Ooh la la! Every Frenchman has One!

Back in print for the first time in decades—and featuring a new interview every_frenchman_has_onewith the author, in celebration of her centennial birthday—the delectable escapades of Hollywood legend Olivia de Havilland, who fell in love with a Frenchman—and then became a Parisian

In 1953, Olivia de Havilland—already an Academy Award-winning actress for her roles in To Each His Own and The Heiress—became the heroine of her own real-life love affair. She married a Frenchman, moved to Paris, and planted her standard on the Left Bank of the River Seine. It has been fluttering on both Left and Right Banks with considerable joy and gaiety from that moment on.

Still, her transition from Hollywood celebrity to parisienne was anything but easy. And in Every Frenchman Has One, her skirmishes with French customs, French maids, French salesladies, French holidays, French law, French doctors, and above all, the French language, are here set forth in a delightful and amusing memoir of her early years in the “City of Light.”

Paraphrasing Caesar, Ms. de Havilland says, “I came. I saw. I was conquered.”

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Olivia as Melanie Wilkes in ‘Gone With The Wind’ in 1939. Olivia at 100! ❤ 

I’m pretty certain that everyone knows, Gone With The Wind, is my favorite movie of all tumblr_mc1ie8exue1r11s4xo1_r1_500time. (It’s tied with Beauty and the Beast!). I’ve always had an affinity towards Scarlett O’Hara, which is a nickname for me given that since childhood (and before I ever saw the movie or read the book), I always say ‘After all, tomorrow is another day!’ To which my parents reply, “Okay, Scarlett.”  Now, this isn’t to say that I don’t love anyone else but Scarlett/Vivien Leigh. I absolutely loved all the main characters and Olivia de Havilland’s portrayal of Melanie Wilkes touched my heart. As with all of my interests (which become obsessions for awhile there), I researched about the four leads. I found Olivia’s story so very fascinating and I was rather awestruck when I saw she had written a book.

Enter ‘Every Frenchman Has One’! Written by Ms. de Havilland in 1962, it was rereleased last year in honour of her 100th birthday. There must be something about France because she has never looked back since moving there.  There isn’t a structure followed, there isn’t a plot, it is just Ms. de Havilland writing her own thoughts and experiences, some of which will have you cracking up. Her candor is something to experience. It’s a quick read and the book is small too, 144 pages and this edition has a small interview with her to celebrate her centennial birthday, which was on the 1st of July.

Reading this book made me feel like I was talking to an old friend; that she was regaling me with tales about her life, which is precisely what the goal was, I think. Moving from the USA to France was an experience; she had to relearn how to go from Fahrenheit to Celsius, the very chic and stylish salons and such, language barrier, falling in love, tending to her son and countless other gems that make you think she should have optioned this book to be a comedy film. It’s such a gem of a book, one you’ll enjoy if you’re ever curious about how it is when you move across the proverbial pond and how to adjust and find your way.

Oh, and the title? What does every Frenchman have? A liver. Ms. de Havilland writes, “the most significant of all human organs as the French constitution is concerned.”

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About the Author

melaniewilkesOlivia de Havilland began her film career at the age of eighteen playing Hermia in Max Reinhardt’s motion picture presentation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her films have included The Adventures of Robin Hood, Gone with the Wind, The Snake Pit, and Hush…Hush Sweet Charlotte. Over the course of her esteemed career, she has won two Academy Awards (for her leading roles in To Each His Own and The Heiress), as well as two New York Critics Awards, two Golden Globes, and a National Board of Review Award. In 2008 she received the National Medal of Arts, and in 2010, the French Legion of Honour. She lives in Paris.

 

Review: The Moon In The Palace

25577005When it comes to history, I feel there’s always something to learn. I confess I tend to stay within British, American and French history, but I was drawn to The Moon In the Palace by two things. Firstly, I had friends raving about it and secondly, the cover. I love a beautiful cover; it calls to me and invites me in. “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” Well, reader, I judged. And it was a wise choice on my part because this was a beautiful read.

