(Bookish) Movie Recommendations: Part One

When two of your biggest interests are literature and cinema, it’s a mental tug-of-war battle trying to decide which of these interests to give in to. For this reason, I decided to cull together a list of films that either involve/relate to books, or for some reason strike me as “bookish.” This way, you sort of get a two-for-one deal of books and movies, even if you only did one of those things!

 

dead_poets_society1: Dead Poets Society (1989, Dir. Peter Weir)

I watched this film the summer before I took a course about poetry, solely for the reason of getting myself interested in the subject. In fact, it is John Keating (Robin Williams)’s job in the film to make his all-boys preparatory school class like poetry enough to take his course seriously. Besides being a film heavily invested in literary & poetic history, it’s a touching look at the impact a teacher can have on their students.

Related book recommendations: The Wasteland by T.S Eliot, any anthology of Modern Poetry. (Norton makes a great one.)

 

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2. Stranger than Fiction (2006, Dir. Marc Forster)

This one has “fiction” in the title, so you can guess it involves books. Unfortunately for Harold Crick (Will Ferrell), it does. You see, Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson) is a bestselling author working on a novel about a character she devises named Harold Crick. The thing is, she has a major case of writers block, and she can’t figure out how to kill Harold. Harold, on the other hand, is a real person just trying to navigate his life. And so the comedy and drama ensue. I’m not a huge Will Ferrell fan, but this movie was a pleasant surprise.

 

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3. Love in the Afternoon (1972, Dir. Éric Rohmer)

Any of Rohmer’s Six Moral Tales could be on this list, but I’ve chosen the final tale here, for its explicit references to books and literature. If you’re unfamiliar with the Moral Tales, Rohmer first wrote them all as short stories, and then adapted them into films many years later.

Love in the Afternoon begins with Frédéric (Bernard Verley) & his marriage with Hélène. However, as the movie cover shows you, Chloe (Zouzou) shows up. This is the basic set-up to all the moral tales, actually; a man is in one relationship or likes one person, and is then tempted by another. You see a lot of reading in the film, and Rohmer subtly places in references to art as well.

As this was originally a blog for teens, I suppose I am obligated to let you know that this film is probably rated “R” for nudity/sexual content.

A second Rohmer recommendation would be the short film The Bakery Girl of Monceau. It’s the first film in the Moral Tale series and has no nudity/sexual content.

Related book recommendations: Eric Rohmer’s Six Moral Tales, which are available as short stories/novellas.

 

I’ll be doing a Part Two at some point in the future, but until then, what bookish films would you recommend? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

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Testing “The Awesome Author Recommender” Tool

I was scrolling through Reddit this morning and discovered a neat little link called “The Awesome Author Recommender.” Similar to sites like WhatShouldIReadNext, it is a site that recommends you authors based on previous ones you have read. The site claims to use real people, not a computer formula, to recommend an author to you.

Excited to try it out, I first put in Marissa Meyer, the author of one of my favorite YA series, The Lunar Chronicles.

Screenshot of Awesome Author Recommender

Screenshot of Awesome Author Recommender

Well, I suppose Marissa Meyer isn’t the most widely read of authors. For the heck of it, I also tried Ernest Cline, whose books are certainly selling quite a bit at the moment.

Screenshot of Awesome Author Recommender

Screenshot of Awesome Author Recommender

Oh well, we’ll keep trying.

How about a YA romance novelist who has been writing and publishing a multitude of books for years now?

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I do like that the site at least gives me a brief description of the author, even if it can’t make any recommendations to me.

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Hold that thought; no recommendations or even a description of J.K Rowling? Perhaps I’m pushing this a little far, but isn’t she British? This is a British website. Yikes.

Figuring I was being a tad unfair by choosing the previous authors, I tried Jane Austen, in honor of my current read, Pride and Prejudice. Surely something will come up.

Screenshot of Awesome Author Recommender

Screenshot of Awesome Author Recommender

Oh dear. That’s a problem.

In a desperate attempt to get the website to make any recommendation to me, I just started searching random authors. Classic ones, modern ones, anything. I also tried ones it automatically began to suggest to me as I typed.

Thankfully, I did get some recommendations, including for Karen Thompson Walker, one of my favorite authors, who has only written one book. Why she is in there but not Jane Austen, I am not entirely sure. Nevertheless, I am certainly intrigued by the site’s sole recommendation to me.

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Lauren Oliver. I clicked “View Books”, and this is what it gave me:

Screenshot of LoveReading's Lauren Oliver page.

Screenshot of LoveReading’s Lauren Oliver page.

