Review roll

Yep, I’m on a roll, because I can’t get these off my mind, and I want to tell you about them, but I don’t want to do a whole post about each one, so we’ll call it a “review roll call.”

The Imitation Game

If you don’t see any other movie this winter, please go see this one. I knew almost nothing about Alan Turing and his contribution to the Allies’ winning of World War II. His invention of the machine that broke the unbreakable German Enigma code-writing machine probably ended the war at least two years earlier than it might have ended, and saved millions of lives, possibly upwards of 14 million. Not to mention that his invention was basically the very first computer, and we can thank him for the ability to do what we’re doing here. Benedict Cumberbach was perfect for this role, and he deserves his nomination for an Academy Award. I was on the edge of my seat the entire movie, and was moved to tears over what the British authorities did to this man because of the antiquated laws that were on the books at that time. I would have read Andrew Hodges’ book, Alan Turing: The Enigma, which inspired the movie, first, but I didn’t know about it until after. I’m on the library’s waiting list, number 70.

A Child Called “It”, The Lost Boy, etc.

I bought the series of books by Dave Pelzer about his horrific, disturbing childhood a few years ago, only recently read the first two. What his mother, if you can call her that, did to him, along with the passive consent of his father, goes beyond the scope of human imagination. His story is compelling and horrible, and I could only get through the first two books. I admire the fact that he was able to overcome his early life, and yes, even forgive his parents, but reading about it was so depressing that I probably should have stopped somewhere in the first book. But I did want to see how he managed to survive, and once I determined that he did and was fairly normal (maybe), I had to quit. Mr. Pelzer is not a very good writer. It’s only because of the nature of his story that one wants to continue reading.

Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck and other thoughts on being a woman

I love Nora Ephron, and I hate that we can no longer hear her voice, except in the re-watching of classics like “Sleepless in Seattle”, “Heartburn”, “You’ve Got Mail”, etc., and re-reading her books. I have to confess, I’ve only read I Feel Bad About My Neck. I loved it, and it was a quick read, because she writes light and breezy, kind of the way we blogging ladies write in our blogs almost daily or weekly. Then I realized, all of us writers of blogs are basically just one book publishing deal away from being a Nora Ephron. Her style reminded me so much of the writing that I see in my Reader on a daily basis. So, thank you, ladies, for giving me laughs, and tears, and information about things I knew very little about, and camaraderie. Most of all, that. We’re all Nora Ephrons.

17 thoughts on “Review roll

  1. Wonderful collection of reviews. Oh, how I miss Nora Ephron. And yes, oh — to be like her in terms of writing wonderful, humorous, spot-on pieces. What a gift she had.

    And Imitation Game — outstanding. I’d like to see it get Best Movie (from those I’ve seen, but that’s far from all). I don’t think it will but the recognition is well-placed and the story one people should hear. After I saw the movie I went to Wikipedia’s Imitation Game movie site and also Alan Turing. They did play a tad loose with some of the facts but given that we were dealing with a two-hour movie and not a six hour mini-series, I think those bits are more forgivable and probably made a much better movie. Still, the meat of it is all there. A brilliant man with a tragic end (there’s interesting stuff about that on those sites, too!) Yes, I know –it’s not the be-all, end-all accurate spot but a good starting place. I am eager to read and learn more about him and his work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeanie, Imitation Game certainly deserves all eight of the nominations it received. Watching it just made me want to learn more about the man and his work, too. I’m sure they heightened the suspense with it being condensed down to a relatively short amount of time, but that is Hollywood, and that a movie about him and this subject ever got made is probably a little miracle in itself.


  2. I just am not much of a movie person, though I give it a try now and then. Turing’s a fascinating guy, for sure, and that”s one movie I would go to see, if I took a mind to see a movie. But the first computer did come earlier, and the first programmer was a woman. I meant to post about Ada Lovelace this past year, but I missed it (she has her own day, just like ice cream and chocolate). I just made a note on my calendar to get with it next October. In the meantime, I’ll put the Turing movie on my list.

    I’ve not even heard of the second series, and believe I’ll skip that.

