Then & Now
● By Wendy Sipple
Motown Classics: Gold - Various Artists
If you’re not ready to put on Christmas music, but you need something to play while you’re cooking and/or eating Thanksgiving dinner, you can’t go wrong with Motown Classics Gold. All the Motown favorites, from “My Guy” and “Stop! In The Name Of Love” to “What’s Goin’ On” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and more, on two discs. No filler here, folks. Only killer!
Bob Dylan: Christmas In The Heart
We know…it’s not Christmas yet. But Bob Dylan is really releasing a Christmas album. With a 1940s touch, complete with cheery backup singers, Dylan lends his cheer to standards like “Do You Hear What I Hear,” and “Jingle Bells,” and comes off sounding...like himself, or Jimmy Durante. If you hate Bob, this won’t make you like him more. If you love him, it’ll make you smile.
Julie & Julia by Julie Powell
Recently adapted into the box-office success starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, blogger Julie Powell’s 2007 book details how her love and admiration for Julia Child turned into a blog, and a 365-day culinary endurance trial where she cooked one recipe a day from Childs’ Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Engaging, passionate and hilarious, the book (and the movie) is a must.
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl
by Ree Drummond
Blogger Ree Drummond (ThePioneerWoman.com) was a vegetarian city girl when she met her real-life cowboy. She left Chicago to settle on an Oklahoma ranch “in the middle of nowhere.” Here she publishes a collection of her tried and true recipes, and also expands on the details of her life as a ranch wife.
Howl’s Moving Castle
Directed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, this Academy-Award-nominated animated film is high on magic and, like Up, wisely allows human emotion and character to carry the story, not chirpy animals with attitudes. Likewise, this film, though animated, will communicate to all audiences.
With Up, a tender, deeply thoughtful, and yes, uplifting tale about Carl, an aging widower who longs for adventure, and nervy Russell, a boy with an adventurous spirit, Pixar has churned out another animated classic for all ages with a universal message relatable to all. Consider this one unmissable.