lexlingua: (Books)
If I were to sum up 2015, it would be less reading, more watching. I took several shortcuts this year, opting to watch the movie/ TV versions instead of reading the book. But some of those shortcuts proved to be quite wonderful. With that as a caveat, here’s a summary round-up -- in no particular order -- of all the most memorable events of 2015 for me:

1. Jessica Jones
Binge-watching Jessica Jones was no hard feat; it was the most automatic “play next” in the world (link to trailer). I had read so many reviews about this show: the “neo-Noir” tones, a Marvel Comics hero who is grappling with a painful past slash disability, great relationships (especially female friendships), 3D characterizations, awesome acting and kickass women. All true, boyo. (Note: If you like Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series, you will find Jessica Jones remarkably similar, as the self-deprecating, smart PI with supernatural powers.) Krysten Ritter acting as Jessica and David Tennant acting as the evil Kilgrave were jawdroppingly good. Kilgrave, Kilgrave, it is a mark to Melissa Rosenberg’s screenwriting that even for a villain like that, you hope for reformation.

Read more... )
lexlingua: (Random)
Today I'm off to see the latest movie. Yeah, a bit late, but it only just released here.

For those of you who have not watched or who don't remember the series, but want to catch up, here's how you can rehash:

lexlingua: (Reading)

The theme for this Tuesday's The Broke and the Bookish meme is your top 10 best/worst movie adaptations, and here's mine:

10. Anne of Green Gables

While growing up, I came across Anne Shirley, the talkative, smart, red-haired, impulsive girl who loved to dream and use big words. Was there anything better than reading up Lucy Maud Montgomery’s adventures of Anne, and then seeing it onscreen? True, Montgomery should have stopped writing after the third book, Anne of the Island, and that’s where the telemovie ends. I think a sequel has been made too, The Continuing Story, though I am still to watch that. Anne of Green Gables is ideal for a feel-good day or as a present for any teenage girl you know.

9. The Last of the Mohicans

Michael Mann turned the book by James Fenimore Cooper into a visual delight. The soundtrack adds to the beauty of this adaptation, and it helps that the movie story is more hopeful than the actual book. This movie also made Daniel Day Lewis my favourite actor for a long time to come.

8. Dracula

Bram Stoker’s Dracula has been turned into movie more times than any other book, and continues to fascinate readers even a century after it was first written in 1897. We owe our vampire legacy to Bram. I find it hard to decide which version of Dracula I like the most. Almost all movie adaptations have turned the story slightly or radically, and most of them end up making Mina Wentorth Dracula’s one true dear love. I found Wynona Ryder’s version of Dracula hard to digest for the same reason, but it definitely needed mention in this list for the sake of its eternal movie-making ability. Then of course, there's also the new Dracula TV show coming up onRead more... )
lexlingua: (UserPic)
Don’t ask me why I chose that atrocious alliteration for this post, except that it’s a Thursday, and its a holiday tomorrow here, so I have finally coaxed myself back to blogosphere. Thursday Toll is also a round-up of the most happening and most demented events of my life this past week. So, smile and read on...

First, I read The Scorpio Races by Maria Steifvater. This author has grown on me. I hated her werewolf Shiver series, and purposely avoided reading the sequels, because they reminded me too much of Twilight. A bias that I decided to overcome with The Scorpio Races, and boy, did I love it! There is a mysterious island, on which humans and seafolk co-exist under some ancient delicate pact. Seafolk includes the hippocamp, or the waterhorse, which is a sort of carnivorous sea-racing horse. Every year, the villagers keep their end of the pact by throwing an annual race of the waterhorses. Steifvater describes the perils of such races quite well, and the curious aching longing that seafarers feel for the sea is also brought out quite well. Life by the sea is both so close-knitted and insular, and is told through the eyes of Puck, a girl who enters the races in a desperate bid to keep her elder brother from abandoning their family. Puck would possibly be the Irish YA urban fantasy version of National Velvet, and is a charming heroine. I would rate it an 8 out of 10.

Second, I dabbled a bit at writing, and let me tell you, I positively suck at it. It goes well for a para or two, then I end up putting too much of myself into the pages and have to stop. Then my imagination runs out, and after that, my time. Yes, precisely in that order. By the way, I found this god-awesome book on writing called Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott. Lamott writes that storytelling should be taken step by step, bird by bird, and not with a view to write everything at one go. This means that there’s bound to be a lot of Shitty First Drafts. Ahem, certainly have a lot of those.

