Adaptations: November 2014

Adaptations

I absolutely love adaptations. I know this can sometimes be a controversial subject with book lovers but not for me. I think my real love of them came from my time studying performance at university. There I became fascinated with taking a story and telling it through a different medium; whether that be book, film, TV, or on the stage.

Hello fellow bookworms. As these adaptation update posts seemed to go down well I’ve continued them in 2014. Here are the adaptations I watched during November:

Captain Phillips (2013)          Not Read          Film          Television
A heart-racing thriller based on a true life account; recounted in A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea by Richard Phillips (with help from Stephan Talty). The amazing Tom Hanks takes the title role of Captain Richard Phillips who is willing to sacrifice himself when he finds his ship and crew under attack from Somali pirates. Great performances from the whole cast and an all round beautifully made film. Great watch.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)          Not Read          Film          Cinema
An action packed sci-fi, comedy adventure based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise; which has included a line of toys, comics, games, TV series and films. This new film is a reboot of the original films series. I’ve watched previous films but my fondest memories are for the 1987 cartoon TV series that I watched as a child. This reboot isn’t ground breaking story wise but it has great special effects and is very, very funny. Good watch.

Thumbelina (1994)          Read          Film          DVD
An animated adventure based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale Thumbelina. I was after a DVD copy of Anastasia (1997) an animated film I have fond memories of from childhood. Then I saw a multi-pack DVD of this, Anastasia (1997), and Troll in Central Park (1994) which was dirt cheap so I picked it up. I was bugged all the way through by Thumbelina’s voice. Turns out its Jodi Benson who also voiced Ariel in Disney’s wonderful The Little Mermaid (1989). This is a sweet film with some nice songs but not as good as The Little Mermaid. Okay watch.

A mixed month for adaptations; in genre and quality this month but I was amused by them all. I am currently watching a couple of TV adaptations and I am looking forward to Christmas which is always a bumper time for adaptations on the television. So shouldn’t be long till I have another update for you.

What have you been watching?

New Read: Equal Rites

Equal Rites

After thoroughly enjoying two re-reads from Terry Pratchett’s epic but fabulous Discworld series this year I thought it was high time for a new adventure. With that in mind I picked up Equal Rites off my father’s bookshelf; Pratchett’s third published Discworld novel.

In Equal Rites we return to Pratchett’s magic, weird and fantastical Discworld on a dark and stormy night. An old wizard, Drum Billet, is making a lonely journey up into the Ramtop Mountains to the unusually named town of Bad Ass. Billet is dying and wishes to pass on his magical staff to the eighth son of an eighth son before he does. He arrives just as the wife of the town’s blacksmith gives birth to their eighth child. Unfortunately for Billet he didn’t check the gender of the child before passing on his staff and promptly dying. Instead of an eighth son the family’s eighth child is their one and only daughter Esk. This one oversight is to cause ripples throughout the magical world…a girl can’t become a wizard, can they?

Esk the young protagonist of Equal Rites is a likeable little girl who has grown up tough playing with her seven older brothers. Esk has no idea of her magical power and doesn’t show any aptitude for it until one evening she loses herself in the snowy woods. Her danger awakes the magical staff which comes to her rescue. Our little Esk isn’t alone in her adventure though she is joined by Bad Ass’s resident witch Granny Weatherwax ( a character I recognised from Wyrd Sisters). Granny is a weather worn, wise and practical old woman who is not to be put off by the small and trivial fact that no girl has become a wizard before. Together they set off for The Unseen University in Ankh Morpork to fight for a place for young Esk.

Terry Pratchett is a well loved author of mine but scandalously I hadn’t read one of his novels since 2012! To make up for that and to refresh my memory earlier this year I went back to where it all started; reading The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic. After enjoying both these re-reads I was ready for a new Discworld adventure so I picked up Equal Rites the third novel from this epic series. This is not a series you necessarily have to read in order as the stories are usually short, fun and simple which also follow many different characters/sets of characters. Equal Rites was no exception to this rule short, fun but perhaps not as simple as previous tales I have read. I enjoyed the elements of gender and tradition that Pratchett explored in a way that was interesting and thought provoking but still fun. This is perhaps my favourite Discworld novel I have read so far.

Equal Rites is wonderfully fun, colourful and thought provoking adventure. I highly recommend to those who enjoy fantasy and comedy. I am looking forward to reading more adventures in Pratchett’s Discworld. Great read.

Have you read this? Have you read Discworld?

New Read: Choose Love

Choose Love

I am a relatively new Christian having come to faith in my late teens. Now in my twenties I like to read Christian literature to help with the growth of my faith and to hear what other Christians have to say. I like always having a piece of faith non-fiction on the go so after I finished reading A Place of Healing by Joni Eareckson Tada I was keen to pick something else. I picked up Choose Love by Stormie Omartian because I have enjoyed other books by this author earlier in the year.

Omartian in Choose Love reaches out to men and women who believe in God and his son Jesus Christ to consider three choices that could transform your life, the lives of those around you, and your relationship with God. The first choice is for you to receive God’s love for you whole heartedly which includes chapters on how God sees you, mercy, grace and what God can do in our lives. The second choice is for you to express your love for God which includes chapters on worship, trusting, and God’s will and presence. The third choice is for you to love others in a way God would be pleased with which includes chapters on patience, kindness, hope and forgiveness. I was again impressed with how much Omartian managed to cover in a Christian’s life and how much of it were things I could relate to in this book.

Stormie Omartian was a new author for me at the beginning of this year but this is now the third work of her’s I have read. I thought Choose Love was well written with good references from Omartian’s own life experience and Biblical text to back-up and give more depth to each chapter. I again liked how Omartian broke each chapter down into three sections. The first section describing an element of love, the second section a prayer example for that element and the third section showing God’s promises to us as found in the Bible. 21 chapters may seem a little daunting but I found myself engaging well with all the chapters and I heavily highlighted several chapters that spoke to me the most. I was really well supplied with new Christian non-fiction in 2013 and it appears that this is continuing this year too. I look forward to reading more by Omartian.

Choose Love is a detailed and thought-provoking look into how choosing to love can change our lives and our relationship with God. I recommend to Christians interested in enhancing their faith. Good read.

Thank you to Harvest House Publishers for providing a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Have you read Omartian? Any recommendations for other faith literature?

The Classics Club: Survey 2014

The Classics Club #1

Hello fellow bookworms I spotted this fun 50 Question Survey over at The Classics Club website. I was daunted by 50 questions though so I picked 10 questions I liked and suited me the most. Here are my questions and answers:

1) When did you join The Classics Club?

19th March 2012

2) How many classics have you read off your list so far?

26

3) What are you currently reading?

Shirley by Charlotte Brontë

4) What did you finish last?

His Last Bow by Arthur Conan Doyle

5) What would you like to read next?

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

6) Best classics you’ve read off your list so far?

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

7) Author you’ve read the most by off your list?

Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens

8) Longest classic you’ve read off your list?

Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales
Grimm’s Fairy Tales

9) Oldest classic you’ve read off your list?

Aesop’s Fables

10) List fellow clubbers whose blogs you visit regularly:

Gudrun’s Tights
LindyLit
Lynn’s Book Blog
My Book Strings
She Reads Novels

What classics have you been reading?

New Books: November 2014

New Books - November 2014

Hello my fellow bookworms, here’s what goodies I have managed to add to my bookshelf and Kindle recently:

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (complete) by L Frank Baum

Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier

Red Rose, White Rose by Joanna Hickson

The King’s Sister by Anne O’Brien

Four new fictions for me this month. I received review copies of historical fictions Red Rose, White Rose and The King’s Sister from Netgalley both I which I am excited to read. I have loved everything I have read by Daphne du Maurier so when I saw Jamaica Inn in my favourite charity book shop I had to pick it up. While I picked up a free copy of fantasy classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz set from Amazon UK.

Clean Food Diet by Jonathan Vine

The Praying Woman’s Devotional by Stormie Omartian

Only two new non-fictions for me this month.  I received a review copy of faith non-fiction The Praying Woman’s Devotional from Netgalley. I read several of Omartian’s work this year and enjoyed them all. Looking forward to reading more. While I picked up a free copy of Clean Food Diet from Amazon UK.

I am pleased I managed to keep my new acquisitions down to a small amount. I am not sure where I’ll start first because I am excited to read all of them.

Have you read any of these? What new books are you excited about?

New Read: Queen of Hearts, Volume 2

Queen of Hearts 2

Earlier this year I read The Crown volume 1 of Colleen Oakes’ Wonderland reimagining Queen of Hearts. I enjoyed it so much that as soon as volume 2 The Wonder was available for request I snapped it up!

This is the second volume of this trilogy. This post will contain spoilers for the previous volume.

In the Queen of Hearts 2 we re-join Dinah, the princess of Wonderland, as she weaves her way through the Twisted Wood her only companion is the monstrous stead Morte. Dinah has been forced into this position after the brutal murder of her beloved brother Charles which she was then also framed for. With her gone from the palace the King of Hearts has crowned Dinah’s half-sister Vittiore in her place. Dinah is not left bereft with all her hopes and dreams in tatters. I really felt for Dinah however this is not the end of her troubles. The cruel king now pursues Dinah merciless with his Cards baying for her head. Forcing Dinah to flee deeper into the dangerous and unknown parts of the kingdom. This dark path is to lead Dinah to some unlikely allies. I simply had to keep on reading this to find out what would happen to poor Dinah next.

Our protagonist Dinah began in this trilogy as a young, head strong and rebellious girl. Dinah is still strong and rebellious but through her trials and tribulations she is growing into a woman. While Dinah has escaped the palace she hasn’t escaped all the expectations on her shoulders. The expectations have just changed. Her new allies now look to her to be a strong, wise and victorious Queen. I continued to pity Dinah in this book. Dinah is a strong but imperfect character. While I like her bravery and strength there are still times when I cringed at how far she took her actions and opinions. If only she could hear me shouting stop!

I again really enjoyed Oakes’s reimagining of Wonderland in the Queen of Hearts 2. I like her clever use of classic elements such as the cards, jam tarts and magical food with a new twist and her reimagined classic and new characters which I felt are much better fleshed out than in the original Lewis Carol stories. I thought the Queen of Hearts 2 was well written, detailed and well described. I really could imagine the Twisted Wood, the Yurkei Mountains, and all of Dinah’s trials and tribulations. If you know the original stories you will know how Dinah turns out as the Queen of Hearts. Even so I felt Oakes continued to build Dinah’s character and story gradually, with rising tension and anticipation.

I think the Queen of Hearts 2 is a clever and refreshing reimagining of Wonderland through the eyes of Dinah the future Queen of Hearts. I highly recommend to those who enjoy fantasy and would like to see Wonderland in a new way. Great read.

Thank you to SparkPress (a BookSparks imprint) for providing a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Have you read this? Can you recommend any other reimaginings?

The Classics Club: Spin #8 Result

The Classics Club #1

A quick update for you fellow bookworms the result for The Classics Club Spin is in!

The number randomly selected is: 13

Which means I will be reading: Shirley by Charlotte Brontë

If I’m honest I’m a little daunted by this choice. I read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë not long after I joined The Classics Club. Sadly it didn’t live up to my expectations which has left me thinking will I like her other work? I know little to nothing about Shirley though so I suppose no expectations to live up too?

What has the spin chosen for you?