Wednesday, May 30, 2012

my new domain

Meet the tiniest little fox I ever did see! My mom found him on Etsy for me a few weeks ago for a graduation present (you can find him here), and he flew all the way from England just for me. Which is fitting, really, because I've been dreaming of London ever since I spent 5 days there in December (after my semester in Greece). What I would give to go back there again! The beautiful parks, the old meets new architecture, the vibrant neighborhoods and shops, the accents. Plus, we were there during Christmas, so the city was filled with holiday spirit :) It was magical. 

But this wasn't meant to be a post about London! I just thought I'd share my little fox friend as I shared some news. What news, you ask? Well, if you look up at your web address bar right now, you might notice something's changed. 

I bought my domain! This blog is now at Simple and clean. You should have been redirected here automatically (hopefully no one got lost along the way!), but if you have the site bookmarked you could change the address to eliminate that little second of redirection while the site does its thing.

I feel very accomplished having my own website :) Even if it is just a little blog!

He's supposed to be a phone charm, but I'm afraid he's too delicate for that. I think I'll just keep him in a nice spot on my shelf.

Perfectly tiny.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

ttt: books to stand the test of time

This week's Top Ten Tuesday on the Broke and the Bookish is Top Ten Books Written in the Last 10 Years That I Hope People Are Still Reading in 30 Years.

Was anyone else mildly shocked that written in the last 10 years means written in 2002 or after? I don't know what it is, but when I hear a year that I lived through (1998, 2002, 2005), it doesn't sound very long ago at all. But if 2002 was just a few years ago, then I must not really feel like I'm my age (I'm 22). And come to think of it, maybe I don't. At least, not all the time.

Anyway, these were pretty easy to choose. I just hopped on over to my Goodreads, sorted it by year published, and picked my favorites!


Top Ten Books Written in the Last 10 Years That I Hope People Are Still Reading in 30 Years

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (by J.K. Rowling, 2007)-- I chose the last book because if you're reading it, you must've read the other 6! And I couldn't pick any of the ones published before 2002.

2. The Hunger Games (by Suzanne Collins, 2008)

3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (by Stieg Larsson, 2005)

4. Never Let Me Go (by Kazuo Ishiguro, 2005)

5. Little Children (by Tom Perrotta, 2005)

6. The Time Traveler's Wife (by Audrey Niffenegger, 2003)

7. Fingersmith (by Sarah Waters, 2002)

8. The Night Watch (by Sarah Waters, 2006)

9. Everything is Illuminated (by Jonathan Safran Foer, 2002)

10. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (by Jonathan Safran Foer, 2005)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

the seance

I loved the first half of The Seance. It had me under its spell-- I loved the characters, the setting, the creepiness, and the structure, and each new mystery only made me read faster-- but unfortunately, the last 1/3 of the book was a big letdown. 

But let me go back to the start: The Seance begins with young Constance lamenting her sister's death. Alma was very young and their mother has taken the death very hard. She won't leave the house, her health is poor, and she can think of nothing but her grief. Thinking it might comfort her, Constance explores the world of psychics and seances. Soon enough she is faking visits from Alma to appease her mother's pain . . . But this is all just set-up for Constance's character. Her story really begins when she is contacted by a solicitor, Mr. Montague. Constance has inherited a large, decaying mansion named Wraxford Hall with an eerie, mysterious past: numerous owners of the house have disappeared; a young boy died there; it is said to be haunted by a monk; it has many lightning rods attached to it for experiments/safety; etc.

This is when Constance's story stops for a while. The middle of the book is entirely made up of documents given to Constance by Mr. Montague. So the structure of the book goes like this:

- Constance
- Mr. Montague's narrative
- Eleanor Unwin's narrative
- Mr. Montague's narrative (again)
- Constance

Obviously, Mr. Montague and Eleanor's stories heavily feature the mysteries of Wraxford Hall.

Although the beginning of the story felt a little rushed, I understood why later (because Constance's story isn't so important). But the middle section was great. I was completely absorbed reading about Magnus Wraxford (a friend/clint of Mr. Montague) and his crazy uncle, as well as Eleanor Unwin and her creepy "visitations." I was all set for a good ghost story and a shocking, exciting explanation for all that lead-up.

That's when the story fell apart for me. It was a huge let-down to learn the truth behind the mysteries. I was expecting something scary, but what I got was just a very needlessly complicated, unbelievable, bland explanation. Such a disappointment! This book had great potential. When I was midway through, I was already excited thinking I'd found another 4-star read. I just wish Harwood would erase the ending and come up with something better.

