Tuesday, March 10, 2009

On Being Well Read

I have posted today over at Tote Bags N Blogs on being well read and the 1% Book Challenge (which I am new to but apparently is old news). The idea is to take the list of over 1000 books and read ten each year to become more well read.

I have some thoughts - both positive and negative on the whole principle, so venture on over and have a look at which books off the list I've read and what I have to say about reading in general.

One of the books on the list of "must reads" is North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. And I just happened to finish that book last night as my 15th read of the year.

This is one of the books that I saw the mini series before reading (usually I try to do it the other way around, but it doesn't always work that way). And I LOVED the mini series so I wasn't sure how I'd like the book. To be honest...the first half dragged a little. Maybe because I knew what was coming. I KNEW - rather I HOPED - that those heart stopping little sexual tension moments were coming between Margaret and Thornton. And let me say - for an adaptation I think the mini did a fabulous job of hitting the high points of the book. Things that happened; little bits of dialogue were pretty much straight from text in many instances.

And when we got close to the strike - well, that last half of the book flew by and I read the last 250 pages of very fine print in 2 evenings.

The ending was slightly different than the mini series ending, but I'll admit I love the ending of the mini. For one, I thought it tied up the relationship of Margaret and Mrs. Thornton very well, and for another the kiss scene is perfection in itself even if it didn't happen in quite that way in the book. Have a look for yourself if you dare:

Finally, the casting for the mini was fabulous. As I was reading bits of dialogue - especially Margaret and Thornton and Mrs. Thornton - I could see the characters and hear their voices. Richard Armitage IS John Thornton, and Sinead Cusack IS Mrs. Thornton.

Lovely lovely book - right up with favourites such as Persuasion and Daniel Deronda (both of which had great adaptations done as well).


  1. Hi, Donna! I've just been over to Tote Bags 'n' Blogs, and enjoyed your discusion about books, also the comments. Reading is a BIG thing, but so personal. I try to keep up with all my favourite romance writers (just finished The Rancher's Runaway Princess and loved it!). I belong to a book club so read many books that I might not otherwise choose. And I always have a huge pile of TBR.

    While I was at Tote Bags, I read the post on "Screen Kisses" and, noticing your comments, I will add this for your attention rather than over there. I simply have to add the James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie kiss from Wanted which I just watched yesterday. Wow! If there is anyone onscreen nowadays who could make me want to be 25 again, it's JM!!!

  2. Oooh I haven't seen Wanted. JM and AJ seem like such an unlikely couple, but he has an intensity that just sucks me in.

    I'm with you on the pile of tbr.

  3. To follow up, Wanted is an action movie, but I will watch *anything* with James McAvoy in it. There is not a romance as such. If you have seen any of the trailers, he is recruited as an assassin. That's enough of a spoiler for now.

  4. Anonymous6:21 a.m.

    I must have watched those final 10 mins 20 times at least.
    Shamed to say that I have never read the book but know the connections to the Bronte sisters. I used to live in Yorkshire UK and know the area where the series was filmed/textile mill culture, and is was totally spot on accurate.
    Glad to know that some things are universal LOL