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TBR Challenge 2019 ... frahealee attempt #1

TBR Challenge

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1frahealee
Edited: Jan 12, 1:50pm Top

Hi all. This is only my second LT year, so I would like to try this method for reaching way-back into some best laid plans...

Films I refuse to see until I have finished reading the books first:
1. Rebecca by du Maurier (1940 film)
2. My Cousin Rachel by du Maurier (1952 film)
3. Jamaica Inn by du Maurier (1939 film)
4. The Monk by Lewis (2011 film) … COMPLETED!
5. Dante's Divine Comedy (1935 film) *
6. Tristan and Isolde by Wagner (2006 film) or The Crucible by Miller (1996 film)
7. The Shining by King (1980 film)
8. Misery by King (1990 film)
9. Under the Volcano by Lowry (1984 film)
10. The Maltese Falcon by Hammett (1952 film)
11. The Big Sleep by Chandler (1961 film)
12. The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane by Laird Koenig (1976 film) **

* Claire Trevor was the person who spurred my interest in film-noir after seeing Key Largo.
** This is the only option, where I have seen the film and it scared the daylights out of me and I have always wanted to read the source novel.

??Optional Outreach??

Non-fiction/(auto)biography options that never seem to play well in the sandbox with novels:
1. Bruce Lee
2. Martin Short or Andrea Martin
3. Mike Myers or Cary Elwes
4. Burt Reynolds / Sally Field
5. Spencer Tracy / Katharine Hepburn
6. The Barrymores (either Ethel or Drew, maybe John and Lionel later)
7. Christopher Plummer (the one about his time in Stratford, Ontario)
8. tba ... possibly Alan Doyle
9. Farley Mowat's The Farfarers: Before the Norse (or alternate, based on availability)
10. The Klondike: The Last Great Gold Rush (1896-99) by Pierre Berton
11. Rachel Carson's Silent Spring
12. David Suzuki (The Autobiography)

* This list depends very much on availability and cost of item, be it print/ebook/audio.

No particular order. Spur of the moment selection of slow-simmering wannabes. I have no concrete stack of books, but this is my mental list carried around for sometimes decades. It will feel great to finally set a few of these perpetually juggled gems down.

Although last year I wasn't in this esteemed group, I did manage to drop a few (1st time reads) off of my radar;
Doctor Zhivago by Pasternak
Don Quixote by de Cervantes
Dracula by Stoker
Moby-Dick by Melville
Paradise Lost by Milton
The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
The Lady of the Lake by Scott

Possible 2020 Picks:
Miscellaneous? Bringing Out The Dead by Connelly (1999 film), The Club Dumas by Perez-Reverte (The Ninth Gate 1999 film), In Cold Blood by Capote (1967 film), The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988 film), The Bonfire of the Vanities by Wolfe (1990 film), Rust: The Novel by Bernsen (tv movie filmed in Cda), Barney's Version by Richler (2010 film)
Graham Greene? The Quiet American (2002 film), The Third Man (1949 film), Brighton Rock (1948 film), The End of the Affair (1955 film).
Agatha Christie? The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (saw David Suchet as Poirot/tv and want to read the story)
Satire? A Clockwork Orange, Animal Farm, Candide.
Deep South? Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, William Faulkner.

2.Monkey.
Jan 11, 9:31am Top

Ooh an interesting method, and list! I've read 6 of those 13, and seen I think 3 of them. Welcome to the group! :)

3frahealee
Jan 11, 10:24am Top

Thanks! I liked your comments from the Gothic Literature group (I forget which threads, Uncle Silas or Caleb Williams I think?) and thought this might be a good way to organize some loose threads in my tapestry.

I glanced over the 1001 list of options, and find it just too overwhelming at present, but I will recognize the overlap eventually. Maybe when I reach one hundred or so, I will feel sufficiently invested to post there.

Ovid, etc. are on my radar now, but still out of reach.

Have a terrific year with your bevy of books! Such an inspiring photo =D

4Cecrow
Edited: Jan 11, 12:08pm Top

>1 frahealee:, Welcome aboard! New movies coming out can be a spur for my listing a title; my worry then is that spoilers may be rampant if the movie's popular, so best get it read now. Then I never wind up watching the movie myself, lol.

