Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Agatha Christie must be spinning in her grave...

Worst news I have heard all morning, Jennifer Garner has been cast to play Miss Marple, one of Agatha Christie's most beloved characters, in a Disney film. Horrible, horrible, horrible idea is all I keep thinking. I have nothing against Jennifer Garner herself, but the fact that Disney is trying to take such an iconic character and "reboot" her to give her a "youthful and modern spin" is atrocious!

Image Source: Wikipedia

The success of Miss Marple's character is due to who she is, an elderly spinster from a small country village. She is able to get people to confide in her, to trust her, because they underestimate her and always believe that she is slightly off her rocker because of her age. She is an observant woman who knows a lot about a person's character and what makes them tick because of her age and experience. So and so reminds her of a housekeeper she knew twenty years ago. Or an incident will remind her of a specific event that happened in St. Mary Mead forty years ago. I'd like to see how they intend on Jennifer Garner pulling off a similar personality and skills, not to mention the fact that Garner isn't even British. 

Or as Wikipedia points out:

"Miss Marple is able to solve difficult crimes not only because of her shrewd intelligence, but because St. Mary Mead, over her lifetime, has given her seemingly infinite examples of the negative side of human nature. No crime can arise without reminding Miss Marple of some parallel incident in the history of her time. Miss Marple's acquaintances are sometimes bored by her frequent analogies to people and events from St. Mary Mead, but these analogies often lead Miss Marple to a deeper realization about the true nature of a crime. Although she looks like a sweet, frail old woman, Miss Marple is not afraid of dead bodies and is not easily intimidated. She also has a remarkable ability to latch onto a casual comment and connect it to the case at hand" (Source).

Anyone else think that this is one of the worst ideas Disney has ever had? Would you watch this movie? Who would you cast as Miss Marple?

Monday, March 14, 2011

On Hiatus

As you can tell, I haven't posted anything in a while. I DID finish reading The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, but the post has been sitting half-finished for weeks now. I'm lacking in motivation right now. I haven't even started reading another book yet, and it's been weeks since I finished the last one. I'll be back again, I swear, as soon as I'm feeling inspired to pick up another book. Until then, happy reading folks!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

National Grammar Day

It was recently brought to my attention that this past Friday, March 4th was National Grammar Day. So in honor of that, here are a few grammar-related finds from Etsy. (Note: All descriptions written by the featured Etsy shopowner).

From Stories Divinations
1881 English Grammar and Composition Book- $55.00

"A very sweet, small, rare hardcover in lovely condition; the inside looks brand new! Boards are very tight and straight. Just wonderful! Original copyright was 1880. 189 pages."

From Bean Forest

From Rokki Fashion Handbags

"Do misplaced apostrophes or commas drive you batty? Then “Grammatically Correct: the Writer’s Essential Guide” is the perfect handbag for you! Show your inner geek!"

From Bay Leaf Productions

"The semi-colon wants to slow things down - but not to stop everything all together. It's smooth and fluid, and insanely useful."

Also available in Question Mark and Exclamation Point

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Transformations" by Anne Sexton

I recently pulled this book out of a forgotten box of books in my basement. I had to read Transformations by Anne Sexton in college for a folklore and fairy tale class that I took. I reread it the other day and found myself amused by the poems.

If you can get past its creepy cover...

Transformations is a retelling of a selection of fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm through poetry by Anne Sexton. Included are the stories of Snow White, Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, Red Riding Hood, the Dancing Princesses, the Frog Prince, and several more. In the typical Anne Sexton style, these poems include references and images of controversial themes including adultery, incest, lesbianism, depression and even cannibalism. (For anyone unfamiliar with Anne Sexton, you can read her biography here).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

"The Count of Monte Cristo": An "In a Nutshell" Review

I was planning out an elaborate post summarizing, analyzing, and reviewing The Count of Monte Cristo, but then too much time passed (one week?) and I lost the motivation to do it. So in a nutshell, here is what you need to know about the novel version of Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo:

The writing of the novel: Dumas was known to collaborate with other authors, and was often accused of having not actually written the majority of the novels that he laid claim to. He "borrowed" from outside sources, including historical events and entire plot lines from other authors, all of which he out his own spin on. It is widely believed that for this novel, Dumas received entire plot outlines from a collaborator, and merely wrote them out in his own words. There are certain chapters in the book that, as one is reading, seem to be written by two different people, with two different styles. This collaboration may explain why.

Another obvious point about Monte Cristo is its painstaking length. It drags on for over 1300 pages, (give or take, depending on which translation you are reading) and there are many, many chapters (and characters) that the novel really could have done without. However, this is understandable since Dumas was actually getting paid by the word! So can you really blame the guy?

The Count of Monte Cristo is admittedly the story of a real man named Francoise Picaud. The novel is his life retold in Dumas' melodramatic fashion. As far as the main plot line is concerned, nearly everything that happens to Dantes, happened to Picaud.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

For the Love of: Vintage Prints

If I had a room in my house to turn into my own personal library, I would want these restored book plates to decorate the walls:

Teaching My Little Sister
For the Love of Reading
Boy Enjoying a Lovely Book
Little Girl Reading

These restored prints were found at the Etsy.com shop, For the Love of Old Books.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Count Has Been Conquered!

Yup, that's right! I have finished reading The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas already! Two nights ago, to be exact. WELL before my end-of-February deadline! I found that it was a lot easier to get through than I remember it being the first time I read it. This may be because I had already read it, or it could have been the translation that I was reading.

 Either way, I zipped right through it, which was surprising to me because I had two little boys running around all day too. I suppose it helps that I don't really watch television anymore, and when the boys are in bed by 7-8 o'clock, that leaves me with plenty of time for reading!

I plan to do another post or two about this book, but I wanted to share this accomplishment first! Now I'm off to go request another Dumas novel from my local library. I'm thinking The Three Musketeers?

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