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misswonderly3

Somewhat Off-Topic: What have you been reading lately?

515 posts in this topic

50 minutes ago, SansFin said:

I am sorry to say that unbridled pedantry is a known side effect of my current medication. There is a warning also to not open an encyclopedia or thesaurus until effects of the medication are known. The plus side is that my hair is glossy, my nose is cold and I have mostly stopped **** men's legs. 

I don’t know what you’re doing with men’s legs, but get it girl! 

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16 hours ago, Roy Cronin said:

In the TV mini series MGM: When the Lion Roars Mickey is interviewed and clearly states that the studio had absolutely nothing to do with Judy's drug use.

In both books (Me & My Shadow/Get Happy) they state Ethel, Mom as the first one to give Judy uppers. Then sleep aids. And they state this staff was going on when Judy was 12-14?

MGM just took up where Mom left off. Awful. I can't imagine the toll it takes on your body. (although I've had a straight dose of coffee every day for 40 years...)

dba55bbd55f9714518a3096c45e3114d.jpg

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11 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

I can't imagine the toll it takes on your body. (although I've had a straight dose of coffee every day for 40 years...)

kBSs6FC.jpg

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On 8/29/2019 at 11:22 PM, Vautrin said:

Yes there was very little about his family and employment background which certainly

explains quite a bit about his ambitions and his actions and was a significant part of the

novel. Other, later sections were also edited down. In a way I can understand that because

An American Tragedy is a very long book. The edition I read was 800 +/- pages. I no

longer look on a lot of films adapted from novels as really adaptations but as two separate

works of art. 

"Two separate works of art."  That is indeed a very good way to look at them. While film often follows a novels narrative form, the detail is, almost by necessity, lost.  If you want that, read the book. A film is a totally different form and is often more visceral.

Though an interesting study of this is in obverse is with The Maltese Falcon. The first two attempts at bringing it to the screen were watered-down.  Huston opted to rely much more on the book, and we know how that turned out.

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On 8/30/2019 at 1:19 PM, LornaHansonForbes said:

Oh God, I love it when I check into a thread that I haven’t been reading in a long time and come across a sentence like this out of context.

(It’s like when the music stops suddenly at a party and two people are in the middle of a real gossipy conversation)

SUCH fun wondering who you could be talking about!

LOL! I happened to be watching The Andy Griffith show marathon over the wknd and in one episode. Barney told Thelma Lou he loved her and the music stopped right at that moment! (they were dancing).

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I recently finished “The Goldfinch,” which I thought was terrific (although I found the ending a bit anti-climactic).  I don’t really have high hopes for the upcoming movie version, though.  The book is simply too long, dense and detailed to boil down into a 2-hour movie without simplifying it and leaving an awful lot out.  A mini-series for HBO or Netflix would have served the book better I think.  In addition, I really don’t care for the actor who will play the main character Theo as an adult, and in fact only Nicole Kidman seems to be well cast in the film.  Still, the director did make the excellent “Brooklyn” a few years ago, so maybe there’s hope for the movie version.

I am now reading “The Poisonwood Bible,” which for some reason had been sitting unread on my bookshelf for years.  I am only about 100 pages in, but so far so good.

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19 hours ago, overeasy said:

"Two separate works of art."  That is indeed a very good way to look at them. While film often follows a novels narrative form, the detail is, almost by necessity, lost.  If you want that, read the book. A film is a totally different form and is often more visceral.

Though an interesting study of this is in obverse is with The Maltese Falcon. The first two attempts at bringing it to the screen were watered-down.  Huston opted to rely much more on the book, and we know how that turned out.

I used to be disappointed that the movie version left plot elements or characters out,

then I realized that it was impossible for a movie to get in all the parts of the book,

especially if the book was a long one. So I now consider them as separate works, even

though it is obvious that one is adapted from the other, however incompletely. I seem

to always miss the two earlier versions of The Maltese Falcon when they are shown. I've

seen parts of them, but one day maybe I'll catch the entire movies.

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18 hours ago, overeasy said:

"Two separate works of art."  That is indeed a very good way to look at them. While film often follows a novels narrative form, the detail is, almost by necessity, lost.  If you want that, read the book. A film is a totally different form and is often more visceral.

