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  • Tara Sonin 4:00 pm on 2018/03/16 Permalink
    Tags: , , anthony mccarten, , brave, , coco, daniel ellsberg, daniel kraus, darkest hour, darryl ponicsan, david finkel, deborah heiligman, diana lopez, first they killed my father, , greg sestero, , hillary jordan, in my own words, jeff bauman, john pearson, , last flag flying, loung ung, martin mcdonogh, molly bloom, molly's game, mudbound, munro leaf, nancy kerrigan, our souls at night, page to screen, painfully rich, r.j. palacio, reni eddo-lodge, rose mcgowan, , secrets: a memoir of vietnam and the pentagon papers, , stronger, thank you for your service, , the miracle of dunkirk, the shape of water, the story of ferdinand, three billboards outside ebbing missouri, vincent and theo, walter lord, why i'm no longer talking to white people about race,   

    24 Books to Soothe Your Post Awards-Season Letdown 

    And the award goes to…books! At least, it does in our world. But if you’re a film fan and looking to broaden your literary horizons, here are two dozen books to read now that awards season is over (and you’re probably tired of movies).

    Call Me By Your Name, by Andre Aciman
    The most buzzed-about book-turned-into-a-movie this season is definitely worth a read! A sensual, emotional tale of two young men tempted by lust, love, and passion for one another (despite neither of them being openly gay).

    Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, by Reni Eddo-Lodge
    Get Out isn’t based on a book, but that doesn’t mean one of the most important movies of this awards season (and all of film history) shouldn’t be talked about. This book is a great starting point for discussing the complicated intersections of black history, white supremacy, racism, gender, and much more.

    In My Own Words, by Nancy Kerrigan
    I, Tonya tells the story of the infamous rivalry between Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding as a larger-than-life portrait based on real interviews. What happened between Nancy and Tonya, two skating phenoms, who were once colleagues on ice…that led to Nancy’s skating career being derailed by a bludgeoned knee? Read her own words to find out the other side of the story.

    The Shape of Water, by Guillermo Del Toro and Daniel Kraus
    Normally, book people advocate seeing the movie after reading the book, but since this adaptation of the award-nominated movie doesn’t come out until the end of the month, we’ll forgive you for doing the opposite. This ethereal, beautiful romance between a mute woman and a mysterious sea creature kept as a science experiment is set against the backdrop of the conflict between the US and Russia, and is as high-stakes as it is romantic.

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, by Martin McDonogh
    A grieving mother sets herself on the path of justice, violence, and retribution when she puts up three public billboards accusing the police department—and their beloved chief of police—of neglect after they fail to catch her daughter’s murderer. Brutal, emotional, and as impactful as the performances in the movie, this story is not to be missed.

    The Miracle of Dunkirk, by Walter Lord
    It’s 1940, and the allied forces have been forced to retreat after a terrible ai assult from Hitler. Over 300,000 men were stranded on Dunkirk until an evacuation was attempted…in which in which nearly the entire army was saved. This film is a riveting portrait of survival in war and the strength of the human spirit—and the book is just as fascinating.

    Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here, by Anna Breslaw
    Lady-Bird fans, this is the book for you! If you loved the honest voice, snark, and pop-culture references in the movie, you will love Scarlett. Her favorite TV show was just cancelled, so she resorts to writing online fanfiction of what could-have-been…but the problem is, it’s starring real people. When her secret gets out, Scarlett has to reckon with the relationships she has IRL, including a tense one with her Dad, as a result of her parents’ split.

    Darkest Hour, by Anthony McCarten
    If you’re making your way down this list, you will have read about Dunkirk…but who was the man who saved England’s army, and in history’s eyes, the world? Winston Churchill became Prime Minister right at the start of the war, and guided the allies through the most difficult fight of their lives.

    Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, by Daniel Ellsberg
    The Post is one of the most talked-about movies this season, starring an incredibly prestigious cast. But I knew very little about the Pentagon Papers, and that’s where this book comes in! Daniel Ellsberg was the man behind the release of this Vietnam-war-era document, and risked his life to expose the truth.

    Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn
    The Phantom Thread is an incredibly unique movie with lots of twists and turns about a couple in the fashion world of the 1950’s who manipulate one another. Without giving too much away about the plot of the movie to those who haven’t seen it, I think fans will love Sharp Objects! It’s about a murder, a complicated mother, a beguiling sister, and a town that hides lots of secrets.

    Coco, by Diana Lopez
    A fave animated movie of 2017 about a boy who wants to be a musician despite his family having outlawed music for reasons he doesn’t understand is now in book form!

    Painfully Rich, by John Pearson
    This movie starring Christopher Plummer, Michelle Williams, and Mark Wahlberg is based on who made himself very very rich…but ruined his family in the process. Drugs, suicide, a kidnapping, and much more feature in this saga that is as strange as it is true.

    The Disaster Artist, by Greg Sestero
    Have you seen The Room? It’s a cult movie written by a man named Tommy Wiseau which never earned any money and was panned by critics. And yet it’s had an enduring life among cult fans, and this book brings that story hilariously to life (the story you can also see in the movie starring James Franco!).

    First They Killed My Father, by Loung Ung
    Now a movie from Angelina Jolie, this story about a young girl who had to flee her home and train as a child soldier in Cambodia is heart-wrenching, but true. Reading the book will help give you an appreciation for the struggles of others, for family, for home, and for freedom many people have lost their lives for.

    Molly’s Game, by Molly Bloom
    Gambling’s never been my game, but fascinating women who infiltrate exclusive, underground societies totally are. This movie of the same name stars Jessica Chastain as the young girl running an elite poker ring in Hollywood, until the house of cards came crumbling down.

    Our Souls at Night, by Kent Haruf
    Jane Fonda and Robert Redford are a star pair in this movie of the same name about a widow and a widower who have been neighbors for years…until one day they take the risk and decide to become something more. A story of second chances, love at all ages, and chosen happiness.

    Stronger, by Jeff Bauman
    The Boston Marathon Bombing was a horrible moment in history, and no one knows that better than Jeff Bauman, one of the survivors. He lost both his legs that day, and wrote a bestselling book about his journey following the terror attack, and it was adapted into a movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

    The Story of Ferdinand, by Munro Leaf
    A children’s book that will make you laugh and cry! Ferdinand the bull is sweet as can be. He has no interest in doing the things other bulls do. Fans of the movie, about a bull taken from his home after being mistaken for a violent creature, will love this heartwarming tale.

    Thank you For Your Service, by David Finkel
    Another movie about heroes and survivors that has a connected book. David Finkel was a different kind of hero; a journalist on the front lines of Afghanistan who documented the soldiers as they ended their tours of duty and started another war…the battle to rejoin civilian life.

    Wonder, by R. J. Palacio
    We could all use more kindness in our lives. That’s what the book—and movie—Wonder is all about. It tells the story of a young boy with a facial disfigurement who is afraid to let kids see what he really looks like, because he worries he’ll be bullied. This is the perfect gift for the sensitive kid in your life (after you watch the movie with them of course!).

    Brave, by Rose McGowan
    The harrowing story of one actress’ rise to activism through trauma is more than just a book; it’s the start of a movement. There’s no movie tie-in to this story, but we’d be remiss not to acknowledge the elephant in awards season…the systemic sexism and misogyny in Hollywood, now laid bare in part by Rose’s story.

    Last Flag Flying, by Darryl Ponicsan
    To truly understand Last Flag Flying, you should also read The Last Detail, the story of two soldiers escorting a man to a naval prison (which was also made into a movie.) This book, set over three decades after the events of the first, about three men escorting a young, deceased soldier home against the orders of their command.

    Mudbound, by Hillary Jordan
    In 1964, a woman from the city is trying to raise a family in the Mississippi Delta when two soldiers return from war and help out on the farm. One of them is black. In the Jim Crow South, bonds between family, between brothers, and friends, are all tested by the realities of the harsh world they live in.

