Mini Reviews: The Little Prince, Jane Steele

A few minis here! I meant to write a full review of Jane Steele after finishing, but realized I didn’t have much to say after the second half of the book. Which is a shame, because I actually liked the first half! As for The Little Prince, my best friend let me borrow her copy after she’d said how much she loved it. A few other of my book-friends have been telling me to read it, and I did! It took a commute and a lunch break to finish it.

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Have you read either of these books? What did you think?

TTT: Bookish Thanks

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For more information on Top Ten Tuesday, click here.

I have a lot to be thankful for, bookish-wise and non-bookish-wise. Mostly I’m thankful that I’ve been able to manage this blog, albeit with its usual slowness in the last few weeks. Also thankful that the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish continue to churn out lovely prompts and activities (like their TBTB Secret Santa) for us bloggers to participate in!

But enough of that, onto the Top Ten Tuesday:

Top Ten Bookish Things To Be Thankful For

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Victoria Schwab. Oh yes. I am thanking Victoria Schwab for the books I’ve read of hers this year. The jury is still out on my top ten reads of the year, but she easily became my favorite author to follow updates-wise the moment I fell head over heels in love with A Gathering of Shadows. Seriously, it’s that big a deal. Thank you, Schwab, for making me squee on buses, on trains, with friends, and on social media.

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The Lunar Chronicles. Anyone who’s known me for long enough is aware that I have a deep-rooted love for fairy tales and fairy tale retellings. I’d known about The Lunar Chronicles since Cinder came out, but it was only this year that I truly got immersed into the series itself. Which was a good thing, because late last year, the final installment of the series came out. And I got to read it all without waiting impatiently for the next one. And let me tell you, science fiction and fairy tales? Can totally be done and done well.

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Books of Wonder. This is the loveliest place ever, and while I do prefer grabbing my books at The Strand and Book Outlet (for the cheaper options, obviously), I tend to visit Books of Wonder especially for its YA author events. It’s definitely a place I’d rather go to for signings, and I’ve enjoyed every single occasion when I have. BoW, you can totally take my money. Just…not all of it, please?😄

NetGalley ARCs. I know I still have several advanced copies I need to read before next year is up, and I’m not the best ARC reviewer ever, but I do appreciate NetGalley for allowing me to read and review books ahead of time. I’ve hit 50+ reviews and counting, and my ratio is pretty good, so that’s saying something!

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Friends Who Squee With Me. What is fangirling if not being able to hop around excitedly over something you love? And what makes it more fun than having like-minded individuals to come out and squee along with you? Seriously, I am blessed with bookish friends who understand my fangirling ways and non-bookish friends who don’t run away when I’m being a huge book nerd.

Audiobooks. Without audiobooks, I admit I will have read twenty less books this year than normal. Though nothing compares to reading the actual pages and letting your mind do the imagining for you, having someone narrate the books in a particularly dramatized way can also be a useful thing. I’ve read a few of my favorite books via audiobook, and have since picked up sequels in hardcover for those I loved.

Copious Fanfiction. When I don’t want the story to end quite yet, I look for fanfiction. For the most part, I’ve come to expect fellow fans to write the sort of indulgence I look for in fanfic, and I’m almost never disappointed. EXCEPT WHERE ARE MY SHADES OF MAGIC WRITERS? At some point I might just have to take matters into my own hands, you guys.

Limelight Ladies. I am always grateful for the vast number of authors who write fantastic characters, more so when they write amazing females in their fiction. Whether the females are secondary or primary in the story, whether they play a non-combative role, fight with words and/or swords, or play with fire, they shine just as well as the boys. Maybe even more so on particular occasions.

Fairy Tales and Magical Places. Can I just thank books for the escapism they provide in these tumultuous times? It’s a wonder why I like traipsing the magical places of books, and wandering the dangerously dark fairy tales of various cultures.

Image Comics. I still have a ton of graphic novels I need to read, but Image Comics has certainly been hitting it out of the ballpark as far as stories are concerned. The strength of Saga alone can attest to that, but then Monstress came out as well, and let’s not forget The Walking Dead and Paper Girls among other things. I completely have The Wicked + The Divine on my TBR as well, and while I haven’t read the story yet, I adore the artwork already.

So there we have it. Lots of things to be thankful for.

What bookish things are you thankful for?

Of Wonderland-Themed Owl Crates

Alright, I admit I have been a pretty horrid blogger lately, especially on the commenting and reading department. This may have been due to a mix of NaNo, work, and upcoming holiday stress. The last three months of my calendar year is often mixed with the abovementioned, and on top of that, I’m winding down and reflecting on what’s happened during the course of the year.

That said, reflections are for later, this post is about a bit of self-indulgent shopping.

Which takes me to the Owl Crate.

