Six Degrees of Separation – from Never Let Me Go to the Art of Fielding

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It’s time for #6Degrees – I promise it’s ace fun, so join in and link up!

We begin this month’s chain with Kazuo Ishiguro’s creepy Never Let Me Go – is it a glimpse into the future? It seems too far-fetched but there were elements of the story that felt horribly possible, as there were in Margaret Atwood’s The Heart Goes Last. Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from Wild to The Heart Broke In

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It’s time again for my favourite meme. Based on the concept of six degrees of separation, Emma Chapman and Annabel Smith have created #6DEGREES, where bloggers share links between books in six moves. Check out the rules if you want to play along.

I haven’t read this month’s starting point – Wild by Cheryl Strayed – but I do know that Strayed penned the memoir after her mother’s death and her failed marriage prompted an epic hike along the US Pacific coast. Continue reading

Book vs. Film – What Maisie Knew

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When I posted a book versus film review of Gatsby I copped out and didn’t pick one over the other. I’m doing that again with the recent movie adaptation of the Henry James classic, What Maisie Knew.

James is without question my favourite classic author. A number of his stories have been made into films over the last forty years, notably The Portrait of a Lady starring Nicole Kidman and The Golden Bowl starring Uma Thurman (I didn’t care for the movie version of Washington Square starring Jennifer Jason Leigh at all, nor The Wings of a Dove starring Helena Bonham Carter).

Film directors generally stick to the period piece when bringing James’s stories to the screen although all that changes with What Maisie Knew directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel. Continue reading

Book Q & A

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Australian author and book blogger Annabel Smith tagged me in a fun (quick) meme last week. Yes, it’s taken me a few days to get to it but that’s because I was busy testing my nerves on roller coasters and ridiculous water-slides with the kids on the Gold Coast. I’m still recovering.

Book Q&A Rules

1. Post these rules
2. Post a photo of your favourite book cover
3. Answer the questions below
4. Tag a few people to answer them too
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. Make sure you tell the person who tagged you that you’ve taken part! Continue reading

Actually, I saw the film first (and it was quite good)

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I read the book before I see the film. Almost always.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is about Best/Worst Movie Adaptations. I covered my favourite movie adaptations here and I simply won’t dwell on the worst (it’s the Pollyanna in me). So, with a slight tweak to the topic, my top ten covers great movies I’ve seen before reading the book*.

1. Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick; movie starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence  – because Bradley Cooper (see gratuitous pic above if in doubt… and there’s another one at the end because I have no shame). Continue reading

Re-reads ahead. Because films on the way.

Given the number of books I haven’t read at all, it sometimes seems a bit mad re-reading particular books. But it is nice to revisit old favourites. And I always like to re-read a book if a movie version is on the way, particularly if the movie is based on a book by one of my favourite authors.

Which is why I’ll have to get my skates on for What Maisie Knew, due for release in the US this month. The movie, starring Julianne Moore, is a modern re-telling of the Henry James classic.

Also on the horizon is Tiger Eyes, based on the book by Judy Blume. Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – Authors I’m Thankful For

This is it folks – the only time you’re likely to see Henry James and Judith Krantz mentioned in the same list.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new ‘top ten’ challenge is posted – anyone can join in. This week’s topic is Top Ten (or in my case, eight) Authors I’m Thankful For.

1. John Irving – master story-teller and the creator of the most memorable characters.

2. Judy Blume – for everything.

3. E. L. James – for providing my girlfriends and I with SO MANY laughs whilst reading aloud. For the record, reading FSoG in a monotone has become my girls-weekend-away-party-trick.

4. Charlotte Wood – not only a beautiful writer but an awesome recommender of books. Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – Books to Get in the Halloween Spirit

At the risk of being black-listed by The Broke and the Bookish crowd, I’m admitting that I have no real interest in books about vampires. Or witches. Or anything para-normal. Yes, I did read the Twilight series (because I like a book with hype) and I did enjoy it but it hasn’t gone further than that. So I’m likely to fail miserably at this week’s top ten topic –  Top Ten Books to Get in the Halloween Spirit.

So whilst there’s nothing terribly ghoulish or fitting for Halloween on my list, here’s the ten books that scared the pants off me (for all sorts of reasons) – Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – Don’t Forget About Me!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new ‘top ten’ challenge is posted – anyone can join in.

This week’s topic is ‘Top Ten ‘Older’ Books You Don’t Want People To Forget About’. It’s a terrific topic because so often we’re attracted to the latest, shiniest new release, while some ace books gather dust on the shelves (or worse still, go out of print).

I’ve picked ten books that I remember really enjoying when I was reading them – you know the kind of book you don’t want to end? They may not necessarily finish on your ‘favourite books of all time’ list but they have the perfect combination of memorable characters and a gripping plot. In no particular order, here’s my top ten –

1. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers – exactly as the title suggests. Continue reading