MISC: Films I wish were books

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If you haven’t watched God’s Own Country yet then I highly recommend that you do. Seriously, I will lend you my copy on DVD if I have to. It’s a significant film personally for me because it’s the first I watched on my own in the cinema. Admittedly, I did bump into someone I knew there, but I still sat on my lonesome and as the lights went down I was glad, because it’s a film you don’t want to be distracted from. You might think you’ve been transported to the world of the Brontes as soon as the brooding scenery and howling winds fill the screen, but this is an entirely modern story of romance and redemption.

John is a young farmer who feels trapped by circumstances. His father and grandmother rely on him to maintain their struggling farm but John wants other things. Instead of confronting his problems he drowns himself a drink and isolates himself from others. The arrival of Gheorghe, a Romanian migrant worker forces him to confront the reality of the situation and his own feelings.

It’s a film punctuated by silence, things left unsaid, frustrations buried. John’s family have survived so long by hiding their emotions that they are strangers to each other. In one scene his grandmother irons his father’s shirt after he suffers a stroke, and once she’s done brings the fabric up to her face and inhales deeply. Worry and grief rise suddenly to the surface and she cries into the shirt, but when John steps in she drops it quickly as if caught doing something unspeakable. It’s heartbreaking to watch but perfectly demonstrates how they have internalised their feelings.

Gheorghe offers them all a chance of a fresh start, and his tentative relationship with John is hopeful. It’s a beautifully drawn story of intimacy, love and communication and watching the film, the bookworm in me couldn’t help thinking how brilliant it would be in novel form.

It made me think about other films I wish were also books, and here’s a little list:

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The Royal Tenenbaums

Wes Anderson films are so visually engaging, I can just imagine how wonderful the descriptions would be, how detailed the characterisations. It’s the sort of off-beat, quirky book I can imagine Miranda July or Daniel Handler writing. Actually, I think all of Wes Anderson’s films would probably make amazing novels.

Image result for runaway brideThe Runaway Bride

A woman who runs from the alter, not once, or twice, but several times. I think The Runaway Bride would make a perfect romantic read that is also about learning who you are. I’d love to see the narrative split between the two main characters, as their attitudes towards each other slowly start to change.

Image result for junoJuno

I’d love to read a book told by the film’s protagonist. She is such an unapologetic and compelling character, but vulnerable too. Teenage pregnancy isn’t actually something I’ve come across often in fiction and it’s an important topic.

Related imageInception

There are a lot of Inception fanfics out there, and many of them are perfect so maybe I’ve already got what I wanted on this one. The Inception universe is an interesting one, layers of consciousness and impossible spaces, not to mention intriguing characters with shady pasts. How cool would a series of novels based on the Inception-universe be? Also there’s not nearly enough Arthur in the film, so maybe a novel could remedy this oversight.

What films do you wish were books?

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REVIEW: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

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Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi is a novel, but it could just as easily be described as an interlinked short story collection, following the very different fates of two sisters and their subsequent decendants. Effia and Esi share a mother but spend their lives apart, living in separate villages. The distance between them stretches wider when Effia is married off to an English soldier and Esi is captured and sold into slavery. Neither have a choice in their futures. Continue reading “REVIEW: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi”

DOWN THE TBR HOLE #17

EtheringtonHeaders-Down the TBRIt’s been a while since I tried to get control of my Goodreads TBR list. If anything, my physical pile has been getting more out of hand. I may actually have to try and restrain myself over the next few months. Like actually do it this time.

Lia at Lost In A Story started this weekly post to trim down the Goodreads to-read list.

The rules are simple:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Continue reading “DOWN THE TBR HOLE #17”

REVIEWS: I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell

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Never has the past been more present that in Maggie O’Farrell’s captivating memoir I Am, I Am, I Am. Time can erase the sense of immediacy, but from the opening I was engrossed, more than that. I felt a jolt of fear, I was apprehensive, and for a brief second I forgot that I was reading a memoir. Surely that first encounter with death was more at home in a thriller, or the opening of a dark crime novel, surely that sort of thing didn’t happen in real life. It’s not a spoiler to say that O’Farrell survives the ordeal, and the next and the next, but for that fraction of a second I wondered whether she would. Continue reading “REVIEWS: I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell”

MISC: Guess who’s back?

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I may have taken an impromptu hiatus from the blog over the last few weeks. Sorry guys. It turns out that preparing for London Book Fair takes up more time and energy than this naive little intern thought. I enjoyed every minute of it, but alas the book fair is over and now I can turn back to the wondrous world of book-blogging. I’m excited to get back into the game and catch up with everything I’ve missed!

BOOKISH FINDS: Online Orders & Other Things

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I’m currently trying to minimise the amount of books I have in London, because I’m pretty conscious of completely swamping my aunt’s house in books. It will happen if I don’t watch myself. So I’ve turned my home into an almost library, where every time I go back I take the books I’ve read home and bring back the same amount that I haven’t read. It’s a system that’s lasted all of about three minutes, because I am terrible at not buying books.

A couple of books I’ve been given by colleagues who have passed them along after they’ve read them so I don’t count that as not sticking to the rule. Or deviating from the rule only slightly. You can’t really turn down books that have been offered to you. That would be sheer madness. So here are the books I’ve collected over the last few weeks. Continue reading “BOOKISH FINDS: Online Orders & Other Things”

REVIEW: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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A few days ago I read a quote from an author somewhere that there’s nothing wrong with writing to a formula, that it’s what you bring to the formula that makes a great story. I’m annoyed that I didn’t pay more attention to the source, the university student in me is appalled at my lack of referencing but what they said struck me as interesting. There’s often a sense that formulaic writing is somehow lazy or unimaginative, but all stories have a formula. Each has a beginning, a middle and an end. There is a point of conflict, sometimes a resolution. Some of my favourite novels have followed formulas. Life often follows the same pattern, so why shouldn’t novels? When a story surprises us it’s because it goes against the conventions of the genre and the novel. A writer can follow a formula and bring something new to it at the same time.

That’s not to say it always works out, and while I was reading Red Queen there were elements of the story that felt fresh and interesting, but I felt as if it was something I’d read before.  Continue reading “REVIEW: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard”