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What’s all the hype about Goodreads, anyway? 

November 26, 2018

Whether you’re a big lover of books, or not so big, chances are you’ve stumbled upon Goodreads at some point. You were most likely searching for reviews for some book you’ve been meaning to get your hands on when you did. No surprise here – that’s exactly how I discovered Goodreads. My biggest mistake at the time, though,  was thinking that Goodreads is just a book review site, so I’d spend hours upon hours reading through all the reviews (it gets really addictive) and nothing else.

Once I took the time to actually look around the site more, I discovered that Goodreads has so much more to offer than just awesome reviews!

Here’s why I love Goodreads:

My Books

It’s a virtual bookshelf and your own personal online library, giving you instant access to almost any book you can imagine. Think of Belle when the beast first shows her the library in his castle, or Hogwarts library in Harry Potter! Although you cannot actually read the books you shelf directly on Goodreads, it’s a great place to organize all the books you’ve ever read and all the books you’re planning to read. It’s a bookworm’s heaven!

 

Reading Challenge

Nothing is more motivating than setting goals and competing –  against yourself! I absolutely love the Goodreads Reading Challenge! You decide how many books you’ll read before the end of each year, and when you reach your goal, you’re rewarded with an honorary badge that stays on your profile, and the sweet satisfaction of knowing you’ve reached your goal.

You know your reading habits, your lifestyle, and your motivation levels. Don’t set yourself unrealistic reading challenge goals. There are members with a Reading Challenge goal in the hundreds, even thousands; and there are those starting off with a reading challenge of only 10 books.  Both are perfectly okay if it means it fills your soul with joy.

 

Trivia & Quizzes

Need some time to just unwind and let your general knowledge juices flow? You’ll love these! Be careful, because they are quite addictive. Whether it’s a quiz about your favourite books, genres or Game Of Thrones – you’re likely to find it here.  And if you don’t, then you can create your own!

 

Widgets

If you have your own website or blog, or if you have an email account, then you’ll love this!  Show off the cover of the book you’re currently reading when responding to emails.  Friends and clients alike are sure to be impressed and maybe even inspired.  At the same time display your bookshelf, reading challenge, or a favourite quote on your website or blog. It’s a fun way to show off your book obsession and meet other book lovers out there.

 

Book Barcode Scanner

We already use our smartphones to scan everything – documents, audio, video, when we go to the store – so why not also books?

Instead of manually searching for books on the site and adding them to your reading shelves, simply scan the barcode of books you find interesting while browsing a bookstore. This will bring up all the information about the book and you can then decide on which shelf it should go!

I swear, I’m obsessed.

 

Book Recommendations

Another reason I love Goodreads is for how easy it is to recommend books to your friends and to find book recommendations for yourself! I no longer have to search high and low for my next exciting read, which I spent most of my life doing.

Goodreads made my life so much easier!

 

Compare Books

Imagine finding your reading twin! Well, with Goodreads that’s highly likely with its nifty “compare book” feature that lets you find other users of the site with the same taste in books as you. Neat, huh?

 

Chat With Your Favourite Author!

Authors are understandably very busy with all that writing going on. There’s hardly time to casually book chat with their adoring readers, but Goodreads has thankfully bridged this gap and made communication between author and reader so much more convenient. Authors are happy to answer any burning questions you have about their work through the “Ask the Author” feature on the site. This feature is controlled by the author, so keep an eye out for when it’s turned on and ask away!

 

Join As Many Groups As You Like!

Goodreads is rich with many diverse groups (or virtual book clubs as I like to refer to them). There’s a group or groups for everyone, and if you don’t find anything you’re interested in, then go on and create your own group!

 

Become a Goodreads Librarian

Think you got what it takes? Librarians are long-time users of the site and are passionate about keeping their “library” neat and tidy. They also know the librarian manual, aka the Goodreads rulebook, by heart and are happy to quickly remind users what the rules are when adding and editing book data.  The great news is that you too can apply to be a Goodreads librarian. Though you won’t need to learn the Dewy Decimal System, you will need to know the librarian Manual.

 

These are just a few of the reasons why I love Goodreads and why I recommend you give it a try! It’s the app to have and the community to be a part of. For now these are my top 10 best features, but I’m sure once you’ve had a look around you’ll be able to find your own reasons for loving the world’s largest online community for book lovers.

