Friday, September 21, 2012

A few of my favorite things

The role of Maria in The Sound of Music was one of my first big time performances as a singer. It is still one of my favorite musicals. Even after I moved on to singing opera professionally I went out of my way to perform in this musical. It's one of my favorite things.

Oklahoma, another musical in which I performed, was one of my LEAST favorite things for a very long time. In fact, if I never heard 'Oh, what a beautiful morning!' ever again I was perfectly content. Lets just say when the guy who sings the role of Curly cannot carry a tune in a bucket with a lid on it it makes for a miserable three week run. Then someone sent me a DVD of this guy in the role.

He's one of my favorite things too. 



We all have favorite things and one of my very favorite things is BOOKS !! Books are my crack. (So is chocolate, but that's another blog entirely.) I love 'em! I love to read them. I love to see them on the shelves all over my house. I love new ones. I love ones I've owned for years and years. I love books about Regency England, especially if they were published during the Regency era. 

Sometimes my favorites change depending on where I am in my life, what sort of day or week or month I'm having. Sometimes I read a book and think "meh." Then I read it again months or years later and think "Wow! This is a really great book!" Does that ever happen to you? Of course I once read a romance novel by a new, but very celebrated author, in which I hated the heroine and the hero through most of the book, eventually grew to like the hero and at the end screamed "Run, dude! You can do better than her!" Anyone else ever do that? Hello? Bueller? Bueller?

I have a list of books I read when I want to laugh. I have another list of books I read when I want to cry. I have a list of books that are my favorites no matter what.

My five favorite books of all time are :

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

My five favorite romance novels are :

Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale
Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas
Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh
Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
Dangerous to Love by Rexanne Bechnel

Now when you move on to contemporary romance or paranormal romance I also have lists for those. 

How about you? What are your five favorite books of all time? What are your five favorite romance novels? Do your lists change according to your mood or what you want to feel? And out of curiosity do you like musicals and which is your favorite? Do you like opera? Do you have a favorite opera? 

Answer any or all of the questions in a comment and one commenter will be chosen (excluding Southern Magic members) to win a $15.00 Amazon gift card to buy a favorite thing or things! 


Alison said...

I love musicals too! I watched Oklahoma every day when I was a little kid...drove my mom nuts:)

Books and makeup are crack to me. I can never have enough :)

Some of my favorite authors are Christy Reece, Pamela Clare, Stephanie Tyler, and Cindy Gerard if I'm looking for romantic suspense. For contemporary or historicals I love Christie Craig, Lisa Kleypas, Rachel Gibson, and Jill Shalvis.

Ingrid Seymour said...

If I'm honest, I have to say musicals put me to sleep. I know, what is wrong with me?! Right? :|

Anyway, I have a hard time picking favorite books. I always keep replacing them with new ones I read. My favorite this has been Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan series. I really enjoyed all 3 books!

The only book that I can always say sticks with me as a favorite is "The Count of Monte Cristo." I love me a good story about revenge.

Lisa J said...

My list definitely changes based on my mood and what I am currently reading. I do have a few constants:

Any Historical by Julie Garwood - although Saving Grace, The Bride, Ransom, The Secret, and Prince Charming are the ones I go back to most often.

Anything from Nalini Singh's Psy Changeling series.

Mercury by Lora Leigh

I don;t know if I could have a top 5, there are just too many and they are all so different.

Rashda Khan said...

Hmm, a few of my favorite things:

Books: All types, but my favorites include:

1. A Kiss of Shadows
2. Naked in Death
3. Cry Wolf
4. Flesh and Spirit
5. Broken

Food: from grocery shopping to cooking, from eating to writing about it.

Scarves: the more the merrier!

Sexy djinns and their stories in my head :)

Travel.I love exploring new places and experiences.

Isis M. Nocturne said...

My top 10 fav romance novels (in no particular order):

Seize the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors by Molly Harper
Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones
Playing with Fire by Gina Showalter
The Kitchen Witch by Annette Blair
One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
A Girl's Guide to Vampires by Katie McAlister
Single White Vampire by Lynsay Sands
The Last Arrow by Marsha Canham
The Royal Treatment by MaryJanice Davidson

Louisa Cornell said...

LOL, Alison! Glad I'm not the only person who can listen to some musicals over and over again!

Makeup? Now that can get to be expensive!

Great list of authors!

Louisa Cornell said...