Third, my TBR pile is currently exploding. I’ve decided to stock them up in genres and read one of each. There’s Waking the Moon by Elizabeth Hand (hardcopy couriered from Amazon) which is fantasy. Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (historical fiction); Jagannath by Karin Tidbeck (science fiction); The Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna (non-fiction); False Economy by Alan Beattie (economics); V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton (mystery) and Women who run with the Wolves by Clarissa Estes  (psychology). Fear my TBR Pile, folks, because I’m determined to demolish them all—and you’ll have to read the reviews. If you have any experience of my reviews, you will know that they are long, verbose, wordy and more like a thesis than anything else. I pity You Who Reads My Reviews.

And there's more babbling... )
lexlingua: (UserPic)

It’s a bit late in the year for putting up a best-of-the-year list, but it’s been so long since I last blogged… and I just had to recap some of the defining blogworthy moments for me of 2012. Here they go:

1. Chime by Franny Billingsley

Th Book Smugglers recommended this book, and I thought let’s give it a shot. I heard it out in audiobook moreover, which was a lucky chance for me, because Susan Duerden gives this haunting fantasy story a voice all of its own. I could not have chosen a better narrator for Briony, the lead character, who is broken, bitter and mysterious. Briony lives in a village covered with swamps, and for some reason she hates herself. That’s how the prologue begins, and I can’t give away more, except that Briony’s past hides a secret that is a recipe for disaster for the entire village.

Don’t go by the cover of the book— which shows a blonde girl in black and white, with a rose and lightning/ thunder/ cobwebs in the background. Er? The cover does hint at the story, but it’s not all that encouraging for the Reader. Go ahead and try out the audiobook.

2. Bleak House BBC TV Series

I have a thing for a BBC television series, whether it be Jane Eyre, Robin Hood, Tudors or Pride and Prejudice. Bleak House was adapted from Charles Dickens’ massive tome of the same name, a grim and ruthless satire on the legal system. I am sorry to say that the legal system since the 1850s has still not changed. I recently visited Court, and the tedious, painstakingly slow machinery of our procedural hurdles made me appreciate Bleak House even more. Only the wigs on the judges were missing, everything else remains the same. The show was adapted from the book by Andrew Davies, who has a done a fine job, if I may say so. Watch out for the spinechilling scenes where the mad Miss Flite (played by the redoubtable Pauline Collins) feeds her parrots, named Hope, Joy, Youth, Peace, Rest, Life, Dust, Ashes, Waste, Want, Cunning, Folly, Words, Wigs, Rags, Sheepskin, Plunder, Precedent, Jargon, Gammon, Spinach Ruin, Despair, Madness and Death.

There's more... )

So where’s your recap 2012?

lexlingua: (fanfiction)

Ten Books I’d Like to See Made into MovieS

Some books are just dying to be made into movies, and I thought that maybe I should make a list of my own recommendations, as urged by The Broke and the Bookish (the ones in bold are my special selections). Most books in this list belong to the fantasy genre, and I apologize for not putting in more of mystery or contemporary fiction!

1. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Every law student is made to read the case of R versus Dudley and Stephens, in which three sailors were accused and convicted for eating the flesh of a human co-passenger when stranded in the sea for months without food. Being a law student myself, this book shook me when I first read it, because the Life of Pi brings in this conflict in one of its climax scenes.

The Life of Pi is about this young devout zookeeper’s son from India, who is stranded at sea for years with a ferocious tiger, and the challenges he faces during this time, one of them being the temptation of cannibalism when starved for food. The book won the Booker Prize, and is also one of my top ten books. The movie would be a lot like Tom Hanks’ Cast Away, methinks.

2. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Clarke took ten years to write this tome, and my review here is the mad rave of a diehard fan. Two men investigating the disappearance of magic from England, the tragic rift between them, the ominous Raven King as the villain, and the hero’s wife being betwitched and kidnapped… all the plot elements of a major fantasy movie! If you liked The Prestige or The Illusionist, you would positively lurve this movie on screen, especially with the huge capacity for special effects that this one has.

I reached out my hand; thought and memory flew out of my enemies' heads like a flock of starlings;
My enemies crumpled like empty sacks.
I came to them out of mists and rain;
I came to them in dreams at midnight;
I came to them in a flock of ravens that filled a northern sky at dawn;
When they thought themselves safe I came to them in a cry that broke the silence of a winter wood . .

Read the rest of the list... )


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January 2017



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