Happy birthday Goodreads!

love

Books/Movies, Inspiration, Slider

2018 Franschhoek Literary Festival

June 1, 2018

I’ve always wanted to go to the literary festival in the Franschhoek valley, I just never got around to it, and then finally decided this will be the year!

There honestly couldn’t be a more perfect town to host the festival with its picturesque beauty. Franschhoek is home to many historic buildings, no-doubt telling stories of their own, and blowing new life into these historic buildings every autumn, are the many interesting book discussions with acclaimed authors, and live performances by other local and international artists throughout the long-weekend.

In the wine valley of Franschhoek you can sip on anything from a merlot to champagne while taking it all in on the green, lush lawns.  You’ll be delighted by the rows of quaint coffee shops, boutiques,  restaurants, and art galleries while strolling down the main road painted brightly with Autumn leaves. This fille française also has no shortage of grand guest houses, and provides a tranquil escape from the bustling city life for locals and tourists flocking to the valley year after year.

For our stay we chose the gorgeous Val d’or Estate Country Guest House to be our home away from home, and received a warm and welcoming reception from our hosts. The rooms are modern, cozy, spacious and the entire place just downright gorgeous. We really couldn’t fault a thing.

The Franschhoek literary festival is a wonderful opportunity not only for authors and artists to interact with the public and promote their wonderful work, but it’s also a great way to encourage reading in both young and old.

Until we’ve seen more of our youth get involved, it’s not fully achieved its goal yet.

 

For more information about the Festival, and to get involved, email Sheenagh at help@flf.co.za


As always, I’m leaving you with a few pictures taken by my talented husband, photographer, and my muse.

 

 

Yours in books,

 

Books/Movies, Entertainment

New Movie Review – I, Tonya

January 30, 2018

Two triple axels, various ice skating records and all the technique in the world, means absolutely nothing when overshadowed by one of the most sensational scandals of all time.

I, TONYA is a comedic drama that tells the tale of a talented sports star whose success is destroyed by her troubled childhood, her mother’s abuse and her stormy relationships.  Although it initially seems like the movie is actually a comedic spoof of the heartlessness of a tabloid-driven nation, you soon realise that it is about more than meets the eye.

Ambitious and goal-driven from an early age, former figure skating champion, Tonya Harding (Robbie) was well on her way to becoming one of the world’s biggest ice skating legends.

Her first big breakthrough came in 1991 when she won (with her first triple axel) the U.S. Championships and was awarded the event’s first 6.0 ever given to a single female skater for technical merit. At the 1991 World Championships, she again completed the triple axel (becoming the first American woman to perform it at an international event) but finished second to Kristi Yamaguchi. Unfortunately, that is not what she is remembered for. Her dreams and career were shattered by her alleged association with an infamous, ill-conceived, and even more poorly-executed attack on fellow Olympic competitor, Nancy Kerrigan (Caitlin Carver), by her ex-husband (Sebastian Stan) and bodyguard (Paul Walter Hauser).

This award-winning film is based on the true events behind this spectacle and will keep you glued to your seat until the very end.

The film also boasts an excellent cast and has already received a lot of praise for outstanding performances by the lead characters. Margot Robbie is commended for her soulful portrayal of Tonya Harding in this fascinating story, while Sebastian Stan can be seen in the role of her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly. This handsome actor, from New York, previously featured in several television shows, such as Law and Order and Gossip Girl, and also starred in the Captain America Franchise, Riki and the Flash, The Martian and many more.

I, TONYA promises to captivate audiences, not only because of outstanding acting and direction but also because it proves the innocence of a woman who was judged by the world and abused by those who were supposed to love her most.

With 24 awards and 77 nominations under its belt, I, Tonya will hit the South African cinema circuit on 16 February 2018.