The descriptions of the locales and even of everyday attire was stunning and I could see it perfectly in my mind’s eye. The author has a gift for inviting a reader in and it has carried over into the second book in the series too–a review will follow once I finish. The themes seem to be honor, duty, filial loyalty and strength. Heaven knows one needed it to survive the intrigues! Mei–the future Empress Wu–is thirteen when she is selected to become one of the concubines of the Emperor and along with fourteen other young women, she has to make herself noticeable. When it is his birthday, whilst the other women of court aim to spoil the Emperor with things that he already has, Mei writes a riddle, setting herself apart. It is something she continues to do for all of her life; she is not one to remain in the shadows.

The development of the characters is like a lotus; slow to start and then it’s opened beautifully. It’s truly a beautifully spun tale–much like the silkworms that are mentioned in the book. Mei is a child when we begin and through this novel, we see her grow into a beautiful woman, who is learning her place in the world and how to navigate it. It’s a complicated world, to be certain, but you finish feeling that the best is yet to come for Mei. Not without trouble, of course, because court intrigues are as frequent as say a bird flying overhead.

The history is absolutely fascinating and as I didn’t know much of anything about seventh century China, I am most certainly intrigued and would like to learn more. Beyond Mei, I find Pheasant, the Noble Lady and others to be fascinating characters. Some you can tell that they may have ulterior motives but others? Well, I think you ought to read the book!

All in all, I highly recommend this book and I look forward to whatever else Weina writes. She has truly grabbed my attention and introduced to me a brand new world where I was, stupidly, oblivious to. Admittedly, the only woman in Chinese history that I was familiar with was Hua Mulan and that was from Disney. I know that’s rather pathetic, but we all start somewhere when something has our interests. For me?

This is that book.

 

 

Review: Come Next Spring!

02_Come Next SpringCome Next Spring
by Alana White

Publication Date: August 23, 2016
Open Road Media
eBook & Paperback; 178 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-504034234

Genre: Historical Fiction/Young Adult

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It’s 1949 in Tennessee Smoky Mountain country, and everything in pre-teen Salina’s life seems suddenly different. Her sister is engaged, her brother is absorbed in caring for his sickly foal, and salina feels she has nothing in common anymore with her best friend. This novel for young people captures the insular spirit of the mountain people, the breathtaking country itself, and a girl’s struggle to accept the inevitability of change.

“An evocative first novel….the message is rounded out with lively characters, period details, and the sustained use of Salina’s childlike point of view.” – Kirkus

“. . . .A story as intricately patterned and multicolored as a practical, quilted coat—one that will warm readers, too.” -ALA Booklist Starred Review

“This finely crafted first novel engagingly depicts early adolescent feelings. All the events in the story occur between the first day of school and Christmas, in a year when Salina Harris moves beyond her concerns for popularity to an unfolding friendship with Scooter Russell, an unwelcome new-comer. . . .It is well paced, building to a dramatic climax; it creates a strong sense of time and place; and the novel includes a likable cast of characters and even a romance.” -Horn Book Magazine

“Salina is a wonderfully drawn character (who), with the help of loving parents and a teacher who challenges her to see a larger picture, realizes that change is inevitable, and that she will be able to accept it.” -School Library Journal

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback)

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This is a relatively short read, but it’s worth your time, I promise! Salina is a 12 year old girl and the world around her is changing. As with any 12 year old, change isn’t always good. It’s confusing and seems devastating (although we learn with age, it really isn’t). There’s a rumour circling about that there is going to be a road cutting through her family’s farmland. Her closest friends are from different stations in life and it leaves her feeling torn…and of course, she’s anxiously awaiting a letter back from author, Margaret Mitchell, about if Rhett ever came back to Scarlett. She’s also enduring her quirky new school friend’s thoughts that no, Rhett Butler did NOT come back to her. I admit I saw a bit of myself in Salina in the way that she defended the novel and was certain that Rhett came back.

(I would like to think that he did but accept that he didn’t.)

