Bookish Topic Tuesday
Great Book Dissonance
Inspired by a comment by Kirk, I want to discuss what he calls the ‘Great Book Dissonance’, where there are books (and movies) which are widely acclaimed and lauded and said to be great, and yet, often they don’t quite meet expectations. And he says that with regards to these great works, “it seems like people are only supposed to like” them rather than actually like them. I’ve discussed this somewhat before in ‘Tough Books’ after watching a book special on just that by Jennifer Byrne (on the ABC – the Australian variety). And I talked about how with some of the tough books which are classics and seemingly popular, you almost feel stupid if you don’t like it, because maybe you just aren’t smart enough to appreciate it. For some people they just end up saying that they did like it anyway, especially in conversation, to hide the fact they didn’t like it. So what is it with these great books? Continue reading
Over the last two years Game of Thrones has truly become an empire, with a hugely successful TV show which just finished its fourth season (with record numbers of illegal downloads in Australia…. if content creators want people to pay they better give cheaper and more convenient ways of watching said content, but that’s a discussion for another time) and there are five (or seven if you count the two splits) books of seven (or maybe it’s 9-11 depending on what happens with the next two) in this series. Despite some saying George R.R. Martin may die before he finishes the series (he’s given the finger to said critics), I don’t think we’re in that great a danger of that, besides it gives me time to catch up on my new addiction!
Bookish Topic Tuesday
Book to TV
I do apologise firstly for the lack of these posts for the last few months, didn’t quite get organised as I thought I might, and these will probably be infrequent into the future as well.
Inspired by GoT (Game of Thrones for those outside the loop) I thought I would discuss TV today and those books which have graced the small screen. Of course the screens aren’t that small any more, and I think that TV is having a renaissance. Well, I’m not sure about actual viewing of TV, but TV programs have certainly become more popular, GoT is case in point, along with the likes of Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black, The Walking Dead etc. Three out of four of those I just listed are based on a book of some sort, and I think that book to TV has started being more commonplace. And I’m happy with that. I’ve discussed Book to Film previously.
If you take a look at Goodreads you’ll either find a whole heap of 1-2 star ratings or 4-5 star ratings (well the ones that Goodreads deem to be popular, the actual breakdown isn’t that bad). It’s a divisive book, just like Xenocide is, and probably with good reason. Just like Xenocide this book again dares to go quite philosophical, and it’s really, really different to the first book. I recently watched the movie version of Ender’s Game and while a heck of a lot of stuff was left out, it really reminded me of the joy and fun that was in that book (yes there was lots of bad stuff too, but stuff like the battle games were really exciting and enjoyable to read). The three other books in this ‘series’ (which has so many more books to it, and I’m thinking that maybe it’s become a flogged horse), well they have such a different tone that I’m definitely not surprised that some people haven’t embraced them. Personally, I have liked the three books, they’ve been thought provoking, and exciting (in a different way), and this book was a really good way for the series to be brought to a close. Of course, there’s like 10 more books…. Continue reading
Onto part three (apologies for the lack of a post last week, exams got the better of me)! This time the quote is “Maybe one day it will be cheering even to remember these things.” Which is again from Virgil’s Aeneid. It seems like a strange quote, and yet quite profound in that given some time/perspective something that once was thought terrible or not that grand, will be remembered quite fondly. Not sure of the relevance of the quote yet again, but it’s nice enough. This part is just building us up, not all that much action.
So this has been a really long time coming! But I’ve finally got around to reading this again, and with good timing, since the sequel, The Silkworm has just come out. A quick recap on what’s happened so far, a murder (or was it suicide) of Lula Landry, a world famous model, who was adopted into a rich white family, and now her brother is asking ex-military detective Coroman Strike to investigate. Meanwhile Robin has been asked to be his assistant.
Again we start with another quote: “No stranger to trouble myself, I am learning to care for the unhappy.” I always wonder how much analysis or thought should be given to these little quotes, did JK purposely put this one here, or did she just like this one, or wasn’t it her at all?
I first heard about HeLa in biology like many other students of the last few decades. But unlike many who may have just seen the name HeLa around, or even that they came from Henrietta Lacks, we were told to write a response to the ethical issues of taking her cells without her consent or knowledge. But it wasn’t this first exposure which made me curious about it, I heard about the book via a YouTube video or perhaps it was from someone else saying online that they had read it, but sure enough I wanted to read the book. Just something about the story intrigued me, and the book didn’t disappoint. Continue reading
In the third book of the Ender’s Saga, things get pretty philosophical, more so than I thought it would. Having rebelled against the Starways Congress, the people of Lusitania are under threat of the approaching fleet which has been sent to destroy them. Not only that, but the descolada virus is causing all manner of havoc, Jane’s existence is unlikely to remain secret for much longer, and on another world people are being spoken to by gods. And we start thinking about the meaning of life, the origin of the universe, continue thinking about what is intelligence, and our heads start to hurt a bit from thinking about philotes and quantum physics.