May 31, 2017

Play(list) By the Book: American Gods


Hello, everyone! When I picked up American Gods I was certain that a playlist would be needed. Indeed, there are so many song and artist references in this novel that I didn't face any trouble to fill it. The edition of American Gods I own also includes an interview with Neil Gaiman, an essay by the author himself called How Dare You?, and an American Gods novella, named The Monarch of the Glenn. These three bonus materials added some songs of their own to the playlist. The result is quite lengthy, so sit back and enjoy!





The rules are, as usual, simple. Songs and artists mentioned in the text belong to the playlist. Also, when an album is mentioned I pick a song from it. Sometimes, when there are lyrics in the novel, I try to find to which song they belong.

Nottamun Town, the song that begins the playlist, is a town that Shadow visits, and since there is a well-known song I couldn't leave it out. San Francisco was included because Wednesday used it in order to describe their visit to this particular city ("The flowers in your hair are optional"). Lastly, Glass by Bat for Lashes was included because of its opening lines: Bilquis is reciting verses from the Song of Solomon, and this particular song begins with the same particular verses (I will rise now/And go about the city/In the street's/Broadways I seek/Him whom my soul loveth).


In the beginning of the second chapter, there are some lyrics of an "old song" that I don't recognise. My research didn't bear fruit, so if you happen to know which song this is I'd really love to know! The lyrics are:
They took her to the cemet'ry
In a big ol' Cadillac
They took her to the cemet'ry
But they didn't bring her back


If you want to dig in a little deeper you can also listen to the albums that are mentioned. Those are the following three: Dream Cafe, by Greg Brown, 69 Love Songs, by Magnetic Field, and King of America, by Elvis Costello.


Find more playlists at: Play(list) by the Book

May 5, 2017

Play(list) By the Book: Heart-shaped Box


Hello, everyone! Another novel, another playlist. This time the novel is none other than Heart-shaped Box, written by Joe Hill. Its protagonist is an aging rock star, so don't be surprised that the vast majority of the songs that are included belong to this particular genre. If, by any chance, you are a fan of rock music, like myself, then you are sure to enjoy it. 



As per usual, the rules for this Play(list) by the Book were simple: songs and artists mentioned in the novel were in. But Heart-shaped Box had its own difficulties, because the protagonist was a rock star. As it would be expected many songs that were mentioned were imaginary, written by himself. Nevertheless, the playlist turned out to be quite lengthy even without those imaginary songs. 

Another thing that troubled me, while creating the playlist was the fact that many band members, from groups that were already included in the list, were mentioned. Some of them, in fact, have their own solo careers. Names like Kurt Cobain, Trent Reznor, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, John Bonham, Joey Ramone, and David Grohl. For this one I need your suggestions: Should I include them or not?

Finally, the names of some music publishers, record companies, and generally types of music appeared in Heart-shaped Box. This was exceptionally hard for me, as on the one hand I didn't have extensive knowledge on any of them, and on the other hand they include many artists, records and song. If you want to dig a little deeper, you can search for Folkway Records, Tin Pan Alley, and music of the Ozarks.

P.S. When I found out that Ramones would be one of the bands that I would be the one to pick the song for the playlist, I couldn't resist the temptation to include Pet Sematary. What more fitting than to include a song inspired by the book written by Joe Hill's dad, Stephen King?


Find more playlists at: Play(list) by the Book

March 20, 2017

The Reading Book Post, March 20th

The Reading Book Post - literary news

Happy First Day of Spring, everyone! You might have guessed, but this is my favourite season and so I'm happy! Anyway, my reading this week was mostly manga (I can't resist), but I've also started digging in Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill. Besides, March is the month when I have to read a horror novel. Anyway, let's see what happened in the literary world the previous week.


  • Beyond James Bond, who is first literary spy that comes to mind? It's none other than George Smiley, the famous spy created by John LeCarré. Well, after 27 years, the well-known spy will return! John LeCarré's new book will see the return of Smiley, and I'm so excited about it. The book will be called A Legacy of Spies and is due on September 5, 2017.

  • Love audiobooks, and love Stephen King? On top of that, do you love James Franco? Well, then you 're going to love this: James Franco will narrate Stephen King's The Dead Zone. The audiobook will become available on April 25, 2017.