Below this was more of her featured books, as well as other books by her, which can be sorted by paperback, hardcover and audiobook.

For fun, I tried out the “compare prices” tool that the site offers on her book, Rooms.

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Gotta love loading symbols.

After several minutes of waiting, I decided to try a different book to compare prices with.

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5 minutes later, I was still looking at this picture.

Oh, boy. I really, really wanted to say something good about this site. For the sake of this experiment, I kept the tabs loading, and even tried them in other internet browsers. Nada.

As other reddit users are saying, the idea of this tool is great. It is unique and pretty close to the experience you’d get asking a librarian for recommendations, yet with a wider scope. Ideally, at least. But there are far too many holes in the site’s author database, and too little recommendations given when you even find an author that is in the database. (For example, I was given just one recommendation for Karen Thompson Walker.) Perhaps in a few months, or however long it takes to add more authors to the database, this will be a fun and worthwhile tool for readers. But at this moment in time, I just don’t think it is ready.

Try out the site for yourself and let me know what you think and/or find! If it were more complete, would it be a useful tool to you? Comment below!  http://authormachine.lovereading.co.uk

P.S If you saw my tweet on twitter, I redid my Tumblr page and am now posting on it again! Hooray! Give it a follow for some cute bookspiration!

Liebster Award!

Somehow, two different people nominated me for this award! Thank you to SpectacleAGlow  and PucksandPaperbacks! You are both so kind.

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This award is given to new bloggers nominated by other bloggers. Again, thank you to those who nominated me.

I have written the rules at the end of this post, so please scroll there.

Rather than pick and choose whose questions to answer, I’m going to answer both sets of questions!

Pucks And Paperbacks asked me:
1. What encouraged you to start blogging?
I think a lot of things encouraged me to blog. Writing has always been my passion; I love creative, journalistic, and even p.r writing! I’ve read many book blogs and subscribe to several booktubers on YouTube. I also adore reading, I cannot stress that enough, and so I figured why not join this amazing community of book bloggers too?

2. Do you listen to music while you read?
I don’t listen to music while I am reading. I find it distracts me from absorbing details in the book and takes away from a book’s immersive experience.

3. If you could meet any author, who would it be and why?
Oh no! One author?!?!? I’m terrible with choices.. Karen Thompson Walker? I adored the Age of Miracles and I wish I could write as elegantly as that. (Like this post if you want to see a review of The Age of Miracles, by the way.)

4. What is your favorite book?
More choices! No! How about we say my favorite book is The Age of Miracles. It was amazing. Never thought a book I read for school would be my favorite book, but it is.

5. What is your least favorite genre?
Horror. I hate gory books. I admire authors who can make a book disturbing without much gore. It takes skill.

6. What is one book you could live without?
I’m assuming this is not a typo, so I am being asked to name a book I wish I hadn’t read. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen. When I read that years back in middle school, I marked it as one star on Goodreads, and I think I wrote something about wishing I could give it less. Harsh, I know, but I was in middle school. I was so fed up and frustrated with the narrator I had to put the book down halfway.

7. Would you rather books be turned into movies or TV shows?
I love this question! If done well, and only if done well, I’d say TV shows, like Under the Dome. You can have more time with the book! A movie is done in two hours but a show is dragged out longer and you can look forward to it each week.

8. Favorite book to movie adaptation?
I honestly can’t remember! Hah! But I’m going to say The Devil Wears Prada. I’ve watched the movie so many times, and reading the book is like watching the movie all over again. Good times.

9. What career would you like to pursue?
Uh oh. My issue with careers is I have too many interests. I love the following… Journalist, librarian, author, literary agent, ESL teacher, marketing executive, public relations, editor, anything related to publishing really, and that’s just the beginning! People tend to assume someone my age thinks they know what they want, but after I gave up being set on becoming a journalist I feel lost. *Excuse the rant*

10. Favorite cover!
I’ve never read this book or heard of it but this cover is adorable…

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This is NOT my image! I found it on google since I remembered seeing a review of this book.

11. One book you recommend to everyone!
Old School by Tobias Wolff if you are a literary connoisseur 🙂

Spectacle a Glow asked me:

1. Who is your book crush?
I have several. When I read the Iron Fey series I was Team Ash. (I even have a team ash poster on my wall, haha! I forgot about it actually.)

2. Five books I’d bring to a deserted island?
So I’d try and bring some happy and funny books to ease the situation, and some books I wouldn’t mind reading again! And a desert island survival guide! But for the purpose of this question, I’d bring The Symptoms of My Insanity, Old School by Tobias Wolff, The Age of Miracles, and Obsidian.

