Tale as Old as Time

0e958e7e610dd96f84c61b682acce421When he saw that she was beautiful he wanted only to cage her, but when he understood her true eternal beauty, he set her free.

She truly saw him; he had transformed from a beast who loved only beauty, into a beautiful beast, full of love.



The tale of Beauty and The Beast has always been my favorite,Swigning-Ladder-from-Beauty-and-the-Beast

for as long as I’ve been able to have favorites. I have read a ton of variations/ adaptations, and watched quite a lot as well. I had to pay homage to Beauty and The Beast today because tonight is the big premier of the live action Disney adaptation, and I am ecstatic!
This is such a beautiful story and I love finding and reading stories with it’s endearing theme; true beauty, real love, sacrifice, compassion, and acceptance. I also feel like Belle is a kindred spirit, my alter ego in a way; her passionate love of books, and her adventurous and compassionate spirit are all things I aspire to.

Here are some lovely book/film adaptation that I feel are worthwhile:

Beauty and the Beast is a traditional fairy tale. Its first published version was written by French author Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve in the middle 18th century. It was a novel-length story intended for adult readers and addressing the issues of the marriage system of the day in which women had no right to choose their husband or to refuse to marry.

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Fun Fact:
The best-known version of the tale appeared sixteen years later. Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont simplified and shortened the Villeneuve’s work and published it in a magazine for young ladies. The new abridged version became more successful, and Madame de Beaumont is regarded now as the author of the classic story.

The visually new and unabridged edition of the classic. MinaLima, an award-winning design studio (Jungle Book, Peter Pan, etc.) re-imagined the beloved tale in this deluxe unabridged edition. It is illustrated with stunning full-color artwork and nine 3-D interactive features.

 

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This is a gorgeous coloring book I found that has a unique Beauty and the Beast story and art. A coloring book romance that features over seventy pages of evocative artwork, ready to be brought to life by your coloring skills and imagination. I love it. It is by artist Jae-Eun Lee.

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The movie that started it all for me. I fell in love with this movie when I was a kid, and as a grown woman it is still my favorite, I adore it. The story is full of so much wit, fun, and humor, and yet it is beautiful, deep, and enchanting.

 The music is beyond amazing as well, and I am not ashamed to say that I can verbatim quote the entire movie while watching it… Overall this movie is for everyone; a rich experience. Truly a charming and beautiful re-telling.

If you haven’t guessed here is my favorite scene from the movie 😉

maxresdefault (1).jpg“With a dreamy far of look, and her nose stuck in a book.”

This is probably my favorite novel adaptation. Robin McKinley’s beloved telling illuminates the unusual love story of a most unlikely couple: Beauty and the Beast.
Beauty has never liked her nickname. She is thin and awkward; it is her two sisters who are the pretty ones. But what she lacks in looks, she can perhaps make up for in courage.


“As I have said, you have no reason to trust me, and an excellent reason not to.”

Yes I watched it, and I loved it 🙂 

Ron Koslow updates a classic fairy tale and places it in a modern and urban environment. Assistant District Attorney Catherine Chandler learns she has a protector watching out for her as she sets out to clear the New York City streets of its dangerous criminals. Turns out her “guardian angel” is a kind-hearted beast named Vincent, who lives in labyrinthine tunnels beneath the city.

Alex Flinn’s contemporary retelling.

I am a beast.

A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore.
I am a monster.

“Just because something is beautiful doesn´t mean it´s good.”

Now if you haven’t heard of Faerie Tale Theatre, check it out, because it’s amazing. It had the charm and richness of seeing a play, but with the uninterrupted smoothness of television. I grew up watching this show, and I LOVED the Beauty and the Beast act, staring Susan Sarandon, it was fantastic. Seriously if you haven’t seen these, you should. Deep, fun, dark, corny, classic!

 

An inventive and funny mystery with a dynamic lead, which will make you want to pick up the next book in the series.

This one is definitely a re-imagining and takes much more liberties, but that is the fun of it. I love it when authors get creative like this.

Personally I was a bit 60/40 on the Disney Broadway musical of Beauty and the Beast. Mainly because it was SO close to the original that it made hearing the songs a little difficult. I think that’s why I like it when there are variations that make it unique to the artistic abilities and strengths of a given writer/director etc. However, it was very well done, I just had to avoid parts of the soundtrack. I did see a performance of this, and it was fantastic live.

Here are a few fun new ones I will be reading ASAP:

An original addition to the beloved Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, Lost in a Book follows the lonely, bookish Belle as she finds an enchanted book in the Beast’s library called Nevermore that carries her into a glittering new world. Intrigued? I am, can’t wait.

