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50 Books in a Year > Em's List

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message 51: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 1644 comments Mod
Hey Em, I mean, I was the one getting confused!
'Margot at the Wedding' is a US Indie film - Nichole Kidman plays Margot - selfish, uptight, borderline personality disorder (don't actresses love those parts....) goes to her sister's wedding and puts her big foot in it!
One of those films that makes you feel that despite the crazyness, your own family actually isn't that bad. It's drama, but funny in places in that toe-curlingly uncomfortable way... Worth watching, but not classic.
Completely different from 'Rachel at the Wedding', but they have similar titles, came out about the same time etc etc...


abrookingheader | 16 comments Don't get me wrong I think Anne Hathaway is a capable actress but I just don't think she'd fit the character of Emma, well not the Emma I have in my head anyway, but if David Nicholls and his production team believe she is the right person then she must be the Emma the author had had in his mind and you simply cannot argue with that!


message 53: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
Ha! I think you'll find you can argue if you want to... what about Nicholas Cage in Corelli's Mandolin? Way off what was described in the book.

Liz, I may even check that film out - sounds like both films are uncomfortable viewing but in different ways!


message 54: by abrookingheader (last edited May 18, 2010 12:52AM) (new)

abrookingheader | 16 comments Well seeing as you have given me a licence to debate on your list!!...Yes Em, Nicolas Cage wouldn't have been my choice either, and wasn't that a truly awful adaptation of a wonderful book, it would be fascinating to read why they cast him in that role. I suppose ultimately they produce films to make money and if the studio insists on a star name to put a few more bums on seats then yes I can understand Nicolas Cage as Corelli AND Anne Hathaway as Emma...


message 55: by [deleted user] (new)

To be fair to the makers of film adaptations they are always on a loser when they cast these roles. Everybody is going to have an opinion on how they interpreted a character. When The Beach was made into a film I remember the fuss that was made about casting Leonardo DeCaprio (he's american for a start). He did capture the geeky nature of the main character tho.

You are right though. They are going to cast a less suitable big name over a lesser actor who might fit the role better.


message 56: by [deleted user] (new)

PS. Em... well done on finishing Catch 22. I've tried to read that book a few times. Never get past about a third of the way through. Maybe I should persist.


message 57: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
Peter wrote: "PS. Em... well done on finishing Catch 22. I've tried to read that book a few times. Never get past about a third of the way through. Maybe I should persist."

It was a challenge but does get easier the further you get into it, I read it for book group and as I am the "book group swot" who always reads the book (even the bad ones) I just don't want to loose my title! Quick survey seems to suggest that it'll be a limited discussion as only one other person is remotely near finishing it.


message 58: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
Peter wrote: "To be fair to the makers of film adaptations they are always on a loser when they cast these roles. Everybody is going to have an opinion on how they interpreted a character. When The Beach was mad..."

Yeah but they can take the criticism Peter, they're fine in their big Hollywood mansions, swimming in their pools etc. etc. Actually, I did enjoy The Beach, even though Leonardo isn't British - probably not for the same reasons as you though.

Did you see The Golden Compass? I thought the casting was good for that, and the film looked good but I didn't like it regardless - maybe you're right, they just can't win!


message 59: by [deleted user] (new)

I haven't seen the Golden Compass though I have read the book. I read the entire trilogy but I have to admit that by half way through the third one I had lost interest. The Subtle Knife was great but the last one got a bit daft.


message 60: by [deleted user] (new)

abrookingheader wrote: "Well seeing as you have given me a licence to debate on your list!!...Yes Em, Nicolas Cage wouldn't have been my choice either, and wasn't that a truly awful adaptation of a wonderful book, it woul..."

How about Nic Cage as Emma?


abrookingheader | 16 comments Haha! Peter, I am sure the bean counters at these studios would seriously consider that should it keep the tills ringing!


message 62: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
Peter wrote: "I haven't seen the Golden Compass though I have read the book. I read the entire trilogy but I have to admit that by half way through the third one I had lost interest. The Subtle Knife was great b..."

I know what you mean, I got a bit impatient for the story to get moving in the 3rd book - I enjoyed the trilogy over all though. I've heard his new book: The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ is very good.


message 63: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 1644 comments Mod
Peter wrote: "abrookingheader wrote: "Well seeing as you have given me a licence to debate on your list!!...Yes Em, Nicolas Cage wouldn't have been my choice either, and wasn't that a truly awful adaptation of a..."