    Vincent and Theo, by Deborah Heiligman
    There’s a non-fiction movie about Vincent Van Gogh and his brother, Theo, nominated for an award this year! I knew very little about them (other than the famous ear story) and so for those who, like me, are interested in learning about the brother who supported the genius artist—and 658 letters he wrote him over the course of their lives—this is the book for you!

    What books are helping you recover from awards season?

    The post 24 Books to Soothe Your Post Awards-Season Letdown appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Ross Johnson 3:30 pm on 2018/01/10 Permalink
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    16 Books Coming to the Big Screen in 2018 

    People sometimes say that they’ll wait for the movie version. That’s not us—we look forward to the movie precisely because we loved the book so much. On that score, there’s a lot to look forward to in 2018. Here are 16 books coming to the screen this year.

    12 Strong, based on Horse Soldiers, by Doug Stanton (January 19)
    Led by Chris Hemsworth, this film follows Stanton’s non-fiction account of a small band of Special Forces who, vastly outnumbered, captured Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan before finding themselves besieged. Michael Shannon and Michael Peña also star.

    Maze Runner: The Death Cure, based on the novel by James Dashner (January 26)
    The Maze Runner trilogy is set to conclude with this adaption of the final book (if you don’t count the ongoing prequel series). The truth behind WCKD and the tests will be revealed, but not before the Gladers run one more maze in the legendary Last City.

    Fifty Shades Freed, based on the novel by E. L. James (February 9)
    You know the score by now: Christian and Ana’s R-rated naughtiness is going to get complicated. Classed as an erotic psychological romantic thriller, the big finish sees the two happily married until Ana’s old boss begins stalking and threatening her, and Christian’s former dom and lover (played by Kim Basinger) pops back into town.

    The War with Grandpa, based on the novel by Robert Kimmel Smith (February 23)
    The multiple award-winning children’s novel is getting a film adaption with an all-star cast, including Robert DeNiro, Christopher Walken, and Uma Thurman. The novel is the story of Peter and the grandfather he adores—until grandpa comes to live with the family and takes over Peter’s room. From there, it’s war. With DeNiro in good form, it sounds like the movie will be fun.

    Every Day, based on the novel by David Levithan (February 23)
    Levithan’s young adult novel follows Rhiannon, a 16-year-old who develops a relationship with a traveling spirit named A. Every day, A wakes up in a different body and thus lives a variety of human experiences. Rhiannon encounters the traveller when A wakes up in the body of Justin, her troubled boyfriend. If the filmmakers can translate Levithan’s humanistic and empathetic style to the screen, it should do well.

    Annihilation, based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer (February 23)
    Multi-talented director/novelist/screenwriter Alex Garland is helming the adaption of VanderMeer’s first Southern Reach novel. The series is all about the mystery of Area X, a region of the southern U.S. that’s been cut off for decades by a strange barrier. Each expedition into Area X has produced wildly different results and observations, with the most recent trip leaving only one grievously injured survivor, husband to a biologist played in the movie by Natalie Portman. She volunteers for a new expedition into the zone in order to figure out what exactly happened. There’s been some behind-the-scenes scuffling about the finished film being overly cerebral (and diverging greatly from the source material), but that doesn’t necessarily make for a bad film.

    Red Sparrow, based on the novel by Jason Matthews (March 2)
    Matthews’ novel goes deep into the intertwined worlds of Russian and American espionage to tell the story of Dominika Egorova, an operative trained from an early age in the arts of infiltration and seduction, and whose synesthesia allows her to see the world in unique ways. She might sound a bit like Marvel’s Black Widow, but there are no superheroics in Matthews world. Jennifer Lawrence stars.

    A Wrinkle in Time, based on the novel by Madeleine L’Engle (March 9)
    It’s not the first adaption of L’Engle’s beloved, influential, and controversial 1962 science fantasy novel, but this one should make a much bigger splash than the earlier television production. For starters, multiple-award winner Ava DuVernay is directing an all-star cast, led by Oprah Winfrey. Newcomer Storm Reid stars as Meg Murray, who fights to save her father from captivity on a distant planet.

