Monday, September 30, 2013

I'm at University!

Hey guys, 

Sorry it's been a while! I'm at Bath Spa University now! I moved in last Saturday (21st) and have been spending the week getting to know where I live, my flatmates, enjoying freshers and going to introductory classes! I don't actually start learning until tomorrow, although a lot of people start today - as I have Monday's off weekly (great for when I wanna go home and have a long weekend!)

My uni room is stacked with books of course... five boxes (all of my books basically) I brought with me... barely fit in the car!

Here's my room, you may be able to see the stacked book shelf with books behind books and books on top of books!... Also the ones in the corners and over my desk and right there on my bedside table (as well as in the little space under the draw which you cannot see)... yep they're hidden every where!

I love it here, though its hard being away from family and my boyfriend!

My first post arrived... guess what... it was Resist by Sarah Crossan... second book of Breathe! I loved the first book so it jumps right to the top of my reading list, be expecting that review soon!

Hope all is well, happy reading...
Love, Mazz

Friday, September 13, 2013

Harry Potter spin off!

Warner Bros. Announces Expanded Creative Partnership with J.K. Rowling
Warner Bros. Entertainment today announced an expanded creative partnership with world-renowned, best-selling author J.K. Rowling. At the center of the partnership is a new film series from Rowling’s world of witches and wizards, inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and the adventures of the book’s fictitious author, Newt Scamander. The announcement was made by Kevin Tsujihara, Chief Executive Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment.
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” will be an original story and will mark Rowling’s screenwriting debut. It is planned as the first picture in a new film series. Set in the wizarding world, the story will feature magical creatures and characters, some of which will be familiar to devoted Harry Potter fans.
“Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world,” said Rowling. “The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.” (Expanded Rowling quote at bottom of release.)
“We are incredibly honored that Jo has chosen to partner with Warner Bros. on this exciting new exploration of the world of wizardry which has been tremendously successful across all of our businesses,” said Tsujihara. “She is an extraordinary writer, who ignited a reading revolution around the world, which then became an unprecedented film phenomenon. We know that audiences will be as excited as we are to see what her brilliant and boundless imagination conjures up for us.”
In addition to the film series, “Fantastic Beasts” will also be developed across the Studio’s video game, consumer products and digital initiatives businesses, including enhanced links with, Rowling’s digital online experience built around the Harry Potter stories.
The Studio’s expanded partnership with Rowling also covers the continued expansion of its Harry Potter activities, including the wonderful Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks in conjunction with partner Universal Parks and Resorts (currently in Orlando, FL; opening in Hollywood, CA and Osaka, Japan), digital initiatives (including Pottermore), video games, consumer products and visitor attractions.
In addition, Warner Bros. will serve as the worldwide TV distributor (excluding the U.K.) of J.K. Rowling’s upcoming television adaptation for the BBC of “The Casual Vacancy,” her best-selling first novel aimed at adult audiences. This miniseries begins production in 2014.
The relationship will be managed in London by Neil Blair of The Blair Partnership, Rowling’s literary agency, and Josh Berger, President & Managing Director, Warner Bros. UK, Ireland and Spain, who will serve as Warner Bros.’ chief business contact for all J.K. Rowling initiatives going forward.
Rowling’s expanded quote regarding “Fantastic Beasts” is below:
“It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of turning ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ into a film. I thought it was a fun idea, but the idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ realized by another writer was difficult. Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt. As hard-core Harry Potter fans will know, I liked him so much that I even married his grandson, Rolf, to one of my favourite characters from the Harry Potter series, Luna Lovegood.
As I considered Warners’ proposal, an idea took shape that I couldn’t dislodge. That is how I ended up pitching my own idea for a film to Warner Bros.
Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world. The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.
I particularly want to thank Kevin Tsujihara of Warner Bros. for his support in this project, which would not have happened without him. I always said that I would only revisit the wizarding world if I had an idea that I was really excited about and this is it.”

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Review: Stardust by Neil Gaiman: Book vs Film

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Stardust is an utterly charming fairy tale in the tradition of The Princess Bride and The Neverending Story. Neil Gaiman, creator of the darkly elegant Sandman comics and author of The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, tells the story of young Tristran Thorn and his adventures in the land of Faerie. One fateful night, Tristran promises his beloved that he will retrieve a fallen star for her from beyond the Wall that stands between their rural English town (called, appropriately, Wall) and the Faerie realm. No one ever ventures beyond the Wall except to attend an enchanted flea market that is held every nine years (and during which, unbeknownst to him, Tristran was conceived). But Tristran bravely sets out to fetch the fallen star and thus win the hand of his love.


Stardust has been one of my favourite all time films that I have watched and watched again, because it makes me happy. Then in town the other day I stumbled across this little version of the book the movie was based on, and although I tried to walk away (as my hands were already stacked with books) I just couldn't, I mean how adorable is this cover? I knew I had to read it. And sure enough not long after my purchase I put this book at the top of my TBR pile (oops) and read it in a day or two. 

I found it slightly unnerving how different the book was from the film version I knew so well, for starters there is much more detail and background about Tristan's father at the beginning of the book, where the film features him for so little a time. However, cautious as I was, wondering whether for once I would love a film version of a book more than the book itself (a no no for us readers it seems?)... I enjoyed the book with it's differences and quirks and extra detail and much much more action. Also the magical element I find is slightly more increased as well as the whole idea of the moon and the stars and their nature... which gives the whole story more stability. 

