Books, Films and Friends – a year gone by

A beautiful time of year where torrents of rain( the drought gods heard us) muddy running trails and end of year goodbyes take over. A school play to celebrate and a new-found love of drama challenged the inner actress of a certain 11 yr old in my house.

House all done up, warm and cozy, presents wrapped, blanket, books and chocolate are beside themselves with excitement. Er, well, maybe not the chocolate, for I will eat it. Although, said chocolate most likely appreciates the ardent chocolate lover in the house.

While my book reviews took a back seat these last few months, I did not stop reading. I have many reviews in my head for I read faster than I can write. Sigh. However, as the year draws to an end, I want to look back on some of the books and films that made me laugh, cry and shout for joy. Some books I read while traveling, some films I watched on a plane, then watched them again.

Here are my favorite books of the year – they aren’t all new and they certainly challenged me when I attempted to whittle down a very long list. In spite of their insightful and intelligent writing, clamoring for attention sitting there on my bookshelves, the books I chose, awakened my curiosity. I devoured the writing with such precise attention, I was serene and exhausted  simultaneously. They reinforced lessons about humanity and resilience; The Golem and the Jinni is a début novel – it is brilliant.

Kate Atkinson 15738551On Sal mal lane

Written in my own heart's blood

GolemJinni HC c FINAL.JPG

I love film. I love its artistry. I don’t review them often, unless my imaginary( well, we only really have conversations in my head) friend Colin Firth stars in it. Perhaps I should, once a year at least. That being said, I loved these films for their simplicity, for the enormously talented actors and for the stories they told.  The Railway Man, The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Hundred Foot Journey with the exception of The Hobbit  were not blockbusters. Maleficent was an unexpected surprise. I did not expect to enjoy it, but I did.


Film Review The Hundred Foot Journey
























I want to thank old friends and new, all who patiently read my posts, support me and say keep going! Your posts have made me giggle, cry and applaud your talent. I’m blessed to be a part of such a wonderful community of bloggers from around the world. May the New Year bring more great writing, adventure and peace. I wish you and your families a quiet, blissful, hot chocolate filled holiday.


  1. Debra Kolkka says:

    I hope you had a lovely Christmas. May the New Year be full of interesting books and some fun times.


    1. Thank you Deb. Nice that it wasn’t too hot. Everyone I spoke with back home said the weather was perfect – Melbourne and Sydney.
      May the New Year bring more travel and wonderful memories for you. More photos too – hooray!


  2. Oh darling a lovely post, could I expect anything less! We didn’t have hot chocolate, but we have plenty of boxed chocolate (which I haven’t stopped eating by the way) 😒
    I am glad we met, happy that you have supported so generously what I write and become a friend.
    I hope that you, the girls and family had a beautiful day and you were spoilt. 😊
    May your New Year be filled with love, health and happiness.
    Love you xx


    1. I’m so happy you’re in my life my darling. For all the encouragement you give and for being such a lovely friend. You are a blessing.
      I was spoilt 🙂 Girls were over the moon with their Christmas. It was truly a beautiful day. I’m so happy yours was too.
      May 2015 bring you peace, good health, lots of writing and joy as you celebrate the life of others 😉
      Love you, hugging you tightly


  3. How fun to read some of your faves.
    “Life After Life” is on my list.
    HAPPY 2015 from Minnesota! xxx


    1. Happy 2015 to you as well Kim. Blessings and peace.
      So grateful to have met you. Here’s to more reading!


  4. What a great way to see out the year, MM. The book titles you list sound so poetic. It takes me forever to read because I have so little time to devote to it, but I’m currently reading “Without You, There is No Us,” by Suki Kim because I love to read about North Korea. My kids and I just watched the film, “The Interview,” and it was much better than I expected. I also loved The Budapest Hotel. What a film! Glorious. The Golem and the Jinni sounds great, too. Happy New Year, my friend!


    1. Monica, I have long been searching for something on North Korea; just haven’t found it. I will have to look up this title. I would love to see ” The Interview.” not a huge James Franco fan, but like him in small doses.
      My oldest caught a cold, now her asthma is on. Can you believe, I am mildly sick, again?
      Watching a great British series: Doc Martin. Have you seen. Oh you’d love it. So funny. Location is stunning – Cornwall. Lots of reading and working on a Colin post. At least I am sick and on holiday.
      Happy New Year to you too my friend.


  5. I love your writing, such a treat to read! I am sorry I am not here to comment more often. thanks for you list of books, I will keep this list for 2015!
    “Budapest Grand Hotel” was one of my favorite movies for 2014, with “The Secret LIfe of Walter Mitty.” Both are a delight to watch because of the beautiful pictures, and have heartwarming stories.!
    I wish you a wonderful New Year filled with wonder and happiness!


    1. I loved the Secret Life of Walter Mitty too. Unexpected little gem. Your blog is so inspiring and thoughtful as are you dear Florence. I can’t wait to read more posts. I hope you had a wonderful, quiet holiday and may this New Year bring you peace, lots of writing and work.

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