Monday, May 31, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about movies based on books…
I love Musing Monday questions that I can sink my teeth into. And this is one of them. My quick answer is "it depends". If the movie is based on a book that I wasn't interested in reading in the first place (ie: The Devil Wears Prada), then I do not feel the need to go out and read it. If, on the other hand, the book is one that I've been wanting to read, I almost always read it BEFORE I see the movie (I can't think of an example of this right now). Usually the storyline loses something in translation from book to film and I like to enjoy the original first. Many times I have already read the book long before it is made into a film. If that is the case, I judge the movie on its own merits, because I can no longer remember the details of the book and therefore can not be disappointed that the movie is not true to the original story (ie Memoirs of a Geisha, The Time Travelers Wife and The Lovely Bones). And some times when I see a movie that piques my interest, I will do a little research on the topic/person after I see an intriguing movie (ie Robin Hood). Hence, my original answer - "it depends".
How about you? Do you enjoy movies that have been made from books? Do you seek them out? Avoid them like the plague? Watch the movie first or read the book first? I'd love to hear your take. You can also write your own Musing Monday post and link up at the Just One More Page.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Little Bee by Chris Cleave tells the story of Sarah O'Rourke a British journalist and Little Bee a 14 year old Nigerian girl whose village is the scene of terrible violence due to the discovery of oil there. Sarah and her husband Andrew travel to Nigeria for a vacation and while on the beach, they encounter Little Bee and her sister, Nkiruka. The sisters are running away from the violence in their village. This encounter will have far reaching ramifications for all involved.
The story picks up two years later when Little Bee is released from a detention center in Britain and finds her way to Sarah and Andrew's home in the English countryside. Much of the story deals with the slow uncovering of the facts of what happened on the beach and of Little Bee's experiences during the intervening two years.
The strength of Little Bee lies in the story of Little Bee's life in her Nigerian village and how different life can be in more volatile parts of the world. It's not something most of us here in America can even fathom. And that is exactly what happens to Sarah and Andrew. They are forced to confront the reality of Little Bee's life and deal with their own impotence in the face of this great injustice. And on these merits, Little Bee is a good story. Cleave does a good job of slowly unveiling the story to keep reader interest high. It reads almost like a suspense novel. It is a quick read and in parts it is a page turner. I have such mixed feelings about this book due to my unmet expectations. But when think about Little Bee objectively, it really is a good story.
I would give Little Bee 3 STARS - I liked it.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Booking Through Thursday: Are your book choices influenced by friends and family? Do their recommendations carry weight for you? Or do you choose your books solely by what you want to read?
This is a great question and one I'm asked fairly often. (Or at least I'm asked where I find the books that I choose to read.) The answer is twofold. First, I definitely listen to the recommendations of my friends and coworkers (my family members rarely recommend books to me). Many of my friends/coworkers have the same taste in books and I always research any book that they recommend.
But the second part of my answer is that after I research a book, I will only read it if it truly seems interesting to me. I don't read books just because someone recommends them or because they are the latest "hot" book. I have to be interested in the story. However, I will make an occasional exception. There are a couple of friends whose opinion I trust so much that if they say I simply MUST read a book, even after I've decided the topic is not of interest, I will do it. That is how I read the simply divine Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. I have never regretted reading that book.
How about you? How do you decide what books to read?
Musing Mondays: Do you have to carve out time in your day for reading (due to work and other obligations), or does your reading just happen naturally?
I don't "carve out" a specific time for reading. Reading is something that happens very organically for me. I am never without a book and I fit in little bits of reading throughout the day. It is very rare for me to carve out a large block of time specifically to read. I read the newspaper while I eat breakfast, I read a few pages of whatever book I'm reading during lunch, I read while waiting for appointments, I sometimes read in the evenings during the commercials of my favorite shows, or while sitting at the kitchen table if my kids have monopolized the TV. The time that I have designated as reading time, is right before bed. I can not go to sleep without reading for at least 20 minutes. Most times I don't remember a single word that I read the next morning and I have to reread those pages, but reading in bed is my sleeping pill. That is the only time I "carve out" specifically for reading.
How about you? When do you do your reading?
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
The Queen of Palmyra takes place in 1963 in small-town Millwood, Mississippi. The story is told through the eyes of 11 year old Florence Forrest, the daughter of Win, a down on his luck burial insurance salesman and Martha, the neighborhood "cake lady" who has a taste for bootlegged booze. Like the rest of the south during the turbulent 60's, Millwood is a town racked with racial tension and the white population doesn't mix with the blacks in the "Shake Rag" section of town - except when the residents of Shake Rag come to their homes to cook, clean and care for their children.
It is also during the course of that fateful summer that Florence witnesses the implosion of her parents marriage and the increasing unease and violence between the black and white residents of tiny Millwood. An unease she does not understand and a violence she can not comprehend.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Front of the mansion
View from the Side Porch