This was a sweet read, one that made you feel included in the story. The characters were well written and engaging. It’s not hard to think that you know these people or that you can imagine knowing. It certainly brought me back to when I was 12 and so confused about life. It’s an unpleasant feeling at the time but I look back at it with a chuckle now. I enjoyed getting to know each member of the family and the evolution of the town into a  modern one. I admit, I’d love a sequel!  Whilst some parts are a bit dialogue heavy, I’m certain that you’ll enjoy the story.

(It’s also worth mentioning that on August 16, 1949, Margaret Mitchell passed away five days after she was struck by a drunk driver on Peachtree Street in Atlanta.)

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About the Author03_Alana White

Alana White is the author of fiction and nonfiction for adults and young readers. Her most recent publications are the adult historical mystery novel, The Sign of the Weeping Virgin, set at the height of the Italian Renaissance in Florence, Italy, and Come Next Spring, a coming of age novel set in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee in the 1940s. She is also the author of a biography of Sacagawea, Sacagawea: Westward With Lewis and Clark. She is a longtime member of the Historical Novel Society and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She lives in Nashville, TN.

Alana welcomes readers and is always available for reader group chats. Please visit her at http://www.AlanaWhite.com for more information. As well as HNS and SCBWI, she is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, the Author’s Guild, and the Women’s National Book Association.

For more information, please visit Alana White’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 10
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, October 11
Spotlight at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, October 12
Review at Back Porchervations
Interview at Nothing But Books

Thursday, October 13
Spotlight at A Bookaholic Swede

Friday, October 14
Review at Reading Is My SuperPower

Saturday, October 15
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Sunday, October 16
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Tuesday, October 18
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Thursday, October 20
Review at Impressions In Ink
Review at Books, Dreams, Life
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, October 21
Spotlight at The Book Tree

Saturday, October 22
Review at Queen of All She Reads

Sunday, October 23
Review at Quirky Lady Reviews
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
Spotlight at Kinx’s Book Nook

Monday, October 24
Review at Book Nerd
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Review at The Book Junkie Reads

Giveaway

To win a paperback copy of Come Next Spring by Alana White, please enter via the Gleam form below. 2 copies are up for grabs!

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on October 24th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
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– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Come Next Spring

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Spotlight: John F. Kennedy and PT-109

John F. Kennedy and PT-109
by Richard Tregaskis

 

The Aviator’s Wife (A Review)

13642950When one thinks of Charles Lindbergh, they probably think of his nonstop flight in the ‘Spirit of Saint Louis’ or the kidnapping of his son. Even in the off chance they do know something of him, it’s that he had leanings toward Anti Semitism and considered moving to Germany. I didn’t know those things and furthermore, I didn’t know he was married. I think Anne Morrow Lindbergh has surely gotten the short end of the stick. For being married to one of the most famous men in the world, she is often left in his shadow despite the fact that she was an accomplished aviatrix and author in her own right.

This book was a wonderful read and I learned quite a bit about the woman behind Charles Lindbergh. ‘Behind every great man is a woman‘ is a very fitting statement. I tend to think that his later achievements would never have been accomplished if hadn’t had her support or help. When the world turned on him, she was

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Anne Morrow Lindbergh

there. When he traveled, she was there, raising the children. She endured his peculiarities. and there were many. I found that he was an ass (SO unlikable!) and if I were her? I’d have left him. Her life wasn’t her own once she married him. Her own dreams seemed to be put on a back burner because she was often too busy helping Charles achieve his.

I would say her love for him blinded her to certain aspects of him and that she seemed to have bit her tongue in other moments just to please him. I know considering the time, it was expected of her, but I do wish Anne had offered more fight in certain moments. I was glad when she finally found herself and began to embark on a life of her own making.

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Anne & Charles Lindbergh.

His betrayal of her in the end…I am certain I’d have wrung his neck but he was saying already. Her grace and strength was truly a virtue to be admired and he didn’t deserve it; not a whit.

I enjoyed this book very much and I loved learning about Anne. I think I will make it a point to read the books that she published and also to learn more about the women behind these ‘great’ men.

