This is one of my favorite book blog follow alongs to participate in. They usually have really provoking questions, and I’ve been racking my brains, and shedding a few tears coming up with this weeks list.
Question: Top 10 books that broke my heart.
Answer: I am only going to include books that made me cry, which is a rarity.
1.My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult
We’re talking sobbing, gut wrenching slobbery, red-faced, snotty nose sobbing. Oh and I was on a plane, and the adorable little old lady beside me kept patting me on the arm and offering me a tissue. I’m not even exaggerating.
2. The Street Lawyer – John Grisham
I can’t explain why, or how it happened. It was in the first couple chapters and I just broke down. I saw humanity and all its evils, I decided I wanted to help the homeless, and I did for a while.
3. Beatrice & Virgil – Yan Martel
I just finished this book about a week ago. I’m going to do a post on it when I’ve finally calmed down. I was un-prepared for my reaction to “Games for Gustav”. It was unbearably sad, but this is the most beautiful book I have read in over a year.
4. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irvine
I loved him, and he was so smart and funny and brave. I cried at the end.
5. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
They say unrequited love is the most painful thing on earth. He loved best.
6. A Fine Ballance – Rohniton Mistry
This book was an ache that lasted a long time after I closed the back cover. How can mankind treat itself that way? How can goodness and simple happiness survive?
7. 1984 – George Orwell
You know when you’re so angry, and you’re trying to make a valid point, and explain your reasoning/view/why you’re right, and all you can do is feel your face grow redder, and hotter, and your vocal cords squeeze tight and you feel hot, angry, shameful tears leak out of your eyes? Ya. This book.
8. The Shack – William P. Young
I can’t even get into it.
9. The Subtle Knife – Phillip Pullman
I don’t think I have ever cried quite so hard at the death of a character ever, (except maybe in number 1.) than at the death of Hester. I still tear up, sniff, (no joke), when I think about it. Then I get mad. I’m not a weepy person!
10. The Crucible – Arthur Miller
Angry tears, sad tears, defeated tears, and hopeful triumphant tears. All in one play.
I almost forgot! The REAL number 1. The ULTIMATE book that caused me to cry, and feel loss even to today is…..
A book I have already talked about and will likely talk about again.
Fool’s Fate – Robin Hobb
The ultimate love story, the ultimate character development. You really have to read the whole 9 books to understand why this is as great as I say it is. Or trust me.
“Home is people. Not a place. If you go back there after the people are gone, then all you can see is what is not there any more.”
I got the idea for this list from The Broke and the Bookish. Their blog hosts a weekly meme called “Top Ten Tuesdays”; and on November 8th this was their theme. I don’t actually follow the blog as closely as I should, and I have yet to officially participate in a TTT, but I loved this question, and I love lists, so I thought I’d answer it.
I am chosing only books that I have read this year due to the NYR/11; therefore the answer as to why I have read them is going to be the same for each book. I’ll simply state how I had pre-judged the book, if applicable, and how I felt about the read. Please note SPOILERS, don’t read past the title if you don’t want me to give away my *gasp* moments.
- His Dark Materials – Phillip Pullman; I am 27 and am so over YA. I was a bit snobbish thinking this was just one more fantasy type book series I could do without. I cried like a baby over Hester and Lee, I enjoyed the whole story.
- Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carrol; I learned in my socials 11 class that this was a satire aimed at old rich folks in London, I was never interested in reading it as I thought it would probably be lost on me and I would be annoyed. I was right.
- Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy; All I knew was he had written War and Peace, and I wasn’t particularly interested in Russia or its history. Big, old, and boring was my pre-judgments. Amazing, engrossing, and beautifully descriptive with an awesome redemptive story line was my end feelings. This book is currently the top of my favorite reads of all time.
- Moby Dick – Herman Melville; This is going to sound bad, I thought it was a men’s book and I wasn’t interested. Reading it I decided it’s definitely a mens book, the beginning was funny, and I really didn’t need to know that much about whales or the killing of them.
- 1984 – George Orwell; I knew it would make me mad. It did. I knew everyone would either die or sell out. They did.
- Tess of D’ubervilles – Thomas Hardy; I’m not all too interested with Hardy so I wasn’t overly keen to read this. I find him overly wordy, flowery and somewhat depressing. Seems this is exactly how I felt about Tess.
- The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood; I was worried it was going to be overly preachy, feminist propaganda. It was actually a great read, if not a quick one. I have a lasting impression of the main character, and I find myself referring to the book in many of my political discussions with people.
- A Tale of Two Cities – Dickens; I thought I knew all about it because I knew the first twelve words; I was bored with it before I picked it up. This is an amazing book, I shouldn’t even have to tell you it’s the best Dickens novel out there, and the characters are so real it hurts.
- A Brave New World – Aldus Huxley; I knew nothing about this book. If I had I would have stayed away as it’s so far away from anything I normally read. It was interesting, and it was stretching. I felt un-comfortable the whole time as it was so weird to me, but I am glad I read it.
