Thursday, November 13, 2008

Great (?) News

There is always a little bit of apprehension when I hear that a book I love is going to be "adapted" for the big or small screen. But, I'm more hopeful than not about this project. HBO usually does good things, Martin says the script is on point, and they're looking at a "season" = 1 book. So, not too much would be cut out. I'm not even worried so much about the casting, as long as they can act. Cross your fingers, people.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Not a surprise

Galleycat has an interesting blurb about a team of econ profs who analyzed the effect of the "bestseller". That term aside, they mention anecdotally that The Kite Runner "has arguably done more to educate Western readers about the realities of daily life in Afghanistan under the Taliban and thereafter than any government media campaign, advocacy organization report, or social science research."

This is something that people who have been paying attention to books and/or movies, music, tv, media have known for years.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Review: Inkheart

Inkheart (Book 1) Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was recommended to me and I've very happy for it. I listened to this book, read by Lynn Redgrave, and there were times when I wanted her to HURRY UP so I could see what would happen next. It is billed as a juvenile book, but it is juvenile in the way that Harry Potter was juvenile. The language is sophisticated, more sophisticated than your typical juvenile book.

It makes you wonder about what happens between the pages of the book when you're not reading it. Or when the book is over? Or before the book begins. The characters Funke creates are vibrant and three dimensional. There are many twists and turns as well, so you can never be sure what lurks behind the next page.

The only thing that diminished the book for me was that Funke telegraphs her punches many times in the book. By that I mean she'll often use the phrase "Later, when they thought of this..." or "Later, they would recall..." which all but tells you that said character survives whatever nasty surprise yet to befall them. You know certain characters aren't going to die because.....well, they recall things later! It does a lot to dampen the suspense of the book. Maybe that is by design, because it IS a children's book, but it wasn't necessarily what was best for me. Other than that, though, I have no complaints.

Let's hope the movie (set to release in early 2009) is as good as the book!

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Review: Living with the Dead

Living with the Dead (Women of the Otherworld, Book 9) Living with the Dead by Kelley Armstrong

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I listened to this one on audio. It was so good that I listened at work AND at home. I couldn't stop. I wasn't sure how I would feel about this book because it didn't appear to focus on any of my favorites. But, I needn't have worried.

The main storyline was intriguing. The main character had the perfect combination of grit and stupidity that made you cheer for her, and want to strangle her at the same time. The main villain was completely bat shit crazy, even though Armstrong makes her seem somewhat logical as she writes from her point of view. Armstrong strikes a great balance between stalker-chic and sanity, making it so you don't know quite which way to turn.

It was nice to get a continuation of Karl and Hope's story. I'm a fan of Karl and Hope, but I was only partially invested in their couple-hood. I feel better about it now. He is delicious, by the way. No two ways about that!

LOVED Fin and Damon.....and Robyn. Eve cameo was nice, but I did miss Kristof. All in all, a good entry in the series. If people haven't picked up one of these books before, I don't think they'd be left behind. Or, I should say, they won't feel like they have been left behind. They won't have the backstory to fill in the details, but the story told in Living with the Dead is self containing. Hopefully, though, a first time reader would want to find out what they have been missing.

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