Headline »

Book Giveaway: THE MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA COOKBOOK

Book Giveaway: THE MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA COOKBOOK

March 19, 2015 – 10:35 am | 8 Comments

A couple weeks ago, I received a cookbook for review. Since me in the kitchen is the equivalent of a child running with scissors while chased by wild dogs across a freeway, I might seem …

Read the full story »
Books & writing

Book reviews and more

Movies

Advance movie reviews and behind-the-scenes discussions with filmmakers

Q & A

Nerd chats with writers and actors

Random Nerdy Stuff

Ramblings that defy categorization

TV

Recaps and reactions to some of your favorite TV shows

Books & writing »

Book Review: A TOUCH OF STARDUST by Kate Alcott

March 11, 2015 – 10:53 pm | One Comment

This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers and is reprinted here with permission.

touch of stardustLast year was the 75th anniversary of the movie Gone with the Wind, and now Kate Alcott’s novel A Touch of Stardust takes readers behind the scenes during the filming of that landmark production.

In 1938, bright-eyed Julie Crawford from Fort Wayne, Ind., comes to Los Angeles with dreams of writing for the silver screen, inspired after hearing trailblazing screenwriter Frances Marion speak at Smith College, her alma mater. Julie gets a job in the publicity office at Selznick International Pictures, the production company of famed producer David O. Selznick, who has just started filming the movie adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s novel.

Julie quickly gets fired by the mercurial Selznick, but not before meeting the actress Carole Lombard, who is also from Fort Wayne and makes Julie her personal assistant. Julie gets an intimate glimpse of the love affair between her employer and Clark Gable, as she tries to juggle her own romance with Selznick’s assistant producer and navigate the treacherous terrains of Tinseltown.

Fans of old-Hollywood glamour will be captivated by the shimmery details Alcott serves up about life on movie sets and in movie stars’ homes, in a blend of fact and fiction. The most entrancing character is the sassy, blunt-spoken Lombard, whom the author brings so vividly to life that the actress’s tragic death at a young age (mentioned only in the epilogue) feels like a huge loss all over again. Julie and her boyfriend, Andy, are a bit flat compared to Lombard and Gable, but Alcott’s novel should be a breezy read for those with stardust in their eyes.

Nerd verdict: Shimmery Stardust

Book Review: ONE STEP TOO FAR by Tina Seskis

February 10, 2015 – 5:08 pm | One Comment
Book Review: ONE STEP TOO FAR by Tina Seskis

This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers and is reprinted here with permission.
At the start of British author Tina Seskis’s debut novel, One Step Too Far, a married lawyer named Emily Coleman is running …

Watch Oscar-Nominated Film for Free This Weekend

February 4, 2015 – 9:14 pm | 5 Comments
Watch Oscar-Nominated Film for Free This Weekend

Last October, I raved about the Rory Kennedy-directed/produced documentary, Last Days in Vietnam (my review here). Last month, it was Oscar nominated for best documentary feature.
This weekend, from February 5-7, you can stream this film …

Nerdy Special List February 2015

February 2, 2015 – 11:34 pm | 7 Comments
Nerdy Special List February 2015

January always seems like it lasts a year, with post-holiday blues and crappy weather, and I didn’t have many good reads last month. But February is here, bringing with it more promising books.
Here’s what my …

Movie Review: CAKE

January 29, 2015 – 4:49 pm | 4 Comments
Movie Review: CAKE

Last fall, when raves came out of the Toronto International Film Festival about Jennifer Aniston’s “Oscar-worthy,” vanity-free performance in Cake (in limited release now), I was doubtful. Just because an actress goes without makeup doesn’t …

Quick Thoughts on SAG Awards 2015

January 25, 2015 – 9:18 pm | One Comment
Quick Thoughts on SAG Awards 2015

The SAG Awards may have a lower profile than the Golden Globes and the Oscars, but it’s the most personal awards show for me because I get to vote for the winners.
This year I did …

Thoughts on Oscar Nominations 2015

January 15, 2015 – 10:56 am | 6 Comments
Thoughts on Oscar Nominations 2015

Since the Oscar nominations were announced at dark o’clock this morning, many articles have appeared griping about the snubs. I’m surprised, too, that certain frontrunners weren’t nominated—Gillian Flynn being ignored for Gone Girl‘s screenplay is …

Thoughts on the Golden Globes 2015

January 12, 2015 – 12:15 am | 3 Comments
Thoughts on the Golden Globes 2015

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, in their third and final outing as hosts, were my main reason for watching, and they landed some good jokes, though the show seemed less funny this year than it …

Favorite Books and Movies of 2014

January 8, 2015 – 8:13 pm | 5 Comments
Favorite Books and Movies of 2014

Happy Friday! How was your first full week of 2015?
I returned from vacation a few days ago and really enjoyed being off grid. Now I have to find my cell phone and remember my social-media …

Movie Review: UNBROKEN

December 21, 2014 – 11:29 pm | 6 Comments
Movie Review: UNBROKEN

Much of the interest in Unbroken (out Dec. 25) comes from people wondering whether or not Angelina Jolie is a good director, so I’ll start by saying she acquits herself well, especially with a production …

Postertext Giveaway

December 17, 2014 – 8:46 pm | 13 Comments
Postertext Giveaway

Since many of us here are readers and have book lovers in our lives, we’re probably all scrambling for unique bookish gift ideas. This is why I’m excited to host this giveaway from Postertext. According …

Gift Book Reviews: THE MAKING OF GONE WITH THE WIND and STYLING THE STARS

December 11, 2014 – 8:24 pm | One Comment
Gift Book Reviews: THE MAKING OF GONE WITH THE WIND and STYLING THE STARS

Every year for Shelf Awareness for Readers, I review a couple of coffee-table books for the holidays. I received two beautiful ones this year that I think movie lovers on your gift list would appreciate. …

Nerdy Special List 2014 Favorites Edition

December 7, 2014 – 9:00 pm | 4 Comments
Nerdy Special List 2014 Favorites Edition

Hope you’re enjoying the season and not getting stressed out by all the things you have to do to be ready for the holidays. I live in denial and then do everything the night before …

Theme Tweaker by Unreal