    Love, Simon, based on Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli (March 16)
    Greg Berlanti, best known these days for his work writing and producing the various DC shows on the CW, is directing the adaption of Albertalli’s coming-of-age story about a closeted high schooler coming to terms with his sexuality. Simon has an online relationship with a boy he knows as “Blue,” but the correspondence is uncovered by one of his classmates who blackmails Simon into setting him up with a girl named Abby.

    Ready Player One, based on the novel by Ernest Cline (March 30)
    Just a few months after the release of historical drama The Post, Steven Spielberg’s much-anticipated adaption of the Cline novel is coming to the big screen.  It’s the story of a dystopian future world in which there’s not much to do but hang out in a virtual space called the OASIS. The creator dies and promises ownership of the realm to anyone who can find his hidden easter egg. Like the book, the movie promises a plethora of 80s pop-culture references.

    Guernsey, based on The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (April 20)
    Note to the producers: the original novel’s title is better, if tough to squeeze onto a marquee. Shaffer and Barrows popular novel introduces Juliet Ashton, a London writer looking for a new book subject following the Blitz. Unexpected correspondence draws her into the funny, eccentric, charming, and weird world of occupied Guernsey.

    Where’d You Go, Bernadette, based on the novel by Maria Semple (May 11)
    A new Richard Linklater film is always an event for true movie buffs. The Before Midnight/School of Rock/Boyhood director is taking on Semple’s funny, quirky novel about an agoraphobic mom who goes missing. Her daughter Bee, who had been preparing for a family trip to Antarctica, searches through documents and correspondence in order to figure out exactly what happened.

    Crazy Rich Asians, based on the novel by Kevin Kwan (August 17)
    Kwan intended his 2013 novel, based partly on his childhood in Singapore, to provide a contemporary view of Asian culture for Americans. Probably not a bad idea. It’s the story of a marriage between the incredibly rich Colin Khoo and his fashion icon fiancée. The original book has been followed by two sequels thus far, so a successful film could potentially kick off a franchise.

    Boy Erased, based on Boy Erased: A Memoir, by Garrard Conley (September 28)
    Conley’s 2016 memoir, describing his experiences in gay conversion therapy, serves as a testimonial to the dangers of such programs, as well as a nod toward the belief systems that encourage them. Conley was the son of a Baptist minister in a small town who was outed during college and pressured into conversion therapy. It didn’t go well. Lucas Hedges stars, with Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman as his parents.

    The Girl in the Spider’s Web, based on the novel by David Lagercrantz (October 5)
    Bear with me now: this is the fifth film adaption of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, about world-class hacker Lisbeth Salander and investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist. It’s based on the fourth book in the series, the first not to have been written by Larsson, but it’s also reboot of the David Fincher’s series of American adaptations, which only ever got around to adapting the first book. In short, it’s a whole new start, so don’t worry about it! The Crown’s Claire Foy takes over as Lisbeth, with Don’t Breathe director Fede Alvarez directing.

    First Man, based on First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, by James R. Hansen (October 12)
    Hansen’s 2005 biography focuses largely on Armstrong’s life before and after the moon landing, charting his upbringing and involvement in the space program, as well as life as one of the most famous people in the world. Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy star.

    What’s on your book-to-movie calendar for 2018?

    The post 16 Books Coming to the Big Screen in 2018 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Nicole Hill 4:00 pm on 2017/12/11 Permalink
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    Outlander Season 3 Episode 13 Recap: Eye of the Storm 

    This season’s trip to Jamaica has been bonkers enough that you couldn’t be blamed for periodically forgetting the reason we’re here: young Ian.

    As the season finale begins, our feisty young abductee is still being held by Geillis Duncan, First of Her Name, the Unkillable. Meanwhile, the Scooby Gang has been split up. Jamie has been taken into custody by the precocious Captain Leonard. Claire is on a solo mission to raid Geillis’ lair of doom. Willoughby is M.I.A. And Fergus and Marsali are trying to make sure everyone else doesn’t die.

