Adaptations that are better than the books #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

(Page to Screen Freebie)

And so I decided to go with.. Adaptations that are better than the books!

I know, quelle horreur!

But yes, there are some that I’ve felt were just better. Maybe the condensed storyline helped, or maybe it was just a story that was better told on the screen, whether it’s a TV series or movie.

The Magicians – Lev Grossman

I didn’t want to watch this TV series at first. Mostly because the books were just so-so reads to me, especially the first book which I did not like but somehow I continued on with the rest of the series. But I just watched one episode to give it a chance and Oh My, it was amazing. It took a while to get into, and the first few episodes were still only so-so but it seemed to find its footing not long after. And I absolutely loved it, especially High Queen Margo and Elliott. And I love how in some episodes they incorporate music and singing – the very best episode is the David Bowie tribute!

The Martian – Andy Weir

Ok I did not like this book at all. I mean the story idea was great but it just was so unnecessarily long and needed more editing. But the movie was pretty good.

 

How To Train Your Dragon series – Cressida Cowell

I loved the first movie, and the second was ok, and the third in the end, was a nice ending to the series (and hopefully that was the end, as I really hate when the studios try to squeeze yet another sequel in a bid to make more money). So I was really kind of surprised (not in a good way) by how different the books are, especially how different Toothless is, not just in terms of size but character.

Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

Please don’t yell at me! The books were really long and I’ve watched these movies so many times and yet still never went back to the books. Also, I like that the movies actually had Arwen as a prominent character whereas she is more like a footnote in the books.

 

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

Again, for me, this was a great story idea but I wasn’t wowed by the writing. And I felt like the movie really just opened it up so much, especially the part where they are in The Shining!

Do you agree? What are some adaptations that you felt worked better than the books?

 


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

 

 

 

Rainy Day Reads #toptentuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

 

 

Rainy Day Reads

 

The idea of a rainy day read is a bit puzzling to me. Maybe it’s because I grew up in Southeast Asia where it rains A LOT. And by rain, I mean a heavy storm, the dark clouds looming, the sky shattering with lightning bolts, the booms and cracks of heart-stopping thunder and then the immense heavy rain that pours down for ages and ages. Until it finally stops and it’s ridiculously hot again, just hot and humid and damp all around.

So it’s hard to really qualify a “rainy day” read when it rains so much and you just learn to ignore it and work around it.

I’m going to instead list some book quotes that make me think of rain and rainy days though!

Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë

“On an afternoon in October, or the beginning of November – a fresh watery afternoon, when the turf and paths were rustling with moist, withered leaves, and the cold blue sky was half hidden by clouds – dark grey streamers, rapidly mounting from the west, and boding abundant rain – I requested my young lady to forego her ramble, because I was certain of showers.”

Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami

“When it’s raining like this,” said Naoko, “it feels as if we’re the only ones in the world. I wish it would just keep raining so the three of us could stay together.”

The Fiery Cross – Diana Gabaldon

I’m sure there are many instances of rain in The Outlander series, but I’m currently reading this fifth book and there’s plenty of rain in this one!

It had come on to rain: the light spatter of drops on the canvas overhead turned to a regular thrum, and the air grew live with the rush of water. It was a winter storm; no lightning lit the sky, and the looming mountains were invisible.

 

The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje

He is halfway across when he smells the rain, and then it begins to fall all over his body, clinging to him, and suddenly there is the greater weight of his clothes.

She puts her cupped palms out of the window and combs the rain into her hair.

Soul Music – Terry Pratchett
It was raining in the small, mountainous country of Llamedos. It was always raining in Llamedos. Rain was the country’s main export. It had rain mines.

Ceremony – Leslie Marmon Silko

Jungle rain had no beginning or end; it grew like foliage from the sky, branching and arching to the earth, sometimes in solid thickets entangling the islands, and other times, in tendrils of blue mist curling out of coastal clouds.


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

 

 

 

Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book

In no order, just simply off the top of my head…

The cover

What can I say, I do indeed judge a book by its cover. And these days, covers are just getting better. Some recent reads that I have picked up because of their covers. Can you blame me? Just look at these beauties!

The writer

I try to read books by women writers and writers with diverse backgrounds. I’m especially drawn to writers from Asia, and especially Southeast Asia where I’m originally from. Pictured are some of the writers whose books I’d automatically pick up, probably without even bothering to read the synopsis!

Reviews from trusted sources

Like my Goodreads friends and some bloggers I’ve followed through the years, like Buried in Print, Captive Reader. And some genre-specific bloggers like SFF blog The Illustrated Page. Also, I’m on Litsy quite a bit and I often pick up books that my fellow Littens rave about.

The award longlists and shortlists

This is a tricky one as there are SO MANY book awards out there. But I do like how they sometimes open my eyes to new-to-me authors. Some of the award news I keep my eye out for include:

FOMO Fear of Missing Out

Yeah, Instagram and Litsy have ruined my reading plans so often. All those pretty book photos and often, of the same books that are just published or about to be published and I have book envy and think, oh I need to read that!

Things that won’t make me pick up a book

Anything that says “for fans of Gone Girl or Girl on the Train”

Or really, titles with “girl”

Also, books for “fans of Fifty Shades”

What about you? What makes you pick up a book?

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

Top 5 audiobooks with multiple narrators #toptentuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Well, it’s an audio freebie! So I’ve decided to have a list of audiobooks with more than one narrator that I’ve loved listening to.

