Monday, 19 August 2013

Laugh and learn!

Hello dear readers,

I'm going on holiday today! Yay! Which means I won't be posting anything for the next 10 days... Less yay.... I'll try to keep up with reading my f-list though.

I'll leave you with a link to this very nice YouTube channel from C.G.P. Grey. Two weeks ago, my colleagues and I were discussing about The Netherlands. I happen to have colleagues of 4 different nationalities, so the colleagues from abroad are usually interested in learning new things about their new country. On YouTube, I found this very funny vid about why you can't call The Netherlands Holland (I bet some of you did, right?). But I browsed the channel some more and found there were a lot of other funny but also educational vids about historical and geographical questions we all ask ourselves sometimes: what is the difference between the UK, Great Britain and England, how does the Vatican work as a country within a city, what is a leap year etc. Have fun and I'll see you soon (with pics from Germany and Austria!)

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Movie review: Flyboys (2006)

Before the USA entered WWI, a group of American men went to France to voluntarily fight in the French Air Service. With airplanes only invented a decade or so before the War, the machines were unpredictable and the life of a fighter pilot very dangerous. The 2006 movie is based on the true story of the men of the Lafayette Escadrille.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Book review: The Bookstore

'An English(wo)man in New York', that is what PhD student Esme Garland is. She loves her job at Columbia University, loves exploring her new city and loves doing so even more on the arm of her handsome and rich boyfriend Mitchell van Leuven. In short, life is close to perfect, until Esme discovers she's pregnant... Before she can even tell Mitchell about it, he unexpectedly breaks up with her and Esme is on her own. Determined to see it all through, Esme decides she needs a job and finds one in her favourite second-hand bookstore; The Owl. The bookstore becomes her sanctuary and she develops a friendship with owner George and even taciturn night manager Luke. Then Mitchell steps back into her life and asks for a second chance.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Becoming a fangirl

Last week, I've reread one of the very favourite books of my teenage years: Geef me de ruimte! by Thea Beckman (freely translated Give me space).

In this first book of a trilogy, Marije, daughter of a rich middle class family in the thriving city of Bruges hears she is to marry soon and that to a boy she absolutely can't stand. Spurred by stories about France from a travelling storyteller, Marije runs away with nothing but a set of extra clothes and her trusty horse Victor. Arriving in France, she rescues and later marries the troubadour Berton de Fleur. While war and epidemics rampage through France, Marije, Berton and their traveling companions journey across the country, bringing music, stories and news to all and making friends in high places.

The first time I read this book I must have been about 14 or 15 years old. It started of my 'love affair' with the Middle Ages, where for years I devoured everything (book and movie-wise) connected with this period. But this book also made me a fangirl, even before I knew what being a fangirl meant! I made a list of who I would cast as the characters where these books ever to be adapted.... This was before the age of IMDB, so I simply chose actors and actresses from series I watched and loved at that moment: Doctor QuinnRoad to AvonleaER and some Dutch series.

I dearly wish I could find that list again and laugh a little over my teenage fantasies. Not too much though, because don't I still make dream casts in my head (and sometimes on the internet) for books that I would love to see adapted? I'm afraid the list did not survive though and if it did, it's buried on the attic somewhere. But it sure was fun rereading this book and thinking back to the early days of my being a fangirl!

If you would like to read about the single book of Thea Beckman which has been translated in English (and adapted!), read my article about Crusade in Jeans in Femnista May/June 2013 here

Friday, 9 August 2013

TV review: World without End


World without End is the adaptation in mini-series format of Ken Follet's novel. In a way, it is a sequel to Pillars of the Earth (adapted in 2010), as it takes place in the same fictional town, but is set some 150 years later.

At the start of the Hundred Year War between England and France, the English King Edward II is betrayed by his wife Queen Isabella who gives the crown to her son Edward III. This will change the lives of the people in the market town of Kingsbridge, as a new Earl is appointed. Caris Wooler, a young woman with large dreams sees her father arrested and herself married off to the brutal Elfric. A mysterious knight makes his way to Kingsbridge Priory and intends to become a monk there, but he carries he secret great enough to be a danger to all of the country. Meanwhile, the Black Death comes ever closer to England.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Book review: A distant melody

Allie Miller is engaged to her father's business partner. She doesn't love him, but wants to obey her parent's wishes. During the wedding of her best friend, she meets bomber pilot Walter Novak. As Walter will be posted overseas, he and Allie decide to write each other. Trough their letters, they strike up a friendship which gives Allie the courage to search for a more fulfilling life and rethink her faith. But is friendship really all there is between them?

World War II is one of my 'favourite' eras for fiction. I've read many good books set in the '40s, such as The Liberator series by Tricia Goyer and the Women of Valor trilogy by Elyse Larson. But it's been a while I've seen any new authors in the Christian fiction market trying out this era. Until I found Sarah Sundin, that is.