    There is good news, though, namely that the island of Jamaica is populated solely by characters of this show. Just as the insufferable Leonard is about to whisk Jamie away to face murder charges, he’s stopped by a (for once) welcome squad of redcoats. Next thing you know, John Grey—tipped off to the situation by Fergus—is going toe-to-toe with Jamie’s teenaged pursuer, outranking him in a battle of military jurisdiction.

    Best Friends Never
    For her part, Claire is also a prisoner. While snooping around the slaves’ quarters, Claire’s scooped up and deposited in Geillis’ parlor. Here we learn just how far Geillis has traveled on the paranoia train. From her perspective, Outlander is the story of how a conniving British know-it-all traveled through time to thwart her reasoned and reasonable plans to restore Scottish sovereignty.

    To prove that she couldn’t care less about Geillis’ psychotic nationalism, Claire makes a mistake. She divulges that for the last 20 years she’s been in the 20th century, raising her daughter, a bouncing 200-year-old baby. With that admission, Geillis has the final piece of her prophecy puzzle from last week. All she’s got to do to summon a new Scottish king is kill Brianna. Mother of the Year, Claire.

    There is one other notable item in their exchange: for the first time, we get a real discussion about the mechanics of time travel, or at least how Claire perceives them. Claire tries to explain to Geillis that, no, you don’t need to sacrifice your husband to travel via the stone network. “I think it has something to do with who’s on the other side, drawing you to them,” she says. “That might be so,” Geillis admits, “but I’d just as soon have blood. A girl can’t be too careful.”

    You get the sense that the dead husband bit was always just a perk to Geillis.

    As she tries to find a way out of Geillis’ Haunted Mansion, Claire spies young Ian being hauled off into the darkness. On her way to catch up with his captors, she bumps into Jamie, newly freed by John Grey. There’s little time for a reunion, however, as they’re drawn toward some kind of island ritual that evokes memories of the witch circle at Craigh na Dun.

    Being historically bad at sneaking, Claire and Jamie are discovered, only to be saved by Willoughby. Apparently, after last week’s episode, Willoughby and Margaret Campbell’s date continued, and she was invited to these proceedings out of appreciation for her “gift.” Things have gotten serious for the two; Willoughby discloses that they plan to run off and start a life together.

    But not before we get one more of Margaret’s bizarrely on-point visions. She seems to channel Brianna for a moment before repeating the name of a nearby cave, Abandawe, where there’s another set of stone circles. As Claire figures out that Geillis plans to travel to 1968 and kill her daughter, Willoughby stays behind to defend Margaret and to kill her abusive brother who conveniently wandered up to reveal important details about the prophecy. RIP Archibald, you served your expository purpose, you scoundrel.

    Let’s Avoid the Time Warp Again
    For two people who fail miserably at stealth, Claire and Jamie are generally skilled with navigation. In short order, they find Abandawe and some real déjà vu. Claire warns Jamie that if she’s drawn through the stones, she may not be able to return. (Who’s to say how she knows?) Jamie then instructs her that she must go through the stones if anything should happen to him.

    That well-rehearsed dialogue aside, the two descend upon Geillis, in the midst of going full Gollum, and a bound-and-gagged young Ian. This particular time portal works a little differently than Craigh na Dun; it’s a shimmering pool of time goo. While Jamie works to incapacitate Geillis’ bodyguard, Claire tries to warn Geillis away from the path she’s chosen.

    Sometimes, though, warnings don’t work. Sometimes, for the sake of your child, you have to decapitate your problematic gal pal. And that’s just what Claire does, in one fell swoop. It’s an undeniably awesome moment, though it leaves Claire particularly shook. Remember the skeleton she saw back in Joe Abernathy’s office? Remember how Claire just knew that the woman had been murdered? It seems we now know why: she did the murdering. The time goo, man, it leaves a trace.

    Whatever the mechanics, the day has been saved. But … it’s been saved a bit too quickly. It’s always concerning when things are tied up neatly with 20 minutes left in the episode. Either it means we’re going to get some extended love-making or some villainous scum is about to disrupt some extended love-making.

