Tag Archives: reviews

30 Day Film Challenge 2

30 day film challenge

I found this fun challenge at Sandmanjazz. As I did with the books (not the bingo, but the 30 days), I’m going to do these movies in blocks. So instead of a post a day for 30 days, I’ll have 6 posts total. Here’s my second set of films…

6. If I’m sad, I might put on Chicago. The great musical numbers are uplifting to experience again. Plus Richard Gere is so funny!

7. How about the next James Bond movie on the big screen? They’re better that way. Hopefully it will be safe to go to the cinema again next year. 😷

8. I’m not a huge sci-fi fan, but I did enjoy The Martian. Mars counts as space, right? Technically, Earth is in space too…

9. Oh my gosh, soundtracks! Do musicals count? Let’s go with Risky Business on this one. Love all the songs in RB. Tangerine Dream!

10. Usually, I like the book better than the movie, but I’d say The Shining is one movie equal to the book. REDRUM! Gotta hand it to Jack. 😈

Okay, see you on the 15th!

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

30 Day Film Challenge 1

30 day film challenge

I found this fun challenge at Sandmanjazz. As I did with the books (not the bingo, but the 30 days), I’m going to do these movies in blocks. So instead of a post a day for 30 days, I’ll have 6 posts total. Here’s my first set of films…

1. The first movie I remember seeing in a cinema was The Sound of Music. I was about 5 years old. I loved it then and I love it now. Wonderful music. Julie Andrews was spectacular. ❤️🎶

2. I didn’t watch films on repeat as a child. We saw movies once each and then walked back 5 miles in the snow to huddle in front of our black and white television.

3. A film that makes me LOL to this day is My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It’s hysterical!

4. The Big Short begins with “the” and is an excellent movie besides. I just adore Steve Carell. (Not in Space Force though. I really wanted to like it, but meh.)

5. I always say Alex & Emma is underrated. It’s a super funny movie about writer’s block… and it’s also a romcom. I pretty much love any movie with Kate Hudson.

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Bingo Update 12

Book bingo challenge

A book I “saw” someone else reading was Michelle Obama’s Becoming. My daughter had it out as a loan in our shared Kindle library. Normally, I am not interested in books by politicians or celebs, but this one was supposed to be fab, so I started reading it. I ended up giving it 4 stars out of 5 because there were some really good parts about Michelle’s early life. I totally enjoyed reading about her parents, her upbringing, and her struggles to feel “good enough” despite all her hard work and success.

Michelle was an excellent student, went to Princeton (as did her brother), and had graduated law school. She had important jobs that gave her immense satisfaction. But then she gave all that up for a man. This didn’t make me dislike the book; on the contrary, it serves as a perfect example of how often women end up doing this. Smart, accomplished women give up their career dreams to accommodate a man’s goals. Michelle wanted a family though, and she wanted a good marriage with a happy husband. So to have those things, she had to say goodbye to her career. 😢

Parts of the book were super boring and I skimmed them… they were mostly the parts about Barack, lol. Their romance was sweet (a meet cute, kinda) and I enjoyed reading that. But I didn’t really care about all the newsy stuff re campaigns and elections. Michelle kept mentioning other people who worked with them and helped them, but they didn’t interest me at all.

Not to be shallow, but I would have liked more pictures. There were some, but I would have enjoyed seeing more of her in some of the beautiful dresses she wore throughout the 2 admins.

I have one book left to finish my book bingo challenge! Anyone want to guess what I will choose? 📚😀

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image from Kriti and Ariel.

Bingo Update 11

Read previous update here.

For the bestseller book, I read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. I loved Manson when he was much less popular… found him early on when he gave mostly dating advice. Then I began to resent him. Who was this brash young guy (obviously privileged) telling everyone all this crap? And making bank off it. I quit reading him for a few years. But he was still around ~ peeps were always quoting him. Annoyed, I developed a conspiracy theory that he wasn’t even a real person but a character created by a publishing team. That still could be true… who knows.

Then my FB friend Barbara linked to one of his articles when I was depressed. I clicked. Whatever I read that day (don’t remember now) helped me so much that I subscribed to his blog by email. I grudgingly began to admire him again, so much so that I finally bought his book TSAONGAF. I didn’t read it until this challenge however.

Mark’s book is truly amazing. It’s a joy to read because he speaks to you as a friend, not as a high and mighty shrink. He admits to messing up in many areas before he began to view life much differently. He says he too is always growing and learning, and he doesn’t act like he has all the answers. He uses examples from his own life to illustrate his points, which makes his writing feel real and down to earth. Maybe the examples are made up, but regardless they are a great device to draw you in to the topic of each chapter.

