Books Via Movies

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There’s a popular bit of wisdom that holds “the book is always better than the movie”- with which I must respectfully differ.  Many landmark films come from meh reading material (The Godfather, Jaws, Rear Window, Rosemary’s Baby, etc.)
Granted, if you are eagerly awaiting a movie franchise of a book series already beloved, you’re doomed to be disappointed.  It’s hard- if not impossible- to fall in love with someone else’s vision of something when you already have your own.

Many of the books I’ve sought out on the strength of a film have been disappointing.  Frankly, some stories are better suited to print and others seem made to be made into films.

But then there have also been times that I have felt very much rewarded in seeking out a movie’s source material. These books are generally a little different than my usual reading material (well-known and older novels)- in a way that makes them particularly suited to summer.  They’re generally shorter and quicker, a bit less thoughtful, a bit more action-driven.
My favorite books found via their movies are below, and arranged by genre: Continue reading “Books Via Movies”

Never Too Old For High Fantasy

High fantasy: fantasy set in an alternative, fictionalized world

I haven’t stopped loving high fantasy as I’ve gotten older, even if I read it less than I used to.  Reading a story that wakes up your imagination is at once comforting and thrilling- comforting because that’s a part of mind that I associate with being younger and the security of being little and taken care of. Thrilling because I can be transported to another world.
It’s this world building that’s always been my favorite thing about fantasy- the maps in the front pages of the book (that sometimes fold out!), exotic names for places and people, fabricated family trees, and the existence of a whole new sequence of history and code of rules waiting to be discovered.
I even dreamed of writing the next great fantasy novel (I can remember so many that I started and never got very far with- “Under the Eye of the Dragon” being a title that springs to mind 😛 ), but characteristically got bogged down in the planning of the details, which was honestly the most exciting part for me.  Drawing maps of my own kingdoms, diagramming my own (very convoluted- I read too many books about Tudor England) ancestries, cataloguing the horses in my imaginary stable (with names, breeds, and ages, of course), drawing a floor plan of said imaginary stable on graph paper, and drawing up adoption booklets filled with fictional beasts (and then making my parents adopt them so I could send them postcards from the adoptees).

So I never got around to writing the next great fantasy novel.  But that hasn’t stopped me from reading them and appreciating other people’s world-building, character choices, and well, patience, which was the thing that I really lacked.
(Guess what? I have it now and sometimes write short stories! But not so much for people to read, because I know I overuse adjectives and adverbs and comparisons. It’s very self-indulgent writing 😛 )
So if you feel like curling up with fantastical happenings, heroic adventures, and sometimes romance, here are some suggestions that i think do a good job of appealing to the child in all of us while still being well-written and innovative enough to not offend our adult sides. Continue reading “Never Too Old For High Fantasy”

Words and Weariness

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I’m low on sleep.  Blame it on ballroom team elections and deliberations last night, which went from 8 pm until 2 am.  I know I have the bad habit of comparing everything to the Bataan Death March…

I don’t have a young person’s sleep schedule.  I like going to bed and waking up on different days.  All I wanted to do today was lie in bed and eat pancakes. (I typed ‘eat panics’ first and now I’m worried about the state of my subconscious).

It’s days like this that I turn to the vicissitudes of the English language, foggily inscrutable even when one has had the most restful of sleeps. Continue reading “Words and Weariness”

Animated and Under-Appreciated II

Most of yesterdays list focused on movies from different places, whereas today’s will be more about movies from a different time- with some exceptions. In other words, I didn’t plan this but it kind of worked out this way so it is definitely not a hard-and0fast rule as much as a coincidence.

And so the first one doesn’t fit that pattern at all. Continue reading “Animated and Under-Appreciated II”