Tag Archives: autobiographical

‘The Glass Castle’ (2017) Movie — Powerful, Haunting & Heartning.

by Anura Guruge

Click to access the Amazon Prime Video listing.

Click image for IMDb.com listing.

The autobiography the movie is about. Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeannette_Walls

What a story!

Wow. What a story.

This movie is all about the story. Nothing else. It is said to be ‘real life’ and true to life. At the end they include some ‘home movie clips’ and a video made in the late 1980s. That all adds together. I don’t think she embellished her story. She probably didn’t have to.

Wow. It is so disturbing. And I know, alas, that stuff like this happens. Breaks my heart. Wish I could help each and every child who is suffering as such.

I am going to buy the book. I want my 13-year old to read it. It will do her good.

The movie had, unfortunately, some critical gaps. Rather vague on how the kids started going to school in Welch, West Virginia and how the parents supported them in that endeavor. basically nothing in the movie about that. That intrigues I.

Also how the eldest, ‘Lori’, made it to New York. I am sure all of this has by now been documented and treaden over. It was all new to I since I do not follow trends, best sellers, book clubs or book lists. So, I didn’t know how famous this book was. But, now I do.

I totally recommend the movie. Must watch. In the end very heartening — folks with the gumption, talent & fortitude to overcome seemingly impossible adversity..

Related posts:
Category ‘Art’.

by Anura Guruge


James Michener’s “Miracle In Seville” — A Marian Miracle, A Treatise On Bullfighting & Probably Autobiographical.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to access the Amazon listing for this book.

An intriguing book. Unlike anything else I have read from the great and incomparable James A. Michener. For a start it is absurdly short for a Michener book. My version, with lots of full-page illustrations, and somewhat large print, only runs to 122-pages. But, one heck of a yarn — though those that are extremely averse to Marian worship and/or bullfighting probably will not get very far with it.

I pick up any and all Michener books I see being given away — the incredible, free ‘Swap Shop‘ at our local dump (a.k.a. recycling center) a favorite and lucrative source. If it is a duplicate, and most of them are, as I now have nearly all of his important works, I give them away. I must have picked this up at the ‘Swap Shop’. It has been in my ‘Michener Corner’ for a fairly long time. (See Below) Earlier this week I wanted a quick read while awaiting a paperback copy of Michener’s “The Covenant“. I have multiple copies of it in hardback, but those are too heavy and unwieldy to read, especially in bed.

I have never attended a bullfight and don’t know much about it other than the obvious basic. This book was encyclopedic in it treatment of that subject — which is the backdrop for the story.

It is about an improbable Marian miracle, As such it does get tedious in parts …

I think it is autobiographical. I know he spent much time in Spain researching for his blockbuster “Iberia“. The level of detail re. bullfighting is quite amazing — and with all the Spanish lingo.

The illustrations, by John Fulton, an American bullfighter, who was living in Spain, are quite impressive — though a tad short on great.

If you get a chance you should have a look at this book.

The ‘Michener Corner’ in my study.
Separate from all the other books.

Related Posts:
Check Category ‘Books.
Search on ‘Michener.

by Anura Guruge

‘The Greatest Showman’ 2017 Movie: Great Entertainment, But Factually Bunkum.

by Anura Guruge

Click image to access the IMDb.com listing for this movie.

The official trailer on YouTube.

A 70% full theater, at a Thursday afternoon 4:30pm matinee, at the “Regal 10” in Concord, burst into appreciative applause when the end credits came on. People liked it and it was easy to do so. P.T. Barnum would have been happy, he made a lot of people, including quite a few kids, v. happy — after Christmas on a bitterly cold day.

Great yarn, superbly told — and again P.T. would have been happy.

You can watch it (like most good movies) at different levels. It does address some social issues and it was interesting to see folks protesting his circus 120-years ago — given the protest endured by the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus, which eventually resulted in them literally folding their tent, sadly, this year. Ironic that this movie came out this year — 7-months after the last performance of his namesake circus (and we did attend one of the very last shows, having been annual fans for nearly 10-years).

Prior to this movie I did NOT know much about P.T. Barnum other than his fame as a showman, creator of a circus and some of the famous saying attributed to him, in particular: “there is a sucker born every minute“. So, I had assumed, per the billings, that this was meant to be autobiographical.

