Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812. That makes today the 205th anniversary of his birth. (Impressive math skills, eh?)
Twenty-four years later, Dickens would write The Pickwick Papers and Oliver Twist, at the same time. At the same time! He’s estimated to have created over 13,000 characters. Basically, that would populate a medium-sized town! Continue reading “Happy birthday, Charles Dickens!”
When I call film adaptations successful, what I usually mean is, they capture the tone, mood, and spirit of what I experience reading. So what does that mean, exactly?
Reading a great book makes me think and create. It invites me to make connections and, from those connections, to make meaning. It allows for ambiguity without confusion. How can film adaptations retain the purposeful ambiguity of great books, the kind that leaves space to interpret?
I suppose if I knew the answer to that, I’d be making great films from great books instead of writing about them. However, I did see one film recently that felt like a great adaptation: Mike Newell’s 2012 Great Expectations.
I wasn’t planning to watch the film. Great Expectations is a book I love so profoundly that I didn’t want anyone else’s creative vision playing Frankenstein against my experience. But I recently watched a video about Newell’s adaptation by Lauren of Reads and Daydreams. She does a series called Page to Screen for which she reviews a range of film adaptations of classic books. Her favorable analysis piqued my interest.
I ended up loving it. Here are the three main reasons why: Continue reading “What makes film adaptations work?”
My grand conclusion after a month of using Goodreads: As a reader, I am vexed to the point of melodrama at the idea of assigning books 1 – 5 stars.
It’s basically grading, right? I’m painfully familiar with grading. As a college professor, it’s my least favorite part of teaching. BUT at least assessment criteria are clearly articulated. No one can pretend there’s not a subjective element when we’re talking about writing, speaking and constructing arguments. BUT at least we spell out for students exactly what we value and is expected of them – in achingly specific detail. Seriously, you should see the rubrics. Continue reading “0 out of 5 Stars for the 5-Star System of Rating Books”