The only du Maurier I've read is Rebecca, but I'd like to try Jamaica Inn. I've only read a small portion of King's work, but The Shining and Misery were two that I did and both good. I just read the Maltese Falcon a couple years ago, I haven't had the pleasure of seeing Bogart in the role.

I'd like to read Cary Elwes, if it's the one about the making of The Princess Bride movie. Lots of Canadians on your list here - you're a fellow Ontarian! Berton is fantastic, I've read several of his works and Klondike was an early one for me.

How did you like Quixote and Moby Dick? Both are favorites of mine.

I'm sold on Graham Greene, he's fantastic. Also recommend Agatha Christie and Flannery O'Connor (who I'm reading now). The Faulkner I read was good, I may look for more of his.

>3 frahealee:, I've aimed my sights a bit lower, working on the 501 Must-Read Books. That's challenge enough for me.

5frahealee
Edited: Jan 11, 7:45pm Top

>4 Cecrow: Thank you also! To be truthful, the Hollywood shrapnel last autumn turned my stomach enough to abandon movies for books. We have no tv or streaming services, so it was an easy step to take. I have about 400 books in the house, but more than half are suited for children and YA. It was fun to focus on my own preferences for the first time in twenty years.

A writer friend suggestion several options from Graham Greene, which then turned up on the 1001btrbyd list. I had no idea who he was. Same with King, I had only read one (Firestarter) and thought it was time to face my fear of horror, not films just novels. My daughter has special needs, so it is not something we will ever watch together, and my sons prefer sci-fi/speculative/fantasy to gore. I want to challenge myself to read what I have consciously been avoiding. I want to feel less daunted by classics or long epic novels by reading a few a year (one a month is a noble goal to pursue, even if unattainable).

Kobo/ebook collections from 2018; Machen, Blackwood, Lovecraft, Lawrence, Wharton, Faulkner, etc. Some free options I would not usually attempt, but why not, now that I have them?! Thus; Crime and Punishment, War and Peace, Siddhartha, Lady Susan, Little Women, White Fang, The Phantom of the Opera, etc.

I wish I'd heard about the 501 book list sooner ; ) now that I've already transposed a grouping of my own to work on. I will never get to 1001, since many are just not my mug of dark roast, but it is intriguing to see what makes the list, from various authors with multiple qualifiers. I love one book that ticks off CanLit and BigFatBooks and 1001...

The above selection was from inside my eyelids, not from any list I have seen or felt pressured to source out. Maybe John Huston movies came into focus because of Moby-Dick last year (as did Ray Bradbury who wrote the screenplay)? Maybe du Maurier reared her gothic head because I saw a few back to back Gene Tierney movies? Hitchcock is not my idea of heroic director, but he did pick some great books.

I don't write in diaries, nor scrapbook, so this is as close as I'll get to monitoring my behavior. =D

ps - Loved both DQ and MD, although I'd likely hit Moby again before Don. Believe it or not, it was Gene Hackman who led me to Moby, after reading his Perdito Star novel. Craved more sea voyages! Although, I just read a Vernon Lee story, which quotes Quixote and NOW I get it!

6LittleTaiko
Jan 11, 5:49pm Top

Love the movie tie in! I've read both Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel and found Rachel to be my favorite of the two. My book club is reading The Big Sleep later this year which should be quite entertaining.

Good luck!

7billiejean
Jan 11, 6:09pm Top

I was just reflecting on how many movies out there come from books. That movie Bird Box on Netflix makes me want to read my ebook asap. :) Lots of great choices on that list. Love the list of biographies, as well.

Just to put in my 2 cents, I also love the nautical fiction category and really enjoyed Moby Dick.

Finally, looking at your thoughts on 2020 already proves that you are in the right group, for sure. Welcome to the group and wishing you a great reading year in 2019!

8frahealee
Edited: Jan 11, 6:26pm Top

>6 LittleTaiko: Many thanks to you as well! That solution to 'which twelve?' was the first that occurred to me.

It's killing me that William Faulkner wrote the screenplay for The Big Sleep (1948) and I really want to see it asap. Even if he was simply slumming to make some money between novels, it must be tolerable since that kind of talent can't possibly lie dormant for long.

