Giveaway Winners + Colin Firth + Stuff Not as Important as Colin Firth

Did you hear that Where She Went got a starred review from Publisher's Weekly? Hurrah! (And of course it did!) The randomly selected winners of the advanced copy giveaway are:

Mandi Barnett
Ashelynn Sanford

Please send your mailing address to steph AT stephanieperkins.com. Thanks!

There's not a lot happening over here. I'm under the weather, so my last few days have consisted of:


YAAAAAAAY! Mr. Darcy won an Oscar!

I was happy Colin Firth won, because: (A) he deserved it, (B) he always gives a great acceptance speech, and (C) I'm still bummed that he didn't get it last year for A Single Man. What a GORGEOUS film that was!

But I'm always a little surprised when people talk about the Oscars telecast being boring or horrible or cheesy, because, well, yeah. Isn't that the charm? I love it all: the beautiful dresses, the uncomfortable pairings of presenters, the rambling speeches, and especially those tiny surprises, like this year when Kirk Douglas appeared and out-sparkled all of the young whippersnappers.

Random factoid: My husband and I make a delicious cheese fondue once a year, every year, on Oscar night! It's pretty much our Super Bowl.


Scary and Beautiful

I gobbled this one up. I can't recommend it to everyone — the subject matter, kidnapping and Stockholm syndrome, is way too grim for some readers — but anyone who likes their reading on the dark side should try it.

The language and setting are fantastic. (It should come as no surprise to anyone who has read Anna, that I prefer my books with a strong setting!) The novel takes place in the sandy Australian desert, the harsh and terrifying and beautiful middle of nowhere, and the landscape, flora, and fauna play major roles in the unfolding of the plot.

Lucy has written another book Flyaway, and I'm eager to track it down. I love these Aussie imports. There are SO many brilliant writers living there: Margo Lanagan, Markus Zusak, Jaclyn Moriarty, Garth Nix, Juliet Marillier. It always makes me sad to think about the wonderful books from other countries that I'm missing out on, because they have to be translated first, and America isn't so interested in translating novels. Which is lame and embarrassing.

Oh! I should also mention that Stolen was a Printz honor this year. Awesome!

(3) 2005's BLEAK HOUSE


Oh, man. I liked Little Dorrit (2008), but I *loved* Bleak House.

Anna Maxwell Martin was superb as Esther, and it was great to see her in a starring role (she played Cassandra in Becoming Jane and Bessy in North and South). But I was especially entertained by Burn Gorman's Mr. Guppy, who stole the spotlight every time he walked on camera with his self-importance and stumbling awkwardness.

Mr. Dickens sure knew how to create a character, eh?

We should probably not discuss how I was strangely attracted to Mr. Guppy.

The miniseries is a whopping eight hours long, but I recommend it for any fellow worshiper of British period dramas. The acting, the sets, and the costumes are absolutely top-notch. Thank you, Andrew Davies, for writing the screenplay to, like, everything worth watching.

Have you read or seen anything good lately?


  1. Oh yes, Colin Firth was a delight! I really, really wanted him to dance.

    I also loved the autotune, but my mom totally did not get it.

    Hope you feel better soon!

    (Interesting spam word: "nogrit"...)

  2. I was worried this post was going to be mostly about Colin Firth because I have been thinking about how I want to do a post dedicated to just Colin Firth.
    I thought The Academy Awards were lovely this year. I loved James Franco's grandma I thought for sure she was going to be laughing to hard to get her line out. But she pulled it off wonderfully.

  3. I enjoyed the movie The Romantics.

    Please Ignore Vera Dietz is one of my favorite recent reads.

    And does this mean that both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor were taken by HBM's? I don't know...is Bale British?

  4. I LOVE Anna Maxwell Martin, def need to check that series out! Hope you're feeling better!

  5. Anonymous1:52 PM GMT-5

    I recently finished The Sisters Brothers, a new (awesome) black-comic Western novel. Also, a little blue-striped bird told me to read A Tale Dark and Grim, which I enjoyed (see Goodreads for my review).