I cannot tell which I love more, as I have read the book only once and watched the film a dozen times, but I think I love each version equally in their differences. I find that the book was slightly harsher, colder and built with more suspense where as the film was to me a soft, warm fantasy full of romance and magical feelings. This is due mostly to the characters themselves and how they act in the book and the movie. 

This is particularly shown through each version's ending, the book ending... I was not expecting, having falling in love with the lovely, no loose ends, gushy ending of the film. It broke my heart, I must say... but isn't that what all great books do in the last page? And isn't feeling gushy after a romantic fantasy movie how you're suppose to feel? So therefore i conclude.. each version is magnificent in their own rights. 

I know I will read this book till the bind is broken in so many places the cover may start to peel... and I will watch the film too... as much as possible I'm sure. (Think this is a DVD purchase awaiting).

I'd love to know what you guys think... if you have read the book or seen the film and which you preferred or if it is one of your favourites.

And if you haven't stumbled across Stardust yet... or have never given it ago... I say please do... it comes at a high recommendation above a lot of stuff out there from me! 

5/5 of course!

I shall end here with a film still from the movie... to entice you into watching! Have a lovely day!

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Guest post: Top five favourite movies by Elizabeth LaBan author of Tragedy Paper

Hey bloggers, 

If you've been following by blog you might have seen back in March, my review for Elizabeth LaBan's Tragedy Paper... and if not you can see it here. I really enjoyed the novel and therefore was welcoming to hear more from Elizabeth..  so welcome to Words on the shelf and take it away.... 

Top five favorite movies – and my runners up!

            As I sat down to decide on my favorite movies of all time, I found myself choosing mostly older movies. At first I thought that was because I went through a phase when my kids were little when we watched only Barney and The Wiggles, both of which I was very grateful for because they gave me time to sit and rest while my children were entertained. Things have changed since then and my kids are older. In the last few weeks we saw The Way Way Back, which we all loved, but I wouldn’t put it on my top ten list just yet. We also saw The Spectacular Now – another great one which almost makes my favorites. And then it suddenly hit me why all the movies on my favorites list are from the past – I can’t blame it on my kids! It’s because movies need a little while to settle in – maybe even years. There are many that I watch and love, but only time will tell if I think about them often, or if one scene or another will pop into my mind when something reminds me of it, or if I will quote the movie. So it is in that spirit that I present my top five list of favorite movies – with a few runners-up. Ask me again in ten years and I’ll let you know how The Spectacular Now settled in – the title alone is so quotable!

St. Elmo’s Fire – I think my kids are old enough to watch this one now. I’ve watched it about thirty times. Flashes of the movie come back to me often – the group riding in the jeep as they antique shop in Georgetown, Judd Nelson’s character throwing the football and saying, “Wasted love – God I just wish I could get it back.” Rob Lowe’s character explaining the meaning of St. Elmo’s Fire and how it relates to all of them. Excuse me for a minute, I’m going to go watch it again now!

Kramer vs. Kramer – I’m not sure why this one had such an impact on me – but it did. I remember seeing it over and over again in the theater – and being scolded because I said the dialogue along with the actors. That’s how well I knew the movie. It is a great film – and won lots of Oscars the year it came out including best picture. But I think one of the reasons I was drawn to it in the first place is the boy who played the young kid in the movie lived in the next town over from where I lived – and I was fascinated by that.

Prelude to a Kiss – Such a good movie! I love the idea of switching souls and actually having someone realize it even though you look exactly the same. I refer to this movie in one of my not-yet-published women’s fiction novels.

The Princess Bride – This one wins a place on my list not only because it is an entirely entertaining movie, but also because it is one of the most quotable: “Marriage is a dream within a dream,” or, “Inconceivable,” or, “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die,” or maybe the most recognizable, “As you wish.” In fact, I took my kids out for pizza the other night and my daughter thought the waiter looked just like Westley from the movie so we spent the whole night saying, “As you wish,” quietly when he walked away from the table. I tweeted about it, and it turned out to be my most popular tweet yet. People love this movie!

Rocky – I loved this movie even before I moved to Philadelphia. It is a great sports film about the underdog rising up and winning. The music is amazing. Now that I actually live here, and have for more than fifteen years, I love the movie even more. I find it interesting, and endearing, that it is completely embraced here – from the Rocky statue near the Art Museum to a sign on a store door in the Italian Market that says “Yo – We’re Open.” 

Annie Hall – I love most Woody Allen movies – but this is my favorite. I think of it and talk about it often, and I find it fits into so many different corners of my life. As far as my kids go, I always laugh when we take them to the suburbs or the country (we live right in the city) and they don’t like the dark or the bugs, and I tell them about when Allen’s character Alvy Singer leaves the city to go to the Hamptons and talks about hating when the mosquitoes get stuck on the screen door. And then there’s the famous scene when he is a boy and he refuses to do his homework because he says there is no point, “The universe is everything, and if it’s expanding, someday it will break apart and that would be the end of everything.” I refer to that often when my kids don’t want to do their homework.

Since this list is constantly changing I want to add a few runners-up to round out the ten you asked for: Dead Poets Society, Good Will Hunting, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, When Harry Met Sally, and Breaking Away. I’ll leave you with a quote from one of these movies that I also think of often, can you guess which one it comes from?

“Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”