Hey, Ingrid, I am the last person to question a person's musical taste. I don't get most of the music recorded after about 1990! Most of what they play on the radio today puts me to sleep. It all sounds the same to me!

Oh wow! The Count of Monte Cristo definitely makes my top ten! Great choice!

Louisa Cornell said...

You can't go wrong with any of those choices, Lisa! Especially Julie Garwood.

And I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who reads based on mood.

Louisa Cornell said...

Rashda, I am so IN on ALL of your lists! I love scarves too, but SHOES, honey! I am hopelessly addicted to cute and painful shoes!

Louisa Cornell said...

Isis! My sister from another mother! Your entire list could be my list too!

Isn't Seize the Night the most AMAZING book???

Every single one of those books is paranormal perfection!

Lauren said...

Great post!!
I love Lisa Kleypas's Devil in Winter. It's excellent! I can't even begin to name favorites. Right now I'm obssessed with Alyssa Day's Atlantis series which is excellent!

Louisa Cornell said...

Thanks, Lauren! Devil in Winter is definitely one of my go-to reads when I want to laugh and cry. I haven't read the Atlantis series. I'll put it on my list to check out!

Lindsey Brookes said...

I love writing humorous fiction, as if one couldn't tell by my most recent book's title - Jimmie Joe Johnson: Manwhore, but I read mostly historicals. I even listen to historical romance audiobooks. One of my favorite series is Johanna Lindsey's Malory family series. I like Mary Wine's Highland books, too. And Monica McCarty's Highland Guard series.

JoAnn said...

I grew up listening to musicals! My mom played them all the time when I was young -- Sound of Music was a big favorite. I was hugely disappointed when the movie came out because two of the best songs -- How Can Love Survive and No Way to Stop It were left out. (Well, I think they played the first one as kind of background music.) And my husband is a scenery and lighting designer, so my children love musicals too. Okay, top 5 musicals: South Pacific, Camelot, The Sound of Music, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Company, Pacific Overtures, Singin' in the Rain (okay, not a stage production, but still a favorite), Sunset Boulevard, Godspell, Funny Girl, ... Oh, wait -- did you say 5?

RedPeril said...

I honestly haven't read enough romance novels to give them their own list. However, I do have three of them in my personal top 5. :)

A Walk to Remember - Nicholas Sparks
The Half Breed - Bobbi Smith
A Hint Of Frost - Hailey Edwards
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
Dune - Frank Herbert

~Angela Blount

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Louisa!!
I LOVE musicals! Love, love, love! My favorites are Oliver! and Grease. And of course The Sound of Music! I even love musical cartoons. For an anniversary gift a couple of years ago, my husband gave me the DVD and CD for The Last Unicorn and The Labyrinth. He loves me! LOL!

My favorite books that I can--and have--read over and over again are:

Son of the Morning by Linda Howard
Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward
Ransom by Julie Garwood
Honor's Splendor by Julie Garwood
Once a Princess by Johanna Lindsey
Everything Nalini Singh has ever written!

And I could go on and one...

Awesome post!!

Louisa Cornell said...

Hey Lindsey!!

Folks, if you haven't read Jimmy Joe Johnson : Manwhore you are missing a TREAT !!!

I love anything Johanna Lindsey writes!

Louisa Cornell said...

Ah, JoAnn, another musical fan! I've actually done a couple of those musicals. Sweeney Todd was LOADS of fun! And it is major cool you are passing your love of musicals on to your children!

Louisa Cornell said...

Great top five, Angela! The whole Dune series is some heavy reading, but they definitely suck you in, don't they!

Louisa Cornell said...

Now those are some great gifts, Naima! He's a keeper!

And I love your list of favorite books. We definitely have the same tastes!

Oliver was actually my introduction to musical theatre. I was nine years old and I have many fond memories of the songs in that show. FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD !!

Anne Marie Becker said...

Hi, Louisa! Love your lists - Pride & Prejudice is one of my all-time faves, too. (As it is for a lot of romance authors, I'm sure.) Some of the most memorable books for me are: Tale of Two Cities by Dickens, Carolina Moon by Nora Roberts, and anything in Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters series. :)

Bama said...

Wendy Wendy Wendy lol

my list is coming up shortly.... lol

Shadow said...