Though an interesting study of this is in obverse is with The Maltese Falcon. The first two attempts at bringing it to the screen were watered-down.  Huston opted to rely much more on the book, and we know how that turned out.

I agree that film and literature create two separate works of art.   

As for The Maltese Falcon;  the 31 version is a pre-code and thus much more frank in its sexuality;  in this regard it is the Huston version that is 'watered-down'.

 

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Oh no, not Henry James again ... but I am going to that Henry James Circle Book Discussion that I mentioned in a previous post. It was initiated by an enthusiast. I had thrown it off because Mr James doesn't thrill me at all, especially after reading Portrait of a Lady, which I found excruciatingly exasperating. But I had so much fun at the last Circle that I wanted to go back. I love those people. I had the honor on that occasion to select the short story (shorter works for the Circle as opposed to longer and major works for the regular more structured Meeting) and I chose "First Confession" by Frank O'Connor which I will link below. It is short and very amusing, but not without serious undercurrents. I had also selected "Big Blonde" by Dorothy Parker as an addition/alternative but we decided that one story was enough. However, I have just learned that the Parker story will discussed for the next one. Also linked below is a blog that features stories of a young man and woman, the latter who i met at the Circle. Anyone clicking on that link, please go to "Steel Hummingbird" by scrolling down a bit and then come back here and say what you think. Both of the young people on that blog are yet unpublished but they seem enormously talented.

For this James Circle we are reading "The Lesson of the Master" which begins on a vast lawn adjacent so some magnificent Manson where uppities discuss the usual, including a girl. Sound familiar? TPOAL all over again. Thank God it's only a novella. It's more than just the story, the enthusiast loves this author so much that we must discuss his life. I am a good soldier and to educate myself James-wise, I took the time to read Washington Square, another story (sigh) that involves a fortune hunter wanting to marry a girl with a lot of dough. I've seen both movies (including of course The Heiress) and it is evident that James is a lot easier on poor Catharine that those movies are. I was looking forward to the scene when Catharine gets stood up but it's not in the book.

SPOILERS FOR "THE TURN OF THE SCREW"

I also read The Turn of the Screw and enjoyed quite a lot. I confess unashamedly that the notion of an unreliable narrator and all the brouhaha that follows only grazed my consciousness because I was locked in to the mental set that this was a ghost story and therefore they were probably real. I had fleeting thoughts whisk through my brain on the general notion of a broken narrator but did not embrace it because I was so enthralled by the creepiness of the seeming cat-and-mouse game being played by these two magnificently precocious children and the words and manner of speaking that James gives them. I WANTED those ghosts to be real. Another notion was the idea that the molestation of the children was being implied, an idea that I either rejected or didn't want to pursue (as a possibility) because it was a subject that is not for this author or the age (so I persist in thinking) during which he was writing (as well as the marked distastefulness of the matter).  The above-mentioned enthusiast blithely dismisses any possible notion contrary to a broken narrator, and that it cannot be considered as a conventional ghost story by any means, insisting on this as if this were considered an accomplished fact that is universally agreed upon. This overlooks that the whole issue has been controversial from the get-go and that James no doubt wrote it that way and did a great job of it. In accordance with the usual reticence of artists with regard to their work, we get no help from the source. With today's emphasis on the post modern and the tendency for revisionism, most today (I'm guessing) would favor the more conspiratorial view that the narrator is a psycho (or something similar) but let's not overlook that the brilliant critic Edmund Wilson (1892-1972) vacillated on interpretation before finally settling on the nutjob view. And he was deeply interested in Freud, which suggests that an immediate and conclusive view might have occurred to him straightaway. If a guy like that can scratch his head with furrowed eyebrows, it can't be that cut and dry.

Here are those links. The O'Connor story is a gem.

The author of the second one was telling me that editing is often harder than the actual writing of a short story. Attention has to be given to the loose ends, which should be more or less absent. To wit, I would be curious to know what anyone might think with regard to that. "Steel Hummingbird."

https://www2.bc.edu/john-g-boylan/files/first-confession.pdf

https://cross-stitch.blog/

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4 hours ago, laffite said:

Oh no, not Henry James again ... but I am going to that Henry James Circle Book Discussion that I mentioned in a previous post. It was initiated by an enthusiast. I had thrown it off because Mr James doesn't thrill me at all, especially after reading Portrait of a Lady, which I found excruciatingly exasperating.

