Monthly Archives: December 2011

Happy Holidays!

This very special Saturday post comes to you mostly because I forgot to mention my hiatus yesterday. The holidays are upon us which means a week of no work for me. I take that literally and even though Reading for Robin is a labor of love, it is a labor nonetheless. So enjoy this time of eating, spending time with family, and (apparently if you are one of my friends) hanging out on a tropical beach. I’ll be back in just over a week to share all my latest reads and to hear about yours.

Happy Holidays!


The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Movie Post

Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Movie PosterSo back to the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo movie.

I wish I could remember the Swedish version more so I could compare them better, but alas my memory for those things is not so good. Maggie, my movie viewing companion, thought the U.S. version was more graphic than the Swedish. I had to remind her that she stepped out of the room for the worst scenes when we watched the Swedish DVD at my apartment. It’s a little harder to do that in the movie theater. I actually thought the U.S. version was slightly less graphic. But when there’s violence and rape, it’s going to be graphic.

Overall, I did really enjoy the U.S. version and think it was well done. Most especially, I think Rooney Mara did a fantastic job. Lisbeth Salander is not your average character so I can imagine it is not easy to take her on. Just think how much work it is to fake those piercings, tattoos and hairstyle alone.

Good performances aside, the movie felt slightly rushed. Which is funny considering it’s 2.5 hours long. That is not a short movie. But it’s hard adapting a 600-page book. Things were cut out or modified. Scenes moved quickly and I’m not sure if I would have understood it as well if I had not read the book. With that background, I knew why the photograph in Blomqvist’s hand had significance, but would I have picked up on that otherwise? Hard to tell.

Still, the advantage is with such a quick pace the movie didn’t feel long at all. I was engaged and excited and nervous about what was happening at all times. And in the end, that’s what I’m looking for in my movie-going experience.

I Saw The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Movie (U.S. Version)

Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Movie PosterI’m going to warn you up front that this is going to be a cheap blog post so you can stop now if you’d like. I’m basically blogging to tell you I was too tired to blog last night. But with good reason! I saw the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo movie… if you couldn’t tell from my title. I feel the need to specify that it was the U.S. version (in theaters now) because I’m pretty sure I must have a very similar post about having seen the Swedish version. Oh yes, it’s right here.

Anyway, I have thoughts about the movie but, like I said, I was too tired to share them in time for this morning. Which means you get my opinions in tomorrow’s post.

Every good blog should have some suspense.

Why I’m Not Sharing My Best of the Year…Yet

2011This is the time of year when everyone is putting out their Best Of lists. Last year, I skipped out on this tradition by claiming indecisiveness. This year, I’m just going to say I’m not ready yet.

It’s December 21, which means there are 10 whole days left in 2011. I do my best reading when traveling or at home in Florida. I am both traveling and spending time at home in Florida in the next week. I will get through at least a couple more books before this year is up. And who knows, some of the best might still be to come.

Give me a week or two (or three?). I may be the only person recapping the Best Of 2011 once it’s 2012 and I’m okay with it. I hope you are too.

The Notebook Is Broadway Bound

The Notebook movie posterI hesitate to classify this as literary news. Perhaps I should just call it kind of sort of somewhat related to books. It turns out The Notebook is heading to Broadway.

Nicholas Sparks’ book turned movie can soon add “turned musical” onto it’s description. The author has said that the book is in development to become a Broadway musical. This is… interesting.

Listen, I can’t judge too much. I’m not sure I’ve read any Nicholas Sparks books, but can’t fault those who enjoy them. They can suck you in. From interviews I’ve read with Nicholas Sparks he’s not my favorite person, but alas. I have, however, enjoyed some of his movies. I appreciate A Walk To Remember for what it is. I also really like The Notebook movie and often watch it when it is on TV (as it almost always is). I laugh, I cry, I swoon over Ryan Gosling.

Speaking of Ryan Gosling, have you all seen the now dozens of blogs dedicated to him? It started with Fuck Yeah, Ryan Gosling which basically imagines Ryan Gosling as your boyfriend who says “Hey girl” a lot. From there, we got Feminist Ryan Gosling, Ryan Gosling Goes to Law School,  and Biostatistics Ryan Gosling to name a few. He’s the internet meme du jour. My favorite of course is the Ryan Gosling Works in Publishing blog. It features photos of Ryan with funny publishing related captions. Some of my favorites include:

“Hey girl, that manuscript deadline isn’t the only thing that’s flexible.”

“Hey girl, those pull quotes you picked were ‘outstanding!'”

“Hey girl, I don’t need a bestseller list to tell me you’re number one.”

So, in conclusion yes, I did use this small piece of Nicholas Sparks news to turn this post into a tribute to Ryan Gosling. Something tells me you probably don’t mind.

Jonathan Tropper in Fall 2012

Jonathan TropperPublishing is a funny industry. At any given moment, publishing companies are working on their current titles, developing plans for the next season, and picking titles for the season after that. This is why as the Fall 2011 season comes to a close, publishing folks have their eye not on Winter 2012, but rather Fall 2012.

And thanks to a tweet last week by Dutton Books, I have some reading fun  to look forward to in Fall 2012. That would be a new Jonathan Tropper book!

My mom lent me Tropper’s This Is Where I Leave You almost exactly two years ago, and I really liked it. After that I decided I had to read more books by this guy. I picked up the Book of Joe and liked it too! Sure, it’s a lot like This Is Where I Leave You, but I’m not complaining about that.

So yes, I still have more of his backlist to get through. But that hasn’t stopped me from looking forward to a new Tropper book. Now I only have to wait a whole year…

C’mon Amazon, Play Nice!

Amazon Price Check AppI am an Amazon customer. I have a Kindle. I read Amazon e-books. I search Amazon for deals on various products and buy them. I still like bookstores. I like browsing in them and buying in them. These two likes should not be at odds with one another. And yet, they are.

Amazon is no stranger to controversies, but the most recent one has many people riled up. Amazon announced a new Price Check app and gave people incentive to use it at their local bookstore. A great article in the New York Times explains the situation. First things first, what the app does: “Amazon was encouraging customers to go into brick-and-mortar bookstores on Saturday, and use its price-check app (which allows shoppers in physical stores to see, by scanning a bar code, if they can get a better price online) to earn a 5 percent credit on Amazon purchases (up to $5 per item, and up to three items).” The argument: With this app, Amazon was basically turning physical bookstores into “showrooms” for book shoppers where these customers can handle the goods they wish to buy, then purchase them from Amazon. It doesn’t take much to see that this is one more reason bookstores will have to struggle to survive.

I think the app is a step too far. Sure, customers can see that Amazon is cheaper other ways. But this just seems like a slap in the face to brick-and-mortar retailers.

But why I also don’t like it is because it makes me feel guilty for something I shouldn’t feel guilty about at all! (This, it should be noted, is a trait I inherited from my mother: extreme guilt.) Now, whenever I even so much as take my phone out in a bookstore I worry employees will suspect I’m using the Amazon app and hurting their business. Just this past weekend, I browsed Barnes and Noble while I waited for a friend. She texted, I responded. I scanned the store anxiously for suspicious stares. Nothing to see here people, just an innocent text, I swear!

I should be able to buy my e-books from Amazon, my print books from physical stores, and text without guilt while book shopping. Is that so hard?

Oh, and if you want a more coherent opinion on the matter, do check out the New York Times article “Amazon’s Jungle Logic.” It’s really interesting.