    Sturm und Drang
    We get the former—Jamie and Claire indulge in a night of unfettered nookie aboard the Artemis—followed by an act of God. The ship is soon caught in the middle of a ferocious storm. While the rest of the gang hangs below decks, Jamie and Claire end up as the only two above deck as a monumental wave swallows the ship.

    Jamie manages to stay aboard, but Claire winds up in the drink, her hair looking as luscious and well-coiffed as ever. Thankfully, Jamie is part Scottish, part Merperson. Not only does he find his submerged wife, his kiss serves as her own personal snorkel.

    We don’t know exactly what’s happened until the camera zooms in on Jamie, face down on an unknown beach, being poked in the butt by some cherubic little girl. She runs off and Jamie crawls to another body on the beach, this one Claire, who finally decides it’s time to resuscitate herself.

    When the little girl’s quaint family arrives to inspect the bedraggled pair, we learn a couple of things. First, the Artemis and its other passengers survived; they’re marooned further down the beach. Second, we’re in Georgia, y’all!

    Welcome to the Colonies, folks, where a whole new crop of British soldiers can harangue our favorite Scotsman and Sassenach. All that’s left to do is get ready for Season 4: Outlander Takes America.

    The post Outlander Season 3 Episode 13 Recap: Eye of the Storm appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Nicole Hill 5:00 pm on 2017/12/04 Permalink
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    Outlander Season 3 Episode 12 Recap: The Bakra 

    Remember the end of last week’s episode of Outlander when everything was great and sexy and no one was in mortal peril? That did not last long. And do you know what ruins that peace? Geillis Duncan bathing in a pool of goat’s blood.

    If you have not read Voyager, the tropical lair of a woman presumed to be long-ago burned at the stake might not have been where you expected young Ian to turn up, but nevertheless, we have found him. This is Outlander, where the rules are made up and plot assumptions don’t matter.

    Everything Is Awful
    It seems Geillis, known here as the Bakra, is the ringleader of the pirates who kidnapped young Ian. Furthermore, those sapphires on Selkie Island were hers, and she’s mighty sore about one of them going missing. After toweling off her bloody skin regimen, Geillis plies young Ian with cakes and some sort of truth-serum tea. (She’s throwing off both some serious White Witch and Circe vibes.) Young Ian blurts out that his uncle Jamie took a sapphire from the island once. A small note of surprise crosses Geillis’ face at the name James Fraser. She’s clearly been set up to be sinister here, and the rest of the scene confirms that, ending with Geillis on the verge of raping the young man.

    As I said, the good times are gone.

    Meanwhile, Claire and Jamie have arrived finally in Jamaica. Fortunately, no law enforcement greets them at the docks, so it seems the intrepid Captain Leonard has not yet arrived. Instead, they’re greeted by one of Cousin Jared’s associates who invites them to a welcome gala at the new governor’s mansion.

    This moment of levity is tempered by Claire and Jamie’s journey to the slave market in search of young Ian. It is predictably gruesome and ugly and awful, and it’s doubly gut-wrenching for 20th-century Claire. Witnessing a particular bit of public cruelty on the auction block, she can’t hold in her disgust any longer and disrupts the sale. (Claire’s justified in her wrath, but this may not have been the best way to keep a low profile while her husband’s a wanted man.)

    To appease the powers that be and to rescue the slave at hand from further abuse, Jamie purchases the man in Claire’s name. They promise to free the man, Temeraire, “as soon as it’s safe to do so.” In the meantime, they ask him to circulate among escaped or freed slaves and ferret out any news of young Ian he can.

    Reunion Special
    The governor’s party provides a jarring juxtaposition to the quiet moments with Temeraire. Of course, Claire and Jamie still cut quite the figures in formalwear, even if the style of the times now requires Jamie to try to pull off a powdered wig. It’s almost like we’re back in France again because everyone looks beautiful and yet everything is absolutely terrible.

