Monthly Archives: September 2011
It’s that special week of the year when readers around the world gather together to celebrate their freedom to read whatever they want, whenever they want. Banned Books Week 2011 kicked off yesterday, September 24th, and though I’m ready to have a baby at any second, I’m still taking part.
Last year, I attended the Newberry Library’s Banned Books Week Read-Out and read Margaret Mitchell’s oft-banned ‘Gone With the Wind.”
This year, I’m reading TWO books.
First, I’ll be reading a challenged classic – Jack London’s “White Fang.” (Download it from Project Gutenberg if you want a free read.) I know I’ve read this before – in grade school – and for the life of me can’t remember what was so scandalous about it.
Read something this week. Make it something you want to read, and are grateful for the freedom to read. And enjoy it.
According to an announcement by Focus Features, Keira Knightley and Jude Law will star in an upcoming film adaptation of “Anna Karenina,” with a screenplay penned by Tom Stoppard. Directed by Joe Wright (who’s previously directed Ms. Knightley in the film adaptations of “Pride & Prejudice” and “Atonement”) the movie is slated to hit screens in the second half of 2012.
Several actresses – including Greta Garbo, Vivien Leigh, and even Marlene Dietrich (in a radio broadcast) – have taken on role of Anna, though Ms. Knightley certainly knows her way around an adaptation. She’s likely to be great in the role. And hey – Jude Law is awesome. (I love “Sherlock Holmes” way more than I expected to.)
I’m perhaps most excited about this news because of the involvement of Tom Stoppard. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that “Anna Karenina” is a book that makes me crazy. I’ve been trying to read it for years and can’t get through it (though I did get through “Android Karenina,” which I tremendously enjoyed.) Perhaps a modern writer with Mr. Stoppard’s sensibilities will be able to streamline this beast of a book and make it into a cohesive movie.
I’m excited. I approve.
I like all things vaguely relating to etsy, and I also like street festivals.
Since it may be a while until I can attend another one, my husband and I headed over to Wicker Park for the recent 9th annual Renegade Craft Fair Chicago. Despite the hot sun, we had a lovely time wandering among the supremely clever booths, and a few places caught our book nerd attention.
(Foolish me assumed that the map I shoved in my purse would be a good enough guide to help me remember which booth was which when I got home. Didn’t happen. So instead, have some pretty pics!)
Clocks! (And lamps!) Made of Books!
*I can say for certainty that this pic was taken at the Conduit Press booth. I know this because I grabbed their business card, because I might just want a lamp made of books. No joke.*
Lots and lots of people had this “Poetry” bag. I’m not sue where it came from, but its cute!
*Photo taken from the etsy store*
My favorite booth of the day wasn’t book-related at all, actually. At the Jersey Maids booth, I drooled over the above “Clocket.” (Get it? A clock locket?) My husband up and bought it for me right then and there. It’s really gorgeous, and truly tells time, and I love it to pieces. Visit their etsy store – there are some gorgeous items on display.
All in all, it was a great day to be outside and wandering among pretty booths of lovely merchandise. There was food, gelato, and libations available all over the place – including Goose Island Beer, one of the event sponsors. There were also a great number of Greyhound dogs roaming around, part of the “Greyhounds Only” rescue tent.
I’ll totally be returning next year. Support indie artists!
Being one who frequents Starbucks, I’m used to seeing the little itunes Pick of the week cards, which contain a code to download a song or music video.
Until yesterday, I had never seen a Pick of the week that was for an ebook download, and I’m elated – because the book you can download is Erin Morgenstern’s “The Night Circus,” which I was about to go buy anyway. (Neil Gaiman raved about this book when he spoke at the Chicago Public Library recently.)
Granted, I think you have to read it on an Apple device, but I think there’s a way to read the book on your PC. (I’m still looking into this aspect of it.) Also, I’m not sure exactly which Starbucks locations are offering this, but I’m sure they’re around – especially in the Chicago area.
So woot! Go get a free ebook – and one that’s supposedly one of the best reads of the year!
UPDATE: Apparently it’s not the entire e-book, but a sample of the book. Slightly disappointing, but still – if you were on the fence about buying the book, it could be a good preview. (Thanks, Travis, for commenting and letting me know!)
Steig Larsson’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” was a compelling read, so I was curious to see how it would adapt to the screen. I’m aware that there’s a fancy American version (starring Daniel Craig) about to hit screens, but I was more interested in the original film version – produced in Sweden, Mr. Larsson’s homeland.
If you’re expecting this film to be a play-by-play of the book, you’ll be disappointed. Quite a bit has changed; Namely, the fact that Blomkvist no longer begins a relationship with Cecelia Vanger, and the film ignores almost all references to Erika. She’s there, but she’s just a lady who works at Millennium. Also, I’d guess ten or more characters were simply removed or not mentioned.
Do you want to know what I liked most about the movie?
The changes. Strangely enough.
The adapters of this screenplay realized that there are too many characters and too much going on in Stieg Larsson’s novel for it to make sense on a movie screen, and wisely they streamlined the characters, events, and action. All of this totally makes it work.
