character, is a boy whose parents run The Admiral Benbow at the beginning of the story. When an old sailor who calls himself "the captain" shows up, Jim's adventures begin.
Through various trials, including the death of his father, Jim at last finds himself leaving with his friend, Dr. Livesey, Squire Trelawney, Captain Smollet, and a crew, including Long John Silver to find the buried treasure on the map that "the captain" left behind when he died of a stroke.

Long John Silver, through the course of the story, shows himself to be a very different man than he first lets on, a dishonest, backstabbing, double crosser who is out for his own gain, and who cares for no one else on his quest to get the treasure for himself.

The story is incredibly fun, and almost constantly moving forward. I found myself cheering on Jim and the rest of the good guys, Dr. Livesey, Squire Trelawney, and Captain Smollet. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good, rollicking adventure story.

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith

The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection is the 13th book in The Number One Ladie's Detective Agency Series by Alexander McCall Smith, a delightful series about Mma Precious Ramotswe, her family and friends, and their adventures as they go about solving problems big and small as professional detectives in Gabarone, Botswana. In this book, Mma Ramotswe meets her hero, Clovis Anderson, the great detective from America whose book has inspired her. But is he what he appears to be? Along with his unexpected appearance, Mma Ramotswe has to find out why her friend, Mma Potokwane has been fired from her job as Matron of the orphan farm, and why the most faithful and hardworking mechanic in her husband's garage is unexpectedly accused of working on stolen cars!

How will Mma Ramotswe go about solving these mysteries? Read the book and find out!

This book is told in easily flowing, delightful language, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good mystery!

The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection (c) 2012 by Alexander McCall Smith

Monday, February 5, 2018

The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis

The Silver Chair (c) 1953 by C. S. Lewis
I just finished another really good book in C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia.

The Silver Chair, possibly my favorite in the series, follows the adventures of Jill Pole and Eustace Scrubb as they enter Narnia to help find Prince Rilian, the son of Eustace's old pal, Caspian. Eustace had been in Narnia before with his cousins, Edmund and Lucy.

Jill is upset at the beginning of the story because she's been bullied, and Eustace tries to cheer her up. While they're talking, the bullies come along, and in their escape, Eustace and Jill find themselves in Aslan's Country. Not Narnia, yet. That's across the ocean.

Well, things start going wrong right off. Because she strays too near the edge of a cliff (on purpose) and then panics, accidentally knocking Eustace over the edge when he tries to help her, Aslan has to step in to save Eustace by blowing him to safety across the ocean. And Eustace is not there to hear the four signs that Aslan tells Jill to tell him. Since he's not there to hear the signs himself, there are miscommunications and lost chances once Jill is blown to Narnia as well, and they meet up. But hope is not lost, and they meet up with Puddleglum, a faithful Narnian Marshwiggle who helps them.

I really enjoyed the story, both when I was little, and recently. I liked the adventure of it, with not a dull moment to Jill and Eustace, I liked the underlying idea that even when we mess up, we can still get back on track, and I liked the moral that doing good does pay off.

The Silver Chair is a great story, and I highly recommend it to all ages of readers who enjoy adventure and fantasy!