If you're looking for a good Victorian story, look to Sarah Waters instead. Her novels Fingersmith and Affinity are amongst my favorite books of all-time.

TITLE: The Seance
AUTHOR: John Harwood
VERDICT: 3/5 stars.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

my first submissions!

Since I don't have any photos related to writing, I leave you with this picture of a fox that my sister took back in January. Isn't he cute? He lives in the woods by our house.

Any other aspiring writers out there?

I want to be a novelist someday and I think (with a lot of hard work), I'll do it (someday). But for now, while I keep working on my manuscript, I thought it would be a good idea to try and get published anyway. Not with a novel, but with a short story. After all, any sort of publication is a great accomplishment and something I can add to my resume when I do (eventually) go searching for an agent.

So about a week ago I took a short story I wrote a couple years ago, one that had already been through one round of editing, and polished it up to the best of my ability. Then, with my Short Story & Novel Market book in hand, I made a huge list of literary magazines that fit my genre/style, reduced that by at least half (because so many of them don't read submissions in the summer), and started applying. 

I ended up submitting to 7 different magazines and plan to submit to about 5 more in the course of the summer (three that require hard copies and two that won't accept until June or July).

It was a little scary getting started and sending out that first submission, but I feel really great now. Like I'm more of a writer. I'll be a true "writer," I think, when I get my first rejection :) Not that I'm excited to get a rejection, but . . . Okay, I kind of am. And with 7 submissions already out there, I think I've got a pretty good chance of one rejection ;)

I only wish I didn't have to wait for so long (because who knows how long it'll take them to reply? Some say they could take 6 months or more!). And mostly, I wish I hadn't waited so long to start trying.  I could have done this years ago, but I never felt qualified for some reason.

Anyone else a writer out there? Have you submitted many things for publications? Did it go well? Did it take long? Did you frame your first rejection letter? Can you tell I'm a little excited? :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

the great gatsby (trailer time!)

It's finally here!

I'd been so busy trying to wrap my head around Leo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan as Gatsby and Daisy that it kind of slipped my mind that the new adaptation of The Great Gatsby was being directed by Baz Luhrmann (of Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet fame). But let me tell you, old sport, this trailer DOES NOT let you forget it.

It's so bright and flashy and vibrant! It definitely took me by surprise. I love that it looks like a very different take on Gatsby (much higher energy), and I can't wait to see more!

But what do you think?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

ttt: top ten non-literary websites

* Top Ten Tuesday is hosted weekly at the Broke and the Bookish.

Book blogs are great, but I'd be lying if I said they were my favorite. Prior to this year in fact, I only knew of a couple. I love non-book blogs because they introduce me to things I'm unfamiliar with and give me new ideas for things I could have never thought up myself (like recipes and hair styles). Here are a few of my favorites.

Top Ten Non-Literary Websites

Cup of Jo is probably my favorite blog out there. First of all, Joanna is one cool chick. She and her husband are both writers, they live in Manhattan, she has great style (while looking very comfortable and effortless), she recently jetted off to Amsterdam for a spur of the moment weekend trip with her husband, . . . I could go on and on!

I also love that she writes about so many different subjects. Fashion, hair styling, food, design, home decor, interesting articles, things to do in NY, parenting. My favorite posts are the discussion/confession posts asking readers to share their thoughts on interesting topics (after Joanna shares her own). Here are some of my favorites:

- Would you ever vacation alone?
- Naming identical twins
- What do you wear to bed?
- Where would you want to raise a baby?
- Would you find out if you were having a boy or a girl?
- What are your dating deal-breakers?
- Do you heart NYC . . . or not so much?
- Would you hyphenate your baby's last name?
- Are you naked around your children?
- How old were you when you had your first kiss?
- Do or don't: seeing movies alone
- How long did you believe in Santa?

Annie's was the first food blog I really got into. She makes a variety of different things and is always an advocate of making things yourself (she even bakes her own hamburger buns!). Her site also has a cute, organized design and beautiful (mouth-watering!) photography.

Kater has really cute style, usually very vintage-inspired. She was also an English major in college, so she'll occasionally post about books or write about certain characters inspiring her style. Plus, she and I share several obsessions including Downton Abbey and Harry Potter (she even dressed up as Lupin for the midnight premiere last year!).