Cape Town

Tygervalley Ster Kinekor

Somerset Mall Ster Kinekor

V&A Waterfront Nu Metro

V&A Cinema Nouveau

Canal Walk Nu Metro

Labia Orange St

Durban

Gateway Ster Kinekor

Water Crest Ster Kinekor

Pavilion Nu Metro

Pretoria

Brooklyn Cinema Nouveau

Parkview Nu Metro

Jo’burg

Cedar Square Ster Kinekor

Rosebank Mall Ster Kinekor

Sandton City Ster Kinekor

Cresta Ster Kinekor

Greenstone Ster Kinekor

Bedford Square Ster Kinekor

Bedford Centre Nu Metro

Movies@Monte

Hyde Park Nu Metro

 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ITonyaMovie/

Twitter: @ItonyaMovie

Instagram: @itonyamovie

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQpBf04inPQ

 

 

 

 

Books/Movies, Entertainment

New Movie Review: Breathe

January 18, 2018

Coming to life on the big screen: an inspiring love story of hope and determination

What would you do if your husband’s life suddenly changed irrevocably and he is about to give up hope?

Breathe, a heart-warming and highly emotional celebration of bravery and human possibility comes to life on the big screen around the country on 19 January 2018.  Based on real-life events, this inspiring film featuring Claire Foy (Season of the Witch, Going Postal) and Andrew Garfield (The Social Network, The Amazing Spiderman, Silence, Never Let Me Go), is a love story about living every breath as though it’s your last.

This motion picture is actor, Andy Serkis’s (Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Rise, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) directorial debut and he worked very closely with scriptwriter, William Nicholson (Gladiator, Les Misérables, First Knight) to tell the story of his best friend and producer, Jonathan Cavendish’s (Bridget Jones’ Diary, Elizabeth: The Golden Age) parents with the sensitivity and empathy that it deserved.

Adventurous and charismatic, Robin Cavendish (Andrew Garfield) has his whole life ahead of him when he is paralysed by polio whilst in Africa at the age of twenty-eight. Against all advice, Robin’s wife Diana brings him home from hospital where her devotion and witty determination transcends his disability. Together they refuse to be imprisoned by his suffering; dazzling others with their humour, courage, and lust for life.

They also use their own story to inspire other people who are going through similar circumstances. Clever technology makes it possible for Robin to ‘get out of bed’ and experience new adventures and enables him to become an advocate for disabled people across the world.

The movie, which is set in the 1950’s, not only boasts a beautiful set and costume design, but also a star-studded cast.

“The most important thing to get was their love for each other. I didn’t want to over-sentimentalise her; and she definitely doesn’t want to be seen as a saint, or an angel, or incredible sort of nurse. It was actually just true love,” says Foy about getting into character for this part.  Foy has been praised for her accurate portrayal of Diana Cavendish.

Hugh Bonneville, who has already been nominated for BAFTA, Emmy and Golden Globe awards for his role in Downtown Abbey, and Tom Hollander (Mission Impossible, About Time, Pirates of the Caribbean) can also be seen in the movie.

The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and was also screened at the Opening Night Gala at the BFI London Film Festival. It has already been nominated for an Archie Award for Best First Feature at the Philadelphia Film Festival and Best Makeup and Hair Design and Sound at the Independent British Film Awards. During the Heartland Film Festival, it won the Truly Moving Picture Award.

It will appeal to audiences of all ages, but especially if you enjoyed The Theory of Everything, Lion, The Imitation Game and Brooklyn.

This inspirational movie is distributed by Ster-Kinekor Entertainment and will be at the following cinemas from 19 January:

 

Cape Town

Tyger Valley Ster-Kinekor

Cavendish Square Ster-Kinekor

Somerset Mall Ster-Kinekor

V&A Waterfront Cinema Nouveau

V&A Waterfront Nu Metro

Labia Orange Street

Garden Route

Garden Route Mall Ster-Kinekor

Port Elizabeth

Walmer Park Shopping Centre Nu Metro

Windhoek

The Grove Windhoek Ster-Kinekor

Durban

Gateway Mall Ster-Kinekor

Water Crest Mall Ster-Kinekor

Jo’Burg

Cedar Square Ster-Kinekor

Movies@Monte

Rosebank Mall Ster-Kinekor

Sandton City Ster-Kinekor

Hyde Park Corner Nu Metro

Cresta Shopping Centre Ster-Kinekor

Greenstone Mall Ster-Kinekor

Mpumulanga

i’langa Mall Ster-Kinekor

Pretoria

Brooklyn Mall Cinema Nouveau

Kolonnade Centre Ster-Kinekor

Irene Village Mall Ster-Kinekor

Woodlands Nu Metro


SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Twitter: @BreatheMov

Instagram: @breathemov

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BreatheFilmUK/

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_YnYrLfjxA

 