  • This is a collaboration that I never guessed that could happen. I'm talking about the collaboration between Black Eyed Peas and Marvel. Yes, a new graphic novel, called Masters of the Sun - The Zombie Chronicles, will hit the shelves in July. The story was written by none other than will.i.am. 

  • Many of us have struggled to read James Joyce's Ulysses. But now there is hope! A new game, Joycestick, is developped by Boston University in order to expose this difficult work to broader audience. What's most is exciting is that this is a virtual reality game!

  • Really sad news. Bernie Wrightson, the well-known horror comic artist, has passed away at the age of 68. 

  • The sad news have no end! Derek Walcott, the poet who was awarded with the Nobel-prize in literarure, has passed away at the age of 87.

  • Can You Identify The World Famous Author By A Book Title? Take the quiz to find out! It's mostly classics, so I'm sure you'll do great!

March 6, 2017

The Reading Book Post, March 6th


Hello, everyone! Spring is finally here, and we are officially just a little less than 2 months away from The Handmaid's Tale and American Gods tv series. I can't wait! Also, this month there are some pretty interesting books coming up, such as The Roanoke Girls, by Amy Engels, Strange the Dreamer, by Laini Taylor, and Hunted, by Meagan Spooner. Well, March seems to be a promising month! Anyway, let's see what happened in the literary world the previous week.

  • We've known for some time now that Stephen King will collaborate with J.J. Abrams for a new tv series, called Castle Rock. Not much has become public. We only have a cryptic teaser. What is your guess?

  • Looking for new comics? IMAGE has just announced 15 new series! I certainly have set my eyes on a couple of them! 

  • See the beautiful cover and read an excerpt from the upcoming YA novel Things I'm Seeing Without You, written by Peter Bognanni. The book will be released on September 26, 2017.


  • Alec Baldwin's portrayal of Donald Trump is impressive. So, what more natural than co-writing a satirical novel about the new President? The book will be called You Can't Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump. The famous actor will co-write it with Kurt Anderson and it will hit the shelves on November 7.


  • How we all love Dr. Seuss' stories! Here are some stories behind some of his most popular once of them.


  • It turns out that there are books that teach you how to be an adult. Yes, you've read that right! You can here the comedian Andy Richter narrate one of them, that deals with The Hangover. I need this full series! 


  • Are You A Realist Or An Idealist Based On The Synonyms You Pick? Take the quiz to find out! It turns out that I'm an Idealist, what about you?


February 28, 2017

February Wrap-Up


Hello, everyone! It's been a while, but I've finally decided to post a monthly wrap-up. In this post I'll let you know of my reading and the progress on my reading challenges. February was a good month, as I read some pretty interesting books. I only hope that my luck with the novels I'm reading will continue.


First of all, let's see what I posted in February:


Now let's see how my reading progressed:
  1. Finished
  1. Currently Reading


Secrets of a Summer Night is a historical romance novel, the first instalment of the Wallflowers series. In my reading challenge February was the month that I had to read a romance novel, and so I have successfully completed it. As for the main challenge, this month I've checked out the collection of short stories by reading the book Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman.


Reading Plans for March

In March, I plan on finishing Ethan Frome, the book that will check out the classic book  from my reading challenge. As for the monthly challenge, the theme is horror, and I've decided to read Heart-Shaped Box, by Joe Hill.

As for future posts you'll have to look for in the blog, are reviews of The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood, Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman, and Ethan Frome. You can also expect some Weeckies, one of which will most definitely be Story of Your Life, by Ted Chiang. 

February 27, 2017

The Reading Book Post, February 27th

The Reading Book Post - literary news

Hello, everyone! We've reached the end of February. I know that this a literary news segments, but let's face it: the talk of the day is the Oscars! I was rooting for Arrival, at least for the category of best adapted screenplay. It was based on Ted Chiang's Story of Your Life (look for it in an upcoming Weeckies). Anyway, let's see what happened in the literary world the previous week.

  • Darya Shnykina has won the Book Illustration Competition. Her drawings have been selected to illustrated a new edition of Mansfield Park from The Folio Society. How I love book illustrations!


  • Did you love Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng? You can now read an excert and see the cover from her upcoming novel. Little Fires Everywhere will hit the shelves on September 12th, 2017.


  • A new Avengers TV anime and manga is coming to Japan! Marvel Future Avengers will debut in the summer season, while the manga adaptation is set to appear in the April issue of Bessatsu Coro Coro Comics Special magazine.