Although I could never wear dresses/skirts and heels as often as she does, Rebecca always looks impossibly cute. Like most of my favorite fashion bloggers, her style looks effortless to me. It's a mix of vintage-inspired and very risk-taking/artsy looks. I only wish I could pull off her cute pixie haircut. She also posts a lot of art, photography, runway shows, and (more rarely) travel.

If there's one blog that comes up the most in my everyday life, it would be Tom and Lorenzo. As their tagline says, they are a fabulous and opinionated couple that spends their day critiquing fashion of any kind. Runway shows, red carpet, movie/TV fashion, stars' everyday styles. They also post about TV shows like Project Runway and Mad Men, if you're into that. Not only do they have great taste, they're snarky and hilarious.

Kristen loves food, running, and travel and her blog reflects that. There's a section specifically for fitness, but I stick to the main blog where she posts tons of (usually) healthy recipes. Each post has tons of pictures and descriptions, so you know exactly what you're getting into. Her recent trip to Jamaica looked beautiful and in her archives, you can find her previous trip to the Amalfi coast in Italy (gorgeous!). She also shares a weekly list of her favorite internet finds of the week, which I love (at least one of her weekly faves always seems to end up on my Pinterest!).


This blog always makes me smile. A magazine editor posts work-related situations (such as "when a writer pitches me and I find out he's already written this story for some Canadian magazine"or "when I see our magazine on a newsstand") and then adds a silly .gif (a moving picture) beneath to show her reaction. If you've ever seen #whatshouldwecallme (which I would also recommend), it's very, very similar. Both are completely hilarious.

Anyone interested in graphic design should read this blog. It posts tons of great package design and will always leave you feeling inspired and wishing everything in the world was packaged so beautifully.

No explanation need. I LOVE Pinterest.

If you read a lot of blogs and don't have a blog reader, I highly suggest bloglovin'. It allows you to sort your blogs into categories and has a clean and simple design. When you open it up, you see all the new posts from blogs you read with their title, description, and picture. If you don't want to read a post, you just hit "mark as read" (or if you don't want to read an entire category of blogs, you can mark the whole category "mark as read" in one click). If you do want to read the post, you click on it and bloglovin' takes you straight to the blog. And once you open one blog post, you can use the button on the bottom right corner of your screen to quickly move through all the other new posts (going straight to their blog pages). It's just an awesome way to organize. Highly recommended.

Monday, May 21, 2012

neil gaiman's commencement speech

A little more than a week ago, I graduated from college.

People talk about graduation like it's this great, fun thing, but really I've just been feeling scared and nervous and sad that I won't be returning to school come August. I've started job searching, but it's hard for someone like me. You see, I've never dreamed of having a traditional career. Sometimes I wish I did. It would be so much easier if I had wanted (and studied to be) a doctor or an architect or an engineer. But I never have and I doubt I ever will.

Since I was about 13, I've dreamed of being an author. And unfortunately, one can't apply for a job as an author. It takes a lot of work and luck and talent. And it's easy to get discouraged when you've only got so much time in the day and so much money in the bank.

That's why I'm so glad I stumbled upon this video posted by Shannon at Isle of Books. It's the commencement speech Neil Gaiman delivered to graduates of Philadelphia's University of the Arts last week.

It's a wonderful speech. Funny, upbeat, and most importantly inspiring. If you're a creative person with creative goals, please give this video a watch.

Make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Make good art. Pretend to be someone who can write.

I think I'll remember this speech a long, long time :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

the vanishing act of esme lennox

I'd heard great things about Maggie O'Farrell and I'm happy to say that they're all true. She's a wonderful writer. Her words linger with you and contain beautiful imagery and rhythm. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox revolves around three women: Iris, Esme, and Kitty.

Iris is a 30-something woman who owns a vintage shop. At the start of the story, she's contacted by a mental institution in regard to one of their patients, Iris's great aunt Esme. But Iris has never heard of Esme and her grandmother Kitty (Esme's sister), who suffers from Alzheimer's, isn't much help. Iris struggles to decide what to do with Esme, while at the same time struggling with her own life, especially regarding her relationship with her step-brother Alex.

Esme is a seventy-something woman who has lived in the mental institution since she was a teenager. In her sections of the story, we see her sad childhood in India, her estrangement from her sister Kitty, and the stories that led to her being institutionalized.

