Friday, May 28, 2010

Summer Reading Challenge 2010

Start Date June 21, 2010
End Date September 21, 2010
Host: A Southern Daydreamer Reads

My list of books:

Emma and the Vampires by Wayne Josephson and Jane Austen

Emma Woodhouse--handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition--had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress her. Until the vampire attacks began.

Insatiable by Meg Cabot
It was a miracle.
Meena hurried onto the subway car and grabbed hold of one of the gleaming silver poles, hardly daring to believe her good fortune.

The Secret Confessions of Anne Shakespeare
by Arliss Ryan

"Granny! Gran, look what has come for you!"
With the greatest effort I lift my eyelids; each one seems weighted with a stone. I peer through the rheumy blur to find Lizbeth's face, anxious as always at my fast-failing health. How fortunate I am, as I lie here dying in my second-best bed, to have one sweet soul, this dear granddaughter, to care for and comfort me. It almost makes up for the pain, the gnawing aches in my joints and toothless sockets, the useless hip that confines me to my mattress and piss pot. I lick my chapped lips and twitch my mouth to smile for the pretty childe. Oh, to be dead, to be dead. Have I not lived long enough, sixty-seven years in this year of our Lord 1623, to have earned my eternal rest?
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
The books I read:


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Movie/Book Review)

A few weeks ago I reread Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I also watched (for the first time) the BBC production, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

What I discovered is that I much prefer the book to either of the productions I've seen. I *did* enjoy the 2005 movie. It had been several years since I first read the book. So I'm not sure how faithful it is to the book--to the spirit of the book at least. But. In some ways it worked for me. As entertainment.

My thoughts on the BBC production. The first few episodes are extremely faithful to the original book. But it doesn't end the same as the book. (Perhaps these later episodes are faithful to the sequels?! I'm not sure. I haven't read any of the sequels. So I'm not sure how they fit into things.) There are plenty of sections almost taken word for word from the book.

But while I found the book plenty entertaining, I must admit I struggled with the movie. I found it painful to watch the ridiculous humor 'come to life' in such a clumsy outdated way. I didn't feel the book was dated--but the way it was presented on the screen--well, it felt very dated. And it wasn't just the "special" effects. It was the way the characters looked and acted.

So while I am glad I took the time to give this one a try (and I did finish all the episodes even if I did struggle with them) I'm thinking that the book will always be better than anything that can be done on screen.

Here's how it starts:

From 1981 movie,

From 2005 movie,

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Weekly Geeks: Series Books

This week's topic is series books.

  • What series do you read where you have had an issue with one of the books in the line-up.
  • Do you cut the author loose after one miss, or do you have a limit of failed books in a series before you toss in the towel.
  • What's your suggestion for that book that you struggle with in a series.
  • If you are not a series reader – Toss the question out on your blog, see what your readers think.
I didn't realize until I read this post that this happens to me more than I like. I can think of a handful of examples. The Luxe series for example. Really enjoyed the first. Practically hated the second. Loved the third. Enjoyed the fourth okay.

Megan McCafferty's series also comes to mind. I did enjoy Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings. But I wasn't such a fan of Charmed Thirds and Fourth Comings. In fact, after Charmed Thirds, I was ready to give up on the series. But after hearing that the series ends well, I did pick it up again. And knowing that all was not lost, I kept going. I love, love, loved Perfect Fifths.

Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your perspective) reading Breaking Dawn dimmed my love for the Twilight series. If I'd known how it was going to end--how ridiculous it would actually be--then I'm not sure I would have read past the first book. Though that isn't exactly fair. Because then I would have missed some great Jacob stuff. Still, I don't know how much longer it would have lasted anyway. I think when a book becomes so popular that you see a big display at BabiesRus, it's time for it to go away for a while.

And if anyone is interested in the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, stick with the original trilogy. Avoid the prequels and sequels. Oh how I wish I had. Because reading those others was very painful.

I do typically give authors second chances (and sometimes third and fourth chances). I've even had instances where I hate the first book and yet I still pick up the second book to see what happens next. Sometimes I do enjoy the second book more. But other times not so much. It really depends on if I see anything redeeming about the book--the writing, the characters, the plot, the premise.