Sunday, July 26, 2009

Rollicking Readers - Frankenstein

Rollicking Readers Book Club had another great meeting last night! Only a few of our normal crowd was able to be there - seven of us, to be exact. We had a lovely dinner together on the patio. The husband of our hostess grilled chicken and burgers for us.

Our book/film of the month was Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, a little departure from our ordinary reading material, considering our book club was formed to read through all six of Jane Austen's novels. But we completed that task and are pressing on to other classics.

Our discussion was held after dinner and was lively and intelligent - lots of great points were brought up. (And I think EVERYONE there had read the book! WTG, ladies!) For the record, I believe that just about everyone agreed that the book wasn't at all what we had imagined it to be. Rather than being gory and filled with gratuitous violence, it was philosophical and thoughtful. I'm glad I read it, especially because I wasn't really looking forward to it.

The version we chose was a 3 hour film from Hallmark (Frankenstein, 2004) touted to be a faithful representation according to the reviews we read. All the major events of the book were included, mostly in the right order, and the ending was pretty much the same. HOWEVER, the characters' motivations were changed quite a bit and some of the dialogue given to other characters. Events were added that changed the impact of other events and that was a little disappointing. The movie was also moderately graphic in the way that the book was NOT - during the creation of the monster and, later, his bride, as well as during the murders. I closed my eyes for a lot of it, though. lol

Another great meeting to add to our repertoire!

If you are local, please contact me if you are interested in our book club. I'll warn you right now - we are a crazy bunch, but we love to read and watch movies and chatter!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

June Reads

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini - 06/04/09
Excellent - Fiction (999 Category: 9 and Counting)
Mariam and Laila are two very different women, brought together by war and cruelty, but they forge an enduring bond.
Finally finished this. Had to actually get the novel instead of finishing the audiobook, as audiobooks don't fit well into my life right now. That aside, this was WONDERFUL! Poignant, eye-opening, terrifying, hopeful, and more. I recommend it whole-heartedly, and actually several of my friends have also read it and concur with my assessment.

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde - 06/12/09
Excellent - Play (999 Category: Vintage Volumes)
Jack and Algernon both pretend to be Ernest Worthing, a fictional wastrel of a younger brother, and both fall in love with women who only will marry someone named Ernest.
I've read this before, but read it again for book club. It's a quick, easy, humorous read. LOVE the movie; it's one of my favorites. Wilde was wrote it as a satire; the subtitle is "A Trivial Comedy for Serious People."

Mr. Knightley's Diary by Amanda Grange - 06/14/09
Good - Romance (999 Category: Serendipity)
First-person account of Mr. Knightley's love for Emma Woodhouse (Austen's Emma, retold in diary format)
Emma was my least favorite Austen novel, and I wasn't sure I'd like Mr. Knightley any better in this diary told from his perspective. However, I found him quite endearing and even liked Emma better by the end!

Roadside Crosses by Jeffery Deaver - 06/17/09
Good - Suspense (999 Category: Kindred Spirits)
Kathryn Dance, a CBI agent and kinesics expert, tracks down a serial killer who leaves roadside crosses before killing his victims.
Kathryn Dance is an interesting protagonist; she isn't your garden-variety 'perfect' cop. I find the addition of the kinesics (the interpretation of body language) an intriguing addition to the suspenseful novels Deaver is known for.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - 06/24/09
Excellent - Fiction (999 Category: Screen Time)
Amir grows up motherless in Kabul, Afghanistan, and his father seems to favor Hassan, the son of his longtime servant.
No, I haven't seen the movie yet. Hope to soon, now that I've read the book. I preferred A Thousand Splendid Suns, but this book was equally as gripping. The protagonist was less likable, but very well-sketched and the clash between the American and Afghani cultures was compelling.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - 06/29/09
Good - Fiction (999 Category: Screen Time)
Re-Read: The relationship between Henry and Clare is complicated by his genetic abnormality that causes him to time travel involuntarily.
I read this book five years ago, but the news of the film's release next month motivated me to read it again. It's a good thing I did, because I remembered barely any of it. (I'm really bad that way! Poor memory!) Intense, confusing, and utterly captivating! Don't read it if you are easily offended, as there is a bit of language and the characters are sometimes amoral. However, the plot's intricacies make up for it.

On to Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Evanovich) and Frankenstein (Shelley) and more for July....

What are YOU reading???