  • A long lost novel written by Walt Whitman was found! It's a 36,000 word serialized story, named Life and Adventures of Jack Engle. The story was last seen in print 165 year ago!


  • Tom Hanks, the beloved actor, will publish his first short story collection. The collection contains 17 short stories, is called Uncommon Type and is due on October 24, 2017.


  • New words were added to the Oxford Dictionaries. Those are the words clicktivism, haterade, otherize, and herd mentality. None of those is a positive one!


  • If you love tea, and books, then you need these literary teas! The best thing about them in the book-shaped tin package. I just love it! 


  • Which Fairy Tale Was Actually Written About You? Take the quiz to find out! I got Little Red Riding Hood, how about you?


February 25, 2017

Review: ICO - Castle in the Mist, by Miyuki Miyabe




Title: ICO - Castle in the Mist

Author: Miyuki Miyabe

Publisher: Haikasoru

Date of Publication: August 16th, 2011 (first published in 2005)

Number of Pages: 370





Summary

When a boy named Ico grows long curved horns overnight, his fate has been sealed - he is to be sacrificed in the Castle in the Mist. But in the castle, Ico meets a young girl named Yorda imprisoned in its halls. Alone they will die, but together Ico and Yorda might just be able to defy their destinies and escape the magic of the castle.

Review

This is definitely one of the most special book cases I've encountered so far. In case you didn't recognise this cover, this is a book adaptation of the PlayStation 2 game ICO. I am aware that this is a popular game and there definitely will be some who have actually played it (and loved it). But there also will be some of you who haven't even heard about it. Having said that this book was a must for me as well as for the video games to books challenge, being an ICO adaptation. I would even gladly read a Shadow of the Colossus adaptation, and even one of the most recent one The Last Guardian. Yes, this team creates interesting games, with touching stories that in the hands of skillful writers can become great books. Having said all that, ICO - Castle in the Mist lives up to the expectations that this video game has set.

Ico is a young boy, who is unlucky enough to be born with horns in his head. This means that he a sacrifice and in a certain age he has to go to the Castle in the Mist, never to leave again. Nobody knows what happens to the sacrifaces there, not even anyone wants to talk about it. So, Ico is resigned to his fate and goes to this castle. There he meets a mysterious girl, Yorda, who is also trapped in this castle. Every time she touches the young boy he sees images of times long gone, and bit by bit the story of the forbidding castle is revealed. The only way for Ico and Yorda to survive is to trust each other and cooperate. But will they be able to win the Queen and lift the curse from the Castle in the Mist?

Ico - Castle in the MistJust from this decription it's plain to see the plot of this book is that of a pure fantasy novel. It's a battle against evil. It really has all the elements that makes such a story great. A young protagonist who can't really understand what is happening to him, another young protagonist who really tries to break free from the evil that has bound her all those years, it has visions of the past, it has a menacing villain and her minions, it has the discovery of a long forgotten book which describes the way that the curse can be lifted, it even has the death of a dear friend.

But what does this novel actually add to the story, if you've played the video game before? Well, for one it's interesting to see the two different points of view. In the first and the last chapter we follow Ico. In this way, we learn what he feels and we learn what he thinks. This is a big deal, as in the game he doesn't use any actual words. We get his backstory and so we feel about him. Ico - Castle in the Mist doesn't begin from that dark room in the castle as in the video game. It rather begins on the village where Ico grew up. There is also a very interesting chapter from Yorda's point of view. She has a flashback where all of her memories come back to her and we learn everything about the Queen and her pact with the Dark God.

The ending doesn't change at all from the video game. It all ends in the beach where Ico meets Yorda again. I liked it very much. It leaves room for hope and I can't help guessing what they would have done. Would Ico return to Toksa village with Yorda? Could he restore the horned-men's reputation? I could almost see the possibility of a sequel here.
    
The other thing that I really liked in this version of the story is the description of the places. Having seen them before, it was natural to expect them to be described in some way. Miyuki Miyabe managed to bring all of the familiar sceneries with great detail. But it was never tiring. When the language tends to be descriptive I normally lose my interest, but this isn't the case with Ico - Castle in the Mist. The language is indeed descriptive in this book, but somehow it's full of tension and I couldn't put it down. Plus, what the castle really does is add more elements to the epic atmosphere.