 

to be fair, WE WARNED YOU!

PS- THE TURN OF THE SCREW is legit good though.

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That's being adapted yet again (I think I've already seen 4 or 5 versions of it), this time for Netflix as a follow-up to The Haunting of Hill House. It will feature much of the same cast as that limited series, but it's an adaptation of the James book. The title is The Haunting of Bly Manor

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2 minutes ago, Gershwin fan said:

[THE TURN OF THE SCREW is a]Good story and I love the movie version [THE INNOCENTS]with Deborah Kerr even more.

I especially like the non sequitor of how HENRY JAMES starts a ghost story over a CHRISTMAS EVE FIRESIDE. Really, if it wasn't for the fact that he clearly hates the female protagonist, I'd have serious doubts James wrote it- it's short, it's innovative, it's compelling, things actually happen in it- it's so unlike anything else he ever wrote.

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I MEANT to mention this, but during the storm, I tried reading THE REIVERS by FAULKNER because I read SANCTUARY during the storm last year and was surprised at how I actually rather liked it (it's a cryptic mystery where the reveal is dirty.)

couldn't make it thru though, but i own the copy and often take it on trips in case i get stuck.

moved on to EMPIRE OF THE SUN by JG Ballard.

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29 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I especially like the non sequitor of how HENRY JAMES starts a ghost story over a CHRISTMAS EVE FIRESIDE. Really, if it wasn't for the fact that he clearly hates the female protagonist, I'd have serious doubts James wrote it- it's short, it's innovative, it's compelling, things actually happen in it- it's so unlike anything else he ever wrote.

Although I read somewhere---some introduction or other---that some of his short fiction is similar to SCREW in it's sinister qualities if not actually ghost-y. The idea of "something actually happens" is a good point. As opposed to these marathon "soap operas" with exhaustive word portraits and interminable conversations that can be withering. I'm not sure why some of the writing seems so boring when it seems at the same time so highly crafted if not downright virtuosic. Gimme Trollope any old day. Whenever I mention Trollope I can't help but think of Alec Guiness' version of American Express. He couldn't leave home without a Trollope novel. I knew there something extra cool about Alec that I liked. Trollope tells a good story with simplicity and directness but with that cool fastidiousness that I like so much. In comparison, it seems to me like James is just showing off (an exaggeration of sorts). A pretty bad thing to say about someone of the stature of HJ, which might just say more about me than him. Mais chacun a son gout.

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i usually disagree or roll my eyes at CLASSIC BOOK RECOMMENDATION articles, but this one is legit compelling (some fascinating recommendations, NONE of which I have read)

10 forgotten books from the 1920s you should read today

(link below)

https://lithub.com/10-forgotten-books-of-the-1920s-worth-reading-now/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

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I really wouldn't consider Babbitt forgotten since that is one of Lewis' most famous books. The rest of the list looks very interesting though. So Big has had like three film adaptations, I haven't seen any though. 

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1 hour ago, Gershwin fan said:

I really wouldn't consider Babbitt forgotten since that is one of Lewis' most famous books. The rest of the list looks very interesting though. So Big has had like three film adaptations, I haven't seen any though. 

I’m very curious about anything by VINA DEL MAR (sp?)

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3 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

i usually disagree or roll my eyes at CLASSIC BOOK RECOMMENDATION articles, but this one is legit compelling (some fascinating recommendations, NONE of which I have read)

10 forgotten books from the 1920s you should read today

(link below)

https://lithub.com/10-forgotten-books-of-the-1920s-worth-reading-now/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

 

51 minutes ago, Gershwin fan said:

I really wouldn't consider Babbitt forgotten since that is one of Lewis' most famous books. The rest of the list looks very interesting though. So Big has had like three film adaptations, I haven't seen any though. 

I agree -- interesting list, but I wouldn't consider Sinclair Lewis (or Babbitt) "largely unread today."