    And honestly? I don’t think I’m Nora Ephron. Not only that, I don’t want to be Nora Ephron. I’d rather be John McPhee. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda, I had forgotten about Ada Lovelace. I believe she is considered to be the first computer programmer, developing and writing the first algorithms to be used on a “computing machine.” Alan Turing actually built the machine, or the early concept of one, being the codebreaker machine. Obviously I don’t know all there is to know about the history of it, but I plan on reading more. I’m not a tech person, so hopefully I won’t get bogged down in the details.

      John McPhee sounds like a pretty lofty goal, and a worthy one. 🙂 I didn’t mean to say that we all write exactly like Nora Ephron. I just meant that we are all good writers, and her voice sounds a lot like the writers that I read on blogs on a daily basis, and we all are probably worthy of publishing in some capacity, even if it’s just a contribution to a book of short stories.

      I’ll be looking for your piece on Ada Lovelace. I know I will learn a lot about her from you.


      • It was Charles Babbage who built the “engine” that seems to have given him the title “father of the computer.” Lovelace worked with him. I think her connection with Lord Byron is the quirkiest part of the story. I suppose that’s why I love history: for all the quirky people who haunt its halls.


        • Well, I guess I will either have to do a lot more research on any “historical facts” that I want to include in my posts (which I don’t have time for with all the piles of laundry, cleaning, and cooking and cleaning that revolves around a family of seven), or I will have to stop using any “historical facts” in my quickly written posts. I think I will choose the latter. It’s all I have time for these days. 🙂


  3. I’ll take Nora Ephron. I’d love to write like her. She’s one of my faves, and I spent part of this morning looking at her books on before I came here. I read “I Feel Bad About My Neck.” Loved it. If you liked that, you will enjoy “I Remember Nothing.” I like to listen to her when I’m anxious about something. She keeps me company in doctor’s waiting rooms. 🙂

    I think I’ll pass on Dave Pelzer’s books. I can’t take it. I read “Broken” and will not see the movie. It was to horrific, and I’m much too sensitive to that kind of thing. I know it’s ultimately inspiring, but not for me.

    However, I will see “The Imitation Game.” Thank you for the tip.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bella, I plan to read more of Nora’s books. I’ll probably get them on my tablet. That way I can read in bed and not keep the hubby awake. 🙂 I will definitely read your suggestion next. Reading her work entertains me and makes me laugh, and sometimes I just need something light and refreshing. As you said, perfect for waiting rooms. 🙂

      I haven’t read “Broken”, and probably won’t. I can only take so much of that kind of revelation. I know it’s important for them to be able to tell their stories, but I realized they aren’t for me either.

      You won’t be sorry about seeing “The Imitation Game.” 🙂


  4. We don’t get out to movies much, which is pretty dumb considering we live a 10 minute walk from a great cinema that shows current films from all over, and usually in their original language. American and British films tend to show up a bit later here than in their home countries, so we might still have a chance to see the Imitation Game on a big screen – thanks for the tip! Just heard a great review of The November Man, also.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We really don’t go out much to the movies, but here of late we’ve been needing to get out and away from the madding crowd. 🙂 I usually try to see at least one of the Oscar-nominated ones before they announce the winners so I’ll have someone to root for. David wants to see American Sniper with Bradley Cooper. Maybe we’ll get a chance today after some more tree tapping. I think Imitation Game would be just as good on the small screen, so don’t worry if you don’t make it to the big screen to see it.


  5. Susie!!! You’re alive–and writing, reading making maple syrup…whew! What a thrill to have you appear at the window again. I have missed you so. This “new” place is wonderful. I’ve had my eye on “The Imitation Game” ever since I first heard about it (last month?) for Turing and decoding and let’s be honest, Benedict Cumberbatch. I’ll pass on Mr. Pelzer’s books, but Nora Ephron is among my many essay-heroines. The loss of her voice left a huge hole in the universe.
    So so happy to know that you are back in blogworld!


    • Hi Deb!!! So happy that you came over to the farm! I’ve missed you, too, my friend. It is good to be back and doing what I love. I needed an outlet for everything that is going on in my life, and “instant” social media just wasn’t cutting it.

      Ahhh, Mr. Cumberbach! I love just saying his name. He just absorbs every role he takes on, doesn’t he? I loved him in August: Osage County, and of course, Sherlock.

      Loved seeing your name pop up here. xoxoxo


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