Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

My Rating: 

Method of Reading: Personally owned paperback novel, 213 pages

Dates of Reading: March 11, 2014
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Publication Year: 1999
Recommended to: Thoughtful people in love with stories.
Quotes: 
   "[he] seemed like the kind of guy you could just walk up to at a football game even though you were three years younger and not popular" (19). 
   "Do you always think this much, Charlie?" (24). 
   "I swear we were infinite" (39).
   "I don't know the significance of this, but I find it very interesting" (50).
   "I wanted the angel to come down and show us how Uncle Billy's life had meaning" (76). 
   "I just want it all to stop spinning" (94). 
   "I really did love her. Because there was nothing to gain and that didn't matter" (179). 
   "I think he was drunk... but Patrick does that stuff sober, so it's hard to tell" (192). 
   "What if they need the arms or something like that?" (200). 
Movie: That's why I wanted to read it! The differences between the book and movie really stood out to me because Chbosky wrote the screenplay so whatever he changed between publishing the book and writing the movie is kind of interesting, especially in light of the recent JKR "scandal" about whether authors can change their mind.  Most of the changes are minor but impactful (personalities in Charlie's family, details about Patrick and Brad's relationship, one-word differences in descriptions of Sam and Bill). Whether the changes were to streamline the story, appeal to a wider audience, or edit a Chbosky regret, I feel the movie retained the integrity of the book well. 

Wikipedia Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bossypants

Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bossypants-tina-fey/1100058573?ean=9780316056892

My View: Catcher-style opening but with less flair, leading into the story of a boy learning to write while he learns to tell, hear, and have stories to write about. Structured around an interesting plan to address the audience by treating them exactly as they are--as compassionate listeners, strangers willing to follow Charlie wherever he goes. That may be what compels me in this story: it is being told as if to a personally present, sympathetic ear--expecting me to listen, expecting me to hear hard things, expecting me to wince/laugh/curse/smile alternately. And ultimately, trusting me to sympathize, to listen, to withhold judgement, to love.


Always,
Your Bibliomaniac

Bibliography:
  • Chbosky, Stephen. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. New York: Pocket, 1999. Print.
  • "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" cover. Digital image. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014.

The Count of Monte Cristo

My Rating: 

Method of Reading: Personally owned paperback novel, 441 pages
Dates of Reading: January 9, 2014-March 11, 2014
Author: Alexandre Dumas
Publication Year: 1844-1845 serialized
Recommended to: Adventure movie fans.
Quotes: 
   "Happiness is like those palaces in fairy tales whose gates are guarded by dragons: we must fight in order to conquer it" (15).
   "That ultimate word of human wisdom: 'Perhaps!'" (76).
    "…you are unable to see those men whom God has placed able kings and ministers by giving them a mission to fulfill, rather than a position to occupy" (176).
   "I'm ready to pick a quarrel with anyone today. But don't worry; I'll give you priority over everyone else" (302).
   "…the Count of Monte Cristo is commanded only by the Count of Monte Cristo. I do as I please, and, believe me, it's always very well done" (309).
   "suffering is like life… there is always something unknown beyond it" (373).
   "…all human wisdom was contained in these two words: Wait and hope" (441).
Movie: Of course.

Wikipedia Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Count_of_Monte_Cristo
Link: http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/montecristo/

My View: An adventure book for the ages! Filled with what I suspect was some intentional Christian allegory, many Frenchie parallels to Les Mis (Otherworldly priestly mentor turns an unfair/wretched life around, escaping as a "corpse," lovers at garden gates, aliases galore), and themes echoing The Odyssey, Romeo and Juliet, and The Great Gatsby. The writing is quick, choppy, and cartoonish, allowing for very little scenic description, leaving historical and psychological constraints entirely out of the picture, and focussing mostly on heart-pounding action. This necessitated a different reading style than my usual and I kept no notes or annotations, reading quickly. 


As I read, I wanted to scream at Dant├ęs something similar to what Watson once did at Sherlock (in the BBC TV series), "People don't have arch nemeses in real life, you know?" I have a feeling he would have responded much like Sherlock did: "They must get so bored." In "the Count's" crazed drive for revenge (rather than redemption), I felt hubris piling up to my ears and was shocked by his final admission that he had, indeed, gone too far. 

Always,
Your Bibliomaniac

Bibliography:
  • "Count of Monte Cristo" cover. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. .
  • Dumas, Alexandre. The Count of Monte Cristo. Trans. Lowell Bair. N.p.: Bantam Book, 1956. Print.

Bossypants

My Rating: 

Method of Reading: Personally owned paperback book, 250 pages

Dates of Reading: March 12, 2014
Author: Tina Fey
Publication Year: 2011
Recommended to: My SNL/Mean Girls peeps.
Quotes: 
Movie: Not yet. Probably never.

Wikipedia Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bossypants
Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bossypants-tina-fey/1100058573?ean=9780316056892

My View: Very very excellent. I was laughing out loud and could not put it down.

Always,
Your Bibliomaniac

Bibliography:
  • "Bossypants" cover. Digital image. Amazon. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. . 
  • Fey, Tina. Bossypants. New York: Reagan Arthur, 2011. Print.

Hyperbole and a Half

My Rating: 

Method of Reading: Personally owned paperback book, 369 pages

Dates of Reading: March 12, 2014-March 14, 2014
Author: Allie Brosh
Publication Year: 2013
Recommended to: Humor fans.
Quotes: 
Movie: Nope.

Wikipedia Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperbole_and_a_Half
Link: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com

My View: So. So. So, ridiculously hilarious. Absolute absurdity meets memoir comics (on MS Paint, no less!). Kept me laughing out loud nearly the while time. Perfect for the All Grown Up Calvin and Hobbes fan.

Always,
Your Bibliomaniac

Bibliography:
  • Brosh, Allie. Hyperbole and a Half. New York: Touchstone, 2013. Print.
  • "Hyperbole and a Half" cover. Digital image. Amazon. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014.