I have pretentious as fuck taste in books. I’ll admit it right now. I love books that are complex and introspective, and I love books that are an homage to the art of writing. That being said, my all-time favorites are:
Some others that I place in the group of “My favorite books” are:
… This list is longer than I had originally thought. Anyway, if you’re interested in any of these books please talk to me about them. Or don’t, because I might never shut up about them.
[Note: Limited to literary fiction]
So I kind of want to start an online book club here. But, you know, I want to read smart books, really smart books, that get overlooked a lot in school. And we could all agree to read this book over the course of a month or two months or whatever, and we could make blog posts as we go along and talk about the book and what we like or don’t like about it and how it makes us feel and whatnot. Because books are cool. We could read Supervert’s Necrophilia Variations or How to Be Good by Nick Hornby or Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney or Sad Movies by Mark Lindquist or Finnley Wren by Philip Wylie or Bukowski’s Ham on Rye or Stendhal’s The Red and the Black or any other one of the countless books out there that we wouldn’t otherwise get to read.
I dunno. I think it sounds fun. Is anyone interested?
Start of my vlawg. I say balls and embarrass myself and subscribe if you want.
Because it’s the only time you can see how someone other than you interpreted the book.
Fuck you Nick Fairy and your film major tomfoolery. As a future English major and general adorer of books, I can say that books are more fun because you can imagine things. You can bend reality in books in a way that movies just lay out for you. I’m going to use three examples (to be fair, I’ll use representations that stayed close to the originals):
1) The Hunger Games —
It’s recent, everybody’s talking about it, and the movie just came out. When I read the book, I interpreted the Capitol people as looking like slightly exaggerated typical Hollywood citizens: lots of botox, false eyelashes, hair extensions everywhere. To Katniss, who lives in crippling poverty, of course they would look like mutants. Lo and behold, Elizabeth Banks walks out in a pink curly fro and pursed lip in the movie. When you see a fictional society presented on film, you see what the filmmaker wants you to see. When you read one in a book, you use the author’s description to build your own. There’s a distinct personal experience to literature that can’t be replicated on film.
2) Hugo —
Admittedly, I was not a huge fan of The Hunger Games film, but I adored Hugo. That being said, I enjoyed the book more. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is unique in that it incorporates both images and words into its storytelling. Selznick is a master of weaving these two together. You understand Hugo’s heartbreak because you can feel the details about his father slipping away too, and the disappointment in the key not working, and even the thrill of going to the cinema. And that’s because of the way in which the story is presented. On film, Hugo is still brilliant, but it’s not the same. You can see the automaton work, which takes away from its sense of wonder and mystery. Hugo Cabret is all about wonder and whimsy, and that relies heavily on imagination. I loved loved loved loved Hugo, but the book allowed me more insight and understanding of, ironically enough, the magic of film.
3) Pride and Prejudice —
I love this book (so hate me), and I’ve seen two different interpretations of it. I enjoyed both. It was admittedly exciting to see the 18th century world of Austen come on the screen. Viscerally, the films were captivating. But when you read P&P, you don’t really care about what everything looks like. You care about the characters. So much of the novel is Lizzie Bennet’s internal thoughts, which can’t be portrayed as fluidly on film, no matter how great an actress you hire. The rebelliousness of her character comes out in her thoughts and subtleties more than her actions. And of course, Mr. Darcy is a creature of fantasy. When you assign a real person and visage to the character of Darcy, he loses some of his charm. There’s this mystery to Darcy, where the reader has interpret his appearance, his facial expressions, his, voice, his expressions, etc. In a film, the viewer experiences the actor’s interpretations. Which is interesting, but not the same.
I love film. I love when books get turned into films, but I love it because I get to see how somebody else interprets the world I have imagined for myself. The wonder and magic of books is different from the wonder and magic of cinema. Convert one to the other, and you lose a bit of the magic. The books are better simply because they were written as books — they were intended to be read and left to interpret. So in conclusion, Nick Fairy is, as usual, wrong.
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
One of the most underdeveloped, unsatisfying endings to a book series I have ever read. And things were going so well until the second half, too. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the book, but the ending left a lot to be desired. Like, an ending, for instance.
Books left: 39
Due Date: September 1, 2012