A couple of weeks back I saw this link on Facebook, 16 Books to Read Before They Hit Theatres This Year, and I got really excited. I'm a big fan of the movies but I don't keep track of what movies are based on what books – it usually all hits me later and by that time it's too late to read the book in advance. I don't know about you, but I like to read the book first because usually the book is better.
The Shipping News, for example. The book is magnificent. If I could only recommend one book to you, it would be that. The movie, on the other hand, was a profound disappointment. Physically, Kevin Spacey wasn't even close to resembling the bumbling, bear-like largesse of Quoyle, the main character. The story wasn't adequately described. The book's play on newspaper headlines was ignored and one of Quoyle's daughters disappeared completely. Gordon Pinsent and Judi Dench were right on the money, absolutely perfect, and Newfoundland's austerely gorgeous scenery was magnificent, but the rest of the movie was as close to suckage as suckage gets.
Anyway, I do appreciate Arielle Calderon at Buzzfeed for organizing all the books-to-movies being released this year in one tidy list. I appreciated it so much that I immediately took Dave's credit card shopping at Amazon (sorry honey, I meant to mention this earlier) and purchased a bunch of books on that list. (By the way, I'd like to point out that MY book is two-thirds cheaper than all the books on this list... just saying...)
I don't have a hope in hell of getting all these books read in time but I am giving it my best college try and, if you want to join me in this ridiculous quest, I'd love to have you along. It would be fun to hear what other people think of the books I'm ploughing through.
Labor Day by Joyce Maynard. LOVED IT. It's a quick read – those faster readers than me will breeze through it in a couple of evenings. It's about a divorced mother and her adolescent son who run into an escaped criminal. He winds up spending the Labor day weekend with them and changing their lives. It's simple, it's well-told and it stole my heart. I think Josh Brolin, who I fell in love with when he starred in No Country For Old Men, and Miss Awesomesauce herself Kate Winslet will more than do the characters justice and I can't wait to see the movie. By the way, I hadn't really heard of author Joyce Maynard before (d'oh) but now I realize she wrote To Die For, the book that spawned the movie of the same name starring Nicole Kidman. I think I'm becoming a fan of Mizz Maynard, which is a good thing, since she's got a long list of titles to explore.
|Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin star in Labor Day. Release date: Jan. 31.|
Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin. It's considerably longer and not what I'd call an easy read. Still, it is a glorious book bursting with imagination and romance – not just romance as in love, but the romance of stars in a brilliant night sky, industrial-age New York City in swirling snowstorms, bigger than life characters and bigger than life adventure. The prose is stunning – so much so that I find myself reading particularly beautiful passages out loud to Dave as we snuggle into our own bed on cold winter's nights. It makes me sigh, just thinking about it. The book, not me and Dave in bed ...
As I say, I'm only a quarter of the way through SO DON'T TELL ME HOW IT ENDS, but I wanted to let you know I've taken on this foolish plan of reading all these books and then seeing all the movies, just in case you want to join me.
To be fair, I'm probably not going to read ALL the books on the list, or some I'll leave till the end, just because they don't interest me that much. These are the books I've purchased so far:
Labor Day by Joyce Maynard
The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter
Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin
A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
Divergent by Veronica Roth
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Serena by Ron Rash
Gone Girl, also by Gillian Flynn, is also on the list but I've already read it (loved it) and can't wait to see Ben Affleck in one of the starring roles. I'm a big fan of Ben since Argo. AND I can't wait for Serena, which will star my favourite actress on the planet, Jennifer Lawrence. I'd pay to see that woman in an Alpo commercial, I swear!
So, have you read any of these? What did you think? Looking forward to the movies? How was your weekend? How is your husband/wife/dog/cat/kid/kids/job/meat loaf? What are you making for supper tonight? Anything good? Can I come?