My plan is to discuss in detail some of the TSAONGAF concepts that resonated the most with me in Pointless Meanders as time permits. That’s not a substitute for reading it yourself… I already feel better having finished it, and I highly recommend it in its entirety. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Two left! 📚

PS: I have no idea what happened with my phone’s pens, but I couldn’t find the right one for the checkmark, hence the slash.

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image from Kriti and Ariel.

Breakup Songs [MLM]

Jim Adams does a great job in discussing Greg Kihn’s motivation in writing “The Breakup Song,” which has long been on my list of favorites. It illustrates the depression aspect of the grief someone can feel after the end of a relationship. The narrator is sad as he watches couples dancing together while he sits alone. “And now I’m staring at the bodies as they’re dancing so slow…”

Slow dance

No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” (written by Gwen Stefani and Eric Stefani) is also a homage to the sadness we feel as someone leaves us. We’re tired of talking about the inevitable, wasting more useless words that failed to mend things. Just go. Don’t explain further. “And I don’t need your reasons; Don’t tell me ’cause it hurts…”

But sometimes we feel more anger than sadness, right? There are a lot of breakup songs that explore the angry aspect of grief. A perfect example of this is “You Oughtta Know” by Alanis Morissette (with Glen Ballard co-writing). She’s steaming mad! She sarcastically wishes her ex happiness with his new girlfriend. “And I’m here, to remind you of the mess you left when you went away…”

Angry roar

Hank Williams’ “Your Cheatin’ Heart” is another angry song. He fantasizes how his ex will end up miserable same as he is now. “When tears come down like falling rain, You’ll toss around and call my name.” We want to believe our exes will end up sorry they dumped us, don’t we?

Denial is another aspect of grief we may feel as our world crashes around us. Eric Clapton’s “Promises” is about this concept. (Brandon Casey and others are listed as the writers.) At the beginning of the song, Eric says to his ex that he doesn’t care if she never comes home “’cause I don’t love you and you don’t love me.” He discusses why it’s better they’re apart and that’s fine. But by the end, he admits he would still love her if she’d love him back.

Billy Joel’s “An Innocent Man” is about denial. Look, he knows she’s in pain and couldn’t deal with a relationship, but none of that is his fault. It’s all due to her exes and baggage. He’s willing to explore that with her, but remember… he didn’t do anything! “And although this is a fight I can lose, the accused is an innocent man.” As we know, however, it takes two…

Innocent man angel

What about bargaining? Yep, we also find this aspect of grief represented in song. “Baby Come Back” by Player is an example of bargaining (written by John Crowley and Peter Beckett). He begins by pretending he’s fine and having fun alone (denial), but soon he admits he is miserable and wants her back. “Baby come back, you can blame it all on me; I was wrong, and I just can’t live without you.” If only she’d give him another chance, he’ll take the blame for the things that went wrong. (How many times have we heard this though? 🤣)

“We Can Work It Out” by the Beatles (written by Lennon and McCartney) is another good example of bargaining. Just give us a chance, he pleads. He goes on to mansplain about how life is short and there’s no time for fighting, okay? Just see things his way, for cryin’ out loud. Geez!

Mansplaing to woman

Then there’s acceptance. You know it’s over and you accept it, even if you’re still sad or mad. You’ve quit denying nothing is wrong and you’ve stopped bargaining for a re-do. It’s done and you have to move on. How about “Last Song” by Edward Bear? (Larry Evoy wrote it.) He’s still sad, but he’s done writing songs about her and done hoping she’ll return. “This is hard for me to say, but this is all that I can take.” Yeah. Enough!

Finally, one of my favorite songs about coming to terms with a breakup is Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Love” written by Per Hakan Gessle). “It was all that I wanted; now I’m living without. It must have been love, but it’s over now.”

Woman and path in woods

On our way down a new path…

These songs illustrate the 5 stages of grief: anger, denial, depression, bargaining, and acceptance. The stages can last a long time, and you can experience them in any order, including revisiting some you thought were finished. Emotions aren’t linear! And there are many other feelings that can occur too. Guilt, shame, fear, etc. I read that Elisabeth Kubler-Ross developed the 5-stage model to help explain the process of grieving over the death of a loved one. They may not apply as well to the end of a romance (and are apparently out of “scientific” favor altogether, but like whatever). I think they do help to illustrate the roller-coaster of emotions that can plague some of us when a relationship dies.

I hope you enjoyed reading this relatively long post written for Mindlovemisery. It was yet another insomnia-fueled ramble.

Please feel free to add your favorite breakup songs in comments. 💔

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Images from Pexels and Pixabay.

30 Day Book Challenge 4

30 day book challenge

I’m doing this challenge in groups of 6 so that I end up with 5 posts at the end of June for my 30 day book challenge instead of 30. This is my fourth set of books.

19. As I said, I don’t care for audiobooks, but if a man with a sexy British accent wants to read something to me, I won’t put up a fuss. I watched a multipart show about meerkats of all the silly things because the narrator had such a delicious British voice.