I have so many favorite books and authors! And i love music! Old rock is my favorite. I grew up on it. :) Some of my favorite authors is Maya Banks, Lora Leigh, Laurann Dohner, Christine Feehan, Johanna Lindsey, etc. My mood always changes though with the books. :)

Louisa Cornell said...

Oooh, Dickens, Anne Marie! Great choice! I haven't read Dickens in ages. Need to remedy that.

Louisa Cornell said...

LOL, Bama! Looking forward to it!

Louisa Cornell said...

Love me some old rock too, Shadow! But when you live through it the first time you don't consider it "old rock." LOL

You've got some great authors on your list! And books really are great mood lifters, aren't they? And much cheaper than therapy! :)

Jenna said...

I freakin' LOVE your questions, Louisa! I'm a theatre person, so I so get Sound of Music! Favorite musical--Sweeney Todd; Least Fave--tie between South Pacific and Carosel (uck!). Fave Opera--Copeland's The Tender Land. All Time Books: Gone With the Wind, Pride and Prejudice, Stephen King's It, Watership Down, Wuthering Heights. Five Fave Romance Novels: Devilish (Beverley), Devil in Winter (Kleypas), The Wolf and the Dove (Woodiwiss), The Precious Jewel (Balogh), Outlander (Gabaldon). Fantastic post!

Na said...

Devil in Winter is one of my favorite books. It's such a great story! Actually many of Lisa Kleypas's books are my favorites. I find my mood does change and I am always welcoming new books into my keepers shelf. For romances they include:

Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas
Ashes in the Wind by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
After the Night by Linda Howard
Dream a Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Annie's Song by Catherine Anderson

Jane said...

My favorite romance novels are Barbara Freethy's "Played," Jean Ross Ewing's "Illusion," Loretta Chase's "Last Hellion," Julie Garwood's "Saving Grace" and Lisa Marie Rice's "Dangerous Secrets." As for musicals, I like Jersey Boys and Miss Saigon.

Cari Hislop said...

I LOVE the Sound of Music. The songs are more than uplifting, they're full of condensed happiness. I loved it as a child and I love it still. Hearing Julia Andrews sing The Hills are alive...or My Favorite things...still makes my hair stand on end! Magic! I loved Mary Poppins as well (though I never saw the musical). Mary in the original books is quite different, but I enjoyed them.

I have faaarrrr too many favorite books, but a few stories that have inspired me would be Little Women (I was ten, but I LOVED the romance between Jo and the "older" professor - I just thought that was SOOO romantic - many decades later - my husband is 16 years older so he has good reason to be grateful for L M Alcott!)

The Secret Garden/The Little Princess. These books ricochet off my inner child into the present on a regular basis. Every time I see a robin in my garden...or buns in a baker's window... Magic! Have you heard Kate Bush's song Under the Ivy? I thought it really captured that moment.

Jane Eyre...introduced to my by my 9th grade English teacher. I LOVE the romance between Jane and Rochester (yes he is an older man). Charlotte is still teaching me things about myself.

I love the Regency romance authors who've made me laugh and sigh...Barbara Metzger was always a favorite, but even though Barbara Cartland can send me round the bend with some of her descriptions (the mountain peaks of ultimate joy), her books made me laugh (even if I wasn't supposed to laugh) and I'm grateful for what she did for the genre. However, I will forever hate the name Perdita and would only use it for an evil villainess!

As for musicals I've seen, I think my favorite is Evita. I didn't get it till after I read a book on the woman and then I understood what the songs were about and I was blown away.

Maureen said...

I do enjoy seeing a musical on stage instead of in the movies. There is such excitement, being in the audience. One of my favorites is Phantom of the Opera.
Pride and Prejudice is a favorite of mine too and Anne of Green Gables is a childhood favorite.

Louisa Cornell said...

Thanks, Jenna! And I SO agree with you on Carousel! Thank GOD I never had to perform in it. Sweeney Todd is definitely one of my favorites. I spent a great deal of time in Austria where The Sound of Music was filmed. In fact I got into a bit of trouble for playing baseball in the Bishop's Palace gardens in Salzburg which include the steps on which the Do Re Me song is staged.

You and I are definitely kindred spirits. I LOVE Stephen King. IT is a masterpiece. And Mary Balogh's The Precious Jewel is one of the greatest love stories ever written!

Louisa Cornell said...

Hi, Jane! Another vote for Saving Grace! Great book! I haven't been fortunate enough to see Jersey Boys or Miss Saigon, but many of my musician friends have seen them and say they are must see's!