Early on I started to get uneasy. Some stuff did NOT gel. There was an implication that the word ‘circus’ was not common currency c. 1835. That bothered me since I knew that the Romans, of antiquity, had their circus. Then there was this Carlyle character that became his partner. Well have YOU heard of a circus called “Barnum & Carlyle“? Of course you have NOT because there never was one. It was “Barnum & Bailey“. There is NO mention of Bailey in the movie.

So, when I got home I did a quick butchers of Wikipedia. Oh, dear! The movie is nowhere CLOSE to accurate. SHAME. P.T. was even more of an intriguing character than the one portrayed. That is a shame.

So, while I enjoyed the movie I now feel ‘cheated’ — BUT Barnum would approve. C’est la vie.

Definitely worth watching. But keep in mind it is NOT a true story — one that borrows SOME elements from reality.

Related posts:
>> Murder on the Orient Express.
>> Dunkirk.

Search on ‘movie’.

by Anura Guruge

Weekly Calendar Based On Moon Phases (As We Did In Ceylon In The 1960s).

Lunar_eclipse_April_15_2014_California_Alfredo_Garcia_Jr1.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail . .
by Anura Guruge

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**** Check CATEGORY ‘Astronomy’ or search ‘moon’, ‘eclipse’ & ‘blood red’ for other posts >>>>


Click to ENLARGE. Phases of the Moon for November 2015.

Did you notice that I have been on a 6-week vacation? Well, I have which is why you saw so many posts on this blog, and others, e.g., Papam & Lumix FZ1000, of late. Yes, I took 6 weeks off from writing any books. That is the longest break I have taken, as an author of books, in 7 years. I had got into the habit of starting a new book WHILE the previous one was being published or proofed. But I decided to take a break this time. Given the hard deadline that I had for the ‘Pope Francis Visit to U.S.‘ book — i.e., having it published before the pope arrived — I had been writing like a crazy person for 6 weeks. I realized that that wasn’t much fun.

Well the vacation is over. This week I am going to start writing again — and you will notice that I don’t consider this, i.e., all my blog posts, writing! Writing to me, these days, is that of writing books.

I am going to TRY writing two books, on two very different subjects, in parallel. One about ‘Vatican intrigues’ and the other, autobiographical, of ‘growing up a Buddhist’. So yes, I will be writing one book about Catholicism and the other about Buddhism. Makes sense right? Well the plan is 2 days on one, 2 days on the other and then 3 DAYS off to do other things, including the blogs and Websites.

My plan was to take Saturday, Sunday and Monday off. Then work Tuesday & Wednesday on the Buddhism book and Thursday & Friday on the Vatican book.

Then a friend, a reformed Jew, who I have known for decades, suggested that I should TAKE OFF Friday, Saturday and Sunday — so as to ‘cover all bases’!

That amused me. Friday, Saturday & Sunday have NO significance in Buddhism. The Buddhist calendar is based on the phases of the Moon.

In the 1960s we in Ceylon actually scrapped the Western calendar and went to a phases of the Moon based calendar. Since we call the full Moon Poya, this calendar was called the ‘Poya-calendar‘ 0r more commonly the ‘P-calendar‘ (and PLEASE no urination jokes). So the 4 days of the month corresponding to the 4 phases were ‘P-days’. The day prior to those were ‘P-1 Days’. So ‘P-Days’ were the equivalent of Sundays and ‘P-1’ was ‘Saturday’. P+1 = Monday. Yes?

Well NOT as simple as you would think. For the dates for the phases used in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) could be +/- 1 day OFF from those used in the rest of the World and MOREOVER, as you can see from the above image for November 25, the 4 phases do not happen exactly a week apart. So we also had to have P+6.

My adoptive father was one of the architects of this P-calendar. So I got to see it evolve, first hand. We used it in Ceylon for a number of years. I am actually going to write about it in my Buddhist book. So I am not going to talk much more about it.

So I was thinking. My 3 days off. Should I do: Saturday & Sunday (which will work well with the kids) and the the P-days? Might be neat. Will have the advantage that it will FORCE me to pay attention to the phases of the Moon.

Friday has NO meaning for me. So this could be neat. I will let you know.