I had the pleasure of seeing Waitress on Broadway back in October as a belated birthday present. My mom, sister, and I took advantage of the show’s “Buy One, Get One for $10” deal to grab discounted tickets for a Sunday matinee, and as much as I’ve gotten used to the post-evening show hustle through Times Square to make my train home, it was nice to drive in with people and leave the theater a little more relaxed than usual.
Waitress has been on my list of must-see Broadways show for awhile, and at this point, it was really the only new musical that I was interested in seeing. Even now, I’m more looking forward to next season’s revivals than its new shows. The cast recording became essay-writing music for me in my last semester of school, and I figured that, if anything, seeing the show would be a fun, girly afternoon with my mom and sister.
Based on the 2007 indie film, Waitress tells the story of Jenna, a diner waitress in a small southern town who finds herself pregnant by her abusive husband. In addition to feeling ambivalent about becoming a mother, she has a talent for baking unique pies, and schemes to raise enough money to enter a pie-making contest that could allow her to leave her husband and start anew. Things become complicated when Jenna starts falling for her married OB/GYN, and the plot also explores her coworkers’ experiences with finding love.
Going through my longtime book quote notebook for insight into 10 of my favorite quotes was so much fun that I continued sifting through my records for 10 more lovely quotes to talk about. While the first post solidly covered books read in my last two years of high school and first year of college, these quotes jump around in time a lot. While away at college, I never had my notebook with me, and I kept quotes I liked in my phone Notes. I work through transferring quotes from the phone to the book quite slowly, so the notebook has some chronological gaps. So, I would say that this post includes books I read mostly from freshman to junior year of college.
“I waited patiently – years – for the pendulum to swing the other way, for men to start reading Jane Austen, learn how to knit, pretend to love cosmos, organize scrapbook parties, and make out with each other while we leer. And then we’d say, ‘Yeah, he’s a cool guy.’ But it never happened. Instead, women across the nation colluded in our degradation! Pretty soon Cool Girl became the standard girl.”
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
Gone Girl is one of those books that I didn’t really like, yet it was a fascinating page-turner that really messed with the reader’s perspective. I can understand why both it and the movie adaptation did so well. It’s passages like these that drew me in and made me stop and think about how society works. I like this quote because of how it sets up this double standard that plays out with men and women – women are rewarded for liking what men are typically more interested in, while men who like “girly stuff” are made fun of.
Anyone who knows me well is probably aware that that music is really the only form of pop culture I’m terrible at keeping up with. I don’t like a lot of modern Top 40 music and my iPod (yes, I keep music on an iPod I got in 2009 rather than on my phone) is a little embarrassing, filled with show tunes and songs that hit their peak about a decade ago.
However, videos like this one inspire me to think about more recent music in terms of book and TV characters. The mood or lyrics of a song can easily summarize a character’s motives, personality, or experiences in just a few minutes. When I was finishing Lost back in freshman year of college, I imposed a hiatus on myself in the last few weeks of the year – I wouldn’t watch Lost because if I finished one episode, I’d just want to keep going. During that little break, so many songs that popped up on my Pandora instantly made me think of certain characters on the show.
When I completed the series in July 2014, I wrote a journal entry about my thoughts upon finishing the show and why it had become so important to me. I included the songs I had paired with certain characters, which I thought would be fun to share and talk about today! I’ve also adapted a bit of the original journal entry to include some very emotional gibberish about why Lost is amazing.
I mentioned before that I’ve kept a notebook of book quotes since I was 16, and six years after starting that collection, it’s still going strong! From my eleventh grade summer reading assignments to current reads that are more likely to align with my mom’s book choices than ever before, any writing that left me thinking, crying, or laughing is captured in this notebook.
Obviously, this record has a crazy amount of quotes, so I wanted to share 10 of my favorites from the first few pages, which equates to what I read my last two years of high school and freshman year of college. You can totally tell where I was in school when flipping through the quote book (the classics mentioned below? Some of them were assigned reading). I loved picking these out, so I will definitely do another post covering the next chunk of my notebook!
While the majority of these books were first-time reads, quotes from the Anne of Green Gables series pop up throughout my notebook because I’m always rereading them and finding new bits that I love!
“Emma’s mid-twenties had brought a second adolescence even more self-absorbed and doom-laden than the first one.”
One Day, David Nicholls
I’m in a bit of a slow, transitory phase of my life now, and it’s hard not to get frustrated with the pace of things when everyone around me seems to already be on their next adventure. The quote above resonates with my current mindset. I must have read One Day when I was only a high school junior, so I don’t know why this quote about a proper grown-up appealed to me. It’s part of why I write down quotes I like – they’re words of encouragement or wisdom for the future.
If you’re a longtime reader of this blog, you probably have a sense of what kind of topics I gravitate to the most in books and TV shows. My reading material is particularly predictable, and I’m a little less likely to try out a new book genre than I am to watch a different kind of TV show. Essentially, I know what I like, and supernatural, fantasy, paranormal, and thriller stories rarely interest me. Even as a kid, the Harry Potter books were really my only foray into fantasy stories. and I mostly read contemporary or historical fiction.
Below, I’m sharing the top topics that are bound to convince me to read a certain book. No matter how many books I read with these features, I can never get enough! I’m always looking for recommendations, so leave a few titles in the comments if you know a book that fits one of these molds!
1. The Kennedys
I’m a fiend for non-fiction about the Kennedy family. When the summer comes around each year, I just get in the mood for long, in-depth books about these people. You know that I love stories about big, multi-generational families, and the Kennedys are the real-life equivalent of that. I can read as many as two or three Kennedy-related books in a row before I have to take a break. This year’s books were Jackie, Ethel, Joan: The Women of Camelot and Jackie After O. Yes, there’s tons of books out there about JFK and RFK’s politics, but what draws me in are the family sagas and marriage narratives. I’m secretly hoping for a new Kennedy dynasty to become 1960s-level famous just so there are more books about them someday.
Some of my favorite blog posts are about my wish list casting of the book-to-movie adaptations I’d want to see someday (here, here, and here). I loved putting together this one, which leans a bit more on the fantastical side than the realistic one. Nevertheless, here are my most recent picks for what actors could play certain book characters in a movie!
1. Christy Altomare and Corey Cott as Amelie and Jack (The French War Bride, by Robin Wells)
We made each other feel loved and accepted and treasured. I think that is all one can ask for in this life.
THIS BOOK. I devoured it in two days and didn’t want it to end – totally my favorite book of the year so far. If you love fiction set during World War II, this is a must read for you. It explored France’s war years in such an immersive way that I was exposed to several facets I didn’t know about before, and I’ve read a good amount of historical fiction set in 1940s France. Part of its gripping narrative was due to the narrator Amelie. The book follows her from the war’s beginning to what she does after the German surrender, but also flips between her past and 2016, when she shares her story with her dead husband Jack’s ex-fiancee.
When I’m stumped about what kind of posts to write, I turn to The Broke and the Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesday book topics. The topic “Books I’d Give a Theme Song To” stuck out to me because, at the moment, I’m very much into the soundtracks of some of my favorite films and the moods they inspire. Right now, I’m in love with the You’ve Got Mail soundtrack (and was even on a Nora Ephron reading kick for awhile!), because it just screams New York in the fall.
So, I picked a few books that seemed to fit well with songs I knew from movies, the radio, or even my own iPod. Keep reading for these pairings and explanations of why I think they fit together!
I associate this song with movies that end in weddings, like The Parent Trap or Yours. Mine and Ours. Three Amazing Things About You, which I briefly talked about here, covers three characters who are finally together by the end of the book, celebrating the crazy twist of fate that introduced them to each other. When I match books with songs, I think about the decision cinematically, and “Right Where We Started From” is like the ultimate closing credits montage song for me.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year: fall TV season! Although most of my shows don’t come back in September (I’m just waiting for This Is Us this month), a new season of TV is one of the several reasons why I’m so drawn to autumn. Tomorrow, September 17, is the day of this year’s Emmy Awards, and anyone who knows me gets that awards shows are my Christmas.
The results of last week’s Creative Arts Emmys got me hyped and ready for tomorrow’s ceremony. Alexis Bledel of The Handmaid’s Tale and Gerald McRaney from This Is Us won there for the Guest Actors in Drama categories, and Bledel’s win probably thrilled any Rory-Jess shippers who are pulling for Milo Ventimiglia to win tomorrow. After the episode “Memphis,” Gerald McRaney in the Dr. K-centric episode of This Is Us was probably the greatest cause of tears for me.
Compared to previous years, I’ve watched a good amount of the Emmy-nominated shows this time around. I’m also so excited for Stephen Colbert to host, because I know firsthand that he puts on a good show. Before covering the ceremony over at Her Campus tomorrow, I wanted to make predictions for who I think will win in the Best Comedy, Best Drama, and Drama and Comedy acting categories. Here we go!
Better Call Saul
The Handmaid’s Tale
House of Cards
This Is Us
It seems that The Handmaid’s Tale taking this is all but unannounced. I’ve yet to watch it because I just haven’t been in the right mindset for such an intense show. I think it definitely deserves the recognition because of its politically relevant material, strong cast, and success on a streaming site that isn’t very known for its original programming. Although I’d love for The Crown to pull an upset win, I think This Is Us is the strongest contender after Handmaid’s Tale.
It’s no secret that I’ve been dying to see Anastasia on Broadway. I grew up adoring the 1997 animated film, and when I was older, I loved reading both nonfiction and fiction about the end of the Romanov dynasty. Even upon hearing about the notable differences of the stage musical (stick to the movie if you want to see Rasputin and Bartok), I was so eager to find a chance to see this show!
With the summer winding down, I was ready to pull a Fiddler on the Roof and ask for Anastasia tickets for my birthday. However, when I ended up in the city for a networking opportunity back in August, I was free by 1:30 with a completely open evening ahead of me. With the whole afternoon free, I wandered around until the daily discounts at the Times Square TKTS booth went up around 2:30. If you aren’t familiar with TKTS, check out the video I found below!
The last few weeks of summer dragged for me, bringing plenty of important but sad news regarding politics and the world, but not enough happy, fun cultural news. Now, just as you snap back into gear for school or work after Labor Day, the past week’s pop culture announcements have been crazy! Given that there’s still a few weeks before fall TV starts, I’m thrilled for the release of so much news to hold me over!
More casting news for next year’s Carousel revival, which I’m so excited for, was released. Betsy Wolfe, who’s currently playing Jenna in Waitress, will play Julie Jordan’s best friend Carrie. Having watched Betsy’s current Broadway.com series and realized how great of a career she’s had, I think she and Jessie Mueller will be great in their scenes together. The two also starred together in The Mystery of Edwin Drood several years ago, and I love seeing old costars reunite for new projects. Carousel‘s marquee also went up this week at the Imperial Theatre, and I think the artwork is so old school and classy. While I’m waiting on My Fair Lady casting news to determine if it’s worth seeing, I’m definitely planning on going to Carousel and seeing this awesome cast!