    As is custom, there are several ghosts from episodes past in attendance. For starters, do you remember Archibald Campbell and his sister, Margaret, the fortune teller who Claire tried to treat before she left for the West Indies? Well, they’re here and in the employ of Geillis—everyone is, apparently. Geillis herself makes an appearance, stalking the party like the cartoonish time-traveling villain she is.

    On the other side of the room is the new governor of Jamaica: Lord John Grey! After some pleasantries and some exchange of information (young Ian’s been kidnapped yadda yadda yadda your son, Willie, will be here next month yadda yadda yadda), Jamie notices something glistening from John Grey’s waistcoat pocket. He’s wearing the sapphire Jamie gave him. That’s so sweet, so sad, and is so not going to end well.

    While our main characters revisit many of their past foibles, Willoughby circles back to Margaret Campbell. In a tender moment in the gardens, he finds her alone and tells her what we all know: her brother is a dog and she deserves better. Their eyes meet and I find myself shipping this more than I expected.

    Claire and John Grey have their own intimate moment, in which each word from Claire sends daggers through the young man’s heart. It’s always fun to run into your ex’s presumed-dead-but-totally-alive stupid-beautiful wife.

    That interaction, however, is roughly 100 times less awkward than Claire’s ensuing conversation with Geillis. “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in the world,” Geillis greets her, before launching into how she’s still alive. Long story short: They waited to burn Geillis until she’d given birth. That gave Dougal time to bribe her way out, throw the kid in foster care, and get Geillis safely away.

    Side note: The only person, I think, who’s truly dead on this show is Dougal. Everyone else could pop up at any moment.

    Claire brings Geillis (really, Geillis saunters in with Claire trailing behind her) to see Jamie, who’s chit-chatting with John Grey. In the course of conversation, Geillis spies the sapphire hanging at his hip.

    Why Geillis so wants that gem is somewhat vague and complicated, but the three sapphires have something to do with a prophecy about the Scottish king. (She’s got a one-track mind, that woman.) She orchestrates a complex public fortune-telling and maneuvers John Grey to the front of the line so Margaret can do her prophesying with all three stones in her hand.

    Things Can Will Get Worse
    The prophecy involves something about Scotland’s next king and a 200-year-old baby. Geillis gets frustrated and makes a Benjamin Button joke, but maybe we should be concerned because we know someone fitting that description: Brianna.

    That’s drama for another day though, because we’re up to our eyeballs in it here: Captain Leonard finally arrives, as does Temeraire. While our crew flees the party and their Type-A pursuer, Temeraire shares what he’s learned from the other slaves in attendance. They’ve seen someone fitting young Ian’s description. He’s at Geillis’ place, obviously. Claire and Jamie drop off Temeraire at an enclave of escaped slaves just in time for Captain Leonard and his men to show up and take Jamie into custody. Weeeee.

    With one episode left in the season, it looks like it’s all up to Claire to dispose of Geillis, rescue young Ian, and, subsequently, free Jamie. Just another day in paradise.

    The post Outlander Season 3 Episode 12 Recap: The Bakra appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Nicole Hill 4:00 pm on 2017/11/27 Permalink
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    Outlander Season 3 Episode 11 Recap: Uncharted 

    Welcome, friends, to a bonkers hour of Outlander. In the opening scenes of “Uncharted,” it’s clear Claire has had better days. We find her lolling about on her makeshift raft, just reaching the shore of an island of undetermined identity. She’s dirty, wet, marooned, and, once more, husbandless.

    “I had no idea where or how I would find Jamie,” she says in voiceover. This would be more concerning if it were not already an alarming pattern in Claire’s life.

    The situation, nevertheless, is concerning. Claire tromps around this unknown island, hunting for some sort of fresh water or some sign of civilization. (Unfortunately, the first one she finds is a colony of fire ants.) I’m sure the memory of her nice, plumbing-laden home in Boston does nothing but haunt her as she tries to suck water from every plant she passes and wakes up with a perfectly enormous snake trespassing upon her person.