Nicholas Cage as Emma - LOL!
Yes! You know, I can see the interview with Nic Cage; discussing his preparation for the role, how he had to lose weight and get into shape, hours in the make up chair, getting into the female mindset etc etc.
Well, I guess Dustin Hoffman did it for 'Tootsie' - but then he did have height (or lack of) on his side....


message 64: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
You guys have seen those inspired Orange advertisements/turn off your phone trailers at the cinema haven't you? Just the kind of film production discussion that happens when the business supersedes the creative...

I think they're based on real life!


message 65: by [deleted user] (new)

Given nic cage's commitment to method acting (he ate a cockroach in one film?) I would imagine he would undergo a full sex change. :)


message 66: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
Eeeewwwww, did he really eat a cockroach - yuk! He does seem to be a bit out there if you know what I mean? I'm just guessing, but I think the film people responsible will stick to their original casting decisions in this case!


message 67: by Em, Moderator (last edited May 26, 2010 05:02AM) (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
24. The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister

A bit of a change of pace after Catch-22, this book is easy and quick to read. It's full of wonderfully descriptive writing about food and flavours. The romantic elements lead me to the conclusion that this is more so a book for the girls - but I could be wrong!


message 68: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
25. I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron

Continuing the light-reading, a series of humorous essays written by the creator of "When Harry Met Sally" about topics such as age, marriage, cooking, work and home. This book sort of leapt into my hand at the library, mainly because I saw the writers name and thought "hmmmmm I know that name, who is it? Oh, yeah".

Disgrace arrived from Amazon this morning, this is my next book group read so think I'll get started on this next.


message 69: by Em, Moderator (last edited Jun 23, 2010 04:29PM) (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
26. Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee

For me, this is an amazingly good book on many levels - the use of language, the sense of place and time (post apartheid South Africa), the characterisation and style. It's a hard hitting book, no doubt about that but I thought it was excellent. I'm really excited about discussing this book with my friends at our book group - I reckon more will get through this than Catch-22!


abrookingheader | 16 comments Em wrote: "26. Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee

The book is wonderfully crafted with an interesting take on the post-apartheid SA. I am in no doubt this was worthy of all it's accolades and prizes, the author is truly gifted BUT I hated the book and the characters particulary David and Lucy Lurie.
David with his problems of lust and the fact that women tend to fall at his feet, which seemed to me too hard to believe. Lucy was even worse - a lesbian who accepts rape!!! I apologise if I seem to view this with my cosy first/old world eyes but only when the rule of law breaks down would anyone see rape as a matter of fact, so it is incredulous that anyone would accept rape so easily as Lucy did.

Maybe this was too highbrow for me but what showed great promise in the first few chapters quickly disintegrated.



message 71: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
*SPOLIERS*

Oh, no doubt as I wrote before there is alot within this book which is awfully hard hitting and David Lurie is a difficult person to like - I think part of that is how the book is written. Although, we see alot seemingly from his perspective, it's not in the first person so I always felt a little at arms length from him. What interested me about his character though, is that no - he is not perfect, he is flawed and to my mind there is potential debate as to whether he may have been (vitually) guilty of rape himself. Then he experiences one disaster after another and these awful experiences both to him personally and to his daughter ultimately change him.

As to Lucy, I did like her. I can understand that you felt she accepted the rape as she didn't report it or even take medical action following it but I didn't feel that it was easily done. I wondered if she was shocked into inaction, or if she was in denial or if she simply couldn't face the whole process of reporting it to a police force in disarray with little hope of a conviction and every chance of recrimination from her neighbour or at the least loss of his good will. I actually thought there was nothing easy about her situation or her choices - she wouldn't leave, she wouldn't have an abortion, she's trying to find and keep her place in a country experiencing massive social upheaval.

