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Biographies

I saw these biographies and decided to share them with you.  Everyone has a story and even these two people have lead an interesting life.

Bio

Steve McQueen  The Salvation of an American Icon

Join Greg Laurie as he takes a cross-country drive in his 1968 Highland Green Ford Mustang 390 GT through the canyons of Malibu, the alleys of Hollywood, the wide and open roads of the Midwest, the streets of New York, as he traces the wooly geography of actor Steve McQueen’s life, relationships, career and spiritual journey. This iconic muscle car was the vehicle McQueen drove in his most raucous and enduring film, Bullitt.

In the 1960s, McQueen was, according to box office receipts, the biggest movie star of his generation and one of the coolest men to ever walk the planet. Greg Laurie was a teen at the time and an ardent fan of ”The King of Cool,” first mesmerized by McQueen in 1963’s The Great Escape. Like millions of cinema fans, Greg developed a lifelong fascination with the actor. Now he has a chance to tell McQueen’s story.

McQueen was a complex, contradictory man who lived the same way he drove his motorcycles and cars: fearlessly, ruthlessly and at top speed. After a lifetime of fast cars, women and drugs, McQueen took a surprising detour.

In this book, Laurie thoughtfully interviews members of Steve McQueen’s family, friends, co-stars, associates, widow and pastor to tell of the dramatic life-change for the actor in the spring of 1979 – six months before McQueen was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

What were the critical steps that led McQueen to make such a life-altering decision? Perhaps more importantly, why is that part of his story so rarely told? This book answers these questions.

Greg Laurie will follow the seeds of Christianity that were sown throughout McQueen’s improbable life where a Light finally shone into the darkness of his troubled life. These seeds miraculously germinated, allowing McQueen to see that redemption through Jesus Christ is a lasting truth more glittering and real than any magic of the entertainment industry.

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Defiance  The extraordinary life of Lady Anne Barnard

The first major biography of eighteenth-century writer and socialite Lady Anne Barnard.

Born in Scotland in 1772, Lady Anne Barnard lived at the heart of Georgian society. She wrote one of the most popular ballads of her day, captivated Sir Walter Scott with her poetry, rubbed shoulders with the Prince of Wales, and dazzled Samuel Johnson with her repartee. Lady Anne’s charisma and talent were undeniable; she was well known as both a beauty and a wit. However, she was also seen as an eccentric―an artist defined by her defiance of convention.

Lady Anne had romantic affairs with several prominent men, but she married none of them. She preferred to live independently―even traveling alone to Paris during the upheaval of the French Revolution. When she did marry, it was to an impoverished army officer many years her junior. The pairing scandalized polite society. Hounded by gossip, the couple escaped to the Cape Colony―England’s first African possession―where Lady Anne painted the vibrant landscapes and penned her memoirs. An indefatigable diarist, she proved herself one of the extraordinary chroniclers of the era.

I spy today in books…

Today I saw these books…..

 

Public Relations by Katie Heaney and Arianna Rebolini

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What it is about:

Young PR star Rose Reed is thrown into the big leagues when her boss leaves town the day of the firm’s meeting with Archie Fox, a young, hot, internationally famous British singer-songwriter. The meeting is going badly until Rose suggests a staged romance with up-and-coming, young indie star Raya. He’ll do it, but only if Rose becomes his publicist.

As the faux-mance between Archie and Raya begins to rehabilitate Archie’s faltering career, Rose finds his herself having unexpected, inconvenient and definitely unprofessional feelings for the crooner. But do late night texts and impromptu burrito binges mean he feels the same? In the end, Rose will have to decide whether to let her fantasy crush go, or to risk her reputation to be with the charming, handsome, scoundrel-y but sweet pop star she’s grown to love.

With a razor-sharp voice full of wry humor, Public Relations is a fun-filled glimpse behind the curtain of the PR machines that create our favorite celebrities.

( I wanna read this!!)

 

Stars Over Clear Lake by Loretta Ellsworth

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What it is about:

Lorraine Kindred’s most cherished memories are of the Surf Ballroom, the place where youth lost themselves to the brassy sounds and magnetic energy of the big band swing, where boys spent their last nights before shipping off to war―and where Lorraine herself was swept away by a star-crossed romance.

Returning to the ballroom for the first time in decades, Lorraine enters a dazzling world she thought long vanished. But as the sparkling past comes to life, so does the fateful encounter that forced her to choose between her heart and her duty all those years ago―and Lorraine must face the secret she’s buried ever since. Along the way, she’ll rediscover herself, her passion, and her capacity for resilience.

Set during the 1940s and the present and inspired by a real-life ballroom, Loretta Ellsworth’s Stars Over Clear Lake is a moving story of forbidden love, lost love, everlasting love―and self love.

(This is on my list to read too!!)

 

The Baker’s Secret by Stephen P. Kiernan

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What it is about: 

From the multiple-award-winning, critically acclaimed author of The Hummingbird and The Curiosity comes a dazzling novel of World War II—a shimmering tale of courage, determination, optimism, and the resilience of the human spirit, set in a small Normandy village on the eve of D-Day.

