A need to reflect…

Desktop2In the past when this blog has been silent, it’s mostly been due to the fact that I have fallen off the wagon and stopped reading. I am happy to report that that’s not the case this time around. I am ashamed to admit, though, that I had just no enthusiasm about updating this blog. (Yikes!) While the readership of this blog may be questionable at best, when I created it, I knew that I wanted it more as a personal log than for anything else. I am not a professional reviewer. What I do want to maintain, however, is a habit of reflecting on my readings because I have a terrible memory. So for that, above everything else, I am going to try to be more regular here.

I’ve had a mixed bag of books these past two months. Usually, I push myself to read challenging, academically inclined, serious books, but lately I feel the need to just read for the sake of enjoyment. After reading Lisa Genova’s Still Alice in bits and pieces during several book store visits, I finally got it from the library. It was one of the most engrossing books I’ve read recently. Genova, a neuroscientist, does a fabulous job at explaining how the life of a patient with early onset Alzheimer’s disease deteriorates. Of course, Alice Howland is not an average woman, and one wonders if we feel the tragedy of the disease more so because Alice is such a brilliant person. But, the core of the story is the breakdown of not just a person, but a family, because of a fearsome disease, which Genova portrays quite well. The book left me worried and nervous about how fragile our own relationship is with our bodies.

The book that took up the most of my reading time, and happily so, was a book I just happened to walk by at the library. (Such lovely coincidences are rare in my life.) I truly believe that someday I might have thought of editing a book like Stephanie Harrison’s Adaptations – a collection of 35 short stories that were the inspiration for movies. I love reading books that are adapted into movies, but I am immensely curious about how a short story becomes a full-length movie. I think the latter makes more sense because the chance of glossing over or simplifying a complex story are minimized. When I do find out that a movie is based on a short story, I try to dig around for the source, but it’s often a hard task. Harrison’s book is a gem for suckers like me. Some of the stories in this collection are out of print and hard to locate, and this book makes it so easy. I was delighted to see some stories I’d been looking for, like “Memento Mori” which was made into Memento by Christopher Nolan, or stories that I didn’t even know existed, like “In a Grove” which was made into Rashomon. Harrison divides the stories into genres and has an excellent and informative introductory chapter for each section. All in all, this book is a must-have (not just a must-read) for any lover of reading and films.

I also read Stephen King’s Desperation and re-read Sidney Sheldon’s Master of the Game. The latter, I had read when I was in school, and I just wanted to reminisce about those days by reading something… what’s a polite word… easy? King’s Desperation was strictly okay. Not worth my time or yours trying to review those two.

I’ll be back soon!

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One Response to A need to reflect…

  1. I am one of your questionable readers 😀
    Questionable because I too keep falling off the (writing and reading) wagon, more often than you.

    While it may make more sense to make a movie out of a short story, as regarding staying true to the source (as you imply, i think), that would also severely restrict the range of movies which can be made. Movies, usually, have a grand narrative, with a great sweep through time, space, characters, and/or emotions. Short stories are concise, tightly packed capsule in the wide stream of events. Movies like “12 Angry Men”, “The Man from Earth” are the kind to stay true to the short story they may be inspired from, hypothetically speaking, and yet deliver the punch.

    I should also try writing reviews on my blog. Its been so long I wrote some of them last. I think I suck at it, as I have almost no original thought or conclusion about the book which is worth writing down in clear prose. But then reading and reading without writing anything about it makes me restless, which, from what you wrote, it does you too.

    Happy (and more frequent) writing,
    Mohit

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