2 Movies, 2 Books & 1 Clever Backside Of A Truck

As part of my attempt to live a more balanced life in 2013, I have given myself the assignment to watch 2 movies and to read 2 books each month.  Here is my July report minus 1 movie.  Keep in mind that I get fidgety watching movies, so I consider it an accomplishment that I watched one movie during this hot month.  Let’s just say that I owe you 1 movie and leave it at that.    

2 Movies 1 Movie

Emma – Pretty + predictable.  I chose this movie because in college I never read Emma by Jane Austen and because I knew that Clueless was based on it.  Set in rural England in the early 1800s, Emma, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, is a single woman who lives with her widowed father.  She believes herself to be a good matchmaker, but in reality she is not.  Confusion ensues.  For a costume drama this movie was well done– not too tedious, not too pompous.  Recommended if you need a Jane Austen fix and there isn’t enough time in your life to read one of her books.

2 Books

The Witch of Little Italy –  Charming + unique.  This novel, written by Suzanne Palmieri, is a perfect summer read.  A college-aged girl, Eleanor, finds herself unexpectedly pregnant and decides to go live with her grandmother & great aunts in the family home in the Bronx.  While living there, Eleanor uncovers and solves decades-old family mysteries as well as going through her own personal transformation.  The writing is smooth, the characters are well-rounded and the plot is more-or-less believable.  Recommended if you want a bit of mystery + a tad of magic.

The Book of Tea – In this book, first published in 1906, Kakuzo Okakura explains the history of tea in Japan and the proper way to make it.  He also expounds upon tea as a metaphor for life.  I enjoyed this short book [treatise?] enough to read it twice.  Recommended if you like Asian history, tea and philosophy.  [Free on Kindle]

1 Clever Backside Of A Truck

Am I the last person to understand what is going on with these REFLECTING QUALITY stickers that are on the backside of many 18-wheel trucks?  [Example photo here.]  It came to me as we were driving down the interstate in my small coupe directly behind one of these trucks.

I realized that I could see myself & Zen-Den reflected in the mirror-like finish on the back of the truck.  And it occurred to me that we were the quality that was being reflected.  That the sticker had nothing to do with the items within the truck, instead it was telling me something nice about us.  I find this all very clever now that I understand it.

10 thoughts on “2 Movies, 2 Books & 1 Clever Backside Of A Truck

  1. I love reading Jane Austen but have never seen any of the movies. The Witch of Italy sounds intriguing; I’m reading a lesser known book of Ann Patchett’s called The Magician’s Assistant. She’s such a fabulous writer, although this isn’t her best book. It keeps me turning the pages though! Maybe the idea is if you can see yourself in the reflection, you’re too close? LOL


    • Margaret, I’ve seen a few Jane Austen movies and I’ve read a few of her books. I’m not as taken with her as my friends are, but I try to keep up with them.

      Will look for The Magician’s Assistant. It sounds good to me. I agree that Ann Patchett writing is fabulous, so I’ll probably like it.

      Don’t really know for sure about those stickers. Do you see them around where you live? Maybe they’re a midwest thing.


  2. Ooooo. Everything sounds good this month. Emma has been on my list to watch for a long time, not sure why I haven’t gotten around to it. Both the book recommendations sound good – and I particularly like free. Although the Book of Tea seems to be broken. Odd. I don’t have anything to recommend. I just read the latest Odd Thomas book and the best thing I can say about it is that the next book sounds like it’s going to be the last in the series. And my free book from the Amazon Lending Library doesn’t have a single likable character or an interesting storyline. I use it to hopefully discover new authors and it is free… but still.


    • Zazzy, like you I’d wanted to see Emma for the longest time. It was a charming movie and having seen Clueless about a hundred times, I enjoyed learning how the two story lines differ.

      Sorry about the Book of Tea link. It was there when I wrote the post yesterday morning. Don’t it just figure that I link to something free & interesting right when it has a prob?!!


  3. We watched Emma not so long ago. Gwynneth Paltrow does a very good English accent! Have you seen Sliding Doors? Quite and old film now, but another good English accent from the lady. I’m impressed by her. I like the sound of the tea book, too. I’m a coffee drinker, but love to read about tea’s very long history. And I LOVE the reflecting thing on the back of the truck! We could do with some of that over here. Great choices.


    • Polly, until you mentioned it here I never even thought about the fact that Gwyneth wasn’t English! You’re so right, she does a very good English accent. I’ve not seen Sliding Doors and really should watch it. I’ll add it to our Netflix list stat.

      I’ve seen the reflecting thing on the back of trucks for years and never understood it. Now that I get it, I feel a bit like an idiot for not catching on earlier. If nothing else, in future when I see one, I’ll remember to smile brightly so that I reflect some happy back at myself.


  4. I love, love, love the Victorian novellists, but something about Jane Austen always puts me off. She’s terribly stuffy. Have you read The Jane Austen Book Club? I got it as a gift years ago when it first came out. It’s especially good if you’re familiar with several of Austen’s works/heroines.


    • nance, stuffy is a perfect description of Jane Austin’s novels. I only read the ones that I did because I had to. Will look for The Jane Austin Book Club– I vaguely remember it, now that you mention it.


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