 

Disney’s Belle is one of the best fictional bookworms around. But what exactly is on her reading list? In this unique literary journal, enjoy inspiring quotes from some of Belle’s favorite books, as well as her insightful notes and colorful drawings. I am in love with this idea, can’t wait to get my copy.

 

How about a little dark twist?
As Old as Time is the third book in a new YA line that re-imagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways.
When Belle touches the Beast’s enchanted rose, memories flood through Belle’s mind-memories of a mother she thought she would never see again. And, stranger still…

 

So that is my tribute to an amazing classic and all the amazing artists and writers that have re-told and re-imagined this truly beautiful tale.

download (1)I am almost certain I will be adding Disney’s live action version to my list of favorites. There is so much talent invested in the project and so far it looks phenomenal. Thank you disney for taking the time to really put what it takes into this movie; I mean Emma Thompson! Ian McKellen! Emma Watson, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Kline, the list goes on! So tonight I will be dressed up and fully giddy as I watch this, and I will be sure to update anyone interested as to my end thoughts on the production.

What are your favorite adaptation?

So I felt compelled to do an update now that I’ve seen the movie. 

I have to say it was a truly magical experience! I saw it in 😄 3D and I Highly recommend that, as it adds to the richness and depth of experience during the movie. This Beauty and The Beast was hands down the best movie I’ve ever seen. Everything about it; the cast, the score! the emotion, the cinemotagraphy, everything was gorgeous and enchanting. I am in eternal love with it, and can’t wait to see it again! I hope everyone will share their thoughts once they’ve experience it’s beauty 🙂

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Tribute to Browning’s Beauty

“The beautiful seems right by force of beauty…”

elizabeth_barrett_browning_2Elizabeth Barrett Browning

(6 March  1806 – 29 June 1861)
She was one of the most prominent English poets of the Victorian era, popular in Britain and the United States during her lifetime.

Elizabeth’s volume Poems (1844) brought her great success, attracting the admiration of the writer Robert Browning. Their correspondence, courtship and marriage were carried out in secret, for fear of her father’s disapproval. Following the wedding she was indeed disinherited by her father.
The couple moved to Italy in 1846, where she would live for the rest of her life. They had one son, Robert Barrett Browning, whom they called Pen. She died in Florence in 1861.A collection of her last poems was published by her husband shortly after her death.
Elizabeth’s work had a major influence on prominent writers of the day, including the American poets Edgar Allan Poe and Emily Dickinson. She is remembered for such poems as “How Do I Love Thee?” (Sonnet 43, 1845) and Aurora Leigh (1856).

“What is genius but the power of expressing a new individuality?”
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

A Seussical Tribute

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

How appropriate that this year UK World Book Day falls on the Birthday of the legendary Dr. Seuss!

drseuss300Theodor Seuss Geisel was born today March 2 in 1904 in Springfield, MA. The pen nameDr. Seuss was developed during his years at  Dartmouth College and the University of Oxford. His first jobs were mainly that of an illustrator, working for such companies as Time magazine, Vanity Fair, and Life. Our beloved Dr. Seuss  later became a famous American writer and illustrator; who we know as the author of famous children’s books such as The Cat in The Hat, Oh The Places You Will Go, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

Here are a few of my favorites:


Green Egg’s and Ham

“Try them, try them, and you may! Try them and you may, I say.”

 

 

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!”

 

 

Horton Hears a Who!

“A persons a person no matter how small.”

 

 

 

 

The list goes on, and on. I have honestly never read a book by Dr. Seuss
that I did not like, let alone love. drseuss-brand-hero-01

His brilliance and charm have always captured my heart, as well as many others (of all ages and backgrounds.) I believe his clever and inspiring words will continue to have a profound effect on the literary minds of children, the world of education, and serve as an inspiration to those needing to get back to the basics.

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Fun Fact:
  During World War II, he worked in an animation department of the United States Army where he produced several short films, including Design for Death, which later won the 1947 Academy Award for Documentary Feature

 

Please share about your Dr. Seuss experiences, books you love,
quotes that inspire you, etc.

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

For the Love of Longfellow

“The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, And all the sweet serenity of books. “
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Born today in 1807:
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(February 27 – March 24, 1882)
An American poet and educator whose works include “Paul Revere’s Ride”, The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline. He was also the first American to translate Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, and was one of the five Fireside Poets.

“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times
we call a man cold when he is only sad.”

 

As the most widely known and best-loved American poet of his lifetime, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow achieved a level of national and international prominence previously unequaled in the literary history of the United States.

