August 18, 2011

The Scarlet Pimpernel

One of my favorite books of all time is The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy. Filled with daring escapes, humor, and just a touch of romance, this book is a must-read! Here's a little synopsis I got off of my new favorite website,
During the Reign of Terror, aristocrats condemned to die are mysteriously disappearing. Rumor has it that this is the work of an elusive band of Englishmen; their leader, the Scarlet Pimpernel. Marguerite Blakeney, a beautiful French actress lately married to an English baronet, finds herself in a difficult situation. A ruthless agent of the Committee of Public Safety, Citizen Chauvelin, has black-mailed her to help him discover the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel. Can she save her only brother from death? Will she betray a brave but mysterious hero to his death? Is this the end of the Scarlet Pimpernel?!

Sounds interesting, yes? Absolutely! At the beginning of our copy (which, sadly, I have somehow misplaced!), there is a list of all of the other books about the Scarlet Pimpernel that Baroness Orczy wrote. When I first read the book about five years ago, I didn't really care about the other books- after all, nearly every other sequel to ANY book I'd read in the past wasn't nearly as good as the first one. I didn't want to ruin my perfect picture of the Elusive Pimpernel! (Plus, I didn't have much money.) So I didn't buy any of the other ones.

Fast-forward to about a month ago when Arwen graduated. She got a lot of really nice gifts, including a Kindle from our very generous grandparents. As soon as we could, Arwen and I sat down and spent a few hours looking for random (and free) classics on Guess what we found?! Five new (FREE) Scarlet Pimpernel books! We had both been wanting to read them, so Arwen put them all on her Kindle.

I can't tell you guys how good the others are, especially The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel, which is a collection of short stories about the Scarlet Pimpernel and his adventures. Arwen and I talk about the mysterious Pimpernel, Percy, Marguerite, Chauvelin, Tony, Andrew, and all the others a lot now. I first read I Will Repay, which is about a young woman who betrays a man she hates, fulfilling an oath she gave her dying father. Before you know it, she's been arrested and faces the guillotine! After that, I blazed through The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel in about a day, then The Elusive Pimpernel, then I started reading El Dorado, the other book the movie version of The Scarlet Pimpernel, starring Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour, and Ian McKellan (yes, Gandalf the Gray/White himself, but younger), was based on. (That's my favorite version of the book, but you can't read it until after you've read the book. Trust me. Read the book first!)

Sadly, an unforseen even has stopped me from reading the rest of the book. I was at the best part, too - the main character was about to die from lack of sleep (almost eight days without sleeping at all!) at the hands of that villain, Chauvelin! Arg! I'll be reading what I can on (where they have all of most of the books) until this evil roadblock is out of my way!

All that to say, I HIGHLY recommend the Scarlet Pimpernel books to anyone who likes exciting, historical drama movies or books. You'll want to read it again and again, and it's a really good thing that there are more books that are almost as good as the first one!!! The 1982 movie is really good, too! All of the actors are "spot on," the costumes are gorgeous, and all of the sets are totally awesome! (A word of caution: Solid British language sprinkled throughout and two inappropriate love scenes. Comment below if you want the exact times of the scenes.)


August 6, 2011

NC Trip!!

On Wednesday we got back from a 4-day trip to North Carolina. Wow, what a trip! We got to visit a lot of friends and had a lot of fun doing a lot of different things!

Highlights include:
Playing games like The Animal Game, Follow the Judge to Court, Gray Wolf, and another card game that I can't spell but love!
Talking about... math, of all things
Seeing people I haven't seen for a few months or more
Eating delicious food at Qdoba (a restaurant we don't have here in Georgia) and at different people's houses

I enjoyed the entire trip tremendously, but the above were just a few things I wanted to mention.

We should be going back on Tuesday through about Thursday for a wedding, and I'm SUPER excited about that! It's going to be a lot of fun! (Maybe I'll have a few pictures....)


PS: We watched Soul Surfer for the first time last night. It was so good.... So good, it very nearly made me cry!