Snapshots - #42: Thor: Ragnarok, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, LBJ

Thor: Ragnarok (2017), (♦♦♦♦½): Thor has saved earth twice by now and has, for the last two years, wandered the universe searching for infinity stones. He hasn't found any. He has, however, become prisoner of an enemy of Asgard, Surtur, who tells Thor that his visions of Asgard engulfed in flames is a premonition of Ragnarok—the destruction of Asgard, which is already in motion. Thor frees himself and arrives at home to find Loki sitting on the throne, passing as Odin, and neglecting his duties to protect the Nine Realms. With Odin's exile, Asgard's enemies have been reassembling, but Odin's death may just free Hela, a goddess against whom neither Thor nor Loki are enough.
It was in Thor: The Dark World where Loki, an antagonist, first threatened to steal the show. He became the villain that Marvel fandom loves to hate. While Loki is at his most charming in this film, the director, with the help of a sparkling screenplay, has very much exploited the great chemistry of t…

My Reading Year 2017 in Retrospect

This year I managed to read 17 books (8 of them published in 2017; one major award-winner and a 2000-year-old classic), meanwhile juggling quality TV series and the latest movies. Four themes emerged in my reading/TV watching throughout the year. Below are the stats of my 2017 reading year: 

Books read: 17
          Fiction: 14               Nonfiction: 2            DNF: 1               Re-reads: 0 

Genres: (some of these overlap)
Historical Fiction: 6                                Popular Science/Memoir: 1                 Classics: 5
Contemporary Literature: 4                    Thrillers/Espionage: 1         
History/Biography: 1                               Mystery/Suspense: 2

Best book of the year: Best Books I Read in 2017 
Favorite cover: Stolen Beauty by Laurie Lico Albanese
Favorite new authors (to me): Josephine Tey; George Saunders
Most thrilling (unputdownable): Conclave by Robert Harris
Most puzzling ending: Minds of Winter by Ed O'Loughlin
(Truth?) is Stranger than Fiction: The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
The juiciest: The Twelve Caesars by Gayo Suetonio (Translated by Robert Graves)
Most beautifully written: The Beautiful and Damned by Francis Scott Fitzgerald
Most memorable characters
          Best ensemble cast: Lincoln In the Bardo; Minds of Winter; The Twelve Caesars
          Beautiful divas: Adele Bloch-Bauer (Stolen Beauty); Gloria Gilbert (The Beautiful and Damned)
          The twisted: Tiberius, Caligula, and Nero (The Twelve Caesars)
          The Steadfast Leaders: President Lincoln (Lincoln In the Bardo); Jacopo Cardinal Lomeli (Conclave)
Had the greatest impact: The Twelve Caesars by Gayo Suetonio (Translated by Robert Graves)


  1. Happy New Year, Carmen, and I hope you have a good year of reading and viewing. I look forward to reading about it!

    1. Happy New Year, Dorothy! Thanks. I hope I have a good reading and viewing year as well. :-)

  2. Happy New Year, Carmen! I hope you discover lots of great new books, movies, and TV series in 2018!

    1. Happy New Year, Kate! Thanks. I hope you have a great year all around. I wish you all the best in your new business venture. :-)

  3. Looks like you had a lot of fun with your reading in 2017 - I wish you more in 2018! :-)

    1. I did. Thanks. I only wish I could read more while still watching lots of TV series and movies. :-)

  4. Happy New Year and hope your 2018 is as good.
    Lynn :D

  5. Happy 2018 Carmen! Wishing you a great year ahead. Nice analysis, in particular you have me interested in checking out Josephine Tey's books. Hmm.

    1. Happy 2018 as well, Susan, for you and yours! Thanks, hoping that you too have a great year ahead, reading-wise as well as any other area of your personal life. If you are interested in Josephine Tey, I really recommend The Daughter of Time. It is relatively short and very intriguing.

  6. Hurray for The Twelve Caesars! I especially enjoyed perusing the categories you created. Best wishes for reading and viewing in the New Year!

    1. Hooray indeed; it was delightfully entertaining. Thanks, Judy. Hopefully my reading will improve as well.


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