 

I adore Longfellow. I fell in love with his poignant yet beautiful poetry early on, and he has remained a favorite of mine. He has a way of mournfully telling you how wonderful life and love are, and someone it makes the meaning stick with a realness that is more lasting. A Psalm of Life was the first poem I ever committed to memory, every line enchanted me.

Afternoon in February

The day is ending,
The night is descending;
The marsh is frozen,
The river dead. 

Through clouds like ashes
The red sun flashes
On village windows
That glimmer red. 

The snow recommences;
The buried fences
Mark no longer
The road o'er the plain; 

While through the meadows,
Like fearful shadows,
Slowly passes
A funeral train. 

The bell is pealing,
And every feeling
Within me responds
To the dismal knell; 

Shadows are trailing,
My heart is bewailing
And tolling within
Like a funeral bell.

I end with a quote from my all time favorite:
“Let us, then, be up and doing, with a heart for any fate; still achieving,
still pursuing, learn to labor and to wait.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Holocaust Remembrance Day

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January 27—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau

On this annual day of commemoration here are a few associated books:

These are two wonderful gifts I received last Christmas.books

“The Holocaust Museum In Washington” This book was written by Jeshajahu Weinberg, the founding director of the museum. There are hundreds of color and black-and-white photographs throughout the book–photos of kitchen utensils, hair, shoes, forged documents, artificial limbs, and luggage and prayer shawls confiscated from the victims. Haunting and terrifying are photos showing charred corpses of concentration camp inmates, a starved prisoner in Buchenwald, a young Jewish partisan woman being hanged in Minsk in 1941, Danish Jews escaping to Sweden on a small boat, and Hungarian Jews arriving in Auschwitz in 1944. The book provides a well-rounded history of  the Holocaust, but I would still really love to visit this museum in person!

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“Once We Were Brothers”
a fictional novel by Ronald H. Balson (a Chicago attorney.)
His travels to Warsaw and southern Poland in connection with a complex telecommunications case, inspired this book. It is a story about two boys and a family who struggle to survive in war-torn Poland. I have not read it yet, but I have a feeling I will really enjoy it!

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

 

 

Here are a couple books on my wishlist and tbr list:
(click pictures and titles for more info.)

From A Name to A Number:

A Holocaust Survivor’s Autobiography
A deeply personal story about one man’s lovely childhood that turned into a nightmare at the age of 15. He survives 5 camps and a multitude of atrocities. He is one of few survivors, and resides in my hometown of Portland, OR. I plan to read this book soon, I am fascinated by the prospect of it. 

Rated 4.9 on amazon.com
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Book Bean: Jewish Traditional Apple Tea
In a saucepan, bring a cup of water and allspice (4whole) just to a boil; add 2 black-tea bags. Remove from the heat; cover and steep for 3 minutes. Discard allspice and tea bags. Stir in a cup of apple juice and honey to taste.

The Boy on the Wooden Box:
How the Impossible Became Possible . . . on Schindler’s List
This, the only memoir published by a former Schindler’s list child, perfectly captures the innocence of a small boy who goes through the unthinkable. My watching the movie Schindler’s list is one of a series of events that sparked my intrigue and constant curiosity about the Holocaust. I am looking forward to this book.

Rated 4.8 on amazon.com

traditional-turkish-coffeeBook Bean: Turkish coffee
A method of preparing coffee using finely powdered roast coffee beans and roasting them in a small pot. Add in a little Cardamon spice for a nice aroma and taste. It is also known as “Jewish coffee” or “Israeli Turkish coffee” or “Arabic coffee”

 

4a5059b5e4e460406994fe6707a04a58Fun Fact: It’s a tradition in Israel to bring coffee to a friend’s house for Shabbat or send coffee in a gift basket for a birthday. Coffee is also an excellent addition to a Mishloach Manot basket for the Jewish holiday of Purim.


“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” Albert Einstein

What related book have you read, that really moved/impact you?

My Birthday Tribute: Poe

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”
~Edgar Allan Poe

EDGAR ALLAN POE
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Today is my birthday, and I am honored to share it with Edgar Allan Poe, born January 19th 1809. Poe was a brilliant writer, and I love his work. I admire the deep sentiment within his work, which draws you in. His style is not for everyone, it’s sometime long and daunting, but there is beauty laced within the lines that you must keep reading to find.

     Quotes by Poe:

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I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.

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Hauntingly. Mysterious. Beautiful.all-that-we-see-or-seem-is-but-a-dream-within-a-dream-edgar-allen-poe
What are your thoughts on Poe?

You can’t spell Poet without Poe 😉