On June 5, 1944, as dawn rises over a small town on the Normandy coast of France, Emmanuelle is making the bread that has sustained her fellow villagers in the dark days since the Germans invaded her country.

Only twenty-two, Emma learned to bake at the side of a master, Ezra Kuchen, the village baker since before she was born. Apprenticed to Ezra at thirteen, Emma watched with shame and anger as her kind mentor was forced to wear the six-pointed yellow star on his clothing. She was likewise powerless to help when they pulled Ezra from his shop at gunpoint, the first of many villagers stolen away and never seen again.

In the years that her sleepy coastal village has suffered under the enemy, Emma has silently, stealthily fought back. Each day, she receives an extra ration of flour to bake a dozen baguettes for the occupying troops. And each day, she mixes that precious flour with ground straw to create enough dough for two extra loaves—contraband bread she shares with the hungry villagers. Under the cold, watchful eyes of armed soldiers, she builds a clandestine network of barter and trade that she and the villagers use to thwart their occupiers.

But her gift to the village is more than these few crusty loaves. Emma gives the people a taste of hope—the faith that one day the Allies will arrive to save them.

(This is a maybe for me to read!)

 

Love Story by Karen Kingsbury

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What it is about:

From the day they met, John and Elizabeth were destined to fall in love. Their whirlwind romance started when they were young college students and lasted nearly thirty years—until Elizabeth died of cancer.

So when John Baxter is asked to relive his long-ago love story with Elizabeth for his grandson Cole’s heritage project, he’s not sure he can do it. The sadness might simply be too great. But he agrees and allows his heart and soul to go places they haven’t gone in decades. Back to the breathless first moments, but also to the secret heartbreak that brought John and Elizabeth together.

At the same time, Baxter family friend Cody Coleman is working through the breakup of his complicated relationship with Andi Ellison. He is determined to move on when a chance sighting changes his plans—and heart. Can Cody convince Andi to give their love another try, or is it time for them to say goodbye for good?

As school comes to an end, Cole presents his report on the love story between his grandparents John and Elizabeth Baxter. It is a tale that touches the hearts of the entire family, and one that causes Cole to better understand his own beginning.

Whether you’re meeting the Baxter family for the first time or finding them all over again, Love Story will stir your heart and remind you of the generational impact of love and the eternal bond of family.

(Yup!! I need to read this!!)

 

The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor

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What it is about:

Austria, 1938. Kristoff is a young apprentice to a master Jewish stamp engraver. When his teacher disappears during Kristallnacht, Kristoff is forced to engrave stamps for the Germans, and simultaneously works alongside Elena, his beloved teacher’s fiery daughter, and with the Austrian resistance to send underground messages and forge papers. As he falls for Elena amidst the brutal chaos of war, Kristoff must find a way to save her, and himself.

Los Angeles, 1989. Katie Nelson is going through a divorce and while cleaning out her house and life in the aftermath, she comes across the stamp collection of her father, who recently went into a nursing home. When an appraiser, Benjamin, discovers an unusual World War II-era Austrian stamp placed on an old love letter as he goes through her dad’s collection, Katie and Benjamin are sent on a journey together that will uncover a story of passion and tragedy spanning decades and continents, behind the just fallen Berlin Wall.

A romantic, poignant and addictive novel, The Lost Letter shows the lasting power of love.

(Yessssss need to read!!)

 

Hope you check these out.  I know I will…even though my to read pile keeps growing and growing!  Will I ever get through them all?

 

Three Movie Reviews

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Effie Gray

A look at the scandalous love triangle between Victorian art critic John Ruskin, his teenage bride Effie Gray, and Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais.

My Take:   This was a long movie but interesting.  It takes place back in time as Effie marries John as the marriage is not the best.   It was a little slow but interesting to see how the times were set up.  I felt bad for Effie of what she was going through.  You could see how women could have been treated back then and fall into depression or worse.   I must say that  the ending was kick ass.  I loved how Effie took charge at the end.

 

EDUCATION

An Education

A coming-of-age story about a teenage girl in 1960s suburban London, and how her life changes with the arrival of a playboy nearly twice her age.

My Take :  Well the cover of the movie caught me and the story.  I thought this would be a cute love story.  Boy I was wrong.  It was geared more towards of a girl teenager and her choices in life during the 1960s.   The costumes were great and the storyline was interesting.   It was a little long in some parts but overall good.

 

EASY

Easy Virtue

A young Englishman marries a glamorous American. When he brings her home to meet the parents, she arrives like a blast from the future – blowing their entrenched British stuffiness out the window.

My Take:   Stunning cover and fun story!  Love the era.  Anyways the story was really good. Jessica Biel plays the American who heads home with her new Englishman husband as the family is in shock.   It’s a warm and cold relationship with the family.  There were some funny parts and the dresses! I love love love the dresses.  I wanted all of Jessica Biel’s outfits in this film.  Even the car and motorcycle was awesome.   Colin Firth is also in this film which I adore.  The man is cool as a cucumber.  There is something about how he plays his character in this film really well.   You’ll like it.   There was one scene where Colin actually dances and I loved it.   Yes I know..I have a thing for dancing.  

