I love to read, and make sure to do it on a regular basis, and one stumbling block I occasionally run into is that I imagine all of my friends and family are as excited about it as I am. When it’s time to give a gift, the bookstore lures me in, and I always think that the perfect gift will be a special book that I enjoyed and want to pass along to someone I love. However, experience has taught me that after a point, a gift-recipient will say “Enough! They look good, but I’m never going to finish all of these.”
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The earliest silent films often used books as their source material, from F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, to D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation taken from Thomas Dixon’s The Clansman. Gearing up for Oscar season, late fall and winter releases seem to regularly adapt popular or acclaimed literature. Beowulf, The Kite Runner, I Am Legend, Love in the Time of Cholera, Atonement, The Golden Compass, No Country for Old Men, Persepolis, and P.S. I Love You are all adapted from novels or short stories. Of those, I’ve only seen Atonement so far. I enjoyed it and would recommend it, but I certainly didn’t think it measured up to Ian McEwan’s novel (which I loved). But at the same time, if I love a story enough, I’m happy to see it in almost any version.
What adaptations are you most eager to see this winter? Which book do you think would make a great movie? (Who would you cast?) And are there any movies which you think have blasphemed the books they were based on?
At this time of year, the holiday spirit can be infectious. And if, like me, you thoroughly enjoy that spirit and are a book-lover, give in to temptation and immerse yourself in it with a few choice holiday reads. There are rightfully beloved classics such A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, or Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. But there are also a host of others that touch briefly or indirectly on the topic and still seem imbued with that festive spirit. L.M. Montgomery is one of my favorite authors to suit that purpose and her Anne of Windy Poplars fits the bill nicely. Anne invites her curmudgeonly fellow teacher, Katherine Brooke, home to Avonlea for Christmas and the season and Green Gables conspire to work their transformative magic on Katherine. Even though it’s a familiar outline, it still always makes me wish I too, were spending the holidays on