Since tomorrow kicks off TMP’s adaptation month, what better topic for the first OT Thursday than books?
I don’t think it’s any secret that I’m just as avid a reader as I am a film-viewer. Though I’ve watched more films this month than the number of books I’ve read so far in 2012, I make a point to read at least a few pages every day (with a goal of at least 50 pages per day, and more if possible), so I consume words just as frequently as images.
According to Goodreads I’ve read 40 books so far this year, making for an average of 8 books each month. May has been an above average month. Here are the ten books I’ve finished since May began:
Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch – I started this at the end of April and finished it on May 2. I picked it up from the bargain section of the bookstore on my sister’s campus, expecting it to be a snarky look at Southern debutantes. It ended up being quite a bit darker than expected, and I had trouble relating to the protagonist of Sarah, who came off as shallow and showed very little growth. I can’t say I loved it, but I did enjoy it enough to give it a generous 3/5 on Goodreads.
June Bug by Chris Fabry – I picked this up from the library. I was a bit hesitant to read it because it is sometimes billed as “Christian Fiction” (a genre I’m not fond of), but the plot intrigued me very much. It follows a young girl, June Bug, who attempts to discover the truth about her identity and past after seeing a picture of herself on the missing children board at Wal-Mart. I gave it a 3/5 rating for the unique premise and surprising developments that occurred throughout to keep me interested.
Landfall by Nevil Shute – I picked this up at a The Windowsill Used & New Books while I was in Ludington at the beginning of the month. Landfall is a romantic historical fiction, set in World War II. It follows a British officer as he gets in a bit of trouble over an allegedly botched bombing, deals with the complications of a cross-class relationship and later gets recruited for a dangerous experiment. I really enjoyed this book. The romance doesn’t overpower the plot of wartime intrigue, and vice verse — and both sides of the plot are equally exciting. I rated it as 4/5.
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann – This was another used purchase from The Windowsill. I’ll be elaborating more on this book soon, when I get around to watching the film version and writing a book-to-film comparison, but for now I will say that I gave it a 4/5 on Goodreads – rounded up from 3.5, which I would have used if Goodreads allowed half-ratings.
Pardon My Blooper by Kermit Schafer – This was a fun and fast read that I picked up at my go-to store for cool vintage books and magazines, Town Peddler. It showcases some of the silliest flubs made by radio announcers, television hosts and actors. 4/5 rating.
The Mortician’s Daughter by Elizabeth Bloom – This is a very intriguing mystery about a suspended New York City cop who returns to her hometown after her best friend’s son is murdered. She attempts to figure out what truly happened to him and encounters many questions and dangers along the way. Though somewhat predictable, this book also had a number of suspenseful moments and consistently kept me on my toes. Rated 4/5
Citizen Girl by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus – I’m not sure if I should even count this on my “read” list, since I didn’t finish it. I just couldn’t get into it. It tried too hard to be funny and all of the characters were terribly unlikable. This is the lowest rating I’ve ever given on Goodreads: 1/5.
The Orchard by Jeffrey Stepakoff– I was very excited to order this book for only $1.95 on Amazon after reading (and loving) Stepakoff’s other novel, Fireworks Over Toccoa. I didn’t enjoy The Orchard quite as much as I did Fireworks, but it was still a very enjoyable read. It’s clear that Stepakoff puts a lot of research into his books, and he goes into great detail about the field of perfumists and flavorists – a business that I, from the rock under which I dwell, didn’t even realize existed. His books do bring on the cheese a bit, but to me, they’re great reads. Rated 4/5
Playing With the Grown Ups by Sophie Dahl – Sophie Dahl is Roald Dahl’s granddaughter, so obviously I had high expectations when I randomly found this book from her on a bargain shelf (and the beautiful cover only boosted my expectations further). While it didn’t quite live up to my expectations, I loved the use of changing perspectives (Kitty as a child vs. Kitty as an adult) and the honesty with which Dahl portrays the family’s issues. Rated 3/5
The Seance by John Harwood – This was my favorite book of the month, and possibly my favorite book that I’ve read all year. Constance Langton is a young girl in the 1880s whose family has dealt with a terrible loss. Her sister, Alma, died at only a few years of age, leaving her mother emotionally absent and her father very frustrated. After a few major curveballs that lead her to live with her uncle, Constance finds that she has inherited property from a distant relative — but the property is plagued by an eerie past and supposed hauntings. I loved this book because it was all at once suspenseful, heartbreaking and intensely dramatic. It takes the interesting approach of book-ending the perspectives of a few characters who have deadly ties to the house with Constance’s experiences. Rated 5/5!
Since finishing The Seance a few days ago, I’ve been reading Sinclair Lewis’ novel Main Street. I’m about 150 pages from the end and hoping to finish it tonight. As for what I’ll be reading next, my entire focus is turning to Adaptation Month – rereading books that I’d like to do book-to-film comparisons for, reading entirely new books that have been adapted, and so on.
While I’m on the topic of Adaptation Month, I’d like to let TMP readers who don’t follow me on Twitter know that I’m currently looking for guest bloggers to share their own book-to-film thoughts throughout the month of June. If you’d be interested in writing a guest post, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org! (Please include your name, your finished submission or idea, and a link to your blog.)
*Featured image via jenniferdawnbrody.com