Fall 2017 Readathons

Maybe it’s the approach of sweater weather and the need for an excuse not to rake leaves, but autumn seems to be a popular time for readathons. And Hallowe’en means it’s time for reading spooky books! Some of the readathons started on September 1st, but some don’t start till October. Here are the ones that interest me the most:

#GothicSept at Castle Macabre and #RIPxii. Both of these started yesterday, so this means you can get started early on your Hallowe’en reads. Gothic September focuses on four different Edgar Allan Poe stories. If I locate my giant book of Poe soon, I might join up. I know, I know, I could find the stories on the internet and/or borrow them from the library, but it’s just not the same. The twelfth R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril runs through the end of October and offers many options for participation, from a group read of Slade House to watching movies. In addition to Peril of the Short Story and Peril of the Screen, I will be doing Peril the First, which is a challenge to read four books of perilous content.

#FrightFall at Seasons of Reading. This one runs for the entire month of October and requires the reading of at least one scary book.

So, what will I be reading for these challenges? I will be finishing off a few Agatha Christie short story collections, including The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories and The Tuesday Club Murders. I hadn’t been planning to read Christie’s Peril at End House until December (for GenreLand), but how can I not read it for RIP? I also have some hope of finishing A Game of Thrones and Wuthering Heights by the end of October. Other books I plan to read that will likely count are Borderline by Mishell Baker, Poe by J Lincoln Fenn , We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier, Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones, The Conjure Woman by Charles W Chesnutt, At the Mountains of Madness by HP Lovecraft, Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff, The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle, and Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

I have no specific movie-watching plans at this time, but this year’s My Cousin Rachel will likely be out on DVD by the time I read the book for book club, so maybe we will watch it as a group. I’m also watching Season 1 of Game of Thrones as I listen to the audiobook. So far, one DVD of the show lines up nicely with 5 CDs of the book.

 

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Bout of Books 17, Day 1 Challenge

For #BoutOfBooks 17, the first challenge (hosted by Writing My Own Fairy Tale) is to post about my most and least favorite film adaptations of books. This is actually a little difficult for me, as I learned long ago that I very rarely enjoy both the book and the movie (or show), so I tend to pick one and then never bother with the other. There are exceptions, of course. (And they are often associated with a reading challenge, which also explains why I have yet to write my book review for Pope Joan.)

This may not be entirely fair, but for most favorite, I am going with a film that I enjoyed but a book that I could barely begin, let alone finish. Seabiscuit (2003). Seabiscuit Poster It’s been far too long ago for me to give you a movie review at this point, but I distinctly remember being pleasantly surprised that I liked a movie about horseracing so much. Back then I had pretty much zero interest in the topic. I was eager to read the book — and then so terribly disappointed. A few chapters in, I had to chuck it. It was good only as a cure for insomnia. (I should probably mention that the vast majority of Goodreads reviewers disagree with me on this point.) So props to the filmmakers for turning a really boring book into a highly entertaining and critically acclaimed film.

For least favorite film adaptation, there are many to choose from, but I’m going to go with my gut and say Rebecca (1940). Rebecca Poster Yep, the Hitchcock classic. I know, I know, there are so many more terrible movies from books. And I hated Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963) so much that I have since refused to watch any Hitchcock adaptation of du Maurier’s work. But du Maurier’s Rebecca is a novel near and dear to my heart, one of the few books that I have re-read multiple times. Like many readers, I tend to make a movie in my head while I’m reading, and there were several scenes about which I felt very strongly. I had a remarkably vivid vision of how the ball, in particular, should look. And Hitchcock flat ruined it. Not just that scene, but that’s what makes my blood boil even now. It’s a good thing for him he was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean, because I wanted very much to dig up his corpse and mutilate it.