If I could rank all these movies…

#1 favorite:  Easy Virtue

#2 favorite:  So Education

#3 favorite:  Effie Gray

So go check  these historical movies out today and tell me what you think of them and see if my favorites match up yours!

More of I spy some books at the library

Some books I saw on the shelf that looked very fascinating to me.  Check them out.

HIRED

Hired Girl
Laura Amy Schlitz
400 pages
Sept. 8, 2015 by Candlewick Press

Today Miss Chandler gave me this beautiful book. I vow that I will never forget her kindness to me, and I will use this book as she told me to—that I will write in it with truth and refinement…But who could be refined living at Steeple Farm?

Fourteen-year-old Joan Skraggs, just like the heroines in her beloved novels, yearns for real life and true love. But what hope is there for adventure, beauty, or art on a hardscrabble farm in Pennsylvania where the work never ends? Over the summer of 1911, Joan pours her heart out into her diary as she seeks a new, better life for herself—because maybe, just maybe, a hired girl cleaning and cooking for six dollars a week can become what a farm girl could only dream of—a woman with a future.

ITS
It’s a Wonderful Death
Sarah J. Schmitt
320 pages
October 6, 2015 by Sky Pony Press

Seventeen-year-old RJ always gets what she wants. So when her soul is accidentally collected by a distracted Grim Reaper, somebody in the afterlife better figure out a way to send her back from the dead or heads will roll. But in her quest for mortality, she becomes a pawn in a power struggle between an overzealous archangel and Death Himself. The tribunal presents her with two options: she can remain in the lobby, where souls wait to be processed, until her original lifeline expires, or she can replay three moments in her life in an effort to make choices that will result in a future deemed worthy of being saved. It sounds like a no-brainer. She’ll take a walk down memory lane. How hard can changing her future be?

But with each changing moment, RJ’s life begins to unravel, until this self-proclaimed queen bee is a social pariah. She begins to wonder if walking among the living is worth it if she has to spend the next sixty years as an outcast. Too quickly, RJ finds herself back in limbo, her time on Earth once again up for debate.

RJ is a snarky, unapologetic, almost unredeemable, very real girl. Her story is funny and moving, and teens will easily connect with her plight. Prepare to meet the Grim Reaper, who’s cuter than you’d expect; Hawaiian shirt–wearing Death Himself; Saint Peter (who likes to play Cornhole); and Al, the handler for the three-headed hound that guards the gates of Hell. This cast of characters accompanies RJ through her time in the afterlife and will do their best to gently shove her in the right direction.

MAD

Mad Love
Suzanne Selfors
326 pages
January 4, 2011 by Walker Childrens

When you’re the daughter of the bestselling Queen of Romance, life should be pretty good. But 16-year-old Alice Amorous has been living a lie ever since her mother was secretly hospitalized for mental illness. After putting on a brave front for months, time is running out. The next book is overdue, and the Queen can’t write it. Alice needs a story for her mother-and she needs one fast.

That’s when she meets Errol, a strange boy who claims to be Cupid, who insists that Alice write about the greatest love story in history: his tragic relationship with Psyche. As Alice begins to hear Errol’s voice in her head and see things she can’t explain, she must face the truth-that she’s either inherited her mother’s madness, or Errol is for real.

Any of these strike your fancy?  I may have to pick up all of these after I get done reading Alyssa Rose Ivy’s Forged in Ice.      By the way, I have read Suzanne Selfors’ Coffeehouse Angel  which is an adorable book.

Current Snack: Popcorn
Current song stuck in my head: Let it go – Soundtrack Frozen

To Read Pile: The Painter’s Daughter

I want to read this book!!!

THE PAINTER’S DAUGHTER
Julie Klassen
464 Pages
Bethany House Publishers
Publication date: 12/01/2015

After his brother abandons Sophie Dupont, the daughter of a portrait painter, with child, Captain Stephen Overtree proposes to her to save her from scandal, but soon their marriage of convenience promises something more.

Sophie Dupont assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. In private, she paints the picturesque north Devon coast, popular with artists–including handsome Wesley Overtree, who seems more interested in Sophie than the landscape.

Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother Wesley’s responsibilities. Near the end of his leave, he is sent to find his brother and bring him home. Upon reaching Devonshire, however, Stephen is stunned to learn Wesley has sailed for Italy and left his host’s daughter in serious trouble.

Stephen feels duty-bound to act, and strangely protective of the young lady, who somehow seems familiar. Wanting to make some recompense for his own past failings as well as his brother’s, Stephen proposes to Miss Dupont. He does not offer love, but marriage “in name only” to save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he fears, she will at least be a respectable widow.

Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie finds herself torn between her first love and this brooding man she barely knows. Dare she wait for Wesley to return? Or should she elope with the captain and pray she doesn’t come to regret it?

PAINTERSD
Who’s going to put this in their to read pile??