Kitty is older and suffers from Alzheimer's. Her sections are short and fragmented, cutting back and forth between thoughts (and rarely finishing one). Her parts read like a diary or a confession and always stay in the past.

All of the woman have stories worth telling and they weave together beautifully. My one (small) complaint would be that the ending was too fuzzy for my taste (I like to at least understand what's happened). But really, I loved it. Despite how terribly sad it was. I'm very excited to read some of O'Farrell's other work.

TITLE: The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
AUTHOR: Maggie O'Farrell
VERDICT: 4/5 stars.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

ttt: authors you would like to see on a reality show

This week's Top Ten Tuesday on the Broke and the Bookish is Top Ten Authors You Would Like to See on a Reality Show.

Apparently the topic changed last minute to whatever you want (because some thought the subject was too difficult), but I'm sticking with it. I had a lot of fun imagining reality shows full of authors, but to keep it neat, I thought I would split it into two shows: Survivor and The Real World.

The authors chosen for Survivor were chosen because of their distinguished skills in writing about either (1) survival/fighting death, (2) mysteries, (3) murder, or (4) just some really weird shit.

The authors chosen for The Real World were chosen because of their skills in (1) alcoholism, (2) creativity, (3) quotability, (4) writing in general. And in picking a variety, I hoped to give some good contrast to the group. Because you know you'd love to see Austen all upset over brash Hemingway while Wilde quips cleverly in the corner.

(***Excuse the awkward picture formatting. It was driving me nuts!***)

Top Ten Authors You Would Like to See on a Reality Show

Suzanne Collins
Flannery O'Connor
Agatha Christie
Chuck Palahniuk

Stephen King
William Golding

Katherine Dunn

Stieg Larsson

Margaret Atwood
Herman Melville


Jonathan Safran Foer
Oscar Wilde

F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ernest Hemingway
Jane Austen

J. D. Salinger
J. K. Rowling
Sarah Waters

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


A couple weeks ago, my professor started our class asking "What books/authors do you think English majors must read before graduating?" There were a lot of varied answers and I'll admit I hadn't read a fair amount (Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Sartre, Eliot, Welty . . . and I've only read short stories by Woolf and Faulkner).

But the one that I felt most ashamed of was George Orwell. I had never read a book by George Orwell. Somehow I missed 1984 in high school when it seemed like every other English class was reading it.

But with just a few days left till graduation, I finally finished 1984 yesterday! So I can accept my diploma without shame (because who really cares about Tolstoy or Eudora Welty!) :)

Orwell obviously has some interesting ideas about society (looking at the governments' role in society, freedom vs. control, etc.). There's a reason this book is so often taught in schools and why the term "Big Brother" became such a well-known part of the English lexicon. Keeping citizens under complete surveillance, building a society based on hate, the need for constant warfare, the ability to erase and manipulate history (and thus manipulate people's memories) . . . So many great, thought-provoking ideas!

Unfortunately, I don't think the rest of the novel really lives up to Orwell's premise. The characters are not very thoroughly described, so I didn't feel much of a connection to their actions and goals. The plot is not very well-paced (the first 100 pages are boring set-up, the middle contains a huge chunk of text from a book a character is reading, etc.). By the end, I didn't even care what happened to Winston.

I also wasn't sure I completely understood the society (Would the government really not care about controlling the proles because they think they're stupid? They're 85% of the population!).

Still a really interesting idea. I think I prefer Brave New World though.

Have you read 1984? Did you like it? Is Animal Farm better?

TITLE: 1984
AUTHOR: George Orwell
VERDICT: 3/5 stars.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

by j.d. salinger

One of my favorite opening lines ever. It immediately puts you into Holden's head and shows you what the story's going to be like. If you don't like it, you probably won't like the book all that much.

Monday, May 7, 2012

my capstone show

A huge load was lifted off my shoulders this weekend.

At my school, all Graphic Design and Fine Arts majors are required to finish their senior year with a big project, also known as a capstone project. Professors guide us and give critiques throughout the semester, but really the idea and execution are completely up to us. At the end of the year, the projects are displayed in the school gallery and feature a wide range of mediums including photography, sculpture, painting, drawing, jewelry, graphic design, and print-making.

For my project, I created collages by cutting up magazine pages into shapes, which became scenes. Then I scanned the pieces and from them, created greeting cards and a calendar.

It took a lot of time and hard work, but I'm really happy with how it all turned out.

