Friday, January 4, 2013

What I did on my winter vacation

There's nothing like a break from the routine. I took time off from my blog and from social media for a wonderful time of reading good books, watching feel-good movies (with a couple of thrillers thrown in), and enjoying an hour nap almost every afternoon.

I admit I was having a bit of trouble Wednesday getting back in the groove, but  yesterday was better. Best of all, I'm excited again about writing and my work in process, a standalone mystery with no title yet.

I also have a wonderful January lineup of author/bloggers. Tomorrow is Lorelei Bell and Monday is Camille Minichino. I hope you'll drop by and read their posts (and leave a comment so we know you were here).

For today, I want to tell you about the best reads and best little known movies I found while I was goofing off. First, the movies.

The best old movie I brought back for another viewing was The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. This 1982 musical stars Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds. The songs are great and the story a lot of fun. The idea of watching this film again was triggered by the death of Charles Durning, a sad loss to those of us who loved the charming/wacky characters he played in many films, including this one.

Here are a couple of movies I'd never heard of but found available for streaming video so watched them...and thoroughly enjoyed the acting and the stories.

Overnight (2012)
The Magic of Belle Isle (Morgan Freeman 2012)  This one is especially fun for writers

And the best thriller/suspense film I saw? Unstoppable (2010) with Denzel Washington. I was on the edge of my seat wringing my hands through the whole movie.

Now for four of the great reads I found.

Variant by Robison Wells. This is a Harper Teen novel which I believe is the first book in a trilogy. It is exciting, creepy, disturbing, and I couldn't put it down.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. This novel of psychological suspense takes marital tension and dysfunction to a new level. Another one I had trouble putting down.

Flat Spin by David Freed. The first in a new mystery series. David's second Cordell Logan novel will be released in May 2013. I really liked the protagonist of this series and can't wait to read more.

Mariano's Crossing by David Jessup. This wonderful novel of historical fiction is set near Loveland, Colorado, where David is co-owner of Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch. I'll be doing posts on the ranch as well as the novel this month at Chiseled in Rock blog.

So there you have it. Just a sampling of what I did on my winter vacation. Do you have any movie or book recommendations for me?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Unstoppable was tense, wasn't it?

Anonymous said...

New movies to add to my list. I read Gone Girl and loved the book, hated the ending. Bah-- disappointing.

Glad you had a restful holiday. I know you're back at it in full-force. All the best to you in 2013.

Laura Eno said...

It sounds like you had a relaxing time and got to do whatever you wanted! It makes for a nice change-up.

Karen Walker said...

Oh I just loved the Magic of Belle Isle - I could see that again for sure. And you're right. Unstoppable was a really good suspense film.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I am still having a little trouble letting go of all that leisure time. And now that the Broncos are in the playoffs, I have to schedule more time for football too. Hopefully all the way to Super Bowl Sunday.

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

I've done exactly the same thing on my winter break, Pat. Lots of downtime with two weeks off of work, so I read, watched movies and just let my mind wander for a while. Fun! I think we all need that break when we can take it.

M. K. Theodoratus said...

Hope a title clicks in your mind soon.

Margot Kinberg said...

Pat - It sounds as though you did some really good reading and it's good to hear you're back in the groove with your writing. And you know, I liked The Best Little..., too. Thanks for reminding me of it.

lizy-expat-writer said...

"What I did on my vacation" took me straight back to school, so thanks for making me feel young again!
Isn't it great that we can watch a favourite film whenever we like on DVD? MyOH is visiting his family in UK and they actually went to the cinema to see the new Bond film. He says the film was good but walking from the car in the rain was not.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! I recently saw The Magic of Belle Isle, too and thought it was good--you can't go wrong with Morgan Freeman! And Gone Girl is on my book club list, so I'm really looking forward to reading that one.