Two Books and a Movie

ides of march

I look for some of the same qualities in a movie that I expect in a book—interesting story, engaging dialogue, depth of character—with the added attraction of a great cast.  The Ides Of March has it all, but it was the cast that led me to buy the tickets.  Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti are two of my favorites.  George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, and Marissa Tomei deliver fine performances as well, so you don’t have to be a political junkie to enjoy the movie.  The story of a young, idealistic, hot-shot press secretary getting his first seriously hard knocks in a presidential primary is timely, and while the theme of one man against the machine isn’t new, I really enjoyed some of the plot twists I didn’t see coming.  We chose this one over J. Edgar for the cast, but the trailer for the Hoover biopic convinced me to put that one on my list just to watch Leonardo Dicaprio do another amazing transformation.  That’s after we take in Hugo with the grandkids as soon as it comes out.  The oldest adored Hugo Cabaret when her class went through the Caldecott winners, which is the annual winter project for the 2nd grade in their school. 

Now, two books.  I’m loving Elizabeth Hoyt’s very sexy “Maiden Lane” historical series.  I missed the first one, but I think I’ll go back for it because while the second, Notorious Pleasures, is quite pleasurable, the new one—Scandalous Desires—is a knockout.  The hero is an irresistible pirate no less.  What I appreciate most—well, besides good dialogue and bad boy hero—is the way the setup and the characters for the next story are deftly woven throughout, not as a teaser, but as an interesting subplot to the main story.  Good reading.  And did I mention sexy?

SealofMyDreams150 But my highest recommendation is for the anthology SEAL Of My Dreams.  My copy arrived this week—here’s the Amazon link if you prefer—and I’m savoring story by story.  Perfect for my bedtime reading—good for 18 nights.  I love a good short story collection—love the short story as a literary form for its laser focus—and this one has two obvious missions.  First, to entertain readers, and second, to raise money for the non-profit Veterans Research Corporation, a foundation supporting veterans medical research.  All proceeds from the sale of this book have been pledged to the foundation.  That’s 18 authors, one publisher and its staff contributing their time and talents for the cause.  And the eye-catching fellow on the cover?  His identity is classified.  He’s really a Navy SEAL. 

Raising money is one thing, but I think these stories raise something at least as important—maybe more—and that is awareness.  While waiting my turn at the dentist’s office yesterday I picked up this week’s Time magazine and read the cover article, which describes the way the military is a smaller piece of American life than ever and that America’s wars are out of sight and largely out of mind for most Americans, certainly in comparison with 20th century wars.  I was a military brat, and my generation fought the Vietnam War.  If you didn’t have a family member who was involved, you had a close neighbor.  You saw graphic footage on the news every night, and the draft gave almost everyone a real physical stake in what was going on.  Not so today. 

The stories in SEAL Of My Dreams bring the reader closer to lives and relationships touched by military action.  They’re set at home and abroad.  There’s more action in some, more romance in some, but so far (I’m not finished) they’ve all touched me emotionally.  This book goes on my gift list.  Hope you can find a place for it on yours.

Have you seen a movie lately?  What have you been reading?  Tell us about it.

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About Kathleen Eagle

Kathleen Eagle is the award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of over forty novels.
This entry was posted in books, movie recommendation, Navy SEALS, and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Two Books and a Movie

  1. lois greiman says:

    I liked The Ides too. Not an uplifting movie exactly, but thought provoking in its way.

    I’m reading Teresa Weir’s Orchard…yowsa, Annie, baby, you are a master.

  2. michelehauf says:

    Thanks for the movie rec! I really want to see that one. And the books; the Seals are definitely on my list.

    • After reading this morning’s review of “The Decendants” I think I’ll see that one next. Another Clooney vehicle–totally different role. Movie theater time has always been part of the holidays for me, ever since I was a kid and got to go to the base (Air Force/military reference here) theater for a quarter.

  3. deb smith says:

    Hey! Thanks for the shout-out on SEAL, Kathleen!
    About movies: the hubbie and I drive a few hours’ from home every 3-4 months for a weekend in Asheville, NC. A great foodie town, lots of fine arts and crafts, mountain air, it’s a treat. The Fine Arts Theater there, right in downtown near the main square, is a cozy little place with only two screens. It shows art house films, small indie films and foreign films. We’re not movie snobs — hey, tonight we’re heading to the local mall theater to see Happy Feet 2 — but the Asheville movies are like drinking fine wine after a steady diet of sugary soda. On our last visit we saw THE WAY, which is a terrific, sentimental film made by Emilio Estevez and starring his dad, Martin Sheen. When Sheen’s son (played with Emilio) dies while hiking the famous Camino Road in Spain, Martin decides to finish the long trek for him. He mourns, feuds with a motley assortment of fellow hikers, survives a bunch of small adventures — some sad, many funny — and we get to share this amazing route, which is a famous religious pilgrimmage. WHY CAN’T REGULAR THEATERS SHOW MORE FILMS LIKE THIS ONE??? We always shake our heads over the great films that hardly anyone outside the community of film buffs hears about.

    • Hey, Deb! THE WAY is on my list, too. Regular theaters are struggling, and the studios don’t or can’t afford to push movies like this one. It’s all about special effects and “high concept” these days, which really is sad. At least we have online rental services.

      • deb smith says:

        I look forward to the day when it’s easier to get all these “little” movies for paid download to our TVs. In theory we can get them now, but here in the sticks it’s a techno wrestling match to make Roku and Amazon play nice with Netflix, etc. Another fun little movie: The Guard, starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheedle. An eccentric and funny suspense film set in Ireland. And here’s a heartbreaker: Sarah’s Key, WW II Holocaust story. And one of our fave little films: The World’s Fastest Indian, with Anthony Hopkins.

  4. Cindy Gerard says:

    Hey Kathy. Thanks for the props on SEAL of My Dreams. I love the collection too. From deeply emotional, to nail-biting suspenseful, to just plain fun. There’s a story there for everyone and yes, the cause is so just. We, as a nation, need to be more aware of and appreciative of the sacrifices our military families make and I love it that our readers, in particular are so supportive of our troops.

    as of movies – I highly rec: The Money Ball. Brad Pitt is wonderful – the entire case is wonderful – and even if you don’t like baseball, you’ll love the spirit and message in this movie.

    • I loved Moneyball! Another terrific cast. Totall agree on the message. I’m a basketball fan, but they could lose me if they don’t wake up and realize that the millionaires vs billionaires game is getting pretty disgusting.

  5. Kylie Brant says:

    My husband’s been picking the movies lately so our latest was No Strings Attached, with Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman. It was cute–predictable plot but the characters were so engaging that I didn’t mind going along for the ride 🙂

  6. Kathleen O'Donnell says:

    Two good movies I have seen lately are The Help and Moneyball… I think both were very well done and they are two very different stories of course. The Ensemble cast of The Help was absolutely excellent and I am hoping that this movie is nominated for many OSCARS..
    Brad Pitt always comes up with some terrific rolls and does them magnificently with what looks like little effort. I am sure he will get the OSCAR nod too!

    I just finished reading Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins and her books keep getting better and better. She makes me laugh, cry and sigh with her insight into her characters. I love the loving vulnerability of her heroines. And her Heroes are too bad either…. Of course I also read One Brave Cowboy this month and loved it too….

    • Thnks for the kind words for ONE BRAVE COWBOY! I put UNTIL THERE WAS YOU on my list when Kristan visited us. Sounds like my kind of book.

      Thanks for reminding me about “The Help.” My last couple of movies have been date night, and that one doesn’t sound like one for the hubby. I think it’s time for a girls’ night.

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