Sunday, 27 September 2009

TSS - Books & Films

I've been exceptionally lazy with my blog this week as far as posting reviews goes. I've whizzed through a few novels and haven't yet gotten to the reviewing part. Shame on me. Especially because one of them was for my R.I.P. Challenge.

As some of you might have seen, I reviewed The Unbearable Lightness of Being which was the second book in my Classics Challenge. I was quite surprised to find that I enjoyed it as much as I did. I'd probably read it again, which is something I didn't expect to be saying. I haven't had that with a lot of the books I've read recently.

Rosemary's Baby was the next one. Very well written. I watched the film about a year ago and, while reading the book, found myself checking the release dates for both that and the film. Have you ever read a film-to-book book? One that's released to accompany a film? That's what Rosemary's Baby is like. In this case, the book did come first, so kudos to Roman Polanski (who I've just read has been arrested again) for doing a great job of the adaptation. It's a scary one. The one thing I learned from the book: Never ever ever befriend your elderly neighbours - they might be Satan's workers.

Then the other night I finally caved in and read something by Ian McEwan. Some of you may know that I have been a big fan of Ian McEwan for years. Then this year I read his second collection of short stories, In Between the Sheets, and was greatly disappointed. Not only were they not particularly well-written but you could tell that they a lame-ass attempt at getting something published to fulfill a contract.

That had kind of put me off him. But the other night I decided to take a chance and get back into reading his books. I took a chance on The Cement Garden, McEwan's first novel which was released the same year as In Between the Sheets. While it wasn't a masterpiece, I enjoyed it. It had all of McEwan's quirkiness and contained controversial subject matters that young writers are never afraid to take on. When you compare The Cement Garden to something like On Chesil Beach (which was written 25 years later) you can see the complete maturity McEwan's acquired as time goes on. I love reading writers whose writing changes and improves and it's exciting to be able to see that through the books. My Ian McEwan dry spell is over.


I'm currently reading Wicked by Gregory Maguire (at last!). This is a book I've been wanting to read since it was released and I'm finally getting down to it. I'm not going to say anything about it yet because I'm only a couple of chapters in but I will say this - I'm having to try and get used to the idea that this is a novel written for adults. I always associate The Wizard of Oz with childhood so to be brought back into Oz accompanied by talk of sex and bad language is quite shocking.

I swear like a sailor and don't mind reading hardcore porn but this is taking it's time to adjust. It's strange. Childhood and adulthood have totally come together in an unexpected way. Let's hope I get used to it.


A little excitement this weekend. The Book Bag is sending me this to review:

The Hollow by Jessica Verday!!!!

Now I've reviewed a lot of great books for that website and discovered authors I never would have thanks to them. But I've never seen a book that's on my Amazon wishlist before. :-D

Over-excitement? Yes but I don't care. Do you know how long my wishlist is? (Check it out here.) I haven't bought any new books for over a year because I'm determined to get through my TBR pile first. So yay! I look at it as a treat to myself.


Audrey Niffenegger's Her Fearful Symmentry is released on Tuesday and, I don't know about you, but I'm ready to devour the shit out of this book (told you I swear like a sailor! :P ). I'm willing to make an exception for my 'Read the TBR pile first' rule for this. Unfortunately, I has no monies! And hardback books are not cheap. Let's hope Cardiff's Borders knock off a couple of pounds - They usually do with new releases because Waterstones is right next door.


Before I end this post, I'm going to say this. If it's still in your local cinema, go and see (500) Days of Summer.

It's about relationships and it's such a beautiful story. So well-written and shot. And very well-acted. It doesn't overplay. And there's nothing missing. It's just simple and sweet. And it has the delicious Joseph Gordon Levitt in it who is all grown up. It's a little strange to hear his voice now - it's all deep and ... deep. I mean, he sounds like a real man.

He's older than me but I still think of him as the long-haired squeaky-voiced Tommy from 3rd Rock from the Sun.

I mean, I hate to say this but, (500) Days of Summer is everything The Time Traveler's Wife should have been. As much as I loved TTTW, I couldn't help but think that something was missing. So if you find yourself in the local film rental place and can't decide on what to watch, choose (500) Days of Summer. It's so worth it.

Anyway, that's it for my Sunday Salon. Lots to come this week. Lots of reviews and a Weekly Geeks to post.

Oh, and I finally changed the comment box. It's now a pop-up box like the majority of you wanted. :)

TTFN. xx  


gautami tripathy said...

I like Milan Kundera books.

TSS: The past week in retrospect and on to the next one...

TSS: The Locked Room by Paul Auster

Amanda said...

I was real disappointed with the only McEwan book I've ever read (Atonement) so I'm not really looking to read more any time soon.

Nor am I planning to get the new Niffenegger book. After two disappointing 1-Star books, I doubt she's a writer for me.

Jenny said...

I felt exactly the same way when I read Wicked. I enjoyed it (well, for a while), but I was quite shocked with all the sexy time in Oz. :P Despite, like you, cursing like a sailor in real life myself.

Melody said...

I'm so jealous that you get to read The Hollow! This book has been on my wishlist!! ;)

Happy reading!

Natascha De Marco said...

Award at my blog!!!!!

The Bookworm said...

I didnt know Rosemary's Baby was a book! Thats a great movie, one of my fav scary ones.
Glad youre enjoying Ian McEwan again. I know what you mean, sometimes our fav writers can dissapoint.

Wicked sounds interesting!

I used to watch 3rd Rock from the Sun lol. Days of Summer does look good.

Ceri said...

Gautami - This was my first try. I'll have to check out some more. :)

Amanda - Yeah, I'd say Atonement was probably the best one of his I've read so far (judging by how well-written they are). I wouldn't bother with anything else.

Jenny - Hehe. Yeah, it's hard to imagine all the munchkinlanders going around talking about sex all the time. Those cheeky devils. ;-)

Melody - I've just started it. I'm so excited!

Taschima - Thank you so much, hun. You rock.

Naida - Yeah, I really love the film. You should check out the book. And check out 500 Days of Summer too. ;-)