What's Anne Reading?
Anne frequently reviews books, films, and music on Amazon.com, including research materials she has used in the writing of Christ the Lord, Out of Egypt, and Christ the Lord, The Road to Cana. To see her reviews, click here.
See Anne's Review of Sweeney Todd on IMDB
Anne's Christmas Gift Book Recommendation: A View of the Ocean by Jan De Hartog
Anne's Book Recommendations
Excerpted from past posts to the web site
"I want to recommend a book to you that I've been reading this year. As a matter of fact, I was reading it before Stan was diagnosed with the brain tumor that took his life. The book is by a mystic named Howard Storm. Howard Storm had a near death experience that was absolutely incredible. He wrote a book called MY DESCENT TO DEATH. It's an awe-inspiring book. I had been reading it before Stan called to tell me the terrible news that he had the brain tumor. I just picked up the book again, and started reading it again, and I was just as inspired by it as ever. I recommend it very much to all of you, and especially to those of you who might be interested in near death experiences, where they are pronounced dead or come very very close to biological death, and go out of their bodies, and they see what they very firmly believe to be, the other side. They get a glimpse of Perdition, perhaps, and of Heaven. It's a very eloquent book. I've also seen Howard Storm on television a number of times, and I think he's extremely convincing. There's no doubt in my mind that he's a mystic." -- Anne, phone message dated December 26, 2002
"Let me recommend Donna Tarte's book to you, THE LITTLE FRIEND. It's a wonderful work of fiction, and Donna Tarte is a wonderful novelist. She's among the young novelists coming up, and she's really just superb. She's very very fine." -- Anne, phone message dated December 26, 2002
WUTHERING HEIGHTS AND JANE EYRE
"The other thing that I wanted to talk about is that I have been re-reading two books that are my favorites. They have been very, very inspiring to me as a writer. They are WUTHERING HEIGHTS, by Emily Bronte and JANE EYRE, by Charlotte Bronte. I know that I have talked to you all before about the Bronte sisters and how much I identify with them. They lived in the 1800's in the lonely parts of the Moores of Yorkshire in England. They wrote two of the most seminal and important books for those of us who write from the imagination. And I would love to hear your comments on what you think if you have read WUTHERING HEIGHTS. If you haven't, by all means read it. You can probably find it in any big book store in the country in a paperback edition and you can find JANE EYRE, too. They are really classics that have been disseminate throughout the world. Get a hold of them and read them. If you respond to anything in my work, you are going to love these two books. They may not be as easy to read as you might like, but they are worth it." - Anne, phone message dated May 28, 2000
"Now as for Toni Morrison, she is a very much admired writer and a recognized writer. She won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1993. I now want to read everything that she has written."
"After I saw [the movie Beloved] the first time, I immediately sent for the book. I had to read the book. The film left me with the desire to have more. To be back with these characters and to understand the novel that had inspired this. The novel is by Toni Morrison. Toni Morrison wrote this book in 1987 and I knew of its existence, but I didn't read it. I have read it now and I am going back and reading it some more and I can't recommend it too highly. The writing is rich and imaginative. It's a wondrous kind of writing that you seldom find in any kind of fiction that is written today. I think that those of you who know me, or know about me know that I don't read most contemporary writers because they are too barren for me, they are too restricted, they're too sterile. But Toni Morrison is not in any way that. She has tremendous power and she writes poetically in the very finest and best, in fullest sense of that word. Do read BELOVED. I think that you will absolutely love it." - Anne, phone message dated June 25, 2000
Anne's Movie Recommendations
"...But I really came on to tell you about this absolutely fabulous movie I saw last night on DVD. It was "The Hours". It's a real masterpiece of a film. Those of you who follow my film commentaries, know that I never pan a film. I only come on when I see something that is compellingly good enough for me to say something about it. "The Hours" is definitely just a brilliant film. It's the most brilliant film I've seen since "Magnolia". It really is a masterpiece. It makes me happy. It makes me joyous, that a film like this can be made in America. That we can get something like this done. That we can go from a wonderful and spectacular "Gladiator", which I realize was a couple of years ago, to a film like "The Hours" and we can do that. And I really think Mirimax is wonderful for having had a hand in this. It's just great. The director is Stephen Daldry. There are too many people in the cast to mention, and they were all fantastic. Nicole Kidman is wonderful as Virginia Woolf, the writer. Meryll Streep is fantastic, Julianne Moore is mesmerizing. Ed Harris is just terrific. Everybody in it really is very very good. The film is, oh it's like entering into an intense dream or spell, and not wanting to wake up. You are just locked to the screen. The music, the acting, the editing, I mean, all of it contributes to this like