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I had heard about Owl Crate a month or two back, when I was browsing Loot Crates and realized that not only was there one tailored specifically for video games, but there was one for books as well. Owl Crate works on monthly subscriptions, and every month, it sends out a small box filled with a new YA book along with other goodies that correspond to a monthly theme. When I saw November’s theme of Wonderland, I was sure of two things:

  1. That Heartless was totally going to be the featured book of the Crate.
  2. That I HAD to get it.

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I was not disappointed by my prediction and the goodies. The Heartless book had been in my sights since I’d heard about it last year, and I missed my chance at a Marissa Meyer signing a few weeks back, so this was a good investment solely because OMG THAT HARDCOVER.

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It’s a beautiful cover inside and out, let me tell ya.

Anyway, that wasn’t the only thing I’d gotten from the crate.

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Just…the swag is lovely. Super-lovely. Awesomely lovely. It was worth trying a subscription out.

And while I’m still deciding whether to do this rarely and only on a month I really like the theme for, the next month’s theme is “Epic,” and is looking like a fantasy-based YA epic…which means I may just have to purchase an order of that, too! Ugh…my poor budget!

TTT: Loose Adaptations

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For more information on Top Ten Tuesday, click here.

I think I may have done a movie-book adaptation list a while back, so this time around, I’ll get specific. So that means adaptations of specific books. And off the top of my head, I’ve decided to go and talk about movies and mini-series based off of Jane Austen books. Oh yes. This is happening, guys. So happening. And yes, there’s a lot of Pride and Prejudice adaptations I’m going to throw in here, because why not.

Top Ten Movies and Mini-Series Adapted From Jane Austen Novels

 

Sense and Sensibility (1995) – There’s just something about that last Emma Thompson scene where she breaks down that’s absolutely fantastic. It’s pretty much the culmination of all that repressed emotion in the book, boiling down to blubbering when she finally gets proposed to. Definitely one of my favorite scenes, both in the book and movie.

Clueless (1995) – Quite possibly one of my favorite of any modernized Austen retellings ever. Ever. And time and again, a number of films have tried, but for the most part, they don’t really match the quirky caliber of Clueless. It is ultimately Emma if it took place on Beverly Hills with a bunch of high school students who don’t know any better.

Emma (2009) – Honestly, I’ve liked all the Emma adaptations that I’ve seen so far, but after seeing Romola Garai’s version of Emma, I see no one else in the role. Her face is absolutely expressive in that snooty Emma way, and you honestly don’t need her to spell her reactions out when you can see it plain as day.

Mansfield Park (2007) – I actually haven’t paid much attention to this book until recently, but it has started to grow on me after a time. I know the 2007 version adds a bit more backstory of the book, but I liked where the movie went with it, and I actually like Billie Piper as Fanny Price!

Bride and Prejudice (2004) – Because “no life without wife” pretty much sums up the beginning of Pride and Prejudice so well. Also, the songs in this Bollywood movie are so. damn. catchy. I might have to find a copy just to watch it again at the risk of getting all the songs stuck in my head for days to come.

Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001) – Also another Pride and Prejudice retelling that I loved (yes, I have a lot of those). And I mean…Mr. Darcy is being played by Colin Firth, and he is the modern iteration of Austen’s Darcy…just, a lot of yes to that.

Death Comes to Pemberley (2013) – I’m very picky with my Mr. Darcys, so when I saw this little retelling of Pride and Prejudice on Netflix, I was intrigued. I love Matthew Rhys to begin with, so it wasn’t very hard for me to get won over by his version of Mr. Darcy. This story isn’t really so much an adaptation of a Jane Austen book as an adaptation of somebody’s continuation. Death Comes to Pemberley was penned by P.D. James.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) – This is such a hoot and a half, and honestly Matt Smith as Mr. Collins is just perfect. That said, again, this adaptation is of a parody written by Seth Grahame-Smith, and shouldn’t really be taken seriously. It’s just P&P with zombies and a group of fighting Bennett sisters.

Pride and Prejudice (1995) – Easily my favorite adaptation of anything Austen. Yes, it’s a six-hour long mini-series but I seriously can watch this several times within a given year and I’d be okay with that. Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth are THE Liz and Darcy for me, and there’s yet to be a P&P adaptation that’s come close.

Lost in Austen (2008) – Now let me talk about this gem of a mini-series. This gem puts a modern woman into the story of Pride and Prejudice and by some twist of fate, said woman gets whisked off into the world of P&P while Elizabeth Bennett gets thrown into the real world (and is loving it, btw). In this particular mini-series, Amanda takes Lizzie’s place, and it’s sort of like an Austen version of Outlander, except, you know, not. Um. I’m losing my point here, but that’s me getting distracted.

I mean, um, what?

Anyway, there’s my Austen showing. Maybe next week I’ll tone it down a bit, lol!

What’s YOUR favorite TV show or movie adaptation of a book?

