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!
Being that I’m currently on the job hunt, I’ve turned to a lot of nonfiction reads written by women in the media industry this summer. I’ve found that these kind of books keep me motivated but also provide a dose of tough love reality. Sometimes, you just get lucky and happen to be in the right place at the right time for a certain job. Most of the time, though, you have to work hard at not-quite-right jobs until you finally earn your dream position.
I wanted to share the three “career woman” books I’ve read this summer. I actually saw all of these authors in person over the course of Her Conference weekend back in July! if you ever have the chance to hear someone you admire professionally at an event, definitely jump on that chance!
1) The Big Life: Embrace the Mess, Work Your Side Hustle, Find a Monumental Relationship, and Become the Badass Babe You Were Meant to Be, by Ann Shoket
“It can be incredibly lonely to grow into who you’re meant to be.”
I have to be honest: I was never a Seventeen reader beyond flicking through it in waiting rooms. I’ve known of its former editor-in-chief Ann Shoket completely from her guest appearances on America’s Next Top Model, but one of the Her Campus (which I currently work for) co-founders interned for her back in the day and they kept in touch. This called for Ann’s workshop at Her Conference, where she talked to us about staying confident while climbing the professional ladder and keeping calm about stabilizing a satisfying personal life.
The last Dream Casting blog I did was for Into the Woods, and today I wanted to do another Dream Casting for one of those classic shows I saw so many community productions of while growing up. The Music Man probably has my favorite overall score of any show – the songs are so easy to catch onto and are fun yet beautiful.
I think a huge part of The Music Man‘s initial appeal is Robert Preston in the title role both in the original Broadway production and in the film. Any other Harold Hill, professional or amateur, seems to fail in comparison because they’re (consciously or not) trying to emulate Preston’s unique style.
This may be why Broadway revivals of The Music Man are few and far between. There was a 1980 production with Dick Van Dyke that’s considered a revival, but it lasted less than a month after its opening. The 2000 production with Rebecca Luker and Craig Bierko lasted a little over a year and a half, which is a pretty standard run for a revival, but those are huge gaps between versions. What with Carousel and My Fair Lady being revived next year, there isn’t much room for another large-scale classic from that era, but I’m hoping for a Music Man revival in the next few years! So, I lived vicariously by casting my dream company of the show.
Harold Hill – James Monroe Iglehart or Seth MacFarlane
Seth MacFarlane is often the Internet’s choice for an ideal Harold Hill because he performed a very Preston-esque rendition of “Ya Got Trouble” at BBC Proms. I have to admit, I forgive Seth for all of his gross humor (ugh, remember the Oscars?) when I hear him sing musical theater, but I really don’t see him doing a Broadway show. I think he’d be a safe revival choice if producers want to please an older generation that likes their traditional musicals. However, current Hamilton star James Monroe Iglehart said in a recent interview that he would love to play Hill if non-traditional casting was embraced, and I sort of love the idea!
This post has been a long time coming since I saw the new Broadway musical Bandstand in previews back in April. Now with the show’s cast recording out, I’ve listened to a few songs recently and I think the show’s effect has finally sunk in for me. So, I’m ready to share my opinions on the show! Keep in mind that because I saw it in previews (albeit later in its preview run), there’s a possibility that some of its elements have changed since I was in the audience.
Going into the experience, I was really excited because I love the show’s World War II era. If I’m reading historical fiction, there’s like a 95% chance it’s set in the 1940s and exploring the before, after, or immediacy of the war. I also love hearing about the American homefront during the war, probably because I read so much about Europe in that time and there isn’t a huge literary focus on the States. I also adore Glenn Miller-esque music, which was a huge selling point of the show for me.
Originally produced at Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey, Bandstand presents a group of young WWII veterans returning home and dealing with the mental effects that the fighting has caused. Compared to now, the idea of PTSD is virtually nonexistent, and the men feel even more isolated from their homes because of such a lack of understanding these mental changes.