#StayPeculiar

I confess that I am rather late to the wonder that is Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar tumblr_oe9z2c850j1vbhfv5o3_400Children, which is something Miss Peregrine herself would likely not appreciate given her talent as an Ymbryne. I owe my curiosity about the series to Tim Burton as I saw the previews for the movie version and thought, “Well, that looks fascinating!” It so happened that on my birthday trip to Books-A-Million I saw the series as a boxed set. I was unable to resist and so, I bought it along with the book, ‘Tales of The Peculiar’, which was signed by the author, Ransom Riggs! (Pretty awesome, methinks!) I’m really looking forward to his next novels, whatever they may be. He has a distinctive style and it really kept me intrigued and wanting more. I’ve also discovered that he’s married to Tahereh Mafi, whom I have heard a lot of good things about too! (Is it too much to hope that they write a book  together? Omg, that would be amazing! Also…their wedding is basically all I could ever want. I saw pictures on Tumblr and I’m terribly jealous. Bookshoppe wedding, bouquet made of book pages…you get it. #EnviousAsHell) I’ve posted two pictures here just so you can see. These two are bookworm goals. ❤

 

Okay, enough about my wedding envy. (I don’t even have a boyfriend, so there is that, lol.) Have you guys read this series of interesting books? I found the premise of living in a  ‘loop’ fascinating and depressing all at once, seeing as they already knew

what would happen every single day. Of course, it was better than the alternative of the house being bombed and everyone killed. It was during the Second World War, that they were in the loop. Jacob is a young man from our day and age who whilst on a journey to learn about his grandfather, who died in a strange way. I don’t want to give away too much if you haven’t read them, but I promise you that if you like history and fantasy, you’ll very much enjoy this series. It’s opened me up to the YA genre of books, a verse that I was trying to keep away from simply because I was worried they’d be poorly written or would deal with issues that I am too old to really be able to relate to. I absolutely loved the 10613999_10204663854820156_1393610062_nold ‘peculiar’ photos that were in the books too. It certainly gave a face to the vast array of characters. It’s an original way to give visual to characters. I very much enjoyed the different take. In the boxed set, it comes with 12 little pictures in an envelope that show
some of the people you’ll encounter in the books. This is one of the images included, this being Miss Peregrine. If you enjoy old photographs…you’ll enjoy these. if I remember correctly, Mr. Riggs found them in travels and wanted to publish a book just of these but instead used them in the Miss Peregrine series.

 

Eva Green as Miss Peregrine

While I loved the image of who Miss Peregrine is, I confess that Eva Green’s face is rather ingrained into my mind. Asa Butterfield is a perfect choice for Jacob. I am dying to see the film, though I’ve been told that it is drastically different from the books. I noticed that they switched Emma’s powers from fire to air for starters. They also made Bronwen into a small child of perhaps six years of age. (She was older in the books.) I can’t judge the film entirely as I’ve not seen it but I do wonder why the change. Hollywood is forever trying to make a movie better than a book, which is seldom (if ever!), achieved. I think the only films that were just as good as the book were the Harry Potter series, The Help and Gone With the Wind. Oh and the Wizard of Oz too! That was a good one as well. Hollywood ought to learn that sometimes changing what is already a good thing isn’t always wise. A prime example of that would be the Divergent series. What a fiasco. I do want to read the books; I read the first one and enjoyed it. However, I saw the second movie before I read the book and it turned me off, which was bloody stupid, don’t you think? Allowing a movie to sway me.

 

What are some book to movies that you’ve enjoyed? What are some that you guys have absolutely loathed? Sound off in comments below or e-mail me and I’ll post some responses in my next posting! ❤

If you go to see Miss Peregrine, do be sure to tell me how you’ve enjoyed it. I’m hoping to see it soon. I am also hoping to pick up the Miss Peregrine funko pop to set on my bookshelf. (I have too many of the blasted things but I just love them. Books and Funkos…I should have incorporated them into my blog somehow too. Ah well.)

I think I’ve rambled quite enough; I bet you’re rather tired of me. I think I’ll leave you with this gif. It’s really a rather perfect ending to this post, don’t you think? (Again, they are goals.)

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