Thursday, March 12, 2009

Need Help!!!!!

I'm going away for a week next week and have a very big problem: I don't know what books to bring.

I mentioned that I visited the library a couple of weeks ago and checked out an array of random, interesting-looking books. Well, I got them home and found out that none of them really appealed to me that much. So today, I brought them all back with the intention of starting over. And nothing!

I didn't go home empty-handed. In addition to experiencing the worst BO ever -- twice -- from my fellow patrons, I got four books. One was David Copperfield. One was by Ana Castillo, who wrote a great book that I read in college and was featured in their staff picks. The other two? I picked them out less than an hour ago and I'll be damned if I can remember. Doesn't bode well for my actually reading and enjoying them.

I thought that looking at my TBR list would help. It didn't. In fact, all it did was convince me to reassess the list. There are several books on there that only made the list because I wound up with them somehow. I'm not sure how much I actually want to read them.

So, I'm looking for recommendations from anyone reading this blog. My criteria are as follows:

1. It can't be a brand new book. Those are 7 days and will be overdue by the time I get back, even if I wait until the very last minute to check them out.

2. It should be a decent vacation book. Not too heavy in either subject matter or in..errr...actual matter.

3. But it has to be decent. Something a little bit different. I don't want to read another book about a girl with a shitty job who wants Laboutin shoes and a boyfriend. And I'm not yet at the phase in my life where a book about a woman with a decent job who wants a new living room set and a baby would interest me either.

4. It can also be a good biography or autobiography. By "good," of course, I mean "bad." Any celebrities who've led interesting or colorful lives that you can recommend, I'll check out. Unfortunately, someone broke the only copy of Slash's autobiography. That would've been just the thing, but it showed as "under repair" in the library's database.

Any other thoughts or ideas? I'm open-minded at this point.

At the Movies With Books: This Week's BTT

Movie Potential March 12, 2009
Filed under: Wordpress — --Deb @ 7:10 am

Tami inspired this week’s question:

What book do you think should be made into a movie? And do you have any suggestions for the producers?

Or, What book do you think should NEVER be made into a movie?

Unlike a lot of the BTT's, I knew what I was going to write about immediately when I read this.

I've mentioned my beloved Prydain chronicles many times on this blog. The storyline is rooted in Welsh mythology and in general mythological tradition. I always thought it would film well. As an adult, it seems a bit more "kiddish" than a lot of young adult novels, but I still believe that a decent treatment of the books would be worth watching. One of Disney's worst animated films was a hatchet job of the second book, but thankfully, it's rarely viewed anymore. As a kid, The Black Cauldron was my favorite of the series, with its colorful characters, its dark undertones, and its thought-provoking (to an 11-year-old) theme of the nature of heroism. As an adult, though, I prefer the quieter Taran Wanderer, in which the protagonist sets off first in search of his true parentage but ultimately in search of himself. This book would probably make the worst movie out of the five, but I'd love to see someone take another crack at filming this series.

The Stephanie Plum books also strike me as ripe for the plucking, full of action, humor, romance and crazy characters. There's no way anyone would make allfifteen (or whatever we're up to now) of them. In fact, maybe the books should be inspiration for a movie rather than the basis of the script: a brand-new Stephanie Plum adventure, with her loyal but reluctant sidekicks Lula and Connie and the two sexy men in her life. I'd go.

As for movies that should never be made? For years, the idea of a movie based on Donna Tartt's The Secret History has been kicked around. At one point, Gwyneth Paltrow was rumored to have been cast (presumably in the Camilla role, although she's the wrong age and type entirely). I always thought it was a terrible idea. There's something unfilmable about that book. Several of the main characters, including the narrator, are very difficult to get a sense of, and it adds to the book and the suspense rather than detracts. Just the act of putting them in flesh and blood would change the story irrevocably. Perhaps the people attached to the project agreed with me, for it no longer appears on IMDB.

My sister disagrees with me, but I also don't think the Thursday Next books would translate well to the screen. Part of their humor comes from the printed format. How would you express the Footnoterphone and the mispeling vyrus on screen? How would you deal with The Generics from the second book, who are still going through character training and don't even have genders when you meet them? Nah, they should keep the Thursday Next books in their original format. They'd need a truly exceptional filmmaker to make them any good.