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text 2017-07-30 13:53
Reading progress update: I've read 351 out of 604 pages.
Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1) - Hilary Mantel

"But it is no use to justify yourself. It is no good to explain. It is weak to be anekdotal. It is wise to conceal the past even if there is nothing to conceal. A man´s power is in the half-light, in the half-seen movements of his hands and the unguessed-at expressions of his face. It is the abscence of facts that frightens people: the gap you open, into which they pour their fears, fantasies, desires."

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text 2017-07-08 08:38
Fragile Cromwell: "Wolf Hall" by Peter Kosminsky


NB: I have not read the novels yet, but I'm afraid I'm going to be a little negative.


I had a “couple” of problems with this drama: firstly, I thought it felt a little 'empty' in terms of atmosphere. The camera-work, lighting and (to a lesser extent) the art-design was, for me, rather 'plain' - as if they were going for a very orthodox, no-frills adaptation of the novels. Likewise, I also thought that the soundtrack was rather dreary and 'safe' - although 'Tudor Pop' admittedly isn't my cup of tea. It would be nice - in general - if TV dramas would take more of a risk with their soundtracks: in the last week, I have re-watched Paul Thomas Anderson's “There Will be Blood” (with Jonny Greenwood's superb, experimental soundtrack) and then saw Birdman (which has a soundtrack almost solely composed of avant-garde jazz percussion) and was struck by how much these films were enhanced by a more original approach to background music.


If you're into period pieces, read on.

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review 2017-01-29 21:14
Thomas Cromwell: The Untold Story of Henry VIII's Most Faithful Servant - Tracy Borman

This is actually quite a nice and balanced biography of Cromwell. He isn't white washed, he isn't made a saint. It is pretty darn good. And you don't need a background in the Tudors to read it.

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review 2016-07-14 00:00
Easy Recipes for Christmas Cooking: A short collection of receipes from Sheila Kiely, Paul Callaghan and Rosanne Hewitt-Cromwell
Easy Recipes for Christmas Cooking: A short collection of receipes from Sheila Kiely, Paul Callaghan and Rosanne Hewitt-Cromwell - Rosanne Hewitt-Cromwell,Sheila Kiely,Paul Callaghan Enjoyed this cookbook, there are recipes I look forward to making.
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text 2016-01-02 22:25
2015: The Year in Review
Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1) - Hilary Mantel
Bring Up the Bodies - Hilary Mantel
The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt
The Martian - Andy Weir

According to my 2015 "Reading Challenge" log, I read 79 books in 2015 (excluding re-reads) - quite an exceptional year for me. I aim for a book a week and usually end up around 60 or so.


Why not an even 80? Because my travel plans got changed at the last minute, so instead of reading on an airplane on New Year's Eve, I got to spend another day with my "second family," and my reading time was shortened considerably for the very best of reasons.


It was a varied year - plays, poetry, lit crit, non-fiction, biographies, novels, and more. Could I pick one stand-out book? I could not. I have raved about many of these titles at various times to particular people. 


Here, I'll say that perhaps I loved best the "big novels," Hilary Mantel's Cromwell Books, Donna Tartt's "The Goldfinch," and Andy Weir's "The Martian." LOVED LOVED LOVED all four. 


What's coming up in 2015? I haven't posted much lately, but I have some ideas in the queue, so look for several "Notes on Adaptation" posts soon. A summer reading list will come in May. Until then, some serendipity will come into play. Stay tuned, and read along. 



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