The thing that was a little lacking in this novel was actually the one that I never imagined it would. I'm talking about the action. There were time when Yorda was in danger by those mysterious creatures-minions, but Ico always found a way to fight them easily. The final battle with the Queen felt rash. It was like Ico followed a predestined root, the kind you'd a expect a player would follow after watching a walkthrough video.

Ico - Castle in the MistAlso, one of the things that made Ico such a unique game was the holding of the hands. You literary run around this castle with Yorda holding hands! In this novel, this wasn't the case. I mean, of course there were moments that they held theirs hands, but it was only used when Ico needed to see a vision from the past, and just then.

Overally, Ico - Castle in the Mist is a great adaptation. It's a fantasy novel at its roots and it doesn't disappoint. This is a rare case for books that come from video games, and it certainly can be read by anyone. Even if you haven't  heard of this video game before but you like fantasy then you're going to love it!

In this case, it's a tie between the video game and book adaptation. So, the score becomes:


Scoreboard


February 22, 2017

Play(list) by the Book: The Handmaid's Tale


Hello, everyone! By now it's no secret that Play(list) by the Book is one of my favourite things to create. I just love finding out all those musical, and sometimes lyrical, references in the novel that I read. And it's even more delightful when I do find such references in books that I didn't really expect to find some in them, like The Handmaid's Tale. Let's face it: when you read Haruki Murakami, Nick Hornby, or David Mitchell, you know that there will be a lot of songs mentioned in the book. But when I started reading The Handmaid's Tale, I never expected to find familiar songs and lyrics in this dystopian setting. But there it is! It might not be a lengthy playlist, but it still is. I hope you'll enjoy it!




As usual the rules are the same. Every song and artist that is mentioned in the book goes in the playlist. Every lyric that is mentioned, qualifies the song for the playlist. In this one, I added the Lithuanian folk song (Kalėdų rytu rožė inžydo), not because it was mentioned but because there was a tape found with the title Folk Songs from Lithuania. I thought that it would be fit for such a song to be included here.


Find more playlists at: Play(list) by the Book

February 20, 2017

The Reading Book Post, February 20th

The Reading Book Post - with the most interesting literary news of the previous week

Hello, everyone! I have to admit that so far I've been lucky with my reading. Since the beginning of 2017 I've read some amazing novels, like The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood and I'm currently reading Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. I only hope that I'll be just as lucky in the months to come. Anyway, let's see what happened in the literary world the previous week (so many exciting news!).

  • This is the first and biggest (and most exciting, to be honest) news of this week: Philip Pullman has announced The Book of Dust trilogy. This trilogy will be set in the world of his much beloved His Dark Materials trilogy (actually Lyra will be featured in two of the three new books) and I can't hide how much I'm happy about it! The first book of the new trilogy is yet to be named, but we already know that it's due on 19 October 2017. I've already marked my calendar!

  • The next exciting news of this week concerns one of my favourite authors and one of my favourite books, Neil Gaiman and his novel Neverwhere. 20 years after the publication of Neverwhere, the author has announced that he's writing the sequel. The book will be called The Seven Sisters, but we know nothing else about it yet.   

  • MISFIT CITY is the new monthly comic book series by BOOM! imprint, written by the screen writer Kirster "Kiwi" Smith and Kurt Lustgarten, and art by Naomi Franquiz. It sounds pretty interesting because of its Goonies inspired setting and plot (just look at the first cover). The series will hit the shelves in May 2017.

  • Adorableness alert! How about some comics with Funko versions of very popular characters, like Ghostbusters, and The X-Files? To be more precise, this May will be published five one-shot comic books with Funko-fied heros. The books will be Ghostbuster, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The X-Files, Strawberry Shortcake, and Judge Dredd 

  • Until recently the only way to find out what Marcel Proust looked like was through one of his photographs. But a Canadian professor claims that he has discovered some footage with the French writer. It's a black-and-white video from a marriage that took place in 1904. 

  • Mr. Darcy, a name - many feels! The fictional man responsible for all of our unrealistic expectation of men. But did he actually look like Colin Firth (because let's face it we all have his image in mind)? Look what Mr. Darcy would actually look like in 1790. I'm not shocked, he'd actually still be good-looking.

  • Oh, how I love to listen to actors read stories! It doesn't matter if it's Tom Hardy reading a bedtime story, or Benedict Cumberbatch reading just anything, I absolutely love it. Today I'm sharing with you a video featuring Zach Galifianakis reading the story Next Big Thing, written by Gibby Haines. It's a little scary though, so listen to it with the lights on!

