Daily Bookish Challenges | Day Five

If you liked this… You should try this…

People ask me all the time for book recommendations, and since my tastes are so varied, I usually can give them something. I tend to read whatever I can get my hands on, and that is EVERYTHING.

Here are a few recommendations based on popular books:

If you like…

Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, you should try The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss

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The DaVinci Code, you should try The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury

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Gone with the Wind, you should try The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

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The Giver, you should try Breeder by KB Hoyle

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Teaser Tuesday 11/11/2014

 

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 

I can’t share a quote from the actual book I’m reading, because it’s an ARC, but here’s one from today’s short story. This is a pretty hard hitting one, especially after reading Gone with the Wind so recently.

 

“Now, don’t forget papa, what’s do be done to her. Her arms won’t work, and her legs won’t work, and she can’t hold her head up. Be sure and have her mended this afternoon, and bring her home when you come to supper; for she’s afraid of the dark, and always sleeps with me. I’ll meet you at the corner at half-past six–and don’t forget, whatever you do.”

–Charles W. Chesnutt, “The Doll”

Are We Sure This is Fiction?

The best authors somehow transport us to different worlds, different times. For the moments we are lost in between pages of the book we are reading, we are no longer sitting on the little brown couch in the upstairs bedroom of our apartment, or the hammock in our parents’ backyard. In those moments, we are far away in the mountains of South Carolina, we are running from Grievers in a maze, we are dancing in a huge manor house during the London Season.

Most of the time, our fiction is obvious. But sometimes, the most wonderful books pull us in so hard that when the white pages hit at the end…we blink back into a reality with a hangover so fierce it is incomprehensible.

I often find that, for me, these are usually historical fiction, especially based on real people, famous people. Maybe it’s because the books are based on facts I already know, and that helps push me into the story deeper. Whatever the reason, I am usually transfixed by the history and the characters.

Here’s a few historical fictions that I have…a few of my favorites.

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What books seem the most real to you?

Can we remake this movie?

You guys have heard me talk about The Thorn Birds about a million times since I’ve started this blog. Have you gone and read it yet? Because you totally should. It’s my favorite.

The Thorn Birds (1983) Poster

They did make a mini series on ABC back in the 80s of it…but the only person I really recognize on the cast is Christopher Plummer. Maybe the rest of the people were more recognizable back then, but there’s few I know. The acting is pretty terrible, and the costuming….well, it was the 80s.

As for the cinematography, there is a whole lot of soap opera soft focus, and dramatic camera shifting. You know what I mean. It IS a romance novel, but all just very General Hospital.

The hair is gigantic and poufy, the makeup is way overdone. I know I keep saying it….but it’s just…the 80s! The book is set in the Australian Outback and spread over a period of time from 1915 to 1969 and I just feel that there could be a much better job done to show the changes that the family went through. It is a romance, but there was also war, drought, extreme poverty, and the list goes on and on.  This is one of those books, like Gone with the Wind, that really shows a nation’s history…and I don’t feel the series did a very good job of showing that.

I’d love to see this book get redone on screen. It deserves more of a showing than it got.

WWW Wednesday 11/5/2014

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What are you currently reading?

A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin

 

 

What did you just finish reading?

Tolkien by Devin Brown

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Michal by Jill Eileen Smith

My Days with Princess Grace of Monaco by Joan Dale

Fairies by Skye Alexander

Gone with the Wind

Gone with the Wind is one of those movies that is so timeless that even though we live in the time of constant remakes, this is one that would be impossible to redo. Almost everyone has seen this movie at least once…ok, most have seen it half a dozen times or more. I know I have. Could you imagine anyone playing Rhett and Scarlett other than Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh? No way. We’d probably end up with Channing Tatum and Megan Fox. Pardon me while I go throw up.

As many times as I’d seen the movie, I’ve never read the book until now. I had found a copy in a used book sale somewhere, calling out to me to finally grab it.

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And folks, I’ve read a lot of books that have been made in to movies, and there are not many that have been done THIS well. About the only thing I don’t remember from the movie is Scarlett having two other kids. Did that happen in the film? Maybe I just need to go watch it again, but the only film baby I remember was Bonnie. And Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh? DEAD ON CASTING. Whoa.

What most people say about this book/movie is this:  “Oh my gosh, BEST LOVE STORY OF ALL TIME!!!”

Yeah, ok, there’s a love story here. Kind of. I see it. But the love story is so far off on timing, that I wouldn’t really call it the best ever. And really, I don’t think that’s what the book is about.

For me, this book is one of the strongest historical fiction novels based during the Civil War and Reconstruction that I have read so far. Mitchell did her homework, and left nothing out. If you are reading it just for the passion, you’re missing so much.

She writes in detail about the politics of the time, the historical figures, how the slaves were treated. There’s a a part in the book where Scarlett is thinking about how the Yankees read Uncle Tom’s Cabin and took that as the bible on slave ownership. They thought that all slave owners whipped and branded the slaves, and how frustrated Scarlett was when she tried to explain otherwise.

(And…for the record…I’m not saying I agree with slavery, but I appreciate Mitchell giving us more points of view into a history that we can no longer see. If that makes sense. I always enjoy learning about the past.)

It’s that sort of thing that fascinated me about Mitchell’s writing. She could have just given us a standard romance novel and women would have been thrilled. But, this book has turned classic because she went so much deeper than that.

Mitchell also appealed to me on a feminist level, and I’m sure a lot of housewives have picked up this book with that same feeling too. Scarlett O’Hara did not conform to societal norms. Life tried to beat her, and she fought back, until she became a strong, hard woman. She had her own business, she was active and intelligent in politics–even going against what her husband and friends believed in. She did things in her life that, while other people found them to be trashy, had to be done to survive. I don’t agree with all of her choices, but I understand why they were made.

This one is going back on my shelf to be read over and over again. I loved it, not for the passion, and “romance.” Because frankly, I found it annoying. Scarlett’s obsession with Ashley frustrated the hell out of me, and Rhett needed a good thrashing sometimes (and if it were Clark Gable…I’d be glad to do it. *ahem*). But there are so many things to learn from this book that get missed in all that nonsense. Reread it. You’ll find it too.

WWW Wednesday 10/29/2014

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What are you currently reading?

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

 

 

What did you just finish reading?

Nefertiti by Michelle Moran

Greyhound by Steffan Piper

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

 

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Game of Thrones by George RR Martin

Fairies by Skye Alexander

The Iliad by Homer (We’ll see…I have some really huge titles on this TBL. I didn’t plan this out so well. I may have to rethink this one.)