    I didn't enjoy any of it as much as I enjoyed Franco saying, "Congratulations, nerds" after the technical awards. So. Damn. Funny.

  6. Bleak House is outstanding, but for me it is Gillian Anderson who steals it. Her performance is as far removed from Sculley as humanly possible.

    Much love to Colin Firth as well. Gorgeous and a gentleman as well.

  7. Anonymous1:53 PM GMT-5

    Lisa, YES! Bale is British! He's one of the H-est of the HBMs, if you ask me!

  8. Lisa & petit-chou: Bale is specifically Welsh, I believe?

  9. Colin Firth is and always will be one of the most amazing actors ever! (IMO)

    So, I've never seen Bleak House, but now I may have to, because Mr. Guppy is played by Burn Gorman, who just happens to play one of my favorite chracters on Torchwood. <3<3<3

    Thanks for the recc!

  10. I was so excited that Colin Firth won! I loved THE KING'S SPEECH. My Oscar ballot did pretty well this year because I picked KING'S SPEECH and INCEPTION pretty much across the board. He really does give wonderful, gracious, witty acceptance speeches (and I would rather have liked to see him express his 'stirrings' to dance!).

  11. Have you seen or read Never Let Me Go? I watched the movie last night and it was sad, beautiful, poignant... Oh man. It was, for lack of a better word, awesome.

  12. The autotune parody was hilarious!! And I love Colin Firth, maybe a little too much.

    My favourite part of the Oscars was that my cousin was nominated :D In the sound mixing and sound editing categories for True Grit. He didn't win, but hearing Matthew McConaughey say his name was pretty awesome!

  13. Stolen is a fantastic book! I've heard about FLYAWAY as well but I haven't been able to get it yet.... I think Scholastic is on the way of publishing it in the US? Not sure on that...

  14. Yay for Colin and yay for all the lovely dresses - by far my favourite part of the Oscars :)

    If you love British period drama you MUST watch Downton Abby. It is utterly brilliant and there are many HBM in it and lots of scandalous goings on. I can't wait for series two.

    Any Human Heart is also very good and had Matthew Macfayden in it.

  15. (Referencing Kristan's comment) I wanted Colin Firth to dance, too :)The King's Speech was the only film up for Best Picture that I'd gotten around to seeing, so I was pretty thrilled when it won and I could pretend I understood what was going on. I love watching the Oscars.

    I also love Bleak House, and I lol-ed for real at your caption about Mr. Guppy. Downton Abbey was on Masterpiece theater a few weekends ago, and it was really good.

    And this comment is already really long, but I keep meaning to tell you that I saw Creepy Uncle at the Louvre in January:


    Thank you for pointing him out last year--I might not have taken the time to properly appreciate him if I hadn't known he was there.

  16. Sorry you've been under the weather....Me too! I also read a great book while sick (hint: it was about a chick named Anna) : ) I sent you a potentially over-the-top e-mail about it. Here's to feeling better, HBMs and the awesome sunshine we had today.

  17. YES, YES, COLIN FIRTH!! I am so proud of him, he did a great job and I agree--his acceptance speeches are always so beautiful to listen to. I personally think Inception should have won Best Picture though. :)

    Congratulations to the winners! They are very lucky indeed.



  18. I was SO HAPPY when Colin won! He was totally snubbed last year.

    Also, it's funny you mentioned "Bleak House" because another friend of mine just watched it and recommended it to me! Looks like I have some serious TV watching to do!

  19. Melissa Down Under8:07 PM GMT-5

    I love Colin Firth, so happy he won an Oscar!

    I also loved Lucy Christpoher's book 'Stolen', but I should point out that she isn't actually Australian, she is British, but lived in Australia for a while ;). I thought she did a brilliant job of describing the Australian desert. It truly is as beautiful, and magically terrifying as she portrays it to be!