  • Which Dark Fantasy World Do You Belong In? Take the quiz to find out! I got Ink by Alice Broadway, which world did you get?

January 16, 2017

The Reading Book Post, January 16th


Hello, everyone! I'm so pumped up with this year's reading challenges that I've already made a quick list of the books that I'm going to read. In fact, just yeaterday I finished reading Arabian Nights and Days, written by Naguib Mahfouz. This book qualifies as a book from the Middle-East and as January's historical novel. Let's see what happened in the literary world the previous week.

  • Marlon James, the author of the novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, announced that he's planning on writing a fantasy series. To be more specific, he describes it as "an African Game of Thrones". The first book of The Dark Star trilogy will be called Black Leopard, Red Wolf.


  • Any fans of the Greenglass House? Good news for you, as Kate Milford is preparing the sequel, which will be called The Ghosts of Greenglass House. You can now see the cover, as well as read an excerpt from the book that will hit the shelves on October 3, 2017.


  • Last year, we watched and we loved The Night Manager. The BBC's mini series was adapted from John LeCarré's novel with the same name. Now we can all rejoice, as the same team team will adapt another John LeCarré's novel, The Spy Who Came In From the Cold

  • I had never really noticed before, but Klaus from A Series of Unfortunate Events, and Harry Potter look very much alike! Once you see it, you can't actually forget about it! I'm amazed.

  • What goes best with books? It's certainly tea! And author George Orwell had many tips on how to prepare and enjoy your tea properly. And there are just too many!

  • Could this really be happening? E.L. James confirmed that she is in talks with theatre bosses, in order to adapt Fifty Shades of Grey into a musical. I'm not sure though how can this series work as a musical.

  • Can You Match The Superheroes to Their Arch Nemesis? Take the quiz to find out! If you're a keen comic book reader then you'll find no trouble with this one, as for me I've still got some catching up to do!


January 8, 2017

Book Adaptations to look for in 2017


Hello, everyone! Every year there is a tone of movies, tv series, and even video games that are actually book adaptations. So, I couldn't resist making a list with all those book adaptations that we should all look for in 2017 in the big and small screen.

Here are the 17+1 Book Adaptations to look for in 2017:

1. A Dog's Purpose

Release Date: 27 January 2017

Director: Lasse Hallström

Starring: Britt Robertson, Josh Gad, Dennis Quaid

Summary: A dog looks to discover his purpose in life over the course of several lifetimes and owners.

Comment: It's about a dog (several dogs actually), how can you resist such a movie? And if I judge by my reaction in Marley and Me, I will be crying the whole time.


2. Tulip Fever

Release Date: 24 February 2017

Director: Justin Chadwick

Starring: Alicia Vikander, Cara Delevingne, Dane DeHaan

Summary: An artist falls for a young married woman while he's commissioned to paint her portrait during the Tulip mania of 17th century Amsterdam.

Comment: It's a historical drama. Furthermore it's about an artist. And it features a forbidden love. Well, I don't need another reason to watch this movie!


3. Wilson

Release Date: 24 March 2017


Director: Craig Johnson

Starring: Judy Greer, Woody Harrelson, Laura Dern

Summary: A lonely, neurotic and hilariously honest middle-aged man reunites with his estranged wife and meets his teenage daughter for the first time.

Comment: There is no way I'm going to miss this movie! If you love Daniel Clowes' graphic novels like I do then put it in your calendar. If you have any doubts, just remember Ghost World and give it another thought.


4. Wonder

Release Date: 7 April 2017


Director: Stephen Chbosky

Starring: Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Jacob Tremblay

Summary: A young boy born with a facial deformity is destined to fit in at a new school, and to make everyone understand he's just another ordinary kid, and that beauty isn't skin deep.

Comment: This gem of a book promises to make one of the finest movies of 2017. When I read Wonder back in 2012 it moved me and I really hope that this film will provoke the same emotions in me.


5. The Handmaid's Tale

Release Date: 26 April 2017


Director: Reed Morano (3 eps.), Mike Barker (2 eps.)

Starring: Jordana Blake, O.T. Fagbenle, Joseph Fiennes, Elizabeth Moss

Summary: Set in a dystopian future, a woman is forced to live as a concubine under a fundamentalist theocratic dictatorship.

