Sunday, 30 May 2010

Monthly Reading Check-in: April & May 2010


Reading. Gotta love it. Hmm, love it so much that I feel like I should have said 'got to' not gotta because it's more of a real word and all that. But, gotta feels right. Anyhow, I've been doing a lot of reading this year and in February and March wrote about progress of the Lord of the Rings readalong with Fellowship & The Two Towers. The book for April was Return of the King and I barely read any of it, which means I didn't write about it. But I did read a lot of books for the 2010 Book to Film Challenge (10/20 read!) along with books not on the challenge but still film related. So, just because I feel off one readalong train doesn't mean I should stop sharing what I've been reading - so here are my thoughts of what I've been reading for the past 2 months.

2010 Book to Film Challenge Books:

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Oh. My. Goodness. Getting through Wuthering Heights was a huge challenge. The version I had was only 300 pages, but it felt like 1,000. The majority of the time I had no clue what was going one, who was narrating, when or where it was. No clue. I literally read every word on all the pages, but didn't understand it until I read a summary afterwards and than a cascade of light bulbs lit up bridging the story together. The inspiration to read it in the first place was remembering that it's mentioned in Eclipse, and that I skipped over those passages the first time I read that - plus the fact that it's just 'one of those' books you have to read. Retrospectively I can how it's viewed as a tragic love story, but there was a lot of tragedy and almost no love, and very little time with the central characters actually present at the same time. Although I didn't enjoy reading it all that much, I did end up with a sense of triumph for actually getting through it!

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (re-read)
Reason to read this one should be clear with the upcoming film adaptation of Eclipse hitting theatres June 30, 2010 so I wanted to refresh my memory of the book and holy noodle, I didn't remember that much from my first read back in winter 2008. I only retrained pretty much the love triangle aspect of it and nothing else. The re-read has me more confident in David Slade (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night) as the director choice, and I was so surprized the number of times I had to give kudos for Edward in this one. Being a big fan of Jacob - it was tough to admit that! Bella has a bit of a rough ride in this one, but I think she stands pretty strong here. It's really strange thinking "Oh, I know they kept that because I've seen the images" because a fair amount of pics have been release (see here and here) along with the trailer, it's pretty clear to see what's being kept and what's not. I'm still so shocked how little we've seen on Victoria in the imagery that's out there. I'm hoping they don't have Riley steal the thunder there, as awesome as Xavier Samuel (The Loved Ones, Newcastle) is, I really want to see Victoria. If you want to hear more about my impressions of the book, check out Before the Dawn: A Twilight Podcast next Monday June 7, 2010 where Marina & I will discuss the book in detail.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling (re-read)
The majority of what's left on my 2010 Book to Film Challenge are Harry Potter books. I'm re-reading the entire series in anticipation of the release of the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (out Nov19, 2010). Last year I watched all the films, but this is the first time I've re-read the books and it absolutely amazes me with this one how much it was literally translated in to the film version Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. It's actually a really good reminder on how difficult that is, but also when you consider a 200ish page kids book was almost verbatim translated into a 2hr+ film, that with anything longer, or adult, stuff will be edited out. I did really enjoy reading the book and revisiting the magical world. And the book has more Neville. And everything is better with more Neville.

MAX by James Patterson
Fifth and final book in the Maximum Ride series (although there is a FANG book out, not sure how that places in the chronology), and I love these crazy avian-human hybrid group of misfit kids with their fearless leader being the teenage girl, Max. Like the third and fourth book, it feels a little 'message-y' but, in my opinion, it's not a 'bad' message so I don't really mind. I also just love how fast and frantic these books are, I usually finishing them in 1-2 days. They remind me of that weird lemon sorbet stuff I remember having at a chichi French restaurant once, that cleanses the palette between course. They totally do this - they cleanse the palette and leave you ready for more.

General Reading
These are on my list, but are (shock!) still film related and interesting so I'm sharing!

Fallen by Lauren Kate
This one it's a little big of a challenge to talk about without spoiler so I'm going to be brief. Young adult, paranormal-esque romance, female protagonist (Luce) gets sent to reform school and meets someone who feels so familiar. It's a solid read, I enjoyed the characters and the imagery which was quite beautiful. It's been picked up by Disney for a film adaptation, and I'm not surprized as could make a really great film. I did have a bit of a grrr moment though because I thought it was stand alone book, but it isn't. Part II is anticipated to be out this summer, and I'll happily read more of the world but I'm also trying not to get into more series - they seem never ending these days! Actually it looks like it's going to be a 4-book series. We'll see.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
I had hoped to read this one before the film
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief came out, but alas no luck there. Turns out - that's okay! The book has more than enough interesting in it that it's worth a read on it's own. It's a modern interpretation of a What If? scenario of if Greek Gods where still around and kicking up some trouble here and there on Earth. Like the film, I really enjoyed the creative interpretations of abilities, strengths and weaknesses. It's clever, cute and pretty fun. Although doesn't look that likely that we'll get more films in the series, I'm highly looking forward to continuing the 5 book series to see what adventures and trouble Percy gets into. Update: According to Wikipedia an adaptation of the second book The Sea of Monsters is in the works for a film to be released in 2012.

Titles For Consideration to Add to the 'To Be Read' list:

Let The Right One In / Let Me In by
John Ajvide Lindqvis
After seeing the images of the upcoming film, I think I'm going to have to read the book. As much as I want to look down my nose at this one as the original Swedish film Let the Right One In / Låt den rätte komma in is so great it doesn't need an English remake, I reconsidered after realize that the upcoming film is an adaptation of the original book by John Ajvide Lindqvis rather than the Swedish film. Even so - those stills show a very strong resemblance to the film. Anyhow, have a bit to decide, Let Me In hits theatres in October 2010.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
A veterinary student leaves his studies to join a travelling circus. If that wasn't enough to sell me, the film adaptation (set for a release 2011), will be directed by Francis Lawrence (
Constantine), starring Robert Pattinson (Twilight), Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) and Hal Holbrook (Into the Wild). Um, yeah - I'll be reading that.

Update on The Tempest: a release date has been set for the film version in the works from director Julie Taymor (Across the Universe) starring Helen Mirren: Dec 10, 2010. Same day as Chronicles of Narnia:
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Because it's so late in the year it's likely going to be one of the last books I get to this year. With The Tempest I'm considering throwing a reading party to actually read the play aloud instead of reading it on my own. Not sure though, we'll see.

Regular updates of my reading over at GoodReads, feel free to friend me!

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1 comment:

Jack Ruttan said...

Funny, I just read W. Heights, and had a similar experience. What kept me reading were the odd characters, and occasionally grotesque happenings, trying to piece it all together.

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