A new month, and time for a new prompt. I'm enjoying this little project as with each new month with its promise of freshness comes the opportunity for 'guilt-free' choosing of at least one new book to read. So far I have even managed to keep up with each month's read and pluck one book from my own collection. I always think I might manage more than one book for the prompt, though I have yet to read more than one, but maybe this will be a two-book month. I certainly have plenty of good books to choose from.
This month is 'book to film' and this year there are loads of forthcoming movies based on novels. Some of these, however, are older and if I can, I plan on watching the movie after reading the book. I had a few ideas in mind, but when I started looking through my shelves I found a few more that I had forgotten had been made into movies.
Case Histories by Kate Atkinson -- So I cheated a little on this one. I read the book when it was first published and then last weekend I watched the TV adaptation of the book and loved it. It made me want to pick up the book again, so I did. I think I will read this in any case and (though perhaps not this month) also finally read the two sequels before watching the rest of the TV episodes. I wonder if she will ever continue the story as Jackson Brodie (and his daughter!) are such great characters.
Julieta by Alice Munro -- This is just three short stories that Pedro Almodovar adapted recently to the screen. I have been watching a lot of his movies lately, so this seemed a natural progression and I plan on getting to these this month, if I can squeeze them in. The book is just over 100 pages, so surely I can manage it?
Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukegawa -- I am not sure where I came across this book. I think I was looking for something else and ran across this story and it sounded kind of enchanting. I have watched the movie trailer and that looks equally as good. "Sukegawa―enabled by Watts's lucid translation―tells an endearing, thoughtful tale about relationships and the everyday meaning of life. Readers in search of gently illuminating fare―e.g., Shion Miura's The Great Passage, Jeff Talarigo's The Pearl Diver―will appreciate this toothsome treat." (Library Journal)
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan -- This is a Netflix series streaming now and I believe it has been nominated for a few awards. It was already on my TBR pile. "In Jordan's prize-winning debut, prejudice takes many forms, both subtle and brutal. It is 1946, and city-bred Laura McAllan is trying to raise her children on her husband's Mississippi Delta farm—a place she finds foreign and frightening. In the midst of the family's struggles, two young men return from the war to work the land. Jamie McAllan, Laura's brother-in-law, is everything her husband is not—charming, handsome, and haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the McAllan farm, has come home with the shine of a war hero. But no matter his bravery in defense of his country, he is still considered less than a man in the Jim Crow South. It is the unlikely friendship of these brothers-in-arms that drives this powerful novel to its inexorable conclusion."
Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews -- I think the movie is just now coming out. I love these kinds of thrillers. "In contemporary Russia, state intelligence officer Dominika Egorova has been drafted to become a “Sparrow”—a spy trained in the art of seduction to siphon out information from their marks. She’s been assigned to Nathaniel Nash, a CIA officer who handles the organization’s most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young intelligence officers, trained in their respective spy schools, collide in a charged atmosphere of tradecraft, deception and, inevitably, a forbidden spiral of carnal attraction that threatens their careers and the security of America’s valuable mole in Moscow."
The Time in Between by Maria Duenas -- Another series, this time filmed in Spain, that is also streaming on Netflix. Both the book and the movie look really good and I am so temThe inspiring international bestseller of a seemingly ordinary woman who uses her talent and courage to transform herself first into a prestigious couturier and then into an undercover agent for the Allies during World War II.pted by the book, but it is rather chunky and I am not sure I can finish it (along with the rest of the books in my pile) this month."
Logan's Run by William F. Nolan -- I think I want to try to get to this one as it has been on my mind for a while. I have seen the 1970s movie numerous times and would love to read the book that inspired it. "In 2116, it is against the law to live beyond the age of twenty-one years. When the crystal flower in the palm of your hand turns from red to black, you have reached your Lastday and you must report to a Sleepshop for processing. But the human will to survive is strong—stronger than any mere law." I think the story is also told 'backwards' from the end of the story to the beginning.
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir by R.A. Dick -- "Burdened by debt after her husband's death, Lucy Muir insists on moving into the very cheap Gull Cottage in the quaint seaside village of Whitecliff, despite multiple warnings that the house is haunted. Upon discovering the rumors to be true, the young widow ends up forming a special companionship with the ghost of handsome former sea captain Daniel Gregg. Through the struggles of supporting her children, seeking out romance from the wrong places, and working to publish the captain's story as a book, Blood and Swash, Lucy finds in her secret relationship with Captain Gregg a comfort and blossoming love she never could have predicted."
Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple -- Ack! Another one I really want to read before seeing the movie! "A whip-smart, hysterical dramedy about a family in crisis after the disappearance of its brilliant, misanthropic matriarch." And another book where I feel like I am the last reader on the planet to get to this one.
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton -- I have had this book for ages and it 'sounds' great, but I have heard mixed things about it, which has made me hesitate to pick it up. I do want to read it, but when will be the right moment? "Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam—a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion—a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant."
Too many good stories (and potentially good movies to see after reading) to choose from! And there were a couple more books I had in mind, but I was too lazy to hunt for the books this week, but maybe just as well not to make the choice even harder. A couple short ones, or one long one? Hmm.