Throwback Thursday

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Sue: Anna Karenina 

This time last year I was reading Anna Karenina by Tolstoy.

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It’s a big book and a challenging read, and I may not have made it through if I had been battling the text rather than listening to the audiobook.

 

Anna Karenina is a pretty bleak tale about the downfall of a society woman in 19th century Russia.

 

What impressed me most about this novel was Tolstoy’s obvious sympathy and understanding to Anna’s predicament. Anna struggles with motherhood, pregnancy and birth. Her affair with Vronsky leaves her outcast from society, separated from her son and completely dependent on Vronsky for everything. This leads to her suffering crippling depression and her eventual suicide.

 

Anna Karenina is terribly sad but, unfortunately, still terribly relevant.

 

Imogen: The Secrets of Droon

I’m going to be throwing back a little farther than Sue. I’m throwing all the way back to 2009, when I was reading the secret of Droon books by Tony Abbott.

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I wouldn’t highly recommend these books to many people, as they are children’s books, but they are quite enjoyable and a great read.

 

When I think of books I’ve read in the past, this series immediately jumps into my head. It made a huge impact on me and how I saw reading. Now I was quite young when I read these, so in school we had to sit down for ‘reading time’ and many of me peers felt the same about books as they do today; skim, scan get it over with. I was one of the only kids who brought my own book, but I do have to say it did leave me scared that one of my favourite books was written by Tony Abbott. But thankfully it was written by Tony Abbott

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(It was written by the second man, I was scared that the books were written by the Australian politician on the left)

 

These books are a fantasy ride that many kids will enjoy, sparking up their imagination and a love of reading.

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday

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Welcome to the Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and The Bookish.

This week our Top Ten consists of most notable book to screen adaptations (as far as we’re concerned.)

  1. The Princess Bride

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OK, I have been raised on this movie and have only recently read the book. This book confused me a little [OK, a lot] at first because Goldman insists that the book is written by Morgenstern so, my brain didn’t cope very well with the lies. Being raised with the movie I really loved being able to learn the characters’ backstories and motives to a larger degree, like Inigo’s father, Count Rugen’s wife (and he’s much taller and broader than the movie leads us to believe) as well as Fezzik’s past and many other details. Anyone who has seen this movie I believe will agree with Goldman in saying that it’s a classic and if you want to know the tale more in depth the book is the right alley to go down. Anyone who hasn’t seen the movie, you’re either younger than me, older than my mum or an unfortunate soul. You should fix that.

2. BBC Pride and Prejudice

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Sue here. The 1995 adaption of Pride and Prejudice was utterly fantastic. The screenplay was wonderful , the locations and scenery on point, the costuming divine and the casting exquisite. Adrian Lukis as Wickham was both dashing and an utter cad. The younger sisters and Mrs Bennet were perfectly ridiculous and utterly obnoxious. All the early scenes between Darcy and Lizzie are the perfect level of awkward, with the proposal scene being perfectly awful! And then there was Colin Firth. I’m sure sufficient ink and pixels have been spent discussing the amazing smoulder that Firth brought to the screen. I’m sure a character has rarely been as fetishised all whilst leaving his shirt on.

3. Sense & Sensibility

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Sue again. I have one thing to say.

Alan Rickman.

End of discussion.

5.If I stay

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This book and adaptation are more recent than the other books so far. OK, this was a very interesting book to read from the way it switches POV from past to present. The movie took this concept and performed it brilliantly. Going from where Mia was to where she had been and mixing the two together, transitioning amazingly. I have to admit, I am waiting for ‘Where she went’ ,the sequel to If I stay, to be adapted, though I haven’t heard anything along those lines so I will sit here and foolishly hope for another 14 months.

5. The 5th Wave

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I believe there has been sufficient talk about this book and movie that we all know what’s going on. I loved this book series. I pushed myself through the first book in a day so we could see the movie that night and I wasn’t too disappointed. The movie did a very good job capturing the characters, and the transitions from the different scenarios and the similarities of the characters came through really well. And once again we are waiting for the sequel that seems like it’s never going to arrive. Or I’m utterly impatient. Probably both.

6. Percy Jackson

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I know what you’re going to say. But I am including the Percy Jackson movies. AND to add insult to injury, this book and the next one are basically neck-and-neck, this is higher on the list solely because I got further through the second book. Yep, I forced myself through the first two books not even finished the second book. But, on a controversial note, I actually really enjoyed the movies. The movies and the books seemed to come from completely different places. I know plenty of people who love these books, but I always felt like I was being talked down to by the author, like I wasn’t expected to understand the ‘big words’ that many other authors used. But the movies! There was a complete new energy, a complete new life brought to that story. Then I found out the third adaptation wasn’t going to be made, I still wanted to know what happened in the story, but I wasn’t game enough to pick up those books.