FRI 11 JAN 2019 = The Monk: A Romance by Matthew Gregory Lewis is complete. Now for the movie... Vincent Cassel look out! The book was exhausting (although only 12 chapters), so I might have to cover my eyes once or twice throughout the film. It felt like Lewis wanted to slingshot me through as many gothic tropes as he could in the least amount of time. His pokes at the establishment were almost funny at times, his jabs at women, less so. I would have flattened him mano a mano and then spit in his eye. Great writing though, a true drama/mystery/thriller as the movie description states. Happy endings are overrated, but he smears the edges just enough that we feel sorry for rather than despise perceived evil. You can tell by the title that it's going to be provocative, and it is.

Tandem audiobook with Kobo/ebook text, to keep me on track. Took under two weeks. Chapters/Indigo shows hardcover 420p.

9frahealee
Edited: Jan 11, 6:42pm Top

>7 billiejean: Well thank you for the warm welcome. It is fascinating how we make our selections. Some books I want to read without realizing a film version exists, others I have seen the film (like Doctor Zhivago) and then want to read the source novel, which can go either way. Or, I have read the book and don't want to see any movie that might spoil the impact of my own imagination.

For example, I liked To Kill A Mockingbird (1962) with Gregory Peck but I preferred the book because the film cut out the majority of Mrs. Dubose, who was a critical character for Jem in particular, and the reason for one of Atticus' most famous quotes. That being said, I still own the 40th anniversary DVD. However, I was disappointed by the novel after finally making time for it last year, because I loved Julie Christie and Omar Sharif so much in Doctor Zhivago (1965). I am glad to have read it, and might try again in future.

2020 isn't that far off... I am quite sure this year will spin by with all of my literary stepping stones!

10frahealee
Edited: Jan 11, 7:22pm Top

Also, concerning the vacant '8.' under non-fiction options... I thought I needed a sports option slotted in, but when I inserted Jordin Tootoo's All The Way: My Life on Ice, I realized it had not been on my mind for at least six months. Same with the David Spade book. I have to be in the right mood for him, but he likely has some great Chris Farley stories from their time in Toronto during Tommy Boy (1995). =)

Another sports option might have been Gordie Howe: Mr. Hockey. I know very little about hockey (my game is CFL, I know, don't throw things at me, blame my dad), but stopped to watch his funeral televised from Detroit in 2016 while I was in a hospital waiting room (son/hernia), and was knocked out by the reverence shown to this man. I see the 'Gordie' references in the Slap Shot movies, and don't get them. =( Truthfully, I only watched it because of the character named Francine...

Regardless, with all this dithering back and forth, I decided to just leave it blank for now.

>4 Cecrow: Oh, and yes it is his book about The Princess Bride (1987) recollections. I want his audiobook/cd since they say he roped his many colleagues into ad-lib interviews, and I just want to hear his voice narrate me to sleep. =D Saving up my copper coins... It's an unwinnable dilemma; pictures in print version, or the voice. The set would be nice. I love the family history behind Cary Elwes. How he ended up in comedy is beyond me. I guess your talent finds you. My daughter loves him as nasty Uncle Edgar with his sidekick Heston (sounds like Sir Hiss to me!) in Ella Enchanted (2004). It's fun to see him alternate between hero (Westley/Robin Hood) and villain.

11frahealee
Jan 12, 7:45am Top

>7 billiejean: Having not read any Gillian Flynn novels, I don't know how the films compare, but with Patricia Clarkson's recent win, I am tempted to seek out Sharp Objects. She can do no wrong in my eyes. Her performance in Cairo Time (2009) has minimal dialogue and yet is hypnotic. I don't have streaming services, so can't watch it even if I wanted to. =(

12frahealee
Jan 12, 8:36am Top

>2 .Monkey.: >3 frahealee: There you are, you just turned up in The Monk thread! Checking on Paul's progress from over five years ago, and he still isn't past the first chapter. I read it in under two weeks, and enjoyed it.

13Narilka
Jan 12, 9:19am Top

Welcome to the group! That's a cool idea for your challenge. After you finish a book will you be watching the movie immediately after?

>10 frahealee: I listened to the audio book of As You Wish two years ago and it's fantastic. Yes, almost the whole cast participates in the audio, it's fantastic.

14frahealee
Edited: Jan 12, 1:27pm Top

>13 Narilka: Thank you so much! No, not immediately after but hopefully sooner than later. It merely opens the gates to allow me to watch it when an opportunity presents itself, without spoiling the outcome, even when the film differs vastly from the book. I like to have my ducks in a row going in...