Mostly, I'm just happy to be done! :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

the language of flowers

I loved the first few sentences. They immediately drew me in: "For eight years I dreamed of fire. Trees ignited as I passed them; oceans burned. The sugary smoke settled in my hair as I slept, the scent like a cloud left on my pillow as I rose." 

Unfortunately, that was my favorite bit of writing in the whole book. Not that it all went downhill from there; it just wasn't as beautifully written. The plot revolves around a young girl named Victoria, a former foster child just starting her life in the real world. Her uncanny knowledge of flowers (and their meanings) helps her find a job and a boyfriend, but when life throws her a curveball, she isolates herself and struggles. Her antisocial tendencies, difficulty trusting people, and childhood memories plague her and threaten to pull her under.

Victoria's story was interesting and worth reading and I liked the back and forth between her life at 18 and her life at 9. 

But it was hard for me to understand the characters and their actions and because of that, I wasn't very invested in the story. I won't go into details because that would give too much away, but you get the idea. 

It wasn't my type of book, but it steered away from the sappy drama territory it was headed in and became a fairly good read.

TITLE: The Language of Flowers
AUTHOR: Vanessa Diffenbaugh
PUBLICATION DATE: 23 August 2011
VERDICT: 3/5 stars.

NOTE: I read this book in December 2011.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

is it okay for an adult to read teen books?

 To read or not to read? That is not the question. Everyone should read. The question is: what? Let’s look primarily at fiction.
Will you read the classics or will you read general literary fiction?
Will you read romance books or will you read mystery?
Will you read bestsellers or indie?
Will you read young adult?
            Also known as YA, the young adult genre has had great success in the past several years. While other literary phenomena have swept the nation, like Stieg Larsson’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, the most popular books these days seem to be YA. It all began with Harry Potter, of course, back in 1997, but the genre’s popularity remains strong with the Twilight and Hunger Games series. While teenagers are certainly the most enthusiastic about these books (as well as their film adaptations), it is not at all unusual to see an adult digging into the latest YA series to hit the shelves. Some, however, find this trend appalling.

An article in the New York Times on this subject made a splash a couple of weeks ago. Titled “Adults Should Read Adult Books,” the article maintained that it is embarrassing for an adult to be seen reading YA fiction. Adults should read books with a depth of language and character, author Joel Stein argues, and while it’s okay for adults to watch kids’ movies, reading YA books is a ridiculous because “books are one of our few chances to learn.” After admitting that he’s never read The Hunger Games and has no idea if its themes address complicated issues or its characters are complex, Stein bluntly states: “I don’t know because it’s a book for kids. I’ll read The Hunger Games when I finish the previous 3,000 years of fiction for adults.”
So many statements in Stein’s argument infuriate me. Why is it okay to watch kids’ movies, like Pixar films, but it’s not okay to read YA books? Aren’t they both simple entertainments? And how can he completely refuse to read something purely because it’s YA? He even admits that it might be wonderful and complex, but he doesn’t intend to find out either way (unless he gets through that 3,000 years of adult fiction prerequisite). Ignoring some of those blatant fallacies, I’d like to look at the basic argument at hand: is it okay to read YA if you are an adult?

No, YA books generally don’t delve into the most serious or complex of themes, but do all adult novels? And while we read fiction for many reasons, the primary reason is usually entertainment. So whether your favorite is The Hunger Games or Jane Eyre, as long as you enjoy yourself, I’m really just happy that you’re reading. Plus, some YA books probably have stronger themes than adult books. I know I might be contested on this, but I think Harry Potter explores more themes and portrays more complex characters than a number of adult books I’ve read. Just because a book is classified as adult, that doesn’t make it more complex or interesting or intellectually stimulating. The Phantom Tollbooth made me think more than The Old Man and the Sea ever did.
All that being said, however, it is inevitable that a 50-year-old man reading The Hunger Games may be viewed by society as silly. Just as a teen who reads only Tolstoy and Dickens may be viewed as pretentious. Just as an adult who claims Moby Dick is their favorite may be viewed as boring. It’s life. People judge. Will I (inwardly) gawk at a 50-year-old woman reading Twilight? Yes, I will. But really, I’m just happy she’s reading.

Friday, May 4, 2012

this is how it ends

It's been a strange few days. I'm a graduating senior, for anyone who didn't know, and this was my last week of school.