Lewis got a big boost a couple years ago because of the current U.S. political situation, when a lot of people re-discovered his 1930s novel, It Can't Happen Here -- the story of the rise of a fascistic demagogue as the American president.

Ever since I first read one of Lewis's less-known (but very good) novels, Kingsblood Royal, whose main character is surprised when he learns his true racial background, I've been a big fan of his writing.  His characters and plots remind me of a Frank Capra movie, but with a somewhat sharper edge. 

I haven't read all of Sinclair Lewis's books yet, but I'd highly recommend all of those I have: It Can't Happen Here, Kingsblood Royal, Babbitt, Dodsworth, and Arrowsmith.  Just discussing Lewis here makes me want to read another of his books, as I have several on my shelves that I haven't gotten to yet (e.g., Main Street, Cass Timberlane, Ann Vickers, others).  I may pull out one of them after I finish my current book, director Sam Fuller's excellent autobiography, A Third Face.

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I am frankly stunned that IT CANT HAPPEN HERE has not exploded in popularity since 2016.

I found a copy of it in a vintage bookstore and started reading and had to put it down because it unsettled me so.

(Maybe they could call the new addition OH SNAP, IT TOTALLY HAPPENED HERE!

 

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21 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I am frankly stunned that IT CANT HAPPEN HERE has not exploded in popularity since 2016.

I found a copy of it in a vintage bookstore and started reading and had to put it down because it unsettled me so.

(Maybe they could call the new addition OH SNAP, IT TOTALLY HAPPENED HERE!

 

Your instinct is accurate, Lorna.

According to this CNN articleIt Can't Happen Here did indeed explode in popularity in January 2017.  The article notes that it was one of Amazon's Top Ten best sellers for a while, above better-known books like 1984 and The Handmaid's Tale, and that it was sold out at the time of the article, as it had previously been in November 2016.  Wikipedia notes that in addition to numerous articles about the book, the stage version of it was performed in 2016.

Not bad for a book that's over 80 years old!

I agree that it's an unsettling story, even after having read it three times, most recently a couple years ago.  It's very disturbing to read about dictatorship taking hold in a familiar American setting, with a cult-like political party and concentration camps coming right along with it.  It makes the reader (me, at least) think about how valuable our democratic freedoms are, and how easy it would be to lose them -- or to give them away with our votes by empowering the wrong person.

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12 minutes ago, BingFan said:

Your instinct is accurate, Lorna.

According to this CNN articleIt Can't Happen Here did indeed explode in popularity in January 2017.  The article notes that it was one of Amazon's Top Ten best sellers for a while, above better-known books like 1984 and The Handmaid's Tale, and that it was sold out at the time of the article, as it had previously been in November 2016.  Wikipedia notes that in addition to numerous articles about the book, the stage version of it was performed in 2016.

Not bad for a book that's over 80 years old!

I agree that it's an unsettling story, even after having read it three times, most recently a couple years ago.  It's very disturbing to read about dictatorship taking hold in a familiar American setting, with a cult-like political party and concentration camps coming right along with it.  It makes the reader (me, at least) think about how valuable our democratic freedoms are, and how easy it would be to lose them -- or to give them away with our votes by empowering the wrong person.

oh, ok.

maybe it's the fact that i see 1984 quoted left and right (oh God, no pun intended) these days, HANDMAID'S TALE too. BUT i have yet to see IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE be referenced any NEAR as much.

Personally I am at the point where I'd chose BRAVE NEW WORLD in a heartbeat if that was the grim vision of the future from the past to be found trapped existing inside.

ps- BRAVE NEW WORLD at least has a SENSE OF HUMOR.

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4 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

i also could not make it through THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA by PHILLIP ROTH, although twas not because it was bad.

 

Definitely another disturbing book, for the same reasons.  It seems odd to say that I "enjoyed" these unsettling stories about America gone very wrong, so maybe I should just say that I found The Plot Against America to be a very valuable reading experience, much like It Can't Happen Here.

I might say that The Plot Against America was even more disturbing because the setting and characters were presented in a more realistic way.  There, the anti-Semitic dictator wasn't fictional -- he was Charles Lindbergh!

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