20. I love unreliably narrated books! So much fun. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson is a good example of a book with an unreliable narrator. Merrikat pulls you into her world and you think you know what’s going on… or do you? I do have a preference for books about sisters…

21. Orange County Noir, edited by Gary Phillips, is an anthology of short stories that are set in Orange County, California. Many are very dark, giving us a peek at the desperate lives people live behind the facade of glittering McMansions and shiny new cars. I see it has a whole bunch of bad reviews because people want Orange County stories to be upbeat, I guess. Well, they aren’t. WE SUFFER HERE.

22. I had to find a brand new book to read for the LGBTQ love story, as there were none on my list. It’s definitely not a genre I seek out, though I’ve read bits of pr0n here and there, as you do. Naturally, I chose the L, since it’s bad enough having one man in a love story, but two of ’em? Gah. Anyway, I picked Endless Love by Lauren Trevino. This book was just okay. It could have used an editor/proofreader ~ there were lots of typos and elided words. We all make mistakes and it’s hard to catch our own when we’ve gone over the same pages a hundred times and made changes. Beyond that, the heroines were rather bland with cookie-cutter motivations. Just like the cliched male/female romance novel, every character was incredibly beautiful, there was a friend who betrayed them, one walked in on the other at exactly the “wrong” moment (twice), the sex was always amazing, yada. Some chapters were too disjointed and short. There were POV breaks. Etc. But the story still pulled me along well enough to the end with some tension anyway. I was planning to give the book 2 stars but gave it 3. Why? Because at the end, the lovers discussed the 2016 election and actually went out in the street to protest. Generally, romance novels don’t take any political stance, and for that act of bravery, I awarded another star.

23. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” This is the last line of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and is one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books. It’s probably due for a reread.

24. Wow, I don’t have any true collaborations in my Goodreads list. This means a book written by 2 or more authors, not a collection of stories by 2 or more writers. Different things. I must have read some, but I don’t recall any. To rectify this, I’m going to buy one of the books by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer. She’s a romance writer and he’s a suspense writer ~ they wrote a few books together (I actually attended one of their workshops in San Diego several years ago). I’ve wanted to read one, so this is my opportunity. I don’t have time to read it before this goes live though. Sorry about that.

See you on the 30th with my final set of June books!

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image stolen from Sandmanjazz.

Bingo Update 10

See previous update here.

Book challenge bingo

For the dystopian novel, I chose Snow and Ash by Theresa Shaver. This is first in a series of 4 books, so the ending wasn’t a grand finale, but that’s okay. It’s in the teen and young adult science fiction category, but maybe that’s good for me because I like stories about people and don’t want to get all bogged down in loads of narrative on geopolitical barf and the actual details of what thermonuclear war specifically would do. It’s bad, mmkay? We don’t even know why all the countries attacked each other and let fly at Canada too… what did they ever do? But who cares. On with it!

Great characters (two main, Skylar and Rex) and good side characters, especially Marsh the skateboarder, made the story stand out for me. They seemed like real teenagers coping with a horrible situation and having to mature quickly. The pacing and surprises were excellent. Except for the inevitable romantic attraction between Sky and Rex, the twists were unpredictable.

But the book had a lot of problems, sorry to say. It was absolutely loaded with errors. There were tense errors, POV flips, elided words, inconsistent tenses, missing quotes, on and on. This stuff stops the reader from fully immersing in the story. You have to step back and go huh? Who said that? It’s really a shame. I’ll probably not continue on with the series because of this. 😞

~*~

Image from Kriti & Ariel.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

30 Day Book Challenge 3

30 day book challenge

I’m going to do this challenge in groups of 6 so that I will have only 5 posts total in June on this topic instead of one per day which would be an annoying chore. Here are my third set of books…

13. The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb is an excellent book about history, finance, politics, and (especially) human psychology. I highly recommend it. The last third is full of math, but you don’t have to pore over that to get the gist of the book (I did not).

14. Speaking of swans… Swan Song, a twisted adult fairy tale by Jess Haines was a magical love story, with a bittersweet/philosophical ending. It’s a retelling of The Swan Princess, which is a pretty bad love story imo, and Ms. Haines writes a much better one with a way cooler hero. (PS: it’s not that “adult.”)

15. Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien made me cry sad tears and no this was not meant to be a bird-themed set of books! I look on Goodreads to find books I’ve read that fit the motifs. Or, if I can’t find something, I will read a new one, such as #14. Nothing wrong with reading a new book! But I digress. Wesley is such a wonderful story… please read it ASAP. I guarantee that you will love it, or… um… nothing. Owls are awesome!

