Favorite male character: Nobody Owens from The Graveyard Book, who can speak politely across more than five centuries of changing customs, among other things.
A book that disappointed you: Just the first one that popped into my head, The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo. It was okay, but it was so hyped that my reaction was “meh”.
Favorite book turned into a movie: I am interpreting this as “best movie adaptation”. I don’t think a movie adaptation necessarily has to completely follow the movie to be good, but rather that it should be judged on its own merits. For instance, the relationship between the movie “Adaptation” and The Orchid Thief is so tenuous many people I have discussed to movie with did not realize it was an actual book, but it is a really good movie all the same. I will say that if you turn out a mediocre movie when you had great source material it should count against, but otherwise I don’t think movie adaptations should necessarily be judged through the prism of their books. Which is why my favorite movie adaptation of a book is ….
Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Certainly it changed a number of things from the book, but I think it shared the spirit of the original and can anyone forget the Red Heart SuperSaver Rainbow Ombre vomit when they were all knitted, or Alan Rickman as Marvin…
Favorite book from your childhood: Matilda -- Of course Matilda is a favorite of all girl book nerds, but it was my absolute favorite as a kid. I was gifted, but dyslexic so I had to take normal or even remedial classes where I was not just bored but boooooorrrred. Reading Matilda always made me think that maybe if I was just bored enough I would develop telekinesis. I used to try to levitate chalk when my teachers were being particularly repetitive. I’ll leave it a mystery whether or not it ever worked.
Favorite book you own: *If I can have a moment of disturbing library-nerdery* It only makes sense to me to answer this on the item level. Of course basically anyone who owns books at all probably has a copy of their very favorite work, so if it is ownership that is important then it must by the item level that is being referenced. In that case it can only be my copy of The Globe Illustrated Complete Works of William Shakespeare. It has gilded edges, a puffy-leather cover, and, for that extra touch of pathos, an inner inscription from the original purchaser to the person they bought it for (I got it from a used store) saying they hope the giftee will treasure it all their life.
A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t: The Name of the Rose
It sounds good but I tend to forget about it and read something shinier instead.
A character who you can relate to the most: Chester from Bunnicula - I have always been sarcastic, bookish, and vaguely misanthropic, even as a small child. I don’t have school photos from elementary because I refused to smile for the cameraman as I found him patronizing and cutesy. My mom, upon hearing this explanation, was torn between irritation and being impressed that I knew the word “patronizing” in first grade. Children’s literature doesn’t have many characters to relate to for little misanthropes. Most characters (especially little girls) are adventursome, hearty, sassy, and cheerful, but then there was Chester; a bookish, skeptical, reclusive, slightly paranoid cat, who always had a bon mot and a dark look for any occasion.
A book that changed your opinion about something: Inventing the Victorians: basically this book is all about how our conception of the Victorians as incredibly stuffy and sexually repressed is a complete BS narrative manufactured in the early 20th century as a way of discussing how far society has progressed.
Favorite title: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. Knowing nothing else about this book but the title, don’t you want to read it?
A book everyone hated but you liked: The Scarlet Letter - I realize that required High School English texts generate a disproportionate amount of hatred, but I was still always surprised by how much everyone hated this one. I liked it.
Your favorite book of all time: I am going to quote Neil Gaiman: “Picking five favorite books is like picking five body parts you’d most like not to lose”. I can’t do it. I genuinely do not have a favorite book, and certainly not a favorite books of all time. I could maybe identify a favorite book for certain periods of my life, but that’s it.
Open Thread: Sphere of Potential
4 hours ago