    Still, Claire is one to persevere. On the plus side, the three days that pass with no human interaction, I believe, is the longest she’s ever gone without a fusty man of the establishment explaining something to her. This realization must also dawn on Claire as, finally, she passes out on the threshold of some (hopefully) friendly island-dweller’s doorstep.

    She awakens, bound to a bed, with a woman, later identified as Mamacita, fussing over her bug-bitten legs. When Claire next wakes, the fusser standing over her is a shabby Englishman, encouraging her to drink some water—but not too fast.

    “I know,” Claire replies. “I’m a doctor.” Her host’s first reaction, naturally: “A woman?” Some things never change.

    Despite the fact that his best friend seems to be a coconut, Father Fogden does provide some important exposition. She’s on Saint-Domingue! She knows where she is! (Though both we and she know the island as Haiti.) Claire’s two days from Jamaica, if only the priest and “Coco” the coconut will send her on her way, which they’re reluctant to do.

    Coconut Mather and the rather salty Mamacita, the mother of his departed wife, spend dinner arguing over whether Claire should stay, go, or just die already, who cares. After a heart-to-heart on the topic of lost love, Claire persuades him to consult the coconut in the morning and (again hopefully) take her to a port. Calling upon the acting chops she honed on her roadshow with Murtaugh all those episodes ago, Claire puts on an elaborate discussion with the coconut.

    We will never know if her performance was successful, for it is interrupted by Mamacita’s frantic cries. A prized goat has been roasted by a “Chinese sailor.” That rings some bells for someone who only recently set sail with Mr. Willoughby. Eager to see her go, Mamacita frantically tells Claire where she found the sailors and the ship, and off the Sassenach goes into the jungle with vague directions to turn right and go straight.

    We come to a beach where Fergus, Jamie, and crew have decamped to fix damage that occurred to their ship somehow. That same somehow claimed the life of the prickly Captain Raines. (Dying off-screen: You’d think he was Frank or something.)

    Unfortunately, Claire, only recently on the brink of death, does not run faster than the repair job. She arrives just as the crew has boarded the newly fixed ship. Luckily, she’s got a mirror in her pocket with which she’s able to attract Jamie’s attention and keen eyesight.

    The emotional music swell tells you what you need to know: a dramatic reunion is in store! Claire and Jamie meet on the beach, lips first. One of Jamie’s old prison friends (whose name I am incapable of retaining) swoops in with the line of the episode: “Mac Dubh’s wife turns up in the unlikeliest of places, does she not?”

    While Mr. Willoughby stitches up Claire’s scraped arm, she and Jamie talk shop about how to avoid the ambitious young Captain Leonard and his pesky arrest warrants. It’s in this conversation that Jamie reminds us that we’re out here looking for young Ian. (For a hot minute, I’d forgotten.)

    He also floats a proposal to Claire: he’s in such a romantic mood upon their reunion that he wants to throw a wedding for Fergus and Marsali. Claire knows just the kooky priest to do the job, at least once Mr. Willoughby brings a peace offering for his pilfered goat.

    As she helps the bride get ready for the wedding, Claire finally finds a way to bond with Marsali, who has as much Jenny Fraser in her personality as Laoghaire. Claire delivers a micro-talk on the birds and the bees—and the best way to prevent baby birds and bees. “Maybe you’re not the devil after all,” Marsali admits. Aw.

    The wedding itself is a touching ceremony—despite Father Fogden’s preoccupation with whether Fergus lost anything besides his hand—that formally brings Fergus and Marsali into the Fraser clan. Furthermore, no fiends interrupt the proceedings and no danger lurks in the shadows.

    Claire and Jamie’s separation resolved within two episodes, what a world we live in! Dosed on the world’s sexiest penicillin injection and full up on Mr. Willoughby’s turtle-soup aphrodisiac, Claire celebrates with a rowdy romp in the captain’s quarters with her husband. For now, the worries awaiting them in Jamaica are less pressing than other more stimulating marital relations.

    As it turns out, rarely has Claire had a better day.

    The post Outlander Season 3 Episode 11 Recap: Uncharted appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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