A Million Brilliant Shadows

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

“There was nothing, really. Only nothing. Just the endless maze of moss-covered trees, so quiet that the silence was an uncomfortable pressure against my eardrums.”
New Moon, Stephenie Meyer (pg. 122)


This week’s Musing Monday:

How do you react to movies made of your favorite books (or even not-so-favorite books)? Do you look forward to seeing them, or avoid them? Do you like to have read the book before seeing the movie?

I’ve been thinking about movies based on books a lot lately. It seems like there are a ton of book-based films either out or coming out soon (Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, My Sister’s Keeper, The Time Traveler’s Wife, and The Lovely Bones are the few that come to mind right now). I really think it’s a good idea, most of the time. Sometimes people gain an interest in reading the books because they’ve watched the films. This has happened with me with In Her Shoes and Twilight. However, it’s a bit of a disappointment when the film deviates too much from the book. In sixth grade, I watched Gone With the Wind for the first time and loved it. Imagine my surprise when I finally get around to reading the book and found out that Scarlett had three kids and Mammy helped her steal Frank Kennedy from her sister Suellen, among the many other things. Not that I don’t love the film and see where they were coming from. Can you imagine how much longer the film would have been if they’d tried to include more elements from the book? I just think filmmakers should at least try to stay as true to the book as they can.

Most of the time I look forward to seeing them. It’s interesting to see how the characters come to life on the screen and if the actor or actress who was casted comes close to looking like I imagined the character would. I’d rather read the book before I watch the movie, though, for that same reason. Once I’ve seen the film, I cannot imagine the character as looking like anyone other than the actor or actress who played them. I like getting a picture of the character in my mind first and then comparing it to how other people viewed them.

This week’s Sunday Scribblings:

I wanted to do something a little different this week, so you are getting more structure than normal. Do you ever play the game where you decide who you would invite to your fantasy dinner party?

The rules are:
– you can invite anyone, living or dead
– you have a table that seats eight, but as you are one, you can invite seven people
– you have to explain why you’d invite them

And for bonus points:
– what would you serve them for dinner?

As soon as I read the prompt for this week, I thought it was going to be hard. Obviously I want to choose people I can learn something from, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to narrow it down. Then it hit me: I knew just the people to invite.

  • My great-grandfather – He died when I was in first grade. My earliest memories are of spending time with him. He was born in 1918, so he had so much first hand knowledge of things that happened in the twentieth century. It would be interesting just to be able to talk to him and hear his stories so that they can be passed on to others.
  • My great-grandmother – After my great-grandfather died, I didn’t spend as much time with her. She died the summer before sixth grade. I wish I would have realized all the things I could have learned from her before it was too late.
  • My husband’s father – He died a month before my husband’s tenth birthday.
  • My husband and his two younger sisters – I know they would really love to have the chance to talk to their dad. They were all so young (9, 6, and 2) when he died that they don’t really remember much and what they do remember is slowing fading away.
  • My daughter – So she can meet her grandfather.

Deciding what I’d serve for dinner was the easiest part of all. I can just imagine a huge table laid out buffet-style with lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, caesar salad, pasta salad, garlic bread, and cheese bread. Maybe that’s a bit much for eight people, but I’d rather have too much and have to eat leftovers than not have enough to go around.

I just finished reading Northanger Abbey, the second book I’ve read for my Everything Austen challenge.

Northanger Abbey follows Catherine Morland as she vacations in Bath with her neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Allen. Used to live in the country, she is a bit in awe of all the activities and amusements that Bath offers her. Catherine becomes acquainted with two sets of siblings (Isabella and John Thorpe, Henry and Eleanor Tilney) and the relationships that develop bring about circumstances that change the lives of those involved.

