Exciting News for Wimpy Kid Fans

We heard the news first on Schu’s Blog of Lit and More and were so excited we had to share it here.  The hugely popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, a favorite book series of my 9 and 10 year old girls, is being developed by Fox 2000 as a live-action family movie.  

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The books feature handwritten text and comic book illustrations, focusing on awkward middle school student Greg Heffley. The series started out as a Web book on Funbrain.com in 2004.  The first novel came out last spring, and the second book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, was released last month.   The third installment in the five book series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw is due to be released later this year.  3rd, 4th, and 5th graders everywhere are jumping for joy! 

Review: The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

I’m probably the last book blogger on the planet to read  The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, so what can I say that hasn’t already been said about this book? 

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 Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few years, you know that this is the tale of Henry and Clare.  Due to a genetic mutation, Henry time travels at random times to places in his past or future.  He has no control over when or where he goes.  Part sci-fi, part love story, this is a fascinating read. 

The narration alternates between Henry and Clare.  They meet for the first time in ‘real time’ when he is 28 and she is 20. She has known him all her life, because he began visiting her when she was 6 and he was in his 40’s.  When they meet in real time, Clare is already in love with Henry, but he has no memory of those earlier visits, because they are in her past, but his future.  Confused yet?  Clare is a woman obsessed and is always waiting, waiting, waiting..  for Henry to appear, for her real life to begin, for him to return from his travels. 

 The beginning of the book disturbed me.  When Henry time travels, he arrives naked, shivering, and ravenous, leaving his clothes and possessions behind in real time, so this is how 6 year old Clare meets him.  The image of a little girl befriending a naked man in a meadow, keeping him a secret from her family, trusting him, bringing him clothes and food; as a mom of young girls, this bothered me.  I didn’t like the cover for the same reason.  I’m glad I stuck with it, though, because the last half of the book really took off.

 Each section is preceded by a date and the ages of Henry and Clare, which was handy since you never knew where or when in time things were taking place.  I would read a section then go back again to check the date and ages.  I did this throughout the book and it interrupted the flow of reading for me, but without the reference none of it would have made much sense.

 The Time Traveler’s Wife is a highly original book with interesting, flawed characters and an intriguing premise.  Reading groups will find much to discuss.  It is unique, unlike anything else I’ve ever read, and for that reason I would recommend it.

 

The movie, starring Eric Bana as Henry and Rachel McAdams as Clare, comes out in November.   

Where Have You Been?

Several of my faithful readers have asked the question, ‘Where have you been?’  First, thank you for caring!  And thank you for coming back, even when there’s been almost no activity here for the past week.  I’m surprised that anyone notices what goes on (or, more accurately, doesn’t go on) here at my little blog.

 My stepdad had a quadruple bypass last Friday.  It was quite sudden and unexpected.  Thanks to the miracle of modern medicine, he is doing great. He came home yesterday and had his first good nights sleep in a week, without the air conditioning blasting on him, and with no one bugging him to take his blood pressure or give him medicine in the middle of the night.

Waiting around in hospitals is not fun, but it does provide ample time for reading.  I’m almost done with The Time Traveler’s Wife, my book club read this month.  I didn’t think I liked it at first, but now with just 100 pages to go, it is consuming me and I can hardly think of anything else.  I understand the movie is coming out in November, with Eric Bana as Henry DeTamble. Great casting choice, don’t ya think?  Eric Bana is currently in theaters playing Henry VIII in The Other Boleyn Girl.  My book club buddies and I will be seeing that next weekend.  How did this one actor end up in the movie version of two of my favorite books?
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Seems everything I read lately is being turned into a movie.  My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult was picked up by NewLine Cinema.  The Fanning sisters were set to play Anna and Kate, but they have since backed out because Dakota didn’t want to shave her head.  Can’t say as I blame her..   Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) has replaced the younger Fanning as Anna, and Sofia Vassilieva is in talks to play Kate. Maybe Eric Bana can play the dad! (Actually, I heard Alec Baldwin has been cast in the movie. Interesting..)
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What books would you like to see made into movies? 

The Kite Runner Movie

Tonite we were invited to the Monster Jam Monster Truck show in Anaheim. Someone my husband works with has a young son who races in a mini truck, so we got 5 pit passes. The kids went with my husband and each invited a friend to go along. As much as I might have enjoyed being in the cold, pouring rain and watching deafening trucks flip over in the mud (ha!), I opted for a “boring” night at the movies with my friend and fellow bookclubber, Valerie.

Val and I saw The Kite Runner, which we read with the book club last summer. As always, The Book Was Better (do I even need to say it?) It’s difficult to be objective about a movie after you’ve read the book.

The child actors that played young Amir and Hassan were very good, as was the actor who played Baba, and the flashback sequences in Kabul were done well. Amir is much more likeable in the book. He did all the same things in both the movie and the book, but at least in the book you understood his motivations.

The movie loses steam when Amir and Baba come to America. Amir has a hangdog appearance throughout, presumably because of the guilt he continues to feel over his treatment of Hassan. It all stays pretty true to the book until the last part, when Amir brings Sohrab home. It then goes very quickly and some key scenes in the book were omitted in the movie.

I was moved to tears during one scene, when Amir stands up to his father-in-law and defends Sohrab. I’m not sure how I would have felt about it if I hadn’t read the book first, because the movie just doesn’t give that much insight into why Amir might have been that upset.

Both English and Farsi were used, and I didn’t even mind the subtitles. The truth is I barely noticed. Sometimes in foreign films there is so much dialog to read that I miss the subtleties of the acting because I’m too busy reading. The dialog was pretty simple so that wasn’t a problem. Overall I thought the movie was pretty well done, but I would recommend reading the book before seeing it.