Tuesday, 30 August 2011

30 Days of Books Meme (Part 3)

Here are days 07-09. For details of the full list, click the tab to the right. If you're interested, and I'm sure you are, my friend Sara is pretending to do this meme as well, although she never updates her blog. You can find her here: http://makemeacuppa.blogspot.com/a.blogspot.com. Tell her I sent you.

Day 07 - Most underrated book
I had a really hard time picking this one, and the next one. So I decided to pick the book that I wish more people would read. It helps that it's a childrens' book, so most adults would never pay much attention to it.

"Coraline" by Neil Gaiman is an intriguing and frankly disturbing tale about a young girl who moves to a new house with her family and finds a tiny door. She goes through it and discovers a world that at first seems a lot like hers, but soon realises that it isn't like her world at all.

It's a fantastic book, the first of his that I ever read, and it isn't just for children. I was actually scared by it, and I can't honestly say that about very many books. You'll never be able to look at buttons in the same way again.

You might have heard of the film, which was a stop-motion animation (I think) with Dakota Fanning and Teri Hatcher doing the voices. The film wasn't that impressive, but the book is brilliant.

Day 08 - Most overrated book
This one was easier once I thought about it. "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown is, to the best of my knowledge, one of the most raved about books of recent years. And I have no idea why. Admittedly, I found it quite a difficult read because the plot relies heavily on certain paintings, most of which I had never seen, meaning that half the time I wasn't 100% sure of what was happening. It isn't particularly well-written either, and this is something that a lot of critics agree with me on, so I think it deserves the title of Most Overrated Book.

A close second, however, was "Atonement" by Ian McEwan. Now, I don't actually know if this is overrated, I don't really know what anyone else thinks of it, but I bought the book after seeing the film and loving it. I expected the book to be better because, let's face it, the book is almost always better than the film (I wanted to say always, but knew someone would leave a comment that proved me wrong). The book is dire. It's interminable. I think I actually skipped the whole section when one character is off in Europe fighting in the war. Just an awful, awful book. And "Saturday," the other one of his that I've read, is even worse.

Day 09 - A book you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving
This one was pretty easy. I hate books that I have to read for school/university. It's probably because I expect to hate them because someone else has picked them, because someone has decided they are worthy of being studied, or even because I dread picking the story apart until there's nothing left but facts that you can't enjoy. Whatever the reason is, I expected to hate "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte. And I loved it.

Well, love is a strong word. For those that don't know, the book is split into two parts, with the second part occuring about sixteen years after the first and concerning the surviving characters of the first part and their various awful offspring. The first part is excellent, I don't think I can fault it in anyway, I even quite like the highly criticised opening narrated by Lockwood instead of Nelly, who tells the rest of the story. The second part isn't so good. In fact, I don't think it's good at all. I always felt it was unnecessary, and kind of tainted the first part. And to be honest, I don't think the second part even makes that much sense. I don't want to spoil it for you, but why would one character be so eager to see two other characters get married, when said character could marry one of them for his or herself? (I take spoilers very seriously).

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