In all, the fact that these characters weren't straight forward and its setting in a place and time of such political and social change is what makes me so interested in discussing it further and hearing what others have to say... it ought to be an interesting book group if people react as diversely as you and I anyway!


message 72: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
27. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I heard about this book from people on Good Reads so thought I would give it a read to see what it was all about... and I thought it was excellent. Full of suspense, very exciting, seemed to me to be based on an interesting fusion of reality/survival type TV and the gore and guts of the Roman gladiator arenas. Very pleased to read a book aimed at young people with a strong, independent girl at its heart.


message 73: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
28. A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood

I wanted to read the book before watching the film adaptation based upon it. I'm still reflecting on what I've read, it struck me as a very honest portrayal of a person bereaved and getting though the day somehow, it is thought provoking on such ideas as love, loss, human connection, society and life. (Alot for a short 150 pages.) I didn't expect it to end the way it did, I had to read the last few pages three times to take it in properly.


abrookingheader | 16 comments I am SO SO sorry, I hadn't thought about spoiling the book for others! I apologise to all who read your list and have not read the book!!!

I'll send a private message next time....

I think I better shut up now.


message 75: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
Oh yeah, ah well, I forgive you... but then I've already read the book!!

I try to remember to indicate there may be spoilers just in case, but it's pretty hard to discuss anything with out giving details away isn't it?


message 76: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
29. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

A dense, detailed book and a facinating choice of topic. Hilary Mantel bases her story on the character of Thomas Cromwell and veiws events in the Tudor Court around the time of King Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine, his marriage to Anne Boleyn and the reformation of the church. I have been reading this book in a very protracted way only during the commute and I'm not sure if this did it justice. I plan on re-reading it in a year or so but concentrating on it more fully - it's for me a book that is worthy of a second look.


message 77: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
30. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

Awful title! Too long...

That aside, this is an enjoyable book - good for a summer read however, I didn't find myself as emotionally involved as I'd have expected. A writer becomes acquainted with the rather eccentric members of the Guernsey Literary Society formed during the German Occupation of the Channel Islands. It takes the form of letters and telegrams etc - I liked this devise. Although it's subject matter does mean that it depicts sad and even traumatic events, it maintains a light and humerous touch.


message 78: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
31. Feminine Gospels: Poems by Carol Ann Duffy

The first new poetry I have read in absolutely years! This collection reflects on the feminine state (as you no doubt guessed from the title.) I am glad to discovered the work of Carol Ann Duffy, all be it a bit on the late side. I enjoyed these poems as they were accessible, amusing and usually took predictable topics such as dieting, shopping etc in completely unpredictable directions. I'll be reading more...


message 79: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 1644 comments Mod
Em wrote: "29. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

A dense, detailed book and a facinating choice of topic. Hilary Mantel bases her story on the character of Thomas Cromwell and veiws ..."


I loved Wolf Hall, but it is an intricate doorstop of a book. I tend to read one book at a time, rather than having several on the go, which I think in this case helped keep my mind in that world and immersed in the story. It left me wanting to read more Hilary Mantel books....


message 80: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
Me too... I'm afraid I hadn't even heard of her before she won the Booker Prize last year!


message 81: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
32. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Having loved The Hunger Games, I was a bit nervous this book wouldn't live up to expectations somehow. Fortunately, I needn't have worried. The second book of the trilogy begins at a slower pace, setting the scene and giving hints to the underlying political and social climate of this dystopian future. It then rapidly increases in pace and excitement and I became as entranced with this book as I was with the first. It doesn't half leave you dangling at the end though... the cliffhanger is plain mean!


message 82: by Jo (new)

Jo I felt the same about that one. It didn't disappoint at all! Looking forward to the third book.


Lynne - The Book Squirrel (SquirrelsEnd) | 3471 comments I thought that too - just screamed NNOOOO! lol!


message 84: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
33. The Darkness of Wallis Simpson by Rose Tremain

A diverse, interesting and often surprising collection of short stories. The one that stood out for me was "The Darkness of Wallis Simpson" which considers her final days, suffering with Alzheimer's and not remembering the most significant event of her life - the fact that her third husband abdicated from the throne in order to marry her! Will definitely keep an eye out for other books by Rose Tremain - I really enjoyed this one.


message 85: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
34. Persuasion by Jane Austen

After many re-reads of the other Austen novels this is actually the first time I've read Persuasion and I have to say I loved it! It's a slim, stylish book with a mature, intelligent and thoughtful heroine - just great!


message 86: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
35. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