 

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride – Cary Elwes

This was probably the first audiobook I listened to which had more than one narrator. Elwes’ voices is already pleasant enough to listen to on its own but the audiobook was especially fun because of all the different cast members talking about their memories of the movie. It was also fun to listen to Elwes’ imitations of some of the actors and crew members.

Lincoln in the Bardo – George Saunders

Now I really think I would have found this an incredibly hard book to read. The audiobook is still a bit of an intense listen but the narration by 166 readers (!) helps. Among the voices are Nick Offerman, Julianne Moore, Don Cheadle, and George Saunders himself. It is quite an experience!

 

 

Beastie Boys Book – Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz

Now I am not a huge Beastie Boys fan but I wanted to listen to this book! What an incredible group that has come together to read this book. I loved listening to Jarvis Cocker as he read about the Beastie Boys’ first time in England. To Wanda Sykes, Bette Midler, Talib Kweli, Rosie Perez, Rev Run and more read from the book. What an audiobook!

 

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told – Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman

Ok so this one only has two narrators but they have such chemistry and it’s such a delight to listen to them just talk to each other, which is what a lot of this audiobook is, a conversation between a married couple. And it’s just so much fun to listen to their banter!

Yes Please – Amy Poehler 

The reason I listened to this is because Patrick Stewart reads haiku. Yep. That’s the only reason. But in the end it was a fun enough listen, with other guest voices like Carol Burnett and Kathleen Turner appearing as well.


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

 

 

 

Standalone books that need a sequel #toptentuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Standalone Books That Need a Sequel

 

Tough topic! It seems like a lot of books I read these days are already part of a series! So I know there’s no way I’m going for ten. Maybe five.

Cinnamon and Gunpowder – Eli Brown

This rollicking foodie-pirate book needs a sequel! It was just such a delight to read and I still relish all those descriptions of food aboard the pirate ship.

Fledgling – Octavia Butler

Well I just wish we had more Octavia Butler books but since some of them were series, I’ll stick to mentioning this standalone unconventional vampire novel. I loved Butler’s take on vampire mythology and the great characters she created.

Ballet Shoes – Noel Streatfeild

Of course this will never happen, but a reader can dream. Ballet Shoes was published in 1936 and I read it when I was a kid, and I read it and reread it so many times. Streatfeild passed away in 1986 and while she did write quite a few different dance-related books, I think I always loved the Fossils the most. I’d love to read about them as adults!

 

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told – Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman

Ok so this is not a novel. It is a memoir. But seriously, I want more Mullally-Offerman books, and they also need to be made into audiobooks because this was one of the best things I have ever heard.

What are some standalone books that you’d like to read more of?

 

 


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

 

 

 

Top Places In Books I’d Like to Visit #toptentuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Places Mentioned In Books That I’d Like to Visit

 

 

Willy Wonka’s factory in Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Every candy lovers’ dream! For me I would be happy just to see the chocolate river. Oh and the square sweets that look round.

The Library of the Neitherlands from The Magicians series by Lev Grossman

As long as I don’t have to be bound by contract to serve the library for a billion years, I would be delighted to visit and go read someone’s life stories.

 

Rivendell from the Lord of the Rings series

Sigh. It would be quite the sight wouldn’t it?

Pemberley from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Luckily one can indeed visit Pemberley, or rather the house used in the 1995 BBC TV series, which is Lyme Park in Cheshire.

 

 

The Oasis in Ready Player One

Well maybe the version after Parzival and gang win.

What about you? What are some places in books you’d like to visit?

 


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I loved with <2000 Goodreads ratings

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

 Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads

(links are to Goodreads)

 

The Lost Garden by Li Ang (26 ratings)

This book by Taiwanese author Li Ang was originally published in 1991 and this edition, translated from the Chinese, was published in 2015. My thoughts here

The Perfect Egg by Aldo Buzzi (63 ratings)

I read this in 2007 and rated it 4 stars. It’s a short read with various essays on food.

Flight by Oona Frawley (77 ratings)

I wrote in my review: Flight takes time to get into. But when you do get into it, it is a gem. It is a story about feeling lost, both within the world and within themselves. It is unsettling, it is emotional. It is a thoughtful story that makes you examine your own life, your own situation, and where you belong

Read the rest of my thoughts here

Naming Monsters by Hannah Eaton (81 ratings)

A really interesting graphic novel about a teenager dealing with the death of her mother

The Old Garden by Hwang Sok-yong (124 ratings)

I wrote in my review: “The Old Garden is essentially a just-out-of-prison story. A political prisoner,  Oh Hyun Woo, is released after twenty years and he discovers how much life has changed on the outside. It’s not about learning about new technology that kind of thing. But a reflection on how South Korea has changed over the years. Hyun Woo also discovers that the woman he loved is dead, but he finds her letters and paintings and learns about her life in the past twenty years.”

Read the rest of my review here

The Cosmopolites: The Coming of the Global Citizen – Atossa Araxia Abrahamian (134 ratings)

A great quick (162 pages) nonfiction read about citizenship and globalization. A rare nonfiction read which felt like it could have been longer.

The Fourth Star: Dispatches from Inside Daniel Boulud’s Celebrated New York Restaurant by Leslie Brenner (139 ratings)

A great read for anyone interested in the restaurant scene. Read my review here

 

 

 


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.