Karen's Favorite Things


Since tomorrow is Valentine's Day in the States, I thought today I would share some things I have experienced recently that I absolutely love. Unfortunately for you, I am not Oprah, and, therefore, cannot afford to surprise you with any of these (or a car, for that matter), but I hope you will enjoy this blog nonetheless.

My family and I saw Green Day's American Idiot musical on Saturday. Gritty, powerful and real, it provides an intense window to the post-9/11 world through the amazing music and lyrics of Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool. Absolutely loved it. If it comes to your town, do not miss it!

I read The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson in the fall, but never had the chance to tell you how wonderful it is here, probably because of my WOW! blog tour, the holidays and various other things that deride the best of intentions on a daily basis.

This is literature with a capital "L." A wonderful, old-school Gothic novel, this book firmly places you in Provence — the smells, the sights — by way of exquisite prose, all the while weaving a story worthy of a Bronte.  I was so enthralled by this book, I wanted to light a lavender candle for Benedicte and Marthe right after I finished.

English period costume drama set in the gorgeous Highclere Castle with shades of Upstairs, Downstairs — what's not to love? But, Downton Abbey is so much more. It is superb British drama at its finest performed by a stellar cast.

And speaking of clever things, how about Simon Kearns' piece of flash fiction, Fugue No. 2, last Friday? Wasn't it a gorgeous exercise in language? There are a lot more fantastic pieces coming up on Flash Fiction Fridays. Stay tuned.

Well, thanks for learning about some of my new favorites. I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day filled with all of the things (and people) you love.

P.S. Thanks so much to Leanne Dyck of The Sweater Curse for generously passing along a Versatile Blogger award. YAY!


angel011 said…
I loved the first season of the Downton Abbey. The second season looked like a soap opera to me, although it was still worth watching for Maggie Smith, if nothing else.

The Lantern sounds interesting.
Janel said…
I definitely want to read The Lantern. I love seeing glimpses of the book on the author's blog.
I think you would enjoy "The Lantern," angel011.

Janel, I know what you mean. Deborah hooked me through her blog posts. It really is a great novel.
Leah Griffith said…
I love the list Karen. You're so cultured;) Of course I intend to purchase "The Lantern" and devour it.
My list of favorites would read more like a shopping list for a woman on a tight budget:
Snappy clothes pins, the kind you used to pinch yourself with as a kid. These make great potato chip bag closers.

The Genie Bra; it's a fabulous sports bra that gets rid of the ugly uni-boob.

Home made popcorn with real butter and hot chocolate loaded with whipped cream. You enjoy these two together;)

I really enjoyed Markus Zusak's "The Book Thief" and I'm in the middle of enjoying,Michael Ondaatje's "Coming Through Slaughter."

Gee... I feel like Oprah! Oh, and I love my MacBook and iphone4!
Fantastic list, Leah. I must add LEAH GRIFFITH on my list of clever things. :) Clothes pins? Too funny.

Mmmm, popcorn and hot chocolate. Sounds like a winning combination.
R. Doug Wicker said…
Not much into English period pieces of that era, but the wife and I have been immensely enjoying of late the stellar remake of Mildred Pierce, based upon the James M. Cain novel and starring Kate Winslet. Watched the first three episodes yesterday, and the final two should arrive from Netflix in a couple of days.
I would love to see "Mildred Pierce," R. Doug. Thanks for the reminder. Kate Winslet is so wonderful.
Richard Bon said…
Thanks for the recommendations, I'll add The Lantern to my list!
Great, Richard. Thanks for reading!
Christina Wible said…
We're a bit behind you here in the US and just getting to the end of season 2 of Downton Abbey this weekend (there's a season 2 marathon on PBS tomorrow). Someone asked me the other day to compare it to Upstairs, Downstairs but I couldn't. Production values are so different now. Whatever it is I'm a lover of all British period historical drama and most British Mystery. My TV is stuck on PBS.

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