Gift Ideas 2012: Books Adapted

One of the differences with last year’s Gift Guide is that I planned to broaden the range of recommendations. Of course, we all love reading and books but there is some great bookish stuff out there too that, at least I, enjoy almost as much as good book. Some of those things are movie adaptations, bookish movie adaptations. Do you like them?

1. Howards End (James Ivory; 1992)

Adapted from Howards End by E.M Forster. Review here.

This movie adaption is incredibly faithfull to the novel. It is so, so English: Emma Thompson and Helena Boham-Carter make great Schlegel sisters and their interpretations evoke the same feelings the characters do in the book. Review here.

2. The Harry Potter Series (Various Directors; 2001-2011)

Adapted from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

I never finished the Harry Potter series, but die-hard fans love the movie adaptations as much as they love the books. For what I’ve seen, Daniel Radcliff has an uncanny resemblance to the Harry described in the book. Plus, I’ve heard they share the same birthday. Could it get any better?

3. The Lovely Bones (Peter Jackson; 2009)

Adapted from The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.

I decided to read the book before watching the movie after reading Rachel Weisz was starring on the movie adaptation (she is one of my favourite actresses). Peter Jackson creates a Heaven and a state of mind for the main character that is contagious to the audience. Tears will surely roll down your face, but at the end, there will be hope.

4. The Constant Gardener (Fernando Mireilles, 2005)

Adapted from The Constant Gardener by John LeCarré.

Another Rachel Weisz pick, both the book and the movie changed my life: they made me realize how lucky I am to live in Europe, have two heatlhy, caring parents and access to any medical treatment. It also made me ashamed of being European and how we tolerate the pharmaceutical testing in Africa.

5. Cranford (Sue Birtwistle, Susie Conklin; 2007- ????)

Adapted from Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell. Review here.

Winter is perfect to curl up in bed with a good blanket and a BBC adaptation. I don’t know how they do it, but they always create cozy, warm film adaptations and so long that they can allow you a relaxing evening. Cranford is such a warm novel in itself that this adaptation (although mixed with other Gaskell’s stories) has to be the perfect gitf.

30 Day Book Meme – Day 18

Day 01 – The best book you read last year
Day 02 – A book that you’ve read more than three times
Day 03 – Your favorite series
Day 04 – Favorite book of your favorite series
Day 05 – A book that makes you happy                                                                                          Day 06 – A book that makes you sad                                                                                                 Day 07 – Most underrated book                                                                                                        Day 08 – Most overrated book                                                                                                            Day 09 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving                                                                                                                                                      Day 10 – Favorite classic book                                                                                                            Day 11 – A book you hated                                                                                                                     Day 12 – A book you used to love but don’t anymore                                                                     Day 13 – Your favorite writer                                                                                                                 Day 14 – Favorite book of your favorite writer                                                                                 Day 15 – Favorite male character                                                                                                         Day 16 – Favorite female character                                                                                                    Day 17 – Favorite quote from your favorite book                                                                            Day 18 – A book that disappointed you Our Kind of Traitor by John LeCarré. I loved his The Constant Gardener because it’s one of those books that clearly change your life. So, I thought his other works would be the same. I was wrong. I was so in love with Our Kind of Traitor (great cover, amazing previous experience with the author, a gift from mom and dad) and then, it was nothing like I expected. You can read a short description here, but, to put it simply, it was a well-researched work on spies, with a slow narration, a plain style and only an interesting female character. I expected something more humane, something like The Constant Gardener and with such an incredible female character as Tessa Quayle but I found something boring and, although now that I’m writing this I realize there is something humane in Our Kind of Traitor too, it was not the same. John LeCarré will never be the same for me.

30 Day Book Meme – Day 7

Day 01 – The best book you read last year
Day 02 – A book that you’ve read more than three times
Day 03 – Your favorite series
Day 04 – Favorite book of your favorite series
Day 05 – A book that makes you happy                                                                                          Day 06 – A book that makes you sad                                                                                                 Day 07 – Most underrated book I think bestsellers in general are underrated when it comes to literary criticism and reviews. Because I study literature, most teachers tend to overrate the classics and forget that there is a vast literary production nowadays. Such production, although partly created to sell, can also be very interesting and can be studied and respected as well. For example, The Weird Sisters, The Help and The Constant Gardener had more impact on my life than many 17th century classics. So, why do schools and universities still force children to read books they don’t relate to? The important thing is to teach people to love reading not only to read the classics. Bestsellers play an important role here, since they are interesting, make easy reading and can be very addictive!

30 Day Book Meme – Day 1

Here we go!

30 Day Book Meme:
Day 01 – The best book you read last year: The Constant Gardener by John LeCarré

I wanted to read the book before I watched the movie, so last year I finally had time and I loved it. It has everything you would look for in a book plus there is a strong social criticism. The Constant Gardener is a book that will open your eyes as you read it, not only about the situation in Africa but also about love and emotions in general (it is what I would call a quest).  This is one of those life-changing books!

Random Postcolonialism Post. Thanks!

I’m not done with the postcolonial series yet. But I’m doing some research so I can post an extensive list of works for everyone to read: from poetry to theatre. I was wondering if you are also interested in films and/or art in general because I am taking a course on African Literature that is actually dealing with movies.

Meanwhile, Emily at The Book Eater has interviewed me and I’m trully honoured. This is my first interview, so, be sure to check Emily’s and explore her wonderful blog.

Also, Risa has given me the opportunity to interview her on some postcolonial issues. I came up with the idea after reading her comment and I thought it would be wonderful to leave academic works besides and ask a young woman in India about present issues. I am still amazed she is praised for speaking such good English.

I would like to know what you would like to read about. I think I’m done with the most basic postcolonial points, but maybe you are interested in countries I haven’t mentioned or know works I haven’t said a word about. So, if you have written a review and would like to share it, leave the link below so we can enjoy it.

Thanks to everyone, especially to Risa and Emily for the opportunities they have brought along.

Suggested works:

  1. The Constant Gardener (John LeCarré)- A perspective on postcolonial Kenya. The book is simply perfect and the movie is saved by Rachel Weisz and Ralph Fiennes. As I said, this book changed me, so owe it a post in the near future.