Noomi Rapace landed the awesome role of Lisbeth, and is astonishing. She looks the part, and has clearly done her homework. When the American film version comes out shortly, it’ll be interesting to see if America’s Lisbeth can live up to the ENORMOUS shoes she has to fill. Much like the novel, Lisbeth is the best thing about the movie. Michael Nyqvist plays Blomkvist, and he’s perfectly fine in the role. (I found the character pretty dull in the novel, and he’s pretty dull onscreen, so it all lines up.)
The movie (and the two sequels) stream on Netflix if you’re interested in watching them. I enjoyed the first movie, but much like the second book lost me and I didn’t read the third, I probably won’t watch the other movies.
If you’ve ever read a book and found yourself inspired to cook some of the recipes featured within, you should probably read Adam Bruski’s “Cooking with Ice and Fire” over at The Huffington Post. For Bruski is on a quest to cook his way through all the recipes featured in George R. R. Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire” series (upon which the HBO hit “A Game of Thrones” is based.)
Been there, dude. To follow the train of thought expressed by one commentor on the post, I’m still obsessed with what a Butterbeer (from the “Harry Potter” series) would taste like. Butter Rum Life Savers? I’m hoping!
“True Blood” is my favorite TV show – and tonight is the season finale.
That made this seem appropriately timed.
I went for a pedicure recently. As I chilled out and got lost in the US Weekly the salon so nicely provided to me I was delighted to come across the little article shown above. Being a fan of “True Blood” as well as an obviously avid reader, I was pleased to see the #22 fact about Joe Manganiello (who plays Alcide the hunky Werewolf.)
See – Some celebrities read!
Also, I have to point out the sheer awesomeness of “True Blood,” which is a show based off Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels, a fact never forgotten by Alan Ball and the show’s creators. In addition to Ms. Harris herself making a cameo a while back, the characters have been seen reading her books a few times.
Rob, the hero of Nick Hornby’s “High Fidelity,” is a regular guy who runs a downtrodden record store. His sales aren’t great, and his two employees are a pushy wannabe singer and a music snob with an encyclopedic knowledge of every record in the store and then some. Rob’s a little stunted in the maturity department, kind of self-centered, and has a tendency to rank life events and people in top five lists. The most recent list is a list of his top five break-ups, angrily spurred by a break-up with Laura – probably the love of his life and the girl of his dreams. After making this list, he decides to track down the five women who’ve topped his list to see whatever became of them. Some have done pretty well for themselves, some not so much. Along the way, Rob also has a brief relationship with an American singer and reconnects with Laura, while his two employees find love and music in unexpected places.
Life doesn’t always go the way we think it’s going to. Not everyone can be a rock star. Nick Hornby understands his concept fully, and weaves a tale of 30somethings figuring it out that’s constantly interesting and largely funny. “High Fidelity” had me smiling the whole time I was reading it. (I’ll probably be quoting “Kettle Chips! F%$k off!” for years.)
The book seems like an obvious choice for movie adaptation, so it should come as no surprise that it’s the book the John Cusack/Jack Black movie was based off.
Which I’ve never seen – don’t hit me.
Also, an attempt was made to take this novel to the Broadway musical stage. The adaptation and the Broadway parts happened, but the show flopped – for a variety of reasons. Some said the score wasn’t interesting enough (I have the recording, but really only like the opening number), and many reviewcommented that a musical – to be successful – has to have a main character who wants to make a change, whereas Rob is pretty content where he is for much of the book. Yet, the musical’s Broadway production starred the charming-as-can-be Will Chase, who appears in the weird little music video for the show below. See for yourself.
Dude, Bedbugs are terrifying little monsters. They’ve seemingly always been around, but in recent years have re-emerged as a threat and spawned a whole bunch of new businesses, late-night TV jokes, and bouts of paranoia.
Ben H. Winters, the clever author behind “Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters,” ventures away from literary mash-ups in his latest work, “Bedbugs.” This book is a straight-up horror novel that manages to take this insect of terror and weave it into a novel that brings to mind both “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Exorcist.”
I know those are lofty comparisons, but I’m serious.
In this very New York story, married couple Susan and Alex Wendt decide to move themselves (and their 4 year old daughter) into a new apartment – one that seems almost too good to be believed. Their landlady is an older woman who broke the house into two apartments after her husband’s death, so the two-story apartment in a brownstone is a deal the Wendt’s can’t not snap up. Soon after they move in, however, things get weird for Susan. Susan is soon convinced her new home is infested with bedbugs, though no one but her gets bitten or notices these things at all. An exterminator dubs the place free and clear, but Susan’s mind can’t rest. Soon, what began as a question of “bugs or no bugs” spirals into a tornado of doubt, madness, suspicion, death, and potentially even evil spirits.
Is Susan crazy, or are all these things really happening?
If she’s not crazy, how do you stop an infestation of demonic bugs?
S#7T gets real serious, real fast.
I assumed, when I got my review copy of this book, that it’d be smart and a little scary and probably quite funny. I was not expecting it to be such a great thrill ride. “Bedbugs” has some great characters, some terrifying moments, and will have your brain spinning with what’s actually going on in the end.
good great read. I hope it gets a lot of play/press in the upcoming fall (read: Halloween) season.