16. I’ve read many books more than once, but let’s go with The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, a most excellent novel. Please don’t feel you know the story if you’ve merely seen the movie, which was good, but it didn’t (and couldn’t possibly) do justice to this complex philosophical work. It’s okay to read it in small doses and think about it. I did. It’s so very brain crunchy.

17. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine was such an unexpectedly weird read, but I enjoyed it a lot. I guessed part of the mystery early on, but I still liked it and wanted to see where it went. I recommend it if you like stories that are a bit offbeat.

18. For my RIP author, I’m going with Ray Carver and his book of short stories Where I’m Calling From. Many of my favorite stories are in there, including the title story as well as Fat, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Neighbors, etc.

Alrighty then! See you with my next set on the 24th. 🙂

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image stolen from Sandmanjazz.

30 Day Book Challenge 2

30 day book challenge

I’m going to do this challenge in groups of 6 so that I will have only 5 posts total in June on this topic instead of one per day which would be an annoying chore. Here are my second set of books…

7. I don’t like audiobooks; silence is my jam. I do love to read on vacation though, but not in a car (barf). For a fast-paced, fun, suspense novel, I recommend Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn if you haven’t gotten to that yet. It’s so unexpectedly well done. I just love the way Flynn draws us in to the husband’s version of his missing wife’s story with the easy, conversational style so that we really feel like we know what’s going on… but then Flynn switches to the other voice. Whoops. Good stuff. I bet it would be great in audio, if you enjoy listening to books.

8. Dunno about everybody, but cat lovers as well as anyone who enjoys poignant, heart-warming, and witty storytelling in general might consider reading Peter Gethers’ The Norton Trilogy, an absolutely lovely series of books about Gethers’ adorable and brilliant Scottish Fold kitty Norton. I must confess that I’ve only read the first and last book, since that’s what was available to me at the time, but if I were to start fresh, I’d buy the trilogy as a set.

9. Hmm, I don’t have one favorite book to give as a gift, although I must say that books are my favorite gifts to give. Who doesn’t love books?! I know I do (hint, hint). I’ve already given Goodnight Moon to my granddaughter ~ every baby must have that one (plus loads of others too!). Cookbooks can be nice gifts (for people who enjoy cooking obvs). One of my friends always appreciates the latest Stephen King novel. Another likes bios of his favorite musical artists.

10. Not sure if they were “happy tears,” but When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal made me cry. What an excellent book this was! I highly recommend it, especially to anyone who enjoys family dramas and/or surfing. So good.

11. I’d love to meet Archy McNally of the Lawrence Sanders’ detective novels. Archy is such a fun and interesting guy! But just dinner, okay? I know how he is. Charming, witty, sexy, and so flirtatious… but he is a cad and he always goes back to Connie. Why she puts up with him who even knows. Perhaps I could change him though. Maybe he simply hasn’t met the right woman yet? Interesting idea. I guess I could be open to the possibility of more than dinner if the vibe was right…

12. A popular book I hate? Any book by Nicholas Sparks! Ick ick ick. I can’t stand his writing. I’m also not a fan of hobbits or Potter. Or that Dan Brown book they made into a movie with Tom Hanks. What was the name of that? Horrible. I’ve blocked it from my mind. Maybe I should end this post now… hehehe…

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image stolen from Sandmanjazz.

30 Day Book Challenge 1

30 day book challenge

I’m going to do this challenge in groups of 6 so that I will have only 5 posts total in June on this topic instead of one per day which would be an annoying chore. Here are my first set of books…

1. My favorite book in a series is The Third Deadly Sin by Lawrence Sanders (RIP). This is where retired police chief Edward X. Delaney has to solve a series of murders, all men, committed by a very clever woman, a plain secretary by day who dresses up as a femme fatale at night to lure a random victim into her deadly web. All the deadly sin books are great, but I particularly love this one for some reason… who knows why… so mysterious.

2. Hard to choose a favorite writer! I’m going to go with Faking It by Jennifer Crusie. She writes consistently realistic and fun romances. This one is particularly witty and delicious.

3. Sadly, I’ve never finished Ulysses by James Joyce. My father always wanted me to read it, since it was one of his favorite books, but it was such a tedious slog. I tried two or three times and gave up. So boring!

4. I will always remember The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. It had a strong effect on me. The attachment to objects. The power of imagination. What’s real and what isn’t. The cruelty of mockery. So much is in here…

5. My favorite classic novel is The Great Gatsby. I don’t care if Fitzgerald wrote it fast because he needed money. It’s still beautiful. Why is that bad anyway… to write for money? Who says slaving away for decades without a care for recompense creates true art? Bah.

6. The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst broke my heart. It was shockingly sad even though we knew some of the tragedy right at the start.

I guess I will schedule this for June 6 even though I’m doing it on Tuesday. K… see you then. 😻

~*~

Image stolen from Sandmanjazz.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.