 

Literary Crimes Afoot || The Eyre Affair Review

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Initial Thoughts: 

This book was so much fun! The world isn’t perfect and definitely chaotic in a sense, but literature is on a hey day here. I must have laughed way too many times over the shenanigans happening when Thursday and the other characters got thrown into the novels mentioned in the book.


THE EYRE AFFAIR

by Jasper Fforde
Penguin Books, 2003
Fantasy, speculative, mystery
Rated: 4.5 / 5 cookies

eyreaffairWelcome to a surreal version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem, militant Baconians heckle performances of Hamlet, and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection, until someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature. When Jane Eyre is plucked from the pages of Brontë’s novel, Thursday must track down the villain and enter the novel herself to avert a heinous act of literary homicide.

A country full of literary marvels

I will admit that I’ve put this on the back-burner solely because the title and the book jacket summary mentioned a heavy involvement with Jane Eyre. Now, I’ve liked my fair share of classic literature and respect the Brontes greatly for their contributions, but the Bronte books were not my particular cup of tea. Which is funny that I write this now, because at the moment, I’ve immersed myself in two Jane Eyre-inspired books, and am enjoying them immensely.

In the case of Fforde’s The Eyre Affair, my enjoyment did not come only from the fact that the story of Jane Eyre gets a fresh coating, but that it also encompasses an alternate historical England where literature has become a pop culture phenomenon. That’s something any bibliophile would love to be a part of, though I suppose escapism is rather important in Thursday’s world–there’s still so much war going on that it becomes understandable why people want to step out of reality and walk right into fiction.

But enough about that, some of the things I did adore about The Eyre Affair.

The Will-Speak machine–officially known as a Shakespeare Soliloquy Vending Automaton–was of Richard III. It was a simple box, with the top half glazed and inside a realistic mannequin visible from the waist up in suitable attire. The machine would dispense a short snippet of Shakespeare for ten pence. They hadn’t been manufactured since the thirties and were now something of a rarity; Baconic vandalism and a lack of trained maintenance were together hastening their demise.

There is a Shakespeare quoting machine. Yes, yes, there are airships. Yes, yes, there are law departments specializing in werewolves, vampires, time travel, and literary forgeries. But come on. There’s a Will-Speak machine. Full of Shakespearisms. And it’s only tenpence a snippet. In 1985. How is this not a thing anywhere else?!

“I call it a Retinal Screen-Saver. Very useful for boring jobs; instead of gazing absently out of the window you can transform your surroundings to any number of soothing images. As soon as the phone goes or your boss walks in you  blink and bingo!–you’re back in the real world again.”

Then there’s Mycroft Next and the rest of the Next family. I love all of them. I want to know more about Thursday’s rebellious ChronoGuard dad, though if there’s anyone I enjoyed reading about that wasn’t immediately Thursday herself was definitely Mycroft. He’s the bee’s knees, as it were. I’d love to be able to play with all of his inventions–provided I don’t get meringued like his last assistant. Or get trapped in a Prose Portal while traipsing Gothic fiction. That Prose Portal is amazing, though, not gonna lie.

“Comrades, we stand on the very brink of an act of artistic barbarism so monstrous that I am almost ashamed of it myself. All of you have been my faithful servants for many years, and although none of you possesses a soul quite as squalid as mine, and the faces I see before me are both stupid and unappealing, I regard you all with no small measure of fondness.”

The diabolical villainy that is Acheron Hades. Now here’s a villain whose motive is purely “for shits and giggles.” I loved reading about his antics, even as reprehensible as his actions are, because he’s so effing happy about all the debauched criminal activities he’s taking part in. The book doesn’t just focus on Hades’ villainy, mind, considering there are also other characters who are just as villainous as he is (I mean, Jack Schitt is pretty appropriate name-wise for a reason…). But Acheron. Acheron has a special place in Hades for the things he’s done.

“Sadly, none of the Bard’s original manuscripts survive.” He thought for a moment. “Perhaps the Bennett family could do with some thinning…”

“Pride and Prejudice!?” yelled Mycroft. “You heartless monster!”

Do you see that? Special place in Hades. How dare he think of destroying the sanctity of an Austen novel!

Rochester pulled a second pistol after the first and cocked it.

“Let her go,” he announced, his jaw set, his dark hair falling into his eyes.

Edward Rochester gets a bit more color in his character. I always saw him as boring and unappealing in the book (something that drove me nuts, considering I read Jane Eyre at least three times when I was in school). But given a slight taste of the modern world, Rochester seems to acclimate well. Also, I rather like that he’s prepared to fight for the love of his life. It’s a much better version of this Byronic character than what I always found lacking in the original text.

4.5 out of 5 cookies! I will have to get the rest of the series, because I do want more of the Next family.


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Did you read this book? What did you think?