Wednesday was my final English class (we drank beer with our professor and read aloud personal narratives reflecting on our experience). It was also my last day of work (I worked at the school library). And tonight my Graphic Design major culminates with a gallery show showcasing all our senior projects.

The realization that I'm actually graduating has been hitting me slowly. Although I've known it was coming, it didn't feel real until this week. Every time I see a professor or a classmate or have a final class, I find myself thinking, Man! I might never see this person again. Ever. 

It's really strange and makes this new phase of life I'm entering feel incredibly (and horribly) real.

I'm just really thankful that I have another week before I move out. For walks around campus, hanging out with friends, and final goodbyes.

If only we could all be students forever. :)

My dorm room, freshman year. Oh the memories!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

ttt: books that should be made into movies

Although I loved last week's question (favorite book characters) on Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish), this week is a close second.

So often movie adaptations fail to capture even half the essence of a good book, but if any of these ten are made into film, I think they could be Oscar-worthy great (fingers crossed!).

Top Ten Books That Should Be Made Into Movies

1. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Imagine the scenes running around post-war Barcelona. The flash-backs. The mystery. This could be brilliant.

2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I had some problems with the romance in this book, but I think on-screen it would actually work much better. Plus, just picture the circus! For those who haven't read the book, this circus is unlike anything you've ever seen because it's made with real magic. The rights for the movie have been bought, so I wouldn't be surprised if this came to screen in a few years.

3. Geek Love by Katharine Dunn. Man, would it be disturbing. But highly entertaining and thought-provoking too. I found an article saying that Dunn received interest in adapting it from such celebrities as Johnny Depp and Tim Burton. The rights were bought by Warner Brothers, but no adaptation is scheduled yet. 

4. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. I might be wrong, but I think Salinger refused to sell the rights to any of his work. I don't blame him, but it would be cool to see Holden on the big screen.

5. How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely. This book is a hilarious look at literature and the publishing industry. I thought I should include at least one comedy on here, since comedies are usually my favorite! And for readers, this could make a laugh-out-loud movie. 

6. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. Apparently it was adapted in 1990, but I'd never heard of it before now. Anyone seen it? Is it any good?

7. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I really would just love to see more historical fiction movies. This mystery/drama would make a fantastic movie.

8. The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke. Kid thieves running around Venice? This needs to be made! UPDATE: Okay, I just learned that it has been made. Anyone seen it?

9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I've already seen this on a few other partipants' lists, but I thought I'd add it too. Honestly I didn't love The Book Thief (mostly I just felt like it had a big old chip on its shoulder), but as a movie, it could really work and again, I love historical movies so it'd be great to see an interpretation. 

10. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. So I looked it up and apparently this was adapted in 1970. But who really cares about that movie? With our technology today, this could be an amazing film. Imagine the orchestra creating colors scene, the boy who grows down scene, the word market! It would be such a lavish, colorful feast for the eyes and Juster's writing could be swiped right off the page into a fantastic script.


I didn't want to include these two because they've already been adapted (UPDATE: When I began writing this, I had no idea so many of my other picks have been too!), but I would love to see someone remake Gone with the Wind (by Margaret Mitchell) and Fingersmith (by Sarah Waters). The first is the classic film with Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, the second was made by for TV by the BBC (or ITV? I can't remember). Both books are favorites of mine, but I wasn't completely satisfied with their adaptations. 

Honestly, I really disliked Gone with the Wind the first time I saw it. I'd read the book and LOVED it without ever seeing the movie, so that first time was awful. The quality felt dated, the writing and acting sub-par, Rhett was ugly, Scarlett was annoying, Ashley just wasn't likable at all. Over the years, I've come to enjoy it in a "Well, it's a classic, I'll forgive its faults," kind of way, but really I just want to see a remake. Why hasn't this happened yet?! It would bring in tons of money, they could make it lavish in a way they weren't able to originally, they could get Rhett and Scarlett right. I really hope this happens someday.

And Fingersmith really wasn't bad at all. For the most part, the actors all looked how I imagined and it didn't stray too far from the book. I really enjoyed it and had no big complaints. I just wish they would make a real movie version. This book is so great and it deserves a bigger audience. A film would definitely achieve that.

UPDATE: Also, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. I haven't seen it yet, but I've heard all about its sappiness and the absence of the Dresden backstory. It's a little soon for a remake, I know . . . :) But it's one of my favorite books and I just think it deserves more than a lackluster, tear-jerker movie adaptation.

UPDATE: No more updates from here on out. 

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