Summer is well and truly in full swing!
For many the summer season involves, music festivals, ice cream cones, long sunny days and maybe even longer nights. Whatever you’re up to during the summer holidays nothing beats reading a great book… or two!
Serena – Ron Rash (RRP £8.99)
About: Newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton begin their married life in the mountains of North Carolina. It’s 1929 and the Great Depression has brought the country to a standstill. Greed has forced them to the mountains and it’s greed that spurs them on. The couple do everything in their power to ensure that nothing stands in the way of their timber empire. Serena proves herself equal to any hard working man. The power-hungry couple soon discover that Serna cannot bear children. When we learn that George has fathered an illegitimate child, the story propels into a tale of shocking twists and turns, that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Trivia: Due to be released as a major motion picture starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, September 2013.
Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks (RRP £7.99)
About: In 1910 a young Stephen Wraysford arrives in France. Stephen embarks on a love affair with Isabelle Azaire, the wife of his host family. From this moment on we follow Stephen through the horrors of love and the First World War. With a palpable desire to survive, Stephen witnesses the comrades he has grown to love become disheartened, maimed and shadows of their former selves. Sixty years later, Stephen’s granddaughter discovers his encrypted diaries and continues his quest to keep his promise to a dying man. This story of love, war and friendship gives the reader a great sense of what life truly was like in the trenches.
Atonement – Ian McEwan (RRP £8.99)
About: When thirteen year old Briony Tallis witnesses a fleeting moment of flirtation and desire between her older sister Celia and Robbie, the servant’s son, her mind races. Celica and Robbie become victims of Briony’s childish imagination. When Briony and Celia’s visiting cousin is sexually assaulted within the grounds of their estate, Briony convinces everyone that Robbie is the culprit. Celia does not believe these accusations and her relationship with her family falls apart. The story flicks between Robbie, Celia and Briony’s lives. While Robbie and Celia lives are turned upside down by the war and the rape allegations, we watch as Briony spends her time attempting to atone for the crime and sins she committed during her youth.
Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn (RRP £7.99)
About: It’s the morning of Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Instead of presents, hugs and kisses, the beautiful Amy vanishes into thin air. With numerous signs of a struggle in the couple’s house, Nick becomes the prime suspect. To make matters worse, Amy’s only friend tells the police that Amy was scared of Nick in the lead up to her disappearance. As Nick struggles to deny all of these claims and accusations, he exhibits inappropriate and odd behaviour. Worst of all…Nick lies to the police in attempt to prove his innocence. A fast-paced, intricate and extremely clever, original plot, Gone Girl is the novel of summer 2013! Trivia: Reese Witherspoon has bought the film rights to the book and plans to star in the film.
UPDATE: According to the Hollywood Reporter, Rosamund Pike is to play Amy Dunne in the movie adaptation. Read more here: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/rosamund-pike-star-david-finchers-593245
The Great Gatsby – F.Scott Fitzgerald (RRP varies on edition)
About: Welcome to the 1920’s. Make sure to hold onto your hats Old Sports, it’s a bumpy ride! Nick Carraway introduces us to the glittering, sensational and glamorous residents of Long Island. Self-made millionaire Jay Gatsby welcomes Nick to his elite world of money, drinking and partying. A tale of love and tragedy intertwined within the glamour of the “New” and “Old” rich of America. We follow one man’s pursuit of love, wealth and happiness. This is a MUST read novel! If you haven’t already, have a look at my Great Gatsby themed posts here: https://vanessataaffe.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/the-great-gatsby-part-1-fashion/
Let me know your essential summer reads in the comments below!
Like the fashion and jewellery the music in The Great Gatsby did not disappoint! Jay Z, Beyoncé, Lana Del Ray, Emile Sande, Kanye West, Florence and the Machine, to name but a few, all appear on the films soundtrack.
Even with all these big names appearing on the soundtrack, there has been a lot of online criticism about the soundtrack. Many bloggers and reviews complained that the songs were too “2013” and modern to fit with the 1920’s atmosphere portrayed onscreen. I have to say at points during the beginning of the film I was starting to agree with the critics. Jay Z and Kanye rapping over pictures of 1920’s New York just didn’t seem right.
However, as the film progressed the music became an essential ingredient to storyline as we watched the drama unfold.
There were two cover versions on the soundtrack, both with Beyoncé connections. The first was Emile Sande’s cover of Beyoncé’s hit “Crazy In Love”. Emile’s version really replicated the 1920’s with a jazzy Charleston vibe.
Beyoncé controversially covered Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black”. Personally I loved this version! It’s sensual and full of sass, done to typical Beyoncé perfection.
Lana Del Ray’s hauntingly hypnotic “Young and Beautiful” gives Beyoncé’s cover a run for best song on the album. Del Ray’s song was seamlessly woven into the middle of the film. An excellent choice!
Here’s a full listing of the tracks on The Great Gatsby Soundtrack [Deluxe Edition].
- 100$ Bill – Jay Z
- Back to Black – Beyoncé & Andre 3000
- Young and Beautiful – Lana Del Ray
- Love is Blindness – Jack White
- Crazy In love (Kid Koala Version) – Emile Sande and The Bryan Ferry Orchestra
- Bang Bang – will.i.am
- A Little Party Never Killed Noboday (All We Got) – Fegies, QTip & Goon Rock
- Love Is The Drug – Bryan Ferry and The Bryan Ferry Orchestra
- Heart’s A Mess – Gotye
- Where The Wind Blows – Coco O
- Green Light – Green Light
- No Church In The Wild ft Frank Ocean – Jay Z & Kanye West
- Over The Love – Florence and the Machine
Let me know what your favourite song from the film was.
Part two of my Great Gatsby inspired posts is all about the jewels! You would be hard pressed not to notice the HUGE sparklers in each scene, most notably any scene with Carey Mulligan or Elizabeth Debicki.
However, it wasn’t just the ladies dripping with diamonds and pearls, the men were also decked out with remarkable cufflinks and rings. Who could provide such stunning jewellery I hear you ask? Why, Tiffany’s of course!
The iconic jewellery house, of which F. Scott Fitzgerald was a customer, worked together with the film’s designers to create each bespoke piece. Some of the pieces used in the film were part of Tiffany’s original 1920’s collection and the rest inspired by the original collection.
The most remarkable piece from the film is Daisy’s headpiece come tiara, which she wears to Gatsby’s party. According to Tiffany’s website this stunning headpiece will set you back a mere €200,000.
The Jazz Age Glamour Collection showcases some of the pieces featured in the film like this beautiful ring and bracelet pearl combo that Daisy wears along with the headpiece.
Not to be outdone, Jay Gatsby’s cufflinks, all custom-made for the film, contained the initials J.G.
Gatsby’s signature ring contained the same initials however it was surround by a daisy motif. All together now, “Awwwhhh!”
The headpiece Daisy wears to lunch is simple and elegant, accentuating her iconic 1920’s bob.
Sadly, I couldn’t find an image of the original ring worn by Daisy in the film but Tiffany’s have created a Daisy ring inspired by the film.
The pearls featured in the film varied from single and drop pearl earrings, to rows of perfect pearls necklaces.
For more pieces and information about Tiffany and Co’s Jazz Age Glamour Collection head over to The Tiffany’s Website: http://www.tiffany.com/Shopping/Category.aspx?cid=2605758&mcat=148206
I don’t know about anyone else but my jewellery collection is seriously lacking!!