Comment: This is the first tv series in the list, and I can't wait! What can I say about this Margaret Atwood's novel? It's one of the greatest dystopian novels! The series will have 10 episodes. Also, Hulu has already showed us that it can make great book adaptation, after they released 11/22/63, by Stephen King, starring James Franco in 2016.


6. The Circle

Release Date: 28 April 2017


Director: James Ponsoldt

Starring: Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, Karen Gillan

Summary: A woman lands a job at a powerful tech company called the Circle, where she becomed involved with a mysterious man.

Comment: I expect this to be a powerful movie. The novel raised many serious questions, and please make this a film with the same concerns. Plus, I like the casting!


7. Everything, Everything

Release Date: 19 May 2017


Director: Stella Meghie

Starring: Amanda Stenberg, Nick Robinson, Anika Noni Rose

Summary: A teenager who's lived a sheltered life because she's aleergic to everything, falls for the boy who moves in next door.

Comment: A beloved YA romance! If you loved this novel (and I know that there are a lot of you), then you won't want to miss it.


8. Captain Underpants

Release Date: 2 June 2017 


Director: Rob Letterman, David Soren

Starring: Kevin Hart, Nick Kroll, Kristen Schaal

Summary: Two mischievious kids hypnotize their mean high school principal and turn him into their comic book creation, the kind-hearted and elastic-banded Captain Underpants.

Comment: This is going to be HILARIOUS! I mean, just look at the cast. And this is the only animated feature in this list!


9. My Cousin Rachel

Release Date: 14 July 2017


Director: Roger Michell

Starring: Rachel Weisz, Sam Claflin, Holliday Grainger

Summary: A young Englishman plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms.

Comment: It's yet another historical drama. This is enough reason for me to watch this movie. End of story.


10. The Dark Tower

Release Date: 28 July 2017 


Director: Nikolaj Arcel

Starring: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Katheryn Winnick

Summary: Gunslinger Roland Deschain roams an Old West-like landscape in searcch for the dark tower, in hopes that reaching it will preserve his dying world.

Comment: It's truth that Stephen King's novels usually make good movies. The Dark Tower series is an exceptionally popular one, and let's face it Idris Elba is the perfect casting for the Gunslinger!


11. It

Release Date: 8 September 2017


Director: Andrés Muschietti

Starring: Bill Skarsgård, Finn Wolfhard, Jaeden Lieberher

Summary: In a small town in Maine, seven children known as The Losers Club come face to face with life problems, bullies and a monster that takes the shape of a clown called Pennywise.

Comment: The second Stephen King novel in this list. There is actually a mini series adaptation of this novel back from 1990. Will this movie live up to its scary predecessor?


12. Murder On the Orient Express

Release Date: 22 November 2017

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Starring: Daisy Ridley, Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Kenneth Branagh

Summary: Renowned Belgian detective Hercules Poirot investigates the murder of a wealthy American traveling on the Orient Express, the most famous train in the world.

Comment: This is one of my favourite adventures of Hercules Poirot! Apart from the novel, already exists an excellent adaptation of it from 1974. But I want to watch this new one mostly out of couriosity. How will be Kenneth Branagh as the famous detective?


13. Annihilation

Release Date: 2017

Director: Alex Garland

Starring: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thomson

Summary: A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expendition where the laws of nature don't apply. 

Comment: It's Annihilation and it's Alex Garland! These two facts are enough for me to be super excited for this film. I hope that they will announce the release date soon, as well as some teaser/trailer. 


14. Graceling

Release Date: 2017

Director: TBA

Starring: TBA

Summary: A smart, beautiful young woman lives in a world where select people born with an extreme skill -- called a Grace -- are feared and exploited.
Comment: I love this fantasy series, and I can't wait for an adaptation of it! Unfortunately, we don't know anything about it yet.


15. On Chesil Beach

Release Date: 2017

Director: Dominic Cooke

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emily Watson, Anne-Marie Duff

Summary: A drama set in the early 1960's and centered on a young couple on their honeymoon. 

Comment: It's no secret that Ian McEwan is one of my favourite authors. On Chesil Beach is my second favourite novel of his (after Atonement). Plus, he wrote the movie script himself! 


16. American Gods

Release Date: 2017

Director: David Slade (3 eps.), Adam Kane (2 eps.), Vincenzo Natali (1 ep.), Guillermo Navarro (1 ep.), Floria Sigismondi (1 ep.), Craig Zobel (1 ep.)