Oh, see now I want it immediately. The book and the audio, so I can follow along with pictures and text. The dvd is not a yardstick away right now. May need to indulge with movie night tonight, my daughter won't mind. She loves when Andre catches Robin. =)

So, for my other non-fiction, I realized there is no music in there, so we will throw Mr. Alan Doyle on the list at number eight, with A Newfoundlander in Canada. Lord I love this man! His voice, his legacy with Great Big Sea (20yrs?) and now his touring with another band with a fab female fiddler, wowsa. May he never stop. One of my guilty pleasures is to watch a brief youtube smartphone filmed session at the City Winery in New York, where Oscar Isaac joins him on stage to do 'Never Had' from the movie Ten Years (2011). It just makes me so happy. Oscar is a man of honour, practising his lines for Hamlet at his mother's hospital bedside mere months before her death, his marriage, his new baby. If he ever writes a book, I'm on the pre-order list! He and Alan are not too shabby at all in Robin Hood (2010)... (I seem to have a merry men theme going here)

15frahealee
Jan 12, 1:44pm Top

>4 Cecrow: Last year, I followed Canada Reads for the first time, to see the book selection process and view the debates online. It got very heated, which I suppose is a necessary evil when defending books from elimination, but Jully Black just rubbed me the wrong way. She went after Jeanne Becker with claws bared. The result brought a purchase of three new non-fiction books; Forgiveness: A Gift From My Grandparents by Mark Sakamoto, Precious Cargo: My Year of Driving the Kids on School Bus 3077 by Craig Davidson, and Out Standing in the Field by Sandra Perron. The first was so gritty it was hard to finish (needed breaks in between), and the second was personally impactful since my daughter has special needs, but the third made me laugh and cry, made me angry and euphoric. One of my top three best reads of last year. My son has been in the military not quite one year, and it was life altering. If three books can have that kind of impact on me, what on earth have I been missing by casting aside non-fiction authors? I felt ashamed, and deigned to rectify my foibles. Thus, the list above. I see that Kobo has listed the Canada Reads 2019 options, so I will follow it with great interest. Have you read any of these? Have you heard of Canada Reads before? It was new to me, although I'd heard mention of it on CBC Radio Two over the years. It made me cry, that's how intense the defense was! The one day with a class of young people in the audience, I was stunned by the speakers and the audience. They were all so invested!! Loved it.

16Cecrow
Edited: Yesterday, 8:02am Top

>15 frahealee:, I'm aware of the contest and follow it sometimes on cbc.ca/books, but I haven't listened to the broadcasts in a while. It seems to me like an artificial way to promote Canadian literature; I tend to note the nominees and may look into them, but I'm not much interested in who "wins".

I thought all the entries were fiction though; maybe there's another edition of it I didn't notice that's focussed on non-fiction?

17frahealee
Edited: Yesterday, 11:02am Top

After opening my new shipment of CanLit treats, including two by Margaret Atwood (Good Bones and Stone Mattress: Nine Wicked Tales), I saw mention of "In Love With Raymond Chandler" and now I really want to read the book on my list. These unexpected overlaps are always a killer...

Was The Big Sleep really his first published novel, and he was in his 50s? 1939... amazing how losing one's job leads to a career in writing. I might be a little envious of he and Mario Puzo. The Depression wasn't all bad.

18.Monkey.
Edited: Yesterday, 10:35am Top

>16 Cecrow: I was curious so I looked it up, the site says: "From thought-provoking fiction to inspiring memoirs, this year's longlisted books speak to the theme: One Book To Move You. Spanning separations and reconciliations, wars of the past and present, personal histories and imagined futures, these titles will disturb and disrupt, inspire and incite, and move readers to feel, to think and to act." and also on the about page: "Each year's Canada Reads books are chosen by participating panellists, through a kind of matchmaking process. The CBC Books team works with each panellist directly, suggesting books to them based on their preferences and profiles as readers. The annual longlist is comprised of titles that are either on the shortlist, or were under serious consideration as potential matches for panellists." So, looks like it can be any sort of book. Maybe what you happened to have paid attention to just wound up being fiction titles?

Also, yes, >17 frahealee: that was his first novel, he was not a story writer until adulthood, when he basically fell into it as a way to make money. He did write short stories for 6 years before writing his first novel.

19Cecrow
Yesterday, 11:37am Top

>18 .Monkey.:, ah, you're right. The Inconvenient Indian was definitely non-fiction, now that I think about it, and probably other examples.

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