About Geoff W

Reading my way through life.

The Classics Club – August 2014 Meme

Classics ClubThis question was MADE for me! YAY for finally having a great monthly question after months and months of participating! I’m finally reading another Classics Club novel (The Grapes of Wrath), but yay for small progress!

For August the hosts of The Classics Club have asked

What are your thoughts on adaptions of classics? Say mini-series or movies? Or maybe modern approaches? Are there any good ones? Is it better to read the book first? Or maybe just compare the book and an adaptation?

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Book 49: L’America – Martha McPhee

McPhee, Martha - L'AmericaHonestly, I’m sad I didn’t like this as much as I thought I would. Seriously, I’ve given it the lowest rating of the year so far. I bought it in one of my bulk buys at the 2011 Boston Book festival and haven’t thought of it since. It came up on my list when I used random.org to select my next book.

Even though I finished it, I just could not invest in this book, and that’s never a good sign. It started off slow, and thankfully did pick up a good bit, but still finished slow. Seriously go read the paragraph long sentence that was the final sentence of the novel. Not fun.

I think where I struggled to enjoy the book and where the author struggled to write the book was in converting an excellent idea into a manageable and digestible amount. Thankfully, the book wasn’t longer, but it really struggled through the first half. Beth felt like a whiny idiot (she was a teenager) and Cesare just felt frigid and unapproachable. This definitely changed toward the end, but it didn’t change fast enough or thoroughly enough to make me want to bump up my rating.

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Book 48: The Bookman’s Tale – Charlie Lovett

Lovett, Charlie - The Bookman's TaleGive me a book about a another book (missing, newly discovered, controversial, etc) and I’m happy. The writing could even be mediocre (this one was better than mediocre) and I can still deal with it!

I’m pretty sure this only serves to further verify I am a bibliophile, which isn’t at ALL shocking. I requested and received a copy of this book from the publisher after previewing it on NetGalley and received no compensation in return for my honest opinion.

Overall, I enjoyed the novel. It was a quick and fascinating read. However, I had some issues (and this may be from the fact this was a digital ARC copy) with the books structure. The book is set up as three intertwining stories: the original story/timeline of Robert Green’s Pandosto (1592-1879) (Wikipedia link), the beginning of Peter and Amanda’s relationship (early-to-mid 1980s – 1993/4) and the current events of the story (1995).You can imagine how this would be a bit confusing, especially as I never read anything about a book before I jump into it!

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Book 47: Confessions from a Coffee Shop – T. B. Markinson

Markinson, T. B. - Confessions from a Coffee ShopAnd she’s back! Now don’t get me wrong, Markinson (TBM)’s last novel, Marionette, wasn’t bad and was excellently written, it just wasn’t for me. However, Confessions from a Coffee Shop harkens back to A Woman Lost in humor and fun! I flew through this and couldn’t help but smile the entire time I read this novel. I received a copy from the author and received no compensation for my response. If this review sounds at ALL interesting you should request a preview copy from her here.

I said above that TBM is back and the reason I say that is because she’s return to what she knows and what I can assume is a comfort zone for her. I don’t fault her one bit for stretching her writing muscles in her second novel, but I’m so glad she returned to her strengths!

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Workout Wednesday – August 2014

2014 08-06 Running and BikingI’m posting this a little later than usual as I wanted to make sure I survived my first bike ride to work! As I mentioned on my other blog, Now Entering Adulthood, I’ve been plagued with injuries and laziness over the past three-to-four months. I’d love to blame it all on the injuries, but I just can’t.

After finally seeing a doctor and getting the okay (with some minor restrictions), I had my first 5k since April at the end of July. It was the Jerry Garcia Memorial 5k, so you know it would be fun and it was, but it showed me two things. The first is that the recovery from my ankle injury is going to take quite a bit of time and the second is that my running has really suffered over the past few months. (The left picture up there makes me look like I’m moving a lot faster than I am, really I was covering my face so Caroline wouldn’t take a picture of me!)

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