3. Favorite book cover, which I already answered.

4. Do you leave a book’s dust jacket on or off?
On!

5. Ever skipped reading a required book for class?
I am such a goody two-shoe that likes reading too much! No I haven’t.

6. Which 3 books do you suggest to everyone?
Alright, so I suggested Old School to everyone before so how about some new books. I suggest Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, The Age of Miracles and I am a Man by Joe Starita.

7. Have you ever gone to a book signing?
Do you count a children’s book fair signing? If so, I have gotten many picture books signed as a child. Also, middle grade chapter books when authors used to come to school. Otherwise, nope, not yet.

8. What was your favorite childhood book series?
The Nancy Drew mysteries!! Even a couple years ago I was still reading them. They are amazing at any age.

9. If you had a biography written about you what would the cover look like? Would it be hardcover or paperback?
It would be hardcover, and it would be either a super cool computerized colorful image or a very flattering shot of me 🙂

10. Does the feel of a books’ pages ever bother you?
No, but creases and smells of the pages can.

11. What is your favorite societal issue to read about?
Immigration, I guess? I love hearing the stories of people from other countries and their lives there and here.

Phew, that was a lot of questions! Thanks again! I nominate AryatheFanGirl and BeginningsandBookends.

Your questions:
1. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
2. If you could change one thing about your blog, what would it be?
3. What is your least favorite book cover?
4. Would you rather have books as hands or bookmarks as fingers?
5. What is your favorite book?
6. Where do you get your books? Why?
7. What is your favorite place to read.
8. Do you like magazines or books better?
9. Why did you start your blog?
10. What is the funniest scene you’ve ever read?
11. What is a genre you don’t usually read but wish you could read more of?

If you were nominated, here are the rules:
Thank whoever nominated you. Answer the 11 questions and nominate a new blogger, or two, and give them a set of 11  questions. Then, let them know on their blog as a comment that they were nominated and leave a link to your post.  🙂

Update: So I just found out that you are supposed to nominate 11 new bloggers! Wow, that is a lot. Honestly I think it is OK if you just nominate a few, but if you know 11 then go right ahead!

Follow me @books_palettes for sneak peeks, musings, and more! My avatar image is from “Jen Loves Teaching.”

How do I Find Books I Want to Read? (Part 1)

As you may have noticed, I tend to check out several books at once. But how did I pick them?

1) Goodreads
I’ve used Goodreads for years and I love it. I can track what I read, set goals for myself, and get recommendations for books I haven’t read based on books that I have. Your friends can also recommend you books. Listopia allows you to vote up books within lists but also to browse lists. For example, a list titled Best Books of 2014 is going to contain books that real people have nominated and voted on to be the best books of the year. Not only can I help one of my favorite books out, I can look through the list for books I haven’t read and read about them. Best of all, both the app and the site are free!

2) Booktube
This is a recent discovery of mine. I’ve been subscribed to dozens of beauty gurus and listened to their recommendations. However, it never occurred to me that there was a similar sort of thing for books! Here are real people that seem almost like your virtual friends recommending you books (or telling you ones they don’t recommend) and making you really want to read them. TBR videos, for example, are where these booktubers show you what they want to read and tell you what the book is supposedly about. When watching these videos there’s usually a lot of books you never would’ve thought to read but now want to give a chance. And the best part about booktubers over beauty gurus is that to try these books, there is no cost. You don’t have to run to a store and buy something you may not like. Libraries exist! (Who doesn’t love free books?)

Read my post on favorite book tubers if you are interested in watching a few of them 🙂

3) Browsing the library
When people in town think of me, they probably associate me with the library. So it is no surprise that I’m advocating libraries to you yet again, but I strongly feel that libraries are not used enough. Think about it; while all these people are paying for books you read once, you could just go to a library for the exact same books and pay nothing for them! Libraries also have free programs, and some offer online services (ancestry.com, Rocket languages, free music, etc,) and even admissions to local attractions. Peruse your library and see what they offer! Better yet, if your library doesn’t have, say the movie you want, they can put it on hold for you and it’ll arrive free of cost in a matter of days depending on the item.

I’ve found so many great books just by walking around and seeing what jumps out at me. Some libraries have special sections with staff recommendations, but if yours doesn’t, just ask a librarian! People ask me all the time about books I’d recommend. (I work at my library). If they work at a library, it’s part of their job to give you information about books!

How do you find books to read? Do you use Goodreads? Let me know in the comments!