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Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? – Movie

January 3, 2018

This is an old movie in Hollywood standards. A black and white film, it encapsulates the early ’60’s horror movie and a twisted tale of hate and jealousy and so much more.WP

This is a famous still from it, on the left is Bette Davis as Jane and the right is Joan Crawford as Blanche.

My first take on the film was positive, the characters are believable in their individual paths of torment. The typical lifestyle of that time was lost on me, however, and some comedic moments would have been frightening when it came out. The scale of society’s fear and disgust have obviously morphed since then, making it something Elvira or Mystery Science Theater 3000 would make fun of.

I could not tell from the film itself, but Bette Davis went extreme in her character transformation. Compared to Joan’s normal pallor in this picture, you can see Bette’s face is ghost-like in appearance, caked on with white makeup and a beauty mark with dark red lips. A striking picture indeed.

What peaked my interest (in the original movie) was the show The Feud, that aired on FX earlier this year. It enlarges the scene to paint the lives of these two women in 1962, cast out of Hollywood for young replacements, creating a cycle of viciousness between the cast in order to distract from the directors and producers playing with perception and emotion. The outright manipulation used to oppose Bette and Joan is tragic.

The film’s ending mirrors the tragedy in reality, the two entertainers and women could have been friends.

If not for being unfairly pitted against each other so they would not test the male dominated field at that time. The callous disregard for mutual respect, even though these two similar women could have taken on the entire studio and changed things before their time.


The only thing to prevent any continuance, is to learn from history and be aware not to repeat it.


Just the right book

August 4, 2017

My husband and I just got home from a 2-week trip to Alaska.  We visited 8 cities and also spent time at Denali National Park.  Because I love to see other libraries (as most librarians do) I also convinced my husband to stop at 2 in Alaska.  I love the library that I work at but something about a library nestled at the foot of a beautiful mountain made the library in Haines very appealing!vendorimagesJans_WolfCalledRomeo_02._CB350838642_

Before I left, I was looking for the perfect book to read during the trip.  I settled on A Wolf Called Romeo by Nick Jans.  Set in Juneau, in the Mendenhall Glacier area, this book tells a remarkable true story.  Romeo is a lone, black wolf that starts to visit the people that live in this area.  He begins interacting with dogs and their owners that hike near the glacier.  Little by little, some members of the community begin to seek out this wolf and eventually name him.  As time goes by worries about what could go wrong develop when crowds start to gather for a glimpse or photo of the wolf.  As we were on a tour through Denali National Park, I saw how established rules are implemented daily to keep animals from becoming too comfortable around people.  Even though we all enjoyed seeing a variety of wildlife, it is important for the safety of the animals and people to make this a priority.  While in Juneau, I thought about how amazing it was that this wolf had lived on the edges of this community and engaged with its residents and their dogs for 6 years. It was the perfect book to read while traveling through this beautiful state! Even if you have never been to Alaska, I would recommend this book.  I tells a great story on the importance of respect and preservation of wildlife.

The Garden of Small Beginnings by: Abbi Waxman

June 29, 2017


I was looking for a good summer book to read and the title of this book caught my eye.  If I’m not reading this time of year, you can probably find me in the garden.  Even though this story revolves around a very tragic event, it shows how a family can eventually move forward and grow into a new life after the loss of a loved one.  You will meet Lilian, a single mother, her two daughters, Annabel and Clare and Lilian’s sister, Rachel.  The characters in this story are quirky, funny, real and honest.  They carry on with life as best as they can while trying to figure out the future.  Woven into the story you will find gardening tips and humor that are an added bonus.  If you are looking for a book that draws you in and keeps you turning the pages, try it and see if you agree with me.

Inferno (the movie)

March 31, 2017

I will not give away any spoilers-

This is an adaption of a book by the talented Dan Brown, following Prof. Langdon in another adventure.

The book was fantastic, inspiring and brilliantly laid out and written with the characters and plot fit together so perfectly…


The first time I tried to watch it, I fell asleep. The second try, I wish I had fallen asleep.

I understand the book and movie are not always similar. But in my opinion, the way they did the movie was an absolute disaster. It altered the very essence of the book, it’s theme and the moral grounds on which Dan Brown writes.

Of course they altered character’s appearances to make them more “Hollywood”, younger and more attractive. Obviously needless love stories needed to be added as well; it was such a stretch from the book they really should have renamed it away from the book, as it was nothing alike it’s original format.


I hope at least it gets people’s attention to read the book and learn from there the wonderful plot and characters of Inferno.

To Stay Alive

March 29, 2017

by Skila Brown


First of all, it is a quick read with a fantastic story woven in historical research. The pages vary in length, some only contain a handful of words. They still contain great power, as it is written in poem form; the strongest words picked to convey they merciless situation. It is not a gory story also, although strong content within as it tells the tragic stories of the unfortunate people in the Donner party.

Following another family before they set off to new adventures through the eyes of a teenage girl. They leave with plenty of time in the spring left, with fate only to intervene.

*Possible Spoiler Content Below*


A few small decisions ended being the turning points for their entire lives. Getting to a town and meeting the Donner family and several others, they change paths to follow a shortcut, saving time and supplies. However, the shortcut is not fit for the cattle and wagons, so they must turn back, losing valuable time and supplies. Early snowfall also impacted them, it is speculated that if it would have held up for a mere 24 hours they would have survived the trail.

The beginning is almost too suspenseful to manage, because everyone knows how this story ends (for some). When the snow gets too high they cannot move for days and weeks, becoming ill and weak, dangerously low on food with no game to be found to sustain all the families. Two men leave for supplies and help, one returns with two Indian guides and supplies on a mule from town. Another time they try to leave for supplies, they must turn back. A third attempt is made, with our main character trying to make a break for it, guilt ridden to be cared for by her mother, whom has no food to share with her family.

The trip is tragic, with the fateful decision being made. They get lost, and wander in circles 18 miles away from the town they were searching for before one person finding a house, and the other rescued by it’s owner.

The writing is brilliant, you felt for all of the characters, and the historical research  shines through with authenticity in every sentence.

A five star read! I finished it in two days, and still cannot get it out of my mind.

A Scanner Darkly

March 15, 2017

by Phillip K. Dick


The first cover is an excellent example of the split of personality and character of a man names Robert Arctor. He is an undercover agent, trying to bring down a drug manufacturing operation. The second cover is a perfect example of what a ‘scanner’ suit would look like, in order to conceal the agent’s true identity.

Written in the ’60’s, PKD does an amazing job telling the troubling tale o the future. Set in 1994 (that’s pretty funny right? Or is it? With the heroin problem running rampant in our country, the scene is not difficult to imagine at times.)

Definitely a mature content book, the concepts alone are abstract at times and the events wherein divulge heavily on the dark inner circle of the ’60’s drug culture.

This book was made into a movie, which I saw first before reading the book, and that itself was very artistic and did a very comparable version of the books, leaving out only a few scenes overall.

The book is based on real events that PKD, in his own adventures, witnessed to some extent. In the following years of editing, the story itself emerged  perfectly into a paranoid thriller, where you aren’t sure who is who in reality.

Arctor is a head (hippie term) and also an undercover agent. More and more suspicious things begin to happen to him, a car malfunction that nearly kills him, pushing the paranoia farther as friends and roommates turn on each other. He is trying to buy larger and larger quantities of “substance death” or “D” for short, in order to find out who is behind the manufacturing of this highly addicting drug that basically melts part of the brain, separating the two halves. This causes great mental duress, although not necessarily known to the user.

Arctor, using larger quantities himself, can no longer remember both sides of himself. The twists and turns that follow are engaging and thought provoking.



The Lazy Guru’s Guide to Life

March 15, 2017

By Laurence Shorter



The word ‘lazy’ conjuring a bad image, at least for me, but this book did a fantastic job of explaining exactly the right way to be ‘lazy’.

It is an easy read, with illustrations on nearly every page so you are not drowned in text.

And that in itself is an example of incorporating proper ‘lazy’ techniques.

It means to not overwork, not overthink. It does not mean do a poor job with substandard results.

Often times, we think about all the things we ‘should’ be, (thinner, smarter, nicer, faster, etc) the things we ‘should’ be doing (start the laundry, read more books, exercise more, etc)

Not that self betterment is something to avoid, but these ‘shoulds’ do not get the attention they truly deserve. We put all these thoughts and feelings into little boxes instead of feeling them naturally. In a synthetic world, it’s difficult to resort back to a natural flow.


This book was pretty amazing overall. Highly recommend to everyone. Leading a busy life, down in a rut, whatever your current situation is, this book will relate to you.




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