50/50 Challenge: Book 4, Movie 3

Per my earlier posts, I have taken on the fiftyfifty.me challenge to read 50 books and watch 50 movies in 2012!  I’m a little behind ‘schedule’ to finish all of the 50/50 this year but with all the changes taking place in my life, I’m just going to try and do my best…and enjoy it along the way:)

Book 4 

The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It by Tila J. Mazzeo


If you love champagne, you should read this book.  It’s not as much about the Veuve Clicquot (Barbe-Nicole Clicquot nee Ponsardin) as you might think because there is little evidence of her personal history like letters, journals, etc.  Instead Mazzeo pieces the Widow’s personality together with French history, international business trends, and company ledgers, as well as local Champagne region tales.   As a result, the book is a bit..dry.  Pun intended.  Nevertheless, I learned quite a bit about the bubbly.  Did you know the popping sound of the cork can indicate how good a bottle of bubbly is made?  And that, Dom Perignon was not actually the inventor of champagne, but more of a ‘spokesman’ for the industry’s advertising scheme?  The book is full of fun little facts like that.

Movie 3

The Help 

Amazing.  The acting was perfect, not too much, not too little.  It was real without being too preachy or stretching too far.  No one was portrayed as perfect or a hero, but just themselves.  That’s often the best way to tell a story in my opinion.  Emma Stone is a new favorite.  Of course, Viola Davis.  Wow.  Then there was the icing on the cake: Allison Janney!  I have been a huge fan of hers since the CJ Cregg/West Wing days, so it was a delight to see her in that role.  I actually teared up at this movie, which is a lot for me, as I watched it on a bus from NYC to DC.  Yes, I teared up in public.  That’s how good this movie played for me.


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