7. The Maze Runner

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Like I said before, the sole reason this is lower than Percy Jackson was the I didn’t get as far through the second book as I did with the aforementioned series. Now, I did something unforgivable with this series; I watched the movie before I read the book. And I loved the movie, so I was sure that the book would be fabulous, and the first book was great, The Scorch Trials, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t watch the scorch trials movie until I read the book; but… I never finished the book so I still haven’t seen the second movie. Looking back on the book I think either one of two things happened, (a) seeing the movie first raised my expectations of the first book leading me to enjoy it immensely, for the second book I had no such expectations so I read it as it was; or (b) the second book was, sadly, as most second books in a trilogy a kind of ‘filler’ and I got bored faster than normal. Either way, I still have this trilogy in my possession, so if I ever want to give it another go, it’s there.

8.Vampire Academy

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I love these books. These books are awesome, the main idea is fabulous and the movie recognized this and didn’t do the most brilliant job of it. Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy the movie but I don’t think many people share my opinion. The movie captures many of the main ideas and moments of the plot, and I thought the casting choices were fabulous, (biased, I am) but, once again: when do I get Frostbite? There was he whole big scene at the end to ready us for the next movie but it’s not happening. I see a recurring theme in my problems with adaptations, do you?

 

9.The Hunger Games

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OK, I have read this book series once; Sue can tell you how strange that is, I re-read EVERYTHING. So, you can see how I would not know how to process my feelings about this series when I don’ want to re-read it. The movies have been quite good and true to the story but in his one I think; the fact That I could fit into the Capitol without and white make-up smeared over my face just kind of disturbs me (pale person). I like the books and the movie about equally the story is mainly fabulous, but all of the lying and drama, I just…

10.Divergent

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Here we go.

I am sorry I had to rant about this at some point. Anyone who read the Divergent series and loved is on the same page, the books got better each time, the story just built up and became more intricate and soul shattering and then the movies. Keep. Getting. WORSE. Last I saw was Insurgent and I was so excited for Allegiant then I saw Rotten Tomatoes rating of it, and… no. None of my friends liked it, there’s still another one coming, and I just couldn’t. Nope, I give up, these movies are not worth wasting my time while I could read the book and have a good version. It makes me sad, the books were really good. And they spoiled the ENTIRE Chicago part in the first thirty seconds, that’s not how we should find out! Nice one directors.

OK, and that is this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. I apologize for any ranting, bringing up of painful adaptation memories and the killing of peoples dreams. Leave a comment if you want to try and change my mind on anything here, I’ll do my best. As the title says these are the top ten notable adaptations, not the best. Half of these wouldn’t be in here if it were the best ones. Happy reading.

 

 

Review: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

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I mainly read Young Adult books and I’d heard a lot of good things about this series. Ruby Red follows Gwyneth Shepard, her family and a secret society. Gwyneth’s family has a time travel gene which travels down the line to certain people. Gwyneth’s cousin Charlotte has been trained for time travel being predicted to inherit this gene, but, Gwyneth starts have dizzy spells and inherits the gene instead. Throughout the series, Gwyneth deals with the people of the society resenting her, romantic confusion and trying to sneak information to her best friend (which of course is against the rules).

Ruby Red trilogy

Gwyneth is a character that I really like. She’s good enough at school and doesn’t mind poking fun at her teachers and classmates but still takes good care of her younger siblings. She is not a fighting girl like many of the books I read. Gwen is tougher than she may appear at first glance, but still not so tough that she would take on an armada of ghosts on her own with only some masking tape and a baseball bat.

The first time I read this series, I absolutely loved it, not predicting half of the plots twists that were in the books. But the second time I read them was when I noticed the language. The language in the books is very formal, and a wee-bit exaggerated I guess. Given that the book was originally written in German, I can understand this and I’m perfectly fine with it.

There are a few points in the books, where I take a moment and debate with myself. As the series focuses on time travel many of the things that happen leave no paradoxes, but there are a few points where a grandfather paradox should ensue. Being a sci-fi fan for most of my life, it’s difficult for me to ignore these points but, for now I’ll leave it be.

 

3 out of 5 water spewing gargoyles