Over the weather – sort of

What’s a girl to do when she’s under the weather and run out of library books to read? Turn to ‘literary’ films (can’t quite use the term ‘film adaptations’ on all of these movies) on Instant Netflix and raid her several boxes of unpacked books.

It was day two of the Terrible SniffSniffCoughCough and I wasn’t ready to get my butt off the couch and hit the library. The library probably wasn’t looking forward to my presence either. Insert hacking cough here. Queue the fleeing library visitors.

I browsed the Netflix list and woohoo! There was Bright Star! It was exquisite, quiet, moving, thoughtful. The camera lingered, it loved. This was such a beautiful, heartbreaking love story. Keats coughed, I coughed. I pitied his damp, dank temporary lodgings and envied the colourful, fresh gardens and woods, as well as Fanny’s fashion-forwardness (and her hats!). His words, so moving. Their love, touching and so sad. Handwritten letters. Real ink. Wax seals. Oh!

I then turned to a very different ‘literary’ film, inspired by Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, 10 Things I Hate About You is one of my favourite teen movies. A very young Heath Ledger, Aussie accent and all. The always fun Julia Stiles. And music by Letters to Cleo. I’ve probably seen this several times over but it was – and always will be, whether on a sick day or not – a completely entertaining and endearing movie.

And what about the books? I’ve been reading. I have. There was Hanif Kureishi’s Intimacy and Midnight All Day, which I picked up from a secondhand bookstore in the city last year, attracted mostly by its title. It’s filled with stories about lovers, and lovers meeting their lover’s spouses. I can’t quite put my finger on it. It was an interesting read but was at the same time a bit lacking.

Maybe because at the same time I was reading American Rust. This is no book to read when you’re in the need for a light, cheery read. Everyone in this book is unhappy in their own way. They’re looking for a way out of the dreary life they lead. There is pain, there is sadness, there is a death. Life in this Pennsylvania town is stark and quite hopeless. But there was also something about his characters, despite their bleak outlook. There was something that made me read on. Perhaps to see if there was any hope left in this stormy weathered world.

And then I finally got to hit the library, and gave up American Rust (for now that is – I plan on returning to it sometime) to read books with a deadline that can’t be renewed. More in my upcoming Library Loot post!


  1. After you watch Bright Star, be sure you check out the Selected Letters of John Keats from your library–the letters are spontaneous, romantic, funny, and very revelatory of Keats’s personality, poetry and romantic yearnings. The movie literally quotes the letters….


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