Those of you who know me know I tend to avoid SciFi and fantasy books like the plague. I don’t know why, but I think anything that takes place in the future is scarier than Hades. I guess it’s because our present world is scary enough, why add to it, you know?
That being said, I am an open-minded reader, and if the synopsis blurb on the back cover catches my eye, I’ll read a futuristic or fantasy book from time to time. The three I’m sharing today I absolutely loved! That’s right, no scathing reviews today—just recommendations!
What are your favorite SciFi or fantasy books? Mine are
What do Ragtime, Little Women, and My Sister’s Keeper have in common? They were all made into movies, and in my opinion, all three of the books were infinitely better than the Hollywood products.
I know, I’ve been ragging (pun intended!) on book-to-movie adaptations lately, so I figured it was only fair to mention that I do think it’s possible for the book to be better than the movie. Just look at one of my favorites, Peyton Place. The movie was good, but there’s just no comparison to the groundbreaking novel.
Anyway, today’s listings are mentioned above. Let me know what you think in the comments. Which film adaptations have made you cringe? Which books do you wish were made into movies?
If you look it up, the Victorian era spans from 1837 to 1901, the years of Queen Victoria’s reign. It was such a beautiful time period, for more reasons than I can list in this little blog post. If you’re a fan of Victorian fashions, art, customs, and literature, today’s post is for you. I love all things old-fashioned, too; I’ve sat through so many bad movies just because the dresses are pretty!
Thankfully, all the books today are getting good reviews from Hot Toasty Rag, so there will be no enduring necessary.
First off, I have a novel written in the Victorian era, Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Next, a novel written in modern times, but set at the turn of the century: Fortune’s Rocks by Anita Shreve. And for those of you who like the culture but not the writing style, a nonfiction compilation of Victorian Times will be the book for you: Manners and Morals of Victorian America.
I know I’ve been doing some non-fiction and movie comparisons recently, so today let’s just get back to straight novels. Ironically, the three novels I’m reviewing today were all made into films, but that won’t be my focus.
Historical fiction fans, check out the Civil War drama Cold Mountain.
Romance lovers? The French Lieutenant’s Woman might be the book for you.
And for the best of the brave, give An American Tragedy a try.
Calling all theater buffs, actors, and makeup artists! Today’s post is for you. In a former life—and by that, I mean earlier in my life—I used to act onstage. That tidbit might explain a lot, just in case you were wondering about my dramatic flair in some of The Rag’s reviews.
These three books were all gifts: one from my uncle as a birthday present, one from my other uncle for my opening night of Grease, one from my mom as a “welcome to the theater” present. Acting runs in the family.
Check out my reviews for Uta Hagen’s Respect for Hagen, Creative Theatrical Makeup, and Broadway Musicals: The 101 Greatest Shows of All Time. All incredibly interesting, and great reads for all you out there who used to join me at cattle calls—or still go to auditions!
Agatha Christie, the mother of mysteries, is the author of hundreds of novels, short stories, and plays, with iconic heroes of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple to solve her fictional murders. Personally, I’m a Poirot fan, but it’s probably because David Suchet personified him so flawlessly in the 13-seasoned television program Agatha Christie’s Poirot.
If you’re a mystery fan, you are probably well-versed in Ms. Christie’s stories. Even if you don’t usually pick up novels about grisly murders—it’s okay, I don’t either—you’ll probably enjoy the three I’m reviewing today. They’re not particularly graphic, since they were written in the early 20th century, and the stories have some of the most famous twists of all time:
Murder on the Orient Express
And Then There Were None
Evil Under the Sun
If you liked yesterday’s post, you’ll love today's. Today I have three more books, whose hidden meanings were seen by Hollywood screenwriters, and turned into wonderful films.
Imagine Chocolat without the Comte de Reynaud! Stella Dallas with an entirely different ending, or Now, Voyager told in a completely different order! Find out more in my reviews : )
And don't forget to read the book-to-movie comparisons from yesterday: The Bridges of Madison County, Marjorie Morningstar, and The Best of Everything.
And besides Chocolat, the award for worst book that was improved on the screen goes to Before I Go to Sleep. Read the review here!
Many, many books have been turned into movies. Some are better in print, some are better on the screen. Today, I have three novels that blossomed on the screen. The characters are so synonymous with the actors who played them, that once you read the books, it’s tough to believe the authors were their original creators.
In my opinion, the films of The Best of Everything, Marjorie Morningstar, and The Bridges of Madison County were all far superior to their original novels. And it’s not just because each of them had a hunky actor as the male lead—although, that certainly didn’t hurt! Okay, I’ll wipe up my drool for Gene Kelly while you check out my reviews. Let me know what you think in the comments!
Reading City of Dreams is like falling in love.
At first, there’s attraction: the cover artwork. As you get to know your new love interest, you are introduced to the characters and the impeccable detail of the scenery. By the time your first fight rolls around, it’s too late. You’ve already fallen in love; you won’t call it quits. No matter the hurts, the betrayals, the veers from the path you vowed you’d take, you’ll stay in the relationship. You’ll keep reading this book. You’re in love…
Read the full review here!
After such a heavy read, you’ll definitely need a long literary break, followed by something light and easy. Winter Street and License to Thrill are just that. Enjoy!
In yesterday’s post, I reviewed Father of the Bride, so in “keeping with the situation,” as they say in A Christmas Carol, I decided to make today’s post all bridal-themed. No, I won’t be reviewing books on how to pick the perfect dress, or a review of the most glamorous weddings in history—although I do own books on those topics and they’re lovely.
Instead, I have two novels of unexpected marriages, both historically gritty, both dramatic and difficult to read at times. Check out my reviews for The Lost Wife and The Little Bride.
A nonfiction is making the list today, one that I thought by the title would be utterly fascinating. I Do and I Don't: A History of Marriage in the Movies ended up as one of my treadmill books, a glorified doorstop to keep my mind off my legs for twenty minutes in the morning. Find out why here.