Think before you speak. Read before you think. — Fran Lebowitz

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New Classics from The Folio Society

Oct 21, 2013

The Folio Society, publisher of fine editions of classic books, has recently released two new titles: Breakfast at Tiffany’s and The Great Gatsby. What I love about Folio Society editions is their understated elegance. While cheaper brands rely on garish styling, The Folio Society exudes genuine luxury and quality, from the sturdily sewn spines to the elegantly designed slipcases that come with each volume.

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2012 Classic Book to Movie Adaptations

May 12, 2012

2012 is shaping up to be the year of classic books being adapted for screen, with the BBC producing Great Expectations, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and Birdsong, and Hollywood releasing Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax on the big screen in March. Coming later this year are four major motion picture releases based on classic novels–Great Expectations (again!), The Great Gatsby, Anna Karenina, and The Hobbit part 1. Little is yet known about the “Great” films, so today I want to focus on the latter two and invite you to share your thoughts on production and casting.

Anna Karenina

I have not read Anna Karenina yet (I just picked up a copy at my local book exchange last week and intend to tackle the behemoth before seeing the movie) and only possess a rough knowledge of the plot. With this limited understanding on the storyline, I am thrilled that Keira Knightly will be playing the lead. I adore her in historical films and after her performance as an aristocrat trapped in a loveless marriage in The Dutchess, I think she’ll be perfect in this similar role.

Jude Law will be filling the shoes of Alexei Karenin and Aaron Johnson will be playing Count Vronsky, Karenina’s lover.

I’m very happy with Law being cast as Karenin, but I think Johnson was the wrong choice for Vronsky. Vronsky is supposed to be the more appealing alternative to Karenin and Johnson is about as appealing as a sea cucumber, which pretty much defeats his entire purpose.


 

The most recent adaptation of Anna Karenina was released in 1997 and starred Sophie Marceau and Sean Bean as Anna and Vronsky. I’ve seen bits and pieces of that version and I think Bean was a much better pick for Vronsky. On the upside, I much prefer Knightly to Marceau in the role of Anna.

Anna Karenina is Scheduled for release on November 9th. No trailer has been released yet.

The Hobbit

I am ridiculously excited that after nine years since the last LOTR film came out Peter Jackson has brought the gang back together for another round of adventure in Middle Earth. The Hobbit will be released in two parts, with part 1, An Unexpected Journey, coming out December 14th. Returning cast members include Andy Serkis as Gollum, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Elijah Wood as Frodo, Hugo Weaving as Elrond, Orlando Bloom as Legolas, Christopher Lee as Saruman, Ian McKellen as Gandalf, and Ian Holm playing the elderly Bilbo Baggins. Other notables joining the cast include Luke Evans, Evangeline Lily, Richard Armitage, Martin Freeman, and Billy Connolly. You can view the full cast list here. And be sure to check out the trailer below!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these upcoming movie adaptations! Answer the polls above and leave a comment telling me what you think!

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April ’12 Wrap-Up

Apr 30, 2012

I’m afraid this has been another slow month, both on the blogging and reading fronts. I still haven’t completely pulled out of my reading slump, though I did read more this month than in March. Still, I only posted eleven times in April, which is less than what I had hoped to get done.

Posts & Reviews

All the books I reviewed this month were CBA titles–three fiction and two creative nonfiction. I reviewed Stand by Me, the first book in the new SouledOut Sisters series by Neta Jackson, The Discovery, the latest historical romance from Dan Walsh, and The Sound of Red Returning, a spy novel by Sue Duffy. The first one was a winner, but the last two left me wanting.

  

I also wrote mini-reviews for Behind the Veils of Yemen, a memoir of the author’s time as a missionary in the middle east, and My Life and Lesser Catastrophes, about a personal tragedy the author’s family went through. The first book was interesting, but neither wowed me.

 

I also did three interviews this month–two with authors Neta Jackson and Dan Walsh, and one with book blogger Crystal from Just Another Book Lovin’ Girl.

Poll Results

This month’s poll asked: For those of you who went to see The Hunger Games in theaters, did you like the movie or the book better? Click on the image to enlarge the results.

I can’t really say which I liked better. The book was amazing and I probably enjoyed the experience of reading the book more than watching the movie because when I read the book I had no idea what was going to happen next, but the movie was also very well done. I think both captured the story well in different ways.

Consistent Commentators

Thanks to all of you who have added to the discussion by commenting! The top three commentators this month were:

  1. Laura Fabiani from Library of Clean Reads
  2. Jennifer Short from The Radar Report
  3. Linda

Be sure to drop by and comment on their blogs!

Quotable Quotes

One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. {Oliver Wendell Holmes}

Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all you experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms. {Angela Carter}

Poignant Poetry

Television
by Roald Dahl (1916-1990) 

The most important thing we’ve learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set –
Or better still, just don’t install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we’ve been,
We’ve watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone’s place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they’re hypnotised by it,
Until they’re absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don’t climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink –
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK — HE ONLY SEES!
‘All right!’ you’ll cry. ‘All right!’ you’ll say,
‘But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!’
We’ll answer this by asking you,
‘What used the darling ones to do?
‘How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?’
Have you forgotten? Don’t you know?
We’ll say it very loud and slow:
THEY … USED … TO … READ! They’d READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching ’round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it’s Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There’s Mr. Rate and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They’ll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start — oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They’ll grow so keen
They’ll wonder what they’d ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.

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Coming Next Month

Next month is going to be all about catching up on my ARC stack! Expect lots of reviews, interviews, and giveaways. Happy spring!

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