End-of-the-Year Etcetera

I just finished re-reading Heidi by Johanna Spyri. A long, long time has passed since I last read Heidi and I had forgotten how wonderful books can be as compared to later movie versions of a story. The books always win in the end, and once again I am grateful to have read this book before ever seeing any movie version. The particular volume I own was given to me by my mother and it was hers when she was little. Her copy was printed in 1946 and I can only imagine how pretty it was when it was new. This edition is also beautifully illustrated by Leonard Weisgard. Following is a picture my now old copy and some illustrations from the book. These were so beautiful and magical to me when I was little. Some are black and white, but the best ones are in color. Thanks to Thomas at My Porch for reminding me about Heidi.

I love re-reading books to transport me back to a different time and to reconnect in some way to my mom. Maybe I will re-read Understood Betsy next . . .

2010 was the first year I actually made a list and kept up with what books I read during the year. I can’t believe the number is almost 40. Having a few days off soon might get me to 40. I don’t know, though, because I am now receiving the DVDs of the elusive Season 5 of MI-5 through Netflix. All the other seasons have been available to instantly watch. The 2010 season (Season 9) will be available in January. All I do know is that in the last show of Season 8, THEY’VE GOT HARRY. MI-5 is absolutely one of my favorite TV shows ever.
Peter Firth as Harry Pearce (from Manchester Evening News)
From my 2010 Books tab, you can see that I have read in chronological order more than half of the Sharpe books by Bernard Cornwell. I want to finish them soon and move on to some other books by Mr. Cornwell. I have started Sharpe’s Enemy on my Kindle but I know that this is the one where Hakeswill kills Teresa and I still can’t believe that happened when I was watching the video. Shocking. I am also stalling because I don’t want “my year of Sharpe” to end. Technically, it will end in late March and hopefully I will have viewed and re-viewed all of the videos, read all of the books, read many of the associated books, and even tried some of the recipes from Sharpe Chefs and Sharpe Chefs II (proceeds from these books go to some UK charities). So much pleasure has been received from all things Sharpe. I also have seen all of the Video Diaries of Rifleman Harris (two more are to be out soon), interviewed Jason Salkey, and have provided a link to The Sharpe’s Children Foundation created by Daragh O’Malley and supported by more than 200 of the actors that participated in Sharpe. This charity will definitely make a difference in children’s lives–the first Sharpe’s Shelter will be in Kotra, Southern Rajasthan, India.
Sean Bean and Raza Jaffrey from Sharpe’s Peril (Jaffrey also stars in 22 episodes of MI-5)

An independent, bilingual, and multicultural magazine printed and distributed from Bucharest, Romania that I support is Contemporary Literary Horizon. This journal always has a beautiful or interesting picture on the cover. More importantly, this journal publishes authors from all over the world and I am enjoying many of these authors, especially the young poets. You can check out the journal’s blog at http://contemporaryhorizon.blogspot.com/, but the journal itself is so much more captivating to read. Subscriptions are only 15 USD or 12 Euros. You, too, can be published, I am sure, if you submit your work to editor Daniel Dragomirescu.

Feeding America is a charity that I first learned about last Christmas season via Ed at Ennyman’s Territory. I have a link posted under the Sharpe’s Children one on my sidebar. Ed is a big Dylan fan and in honor of last year’s Dylan album Christmas in the Heart Ed had a posting and link to Dylan’s website. Feeding America, Crisis in the UK, and the World Food Progamme all benefit from sales of Christmas in the Heart.


I recently saw Hemingway’s Garden of Eden on the big screen. This film was made approximately two years ago and is has just recently been distributed in the US. That fact alone made me skeptical of how good of a film this might be. If you have not read the book, then I say read it first before you go see this arthouse flick. Actually, you can see the movie via On Demand already, but I wanted to see it in the theatre. I enjoyed the movie but I can understand if many do not. Ernest’s writing is hard to transition from book to film. I thought that the movie was cast wonderfully, I enjoyed the scenery and music, and enjoyed seeing the novel brought to life. It is fun to speculate who EH was trying to portray as Catherine Bourne. Played by Mena Suvari, is she a representation of Pauline Pfeiffer (EH’s second wife), or is she Zelda Fitzgerald, or is she perhaps Sara Murphy? The Garden of Eden is one of my favorite books and was published posthumously in 1986. This book exposes various sides of Ernest not in congruence with his usual man’s man reputation. The book was also heavily edited before being published, so once again we don’t know Ernest’s true intentions for the book (à la A Moveable Feast). I guess he intended us to never know. Click HERE for a number of reviews. 

  1 comment for “End-of-the-Year Etcetera

  1. December 24, 2010 at 4:15 AM

    Here is a link to a blog that is similar to mine about Heidi (well, the pictures are similar–even the book edition is the same):


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