Blog Hop: From Page to Screen, Darkly

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  What’s your favorite horror book-to-movie adaptation?

I don’t read much in the way of horror books, or watch much in the way of horror movies.  But, just one comes to mind that I’ve both read and seen: Secret Window, based on the novella Secret Window, Secret Garden.  The movie is from a very good era in Johnny Depp movies, and the writer/director David Koepp does some really nice storytelling in it.  There’s some bloody bits, though it’s pretty tame as far as horror movies go, and the creepiest parts aren’t involving blood at all.  It’s probably more of a creeper than a horror movie.

After seeing the movie, I read the Steven King novella, which I think is still the only fiction I’ve read from Steven King (though I also read On Writing).  A lot is very much the same, except that the ending is completely (like, 180 degrees) different.  And here’s the funny thing: I actually think Steven King tried to a do a more interesting thing with his ending, but David Koepp achieved his ending better, which I’d have to say gives him the edge.

Anyone else more of a horror book/movie fan than me?  What’s your favorite adaptation?

Blog Hop: Reading While Haunted

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  You’re spending a night in a haunted house.  What book would you bring with you?

Firstly, I would not spend the night in a haunted house!  I jump and freak out in fake haunted houses, when I know perfectly well it’s all actors and effects, so even a hypothetically-haunted house is completely out the window.  Absolutely nothing supernatural could happen and I’d still be freaked by every sound!  In fact, I recently beta-read Audrey Murphy by Karen Blakely (due to be published this December!), in which the heroine accepts a dare to spend the night in a haunted house.  I swiftly learned that I would fail this dare, as I offered frequent advice that the heroine ought to be more scared…

Now that all of that is out of the way, let’s try to imagine a situation where I do in fact spend the night in a haunted house.  What book would I bring?  If I thought the house was actually haunted by malevolent spirits, I’m going to have to go with a Bible as the most likely to be helpful and protective under the circumstances.

If we’re theorizing that it’s not really haunted, just creepy, then I’m leaning towards something comforting that doesn’t require too intense of concentration.  Probably either L. M. Montgomery’s journals (because I’m weird that way 🙂 ) or maybe Winnie-the-Pooh.

Is there any hypothetical possibility that I might want to bring something atmospheric, like Dracula or something by Steven King?  No.  No, there really isn’t!

Blog Hop: Bookish Holidays

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  Have you ever wished that there were official government bookish holidays, and that, by law, employers HAD to give their workers a paid day off? If so, what kind of bookish holiday would you like to have?

I’ve rather thought that Shakespeare’s birthday (April 23rd) would make a nice holiday.  In college, I was in a Renaissance-but-heavily-Shakespeare class that happened to meet on Shakespeare’s birthday (and since we only met once a week, it was actually a pretty lucky chance).  I brought cookies in to celebrate. 🙂  Mostly just because, but also a little bit because I’m a Stratfordian (I believe William Shakespeare of Stratford, who was born on April 23rd, wrote the plays), and I knew my professor was decidedly not…  Nothing like fighting a literary war with cookies!

If Shakespeare’s birthday was an official holiday, obviously it should be celebrated with Shakespearean plays.  And maybe something to do with dragons, considering it’s also St. George’s Day.

November 30th would make a good writing holiday–it’s the birthday of L. M. Montgomery, Mark Twain and Winston Churchill (prime minister, but also a writer).  Plus, it’s the last day of National Novel Writing Month, so a final-day celebration seems both appropriate, and helpful to all the writers who need a day off to get their final words written.

I tried to think of a fictional holiday in a book that I’d like to see really celebrated, but I came up blank.  The only one I thought of was Hogswatch from Discworld, but that’s very close to Christmas (with more meat pies).

Are there any bookish holidays you’d like to see celebrated?  Any holidays from books, or holidays celebrating books?

Blog Hop: Reading Timeline

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  How long does it take you to finish a book?

This varies wildly depending on the book–both its length, and how much I enjoy it!  I used to go through books very quickly.  Even a longish book (say, 400 pages) would be finished in about three days.  My pace has slowed dramatically with life changing.  I don’t have as much built-in reading time in my schedule anymore, and (perhaps because it used to be built in) I don’t tend to think of reading when I have free space and am thinking of what to do (I more often write or blog).

