Monday, 1 June 2009

Books Books Books

I have been a massive fan of Margaret Atwood since 7th form English (I Did Not love the teacher, but I have to hand it to her – she did introduce me to one of the greater loves of my life). We studied what I think is one of the most interesting novels around, The Handmaid’s Tale, and in a fascinating parallel were studying it on and after September 11 – a fact that had a lot to do with me studying political science at University a year later.

Since then I have made my way through a fair bit of her other work, The Blind Assassin being my favourite of her novels. Just this weekend I finished Cat’s Eye. It was great. GREAT, actually (I'm not so hot on synonyms). Very disturbing, very moving, and I think this one should be compulsory reading for all girls aged 9-11. Well, except for that it’s an adult novel and very disturbing. But still… I bet there are more than a few young ladies who could benefit from this book. I can’t say enough about Margaret’s writing style. I adore her.

I have also just finished reading Breakfast at Tiffany’s – and now REALLY want to see the film. What a bizarre book – not at all what I expected, based on what I had heard re Audrey & co. (I am also in the middle of a love affair with Truman Capote and think his short stories are exquisite. I am currently trying to track down In Cold Blood, which I have heard is fabulous).

I can’t pick a favourite author, but Margaret and Truman are up there, together with William Golding, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell*, Brett Easton Ellis, Jodie Picoult, Paulina Simons, Jane Austen, and Marian Keyes. My favourite book? “The Rules of Attraction” by Brett Easton Ellis – the one occasion where I can’t pick a clear favourite between a book and it’s film adaptation.

Who is your favourite author? What is, if you can pick one, your favourite book? Which is your favourite film adaptation of a book?

*yes, I am aware that this reads like a book list for a black turtleneck-wearing politico study group. I was introduced to these authors in a political psychology course by the greatest lecturer I ever had, so you know… stands to reason really.


Being Brazen said...

I love Alice Hoffman. She inspires me and I so love her writing style. she is my favourite author.

I also love Sarah Addison Allen and Nicholas Evans alot.

I love alot of other authors too, but those are a few favourites.

Webster Twelb said...

My favorite author would probably be Jane Austen, favorite books is of course Pride and prejudice. Ahmn favorite film adaptation, I think Gone with the Wind and To Kill a Mockingbird.

I've not read any Atwood yet but I do have A Handmaid's Tale in my bookshelf based on your recommendation I'm probably going to read it soon.

I've not read Truman Capote yet but I've seen the film adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany's, It's awesome, I love Audrey should really watch it.

Helena said...

Ok Ju, I am bringing Breakfast at Tiffanys over and we are watching it - one of the greatest movies ever!!! You will notice lots of differences from the book, and Capote himself said that Audrey was not who he had envisaged as Holly (he wanted Marilyn) but its pure cinematic genius. My favourite books are Rebecca, Miss Garnet's Angel, by Sally Vickers and White Oleander. Best film adaption: BBC version of Pride and Prejudice and Gone With the Wind. Can't beat the classics!

Helena said...

Ooh and I remember first meeting you in Matt's Pols course actually...aww!

kaz said...
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kaz said...

Wow Ju you really have sparked something off here - I've just written a whole post in response to your post!! But for me of all time it must be 'Gates of Fire' by Steven Pressfield and for a repetitive read I can't give up 'The Time Travellers Wife' - I read it at least once a year!! I don't think there is enough space limit for me to continue. Can't wait for you to get back so we can swap books! Did you ever get round to reading 'The Reader' that's probably my favourite film adaption of a book.

Julienne said...

I LOVE Aldous Huxley. I've read Brave New World and Island a ton of times.

When you mentioned the books that girls aged 9-11 have to read my first thought was "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn". I was 24 before I read this one and couldn't believe I had waited so long. Same goes for To Kill a Mockingbird. There are reasons those two are such classics!

Amanda said...

My all-time favorite book is probably 'The Photography' by Penelope Lively. I know, I'm super depressing. Though I really can't imagine it translating into film...

Amanda said...

'The Photograph'. Sorry. I've had a few beers. ;)

sera said...

I love Truman Capote, including Breakfast at Tiffany's. Be forewarned that the film is nothing like the book. I saw the film first, fell in love with Audrey's version of Holly Golightly and all things in that film. But they are totally different creatures.
I too, dig Brett Easton Ellis's Rules of Attraction. And I'd say that was a well made film conversion. Also EM Forester's A Room with a View.
Worst book to movie ever - Tom Robbins Even Cowgirls get the blues. Great book, horrible movie.
I've read a lot of decent things of late, but... nothing that would make me sound as smarty pants as this eng lit discussion. tee hee.