July 2010

"She looks like Eva Marie Saint / In On the Waterfront / She reads Simone de Beauvoir / In her American circumstance"

The 27th annual Academy Awards for the film year 1954.  The nominations were announced on February 12, 1955 and the awards were held on March 30, 1955.

Best Picture:  On the Waterfront

  • The Country Girl
  • The Caine Mutiny
  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
  • Three Coins in the Fountain

Most Surprising Omission:  Sabrina

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Rear Window

Rank (out of 82) Among Best Picture Years:  #63 (more…)

The hardcover dust jacket of Richard Russo's Pulitzer Prize winning Empire Falls (2001)

Empire Falls

  • Author:  Richard Russo  (b. 1949)
  • Rank:  #71
  • Published:  2001
  • Publisher:  Alfred A. Knopf
  • Pages:  483  (Vintage paperback)
  • First Line:  “Compared to the Whiting mansion in town, the house Charles Beaumont Whiting built a decade after his return to Maine was modest.”
  • Last Lines:  “Together, dead woman and living cat bumped along the upstream edge of the straining dam, as if searching for a place to climb out and over.  Bumping, nudging, seeking, until finally a small section of the structure gave way and they were gone.”
  • ML Edition:  None
  • Acclaim:  Pulitzer Prize
  • Film:  2005  (**** – dir. Fred Schepisi – HBO mini-series)
  • Read:  Fall, 2001 (more…)

Right. Like I was going to put any other picture here.

The 26th annual Academy Awards for the film year 1953.  The nominations were announced on February 15, 1954 and the awards were held on March 24, 1954.

Best Picture:  From Here to Eternity

  • Roman Holiday
  • Julius Caesar
  • The Robe
  • Shane

Most Surprising Omission:  Stalag 17

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Stalag 17

Rank (out of 82) Among Best Picture Years:  #67 (more…)

The 1994 Modern Library hardcover is the only single volume version of William Faulkner's Snopes


  • a trilogy consisting of The Hamlet, The Town and The Mansion
  • Author:  William Faulkner  (1897  –  1962)
  • Rank:  #71
  • Publisher:  Random House
  • Published:  1940, 1957, 1959
  • Pages:  1065  (Modern Library)
  • First Line:  “Frenchman’s Bend was a section of rich river-bottom country lying twenty miles southeast of Jefferson.”
  • Last Line:  “the beautiful, the splendid, the proud and the brave, right on up to the very top itself among the shining phantoms and dreams which are the milestones of the long human recording – Helen and the bishops, the kings and the unhomed angels, the scornful and graceless seraphim.”
  • ML Edition:  P18 – The Hamlet; current hardcover – the full trilogy (1994)
  • Film:  1959  –  part of The Hamlet as The Long Hot Summer –  ***  –  dir. Martin Ritt
  • Read:  Fall, 2000 (more…)

Thomas' smile 2.0

I think the name of the post and the picture pretty much say it all.

He's got a pencil behind his ear and he's ready for school.

He has started his summer program and is in school four days a week for three hours a day.

He had his six year checkup on Monday.  90% percentile in height, 65% in weight.  He will be tall and slender.  For now, he is growing, in both height and cheekiness.

Charlton Heston and Jimmy Stewart in The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) - the Best Picture winner that stunned everyone

The 25th annual Academy Awards, for the film year 1952.  The nominations were announced on February 9, 1953 and the awards were held on March 19, 1953.

Best Picture:  The Greatest Show on Earth

  • High Noon
  • The Quiet Man
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Ivanhoe

Most Surprising Omission:  The Bad and the Beautiful

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Rashomon

Best Eligible English Language Film Not Nominated:  Singin in the Rain

Rank (out of 82) Among Best Picture Years:  #68 (more…)

the spines of the Little House books (complete in a box set) along with Young Pioneers by Rose Wilder Lane and Laura, a biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder

These books form a considerable part of my childhood memories.  First of all, of course, there was the television show Little House on the Prairie.  It seems to be undergoing a bit of a revival as it is now available on DVD and there have been several memoirs by various actresses from the show over the last couple of years.  It was a decent show, which I mainly remember for the opening music (I can hear it in my head right now and picture Melissa Gilbert running down the hill as it plays).  But then there are the books.

They are wonderful children’s books.  They evoke a very specific time and place.  They make a part of American history come vividly to life in stark, simple language that is easy for any child to understand.  They are enjoyable and interesting and easy to read.  It is true that they speak more to girls than to boys, as it is the tale of Laura and her three sisters.  But there is Farmer Boy, the story of her future husband Almanzo, growing up in upstate New York, a book I read a number of times as a kid. (more…)

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