I’m probably averaging something like a book a week now, for what I would consider my “proper” book that I’m reading–the paper one that I read over meals and when I feel like picking something up.  I read nonfiction for two hours a week, and could spend a few weeks on one, or finish it in just that time, depending on the length (which probably varies even more for nonfiction than fiction).  I also listen to an audiobook whenever I’m in the car, and probably get through most audiobooks in a week or two.  And I have a book just to read before bed–when I was reading L. M. Montgomery’s journals, it would take months to get through a volume.  Now that I’m reading her short stories, it’s a bit faster.

If I’m particularly enjoying a book, I’m more likely to pick it up more often and therefore I finish it faster.  If it’s just okay, I can get bogged down for weeks.  There is a definite and unfortunate irony at play there…

I always feel I’d like to read more and finish more books faster, but I suspect that feeling is shared by most readers!

Blog Hop: To Borrow, To Buy?

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  Have you ever read a library book you loved so much, you just HAD to own it, so you bought a copy for yourself after returning the library book you had already finished?

This is how I buy most of my books.  I read almost everything from the library first, then eventually buy the ones I particularly loved.  The only exceptions are authors I love so much I’ll buy their books unread (though I’ve maxed out most of them), and even those are authors I read from the library first.

I feel like this question implies a shorter time frame than usually applies in my case.  I usually don’t buy books until months or years after I read them the first time.  I’m trying to recall a book I loved so much I immediately went out and bought it…and though I’m sure it has happened, I’m having trouble thinking of an example!

Oddly, what comes to mind are movies.  I rented Jesus, a three-hour miniseries, and I think I ordered it on Amazon before I even finished it.  Both because it’s that good, and because I’d seen enough to be sure it was the one I vaguely remembered watching and liking when I was a kid.  Similarly, I rented Christopher Robin, loved it so much I meant to buy it immediately–got bogged down trying to decide how to apportion a gift card–and my husband bought it for me for Valentine’s Day maybe a week after we watched it (I promptly watched it at least twice more with other people within the following month!)

Have you read a book from the library, or borrowed somewhere else, and then rushed out to buy it?

Blog Hop: Pick Your Poison

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is: Have you ever enjoyed the same book in two or more formats (print, ebook, or audiobook)?

Not simultaneously, but yes, very much so.  When I first started listening to audiobooks (about…four years ago?  Seems longer) I listened almost exclusively to books I had already read in print.  I think it was sort of my gateway into the format.  For a while it seemed weird to only do a book on audio, as though it wasn’t quite the same.  I got over that, and it feels like pretty much the same thing now to do print or audio–though more audio-only books means I have no idea how to spell some characters’ names!

I still like re-“reading” favorites on audio, and have done entire series that way: Narnia, Harry Potter, most of L. M. Montgomery’s canon.  I’ve read Agatha Christie almost exclusively on audio, to the point that I think it might feel weird to pick up a paper one.  I’ve probably read 15 of her books, and only the first one was paper.

I’ve read very few ebooks–probably less than five.

The only time I can recall that I did one book in multiple formats in a single read was earlier this month when I had an audiobook out from the library, and had to return it with half-an-hour left in the book.  So I got a Kindle-unlimited free trial and just read the last portion.  Otherwise, I only move between formats on separate reads.

Do you go back and forth between formats?  Do you have a preferred one?

Blog Hop: Turning Back the Pages of Time

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is: Do you read historical fiction?

I do, although I suspect I read less than I think I do.  Along with actual historical fiction, I read a decent amount of fantasy books set in magical past eras–or as I like to describe the time period of my Beyond the Tales books, in the “faux medieval” era (loosely medieval, but I never worried too much about the details).

When I read historical fiction, I like books set in the first half of the 20th century,  the Victorian era, Napoleonic wars, Elizabethan…or ones that go all the way back to the Roman Empire, or ancient Greece.  With occasional forays into Camelot-era (though mostly that involves fantasy!)  I think the mere way I describe eras probably  indicates a preference for British historical fiction.  I tackled the enormous tome of London a few months ago, which pretty well covered everything of the last 2,000 years.  I especially liked the Roman era, both Julius Caesar and the days of Londinium.

There’s something fascinating about very different time periods, when life was very different–and, perhaps, the same to a surprising degree too!

Do you read historical fiction?  Do you have a favorite era?