  20. Anonymous9:30 PM GMT-5

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  21. I recently read "Balefire" by Cate Tiernan and it was amazing. This four book series has absolutely gorgeous setting: New Orleans. I defo recommend "Balefire" to any YA reader. This is my blog entry about it:


    I also did one on "Anna and the French Kiss" too!

  22. I love your recommendations, especially for film adaptations of classics.

    I love that Mr. Darcy won.

  23. I hope you get to feeling better. I was feeling not so good myself about Two weeks ago.
    I enjoyed the Oscars also! There were so many gorgeous gowns this year! I was in purple pretty dress heaven! I may have to steal the cheese fondue idea. We have a fondue pot that we have never used, I think its been in the cabinet going on three years now. :/
    "Stolen" sounds interesting I'll check it out. I've been working my way through Sarah Addison Allen's books right now. I finished "Garden Spells" last night. It was wonderful but I think I actually liked "The Sugar Queen" more, but they were both really great. "The girl who chased the moon" is next on the list. :)

  24. Shake me up, Judy!

    (and feel better)

  25. I love Bleak House! The casting seems to be "are you a British actor who isn't in Harry Potter? Please, join us". And the catchphrases - can't decide between "shake me up, Judy" and "Sir Leicester Dedlock...baronet".

    Have you seen the 2009 Wuthering Heights? Burn Gorman's in it, and Tom Hardy's Heathcliff is amazing.

    Feel better soon.

  26. I was so happy that Firth one. Mr. Darcy has had my heart for years!

    by the way, same Katie who emailed you. and guess what? My lame-o library (they rarely have good YA books) has ANNA! I finish it- eventually, it's checked out AND on hold. You have a very popular book!

  27. so glad to hear SOMEONE'S opinion on Bleak House! I've just finished ep. 11 of Little Dorrit and I love it, and I have never heard anyone say a thing about Bleak House.

    On the list now, for sure!

  28. Colin Firth was so fantastic! I loved his speech, it was easily my favourite. So happy for him! I happy danced.

    If you want more of Burn Gorman - check out Torchwood. He's one of the main characters for the first two seasons. :)

  29. Yay! I LOVE Colin Firth. If he wsn't married already, I'd totally go for it!

  30. I watched Bleak House in a period of 3 days my junior year of high school.

  31. I'm fashionably late to the party, but whatever.

    OMG COLIN FIRTH! He will always be Mr. Darcy to me. And yes, I love the Oscars too. I'm not convinced about the cheese fondue, though...

    So, books: Stolen is so amazing. Really enjoyed it.

    I finally got around to reading Speak and North of Beautiful recently, which were both awesome!

    Also, I have another book rec for you: The Museum of Mary Child by Cassandra Golds. You might not be able to find it because I'm pretty sure she's Aussie, but WOW! It's this weird, kind of creepy fairytale. LOVED IT!

  32. Add Melina Marchetta (Jellicoe Road) to your list of amazing Australian authors. Ok, I promise I didn't plan that alliteration...

  33. Oh, thanks for your comment! So nice to see your name there :) I have been wanting to see Little Dorrit and Bleak House for a while now!! I'll definitely be checking them out now!

  34. Dude. Guess what? I had apple-crunch-peanut-butter-fudge-sauce on top crepes for dinner tonight. I felt kinship with St. Clair.

  35. Hi Stephanie,

    I wrote the "So You Want to Write a Novel" video you posted a couple months back, and I just wanted to thank you for posting it on your blog. Sorry I'm so late in finding it!

    I'm so glad you and your readers liked it -- it's been a huge thrill to see the response.

    David Kazzie

  36. I loved the Kings Speech, I would recommend it to anyone.

    Just wanted you to know that a 57 year old father of 4 girls (one of whom is Kiersten White) absolutely loves ‘Anna and the French Kiss’. I so hope that they make a movie of it! The story is wonderful. Keep following the dream.

    Pat White