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: Ariel, by Sylvia Plath
  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: Letters to Milena, by Franz Kafka
  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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