Showing posts with label audrey niffenegger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label audrey niffenegger. Show all posts

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Book(s) of Love (or, It's Our Anniversary!)

Happy Sunday, readers!  FYI, this is not just any old Sunday.  It's also the 6th wedding anniversary for me and my darling husband.  WOOHOO!  I told him a few weeks ago that this means we only have 1 year left until the 7-year itch.  He was not amused.  Apparently 6 years has not been enough time for me to improve my joke delivery?
Walking off into the sunset. He had no idea what he was getting into. MUWAHAHA!
We are spending this year's anniversary FINALLY moving into our house (HOORAY!), but in the meantime, I had to do a little post here to commemorate the big day.

Fun fact: our first dance at the wedding was to The Book of Love, by Peter Gabriel.  We had the hardest time picking a song, and then my friend Jennie had me listen to this one.  Hubs and I immediately got tears in our eyes the first time we heard it.  I guess that's how you know you found your wedding song: when it makes you burst into mushy, girly tears, even though you are very rarely prone to mushy, girly tears.
Other than just being OUR song, it's also cool because it's a little bookish, right?  So in honor of today, here's a quick list of some of my favorite "books of love"...not necessarily in the romance genre, but novels that make even my not-usually-sappy heart swoon.

1. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Easily my all-time favorite book.  Potentially one of the most unusual love stories out there (given the whole, you know, time traveling thing) but if there was ever a "let's overcome some crazy obstacles to be together" story, this is it.

2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

You can check out my full review of this one here, but Celia and Marco have one of the most awesome (and visually the imagery!) literary romances ever.

3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Granted, Heathcliff and Catherine basically want to kill each other for most of this book, but that's probably why I love it so much.  What fun is a sappy romance when you can watch the two lovers try to annoy the crap out of each other first?  (mini-review here)

4. What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson

The book made me cry.  Then I watched the movie and that made me cry too.  A couple is separated when the husband dies in a tragic accident, and they discover what must be done to reunite themselves in eternity.  Such a cool concept and SO SAD but worth the tears.

5. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

Okay, I'll give Nicholas Sparks ONE shout out here.  The Notebook is not an amazeballs book by any means, but it is really sappy and swoon-worthy.  Paired with the movie it has to be noted as a good romance, even if you're not typically a Sparks fan.

6. PS, I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

This isn't really a romance, since the main character's husband dies in the beginning and she must spend the rest of the novel trying to rediscover her life.  But she does that through the letters her husband left behind, and that alone is enough to make you say "awwwwwwwwww" over and over.  PS, the book is better than the movie.

What are YOUR favorite "books of love"?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The One In Which I Have Beef With Hollywood

Am I the only one that thinks Hollywood is running out of material?  I feel like one out of every 2-3 movie previews I see these days is an adaptation from a novel.

Granted, this can be a good thing (The Godfather, Shutter Island, and the Harry Potters come to mind).  But often, it is not (The Stand miniseries...GAH.  And Jurassic Park the book, SO MUCH BETTER than the movie).

So I decided to see how Hollywood fared with some of my literary favorites.  I went through my faves list on Goodreads, and picked out the books that had movie adaptations (that I've seen).  Here's my assessment:

1. Atonement by Ian McEwan

This is a perfect example of a movie that was very good...just not QUITE so good as the book.  The novel wow'ed me with the way McEwan used language to draw out these subtle undercurrents between all of the characters.  This is not something that translates well into film.  While I do think the movie retained an atmosphere similar to that of the book, there is just a feeling of something being missing when you compare it to the prose.

2. What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson

Both the movie and the book made me cry.  However, this is one of those movies that, though enjoyable, completely leaves out and/or changes significant parts of the novel.  And when I like a book to begin with, it's tough to see significant changes made in the movie version...even if the movie is otherwise excellent.

3. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Potentially my all-time favorite book, and a complete flop on screen.  First of all, the time travel just does not translate well between how Niffenegger wrote it and how it was done in the movie.  A lot was lost there.  And THE ENDING.  This goes up there with My Sister's Keeper for Worst Hollywood Butchering of a Book Ending.  Horrid.

4. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (US version)

I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this movie.  NAILED IT.  Right down to the dark-and-depressing atmosphere/setting.  I loved the opening song on the soundtrack (so fitting, and it's actually on my running playlist now), and Rooney Mara is a fan-fricking-tastic Lisbeth Salander.

5. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

I felt kind of blah about this movie.  It's an extremely Hollywood-ized version of the book.  The whole illustration of Susie's "heaven" in the movie was quite obviously adapted so that it would be visually pleasing on screen.  And a LOT of important details were left out regarding the circumstances surrounding Susie's death and the investigation afterwards.  As a result, I think the book packs a much more powerful punch.

6. Matilda by Roald Dahl

Ah, a favorite from my childhood!  And I'm happy to say that the movie did not disappoint.  I adore the film version, and as a kid I loved seeing a visual representation of the book heroine I had come to love. Plus, the movie highlights some of the funny parts a bit better than the book.  I am definitely due for a re-watch (and a re-read) of this one.

What do you think, readers?  How has Hollywood handled some of your literary favorites?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Author Stalking

I think all book lovers are also author stalkers, some of the time.

Let's hold up a minute--I am not advocating that you go camp outside Suzanne Collins's bedroom with a pair of binoculars.  Creepers.

What I mean by "author stalking" is this: you've read all (or nearly all) of this particular author's work.  Whenever they release a new novel, you scramble onto Amazon and pre-order it months in advance.  You gobble it up in one sitting on the release date.  And once you finish, you immediately take to Google/Goodreads/etc. on a massive searching expedition to find out when their next novel is going to be released.  (And of course, you devolve into a weepy pile of disappointment when you find out that either a) it's not for another 2 years, or b) there is no news on an upcoming release AT ALL.)

Here are a few of my top authors to stalk, in no particular order.

Jon Krakauer

I don't read a ton of nonfiction, but Krakauer is the KING of nonfiction.  His last book, Where Men Win Glory, is on my favorites-of-all-time list.  Even his short diatribe about Greg Mortensen (Three Cups of Deceit) is a captivating read.  But news of his upcoming ventures are MIA.  I Google search all the time in the hopes of finding something.  I'll be first in line when his next one is announced.

Jodi Picoult

JP is one of my favorite authors.  I know some people aren't that into her work because it does tend to follow a formula ("ripped from the headlines" premise + legal battle + twist ending = novel).  However, I LIKE her formula, and while I don't 5-star all of her books, I love most of them.  She's a fun one to stalk though, because she releases pretty much every March right on schedule, so the only real mystery is what the next topic will be.  (Psst...her 2013 book is called The Storyteller, read more here!)

Audrey Niffenegger

Another book on my favorites-all-time list is The Time Traveler's Wife.  Everyone's heard of that book though--much less attention was given to her second novel, A Fearful Symmetry, which was masterful.  Her novels are such a haunting blend of whimsy, love, and sadness.  She doesn't publish often, which makes stalking difficult, but it sounds like her next book (The Chinchilla Girl in Exile) is going to be interesting...if they ever announce a release date.  Ho-hum.

Emily Giffin

I already reviewed her latest one, Where We Belong , last week.  After every Giffin novel, I'm already searching for the next one.  It's those darn endings; she is a master of the good chick-lit ending!!  Too early for any news on a new one yet, but I'll be waiting.

Stephen King

This is a gimme. What SK fan DOESN'T stalk around for his new release(s)?  And they get so much hype, it's hard not to hear about them anyway.  This is kind of a cheating answer though, because there's so much SK work out there, I can just read one of his past novels to get me through until his new one comes out.  I just found out that Doctor Sleep (the sequel to The Shining) is being released on my 30th birthday (9/24/2013), which I think is a nice present from Mr. King.  The Well-Read Redhead salutes you, sir.

Anita Shreve

The Pilot's Wife?  All-time-faves list.  And I've loved nearly every other Shreve novel I've encountered (other than A Wedding in December, let's just pretend that one doesn't exist).  Her last one, Rescue, was great, but it came out in word of a new one yet...((taps foot)).

So, admit it--what authors do YOU stalk?
Imagination Designs