twisting sense of these people's faces; and their eyes and their voices, and what they are going through. And you are privy to their emotions and you are just swept away with it. I mean, it is a fantastic film about the hearts and souls and about obscenities. It has all kinds of meanings that I have yet to fully understand. It's a very courageous film. A very seriously made film, and I highly recommend it to all of you. I know it's running now in the theaters. I got the DVD simply because Paramount decided to send everybody in the Writer's Guild a DVD, so I got it. I really had no idea it was going to be this good. I was just locked to it, from the moment I put it in the machine and I just can't recommend it enough. If anybody tells you that this is a woman's picture...goodness sakes. This is no more a woman's picture than "Enemy of the Gates" was a man's picture. This is a picture about people. There is no woman;s picture and man's picture, those titles don't shock us. They don't really define anything. A great movie is a great movie; and that's what this is. I recommend that you go see it right away. My first recommendation is that you see it on a big screen, don't wait for the DVD, as I did. If you can get out to a theater, so see it. Go see"The Hours", it's really compelling, it's really worth the time. Everything about it is really flawless. The editing, again, I know I;m repeating myself, is terrific. Just terrific. I just want to say that I'm devoted to Virginia Woolf, the writer. I studied her intensely in my college years. I took my masters oral exam on Virginia Woolf, Hemingway, and Shakespeare; and I'm overjoyed to see that this movie put Virginia Woolf back on the bestseller list. I think it's great. I think it's wonderful that more people will turned onto Virginia Woolf. That they'll find out what a magnificent writer she was. That she inspired this movie is great thing. It's a tribute to her. " -Anne, phone message dated February 17, 2003
THE MISTS OF AVALON
"If you did not catch the mini-series THE MISTS OF AVALON over the weekend, by all means try to catch the encore performances on TNT. This production based on the novel by Marion Zimmer Bradley was absolutely fantastic - no pun intended. It involves the story of King Arthur and Camelot, including the Mystical Island of Avalon, the home of the Mother Goddess and the Lady of the Lake. The cast is absolutely outstanding. The cinematography and the direction were superb. (And by the way, the director Uli Edel also did LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN, a film which I think is a masterpiece.) Costumes and sets were lavish. Battle scenes were absolutely convincing. In fact, everything about this production was convincing. But the real joy for me was the dialog. The actors and actresses speak in what I believe is called high diction, yet they are always completely believable and emotionally compelling. It is impossible to praise this mini-series too much. I'm proud to say that I know some of the people connected with it and I would trust these people with my own work. Needless to say, I have ordered the novel and I hope to read it soon. I remember when it came out many, many years ago. I saw it in a bookstore and bought it immediately but never got around to really reading it. I am looking forward to the pleasure now. Once again, I recommend this program highly. I hope the day dawns soon when we can buy MISTS OF AVALON on VHS or DVD." -Anne, phone messaged dated July 18, 2001
"Let me give you one more movie recommendation before I go - TRAFFIC. I thought it was wonderfully made and it scared the hell out of me. When are we going to decriminalize drugs so that we can really win the drug war?" -Anne, phone message dated July 18, 2001
"Angela's Ashes. I thought this movie was a jewel. It is about a kid growing up in Catholic Ireland and being educated a Catholic and I thought it was just brilliant. I am, of course, Irish-Catholic myself. I have never been to Ireland and I grew up here in New Orleans, but I think this movie is so beautifully done and so skillfully edited and taped, that it would mean something to almost anybody. You don't have to be Irish-Catholic to love the brilliance of it. It's beautiful. It is just a beautiful film. That is Angela's Ashes. I recommend it." -Anne, September 11, 2000
"Being John Malkovich. It is the most Kafkaesque movie I have ever seen that was not based on the work of Franz Kafka. I mean, it is just, those of you who know Kafka will know what I mean. It is just filled with absurd, crazy things and genius. It is fabulously humourous. I mean, scene after scene is quietly, insanely humourous. And of course, there are more magnificent scenes that I won't describe, because you just have to see this with your own eyes. It is just, it's breath taking. But the whole movie is hilariously funny and very, very clever. John Malkovich was wonderful in it, of course, and so was everybody else. Cameron Diaz is in it and she is terrific. The whole thing was just fabulous." - Anne, September 11, 2000
"FIGHT CLUB with Brad Pitt. I just saw this film and found it to be amazingly clever, and at times brilliant. During the first third, you have to be a little patient with the film. The last third will mesmerize you. I highly recommend it. The film is beautifully done." - Anne, phone message dated July 3, 2000
"GLADIATOR with Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix is terrific entertainment. Ridley Scott's direction is brilliant." - Anne, phone messsaged dated July 3, 2000