WWW Wednesdays (Nov 30)

To play along with this weekly book event, hosted by Should Be Reading, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

My answers this week are:

What are you currently reading? I am currently reading Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas. It’s one I try to read every year at this time of year. It contains a daily reading from some of the world’s best-loved spiritual writers – people such as Henri Nouwen, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, C.S. Lewis, Annie Dillard, John Howard Yoder, and so on. What I like about it is that it’s not cheesy, like so many of these types of books tend to be.

What did you recently finish reading? I just finished reading Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan. This is the third book of five, so I’m on course to get them done by Christmas. They are easy to read and I’m enjoying the distraction at an otherwise busy time of year.

 

 

What do you think you’ll read next? Although I intend to read the other Percy Jackson books, I’m going to take a quick break from them and try reading Annie Dillard’s Living by Fiction. I picked this up a few months ago and it’s been a while since I read anything by her. The cover says that this ‘is written for – and dedicated to – people who love literature…Annie Dillard shows how contemporary fiction works and why traditional fiction will always move us.’ We’ll see how it goes.

Teaser Tuesdays (Nov 29)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teasers this week are:

I knew I was in trouble when we stopped at the Goodwill drop box. Five minutes later, Zoe had me outfitted in a ragged flannel shirt and jeans three sizes too big, bright red sneakers, and a floppy rainbow hat.

From page 224 of ‘Percy Jackson & the Olympians Book 3: The Titan’s Curse’ by Rick Riordan. I’m on course to get the series read by Christmas. It’s a fairly enjoyable series and is proving to be a nice distraction at a busy time of year.

Books and Movies – a rant!

I love books; I love movies. So why would I want to rant about them? What I don’t love is  when good stories are dumbed down for the big screen.

Over the past few years, or maybe it has always been the case, there seems to have been a large number of badly done movie adaptations of well-loved books and stories. I say badly done, because not all the movies are bad in themselves, but are often a badly done representation of a great story. I realise that to transfer a book to the big screen will mean a certain amount of editing and that things may have to be done differently. This is generally excusable and fairly acceptable. However, there is no excuse for excluding main characters, changing plot lines, and making the story unrecognisable.

The movies that put me over the edge on this were ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. On their own, they are cinematic wonders, but they discredit the storytelling genius of J.R.R. Tolkien. To leave out Tom Bombadil was a total travesty. He is a main character. Some of his lines appeared out of the mouths of other characters in the movie, showing that he was a necessary inclusion in the books. If you’re asking yourself ‘who’s Tom Bombadil’, then you obviously never read the books (go and read them now and do yourself a favour).  The other main exclusion is at the end of ‘The Return of the King’, where there was no scouring of the Shire as happened in the book. For Tolkien it was important to show the heroes returning like this, rather than the triumphant way Jackson had them, but perhaps Tolkien’s writing style wasn’t Hollywood enough. I’m pretty freaked out at Jackson doing ‘The Hobbit’ now, especially with some of the rumours already flying around, such as bringing Legolas into the movie. Jackson should just go off and write his own stories and leave the good ones alone.

Unfortunately, similar things have been happening with the Narnia stories. The plot line of ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ was so mixed up I had to go back to the book to get the story straight in my mind again. Apparently ‘The Silver Chair’ is up next. It is probably my favourite book in the series, so I’m not looking forward to what they do with that, but I’ll still have to see it.

Although it has been out for over a year now, I only watched ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief’ yesterday for the first time. I really wish I hadn’t bothered. I only recently started reading the books, on my daughter’s insistence. I’m on the third one now. I like the way they have been written and have enjoyed the stories so far. The movie of ‘The Lightning Thief’ was definitely a case of dumbing down. The story was barely recognisable from that in the book. Again, a major character (Ares), was left out, changing a main feature of the plot. The age of the characters was altered, which could have a major effect on the rest of the series should it go to movie, because of the significance of Percy reaching 16. It’s a real shame, because this is a book that could have translated well to the big screen with very little changes.

I could probably go on and mention other well-loved books that have been butchered at the movies, but I won’t. I’ll still continue to love books and I’ll still continue to love movies. But I’ll also still reserve the right to moan about bad adaptations! Rant over!

What are your worst book to movie adaptations? Or, on a more positive side, do you have a favourite book that was translated well onto the big screen? I’d love to read your thoughts.

I am a Reading Challenge Addict

I just discovered this today on Time 2 Read, but once I saw it I knew I had to sign up for it! What am I talking about? The 2012 Reading Challenge Addicts Challenge. I have signed up for 6 challenges so far, but maybe I’ll add a few more before I’m finished. My list of challenges can be found on my ‘Reading Challenge 2012’ tab. I’m looking forward to some great reading and once 2012 begins I’ll start posting my progress on each section and also on the various host blogs. If you’re interested head over to the Reading Challenge Addict page and sign up there.

Let the reading begin (well, in 6 weeks time anyway)!

Friday Finds (Nov 18)

I haven’t participated in Friday Finds for a few weeks, but I have the time this week to do so again.

FRIDAY FINDS… is where you share the book titles you discovered or heard about during the past week. These can be books you were told about, books you discovered while browsing blogs/bookstores online, or books that you actually purchased. This event is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

As usual MizB asks the question:

What great books did you hear about/discover this past week? Share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

I found the above 4 books in our Thrift Store this week and bought them for the grand total of $1.00. You can’t go wrong with books at that price! They are as follows:

  • ‘Sacred Stone’ by Clive Cussler and Craig Dirgo. I usually enjoy reading Clive Cussler’s books. Will hopefully get around to this one soon.
  • ‘Stories from the Vinyl Cafe’ by Stuart McLean. A collection of stories from the legendary CBC Radio Show. Should be good.
  • ‘Passchendaele’ based on the screenplay by Paul Gross. I’m not always a big fan of books based on movies, but if this is no good I’m only out a quarter.
  • ‘Fast Vegetarian Feasts’ – Martha Rose Shulman. I’m always on the lookout for new veggie recipes. The bonus here is that it claims that all the recipes can be made in 45 minutes or less. I’ll have to try out a few soon and see.

That’s all I found this week. however, on Monday I’m heading to Chapters in Sudbury, so maybe I’ll have a few more to share next Friday.

 

Booking Through Thursday (Nov 17)

This week Booking Through Thursday asked the following:

Of the books you own, what’s the biggest category/genre? Is this also the category that you actually read the most?

The biggest category/genre of books I own would probably be theology/ministry books, due to the nature of my work and studies. Many of these are for reference rather than reading all the way through, although I have completely read quite a few of them.

There isn’t really any category/genre of books that I read the most of. My reading tastes are fairly eclectic and I read whatever takes the mood at any particular time and will probably have at least half a dozen books on the go at any given time, from various different categories/genres.

Teaser Tuesdays (Nov 15)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My teasers this week are:
The middle one cut the yarn, and I swear I could hear that snip across four lanes of traffic. Her two friends balled up the electric-blue socks, leaving me wondering who they could possibly be for – Sasquatch or Godzilla.
From page 26 of ‘The Lightning Thief’ by Rick Riordan. I promised my daughter that I’d read the Percy Jackson series after I’d completed my studies. I submitted my final paper on Saturday, so I thought I’d better get on and keep my promise. I’m only about 60 pages in, but it seems to be fairly good so far.