Starring: Demore Barnes, Gillian Anderson, Yetide Badaki, Dane Cook, Ian McShane

Summary: A recently released ex-convict named Shadow meets a mysterious man who calls himself "Wednesday" and who knows more than he first seems to about Shadow's life and past.

Comment: Another favourite novel written by a favourite author. This is another 10 episode tv series to look for in 2017. This is a must-watch whenever they decide to release it!



17. Let it Snow

Release Date: 2017

Director:  TBA

Starring: TBA

Summary: Three unexpected romances take place over the course of one Christmas Eve.

Comment: We don't know anything yet about this upcoming movie, but it's safe to assume that it will be released at the end of 2017. Indeed, it will be the ideal holiday movie! 







Bonus:
18. Seasons of Heaven

Release Date: TBA

Studio: AnyArts Productions

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Summary: Seasons of Heaven is about a post-apocalyptic world, which has undergone some dramatic events. Thankfully, there are some survivors. The game will focus on Yann, a telepathic boy with Asperger's Syndrome, and his French bulldog, Ani. His parents, Elise and Tim, are part of a larger group of survivors, including James and Sarah, their son Thomas, and two other children called Nina and Ana.   

Comment: I have to be honest here: I've never heard of this novel. Could it be because it is a French novel? Does an English translation exist? Well, the game trailer is beautiful, and I can't wait to play it!

January 7, 2017

Review: Deadpool v Gambit, by Ben Acker, Ben Blacker, Danilo Beyruth, and Cris Peter


Title: Deadpool v Gambit

Author: Ben Acker, Ben Blacker

Illustrator: Danilo Beyruth

Colours: Cris Peter

No. of issues: 5

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Date of Publication: June 2016 (issue #1)

Number of Pages: 23 (each issue)



Summary

Gambit - one of the smoothest, best-looking operators in the world of the X-Men. Deadpool - one of the most annoying, ugliest dirtbags in the world of everything. Naturally, these guys got beef. But do you know what they have in common? A secret history of working together to pull con-jobs. That's right - the grift is on as the Regeneratin' Degenerate and the Ragin' Cajun begrudgingly take on one last job together. Writers Ben Acker & Ben Blacker (Thunderbolts, The Thrilling Adventure Hour) and artist Danilo Beyruth (Gwenpool) lead us into the dirty underbelly of Deadpool and the squeaky-clean abs of Gambit!

Review

2016 was certainly the year that we've all been talking about Deadpool! With one of the best movies of the year, the mutant won over even the most reluctant of us, even the ones that don't usually read comics. On the other hand, Gambit doesn't get the love he deserves. I would so much love to see more of him, both in comic books and possibly his own movie (please make is happen!). So, when earlier this summer the series Deadpool v. Gambit hit the shelves, I was more than eager to read it.

For this series, Wade and Remy, aka Deadpool and Gambit, join forces in order to pull some con-jobs under the influence of Chalmers, an old guy that promises them a lot of riches. But while the two superheroes argue with each other, the gentleman double-crosses them. So, there is no other choice left for them but to put up with each other in order to retrieve what was stolen from them. In the meantime, Chalmers then surprises them by proposing another business to them just to save his hide. And...then the story is lost!

Another mutant enters the story, named the Scrambler, and moreover the true identity of Chalmers is revealed. To my great disappointment the old man is none other than Loki in disguise in yet another plan to take over Asgard. Everything felt rushed and over-complicated, while the end came out of nowhere without much explanation. I didn't even have the time to realize how quickly the crisis, that Loki's plan created, was resolved. And Scrambler's role was in the least confusing. He took away, more lickely scrambled, Deadpool's and Gambit's powers, but at the very end it was he who saved the day. And all of this while he didn't want to be involved with the other mutants. He had even created a normal family! Well, at least we got to see Gambit frustrated because he couldn't touch anyone, and especially a lady.

Apart from the resolution of the story, which was anti-climactic, I enjoyed this comic book very much. I mean, come on! We have the greatest troll alng the greatest womanizer after Casanova! It's as funny as you'd imagine, and as meta as you'd expect it to be. My favourite issue was definitely the first one, while my favourite cover came from the second one (the one you see right here ➡️). The first issue was the most suitable introduction to the series, although it might have created high expectations compared to what actually followed. It also featured the funniest scene of the whole Deadpool v Gambit, where the two superheroes pretend to be Spiderman and Daredevil.

