Thursday, July 5, 2018

Some Great Summer Reading: My Plain Jane and Understanding Movies

My Plain Jane
My Plain Jane
by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
Move over, Charlotte Bronte. You may think you know the story. Penniless orphan Jane Eyre begins a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester-and, Reader, she marries him. Or does she? Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions.
This was thoroughly enjoyable. I love Jane Eyre and these authors honor that classic novel by being (mostly) true to the storyline while simultaneously weaving it into another story completely.

Both Jane and her friend Charlotte Bronte get swept up in this tale which is loaded with ghosts, murder, revenge, love, and friendship. And humor. Lots of humor. As with these authors' previous book, My Lady Jane, you could see major plot points coming but it didn't take away from the fun.

I said it before for My Lady Jane and I'll say it again for My Plain Jane: For what it was — a humorous, inventive, light, romantic, alternative history — it was practically perfect in every way. It was sometimes silly but always charming and I was glued to it in every spare moment.

A wonderfully entertaining summer read read by the perfect narrator.

Understanding Movies: The Art and History of Film (The Modern Scholar)
Understanding Movies: The Art and History of Film (The Modern Scholar)
by Raphael Shargel
Why does the cinema have the power to move the heart, stimulate the mind, and dazzle the imagination? How did the art of film develop from its origins to the present day? In each lecture, Professor Raphael Shargel introduces a period of film history, talks about its importance, covers aspects of cinematic technique, and illustrates his points by analyzing specific movies from the era under discussion. The course thus has both breadth and depth, covering the major movements in film history while at the same time focusing on key pictures worthy of study and enjoyment.
I really learned a lot from this class. The teacher has an mild-mannered, personable style that I enjoyed a lot and his own love of movies came through clearly though he never allowed his own preferences to overpower the commentary. This is only available as an audio class and there are a lot of negative remarks about sound quality on Audible. The sound must have been cleaned up at some time because I didn't hear any of the problems mentioned. This was delightful if you like movies.

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