I was pleasantly surprised with what a quick and easy read Northanger Abbey was. At only 205 pages, it didn’t drag on endlessly. For the most part, it was a good book. As with Emma, most of the characters rubbed me the wrong way. Isabella Thorpe was a shallow, self-centered, gold-digging brat. Her brother John wasn’t much different. In fact, much of the trouble in the novel could have been adverted had John Thorpe never gone to Bath, but then we wouldn’t have had a novel. Catherine was a decent heroine. Very naïve, but decent. When she developed her theory of what really happened to Mrs. Tilney, Catherine reminded me a bit of the main character in The Female Quixote. (I think that’s the title anyway. I had to read it over two years ago for British literature course. It’s about a girl who reads romance novels and then begins imagining that every male on earth wants to kidnap and ravish her. {Edit 8/15: The Female Quixote was the title of the book.)

I still have to watch the film version of Northanger Abbey. I picked it up from the library earlier in the week and will be watching it over the weekend so the review soon be up within the next week or so.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I’m totally going against the rules here, but I couldn’t resist. These teasers are from Meg Wolitzer’s The Ten Year Nap.

“Amy understood that if she didn’t have a job then at least she was meant to load her life up with elements of meaning. Some women had date books scribbled densely with entries like ‘Work on triptych’ or ‘Visit the lost boys of the Sudan.’ She did stuff envelopes sometimes for a reproductive rights organization that Roberta Sokolov had gotten all of them involved in; she shelved books in her son’s school library every week, standing the the placid blonde-wood room with its satisfying fish-tank low-hum of near silence; and she went to parent meetings. But somehow, over time, she realized that she had chosen for her life to be loosely filled, not packed in tight with hard stuffing.”  (pg. 55)

“Maybe it was just that the actual world of adulthood, with its long meetings and requirements that you sit still, was too disappointing for most boys to face head-on. Or maybe it was that boys were in need of a belief that something more intoxicating than this world lay ahead, as though to buffer them against reality after they stopped believing in the existence of Santa Claus. You could lose Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy all at once in a terrible massacre with severed limbs and fur and blood and veined wings and fluffy material everywhere yet still hold on to Frodo and the rest of Middle-earth at least until high school.” (pg. 75)

This week’s Musing Monday:

Do you have a favourite publishing house — one that puts out books that you constantly find yourself wanting to read? If so, who? And, what books have they published that you’ve loved?

I don’t have a favorite publishing house.  In fact, I can’t honestly say that I really ever even notice what publishing house has put out the books that I read. I usually pick books out based on the summary and reviews or general talk about the book.  Sometimes I’ll choose a book just because I’ve read and enjoyed something by that particular author before.

This week’s Sunday Scribbling: What’s new in your life? What new things should you be embracing? What does new mean to you?

I’m glad the prompt for this week didn’t automatically bring up a fictional response like last week’s did. It brought up something that I am going to have to get used to: having someone else take care of my child for a few hours a day. Up until now, I’ve only ever left my daughter with my husband (he really doesn’t count, though, does he?, my mother (twice, because we had to go to the airport to pick up family flying in from out of town), or my sister-in-law (once, while she was visiting from out of town). I’ve been able to take her to work with me, but now that she’s getting older (almost 5 months), my boss is not-so-subtly hinting that it’s time for that change.

Enter the search for daycare, which makes me uncomfortable. The only option we’d ever considered for daycare, long before we ever seriously considered having a baby, isn’t going to work and obviously never would have worked. We would’ve realized that if we had really thought it through, but we never really sat down and thought it through until recently.

So now I have to not only find someone to care for my daughter, but also get comfortable with the idea of leaving her with someone who isn’t me, a family member, or a friend. Frankly, it’s a little scary. Wait, no, it’s not a little scary. It’s very scary. Me leaving her with SOMEONE ELSE who isn’t me and who doesn’t know her like I do. This is what I need to embrace. Let’s just hope I can do it.

101 Goals in 1001 Days

Start date: 19 July 2009
End date: 15 April 2012

Total goals: 85
Goals to be determined: 16
Goals completed: 4
Goals in progress: 10

You can find my full list here.

**My goal project is on hold until September so I can figure some things out**