Deadpool v Gambit is an enjoyable series. If you can get past the fact that the whole story is just one of Loki's plot then this comic will make you laugh. A lot! Moreover, I have to add that these two mutants have an excellent chemistry and they would make THE greatest heist movie. Of course, this would be without the presence of Loki. Wade and Remy have the potential to steal our hearts (pun intended).  

For the complete experience check out the Play(list) By the Book of Deadpool v Gambit.

January 2, 2017

The Reading Book Post, January 2nd


HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone! Let 2017 be a more peaceful year, with lots of laughter and even more books! Anyway, let's see what happened in the literary world the previous week in the first Reading Book Post of the year.

  • JK Rowling confirmed that she is working on two new novels! The author revealed on Twitter that one of them will be under her own name, while the other will be a new Robert Galbraith detective novel.


  • Last week was, of course, a sad one. I'm talking about the sudden passing of Carrie Fisher, iconic actress and author. In case you are not familiar with her literary work you should definitely check it out! And you won't be the only one as her books hit the best-sellers' list, just after her death.


  • But last week was sad for another reason. Richard Adams, writer of Watership Down, has passed away at the age of 96.


  • John Wick is a formidable character! And now he's getting his own comic (hooray!). The comic will not be a strict adaptation of the popular movie, but it will expand the universe of John Wick. Nothing more is known about this comic, except for some concept art created by Giovanni Valletta.


  • We read it, we loved it, and now it will be adapted into a movie! I'm talking about the graphic novel Patience, by Daniel Clowes. The creator isn't a stranger to the movie industry as his previous graphic novel Ghost World was adapted in 2001, and an adaptation of his other graphic novel Wilson will be released later this year. 


  • Addicted to colouring books? Well, a new one is coming out, and I assure you, that it will be THE ultimate colouring book! What's so special about it? It's A Princess Bride colouring book, enough said.


  • Can You Identify These Emoji-fied YA Covers? Take the quiz to test yourselves! Some of them were quite easy, but I had trouble finding a couple of them! What did you do?

January 1, 2017

Reading Challenge 2017


So, 2017 is officially here and it's time to set the new reading challenge! I fell short on the 2016 Reading Challenge, but this year I'm determined to make it! The 6 weeks break that I took in August-September was crucial to the challenge results. But I really enjoyed the challenge itself, so for the 2017 reading challenge I'm going to keep more or less the same categories. 

So, in 2017 I will read:
  1. a novel from Europe: Pnin, by Vladimir Nabokov
  2. a novel from Middle East: Arabian Nights and Days, by Naguib Mahfouz
  3. a novel from East Asia
  4. a novel from North America: The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
  5. a novel from South America
  6. a novel from Oceania
  7. a novel from Africa
  8. a novel that won the Man Booker Prize
  9. a novel than won the Pulitzer Prize
  10. a novel written by a Nobel Prize recipient
  11. a play
  12. a book of poetry
  13. a collection of short stories: Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman
  14. a manga: Hirunaka no Ryuusei (Daytime Shooting Star), by Mika Yamamori (12 Volumes)
  15. a superhero comic: Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
  16. a non-superhero comic: The Stranger, by Albert Camus, Jacques Ferrandez
  17. a classic: Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton
  18. a non-fiction book
  19. a memoir/biography
  20. a self-published book: The Nobel Prize, by Mois Benarroch


This is it! It's quite staight-forward and manageable. This year I'm going to make it!

But I like challenges and this year I'm adding an extra challenge. This one will be more genre driven and it will be monthly. So a book that I will read every month must be of the genre or theme that I will specify here.
  1. January: HistoricalArabian Nights and Days, by Naguib Mahfouz
  2. February: Romance: Secrets of a Summer Night, by Lisa Kleypas
  3. March: Horror: Heart-Shaped Box, by Joe Hill
  4. April: HumourPnin, by Vladimir Nabokov
  5. May: Coming of Age: The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath
  6. June: Chick-Lit: Cinderella Screwed Me Over, by Cindi Madsen
  7. July: Time Travel
  8. August: Mystery
  9. September: Magical Realism
  10. October: Epic Fantasy
  11. November: Western
  12. December: Streampunk
I believe that these too challenges can be easily combined. I hope you'll be tempted to join me!

Happy reading 2017! 

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