- The Inferno – Dante; I’m not into epic poems. As amazing as the imagery is in the Inferno, it’s still a long, epic poem. Beautiful and terrifying, and long.
Go read something that scares you.
So I carried on in my conquest of book to movie challenge. I watched The Woman in White, and A Tale of Two Cities. While A Tale of Two Cities was actually pretty darn great, The Woman in White was highly disappointing.
Masterpiece Theatre is wonderful, and I love hearing the host give the forward and afterwards. I do understand why some things were left out, I even agree. I totally disagree with some major plot changes, and character amalgamation. Ah well. I will say that the choice of Simon Callow as Fosco was a thumbs up; and if you’re trying to figure out where you’ve seen Hartwright before – he’s the star of last years screaming hit The Walking Dead… which TBF made me watch. *shudder.
A Tale of Two Cities was awesome. For the year it was made, 1980, they did a bang up job. Sydney Carton/Charles Darnay was none other than good old Price Humperdink a la The Princess Bride. I love Sydney Carton, always did, and he was well represented. (In contrast/comparison to how much I loved Marion Halcombe, and didn’t love the representation in the film.)
All in all I find I am quite cynical while watching a film that has been adapted from a book I have loved. It’s unfortunate for the film. I’m fast aproaching Oliver! as I’m nearly done the audio book.
Last night I watched two movies from the Book to Movie challenge hosted over at Two Biblomaniacs. I am reading a set NYR list and therefore the films I can watch are limited to those books, but oh what fun! Yesterday while cleaning the kitchen I watched Brave New World, and The Count Of Monte Cristo.
Brave New World: 1998 – Peter Gallagher, Leonard Nimoy.
The book was intense, sad, and then some what a jarring rip off at the end. It had a balanced feel of innocence in a time of debauchery, freedom in the midst of oppression, and a quasi happiness floating like a soap-bubble through hell. The movie seemed to have taken the set, props, and character names from the novel and hosted a totally different play. While I understand editing and screen cuts are needed, this simply wasn’t the same story. The actors did a fine job, they committed to the strange and odd people and managed to have an ok movie… if I hadn’t read the haunting beauty of the book, I wouldn’t have known the soul had been taken out of the story.
The Count of Monte Cristo: 2002 – James Caviezel, Guy Pearce, Richard Harris.
Ah – again. Okay so the movie was fun, fast paced, and visually stunning. I loved Jim Caviezel and Richard Harris in their roles, and seeing Luigi Vampa on-screen was excellent – however. Okay wait before I go all “they changed the story line, they messed with characters, they left two-thirds of the novel out”, I want you to understand that yes, I am more than aware the book to movie version that I would approve of would be roughly 24 hours long. Honestly I belive if I had been saddled with the task of placing that tome of Dumas’ onto film I couldn’t have done a better job….(with the exception of the ‘best friends’ who never really were even acquaintances in the book part). I think they boiled things down and took the parts they wanted and it worked. I should leave it there. I will.
Two more down and guess what I’m watching tonight? The Woman in White! I am actually kind of scared that Fosco isn’t going to be as compelling as I want him to be, that I won’t love this version of Marian Halcombe. Also I have A Tale of Two Cities, guess who plays Darnay/Carton?! Prince Humperdink ha!
So recently, like on Friday, I stumbled upon this super awesome blog called Two Bibliomaniacs. I found them via the Follow Friday blog hop (hint hint it works!).
These two are pretty sweet.
They have lists – I love lists!
They appreciate good literature – I love really good literature!
They have a witty sense of humour – I have a witty sense of humour!
They host a Book To Movie Challenge – I joined!
Wait what? oh ya, look over here. So not only are these two bloggers cool but they vlog too. Or they used to? I haven’t really perused their whole awesomeness yet but I will. I did watch this vlog that talked about how they weren’t going to do this thing anymore but now they were going to do a new thing… anyway. The new thing is a Read the Book – Watch the Movie challenge from June 2011 to Dec 31 2012? I’m pretty sure, and I think I could win some steak knives, or some cookies.
Whatever the reason, I got sucked in. Maybe because I just watched The Color Purple and I’m all excited about it. Maybe because I’ve been keeping notes on the movies I must see: The Count of Monte Cristo, A Tale of Two Cities, who knows! Maybe it’s cause now I get to make a new tag. All I know is I’m at least one down! SO why not? Join me if you dare!
How long does it take to make and store the lightning?
Am knee-deep in Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. Knee-deep in the mud, and poverty, and revolution schemes. Knee-deep in the hope, the family unity, and wishes for better tomorrows. Inspiring stuff.
Check out www.librivox.org podcasts download right into your iTunes and are separated into chapters concurrent with the books. I’ve read a lot of people’s complaints about the many different readers; however, it is this blogger’s opinion that the many volunteers are wonderful. They provide a great service, and hey! it’s free. Who knows, when I get a computer with a good enough recording set up you could probably catch my boxed voice reading out some of my favorite public domain literature.
Take care people, and remember – Time and tide wait for no man.