2012: The Year of Book-to-Film Adaptations

2012 is turning out to be a huge year for movie adaptations of amazing books! The first half of the year saw the release of the movie version of contemporary favorite The Hunger Games, and this fall and winter will see the release of film adaptations to seven really great books — although I must admit I have read only five of them. Read on for trailers, release dates, casting info, and my thoughts! Continue reading

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Quotable Friday: from The Bell Jar

“I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow, the million moving shapes and cul-de-sacs of shadow. There was shadow in bureau drawers and closets and suitcases, and shadow under houses and trees and stones, and shadow at the back of people’s eyes and smiles, and shadow, miles and miles and miles of it, on the night side of the earth.”

– Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Book Review: Office Girl by Joe Meno

Book Review: Office Girl by Joe MenoOFFICE GIRL
by Joe Meno

Fiction
Akashic Books, June 2012
Paperback, 293 pages

From the front flap of Office Girl:

About this book:
No one in it dies. Nobody talks about the international political situation. There is no mention of any economic collapse. Nothing takes place during a World War.

Instead, this novel is about young people doing interesting things in the final moments of the last century. Odile is a lovely twenty-three-year-old art-school dropout, a minor vandal, and a hopeless dreamer. Jack is a twenty-five-year-old shirker who’s most happy using his out-of-date tape recorder to capture the endless noises of the city. Together they decide to start their own art movement in defiance of a contemporary culture made dull by both the tedious and the obvious. Set in February 1999, Office Girl is the story of two people caught between  the uncertainty and the all-too-brief moments of modern life. Continue reading

Ten Beautiful Libraries Around the World

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the abandoned Wal-Mart building that was turned into a library. I thought it was a really cool use of the building, and I loved that what was once a soulless commercial building was repurposed to become a community space where people could read and learn. Additionally, the new library was beautifully designed. The whole thing got me thinking about libraries, in general; there are some really stunning public libraries around the world! Some are centuries old and housed in exquisite gothic or colonial buildings, and others are monuments to modernity. Some take you back in time to a cozy antiquity with their frescoed walls and dark wood shelves reaching to the heavens, and others whisk you into the glorious future with their gleaming glass surfaces and innovative architecture. After scouring the internet and indulging in large quantities of international library porn, I bring you ten of the most beautiful libraries in the world!

We’ll start out this tour with some of the gorgeous old libraries of Europe, Canada, and South America, and finish up with some stunning American and European libraries!

Continue reading

Quotable Friday: from The Women of Brewster Place

“Time’s passage through memory is like molten glass that can be opaque or crystallize at any given moment at will: a thousand days are melted into one conversation, one glance, one hurt, and one hurt can be shattered and sprinkled over a thousand days. It is silent and elusive, refusing to be damned and dripped out day by day; it swirls through the mind while an entire lifetime can ride like foam on the deceptive, transparent waves and get sprayed onto the consciousness at ragged, unexpected intervals.”

The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor

High Summer Read-a-Thon

high summer read-athonI’m actually a day late to this event as I was out of town yesterday, but I’m excited to be participating in my first read-a-thon, the annual High Summer Read-a-Thon hosted by Michelle of The True Book Addict. The event is running from July 16 to 22 and has the inviting credo of being, “a week of relaxed reading during which we can personally challenge ourselves and whittle away those ever looming TBR piles/shelves/libraries.” Sounds perfect! You can sign up for the read-a-thon through Friday over at Michelle’s official read-a-thon blog, Seasons of Reading. Continue reading

Quotable Fridays

Hello all! I thought I’d introduce a new segment on my blog. Each Friday, I will feature a beautiful quote from a book I love, moving words from an author, or an insightful comment about books and reading. So kick back, relax, and start off your weekend with this quote from one of my favorite books, The Great Gatsby:

“All night the saxophones wailed the hopeless comment of the Beale Street Blues while a hundred pairs of gold and silver slippers shuffled the shining dust. At the grey tea hour there were always rooms that throbbed incessantly with this low, sweet fever, while fresh faces drifted here and there like rose petals blown by the sad horns around the floor.”

I love the way Fitzgerald evokes the opulence and hedonism of the ’20s while also conveying the emptiness of it all. And, of course, I’m a sucker for alliteration, and “silver slippers shuffled the shining dust” is as good as they come!

Top 10 Books I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Read Yet

For those of us who love reading, the sheer number of amazing books out there can be really overwhelming. How can we possibly read them all? Obviously, we are limited to reading only a tiny fraction of the books in existence in our lifetimes — and probably only a small percentage of the books that could be considered classics. We have to be choosy about the books we read, and we inevitably miss out on some of the books it seems everyone else has read or that we feel we should read.

top ten tuesday

The folks at The Broke and The Bookish have declared this Top Ten Tuesday a freebie week, so with the above thoughts in mind, I have decided to list the top ten books I can’t believe I haven’t read yet! Continue reading

Book Review: State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Book Review: State of Wonder by Ann PatchettSTATE OF WONDER
by Ann Patchett

Fiction
Harper Perennial, June 2011
Paperback, 353 pages

Marina Singh leads a comfortable life in Minnesota conducting pharmaceutical research within the safe confines of a lab. However, the pleasant monotony of her life is broken when her research partner, Anders, is sent to the Amazon to make contact with Dr. Swenson, a scientist conducting research and development on a fertility drug that will change the way women think about reproduction. Continue reading

From Retail Store to Reading Space: Abandoned Wal-Mart Becomes a Library

I love the idea of re-purposing abandoned buildings, rejuvenating them, and imbuing them with new life and a new purpose. I think it’s wonderful to see an eyesore of a vacant building that had fallen into disrepair be restored and once again serve the community. My college town of Buffalo is doing this a lot right now, fixing up these great old industrial buildings and turning them into hotels, shops, and restaurants, supporting the city’s burgeoning tourism industry. (Buffalo really is a fantastic city, and I am so excited about all the development in the works.) However, the city of McAllen, Texas recently did something even more intriguing with one of it’s vacant buildings; it converted a former Wal-Mart into a public library!

Walmart library: before

Before renovation

At 124,500 square feet, the new McAllen Public Library is now the largest single-story library in the U.S. Can you imagine a library the size of two-and-a-half football fields?! I feel like this would be a great place to hold a Portlandia-style Adult Hide-and-Seek League. Anyone with me?

Walmart library

Continue reading