From your Amateur Cineaste 🙂

 

Books/Movies, Entertainment

20 Scary movies appropriate for kids of all ages

October 22, 2017

I’m sure by now you have read and heard all about the upcoming Halloween happenings in Cape Town especially. It’s quite…scary…how much the holiday has grown amongst the South African crowd in recent years. Every year the celebrations just get bigger and better and scarier – from horror fests to mystery murder dinners, ghost bus tours to Halloween-themed parties, and zombie walks to twilight runs. This all seems like a cauldron-full of fun unless you have kids and a late-night-weekend might not be your ideal way of spending this Halloween.

Here’s a fab idea – Invite some of your kids’ friends over, scatter the pillows and blankets all over the lounge floor, pop some corn, turn out the lights and you have yourself a PG scare fest I guarantee they’ll enjoy. What the heck! Unlike in the US, it’s actually Summer over here, so if you really want to impress the little ones, take the bean bags out onto the lawn, set up a projector screen, and you have instantly and effortlessly created your own open-air Halloween screening!

But, finding the right movies for our kids is always such a mission! We all know how completely inappropriate some kids scary movies can be, so, to the best of my researching skills ( and I have killer skills), I have put together quite a collection for you to choose from. Most are PG rated and nothing over 13 years, but they are all guaranteed to entertain the entire family and you won’t have to wait until the kids go to bed.

Proceed with caution:

As with everything we do that involves our kids, your choice of movies, too, requires your judgment call. Sometimes that means previewing a movie and making a decision based on their age and mental constitution.

For the under 13 crowd it may be best that you watch the movie with them as discussion can provide an outlet for some of the disturbing issues found in even the least scary movies. If possible, after you’ve watched the movie, also watch the special on how they made the monsters. That might be comforting for the more sensitive child, to know that none of it is real.

Above all, Have a happy Halloween and Enjoy movie night – Here are 20 of my fave kiddie scares!

 

Boxtrolls (PG RATED)

Eggs (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), an orphan, lives with the Boxtrolls — a community of quirky, mischievous creatures who inhabit a cavern beneath the city of Cheesebridge. When villainous Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) hatches a plan to get rid of the pretty harmless beings, Eggs decides to go above ground, where he meets and befriends feisty Winnifred (Elle Fanning). Together, Eggs and Winnifred devise a daring plan to save the Boxtrolls from extermination.

 

Coraline (PG RATED)

While exploring her new home, a girl named Coraline (Dakota Fanning) discovers a secret door, behind which lies an alternate world that closely mirrors her own but, in many ways, is better. She rejoices in her discovery, until Other Mother (Teri Hatcher) and the rest of her parallel family try to keep her there forever. Coraline must use all her resources and bravery to make it back to her own family and life.

 

Hotel Transylvania (PG RATED)

When monsters want to get away from it all, they go to Count Dracula’s (Adam Sandler) Hotel Transylvania, a lavish resort where they can be themselves without humans around to bother them. On one special weekend, Dracula invites creatures like the Invisible Man, the Mummy and others to celebrate the 118th birthday of his daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez). However, an unforeseen complication unfolds when an ordinary human unwittingly crashes the party and falls in love with Mavis.

 

Casper (PG RATED)

Casper (voiced by Malachi Pearson) is a kind young ghost who peacefully haunts a mansion in Maine. When specialist James Harvey (Bill Pullman) arrives to communicate with Casper and his fellow spirits, he brings along his teenage daughter, Kat (Christina Ricci). Casper quickly falls in love with Kat, but their budding relationship is complicated not only by his transparent state but also by his troublemaking apparition uncles.

 

Mickey’s House of Villains (TV G RATED)

The villains from the popular animated Disney films are gathered at the House of Mouse with plans to take over. Soon, the villains take over the house and kick out Mickey, Donald and Goofy. It’s all up to Mickey and his friends to overthrow evil and return the House of Mouse to normal–or as close to normal as it get’s.

