Book wishes

There is a cottage industry of books about/inspired by/vaguely related to PBS’ hit British Edwardian soap opera Downton Abbey. A sampling includes: The World of Downton Abbey (St. Martin’s, 2011); The Real Life Downton Abbey: How Life was Really Lived in Stately Homes (John Blake, 2012); The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook (Adams Media, 2012). Amid so many reading options, the most appealing is the one that holds the best claim to the word “real.” Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle (Broadway, 2011) is written by the Countess of Carnarvon, a.k.a. the actual heir to the actual castle where the TV series is filmed. In this book, Countess Carnarvon writes a biography of her ancestor Lady Almina, who was the inspiration for the character Lady Cora Crawley. We just hope that the contemporary Countess inherited writing chops along with her title.

Suggested Next Read

The Last Stand

Short Reviews

The Last Stand

By Tribune Media Services

(R) ★★★☆☆ Arnold is back. The results are OK. Schwarzenegger plays Ray Owens, the sheriff of a sleepy Arizona border town. Little does he know that Mexican gangster Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega) has escaped federal custody and is speeding toward them to escape into Mexico. Federal agent Bannister (Forest Whitaker) warns Owens that they’re coming. So it’s up to Owens and his ragtag crew, which includes town eccentric Lewis Dinkum (Johnny Knoxville), to block the border. Arnold may be old, but he can still bring the smack down.