It's bleak, very sad but each sentence is so beautifully crafted - it felt to me like every word was weighed and thought about, almost poetic. Sometimes, his style put me in mind of Jeanette Winterson, although they're very different, it is the respect and use of language which I think both writers have a gift for. There are some simple exchanges of dialog between Father and Son which convey so much about the love between them - it isn't necessarly what is said, but what is unsaid that makes it even more moving.


message 87: by Jo (new)

Jo I have been meaning to read that for ages!


message 88: by abrookingheader (last edited Jul 02, 2010 05:53AM) (new)

abrookingheader | 16 comments I watched the film last night and you are right it is extremely bleak, good thing I had two bottles of bitter from M&S - Viggo Mortenwhatshisname (Has he been in a bad film since Lord of the Rings??!!?)was very good as the father and the boy who played his son was just wonderful, conveying the right amount of innocence without being sugary....as you said the bond between the two is central to plot - the father trying to find balance between teaching his son how to survive in an ever increasing hostile environment and perserving their humanity....as always, I am sure the book will be far superior but not sure if I can take any more of its dark and bleak outlook without first intoxicating myself....again.


message 89: by Em, Moderator (last edited Jul 07, 2010 11:05AM) (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
Well, bitter isn't my drink but reckon I can manage the film on a large glass of red wine! I'd like to see how they adapted the book - it sounds as if the central relationship translated well. I'd recommend the book and anyway, it would be good to know what you both think about it.


message 90: by [deleted user] (new)

The Road is one of the best books I have read. It's certainly the bleakest. I found it hard to read in places because you knew what the outcome was going to be but equally I found that I read in a very short space of time because it was so compelling.

I read it when my son was newly born so I guess that it had extra resonance with me. Also, it was a very bleak January in the north east of Scotland at the time so it wasn't too hard to imagine the world that they were travelling through. :)

Once you are into the style of writing it is a great book IMHO.


Dan Smith | 175 comments Peter wrote: "The Road is one of the best books I have read. It's certainly the bleakest. I found it hard to read in places because you knew what the outcome was going to be but equally I found that I read in a ..."

It's a beautiful book. McCarthy writes so well. Even when you don't understand his words (which can happen in some of his books), the sound of them in your head, and the look of them on the page is second to none.


message 92: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
He certainly used one or two words I have never seen before. I didn't look them up or anything, so I'm no wiser as a result - I figure if in doubt, infer your own meaning from the context and continue...

Some writers tell a great story but the writing would never be described as a beautiful but one of the main things I loved about this book is how creatively he uses language - I thought that was phenomenal.


message 93: by Em, Moderator (last edited Jul 07, 2010 04:30AM) (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
36. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Just finished reading this to my girls - they love Charlie Bucket, he's a big hero. This is one of the first proper books I ever read on my own and a long time favourite. Reading them to my kids completely justifies my impulse decision to buy the complete collection of Roald Dahl when The Book People bought it to the office. Seriously, I can't even go to work with out buying books!


message 94: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
Going back to The Road, I'm leading a book group discussion in a couple of weeks so any ideas for questions etc. are welcome...


message 95: by [deleted user] (new)

It might be interesting to discuss what everyone thinks has gone wrong with the world. There's only hints in the book but was it environmental, war (seems like a nuclear winter) or what? Does it matter?


message 96: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
Good idea! I was wondering about that as I read...


message 97: by Em, Moderator (last edited Jul 14, 2010 02:18PM) (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
37. Poison by Chris Wooding

A book for older children/young adults, a creative take on traditional fairy tales with an interesting group of characters, an imaginative fantasy world and an exciting quest type adventure.


message 98: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
38. Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant

Lynne and I have both read this book, it's set in 16th Century Italy and is the story of a young novice who is sent against her will to the convent. It is an excellent book, the historical and religious setting is very richly described, the story itself is gripping and keeps you hooked and as to the characters - love or loathe or a strange confection of the both, they are well drawn, life-like and utterly believable.


Lynne - The Book Squirrel (SquirrelsEnd) | 3471 comments Really enjoyed reading this with you Em, we will have to do another one soon!


message 100: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2367 comments Mod
I enjoyed it too, definitely like to read another at some point. I think we made a good choice with this one!


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