Louisa Cornell said...

Great comment, Cari! And a perfect assessment on the songs from The Sound of Music. They are so uplifting and mood changing.

What a great story about the influence of Little Women - one of my childhood favorites as well.

And The Secret Garden and A Little Princess are two more of my favorites! My Mom and I both love those stories!

Louisa Cornell said...

Maureen, you are so right about seeing a musical live! It is a great experience on both sides of the curtain.

Phantom of the Opera is an incredible show when seen live.

I had forgotten about Anne of the Green Gables, another great book!

Anonymous said...

My favorite musical is Les Miz. I was fortunate enough to see it in London.

My favorite romances, anything by Georgetty Heyer.

Twimom227 said...

Over 20 years ago I saw Les Miserables 3 times and fell in love. This past year I saw the anniversary performance in Boston and it brought tears to my eyes. Just amazing.

Another wonderful musical is Wicked. I've only seen it once, but would love to go again.

Louisa Cornell said...

Great choice, Ella! I was fortunate enough to see Les Miz in Paris. It really is a great musical!

And I can understand why you love Georgette Heyer! Your books remind me so much of her!

Louisa Cornell said...

Wow,Twimom, you ARE a Les Miz fan! I haven't see Wicked, but I've heard it is fabulous.

bn100 said...

I like any book by Lisa Kleypas.


Bama said...

Without further slacking off ado,

My favorite 20 books of all time(In no particular order):

1.) Circle of Desire :)
2.) Dark Lover
3.) Wild Rain
4.) A Moment In Time
5.) Enslaved/anything by Virginia Henley
6.) Born of Silence/anything by Sherrilyn Kenyon :)
7.) You Slay Me
8.) Single White Vampire
9.) First Grave On The Right
10.) Halfway To The Grave
11.) In Death series :)
12.) Beyond The Darkness
13.) Witchling/Night Myst
14.) The Shoppe Of Spells
15.) Touched By An Alien
16.) Midnight's Master
17.) Tempest Rising
18.) anything by Nancy Gideon
19.) Bitten
20.) Megan's Mark/anything by Lora Leigh

Of course I am just scratching the surface of all time favorites with this list. lol

marybelle said...

I do love listening to musicals. My favorite would be LES MISERABLES. I'm looking forward to seeing Hugh Jackman in the new movie coming out at the end of the year.

My top five 'books' would have to be:

- LONESOME DOVE by Larry McMurtry
- the HARRY POTTER series
- Big Agatha Christie fan - MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS would be number one.


Donna Coe-Velleman said...

I like the Sound of Music even my daughter will sit down and watch it.
West Side Story is another favorite.

The Hobbit
The Hunger Games
Any of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Carla Swafford said...

Awww! Beth (Bama), you're too good to me. You deserve a big hug at the luncheon. I'll be looking for you!

Louisa Cornell said...

Lisa Kleypas? You have excellent taste, bn100!

Louisa Cornell said...

Great list, Bama! And I see several of my favorites on it! Like you, my list would be LONG!!!!!!

Louisa Cornell said...

Marybelle! You and I both are looking forward to the movie version of Les Miserables!! Hugh Jackman! Need I say more???

Louisa Cornell said...

Donna, West Side Story is another of my favorites! And I am always happy to meet another Jim Butcher fan.

Louisa Cornell said...

And the winner of the $15.00 Amazon gift card is .....


get in touch with me at

and I'll zip your prize off to you!


Jill Watkins said...

Actually, I hate musicals- and my hubby loves them. But I loved Grease!
And opera- blech!

Favorite romance Series of all time-
Nora Roberts-Three Sisters Island Trilogy
Tara Janzen-The Steel Street Series
JR Ward-Black Dagger Brotherhood

But I have a new love- Shelly Laurenston - Shapeshifter Series!

Jill.watkins (at)

Julio Sporer said...

Not to brag, but I have read all your favorite romance books, Louisa. Though, I wasn't able to finish "Lord of Scoundrels" because my old girlfriend borrowed it and never returned it since we separated ways. :( My favorite romance novels: "One Hundred Years of Solitude", "The Love in the Time of Cholera" and "Memories of My Melancholy Whores", were all written by my favorite novelist, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. By the way, back in college, I played as Captain von Trapp in our theatrical play of "The Sound of Music". :)