 

Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween (G RATED)

Your favorite friends from The Hundred Acre Wood are back in the all-new original feature, POOH’S HEFFALUMP HALLOWEEN MOVIE. It’s a hilariously haunted Halloween in the Hundred Acre Wood, and Roo’s best new pal, Lumpy, is excited to trick-or-treat for the first time. That is, until Tigger warns them about the dreaded Gobloon who’ll turn you into a jaggedy lantern if he catches you. But if they catch the Gobloon before it catches them, they get to make a wish. When Pooh eats all the Halloween candy, Lumpy and Roo decide to be “brave together, brave forever and catch the Gobloon. Celebrate the bumpity and spookable Halloween season with Pooh and his pals in their first Halloween-themed film in eight years. 

 

The Halloween Tree (G RATED)

Four children learn the origins of Halloween customs while trying to save the life of their friend.

 

Frankenweenie (PG RATED)

When a boy’s beloved dog passes away suddenly, he attempts to bring the animal back to life through a powerful science experiment.

 

ET (PG RATED)

A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.

 

The Little Vampire (PG RATED)

After he moves to Scotland with his parents, only child Tony (Jonathan Lipnicki) struggles to make friends at his new school. But he is bullied and picked on by the other boys, and has little hope of overcoming his miserable new life. Then he meets Rudolph (Rollo Weeks), a kid vampire with whom Tony becomes very close. But, when Rudolph’s life and the future of the vampire race are threatened by a ruthless vampire hunter, Tony must find the courage to save his best friend.

 

The Nightmare Before Christmas (PG RATED)

Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home cause confusion.

 

Monster House (PG RATED)

Three teens discover that their neighbor’s house is really a living, breathing, scary monster.

 

Scared Shrekless (TV PG)

Shrek gets in the Halloween spirit by challenging his fairytale friends to come up with scary stories for a contest. But the gang learn that they’ll have to spend the night in Lord Farquaad’s haunted castle before the winner is named.

 

Gremlins (I’d recommend PG 10)

A gadget salesman is looking for a special gift for his son and finds one at a store in Chinatown. The shopkeeper is reluctant to sell him the “mogwai” but sells it to him with the warning to never expose him to bright light, water, or to feed him after midnight. All of this happens and the result is a gang of gremlins that decide to tear up the town on Christmas Eve.

 

The Never-Ending Story (PG RATED)

One of the best kids fantasy films of the 80’s. This is a great films about troubled young boy Bastien who escapes some pursuing bullies in an old bookshop finding a story.

As he reads this story alone, in hiding, he becomes enraptured in it and soon begins to feel more than a reader but involved in the story and is sucked into the world of Fantasia.

 

Return to Oz (PG RATED)

Dorothy, saved from a psychiatric experiment by a mysterious girl, is somehow called back to Oz when a vain witch and the Nome King destroy everything that makes the magical land beautiful.

 

Monsters Inc. (G RATED)

Monsters Incorporated is the largest scare factory in the monster world, and James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) is one of its top scarers. Sullivan is a huge, intimidating monster with blue fur, large purple spots and horns. His scare assistant, best friend and roommate is Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal), a green, opinionated, feisty little one-eyed monster. Visiting from the human world is Boo (Mary Gibbs), a tiny girl who goes where no human has ever gone before.

 

The Spiderwick Chronicles (PG RATED)

Of the three Grace children, Jared (Freddie Highmore) has always been thought of as the troublemaker. So when strange things happen after his family’s move to a relative’s dilapidated estate, sister Mallory (Sarah Bolger), twin brother Simon and their mother assume that Jared is behind it all. However, magical creatures roam the grounds, and they all want a special book that Jared has found: a field guide to fantastic creatures, penned by Arthur Spiderwick.

ParaNorman (PG RATED)

Young Norman Babcock (Kodi Smit-McPhee) has the ability to speak with the dead — and he often prefers their company to that of the living. Norman receives word from his strange Uncle Prenderghast (John Goodman) that a centuries-old witch’s curse on their town is real and about to come true — and that only Norman can stop it. When zombies rise from their graves, Norman must summon all his courage and compassion and push his paranormal abilities to the limit to save his fellow townspeople.

 

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (PG RATED)

The film consists of two segments – the first is based on the 1908 children’s novel The Wind in the Willows by Scottish author Kenneth Grahame, and the second is based on the 1820 short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” called Ichabod Crane 

 

Disclaimer: cover image was taken from www.ddlgforum.com

 

Ghostly Greetings,